Trek up Nepal’s Khumbu Valley to Everest Base Camp, the place where the real men (and women) embark on the traffic jam that currently constitutes the assault on the world’s highest peak in the limited (it’s a bit too windy up there most of the year) climbing season at the beginning of May. But don’t worry we’ll hold you eager beavers back.
This is a tea-house trek, ie we will stay in guest houses every night. This trek is best done from October to December, but can be done any time through to early May. It can get a bit cold, especially in winter, so we’re going to need those down jackets at some stage.
For those with some mountain experience an extra 2 days could include an ascent of Lobuche East, 6,119m, Alpine Grade ‘Peu Difficile’/not very difficult. See Trekking Peaks – Lobuche.
In addition, if you have the time I would strongly recommend flying in lower down the valley to Phaplu and spending an extra three days hiking up to a point past Lukla. This is a great little add-on and gives you more time to get used to trekking and to adjust to altitude. Alternatively we could get a bus (12-14 hours) (or private transport) to Shivalaya and trek in to Lukla in 6 days.
|Fly to Lukla and trek to Phakding (2,650m) Your trekking guide will arrive and, after breakfast, we take a spectacular 40 minute flight from Kathmandu to Lukla, perched at 2,860m in the Khumbu Valley, with unforgettable views of the terraced landscape and river valleys below, as well as close-ups of some of the world’s highest mountains. We then take a short hike to Phakding passing mani walls (rocks with carved Buddhist prayer inscriptions), small villages and terraced hillsides. (½ hour flight and 3 hours trekking).
|Phakding to Namche Bazaar (3,440m) The trek meanders up the Dudh Kosi (river) valley before we begin a steep hike up to where we’ll get our first view of Thamserku (6,623m), a peak rising to the east of Namche Bazaar. From the pretty village of Benkar the trek heads back to cross the Dudh Kosi before we hike up through magnificent forests of rhododendron, magnolia and fir interspersed with villages. The trek descends dramatically to recross the Dudh Kosi and from the confluence of the Dudh and Bhote Kosi we begin a 2 hour hike up through dense pine forests to Namche Bazaar, a busy attractive little trading town with shops, tea-houses, e-mail cafes etc. (6 hour trek).
|An Acclimatization Day in Namche Bazaar Enjoy the beauty of this quaint village as well as the friendliness and hospitality of its people. Trekkers may visit the local museum containing exhibits displaying the area’s native flora and fauna as well as the history of the Mt Everest region. Other options include a 3 hour return trek to Chhorkung, a 6 hour return trek to Thame or a 4/5 hour round trek through the villages of Zarok, Shyangboche, Khunde and Khumjung with their awesome mountain backdrops. Ask your guide for advice and company. On Saturday mornings there is a bigger market.
|Namche Bazaar to Tengboche (3,870m) We begin our trek with unforgettable views of Mts Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse, Cholatse, Kangtega, Ama Dablam, considered the most beautiful of them all, and Thamserku. The first 3 hours is an easy hike from Namche to Phunki and is followed by a 3 hour trek up to Tengboche. The gompa (monastery) here is a World Heritage site which can be visited for self-purification (go on you need it). (6 hour trek).
|Tengboche to Pheriche (4,370m) We trek through forests filled with of a variety of trees; birch, conifers and rhododendron. This picturesque trek dips down to Devuche, we then cross the Imja River before trekking up to Pheriche. It can get a bit cold here so we might need our down jackets. (6 hour trek)
|An Acclimatization Day in Pheriche Follow the guide while taking a side-trek to Dingboche and Chhukung up the Imja Khola (river) Valley for views of Lhotse’s massive south wall in particular.
|Pheriche to Lobuche (4,930m) We trek up to Dughla and then hike across the desolate gravelly moraine of the Khumbu Glacier, passing memorials to those who have perished, like Chukpilhara, which is in memory of 6 Sherpas who died as the result of an avalanche at Lobuche. (5 hour trek).
|Lobuche via Kala Pattar to Gorak Shep (5,160m) We hike up for 2 hours to Gorak Shep, where we are treated to more views of Everest and Pumori, then trek another 2 hours to reach a mound of rubble called Kala Pattar (5,545m at the summit). We hike up this small hill, it is the best place for views of Everest, before trekking back to Gorak Shep to sleep. (6 hour trek)
|Gorak Shep via Everest Base Camp to Lobuche (4,930) We trek along the Khumbu Glacier and up to Everest Base Camp (5,380m), the closest we can go to the mountain without proper climbing equipment. Here there are spectacular views of the Khumbu Icefall. We hike down to Lobuche for the night. (6 hour trek).
|Lobuche to Pangboche (4,000m) We trek down to Pangboche. (5 hour trek).
|Pangboche to Namche Bazaar We trek back to Namche Bazaar, once again traversing the beautiful forests of blue pine and rhododendron. (6 hour trek).
|Namche Bazaar to Lukla An easy trek down to Lukla for the final night’s stay in the Khumbu Valley. (6 hour trek).
|Lukla to Kathmandu A hair-raising take-off down the runway commences the return flight to Kathmandu. Don’t worry though, it’s not true that the planes take off and glide before starting the engines!
We hope you’ve had a great trek, some once in a lifetime experiences, tightened your belt a few notches and lots of fond memories. And of course we look forward to trekking with you again on your return to Nepal.
|Ballpark price; US$ 1,275 plus accommodation in Kathmandu.
|Price includes airport pick-ups and drop-offs. All inclusive trek costs; accommodation in twin shared rooms, breakfast, lunch, dinner, trekking and park permit fees, guide and necessary porters and all their costs such as transportation, accommodation, food, equipment, insurance etc. The flights from Kathmandu-Lukla-Kathmandu.
|Price excludes food and accommodation in Kathmandu, alcoholic beverages, tips, your insurance and personal expenses.
Day 2 – Namche Bazaar
Day 3 – Prayer flag
Day 4 – Sherpa house