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Explore the high valleys of the Khumbu region, including Everest Base Camp.

Departure: Kathmandu
Duration: 18 days
Best season: October-December; March-May
Trek Grade: Demanding (altitude; 2 peaks)


This is an outstanding trek in the high valleys of Khumbu taking you through amazing Sherpa villages and past Gokyo's stunning alpine lakes to Everest Base Camp.

This trek offers an excellent opportunity to ascend Gokyo Ri at 5340m and Kala Pattar, the trek’s highest point at 5554m. Both peaks offer tremendous 360 degree views of the Himalaya’s magnificent snow-capped peaks including Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, Makalu and Cho Oyu.

Your trail winds up the Dudh Kosi river valley via Phortse, avoiding the high Cho La (pass), and leads you to the base camp of Mt. Everest where you can gain a closer view of the spectacular Khumbu Ice Fall.

BRIEF ITINERARY

Day 01: Flight to Lukla & Trek to Phakding [2656m]
Day 02: Trek to Namche [3450m]
Day 03: Rest day in Namche
Day 04: Trek to Thame [3739m]
Day 05: Trek to Khumjung [3786m]
Day 06: Trek to Dole [4040m]
Day 07: Trek to Machermo [4410m]
Day 08: Trek to Gokyo [4750m]
Day 09: Ascent of Gokyo Ri [5340m] & Trek to Na [4390m]
Day 10: Trek to Phortse [3542m]
Day 11: Trek to Dingboche [4336m]
Day 12: Trek to Lobuche [4939m]
Day 13: Trek to Gorak shep [5184m]
Day 14: Trek to Everest Base Camp [5357m]
Day 15: Trek to Pangboche [3985m]
Day 16: Trek to Namche [3450m]
Day 17: Trek to Lukla [2800m]
Day 18: Fly to Kathmandu

DETAILED ITINERARY

Day 01: Flight to Lukla & Trek to Phakding [2656m]
A spectacular flight and hair raising landing on a steep mountain runway brings us to the start of our trek at the village of Lukla [2800m]. After meeting the crew, we head up the Dudh Koshi Valley on a well-marked trail to our first camp near the river at Phakding.

Day 02: Trek to Namche [3450m]
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 this fragile mountain environment. We then ascend quite steeply to Namche and along the way, if the weather is clear, catch a first glimpse of Mt Everest in the distance. 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. Camp is near the bazaar at Namche.

Day 03: 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 as well as a magnificent outlook. It is an ideal place to spend a rest day, acclimatising to the new altitude before heading off towards Tengboche. Options for acclimatisation walks include a visit to Khunde Hospital which was set-up by Sir Edmund Hillary, or 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.

Day 04: Trek to Thame [3739m]
From Namche the route turns west and the trail is almost level as we head up the Bhote Kosi Valley, once a popular trading route into Tibet. Along the way we pass many prayer flags and mani stones, all indicative of the Tibetan Buddhist culture of this area. After descending to the Bhote Kosi the trail climbs steeply to Thame. From here there are good views of the peaks of Teng Kangpoche and Kwangde and to the north is the Nangpa La, the pass leading to Tibet. Thame Gompa is situated above the village overlooking the valley and is the site for the spring celebrations of the Mani Rimdu festival.

Day 05: Trek to Khumjung [3786m]
We retrace our route down the Bhote Kosi Valley towards Namche and branch off to follow a quiet trail to Khumjung. It is a picturesque village which also has its own gompa at the top end of town. From our camping spot we have excellent views of Thamserku, Kantega and Ama Dablam.

Day 06: Trek to Dole [4040m]
Soon after leaving Khumjung the trail climbs to a large chorten on top of a ridge. This ridge descends from Khumbila, a 5734m peak, said to be the abode of the patron God of the Khumbu region. This peak is sacred to the Sherpa people and is where the name Kumbu was derived. The trail descends towards the Dudh Kosi where we stop for lunch near the bridge leading to the village of Phortse. We then pass through Phortse Tenga and from there, the trail climbs steeply to Dole, through rhododendron and birch forest festooned with hanging mosses and lichens.

Day 07: Trek to Machermo [4410m]
From Dole we climb steadily along the side of the valley, where the rhododendron forests give way to scrub juniper as the altitude increases. The trail passes many summer settlements [yersa], which are used when yaks are taken to these pastures to graze in the summer months. Ahead of us are excellent views of Cho Oyu, while back down the valley are the peaks of Kantega and Thamserku. This is a short day and we will arrive at Machermo in time for lunch.

Day 08: Trek to Gokyo [4750m]
Today we head for the lakes at Gokyo. We follow a very scenic path to Pangka and then descend slightly, following one of the melt-water rivers which flow down the west side of the Ngozumpa Glacier. We climb a steep rocky incline into the valley by the side of the glacier, passing the first of the holy lakes. We soon arrive at the second of the lakes, crossing the path which heads across the glacier to Cho La - our route to Lobuche and Everest, later in the trek. The third lake is known as Dudh Pokhari and on its eastern shore is the settlement of Gokyo. Walking by the side of the lake, the scenery is magnificent with the summits of Cho Oyu and Gyachung Kang reflected in its emerald green waters.

Day 09: Ascent of Gokyo Ri [5340m] & trek to Na [4390m]
Gokyo Ri looms above the village on the northern edge of the lake and we leave camp just after first light, following a steep path up the hillside. As we climb, the summits of Everest, Lhotse and Makalu slowly come into sight and the view from the summit of Gokyo Ri itself, is one of the finest to be had in the Everest region - some say it is even better than that from Kala Pattar. After lunch it is a short walk to the village of Na, situated at the foot of the Ngozumpa Glacier.

Day 10: Trek to Phortse [3542m]
Now we descend back along the valley to Phortse, a village little changed by the advent of trekkers, where the quiet rhythm of life continues as it always has done. We camp among the potato fields in the upper part of the village and savour the magnificent mountain views.

Day 11: Trek to Dingboche [4336m]
From Phortse the trail climbs and contours around the west side of the Imja Khola valley, providing excellent views of Ama Dablam, the Nuptse-Lhotse wall and Everest. We enter Pangboche on the high trail and after lunch visit the monastery which has relics said to be the skull and hand of a yeti. From Pangboche we walk through alpine meadows and pass beneath the towering Ama Dablam to Dingboche.

Day 12: Trek to Lobuche [4939m]
After passing the teahouses of Duglha, we climb higher onto the terminal moraine of the Khumbu glacier, passing a row of stone monuments built in memory of Sherpas who have died on mountaineering expeditions to Mt Everest. From here the trail drops and follows the west side of the valley to Lobuche. The sunset on Nuptse from here is quite spectacular.

Day 13: Trek to Gorak shep [5184m]
To reach our next objective, Kala Pattar, the trail at first follows the valley beside the Khumbu Glacier, and offers superb views of the surrounding mountains, especially where the path is forced to rise to cross a tributary glacier. We stop for lunch at our camping place for the night, Gorak Shep. Later in the afternoon, when the sunset colours begin to appear on Everest, we make our way to the top of one of the finest viewpoints in the Everest region, Kala Pattar [5554m]. As the light begins to fade we stroll back to our camp at Gorak Shep and have an early night in preparation for our trek to Everest Base Camp the following day.

Day 14: Trek to Everest base camp [5357m]
To reach Everest Base Camp, a very early start is required, as it takes several hours on a trail which weaves its way through ice pinnacles and past the crevasses of the Khumbu Glacier. On the return leg, we can take a higher route to get a spectacular view of the Khumbu icefall and the route to the South Col. We return to either Gorak Shep or Lobuche to camp for the night.

Day 15: Trek to Pangboche [3985m]
Today is downhill most of the way, as we retrace our steps to Duglha and descend to Pheriche. The Himalayan Rescue Association have a trekkers aid post here and it is quite interesting to visit. After lunch we head on down to the lovely twin villages of Pangboche. New Pangboche is where we’ll stay and Old Pangboche is home to the oldest monastery in the Khumbu, founded in 1667, which houses relics said to be the skull and hand of a yeti.

Day 16: Trek to Namche [3450m]
We continue to follow the river and, after crossing it, climb back up through birch and rhododendron forest to the famous monastery at Tengboche. The views from here are magnificent and Kwangde, Tawache, Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse, Ama Dablam, Kantega and Thamserku are just a few of the Himalayan giants to be seen. From Tengboche we descend to the bridge over the Dudh Kosi at Phunki Tenga, where there are water driven prayer wheels, before making our way back to Namche.

Day 17: Trek to Lukla [2800m]
Our final day's trekking follows the Dudh Kosi back down to Lukla. This last evening in the mountains is the ideal opportunity for a farewell party with the sherpa guides and porters, where we can sample some chang, try Sherpa dancing and look back on a memorable trekking experience.

Day 18: Fly to Kathmandu
We take an early morning flight back to Kathmandu.

IMPORTANT NOTE
Every effort will be made to keep to the above itinerary, but as this is Adventure Travel in the mountains, we cannot guarantee it. Weather conditions, road conditions, vehicle breakdowns and the health of fellow travellers can all contribute to changes. We will try to ensure that the trip runs according to plan, but an easy going nature will be an asset!
 

 

 

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