Everest Base Camp
The excitement of this trek begins in Kathmandu, as the flight to Lukla is one which affords amazing views of the Himalayan peaks, given clear skies. The approach to the airstrip in Lukla is heart-stopping and has to be experienced to be believed - however the actual landing-strip is now 'black topped' which is a vast improvement on the previous gravel/soil approach of a few years back. It is believed to be the only airstrip involving a sharp right-hand turn before the 18-seater aircraft comes to a halt! Enjoy the rush of adrenalin!
The trek proper begins here with a walk of about two hours downhill to Phakding, through the valley landscape of Khumbu, passing numerous tea-houses for refreshment along the way. After an overnight rest in Phakding, the path heads towards the entrance of the Sagarmatha National Park, and a climb down to Jorsale before crossing over the Dudh Khosi river, following the riverbank, and crossing the river many times. The final crossing is by a very high suspension bridge over the narrow river gorge, after which the trail moves up a straight and relatively steep path into the forest, where there may be sightings of brightly plumaged Danphe pheasants (Nepalese national bird) and the Himalayan thar. There could also be the first glimpse of Mt. Everest, or Chomolungma, as it is known to the local Sherpa people, about half way through the climb to Namche Bazar. This famous settlement is the main village of the Sherpas, and the site of the night's camp.
During the following rest day in Namche, there will be a chance to visit the local museum of Sherpa life and culture, including a section on natural history. . There is also the opportunity for a gentle walk round the village itself, buying souvenirs; or a packed lunch could be taken on a walk towards Thame to explore the area and help with acclimatisation at the same time. All these options will be discussed during the evening before the rest day, in the same way that similar briefings take place every evening during the trek.
After the vital acclimatisation day in Namche, the following day's walk will first move down towards Pang and then up towards Phunki Tanga. From there a long climb up many switch backs leads to the famous Gompa at Tengboche. After Tenbgoche the trail moves on and across the Dudh Khosi river by way of a suspension bridge, and then follows the river to the overnight camping place at Dingboche. The next day is another acclimatization day during which it is possible to take a packed lunch and trek towards Chhikung Village and even attempt Chhikung Ri, a walking peak which gives a fantastic, optional chance to gain some outstanding views whilst furthering acclimatization.
Lobuche is the next target and although the walk is a shortish one, increasing altitude may cause a slowing down. The next day is devoted to complete rest at Lobuche, although a wander around or a stroll towards Everest Base Camp and back will aid acclimatization. After Lobuche there is another high-altitude walk to Gorak Shep, and Kala Patar, early the following morning, for the famous Everest view, after which the trail returns to Gorak Shep and overnight.
The next day's trek moves on at last to the famous Everest Base Camp, after exploring which, the trail returns to Lobuche for the next night. The following day sees the trek move on to Pangboche, high above the river. There are superb views of Ama Dablam (6856m) all along the route. Pangboche itself is a sizeable Sherpa community with a large Gompa high above the village.
The next major target is Khumjung, where the first Edmund Hillary Himalayan Trust school was built, or Khunde, reached via Phortse.
The next day starts the descent to Lukla, via Chhutawa or Chaurikiharka. On return to Lukla there will be a memorable end of trek party, before the following morning's impressive flight back to Kathmandu.
- Day 1
- Arrive in Kathmandu and transport to Hotel
- Day 2
- Kathmandu. Preparing for trek
- Day 3
- Flight to Lukla (2840m), trek to Phakding (2610m)
- Day 4
- Trek to Namche Bazaar (3440m)
- Day 5
- Acclimatization day in Namche Bazaar
- Day 6
- Trek to Tengboche (3860m)
- Day 7
- Trek to Dingboche (4410m)
- Day 8
- Acclimatization day Dingboche
- Day 9
- Trek to Lobuche (4910m)
- Day 10
- Acclimatization day Lobuche
- Day 11
- Trek to Kala Patar (5550m) and back Gorak Shep (5140m)
- Day 12
- Trek to Everest Base Camp (5361m) and back to Lobuche
- Day 13
- Pangboche (3930m)
- Day 14
- Phortse (3810m)
- Day 15
- Khumjung (3780m) or Khunde (3840m)
- Day 16
- Trek to Chhuthawa (2591m) or Chaurikharka
- Day 17
- Short trek to Lukla (2840m) and last day party
- Day 18
- Fly back to Kathmandu
- Day 19
- Kathmandu Morning sightseeing with joint group
- Day 20
- EPHC visit and afternoon free time/shopping
- Day 21