Mount Everest (Sagarmatha) at 8,848.86 meters above sea level is the highest mountain in the world. Trek to the base camp of the highest mountain at 5,357 meters and to Kala Patthar view point at 5,545 m altitude is just incomparable. “Trek to the Everest Base Camp is the ultimate experience: A trip of a Lifetime”.
“Everest shows dignity, sacredness and spirituality with impressive environment. There is no other landscape like this, not even close to it, and I have never seen anything like this, which has drama, composition reminding me of the existence of “heaven on earth”, wrote Mr. Jeff Botz, an American Himalayan mountain photographer.
The soaring peaks and fertile valleys, the unmatched bio-diversity and natural beauty of this youngest and most fragile mountain systems in the world are the features of the Everest region, enriched with the ancient Sherpa culture and Tibetan Buddhist religious practices.
Sagarmatha (Mt. Everest) National Park, an UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979, covers 1,148 sq. kms area ranging from 2,845 meters altitude at Monjo to the peaks of Mt. Everest and other peaks like Lhotse, Cho Oyu, Thamserku, Nupse, Amadablam, Pumori, Island peak etc. The Park is home to rare red panda, snow leopard, musk deer, Himalayan tahr, Himalayan mouse hare (pika) and over 193 species of birds including blood pheasant, snow cock, red billed cough, yellow billed cough etc. The famed Sherpa people practice Tibetan Buddhist culture and celebrate many religious festivals like Dumje, Mani Rimdu at Tenboche, Thame, Khumjung, Pangboche, Phorse, Thame and other monasteries. The 56 kms adventurous trek from Lukla to Everest Base camp and back can be enjoyed within two weeks.
Starting Trek point: Lukla
Ending Trek point: Lukla
Highest altitude to gain: Kalapathar (5,550 m)
Difficulty: 3.8 out of 5
Seasons to avoid trekking here: Mid-June to August (Monsoon rainy season)
Transfer to airport for flight to Lukla, 2,840 m, a spectacular 45 - minute scenic flight. Start the trek up the Dudh Kosi valley. The colorful trail give a feel of spiritual journey to the tallest mountain on Earth. Great view of Kusum Kang Guru (three sister peaks) from Thado Kosi on the way.
After breakfast, cross the Dudh Kosi river to Monjo, the entrance to Sagarmatha National Park, and a check point. Along the way visit Buddhist monasteries. Cross Latja bridge and ascend steeply to Namche 3,450m (11,286ft.). Along the way, catch a first glimpse of Mt. Everest. Namche Bazar is steeped in Sherpa culture, and the main trading village in the Khumbu.
The gradual ascent to Namche spans 5-6 hours walk to cover the 9.5 kms. Namche Bazar is the gateway to Everest, with its first great view. Meet other climbers, some continuing on to the summit of Everest, others journeying to the Base Camp.
Namche is an ideal place to acclimatize to the new altitude before heading further up.
Options for acclimatization include an hour walk up to Shyangboche airstrip at 3,720 m above Namche. Walk further on Khunde hospital (3,840 m) set-up by Sir Edmund Hillary, beautiful Khumjung village (3,780 m) and a short climb to Everest View hotel before returning for a glorious sunset view of Ama Dablam, Thamserku, Nuptse, Lhotse and Everest. This 3-4 hours excursion is very rewarding with great views and Sherpa cultural experience.
From Namche, the trail contours around the side of the valley, high above the Dudh Kosi river. Now you get the first good views of the great peaks of the Khumbu including Mt. Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse and Ama Dablam while ponies carry trekkers load up and down. Passing by several villages and tea shops, descend steeply to a bridge over the river at Phunki Tenga (3,250 m), an excellent lunch spot, and rest before the steep climb to Tengboche at 3,867 m. The hike passes through rhododendron bushes, many birds and superb mountain scenery. Tengboche is a legendary monastery, the largest in the Khumbu region. About 5- 6 hours walk from Namche.
Tengboche monastery, the highest placed monastery in the world. It is home to the revered Rinpoche, a Buddhist monk, who perform Buddhist prayers and ceremonies. Tengboche has amazing views of a myriad of impressive mountains including, Mount Everest at 8,848 m, Kwangde at 8,928 m, Nuptse 7,876 m, the most beautiful Ama Dablam 6,854m, Kantega 6,777 m, Thamserku 6,911 m, Tawachee 6,540 m; and Lhotse 8,498 m.
The trail heads east and descends slightly past the nunnery at Debuche (3,757 m). Continue to through a forest, cross the Imja Khola and climb steadily to the village of Pangboche at 3860 m. After the crossing, there is a spectacular view of Ama Dablam. Then the trail forks right to the Pangboche village (3,901 m) in about 1.5 hours (4.8 kms) from Tengboche. From Panghboche village the high wall of Khumbu Himal, including the Everest, is the most spectacular. At Orsho, the right fork goes to Dingboche, 4,530 m, in about 1.5 hours away from Pangboche. Descend steeply and cross Khumbu river to climb above the Imja khola to the old moraine terraces.
Dingboche is about 2-3 hours from Pangboche (6.5 kms), the highest year-round settlement in the valley. This is directly opposite Ama Dablam [6,856m], and has exceptional views of the mountain, with the gompa, mani walls and scattered pine trees in the foreground in the alpine meadows above the tree line. It is about 5-6 hours walk from Tengboche.
A day of rest at Dingboche for acclimatization. Wander up the Chukung valley to take a look at the Tshola Tsho lake and the perpendicular walls of Cholatse and Tawache. On the way is a spectacular view of Mount Lotse Shar 8,383m. One can climb up the ridge overlooking the Imja Valley and the incredible south face of Lhotse. Trek to Chhukung via Bibre (4,571m), 2 hours from Dingboche, and another half hour’s walk to Chhukung (4,730 m) is 490 m ascend/ descend. Mountains and glaciers surround Chukung sides including a full view of Island Peak 6,189m. Nangkartshang Gumba (4,703 m) in north /west ridge of Dingboche, is a 400m climb up in 1.5 hours for a fine view of Makalu (8,463 m) to the east and the valley below.
Continue up the wide valley beneath the impressive peaks of Cholatse and Tawache on the left. Then turn right and climb more steeply towards the foot of the Khumbu Glacier. The tea house at Dughla (4,593m) about 2 hours walk from Dinboche (4.8 kms) is a good spot for lunch, before the steep zigzag up through the boulders of the glacier's terminal moraine. At the top of this climb there are many stone cairns, built as memorials to the many Climbers who have died while climbing Mt Everest. The path then climbs gently along the glacier, to eventually reach the cluster of houses at Lobuche (4,930m) in about 2 hours from Dughla (3.2 kms). A climb to the ridge crest to the west provides fine view of Khumbu glacier and a memorable sight of on Nuptse peak.
T rek to Lobuche is 4-5 hours long with the views of some of the famous mountains on Earth and an impressive Sherpa memorial built in memory of six Sherpas who died in an avalanche during the 1970 Japanese skiing expedition on Everest. During the journey you will see Mount Nuptse 7,896m, Mount Tawoche 6,542m, Mount Ama Dablam 6,856m, Mount Pumori 7,145m and many more. Lobuche, a summer settlement at 4930m has become a major trekking stop.
The 4 kms trek to Gorakshep follows the trail along the Khumbu glacier and ascents gently through meadows besides the glacial moraine. The ascent becomes steeper and rougher as it crosses several side moraines. After rounding a bend in the trail, the conical peak of Pumori comes into view. On the lower slopes of Pumori a ridge extending to the south terminates in a small peak, known as Kala Patthar (5,545m), meaning ‘black rock’. Climb to Kalapatthar for the best sunset view of Mt. Everest and walk down to Gorekshep for night stay.
Start early for a full day trekking to Base Camp, about 3 hours and back to Gorak Shep. The trail weaves its way through ice pinnacles and past the crevasses of the Khumbu glacier. Spend about one hour at the Base Camp to take pictures, meet with the climbers and walk back to Gorakh Shep for night stay. Try to avoid the extreme altitude and icy cold temperature of the base camp. You are standing at the base of the tallest mountain on Earth and shall see the infamous Khumbu icefall.
Climb to Kala Pattar (5,545m.) for a superb sunrise view of Mt. Everest and the surrounding mountains. Start early at 5 am with headlamp. From this high vantage point, the Top of the World, you can see many of the world-renowned Himalayan peaks, including Mount Everest. After the stunning views, return to Lobuche. An excursion to Lobuje Base Camp (5,400 m), following the rocky trail along the bank of Lobuje Glacier is optional. En route, enjoy the spectacular views of Cholatse, Tawache, Ama Dablam, Pokhalde, Thanserku, Kantega, etc.
Gradually descend the path till Pheriche (4,240 m) and further down to Pangboche (3,930 m). The long trek includes impressive views of Ama Dablam, Lhotse, Everest, Thamserku, Kantega, Lobuje and so on. En route, you will pass villages such as Shomare and Pangboche.
From Upper Pangboche walk to Phorse, Khumjung. You will descend to the bridge over the Dudh Kosi at Phorse Tenga, and climb one hour to Mang La before making way to Namche Bazar for night stay.
Final day's trekking follows Dudh Kosi river back down to Lukla. This last evening in the mountains is the ideal opportunity for a farewell party with the Sherpa guides and porters, and to sample local brew Chhang.
Fly back to Kathmandu from Lukla in the morning. Received at the airport and transferred to hotel. Relax, clean up and afternoon free for shopping in Thamel. Farewell dinner in the evening.
On November 16, 2012 a British Dr. Elizabeth Hawker, 35, completed the 320 kms run from Everest Base Camp to Kathmandu in 2 days 23 hours 25 minutes, bettering her own record of 2007 by about 3 hours. The 10th Tenzing- Hillary Everest Marathon from Base camp to Namche Bazar was won by Phurba Tamang in 3 hours 41 minutes 31 seconds to complete this 43 kms race on May 29, 2012.
The Trip Cost Includes
- Pick-up or Drop-off service from and to Airport(in our own vehicle)
- Food all along the trip(Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and a cup of coffee or tea)
- Transportation, food, accommodation and insurance of Guide during the trip
- First Aid Medical Kit(Your guide will carry the Medical Kit but we also advise to bring yourself for your own use, as far as possible)
- All the required permits and paperwork
The Trip Cost Excludes
- International Airfare
- Visa Charges
- Your travel and medical insurance
- Personal Expenses such as shopping, bar bills, hot shower, telephone, laundry, titbits etc
- Emergency expenses such as expenses on chartered helicopters.
Frequently asked Questions
Accommodation in Kathmandu is available with a variety of standards to choose from. The accommodation after Namche Bazar becomes a tricky subject. Even up to the Gorakshep the trek lodges are comfortable, equipped with Wi-Fi, hot shower, and a variety of cuisines. There are also 5-star hotels above Namche Bazar if you fancy it. You should keep your expectations intact though because we are not on a luxury tour and this is not an urban civilization but even in such a desolate area the housings, food service, beds, toilets are quite comfortable.
No! You are recommended to buy a Ncell sim card as soon as you get to Nepal which can be used for phone calls and the internet for most of the trekking destinations. Ncell works fine till Tengboche, after that Ncell works only in Gorakshep and basecamp meaning you will have to buy a different internet package called Everest link from Dingboche to Lobuche. It will cost you Nrs 1,000 for 10 GB of data.
Yes! It depends on the hotel you stay in but if you are traveling in a high season it will cost you more for Wi-Fi, mobile charging, and hot shower. The higher you climb the more expensive it will get.
You will need three permits for trekking in this region, Sagarmatha National Park permit, Khumbu Rural Municipality permit and the TIMS card (Trekers Information Management Suystem) which will cost you a small amount of entry fee.
There is no certain age group or physical threshold to embark on this journey. The youngest ever to complete this trek is a 6-year-old. As long as you do some cardio and run for a couple of weeks before trekking here it will help you a lot to acclimatize and ascend quickly. Drinking 2-4 liters of water every day and drinking garlic soup at high altitude with plenty of good night’s sleep will keep you fit in the Himalayas.