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The Tenzing-Hillary Everest Marathon, 42 km race held from Everest Base Camp is set to organize the 16th annual Tenzing-Hillary Everest Marathon in the Khumbu region on May 29, 2019, to commemorate the first ascent of Mt Everest by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa on May 29, 1953. This is the highest Marathon in the world, which will start at Everest Base Camp (5364m), beneath the Khumbu Icefall mostly leading downhill on rough trails, through the spectacular homeland of the Sherpa people, to Namche Bazaar (3466m). The marathon is growing in scope each passing year. Over the 16 years, as the First run in 2003 as an event for local runners, the marathon has evolved into one of the most exciting adventure sporting events in the world and typically includes runners from 30 or more nations. Athletes participating in the Tenzing-Hillary Everest Marathon have gone on to join in some of the notable trail-running events across the world and returned home with honors.
To participate in the race, Runners must sign up for this three week Mount Everest Package. As the start line of the race is at 5364 m, it is essential that participants have adequate altitude acclimatization to avoid health risks like altitude sickness and cold allergy which is one of our primary concerns. To avoid such risks, we have allowed a total of 5 rest and acclimatization days during the trek up to base camp and start of the race. With our additional days for acclimatization at Lukla, Namche Bazaar, Dingboche, Gorak Shep and Everest Basecamp itself, this itinerary should provide near optimal preparation for the marathon.
During the entire trek, the runners will always be accompanied by experienced local guides, the local crew including doctors who will monitor and check up runners’ physical health. On race day, there will be an official timekeeper, a team of marshals, checkpoints and drinks/feeding stations, as well as emergency evacuation support. To keep track of runners’ progress, organizers will provide an electronic wristband to all runners.
This is a challenging route, although mostly downhill, The Everest Marathon route consists entirely of off-road non-tarmac surfaces. Runners will need to navigate through natural trails, stone trails, and steps and sometimes even snow or muddy trails. Thus, the race is only suitable for runners who are well trained or race under cross-country, trail, fell or mountain conditions. Relatives and friends are welcomed to sign up for the trek to cheer up the runners as non-running group members.
Runners from all walks of life take part in this event – new Tenzing Hillary Everest Marathon is not just a running event – it is indeed a once in a lifetime experience.
|Day 01 Arrival in Kathmandu and Trip Preparation||1,350m/4,429ft|
|Day 02 Fly to Lukla, gateway to the Khumbu||2,800m/9,187ft|
|Day 03 Trek to Phakding||2,610m/8,563ft||3-4 hrs|
|Day 04 Phakding to Namche Bazaar||3,438m/11,280ft||5-6 hrs|
|Day 05 Acclimatization Day - Namche Bazaar||3,438m/11,280ft|
|Day 06 Namche Bazaar to Khumjung||3,810m/12,501ft||2-3 hrs|
|Day 07 Khumjung to Deboche||3,820m/12,533ft||5-6 hrs|
|Day 08 Deboche to Dingboche||4,360m/14,305ft||4-5 hrs|
|Day 09 Dingboche: acclimatization||4,360m/14,305ft|
|Day 10 Dingboche to Lobuche||4,940m/16,208ft||5-6 hrs|
|Day 11 Lobuche to Gorak Shep||5,170m/16,963ft||6-7 hrs|
|Day 12 Acclimatization day - Gorak Shep: Optional early morning ascent of Kala Patar||5,545m/18,193ft|
|Day 13 Trek to Everest Base Camp : Camp alongside the Everest expeditions.||5,364m/17,599ft|
|Day 14 Acclimatization at Everest Base Camp : Final Race Preparation||5,364m/17,599ft|
|Day 15 Final Race Day - Everest Marathon- Overnight in Namche Bazaar||3,438m/11,280ft|
|Day 16 Namche Bazaar to Monjo||2,840m/9,318ft||2-3 hrs|
|Day 17 Monjo to Lukla||2,800m/9,187ft||5-6 hrs|
|Day 18 Fly to Kathmandu||1,350m/4,429ft|
|Day 19 Kathmandu Sightseeing and Celebration in the Evening||1,350m/4,429ft|
|Day 20 Final departure||-|
Upon our arrival in Kathmandu, a representative from Himalayan Glacier will pick us up from the airport and take us to our hotel. In the afternoon, there will be a pre-trip discussion where we can meet our trek leader and other team members. We can use this time to ask any questions about our trip to the management and trek leader. In the evening, there will be a welcome dinner hosted by Himalayan Glacier. For dinner; we will try excellent Nepalese cuisine which will introduce us to the country’s food culture.
During the 40-minute flight from Kathmandu to Lukla (9,186ft), we enjoy one of the most beautiful air routes in the world culminating on a hillside surrounded by high mountainous peaks. After Lodge check-in, we take it easy for the rest of the day. Lukla is a popular place for visitors as it offers a close-up view of Mount Everest and the mountain life of the local inhabitants. Spending a day at Lukla is a brilliant way to start the process of acclimatization.
From Lukla, we start trekking. At one hour’s gradual descent, we will be at a Cheplung village from where we have a glimpse of Mt. Khumbila (18900ft), a sacred mountain which has never been climbed. From Cheplung, we then gradually descend until we reach Phakding and spend the night.
Walking through a beautiful pine forest, we follow the trail north up the valley of Benkar. Then, we cross Dudh Koshi River and go on passing Chumoa to Monjo, the entrance to Everest National Park. Then crossing a suspension bridge, we pass Jorsale village and walk alongside the Dudh Koshi and Bhote Koshi rivers. A steep ascent brings us to the prime heartland of Sherpa village – Namche Bazaar. At one hour’s distance to reaching Namche Bazaar, if the weather permits, we can view the sights of Mt. Everest and Mt. Lhotse. Overnight in Namche Bazaar.
There are plenty of things to do around Namche Bazaar, and we can spend a day here acclimatizing. Namche Bazaar is the main center of the Khumbu region and has government offices, ATMs, Internet cafes, shops, restaurants, and a colorful market. Our guides can take us to explore the real charm of Namche Bazaar. Hiking to Sagarmatha National Park rewards trekkers with a sunrise view and the views of Mount Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, Ama Dablam, Thamserku, Kongde and so on. If we are interested in a day hike, we trek to Khumjung village (12401ft)-a beautiful village with a Sherpa settlement. In exploring Namche Bazar, we observe traditional Sherpa life, Khumjung Hillary School and enjoy flora and fauna found at such altitude. Overnight in Namche Bazaar.
Today’s journey starts with a climb up to the famous airstrip at Syangboche. Just above the airstrip is the Everest View Hotel from where we can enjoy an up-close view of the mighty Everest. We continue trekking to Khumjung village which is surrounded by Kondge, Thamserku and the sacred Khumbila mountains. While here, we visit the Edmund Hillary School and Khumjung Monastery (a monastery famous for housing the head of the Yeti!). Overnight in Khumjung.
Upon having breakfast, our trek follows on the gradual trail with few ups and downs overlooking a 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-flag festooned bridge over Dudh Koshi River. Upon crossing the 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 tough little climb that goes steeply up through the pine forests until we reach Tengboche. Tengboche is a great place for close-up views of Ama-Dablam, Nuptse, and Everest and it has the biggest Buddhist monastery in the Khumbu region. Walking along rhododendron forests for about an hour we reach Deboche. Overnight in Deboche
We start our trek towards Pangboche enjoying a superb view of Mt. Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse, Ama Dablam and a close-up view of Thamserku. We pass through several chortens, mani walls, and small villages. While on the journey, we enjoy lunch with fantastic close-up views of Ama-Dablam. In the afternoon, we go north to Pheriche or take the eastward trail beneath the towering north face of Ama Dablam. From here onwards the walk is relatively moderate as we enter the Imja Valley. The valley ahead will begin to open up as we approach the confluence of the Lobuche River. Then after the confluence, we descend into the river and begin the last and steepest climb of the day up to Dingboche. Upon 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 at a local lodge.
Dingboche is a popular stop for trekkers and climbers headed to Mt. Everest, Ama Dablam or Imja Tse. The village is beautiful with an array of fields enclosed by stone walls to protect barley, buckwheat, and potatoes from the cold wind and grazing animals. We spend a day at Dingboche for acclimatization. We take day hikes to either Nagarjuna Hill or Chukkhung Valley for great views of Makalu, Lhotse, Chalotse, Tawache, and Ama Dablam.
We start the day with a gradual climb to Duglha at the end of the terminal moraine of the Khumbu Glacier. From here, we climb up a steep trail to Chupki Lhara, where we find an array of stones with prayer flags used as memorials to Scott Fischer (American mountaineer) and 10-time Everest submitter Babu Chiri Sherpa (Nepali mountain guide) who perished on a mission to climb Everest. Next, we continue to the Khumbu Glacier moraine and find ourselves facing several great peaks – Khumbutse, Lingtren, Pumori and Mahalangur Himal. The trail then eases off as we follow the valley to Lobuche. Overnight in Lobuche.
We take the trail to Everest Base Camp through the once vast Gorak Shep Lake. Continuing straight ahead, we come across the Indian army mountaineers’ memorials. The path from here can be misleading; hence, it is important that we follow our lead Sherpa diligently. The walk is strenuous due to thin air in the high altitude. Walk of about 3-4 hours, will lead to us in an island of sparse grasses below Kala Patthar. This is the place known as Gorak Shep. Once a summer yak herding meadow, this remote spot now boasts some of the highest tea houses in Nepal. Overnight in Gorak Shep.
One of the highlights of any visit to this remote location is to make the ascent to the viewpoint known as Kala Patthar. At an elevation of 5555 meters, we get to see 360 degree up-close and formidable views of Mt. Everest. The best views are usually to be had first thing in the morning (when the weather is usually clearest) or at sunset when the western side of Everest is bathed in pink light. On this day, non- runners will have the opportunity to walk up to Everest Basecamp and to make an ascent of Kala Patthar.
Trek to Everest Base camp is strenuous due to thin air in the high altitude. We pass through rocky dunes, moraine, and streams before reaching the Everest Base Camp beneath the spectacular Khumbu Icefall. Upon reaching the Everest Base Camp, we see tents of mountaineers that stand out in bright colors against the monotony of gray surroundings (especially in the spring).we will set up our camp close to many tents of Everest Climbers. Nuptse, Khumbuste, and Pumori are the mountains we can view from the base camp. On reaching the base camp, we will feel the excitement of expeditions who are looking to the summit and the anticipation of the race in a couple of days. Non-runners accompanied by crew members who will not participate in the race will trek down the valley to Pangboche.
We have a final day of preparation and acclimatization at Everest Basecamp to ensure that we are ready for the challenge awaiting us tomorrow. Non-competing group members will today make the long walk from Pangboche to Namche Bazaar.
Everest Marathon, the world’s highest race will start at 7 am to allow the slowest participants to complete the route in daylight. There will be full marshaling, drinks stations, and medical back-up and supervision. Shortly after first light, you will take your first running steps back towards Namche Bazaar, with the first 5-kilometer section of the run across the Khumbu Glacier and back to Gorak Shep providing the most difficult underfoot conditions of the whole route. Reaching the well-trodden Everest Trail, the conditions ease, and once you reach the main Imja Valley and the half distance point Orsho (21km), there is a lot more oxygen available, and you should be feeling good. A sting in the tail, however, is the 500-meter climb from the bridge at Phunki Tenga (at 34km) to Khunde above Namche Bazaar. The world’s highest race, Everest Marathon ends with a final descent via the Hillary School and the village of Syangboche.
Monjo is a small village in the Khumbu region of Nepal. After Morning at leisure, we trek down to Monjo. A steep descent takes us to a bridge over the Dudh Koshi River. We cross the river twice at separate locations before reaching Monjo. Sightseeing and Souvenir shopping is also something we look forward before we set off and easy descent to our lodge in Monjo.
On this way, we pass Phakding and Chiplung villages. The trail descends steeply before it cuts up to the airstrip in Chauri Kharka. The climb from Chauri Kharka is the final climb of the trek. As the local staff, you met in Lukla will not be accompanying you to Kathmandu, today is the last day you celebrate your accomplishment together. Overnight in Lukla.
We catch an early morning flight to Kathmandu after our long mountain journey. After reaching Kathmandu, we can take a rest or do some souvenir shopping. The rest of the day is free for sightseeing or relaxing
Today after breakfast we start a guided tour to several of the most historical and spiritual attractions in Kathmandu. Some of these landmarks including the historic Durbar Square, the sacred Hindu temple of Pashupatinath, the famous ‘Monkey Temple’ (Swayambhunath) and Buddhist shrine (Bouddhanath) which is one of the largest stupas in the world are listed as the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. To celebrate the successful completion of our journey, we will have a farewell dinner in the evening — overnight in Kathmandu.
Our Everest adventure in Nepal ends today. A Himalayan Glacier representative will drop us off at the Tribhuwan International Airport a few hours before the scheduled flight.
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During our trek, we can enjoy authentic Nepalese food as well as the more common international cuisine (Tibetan, Continental, Italian, Indian, etc.). Breakfast and dinner will be served from the teahouse or from a lodge menu where we spend the night whereas lunch will be served on the way to the next destination. All meals will be provided during trekking while only breakfast will be available in Kathmandu. There will also be welcome and farewell dinners for guests.
We will be staying in Yatri Suites & Spa or similar in Kathmandu and teahouses during the trek. All accommodations are on a twin-shared basis. Single supplement will be served on request and will cost an additional USD 350. Himalayan Glacier will arrange rooms with attached washrooms; however, teahouses in some places only have shared washing and toilet facilities. Also note that single rooms are readily available in Kathmandu and the trekking regions at a lower elevation, but it might be difficult to find them at higher elevations
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