Everest Base Camp (E.B.C.) Trek
The Everest or Khumbu region is justifiably the most famous of all trekking and mountain regions. Populated by Sherpas, the attractions of this area are the majestic mountains, the high mountain villages, the isolated monasteries, and the local peoples. This area includes the highest mountain in the world, Everest at 8,848m, and many of the world's 8,000m peaks such as Lhotse, Cho Oyu, and Makalu. First climbed in 1953, Everest still holds a fascination for many, however the Everest region boasts many more spectacular and beautiful mountains, as well as some of the most rewarding trekking anywhere in the world.
The Everest Base Camp trek is a classic trek which follows in the footsteps of Hillary & Tenzing and ends with an ascent of Kala Pattar for superb views of Everest.
This trek starts with an exhilarating 45 minute mountain flight into the airstrip at Lukla. From here we trek slowly upwards to the Sherpa capital of Namche Bazaar, following the valley of the Dudh Kosi river. It is not long before we glimpse our first view of Everest as it peeks above the Lhotse-Nuptse ridge. At this point it is still many days walk away, but with careful acclimatization it is not long before we find ourselves high up in the heart of the Khumbu region.
We visit Tengboche monastery en route before continuing on to our goal, an ascent of Kala Pattar, a rocky outcrop to the west of Everest. This vantage point gives fantastic views of the Ice Fall and SouthCol as well as the immense south-west face of Everest which was first climbed in 1975 by Chris Bonington's team. This is truly a classic trek, which undoubtedly gives one of the best mountain views in the world. Accommodation and food is provided in the local lodges
Arrival and transfer to hotel/welcome dinner (D)
Day at leisure for sightseeing /Hotel (B. D)
Day 03: Fly to Lukla, trek to Phakding (B.L.D)
After a very early start, and an early take off from KathmanduDomesticAirport, a 45 minute flight is all it takes to propel us into the Everest region of Nepal. The landing at Lukla (2800m) is spectacular and on arrival we are greeted by our sirdar and trekking crew who organise the luggage and hustle us off for tea. After a leisurely lunch we start the trek in earnest, setting off for a gentle walk to Phakding (2800m), a further 3 hours to the north. The trail leads through Lukla, past hotels, shops and airline offices to the edge of the Lukla plateau where the trail drops to meet the intersection of the Jiri trail at Chablung. From here the trail follows the Dudh Kosi north through the village of Ghat and then finally to Phakding where we spend the night.
Day 04: Phakding to Namche Bazaar(B.L.D)
From Phakding the trail continues north up the Dudh Kosi valley, staying 100m above the river on its west bank. The trail leads us to Jorsale (2810m) where we enter the SagarmathaNational Park, and submit our trekking permits for checking. From here we continue on an ever-steepening trail to Namche Bazaar (3440m), known simply as Namche. En route we cross the spectacular suspension bridge high above the confluence of the Bhote Kosi and the Dudh Kosi, and shortly after glimpse our first view of Everest, way off to the north-east. The trail to Namche is steep and long, but eventually we reach the remarkable Sherpa capital perched high on the hillside and dominated to the east by the immense bulk of Kwangde (6187m).
Day 05: Acclimatization day in Namche(B.L.D)
Acclimatization is important before trekking higher, and this is the first of two scheduled stops which allows us to gradually become used to the effects of altitude - the lower pressure and the thinner air. We can spend the day by taking a side trip to Thame or Khumjung, by visiting the National Park Visitor Center on the hill above Namche or by simply resting and browsing in the shops in the town. Namche is a fascinating place simply to 'hang out' and take in the culture of the mountains, from the trading of visiting Tibetans to the stories of departing mountaineers.
Day 06: Namche to Tengboche (B.L.D)
From Namche we trek north-east on a direct line to Everest, starting up the hill to the Visitor Centre and continuing on a reasonably flat easy trail high above the Dudh Kosi. Ahead of us we can see one of the most beautiful mountains in the Khumbu - Ama Dablam (6856m), as well as Everest still far off in the distance. We pass through the settlement of Sanasa before making our descent to the Dudh Kosi and the village of Phunki Thanga. Of course, 'what goes down must go up', and from here it is a steep long climb up the side of the hill to the saddle on which Tengpoche monastery is located at 3870m. As we enter the grounds of the monastery we are welcomed by the most magnificent mountain view in the world. The long climb seems well worth it as we gaze upon a panorama of Himalayan giants, including Everest as it peeks above the Lhotse-Nuptse ridge.
Day 07: Tengpoche to Dingboche(B.L.D)
The trail initially descends through beautiful rhododendron forests and reaches a bridge across the Imja Khola where the river rushes through a narrow gorge, and from here it is a short walk to the settlement of Pangboche (3860m). After this point the trail and surroundings become distinctly alpine in appearance as we trek above the tree line. The trail is relatively easy, with a gentle climb towards Dingboche at 4410m.
Dingboche is a long thin settlement nestled below a ridge that separates it from it's neighbour Pheriche, at which there is a Himalayan Rescue Association medical centre. To the east we have fantastic views of Lhotse at 8501m, and the popular climbing peak of IslandPeak at 6189m.
Day 08: Acclimatization day in Dingboche(B.L.D)
This is the second of our acclimatisation days and it allows us to become adjusted to the thinning air and lessening pressure. Whilst by no means compulsory, a recommended aid to acclimatisation is a side trip to Chhukung at 4730m. This is a short hike eastwards up the Imja Khola valley and is rewarded with fantastic views of Lhotse, Ama Dablam and IslandPeak. Alternatives are to climb the ridge above Dingboche, walk across to Pheriche, or walk ahead to Duglha (4620m), tomorrow's lunch spot.
Day 09: Dingboche – Lobuje (B.L.D)
We start by slowly ascending to the ridge above Dingboche and continue northwards on a gentle sloping trail to the settlement of Duglha. At this point we reach the terminal moraine of the great Khumbu Glacier, and the trail and the surrounding terrain becomes more barren and harsh.
After a long rest we continue higher on the moraine up a steep slope to a small flat area where we see a collection of memorials to mountaineers who have died in the Khumbu. Moving on, we trek into the Khumbu valley proper, and as we turn to the north-east we are greeted by the incredible sight that is the head of the Khumbu valley. From the entrance to the valley we have a fantastic view of the mountains that form the border with Tibet as well as the giants that form part of the Everest massif. The trail follows the western side of the valley and eventually reaches the bleak settlement of Lobuje at 4930m. As we trek towards Lobuje the huge bulk of Nuptse (7879m) dominates, seeming to be the highest mountain in the area.
Day 10: Lobuje to Gorak Shep, and ascent of Kala Pattar(B.L.D)
We start early from Lobuje and trek along the western side of the broad Khumbu Valley, through meadows and over scree slopes, as we continue beside the moraine of the huge creaking glacier. The trail is rough in parts and it is important to progress slowly as we are now above 5000m for the first time. Shortly the pyramid peak of Pumori (7145m) comes into view and underneath this, dwarfed by it's more exotic neighbour, we see the small black peak of Kala Pattar (5545m). This is the best vantage point for views of Everest and is our objective for the day. The trail then descends off the moraine and down to the small settlement of Gorak Shep (5160m) where we rest before our ascent of Kala Pattar. The ascent takes approx. 2 hours of steady walking, stopping occasionally to take in the view of the increasing bulk of Everest. From the summit it is possible to see many of the key features of this great mountain - the South Col from which Hillary and Tenzing made their first ascent in 1953 is clearly visible. After spending time taking photographs and experiencing the greatest mountain view in the world we descend back to Gorak Shep and then return to Lobuje.
Day 11: Lobuje to Tengpoche(B.L.D)
We can now look forward to a reduction in altitude and easier going, as we descend back down the trail that we trekked up only a few days ago. There is sometimes a sense of anti-climax about the return trek, however it is a chance to relax now that the hard part is over, and concentrate on those aspects of mountain life that may have been overlooked on the way up. The walking now seems easier due to the fact that our bodies are acclimatised, but this only makes up for tired legs and creaking knees!
Day 12: Tengpoche to Namche Bazaar(B.L.D)
This is a short walk back to Namche and we can take our time and relax and enjoy the views across to Kwangde ahead of us and to Thamserku (6808m) and Kantega (6685m) to our left. From Tengpoche the trail drops steeply to the river at Phunki Thanga, and then rises again to traverse high above the river on the winding trail that leads to Sanasa. From here we have an easy walk back to Namche where we can tell the newly arrived trekkers how easy it was over a cool beer !
Namche Bazaar to Phakding (B.L.D)
Day 14: Phakding to Lukla (B.L.D)
The final day of our trek, and a sense of relief for some and sadness for others as we retrace our steps along the trail above the Dudh Kosi. We start by descending steeply out of Namche and shortly before we cross the suspension bridge below Namche we get a last chance to see Everest before it is out of sight until the next time. We lunch at Phakding and then continue down the trail, before turning off the main Jiri route and rising up to Lukla to arrive by mid-afternoon.
Day 15: Fly to Katmandu(B.L.D)
We return to the hustle and bustle of Kathmandu with a 45 minutes flight back to the domestic airport. Here you will be greeted and transferred back to your hotel in Kathmandu. Arrival times back into Kathmandu vary, however it is usual to arrive back at your hotel by mid-afternoon.
Drive to Airport for return flight (B)
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