The iconic Himalayan trek to the foot of the highest mountain on Earth
Taking us to the most iconic base camp of all at the foot of the greatest
mountain in the world, Mount Everest (8848m), this is one of the world’s
classic treks. Walking through Sherpa country past cultivated fields and
small villages, we have time to acclimatise before reaching spectacular high
altitude scenery: the incredible monastery at Thyangboche, views of Ama
Dablam, Everest and other mighty Himalayan peaks. As well as reaching Base
Camp, we have the opportunity to climb Kala Pattar (5545m) for a magnificent
view of the highest mountain on Earth.
We also offer Expedition Departures with the exclusive opportunity to spend
two nights camping at Everest Base Camp in spring, at a time of year when the
climbing parties are preparing for their Everest summit attempt. Please see
trip code TNTA  for further details.
* Trek to Everest Base Camp, following in the footsteps of the great
* Explore Namche Bazaar and soak up the Sherpa culture
* Walk amidst the world’s highest mountain range, with incredible views of
Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse and Ama Dablam
* Visit the hilltop monastery at Thyangboche
* Ascend Kala Pattar for close up views of Mt Everest
Day 1 Depart London.
The group flight is an overnight flight departing London this evening.
The tour starts at our hotel in Kathmandu. The group flights arrive into
Kathmandu in the afternoon and those travelling on them will be met at the
airport and transferred to our hotel. There will be a full trek briefing this
*Royal Singi Hotel*
Drive to Manthali (Ramechhap) airport; short but spectacular flight to Lukla
(2800m); trek to Phakding
We will need to depart the hotel at around 2-3am to drive to Manthali
(Ramechhap) airport to catch our flight to Lukla. At this time of day when
there is usually light traffic, the drive should take about 4 hours. Roads in
Nepal are not of the same standard as in the west, there may be potholed
areas and the last section is unsurfaced.
We fly to the mountain airstrip of Lukla (2,800m), and set off on the first
short leg of our trek, heading northwards up the valley of the Dudh Kosi (or
‘milk river’). We descend from the small plateau, down into the forested
valley. The trail offers some tantalising views before reaching the small
settlement of Phakding (2,652m), where we spend our first night.
*Tea-house* (sleeping altitude 2,652m)
Follow the Dudh Kosi and ascend to Namche Bazaar, with time to explore the
Heading out of Phakding we follow the Dudh Kosi northwards. This day’s walk
takes us through magnificent forests with glimpses of the mountains ahead. We
cross the river several times by bridges as we pass through the villages of
Benkar, Monzo and Jorsale. A final bridge brings us to the foot of the steep
climb to Namche. Halfway up this ascent, we may get our first glimpse,
cloud-permitting, of the summit of Everest appearing majestically behind the
great ridge of Nuptse-Lhotse. A last 300m of climbing brings us to Namche
Bazaar, the Sherpa capital and the main town in the area. Namche is a
prosperous Sherpa town and an important trading centre. It has a weekly
market on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning but the town bustle all day
every day with trekkers, coffee shops, bakeries and stores selling all kinds
of trekking and climbing gear as well as Tibetan souvenirs.
*Tea-house *(sleeping altitude 3,440m)
Acclimatisation walk to Kunde and Khumjung; descend to Kyanjuma.
We climb steeply out of Namche past the airstrip at Shyangboche to the
Everest View Hotel, the highpoint of our day at 3,880m. Built by the
Japanese, this spectacularly situated hotel with wonderful views of Everest
and Ama Dablam is an ideal place for a tea break. Descending through forest
we come to Khumjung, where we have lunch close to the Sir Edmund Hillary
School. After lunch, we walk up to Kunde and visit the Edmund Hillary
Hospital. The twin villages of Kunde and Khumjung are set below Khumbila, the
rocky peak sacred to all Sherpas. For much of the walk, we have great views
of Ama Dablam and other Himalayan giants. We walk back down through Khumjumg
to the monastery. Sadly it was damaged in the earthquake but is now being
repaired. Inside is a small box and after paying the entry fee (which goes
towards the repairs) – we will be shown the only Yeti skull in the world!
Descending to the main trail we spend the night at Kyanjuma.
*Tea-house *(sleeping altitude 3,600m)
Trek through the Sherpa heartland to the monastery at Thyangboche for superb
This morning we descend to the river; we cross it at the little settlement of
Phunki Thangkha at 3,250m, then climb steeply through the forest to
Thyangboche at 3,867m. We will be here by lunchtime and in the afternoon we
will visit the famous monastery. The sunset and sunrise on the fantastic
panorama of mountains surrounding us are not to be missed – Everest, Nuptse,
Lhotse and Ama Dablam provide a wonderful backdrop to our teahouse. Look out
for Himalayan Tahr in the forest surrounding the monastery.
*Tea-house* (sleeping altitude 3,870m)
Continue up the Khumbu Valley and then the Imja Valley to Dingboche.
We descend through the forest to Devoche and a little further on we cross the
rushing Imja Khola, whose valley we now follow. Climbing steadily, the trail
enters Pangboche, at 3,900m, the highest permanent settlement in this valley.
Ascending the valley, we have lunch at Shomore, after which we leave the
trees behind and cross a wooden bridge at the confluence of the Khumbu and
Imja Kholas. A short steep climb brings us to Dingboche, at 4,350m, a summer
settlement where great peaks surround us.
*Tea-house* (sleeping altitude 4,350m)
Spend the day at Dingboche for acclimatisation.
We spend the day at Dingboche to continue our acclimatisation. Those adapting
well to the altitude can climb Nangkartshang Peak at 5,100m for great views
of Makalu, Lhotse, Chalotse, Tawoche and Ama Dablam. There is the option to
climb halfway to the peak or for the energetic it takes about 3.5hrs to the
top. Its a tough and steep climb but well worth the effort for the amazing
views. We return to Dingboche for a late lunch and the rest of the afternoon
is free to relax and acclimatise.
Continue the ascent to Lobuje.
The trail climbs steeply out of Dingboche past a chorten and ascends the
valley gradually to Dugla at the end of the terminal moraine of the Khumbu
Glacier. We stop here for a tea break and a snack before the steep climb up
to Chukpo Lari, a beautiful, yet poignant place where there is a line of
memorials in tribute to the climbers who have died on Everest and from where
we have a beautiful panorama of the peaks lying on the Nepal-Tibet border.
The trail then eases off as we follow the valley to Lobuje, a tiny hamlet
with a few teahouses. In the late afternoon there is the option to walk up
onto the lateral moraine of the Khumbu glacier and the sunset on Nuptse is
not to be missed.
*Tea-house *(sleeping altitude 4,930m)
Visit Everest Base Camp; overnight at Gorak Shep.
Today is a very long, hard day as we leave very early, following the Khumbu
Glacier northwards to Gorak Shep (5,184m). The trail undulates up and down
the moraine with some short steep sections. The trail is rocky as we are now
on the lateral moraine of the Khumbu Glacier. It will take us about 3 hours
to reach Gorak Shep where we will have a rest and something to eat. From here
to base camp and back there are no lodges so we will fill our water bottles
and take some snacks for the walk to Everest Base Camp. We start by walking
across the sandy flat at Gorak Shep and climb onto the lateral moraine of the
Khumbu glacier. The trail ascends the side of the glacier for a couple of
hours before finally descending onto the rocky glacial moraine itself. The
trail winds up and down through fascinating ice seracs to the area known as
Everest Base Camp, where in spring, we might see in the distance some of the
expedition teams as they prepare to climb the mountain. From the Base Camp we
get fantastic close up views of the Khumbu Ice Fall and we can appreciate
just how difficult it is for the climbers to negotiate a route through the
huge blocks of ice. Nuptse towers above us and Pumori rears up behind us.
After a short photo stop by the Base Camp rock we retrace our steps to Gorak
*Tea-house* (sleeping altitude 5,184m)
Climb Kala Pattar (5545m) for classic mountain views of Everest; descend to
We have anotherhard day as we climb steeply above Gorak Shep to the small
peak of Kala Pattar, ‘Black Rock’, at 5,545m from where we can look down over
the base camps of the various Everest expeditions. This climb affords a
magnificent view of the Khumbu Glacier and above all a close-up view of the
world’s highest mountain. We return to Gorak Shep and retrace our steps to
Lobuje for lunch and then continue on down the valley to the lower altitude
of Pheriche for the night. (Please note that the walk to Everest Base Camp
and the climb of Kala Pattar are both very tough. Sometimes we may change the
order in which we tackle the walks depending on the group’s ability and
*Tea-house* (sleeping altitude 4,243m)
Retrace our steps to Kyanjuma.
Descending through Pheriche, we cross a small bridge and have a short climb
before descending to join the main Imja Khola Valley. We follow the valley
down to Pangboche through an alpine meadow landscape. We drop down to the
rushing river then walk through the peaceful rhododendron forests to the
village of Devoche from where we climb back up to Thyangboche on the ridge
for lunch. We descend off the ridge to Phunki Tenga and walk back up to
Kyanjuma, where we spend the night.
*Tea-house *(sleeping altitude 3,600m)
Descend through Namche to Monzo.
The walk to Namche Bazaar takes us along a beautiful undulating trail high
above the Dudh Kosi. We have some time in Namche and after lunch we descend
through Namche Bazaar and pick up our outward trail again to Monzo, where we
*Tea-house *(sleeping altitude 2,850m)
Continue to Lukla.
We retrace our steps to Chaunrikhara where we start the last climb to the
airstrip at Lukla.
*Tea-house* (sleeping altitude 2,800m)
.. Fly to Manthali (Ramechhap) airport and transfer to Kathmandu
We fly back to Manthali (Ramechhap) airport and transfer to our hotel in
Kathmandu. At this time of day there can be heavy traffic, especially coming
into Kathmandu itself, and the drive is likely to take 5 hours or more.
*Royal Singi Hotel*
Free day in Kathmandu to explore the city.
Today is free for sightseeing in Kathmandu (it is also a spare day to allow
for any delays in the flights to or from Lukla). You may wish to visit the
monkey temple at Swayambunath, one of the largest Buddhist Stupas in the
world at Bodnath, or the most important Hindu temple in the valley at
Pashupatinath. We offer a full range of sightseeing tours which can be booked
and paid for locally. Please see the Optional Excursions section within the
Trip Notes or the Exodus notice board in the hotel in Kathmandu.
*Royal Singi Hotel*
Day 17 Fly to London.
The tour ends in after breakfast. Those on the group flights will be
transferred to the airport in time for the daytime flight back to London.