Listed as one of the fifty places on earth where one should go in his/her life time is Everest Base Camp trek. Having said it, it is needless to say more. Everest Base Camp as destination has been a dream for many trekkers though the view of Mt. Everest itself from the base camp is disappointing. However, this trek takes you to Kalapathar to have the magnificent view of Mt. Everest and adjoining mountains in the region. Being the ideal chance to be close to the majestic mountains and the splendid beauty of the region’s scenery, this trek takes its position in the top rank amongst trekking on the world stage. The trek winds, climbs and descends its way through lush low land and alpine forest, Buddhist monasteries and authentic Sherpa Villages. This trek offers an opportunity to closely observe the lifestyle of the Himalayan people, their religion, customs and traditions. Rare birds like the golden eagle, snow pigeon, red-billed and yellow-billed choughs and flowers like rhododendron, magnolias, blue pine, chir pine, juniper and hemlock make the trekking more delightful for flora and fauna lovers.
Day 01: Arrive Kathmandu. Meet assist and transfer to hotel. Overnight at hotel.
AM – Half day sightseeing tour of Pashupatinath and Boudhanath
PM – Half day sightseeing tour Kathmandu city and Soyambhunath.
Day 03: Transfer to airport, fly Kathmandu / Lukla and to Phakding (2640m) approx 3 hrs walk.
It takes approximately 45 minutes to fly from Kathmandu to Lukla, the trek starting point. First, pass through the cluster of lodges, bhattis (local bar), and souvenir shops at the end of the airstrip. From the edge of the village you will see the typical scenery of a mountain village with terraced fields and houses of piled stones. Down below to the left is Chaumrikharka village with farm fields and houses scattered in the fields. In the back of the village, the Dukh Kosi, which the Sherpas worship as the “sacred river,” runs deep in the V-shaped valley. You are going to climb along this river in order to go to Namche Bazaar. Mt Everest Base Camp is also situated at the head of this river.
The course will go down on the mountain flank. When it meets the old road from Chaumrikharka, Chapling will soon be reached. There are lodges here and there along the level path on the flank. Trek further down the flank, and you will come to Kusum Khola, the tributary. Far up the valley, you will see the soaring Kusum Kanguru West Peak (5,579 meters). After reaching the end of the ridge, you can easily trek down to Ghat, where there are three or four lodges. Go through the village and pass by a large mani stone, near which you will find a pass-like section. Cross over it, continue trekking on the flank, and you will notice that the Dudh Kosi below is getting closer to your left. You will soon reach Phakding(2,640 m) which has six or seven lodges. Overnight at guesthouse/lodge
Day 04: Trek Phakding / Namche Bazaar (3440 m.) approx 5 hrs walk.
From Phakding, trek through the pine and cedar woods, cross the Gatte Khola flowing from the left, climb up on the plateau, and you are in Tokto which has 5 or 6 bhattis. The course goes further into the woods and leads you to a lodge. You are still in Tokto. Continue through woods, overlooking the Dudh Kosi on your right, and Thamserku (6,623m) will become visible shining white far in the valley. Follow the path on the sunny mountain flank, cross a small ridge, and you will reach Benkar which has about ten houses. Go through the village and cross over the suspension bridge to the left bank. The path will enter the woods and after a little climbing you will see a lodge. If you cross the stream, you will soon be in the village of Chumoa. Continue on a little further, and you will reach Monjo. There is a check post at the village entrance, where they will check your trekking permit.
The path will go down to the bank of the Dudh Kosi and cross over a suspension bridge. You will soon come to Jorsale with four or five lodges. After passing through the village, you will cross another suspension bridge back to the left bank. The path will lead from the river bank to the mountain flank covered with woods. Cross the suspension bridge over the Dudh Kosi. Below, to your left, the tributary Bhote Kosi joins in. It came from the border pass Nangpa La(5,716m) via Thame. From here starts a 600 m climb to Namche Bazaar. Zigzag up the mountain flank and you will reach Todhara, the ridge with a bhatti. You have finished half of the climb and you can see Everest for the first time in this course. The last half of the climb will go through the conifer woods. Shortly after you start seeing the mountains of Rolwaling Himal, some white-walled houses will come into sight. You have reached Namche Bazaar. Overnight at guesthouse/lodge
Day 05: Rest at Namche Bazaar
Namche Bazaar is the central village of the Sherpas in the Khumbu region. It is situated on a horseshoe-shaped flank and is crowded with about 100 buildings including lodges, bhattis, stores, and banks as well as a magnificent outlook. There is a plateau on the right side of the village entrance, where they have a bazaar every Saturday. It is thronged with people especially in the morning. It is an ideal place to spend a rest day for acclimatization to the high altitude before heading off towards Tyangboche. For the acclimatization you walk up to Khunde Hospital which was set-up by Sir Edmund Hillary, or a one hour walk up to the Syangboche (3800m.) where Everest View Hotel is situated for the outstanding view of Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse, Ama Dablam, Thamserku and Kusum Kangaru. There are also good views from the National Park Centre and Museum just above the town. Overnight at guesthouse/lodge
Day 06: Trek Namche Bazaar / Dole (4200 m.) approx. 5 to 6 hrs walk
The trail climbs gently up to Sanasa and continue towards to the large Chorten on the ridge top at 3973m. Near the Chorten, there are some teahouses at the settlement of Mong (Mohang). This is said to be the birthplace of the Saint Lama Sange Dorje, the reincarnate lama of Rongbuk Monastery in Tibet who introduced Buddhism to Khumbu. From the ridge at Mong, the trail descends in a series of steep switchback down a sandy slope to the Dudh Kosi river. There is an excellent camping spot along the river at Phortse Tanga where we stop for lunch. After lunch the trail climbs steeply out of the valley through rhododendron forests, which gives way to fragrant stands of juniper and large conifers as the elevation increases. This portion of the trek is especially beautiful in spring when the rhododendrons are blooming (late April and early May at this elevation). The trail passes through many yak pastures and summer settlements that are used when sherpas bring herds of yak to graze. The views of the Khumbila and Tawache (6542meters) are tremendous throughout the day. Overnight at guesthouse/lodge
Day 07: Trek Dole / Machchhermo (4470 m.) approx. 4 to 5 hrs walk
From Phortse Tenga, you will first trek through the rhododendron woods on the right bank of the Dudh Kosi. They will bloom on late April in this area. When you start seeing birch trees among rhododendron, Cho –Oyu (8201m) becomes visible through the trees. When you are climbing up in the woods, you will come across a check post. They will check your trekking permit. Leaving the check post behind, keep climbing with a big water fall to your left and you will reach the Kharka in Tongba with one house. You are now near the forest line. From Tongba, the course goes on the sunny mountains flank and crosses the ridge that came branching off from the left. Turn around, and you will see Thamserku and Kantega (6799m) as if they are floating in the valley of the Dudh Kosi. Continue on the path, and you will reach Dole around where the valley ahead widens. There are three or four lodges and you can have lunch. On the return trip, this will be the place to spend the night.
From Dole, climb up the slope behind the lodge, go onto the mountain flank over looking the Dudh Kosi, and move on crossing over the branch ridge. You will then come to the Kharka in Lhabarma. After you cross over another branch ridge and you will come to a wide valley and arrive at Machermo (4465), where several lodges are found scattered in the farmland. Up the valley, the spire of Kyaji Ri (6186m) is soaring high and it is very impressive. Overnight at guesthouse/lodge
Day 08: Machchhermo / Gokyo (4790 m.) approx. 4 to 5 hrs walk
Today, you will finally arrive in Gokyo. If everything goes well, you should be able to reach there by noon. First, climb on the mountain flank ahead and get on the ridge, from where you are overlooking the Kharka in Panka. High up beyond Panka, you will see Cho-Oyu, Ngojumba Kang (7743m), II (7446m), Gyachung Kang (7952m) and other mountains lined up on the border. It looks like they are embraced by the Ngojumba Glacier. Over the opposite bank to the right Cholatse (6440m0 and Tawetse are towering. From Panka, where there are about seven houses made of piled stones, go down once to the riverside and then climb back upon Move on through large bo ulders and traverse the base of the rock face. Cross the wooden bridge over the stream flowing from the upper ablation valley. Climb up through an area full of rocks, and you will come to the tongue of the Ngojumba Glacier. Trek on the easy flat land in the ablation valley and you will find the first small lake, Tso Mengma. Pass by it on the right side and you will come the second lake, Tso Paluwa, which is larger than the first. Both banks come closer together as the river narrows. As you climb along the river, you will come to a place where the view broadens and you will see Dudh Pokhari, the lake in Gokyo. Trek along the eastern bank for about 10 minutes, and the Kharka becomes visible. You have reached Gokyo (4791m) today’s destination. There are about five lodges. You can also camp in their courtyard. The elevation is fairly high. You should be careful about your moves considering the possibility of getting altitude sickness. Overnight at guesthouse/lodge
Day 09: Excursion to Gokyo Ri (5357 m.) trek to Thagnag Kharka (5025 m.) approx. hrs walk
The Panoramic view from the summit of Gokyo Peak is the highlight of Gokyo. The 360 degrees view is as wonderful as that of Kala Pathar. To reach Gokyo Peak, you should cross the wide stream at the north and of the Lake, stepping from the one stone to another and start climbing the ridge right ahead of you. The path will change from steep screed slope to a grassy slope and zigzag up the flank. If you turn around, you will see Dudh Pokhari reflecting the blue sky, clouds and rock spires like a large mirror. After passing the grassy part, the clear path turns into a narrow trail. Climb the upper rocky path looking for footing and you will reach the summit with a long and narrow space, where huge rocks are found here and there. You will see Cho-Oyu and to its right, Ngojumba Kang I and II and Gyachung Kang. They stand like a folding screen of ice, snow and rocks faces. Further to the right, you will see Changtse (7553m), and Mt. Everest rising up to 8848m. They continue to Lhotse (8463m) with its triangular peak soaring up in the sky. Down below, you will see the Ngojumba Glacier, which is 16km long and 1km wide, with a glacier lake and a side morine. Over the Glacier, Cholatse, Twetse, Ama Dablam, Kantega, Thamserku and other mountains looks like they are floating in the sky. The site of the four 8000 m in the Khumbu Himal and a cluster of high peaks are overwhelming. Just like a Kala Pattar, the climax comes in the evening. If you are planning to enjoy Everest burning red in the dusk, do not forget to take a torch light and gear to combat the cold with you. Overnight at guesthouse/lodge
Day 10: Cross Cho-La pass (5330 m.) descend to Dzongla (4830 m.) approx. 6 to 7 hrs walk
Today the trail is the test of man's spirit & soul. The high mountain passes are what normally made up of mountain people but who are less known about the passes of mountain, it should not be easily taken. Walking over glacier for 45minutes continue is not a joke. Once you reach Dzongla (4,830m), you will feel that you are capable of doing anything that you desire. Overnight at guesthouse/lodge
Day 11: Dzongla / Lobuche (4930 m.) approx. 2 to 3 hrs walk
The trail ascends the broad, gently sloping valley from Dzongla. In many places the trail crosses small streams on boulders. You can look back down the deep valley from Phalang Karpo to see how much elevation you have gained !. The views of Tawoche and Cholatse are particularly good from this portion of the trail as it passes through country reported to be the habitat of the SNOW LEOPARD and YETI. Beyond Phalang Karpo the trail climbs steeply onto the terminal moraine of the Khumbu glacier then contours down to a stream, crossing it on a bridge just before the village of Thuklha. The trail climbs up the moraine to a row of stone monuments of dead climbers, then drops a bit and follows the western side of the valley to Lobuche, a summer village that boasts several well stocked hotels. Overnight at guesthouse/lodge
Day 12: Trek Lobuche / Kalapather (5545 m.) / Gorak Shep approx 8 hrs walk
It is only a half-day journey from Lobuche to Gorakshep but it is hard trekking due to the high elevation of 5,545m. First trek along the stream in the ablation valley, and Pumo Ri (7,161m) will become visible in front of you. From its summit, a snow ridge is stretching towards you and changes into a dark brown hill. That is Kalapather, a lookout point at 5,545m. If you turn around, you will see Tawetse (6,501m) and Cholatse(6,440m), shining their snow-clad peaks beyond the hills. The path will soon start climbing up the side moraine of the Changri Glacier. The climb up to the top of the moraine, covering the height of about 150m, is very hard, but the rest is just to cross the Changri Glacier that joins the Khumbu Glacier. When you reach the opposite side of the glacier, you will overlook the Gorakshep glacier lake and three lodges with wide barren sand in the front. Trek down the slope of scree for about 10 minutes and you will find yourself in front of the lodges. If you have strength left, climb up to Kalapatthar in the afternoon. It takes about one hour and a half. You can enjoy a 350 degree view and Mt. Everest at dusk, which is beautiful beyond description. It is not an exaggeration to say that the main purpose of taking this course is to fully enjoy the view from Kala Patthar. Overnight at guesthouse/lodge
Day 13: Trek Gorak Shep / Everest Base Camp / Lobuche (4930 m.) approx 6 hrs walk.
Today’s journey is a round trip to Mt. Everest Base Camp pass by the glacier lake, which supplies water for Gorakshep. Go through the side moraine, and trek down to the central part of the Khumbu Glacier. Where you stand is covered with rocks, soil and sand and you do not feel like you are walking on a glacier. As you follow the course, repeating small ascents and descents, you will start trekking through glacier tables with a cluster of ice spires on your left. You will now realize that you are in the midst of glacier.
Before long, you will pass by another group of ice spires, this time on your right. Continue climbing towards the end of these ice spires, and you will reach Mt. Everest B.C. which looks desolate surrounded by ice, snow and rock faces. South Col (7,986m) and the icefalls of the Western Cwn can be seen from this place. Many climbing parties use this base camp to climb Mt. Everest. The place is often full of tents and presents a unique atmosphere. The summit of Everest cannot be seen from this base camp. You are advised not to stay here a long time to avoid getting altitude sickness.
It takes about two hours to go down from the base camp to Gorakshep. If time allows, trek further down to Lobuche, which is about one hour and a half further away. Overnight at guesthouse/lodge
Day 14: Trek Lobuche / Dingboche (4260 m.) approx 4 hrs walk.
From Lobuche retrace your steps back down to Thuklha, then go straight up the hill from the bridge to reach an upper trail, staying high above the valley floor past the yak pastures at Dusa to a chorten at the head of the Imja valley. From here the views of the Island Peak is great and the Makalu is in a distance. The trail continues descending lower in the valley through little stone huts leading to a village of Dingboche. There are few houses and lodges in Dingboche. The mountain scenery is outstanding. Overnight at guesthouse/lodge
Day 15: Dingboche / Tengboche (3867 m.) approx. 4 hrs walk
The route from Dingboche descends the Imja Khola Valley, then crosses the Khumbu Khola on a wooden bridge and climbs to rejoin the upward trail. Following the trail downhill, it is easy to make a detour and visit the upper part of Pangboche and the village gompa, then continue to Tengboche. Tengboche is famous for Tengboche monastery which is the biggest in Khumbu. The Abbot of the monastery is the most revered and highest position Lama in Khumbu. Every year during the fall October/November, the Tengboche Mani Rimdu festival is observed where the ceremonial prayers and Lama dances are shown to public for two days. The new Eco Centre has been built to help the monastery with extra income. Eco Center gives you information about the monastery and sells many souvenirs of the monastery. There are excellent panoramic views of the Everest, Photse, Nuptse and ranges ahead, Tawoche to your left, Amadablam, Khang Tega and Thamserku to the right and Kwagde at the back, thus making it a unique view spot also. Overnight at guesthouse/lodge
Day 16: Tyengboche / Namche Bazaar (3446 m.) approx. 5 hrs walk
You will trek along the river crossing it at different points by means of wooden bridges and a downhill climb takes you to Namche Bazaar. There are shops, a health clinic, banks, and telephone services. Overnight at guesthouse/lodge
Day 17: Namche Bazaar / Lukla (2840 m.) approx. 7 hrs walk
From Namche we trek back to Lukla the same way down. Overnight at guesthouse/lodge
Day 18: Fly back to Kathmandu. Arrive Kathmandu and transfer to Hotel. Rest of the day free. Evening Nepalese cultural program followed by farewell dinner. Overnight at hotel.
Day 19: Transfer to airport for departure flight.