WESTWARD LOOP TO EVEREST BASE CAMP VIA THAME & RENJO LA
18 Days. Max. Altitude 5,545m. Tea-House Trekking with guides and porters. Flights: Kathmandu-Lukla-Kathmandu. Pre-trek Briefing: HE Office (Kathmandu Guest House) 5pm on day prior to Day 1.
DAY TO DAY PLAN –
Day 1: Fly to Lukla (2,820m/45mins) & trek to Phakding(O/nt Altitude 2,610m/4hrs approx.)
A early morning stunning flight to the gateway to the region of the legendary Sherpas. Start trekking north towards Phakding - meandering trails lined with stone 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 Thame(O/nt Altitude 3,820m/6hrs approx.)
Today you veer off the popular and oft used path to take the ancient Tibet trade route which is still in use, mostly by the Tibetan nomad traders whom youll have seen plying their trade in Namchhe’s open market, crossing over to the Nepal side by the way of Nangpa-La pass. It is said that the waft of the North wind from the monastery at Thame brings with it the smell of Tibet. A gradual ascent which has the white-water of the Bhote Koshi on the left while the centuries old trail negotiates rocky outcrops and takes us through forests of fir and juniper. Thame’s claim to fame is its brave sons who went on to become veritable Who’s Who of Everest summiteers. Tenzing Sherpa's house is still standing intact at the top end of the village, so is that of Ang Rita Sherpa, better known as the ‘Snow Leopard’ and Appa Sherpa, who has left his footprint on the Everest summit more than any other living being in the world.
Day 5: In Thame
Rest cum exploration day. If you’re oozing energy and crave for more spectacular views, you can take a hike with us to Thame Monastery (3,928m) which takes about an hour to reach.
Day 6: To Lumdeng(O/nt Altitude 4,400m/5 hrs approx.)
The trail steadily inclines leaving the valley basin far below heading in the direction of an outlying village- Marlung (2.5 hrs), a settlement of 15-20 houses. Gaining significant altitude all the while, the trail passes by many a yak grazing pasture. For all your effort, you’ll be rewarded with grandstand views of Rolwaling and Kwangde. The facilities when we reach Lumdeng are a bare minimum- at last count just 2 teahouses.
Day 7: To Gokyo, over Renjo-La pass(O/nt Altitude 4,750m/6 hrs approx.)
The day starts in anticipation of the first major challenge of your trip. The trail immediately rises steeply which will be the norm for the day until you’re over the great pass. The trek to the base of the pass will take about 3 hrs, including an hour climbing up the steps. The gradient further increases as the hour- long climb leads right up to the top (5360m). Pristine turquoise waters of alpine lakes dot the trail to the base of the pass making for an awesome sight. The panorama from the top is something to behold with stupendous views of Everest, Lhotse, Makalu, Baruntse among many and with the Gokyo Lakes in the valley far below. If reaching the top asks a lot out of you, then the descent isn’t any mean feat either. The descending track drops very steeply for about 10 mins but over the next 3 hrs, continues to ease until you reach your destination for the day. The trail conditions may well necessitate the use of ropes in inclement weather.
Day 8: In Gokyo.
Two nights in the same place and, again, a day to acclimatise. Early morning breakfast, and a hike up to Gokyo-Ri (5,357m/3.5 hrs approx. to and fro), the small peak above the lake. The place offers an astonishing panoramic view of Cho Oyu, Gyachung Kang, Everest, Lhotse, Makalu, Cholatse and Tawachee. This small peak is sometimes called Kala Patthar (which is entirely different from Kala Patthar above Gorakshep).
Day 9: To Thangna
(O/nt Altitude 4,610m/4 hrs approx.)
The route we trek today is a challenging side trip across Cho La to the Khumbu valley in the Everest region. Just about halfway between the first and second lakes, a trail leads across the moraine to the east, past the steep pass. This involves a glacier crossing on the eastern side before finally reaching Thangna, a small hamlet of houses where we make a night stop and prepare ourselves for crossing Cho La tomorrow
Day 10: To Dzongla(O/nt Altitude 4,860m/8 hrs approx.)
We wake earlier than usual to prepare for the challenging trek across Cho La. We pack our lunch for the day as houses and lodges are almost non-existent on the route. Besides the moraine trail we may come across ice falls, if there’s been enough snowfall in the region.
The trail, which comprised of moraine and rock towards Cho La (5,340) is steep and often snow-covered in the upper part. The descent from the pass to Dzongla is quite straightforward.
Day 11: To Lobuche(O/nt Altitude 4,910m/5 hrs approx.)
Leaving Dzongla, the trail continues to descend. Passing frozen rivers, we reach Lobuche where stone houses sit in an icy wilderness of stunning beauty. Once in Lobuche, we get a sense of being close to the ultimate goal.
Day 12: To Everest Base Camp (5300m) & Gorakshep(O/nt Altitude 5,160m/8 hrs approx.)
Today we’ll spend the whole day trekking to the Base Camp and then back to Gorakshep. Your trek Sirdar will navigate the Khumbu glacier as you make your way to The Base Camp of Mount Everest. We’ll be standing at the base of the tallest mountain on Earth and shall see the infamous Khumbu icefall. Reaching Base Camp fills one with a real sense of achievement as we’ve done what we set out to do and stare in awe at the spectacular surroundings. Soon it will be time to descend back to Gorakshep for the overnight rest.
Day 13: To Kala Patthar (5,545m) & Dingboche(O/nt Altitude 4410m/8 hrs approx.)
Again the day starts early with the aim being to reach Kala Patthar, the best vantage point for viewing Everest and the other surrounding peaks, before sunrise. A feeling of being in unison with the might of nature overwhelms us as we ascend to the top of Kala Patthar. The views are amazing and Everest is breathtaking. We continue our descent to the sandy flat expanse of Gorakshep, then trek onwards, down to Dingboche where mountains views are terrific.
Day 14: To Tengboche(O/nt Altitude 3,860m/4 hrs approx.)
The route leaves the Imja valley, then crosses the Khumbu Khola via a wooden bridge, ascending to rejoin the upward trail near Orsho. We continue onwards to descend again, often passing several yak herders and tea shops near Shomare. Leaving behind alpine meadows, we reach the tree line again and our night stop in Tyangboche, the religious focal point of the Sherpas. Here we can visit the largest monastery in Nepal, founded in 1919 by Lama Gulu, a monk from Khumjung.
Day 15: To Monjo(O/nt Altitude 2,840m/6 hrs approx.)
We descend through the woods to Phunki Tenga, then head uphill to Kenjoma, retracing our steps back past Namchhe to Monjo .
Day 16: To Lukla(O/nt Altitude 2,800m/4 hrs approx.)
The last day in the Khumbu Region. The trail followed is fairly easy with some steady climbs through scrub forests and a final steep ascent that leads to a Tamang village, and shortly thereafter to Lukla.
Day 17: Optional day in hand for bad weather contingency, additional acclimatisation or detour.
Day 18: To Kathmandu
A short but spectacular flight will bring you back to Kathmandu. Trek ends – own time; relaxing or exploring, shopping or chilling out. Group meets for an ‘end of the trek’ celebration dinner.
Click to see SEPARATE DOSSIERS ON:
- First 48 - and Beyond
- Culture & Customs (Tailor-Made Sample Itineraries)
- Rural Heritage - Pokhara, Trisuli River, Bandipur and Nuwakot
- Trekking in the Himalayas
- Whitewater Rafting
- Jungle Safari (Bardia & Chitwan)
- Also At Home Elsewhere in the Himalaya -
Tibet and Bhutan
- Joining the Volunteers
- To 'Summit Up'