Everest Base Camp Trek is one of the most popular treks in Nepal – tinged with the romance of being so close to the highest mountain in the world.
From the tiny airfield of Lukla the trail leads through Sherpa villages, forests of fir and rhododendron and across high suspension bridges, meeting caravans of zobkyo (a yak-cow crossbreed) along the way. Namche Bazaar is a colourful, bustling market with traders from surrounding villages and as far as Tibet and, from Tengboche, the views of Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse and Ama Dablam are sensational. Climbing above the tree line to cross alpine pastures and glacial moraine you eventually reach Base Camp, high on the Khumbu Glacier, where colourful expedition tents give a bizarre appearance to this desolate place surrounded by rock, snow and ice.
Domestic airport departure transfer. Flight to Lukla, trek to Phakding.
An early morning start – dressed for trekking – with a transfer to the airport for the short flight to Lukla. The flight itself (by small Dornier / Twin Otter) is a fantastic experience as you fly into the mountains and land at one of the world’s most exciting airports – Tenzing Hillary Airport, Lukla. Here our Sherpas will be waiting to meet us and will arrange the baggage so comfortable to carry (15kg per porter).
And then … here we go! Today we are going to hike for approximately 3 to 4 hours. The day is just a glimpse of our walking days ahead. To begin we descend gradually to Thado Koshi (2 hours), then start to make the first ascent of the trek, gradually uphill all the way Phakding which will take another 2 hours. We reach Phakding about lunch time.
Trek from Phakding to Namche Bazaar.
Continue along the Dudh Koshi River with majestic views all around, crossing back and forth via many suspension bridges, including the Hillary Suspension Bridge. Our trail passes through a pine forest as we continue up the Benkar Valley passing Chumoa and Monjo villages before reaching the entrance of the Everest National Park. Continuing up via Jorsale village, follow the Dudh Koshi and Bhote Koshi rivers to Namche Bazaar, the largest town in the Everest region.
Acclimatization day – hike to Syangboche.
Today is an acclimatization day with a short (3-4 hour round trip) to Syangboche (3860m).
Start our hike with steep uphill walk to the National Park headquarters from where we have the opportunity to enjoy a majestic panorama of Himalayan Peaks including Everest, Lhotse, Ama Dablam, Thamserku, Kusum Khangru, Kongde, Phachhermo, Melungtse, Khumbila and Taboche. Along our trail, we have all the opportunity to enjoy the Flora and fauna found in this Himalayan Region.
After visiting Syangboche descend back to Namche Bazaar for lunch. The afternoon is free to wander around Namche Bazaar, visit local bakeries and shops and do last minute shopping (if required) to buy or hire any trekking gear you may need for the trek. Please also talk with your trekking leader if you feel discomfort from the altitude or have any concerns.
Trek from Namche Bazaar to Tengboche.
Leaving Namche Bazaar the route is unbelievably beautiful – the Dudh Kosi is far below and Thamserku, Kantega, Ama Dablam, Lhotse and Everest rise in front. Woods, rhododendron forests, mani walls, chorten and suspension bridges across the river make this a lovely walk. The morning view from Tengboche is justifiably considered one of the most magnificent in the world. Tengboche Gompa, the cultural and religious centre of Khumbu, founded in 1912, has been destroyed and rebuilt twice as the result of earthquake and fire.
Trek from Tengboche to Dingboche.
Stone steps lead down through rhododendrons, birches and conifers where, due to the hunting ban, we’ll be observing tame pheasants. After almost 3 hours arrive at a small village – shomare- where we will stop for a lunch.
Then ascend to Dingboche which sits right underneath the huge and imposing bulk of Ama Dablam.
Dingboche is a small village, traditionally a farming and summer pasturing area for Sherpas, walled off fields protect crops of barley, buckwheat, and potatoes from the cold winds, grazing animals and careless trekkers. Today it relies heavily on tourism, with lodges and tent areas. The Imja River flows directly east of the village. By the time we reach Dingboche, many people are feeling the effects of altitude. Which is why we will take another rest day here.
Today we have acclimatization day to helps our bodies adjust to the increasing altitude. From Dingboche, the only place in the region where barley is grown, the mountain views are outstanding. The energetic can hike up the Imja Khola to Chhukung, a small summer settlement from where the views of Island Peak (6,189 m), Lhotse, Ama Dablam and the fluted ice walls flanking the Amphu Lapcha pass are the highlights of the trek.
Trek from Dingboche to Lobuche.
Lobuche is the second highest village on the trail. It is also the first time that the famous Khumbu Glacier will come into view as we walk towards and alongside it for a good portion of the day. From Dingboche, ascend the small ridge behind the village above the Pheriche valley. From the stupa at the top, Taboche and Cholatse (6440m) make a striking scene; they seem to lean forwards from across the valley in the west. To the north, Lobuje Peak (6119m) and the snowfields of the Cho La are the kings of the skyline. The route is now fairly flat on wide-open fields but remember that there’s no rush – take your time and ensure you’re well hydrated.
Late in the morning you will cross the Khumbu Khola at Dughla and take a light lunch at the foot of the huge terminal moraines of the Khumbu Glacier flowing off Everest in preparation for the solid and quite steep climb on a rocky trail to the top of the moraines. On the crest of the ridge, you’ll pass a line of memorial cairns (stacks of stones), built in memory of the Sherpas and climbers who have died on various Everest expeditions over the last fifty or so years.
From here the view is downright spectacular once again, with Pumori (7145m), Lingtren (6697m), Khumbutse (6623m), and across the border in Tibet, Changtse (7550m), surrounding you.
Follow the stream up the valley Lobuche, arriving early afternoon.
Trek from Lobuche to Everest Base Camp and return to Gorakshep.
This is the big one, the day of Everest Base Camp. From Lobuche, follow the broad valley that runs parallel to Khumbu Glacier, the gradual ascent enabling you to build the slow, steady rhythm required when walking at high altitude. When you reach the moraines of Changri Nup Glacier make a series of small ascents and descents over a rocky trail lined with cairns that eventually leads to the surprising glacial sands of Gorakshep (5160m). Now’s the time to grab a quick bite, gear up appropriately, and then head off towards Everest Base Camp. The trek to the base camp can be achieved in around three hours. If trekking in the popular climbing period of March to May, you will almost certainly encounter yaks and porters supplying food and equipment to expeditions here. From Everest Base Camp you will not get views of Mount Everest, but you are able to see glorious glaciers, lakes, caves, and the notorious Everest Ice Fall that flows from the Western Cwm. It is regarded as technically the hardest and most dangerous section of the mountain. The return journey from the Base Camp to Gorakshep takes the same amount of time.
Trek to Kala Patthar (5545m) and return to Pheriche.
Today we’ll hike to Kala Patthar (5645m) to see the sunrise over Mt. Everest. Kala Patthar which means “”Black Rock”” in Nepali, is a hill beside Gorakshep. The trail is stony and windy and after enjoying the sunrise, return to Gorakshep. About 2 hours round trip.
Then we will start our trek to Pheriche. Along the way to Pheriche pass the memorial place of Thukla and enjoy views of Ama Dablam.
Pheriche village has many lodges where trekkers and climbers on their way to the EBC can stay and it is a relief and treatment centre and an evacuation point. There is a rudimentary hospital in Pheriche, which is only open during trekking/climbing season.
Trek from Pheriche to Kenjuma.
To reach Kenjuma we will pass by Pangboche village and Tengboche monastery. The trail is wide, but with lots up and down. Kenjuma is a small town which lies in the middle of the deep forest, if lucky we can see wild animals on our way. From Kenjuma we can view the most beautiful panoramic view of Mount Ama Dablam, Mount Thamserku, Mount Lhotse and other peaks
Trek from Kenjuma to Monjo.
The day will begin with the official entry into the Sagarmatha National Park. The walk to Namche Bazaar involves a tough uphill climb of about 590m, taking approximately 2 hours. Halfway up the hill we will be able to see Everest and Lhotse for the first time. As you approach the town of Namche Bazaar, the peaks of Thamserku (6,648m) and Kwangde (6,224m) are visible to the east and the sacred mountain Khumbila (5,707m) to the west.
After lunch, the valley is extremely rugged but beautiful. At the small village of Tesho, turn off the main trail and follow a small but steep path to the lodge at Monjo.
Trek from Monjo to Lukla.
Our day will start with a walk through rhododendron and pine forests, past Benkar and Phakding to Chaunrikhara. Leaving the main trail at Chaunrikhara, climb the short distance to the small airstrip of Lukla. The trail follows the river the whole way with frequent bridge crossings. After walking for around 5-6 hours we’ll reach Lukla.
Flight from Lukla to Kathmandu. Transfer to Hotel.
We will take an early morning scenic flight from Lukla back to Kathmandu. You will be transferred to the hotel after landing at the airport.