Everest Base Camp
The Everest or Khumbu region is justifiably the most famous of all trekking and mountain regions. Populated by Sherpas, the attractions of this area are the majestic mountains, the high mountain villages, the isolated monasteries, and the local people. This area includes the highest mountain in the world, Everest at 8850m, and many of the world’s 8000m peaks. First climbed in 1953, Everest still holds a fascination for many, however, the Everest region boasts many more spectacular and beautiful mountains, as well as some of the most rewarding trekking anywhere in the world. The Everest Base Camp trek is a classic trek that follows in the footsteps of Hillary & Tenzing and ends with an ascent of Kala Pattar for superb views of Everest.
The trek starts with an exhilarating 40 minute mountain flight into the airstrip at Lukla. From here we trek slowly upwards to the Sherpa capital of Namche Bazaar, following the valley of the Dudh Kosi river. It is not long before we glimpse our first view of Everest as it peeks above the Lhotse-Nuptse ridge. At this point, it is still many days walk away, but with careful acclimatisation it is not long before we find ourselves high up in the heart of the Khumbu region. We visit Tengpoche monastery en route before continuing on to our goals, a visit to Base Camp and an ascent of Kala Pattar, a rocky outcrop to the west of Everest. This vantage point gives fantastic views of the Ice Fall and South Col as well as the immense south-west face of Everest. This is truly a classic trek which gives one of the best mountain views in the world.
Fixed Trip Dates
Spring 2021 4 – 18 Apr, 18 Apr – 2 May, 2 – 16 May, 16 – 30 May
Autumn 2021 3 – 17 Oct, 17 Oct – 31 Oct, 31 Oct – 14 Nov, 14 Nov – 28 Nov
Day 01 : Arrive Kathmandu, transfer from airport to hotel
Day 02 : At leisure in Kathmandu, preparation for trek
Day 03 : Fly to Lukla, trek to Phakding
After a very early start, and an early take-off from Kathmandu Domestic Airport, a 40 minute flight is all it takes to propel us into the Everest region of Nepal. The landing at Lukla (2800m) is spectacular and on arrival we are greeted by our sirdar and trekking crew who organise the luggage. We start the trek with a gentle walk to Phakding (2800m), a further 3 hours to the north. The trail leads through Lukla, past hotels, shops and airline offices to the edge of the Lukla plateau where the trail drops to meet the intersection of the Jiri trail at Chablung. From here the trail follows the Dudh Kosi north through the village of Ghat and then finally to Phakding where we spend the night.
Day 04 : Phakding to Namche Bazaar
From Phakding the trail continues north up the Dudh Kosi valley. The trail leads us to Jorsale (2810m) where we enter the Sagarmatha National Park. From here we continue on an ever-steepening trail to Namche Bazaar (3440m), known simply as Namche. En route we cross the spectacular suspension bridge high above the confluence of the Bhote Kosi and the Dudh Kosi, and shortly after glimpse our first view of Everest, way off to the north-east. The trail to Namche is steep and seems long, but eventually, we reach the remarkable Sherpa capital perched high on the hillside and dominated to the east by the immense bulk of Kwangde (6187m).
Day 05 : Acclimatisation day in Namche
Acclimatisation is important before trekking higher, and this is the first of two scheduled stops which allow us to gradually become used to the effects of altitude - the lower pressure and the thinner air. We can spend the day by taking a side trip to Thami or Khumjung, by visiting the National Park Visitor Centre on the hill above Namche or by simply resting and browsing in the shops in the town. Namche is a fascinating place simply to 'hang out' and take in the culture of the mountains, from the trading of visiting Tibetans to the stories of departing mountaineers.
Day 06 : Namche Bazaar to Tengpoche
From Namche we trek north-east on a direct line to Everest, starting up the hill to the Visitor Centre and continuing on a reasonably flat easy trail high above the Dudh Kosi. Ahead of us, we can see one of the most beautiful mountains in the Khumbu - Ama Dablam (6856m), as well as Everest still far off in the distance. We pass through the settlement of Sanasa before making our descent to the Dudh Kosi and the village of Phunki Thanga. Of course, 'what goes down must go up', and from here it is a steep long climb up the side of the hill to the saddle on which Tengpoche monastery is located at 3870m. As we enter the grounds of the monastery we are welcomed by the most magnificent mountain view in the world. The long climb seems well worth it as we gaze upon a panorama of Himalayan giants, including Everest as it peeks above the Lhotse-Nuptse ridge.
Day 07 : Tengpoche to Dingboche
The trail initially descends through beautiful rhododendron forests and reaches a bridge across the Imja Khola where the river rushes through a narrow gorge, and from here it is a short walk to the settlement of Pangboche (3860m). After this point, the trail and surroundings become distinctly alpine in appearance as we trek above the tree line. The trail is relatively easy, with a gentle climb towards Dingboche at 4410m. Dingboche is a long thin settlement nestled below a ridge that separates it from its neighbour Pheriche, at which there is a Himalayan Rescue Association medical center. To the east, we have fantastic views of Lhotse at 8501m, and the popular climbing peak of Island Peak at 6189m.
Day 08 : Acclimatisation day in Dingboche
This is the second of our acclimatisation days and it allows us to become adjusted to the thinning air. Whilst by no means compulsory, a recommended aid to acclimatisation is a side trip to Chukhung at 4730m. This is a short hike eastwards up the Imja Khola valley and is rewarded with fantastic views of Lhotse, Ama Dablam and Island Peak. Alternatives are to climb the ridge above Dingboche, walk across to Pheriche, or walk ahead to Duglha (4620m).
Day 09 : Dingboche to Lobuche
We start by slowly ascending to the ridge above Dingboche and continue northwards on a gently sloping trail to the settlement of Duglha. At this point, we reach the terminal moraine of the great Khumbu Glacier, and the trail and the surrounding terrain becomes more barren and harsh. After a rest, we continue higher on the moraine up a steep slope to a small flat area where we see a collection of memorials to mountaineers who have died in the Khumbu. Moving on, we trek into the Khumbu valley proper, and as we turn to the north-east we are greeted by the incredible sight that is the head of the Khumbu valley. From the entrance to the valley, we have a fantastic view of the mountains that form the border with Tibet as well as the giants that form part of the Everest massif. The trail follows the western side of the valley and eventually reaches the settlement of Lobuche at 4930m. As we trek towards Lobuche the huge bulk of Nuptse (7879m) dominates, seeming to be the highest mountain in the area.
Day 10 : Lobuche to Gorak Shep, side trip to Everest Base Camp
We start early from Lobuche and trek along the western side of the broad Khumbu Valley, through meadows and over scree slopes, as we continue beside the moraine of the huge creaking glacier. The trail is rough in parts and it is important to progress slowly as we are now above 5000m for the first time. Soon the pyramid peak of Pumori (7145m) comes into view and underneath this, dwarfed by its more exotic neighbour, we see the small black peak of Kala Pattar (5545m). This is the best vantage point for views of Everest and is our objective for tomorrow. The trail then descends to the moraine and down to the small settlement of Gorak Shep (5160m) where we rest before we continue along the side of the Khumbu Glacier to the site of the Everest Base Camp. We then return to Gorak Shep with the round trip taking approx. 6 hours.
Day 11 : Ascent of Kala Pattar, return to Pangboche
The ascent takes approx. 2 hours of steady walking, stopping occasionally to take in the view of the increasing bulk of Everest. From the summit it is
possible to see many of the key features of this great mountain - the South Col from which Hillary and Tenzing made their first ascent in 1953 is clearly visible. After spending time taking photographs and experiencing the greatest mountain view in the world we descend back to Gorak Shep and then start our walkout.
We can now look forward to a reduction in altitude and easier going, as we descend back down the trail that we trekked up only a few days ago. There is sometimes a sense of anti-climax about the return trek, however, it is a chance to relax now that the hard part is over, and concentrate on those aspects of mountain life that may have been overlooked on the way up. The walking now seems easier due to the fact that our bodies are acclimatised, but this only makes up for tired legs and creaking knees!
Day 12 : Pangpoche to Namche Bazaar
On the walk back to Namche we can take our time and relax and enjoy the views across to Kwangde ahead of us and to Thamserku (6808m) and Kantega (6685m) to our left. From Pangboche we make our way back to the monastery at Tengpoche. From Tengpoche the trail drops steeply to the river at Phunki Thanga, and then rises again to traverse high above the river on the winding trail that leads to Sanasa. From here we have an easy walk back to Namche where we can tell the newly arrived trekkers how easy it was over a cool beer!
Day 13 : Namche Bazaar to Lukla
The final day of our trek, and a sense of relief for some and sadness for others as we retrace our steps along the trail above the Dudh Kosi. We start by descending steeply out of Namche and shortly before we cross the suspension bridge below Namche we get the last chance to see Everest before it is out of sight until the next time. We lunch at Phakding and then continue down the trail, rising up to Lukla to arrive by mid-afternoon.
Day 14 : Fly to Kathmandu
We return to the hustle and bustle of Kathmandu with a 40 minute flight back to the domestic airport. Here you will be greeted and transferred back to your hotel in Kathmandu. Arrival times back into Kathmandu vary, however it is usual to arrive back at your hotel by mid-afternoon at the latest.
Day 15 : Transfer from hotel to airport, fly home
We recommend that you book a flight out of Nepal in the late afternoon or early evening to ensure that you have enough time should there be any delay when flying back from Lukla.
What is included in the price?
When you arrive at Kathmandu International Airport you'll be greeted by our representatives and transferred to your hotel. Likewise when you return home you'll be transferred to the airport and looked after by our staff.
For your flights to and from Lukla you will also be similarly looked after by our ground staff and trek staff for transfers to and from the Domestic Airport Terminal.
Hotel accommodation in Kathmandu
3 nights in a 3 star hotel, bed & breakfast, sharing in a twin room is included or a single supplement can be added to your package.
The return flight from Kathmandu to Lukla.
On the trek
Our trips are all operated on the GAP system - Guides, Accommodation, Porterage. Over our many years of experience we have realised that clients prefer to choose and pay for their own food and drink on the trail. Not only does this result in a more cost effective regime but it takes into account the many factors that can influence our clients choice. Some clients prefer a hearty breakfast with relatively light lunches and dinners, whilst others prefer the opposite and so we allow our clients to make their choices and the sirdar helps to settle bills as we progress along the trail. We recommend that you allow US$25 per day for food and drink.
Permits and Entrance Fees
All trekking permits and entrance fees are included.