Everest. Named after Sir George Everest, the British Surveyor General of India at the time when the mountain was first identified as ‘Point XV’ on the border with Nepal and Tibet. To the Sherpas and Tibetans however she is ‘Chomolungma’ – Mother Goddess of the Earth. And the Nepalese have their own name, ‘Sagarmartha’. But there is no dispute about the mountain – the highest in the world. Every year climbers from nations all around the world rendezvous at the Nepalese Base Camp, just beneath the infamous Ice Fall to plot a route up the mountain and to dare to dream. Our trek to the simple peak just beside Base Camp, the point known as ‘Kala Pattar’, follows in the footsteps of these mountaineers up the Khumbu valley, home to the most famous people in the Himalayas, the Sherpas. Traditionally traders, they have been associated with Everest ever since the first attempts on the North (Tibetan) side of the mountain in the 1920’s. Nowadays, few expeditions attempt the summit without a cohort of Sherpas in support – and often out in front. Join us on this 15-day, Grade 4 (strenuous) trek; the most famous trek in the world.
Price per person 2 pax: 1757.00 USD
Price per person 4 pax: 1639.00 USD
On arrival meet assist by Mountain Travel representative and transfer to hotel. Overnight at Hotel
Our early morning flight by Twin Otter aircraft rushes us to Lukla, the most renowned mountain airstrip in the world. Originally conceived by Sir Edmund Hillary’s Himalayan Trust as an emergency evacuation runway for casualties brought to the Trust’s hospital at nearby Kunde, Lukla is now one of the busiest runways in Nepal. On the flight we watch the rugged foothills give way to the snowline of the Himalaya; many of the world’s highest mountains, including Kanchenjunga, Lhotse and Makalu (the world’s 3rd, 4th, and 5th highest respectively) may sometimes be seen from the window of the plane. On arrival, we meet our Sherpas and after a cup of tea we pick up the trail out of Lukla. Surprisingly, this high-altitude trek begins by descending to the river at Phakding. Further on and we choose one of several good camp sites in a wooded area at Chumoa, close to the entrance to the Sagarmartha National Park.
The first day may have been surprisingly long for some, but camping at Chumoa allows us to begin the ascent to Namche Bazaar first thing in the morning. At about half-way up the hill, a gap in the trees allow us to spy Everest for the first time. If the weather is clear the top of the South-West Face will be just visible behind the long Lhotse-Nuptse ridge. A plume can often be seen stretching away from the very summit. Namche is the most prosperous and the largest town in the Khumbu. A bazaar is held here every Saturday. The wares on display include meat, grains and vegetables, tennis shoes and trinkets as well as hand woven aprons and Tibetan boots. The Sherpas play host to trader from the foothills, as well as Tibetans from over the border. Thamserku (6648m), Kwangde Ri (6187m) and Khumbila (5707m) surround the natural bowl that Namche sits in.
We take the day off to allow our bodies to adjust to the rarefied atmosphere before ascending to higher altitudes. The secret of safe acclimatisation is to ‘climb high, sleep low’ so it is safe for the more energetic amongst us, For those who wish, there is a wonderful walk north west away from Namche to, or, towards the village of Thame. The mountains on the south side of the valley are beautiful with Kwangde dominating. For those who reach Thame the village is harsher and much more remote than Namche, To the west lies the route to the Tashi Lapcha (pass) to Rolwaling and to the north, the Nangpa La (pass) to Tibet,Then back down and along past the Thomo hydro electricity project which supplies the main Khumbu villages, to Namche. Those not doing this walk can either visit the Namche bazaar or simply rest and enjoy!
). After our day off we traverse west, enjoying marvellous view of Kwangde Ri and the waterfalls that cascade off its flanks. The trail stay high up on the bank of the Bhote Khose, and we wander through a yellow and white rhododendron forest that comes into full bloom in May. As we cross the river, we look back down the valley for beautiful views of Thamserku and Kusum Kangru (6369m), before ascending through more rhododendron forest to pasture lands in front of Thame. This is the birth place of Tenzing Norgay, the Sherpa who made the first ascent of Everest with Hillary in 1953. We camp in meadows at the edge of the village. The hour-long climb to the cliff side monastery is well worth the effort. From this point, trekkers can skirt above the village to climb across the ridge in order to view the route to the Nangpa La, a pass to Tibet frequently used by the Sherpas and their yaks during the monsoon.
). We return back down the valley via Thamo, a hillside nunnery, and then take a high trail that by passes Namche and finally drops into Khumjung. This village is one of the most beautiful in Khumbu. The Himalayan Trust has a school here, as well as a medical post (for locals and trekkers) in nearby Khunde.
The trail this morning descends to the Dudh Khosi. There are spectacular views of Ama Dablam (6696m) and Kantega (6779m) as well as Everest (8848m) and Lhotse (8501m). Keep a look-out too for pheasant in the undergrowth. We cross the river at Phunki Thanga and climb through the afternoon amongst rhododendron forest to the saddle at the top of the hill. Suddenly in front of us is Tengboche, the principal monastery of the Khumbu area; the views from here are unforgettable.
We follow the path down from Tengboche through the rhododendron forest to Deboche and cross an exciting bridge with the boiling, roaring Imja Khol beneath our feet. A gradual climb takes us to the village of Lower Pangboche. We are now in the heart of the Khumbu, with spectacular views across to Ama Dablam. The afternoon stroll takes us along a path that hugs the valley wall and then across wide plains to a split in the valley. The Khumbu breaks left, up to Periche, but we take a detour right to the hamlet at Dingboche at the start of the Imja Tse valley.
Rather than just sitting around in the tents or tea house, we encourage you to attempt one of two hikes. The shorter option ascends the hill immediately behind Dingboche, to drop steeply down to Periche. The Himalayan Rescue Association operates a medical post here and the western doctors conduct excellent seminars on Altitude Mountain Sickness (AMS) here on most afternoons. The longer option is to trek up the Imja Tse valley towards Island Peak. The views of Lhotse, Ama Dablam and Cho Polu from here are outstanding. After a few hours the trekker terminus of Chukung is reached, and after a rest we return down the valley.
We climb up to the ridge behind Periche and stay high, mesmerised by the views of Tawoche and Cholatse, until we reach the tea houses at Dughla. A steep, stiff ascent to the terminal moraine of the Khumbu glacier is now tackled. The top of the climb is marked by a series of stone monuments to commemorate some of the climbers that have not returned from expeditions to this region. A rough but obvious trail cuts across left, away from the glacier, to our camp site at Loboje, a windswept collection of huts tucked in a narrow meadow between the glacier and the Loboje Peak (6156m). The Lhotse ridge is simply awesome from this angle.
A long day and an early start. We trek along the rough path along the side of the Khumbu glacier to the tea shacks at Gorak Shep. Behind rises the attractive 7000m peak of Pumori which dwarfs our trek’s summit of Kala Pattar. The route up is straightforward and takes most people between 90 minutes and 2 hours. On a clear day all the peaks - Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, Changtse, Ama Dablam and scores of other lesser peaks can be seen from this wonderful vantage point.
Day trip to Everest base Camp is worthwhile when there are expeditions based there. If no expeditions then the route through the ice fall may be closed and impassable , Then after the visit return to Loboje.
We descend all morning via Periche to Pangboche, whereupon we stay high on the west bank of the river all the way to the Sherpa village of Phortse, which lies on the lower southern flank of Tawoche, directly across the valley from Tengboche.
We now descend through a forest to the Dudh Kosi. From the very pretty crossing point, we climb to a chorten where there are wonderful views back across the valley to Phortse, Tengboche and the surrounding mountains. Eventually we turn south off the main trail to Khunde and Khumjung, contouring past the Everest View Hotel. The route then leads down the hill to Namche and more cinnamon roll!
Most people head down the Namche Hill with a heavy heart. There is something very special about the setting, the villages and the people of the high Khumbu hills and valleys. Then back along the valley past Chumoa and Jorsale to the ‘half way’ house at Phakding,Overnight.
Easy walking on down the valley before a long demanding climb back up to Lukla, A final steady plod will still get us there in good time for a sort out, and a final evening get together with the Sherpas.
Please note that flights into Lukla are sometimes delayed due to un-flyable conditions either in fog-bound Kathmandu or windy Lukla; be reassured that our staff in Lukla and in Kathmandu will be doing everything possible to minimise the inconvenience caused if this happens. Your patience in the trying circumstances which can occur will be greatly appreciated. On arrival meet assist by Mountain Travel representative and transfer to hotel. Overnight at Hotel.
Overnight at Hotel.
Note:This itinerary is only a guideline, and is occasionally subject to change to suit local conditions, particularly on this trek where a lot of time is spent above 4000m.