When the trails of Nepal were opened, Everest Base Camp became the premier goal for many adventurous walkers. This stunning trek visits both the base camp and Kala Patar (5643m), a viewpoint recognised as the best vantage point to see Mount Everest. After exploring the temples, shrines, bazaars and restaurants of Kathmandu we take an exciting mountain flight to Lukla, the gateway to the Everest region. From the airstrip we trek north through pine forest to the bustling Sherpa 'capital', Namche Bazaar, from where we head to the magnificent Thyangboche Monastery. Here, in the shadow of the Everest massif and Ama Dablam and surrounded by mani walls, chortens and prayer flags, our stay is sure to be one of the highlights of our trek. As we ascend, the alpine scenery becomes more rugged and we climb above the tree line to reach Dingboche in the Imja Valley for further acclimatisation and exploration. It is then a steady ascent following glacial moraines to Lobuje and then to our lodge at Gorak Shep, from where we then trek to the historic site of Everest Base Camp. Finally we ascend to the summit of Kala Patar for brilliant views of Mount Everest and a breathtaking panorama of the world's highest mountains, before returning to Pheriche and then on back to Kathmandu.
Why we love it
- When the trails of Nepal were opened, Everest Base Camp became the premier goal for many walkers. This trek visits both the base camp and Kala Patar, a viewpoint recognised as the best vantage point to see Mount Everest.
- After exploring the temples, shrines, bazaars and restaurants of Kathmandu we get to take an exciting mountain flight to Lukla, the gateway to the Everest region.
- Trekking north from the airstrip through pine forest to the bustling Sherpa 'capital', Namche Bazaar, from where you head to the magnificent Thyangboche Monastery.
- Staying here, in the shadow of the Everest massif and Ama Dablam and surrounded by mani walls, chortens and prayer flags, is one of the highlights of the trek.
- As you ascend, the alpine scenery becomes more rugged and you climb above the tree line to reach Dingboche in the Imja Valley for further acclimatisation and exploration.
- The steady ascent following glacial moraines to Lobuje and on to the lodge at Gorak Shep is spectacular.
- Ascending to the summit of Kala Patar for brilliant views of Mount Everest and a breathtaking panorama of the world's highest mountains is an unforgettable experience.
Day 1 - Kathmandu (1360m)
- Upon arrival in Kathmandu, you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. Our airport representative will be waiting outside the airport terminal a few metres from the exit door. Look out for the Peregrine signboard. The drive from the airport to the hotel is around 20 minutes.
- A briefing given by the group leader is scheduled for the late afternoon. He will discuss the trekking program and co-ordinate any last minute arrangements. The evening is free, but the tour leader will usually organise an evening meal (optional) at one of Kathmandu’s fine Nepali restaurants. Alternatively you can enjoy dinner at the hotel.
Shangri La Hotel or similar
Day 2 - Kathmandu (1360m)
- In the morning you will explore Kathmandu on an organised sightseeing tour. You will visit Bodhnath Stupa, one of the biggest Buddhist shrines in the world, where you can observe Buddhist monks in prayer in the monasteries surrounding the stupa.
- You will also visit Pashupatinath, the most famous Hindu temple in the country, located on the banks of the holy Bagmati River. Here you can see Hindu holy men (sadhus) meditating, pilgrims bathing, and occasionally funeral pyres burning on the ghats.
- The rest of your afternoon in Kathmandu is free for further sightseeing and exploration.
- In the late afternoon you will be issued with your Trek Pack and departure information for the next morning. Tonight you will partake in a wonderful traditional Nepalese banquet with traditional dancing.
Shangri La Hotel or similar
Day 3 - Phakding (2652m)
- In the early morning you will take the spectacular flight from Kathmandu to Lukla (2827m), flying parallel to the giant Himalayan Mountains bordering Nepal and China (Tibet).
- The flight time is about 40 minutes and you will land at an airstrip built by Sir Edmund Hillary and the Sherpas in the mid-1960s. After landing you will have time to explore the village while your Sherpa crew sort and load the trekking equipment.
- In the afternoon you will begin the trek by descending towards the Dudh Kosi River where you will join the main trail to Namche Bazaar, located just above Chaunrikharka (2713m).
- The walking is easy and after passing through the small village of Ghat (2550m) it is a short walk to Phakding. (Trekking: approximately 3 hours)
Day 4 - Monjo (2835m)
- From Phakding you will cross the river and head up the valley, following porters from the south that are ferrying supplies to Namche Bazaar.
- The trail remains close to the river valley and is lined with beautiful blue pine and rhododendron forest, that is especially spectacular in the spring months, when the flowers are in bloom.
- You will cross the Dudh Kosi River at Benkar, where you will catch tantalising glimpses of the snow-capped peaks of Kusum Kanguru (6369m) and Thamserku (6623m).
- From here it is only a short walk to Monjo (2835m), where you will stop for lunch. You will spend the night in Monjo, and the afternoon will be free so you will have the opportunity to do some exploring around the village.
- The day is deliberately kept short to aid in your acclimatisation, which is a very important process. (Trekking: approximately 3½ hours)
Day 5 - Namche Bazaar (3446m)
- Today the walking is a little tougher and includes a steep ascent to Namche Bazaar.
- From Monjo it is a short walk to the entrance of the national park, before crossing the Dudh Kosi River to Jorsale (2805m).
- The trek continues upstream on generally flat terrain, crossing back to the right bank to the confluence of the Bhote Kosi and Dudh Kosi Rivers, where you will start the steep climb to Namche Bazaar.
- After crossing a large and stable suspension bridge high above the river, you will slowly ascend at a steady pace. There are some fantastic photographic opportunities as the peaks of Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse and Taweche (6542m) come into view for the first time.
- After arriving at Namche Bazaar, you will enjoy lunch with the afternoon free to bargain in the shops for Tibetan artefacts, or simply relax and marvel at the beautiful scenery. (Trekking: approximately 4 hours)
Day 6 - Namche Bazaar (3446m)
- (Acclimatisation Day) You will remain at Namche Bazaar for a second night to allow you to properly acclimatise to the altitude.
- Namche is a prosperous village situated in a large protected hollow. It gained its importance during the period when Tibetan salt was traded for the lowland grains of Nepal.
- Today a limited amount of trade still exists at Namche and Tibetans are often seen in the village trading rugs and Chinese-made goods, clothing, salt and dried meat.
- It is recommended that you take the opportunity to see both the sunrise and sunset views from the national park headquarters above the village. The stunning vista includes a superb panorama of the Khumbu peaks and great views of Everest.
- After breakfast, a variety of options will be available to you. Perhaps a walk towards Thami (3810m) above the beautiful Bhote Khola River Valley, or a visit to the national park headquarters to see the interesting displays of Sherpa lifestyle and culture.
- There is also a mountaineering display and information on the park's flora and fauna. Your guides are on hand to offer advice and escort you on walks.
Day 7 - Thyangboche (3875m)
- From Namche Bazaar, you will climb towards the park headquarters and follow a contouring trail high above the Dudh Kosi River.
- Above Namche the route to Thyangboche becomes visible, the monastery can be seen nestling below the summit of Everest and surrounded by other Himalayan peaks.
- On today's walk there will be opportunities to spot local wildlife including the beautiful Danfe pheasant, often seen among the birch and silver fir forest between Shanasa and Trashinga, and Himalayan tahr, on the high ground above the trail.
- After reaching the reforestation nursery at Trashinga, the trail drops steeply before crossing the Dudh Kosi River at Phunkitenga (3250m) where you will have lunch.
- In the afternoon you will ascend, initially steeply, through pine, fir, black juniper and rhododendron forests towards Thyangboche. The monastery and the lodge are located in a beautiful meadow surrounded by towering Himalayan peaks in a truly peaceful and tranquil setting.
- The most notable peaks seen from here are Kantega, Ama Dablam (perhaps the most beautiful peak in the region) and, of course, Mount Everest. (Trekking: approximately 6 hours)
Day 8 - Pangboche (4040m)
- According to legend, Thyangboche Monastery was founded in the 17th century by Lama Sange Dorjee, who came from Tibet’s Rongphu Monastery. Thyangboche was destroyed by an earthquake in 1933, rebuilt, and again badly damaged by a fire in 1989. Construction of the present monastery was completed in 1992.
- You will spend the first part of morning at Thyangboche to visit the monastery and the nearby museum. There is a small entrance fee for the museum and a small donation to the monastery is appreciated.
- Later in the morning you will descend through alpine forests to the settlement of Deboche, where there is a convent, and then through to Milingo to cross a bridge over Imja Khola.
- From here the trail gradually climbs up, with great views of Ama Dablam, to the village of Pangboche where you will stop for the night.
- In the afternoon you will visit the village of Upper Pangboche. You will then head off towards a ridge below Tawache, to aid in your acclimatisation before returning to the lodge for tea and biscuits. (Trekking: approximately 2 hours)
Day 9 - Dingboche (4360m)
- Today you will have a pleasant walk, ascending gradually high above the Imja Khola River and passing the tea houses at Orsho before crossing the river and old glacial moraines on your way to the lodge in the settlement of Dingboche.
- The scenery is spectacular and although Everest disappears behind the Lhotse-Nuptse ridge here, the huge peaks that tower above the eastern end of the valley are ample compensation. You will be almost completely above the tree-line and, in clear conditions, can look out for spectacular sunsets at this point, and on Ama Dablam.
- Today's walk will be quite tiring due to the altitude, so it is important to take notice of your trek leader’s advice and recommendations regarding rest and fluid intake. (Trekking: approximately 4 hours)
Day 10 - Dingboche (4360m)
- (Rest and Acclimatisation Day) Dingboche is a beautiful patchwork of small fields enclosed by stone walls. The walls protect crops of barley and potatoes from the cold winds. It is occupied mainly through the monsoon months, when large numbers of yaks are brought here to graze in the valley pastures.
- Behind the lodge the huge rock faces of Taweche seem to soar to the heavens. The trek leader will advise you on activities for today, but the short excursion up the valley towards Chukkung is a worthwhile option.
- The views are fantastic in this valley; the towering south face of Lhotse to the north, Island Peak in the centre of the valley and the fluted ice walls of unnamed peaks that line the southern end of the valley, all form a hauntingly beautiful sight.
- In the afternoon an optional hike up the hill behind the lodge will enable you to view the world's fifth highest mountain, Makalu (8481m), which is not visible from the valley floor.
Day 11 - Lobuje (4930m)
- In the morning you will ascend the small ridge behind the village above Pheriche Valley. From the chorten at the top, Taweche and Cholatse (6440m) make for a striking scene; they seem to lean forwards from across the valley in the west. To the north, Lobuje Peak (6119m) and the snowfields of Cho La dominate the skyline.
- The walking will be generally on wide-open fields here, but do take your time and ensure you are well hydrated.
- Late in the morning you will cross the Khumbu Khola at Dughla (4620m) and take a light lunch at the foot of the huge terminal moraines of Khumbu Glacier, which flows off Everest.
- In the afternoon, there will be a solid and quite steep climb on a rocky trail to the top of the moraines. On the crest of the ridge, you will pass a line of memorial cairns, built in memory of Sherpas and other climbers who have died on the various Everest expeditions over the last 50 years.
- From here the view is spectacular - Pumori (7145m), Lingtren (6697m), Khumbutse (6623m) and, across the border in Tibet, Changtse (7550m), can be seen at the head of the valley whilst Everest remains hidden behind the towering walls of Nuptse and Lhotse.
- You will then follow the valley stream to the lodge at Lobuje, arriving early afternoon.
- Today will be tiring but the fantastic scenery makes it all very worthwhile. If you still have some energy and conditions are clear, a walk, taken gradually, up on to the large ridge at the rear of the lodge will reward you with even more spectacular views. (Trekking: approximately 6½ hours)
Day 12 - Gorak Shep (5160m) - Everest Base Camp
- As the trek to Gorak Shep is relatively short, you will have the opportunity to enjoy a leisurely breakfast before beginning the day's walk.
- From Lobuje you will follow the broad valley that runs parallel to Khumbu Glacier. A gradual ascent enables you to build the slow, steady rhythm required when walking at high altitude.
- When you reach the moraines of Changri Nup Glacier, you will make a series of small ascents and descents over a rocky trail lined with cairns that eventually leads to the surprising glacial sands of Gorak Shep (5160m) - reached after about three hours of walking.
- After a quick bite you will gear up appropriately and head off towards the Everest Base Camp. The trek to the base camp can be achieved in around three hours and if trekking in the popular climbing period of March to May, you will almost certainly encounter yaks and porters supplying food and equipment to expeditions here.
- From the Everest Base Camp you won't get views of Mount Everest, but you are able to see the notorious Everest Ice Fall that flows from the Western Cwm; regarded as technically the hardest and most dangerous section of the mountain.
- The return journey from the Base Camp to Gorak Shep takes the same amount of time. You will have an early dinner so that you are able to get up early the next day to experience the awe-inspiring views of the Himalayan giants from Kala Patar. (Trekking: approximately 3 hours to Gorak Shep, 5 hours round trip to Everest Base Camp.)
Day 13 - Kala Patar - Pheriche (4270m)
- You will wake up early today for the trek to Kala Patar (5643m) to experience sensational sunrise views from this amazing vantage point. From the lodge the ascent is quite steep, so you should start very slowly and ascend at a steady rhythmic pace.
- Kala Patar is the rocky hilltop below Pumori. It is a tough walk because of the altitude, but the view from the top will surpass your wildest imagination. It will probably take a good hour and a half to reach the summit from Gorak Shep, although lower viewpoints can provide views that are almost as good.
- Pumori, Nuptse, Changtse, Ama Dablam, Taweche, Kantega and Everest, the highest mountain in the world, will surround you. About three kilometres away and some 200 metres below, the area of the Everest Base Camp can be seen in a bowl at the bottom of the Khumbu Ice Fall.
- For many trekkers, reaching Kala Patar is a very emotional experience and it is worthwhile spending as long as you wish in order to savour this special moment.
- The descent back down to Gorak Shep is easy and once you arrive back at the lodge you will have a quick drink before heading off to the rooms to pack your kit bags while breakfast is being prepared.
- After breakfast you will set off to Lobuche and Thugla, where you will stop for lunch. After lunch you’ll cross the Khumbu Khola and head down the valley below Cholatse to Pheriche, where you will stop for the night. (Trekking: approximately 8 hours)
Day 14 - Namche Bazaar (3446m)
Day 15 - Phakding (2652m)
Day 17 - Kathmandu (1360m)
Shangri La Hotel or similar
Day 18 - Kathmandu (1360m)