Day 1: Arrive Kathmandu. You will be met on arrival and transferred to your hotel, the Vaishali, or similar. Evening pre-trek briefing.
Day 2: Kathamandu. Half day excursion touring Kathmandu (private bus) with its many temples and pagodas. In the afternoon your trek packs will be issued and other pre-trek arrangements are dealt with. Rest of the day free in Kathmandu.
Day 3: Kathmandu - Lukla2840m - Phakding2610m. The trail climbs for about an hour after Puiyan to a ridge at 2800 metres, then up to another ridge, passing the path to Lukla airport, after which we climb on to Phakding. Meet others in the group those who have started from Jiri.
Day 4: Phakding to Namche Bazaar 3440m. The trail continues north up the Dudh Kosi valley to Jorsale, where the trail officially enters the Sagarmatha National Park. There is an entrance station just beyond the village where trekking permits are checked and National Park fees collected. We continue along the trail, cross the Bhote Kosi River and climb steeply to Namche Bazaar 3500 m. Remember to look out for glimpses of Mt.Everest early on the trail.
Day 5: Rest day for acclimatization. We have a rest day in Namche Bazaar to acclimatise. This town, the hub of Sherpa society, is the administrative centre of the Khumbu region and has a police checkpost (we must all register there), the headquarters of the Sagarmatha National Park, a bank, several shops selling items of every description and a proliferation of Sherpa inns.
Day 6: Namche to Khumjung 3780m. An easy trek to two serene Sherpa villages, Khumjung and Khunde 3890 m where Sir Edmund Hillary established his first hospital and Khumjung 3780 m where he established a school, both in the early sixties. The Khumjung Gompa posseses what is supposed to be a Yeti skull.
Day 7: Khumjung to Dole 4200m. Leaving the main trail to Mt. Everest, we climb high on a ridge to 4000m past a large chorten at the village of Mong, said to be the birthplace of the saint Lama Sange Dorje, the reincarnate lama of Rongbuk Monastory in Tibet who introduced Buddhism to Khumbu. From there we descend to the village of Phortse Tenga by the Dudh Kosi (river). From Phortse the trai climbs steeply through forests of rhododendrons and then stands of juniper and large conifers as the altitude increases.
We pass through Sherpa Kharkas (high pasture summer settlements used by Sherpas to graze their herds of yaks allowing their lower winter pastures to recover) and the villages of Tongba 3950m and Gyele 3960m to Dole. We have great views of Khumbila and Tawachee peaks throughout the day.
Day 8: Dole to Machhermo 4410m. Today we have a short and fairly leisurely trek to allow us to acclimatize to the altitude. In the morning we have a steep but beautiful climb through conifer and rhododendron forests and stands of juniper to Lhabarma 4220m and Luza 4360m. There are kharkas wherever there is a flat spot and the slightest hint of water. We continue to climb along the side of the valley, high above the river to the camp at Machhermo 4410 m. It was here in 1974 that a yeti supposedly killed three yaks and attacked a Sherpa woman. So watch out for Yeti in this area.
Day 9: Machhermo to Gokyo 4790m. This is your first real day at high altitude and the trekking today may be described as moderate to difficult. However, the going is slow (in fact, it is recommended that you walk slowly to avoid exhausting yourself). We climb a ridge from where the valley opens wide as the trail passes through Pangkha. Mt. Cho Oyu 8153 m dominates the skyline to the north as we climb the moraine on the left flank of the Ngozumpa Glacier. The climb is steep to the first of the four lakes that lie in the Gokyo area but the trail levels off towards the second lake, Longponga at 4690m. We finally ascend a path past the largest of the lakes Dudh Pokhari to Gokyo at 4750m. Gokyo is a typical kharka stone houses and stone walled pastures.
Day 10: Rest and Explore around Gokyo. A free day to explore the area around Gokyo or rest. For enthusiasts a rigorous hike up Gokyo Ri 5360m, the small peak above camp provides spectacular views of the Everest trinity, Nuptse 7879m, Lhotse 8511m, and Everest 8848m, as well as Makalu 8463m looming to the east, Cho Oyu 8153m to the north and the smaller but closer peaks of Cholatse and Tawachee to the south. There is a wonderful view of Gokyo and Dudh Pokhari spread out below us. The next day we will explore further up the valley Of the Ngozumpa Glacier and visit two glacial lakes. The really fit can climb to the top of nameless peak 5800m overlooking the two lakes.
Day 11: Goykyo to Thagnak Kharka 4700m (Dragnag). A short and easy day. We cross the southern end of the Ngozumpa Glacier to the stone huts of Thagna Kharka.
Day 12: Chhyugima to Dzonglha 4830. Today is long, steep and challenging but non-technical climb over rock, snow and perhaps ice to Chola La (pass) 5330m which links the glacial valleys of Cho Oyu and Everest and from where we have superb views. We descend from the pass, cross a small glacier, negotiate the ice fall at the end of it and descend via Leisyasa to Dzonglha Kharka 4830 m, a high altitude summer pasture directly beneath the north wall of Cholatse Peak 6440m.
Day 13: Dzonglha to Lobuche 4910m. After a morning of rest, we hike on a trail above Tsholo Lake and join the main Everest trail at Dughla on the terminal moraine of the Khumbu Glacier. From Dughla we climb up the moraine past a row of stone monuments in memory of Sherpas who died on expeditions to Everest and on to our camp at Lobuche 4930m.
Day 14: Excursion to Kala Pattar: Overnight at Gorkshep 5140
We make an early morning start and ascend the trail along boulder fields and glacial debris to the edge of the Khumbu Glacier then continue up to Gorak Shep (5160 m.), nestled below the coned summit of Mt. Pumori (7161m.) and the sheer west face of Nuptse. From there we make a steep ascent to the top of a small peak, Kala Pattar 5545m meaning "black rock". From here the views is magnificent enough to make us forget the difficulty of the climb. Everest , Nuptse, Ama Dablan, Kantega, Tamserku, Tawatse and Pumo Ri all present themselves in a 360 degree panorama.
Day 15: Spare day. Spare Day Or Excurssion to Everest Base Camp if there are any climbers just return from Everest expedition: Spare day for rest and recreation or excursions or washing or whatever. It may be used as a catch up day if we are running behind time, things don't always turn out as planned in the Himalayas.
Day 16: Gorkshep - Thukla (4620m)- Dingboche (4410m): Return trek to Lobuche and a short descend to Thukla and an easy flat trail to and a small descend to Dingboche. This is the highest big settlement in the Khumbu area of Sherpas.
Day 17: Dingboche – Thyangboche 3860m. We descend the valley of the Imja Khola, trek through the village of Dingboche with its stone walled potatoe fields, down alpine pastures through the kharkas of Tsura, Orsho and Shomare to the village of Pangboche, the highest year round settlement in the valley. The Pangboche Gompa (monastory) is the oldest in the Khumbu and once used to boast the skull and hand of a Yeti, (stolen in 1991) Leaving Pangboche the route descends past some magnificently carved mani stones to the Imja Khola which we cross via a steel suspension bridge high above the river at a spot where it rushes through a narrow cleft.
From there we have a gentle climb to the tiny village of Debache past mani walls deep in a rhododendron forest. From Debache we have a short steep climb to Thyangboche through a forest of birches conifers and rhododendrons. Because of the ban on hunting at Thyangboche there is much wildlife in this area. we may see almost tame blood pheasants, Napal's national bird the Himalayan monal or ipeyan pheasnt, snow pigeons and red billed choughs (they will pinch any food you leave lying around ). A visit to the monastery is a must. The singular beauty of Ama Dablam, standing isolated from all other mountains provides a spectacular backdrop and reminder of the height of Himalayan peaks.
Day 18: Thyanboche to Namche Bazaar. From Thyangboche the trail drops sharply down to the Dudh Kosi and the village of Phunki, where we cross the river, and up toward Namche Bazaar, winding high above the river with views north towards Everest, Lhotse and Nuptse.
Day 19: Trek to Lukla. We retrace our trek down along the gorge of the Dudh Kosi to at Lukla to catch our return flight to Kathmandu. Weather permitting our trekking crew might prepare a farewell treat for you. You will be invited and expected to join in the singing and the dancing!! It's great fun!
Day 20: Fly to Kathmandu. Fly to Kathmandu. Transfer to Hotel, and then free time in Kathmandu.
Day 21: Spare day in Kathmandu. Explore Kathmandu. It might be a nice gesture to invite and shout our sirdar, his assistant guide/s and the cook to dinner at one of the "posher" restaurant inexpensive to us but unreachably expensive to them.
Day 22: Fly to home. Transfer to airport and depart
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