The journey begins with a mountain flight to the Tenzing-Hillary Airport at Lukla of the National Geographic fame. The trek starts from Lukla up through the Sagarmatha National Park all the way through the colorful landscapes. As we take steep ascent to Namche Bazaar, the capital of Sherpas, we are greeted by spectacular mountain vistas. We continue to follow the trail to a famous vantage point, Kala Patthar, where a marvelous 360-degree panorama awaits. Mt. Kala Patthar, as the name suggests, is a "black rock" among the eternal whiteness around in the embrace Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, Pumori, and many more. From Everest Base Camp, we trek down to Lobuche and head toward the Lobuche Base Camp. After summiting the Lobuche East we retrace our steps to Lukla again for a return flight to Kathmandu.
Free Day in Kathmandu
Lukla - Kathmandu
We fly back to Kathmandu after our long mountain journey. The early morning flight drops us at Kathmandu. You can rest and relax throughout the day in your hotel.
Namche Bazaar-Lukla (2,800m/9,186ft): 6/8 hrs
The trail descends steeply downward so we need to walk slowly and under control as our shaky legs continuously battle the rocky terrain. After crossing the suspension bridges over the fast flowing Dudh Koshi and its tributaries the trail becomes more level and natural
After crossing the prayer flag festooned bridge over the Dudh Koshi River trail then follows the Dudh Koshi gorge descending rapidly through the pine forests. The path eventually reaches Sansa which is the major trail junction in the region. We unknowingly appreciate the gorgeous Ama Dablam, Thamserku and Nuptse with every bite. Following lunch, the trail to Namche Bazaar clings to the steep wooded slope beyond Kyangjuma, winding through several bends. We keep a lookout for wild life such as mountain goats, snow leopards, colorful pheasants, etc., while we pass through the forest by the trail. After passing a Chorten, we reach the army camp at of Namche Bazaar. We want to take a long last look (and picture!) back to Lhotse, the tip of Everest and Tengboche from here. On reaching our lodge, we take a nice hot shower and have very relaxed sleep in our room in Namche Bazaar.
Lobuche Base Camp to Pangobche (3930 m / 12900 ft): 6/7 hrs
After taking our morning breakfast, we trek downhill from Lobuche Base Camp and join the Everest Base Camp route at Lobuche again. We take our lunch at Lobuche. From Lobuche we again retrace our path to Pheriche. On the way to Pheriche, enjoy the magnificent views of Mt. Amadablam in the distance. From Pheriche, we continue to Pangboche. Some of the other peaks that you would enjoy include Pokalde, Thamserku, Kantega among others. We will trek down through the hillside blanketed by rhododendron and juniper trees. If it's spring, pink and red rhododendron flowers ablaze our surroundings. Upon reaching Pangboche you may also consider visiting the famous Pangoche Monastery.
Reserve Day for Contingency
There is no such guarantee that we can get quite a favorable weather on our planned day for the summit, so this day is used as a contingency in case if we are unable to summit the Lobuche Peak on day 14 due to bad weather condition or some other reasons. If weather gets exceptionally unfavorable we wisely have to postpone the program of summit the peak on day 14 for toady (Day 15). Sometimes somebody in the group may get some problems in acclimatizing well enough to make the ascent; the day can be used in that condition too. If the trip goes smoothly, we do not need this spare day.
Summit Day: Lobuche Peak (6119m/20,070 ft) Summit & back to Base Camp: 7/9 hrs
Today is our cherished day for the summit. We start early in the morning for the summit endeavour. Lobuche east offers more panoramic views of the mountains that other popular peaks such as Island Peak. Once upon the Lobuche summit, you would enjoy magnifiscently panoramic views of Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, Ama Dablam, Cholatse, Pumori, and many more. We spend some time at the summit celebrating and taking pictures, then we get back to the High Camp again.
Lobuche Base Camp to Lobuche High Camp (5,600m/18,368 ft): 3/4 hrs
Today, after breakfast we make a hike from Lobuche Base Camp to the Lobuche High Camp. The climb takes for about 4 hours. The High camp is located at 5,600m/18,368 ft. From Base Camp, we hike on a rocky moraine path to reach the high camp. Upon reaching the high camp, we set up our camp, take lunch and rest. You can also walk around for some time that would also help in acclimatization.
Lobuche to Lobuche Base Camp (4865m/15,957 ft): 2 hrs
Today, we begin our trek from Lobuche toward the Lobuche Base Camp. After walking some distance on relatively flatter plane, the path to the Lobuche Base Camp gets steeper and rocky. Since, we will be trekking toward somewhat lower altitude today, you may it find it easier for your body. Move forward along the Lobuche Glacier, while enjoying the great views of Ama Dablam, Cholatse, Pokalde, Thamserku, Kantega, etc. After reaching the Lobuche Base Camp, take rest for some time and make necessary preparation for the summit. After lunch, our guides will provide training on peak climbing techniques and using climbing gears such as ice axe, climbing boot, harness, jummer, and how to go up and down using ropes. There will be training on how to fix the ropes, climbing technique, and about the knot and gears. Some training experience would certainly boost up your confidence and climbing skills thus increasing the chances of scaling the summit as well as fully enjoy the experience.
Today is the climax of our trip. We start early in the morning to catch the dramatic views from Kala Patthar witnessing the first light of day shining on Mount Everest. However, we need to get prepared for an early morning, dark and cold temperature (-10 to -14 C) departure beforehand. Plus there is always the potential for chilly winds which are quite common. Familiar peaks such as Lingtren, Khumbutse, Changtse tower to the east even as Everest begins to reveal itself emerging between the west shoulder crest and Nuptse. During the ascent to Kala Patthar we can pause to catch our breath at several outstanding view points to snap pictures. After several hours of an ascent, we reach Kala Patthar. From here we scramble to climb the rocky outcrop near to the summit marked by cairns and prayer flags. As we reach the top, we sit on the Kala Patthar rocks our eyes taking in the unbelievable Himalayan Panorama, wandering from one mighty massif to another. We take as many pictures as we can with our camera and take the in view with our mind's eye to last lifetime. On being back to Gorak Shep, we have breakfast followed by a gradual descend down to Lobuche for a good night's rest.
The trail to Gorak Shep goes ahead through the lateral moraine of the Khumbu Glacier. We pass though the pyramid sign post. Ahead on the trail we see crest of north ridge of Everest along with Mt. Pumori, Mahalangur, Lingtern, Khumbutse, Nuptse, etc. A small ascent would take us to Thangma Riju from where we perceive 360 degree vista of snowy mountains. Climbing steeply up to the top through the torrent of Changri glacier, we catch our first glimpse of Kala Patthar, a grey-green knoll beneath the Mt. Pumori. As we reach Gorak Shep, we will be surrounded by snow-capped mountains looming all around us including the top of the world - Mount Everest. After a brief lunch and rest, we take the trail to Everest Base Camp through the once vast Gorak Shep Lake. As we reach Everest Base Camp we cannot stop ourselves from appreciating the Everest climbers those take the hazardous route through the Khumbu icefall. Nuptse, Khumbuste and Pumori are the mountains we can view from base camp. Everest actually is not visible from here. We get back to Gorak Shep for a good night's rest. However, the sunset view from Kala Patthar is more admirable than the sunrise view. As the setting sun's rays strike the snow capped mountains the resulting scenery is indescribable. For those trekkers who wish to continue our guides and Sherpas coordinate a hike to Kala Patthar for amazing sunset view today rather than waiting until the next day.
Duglha - Lobuche (4940 m/16,207 ft): 2/ 4 hours
Beyond Duglha we trek up the steep terminal moraine of the Khumbu Glacier. We find our way through the boulder-strewn slope as we ascend Chupki Lhara, an eerie ridge top with dramatic mountains views. At the top of the ridge we will find an array of stones with prayer flags used as memorials to Scott Fischer (American mountaineer) and 10 times Everest submitter Babu Chiri Sherpa (mountain guide from Nepal) who perished on a mission to climb Everest. As the trail drops to the Khumbu Glacier moraine, we find ourselves right "in front of" several great peaks - Khumbutse, Lingtren, Pumori and Mahalangur Himal. We are now in the vicinity of Everest but the great mountain still remains hidden. Nuptse towers to the right as the trail crosses the Khumbu Glacier. As we trek along a murmuring stream we do not see the Khumbu glacier because of its lateral moraine wall and we now begin to feel a little out of breath due to high altitude.
Dingboche - Dughla (4,600 m/15,090 ft): 3/4 hrs
We start the day with a climb to Duglha through the Khumbu Khola valley. The trek along the arid terrace is awarding with awesome views of mountains on all sides. As we come to a yak herder's place called Dusa, the valley begins to narrow and we continue through Phulung Karpo, of the camp sites during first successful Everest Expedition in 1953. Above Phulung Karpo is Chola Lake. As we continue our trek the majestic view of Mt. Pumori (7138 m/ 23418 ft) comes into view. As the trail descends and curves Mt. Pumori hides and we come across a roaring stream. After crossing a small wooden bridge, we ascend to Dugla. We can see the tip of Nuptse from here as well as Cholatse, Thamserku, and several other magnificent peaks. Spending a night in Duglha is ideal for acclimatization purposes.
Tengboche to Dingboche (4,360 m/14,300 ft): 5/6 hrs
Mountains as a backdrop, the monastery in Tengboche looks spectacular more in the morning. We snap pictures of the monastery and the sceneries around and as usual start the day journey. We choose the upper trail for better views to visit Pangboche village and its ancient Monastery. We pass through several Chortens and Mani walls and small villages. We enjoy lunch with fantastic close-up views of Ama-Dablam. In the afternoon, go north to Pheriche or take the eastward trail beneath the towering north face of Ama Dablam. From here onwards the walk is fairly moderate as we enter the Imja Valley. The valley ahead will begin to open up as we approach the confluence of the Lobuche River, we descend into the river and begin the last and steepest climb of the day up to Dingboche On arrival in Dingboche, we enjoy the beautiful array of fields enclosed by stone walls to protect the barley, buckwheat and potatoes from the cold winds and grazing animals.
Namche Bazzar to Tengboche (3,870m/12,694ft): 5/6 hrs walk
After breakfast in Namche, we start our trek towards Tengboche enjoying superb view of Mt. Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse, Ama Dablam and close up view of Thamserku. Our trek follows on the gradual trail with few ups and downs overlooking magnificent view of the great Himalaya. Along the way we can spot wild lives like pheasant, musk deer, or a herd of Himalayan Thar. The trail goes gradually down up to Kayangjuma. The path eventually reaches Sansa which is the major trail junction to Gokyo valley and Everest Base Camp. The track then follows through the pine forests and after we cross the prayer flags festooned bridge over Dudh Koshi River, we reach Phunki Thenga, a small settlement with a couple of teahouses and a small army post amidst the alpine woods. After having a relaxed lunch at Phunki Thenga we then have a little tough climb steep up through the pine forests while before we reach Tengboche. Tengboche is a great place for close up views of Ama-Dablam, Nuptse, and Everest and it has a biggest Buddhist Monastery all over in Khumbu region. We visit the monastery the same day at around 3 p.m. to witness the ceremony in the principal and popular monastery of Everest region.
Acclimatization Day - Namche Bazaar: 3,440m/11,284ft
This is the scheduled 'acclimatization' day for this trek. Health experts always recommend us to stay active and moving during the rest day too instead of being idle. We either spend the day taking a day hike to Thame or visiting Khunde or relaxing and exploring Namche Bazaar itself. Namche Bazzar is the main centre of the Everest (Khumbu) region and has government offices, ATMs, Internet cafes, shops, restaurants, a bakery and a colorful market each Friday evening and Saturday. If we trek a few hundred vertical feet during the day, it will help us to properly acclimatize. Our guides will take us to the Tourist Visitor Center near the headquarter of the Sagarmatha National Park where we can observe an assortment of things related to the first Everest ascenders, Sherpa culture and learn about the various plant and animal life of the Everest region. We also take an interesting side trip up to Khumjung. We climb up to the famous airstrip at Syangboche. Just above the airstrip is the Everest View Hotel, a Japanese scheme to build a deluxe hotel with great views of the highest mountains on Earth. The Khumjung valley is surrounded by the snowy peaks of Kongde and Thamserku and the scared peak Khumbila, hosts a well known monastery that houses a yeti scalp. We also visit Hillary School which is at the same site. After having lunch and spending some time in Khumjung, we walk back down to Namche Bazzar.
Walking through a beautiful pine forest, the track leads us along the Dudh Koshi River through many suspension bridges, one of which is the famous Hillary Suspension Bridge. First, we catch wonderful prospect of the glistening Mt. Thamserku (6618 m). Through the settlement of Benkar, Chumoa, Monjo, we come to the check post and entrance to Sagarmatha National Park. We pass through the last village of Jorsale before reaching Namche Bazaar. The trail climbs through the forests and bridges until we reach the confluence of the Dudh Koshi and Bhote Koshi rivers. After a final steep ascent of about two hours we get first sight of Mt. Everest peering over the Lhotse-Nuptse ridge. We stop at Chautara to admire the view. We still need to hike about 1.5 hours to reach Namche Bazaar, a gateway to Mt. Everest and main trading centre of this region.
After breakfast, we get transferred to the domestic terminal of Kathmandu airport for an early morning flight to Lukla (2,800m/9,186ft), a gateway destination from where our trek starts. After an adventurous 40 minute flight above breathtaking green and white mountains, we reach the Tenzing-Hillary Airport at Lukla. This is one of the most beautiful air routes in the world culminating in a dramatic landing on a hillside surrounded by high mountains peaks. Here we meet our other crew members and after some packing and arrangements, we start our trek through the prosperous village of Lukla until we reach Phakding. To assist in acclimatization, we only have a short hike today. However, if interested in additional activities we can take a side trip to a nearby monastery.
Kathmandu Sightseeing & Preparation for the Climb
Arrival in Kathmandu - 1,300m
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