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 - Thame, 12525 feet. To acclimatize smoothly, we will stop at Thame, just at the limit of the tree-line, and we will have time to visit Thame´s monastery. Night in lodge. Duration is 4 hours and a half.
Day 6: Thame - Langden mountain pasture, 14,567 feet. A easy footpath follows the wide valley where Tibetan merchants use to pass in Spring, heading up to the big market place of Namche Bazar, after having passed with their yacks the altitude Nang Pa La pass, at 18,750 feet asl. Night in lodge. Duration of walking: 5 hours.
Day 7: Langden mountain pasture. A rest day to aclimatize before the crossing of Renjo La. Night in lodge.
Day 8: Renjo La pass, 17,519 feet - Gokyo Lakes, 15,580 feet. A long ascent, passing close to nice altitude lakes brings us to the Renjo La pass. The pass is a fantastic viewpoint on many peaks, and on Gokyo widest lake. Descent to Gokyo lakes. Night in lodge. Duration of walking: 7 hours.
Day 9: Ascent of Gokyo Peak, 17,585 feet. Trek to Dragnag, 15,403 feet asl. 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 wiew on the immense Ngozumba glacier, and on 123 different peaks, including Mount Everest, Lhotse, Cho Oyu and Makalu. Back to the camp for a early lunch. In the afternoon, 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. Diner and night at Dragnag lodge. Duration of walking: 6 hours.
Day 10: Dragnag - Cho La pass, 17,782 feet - Dzonglha, 15,780 feet. A wild stage, beginning by four hours of ascent till Cho La pass. From the pass, superb wiew on Dzonglha valley and lake, and on the impressive North face of Jobo Lhaptshan, 21,128 feet. Descent to Dzonglha, with a short and easy walk on the Cho La La glacier. Afternoon rest. Night in lodge. Duration of walking: 6 hours.
Day 11: Dzonglha - Lobuche - Gorak Shep, 17,025 feet. Starting from Dzonglha, the footpath follows the hillside till Lobuche, in the Everest valley, close to Khumbu glacier. Wiew 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" (Surprise!), just underneath our next aim, Kala Pattar. Night in lodge.
Duration of walking: 5 hours.
Day 12: Gorak Shep - Everest Base Camp, 17,715 feet or Kala Patthar peak, 18,514 feet - Lobuche, 16,109 feet. From Gorak Shep, we can ascend Kala Patthar, 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 Patthar or this trekking to Base Camp, we come back to Lobuche. Afternoon rest. Night in lodge. Duration of walking: 5 hours and a half.
Day 13: Lobuche - Kongma La, 18,159 feet - Dingpoche, 14,298 feet. Starting at dawn, we cross the Khumbu glacier, and then head up to the steep slopes leading to Kongma La pass. The descent of the pass will require a fixed rope for the first meters below the pass. We pass close to a little lake, hike down on yacks mountain pastures, and then reach the main path going to Dingpoche. Afternoon rest. Night in lodge. Duration: 5 hours and a half.
Day 14: Dingpoche, rest day.
Day 15: Dingpoche - Chukkung - Pareshaya Gyab (Island Peak Base camp), 16,798 feet. In the morning, we hike to Chukkung mountain pastures, standing close to the confluence of four glaciers. Facing us, the impressive South Face of Lhotse, 10,000 feet high. Closer, the Island Peak, our trekking peak. In the afternoon, following moraines, the path leads us to Pareshaya Gyab (Island Peak Base camp). Night in tent. Duration of walking: 5 hours.
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 - Pangboche, 12,762 feet. We come back to Chukkung and Dingpoche, and then go down to Pangboche, following the Sherpas route in Everest valley. 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. Night in lodge. Duration of walking: 6 hours.
Day 19: Pangboche - Namche Bazar, 11,280 feet. 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. Night in lodge. Duration of walking: 6 to 7 hours.
Day 20: Namche Bazar - Lukla, 9,416 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 Khumbu. Fiesta with all our Nepalese friends will be organized. Night in lodge. Duration of walking: 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 Nima Thundu house in private bus or taxi. Installation in Nima Thundu house. Free afternoon to visit Kathmandu, and bargain souvenirs. Night in Nima Thundu house.
Day 22: Rest day in Kathmandu. Night in Nima Thundu house.
Day 23: Flight Kathmandu - Europe, regular flight. 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.
Day 24: landing in Europe.
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