The ascent is grade: Alpine PD (peu difficile (not very hard), though a short steep part of the final ridge, equipped with fixed ropes, should be quoted AD (assez difficile (fairly difficult). Starting from Base Camp, Pareshaya Gyab, height 16,800 feet, a footpath goes up till the height 18,300 feet. From there, a easy climb through rocks lead to the glacier. The route goes first left on the glacier, avoiding seracs and crevasses, and then turns right till the steep snow slope leading to the summit ridge, climbed with the help of a fixed rope (300 feet climb, gradient 45 degrees). The ridge itself is a classic climb, except a steep part (grade AD) equipped with a fixed rope.
Our mountain guide will place the fixed ropes with the help of a skilled high-altitude mountaineering Sherpa. Our mountain guide will rope on with two or three climbers. The other climbers will be in self-governing roped parties, advised and supervised by our Mountain Guide.
To register to this trekking peak program, you must have carried out a few ascents on Snow gullies and ridges, Alpine grade PD or AD, as the Three Mont-Blancs route or "Courtes" ridge (in the Mont-Blanc group), Zinalrothorn or Dent Blanche (in Switzerland), and thus apply correctly the basic techniques with crampons on ascents, descents and crossings.
Day 1: Flight to Kathmandu, regular flight.
Day 2: Landing in Kathmandu. Welcome in the airport by our local correspondent. Transfer to hotel in private bus or taxi. During the afternoon, visit of Swayambhunath sanctuary. Night in hotel.
Day 3: Flight Kathmandu - Lukla (9350 feet) trekking to Phakding (8760 feet). Early transfer in private minibus or taxi from hotel to airport. Flight in twin-engine aircraft to Lukla, with a superb view on Himalaya range. In Lukla, we meet the local team (Sirdar, Sherpas guides, cook and kitchen-boys, porters). We begin our trekking with a descent to Chutrawa (8200 feet) facing the famous peak of Karyalang (21920 feet) and the Khumbila (18900 feet) the Holy mountain of the protective God of Khumbu valleys. Duration is 3 hours.
Day 4: Phakding - Namche Bazar (11280 feet). The footpath will first pass through the small villages of Chumoa and Jorsale (9202 feet). Jorsale is the Entry Gate of Sagarmatha National Park. Through pine forests, with nice water-falls, the footpath leads us to the impressive suspension bridge of Namche Bazar, built over the wild river Dudh Khosi. A steep ascent, offering a first glimpse on Mount Everest, brings us to Namche Bazar, main village of High Khumbu. Namche Bazar has a famous open-air market each Saturday, with merchants coming from Tibet with their yaks carrying loads through the high pass of Nangpa La (18750 feet above sea level). Duration is 5 hours and a half.
Day 5: Namche Bazar - Khumjung (12435 feet). To acclimatize smoothly, we just make a two hours walk to Khumjung, after a visit to the Sherpa culture plus Everest conquest museum of Namche Bazar. Khumjung is a very old Sherpa village, with two monasteries, where Sir Edmund Hillary, first climber of Mount Everest in 1953 with Tenzing Norgay Sherpa, created a school and a hospital (Kunde). Afternoon rest. Duration is 2 hours.
Day 6: Namche Bazar - Dole (13255 feet). Facing us, Ama Dablam (22499 feet) one of the most beautiful peaks of the world, with Matterhorn and Alpamayo (South America). Our footpath goes through the slopes climbing to Khumbila, and reaches our first pass, Mon La (13035 feet). Steep descent to Phortse Drangka. We leave the valley going to Everest, we are now in Gokyo valley. Just at the limit of the tree-line, we reach the mountain pasture of Dole (13255 feet). Duration is 5 hours.
Day 7: Dole - Machermo (14470 feet). The footpath goes through small yak mountain pastures: Khele, Lhabarma, Luza. Wiew on many small waterfalls. Camp at Machermo, facing Kyajo glacier. Afternoon rest. Duration is 3 hours and a half.
Day 8: Machermo - Gokyo Lakes (15580 feet). Gokyo Lakes, which draw many Hinduist pilgrims, will be reached today. Passing through the small hamlet of Pangkhat, the trail offers a superb view on Cho Oyu (26715 feet) on the Tibet border. After a 3 hours walk, the footpath goes along the three Lakes of Gokyo: Longpongo, Taoche, Dudh Pokhari, standing in the center of a splendid mountains' circus. Afternoon rest. Duration is 4 hours.
Day 9: Ascent of Gokyo Peak (17585 feet). Leaving the camp at dawn, we will easily and slowly climb the path going up to Gokyo Peak, higher than Mont-Blanc. From the top, fantastic view on the immense Ngozumba glacier, and on 123 different peaks, including Mount Everest, Lhotse, Cho Oyu and Makalu. Back to the camp for a afternoon rest. Duration is 4 hours.
Day 10: Gokyo Lakes - Nyimagawa (16570 feet). After a short descent to Longpongo lake, all our caravan goes through the glacier of Ngozumpa, on the moraines and screes which hide the ice. We will discover very nice small glacial lakes. Lunch on the other bank of the glacier, by Dragnag. In the afternoon, steep ascent to install our camp by Nyimagawa, just underneath the Cho La pass. Camp. Duration of walking is 5 hours.
Day 11: Nyimagawa - Cho La pass (17780 feet) - Dzonglha (16105 feet). A wild stage, beginning by one hour and a half on the steep snowy footpath leading to Cho La pass. From the pass, superb view on Dzonglha valley and lake, and on the impressive North face of Jobo Lhaptshan (21128 feet). Descent to Dzonglha, with a short and easy walk on the Cho La La glacier. Afternoon rest. Duration is 3 hours and a half.
Day 12: Dzonglha - Lobuche - Gorak Shep (17025 feet). Starting from Dzonglha, the footpath follows the hillside till Lobuche, in the Everest valley, close to Khumbu glacier. View on Nuptse, Pumori, Everest, Lhotse, Ama Dablam. In this mineral scenery, a stony path leads to Gorak Shep, the highest mountain pasture of the valley, with its famous "sand-beach", just underneath our next aim, Kala Pattar. Duration is 5 hours.
Day 13: Gorak Shep - Everest Base Camp (17715 feet) or Kala Pattar peak (18192 feet) - Dingpoche (14295 feet). From Gorak Shep, we can either ascend Kala Pattar, the classic viewpoint on Everest from which is taken the famous photo showing Everest, South pass, Lhotse and Nuptse, or hike to Everest Base Camp, near the Ice-Fall. After this ascent of Kala Pattar or this trekking to Base Camp, we come back to Lobuche, and then go down Everest valley till the beautiful village of Dingpoche. Duration is 6 to 7 hours.
Day 14: Dinpoche - Chukkung (15580 feet). Morning rest in Dingpoche, and a short afternoon hike to Chukkung mountain pastures, standing close to the confluence of four glaciers. Facing us, the impressive South Face of Lhotse, 10000 feet high. Closer, the Island Peak, our trekking peak. Duration is 2 hours.
Day 15: Chukkung - Pareshaya Gyab (Island peak base camp) (16800 feet). The path from Chukkung to Pareshaya Gayb goes up on old moraines crests. Installation of Base Camp, setting up of roped parties, and last check-up of the equipment for tomorrow ascent. Afternoon rest. Duration is 3 hours and a half.
Day 16: Ascent of Island Peak (20305 feet). We leave the camp at night, and climb a easy footpath till the height (18300 feet). From there, a easy climb through rocks lead to the glacier. The route goes first left on the glacier, avoiding seracs and crevasses, and then turns right till the steep snow slope leading to the summit ridge, climbed with the help of a fixed rope (300 feet climb, gradient 45 degrees). The ridge itself is a classic climb, except a steep part (grade AD) which may require a other fixed rope. From the top of Island Peak (named Imja Tse in Sherpa language), fantastic view on the very near faces of Lhotse, Nuptse and Ama Dablam. Descent by the same route to Pareshaya Gyab. Duration is 8 to 10 hours.
Day 17: Extra day to climb Island Peak.
Day 18: Pareshaya Gyab - Shomare (13285 feet). We come back to Chukkung and Dingpoche, and then go down to Shomare, following the Sherpas route in Everest valley. Duration is 5 hours and a half.
Day 19: Shomare - Pangboche - Namche Bazar (11280 feet). In Pangboche monastery, where was kept for a long time the "Yeti's scalp", we will thank Gods to have allowed us to climb closer to their Altitude Kingdom. After Pangboche, the "mountain pastures footpath" is following the hillside of Ama Dablam's slopes, dominating the canyon of Imja Khola. Travel agencies are unaware of this narrow footpath, snaking through nice forests and pastures, which was rediscovered by one of our groups in 1997. You will just meet there a few Sherpanis looking for firewood, and one shepherd watching over his yaks. The footpath leads to Tengpoche monastery. The famous Buddhist monastery was entirely destroyed by fire in January 1989, and then rebuilt thanks to donations from the whole world Buddhist community. The wild mountains surrounding these so worshiped Holy places enlarge the exceptional nature of this site. In the afternoon, we go down through a forest of Himalayan pine-trees and rhododendrons till Phunki bridge (where you will admire prayer wheels driven by a small stream). The footpath goes up to Thashingo, and then follows the hillside till Namche Bazar. Duration is 6 hours.
Day 20: Namche Bazar - Lukla (9350 feet). Boosted by all our new red blood cells, we rush down the footpath going to Sagarmatha National Park gate, in Jorsale. Later, Lukla's footpath leads us through the first villages we saw two weeks ago: Gumila, Phakding, Choplung. The high peaks disappear behind the hills. In Lukla, we will pass our last night in tents. Fiesta with all our Nepalese friends will be organized. Duration: 5 hours and a half.
Day 21: Flight Lukla - Kathmandu. With a strong emotion, we leave our friends of the Nepalese team who took care of us during this tour. Flight in twin-engine aircraft to Kathmandu, with a superb view on Himalaya range. Transfer to hotel in private bus or taxi. Installation in hotel. Free afternoon to visit Kathmandu, and bargain souvenirs. Night in the hotel.
Day 22: International regular flight leaving Kathmandu. Free morning in Kathmandu. In the beginning of the afternoon, we prepare our luggage. By mid-afternoon, transfer in private bus or taxi to airport. Take-off by the end of the afternoon.
Also see tour packages in:
Asia Nepal Outdoor: Land Rambler Hiking & Trekking Mountain/Rock Climbing
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