The top of the world! The tough way! This is how they did it before there were flights to Lukla. Get to one of the most iconic trekking destinations in the world, and do it the hard way, like the first pioneers did after the Everest got discovered by the West.
The base camp itself is pretty high, at an altitude of 5340m above sea level, and boasts unparalleled views of the Sagarmatha (the Nepali name for the Everest) and other mountains along with the incredible Khumbu icefall. The terrain here is oligotrophic and inhospitable, barren and beautiful- a Shangri-La complete with little Nepali mountain villages, herds of yaks and hearty Nepali people with their unique traditions.
This is a tea-house trek- which means you will sleep in little village lodges along the route- but it is fairly strenuous and requires a reasonable level of fitness. The climbs will be at a slow pace, and we will allow ourselves a couple of days to acclimatize to the high altitudes in the course of our journey.
The journey starts with a drive to Jiri from Kathmandu, and seven days of trekking will take us to Namche, on the trail used more popularly these days, after a flight from Lukla. On the way back, we will take the short scenic flight from Lukla’s small and unusual airport back to Kathmandu.
Our representative will pick you up at the airport. Get a feel for the streets the first day, absorb the sights and sounds, or rest at the hotel. We discuss the journey in the evening.
Kathmandu, the capital city, boasts an intense mix of cultures and religions unique to Nepal. Turn the Buddhist prayer wheels at Swoyambhu- the monkey temple, and meet the steady gaze of the Buddha’s eyes at the famous Boudhanath stupa. Experience the valley’s olden days at the Kathmandu Durbar Square which has remained authentic even as modernization has crept in all around it. See Kathmandu, with your guide. (or skip this and drive to Jiri)
A drive that takes around seven hours will take you to Jiri where we will start the trek the next day.
We walk the trail from Jiri to Deurali passing little Sherpa villages on the way.
We start the trek going downhill and then uphill again through beautiful dense rhododendron forests.
We walk uphill upto 3530m at Lamjura Bhanjyang before going downhill towards Junbesi where we spend the night.
You’ll have your first views of the Everest today around Salung at 2980m, We cross the Ringmo River at 2570m and go uphill again towards Taksindhu before going downhill to Nuntala where you will spend the night.
We walk past Khari River and spend the night at Bupsa.
We walk by the Dudh Koshi, (a river named Milk Koshi in Nepali, for its white waters), mostly uphill to 2700m and then down and up to Chablung.
We walk along the river till we get to Monjo.
We enter the Sagarmatha National Park today (Sagarmatha is the Everest’s Nepali name), and walk steeply uphill to Namche, which is a big and popular trading village.
This is high altitude. We allow our bodies to acclimatize today and spend the day walking around Namche and then to Syangboche, two hours away at a hilltop which houses an emergency airstrip and an area offering great views of the Everest and Thamserku mountains. We can then walk to Khumjung, another Sherpa village at 3900 meters famous as a home to Sherpa climbers. Back in Namche, we can visit a museum of Sherpa culture, indigenous plan and animal life, and mountaineering, at the HQ of the National Park.
We start by walking uphill through forests of pine to Tyangboche at 3885m, roughly 5 hours from Namche. This is where the winter snow line begins in the area. We can also trek on to Pangboche an hour away if we feel up to it. This area has an optional deluxe hotel along with the regular teahouse.
We trek on through forests that house a number of wild animals we might be able to see if we keep alert. These include 118 species of birds and a number of rare mammals including the musk deer, the elusive snow leopard, red pandas, the Himalayan black bear, langur monkeys, among others. Pangboche is a large mountain village, the oldest in the area and houses a very old monastery. Our trek today also takes us to the top of a ridge from where panoramic views of the Taboche, Ama Dablam, Thamserku, Nuptse, Lotse and Cholatse mountains warm quench our eyes’ thirst. We spend the night in the village of Dingboche at 4350m, with its chortens and prayer flags.
About a thousand meters higher than our last acclimatization day, we spend the day around Dingboche, taking an uphill hike to Chhu Kumbri at 4700m which affords fantastic views and back to Dingboche for a good night’s sleep.
Crossing the Thuk La Pass, we walk to Lobuche today, passing memorials to the many mountaineers that’ve lost their lives in their attempts to scale the great peaks. Lobuche has many monasteries, and also a deluxe hotel.
We walk uphill through narrow glacier-cut paths along the huge Khumbu glacier to Gorak Shep at 5180m, marveling at the sights of the Everest and Pumori mountains.
About three hours away from Gorak Shep is our destination – the Everest Base Camp. Drink in the sights and take the higher route on the leg pack to see the great Khumbu icefall on the way back to Gorak Shep where you will spend the night.
We walk downhill, back the same way we came up, to spend the night at Ferutche.
We retrace our steps, stopping at Pangboche to see the monastery.
Namche is a good place to relax, with its many restaurants
This is the last day of our trek and a great day to celebrate your accomplishment – the conquest of one of the greatest iconic treks in the world. Also, a good day to sample the local rice liquor ‘chang’ and make merry with the guide and porters on this final day.
Return to Kathmandu on the scenic flight from Luka, drinking in the last of the great Himalayan sights as the final day approaches. Relax in one of the many shopping / clubbing areas in Kathmandu
We’ll drop you off at the airport, congratulating your success, and quite possibly making plans for your next trip.