Day 10: To Phakding
(7 hrs approx.) This morning we share the trail with villagers, porters, trekkers, mules and of course yaks as we make our way towards the edge of the Lukla plateau and then down to the valley floor. We continue back down into the Dudh Kosi valley until we reach our camp at Phakding. Teahouse here will provide us with cokes, beers and videos!
Day 11: To Namche Bazaar
(6 hrs approx.) Following the Dudh Kosi, we gently climb through fields and rhododendron forest to reach Jorsalle, where we stop for lunch. After our meal, we visit Sagarmatha National Park, before heading on to Namche Bazaar. This bustling village offers such luxuries as a bank, hot showers and, surprise, surprise: shopping! Tonight we bid adieu to the porters – who’ll be replaced by yaks from here on.
Day 12: In Namche Bazaar- Acclimatisation Day
We spend the day in Namche Bazaar in order to acclimatise to the altitude. The day can be spent exploring the Sherpa culture and mingling with the locals. Weather permitting, our first view of Everest, Thamsherku, Kangtega, Lhotse, Nuptse and Ama Dablam is a distinct possibility. After packing our lunch, we can visit the Khunde Hospital, the Sir Edmund Hillary School, or Everest View Hotel – the world’s highest hotel. Here at Namche, it’s possible to arrange any extra supplies needed for the ascent to Base Camp.
Day 13: To Tengboche
Today we travel towards Tengboche, stopping in Phunki Tanga for lunch, where we will find water mills and prayer wheels. Once at Tengboche it’s possible to visit the local monastery and the Sherpa Heritage Foundation, or to hike up to see close-up views of the Thamsherku. From this day onwards, smoking and drinking alcohol are strongly discouraged to minimize the chances of altitude sickness.
Day 14: To Dingboche
Continue to follow Dudh Kosi along a moderate uphill trail. Lunch will be at Sombare, and then we carry on our trek to our camp at Dingboche (teahouse optional). Here, we can enjoy a hot shower…and very cold air!
Day 15: In Dingboche- Acclimatisation Day
The key to acclimatisation is a slow descent, and following the golden rule: go high, sleep low. Armed with a packed lunch, one can choose from a number of short hikes;
Up the Chuking Valley, 1-2 hours;
Nuptse Glacier, 3-4 hours(5,000m);
Imjatse Peak, 3-4 hours(5,200m);
Ama Dablam Lake (where you can have an exhilarating swim) 4-6 hours(4,800m);
Day 16: To Lobuche
We’ll take a short trek up along the ridge; and after a quick tea break at Thugla, we will continue up the steep moraine pile to the edge of the Khumbu Glacier. Lunch is at Lobuche. The afternoon will be spent resting, acclimatising, or hiking.
Day 17: To Everest Base Camp (5,367m) & returning to Gorakshep.
(O/nt Altitude 5,160m/9hrs approx.) The goal that is Base Camp is a demanding day. Here the Sirdar’s duty is to have us safely navigate the Khumbu Glacier so as to have Khumbu’s infamous icefall impose itself, leaving only the awesome, humbling South Face beyond.
Day 18: To Kala Patthar (5,545m) & Pheriche.
(O/nt Altitude 4,240m/6hrs approx.) The best vantage point for viewing Everest and the surrounding peaks at sunrise; as if not just Everest but the entire world is breathtaking. Then descend to the flat and sandy expanse of Gorakshep, and on down to Pheriche.
Day 19: To Tengboche
(O/nt Altitude 3,860m/4hrs approx.) And so down to Tengboche. The trail descends gently, crossing the Dudh Koshi torrent that higher up had been the glacier of Khumbu, then, leaving behind alpine meadows, the trail descends to Tengboche for the night.
Day 20: To Monjo
(O/nt Altitude 2,700m/6hrs approx.) Via Namche Bazaar to the less harsh climes of Monjo.
Day 21: To Lukla (O/nt Altitude 2,820m/4-5hrs approx.) The trail followed is almost easy, up and down through scrub forests and a final steep ascent leading to a Tamang village, and so to Lukla, where it’s time to relax.
Day 22: Day in hand for bad weather contingency, additional acclimatisation etc.
This is a day in hand as guide/ leader’s discretionary adjustment – for factoring in bad weather and/or group coping with altitude, muscular issues etc.
Day 23: To Kathmandu
(O/nt Altitude 1,400m/45mins approx.) A short, spectacular flight back to Kathmandu. Trek ends – own time; relaxing or exploring, shopping or chilling out. Group meets for ‘end of the trek’ celebration dinner.