The Himalayas are a complex skein of ranges and probably, the mightiest geographical feature on the surface of the earth. With more than a hundred peaks 7000m above sea level and about twenty peaks reaching almost 8000m are higher than the highest mountains in the rest of the world. The Himalayan mass which is about 3200 km long and 480m wide has successive ranges are steeped up and the highest peaks tend to be the furthest and appear to be dwarfed by smaller peaks. In the midest of all these mountains lies the mighty Everest.
Nepal is known as the “Land of the Himalaya” the world over. There are 1,310 peaks above 6000 meters of which 238 are already opened for climbing. Likewise, out of fourteen 8000 meters peaks eight of them, including the highest in the world, Mount Everest lies in Nepal. The other seven are namely Kanchenjunga, Lhotse, Makalu, Cho Oyu, Dhaulagiri, Manaslu and Annapurna. This trek to Everest Base Camp is probably the only trail in the world where so many mighty and magnificent Himalayas can been seen at such close proximity.
Mount Everest is also known by the Tibetan name Chomolangma (goddess mother of the snows), and by the Nepali name Sagarmatha (Mother of the Universe).
When Mallory was questioned why he wanted to climb Everest he replied :- “Because it is there”; but it took more than 3 decades and in this period more than 20 expeditions tried but failed to summit the mighty and magnificent Mt. Everest. Finally on May 28th 1953 – Mt. Everest was first conquered by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay and till 2003 1300 climbers has reached the ‘Top of the World’. Today, after more than 5 decades, the trail to the mighty and magnificent mountain remains the same. Passing through Sherpa villages we do see a lot of changes with cyber-cafes and pubs with pool tables along the way. However, one thing that has remained constant over the generations is the absolutely spectacular view of the Himalayan ranges including the Big Three– Mt. Everest, Mt. Nuptse and Mt. Lhotse.
The Everest Base Camp Trek takes one to the foothills of the mightiest of the mountains in the world. En-route, traverse through rhododendron and pine forests, rivers, Sherpa villages and Buddhist Monasteries from temperate to snow line regions. The Himalayas are best seen on this trek as one traces the main route through the Khumbu region from the Sherpa town of Namche Bazaar. Trekkers get a close view of the world’s greatest mountains, Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, Thamserku, Tawache and others.
Today, after more than 5 decades, the trail to the mighty and magnificent mountain remains the same. Passing through Sherpa villages we do see a lot of changes with cyber-cafes and pubs with pool tables along the way. However, one thing that has remained constant over the generations is the absolutely spectacular view of the Himalayan ranges including the Big Three-Mt. Everest, Mt. Lhotseand Mt. Nuptse.
Day 01: ARRIVAL AT KATHMANDU AIRPORT
If time permits, half day sightseeing of Swayambhunath.
Day 02: FULL DAY SIGHTSEEING AT KATHMANDU
Visit Bhaktapur, Pashupatinath and Boudhanath. Lunch at Bhaktapur.
Day 03: FLY FROM KATHMANDU TO LUKLA (2840M) AND TREK TO PHAKDING (2610 M)
Early morning transfer to the airport to fly to Lukla (2840m) Flight- 45 min. This 45 minutes flight provides a magnificent entry to the trek. It highlights the snowline of the Himalayan Range in the north and the rugged landing at the Lukla airport which is said to be one of the most spectacular flights in the world. Upon arrival, meet the Sherpa team and while the team reassembles the equipment for the distribution to the Porters OR Jhopke (a cross between and cow and a Yak used to carry loads). During this break, the guests are welcome to explore this bustling town on top of a hill with rows of houses, hotels and shops lining both sides of cobbled street.
The trek starts by following the trail leading to the northwest direction through the narrow street, which immediately descends from the end of the village on a trail through the open hillside. The trail is well defined and there are many shops and lodges catering to the trekkers. There are suspension bridges to connect the main trail and the villages along the way. The main trail is also shared by packed animals and local potters, so it is advisable always to walk on the wall side and leave the way for the potters and animals. From there we follow the regular trail passing small villages of Chaurikharka, Cheplung, Thado Koshi and Ghat with shops and restaurants on the way, it’s from here were we will have the first glance of the Himalayas continue further past the monastery, Mani walls and chorten to arrive at the posh looking Yeti Mountain Lodge, from here climb gently to finally arrive at the cluster of lodges at Phakding (2,610 m). Upon arrival at Phakding we cross the bridge and then walk down to Jo’s Garden lodge and check in. Rest of the day is free to relax or browse around this small village
Dinner and overnight Phakding Flight duration: 45 minutes Trek duration 3 ½ – 4 hours
Day 04:TREK FROM PHAKDING TO NAMCHE BAZAAR (3440 M)
Leave the main village and follow the trail on left bank of the Dudh Koshi River. It is a pleasant walk for the first half of the day as one passes through agricultural countryside, small wayside villages and a monastery. We cross the Dudh Koshi at Benkar where there are tantalizing glimpses of the snow peaks Kusum Kanguru (6367 m) and Thamserku (6608 m). Just before lunch, there is a steep climb of about 20 minutes to arrive at Monjo for Lunch.
After lunch, trek up to the check post to check the permits and enter into the Sagarmatha National Park. Descend for 10 minute and then cross a suspension bridge to arrive at Jorsale (2800m). Pass through several small villages and beautiful pine forest. This is a busy trail with plenty of human interest. Our first good views are of the west ridge of Kusum Kangru (6367 m). Follow the Dudh Koshi River, crossing a rickety suspension bridge, which is in a dilapidated condition, and then slowly climb up a very steep trail to Namche Bazaar.
Near half way point, we enjoy our first views of Mt. Everest (8848m), Nuptse (7861 m) and Lhotse (8383m) – the big three. The climb is for nearly 3 hours as one gain in altitude making breathing difficult due to rarified air.
Arrive at a gate with a sign saying, “Welcome to Namche Bazaar” but it is very misleading as it takes another 20 minutes to arrive at the main town. Upon arrival at Namche Bazaar (3440 m) check into the lodge. This prosperous town is the largest in Khumbu.Mt. Thamserku (6608 m) and Kwangde RI (6624 m) loom along the east and west of the village. The sacred mountain Khumbila (5707 m) dominates the skyline along the west.
Dinner and overnight at Namche Bazaar
Duration of Trek- 5 – 5 ½ hours
Day 05: Rest and acclimatization at Namche Bazaar
After a leisurely breakfast, excursion to Hotel Everest View which starts from the main square in Namche bazaar with a flight of cobbled stone steps all the way to Shyangboche airstrip (3790 meters), which was built to serve Hotel Everest View. Cross the airstrip and climb past the telephone tower to a trail that leads off to the right (east wards) the trail somewhat levels at the top of the ridge, from here the trail is gradual all the way to the single storey hotel at 3890 meters. Hotel Everest View, as the name suggest have the amphitheater views of the giants of the Himalayas Mt. Everest (8,848 M), Mt Lhotse (8,516 M), Mt Nuptse (7,855 M), Mt Tawoche (6,542 M), Mt. Cholatse (6,440 M), Mt. Amadablam (6,814 M), Mt. Kangtega (6,783 M), Mt. Thamserku (6,618 M) and Mt. Kusum Khangaru (5,808 M) is what is on offer (Weather Permitting)
Note: Please allow for some money today to spend for tea/coffee at the Hotel Everest View as we will be using the premises of the Hotel.
After enjoying the views, backtrack to Namche. Along the trail you may also lookout for the Danphe (Impeyan Pheasant) the national bird of Nepal
After lunch, free to explore the Namche bazaar and may be even enjoy a coffee at the local bakery. Later visit the famous Bazaar, the hub of the Khumbu. Many traders from Tibet are also seen mingling with the local populace.
Dinner and Overnight at the lodge
Duration of Trek: 3 ½ – 4 hours.
Day 06:TREK FROM NAMCHE TO TRASHINGA VIA EVEREST VIEW HOTEL
After a leisurely breakfast, set out from the lodge through alleyways and ascend on a flight of stairs and join up with a small trail to the ridge with the nig Manii stone. Leave the mail trail to Everest but continue on a steep climb for about an hour to arrive at the top of the ridge. Then a slow gentle walk brings us to the Shyangboche airstrip (3790 meters), which was built to serve Hotel Everest View. Cross the airstrip and climb past the telephone tower to a trail that leads off to the right (east wards) the trail somewhat levels at the top of the ridge, from here the trail is gradual all the way to the single storey Hotel Everest View at 3890 meters.
Hotel Everest View, as the name suggest have the amphitheater views of the giants of the Himalayas Mt. Everest (8,848 M), Mt Lhotse (8,516 M), Mt Nuptse (7,855 M), Mt Tawoche (6,542 M), Mt. Cholatse (6,440 M), Mt. Amadablam (6,814 M), Mt. Kangtega (6,783 M), Mt. Thamserku (6,618 M) and Mt. Kusum Khangaru (5,808 M) is what is on offer (Weather Permitting)
Note: Please allow for some money today to spend for tea/coffee at the Hotel Everest View as we will be using the premises of the Hotel.
After enjoying the views, we continue towards Khumjung by taking a trail located at the back of the hotel and gradually descend through rhododendron and pine forest and within 30 minutes of walk you arrive at an open valley where the village of Khumjung sits on the lap of the holy mountain – Khumbi Yul. Khumjung is one of the largest villages of the Khumbu. At the foot of the sacred peak Khumbi yul is the only village which boasts of a school, museum, monastery and a hospital. Blessed with its panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and serene environment, Khumjung is a place for the tired soul.
After a visit to the German bakery for tea / coffee break, visit the Khumjung monastery which is one of the oldest monasteries in the Khumbu valley. The monastery is well known in the Khumbu for its precious old religious books and artifacts. It’s beautiful paintings and statues were created by artists who migrated here from Mustang Valley. Khumjung monastery also proudly boasts of a Yeti Skull, but then the authority charges a legitimate amount of fee to have a glance of it. The local people perform many important religious and cultural festivals every year. One of the most important religious festivals is “Dumji” a five days festival held in the month of late June or early July each year. The monastery is open for visitors from 8 am to 10 am & 2 pm to 4 pm every day.
After lunch at a nearby guest house, set off by passing by the German bakery and heading out of the village and then descend to meet the mail trail to Everest. However, we once again leave the main trail and take the left fork and follow the hillside trail before descending to Trashinga and checking into the Hotel.
Rest of the afternoon is free to rest and acclimatize to the high elevations.
Dinner and overnight at Trashinga
Day 07: TREK FROM TRASHINGA TO PANGBOCHE
After breakfast, the trek begins with a descent to meet up with the main trail to Everest Base Camp where the path is a relatively easy with magnificent views of the Himalayas especially of Mt. Amadablam, Thmasherku and Kangtega.
After reaching the re-forestation nursery at Tashinga, the trail drops steeply to cross the Dudh Koshi at Phunki Tanga (3250m), next to several large water driven prayer wheels. Here we stop for a short break before climbing slowly for about 1 ½ hours on a steep snaking trail to the Thyangboche Monastery and one of the most beautiful spots on earth. Thyangboche lies at the base of Kangtaiga and is a classic setting with superb views back up the valley to the Ama Dablam, and the Everest poking its south west face over the huge ridgeline linking Nuptse and Lhotse. At the rear is the beautiful west face of the Thamserku (6608m) and Kangtega (6685m).
The Thyangboche Monastery is one of the most important monasteries of the Khumbu Region and the late afternoon can be spent visiting this ancient Monastery. It is the traditional place where all Everest Expeditions receive their blessings as they walk in towards the base camp.
After visiting the monastery, lunch at one of the guest house and then set out on the trail with a short, steep and muddy descent through a forest of birch, conifer and rhododendron to the meadows of Devouche. From here continue for a while and cross the bridge over the Dudh Koshi river fine views of Mt. Amadablam and then gently climb to Kani (a typical gate as you enter a village). From here is a relatively easy hike to Pangboche where we check into the Summit Lodge.
Dinner and overnight at Pangboche Duration of Trek: 6-7 hours.
Day 08: TREK PANGBOCHE TO DINGBOCHE
After breakfast, continue on the trail passing through scattered settlement till we arrive at Shomare, a small Sherpa settlement in about an hour. From the trek begins with a short climb up to a place called Orso, now at this point, we will be leaving the tree line and the trail becomes gradual as we continue on the trail you arrive at a trail junction from here take right hand trail through the front yard of a few Yak herders’ huts, over a stone wall. The landscape becomes very interesting as the vista opens before us and we can see the river flowing below. Descend from here to a steel bridge, cross over the Chukkung khola and begin to ascend for about 40 minutes to arrive at array of Mani stone and a further 10 minutes walk will lead us to one of the world’s highest agricultural land in Khumbu region an and also our home for two nights in Dingboche at an elevation of 4310 meters. Upon arrival, we check in the lodge and for a much needed lunch.
PM: Rest of the day is free to browse around hike up to the ridge above the village. NOTE: Normally trekkers take a day off here to acclimatize to the altitude but with shortage of time, we will have only half a day and this should be span hiking to higher elevation and sleeping low.
Dinner and overnight at Dingboche
Duration of Trek: 4 ½ hours.
Day 09:EXCURSION TO CHUKUNG
This day is for acclimatization and a side trip to Chukung will be organized.
The trail initially leads back south before leaving the main route; a short climb leads to the crossing of the jumbled moraine of the Nzogumpa Glacier. Lunch at Dragnag, This hard scrabbling country offers various equally demanding routes until you reach the camp site tucked in below the pass.
After the excursion of Chukung trek back to Dingboche
Dinner and Overnight at Dingboche
Trek duration: 3 ½ – 4 hrs
Day 10:TREK FROM DINGBOCHE TO LOBUCHE (4931 M)
An ill- defined track traverse across the open landscape with a short steep ascent to arrive at a ridge to join the main trail coming up from Dingboche on the right and the trail from Cho la pass on the left. On the way you can watch the beautiful view of the Mt. Cholatese (6442m) back on the Westside of the route and Mt. Amadablam to the rear. After arrival at the ridge, descend, for about ten minutes, cross a bridge to arrive at Thugla for an early lunch. (Note: due to unavailability of water, this is the only lunch stop available).
After lunch, there is a steep ascent for about an hour to the ridge where there is a Sherpa memorial in remembrance to those brave mountaineers who died during expeditions. The memorial chortens dots the skyline facing the mountains and overlooking the valley below. Further on the trail leads to the terminal moraine of the Khumbu Glacier with views of Pumori or Widow’s Peak in the foreground. The stark and the rugged beauty create almost a moonscape. The campsite at Lobuche is reached after another hour of steady trekking through the moraine and is situated in a windswept valley with the enchanting views of the Tawatse (6501m) and Nuptse (7855m).
Dinner and overnight at Lobuche
Duration of Trek: – 5 to 5 ½ hours.
Day 11: LOBUCHE TO GHORAKSHEP (5180M) / EVEREST BASE CAMP (5360M) AND BACK
From Lobuche, a short climb brings one to another valley. Travel along the Khumbu Glacier through the jumbled moraines and scattered rocks. The trail continues to slowly contour on the open landscape through an ablation and after about an hour, there is a steep ascent for about 20 minutes. Climb slowly to a ridge and then continue on a trail of rocks caused by rockslides. On a clear day Mt. Everest can be seen looming behind Nuptse. Arrive at the ridge above Gorakshep and then descend to Gorakshep, a settlement with 2 tea houses to stay for overnight. This was the base camp for the 1952 Swiss Everest expedition. In 1953 the British Everest expedition called this “lake camp’. Gorakshep or “graveyard of the crows” has a small lake that is usually frozen and several monuments to climbers who have died during various Everest expeditions. The carved stone in memory of Jake Britenbach of the 1963 US expedition and the monument of Indian Ambassador H. Dayal, who died during a visit to the Everest Base Camp after the 1965 Indian expedition, are north-east of the lake.
The trip to base camp, while fascinating, is not spectacular as the ascent of Kala Pattar because there is no view of Everest itself from the base camp. Mt. Lhotse and Mt. Nuptse, which loom over the Base Camp, shades the view of Everest
After a quick lunch,trek begins from Ghorakshep lodge first through wide open moonscape land and then along the jumbled moraines and scattered rocks passing by the memorials of Rob Hall and Yasuko Namba and others who perished during the Mt. Everest disaster of 1996. The trail continues on a ridge from where a small glimpse of Mt. Everest can be seen. At the end of the ridge, a scrabbling descent leads to the entry into the Khumbu Glacier. The trail through the glacier is an interesting one in that one can actually feel as if one is inside a fridge with the cold seeping from all sides. The Everest Base Camp is also the site for the base camp for Lhotse and Nuptse. It is not actually a specific site as various expeditions have elected different locations for a semi permanent camp during their assault on the mountains. Some of the sites that expeditions have used as base camps are identifiable form debris on the glacier at 5360m or more. However the highlight of the trip to this place is the sight of the Khumbu icefall and the trek along the Khumbu Icefall is an interesting and an exhilarating one. Later return to Ghorakshep
Dinner and overnight at Gorakshep
Duration of Trek: 7 ½ – 8 ½ hours.
Day 12:TREK GHORAKSHEP TO KALAPATTHAR AND TREK TO PERICHE
(OPTIONAL) Early morning wake up and after a quick cup of tea / coffee, take the left-hand side trail and head straight up the hill to Kalaphattar (5545m) for views of Mt. Everest. The trek up to the top is an arduous one and takes about a 2 ½ to 3 hrs to reach it. The early morning or late afternoons the best time to view Mt. Everest from this vantage point as the sun is behind the observer and directly on the mountains in front. The climb to the Kalaphattar though tough, is well worth it as the views from here are breathtaking. The giants of the earth are all around Pumori (7145m), Everest (8848m), and China’s peak Changtse (7553m), Nuptse (7855m), Lhotse (8516m), Ama Dablam and many others. Later return to Gorakshep for breakfast.
After some rest set out backtracking on scattered rocks and jumbled moraines to return to Lobuche in about 1 ½ hours and then continue on to the Sherpa Memorial for another hour before descending to Thugla in about 30 minutes. It is a convenient place to stop for a late lunch.
After lunch, continue to descend to the valley floor and then a long level walk brings us to the settlement of Pheriche. Upon arrival, check into the hotel
Dinner and overnight at Lodge in Pheriche
Duration of Trek: 8 hours with Kalaphattar).
Day 13:HELICOPTER FLIGHT BACK TO KATHMANDU / DEPARTURE
After breakfast, visit the Himalayan Rescue Centre and meet the doctors for a brief class about altitude sickness and its protection.
Later wait for helicopter and then upon arrival, bid farewell to Sherpa and porters and board the 1 ½ hour helicopter flight back to Katmandu
Upon arrival, meet and transfer to the Hotel and rest of the day is free to relax and walk around the city.
Overnight at Hotel
Day 14:FINAL DEPARTURE
After breakfast one is free until the final departure time.
* End of Arrangements **
Best Period: Feb, Mar, April, May – Oct, Nov, Dec
Time Period: 11 Nights / 12 Days.
Trek Period:10 Night / 11 Days
In Kathmandu: 00 Nights
Flights: 1 Way (Kathmandu/Lukla)
Helicopter: 1 Way (Pheriche to Kathmandu)
Trek Type: Strenuous
Highest Altitude: 5545 meters
Warning: Altitude Sickness.
Trek Start Point: Lukla
Trek End Point: Pheriche
Accommodations: Hotels in Kathmandu / Lodges on trek
Trek Cost: (*Details of cost included /excludes given at the bottom of the itinerary.
(Please note all times mentioned are estimated and not actual hours and may vary as per individual, physical, weather & Group conditions)
National Park: Sagarmatha National Park (1148 sq. kms)
Mountains: Everest, Lhotse, Tamserku, AmaDablam, Nuptse, Tawatse, Kantega, Pumo-ri, etc.
Rivers: Bhote Koshi, Dudh Koshi and Imjatse Khola.
Villages: Lukla, Namche, Thyangboche, Pheriche, Lobuche, etc
Tribes: Mostly Sherpas & Tibetans
Forests: Of Rhododendron and Pine.
Landscapes: Varying from temperate valleys to snow clad mountains.