This adventure is the classic Everest Base Camp and Kala Pattar trek. The trek includes two important rest days to allow you to acclimatise to the changes in altitude and to do some local exploring. You will be trekking through the homelands of the Sherpa people, among their villages and Buddhist monasteries, with distant views of Everest and neighbouring Ama Dablam, considered by many to be among the most beautiful mountains in Nepal. One rest day is spent at Namche Bazaar, the bustling market town in the heart of the Sherpa country, and the other at Pheriche, a cluster of houses set among the high summer grazing pasture of the region. Without doubt, the highlight for most will be the awe-inspiring views which unfold from the summit of Kala Pattar – the chaotic ice sculptures of the Khumbu Glacier, Nuptse and the south-west face of Everest itself. Each day’s trek is between 5 and 8 hours in duration.
Day 1: London – Kathmandu
Depart London on an overnight flight to Kathmandu.
Day 2: Kathmandu (1400m)
Arrive in Kathmandu and check into our city hotel in time for dinner and a briefing on the week ahead from our Sherpa guide. The historic capital of Nepal, Kathmandu has long captured the imagination of travellers worldwide. It is a living museum, with a unique experience around each corner! Literally hundreds of Hindu temples sit alongside Buddhist stupas and Tibetan monasteries, with their evocative prayer flags flapping in the breeze. (D)
Day 3: Kathmandu
Enjoy a guided day of sightseeing around Kathmandu. (BLD)
Day 4: Kathmandu – Lukla – Phakding (2656m) 3-4 hours
Fly with our guide to Lukla this morning, landing on a steep mountain runway which sets the scene for our forthcoming trek! We will meet our assistant guide and our porters. We then head up the Dudh Koshi Valley on a well-marked trail and then stay overnight in a lodge in Phakding. (BLD)
Day 5: Phakding – Namche (3450m) 6-7 hours
From Phakding, we cross and re-cross the river on a series of high suspension bridges. Beyond Monjo is the entrance to the Sagarmatha National Park, set-up in order to protect and preserve the fragile mountain environment. We then take a steep hike to Namche where, if the weather is clear, we catch our first glimpse of Mt Everest. Namche is the main trading village in the Khumbu and has a busy Saturday market – a meeting place for the Hindu traders from the lowlands and the Tibetan yak caravans that have crossed the glaciated Nangpa La. Overnight at a lodge. (BLD)
Day 6: Namche (acclimatisation day)
A day at rest to acclimatise to the altitude before continuing to trek higher. Perhaps visit Khunde Hospital, set-up by Sir Edmund Hillary, or take a gentle one hour walk up to the Everest View Hotel above Namche for the sunset view of Ama Dablam, Nuptse, Lhotse and Everest. Overnight at a lodge. (BLD)
Day 7: Namche – Tengboche (3867m) 5-6 hours
From Namche, the trail contours on to the side of the valley, high above the Dudh Kosi where we get our first really good views of the great peaks of the Khumbu. Passing by several villages and numerous tea shops, we then descend steeply to a bridge over the river at Phunki Tenga. The village is an ideal stopover for lunch and a rest before making the steep climb to Tengboche. Although the hike up the zigzag path is tiring, you’ll enjoy the beautiful sight of rhododendron bushes with beautiful birds and superb mountain scenery. Tengboche is famous for its legendary monastery, the largest in the Khumbu. Overnight at a lodge. (BLD)
Day 8: Tengboche – Pheriche (4252m) 6-7 hours
We descend downhill through a forest, cross the Imja Khola and climb steadily to the village of Pangboche. This village is directly opposite Ama Dablam [6,856 m], and has exceptional views of the mountain, with the gompa, mani walls and scattered pine trees in the foreground. A further two hours walk brings us to Pheriche. Overnight at a lodge. (BLD)
Day 9: Pheriche (acclimatisation day)
Another day for rest and acclimatization. Perhaps wander up the valley to look at the Tshola Tsho Lake and the perpendicular walls of Cholatse and Tawache. You could also climb up onto the ridge overlooking Dingboche for a view of the Imja Valley and the incredible south face of Mt.Lhotse. Overnight at a lodge. (BLD)
Day 10: Pheriche – Lobuche (4930m) 5-6 hours
We continue up the wide valley beneath the impressive peaks of Cholatse and Tawache on the left, and then turn right and take a steep climb towards the foot of the Khumbu Glacier. The tea house at Duglha is a good spot to have lunch. The trail then zigzags up through the boulders of the glacier’s terminal moraine. The path then climbs gently along the glacier, to eventually reach the cluster of houses at Lobuche. Overnight at a lodge. (BLD)
Day 11: Lobuche – Kala Pattar (5545m) – Gorak Shep (5184m) 6-7 hours
To reach our next stop, Kala Pattar, we follow the Khumbu Glacier. The trail offers superb views of the surrounding mountains, especially where the path is forced to rise to cross a tributary glacier. We make our way to the top of one of the finest viewpoints in the Everest region, Kala Pattar (5545m). As the light begins to fade we stroll back to our base at Gorak Shep and have an early night in preparation for our trek to Everest Base Camp the following day. Overnight at a lodge. (BLD)
Day 12: Trek to Everest Base Camp (5357m) 7-8 hours
A very early start is required to reach the Everest Base Camp. It takes several hours as the trail weaves its way through ice pinnacles and past the crevasses of the Khumbu Glacier. On the return leg, we can take a higher route to get a spectacular view of the Khumbu ice-fall and the route to the South Col. We return to either Gorak Shep or Lobuche, depending on timings. Overnight at a lodge. (BLD)
Day 13: Trek to Pangboche (3985m) 6-7 hours
Today’s trek is mostly downhill. As we retrace our steps to Duglha and descend to Pheriche, we arrive at The Himalayan Rescue Association, a trekkers’ aid post and worth a visit. After lunch we cross the Khumbu Khola on a wooden suspension bridge and follow the Imja Khola to the village of Pangboche. Overnight at a lodge. (BLD)
Day 14: Pangboche – Namche (3450m) 6-7 hours
We continue to follow the river and, after crossing it, climb back up through birch and rhododendron forest to Tengboche. Kwangde, Tawache, Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse, Ama Dablam, Kantega and Thamserku are just a few of the Himalayan giants to be seen. From Tengboche we descend to the bridge over the Dudh Kosi. At Phunki Tenga, see the water driven prayer wheels, before making our way back to Namche. Overnight at a lodge. (BLD)
Day 15: Namche – Lukla (2800m) 6-7 hours
Our final day’s trekking follows the Dudh Kosi down to Lukla. Overnight at a lodge. (BLD)
Day 16: Lukla – Kathmandu
Pack up early and head for the airstrip for the flight back to Kathmandu. The rest of the day is at leisure. Overnight at a hotel. (BLD)
Day 17: Depart Kathmandu
Transfer to the airport for the flight home. (B)
N.B. This itinerary may change due to unusual weather patterns, wildlife movements, the ability of the group and so on. We will do our best to keep to the set itinerary however we cannot be held responsible for changes that might occur outside of our control. In all such circumstances your guide and tour leader will have the final say in the interest of the health and safety of the group.
Download the 2013 dossier on this project.
NOTE: The Youth Cancer Trust uses Different Travel to organise challenges on its behalf.
The Different Travel Company Ltd is ATOL bonded, number 6706.