Itinerary: Everest Base Camp Trek 22 September-9 October 2016
Day 1 (Thurs 22nd Sep)
Arrive at Kathmandu International Airport. Transfer to hotel and overnight in Kathmandu.
Day 2 (Fri 23 Sep)
Trek briefing and preparation day. Overnight in Kathmandu. (B)
Day 3 (Sat 24 Sep)
Fly from Kathmandu to Lukla (2886m), approximately 30 minutes. Our trek to Phakding (2640m) starts directly from the airport and will take three to four hours. You will trek along a pleasant trail gently descending, with a steep climb from Tarhe Khola, where you have a superb view of the Kusum-Kangru (6,369m). After another short climb, you reach Ghat village, and after another 1½hrs of trekking you arrive at Phakding village. Overnight in Phakding. c4-5 hrs (BLD)
Day 4 (Sun 25 Sep)
Trek from Phakding to Namche Bazaar (3440m), approximately 5-6 hours. After crossing a suspension bridge over the Dudh Kosi River, the walk is pleasant with a few short uphill climbs and then downhill, with magnificent views of Thamserku (6,808m). From the village of Benkar, you will cross a long suspension bridge over the Dudh Koshi River once more, and then continue on this trail of trekkers, Ghopkyo (mix of yak and cow) and porters, before finally arriving at the small village of Monjo. Monjo is situated below the magnificent peak of Thamserku and near to the entrance of Sagarmatha National Park. A few minutes walk from Monjo, you will enter the Sagarmatha National Park, where your trekking permit is checked. From here there is a short descent to Jorsalle village, the last village before Namche Bazaar.
You will continue to trek by the river until the last bridge over the Imjatse River is reached. From here the walk is along a winding uphill path all the way to Namche Bazaar, with views of Kwangde Peak and its other sister peaks to the east, with Kusum Kangru behind you as you climb higher. There are also views of Mt. Everest - Nuptse Wall, Lhotse and a closer view of Taweche Peak, which can be seen all the way up to Thop Danda, where there's a resting stonewall for porters and trekkers.
From here, there is still another 1-2 hour walk, which brings you to the famed Namche Bazaar, with its colourful houses situated in an amphitheatre shaped bowl. Namche Bazaar is the main trading village in the Khumbu region and holds a busy Saturday market. It is also a meeting place for Hindu traders from the lowlands and the Tibetan yak caravans that have reached the town by crossing the glaciated Nangpa La. Overnight in Namche Bazzar. (BLD)
Day 5 (Mon 26 Sep)
Acclimatization day in Namche Bazaar. Namche is tucked away between two ridges amidst the giant peaks of the Khumbu and has an abundance of lodges, tea shops and souvenir shops as well as a magnificent outlook. It is an ideal place to spend a rest day for acclimatization to the high altitude before heading off towards Tyangboche.
As part of our acclimatization process we undertake a morning walk, in order to follow the rule of walk high, sleep low. As a group we will head to Syangboche (3800m) where the Everest View Hotel is situated offering (subject to weather) outstanding views of Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse, Ama Dablam, Thamserku and Kusum Kangaru. From here we return to Namche for lunch and you are at leisure to spend the afternoon as you wish.
For those of you with sufficient energy, you may wish to undertake the short, uphilll walk to the Sagarmatha National Park headquarters, a magnificent spot perched on top of Namche Bazaar with spectacular views of the surrounding snow-capped giants and the valleys way down below. There is also an interesting museum with all kinds of information regarding the history of the Himalayas, its geography, culture, mountaineering history and information on flora and fauna of this region. Overnight in Namche Bazzar. (BLD)
Day 6 (Tues 27 Sep)
Trek from Namche Bazaar to Tyangboche (3867m), approximately 6 hours. The trail leads along a winding path high above the Dudh Koshi with great views of Mt. Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse, Ama Dablam and a close-up view of Thamserku. You will come to a busy place called Shanasa, and in this area there is a much higher chance of seeing the beautifully coloured Danphe pheasant, the national bird of Nepal, the elusive musk deer and sometimes, even a herd of Himalayan Thar (mountain goat).
From Shanasa, the trail steeply drops to a bridge over the Dudh Koshi at Phunki Tenga (3250m), a small settlement with a couple of teahouses in the midst of the alpine woods of mostly silver fir blue pines, rhododendron and some magnolia and birch trees. The village has an excellent place for lunch and you can take a short rest before making the steep climb to Tyangboche. The walk from here is strenuous for an hour on a winding trail through shaded woods until a small religious monument of prayer stones covered with rhododendron leaves and junipers is reached.
From here the walk is uphill for another hour, with views of Thamserku and Kangtenga. Tyangboche is one of the most beautiful places in the Himalayas, and the first thing that you will see is a big Ghompa (monastery) beneath the peak of Ama Dablam, with Everest looming above, the Nuptse wall to the north, Lhotse and Lhotse Shar to the north east and many more peaks all around you. Tyangboche is famous for its legendary monastery, the largest in the Khumbu region. It also has an amazing bakery, offering tempting treats to tired and hungry trekkers. Overnight in Tyangboche. (BLD)
Day 7 (Wed 28 Sep)
Trek from Tyangboche to Dingboche (4410m), approximately 5-6 hours. Trekking today you gently descend through a forest of birch, fir, juniper and rhododendron and come out at a lovely spot at Deboche (3,650m) with further views of Mt. Ama Dablam, Mt. Everest, Nuptse and Lhotse. From Deboche you will walk past the long mani prayer wall, the path is gradual until you reach a small bridge over the narrow gorge of the Imjatse River. The walk continues gradually uphill, passing through Pangboche village and then continuing onto Shomare, a small settlement with a fantastic close-up view of Ama-Dabla.
From here your journey continues eastwards, after an hours walk, before a small wooden bridge the road splits two ways and we take the route leading east beneath the towering north face of Ama Dablam. The trail climbs slowly, winding above the Imjatse River, until you come to a big mani stupa. From here onwards the walk is fairly moderate as you enter the Imjatse Valley beneath the mighty peaks of Ama Dablam, Nuptse and Lhotse with views of the eastern snow capped mountains. Dingboche is a beautiful patchwork of fields enclosed by stonewalls protecting the crops of barley and potatoes from the cold winds and grazing animals. Overnight in Dingboche. (BLD)
Day 8 (Thurs 29 Sep)
Rest at Dingboche for acclimatization and a local excursion. Here you can climb steeply up to Nakartsang Gompa for the rare outstanding view of Mount Makalu (8463m) along with Lhotse, Island Peak, Baruntse, Ama Dablam and Thamserku or head up the Imja Valley to Chhukung, a small summer settlement at 4730m, with fantastic views. It is also the staging place for climbers attempting Island Peak. Overnight in Dingboche. (BLD)
Day 9 (Fri 30 Sep)
Trek from Dingboche to Lobuche (4910m) via Dongla (4620m), approximately 6-7 hours. Today’s onward journey leads north for about 40-50mins until you come to a mani prayer stupa. The trail is gentle, looking down to Pheriche village below. Today's walk offers views of the Mt.Tawache, Ama Dablam and to the north Pokalde (5,741m), Kongma-tse (5,820m) and the great wall of Nuptse.
After a walk of 1½-2hrs the trail from Pheriche joins another near Dugla (4,595m) before a small wooden bridge over the river of Khumbu glacier. You will stop at Thukla, for lunch, before continuing for an hour up a steep hill to the top. As you summit the hill you enter a memorial ground of prayer flags and monuments dedicated to climbers who have lost their lives attempting to reach the lofty pinnacles of these majestic mountains. From here you have unrivalled views of Mt. Pumori and other peaks west of Everest. The path then climbs gently along the glacier, to eventually reach the cluster of houses at Lobuche, hidden and sheltered from the wind. Overnight in Lobuche. (BLD)
Day 10 (Sat 1 Oct)
Trek from Lobuche (4910m) to Gorakshep (5140m), approximately 4 hours and then on to Base Camp (5486m), a further 5-6 hour round trip.
The first hours walk is gradual followed by a short 20 minutes climb to the top of the pass. The walk from here follows a rocky moraine path, and as you walk you can see the icy, glacial pond and icebergs down below of Khumbu glacier. After the last rocky moraine dunes, a short downhill walk brings you to Gorakshep on a flat field below Kalapatthar (5,545m) and Mt.Pumori (7,145m). Gorakshep has two teahouses, and it was used as base camp in the early 50's Edmund Hilary expedition to Mt. Everest.
You will have lunch and a rest at Gorakshep, and for those who feel up to it, you can walk to your ultimate destination, Everest Base Camp. The walk is strenuous due to the high altitude and thin air and it passes over rocky dunes, moraine and streams. A great view of the Khumbu Icefall awaits you. Overnight in Gorakshep. (BLD)
Day 11 (Sun 2 Oct)
Trek from Gorakshep to Kalapatthar (5545m) for sunrise and down to Pheriche (4243m), approximately 9-10 hours. This morning you have the option to ascend to the summit of Kalapatthar for sunrise. A few minutes of easy walking on the sandy fields brings you to the base of the peak, then a steep climb for 45 minutes brings you to a near level field. The walk from here is gradual until you reach a rocky spot after an hour. From here, it’s another steep climb to the top of about 1 ½ hrs. At the top of Kalapatthar is a small rocky peak on the southwest ridge of Mt.Pumori, the view from here is beyond the imagination, as Everest looks within a stones throws distance. Between the summit of Nuptse, Lho-la and Lhotse, the panoramic view from this spot is something to cherish, and you’ll feel the hard climb was worth it, as you get the feeling of being on top of the world. All of the high snow capped giants that dominate, will be all around you. To the south the Khumbu glacier sweeps below you and you can also see Everest Base Camp nestled on its moraine.
From here you will head back down to Gorakshep for breakfast and then on to Pheriche. Pheriche is known as the Windy Town and is home to the Himalayan Rescue Association Aid Post, manned by foreign volunteer doctors. Here you can see the perpendicular walls of Cholatse and Tawache. Overnight in Pheriche. (BLD)
Day 12 (Mon 3 Oct)
Trek from Pheriche to Phortse (3810m), approximately 5-6 hours. The trail descends to Pangboche and then wiggles up and down to Phortse. On the way there is an opportunity to see wildlife in and around the area such as mountain goats, musk deer and many species of Himalayan birds. There are village monasteries in Pangboche and Phortse rich in the cultural heritage of the Sherpa people. The old monastery in Pangboche is believed to have been established during the 16th century and Pangboche village is known to have the highest permanent settlement throughout the year. Overnight in Phortse. (BLD)
Day 13 (Tues 4 Oct)
Trek from Phortse (3810m) to Khumjung (3790m), approximately 3½-4 hours. The trail here descends for nearly twenty minutes and ascends up steeply for almost one hour to Mongla (4000m). From this spot, you can see the panoramic view of Ama Dablam, Thamserku, Kusum Kangaru, Konde-Ri and Tawache Peak. The trail then follows an up and down route to Khumjung. Khumjung village is believed to have the largest settlement of the Khumbu region. There is a well-equipped high school and hospital built by the late Edmund Hillary in the 1960s. Not limited to this, the skull of a Yeti is housed in an old monastery. Overnight in Khumjung. (BLD)
Day 14 (Wed 5 Oct)
Trek from Khumjung to Phakding (2640m), approximately 5-6 hours. From Khumjung you will head uphill out of the village onto high pastures. From here you will walk across the pastures to Syangboche and then down to Namche Bazaar for lunch. From Namche you will retrace your day 2 route back down to Phakding. Overnight in Phakding. (BLD)
Day 15 (Thurs 6 Oct)
Trek from Phakding to Lukla (2800m), approximately 4-5 hours. This day the trail gradually ascends back to Lukla. Overnight in Lukla. (BLD)
Day 16 (Fri 7 Oct)
Early morning flight back to Kathmandu taking approximately 30 minutes. Overnight in Kathmandu and end of trek celebration dinner. (BD)
Day 17 (Sat 8 Oct)
VSN Projects Day including lunch. (BL)
Day 18 (Sun 9 Oct)
Depart Nepal – transfers to airport. (B)
The times allocated for each day are approximate timings only and will depend on the group.
They are not just walking times, but allow for walking, snack, meal and photo stops
Accommodation and Transport
While in Kathmandu participants will stay at Hotel Tibet in Lazimpat, a 4 star hotel. Nights included in the trek fee are on a twin share basis.
While on the hike participants will spend most of their nights out of the elements and in teahouses or Nepali lodges. These teahouses have shared bathroom facilities.
In addition to sleeping in these teahouses individuals will eat breakfast, dinner and sometimes lunch within the teahouse. Each teahouse has a restaurant-like space where individuals may choose from a menu of various kinds of foods.
Porters will carry the bulk of your luggage to each destination. You will only carry a light rucksack with your personal effects and an extra layer of clothing. You can leave unnecessary luggage in secure storage at the hotel in Kathmandu. Valuables can be left, at your own risk, with our trekking partner.
When booking your flights to Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu you will need to ensure that your flight arrives before the evening of Thursday 22 September. If your flight arrives after this, you should arrange to arrive a day earlier.
If you chose to arrive early or depart later after the trek, we will organise your airport-hotel transfers and can make room reservations at the trek hotel on your behalf, based on a first come first served basis. Payments for extra nights accommodations will be due prior to the beginning of the trip or upon arrival in Kathmandu.
As a cheaper alternative for pre/post trek, we propose Hotel Encounter Nepal. This is located on the outskirts of Thamel, with it being a 5 minute walk max to the centre, thus making it much quieter than your average Thamel hotel.
To request extra hotel rooms at the trek hotel please contact your trek coordinator.
Our travel partner will arrange all transfers from the airport to the hotel and vice versa by private bus.
These transfers include:
* Arrival at Kathmandu International Airport/Hotel
* Hotel/Kathmandu Domestic Airport
* Kathmandu Domestic Airport/Hotel
* Hotel/Kathmandu International Airport departure home
Your trek fee (US$2,250) needs to be paid by 1 June 2016
The teahouses, Nepali lodges, provide food and, under the supervision of our porters, will prepare most of your meals on this trek. Each lodge will have a restaurant-like space where you may sit with your team and order from a menu.
Please note: Given the kitchens are quite small and resources minimal on the mountain you may be asked as a team to decide between two or three choices to ensure meals are served quickly and efficiently. This is especially relevant for lunches.
The lodges usually serve a continental style breakfast and you will have a choice of porridge, toast, or eggs.
Lunches and dinners:
The teahouses offer many different kinds of foods. A typical menu will include Chinese, Italian, Indian and Nepali foods. During longer hiking days the porters may prepare lunch during a rest period on the hike.
One main meal per day is included in your trek fee, if you require snacks, starters or desserts, they will be at your own expense.
Drinks are not included in your trek fee, however soda/soft drink, tea, coffee, and hot chocolate are usually always available. Please pay for these as you go.
Snacks will not be provided on the hike so please feel free to bring your favorite snacks with you. Energy bars and other snacks high in carbohydrates and calories are ideal for high altitude hiking.
Please contact the Global Volunteer Network in advance if you prefer a vegetarian/vegan diet while on this trip. Both preferences can be easily accommodated for while on this hike.
Hygiene on the Hike
Shared bathroom facilities are available at the teahouses. Some tea houses provide hot showers but they are not included in the trek fee.