17 days | Best season: March to May, Sept. to Nov. | Min. 2 persons. | Max altitude: 6,856m | Moderate trekking
The Everest Base Camp trek, a very well known mountain trek, starts at the upper Phakding and follows the Dudh Kosi valley which climbs up to the Sherpa capital of Namche, a bustling bazaar that’s a junction for trekkers, the local Sherpa and expeditions en route to the mighty Mt. Everest. All along this part of the trail, villages are interspersed with magnificent forests of rhododendron, magnolia and giant firs. In both the early autumn and late spring, the flowers on this portion of the trek make it the kind of walk you will remember for a long, long time.
From Namche, we trek along a high traversing path where we have our first good views of Everest and then head towards Thyangboche Monastery, which is a 2 hour climb. The monastery sits at 3867m in a clearing surrounded by dwarf firs and rhododendrons. The monastery is structurally located on a ridge top with commanding views of the Everest landscape. The view from this spot, seen to best advantage in the morning, is absolutely mesmerizing and stunning and is rightly deemed to be one of the most magnificent in the world.
We then descend to the Imja Khola and continue to the villages of Pangboche and Pheriche before finally approaching the Khumbu Glacier. We then follow the glacier, first to Lobuche, a vantage point for some spectacular views of the Ama Dablam, Taweche and other peaks and then hike to Gorak Shep for a breather.
We also have the opportunity to ascend Kala Pattar [5554m] from where we can get some awesome views of the Himalayan giants which literally numb your senses with breathless admiration that beholds the eye; and makes up for the lung-bursting climb that took you up there. You soon realize it was absolutely worth it. This also includes fantastic views of the south west face of the colossal Mt. Everest. We then trek down to Everest Base Camp at the foot of the Khumbu ice fall before finally making our way back down to Lukla.
GLIMPSE OF EVEREST BASE CAMP TREK
May 15 Arrival in Kathmandu
Katmandu (1310m/4298ft). Welcome assistance at the Tribhuvan International Airport and transfer to hotel. Rest at the hotel some time and after that our staff will brief you regarding about the trip. O/N at hotel.
May 16 Sightseeing in Kathmandu Valley
AM: With english speaking professional tour guide we visit Swaymbhunath, Pashupatinath, and Patan Durbar Square.
- Swayambhunath, which is located 4 km from the centre of Kathmandu. Swayambhunath is a best place to observe religious harmony between Nepalese Buddhists and Hindus. The stupa is one of the most ancient in this part of the world and its worshippers come from diverse ethical backgrounds. Situated on the top of a hill, it provides an excellent view of the Kathmandu Valley. Huge prayer wheels and fine Buddhist paintings are displayed in the monasteries as well as the largest Buddha statue in the country.
- Pashupatinath, the holiest Hindu pilgrimage place in Nepal. It has received the attention of worshippers for at least fifteen hundred years. Dedicated to Shiva, the lord of Destruction, the temple is situated on the banks of Bagmati river. A circuit of the Pashupati area takes visitors past a sixth century statue of Buddha and eighth century statue of Brahma, The Creator, freshly painted skeletal images guarding temple gates, and other magnificent temples dedicated to vatious deities in the complex.
- Patan Durbar Square. This place is a monastery with wall painting fourteenth century statues and ancient scriptures and also to see are the Krishna Mandir, Bhimsen Temple, The Mahaboudha Temple in Terra cotta and Oku Bahal.
In the evening, you will meet your trekking guide, discuss the trekking program and coordinate any last-minute arrangements. Overnight at Hotel.
May 17 Flight to Lukla - Trek to Phakding [2656m]
A flight to Lukla and a landing on a steep mountain runway brings us to the start of our trek at the village of Lukla [2850m]. After meeting the crew, we head up the Dudh Koshi Valley on a well-marked trail and then stay overnight in Phakding.
May 18 Trek to Namche [3450m]
From Phakding, we cross and re-cross the river on high suspension bridges. Beyond Monjo is the entrance to the Sagarmatha National Park which was set-up in order to protect and preserve the fragile mountain environment. We then take a steep hike to Namche. If the weather is clear, we get the first glimpse of Mt Everest. Namche is the main trading village in the Khumbu and has a busy Saturday market - a meeting place for the Hindu traders from the lowlands and the Tibetan yak caravans that have crossed the glaciated Nangpa La.
May 19 Rest day in Namche
Namche is tucked away between two ridges amidst the giant peaks of the Khumbu and has an abundance of lodges, tea shops and souvenir shops. It is an ideal place to spend a day, acclimatizing to the new altitude before heading off towards Tengboche. To acclimatize, you visit Khunde Hospital set-up by Sir Edmund Hillary, or take a one hour walk up to the Everest View Hotel above Namche for the sunset view of Ama Dablam, Nuptse, Lhotse and Everest. There are also good views from the National Park Centre and Museum just above the town.
May 20 Trek to Tengboche [3867m]
From Namche, the trail contours on to the side of the valley, high above the Dudh Kosi. We get our first really good views of the great peaks of the Khumbu including Mt Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse and Ama Dablam. Passing by several villages and numerous tea shops, we descend steeply to a bridge over the river at Phunki Tenga. The village is an ideal stopover for lunch. Here we can rest before making the steep climb to Tengboche. Although the hike up the zigzag path is tiring, it presents us with many beautiful sights of rhododendron bushes with beautiful birds and superb mountain scenery. Tengboche is famous for its legendary monastery, the largest in the Khumbu. A spectacular panorama of Everest, Lhotse and Ama Dablam rising in the horizon can be seen from the campsite.
May 21 Trek to Dingboche [4360m]
With mountains at its backdrop, the monastery at Tengboche looks more spectacular in the morning. At this juncture, we can take pictures of the monastery and the scenery around and as usual start the day journey. We choose the upper trail for better views on the way to Pangboche village. We pass through several Chortens and Mani walls and small villages. The place where we stop for lunch not only serves delicious food but also allows a fantastic close-up view of Mt Ama Dablam. In the afternoon, we walk north to Pheriche or take the eastward trail beneath the towering north face of Mt Ama Dablam. From here onwards, the walk is fairly moderate as we enter the Imja Valley. The valley gradually unfolds as we approach the confluence of the Lobuche River. We descend into the river and begin the last and steepest climb of the day up to Dingboche. On arrival at Dingboche, we will see beautiful array of fields enclosed by stone walls to protect barley, buckwheat and potatoes from the cold winds and grazing animals.
May 22 At Dingboche
We spend our second day of acclimatization at Dingboche. A refreshing breakfast while admiring a looming Ama Dablam (6856m/ 22493 ft) to the south is really fantastic. To better appreciate Mt Ama Dablam, Mt Lhotse and numerous other peaks visible from Dingboche, we climb the ridge on the north behind the village. This willbe an ideal acclimatizing excursion. Upon this juncture, we can see three of the world's six highest peaks, Mt Lhotse, Mt Makalu and Mt Cho Yu. To the west, loom the towering peaks of Cholatse (6440 m/21,126 ft) and Taboche (6542 m/ 21,463 ft). As we look northwest, we see an array of peaks rising at the head of the Khumbu Khola valley. The Lobuche West and Lobuche East peaks are most dominant along with Lhotse which stands over 8500 meters (8501m/27, 890 ft). From a vantage point high on the ridge, we can scan the sweeping Imja Khola valley as well as the picturesque fields and pastures of Dingboche.
May 23 Trek to Lobuche [4930m]
We continue up the wide valley beneath the impressive peaks of Cholatse and Tawache on the left. We then turn right and take a steep climb towards the foot of the Khumbu Glacier. The tea house at Duglha is a good spot to have lunch. The trail zigzags up through the boulders of the glacier's terminal moraine. At the top of this climb there are many stone cairns, built as memorials to the many Sherpas who have died while climbing Mt Everest. The path then climbs gently along the glacier, to eventually reach the cluster of houses at Lobuche.
May 24 Trek to Gorak Shep [5184m]
To reach our next stop, Kala Pattar, we follow the Khumbu Glacier. The trail offers superb views of the surrounding mountains, especially where the path is forced to rise to cross a tributary glacier. We stop for lunch at our camping place: Gorak Shep. Later in the afternoon, we make our way to the top of one of the finest viewpoints in the Everest region, Kala Pattar [5554m]. As the light begins to fade we stroll back to our camp at Gorak Shep and have an early night in preparation for our trek to Everest Base Camp the following day.
May 25 Trek to Everest Base Camp [5357m]
A very early start is required to reach the Everest Base Camp. It takes several hours as the trail weaves its way through ice pinnacles and past the crevasses of the Khumbu Glacier. On the return leg, we can take a higher route to get a spectacular view of the Khumbu icefall and the route to the South Col. We return to either Gorak Shep or Lobuche.
May 26 Trek to Pangboche [3985m]
Today’s trek is mostly downhill. As we retrace our steps to Duglha and descend to Pheriche, we arrive at The Himalayan Rescue Association, a trekker’s aid post and worth a visit. After lunch we cross the Khumbu Khola on a wooden suspension bridge and follow the Imja Khola to the village of Pangboche.
May 27 Trek to Namche [3450m]
We continue to follow the river and, after crossing it, climb back up through birch and rhododendron forest to Tengboche. Kwangde, Tawache, Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse, Ama Dablam, Kantega and Thamserku are just a few of the Himalayan giants to be seen. From Tengboche we descend to the bridge over the Dudh Kosi. At Phunki Tenga, we get to see the water driven prayer wheels, before making our way back to Namche.
May 28 Trek to Lukla [2800m]
Our final day's trekking follows the Dudh Kosi down to Lukla. This last evening calls for a celebration. We have a party with our sherpa guides and porters. We sample some chang (local beer) and try out some Sherpa dance steps. Altogether an end to a memorable trip on a merry note.
May 29 Fly to Kathmandu
We pack up early and head for the airstrip to hop a flight back to Kathmandu
On touchdown, the rest of your day is free to do your own things. You could do some last minute shopping and packing, or send a few post cards home or even go down for a stroll to Thamel, an internationally known hub for tourists in Asia.
May 30 Free day in Kathmandu
May 31 Depart Kathmandu
After breakfast transfer to the airport for departure from Nepal.