Itinerary: Everest Base Camp
Wake-up to hear the bells calling the monks to prayer. Enter the monastery, a stranger in a sea of chanting red robes, and momentarily connected to a spirituality that most of us can only glimpse in our lifetime. Our trek through Nepal’s Khumbu Valley will leave you full of wonder. Daily walks through pristine mountain foothills, across bridges dancing with prayer flags, over springs and through ancient shrines into sacred lands will feed both your sense of adventure and restoration. You will leave with a deep insight into the culture and lives of the Sherpa people, who will welcome you to a different and unique Nepalese tea house with hot ginger lemon tea and fresh momos (a local dumpling).
Day 1: Arrive in Kathmandu. Your journey to Everest Base Camp begins when you arrive at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, where you’ll be greeted and brought to your hotel. After a brief orientation, you’ll be free to explore Thamel Square and/or get some rest from your long journey.
Day 2: Sightseeing tour in Kathmandu. Today we’ll explore the famous historical, cultural, and traditional beauty of the “City of Temples.” The Hindu temple of Pashupatinath, the Buddhist Stupa Boudhanath and the well-known Monkey Temple (Swyambhunath) are just a few of the sites we’ll have the opportunity to visit. After the tour we’ll return to the hotel to prepare our gear for the flight to Lukla.
Day 3: Flight to Lukla & trek to Phakding. Today we’ll head back to Tribhuvan Airport and catch a flight to Lukla (9,200'). Once in Lukla, we will meet and join our Sherpa staff, load the yaks and begin the ascent to base camp. Our first day is an easy walk to the lush village of Phakding, located on the Dudh Kosi river. Hiking time: 3 hours
Day 4: Trek to Namche (3450m). Today we’ll follow the Dudh Kosi, ascending 2,300ft/700m through Himalayan pine and Doedar cedar forests, to the celebrated village of Namche Bazaar (11,300ft/3450m). The village of Namche is a historic trading post where Nepalese and Tibetan traders exchange salt, dried meat, gold and textiles. Besides being a superb place to shop for traditional crafts, Namche remains the central trading post in the Khumbu, attracting Himalayan and lowland merchants. Our group spends two days in Namche affording us the opportunity to acclimate, visit local markets and spend time with friends in town. On the hike we capture our first glimpses of Everest and neighboring peaks. Hiking time: 5-6 hours
Day 5: Rest day in Namche. In the morning the group will take an acclimatization hike, gaining 1000' to take in the views on the patio of the Everest View Hotel. In the afternoon we have time to visit sights in Namche Bazaar, including the Sherpa museum and local marketplace.
Day 6: Trek to Tengboche [3864m]. We continue on and climb to the village of Tengboche (12,683ft/3864m), the cultural and religious center of the Khumbu. At the monastery we attend Buddhist ceremonies and rituals performed by local monks. The views from Tengboche are spectacular. The jagged peaks of Thamserku and Kangtega stand to our south as Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse and Ama Dablam are visible to the north. The Monastery at Tengboche is one of the most well-known in the world as the Rinpoche is revered throughout the Buddhist community and has authored a number of books and essays. We take time to visit the community Sherpa Cultural Center and excellent nearby bakery, and descend slightly to lodge in the village of Deboche. Hiking time: 4-5 hours
Day 7: Trek to Pheriche [4252m]. We climb to the village of Pheriche (13,907ft/4252m). Hiking time: 4 hours
Day 8: Rest day in Pheriche. In the morning we will take a challenging acclimatization hike and spend the afternoon resting.
Day 9: Trek to Lobuche [4930m]. Above Pheriche, the character of the terrain changes, and we begin to understand the starkness of the high alpine landscape. Our path climbs the terminal moraine of the Khumbu glacier and continues to the settlement of Lobuche (16,174ft/ 4930m), where we spend one night. This trail passes through a famous memorial which honors the many climbers and Sherpa who lost their lives in the high mountains. Lobuche is located on the flank of an old lateral moraine of the Khumbu glacier. Hiking time: 4-5 hours
Day 10: Trek to Gorak Shep [5184m] The trail winds past the Italian Research Center through the high tundra and glacial moraine to Gorak Shep (16,924ft/5184m), the last inhabited area before Everest Base Camp. Gorak Shep presents a rougher environment and gives the trekker the true flavor of the nighttime rigors of mountaineering. In the afternoon we take a short walk up the moraine to look down on the chaotic Khumbu glacier and take in the closeness of these renown Himalayan peaks. Hiking time: 4 - 5 hours
Day 11: Trek to Everest BC , back to Gorak Shep. We leave Gorak Shep and cross the moraine of the great Khumbu glacier to reach Base Camp, which lies beneath the sweeping ridges of Everest and Nuptse. Everest Base Camp at 17,598ft/5357m, is a sprawling tent city set amidst glacial debris. Here the climbers begin final preparations for their ascent of Mt. Everest. We spend a few hours at base getting a sense of the community and meeting climbers before returning to Gorak Shep. During our visit to base camp we venture to the edge of the notorious Khumbu Ice Fall, and see climbers en route as they negotiate this complex maze of ice. Hiking time: 6 hours
Day 12: Kala Pattar [18,300ft/5577m] then trek to Pangboche [3985m]. Waking before sunrise, we make an early ascent of Kala Pattar (18,300ft/5577m), a small peak with excellent views of Everest, Nuptse and nearby Pumori. From here we’ll begin our return to lower altitudes. This night is spent in the village of Pangboche, a stunning village of stone huts known as the summer village for local herders. The mountain views are outstanding from the Imja valley as Makalu stands in the distance. Hiking time: 6-7 hours
Day 13: Trek to Namche [3450m]. Enjoying the downhill, we take our time and return to Namche Bazaar. This seemingly remote village is suddenly a center of commerce where we spend the evening and morning shopping, drinking coffee, getting shaves, sampling food and enjoying all the thrills of urban life. Hiking time: 8 hours Day 14 - Trek to Lukla [2900m]. Our final walk to Lukla takes most of the day. In Lukla we begin the process of readjusting to the lowlands and prepare for the flight back to Kathmandu. This last night in Lukla is always a memorable one! Hiking time: 5 hours
Day 15: Flight to Kathmandu. Early morning flight to Kathmandu where you can spend the day shopping and getting prepared for your trip home. Tonight we will have a celebratory dinner at the Rum Doodle, Kathmandu’s famous mountaineer hangout!
Day 16: Depart Kathmandu