Mt Everest have been getting the attention of the world since the first attempt to the summit was made in 1922. The first successful climb by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay enticed more to follow the path. The trek to Everest base camp took over a month in the earlier days. With the built of Lukla airport (Hillary airport) in 1964, Everest base camp trek got its popularity.
The trek at present is the blend of Himalayan scenery, exotic mountain culture and the great sense of adventure. From the very first day, feel of fresh breath, fluttering prayers flags, Buddhist Mane walls and the high mountains make the trek very exciting. The rugged trail crosses over suspension bridges and climbs up and down the hill side to their biggest monastery of Thyangboche. The first part of the trek is exotic cultural experience of visiting local monasteries, spinning prayer wheels and watching the Sherpa lifestyle closely.
The second part of the trek comes above the tree line and traverse the pastures. The trail gradually climbs over the rocky mountain buttresses and the glacial marine along the Khumbu ice fall. The second part of the trek is more sense of adventure with exploration of Everest base camp at 5,380 m (17,600 ft) and the Kala Patthar 5,545 m.
DAY 1: Fly to Lukla (35 mints / 2,800 m) from Kathmandu and trek to Phakding
Our Everest trek begins with 35 mints flight from Kathmandu to Lukla. The flight is panoramic thrill with aerial view of snow peaks east of Kathmandu. The landing in the Lukla airstrip is quiet exciting as it is single runway, perched on the top of steep hill. The freshness in the air and the surrounding of high mountains from the very first day is what makes this trek special. The day’s walk is gentle along the mountainside crossing couple of suspension bridges. The sacred mountain Khumbila appears at the end of the valley. Don’t forget to make a small break at Ghat village which offers the magnificent view of Kusum Kangraru 6,367 m. The trail then gradually descends to Phakding village.
DAY 2: Trek 6 hrs to Namche Bazaar (3,440 m)
We will head upstream Dhud Koshi River climbing gradually. After a half an hour of walking, the view of Thamsherku appears looming at a distance. The rough trail swings up and down and crosses the river on suspension bridge several time. After about two hrs of stride, we arrive at the small settlement of Jorsale with few teahouses and the national park entry post. This is the last place to buy water and snacks for another 3 hrs till Namche. The trail winds further north to the confluence of Dhud Koshi and Bhotekoshi and crosses over one of the thrilling suspension bridge. Climb for about 2 hrs through the forest of Cedar, Pine and Rhododendron forest to Namche bazaar. Even though the climb is tiring with thin air, the first view of Mt Everest and many other peaks keep on energizing us. Namche Bazar is perched on the mountain side with view of Kongdi Ri and Thamserku towards south.
DAY 3: Rest day for acclimatization
Namche is the largest town in Khumbu region. Its strategic position at the gateway to Tibet and other two valleys to Gokyo and Everest base camp, made it a commercial center for long time. Tibetans still come on the trade crossing high pass and the Saturday market supplies edibles from lower valleys. This is perfect place for acclimatization. If you are morning person, hike 15 mints to the ridge for the panoramic view of Mt Everest, Amamdablam and other peaks. In the after hike to the ridge top at 3,800 m and enjoy the feast of mountain vista.
DAY 4: Trek to Thyangboche monastery (6 hrs / 3,800 m)
The trail from Namche bazaar winds along the mountainside for two hrs more or less following the contour. Here we come above the tree line with more shrubby vegetation which offers undisturbed Everest panorama. From Phortse Tenga village, we climb down to Dhud Koshi River and then climb again on the other side to the ridgetop marked by Tengboche monastery. The place offers one of the best views of the Himalayan corridor with Mt Everest and other peaks of Khumbu region. Tengboche monastery is the biggest monastery of the region. There are few lodges around the monastery. The monastic ambiance and the vista worth a night stay at the place.
DAY 5: Trek to Pheriche (5 hrs / 4,200 m)
The trail from Tengboche climbs down through the Rhododendron forest to end of Debuche village and crosses the deep gorge over the suspension bridge. Climb very gradually through Pyangboche village to the more open pasture. We have a elegant view of Amadablam and the Lhotse. At the end of the 5 hrs trek, the trail braids again with one following Imja River towards east. We continue towards east to the pasture like valley of Pheriche. The stream draining Khumbu glacier irrigates the valley.
DAY 6: Rest day for acclimatization.
The valley at 4,200 m is perfect for another day of acclimatization. We will take the day easy and do the easy acclimatization walk to the higher elevation on its east. The climb could lead to the Nangkartshang Peak at 5,083 m that hosts view of Mt Makalu ( 8,481 m ), Labuche peak, Amadablam and many other peaks. The Aid Post in the village held interest talk on altitude sickness in the evening.
DAY 7: Trek to Labuche
The trail from Pheriche heads to the end of the pasture and then climbs the rockery to Dhungla with couple of lodges. The stony climb continue further to the Chupki Lhara marked by stone cairns, memorials and the prayers flags. From this point we get the first view of the snow peaks like Pumori, Khumbutse and Lingrren at the end of the valley. The trail from here climbs down and follows the moraine of Khumbu glacier. Labuche is scant valley with teahouses.
DAY 8: Trek to Gorekshep and hike to Everest base camp.
The distance of the day’s walk is short but the altitude slows most down. It is also beneficial to go slowly for better acclimatization and to enjoy the scenery. Now high mountains appears all around us. We follow the glacial Morane and rockery next to the highest glacier in the world, the Khumbu glacier. Gorakshep is just about 2 and half hrs from Labuche. After checkin in the room, we will stride further to the Everest base camp at the end of the valley. Enjoy the sight of the Khumbu Ice fall, Pumori, Lhotse and other dazzling peaks and walk back to Gorekshep for night stay.
DAY 9: Hike to Kala patther and trek back to pangboche
While we are so close to Mt Everest, we will take another early morning hike to Kalapatthar. The vantage point of the mountain at 5,550 m offers up close view of Mt Everest, Lhotese, Pumori with the overview of Everest base camp. The side trip takes about 4 hrs to the top and back. Have breakfast and pack to descend the valley. We will climb down to Pangboche village.
DAY 10: Trek back to Namche and further down to Manjo
We will follow the same trail down to Tengboche monastery and further to Namche for the night halt. The walk back is still a photo opportunity with Himalayan view and local Sherpa day to day life.
DAY 11: Trek back to Lukla
DAY 12: Fly back to Kathmandu
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We just returned from an incredible adventure with iTour Nepal. Rabi and his team did a great job of planning and executing a trek for our group of 10 women. Because of our limited time and desire to see Everest, Rabi was able to customize a trip for us the first week of December. We worried about it being too late in the season, but he assured us that it would be a great time to go and said that December had beautiful, clear mornings for the best views. And, let me tell you, the views did not disappoint!! We had a great time! Rabi and his assistant guide were so patient while we took a ridiculous amount of pictures and caught our breaths, while still gently moving us along as needed to stay on schedule. I can't recommend them enough. I'd love to go back with my family and will definitely use Rabi again!
I had an awesome experience with iTour Nepal. Everything went really smoothly and my guide was awesome! They even helped me to book on a moments notice. Will definitely be using them for any future tours in Nepal! Highly recommend.
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