Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu – 1,300m/4,264 ft
Upon your arrival in the Kathmandu airport (KTM) you will be greeted by a representative from Mountain Leaders Treks. After completing your custom formalities (Visa, etc) pick up your luggage and look for our representative with a Mountain Leaders Treks display board at the arrival gate. You will be then transferred to Hotel. After check in, you can either take a rest, hang around in the city, visit our office; it all depends upon your interests and condition. In the evening we will organize a “Welcome Dinner” at an excellent traditional Nepalese Restaurant where you will enjoy a Nepalese cultural program as well as a fine meal. Included meal: Dinner (D)
Note: B refers to Breakfast, L refers to Lunch and D refers to Dinner
Day 2: Kathmandu: Sightseeing and Trek Preparation
Today after breakfast we will start a guided tour to several of the most historical and spiritual attractions in Kathmandu. Some of these landmarks are considered World Heritage Sites; including the historic Durbar Square, the sacred Hindu temple of Pashupati Nath, the famous ‘Monkey Temple’ (Swayambunath) and Buddhists shrine (Buddha Nath) which is one of the large Stupas in the world. In the afternoon, there will be a pre-trip discussion where we can meet our trek leader, other crew and other participants of this trek. Mountain Leaders briefs us regarding our trek and further provides the
opportunity to ask any questions we may have regarding our upcoming adventure. Included meal: Breakfast (B)
Day 3: Kathmandu – Lukla [2840 m/9320] – Phakding [2,652m/8,700ft]: 40 minutes flight, 3 – 4 hrs trek (Trekking times only)
Upon our early breakfast, we will be escorted to the domestic terminal of Kathmandu Airport for an early morning flight to Lukla (2,800m/9,186ft), a gateway destination from where our trek begins. After an adventurous 40 minute flight above the breathtaking green and white mountains, we reach the Tenzing-Hillary Airport at Lukla. This is one of the most beautiful air routes in the world culminating in a dramatic landing on a hillside surrounded by high mountains peaks. Upon arrival at Lukla, we meet our other crew members and after some packing and arrangements, we start our trek through the
prosperous village of Lukla until we reach Phakding. To assist in acclimatization, we only have a short hike today. However, if interested in additional activities we can take a side trip to a nearby monastery. Night in Phakding at hotel. Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner (B,L,D)
Day 4: Phakding – Namche Bazaar [3440 m/11,280 ft]: 5 – 6 hrs trek
Today’s our trek starts in the morning after breakfast. The walk today is pleasant with few short uphill and downhill with multiple crossings over Dudh Koshi River and magnificent view of Mt. Thamserku (6,608m/21,675ft) from the Benkar village. We cross more bridges and reach entrance of Sagarmatha National Park at Monjo, where our trekking permits are checked in order to keep record of trekkers and local trekking staffs as well. A descend and a gradual walk brings us to Jorsale, the last village until Namche Bazaar.
The walk is enjoyable through the river bed and we reach Hillary Suspension Bridge. Now, as we climb up hill towards Namche Bazzar, closer and magnificent sight of Kwangde Peak, its sister peaks, Kusum Kangaru, Mt. Everest, Lhotse, Tawache, and many other fabulous mountains will be viewed closely. We stop at Chautara to admire the view. Finally, we reach the colorful village of Namche Bazzar, the main gateway of Khumbu region. Overnight in Namche Bazzar. (B, L, D).
Day 5: Acclimatization Day – Namche Bazaar
This is the first of the three scheduled “acclimatization” days. Health experts always recommend us to stay active and moving during the rest days instead of being idle. We either spend the day taking a day hike to Thame or visiting Khunde or relaxing and exploring Namche Bazaar itself. If we trek a few hundred vertical feet during the day, it will help us to properly acclimatize. Our guides will take us to the Tourist Visitor Center near the headquarter of the Sagarmatha National Park where we can observe an assortment of things related to the first Everest ascenders, Sherpa culture and learn about the various plant and animal life of the Everest region. Namche Bazzar is the main centre of the Everest (Khumbu) region and has government offices, ATMs, Internet cafes, shops, restaurants, a bakery and a colorful market each Friday evening and Saturday. If we trek a few hundred vertical feet during the day, it will help us to properly acclimatize. Overnight in Namche Bazaar. (B,L)
Day 6: Namche Bazzar to Thame [3800m/12470ft]: 4 – 5 hrs
After breakfast, we come out of Namche Bazar east past the monastery and begin with a short uphill trek. On the left we have the Kongde Ri (6187 m) and the river that flows down into a ravine. On the right is the rocky Khumbi Yul La (5765 m) and behind us is clearly visible on Kusum Kanguru (6,373m). After an hour walking mostly downhill into the forest, the trip continues. At this juncture, the steep rise up about 50m in altitude to reach a ridge around it. The river bed becomes closer and wider.
We reach the village of Phorte and then the small town of Samde along the stretch halfway up a slight slope leading to the bridge over the Bhote Koshi (3650 m). Cross it and about a half hour climb brings us to Thame. (B,L,D)
Day 7: Thame to Marulung (4210m/13810ft): 5 – 6 hrs
If the sky is clear, we will see the beautiful peaks that gaurd the village to the west. We take our breakfast and head for the next camp towards Marlung. The terrain from Thame to Marlung is alpine zone and there is very less vegetation. We enjoy the peace and relative solitude of this little trekked valley. We next bend around the village of Tangmote. After about an hour, we walk parallel to the village of Yellajung on the other side of the Bhote Koshi. We pass by the Tarngga village enjoying superb views of Kongde Ri as we look down the trail. A further 45 minutes or so on a gradually rising trail brings us to Marlung. (B,L,D)
Day 8: Marlung to Lungden (4380m/14370): 2 – 3 hrs
It is a short walk today from Marlung to Lungden. After Marlung, we walk for about an hour and then climb a small rasing hill. Upon crossing the water stream we trek 2 to 3 hours to reach Lungdeng. (B,L,D)
Day 9: Lungden Exploration Day ( Bhote Koshi Valley)
The excursion around Lungden (Bhote Koshi Valley) will provide you the views of Everest Himalayan Range, Makalu, Tengi Ragi Tau, Rolwaling Range, and Gyachung Kang. Including that you will experience unique Sherpa Culture along the trail. In the excursion from Lungden you will be visiting the local village, hiking up the near by hills for spectacular views of the mountains and topography. Later hike back to Lungden and have proper rest for tomorrow’s trek that will leads over Renjopass . Overnight at teahouse lodge.
Day 10: Lungden – Renjopass [5360m/17580ft]-Gokyo [4800 m/15,744 ft]: 8 – 9 hrs
As we hike further to the top of Renjo La, we get the outstanding views of the surrounding. The Everest itself, Lhotse, Cholatse and Taboche can be seen shining in the sun. Views from Renjo La are much like that from Gokyo Ri with third Gokyo Lake and Gokyo Village beneath the gray smear of Ngozumpa Glacier. We walk further to Gokyo through the glacier. An easy walking down brings us to Gokyo. (B,L,D)
Day 11: Gokyo – Hike to Gokyo Ri [5357 m/17,570 ft]
Today we rest and acclimatize at Gokyo while explore the fifth lake passing another forth lake. At this juncture, we enjoy the great views of Mt. Everest and Cho-Oyu. If the weather is good, we grasp the opportunity to climb Gokyo Ri today instead of next day to enjoy the scene from the best viewpoint of Everest Region. Moreover, Gokyo is not only popular for its grand view from Gokyo Peak but also for the six lakes which it hosts. Definitely we would not miss the chance to observe the fourth (Thonak Tsho) and fifth lakes (Ngozuma Tsho). If interested, we climb on a hill at the edge of the Lakes to get astounding views of Cho-Oyu, Gyachung Kang, Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, and Makulu. Hiking up to Gokyo Ri rewards breathtaking views of sunrise over the Himalayas. Upon exploring the Gokyo Ri area, we get back to the camp for rest. We enjoy the feeling of being surrounded by panoramic mountains like Kusum Kanguru, Thamserku, K 43, Kangtega, Taboche, Cholatse, Makalu, Lhotse, Nuptse, Everest, Changtse, and Pumori. (B,L,D)
Day 12: Gokyo to Thaknak [4750 m/15,580 ft]: 5 – 6 hrs
Today, we are on the trail to Thaknak. Thaknak is also sometimes pronounced as Dragnag. We climb out of Gokyo village to a ridge. Then, we take the route through the Ngozumpa Glacier to the mountain on the other side. Continuing further and traversing along the edge of that mountain, we descend down to Thaknak. On the trek, we enjoy the magnifiscent views of Cho Oyu, Gokyo Ri, and other high Himalayas. (B,L,D)
Day 13: Thaknak-Cho La-Dzongla [4830m/15840ft]: 7 – 8 hrs
Today, we trek to the Cho La Pass. ChoLa pass is also another show up of this trip. Today is going to be one of the toughest days. The pass is not itself difficult but it is steep and involves a glacier traverse on the eastern side. We need to be careful as the trail is vertical and the rocks glazed by ice add trouble to the trekkers making the trail slippery. Our trail climbs through a ravine and a rocky trail. So, we climb up continuously up from Phedi. We trek through the side of a frozen lake while we come to the top of the pass decorated with prayer flags. We need to pass through some crevasses before we reach Dzongla, another beautiful place with a complete view of Mt. Cholatse, Mt. Ama Dablam, Lobuche peak and the Pheriche village far below. (B,L,D)
Day 14: Dzongla to Lobuche [4940 m/16,207 ft]: 4 – 5 hrs
Today, we head for Lobuche. We climb down from Dzongla. Upon crossing a bridge, we transverse through grassy trail. Enjoying the view of Lobuche Peak we stretch up eventually through a ridge. The mountains of Ama Dablam, Kangtega, Thamserku Taboche are seen looming prominently. Curving round through the wide gravelly river bed, we reach Lobuche. (B,L,D)
Day 15: Lobuche to Gorak Shep [5170 m/16,961ft] – Everest Base Camp [5364 m/17,594 ft] – Gorak Shep: 8 – 9 hrs
The trail to Gorak Shep goes ahead through the lateral moraine of the Khumbu Glacier. We pass through the pyramid sign post. Ahead on the trail we see crest of north ridge of Everest along with Mt.Pumori, Mt. Mahalangur, Mt. Lingtern, Mt. Khumbutse, Mt. Nuptse, etc. A small ascent would take us to Thangma Riju from where we perceive 360 degree vista of snowy mountains. Climbing steeply up to the top through the torrent of Changri Glacier, we catch our first glimpse of Kala Patthar, a grey- green knoll beneath the Mt. Pumori. As we reach Gorak Shep, we will find snow-capped mountains looming all around us including the top of the world – Mt. Everest.
After a brief lunch and rest, we take the trail to Everest Base Camp through the once vast Gorak Shep Lake. Continuing straight ahead, we come through the Indian army mountaineers’ memorials. Only upon reaching the Everest Base Camp do we really appreciate the Everest climbers who brave the hazardous route through the Khumbu icefall. Mountaineer’s tents stand out in bright colors against the monotony of gray surroundings (especially in the Spring). Nuptse, Khumbuste and Pumori are the mountains we can view from the base camp. Everest actually is not visible from here. By now we have met the ultimate objective of our trip.
Or in case time is n not enough in hand, climb to Kalapathar and Everest base camp trek can be done next morning as it takes more time than Klapathar.
Day 16: Gorak Shep – Kala Patthar [5545 m/18,192 ft] – Lobuche [4940 m/16,207 ft]: 7 – 8hrs
We start early in the morning to catch the dramatic views from Kala Patthar witnessing the first light of day shining on Mt. Everest. However, we need to get prepared for an early morning, dark and cold temperature (-10 to -14 C) departure beforehand. Further, there is always the potential of chilly winds which are quite common. Familiar peaks such as Lingtren, Khumbutse, Changtse tower to the east even as Everest begins to reveal itself emerging between the west shoulder crest and Nuptse. During the ascent to Kala Patthar we can pause to catch our breath at several outstanding view points to snap pictures. After several hours of ascent, we will be at Kala Patthar. From this juncture, we scramble to climb the rocky outcrop near to the summit marked by cairns and prayer flags. As we reach the top, we sit on the Kala Patthar where our eyes rook taking in the unbelievable Himalayan Panorama, wandering from one mighty massif to another. We take as many pictures as we can an take the in view with our mind’s eye to last lifetime.
On being back to Gorak Shep you will take breakfast. Or if you have done this hike day before than you will be trekking to Everest base camp and will reach by lunch time as Everest base camp hike takes longer time (4 – 5 hrs) than the Kala Patthar hike. Upon return back to Gorak Shep, take lunch and afternoon time is taken to descend down to Lobuche for a good night’s rest. (B,L,D)
Day 17: Lobuche – Kongma La [5,535m/18,159ft] — Chhukung [4,730m/15,518ft]: 6 – 7 hrs
From Lobuche, we pass through Khumbu Glacier. Climbing up we reach Kongma La. There is a Pyramid shaped Italian Research Centre at just over 5,000m. We enjoy the views of the wide basin dotted with frozen lakes. Again we enjoy the marvellous views of Cholatse, Pokalde, Nuptse, Lhotse, Makalu and Ama Dablam. Then we turn and walk through the stony trail. While descending down the Niyang Khola valley, we enjoy the great views of Amphu Lapcha Pass and Island Peak. Trekking further we get to Chukkung. (B,L,D).
Day 18: Chhukung to Tengboche[3860 m/12,660 ft]: 5 – 6 hrs
Chhukung is also the starting point for the Island Peak Climbing. Now we are getting closer to the Himalayan civilization of the Khumbu Region. The Imja Khola joins the Dudh Koshi River a little above the Pangboche Village. There is a famous monastery at Pangboche believed to have been the oldest in the Khumbu region. From Pangboche, we descend down the alpine desert and back into greenery of pine forests. The path leads to a steep uphill climb into Tengboche. We pay our visit to the famous Tengboche Monastery. (B,L,D)
Day 19: Tengboche to Namche Bazzar: 5 – 6 hrs
From Tenboche, we make a steep descent and the trail leads us back along the Dudh Kosi River. We keep a lookout for wild life such as mountain goats, snow leopards, colorful pheasants, etc., while passing through the forest by the trail. After passing a Chorten, we reach the army camp at of Namche Bazaar where we want to take a long last look back to Lhotse, the tip of Everest and Tengboche. The final steep climb traverses the hill side taking us to Namche Bazaar. We take a nice hot shower and have very relaxed sleep in our room in Namche Bazaar. (B,L,D)
Day 20: Namche Bazzar to Lukla: 6 – 8 hrs
The trail descends steeply downward so we need to walk slowly and under control as our shaky legs continuously battle the rocky terrain. After crossing the suspension bridges over the fast flowing Dudh Koshi and its tributaries the trail becomes more level and natural. By today we start to get warmed up by the light breeze. Any remaining sore throats and colds will be gone by today as we pass through this charming mountain air. Although we are travelling the same route down, we feel completely different views. We snap a mixture of open plains, rhododendron and pine forests, and in the distance snow covered peaks. We walk through the Sherpa villages’ noticing impressive faith in Buddhism and culture of prayer stones and prayers flag while we walk through the villages. Upon arrival in Lukla, we stretch those sore legs and recall the experiences of the last couple of weeks. We experience the culmination of a fantastic trek on a happy note with everyone back safe and sound with smile on faces! Overnight at Lukla. (B,L,D)
Day 21: Lukla to Kathmandu: 40 min flight
We fly back to Kathmandu after our long mountain journey. The early morning flight drops us at Kathmandu. We can rest and relax throughout the day at our hotel. If we get interested to take some gifts home from Nepal, we can visit to some nearby shops or venture out in Thamel for typical Nepalese goods which can be assisted by Mountain Leader’s guides or we can do it yourself too
Day 22: Rest Day in Kathmandu.
Day 23: Final Departure.