Day 1: Arrive in Kathmandu (1300 m / 4264 ft):
Upon your arrival in the Kathmandu airport you will be greeted by a representative from Himalayan Glacier Trekking. 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 checking in, you can either take a rest or visit our office. In the evening, there will be a welcome dinner hosted by Himalayan Glacier at The Ship Restaurant Bar & Lounge. For dinner, you will be served excellent authentic Nepalese cuisine which will introduce you to the Nepalese food culture.
Day 2: Kathmandu: Sightseeing and Trek Preparation.
Today after breakfast we start a guided tour to several of the most historical and spiritual attractions in Kathmandu. Some of these landmarks include the World Heritage Sites: the historic Durbar Square, the sacred Hindu temple of Pashupati Nath, the famous 'Monkey Temple' (Swayambhunath) and Buddhists shrine (Buddha Nath) which is one of the largest 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. Himalayan Glacier Trekking briefs us regarding our trek as well as provides us opportunity to ask any questions we may have regarding our upcoming adventure.
Day 3: Drive Kathmandu to Bhandar via Jiri
Today we take an early morning drive to Jiri, about 187 km north-east of Kathmandu. Since, we would be travelling on the mountain roads, it takes around 6-7 hrs to reach Jiri. From Jiri, we continue driving to Bhandar, our trek start point. Although still a single lane road, the road conditions have improved a lot nowadays than what it used to be till some years ago. Enjoy the views of Kosi River and panoramic views of the eastern Himalaya including Ganesh Himal, Langtang Lirung and Dorje Lakpa. Overnight at Bhandar.
Day 4: Bhandar to Sete(2575m/8450 ft): 6/7 hrs
Descend the trail from Bhandar through deep forests crossing a few streams passing the small settlements of Dokharpa and Baranda. Climb through the forests winding down to the Surma Khola. Continue to Likhu Khola Valley. Climb the ridge making up to the small settlement of Kenja. Another steep ascent to Chimbu and continuing further we finally reach Sete. Overnight at Sete.
Day 5: Sete trek to Junbesi(2670 m/8760 ft): 6/7 hrs
An uphill climb to Lamjura La through forests of pine, magnolia, maple, birch and rhododendrons. Pass by the villages of Dagchu and Goyem. Lamjura La pass at 3530 meters, the highest point between Jiri and Namche Bazar, offers a paroramic view of the surrounding green mountains. Desend down the pass to Tragdobuk and Junbesi. Spend the afternoon here exploring the village and the way of life of its inhabitants. Overnight at Junbesi.
Day 6: Junbesi trek to Nunthala (2220m/7280 ft): 6 hrs
Cross the stream beyond Junbesi climb up the forest slope and after an hour's trek, the mesmerizing views of the Himalaya mountains appears before our eyes. The mountains that are visible include Everest, Lhotse, Nupte, Makalu, Thamseruku, Mera Peak, and many other high mountains. This is the first view of Everest on this trek, although the lower peaks look closer and higher than the distant 8,000er mountains. Continue the trail to Salung and descend to Ringmo Khola. Ascend to Ringmo, cross the Trakshindo La pass and descend to Trashingdo. After another hour's desent through conifer and rhododendron forests, and terraced fields, we finally arrive at Nuntala. Overnight at Nuntala.
Day 7: Nunthala to Bupsa (2360 m/7,740 ft): 5/6 hrs
Descend down the trail to the Dudh Koshi River. We follow the Dudh Koshi River as we head upward to Khumbu. Cross the bridge, climb to Jubing and continue straight to Churkha. Climb the trail eastward to reach Kharikhola and descend to cross a suspension bridge. Another steep climb finally takes us to Bupsa. Overnight at Bupsa.
Day 8: Bupsa to Surke (2290m/7282ft): 5/6 hrs
The trail from Bupsa rises through a forested stretch passing Kharte. From Kharte, an uhill climb takes us to Khari La pass. Enjoy the magnificent views of the Khari La pass of Gyachung Kang and Khumbila mountains among others. Descend to Puiyan and go through the ups and downs to Surke.
Day 9: Surke to Phakding(2,652m/8,700ft): 4/5 hrs
From Surke, our trail climbs toward Chaurikharka. Initially, the trek moves up to Chhiplung. Then the trail moves down to Phakding. Overnight stay at Phakding.
Day 10: 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. We stay overnight in Namche Bazaar.
Day 11: 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. 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. Overnight in Namche Bazaar.
Day 12: Namche Bazzar to Tengboche (3,870m/12,694ft): 5/6 hrs
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. Overnight stay at lodge in Tengboche.
Day 13: 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. Overnight in Dingboche.
Day 14: Dingboche - Duglha (4,600 m/15,090 ft): 3/4 hrs
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. Above Phulung Karpo is Chola Lake. As we continue our trek the majestic view of Mt. Pumori (7138 m/ 23418 ft) comes into view. As the trail descends and curves Mt. Pumori hides and we come across a roaring stream. After crossing a small wooden bridge, we ascend to Dugla. We can see the tip of Nuptse from here as well as Cholatse, Thamserku, and several other magnificent peaks. Spending a night in Duglha is ideal for acclimatization purposes. Overnight in Duglha.
Day 15: Duglha - Lobuche (4940 m/16,207 ft): 2/4 hours
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 submitter Babu Chiri Sherpa (mountain guide from Nepal) who perished on a mission to climb Everest. As the trail drops to the Khumbu Glacier moraine, we find ourselves right "in front of" several great peaks - Khumbutse, Lingtren, Pumori and Mahalangur Himal. We are now in the vicinity of Everest but the great mountain still remains hidden. Nuptse towers to the right as the trail crosses the Khumbu Glacier. 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. Overnight in Lobuche.
Day 16: 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. Continuing straight ahead, we come through the Indian army mountaineers' memorials. 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. 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. Overnight in Gorak Shep.
Day 17: Gorak Shep - Kala Patthar (5545 m/18,192 ft) - Pheriche (4280 m/14,070 ft): 7/8 hrs
Today is the climax of our trip. 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. On being back to Gorak Shep, we have breakfast followed by a gradual descend down to Pheriche for a good night's rest. Overnight in Pheriche.
Day 18: Pheriche-Pangboche-Tengboche-Namche Bazzar (3,440 m/11,280 ft): 5/6 hrs
We will trek down through the hillside blanketed by rhododendron and juniper trees. If it's spring, pink and red rhododendron flowers ablaze our surroundings. Depending on our hunger and condition, we either have our lunch in Pangboche or wait until we reach Phunki Tenga for lunch. After crossing the prayer flag festooned bridge over the Dudh Koshi River trail then follows the Dudh Koshi gorge descending rapidly through the pine forests. The path eventually reaches Sansa which is the major trail junction in the region. We stop at Kyangjuma (3570 m/11,710 ft) for a relaxed lunch. Following lunch, the trail to Namche Bazaar clings to the steep wooded slope beyond Kyangjuma, winding through several bends. After passing a Chorten, we reach the army camp at of Namche Bazaar. We want to take a long last look (and picture!) back to Lhotse, the tip of Everest and Tengboche from here. On reaching our lodge, we take a nice hot shower and have very relaxed sleep in our room in Namche Bazaar. Overnight in Namche Bazaar.
Day 19: Namche Bazaar-Lukla (2,800m/9,186ft): 6/8 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 flowing Dudh Koshi and its tributaries the trail becomes more level and natural. By today we start to get warmed up by the light breeze. Any remaining sore throats and colds will be gone by today as we pass through this charming mountain air. 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 walk through the Sherpa villages' noticing impressive faith in Buddhism and culture of prayer stones and prayers flag while we walk through the villages. On arrival in Lukla, we stretch those sore legs and recall the experiences of the last couple of weeks. We experience the culmination of a fantastic trek on a happy note with everyone back safe and sound with smile on their faces! Overnight in Lukla.
Day 20: Lukla - Kathmandu
We fly back to Kathmandu after our long mountain journey. The early morning flight drops us at Kathmandu. You can rest and relax throughout the day in your hotel. If get interested to take some gifts home from Nepal for friends and relatives, 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 you want to explore any other areas of Kathmandu take the time to do that today! To celebrate the successful completion of our journey, we will have a farewell dinner at The Ship Restaurant Bar & Lounge where we can pick our meal from their carefully crafted menu that offer a wide range of choices.
Overnight in Kathmandu.
Day 21: Farewell Friend
You are saying good bye to the mountains as your journey 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.