April 6 – 24, 2016
From Kathmandu, Nepal
Overview: Here is the chance for an unforgettable adventure to the Khumbu (Everest) region of Nepal. Here you can easily see many 8000 meter peaks other than Mount Everest. Experienced travelers always tell us that the views in this region are more beautiful than anywhere else in the world. The Everest trek sets the standard! Khumbu is a land of magnificent mountains and ancient Sherpa culture. We travel to the Everest region in the company of our small group (limited to eight participants) while staying in locally owned lodges or tea-houses. Many people enjoy this opportunity to get to know the local Sherpa people in a meaningful way. In addition we visit the famous local market of Namche Bazaar and some beautiful monasteries most famous being the one at Tengboche.
Leadership: The Lower Everest Trek Leader is Ambar "Salia" Tamang from Solu Khumbu. His nickname, "Saila", means 'third son' in Nepali. About 34 years old, Saila is married with one son. He lives in Kathmandu with his family and helps support his two younger brothers who are still in college. His parents live in the small village of Tapting, where many of our staff come from — so remote that it's not even mentioned in most maps! Saila started in the trekking world as a kitchen helper, quickly promoted to cook and joined our staff in 1999. Since then, he has completed Guide Training and has taken classes in English and First Aid. His English is accented but easy to understand.
Everest Spring Day-To-Day Itinerary Detail:
Day 2: Enjoy guided sightseeing in the Kathmandu Valley. Places of interest include the Hindu temples and ghats of Pasupatinath and the nearby Buddhist stupa at Bodhnath. Ghats are steps leading up from a river. There are bathing ghats where people wash themselves and their clothes. Burning ghats are where Hindus cremate dead bodies in readiness for disposal in the river. There is also an important Shiva temple at Pashupatinath. Shiva is the great destroyer and creator God of the Hindu religion.
Day 3: Flight to Lukla and trek to Phakding. The flight is spectacular. From Lukla, the trail descends and we soon join the trail coming from the road at Jiri. We continue north through Choplung, a newly built town, and past the tributary of Kusum Khola. The beautiful peak at its head is Kusum Kangguru, which means "pure mountain house of the three Gods." From the tea shop where we rest, the individual peaks of Kusum Kangguru dominate the sky. We then continue through the village of Ghat. You can see evidence of the landslide and flood caused by an earthquake years ago — the remains of the destroyed village lie on the other side of the river. The trail, which before the earthquake used to cross the river in Ghat, now continues on the east bank to the village of Phakding. In Phakding we spend our first night of trekking at a cozy, local guest house. Approximate hiking time: 3-4 hours. Climb: 500 feet. Distance: 5 miles. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 4: Trek to Namche Bazaar. We cross the suspension bridge over the Dudh Khosi and continue through blue pine and rhododendron forests to the village of Benkar. We continue up the Dudh Kosi for a short amble to Mondzo and then another brief jaunt to Jorsale. Here the trail crosses a large suspension bridge. We cross the Dudh Kosi (9,325 feet) one final time on a new bridge and then begin an abrupt 2,000 foot ascent towards Namche Bazaar.
Day 5: Rest Day in Namche. In the morning we'll do some shopping at the colorful and interesting Saturday Market at Namche Bazaar. Tourism keeps the town thriving as you'll find at the market. Along with various local goods, once again allowed to be brought in from Tibet, you'll find western goods, such as chocolate bars and toilet paper, that are resold in the lodges and small shops. This is a good time to stock up on snacks for the trek! You may desire to rest or visit the headquarters of the Sagarmatha National Park, perched on the hill to the east. There, you'll find a museum and fabulous panoramic views of Everest and surrounding peaks.
Day 6: We'll continue today to Kunde and Khumjung. The trail that winds through Namche and beyond requires one to two hours, depending on how people feel — while short, it is a steep climb. Kunde is at 12,600 feet and is the site of the Kunde Hospital, built by the Himalayan Trust established by Sir Edmund Hillary. Khumjung is located at 12,400 feet and the home of a famous local Sherpa artist. These smaller villages provide a chance to see how Sherpa people live. Approximate hiking time: 2 hours. Climb: 1,500 feet. Distance: 2 miles. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 7: From Kunde and Khumjung we climb for about two hours. At the crest of the trail (13,000 feet) we discover a stupa symbolizing the five elements: The base stands for the earth, the dome for water, the parasols for fire, the moon and sun for air, the flame on top for ether (the upper regions of space). Building a chorten involves numerous rituals and ceremonies. Often they are built to obtain merit for the deceased. For example, one of HHT's guides built a chorten in his village honoring his father who had died a few years before. Descending sharply, our trail approaches the river. We follow the path to Phortse (across the river) and continue our journey northward. We cross below silent, frozen waterfalls and meander through deep, moss-covered woods, occasionally glimpsing Musk Deer. Emerging from the woods, the trail passes several yak herder summer huts including Tongba, Gyele and Dole (13,400 feet). Nearby, we will spend the night. Approximate hiking time: 6 hours. Climb: 3,700 feet. Distance: 10 miles. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 8: Trek to Macherma. Our hike today is an easy amble. We climb gradually, moving up the river valley passing Lhabarma and Luza to reach Macherma (14,650 feet). We have plenty of time and could go further, but at our lofty altitude it's best not to climb further. In the afternoon we can enjoy a short hike up a pretty glacial valley, climb 3,250 feet up to a perch on Macherma Peak for exciting views of Mt. Everest... or we can have an option to simply relax! Approximate hiking time: 3 hours. Climb: 1,700 feet. Distance: 4 miles. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 9: Trek to Gokyo. We climb steeply out of the village, then continue gradually climbing up through Pangka (14,925 feet). Before descending to follow along a glacial river, our trail crosses the river to emerge at a the first of several small lakes. We may catch a glimpse of the golden ducks who live on the high alpine lakes above 14,000 feet. We continue past a second lake to a third and to the village of Gokyo (15,720 feet) on its eastern shore. Tonight we stay at a comfy resort. Later, we can hike up to a small ridge overlooking the Ngozumpa Glacier. One of the enjoyable experiences of the day is to spend time relaxing and absorbing the beauty of the glacier. Warmed by the sun, the ice seems to change before your eyes — cracking and crumbling. Approximate hiking time: 6 hours. Climb: 1,700 feet. Distance: 7 miles. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 10: Climb Gokyo Ri. For truly breathtking panoramic views including Cho Oyu, Everest, Lhotse and beyond to Makalu, we'll travel northeast — ascending the summit of Gokyo Ri (17,990 feet). Approximate. hiking time: 4-5 hours. Climb: 2,700 feet. Distance: 2 miles. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 11: Descending from Gokyo. Rather than follow the trail back to Macherma, we'll choose a path less-traveled. This trail is a beautiful, desolate route perched high above a ravine. We cover a lot of ground with Thamserku (21,675 feet) and Kangtega (21,925 feet) directly in front of us. We soon reach Phortse (12,467 feet), a spot where we'll spend the night. Approximate hiking time: 7-8 hours. Climb: 1,800 feet. Descend: 4,800 feet. Distance: 10 miles. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 12: Trek to Dingboche. From Phortse we amble a high trail above the Imja Khola. In a few hours we approach the village of Pangboche (12,800 feet). The Gompa (Buddhist monastery) is the oldest in Khumbu and an interesting one to visit. We continue our route northeast along the Imja Khola, to a mani wall at about 13,725 feet, where our trail divides. We'll follow the trail toward the village of Dingboche (14,270), where we spend the night. This route offers a chance to see the Chukhung Valley with a stunning panorama of Nuptse, Lhotse and Ama Dablam. Approximate hiking time: 7-8 hours. Climb: 3,360 feet. Distance: 10 miles. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 13: Trek to Lobuche. From Dingboche our route follows a ridge with great views. At first, we reach a crest, then descend to cross a glacial stream and finally ascend to Dugla (15,075 feet). The trail then steers away to Lobuche (16,175 feet). A climb up the ridge to the west, rewards us with magical views — especially at sunset. Approximate hiking time: 3-4 hours. Climb: 2,700 feet. Distance: 5 miles. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 14: Day hike from Lobuche. We make an early start for our three mile hike to Gorak Shep (17,000 feet). From there, it's all uphill to the summit of Kala Pattar (18,450 feet). Views from Kala Pattar include Everest Base Camp and Mount Everest. We have a close view of the Ice Fall and the South Col. Kala Pattar ("Black Rock") is a spur of Pumori, a beautiful peak whose Tibetan name means "Daughter Peak." If time permits, we might be able to visit Everest Base Camp. Otherwise, we still get a good view of it from Kala Pattar. Approximate hiking time: 7-8 hours. Climb: 3,000 feet. Distance: 8 miles. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 15: Trek to Thangboche. We return through Pheriche Village, home of a medical clinic run by the Himalayan Rescue Association. We then follow the Imja Khoala down to Pangboche. After crossing the river, we make a short climb up to our pleasant lodge, situated just below Thangboche at about 12,400 feet. Approximate hiking time: 7-8 hours. Descent: 4,000 feet. Distance: 10 miles. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 16: Trek to Jorsale. The famous Thangboche monastery is found on a saddle under the mighty Kangtega and Thamserku mountains — a short climb up from our guest house. Much of the gompa was destroyed in the fire of 1989 and has been rebuilt. We plan to visit the gompa and the Sherpa Cultural Center. From Thangboche, the trail descends through a rhododendron forest to the small village of Pungo Tengo. Here we find several mills and a series of water-driven prayer wheels. Later, the trail ascends to join another adjacent to some large boulders (11,800 feet). From here, the trail contours high above the Dudh Kosi and past the park headquarters. Retracing our steps, we descend steeply through Namche and down 2000 feet on good trail tothe village of Jorsale (9,100 feet). Approximate hiking time: 7-8 hours. Climb: 2,000 feet. Descent: 4,000 feet. Distance: 10 miles. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 17: Trek to Lukla. We follow the Dudh Kosi until we reach Choplung and continue to a small ridge. Passing a trail junction, we ascend to reach Lukla (9,350 feet). Lukla means "place with many goats and sheep," but it might be renamed "place with many trekkers waiting for a plane". Bad weather here can cause delays of several days. Weather permitting, your stay here will only be overnight! Approximate hiking time: 5-6 hours. Climb: 1,000 feet. Descent: 1000 feet. Distance: 9 miles. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 18: Fly to Kathmandu. After a short yet spectacular flight, we make our return from Lukla to Kathmandu. Free time in the afternoon allows for relaxing and showering. Be sure to leave your laundry at the front desk so you can take home some clean clothes! Dinner is also on your own with good neighborhood restaurants. Some of the favorite restaurant choices include Nepali Kitchen (Nepalese Food), Third Eye Restaurant (Indian Food), The Yak (snacks and Tibetan food) and KC's (westerners favorites) and the Pumpernickel Bakery. (Breakfast, Lunch)
Day 19: Depart from Kathmandu. There may be a few hours this morning for last minute shopping and a farewell garden brunch. We strongly suggest booking a late afternoon or evening departure time today — flight delays from Lukla are frequently possible! Option: It is also inexpensive for us to arrange an additional evening accommodation and airport transfer for a morning deaprture tomorrow. The cost would be additional but is very affordable and might accommodate your airiline schedule. Another option many travelers enjoy, is to stay in Nepal several extra days to enjoy a jungle safari in Chitwan National Park!
Post Trip: A day filled with wonderful memories of new faces and places you'll never forget!
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: Reliable service to Nepal is available on Thai Airlines and other carriers. If you are making your own arrangements, please note that you must arrive in Kathmandu no later than April 6, 2016 and that you should not depart earlier than April 24, 2016. Ask us about booking a room should you have an overnight stopover along the way.
The Everest Spring Nepal Trek • Administrative Details:
(+) Land Cost (land cost as itinerary has described):
(+) In-Trip Airfare Estimate (air during itinerary program):
(=) Total Program Cost (Land & In-Trip Air costs combined):
Trip Deposit (submit with application):
Single Supplement (optional single accommodation):
Maximum Group Size:
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.
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.
February 6, 2016 ($100USD late fee thereafter)
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