Keep on the iconic paths to Everest Base Camp
Taking you to the most iconic base camp of all, at the bottom of the highest mountain in the world, Mount Everest (8848m), this is one of the world’s definitive treks. Hiking through Sherpa country past cultivated fields and little villages, we have time to acclimatise before reaching spectacular high altitude scenery: the astonishing monastery at Thyangboche, views of Ama Dablam, Everest and other colossal Himalayan summits. As well as getting to Base Camp, we have the chance to climb Kala Pattar (5545m) for a spectacular view of Mount Everest.
The group flight is an overnight flight departing London this evening.
The group flights arrive into Kathmandu today. You will be met on arrival and transferred to our hotel. There will be a full trek briefing this evening.
Take the short but spectacular flight to Lukla and trek to Phakding.
We fly to the mountain airstrip of Lukla (2,800m), and set off on the first short leg of our trek, heading northwards up the valley of the Dudh Kosi (or ‘milk river’). We descend from the small plateau, down into the forested valley. The trail offers some tantalising views before reaching the small settlement of Phakding (2,652m), where we spend our first nigh
Follow the Dudh Kosi and ascend to Namche Bazaar, with time to explore the Sherpa villages.
Heading out of Phakding we follow the Dudh Kosi northwards. This day’s walk takes us through magnificent forests of rhododendron, giant fir and magnolia trees, and both in spring and autumn the ground is bright with flowers. After Jorsale (2,805m) we cross the west fork of the river, the Bhote Kosi, and start the steep climb to Namche Bazaar. About 300m up this ascent we should have our first glimpse, cloud-permitting, of the summit of Everest appearing majestically behind the great ridge of Nuptse-Lhotse. Another 300m of climbing brings us to Namche Bazaar, administrative centre of the Khumbu region. Namche is a prosperous Sherpa village and an important trading centre with a weekly market selling fresh foodstuffs brought up from lower villages.
Acclimatisation walk to Kunde and Khumjumg, descend to Kyanjuma.
We climb steeply out of Namche to the Everest View Hotel. Built by the Japanese this spectacularly situated hotel with wonderful views of Everest and Ama Dablam is an ideal place for a tea break. Continuing, we trek to the villages of Kunde and Khumjung set below Khumbila, the rocky peak sacred to all Sherpas. In Kunde we can visit the Edmund Hillary hospital,and there should also be time to visit the monastery in Khumjumg, where for a small donation we will be shown the only Yeti skull in the world! Descending to the main trail we spend the night at Kyanjuma.
Trek through the Sherpa heartland to the monastery at Thyangboche for superb mountain views.
This morning we descend to the river; we cross it at the little settlement of Phunki Thangkha at 3,250m, then climb steeply through the forest to Thyangboche at 3,867m. We will be here by lunchtime and in the afternoon we will visit the famous monastery and to watch the sunset on the fantastic panorama of mountains surrounding us. Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse and Ama Dablam provide a wonderful backdrop to our teahouse. Visitors should be careful to respect the spirit of this special place, by observing the ban on hurting any living creature in the area. Because of the ban, the wildlife is unusually unafraid and previous groups have spotted musk deer in the area.
Continue up the Khumbu Valley and then the Imja Valley to Dingboche.
We descend through the forest to Devoche and a little further on we cross the rushing Imja Khola, whose valley we now follow. Climbing steadily the trail enters Pangboche, at 3,900m, the highest permanent settlement in this valley. Ascending the valley we have lunch at Shomore, after which we leave the trees behind and cross a wooden bridge at the confluence of the Khumbu and Imja Kholas, A short steep climb brings us to Dingboche, at 4,530m, a summer settlement where great peaks surround us. We spend a day at Dingboche to continue our acclimatisation. Those adapting well to the altitude can climb Nangkartshang Peak at 5,100m for great views of Makalu, Lhotse, Chalotse, Tawoche and Ama Dablam.
Spend the day at Dingboche for acclimatisation.
We spend a day at Dingboche to continue our acclimatisation. Those adapting well to the altitude can climb Nangkartshang Peak at 5,100m for great views of Makalu, Lhotse, Chalotse, Tawoche and Ama Dablam.
Continue the ascent to Lobuje.
The trail climbs steeply out of Dingboche past a chorten and ascends the valley gradually to Dugla at the end of the terminal moraine of the Khumbu Glacier. From here we have a short, steep climb up to Chukpo Lari, a beautiful, yet poignant place where there is a line of memorials in tribute to the climbers who have died on Everest and from where we have a beautiful panorama of the peaks lying on the Nepal-Tibet border. The trail then eases off as we follow the valley to Lobuje (4,930m) a tiny hamlet with a few teahouses. The sunset on Nuptse is not to be missed.
Visit Everest Base Camp and spend the night at Gorak Shep.
A very long, hard day today as we leave very early, following the Khumbu Glacier northwards to Gorak Shep (5,180m). After a rest and something to eat we trek across the sandy flat at Gorak Shep and climb onto the lateral moraine of the Khumbu glacier. The trail ascends the side of the glacier for a couple of hours before finally descending onto the rocky glacial moraine itself. The trail winds up and down through fascinating ice seracs to the area known as Everest Base Camp, where in spring, we might see in the distance some of the expedition teams as they prepare to climb the mountain. From the Base Camp we get fantastic close up views of the Khumbu Ice Fall and we can appreciate just how difficult it is to negotiate a route through the huge blocks of ice. Nuptse towers above us and Pumori rears up behind us. After a short photo stop by the Base Camp rock we retrace our steps to Gorak Shep.
Climb Kala Pattar for classic mountain views of Everest, descend to Pheriche.
Another hard day as we climb steeply above Gorak Shep to the small peak of Kala Pattar, ‘Black Rock’, at 5,545m from where we can look down over the base camps of the various Everest expeditions. This climb affords a magnificent view of the Khumbu Glacier and above all a close-up view of the world’s highest mountain. We return to Gorak Shep and retrace our steps to Lobuje for lunch and then continue on down the valley to the lower altitude of Pheriche for the night.(Please note that the walk to Everest Base Camp and the climb of Kala Pattar are both very tough. Sometimes we may change the order in which we tackle the walks depending on the group’s ability and weather conditions).
Retrace our steps to Kyanjuma.
Descending through Pheriche, we cross a small bridge and have a short climb before descending to join the main Imja Khola Valley. We follow the valley down to Pangboche through an alpine meadow landscape. We drop down to the rushing river then walk through the peaceful rhododendron forests to the village of Devoche from where we climb back up to Thyangboche on the ridge. We descend off the ridge to Phunki Tenga and walk back to Kyanjuma, where we spend one night.
Descend to Phakding.
The walk to Namche Bazaar takes us along a beautiful undulating trail high above the Dudh Kosi. Descending through Namche Bazaar, we pick up our outward trail again to Phakding, where we stay for a night.
At Chaunrikhara we leave the main trail and climb the short distance to the airstrip at Lukla.
Fly to Kathmandu.
We fly back to Kathmandu and transfer to our hotel
Free day in Kathmandu to explore the city, perhaps visit the Hindu Temple of Pashupatinath or walk around the incredible Boudhanath Stupa.
Today is free for sightseeing in Kathmandu (it is also a spare day to allow for any delays in the flights to or from Lukla). You may wish to visit Durbar Square in the heart of the old city where the old Royal Palace, with its intricate woodcarving is located. Outside is Kumari Chowk, home of the Kumari, the young girl who is revered as a living goddess. The whole area is a maze of temples and images. Leading away from the square in all directions are narrow alleys, full of the most amazing variety of shops and stalls. Alternatively you may wish to visit the monkey temple at Swayambunath, one of the largest Buddhist Stupas in the world at Bodnath, or the most important Hindu temple in the valley at Pashupatinath. We off er a full range of sightseeing tours, which can be booked and paid for locally. Please see the Optional Excursions section or the Exodus notice board in the hotel in Kathmandu
Fly to London
Those travelling on the group flights will be transferred to the airport this morning for the daytime flight back to London.
Complete the classic trek through the Himalaya
Vaccinations and Visa
Most nationalities require a visa for Nepal, which can be obtained in advance or on entry. The current cost of a visa on arrival is USD25 for 15 days, USD40 for 30 days or if extending your stay USD100 for 90 days. All are multiple entry. You will also need a passport photo. The visa fee can be paid in US Dollars, Pounds Sterling or Euros. If you wish to apply before departure the current visa cost is GBP20 for a 15 day visa and GBP35 for a 30 day visa for UK passport holders. All other nationalities should check with their nearest embassy.
There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Typhoid, Hepatitis A. The risk of malaria is present in certain regions only (such as Chitwan); you may wish to consult your GP or travel health clinic for further advice. Dengue fever is a known risk in places visited. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for Dengue, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites. Most of our trips to Nepal go to high altitudes where there is a risk of being affected by Acute Mountain Sickness. Our itineraries are designed to enable everyone to acclimatise to these altitudes, but you should be aware that it is still possible for you to be affected. Please refer to the TRIP NOTES for complete advice on AMS.
Eating & drinking
All breakfasts included.
Breakfast is included throughout the trip. On trek the breakfast will be a set menu usually consisting of porridge and toast. Any additional items that are not included in the set menu should be ordered and paid for separately. Please allow £25 – £35 per day for other meals and drinks on trek and in Kathmandu.
We do not include lunch and dinner on trek allowing you to choose what you want to eat and when. The menus in the lodges are varied, ranging from traditional Nepalese dhal bhat to pizza and apple pie. Please note that if you buy imported food and drink whilst on trek you will spend more than the above amount as both are very expensive in the Everest region.
Hotels & Lodges
3 nights standard hotels, 12 nights teahouses.
Most lodges now have twin bedded rooms but you should still be prepared to sleep in multi-bedded rooms on the occasional night. In the last decade the quality of the lodges and the food has improved significantly, but you should expect fairly basic accommodation at the highest points of the trek.
Some lodges now have showers (charged at £2-£4 per shower) and all have basic toilets.
There is no single supplement available whilst on the trek. Accommodation in Kathmandu is on a twin share basis, but single rooms are usually available at a supplement. Please let us know as early as possible if you would like a single room while at the hotel in Kathmandu.