This is a new, improved itinerary for a trek that highlights the outstanding beauty of the Everest region.
It includes many highlights from our classic Everest Base Camp & Gokyo Lakes trek such as Base Camp, Kala Pattar, Cho La and the Gokyo Valley but includes time for additional exploration in the Khumbu Valley, crossings of the 5535m Kongma La, the 5417m Renjo La plus a visit to the remote Bhote Kosi Valley; be prepared for a thrilling, high altitude experience.
This trek will suit experienced Nepal trekkers keen for an extreme adventure plus first time trekkers willing to test themselves in this most beautiful alpine environment.
Meals included as indicated: B – Breakfast, L – Lunch, D – Dinner
Met on arrival and transferred to our hotel. Free time to explore Kathmandu. This evening, dine out in the old city. (D)
Time to walk through the old city and visit the famous temple complex of Durbar Square, or hire a taxi and visit the other cities in the Kathmandu Valley, Patan and Bhaktapur. A pre-trek briefing will be held in our hotel at 4.00pm. (B)
(35mins flying time, 3hrs walking)
Begin the trek with a spectacular mountain flight to Lukla. After landing, we have two easy, leisurely days on a wide, level trail along the Dudh Kosi Valley. Our lodge is in the large Sherpa village of Phakdingma. (B)
A half day walk to assist in essential acclimatisation. We pass many porters and yaks carrying local trade goods and expedition equipment. The pine and rhododendron forests that surround the trail provide cooling shade. After lunch, we do an acclimatisation walk from our lodge. (B)
NAMCHE BAZAAR 3440m
We reach the fascinating and legendary village of Namche Bazaar, the largest village in the Khumbu area. Our lodge is a short walk from the National Park headquarters and museum. (B)
REST & ACCLIMATISATION IN NAMCHE BAZAAR
We take a rest day in Namche to acclimatise to the higher altitudes. A number of impressive side treks are available. One favourite is to visit the Everest View Hotel, set high on a ridge, for stunning views of Everest, Lhotse, and Ama Dablam. (B)
The trail ascends steeply past the last houses of Namche then traverses high above the Dudh Kosi Valley. We get impressive mountain views along this section of trail before descending to a bridge that crosses the Dudh Kosi at the village of Phunki Tenga. A dusty trail winds up through an alpine forest to a large clearing atop a ridge at 3860m. Here we find the most important Buddhist monastery in the Everest area, Tengboche. There is ample time to rest here and also visit the monastery.
The trail then descends through rhododendron and juniper forest to the lovely hamlet of Deboche where we stay overnight. (B)
REST & ACCLIMATISATION IN DEBOCHE
As part of our acclimatisation, we plan to ascend a ridge overlooking Tengboche Monastery. We expect to reach an altitude of 5,000m which will provide essential acclimatisation for the days to follow. The views from today’s walk are outstanding and include Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse plus dramatic views of Ama Dablam. We reach the highpoint late In the morning and return to Deboche for lunch. Following the morning’s exertions, the afternoon can be spent relaxing. (B)
Descend on a gentle slope through a rhododendron forest passing numerous mani walls. Be alert for wildlife; you may see Nepal’s National Bird, the Danphe pheasant plus musk deer. The trail crosses over the deep, narrow gorge of the Imja Khola before commencing the long, gradual incline to the villages of Lower Pangboche and Upper Pangboche. To the right, on the other side of the valley, looms the distinct, towering shape of Ama Dablam (6860m). The gradient eases and the vegetation thins out as we approach Dingboche. (B)
It’s a short, easy trail up the Imja Valley to Chukhung. Today’s walk Is notable for the outstanding mountain views, particularly Ama Dablam and the Imposing Lhotse/Nuptse wall. Following lunch there’s an optional side trek up a nearby ridge for more great views. (B)
LOBUCHE 4940m VIA KONGMA LA 5535m
This will be the toughest day on the trek so far but following our careful rate of ascent and preceding days getting ‘trail fit’, we’ll be up for the challenge. The trail climbs from Chukhung up a grass covered ridge then becomes increasingly steep as it approaches a high lake. Rock cairns and prayer flags mark the pass and the views from here are unforgettable. From the pass the trails descends steeply through boulders until you reach the Khumbu Glacier. Cross the glacier to reach the settlement of Lobuche. (B)
GORAK SHEP 5170m & EVEREST BASE CAMP 5360m
From Lobuche we trek for 2 hours on a rough, rock strewn trail to Gorak Shep. We’ll have lunch here and a short rest before crossing over the Khumbu Glacier on the 3 hour trek to Everest Base Camp (5360). There are no views of Everest’s summit from here but there are fine views of the Khumbu Ice Fall and the large seracs of ice on the glacier beside base camp. We retrace our steps to our lodge at Gorak Shep. (B)
Our goal today is the highest point of the trek, Kala Pattar, 5554 meters. Kala Pattar is the ideal place to view the dark, menacing South Face of Everest. Surrounded by mountains and glaciers, the breathtaking scenery will truly make you feel “On Top of the World”. Making it to the top of Kala Pattar is a tremendous accomplishment, and for most, a once in a lifetime experience. We depart Gorak Shep well before dawn, walking by the beam of our headlamps. The return walk, plus rest times from Gorak Shep to the top of Kala Pattar is about 3 hours. After returning to Gorak Shep for breakfast, we then retrace our steps past Lobuje before ascending a ridge on the west side of the Khumbu Valley. We reach a high valley at the foot of the magnificent, sheer wall of the north face of Cholatse (6440m). The trail crosses a small stream before ascending gradually to our lodge at Dzongla. (B)
TAGNAG via CHO LA 5420m
Today we prepare to cross Cho La (pass). Depart early for a tough 4 hour climb to the top of Cho La. We pause for some fantastic photo opportunities, then it’s a long, slow descent on a rocky trail to a high valley. Well stop here for a snack then continue our descent to reach Tagnag (4700m).
Note: Crossing Cho La will only be attempted if weather and trail conditions are ideal. There is an alternative trail available if necessary. (B)
The trail heads north beside the Ngozumba Glacier then climbs up the moraine wall to overlook the rubble strewn, the longest glacier in Nepal. Descend to the glacier itself then follow a trail between ice walls and lakes, to reach the lodges at Gokyo. (B)
REST DAY IN GOKYO
We take an optional pre-breakfast trek up to Gokyo Ri (5360m), a small peak. The views from here rank with any that trekkers may encounter in Nepal. We get memorable views of four 8,000m peaks—Everest, Cho Oyu, Lhotse and Makalu plus the 3 sacred lakes to the south. We return to our lodge for lunch. Later in the day, there’s an option to trek further up the Gokyo Valley and enjoy magnificent high altitude lakes and enthralling mountain views. (B)
MARULUNG 4200m via RENJO LA 5417m
We’ll make another early start due to the long day ahead. The trail skirts the northern edge of Dudh Pokhari then ascends steeply over gullies and past rock cairns. It will take about 3 hours to reach Rejo La. The glorious views from the pass include Mt Everest. Descend on stone steps to a lake before coming to a wide trail that heads south down
the Bhote Kosi Valley. Pass yak grazing areas and small settlements to reach our lodge at Marulung. (B)
NAMCHE BAZAAR 3440m
The trail continues to descend the Bhote Kosi Valley. After spending the previous 8 days at altitudes exceeding 4000m, we’ll appreciate the warmer conditions and increased oxygen. After reaching Thame lodge for lunch, we can relax in the afternoon or visit the nearby Buddhist Monastery. Pass through small Sherpa settlements on a well-used trail. Reach Namche by mid-afternoon. (B)
A spare day is always in our Everest itineraries in case of delays. If the trek goes according to plan we take a rest day in Namche. If you have the energy, a side trek to the Sherpa Villages of Kunde and Khumjung is highly recommended. You’ll have the opportunity to visit the famous Kunde Hospital, built and funded by the Himalayan Trust, founded by Sir Edmund Hillary. In Namche itself there are numerous things to do – shopping, visiting the bakery for delicious cakes and pastries, visiting the Sherpa Museum and National Park HQ, watching a movie or playing pool. (B)
The going is easier and more relaxed as we enter the lower altitudes. From Namche the trail descends rapidly to the floor of the Dudh Kosi Valley. We stop for lunch at Phakding, then continue on an easy trail along the floor of the valley before a gradual climb to Lukla. In the evening there’s a special celebration dinner followed by a ceremony to farewell our Nepali trekking crew. (B)
(35mins flying time)
Flying from Lukla to Kathmandu the mountain views are unequalled anywhere else in the world. Met on arrival in Kathmandu and transfer to our Hotel. (B)
Free day to explore Kathmandu. This exciting, vibrant city is a favourite destination for travellers from all over the world. Kathmandu is a giant, living museum of Hindu and Buddhist art with more shrines and temples than anywhere else in the world. Our hotel is located a short walk from the narrow, winding streets of the old city. (B)
You will be transferred to Kathmandu Airport for your onward flight. (B)