(19 half to full days of trekking):
April 23 - May 15
October 29 - November 20
Price: US$ 4700 (CAD$ 4800)
Single Supplement: US$ 250 (CAD$ 300)
Our journey begins with an awe-inspiring flight from Kathmandu to Lukla, where spectacular views of the great Himalayan chain surround us. Trekking towards Everest Base Camp, this immense glacial valley at the foot of "Chomolongma", "Mother Goddess of the Earth" and the world's highest summit, wraps us in mountaineering lore and allows for a unique cultural experience.
The Sherpa people, Tibetan in origin, have developed from yak herders and farmers into some of the world's greatest mountaineers, scaling many times the world's highest peaks. Guided by a Western guide as well as by a local Sherpa, whose extended family will welcome us wherever we go, we will come into close contact with some of Nepal's most engaging people. The high passes of the Khumbu are a breathtaking, although strenuous alternative route to get to and from Everest Base Camp.
All passes are well over 5000m meters or 15,000 feet. From the village of Thame, we will be sleeping above 4000 meters or 12,000 feet. Nights are very cold, with temperatures well below zero degrees Celsius. Overnight lows can dip to -20 Celsius, requiring excellent gear and also a good sense of adventure. To join this trek, you must be in outstanding physical condition, with the ability to trek up to 10 hours if conditions are not optimal. Terrain varies from good paths to those covered by snow and ice.
Day 1: Transfer to Kathmandu from International Flight. Night in Kathmandu.
Day 2: Sightseeing in Kathmandu Valley.
Day 3: Fly to Lukla. Arrive late morning, meet porters, gather gear and trek to Monjo. 4 Hours of hiking. 400 vertical meters.
Day 4: Hike to Namche Bazaar. 4 hours of hiking. 450 meters.
Day 5: Day hike to Kumjung. This is where many of the world's best known Sherpas are from. Sir Edmund Hillary built his first school here, which can still be visited today. 440 vertical meters. Night in Namche Bazaar.
Day 6: Hike to Thame and visit monastery in afternoon. Overnight in Thame. 450 vertical meters.
Day 7: Hike to Arye. 600 vertical meters. Overnight in Arye.
Day 8: Day hike to Dzibko and vistas towards the Nangpa La and Cho Oyo, the world's sixth highest summit. Meet Tibetan traders along this ancient trading path. 400 vertical meters. Overnight in Arye.
Day 9: Arye to Renjo Pass to Gokyo. 1000 vertical meters. Steep trails but stunning views out towards the Tibetan ranges. Overnight in Gokyo.
Day 10: Steep hike to Gokyo Ri but highly rewarding. 600 vertical meters to vantage point. Overnight in Gokyo.
Day 11: Hike to Dragnag. Amazing trail winding its way over the huge Ngozompa Glacier. Trail is quite steep at times as we negotiate the huge penitents, erratics and other obstacles. Overnight in Dragnag. 200 vertical meters.
Day 12: Early start to reach the Cho La pass as the sunrise on surrounding peak is a must. Steep trail but good path often icy towards the top. 800 meters of steep climbing. Overnight in Dzonghla.
Day 13: Short day as we descend towards the tiny hamlet of Lobuche. Incredible views of one of the world's most impressive mountains: Ama Dablam. jutting from the valley floor and reaching nearly 7000 meters. Overnight in Lobuche. 300 meters of vertical gain.
Day 14: Lobuche to Gorak Shep. Today's hike takes us to the heart of why we have trekked so long and hard. Views from Gorak Shep are unique as several of the world's highest peaks tower above our heads. Pumori, Nuptse, Lhotse and of course, Mount Everest seem to be within arm's length. 300 vertical meters but the altitude will be a factor today, as we will be sleeping at over 5000 meters. Overnight in Gorak Shep.
Day 15: Day hike to Kalapatar.
Day 16: Day hike to Mount Everest Base Camp. With very little vertical gain (200 meters) this hike is relatively arduous as the trail winds along the moraine of the Khumbu Glacier. Reaching base camp is the dream of most trekkers today.
Day 17: Lobuche to Kongma La. One of the hardest passes of the trek. The reward is beyond description. Nuptse towers above the Kongma La, but in the distance, Makalu I and II can be seen on a clear day. Overnight to the stunningly placed village of Chhukhung at the foot of Ama Dablam. The most difficult hiking is behind us as we return to the relative luxury of lower altitudes and warmer temperatures. 700 vertical meters.
Day 18: Chhukung to Pangboche. A long day but mostly downhill. Our hike today takes us to the heart of the Sherpa culture as we pass cultivated fields of barley and potatoes. Yaks and naks are a familiar sight as we descend to Pangboche for the night.
Day 19: Pangboche to Namche Bazaar. Namche Bazaar will be a welcome sight as chocolate cake and a hot shower await us. Overnight in Namche Bazaar.
Day 20: Namche Bazaar to Lukla. Now that we are all fit, this walk down will feel like a stroll. Overnight in Lukla and early morning flight the next day for Kathmandu.
Day 21: Early morning flight to Kathmandu. Afternoon sightseeing or free time.
Day 22: Sightseeing or free day.
Day 23: Departure day.
Accommodation: Upscale hotel in Kathmandu, mountain lodges and tea houses throughout the trek. Meeting point is Kathmandu airport.
Trip Leaders: All our treks in the Himalaya are led by a certified "Western" guide plus a team of 3 high-altitude guides. Working with Russell Brice's company in Kathmandu allows us to hire only the best multi-lingual, high altitude Sherpas. Russell Brice is a UIAGM high mountain guide, who organizes high altitude expeditions. When not climbing Mount Everest or Cho Oyo, Chhuldim, Phurba and Lobsang put their combined knowledge of the Great Himalayan Range at your disposal. Speaking English fluently, along with Nepali, Sherpa and Tibetan, they will allow you to experience Nepal with an insider's perspective. Granted, one can never comprehend a culture in such a short time, but having someone interested in transmitting the love of his country and culture can only enhance a walker's experience. All of our guides are professionals, and are skilled at transmitting their tremendous knowledge of the region/country to you. All our guides speak fluently English and at least another foreign language. Wherever you go with us, your guide will be able to communicate at ease, enabling him/her to take care of any problem/special wishes that might occur.
Trip Difficulty: Level 5 (From 1-easy to 5-very strenuous). Very strenuous walking on unmarked trails with some cross-country hiking. Scree slopes, some scrambling, steep sections, both up and down. High probability of snow. Ridge walking with some exposure. Walking can be up to 10 hours a day, depending on conditions. Consecutive walking for a minimum of 6 days. 1500m (5500ft) maximum elevation gain per day. Day-packs and larger. Maximum altitude in the Himalaya 5600m (17000ft).
Also see tour packages in:
Asia Nepal Tibet Outdoor: Land Rambler Hiking & Trekking Cultural Journey
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