Everest Base Camp Trek
March 18 - April 2, 2017
Day 1: Arrive Kathmandu & Transfer to hotel
During your flight to Kathmandu you will have a magnificent view of snow-capped mountains & green valleys. As you land, we will meet you at the airport and take you to your hotel. Welcome drinks will be served and our staff will assist you to check-in at your hotel. Join Ricardo and Eduardo for dinner and get to know the other members of the expedition.
Day 2: Sightseeing in Kathmandu & Preparation for Trek
After an early breakfast, we take you to the major sightseeing places in Kathmandu. On your tour you will get to see historic monuments, temples, monasteries, palaces and UNESCO World Heritage Sites like Boudhanath, and the Hindu temples of Pashupatinath. As you travel along the exotic locales of Kathmandu, more diversified cultural settings in the valley welcome you with warmth and hospitality. At Boudhanath, you will gain invaluable insight into Buddhism.
Day 3: Fly to Lukla; Trek to Phakding
After a very early start, and an early take off from Kathmandu Domestic Airport, a 45 minute flight is all it takes to propel us into the Everest region of Nepal. The landing at Lukla (2800m) is spectacular and on arrival we are greeted by our sirdar and trekking crew who organize the luggage and hustle us off for tea.
After a leisurely lunch we start the trek in earnest, setting off for a gentle walk to Phakding (2800m), a further 3 hours to the north. The trail leads through Lukla, past hotels, shops and airline offices to the edge of the Lukla plateau where the trail drops to meet the intersection of the Jiri trail at Chablung. From here the trail follows the Dudh Kosi north through the village of Ghat and then finally to Phakding where we spend the night.
Day 4: Phakding to Namche Bazaar
From Phakding the trail continues north up the Dudh Kosi valley, staying 100m above the river on its west bank. The trail leads us to Jorsale (2810m) where we enter the Sagarmatha National Park, and submit our trekking permits. From here we continue on an ever-steepening trail to Namche Bazaar (3440m), known simply as Namche. En route we cross the spectacular suspension bridge high above the confluence of the Bhote Kosi and the Dudh Kosi, and shortly after get our first glimpse of Everest, way off to the north-east. The trail to Namche is steep and long, but eventually we reach the remarkable Sherpa capital perched high on the hillside and dominated to the east by the immense bulk of Kwangde (6187m).
Day 5: Acclimatization day in Namche
Acclimatization is important before trekking higher, and this is the first of two scheduled stops which allow us to gradually become used to the altitude - the lower pressure and the thinner air. We can spend the day by taking a side trip to Thami or Khumjung, by visiting the National Park Visitor Centre on the hill above Namche or by simply resting and browsing in the shops in the town. Namche is a fascinating place simply to “hang out” and take in the culture of the mountains, from the trading of visiting Tibetans to the stories of departing mountaineers.
Day 6: Namche to Tengpoche
From Namche we trek north-east on a direct line to Everest, starting up the hill to the Visitor Centre and continuing on a reasonably flat and easy trail high above the Dudh Kosi. Ahead of us we can see one of the most beautiful mountains in the Khumbu - Ama Dablam (6856m), as well as Everest still far off in the distance. We pass through the settlement of Sanasa before making our descent to the Dudh Kosi and the village of Phunki Thanga. Of course, “what goes down must go up”, and from here it is a steep long climb up the side of the hill to the saddle on which Tengpoche monastery is located at 3870m. As we enter the grounds of the monastery we are welcomed by the most magnificent mountain view in the world. The long climb seems well worth it as we gaze upon a panorama of Himalayan giants, including Everest as it peeks above the Lhotse-Nuptse ridge.
Day 7: Tengpoche to Dingboche
The trail initially descends through beautiful rhododendron forests and reaches a bridge across the Imja Khola where the river rushes through a narrow gorge, and from here it is a short walk to the settlement of Pangboche (3860m). After this point the trail and surroundings become distinctly alpine in appearance as we trek above the tree line. The trail is relatively easy, with a gentle climb towards Dingboche at 4410m. Dingboche is a long thin settlement nestled below a ridge that separates it from its neighbour Pheriche, at which there is a Himalayan Rescue Association medical centre. To the east we have fantastic views of Lhotse at 8501m, and the popular climbing peak of Island Peak at 6189m.
Day 8: Acclimatisation day in Dingboche
This is the second of our acclimatization days and it allows us to become adjusted to the thinning air and lessening pressure. While by no means compulsory, a recommended aid to acclimatization is a side trip to Chhukung at 4730m. This is a short hike eastwards up the Imja Khola valley and is rewarded with fantastic views of Lhotse, Ama Dablam and Island Peak. Alternatives are to climb the ridge above Dingboche, walk across to Pheriche, or walk ahead to Duglha (4620m), tomorrow’s lunch spot.
Day 9: Dingboche to Lobuje
We start by slowly ascending to the ridge above Dingboche and continue northwards on a gentle sloping trail to the settlement of Duglha. At this point we reach the terminal moraine of the great Khumbu Glacier, and the trail and the surrounding terrain become more barren and harsh. After a rest we continue higher on the moraine up a steep slope to a small flat area where we see a collection of memorials to mountaineers who have died in the Khumbu. Moving on, we trek into the Khumbu valley proper, and as we turn to the north-east we are greeted by the incredible sight that is the head of the Khumbu valley. From the entrance to the valley we have a fantastic view of the mountains that form the border with Tibet as well as the giants that form part of the Everest massif. The trail follows the western side of the valley and eventually reaches the settlement of Lobuje at 4930m. As we trek towards Lobuje the huge bulk of Nuptse (7879m) dominates, seeming to be the highest mountain in the area.
Day 10: Lobuje to Gorak Shep, side trip to Everest Base Camp
We start early from Lobuje and trek along the western side of the broad Khumbu Valley, through meadows and over scree slopes, as we continue beside the moraine of the huge creaking glacier. The trail is rough in parts and it is important to progress slowly as we are now above 5000m for the first time. Shortly the pyramid peak of Pumori (7145m) comes into view and underneath this, dwarfed by its more exotic neighbour, we see the small black peak of Kala Pattar (5545m). This is the best vantage point for views of Everest and is our objective for tomorrow. The trail then descends off the moraine and down to the small settlement of Gorak Shep (5160m) where we rest before we continue along the side of the Khumbu Galcier to the site of the Everest Base Camp. The roundtrip trek takes approximately 6 hours.
Day 11: Ascent of Kala Pattar, return to Pangboche
The ascent takes approximately 2 hours of steady walking, stopping occasionally to take in the view of the increasing bulk of Everest. From the summit it is possible to see many of the key features of this great mountain - the South Col from which Hillary and Tenzing made their first ascent in 1953 is clearly visible. After spending time taking photographs and experiencing the greatest mountain view in the world, we descend back to Gorak Shep and then start our walk out.
We can now look forward to a reduction in altitude and easier going, as we descend back down the trail that we trekked up only a few days ago. There is sometimes a sense of anti-climax about the return trek, however it is a chance to relax now that the hard part is over, and concentrate on those aspects of mountain life that may have been overlooked on the way up.
Day 12: Pangpoche to Namche Bazaar
On the walk back to Namche we can take our time and relax and enjoy the views across to Kwangde ahead of us and to Thamserku (6808m) and Kantega (6685m) to our left. From Pangboche we make our way back to the monastery at Tengpoche. From Tengpoche the trail drops steeply to the river at Phunki Thanga, and then rises again to traverse high above the river on the winding trail that leads to Sanasa. From here we have an easy walk back to Namche where we can tell the newly arrived trekkers how easy it was over a cool beer!
Day 13: Namche Bazaar to Lukla
The final day of our trek, and a sense of relief for some and sadness for others as we retrace our steps along the trail above the Dudh Kosi. We start by descending steeply out of Namche and shortly before we cross the suspension bridge below Namche we get a last chance to see Everest before it is out of sight. We lunch at Phakding and then continue down the trail, before turning off the main Jiri route and rising up to Lukla to arrive by mid-afternoon.
Day 14: Fly to Kathmandu
We return to the hustle and bustle of Kathmandu with a 45 minute flight back to the airport. Here you will be greeted and transferred back to your hotel in Kathmandu. Arrival times back into Kathmandu vary, however it is usual to arrive back at your hotel by lunchtime.
Day 15: Depart Kathmandu
We will meet you at hotel and transfer you to airport to catch your flight home.