EVEREST BASE CAMP
14 Days. Max. Altitude 5,545m.
Tea-House Trekking with guides
Pre-trek Briefing: HE Office (Kathmandu Guest House) 5pm on day prior to Day 1.
May is the season of the summit; teeming with mountaineers and with Base Camp at 5,456m, over-populated yet desolate and with a spyglass view of their plodding progress upwards.
But be rewarded with the short additional trek to Kalapatar for the definitive view up the Khumbu Glacier to utterly awesome Mountain #1.
DAY TO DAY PLAN –
Day 1: Fly to Lukla (2,820m/45mins) & trek to Phakding
(O/nt Altitude 2,610m/4hrs approx.) An early morning stunning flight to the gateway to the region of the legendary Sherpas. Start trekking north towards Phakding - meandering trails lined with stoned walls.
Day 2: To Namche Bazaar (O/nt Altitude 3,440m/ 6hrs approx.) Following the torrent of the Dudh Koshi, the trail climbs north through forests of rhododendron, magnolia and giant firs, to the village of Jorsalle for lunch, before ascending to Namche Bazaar, the largest village often called the ‘Sherpa Capital' of Khumbu.
Day 3: In Namche Bazaar
Today is for acclimatisation to the high altitude; adjust by exploring the local markets, mingle with the people, walk up to the Everest view point, breathing deeply and happily lazing around in sunshine.
Day 4: To Tengboche
(O/nt Altitude 3,860m/5hrs approx.) The trail now forks northeast along a tributary valley with the mountain views opening up to become very dramatic as the steep climb approaches the holy ground of Tengboche. Monastery, yak pasture and world’s highest sacred institution combined! Amazing views, Nuptse, Lhotse, Ama Dablam and Everest.
Day 5: To Dingboche
(O/nt Altitude 4,360m/5hrs approx.) Trekking past the Gompa, which holds the famous Yeti scalp, at Pangboche, are the summer yak pastures and here lies no doubt as to the Spartan lives of Sherpas. Beyond this, it is as well to understand that overnight sleeping facilities can reflect the harshness of our surroundings. Much of the walking in this area is of comparatively gentle gradient, although a leisurely pace is anyway recommended due to the high altitude.
Day 6: In Dingboche
A second acclimatisation day, with optional hikes to Nagajun Hill (approx. 5,050m) or Chukung village, with fine views of Ama Dablam, Makalu and other peaks, interspersed with lakes and glaciers.
Day 7: To Lobuche
(O/nt Altitude 4,930m/5hrs approx.) Ascending at a sensible pace, traversing ice covered torrents, to Lobuche where stone houses sit amongst a frozen wilderness of stunning beauty and where exists a thrilling sense of closeness to our ultimate goal.
Day 8: 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 9: 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 10: 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 11: To Monjo
O/nt Altitude 2,700m/6hrs approx.) Via Namche Bazaar to the less harsh climes of Monjo.
Day 12: 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 the time to relax in Sherpa ambience is abundant.
Day 13: 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 14: To Kathmandu
(O/nt Altitude 1,400m/45mins approx.) 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.