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Nepal's Lower Everest • Post-earthquake Relief Trek
September 20 – October 3, 2015
From Kathmandu, Nepal
This trip will be presented again in Spring 2016 (date TBA).
Let us know if you are interested!

 Overview: Join us on this beautiful trek to a hidden region lower than the Everest Base Camp trek. This seldom–visited area is the homeland of our trekking staff and climbing guides. This short trek (two weeks, September 20 – October 3, 2015) holds excellent views of many 8000–meter peaks, including Mount Everest. The hiking is considered moderate and reaches 11,500 feet, with an optional climb to the Pikey Peak summit at 13,333 feet.

After surveying local heritage sites to determine the extent of damage we will have a unique volunteer opportunity to assist villagers with reconstruction efforts. As an alternative to the summit climb, those who prefer can stay on in Lumsa Village and assist with efforts there and at a nearby, damaged school. Those who opt to remain at Lumsa with our assistant guide Ang Furi Sherpa will become part of the community and homestay in the village while others trek to the heights of Pikey Peak. The two groups rejoin later before returning together as a unit to Kathmandu.

Leadership: The Lower Everest Trek Leader is Amber Tamang. Amber is from a small village in Nepal's Solu Khumbu region — so small it's not on most maps! He researches Himalayan culture and religion and has published articles in Nepali and English. Amber began guiding with Himalayan High Treks in 1995, introducing trekkers to the wonders of Nepal, Tibet and India. He is now a group leader and Nepal Manager. Those who've traveled with him praise his patience, kindness and articulate English as he enthusiastically describes Himalayan mountain culture and Buddhist people. Amber and his family live in Kathmandu.

Lower Everest Day-To-Day Itinerary Detail:

Pre Trip Days: In transit from your home (those in the Americas lose one day when crossing the international date line). Fly to arrive in Kathmandu, changing planes in Bangkok, Delhi, Hong Kong or Singapore. Your group leader will meet your arrival flight at the Tribhuvan airport in Kathmandu (elevation 4,428 feet). They must wait for you outside the airport building, so we meet you after you get your visa, collect your luggage and pass through Nepal customs on your own.

Day 1: Arrival day in Kathmandu, Nepal (4,423 feet). Your guide will meet your flight at the Tribhuvan Airport in Kathmandu — waiting for you outside the customs hall after you get your visa, collect your luggage and pass through Nepal customs on your own. You will soon transfer to a delightful smaller guest house found in the Thamel neighborhood of Kathmandu, offering comfortable rooms with attached bathrooms (good hot showers), telephones, email, laundry service, a free safety deposit box and luggage storage. Many of our guests tell us they enjoy the hotel's location as well as friendly staff.

Later today, enjoy sightseeing of the Buddhist stupa of Swayambhunath and tonight, enjoy a traditional Nepalese dinner. After a busy day of sightseeing or just to rest from jet lag, you can always relax in the garden or on the roof while enjoying the fine views of the surrounding mountains and city skyline. (Dinner)

Day 2: Kathmandu. Guided sightseeing by car to visit highlights of the Kathmandu Valley. Places of interest include the Hindu temples and the burning ghats of Pashupatinath, on the holy Bagmati River as well as the nearby Bodhnath Stupa (partially damaged by the earthquake). Visit Durbar Square with its old palaces — home to the living goddess, Kumari. Your sightseeing trip will finish early so you can rest and relax in the garden or rooftop, enjoying views of the surrounding mountains and city skyline. (Breakfast, Lunch)

Day 3: In Kathmandu. Enjoy a free day in Kathmandu for some shopping or just sightseeing on your own. This would be a good time to check your own gear and make sure you have everything you might need for the trek. If you need to rent a sleeping bag or buy any gear, for example, our friendly staff is available to help you and offer suggestions. (Breakfast)

Day 4: Fly to Phaplu (8,100 feet) and trek to Kunekhop. Our flight generally departs at 10 AM with a 35 minute flight time to Phaplu. Phaplu is near Salleri, headquarters of Solu Khumbu district. Beginning at Phaplu, our trek will pass Salleri, descend to Solu Khola (river) and then, a gentle uphill portion takes us to the village of Kunekhop (7,800 feet). Hiking time 3-4 hours. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 5: Kunekhop to Janapriya School. Soon after we leave the village we trek uphill through a dense pine forest to arrive at Somdung pass at around 9500 feet. Through the pine forest views of the Mt. Everest and other peaks are visible. From the pass we descend down to Janapriya School via the village of Gora and Tsewar. Janapriya village school has great grounds for camping near the river. Hiking time 7-8 hours. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 6: A day at Jana Priya School. Jana Priya School is the only government–sponsored school in this poor area of Solu Khumbu. HHT has provided support for the school for many years as well, providing materials and books. Jana Priya's two buildings (containing seven classrooms) were severely damaged in the earthquake of April 2015. The HHT Staff fund and the Himalayan Education Development Project, helped build their first community library here. HHT continues its support, purchasing books and supplies, keeping the library active. Lumsa, the village where the Jana Priya is located, is home to many of our staff including Nepal Manager Amber Tamang, guides Ambar, KB (Mount Everest summitter), Ang Furi and others — past students of Jana Priya School!

Our village staff expects that, on this date, the damaged school will be under reconstruction, funded in part by the HHT staff fund. Other sites, such as a local monastery, a nearby stupa and several homes are also badly in need of rebuilding and reconstruction will be happening there as well. An opportunity exists, during this time of reconstruction, for our trekkers (you) to actually to be part of this rebuilding project by providing physical help — based on your interest and ability. Construction skills aren't necessary and there is no obligation. But if you can help contribute with work, large or small, you can actually become a part of this valued community project. You can interact with teachers and students, distributing books and supplies; paint a wall, help cook or serve tea and snacks or help move items etc. Spend the evening with villagers and students to get a real taste of rural Nepal village life. Read more below about the option in this program to remain in the village several days to offer help or to trek to Pikey Peak as you'd like. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 7: Lumsa Village (8,200 feet). Today, we hike to the village center, about 30 minutes (one mile) from Jana Priya School. In Lumsa, HHT provided emergency tarps following the devistating April earthquake — many houses nearby were destroyed or uninhabitable. We have also sponsored the construction of Pema Choye Ling Gompa, a community Buddhist monastery (we hope the work will be in its final stages at the time you arive).

Again you have the opportunity to be part of construction effort — always based on your interest and ability. The village also has a damaged stupa and crumbling stone mani wall which our staff is helping to repair — rocks carved with Buddhist mantras or designs placed along the trails. Creating and carving mani stones is a traditional art in throughout the Himalayan region.

Enjoy a very unique opportunity at the end of the day, to join in local discussions, casually meeting with village teachers and villagers in the evening while enjoying popular local drinks such as Chhaang (the local barley beer) as well as the famous salt tea of the Himalayan people. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Program Options:

On Day 8 of this itinerary, participants have two options for how they would like to spend the remaining time during this program:

Option 1: Trek as described below for Days 8 through 10, hiking to Pikey Peak and on to Jhapre.

Option 2: Remain in Lumsa Village for several more days and continue to actively participate in village reconstruction efforts. Your help is entirely voluntary and is based on your own interest and ability to help. Assistance can take many forms: helping to move items (construction items, rocks, furniture) as needed, helping to paint, distribute food and assist with labor as one can. As this construction is ongoing, it's hard to specifically predict what assistance might be needed at the time we are there, but needs will exist at Pema Choye Ling Gumba Monastery, a nearby damaged stupa as well as at several homes. It is an opportunity for you to actually be a physical part of rebuilding the heart of a village and having a direct effect on those who call Lumsa home. If you have a skill, a desire to help or ability to share, this is a chance to actually do that and become a real part of Lumsa Village history.

One of our guides, Ang Furi Sherpa, will remain in Lumsa to coordinate volunteer efforts as well as to help arrange short hikes in the area. Evenings at Lumsa will also be spent in a pleasant community atmosphere for dinner and spirited games. Overnights will be homestays with village families. Here is a real opportunity to immerse yourself in real village life in rural Nepal.

Later, on Day 10, our assistance group in Lumsa, will make a departure hike (about three miles) to Jhapre, where the entire group will rejoin that evening and continue together the next day to Pattale (Day 11 of this itinerary) and on to Kathmandu on Day 12.

Let us know if you have any questions
about the available options of this trip!

Day 8: Trek to Dhimil (9,600 feet). From Lumsa village we gradually descend to a valley stream (Dhimil Khola) and make a gradual uphill climb on the other side to Dhimil Village. Our trek is short today and we'll reach Dhimil by lunchtime.

Dhimil, across the valley from Lumsa, is the last village before we reach Pikey Peak Base Camp. It is home to some 30 families, all of them Sherpas. Hiking time is two to three hours, about three miles. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 9: To Pikey Peak Base Camp. From Dhimil, our trail climbs to a high ridge and grazing pastures where we find a main trail used by yak herders to lead their flocks from the alpine area of Lamje.

Once we meet this trail, our hiking becomes easier, walking along the ridgeline until we reach an uphill section, for a final push to Pikey Peak Base Camp at 11,500 feet. Here we'll enjoy fine views of nearby villages, old monuments, stone mani wall (prayer) walls, stupas and an old cheese factory — all set against an amazing, snow–capped panorama of the Himalayas, including Mount Everest! Trek time is four to five hours, about seven miles. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 10: Ascend Pikey Peak and trek to Jhapre (9,250 feet). Pikey Peak, at 13,333 feet, is a holy mountain and the area's highest summit where you can relish the panoramic Himalaya — with Mount Everst to the northeast, Mount Kanchanjunga to the far east and the Langtang region to the west. For those who wish to summit Pikey Peak, we will depart before breakfast for the 1,833 foot, one hour plus trek to the top. We will have breakfast on our return and our crew will be packing to continue our trek to Jhapre.

From Pikey Peak Base Camp we retrace the trail from Dhimil for the first hour and then follow along the Lamje Danda ridgeline on yak herder trails, where, along the way, we enjoy excellent mountain vistas. This moderate walk will lead us to Bhul Bhule settlement and to a Tea House where we will enjoy a hot lunch. Then it's onward to Jhapre Village. Trekking time is six hours, about eight miles. Our group members who remained at Lumsa Village on Day 7, will depart Lumsa at 10 AM and hike three miles (about two to three hours) from Lumsa to join us where the reunited group will overnight at a Tea House. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 11: Dhikure School and trek to Pattale (9,250 feet). From Jhapre, it's a 30–minute walk to Dhikure Village School. The HHT staff fund provided modified dining tents which were converted into classrooms for a temporary school, allowing classes to resume after the school building was damaged by the April earthquake. We won't have time to help here, but we can observe the reconstruction work in progress. After our visit to Dhikure School, our ridgeline trekking continues as we pass the village of Singane to reach Pattalle. Again, the trail is moderate today with little uphill climb. Hiking time seven hours, about six miles. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 12: Pattalle to Kathmandu. Our transport awaits to return us to Kathmandu after breakfast. Say farewell to the staff as the vehicle is loaded. We'll travel on a recently–built road from this remote countryside to the city. Total drive time is 8–12 hours. (Breakfast, Lunch)

Day 13: Final free day to relax, shop and explore. In the evening enjoy a farewell dinner. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Day 14: Transfer to the airport and depart for home. (Breakfast)

Important Note: This is meant only as a general guide to the schedule of our days. Changes can be made as we go along, based on local conditions, acclimatization, health and fitness levels, etc. Ascents and descents listed in this itinerary are approximate totals of daily ups and downs. The exact amount will vary considerably and is impossible to measure accurately. The times and elevations given here are rounded off. Please bear in mind that this is a long and strenuous trek.

Travel Details: If you are making your own arrangements, note that you must arrive in Kathmandu no later than September 20, 2015 and that you should not depart earlier than October 3, 2015. You are welcome to arrive early or stay for extra days at the end. We can arrange additional nights at any of our hotels or guest houses for you (with comfortable deluxe rooms with attached bathrooms, telephones, room service, laundry service, a free safety deposit box and ample luggage storage). There is internet access at the guest house. Safe airport pickup for early arrivals is available at a low cost. Please refer to the booking information section of our application form for more information.

Lower Everest Post-earthquake Relief Trek • Administrative Details:

(+) Land Cost (land cost as itinerary has described):


(+) In-Trip Airfare Estimate (air during itinerary program):

+  $140USD

(=) Total Program Cost (Land & In-Trip Air costs combined):


Trip Deposit (submit with application):


Single Supplement (optional single accommodation):


Maximum Group Size:

Eight Participants

Other Cost & Need Considerations:

Passport, Visa(s), Physicians Visit, Emergency Medical & Evacuation Insurance, Travel to/from Kathmandu, Meals Beyond Above Itinerary, Beverages, Spending/Personal Money.

Trip Activity–Level:

Moderate: Usually involves hiking an average of four to six hours each day — with some trekking time being spent at high altitude. Accommodations consist of evenings spent at tea or guest houses and tent camping along the trail.

Registration Deadline Extended!:

Contact Us ($100USD late fee thereafter)

The Lower Everest Trek Printable Itinerary:

The Lower Everest Post-earthquake Relief Trek

Printable Trip Application:

Himalayan High Treks Printable Application

Online (Instant) Lower Everest Application:

Lower Everest Online (Instant) Application

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