Your trip in more neat detail:
Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu
It’s a panoramic thrill flying into Kathmandu on a clear day. The views of snow-capped mountain peaks sprawling down below you are almost ecstatic, beginning a whole chain of memorable experiences that stay with you for a long, long time. And as your plane hits the tarmac, our waiting support team will meet and greet you at the airport and escort you to your hotel. Welcome drinks will be served and over night at your hotel.
Day 2: Flight to Lukla - Trek to Phakding [2656m] hiking time approx 3 hrs
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 at the truly comfortable ‘Yeti Mountain Home’’, or a lodge of your choice
Day 3: Phakding to Namche [3450m] – hiking time approx 5 hrs
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. We do an overnight in this highly active mountain town at the ‘Yeti Mountain Home’
Day 4: 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, we 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.
Namche is an ideal place to spend an extra day to get used to the thin air…and move around. Overnight at the luxury ‘Yeti Mountain home’’ in Namche – or a hotel of your choice
Day 5: Namche Bazaar to Tengboche [3820m] - 5 - 6 hrs
After enjoying a hot breakfast in chilly Tengboche, we start out for Pangboche enjoying fabulous views of Mt. Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse, Ama Dablam and an upfront view of Thamserku. Our trek follows a gradual trail with few ups and downs overlooking brilliant views of the awesome Himalayas. Along the routes, we come across some wild fauna that include pheasants, musk deer, and sometimes a herd of Himalayan Thar. The trail goes steadily down up to Kyangjuma. The path eventually reaches Sanasa, which is the major trail junction for Gokyo valley and Everest Base Camp. The pathway then follows through pine forests and after we cross the prayer-flag festooned bridge over Dudh Koshi River, we reach Phunki Tenga, a small settlement with a couple of teahouses and a small army post amidst the alpine woods. After having a relaxed lunch and some rest at Phunki Tenga, its then a pretty little gritty climb that goes steeply up through the pine forests until we reach Tengboche. Tengboche is a perfect spot for close-up views of Ama-Dablam, Nuptse, and Everest and it has the largest Buddhist monastery in the Khumbu region. Hiking by rhododendron forests for something like an hour, we reach Tengboche. Hereabouts, we crash out at the Hotel Robonder.
Day 6: Tengboche to Dingboche [4,360] - 5/6 hrs
With the Mountains as an ideal backdrop, the monastery in Tengboche is a lovely sight to behold more in the morning. We click some pictures of the monastery and the surrounding scenes before we start our journey of the day. We hike through a few Chortens, mani walls and some small villages after which, we haul up for some grub and while enjoying our meals we savor some upfront views of Amadablam towering just above us; We trek via Pangboche, the highest of the true lasting settlements in the valley and reach the regular settlement, the final steepest climb of the day on our way to Dingboche (4410m) at the entrance to the Khumbu Valley. We spend our night in a lodge. With 867 metres of ascent and 416 metres of descent, we finally hit the sack at a local lodge for the night
Day 7: Dingboche to Lobuche [4940m] - 4/5 hours
Beyond Dingboche, we trek up a steep terminal moraine of the Khumbu Glacier. We find our way through the rock-strewn slope as we ascend Chupki Lhara, a creepy ridge top with vivid mountains views.
At the top of the crest, we will find a pyramid of stones with prayer flags used as memorials to Scott Fischer (American mountaineer) and 10 times Everest submitter Babu Chiri Sherpa (mountain guide from Nepal) who died on a mission to climb Everest. As the trail drops to the Khumbu Glacier moraine, we find ourselves ‘face-to-face’ with several great peaks - Khumbutse, Lingtren, Pumori and Mahalangur Himal. We are now in real ‘Everest’ country but the great mountain still remains hidden. Nuptse looms to the right as the trail crosses the Khumbu Glacier. As we hike along a whispering stream we do not see the Khumbu glacier because of its lateral moraine wall and we now begin to feel the thin air and the breathing gets difficult due to high altitude. We bunk out at a local lodge in Lobuche for the night
Day 8: Lobuche - Gorak Shep (5170m] - Everest Base Camp (5364m] - Gorak Shep - 7/8 hrs
The blazing trail to Gorak Shep goes ahead through the lateral moraine of the Khumbu Glacier as we hike past a pyramid sign post. A little further down the trail we 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 from where we identify 360 degree panoramas of snowy mountains. Climbing steeply up to the top through the torrent of Changri glacier, we behold our first glimpse of Kala Pathar, a grey-green hummock beneath Mt. Pumori. As we reach Gorak Shep, we are surrounded by snow-capped mountains looming all around us including the top of the globe – Mt. Everest. After a lunch halt and some rest, we take the trail to Everest B. C. through the once vast Gorak Shep Lake. Moving straight ahead, we come through the Indian army mountaineers' memorial. We get back to Gorak Shep for a good night's rest. However, the sunset view from Kala Pathar is more worthy than the sunrise view. For those trekkers who wish to carry on, our guides and Sherpas will synchronize a hike to Kala Pathar for marvelous sunset views today rather than waiting for the next day. It’s an overnight in Gorak Shep at a local lodge
Day 9: Gorak Shep - Kala Pathar (5545m] - Pheriche (4280m] - 7/8 hrs
Today is the pinnacle of our journey. We start early morn before the birds wake up to watch breath-stopping views from Kala Pathar witnessing the first light of day shining on Mount Everest. However, we must be prepared for an early morning, dark and frosty temperatures of (-10 to -14 C) as we set to depart beforehand. Plus, there is always the impending chilly winds which are pretty usual hereabouts. Familiar peaks such as Lingtren, Khumbutse, Changtse tower to the east even as Everest begins to disclose itself emerging between the west shoulder crest with Nuptse. During the ascent to Kala Pathar we can pause to hold our breath at several terrific view points to take pictures.
After several hours of an ascent, we reach Kala Pathar. From here we scuttle 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 Pathar rocks as our eyes feast on the unbelievable Himalayan Panorama, roving from one mighty massif to the other. Our video cams go on overdrive with as much pictures as we can to take the in views as our minds decipher memories through our eyes that last for a lifetime. On getting back to Gorak Shep, we have a piping hot breakfast followed by a gradual descend down to Pheriche for a well earned night's rest. Overnight in the village of Pheriche at a local teahouse
Day 10: Pheriche to Namche Bazaar (3,440m] - 5/6 hrs
Today it’s a heavenly hike through hillsides swamped by rhododendron and juniper trees. In spring, pink and red rhododendron flowers set the hillsides ablaze with a splash of delightful colors. Depending on what our stomachs tell us, we either have our lunch in Pangboche or wait until we reach Phunki Tenga. After crossing the prayer flag festooned bridge over the Dudh Koshi River trail, we follow the Dudh Koshi gorge descending rapidly through pine forests. The path eventually reaches Sanasa which is the major trail junction in the region. We haul up at Kyangjuma (3570 m/11,710 ft) for a relaxed lunch. Following lunch, the trail to Namche Bazaar clings to the steep wooded slope beyond Kyangjuma, winding through several bends. After passing a Chorten, we reach the army camp at of Namche Bazaar. We probably enjoy a long last look (with our video cams!) of Lhotse, the tip of Everest and Tengboche from here. On reaching our lodge, we go in for a lovely hot shower, probably enjoy some beers, have a hot supper and then retire to bed for a well earned blissful sleep at the posh ‘Yeti Mountain Home’ lodge…we’ve sure earned it.
Day 11: Namche Bazaar-Lukla [2,800m] - 6/8 hrs
The trail descends steeply downward so we need to hike at a controlled pace as our wobbling legs continuously battle the rocky terrain. After crossing the suspension bridges over the fast flowing Dudh Koshi and its tributaries the trail gets flatter and usual. By this day we begin to feel better with the light breeze. Our sore throats and flu will be gone by today as we pass through this pleasant mountain air. Although we hike the same path down, we feel something different with the landscapes we see. We take a combo of pictures that include open plains, rhododendron and pine forests, and in the distance snow covered peaks. We walk through the Sherpa villages' we observe the deep faith in Buddhism and the culture of prayer stones and prayers flag while we walk through the villages. On arrival in Lukla, we stretch those aching legs and reflect on the experiences of the last couple of weeks. We experience the conclusion of a fantastic trek on a merry note with everyone back safe and sound with happy faces! We bunk out in Lukla at the super comfy ‘Yeti Mountain Home’ for the night.
Day 12: 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…your way. 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. At eventide, we head out to an upscale Nepalese restaurant for a delicious Nepalese supper to celebrate a wonderful successful trip. While enjoying our meal and drinks, we will be entertained to a scintillating cultural dance performed by the local belles. Overnight at our hotel in Kathmandu
Day 13: Depart Kathmandu for onward destination - home
Our office support team will take you to the airport for your flight home. (Or stay longer for short tours such as game drive at National parks, do some wild-water rafting, a Tibet tour or even mountain biking, etc - please don't hesitate to let us know). We would be glad to help you. Thank you for doing this venture with us and it's been wonderful knowing you over the weeks. Please do stay in touch in the months ahead. Bon Voyage & take care!!!
Please Note: That although we will go the lengths to follow the itinerary given above, at times local trails or unpredictable weather patterns may necessitate slight changes if necessary. The trekking itinerary may also sometimes vary slightly depending on our trekkers' acclimatization rates. This adventure goes into wild territory above the timberline, so we seek to request maximum flexibility if and when required for the success and safety of your trip and your life.