Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu - 1,300m/4,264 ft
Upon your arrival in the Kathmandu airport (KTM) you will be greeted by a representative from Himalayan Glacier Trekking (HGT). After completing your custom formalities (Visa, etc) pick up your luggage and look for our representative with a Himalayan Glacier Trekking display board at the arrival gate. You will be then transferred to Hotel Shanker or a similar category hotel. After check in, you will visit HGT office, meet your trekking guide as well as other participants. Later in the evening we will organize a "Welcome Dinner" at an excellent traditional Nepalese Restaurant where you will enjoy a Nepalese cultural program along with a fine meal.
Day 02: Kathmandu Sightseeing & Preparation for the Climb
Today after breakfast we start a guided tour to several of the most historical and spiritual attractions in Kathmandu. The day will also be for finalizing official procedure and other necessary arrangements. You will be also briefed on the nature of expedition, equipments and team composition. Some of these landmarks are considered World Heritage Sites; including the historic Kathmandu Durbar Square, the sacred Hindu temple of Pashupati Nath, the famous 'Monkey Temple' (Swayambunath) and Buddhists shrine (BouddhaNath) 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 and other team members. You can also make your last minute buying of personal items as you will be flying to the Himalayas tomorrow.
Day 03: Kathmandu - Lukla - Phakding (2,652m/8,700ft): 3/4 hrs
After breakfast, we get transferred 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 starts. After an adventurous 40 minute flight above 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. Here 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.
Day 04: Phakding - Namche Bazaar (3440 m/11,280 ft): 5/6 hrs
Walking through a beautiful pine forest, the track leads us along the Dudh Koshi River through many suspension bridges, one of which is the famous Hillary Suspension Bridge. First, we catch wonderful prospect of the glistening Mt. Thamserku (6618 m). Through the settlement of Benkar, Chumoa, Monjo, we come to the check post and entrance to Sagarmatha National Park. We pass through the last village of Jorsale before reaching Namche Bazaar. The trail climbs through the forests and bridges until we reach the confluence of the Dudh Koshi and Bhote Koshi rivers. After a final steep ascent of about two hours we get first sight of Mt. Everest peering over the Lhotse-Nuptse ridge. We stop at Chautara to admire the view. We still need to hike about 1.5 hours to reach Namche Bazaar, a gateway to Mt. Everest and main trading centre of this region.
Day 05: Acclimatization Day - Namche Bazaar: 3,440m/11,284ft
This is the scheduled 'acclimatization' day for this trek. Health experts always recommend us to stay active and moving during the rest day too 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. 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. 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. We also take an interesting side trip up to Khumjung. We climb up to the famous airstrip at Syangboche. Just above the airstrip is the Everest View Hotel, a Japanese scheme to build a deluxe hotel with great views of the highest mountains on Earth. The Khumjung valley is surrounded by the snowy peaks of Kongde and Thamserku and the scared peak Khumbila, hosts a well known monastery that houses a yeti scalp. We also visit Hillary School which is at the same site. After having lunch and spending some time in Khumjung, we walk back down to Namche Bazzar.
Day 06: Namche Bazzar to Tengboche (3,870m/12,694ft): 5/6 hrs walk
After breakfast in Namche, we start our trek towards Tengboche enjoying superb view of Mt. Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse, Ama Dablam and close up view of Thamserku. Our trek follows on the gradual trail with few ups and downs overlooking magnificent view of the great Himalaya. Along the way we can spot wild lives like pheasant, musk deer, or a herd of Himalayan Thar. The trail goes gradually down up to Kayangjuma. The path eventually reaches Sansa which is the major trail junction to Gokyo valley and Everest Base Camp. The track then follows through the pine forests and after we cross the prayer flags festooned bridge over Dudh Koshi River, we reach Phunki Thenga, a small settlement with a couple of teahouses and a small army post amidst the alpine woods. After having a relaxed lunch at Phunki Thenga we then have a little tough climb steep up through the pine forests while before we reach Tengboche. Tengboche is a great place for close up views of Ama-Dablam, Nuptse, and Everest and it has a biggest Buddhist Monastery all over in Khumbu region. We visit the monastery the same day at around 3 p.m. to witness the ceremony in the principal and popular monastery of Everest region.
Day 07: Tengboche to Dingboche (4,360 m/14,300 ft): 5/6 hrs
Mountains as a backdrop, the monastery in Tengboche looks spectacular more in the morning. We snap pictures of the monastery and the sceneries around and as usual start the day journey. We choose the upper trail for better views to visit Pangboche village and its ancient Monastery. We pass through several Chortens and Mani walls and small villages. We enjoy lunch with fantastic close-up views of Ama-Dablam. In the afternoon, go north to Pheriche or take the eastward trail beneath the towering north face of Ama Dablam. From here onwards the walk is fairly moderate as we enter the Imja Valley. The valley ahead will begin to open up as we approach the confluence of the Lobuche River, we descend into the river and begin the last and steepest climb of the day up to Dingboche On arrival in Dingboche, we enjoy the beautiful array of fields enclosed by stone walls to protect the barley, buckwheat and potatoes from the cold winds and grazing animals.
Day 08: Dingboche - Lobuche (4940 m/16,207 ft): 5/ 6 hours
We start the day with a climb to Duglha through the Khumbu Khola valley. The trek along the arid terrace is awarding with awesome views of mountains on all sides. As we come to a yak herder's place called Dusa, the valley begins to narrow and we continue through Phulung Karpo, of the camp sites during first successful Everest Expedition in 1953. After crossing a small wooden bridge, we ascend to Dughla. Beyond Duglha we trek up the steep terminal moraine of the Khumbu Glacier. We find our way through the boulder-strewn slope as we ascend Chupki Lhara, an eerie ridge top with dramatic mountains views. At the top of the ridge we will find an array of stones with prayer flags used as memorials to Scott Fischer (American mountaineer) and 10 times Everest summitter Babu Chiri Sherpa (mountain guide from Nepal) who perished on a mission to climb Everest. As we trek along a murmuring stream we do not see the Khumbu glacier because of its lateral moraine wall and we now begin to feel a little out of breath due to high altitude.
Day 09: Lobuche - Gorak Shep (5170 m/16,961ft) - Everest Base Camp (5364 m/17,594 ft) - Gorak Shep: 7/8 hrs
The trail to Gorak Shep goes ahead through the lateral moraine of the Khumbu Glacier. We pass though the pyramid sign post. Ahead on the trail we see crest of north ridge of Everest along with Mt. Pumori, Mahalangur, Lingtern, Khumbutse, 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 be surrounded by snow-capped mountains looming all around us including the top of the world - Mount Everest. After a brief lunch and rest, we take the trail to Everest Base Camp through the once vast Gorak Shep Lake. As we reach Everest Base Camp we cannot stop ourselves from appreciating the Everest climbers those take the hazardous route through the Khumbu icefall. Nuptse, Khumbuste and Pumori are the mountains we can view from base camp. Everest actually is not visible from here. We get back to Gorak Shep for a good night's rest. However, the sunset view from Kala Patthar is more admirable than the sunrise view. As the setting sun's rays strike the snow capped mountains the resulting scenery is indescribable. For those trekkers who wish to continue our guides and Sherpas coordinate a hike to Kala Patthar for amazing sunset view today rather than waiting until the next day.
Day 10: Gorak Shep - Kala Patthar (5545 m/18,192 ft) - Lobuche (4940 m/16,207 ft) -- Lobuche Base Camp (4865m/15,957 ft): 6/7 hrs
We start early in the morning to catch the dramatic views from Kala Patthar witnessing the first light of day shining on Mount Everest. However, we need to get prepared for an early morning, dark and cold temperature (-10 to -14 C) departure beforehand. Plus there is always the potential for 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 an ascent, we reach Kala Patthar. From here 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 rocks our eyes taking in the unbelievable Himalayan Panorama, wandering from one mighty massif to another. We take as many pictures as we can with our camera and take the in view with our mind's eye to last lifetime. Then we continue via Lobuche toward the Lobuche Base Camp. After walking some distance on relatively flatter plane, the path to the Lobuche Base Camp gets steeper and rocky. Our guides will also explain you the peak climbing techniques and using climbing gears such as ice axe, climbing boot, harness, jummer, and how to go up and down using ropes.
Day 11: Lobuche Base Camp to Lobuche High Camp (5,600m/18,368 ft): 3/4 hrs
Today, after breakfast we make a hike from Lobuche Base Camp to the Lobuche High Camp. The climb takes for about 4 hours. The High camp is located at 5,600m/18,368 ft. From Base Camp, we hike on a rocky moraine path to reach the high camp. Upon reaching the high camp, we set up our camp, take lunch and rest. You can also walk around for some time that would also help in acclimatization.
Day 12: Summit Day: Lobuche Peak (6119m/20,070 ft) Summit & back to Base Camp: 7/9 hrs
Today is our cherished day for the summit. We start early in the morning for the summit endeavour. Lobuche east offers more panoramic views of the mountains that other popular peaks such as Island Peak. Once upon the Lobuche summit, you would enjoy magnificently panoramic views of Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, Ama Dablam, Cholatse, Pumori, and many more. We spend some time at the summit celebrating and taking pictures, then we get back to the Base Camp again.
Day 13: Reserve Day for Contingency
There is no such guarantee that we can get quite a favorable weather on our planned day for the summit, so this day is used as a contingency in case if we are unable to summit the Lobuche Peak on day 12 due to bad weather condition or some other reasons. If weather gets exceptionally unfavorable we wisely have to postpone the program of summit the peak on day 12 for toady (Day 13). Sometimes somebody in the group may get some problems in acclimatizing well enough to make the ascent; the day can be used in that condition too. If the trip goes smoothly, we do not need this spare day.
Day 14: Lobuche Base Camp to Dzongla (4830m/15,850 ft): 2/3 hrs
Trek to Lobuche again to join the Everest Base Camp trail. However, the path to Dzongla branches off from the main trail some distance from Lobuche. After crossing a stream we come through a fork and later curving round to the wide gravelly river bed of the stream as it flows southwestward, the trail runs across it and climbs the ridge ahead. From the grassy ridge ahead, as the trail runs across to southeast from where we can see soaring heights of Ama Dablam and Kangtega-Thamserku while Taboche looms prominently ahead. Pheriche village is also visible down in the distance. Visible also is the mound in Chukpi Lhara and its memorials and the lodges of Dhugla. As the ridge veers northward, the vast Chola Lake spreads below Mt. Cholatse . The lake stays with us over a long stretch until we descend to a wide basin. The trail climbs up a spur and descends steeply to another broad basin. After an hour walk transverse from the basin and shortly after crossing a wobbly bridge, we reach Dzongla.
Day 15: Dzongla-ChoLa(5368m/17,611 ft)-Thangnak (4680m/15,350 ft)-Gokyo (4800m/15,580 ft): 7/8 hrs
Early morning as we get out of our lodge we are greeted by the mesmerizing sight of Cholatse looming over. Today is going to be one of the toughest days of our trip. The walk begins as we transverse through a spur extending westward from Dzongla. The path descends to a basin across which meanders a murmuring stream crusted with ice at places. In about an hour, we reach the top of the basin readying for the triumph on ChoLa. As we gain height, the view back gets increasingly more captivating; the Chola Lake begins to appear and the Ama Dablam in its pyramidal incarnation presides over a range of mountains on the south as Cholatse soars on the west. The final climb to the Cho La can be a little tricky as the trail curves round the bergschrund. Upon reaching the top, we see prayer flags, strung across cairns, flapping in the strong wind. Scenery of majestic peaks in all directions is breathtaking. Although long, the path leading down to Thangnak can be easily made out from the pass because it is just decent but can be hazardous if rocks are glazed by ice, a bit of cautiousness is needed. The trail brings us to the Ngozumpa glacier edge after short walk, which is longest glacier in Nepal. Reaching the other side of the glacier, we get view of the second of the Gokyo lakes on the series of six lakes.
Day 16: Gokyo to Lungden (4,600m/15,088ft) via Renjo La pass (5,435/17,827ft): 5/6 hrs
The complicated day crossing via Renjo La pass. From Gokyo, we head west crossing the high pass of the Renjo La at (5411m/17,750 ft). After early breakfast we head towards the lake back and climb up to the top of Renjo la. We continue down the west side of the pass, descending all the way down to Lungden at (4500m/14,760 ft). During the walk can be seen the best view of Himalayan range from way to Renjo la and on descent can be seen the view of Kyajo Ri and arrive at Lungden for overnight.
Day 17: Trek down to Thame & Mende (3736 m/12,255 ft): 5/6 hrs
Today, we make a short walk of about 2 hrs descending to Thame village one of the beautiful Sherpa village western part of Khumbu and adjoining part of Rolwaling Himalayan ranges. Thame is popular town for Sherpa Climbers and the beautiful Monastery as well best view of Himalayan Ranges. From Thame we turn east, heading back in the direction of Namche Bazar and almost completing an entire circumnavigation of Kyajo Ri. We will camp in Mende (3740m/12,270 ft) a small town at the entrance of the Kyajo Drangka.
Day 18: Trek to Kyajo Ri base camp (4550m/14925 ft): 4/5hrs
Above Mende we leave the main trails and follow a faint yak trail up over a couple of passes to enter the Kyajo Drangka; the isolated broad valley south of Kyajo Ri. Enjoy the views of Mt. Thamserku, Khumbila, Kusum Kangaru, Kwangde, Pachharmo and surrounding Himalayan ranges. Kyajo Ri Base Camp is set up between the rocky mountain with flat ground in a side of small river. This is one of the summer yak pasture and a nice place to set up camp.
Day 19: Trek to Camp I (5200m/17056 ft): 4/5 hrs
The ascent to Camp 1 at over 5200 meters from base camp at around 4,600 meters involves a 2 hour hike over a grassy spur and boulders. After half an hour walk the trails follows the upward rocky section with a lot of boulders and skid pebbles. Another 3 hours steep walk then get to the Camp 1. Enjoy the scenery of Kyajo Ri and small glacial lakes.
Day 20: Rest & Acclimatization at Camp I
This is an important phase of the expedition. Proper acclimatization is essential before the summit push. Make some climbing practices toward Camp 2, and then get back to Camp 1 again. We do this with the aim of providing gradual acclimatization. There may also be the need for rope fixing between Camp 1 and Camp 2, and this is a good day for that. Overnight at Camp I.
Day 21: Trek to Camp 2 (5700m/18696 ft): 4/5 hrs
Camp 1 to Camp 2 involves some technical climbing over mixed face slopes up to 55 degrees as well as negotiating through the glacier. Camp 2 lies near the glacier and has sufficient place for camping. We can see the climbing route that we will attempt the next day. We pitch our camp near big glacier lake. Camp 2 is located at about 5700m, 18,700ft. If the weather favors us, we may also get pleasing sunlight in the day. Overnight at Camp 2.
Day 22: Summit Day and Back to Camp 2: 7/8 hrs
Our summit day begins in the early morning, at about 3:00 am. After light breakfast we start to climb though the rocky part with big boulders and after a walk reach at Glacier part from where it's fairly hard to climb. Here the ground steepens, and we climb snow and ice on the Southwest Ridge. There is one short rock section but primarily the climbing is on snow and ice. The sharp summit is a narrow wedge of snow. After spending some time in celebrations and taking pictures on the summit, we return back to Camp I. As you know that we are taking south east route and our leader will take you up to the summit and on the return back we should back to camp 2.
Day 23: Contingency Day
There is no such guarantee that we can get quite a favorable weather on our planned day for the summit. So we keep this day as a contingency in case if we are unable to summit the Kyajo Ri Peak on day 22 due to bad weather condition or some other reasons. If weather gets exceptionally unfavorable, we would have to wisely postpone the program of summiting the peak on day 22 for toady (Day 23). Sometimes somebody in the group may get some problems in acclimatizing well enough to make the ascent; the day can be used in that condition too. If the trip goes smoothly, we do not need this spare day.
Day 24: Trek back to Base Camp: 4/5 hrs
We have made it! Today we return back to Kyajo Ri Base Camp, and celebrate the success of our trip. Reaching the Base Camp, relax for some time and discover the area if interested.
Day 25: Base Camp to Namche: 5/6 hrs
Clean the Base Camp and trek back to Namche bazaar. After a great success we return back via Mende, Thamo to Namche. It takes about 5-6 hrs from BC to Namche Bazar.
Day 26: Trek Namche to Lukla: 6/7 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 following Dud Koshi and its tributaries the trail becomes more level and natural. 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 feel the Sherpa villages' impressive faith in Buddhism and culture of prayer stones and prayers flag while we walk through the villages.
Day 27: Fly back to Kathmandu
Fly back to Kathmandu after long mountain adventure. The flight time to Kathmandu is schedule for morning normally because of the wind in the afternoon. However, sometimes the flight may be delayed due to bad weather and other reasons. After arrival in Kathmandu, you will be transferred to your hotel. You can rest and relax throughout the day in the hotel. If interested to take some gifts from Nepal for friends and relatives, you can visit to some nearby shops or venture out in Thamel for typical Nepalese goods which can be assisted by our guides or you can do it yourself too. If fascinated to explore some other areas of Kathmandu you can do that today. We will be hosting a fantastic celebration dinner together for successful completion of the Expedtion!
Day 28: Farewell Friend
You are saying good bye to the mountains as your adventurous trip in Nepal comes to an end today! There is nothing to do but trade emails with your travel companions and organize your photos. If you have more time you can do some shopping or sightseeing. Approximately 3 hours before your scheduled flight a representative from Himalayan Glacier Trekking will take you to the airport. On your way home you'll have plenty of time to plan your next adventure in the wonderful country of Nepal.
Please note that often the Kathmandu-Lukla-Kathmandu flight gets delayed by a few hours or may even be canceled for one, two, or more days due to unfavorable weather conditions. Such conditions may arise even in the best seasons. Hence, in such cases, you must be prepared for long waits both at Kathmandu or Lukla airports, as this can happen either at the start or end of the trek or even both! We do our utmost to avoid such delays, and fix you on next flight. Still, we suggest you to be prepared for possible delays/cancellation, and if possible to come with some extra buffer days (1-2 days) at the end of the trip to accommodate such delays. We also organize heli rescue in such conditions, if it's available and upon request by our clients. The helicopter charges around USD 3500 and it can lift 4-5 persons per flight. If everything runs smoothly and if interested, you can also enjoy other activities like sightseeing, rafting, wildlife activities, shopping, etc during your buffer days.
In case, the flight delay/cancellation happens at the start of trip and it goes so long that it disturbs your onward travel schedule, you are free to choose an alternative trip: such a trek in the Annapurna, Langtang, or any other regions. If you are not interested in the alternative trip and would rather wait for the trip, you are welcome to wait in Kathmandu for as many days as it takes to get a flight to Lukla. However, please note that there will be no refund, if you lose your time waiting at the airport and do not take an alternative tour or you only do short trek later due to time limitation. If the cancellation happens before the trip, we will provide you accommodation and lunch in a guesthouse in Kathmandu. In case of the flight delay/cancelation after finishing of the trek, you will be responsible for all your expenses. Please also note that you will not be entitled to any refund for the services (such as hotel, transport, flight, etc) included in the package that you would not use later.