The iconic Himalayan trek to the foot of the highest mountain on Earth
Taking us to the most iconic base camp of all, at the foot of the greatest
mountain in the world, Mount Everest (8848m), this is one of the world’s
classic treks. This special departure has the added excitement of camping at
Base Camp itself for two nights; a magnificent setting at the foot of the
Khumbu Ica Fall, at a time when it will be bustling with expedition parties
preparing for their summit attempts. The journey to Base Camp passes through
Sherpa country and allows time to acclimatise before reaching the spectacular
high altitude scenery: the incredible monastery at Thyangboche, views of Ama
Dablam, Everest and other mighty Himalayan peaks.
* Two nights camping at Everest Base Camp at the foot of the Khumbu Ice Fall
* Soak up the atmosphere at Base Camp as expedition parties prepare for
their summit attempt
* Walk amidst other iconic peaks of the world’s highest mountain range;
Nuptse, Lhotse and Ama Dablam
* Visit the colourful hilltop monastery at Thyangboche
* Climb Kala Pattar for a magnificent view of Mount Everest
Day 1 Depart London.
The group flight is an overnight flight departing London this evening.
The tour starts at our hotel in Kathmandu. The group flights arrive into
Kathmandu in the afternoon and those travelling on them will be met at the
airport and transferred to our hotel. There will be a full trek briefing this
*Royal Singi Hotel*(or similar)
Drive to Manthali (Ramechhap) airport; short but spectacular flight to Lukla
(2800m); trek to Phakding
We will need to depart the hotel at around 2-3am to drive to Manthali
(Ramechhap) airport to catch our flight to Lukla. At this time of day when
there is usually light traffic, the drive should take about 4 hours. Roads in
Nepal are not of the same standard as in the west, there may be potholed
areas and the last section is unsurfaced.
We fly to the mountain airstrip of Lukla (2,800m), and set off on the first
short leg of our trek, heading northwards up the valley of the Dudh Kosi (or
‘milk river’). We descend from the small plateau, down into the forested
valley. The trail offers some tantalising views before reaching the small
settlement of Phakding (2,652m), where we spend our first night.
*Teahouse *(sleeping altitude 2,652m)
Follow the Dudh Kosi and ascend to Namche Bazaar, with time to explore the
Heading out of Phakding we follow the Dudh Kosi northwards. This day’s walk
takes us through magnificent forests with glimpses of the mountains ahead. We
cross the river several times by bridges as we pass through the villages of
Benkar, Monzo and Jorsale. A final bridge brings us to the foot of the steep
climb to Namche. Halfway up this ascent we may get our first glimpse,
cloud-permitting, of the summit of Everest appearing majestically behind the
great ridge of Nuptse-Lhotse. A last 300m of climbing brings us to Namche
Bazaar, the Sherpa capital and the main town in the area. Namche is a
prosperous Sherpa town and an important trading centre. It has a weekly
market on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning but the town bustle all day
every day with trekkers, coffee shops, bakeries and stores selling all kinds
of trekking and climbing gear as well as Tibetan souvenirs.
*Teahouse *(sleeping altitude 3,440m)
Acclimatisation walk to Kunde and Khumjung; descend to Kyanjuma.
We climb steeply out of Namche past the airstrip at Shyangboche, to the
Everest View Hotel, the highpoint of our day at 3,880m. Built by the Japanese
this spectacularly situated hotel with wonderful views of Everest and Ama
Dablam is an ideal place for a tea break. Descending through forest we come
to Khumjung, where we have lunch close to the Sir Edmund Hillary School.
After lunch we walk up to Kunde and visit the Edmund Hillary Hospital. The
twin villages of Kunde and Khumjung are set below Khumbila, the rocky peak
sacred to all Sherpas. For much of the walk we have great views of Ama Dablam
and other Himalayan giants. We walk back down through Khumjumg, to the
monastery. Sadly it was damaged in the earthquake but is now being repaired.
Inside is a small box and after paying the entry fee (which goes towards the
repairs) we will be shown the only Yeti skull in the world! Descending to the
main trail we spend the night at KyanjumaWe climb steeply out of Namche to
the Everest View Hotel. Built by the Japanese this spectacularly situated
hotel with wonderful views of Everest and Ama Dablam is an ideal place for a
tea break. Continuing, we trek to the villages of Kunde and Khumjung set
below Khumbila, the rocky peak sacred to all Sherpas. In Kunde we can visit
the Edmund Hillary hospital, and there should also be time to visit the
monastery in Khumjumg, where for a small donation we will be shown the only
Yeti skull in the world! Descending to the main trail we spend the night at
*Teahouse *(sleeping altitude 3,600m)
Trek through the Sherpa heartland to the monastery at Thyangboche for superb
This morning we descend to the river; we cross it at the little settlement of
Phunki Thangkha at 3,250m, then climb steeply through the forest to
Thyangboche at 3,867m. We will be here by lunchtime and in the afternoon we
will visit the famous monastery. The sunset and sunrise on the fantastic
panorama of mountains surrounding us are not to be missed – Everest, Nuptse,
Lhotse and Ama Dablam provide a wonderful backdrop to our teahouse. Look out
for Himalayan Tahr in the forest surrounding the monastery.
*Teahouse *(sleeping altitude 3,867m)
Continue up the Khumbu Valley and then the Imja Valley to Dingboche.
We descend through the forest to Devoche and a little further on we cross the
rushing Imja Khola, whose valley we now follow. Climbing steadily the trail
enters Pangboche, at 3,900m, the highest permanent settlement in this valley.
Ascending the valley, we have lunch at Shomore, after which we leave the
trees behind and cross a wooden bridge at the confluence of the Khumbu and
Imja Kholas. A short steep climb brings us to Dingboche,a summer settlement
where great peaks surround us.
*Teahouse *(sleeping altitude 4,350m)
Spend the day at Dingboche for acclimatisation.
We spend a day at Dingboche to continue our acclimatisation. Those adapting
well to the altitude can climb Nangkartshang Peak at 5,100m for great views
of Makalu, Lhotse, Chalotse, Tawoche and Ama Dablam.
*Teahouse *(sleeping altitude 4,350m)
Continue the ascent to Lobuje.
The trail climbs steeply out of Dingboche past a chorten and ascends the
valley gradually to Dugla at the end of the terminal moraine of the Khumbu
Glacier. From here we have a short, steep climb up to Chukpo Lari, a
beautiful, yet poignant place where there is a line of memorials in tribute
to the climbers who have died on Everest and from where we have a beautiful
panorama of the peaks lying on the Nepal-Tibet border. The trail then eases
off as we follow the valley to Lobuje, a tiny hamlet with a few teahouses.
The sunset on Nuptse is not to be missed.
*Teahouse *(sleeping altitude 4,930m)
Follow the Khumbu Glacier to Gorak Shep.
We leave early and follow the Khumbu Glacier northwards to Gorak Shep
(5,184m). The trail undulates up and down the moraine with some short steep
sections. The trail is rocky in places as we are now on the lateral moraine
of the Khumbu Glacier. It will take us 3-4 hours to reach Gorak Shep where we
will have a rest and something to eat. In the afternoon we climb steeply
above Gorak Shep to the small peak of Kala Pattar, ‘Black Rock’, at 5,545m
from where we can look down over the base camps of the various Everest
expeditions. This climb affords a magnificent view of the Khumbu Glacier and
above all a close-up view of the world’s highest mountain. We return to Gorak
Shep for the night.
*Teahouse *(sleepingaltitude 5,184m)
(Trek Profile: 3.5-4 hrs walking Lobuje to Gorak Shep and 4 hrs up and down
Continue along the lateral moraine to Everest Base Camp. Camp overnight.
A short but tough walk to Everest Base Camp. We start by walking across the
sandy flat at Gorak Shep and climb onto the lateral moraine of the Khumbu
glacier. The trail ascends the side of the glacier for a couple of hours
before finally descending onto the rocky glacial moraine itself. The trail
winds up and down through fascinating ice seracs to the area known as Everest
Base Camp, which in spring is full of expedition teams as they prepare to
climb the mountain. We walk past the base camp rock (5300m), which is covered
in prayer flags and where the normal trekking groups go to, and continue
through the rocky moraine into the actual base camp. We will get to our camp
by lunchtime and the afternoon is free to gaze in awe at our surroundings. We
will be right below the Khumbu Ice Fall and we can appreciate just how
difficult it is to negotiate a route through the huge blocks of ice. Nuptse
towers above us and Pumori rears up behind us.
*Full-service camping *(sleeping altitude 5,400m)
Explore the area around Everest Base Camp. Camp overnight.
We spend the whole day at Everest Base Camp with time to absorb the way of
life on expeditions. After a relaxed breakfast we have a walk round Base Camp
and through some of the ice seracs. We will meet climbing Sherpas preparing
to climb and may well be able to watch climbers as they ascend the Khumbu ice
Fall. We have lunch in camp and can visit the Everest ER medical tent if it
is there and if they are quiet.
*Full-service camping* (sleeping altitude 5,400m)
Long descent to Pheriche.
Today is a long day as we leave Everest Base Camp after breakfast and retrace
our steps to Gorak Shep and further down to Lobuje, where we have lunch. We
continue on down to Dugla from where we take the right-hand trail and descend
into the Pheriche Valley. Once we reach the valley bottom it is an easy walk
along into the village of Pheriche.
*Teahouse (Sleeping altitude 4,243m)*
Retrace our steps to Kyanjuma.
Descending through Pheriche, we cross a small bridge and have a short climb
before descending to join the main Imja Khola Valley. We follow the valley
down to Pangboche through an alpine meadow landscape. We drop down to the
rushing river then walk through the peaceful rhododendron forests to the
village of Devoche from where we climb back up to Thyangboche on the ridge
for lunch. We descend off the ridge to Phunki Tenga and walk back to
Kyanjuma, where we spend the night.
*Tea**house *(sleeping altitude 3,600m)
Descend through Namche to Monzo.
The walk to Namche Bazaar takes us along a beautiful undulating trail high
above the Dudh Kosi. We have some time in Namche and after lunch we descend
through Namche Bazaar and pick up our outward trail again to Monzo, where we
*Teahouse* (sleeping altitude 2,850m)
Continue to Lukla.
We retrace our steps to Chaunrikhara where we start the last climb to the
airstrip at Lukla.
*Teahouse *(sleeping altitude 2,800m)
.. Fly to Manthali (Ramechhap) airport and transfer to Kathmandu
We fly back to Manthali (Ramechhap) airport and transfer to our hotel in
Kathmandu. At this time of day there can be heavy traffic, especially coming
into Kathmandu itself, and the drive is likely to take 5 hours or more.
*Royal Singi Hotel *(or similar)
Free day in Kathmandu to explore the city.
Today is free for sightseeing in Kathmandu (it is also a spare day to allow
for any delays in the flights to or from Lukla). You may wish to visit the
monkey temple at Swayambunath, one of the largest Buddhist Stupas in the
world at Bodnath, or the most important Hindu temple in the valley at
Pashupatinath. We offer a full range of sightseeing tours, which can be
booked and paid for locally. Please see the Optional Excursions section of
the Trip Notes or the Exodus notice board in the hotel in Kathmandu.
*Royal Singi Hotel*(or similar)
Day 19 Fly to London.
The tour ends in after breakfast. Those on the group flights will be
transferred to the airport in time for the daytime flight back to London.