Day 2: Kathmandu. Guided sightseeing by car to visit highlights of the Kathmandu Valley. Places of interest include the Hindu temples and the burning ghats of Pashupatinath, on the holy Bagmati River as well as the nearby Bodhnath Stupa (partially damaged by the earthquake). Visit Durbar Square with its old palaces — home to the living goddess, Kumari. Your sightseeing will finish early so you can rest and relax in the garden or rooftop, enjoying views of the surrounding mountains and city skyline.
Day 3: In Kathmandu. Enjoy a free day in Kathmandu for shopping or sightseeing on your own. This is a good time to check your gear and make sure you have everything you need for the trek. If you need to rent a sleeping bag or buy any gear, for example, our friendly staff is available to help you and offer suggestions.
Day 4: Fly to Phaplu (8,100 feet) and trek to Kunekhop. Our 35-minute flight generally departs in the morning to Phaplu, near Salleri, headquarters of Solu Khumbu district. Beginning at Phaplu, our trek passes Salleri, descends to Solu Khola (river) and then, a gentle uphill portion takes us to the village of Kunekhop (7,800 feet). Hiking time 3-4 hours.
Day 5: Kunekhop to Janapriya School. Leaving the village, trek uphill through a dense pine forest to Somdung Pass (9500 feet) — Mount Everest and other peaks are visible. From the pass we descend to Janapriya School via the village of Gora and Tsewar. Janapriya village school has nearby grounds for camping at the river. Hiking time 7-8 hours.
Day 6: A day at Jana Priya School. Jana Priya School is the only government–sponsored school in this poor area of Solu Khumbu. Jana Priya's two buildings (containing seven classrooms) were severely damaged in the earthquake of April 2015. Staff and the Himalayan Education Development Project helped build their first community library. Lumsa, the village where the Jana Priya is located, is home to many of our staff — past students of Jana Priya School!
Day 7: Lumsa Village (8,200 feet). Today, we hike to the village center, about 30 minutes (one mile) from Jana Priya School — many houses nearby were destroyed or uninhabitable after the earthquakes which shook the region. You can have the opportunity to be part of construction effort — always based on your interest and ability. The village has a damaged stupa and crumbling stone mani wall which our staff is helping to repair — rocks carved with Buddhist mantras or designs placed along the trails. Creating and carving mani stones is a traditional art in throughout the Himalayan region.
Enjoy a very unique opportunity at the end of the day, to join in local discussions, casually meeting with village teachers and villagers in the evening while enjoying popular local drinks such as Chhaang (the local barley beer) as well as the famous salt tea of the Himalayan people.
On Day 8 of this itinerary, participants have two options for how they would like to spend the remaining time during this program:
* Option 1: Trek as described below for Days 8 through 10, hiking to Pikey Peak and on to Jhapre.
* Option 2: Remain in Lumsa Village for several days and actively participate in village reconstruction efforts. Your help is entirely voluntary and is based on your own interest and ability to help. Assistance can take many forms: helping to move items (construction items, rocks, furniture) as needed, helping to paint, distribute food and assist with labor as one can. As this construction is ongoing, it's hard to specifically predict what assistance might be needed at the time we are there, but needs will exist at Pema Choye Ling Gumba Monastery, a nearby damaged stupa as well as at several homes. It is an opportunity for you to actually be a physical part of rebuilding the heart of a village and having a direct effect on those who call Lumsa home. If you have a skill, a desire to help or ability to share, this is a chance to actually do that and become a real part of Lumsa Village history.
One of our guides, Ang Furi Sherpa, will remain in Lumsa to coordinate volunteer efforts and help arrange short hikes in the area. Evenings at Lumsa will also be spent in a pleasant community atmosphere for dinner and spirited games. Overnights will be homestays with village families. Here is a real opportunity to immerse yourself in real village life in rural Nepal.
Later, on Day 10, our assistance group in Lumsa, will make a departure hike (about three miles) to Jhapre, where the entire group will rejoin that evening and continue together the next day to Pattale (Day 11 of this itinerary) and on to Kathmandu on Day 12.
Day 8: Trek to Dhimil (9,600 feet). From Lumsa village we gradually descend to a valley stream (Dhimil Khola) and make a gradual uphill climb on the other side to Dhimil Village. Our trek is short today and we'll reach Dhimil by lunchtime. Dhimil, across the valley from Lumsa, is the last village before we reach Pikey Peak Base Camp. It is home to some 30 families, all of them Sherpas. Hiking time is two to three hours, about three miles.
Day 9: To Pikey Peak Base Camp. From Dhimil, our trail climbs to a high ridge and grazing pastures where we find a main trail used by yak herders to lead their flocks from the alpine area of Lamje. Once here, our hiking becomes easier, walking along the ridgeline until we reach an uphill section, for a final push to Pikey Peak Base Camp at 11,500 feet. Enjoy fine views of nearby villages, old monuments, stone mani(prayer) walls, stupas and an old cheese factory — all set against an amazing, snow–capped panorama of the Himalayas, including Mount Everest! Trek time is four to five hours, about seven miles.
Day 10: Ascend Pikey Peak and trek to Jhapre (9,250 feet). Pikey Peak, at 13,333 feet, is a holy mountain and the area's highest summit where you can relish the panoramic Himalaya — with Mount Everest to the northeast, Mount Kanchanjunga to the far east and the Langtang region to the west. For those who wish to summit Pikey Peak, we will depart before breakfast for the 1,833 foot, trek to the top. We will have breakfast on our return as our crew packs camp to continue our trek to Jhapre.
From Pikey Peak Base Camp we retrace the trail from Dhimil for the first hour and then follow along the Lamje Danda ridgeline on yak herder trails, where we enjoy excellent mountain vistas. This moderate walk will leads to Bhul Bhule settlement and to a tea house where for a hot lunch. Then it's onward to Jhapre Village. Trekking time is six hours, about eight miles. Our group members who remained at Lumsa Village on Day 7, will depart Lumsa at 10 AM and hike three miles (about two to three hours) from Lumsa to join us where the full reunited group will overnight at a Tea House.
Day 11: Dhikure School and trek to Pattale (9,250 feet). From Jhapre, it's a 30–minute walk to Dhikure Village School. Our staff fund provided modified dining tents which were converted into classrooms for a temporary school, allowing classes to resume after the school building was damaged by the 2015 earthquake. We won't have time to help here, but we can observe the reconstruction work in progress. After our visit to Dhikure School, our ridgeline trekking continues as we pass the village of Singane to reach Pattalle. The trail is moderate with little uphill climb. Hiking time seven hours, about six miles.
Day 12: Pattalle to Kathmandu. Our transport awaits to return us to Kathmandu after breakfast. Say farewell to the staff as the vehicle is loaded. We'll travel on a recently–built road from this remote countryside to the city. Total drive time is 8–12 hours.
Day 13: Final free day to relax, shop and explore. In the evening enjoy a farewell dinner.
Day 14: Transfer to the airport and depart for home.
A detailed itinerary is available on request.
Scheduled Dates: The Lower Everest Trek. Currently not scheduled.
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