You will be met by a representative of World Expeditions and transferred to the Radisson hotel. Remainder of the afternoon at leisure. A pre-trek briefing will be given around 4.30-5pm where arrangements will be made for the distribution of your kit bag, sleeping bag and down/fibrefill jacket. This evening we will head out for dinner, this is a great opportunity to get acquainted with your fellow group members.
Overnight: Radisson Hotel
After breakfast there will be an opportunity to pick up any last minute trekking items before driving to Ramechap. Ramechap is a small town that operates flights to Lukla, the start of your trek in the Khumbu region. We will stop at Dhulikhel for lunch before arriving at camp.
Overnight: Private eco-camp
* NB: At time of writing, flights from 1 December 2019 remain operational from Kathmandu to Lukla. This situation is subject to change and your leader will brief you on flight arrangements locally.
We have an early start with a short flight to STOL airstrip at Lukla. The Tenzing-Hillary Airport in Lukla was established by Sir Edmund Hillary to help access the Everest region and the Sherpa people. It is a picturesque flight with marvelous views of the Eastern Himalaya. Once at Lukla we are immediately presented with views of huge peaks surrounding the village, offering a glimpse of what is to come. Our crew assembles and we head downhill towards the Dudh Kosi, a raging river that flows from the highest peaks. The broad and well-marked trail meanders around fields of potats and buck-wheat, passing through small villages and rows of dahlia trees to our first overnight private eco campsite at Ghat.
Today we cross and re-cross the thundering glacial river, named "Dudh" (milk) Kosi (river) because of its colour. Sections of today's walk are through pine forest and cleared areas reveal terraced fields and a variety of crops. We pass small groups of donkeys and yaks carrying trading goods and trek-gear along the trail. A dzopko is a yak-cow crossbreed while a yak is a full-blood long haired male, more commonly found at higher altitudes. Spectacular mountain peaks unfold above us and seem to hover above the tree-line as they rise above the deep river valley. Shortly after leaving camp we cross the Kusum Khola, a tributary stream to the Dudh Kosi, and the peak of Kusum Kangru (6369 m) can be seen to the East, at the head of the valley. Further along the trail, across the valley to the North-West, Nupla (5885 m) and Kongde Ri (6093 m) rise above the forested ridges. At a turn of the trail, Thamserku (6808 m) rises majestically, seemingly from the river floor.
We will see our first Mani walls today. These stone structures are a compilation of many stone tablets, each with the inscription "Om Mani Padme Hum" which translates to "Hail to the jewel in the lotus", and is mantra (chant) venerated by Buddhists and Brahmans alike.
Buddhists will walk to the left of these Mani Walls and chortens, but you may notice that people of the lowlands who have no knowledge of Buddhism do not follow this practice.
The allure of the mountains is hard to resist, but we must be patient, as it is very important to acclimatise slowly and thereby fully appreciate our time at higher altitude. Today's walk is not a long one, and you will be eager to press on. Slow down, and enjoy the journey. Overnight at our private eco camp site above Monjo.
This morning we pass through the gates of the Sagamartha National Park. The establishment of this national park is a significant attempt to stem the use of fire-wood in the area and the few local people who have a permit to cut wood must gain approval from the authorities on the basis of it being primarily for their personal use. We follow the river course to the confluence of the Dudh Kosi and the Bhote Kosi, and cross a spectacular high bridge before commencing our ascent to the village of Namche Bazaar, the Sherpa 'capital' of Nepal. It is a tough climb as the trail passes through forest of pine to a vantage point that provides our first view of Mt Everest. The trail continues to climb and meander to Namche, and the sight of this prosperous village spread within a horse-sh shaped valley opposite the beautiful peak of Kongde Ri is worth every step. After lunch you may wish to peruse the Tibetan trader's stalls or the Sherpa shops in search of a bargain.
Our trek will start with an incline to Syangboche airstrip and along the ridgeline towards Everest View Hotel. This pleasant walk has magnificent views of the surrounding mountains including Everest, Lhotse, Thamserku, Khangtega, Ama Dablam and many more. After enjoying a quick tea and coffee break to the views, we will continue towards Khumjung village to visit Sir Edmond Hillary's famous "Schoolhouse in the clouds." This is the first school in the Khumbu region, built in 1961 with the help of Sir Edmund Hillary and The Himalayan Trust. The school originally opened with only two classrooms but has since expanded to cater for over 350 students of different ages. After visiting, we descend and follow the trail for approx 25 minutes to our new exclusive campsite at Kyangjuma. For those who are feeling the early effects of altitude can opt for a shorter acclimatization walk of around 2 hours directly from Namche to Kyangjuma.
Overnight: Private eco-campsite
We descend through splendid rhododendron forests to PhungiTenga, cross the Dudh Kosi and begin the ascent to Thyangboche Monastery. Afterwards we will cross Imja River and climb along a wide open trial to the small village of Pangboche. Overnight eco campsite
This morning we begin a steady ascent. The stunning views of Everest, Lhotse, Kantega, Thamserku, Ama Dablam and Nuptse are spectacular throughout our walk today. We head down to cross the Imja Khola before an easy climb along a wide, open trail to the small village of Pangboche (4000m). We may take a slight detour to visit the Pangboche Gompa - the oldest monastary (around 300 years old) in the Khumbu Region. We cross the river again and then gradually trek up to Dingboche, situated just beneath the impressive Ama Dablam. Overnight private eco camp
Retracing our steps along the valley, we pass through a variety of settlements and forests before a gentle climb to Lukla. We savour our final mountain sunsets of the trek as we complete this exhilarating journey. Our last evening of the trek is a perfect time to celebrate a successful journey and say thanks to the team, especially the porters who will return to their villages from here.
If the weather is clear, the mountain views as we approach Namche Bazaar are outstanding. As we approach the end of our trek, we have time to peruse the tibetan shops for souvenirs or even wander the Sherpa capital and relax with a coffee. Leaving Namche we descend through the forest towards the Dudh Kosi, and continue our return journey crossing and re-crossing the river. It will seem like a long time since we ascended through the villages on our first days of the trek, as we have witnessed many stunning views on our trek into the highest mountain range in the world. We exit Sagarmatha National Park and reach Monjo for our overnight camp.
Overnight: private eco-camp
There may be a tendency to rush as we gradually descend downhill but there is still much to appreciate. We follow the Imja river and eventually cross the Pheriche river to our lunch stop at Deboche. We continue after lunch through serene rhododendron and birch forests to reach Thyangboche monastery and our overnight camp at Kyangjuma.
Overnight: Private eco-camp
An important acclimatisation/rest day today with the option of hiking high up to the ridge overlooking the village, or perhaps up to Chukung Village. Excellent views of Nuptse, Lhotse, Chukung Peak and Imja Tse (6189m) are had from both in the valley or from the ridge above the camp. Massive glaciers drape beneath cliffs that soar up to 3,500 metres in this dramatic valley. Overnight private eco camp.
We trek alongside the Khumbu Glacier as the path winds over the rocky moraine towards the settlement of Gorak Shep. We are high, among the glaciers of the world's highest peaks. Following our arrival at Gorak Shep we have an early lunch before we commence our trek to Everest Base Camp. In the pre monsoon season many expeditions can be seen at base camp and this excursion is one of the highlights of the trek. Overnight lodge.
We are gaining altitude and it is important that we move at a slow, steady pace. The slopes are quite barren now as we move above the tree line. Views of different peaks, such as Cholatse and Lobuche, unfold before us in this contrasting and spectacular landscape. We move up the Dhugla Ridge and onto moraine towards the Khumbu Glacier. Rock cairns can be seen, many of which are dedicated to the memory of climbers attempting the high mountains of the area, including Everest. The temperatures drop here as we are more exposed amongst this glacial moraine. We enjoy spectacular views all day today of Pumori and Nuptse. The hill above the town affords fine sunset views of Nuptse. Overnight eco lodge.
This morning we fly to Ramechap over forests, fields and villages, with the Himalaya in the background. On arrival, we will start our journey back to Kathmandu and the Radisson Hotel. The rest of the day is at your own leisure to relax or last minute shopping and sightseeing.
Overnight: Radisson hotel or similar
Kala Pattar is not a Nepali name but a Hindi name and translates to "black rock". From these black rocks atop the hill the views are spectacular. Most eyes are locked on the mass of Everest and its rocky buttresses immediately before us. Many of the famous ascent routes are quite clear. Below us the Khumbu Glacier snakes towards the icefall and Western Cwm. We can see the area where expeditions set their base camp but the original site was at Lake Camp, now known as Gorak Shep. Take a look in every direction and soak it in. The view south and our route out is particularly beautiful. In the afternoon we make the return trek to our private eco camp at Dingboche, soon after setting off we reach the site of a row of cairns to Sherpa climbers who died on Everest, before we continue to the small settlement at Tugla. Our path on an old lateral moraine takes us to the sheltered village of Dingboche and our permanent camp. To the east at the head of the Imja Khola valley sits the pyramid peak of Imja Tse (6189 m). This afternoon we can walk up the ridge behind Dingboche for sunset views of Nuptse, Lhotse and Chhukung Peak.
After breakfast arrangements cease unless further ones have been made. Those people departing by aircraft will be transferred to the airport.