Everest Base Camp Trek
- Destination: Nepal
- Activities: Trekking
- Trip Grade: Moderate
- Departure from: Kathmandu, Nepal
- Arrival on: kathmandu,Nepal
- Group size: 1-12 peoples
- Best Seasons: April - May and Sept - Nov
- Meals: All Meals
- Accomodation: 3-star hotels in Kathmandu and Pokhara; and teahouses during the trek
- Transportation: Flight & private vehicle
Within little more than a 2 week holiday, this is your chance to visit Everest Base Camp, trek to the exceptional viewpoint of Kala Patar and to experience the wonderful mountain scenery of the Khumbu valley. A memorable flight from Kathmandu to the airstrip at Lukla provides access to an alpine world where the air is crystal clear and colourful prayer flags flutter from the rooftops. Following the famous ‘Everest Trail’ to Everest Basecamp, we trek to the prosperous village of Namche Bazaar and onwards, alongside the torrential Imja Khola, to the high valley below Everest. During the course of this excellent and relatively easy-paced trek, we visit many delightful Sherpa villages, including the stunningly located Thyangboche with its impressive backdrop of Everest and Ama Dablam. Providing outrageous mountain views and a wonderful insight into the way of life of the hardy Sherpas, this is the perfect trip for a first visit to Nepal and the Himalayas.
- Day 1: Fly to Kathmandu Welcome in Kathmandu Airport and transfer to hotel
- Day 2: Arrive Kathmandu Cultural tour and trek orientation
- Day 3: Fly Kathmandu to Lukla We will make an early morning start for the Twin Otter flight to Lukla (2,840m/9,317ft), the gateway to the Khumbu. This is an exciting flight, which should give a glimpse of Everest in the distance. In Lukla, we will meet our trek staff and porters and set off straightaway for our first night’s stop at Monjo. Situated on the banks of the Dudh Kosi, which drains the whole of the Khumbu Region, this small hamlet is on the main trade route through the area and there are a number of clean, well-built lodges where we can spend the night.
- Day 4: Trek to Namche Bazaar We will continue up the banks of the Dudh Kosi, crossing it twice by small suspension bridges before reaching the village of Monjo where we will enter the Khumbu National Park. We will then cross the confluence of the Dudh Kosi and the Bhote Kosi on a high suspension bridge and climb steeply for about two hours up ‘Namche Hill’ to reach Namche Bazaar (3,400m/11,155ft). This is a prosperous trading town and the capital of the Khumbu Region. Many Tibetans cross the nearby border to trade their wares and the local market is a fascinating spectacle. This is a good place to buy genuine Tibetan artefacts. Just across the valley to the east stand the peaks of Thamserku and Kangtega, both very impressive mountains.
- Day 5: At leisure in Namche Bazaar We will spend three nights in Namche Bazaar. During this critical acclimatisation phase (see ‘Caudwell Xtreme Everest Research’ above), we will spend time resting and trekking to higher altitudes. This will allow our bodies to become acclimatised to the altitude of 3,450m (11,300ft). On the first morning, there is the option of walking up to the Everest View Hotel (3,900m/12792ft), returning to Namche for lunch. The afternoon can be spent sampling the delights of the Namche bakery!
- Day 6: Acclimatisation day Thame (3,844m) is located west of the main Khumbu Valley. It is famous as being the birthplace of Tenzing Norgay. Today we will take a leisurely walk towards Thame/ or Everest View Hotel to further aid our acclimatisation, before continuing the following day up the main Everest Trail.
- Day 7: Trek to Deboche From Namche, the well-worn Everest trail contours around the side of the valley high above the Dudh Kosi. As we follow the path, we will get our first really good views of the great peaks of the Khumbu: Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse and Ama Dablam. Passing by several villages and numerous tea shops, we will cross the Dudh Kosi River and make a steep climb to Thyangboche, home of an impressive and recently rebuilt monastery. We have plenty of time to look around Thyangboche (and have a cake at the bakery!), but at the height of the season it is a busy place, so we will drop down to the river and the village of Deboche (3,700m/12,135ft) a little further along the trail, where we will stay in a relaxing lodge.
- Day 8: Trek to Dingboche Shaded by rhododendron trees, the trail crosses an airy suspension bridge just beyond Deboche. An hour’s walking from here will bring us to Pangboche, an excellent viewpoint for Ama Dablam (‘Mother’s Charm Box’) and home for the Sherpas who work on this imposing mountain each post-monsoon season. Contouring up the valley side, we will re-cross the river and turn up the Imja Valley to reach the picturesque farming village of Dingboche (4,410m/14,465ft).
- Day 9: Acclimatisation Dingboche is a good location for acclimatisation, prior to our ascent up the upper section of the Khumbu Valley. While in Dingboche, we can attend a seminar about high altitude acclimatisation at the hospital in nearby Pheriche, run by the Himalayan Rescue Association. The walk over to Pheriche and back will also serve as good acclimatisation training and so make the walk doubly worthwhile.
- Day 10: Trek to Lobuje We will retrace our steps back to Pheriche before continuing along the trail up the broad valley bottom towards Dugla. Ahead of us is the trekking peak of Lobuje East (6,119m/20,075ft), which is one of the objectives on our Khumbu Climber itinerary, and to our left is the formidable north face of Taweche, the scene of many cutting-edge Himalayan ascents of the 1980s and 1990s. After three hours we reach the small collection of lodges at Dugla (4,620m/15,153ft). We might choose to walk up to the Sherpa memorials, from where there are outstanding views of Ama Dablam, Cholatse and Taweche. From Dugla, the trail starts steeply to climb up beside the glacier moraine. After a few hours the track eventually leads to a small cluster of tea houses pleasantly situated at Lobuje (4,940m/16,207ft).
- Day 11: Trek to Gorak Shep About three hours beyond Lobuje we reach Gorak Shep (5,220m/17,126ft), the site of the 1953 expedition’s base camp. We stay here for two nights, whilst we visit base camp and climb Kala Pattar. The views from Kala Pattar are often clearer in the morning, though the position of the sun means that photos are often better taken in the evening. By having two nights at Gorak Shep, we can decide when we would like to climb Kala Pattar and on which day we would prefer to trek into base camp.
- Day 12: Trek into Base Camp (c5,350m) Contouring along the valley side, the trail leads on to the moraine of the Khumbu Glacier and becomes quite vague, weaving between mounds of rubble. After about 3 hours we will eventually reach base camp near the foot of the Khumbu Icefall. For those visiting base camp in the spring, it is a chance to meet teams making an ascent of the mountain. Base Camp is actually spread over quite a wide area and we will spend some time wandering through it and getting a sense of what it must be like to be camped here for two whole months, whilst attempting the mountain. To go any further than base camp, you will need to be on an Everest or Lhotse permit! Our Everest team cooks will serve us lunch before we make the return trek to Gorak Shep.
- Day 13: Climb Kala Pattar and descend to Lobuje In the morning we will make an ascent of Kala Pattar (5,545m/18,188ft), if we have not already climbed it the previous evening. The climb takes between 2 and 3 hours and can be hard work, but the effort is rewarded by the classic view of Everest and the Khumbu Icefall, as well as Lhotse, Nuptse, and Pumori immediately above. For most trekking teams, this is as far as they go up the Everest trail. After lunch back in the lodge at Gorak Shep, we will descend the valley to Lobuje.
- Day 14: Cross Kongma La (5,535m) to Chukkung Much underrated, the Kongma La is a challenging pass and more interesting way to approach the Imja Valley than via Dugla and Dingboche. The path is steep at first but eventually reaches the top of the pass, from where we descend past some glacial lakes, and Pokalde – one of the peaks climbed in the Khumbu Climber itinerary. The views from the Kongma La are really spectacular, especially towards Makalu in the east, Ama Dablam’s North Ridge and Nuptse. Chukkung is a small settlement with just a couple of lodges, where we spend the night.
- Day 15: Trek to Pangboche (4,000m) Following a gradually improving path, we lead down the Imja Valley and past the first of many welcoming tea-houses at Chukhung. We stop at Dingboche for lunch, a charming Sherpa village close to where the Imja Valley joins the main Everest trail, before continuing to Pangboche, which is nestled below Ama Dablam.
- Day 16: Trek to Namche Bazaar (3,400m) In the morning, we re-cross the river before climbing to the famous monastery at Thyangboche (3,860m). It now has a brand new monastery, the largest in the area, as the old one was destroyed by fire a few years ago. Built in the traditional style, with its gleaming copper roofs, it is as grand as ever. A steep descent from Pangboche of around 1500ft/500m leads through bird filled rhododendron bushes and fir trees to the Dudh Kosi River. Crossing this on yet another suspension bridge, we climb up the opposite side of the valley to reach the contouring path leading back to Namche Bazaar. Namche is the perfect place to enjoy some well deserved celebrations!
- Day 17: Trek to Lukla (2,840m) A steep descent for 2,000ft/600m leads to the suspension bridge crossing the Dudh Kosi river. We cross the river twice more before traversing steadily up the hill-side, past numerous shops and tea-houses to Lukla.
- Day 18: Fly Lukla to Kathmandu or Trek extention down to lower Solukhumbu for Culture Trek and trek out from Phaplu Hotel in Kathmandu and free time for relaxation
- Day 19: At leisure in Kathmandu
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