This challenging trek offers you the full variety of the Everest region, from tropical valleys, thundering rivers, bustling markets, glacial valleys and snow-clad peaks. Starting by flying to Tumlingar you head into the remote Arun Valley in the eastern Everest region. This area is rich in exquisite flora and fauna, with numerous species of birds and animals found nowhere else in the country. Climbing up from the fertile tropical valleys inhabited by Rai peoples, you cross the Salpa Bhanjyang pass (3510m), the Surki La Pass (3100m) and Pangpongma Pass (2600m), walking along alpine ridges to reach the Dudh Kosi Valley, a heartland of the Sherpa people. Climbing up to Namche Bazaar, a colourful, bustling market town with traders coming from not only the surrounding villages but as far as Tibet, you continue to Tengboche for sensational views of Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse and Ama Dablam. You then continue to the area at the base of Everest where the peaks of Nuptse (7,879m) and Lhotse (8,511m) tower above you as to climb to the summit of Kala Pattar (5545m for close up views of Everest.
Trek Grade: This trek is grade 3 and strenuous as you climb to 5545m and have several long days walking at altitudes about 3000m.
|Day 1||Arrival in Kathmandu|
|Day 2||Kathmandu sightseeing: Boudhanath, Pashupatinath, Patan|
|Day 4||Fly to Tumlingtar (30 minutes), trek to Chewabesi (400m, 4 hrs)|
|Day 5||Day 4: Trek to Dangmaya (800m, 6 hrs)|
|Day 6||Trek to Dhobhane (1800m, 6 hrs)|
|Day 7||Trek to Salpa Phedi (3000m, 5 hrs)|
|Day 8||Cross Salpa Pass (3510m) and trek to Gudel (2400m, 6 hrs)|
|Day 9||Cross Surki La Pass (3100m) and trek to Gai Kharka (2450m, 5-6 hrs)|
|Day 10||Cross Pangpongma La Pass (3200m) and trek to Kharte (2600m, 6 hrs)|
|Day 11||Trek to Phakding (2600m, 5 hrs)|
|Day 12||Trek to Namche Bazaar (3440m, 5 hrs)|
|Day 14||Trek to Dingboche (4400m, 3 hrs)|
|Day 15||Acclimatization day in Chukung Valley|
|Day 16||Trek to Lobuche (4900m, 5 hrs)|
|Day 17||Trek up Kala Pattar (5545m) and back to Lobuche (4900m, 8 hrs)|
|Day 18||Trek to Pangboche (3950m, 3 hrs)|
|Day 19||Trek to Namche Bazaar (3440m, 5 hrs)|
|Day 20||Trek to Phakding (2600m, 4 hrs)|
|Day 21||Trek to Lukla (2800m, 3-4 hrs)|
|Day 22||Fly Lukla back to Kathmandu.|
Trekking: Additional information
Please note that the published itinerary can only be a statement of intent and should be used as a guide only. Each day may vary due to the walking times of the group, camping and trail condRead More...
Trekking: Additional information
Please note that the published itinerary can only be a statement of intent and should be used as a guide only. Each day may vary due to the walking times of the group, camping and trail conditions. The guide in charge of your trip may have to alter the schedule if necessary and any such changes are at the discretion of Royal Mountain Travel and your guide.
The trekking day
Your day starts with a wake up call, followed by breakfast and baggage pickup. You are then driven to the start point of your trek. While trekking, your day starts with breakfast at the tea house where you are staying. You need to pack up your baggage before breakfast as porters usually set off early.
Normally you are on the trail by 8 am and stop for a leisurely lunch around noon, with the chance to stop along the way for short breaks. Lunchtime usually lasts a couple of hours to give you time to relax or to explore the village where you have stopped. The afternoon walk is shorter and you can expect to arrive around 4 pm to allow time for short excursions to nearby sites, monasteries, exploration of the village or for relaxing with a book or catching up on your diary. Dinner is generally around, 7 pm.
Everyone walks at different speeds and you should always go at the pace that is comfortable for you. The grade of the trek is only an approximate indication of what to expect, based on the altitude and the hours of walking per day. In general, the condition of trails is good as these are the main routes between villages.
What you carry?
Each porter carries 15kg so you should pack 7.5 kgs of baggage, sharing one porter between two persons. These things will not be available to you during the day as the porters usually leave early and do not walk with you. Your daypack should contain all that you need during the day. This should consist of warm clothes for when you stop, a water bottle, camera, sunscreen, lip salve and maybe waterproofs depending on when you’re trekking. Your guide will let you know each evening about any extra items you might need for the following day. You should take a comfortable daypack to carry just a few kilograms of things you need along the way.
Food and drink
No meals are included on your trek. These are available in tea houses, lodges and bhattis that may sometimes have quite limited menus. There are a lot of tea houses and lodges along the way while you are trekking. Meals are generally simple but filling, but you may wish to stock up on ‘trail munchies’ before leaving Kathmandu or Pokhara. Although mineral water in plastic bottles can be found along the way in many places, you should try to avoid using this. Plastic bottles are a serious problem on the trekking routes as there is no way to dispose of them. Instead, you should use water purification tablets, a water filter or ask for boiled water at the lodges. It is a good idea to bring a heat resistant, water bottle which can double up as a hot water bottle when you go to bed at night too!
It is not recommended to drink alcohol at altitudes above 3,000m or so, where altitude sickness can start to have an effect.
Accommodation is in lodges and teahouses and is of a basic standard. Rooms may be twin or multi-share with basic shared toilet facilities. Hot showers are available in some places for a small charge. It is a good idea to pack wet-wipes to freshen up, especially useful when you reach high altitudes where the water can be very cold. It is not recommended to wash your hair when you are at higher altitudes and where the outside air is cold, as you run the risk of getting a chill when your wet hair takes a long time to dry.
Lodges usually have a common room where later in the day, when people start to arrive from their day’s trek there might be a stove that is lit to keep warm. Bedrooms, however, are not heated. The lodges provide clean bedding, but you may want to pack a sheet sleeping bag for peace of mind.
The main means of transport are on foot, or in some cases by horse, with mules or donkeys sometimes carrying baggage. On most trekking routes, your baggage will be carried by the porters. You should ensure that anything you might need during the day is in your day pack as you will not see the baggage that is being carried again until the end of each day.
You will be provided with government licensed, experienced trek guided assisted by the porters who transport your baggage with one porter for every two trekkers. The guide is in overall charge of the trek and looks after you. This is the person you should go to with any problems, concerns or questions. Our guides are highly trained in all aspects of trekking, conservation, high altitude medicine, first-aid and emergency procedures. They are professionals selected for their knowledge and passion for Nepal and its peoples. However, you should remember that they are local guides and their English may sometimes be quite basic and limited to trek related topics. Usually, porters will have a more basic understanding of English. Please try to speak slowly and clearly to make communication easier.
Trek grading and preparation
It is impossible to have a ‘foolproof’ grading system as everyone has different expectations and perceptions of their own fitness level. Remember that no trek in the Himalaya is a stroll as all involve going up and down, often at altitude. Altitude affects everyone differently, and even if it has not affected you much before, each time can be quite different in how it affects you.
Regardless of age or fitness, preparation, before you arrive, is a good idea. Aerobic activity, swimming, cycling or brisk walking is recommended or, at the very least, walking up and down stairs in your trekking boots to be sure that they fit well and are comfortable. Try to use a hiking boots that you have already broken in to avoid blisters. Remember that the trek should be fun and you should go at your own pace.
It is best to bring cash in major currencies such as the US, Canadian or Australian dollars, Euros, or Pounds. Ensure you have a mixture of large and small denominations. Everyone’s spending is different, but as a guide, we suggest about USD 8 – 10 per meal in Kathmandu and Pokhara and USD 30 – 35 per day whilst trekking. If you drink or smoke you need to allow a bit more.
You should exchange enough money into Nepalese Rupees to last the entire time of your trek before leaving Kathmandu. You can find the money exchange counters near your hotel in Kathmandu and Pokhara but there are no exchange facilities in villages along the way.
Communication: mobile phones and internet
Please note, as you will be often trekking through valleys and will not always be close to mobile towers, mobile phone reception can be very patchy. NCELL, the local mobile company has quite good coverage, but sometimes the signal can be very weak. Usually, lodges have powerpoint’s to recharge your mobile, although this sometimes can be at an extra charge.
Tipping is a personal and voluntary matter and is not included in the trip price. If you wish to reward the efforts of those who have worked to make your trek the best they can, we suggest the following: USD 4 per day for groups of 8+, USD 5 per day for smaller groups which will be shared amongst the whole staff, including porters.
Travel insurance is not included in the trip price. It is essential that you take out comprehensive travel insurance prior to your trek. Your travel insurance must provide cover against personal accident, medical expenses, emergency evacuation and repatriation (including helicopter evacuation) and personal liability. We also recommend that it covers cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. Be careful to check the small print of your insurance regarding altitude as some policies only provide cover up to 2000m.
There are no specific health requirements for entry into Nepal. Your health condition must be sound as you will be climbing to above 4000m. You should consult your doctor for up-to-date information regarding vaccinations, high altitude medication and medications for any reasonably foreseeable illnesses whilst traveling in Nepal. Be aware that some drugs, including anti-malarial, have side effects at altitude. Please discuss this carefully with your doctor.
Please be aware that you will be in remote areas and away from medical facilities for some time during this trip. We strongly recommend that you carry a personal First Aid kit as well as sufficient quantities of any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses)
AMS (acute mountain sickness) is a serious issue. It is the result of the failure of the body to adapt to high altitude and can affect anyone, regardless of age or fitness. It usually occurs above 1,800 meters and the likelihood of being affected increases as you ascend. The way to reduce the effects of altitude is to ascend slowly, 300 meters per day above 3,000 meters until you have acclimatized. Poor acclimatization can result in headaches, nausea, sleeplessness, difficulty breathing and swelling of fingers and glands. The only cure for AMS is to descend to a lower altitude and your guide’s decision on this matter is final. There is a possibility of AMS in any trek that passes through altitudes above 4000 meters.
Although our routes are carefully planned to allow proper acclimatization you may feel some effects of altitude for the first few days or at higher altitudes. Breathlessness, lethargy and mild headaches are not uncommon and generally decrease as your body adjusts. Maintaining adequate fluid intake is essential. Please advise your guide if you feel more severe symptoms and do not medicate yourself without discussing it with them first.
Variation of climate is directly proportional to the altitude. For this trekking, trekking routes are often passed through a range of altitudes from 850m upwards. Between about 2700m and 3000m a cool temperate climate prevails, and you should expect a cool summer and very cold temperatures in the winter. Above 3000m, even if the daytime is sunny and quite warm, the temperature will drop sharply as soon as the sun goes down.
The weather in the mountains is notoriously changeable, so always be prepared for a change in conditions and note that if severe or dangerous weather conditions occur your guide’s decision on any course of action is final.
Trekking permits are required for almost all treks and will be obtained by Royal Mountain Travel. The Trekking Information Management System (TIMS) is essential for the record of Nepal Tourism Board keeping in mind about probable hazards to occur. You need to provide your full name, nationality, home address, passport number, sex, date of birth and 2 photographs for each permit. Royal Mountain Travel also pays any fees required for entry to national parks, conservation areas or restricted areas.
Packing for your trek
You will need to bring a comfortable medium sized daypack to carry the things you will need during the day. This should have a waist strap or (better) a padded waist belt.
You should limit your baggage to about 7kg. You will find the following items useful.
Royal Mountain Travel is a Nepal-based sustainable tourism operator. We specialize in curating once-in-a-lifetime experiences to showcase indigenous and community based tourism projects. We work with travel agents and tourism companies to help plan travel experiences that highlight authentic, local lifestyles throughout some of the most unique landscapes on earth.
Arrival in Kathmandu
Your first impression of arriving at Tribhuvan International Airport is an experience in itself. But don’t be worried by the apparent confusion as your airport representative will be waiting to welcome you with your name written on a placard. Depending on traffic, you will be at your hotel within 20 minutes or so.
Kathmandu sightseeing: Boudhanath, Pashupatinath, Patan
The day is spent visiting some of the major World Heritage Sites of Kathmandu.
You will have plenty of time in the afternoon to prepare for your trek and check that you have everything you need. You might want to visit Thamel, the tourist hub of Nepal, where you can easily find all you need for trekking. Or if you just want to relax, there are many cafes and bakeries serving excellent local tea and coffee. It is best to avoid the street food, however, unless you have a very strong stomach. It is recommended that you have an early night as you will have an early start in the morning.
Fly to Tumlingtar (30 minutes), trek to Chewabesi (400m, 4 hrs)
Day 4: Trek to Dangmaya (800m, 6 hrs)
Trek to Dhobhane (1800m, 6 hrs)
Started with the early morning flight to Tumlingtar, renowned to be the village of potters manufacturing the pots, utensils from clay the initiation of the trail passes through Arun River gorge, which is one of the seven rivers meeting the Sapta Koshi River, The greatest River of Nepal. The River has its Origin in Tibet. The Trail passed through ever – hot region, by the bank of Sandy Arun River. Inhabitants prefer to live in the high lands and only reside in this region during harvesting time for plantation. The trail leads to cross the spur which separates Arun and Inkhuwa Khola. A mixed religion and culture of Rai, Brahmins, Chhetries is availed within the trail.
Trek to Salpa Phedi (3000m, 5 hrs)
Following a little-used trail, you continue upwards gaining altitude as you pass rice fields and bamboo trees.
Cross Salpa Pass (3510m) and trek to Gudel (2400m, 6 hrs)
Cross Surki La Pass (3100m) and trek to Gai Kharka (2450m, 5-6 hrs)
Cross Pangpongma La Pass (3200m) and trek to Kharte (2600m, 6 hrs)
Ascend through bamboo then rhododendron, from the steamy Arun valley to the Salpa Bhanjyung Pass (3349m) where a large chorten marks the pass and the beginning of Sherpa influence. It is a long descent to the Hongu Khola, through hemlock and fir forest that abounds with bird and animal life including Himalayan bear, barking deer and lesser panda. This is followed by an equally long, although steeper, ascent to Bung. This rice growing area is one of the most fertile regions of Nepal and is almost exclusively Rai, although you begin to find some Sherpa villages at higher elevations. The ascents and descents continue across the Hinku Khola towards the Dudh Kosi, which leads north to Lukla.
Trek to Phakding (2600m, 5 hrs)
Trek to Namche Bazaar (3440m, 5 hrs)
Heading through pine and cedar woods along the Dudh Kosi to Phakding you will encounter your first yak caravans carrying trekking and equipment and supplies – including yours – towards base camp. These wonderful beasts creating mobile roadblocks, or virtual avalanches on downhill stretches, are a feature of all treks in the Everest region. It is also possible to see musk deer, Himalayan tahr and if you sit quietly on the river banks, water rats. Namche Bazaar is the administrative capital of the region, historically it was the staging point for trading expeditions to Tibet and its Saturday market remains an important event bringing traders from villages a week’s walk away.
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, it has been destroyed and rebuilt twice as the result of earthquake and fire.
Trek to Dingboche (4400m, 3 hrs)
Acclimatization day in Chukung Valley
Stone steps lead down through rhododendrons, birches and conifers where, due to the hunting ban, almost tame pheasants are regularly seen. At the bottom lies the small village of Deboche and its nunnery. Rising above the tree line the trail enters alpine meadows of scrub juniper and, in summer, a profusion of wildflowers. From Dingboche, the only place in the region where barley is grown, the mountain views are outstanding. An acclimatization day here can be used to hike up the Imja Khola to Chhukung, a small summer settlement from where the views of Island Peak (6189), Lhotse, Ama Dablam and the fluted ice walls flanking the Amphu Lapcha pass are one of the highlights of the entire trek.
Trek to Lobuche (4900m, 5 hrs)
Trek up Kala Pattar (5545m) and back to Lobuche (4900m, 8 hrs)
Alpine meadows and summer yak pasture lead toward the end of the moraine of the Khumbu Glacier where there is a steep, tough climb. There are stone monuments to six Sherpa who died in an avalanche as well as monuments to other climbers.
From Lobuche, the view is straight towards Nuptse and sunset is truly magnificent. Altitude makes the climb onto the Changri Glacier tough. From Gorakshep, near a small, usually frozen lake, climb to Kala Pattar, a 5545m peak which provides the best view of Everest. The descent back to Lobuche is not difficult, but altitude induced lethargy can make the many uphill sections below Gorakshep seem endless.
Trek to Pangboche (3950m, 3 hrs)
Trek to Namche Bazaar (3440m, 5 hrs)
Trek to Phakding (2600m, 4 hrs)
Trek to Lukla (2800m, 3-4 hrs)
Descending the Imja Khola overnight at Pangboche, the highest permanent settlement. Its gompa, the oldest in Khumbu, is built over the hermitage of Khumbu’s saint Lama Sanga Dorje. The juniper trees on either side are said to have sprung from hair cut from his head and a rock-like projection is a piece of mountainside he pulled out for protection one day. Continue down through Namche Bazaar and Phakding to Lukla.
Fly Lukla back to Kathmandu.