This is the ultimate mountain trek and affords the closest view of the highest mountain in the world without climbing. Nevertheless, travelers need to be physically fit, in good health, and have enough trekking experience for the two week Everest Base Camp Trek. Mount Everest is hidden from view from the actual base camp by other towering peaks, but from the top of a smallish, unassuming black rock, only 10 meters high, you see an absolutely radiant view of this 8,848 meter (29,029 ft) monster peak, earth’s highest. “Black rock” in Nepali is “Kala Pattar”, and it may be only 10 meters off the ground but the top of it is fully 5,643 meters (18,514 ft) above earth’s oceans.
Mount Everest is known as Sagarmatha in Nepali and Chomolungma in Tibetan/Sherpa, and this is Sherpa country par excellence. The region has been declared a national park and contains some of the most iconic landscapes and cultural expressions of the Sherpa people anywhere. You stand in the folds of the most famous mountains anywhere including earth’s four tallest: Mount Everest, Lhotse, Makalu, and Cho-Oyu, making this trek Nepal’s grandest.
Like so many other destinations in Nepal, you get to see more than mountains. Nestled in these high valleys are several fascinating Sherpa settlements, themselves made famous from years of mountaineering expeditions: Lukla, Namche Bazaar, Thame, Khumjung, and world-famous Tengboche Gompa, a seminal Sherpa monastery. Other monasteries in the area provide acomplete pilgrimage circuit for those interested in the inner life of these hardy mountain people.
The Everest Base Camp trek begins with an up;ifitng mountain flight to the Tenzing-Hillary Airport at Lukla. A steep ascent brings us to Namche Bazaar 3,440 metres (11,286 ft) and spectacular mountain vistas. This famed Sherpa village is home to both monasteries and mountaineers and even a wildlife museum. Namche is a good place to acclimatize to the altitude and the days ahead. The trek continues through high-altitude forest with an opportunity to actually spot some of the exotic wildlife. Raging glacial rivers and waterfalls crash downhill whilst snow-capped peaks and Buddhist monasteries frame our experience. Once atop Kala Patthar we gain a dazzling 360 degree panorama of earth’s crowning mountain peaks. After reaching our goal of Everest Base Camp, we trek back to Lukla for the return flight to Kathmandu.
Location: Mt Everest
ITINERARY:Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu and trip preparation - 1,300m/4,264 ft
You will be met upon arrival by our representatives at the arrival gate and transferred to your Hotel. After check in, meet your trekking guide as well as other participants and start trip preparations. Later in the evening we will organize a "Welcome Dinner" at an excellent traditional Nepalese Restaurant where you will enjoy a Nepalese cultural program along with a fine meal.Day 02: Kathmandu - Lukla - Phakding (2,652m/8,700ft): 3-4 hrs.
After breakfast, we depart for the mountains from the domestic terminal at the Kathmandu airport; it's an an early morning flight to Lukla (2,800m/9,186ft), where our trek commences. After an adventurous 40 minute flight above breathtaking green and white mountains, we reach the Tenzing-Hillary Airport at Lukla. This is one of the most beautiful air routes in the world culminating in a dramatic landing on a hillside surrounded by high mountains peaks. Here we meet our other crew members and after some packing and arrangements, we begin our trek through the village of Lukla to Phakding. This is a short day to help acclimatize to the altitude. Overnight in Phakding.Day 03: Phakding - Namche Bazaar (3440 m/11,280 ft): 5-6 hrs
We trek through a beautiful pine forest following the course of the Dudh Koshi River. Then in the shadow of the majestic Mount Thamserku (6,618 meters) we pass through several picturesque villages: Benkar, Chumoa, Monjo, to the checkpost and entrance to Sagarmatha National Park. We go through Jorsale where the trail climbs through more forests until we reach the confluence of the Dudh Koshi and Bhote Koshi rivers. After a final steep ascent of about two hours we get our first glimpse of Mount Everest peeking over the Lhotse-Nuptse ridge. We can take in this marvelous view at Chautara and then it's only about an hour and a half to reach Namche Bazaar, the real gateway to Mount Everest and main Sherpa commercial hub. Overnight in Namche Bazaar.Day 04: Acclimatization Day - Namche Bazaar: 3,440m/11,284ft
We have a scheduled acclimatization day when we can choose to take a day hike to Thame, visit Khunde or just relax and explore Namche Bazaar itself. Namche Bazzar has government offices, ATMs, Internet cafes, shops, restaurants, a bakery and a colorful market every Friday evening and Saturday. There is an informative museum display at the Tourist Visitor Center near the headquarters of the Sagarmatha National Park where we can see an assortment of historical items related to the first attempts to scale Everest, Sherpa culture and information on local flora and fauna. Other possible side trips include Khumjung, Syangboche and the remarkable Everest View Hotel, a Japanese scheme to build a deluxe hotel with great views of the highest mountains on Earth. The Khumjung valley is surrounded by the snowy peaks of Kongde and Thamserku and the scared peak Khumbila, hosts a well known monastery that houses a yeti scalp. We also visit Hillary School which is at the same site. After having lunch and spending some time in Khumjung, we walk back down to Namche Bazzar. Overnight in Namche Bazaar.Day 05: Namche Bazzar to Tengboche (3,870m/12,694ft) - 5 to 6 hrs walk
After breakfast in Namche, we start our trek towards Tengboche enjoying superb view of Mount Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse, Ama Dablam and close up view of Thamserku. Our trek follows a gradual trail with few ups and downs with magnificent views of the Himals. Along the way we are opportunities to spot exotic wildlife, like pheasant, musk deer, or Himalayan Thar. The trail goes gradually down up to Kayangjuma. The path eventually reaches Sansa a major trail junction to Gokyo valley and Everest Base Camp. The track then follows through the pine forests and after we cross the Dudh Koshi River, we reach Phunki Thenga, a small settlement with a few of teahouses and a small army post. After lunch at Phunki Thenga we then have a steep hike up through a gorgeous pine forest before we reach Tengboche. Tengboche is a great place for close up views of Ama-Dablam, Nuptse, and Everest and is home to the largest Buddhist Monastery in Khumbu. We visit the monastery the same day at around 3 p.m. to witness the ceremony in the principal and popular monastery of Everest region. Over night stay at lodge in Tengboche.Day 06: Tengboche to Dingboche (4,360 m/14,300 ft): 5 to 6 hrs
Tengboche Monastery is simply spectacular in the morning light framed by these majestic peaks. We choose the upper trail for better views to visit Pangboche village and its ancient Monastery as we pass Buddhist Chortens and Mani walls sprinkled throuout the charming village settlements. We enjoy lunch with fantastic close-up views of Ama-Dablam. In the afternoon, go north to Pheriche or take the eastward trail beneath the towering north face of Ama Dablam. From here onwards the walk is fairly moderate as we enter the Imja Valley. The valley ahead will begin to open up as we approach the confluence of the Lobuche River, we descend to the river and begin the last and steepest climb of the day up to Dingboche On arrival in Dingboche, we enjoy the beautiful array of fields enclosed by stone walls to protect the barley, buckwheat and potatoes from the cold winds and grazing animals. Overnight in Dingboche.Day 07: Dingboche - Duglha (4,600 m/15,090 ft): 3 to 4 hrs
Start with a climb to Duglha through the Khumbu Khola valley. As we come to a yak herder's place called Dusa, the valley begins to narrow and we continue through Phulung Karpo, the starting point of the first successful Everest Expedition in 1953. Above Phulung Karpo is Chola Lake. As we continue our trek the majestic view of Mount Pumori (7,138 meters/ 23418 ft) comes into view. As the trail descends and curves Mount Pumori disappears from view and we come to a roaring stream that we cross on a small wooden bridge. Then an ascent to Duglha. We can see the tip of Nuptse from here as well as Cholatse, Thamserku, and several other magnificent peaks. Spending a night in Duglha is ideal for acclimatization. Overnight in Duglha.Day 08: Duglha - Lobuche (4940 m/16,207 ft): 2 to 4 hour trek
From Duglha it's a steep ascent across the terminal moraine of the Khumbu Glacier. We find our way through the boulder-strewn slope as we ascend Chupki Lhara, an eerie ridge top with dramatic mountains views. At the top of the ridge is a memorial to Scott Fischer, an American mountaineer who was on the Everest summit 10 times and Babu Chiri Sherpa. A Nepalese mountain guide who perished on Everest. As the trail drops to the Khumbu Glacier moraine, we are directly confronted with Khumbutse, Lingtren, Pumori and Mahalangur Himal. We are now in the vicinity of Everest but the great mountain still remains hidden. Nuptse towers to the right as the trail crosses the Khumbu Glacier. Overnight in Lobuche.Day 09: Lobuche - Gorak Shep (5170 m/16,961ft) - Everest Base Camp (5364 m/17,594 ft) - Gorak Shep : 7 to 8 hrs
The trail to Gorak Shep goes through the lateral moraine of the Khumbu Glacier. Ahead we can see the crest of the north ridge of Everest along with Mt. Pumori, Mahalangur, Lingtern, Khumbutse, Nuptse, etc. A small ascent takes us to Thangma Riju and a 360 degree panorama of snow peaks. Climbing steeply to the top through the torrent of Changri glacier, we catch our first glimpse of Kala Patthar, a grey-green knoll beneath the Mt. Pumori. As we reach Gorak Shep, we will be surrounded by snow-capped mountains looming all around including the top of the world, Mount Everest itself. After a brief lunch and rest, we take the trail to Everest Base Camp through Gorak Shep Lake. From here we can often see expeditions on the mountain because brightly colored tents will stand out against all the dull gray surroundings, especially in Spring. Nuptse, Khumbuste and Pumori are beautiful from base camp. Back to Gorak Shep for a good night's rest.. Overnight in Gorak Shep.Day 10: Gorak Shep - Kala Patthar (5545 m/18,192 ft) - Pheriche (4280 m/14,070 ft): 7-8 hrs
Today is the climax of our trip. We start early in the morning to catch the dramatic views from Kala Patthar witnessing the first light of day shining on Mount Everest. However, we need to get prepared for an early morning, dark and cold temperature (-10 to -14 C) departure beforehand. Plus there is always the potential for chilly winds which are common. Familiar peaks such as Lingtren, Khumbutse, Changtse tower to the east even as Everest begins to reveal itself emerging between the west shoulder crest and Nuptse. During the ascent to Kala Patthar we can pause to catch our breath at several outstanding view points to snap pictures. After several hours of an ascent, we reach Kala Patthar. From here we scramble to climb the rocky outcrop near to the summit marked by cairns and prayer flags. As we reach the top, we sit on the Kala Patthar rocks our eyes taking in the unbelievable Himalayan Panorama, wandering from one mighty massif to another. Back to Gorak Shep for breakfast followed by a gradual descent \ to Pheriche for a good night's rest. Overnight in Pheriche.Day 11: Pheriche-Pangboche-Tengboche-Namche Bazzar (3,440 m/11,280 ft): 5-6 hrs
We will trek down through the hillside blanketed by rhododendron and juniper trees. If it's spring, pink and red rhododendron flowers splash color throughout our surroundings. Depending on how we feel we either have lunch in Pangboche or wait until we reach Phunki Tenga. After crossing the prayer flag festooned bridge over the Dudh Koshi River the trail then follows the Dudh Koshi gorge descending rapidly through the pine forests. The path eventually reaches Sansa which is the major trail junction. We stop at Kyangjuma (3570 m/11,710 ft) for a relaxed lunch. We unknowingly appreciate the gorgeous Ama Dablam, Thamserku and Nuptse. Following lunch, the trail to Namche Bazaar clings to the steep wooded slope beyond Kyangjuma. We keep a lookout for wild life such as mountain goats, snow leopards, colorful pheasants, etc., while we pass through the forest by the trail. After passing a Buddhist Chorten, we reach the army camp at of Namche Bazaar. On reaching our lodge, we take a nice hot shower and have very relaxed sleep in our room in Namche Bazaar. Overnight in Namche Bazaar.Day 12: Namche Bazaar-Lukla (2,800m/9,186ft): 6-8 hrs
The trail descends steeply downward where we eventually cross the suspension bridges over the fast flowing Dudh Koshi and its tributaries. The trail levels out somewhat here. Although we are travelling the same route on our return, we see the same views but from completely different perspective. Overnight in Lukla.Day 13: Lukla – Kathmandu
Fly back to Kathmandu on the early morning flight. You can rest and relax today or shop in nearby shops in Thamel for typical Nepalese goods. Overnight in Kathmandu.Day 14: Farewell Friend
Last minute shopping and an exchange of email addresses with new-found friends then our representatives get you to the airport 3 hours prior to your departure time.