Maybe the most famous trek in the world, this is certainly one for the Bucket List. You don’t need to be a superman or woman to live out your dream and trek to Everest Base Camp. It does help if you are reasonably fit, but the trails are good, and you certainly don’t need to be a mountaineer or a climber to get to the top of Kalar Pattar for some of the best views across to Everest. You walk at your own speed to the Base Camp of the highest mountain in the world.
You will climb gradually to avoid the problems that high altitude can bring. You will have days to acclimatize in Namche Bazaar and at Dingboche to help get used to the thinner air. Along the way, you have time not only to take in the incredible landscape but to see the villages and way of life in this fascinating area of the Himalayas.
Trek grade: This is a Grade 4 trek, not so much because the trails are difficult but you climb to an altitude of 5380m at Everest Base Camp and 5644m at Kala Patthar. Some of the days are quite long (up to 7 hours) but provided you take it slowly and at your own pace, this trek should not be beyond anyone who is reasonably fit. The walking is along good trails, with just a few steep areas and not technical in any way.
Want to go here? Here are some more treks Royal Mountain Travel can offer in the Everest region:
|Day 1||Arrive in Kathmandu|
|Day 2||Kathmandu sightseeing: Boudhanath, Pashupatinath, Patan|
|Day 3||Fly to Lukla (2860m), trek to Phakding (2650m, 3-4 hrs)|
|Day 4||Namche Bazaar|
|Day 5||Namche Bazaar – Acclimatization Day trek – Syangboche (3860m 3 – 4 hrs)|
|Day 6||Debuche (3710m, 7 hrs)|
|Day 7||Dingboche (4350m, 6 hrs)|
|Day 8||Dingboche - Acclimatization Day|
|Day 9||Lobuche (4910m, 5 hrs)|
|Day 10||Gorakshep, Everest Base Camp (5380m) (5180m, 7 hrs)|
|Day 11||Kala Patthar (5644m), Pheriche (4270m, 5 hrs)|
|Day 12||Namche Bazaar (3440m, 8 hrs)|
|Day 13||Lukla (2860m, 8 hrs)|
|Day 14||Fly 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.
Arrive in Kathmandu
Your first impression of arriving at Tribhuwan 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.
You have time to relax and enjoy the ambience and comfort of the hotel until your evening Group Meeting. This is when we collect your insurance details and discuss how the trip will run for the coming days. After the meeting, we go for our first group dinner. Your tour leader will take you to a nice restaurant in Thamel. This is not compulsory, but is highly recommended, giving you an opportunity to get to know your tour leader and your fellow group members. (Traditional Comfort Hotel or equivalent)
Kathmandu sightseeing: Boudhanath, Pashupatinath, Patan
Preparation for the trek.
After a good night’s sleep, after breakfast, you will be taken to see two of the holiest sites of the Kathmandu Valley. Both are World Heritage sites and you are accompanied by a knowledgeable guide who will show you around Pashupatinath Temple and Boudhanath Stupa. Nepal is unique in how you can see many cultures and religions living side by side in harmony. Pashupatinath Temple is a Hindu temple where funeral pyres and sadhus can be seen going about their daily worship. Just a short distance away is Boudhanath Stupa, one of the largest Buddhist stupas in Asia.
Returning to your hotel 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 Lukla (2860m), trek to Phakding (2650m, 3-4 hrs)
After an early morning wakeup call, you should dress to be ready for trekking. The domestic terminal of the airport is only 10-15 minutes’ drive from the hotel and you will have plenty of time to eat your packed breakfast before boarding the plane. Flying to Lukla on the small Dornier/Twin Otter plane, the flight takes about half an hour. It is a once in a life time flight during which, weather permitting, there are many opportunities to see the mighty Himalayas before landing in one of the most exciting airports of the world, Lukla airport, also known as Tenzing Hillary Airport.
At the airport you will be met by our team of sherpas who welcome us to The Everest Trekking Trails where you take a short break while our porters sort out your baggage that they will be carrying on trek. To ensure that no one is overloaded, we do not allow any of our sherpas to carry more than 15kg. While on the trail, you will see many porters carrying three or four times this, even more.
To break you in gently, the first day of the trek involves just three to four hours walking, mostly downhill first to Thado Koshi (about 2 hours), before gently climbing again to Phakding where we stop for lunch and have the afternoon free. If you want to explore further, you can visit Rimijung Monastery that is about an hour up the hillside from Phakding village.
Today is more challenging as most of the day is uphill. With several opportunities to cross high suspension bridges across the rivers, you pass village settlements and at Benkar, you are welcomed by a view of the gigantic Mt. Thamserku dominating the horizon. You pass mani walls and Buddhist shrines along the way to the Sagarmatha National Park entry gate. The national park was established in 1976 and listed as a World Heritage Site in 1979. Here your permits are checked before you continue your way up to Namche Bazaar, the Gateway to Everest Base Camp and ‘capital’ of the famous Sherpas.
Namche Bazaar was originally a trading post but is now a tourist hub where expeditions to the Everest area start. As the first point on the Khumbu trek that is above altitude sickness threshold, this is a good place to spend some time to acclimatize.
Namche Bazaar – Acclimatization Day trek – Syangboche (3860m 3 – 4 hrs)
Today you have the day to get used to the thinner air here. You are taken on a leisurely hike to Syanboche. Should you feel any discomfort while on the walk, please let your trek leader know as he can offer suggestions. Our acclimatization hike goes to Syangboche (3860m) and takes about 3-4 hours. Walking up from the National Park headquarters, we can admire the views of many majestic Himalayan peaks including Everest, Lhotse, Amadablam, Thamserku, Kusum, Khangru, Kongde, Phachhermo, Melungtse, Khumbila and Taboche.
After spending some time at Syangboche, you go back down to Namche Bazaar for lunch and have the afternoon free to relax or to explore. You might like to go shopping or visit some of the many tempting bakeries.
Debuche (3710m, 7 hrs)
The trek to Debuche is a typical Nepali ‘flat’ mixture of up and down accompanied by stunning views of the Himalayan peaks. Stopping at Kenjuma (3550m) for tea, you will be able to marvel at the scenery and the brilliant blue skies that are so typical here. After another hour of trekking, you reach Phunki Tenga where we stop for lunch. Here you can see water-powered prayer wheels spinning with the help of the water flowing from a rivulet. After lunch you continue going up for a couple of hours to reach Tengboche (3870m). On the way you pass through a rhododendron forest (the flowers can be seen March to May), with stunning views of Mt. Kangtenga. We take a break at Tengboche when you can visit the famous Tengboche Monastery. Originally set up in the 16th century, it is one of the biggest in the Everest region. Another half hour walk and you arrive at Debuche where we spend the night. Please note that this is the last place where you have the luxury of ensuite bathrooms and hot showers!
Dingboche (4350m, 6 hrs)
For the first couple of hours you continue through a rhododendron forest, crossing wooden bridges over the Dudh Koshi River to reach the last permanent settlement of the region, Pangboche (3970m). We stop here for tea to admire the majestic view of Mt Amadablam. You then continue your walk on undulating ‘flat’ until Shomare (4040m), that lies on the banks of the Dudh Koshi River where we have lunch. Leaving the treeline behind, at this high altitude the scenery is much more barren and open with alpine meadows. After lunch, you cross a wooden bridge over the Dudh Koshi River to start the uphill trek up to Dingboche.
Dingboche - Acclimatization Day
Here you have another day to acclimatize to the altitude. Today you climb up to 4700m, ascending Nagarzhang Peak. Walking for about 4 hours this is a good way to get your body acclimatized to the thinner air at high altitude. From Nagarzhang Peak, you get a splendid panoramic view of the fourth, fifth and sixth highest peaks in the world: Lhotse, Makalu, and Cho Oyu, as well as other high mountains like Island Peak. You then have the rest of the day to relax.
Lobuche (4910m, 5 hrs)
From Dingboche the settlements we see are only there to support tourists and there are no more permanent settlements. You walk through summer yak pastures which are fairly flat, surrounded by views dominated by Mt. Taboche and Mt. Cholatse. Stopping for lunch at Thugla (4620m), you then continue ever upwards, along the steep ascent to Chakpki Lara Pass at 4820m. Here you pass a number of memorials of Sherpas and some mountaineers who lost their lives in the mountains. Walking through the end of moraine at Changri Glacier, you see the peaks of Nuptse, Khumutse, Lingtren, Pumori, Lobuche East and Lobuche West. From this point it is a nice flat hike to Lobuche.
At Lobuche you can see the sun setting over Nuptse. A short hike brings you to a view point of the entire Khumbu Glacier.
Gorakshep, Everest Base Camp (5380m) (5180m, 7 hrs)
Today is THE DAY when you reach Everest Base Camp. Starting early in the morning, it is not long before you pass 5000m above sea level. After about an hour and a half the ascent becomes a bit steeper as you follow the rugged trail that leads up to Gorakshep where we stop for lunch.
After lunch we continue for another two hours to Everest Base Camp. From April-May it will be busy with climbers preparing for their Everest Peak Summiting expeditions. The rest of the year however, it is much quieter. You will have time for photos and to enjoy the thrill of being at Everest Base Camp before heading back down to the warmth and comfort of your lodge at Gorakshep.
Kala Patthar (5644m), Pheriche (4270m, 5 hrs)
Starting early in the morning, you climb Kala Patthar (5644m) to see the sun rise over Mount Everest. This is an unforgettable and a ‘must do’ experience. Maybe more memorable and certainly more beautiful than the hike to Base Camp, the view from the top is like nothing else and worth every step of the way.
Descending back to Gorakshep for breakfast you then retrace your steps down, this time going to Pheriche to spend the night.
Namche Bazaar (3440m, 8 hrs)
Charged with energy, you will find the descent easy. The views of the mountains as you descend are no less beautiful. Once at Namche Bazaar you can revel in hot showers and good coffee.
Lukla (2860m, 8 hrs)
Though it is quite a long day, the hike down to Lukla now seems quite easy. By now, charged with energy, you will be feeling fit and strong from your trek. Downhill most of the way, you can celebrate in style in the bustling town of Lukla. Here you say goodbye to your support team who have accompanied us all the way to and from Everest.
It may have been more than a week since you last indulged in alcohol, given that at altitude drinking is not at all recommended. Now you have time to party, but don’t forget that you have another early start the next morning!
Fly to Kathmandu
A short walk takes you to Lukla airport where you take the thirty minute flight back to Kathmandu. Once back in Kathmandu you are taken back to your hotel for nice hot showers, relaxation and the rest of the day off.
In the afternoon you might like to try out one of the many cooking classes or workshops on offer, go for some more sightseeing or do some last minute shopping. Ask your guide for suggestions. In the evening, with your leader, we go for dinner in a restaurant for our last group dinner together.
The last day and it is time to depart. Confirm your flight time with your leader who will arrange your transport to the airport. If you have some extra time to stay in Nepal and would like more information on what to do, your leader can help you with any arrangements you want to make.