(16 nights 17 days)
Everest base camp is every hiker’s dream, short only of summiting the peak itself
- Day 1: Arrive In Kathmandu We are met on arrival at Kathmandu Airport & transferred by private vehicle to the Hotel. Settle into your rooms. We do an equipment check and process National Park Permits. Night stay in hotel.
- Day 2: Sightseeing In Kathmandu Free day to explore the city. Popular excursions include Pashupatinath (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), the Buddhist stupa at Boudhnath and the 2000-year old Monkey Temple at Swayambunath. If need be, buy necessary outdoor gear. In the evening we visit a traditional Newari restaurant for an authentic Nepali meal and live entertainment.
- Day 3: Fly to Lukla (2652 M) & 4 Hrs Trek to Phakding (2,652 M) An early start to board our flight to Lukla. Flights operate within the constraints of the weather at Lukla and if there is cloud in the morning we may have a delay that can be up to several hours whilst planes fly other routes until the conditions at Lukla improve. The airport in Lukla has recently undergone an extensive upgrade and the old gravel landing strip of legend and notoriety has been replaced with impressive new tarmac and there is also a modern stone-built terminal building. With clear weather we get fantastic views of the m ountains, including Everest as we enter deep gorge of the Dudh Kosi valley. But most people will have their sights firmly set on the approach to Lukla and our exciting descent to the runway will cause those of a nervous disposition to hold onto their seats. After we arrive we meet the remainder of our Sherpa crew who will have flown up the previous day to arrange porters and yak. Depending on our arrival time we may have lunch in Lukla or start trekking directly, walking down for 45 minutes to the Dudh Kosi valley. On the way, view Mt. Nupla (5885 M), Kusum Kangaru (6367 M) and Mt. Kwangde range. When we hit the valley we follow the course of the river northwards, staying at all times on the east bank. After another couple of hours or so we come to the village of Phakding where we stop for the night.
- Day 4: Phakding- Monjo (2900M) Immediately after leaving Phakding, we cross the Dudh Kosi River by a long suspension bridge and continue following the river northwards. We get our first good views of the mountains when Thamserku (6608 M) appears at the head of a narrow valley. The path crosses back to the other side of the river and passes through the Sagarmatha National Park gates at Monjo, where we will be required to show our permits. We stay the night in Monjo.
- Day 5: Monjo- Namche (3,440 M) - 3-4 Hrs After breakfast, continue along an undulating riverside path until a final suspension bridge is crossed just below ‘Namche hill’. From here it’s all up hill for a good hour; a long steep hill climb where Sherpa guides and trek leaders can be seen cajoling tired trekkers up a relentless series of switchbacks to Namche Bazaar, the principal village of the Khumbu region. We stay at a lodge.
- Day 6: Acclimatization in Namche (3,440 M) Today we make an acclimatization trek up to Khumjung, a delightful Sherpa village above Namche. Although only a short day we gain a couple of hundred meters of altitude that helps us to adjust to the altitude. And in addition Khumjung is a quiet village. Or we can do the walk to Everest View Hotel. A must visit is to the Everest Museum. After lunch we return to our lodge in Namche Bazaar.
- Day 7: Trek to Tengboche (3,867 M) 5- 6 Hrs We follow a spectacular path that traverses around the hillside high above the Dudh Kosi River. After about two hours we arrive at the lodges of Sanasa where we can stop for tea. We then descend down to the Dudh Kosi River and our lunch stop at Phunki Tenga. From here a long climb up with many switch-backs takes us to the famous Gompa at Tengboche, the largest in Khumbu region. Kwongde (6187 M), Tawache (6542 M), Everest (8848 M), Nuptse (7855 M), Lhotse (8618 M), Amadablam (6856 M) and Thamserku (6608 M) provide an inspiring panorama of Himalayan giants. Note: We can continue for a short distance for overnight stop at Deboche, situated in pleasant pine forests.
- Day 8: Trek to Dingboche (4,360 M) 5- 6 Hrs From Tengboche we head north to cross the Dudh Kosi River by way of a small suspension bridge spanning a deep chasm in the river valley. We then follow a delightful path through the village of Pangboche. Superb views of Ama Dablam present themselves at virtually every point on the path. We continue along the river and our overnight camp at the village of Dingboche. From here, we can see Island Peak, Makalu and another face of Amadablam.
- Day 9: Acclimatization to Dingboche (4,360 M) To the north of Dingboche, are spectacular views of Lhotse’s huge South Face. As part of our acclimatization, we trek northwards for a couple of hours towards this face. We can take lunch at the hamlet of Chukkung, and for those with lots of energy, several local hills offer a short climb for even better views. In the afternoon we return to Dingboche.
- Day 10: Trek to Lobuche (4940 M) 5 Hrs From Dingboche we start to ascend into the highest parts of the Khumbu. The path traverses the hillside until we reach the few stone buildings at Dugla. We have lunch here and then continue to ascend by the snout of the Khumbu Glacier, passing many stone chortens. The path follows a pleasant, grassy valley and finally reaches the lodges at Lobuche where there are outstanding views of Nuptse, Cholatse, Lobuche, and Pumori.
- Day 11: Trek to Everest Base Camp- Gorak Shep (5,170 M) This is a long day on the trek. The route to base camp is generally well defined with a series of cairns marking the way. We walk on the glacial ice that is pitted with many small stones and as we approach the base camp area, the occasional ice tower juts up. This is not a snow-covered glacier so any crevasses are clearly visible and do not present any difficulty. After three hours we arrive at the base camp area, which is a sprawling mass of tents during the main spring climbing season. Although we cannot see the summit of Everest from base camp, the Khumbu icefall is right in front of us and we may be able to see the black dots of climbers descending through this chaotic jumble of ice blocks. To the west we get a new perspective on Pumori and can pick out the usual route of ascent, while to the south we have a panorama of lesser Khumbu peaks including Cholatse, Taboche and Kwangde.
After taking our photos and admiring the scenery we retrace our steps back to the camp at Gorak Shep. Consisting of just a handful of basic lodges and yak herders huts, this is the last habitation before Everest base camp. Every Everest expedition over the last 50 year has passed through here, with expedition paraphernalia of every kind suspended from the rafters. We stay here on the sandy flats.
- Day 12: Gorak Shep- Kala Pathar (5545m)- Pheriche (4240m) From Gorak Shep, we make the ascent of Kala Pattar (5545 M) for a classic view of the world’s highest mountains. We are eyeball to eyeball with Pumori and our panorama stretches across the Lho La to Changtse in Tibet. Then start the descent again. From Gorak Shep, we backtrack to Lobuche & continue descending to a small collection of buildings at Dugla (4600 M). We follow the valley to Pheriche where we stay the night. This sprawling village is home to the Himalayan Rescue Association & has a small medical post staffed by western volunteers.
- Day 13: Trek to Namche Bazaar We cross the Dudh Kosi by a small wooden bridge and continue on a delightful path high above the river to the village of Dingboche. Enjoy superb views of Ama Dablam (6856 M) from all along the trail. further descend down the valley to Orsho. We then follow the west bank of the Imja Khola to reach Pangboche. This place has a sizeable Sherpa community & a large Gompa situated high above the village. From here we hike down to the Imja Khola and the up through the forest to Deboche & Tengboche. Continue further down to Namche Bazaar. Today it is a long descent down a seemingly endless series of switchbacks to the Dudh Kosi at Phunki Tenga. We stop here for lunch in a very pleasant location. Finally we begin our last big hill that climbs up to the lodges at Sanasa. From here the path contours around the hillside in a superb high-level position until we reach Namche and our comfortable lodge.
- Day 14: Return to Lukla Today, we retrace our route down the Dudh Kosi and back to Lukla. Most people cover the distance to Lukla in five or six hours. We stop for lunch in Phakding before the final slow climb back up to the airstrip. We stay at a hotel where we will have a final celebratory meal with our team.
- Day 15: Fly Lukla to Kathmandu Saying goodbye to our Sherpas and porters we board our flight and make the exciting one-hour flight back to Kathmandu. If the flights are running to schedule we should be back at our hotel by 10am for showers, maybe a second breakfast and some lazing around the hotel garden. In the evening you enjoy a typical Nepalese dinner and cultural show.
- Day 16: Free Day in Kathmandu
- Day 17: Kathmandu Fly Back Drive to the airport for our return flight.