Day 1: Fly Kathmandu to Lukla (2,840 m/9,318 ft) and trek to Phakding (2,610 m/8,563 ft). Fly Kathmandu to Lukla (2,840 m/9,318 ft) and trek to Phakding (2,610 m/8,563 ft). We set off early morning from our hotel to domestic airport for Lukla flights. After a 35 minute scenic mountain flight by a small aircraft, we land in Lukla airport (Tenzing-Hillary airport). Today’s trek from Lukla to Phakding is only about 3-4 hours. The trail from Lukla is seen broad and clear. Finally we arrive in the village separated in two parts with about a 10 minute trek between them, and a long suspension bridge over the Dudh Koshi River. This village is called Phakding where we stay overnight.
Day 2: Trek Phakding to Namche Bazaar (3,446 m/11,306 ft). Today's trek is about 5-6 hours. After crossing the suspension bridge at Phakding, we trek for 2-3 hours following the climbs steeply up rough stone steps before reaching the long paved Monjo village on the edge of Sagarmatha National Park. In addition to the lodges, single-roofed houses and a few basic shops, there is a small gompa nearby. The trek from Monjo to Namche Bazaar will take another 3-4 hours. This town is known as the Sherpa “Capital” and gateway to the Mt. Everest. We stay two overnights in Namche Bazaar for acclimatization and excursion around. Trekking time 5-6 hours.
Day 3: Rest and acclimatization day in Namche Bazaar. Today we stay in Namche Bazaar for acclimatization. Because of the altitude, it will be necessary for us to spend a minimum of two nights here. On this day, we have the choice of just relaxing and roaming round this interesting hill town, or alternatively trekking round a nearby 3-4 hour circuit with stunning views.
Day 4: Trek Namche Bazaar to Thame (3,820 m/12,533 ft). Today our trek starts by passing the town’s gompa and continues round the steep hillside to cross the rim where there is a profusion of mani stones, carved boulders and prayer flags. The trail then proceeds through pine and juniper woods to reach the village of Phurte (3,390 m/11,122 ft) which has simple teahouses, lodges, traditional Sherpa homes, a mani wall and a chorten. The trail now loses height, winds round several wooded spurs, passes through a kani (arch), crosses a wooden cantilever bridge and enters the village of Thesiyo. From this point the route starts to rise, passes another chorten and reaches the large strung-out village of Thamo (3,493 m/11,460 ft) with a school, mani stones, prayer flags, lodges and teahouses. Tenzing Norgay Sherpa who ascended Mt. Everest with Sir Edmund Hillary in 1953, spent his childhood in Thame. There is a school in the village, built by Sir Edmund Hillary’s Himalayan Trust and to the west a gompa perched almost 150 meters above the fields. Trekking time 4-5 hours.
Day 5: Trek Thame to Marlung/Marulung (4,210 m/13,813 ft). Today after taking our breakfast we are ready for the next camp towards Marlung. We pass through the terrain from Thame to Marlung which is alpine zone and very less vegetation is found. This is relatively a less trekked valley so that the trekkers enjoy with their peace of mind while trekking. As we pass by the village of Tarngga, the superb views of Kongde Ri (6,187 m/20,300 ft) is seen down the trail. About an hour further trek on a gradually rising trail brings us to Marlung. We stay overnight at Marlung. There are only a few teahouses found with basic facilities. Trekking time 5-6 hours.
Day 6: Trek Marlung to Gokyo (4,790 m/15,716 ft) crossing over Renjo la pass (5,340 m/17,520 ft). Today we have a long and tough trekking day. We start our trek early morning after breakfast and climb a small rasing hill. We then cross a stream and reach Lungden. We continue our trek further towards the top of Renjo La pass (5,340 m/17,520 ft). The views are outstanding from this top. The Everest itself, Lhotse, Cholatse and Taboche can be seen shining in the sun. Views from Renjo La are much like that from Gokyo Ri with third Gokyo Lake and Gokyo Village beneath the gray smear of Ngozumpa Glacier. We walk further to Gokyo through the glacier and reach Gokyo, our overnight stop. Trekking time 8-9 hours.
Day 7: Rest day at Gokyo, climb at Gokyo Ri (5,360 m/17,586 ft) in the morning. We spend two nights in Gokyo to help with altitude acclimatisation. In the morning, if weather permits, we climb the hill that rises above the northern shore of Lake Dudh Pokhari, called Gokyo Ri. The summit is marked by large cairns and prayer flags. Also from the top, Gokyo’s turquoise lake, far below has a picturesque view. An excursion to fourth and fifth lake is recommended for passionate trekkers.
Day 8: Trek Gokyo to Thangnak (4,950 m/16,241 ft). Today we continue our trek to Thangnak (Dragnag), at a point beyond the southern end of Lake Taboche Tsho, where a cairn marks a fork in the trail, we branch left, make any easy rise across the slope and crest the moraine wall at a saddle. From here we will get a splendid view northwards along the length of the Ngozumpa Glacier to Cho Oyu and also to Cholatse and Taboche in the south-east. The way now descends onto the glacier, weaves round ice cliffs, over rocky humps, skirts small lakes and crosses flats of glacial sand. Here there are impressive views in every direction. Having crossed the glaciers, the route descends into the ablation valley below our overnight stop Thangnak, which consists of three very basic simple lodges and a couple of huts. Trekking time 3-4 hours.
Day 9: Trek Thangnak to Dzonglha (4,830 m/15,847 ft) crossing over Chola pass (5,330 m/17,487 ft). Today the trail climbs steadily to a cairn on the crest of a moraine ridge, descends into a valley and arrives at a rough area of rocks and boulders, sometimes known as Cho La Base Camp and also as Phedi (4,930 m/16,175 ft) which means “at the foot of the hill”. We will now stay close to the right hand rock wall where cairns indicate the route down. The views ahead will now be magnificent. The steep descent now continues down rocky “steps” to reach an easy path, which will take us to the bed of the valley. The remainder of the trek to our overnight stop Dzonglha is through this beautiful valley and we will be able to enjoy the stunning views. Dzonglha consists of a few simple lodges and camping grounds in a walled enclosure. There is a terrific close view of Cholatse’s north-east face (6,335 m/20,785 ft) seen from Dzonglha and below to the south lies Chola Tsho lake (4,590 m/15,059 ft). We stay overnight at Dzonglha. Trekking time 6-7 hours.
Day 10: Trek Dzonglha to Lobuche (4,910 m/16,109 ft). Today we continue the trek along the moraine of the glacier. The views of Kalapatthar and Pumori on the way are truly magnificent. The trail now enters the Khumbu valley, crosses to the western side from which one gets a clear view of the massive Nuptse (7,861m/25,791ft) and finally arrives at Lobuche. This is a busy place with trekkers camping in various spots on the far side of the stream and around the lodges. We stay overnight at Lobuche. It can be very cold overnight here. Trekking time 2-3 hours.
Day 11: Trek Lobuche to Everest Base Camp (5,364 m/17,598 ft), return trek to Gorakshep (5,140 m/16,864 ft). Today, we set off to the Everest Base Camp with the trail initially crossing a stream below Lobuche. Soon we will reach a point where a narrow side valley cuts off to the left. After about 200 m it takes us to the “Italian Pyramid”, a stone-built lodge and scientific station which collects meteorological and seismic (earthquake) data. The trail to Base Camp begins just beyond the Gorakshep Lake, runs for some way along the moraine crest and then appears to descend to the Khumbu glacier. Today we will get a real close-up of the impressive Khumbu ice fall. The Base Camp can be quite a bustling place with expeditions camping, porters, trekkers and yaks, etc. Having achieved our first goal, and after resting, we will return to Gorakshep for our overnight stay. Trekking time 7-8 hours.
Day 12: Trek/Climb Gorakshep to Kalapatthar (5,545 m/18,192 ft) and return trek to Lobuche. Today’s trip is not only literally the “high point” of our entire trek but it also has the absolutely high point with unbelievable views from the summit of Kalapatthar. The long awaited trek starts around 5.00 am. The climb takes about 1-2 hours (depending upon the route chosen) to reach the summit. On the arrival at the summit, one can experience the most fantastic sunrise over Mt. Everest. Although Everest is of course the main focus of attention, the ice cone of Nuptse which from this view point appears higher than Everest, has stunning beauty. We will return downhill to Gorakshep and then continue our trek to Lobuche after breakfast. We stay overnight at Lobuche. Trekking time 5-6 hours.
Day 13: Trek Lobuche to Chhukung (4,730 m/15,519 ft) crossing over Kongma la pass (5,535 m/18,160 ft). Today we start our trek early morning after breakfast along the Khumbu Glacier over the Kongma La pass (5,535 m/18,160 ft). We can see cairn wrapped in prayer flags marking the pass. Then we descend a gradual walks up the Imja Khola valley and reach Chhukung. Trekking time 7-8 hours. Alternatively, you may take another route via Dingboche to Chhukung if you do not like to undertake the Kongma La pass trek.
Day 14: Trek Chhukung to Pangboche (3,930 m/12,894 ft). We set off southward down the west bank of the Imja Khola, cross a bridge over the Khumbu Khola close to where it is joined by the Imja Khola and proceed down the west bank and reach Pangboche. There is a famous gompa at Pangboche believed to have been the oldest in the Khumbu region. We stay overnight at Pangboche. Trekking time 4-5 hours.
Day 15: Trek Pangboche to Namche Bazaar. We descend through the alpine dessert and enter into landscapes of pine forests. The trail then leads to a steep uphill climb into Tengboche. We pay a visit to the Tengboche Monastery. We then trek through a steep descent and the final steep climb traverses the hill side into Namche Bazaar. Trekking time 5-6 hours.
Day 16: Return trek Namche Bazaar to Lukla. Again we proceed southward, retracing the route trekked on day 1 and 2, crossing and re-crossing the Dudh Koshi at intervals. We stay overnight in Lukla. Trekking time 6-7 hours.
Day 17: Fly Lukla to Kathmandu. We take the 35 minute breathtaking flight from Lukla.
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