Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu
Our representative will receive you from airport and transfer to Hotel.
Day 02: Kathmandu sightseeing and trip preparation
Kathmandu – surrounded by four hills – Fulchowki, Chandragiri Shivpuri and Nagarjuna. Kathmandu valley has three major cities Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Patan. Situated at the altitude of 4,500 feet above sea level, Kathmandu is home to seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Day 03: Fly from Kathmandu to Lukla (2880 m) and trek to Phakding (2652 m)
Early morning transfer to the airport escorted by Trek Guide and fly to Lukla (2880m). This 45-minute flight provides a magnificent entry to the trek. It highlights the snowline of the Himalayan Range in the north and the rugged landing at the Lukla airport which is said to be one of the most spectacular flights in the world. Upon arrival, meet porters and while they reassemble and pack the bags, the guests are welcome to explore this bustling town on top of a hill with rows of houses, hotels and shops lining both sides of cobbled street.
The trek starts by following the trail leading to the northwest direction through the narrow street, which immediately descends from the end of the village on a trail through the open hillside. The trail is well defined and there are many shops and lodges catering to the trekkers. There are suspension bridges to connect the main trail and the villages along the way. The main trail is also shared by pack animals and local porters, so it is advisable always to walk on the wall side and leave the way for the porters and animals. This is the Everest Highway and so follow the main trail passing small villages of Chaurikharka, Cheplung, Thado Koshi and Ghat with shops and restaurants along the way. Past Cheplung near Thado Kosi, we will have the glimpse of Mt. Kusum Khanguru (6369m) and we descend past a Mani stone descend to the rider, cross it on a metal bridge and climb to Thado Kosi, a nice place to stop for lunch.
Continue further through forested trails, past a monastery, mani walls and chorten to arrive at the posh looking Yeti Mountain Lodge, from here climb gently to finally arrive at the cluster of lodges at Phakding (2,652 m).
Day 04: Trek from Phakding to Namche Bazaar (3440 m)
Leave the main village and the follow the trail on the left bank of the Dudh Koshi River. It is a pleasant walk for the first half of the day as one passes through agricultural countryside, small wayside villages and a monastery. We cross the Dudh Koshi at Benkar where there are tantalizing glimpses of the snow peaks Mt. Kusum Kanguru (6369m) and Mt.Thamserku (6623m). Just before lunch, there is a steep climb of about 20 minutes to arrive at Monjo for Lunch. After lunch, trek up to the check post to check the permits and enter into the Sagarmatha National Park. Descend for 10 minute and then cross a suspension bridge to arrive at Jorsale (2800m). Pass through several small villages and beautiful pine forest.
This is a busy trail with plenty of human interest. Our first good views are of the west ridge of Kusum Kangru (6369 m). Follow the Dudh Koshi River, crossing over a suspension bridge, and then slowly climb up a very steep trail to Namche Bazaar. Near half waypoint at top danda, we enjoy our first views of Mt. Everest (8848m), Nuptse (7879m) and Lhotse (8383m) - the big three. The climb is for nearly 3 hours as one gain in altitude making breathing difficult due to rarified air.
Arrive at a gate with a sign saying, "Welcome to Namche Bazaar" but it is very misleading as it takes another 20 minutes to arrive at the main town. Upon arrival at Namche Bazaar (3447 m) check into the lodge. This prosperous town is the largest in Khumbu. Mt. Thamserku (6648m) and Kongde Ri (6624m) loom along the east and west of the village. The sacred mountain Khumbi Yul (5707m) dominates the skyline along the west.
Day 05: Rest and acclimatization at Namche Bazaar
After a leisurely breakfast, excursion to Hotel Everest View which starts from the main square in Namche bazaar with a flight of cobbled stone the way to Shyangboche airstrip (3790 meters), which was built to serve Hotel Everest View. Cross the airstrip and climb past the telephone tower to a trail that leads off to the right (east wards) the trail somewhat levels at the top of the ridge, from here the trail is gradual all the way to the single storey hotel at 3890 meters. After enjoying the views, backtrack to Namche. Along the trail you may also lookout for the Danphe the national bird of Nepal.
After lunch, free to explore the Namche bazaar and may be even enjoy a coffee at the local bakery. Later visit the famous Bazaar, the hub of the Khumbu. Many traders from Tibet are also seen mingling with the local populace.
Day 06: Trek from Namche Bazaar to Phortse Thanga (3680 m)
We climb the Khumjung hill and descend to the east of the village down the broad valley leading to the Dudh Koshi from where the route turns north. There are two trails and our guide will choose the best option for us to follow. There is a chorten on the ridge top at 3973 m which descends from Mt. Khumbila (5761m). We visit Mohang, the birthplace of the re-incarnated Lama of Rongbuk Monastery of Tibet who is believed to have introduced Buddhism in the Khumbu region of Nepal. The trail descends in a series of steep switchbacks down a sandy slope to the Dush Koshi.
Day 07: Trek from Phortse Thanga to Machhermo (4470 m)
From Phortse Thanga it is an uphill climb to Machhermo. We walk on a trail alongside a rhododendron forest and pass through a waterfall before reaching Tongba Village. We continue our uphill trek and pass through Dole, Labarma and Luza villages before reaching Machhermo. There is a Chhorten right before the Luza village. Throughout today’s journey we will be walking alongside the Dudh Koshi River.
Day 08: Trek from Machhermo to Gokyo (4800 m)
We begin today by climbing a ridge for an excellent view down the valley to Kangtaiga and also up towards Cho Oyu (8153 m). We then descend to the riverbank before climbing onto the terminal moraine of the Ngazumpa Glacier on a steep trail. Upon crossing an iron bridge over a stream, the trail levels out as it follows the valley past the first lake, known as Longpongo, at 4690 m. At this juncture, we get a chance to observe lama footprints on a stone. At the sight of the second lake, Taboche Tsho, we become mesmerized by the shimmering turquoise blue sheet of water sparkling in the sun. Little ahead of the second lake, we reach the third lake, the two linked by a surging stream. Gokyo village stands by the third lake and Cho-Oyu Mountain as a backdrop sets an amazing spectacular sight here. After lunch, we explore around the third lake, Dudh Pokhari.
Day 09: Acclimatization day at Gokyo Valley
We will hike to Gokyo Ri, a small peak above Gokyo village, in the morning and savour the fantastic views of the entire Khumbu region. As we ascend, the views become even more fantastic and we can see four of the seven highest peaks of Nepal, Cho Oyu, Everest, Lhotse and Makalu. Reaching the fourth lake, Thonak Tsho we take pleasure in the lake’s serene beauty after which we trek back along the retracing trail to the third lake. We may take an additional hike up to the fifth lake, Ngozumba Tsho if time permits and depending on our physical conditions. From here, the view of Ngozumba glacier, the longest glacier of the Himalayas is so fascinating.
Day 10: Trek from Gokyo to Thagnak (4750 m)
If we did not climb the Gokyo Ri the previous day, we can do that today. Climbing to the top of Gokyo Ri is demanding as it is steep and takes about 3 to 4 hours to reach the top. But the scenery of Gokyo village, on the edge of third lake overlooked by Cholatse and the broad Nogzumpa Glacier, is magnificent. We are surrounded by panoramic mountains like Kusum Kanguru, Thamserku, Kangtega, Taboche, Cholatse, Makalu, Lhotse, Nuptse, Everest, Changtse, and Pumori. The sight of sunrays kissing Everest which towers over all the surrounding peaks is astounding. We trek through the Ngazumpa Glacier to the mountain on the other side. Next, traverse along the edge of that mountain and then meander into Thagnak. It will be a short hike today with an afternoon of rest which will prepare us for long hiking days and elevation gain to come.
Day 11: Trek from Thagnak to Cho La pass (5367m) to Dzongla (4694 m)
Today is going to be one of the toughest days of the trip. The Cho La pass is not itself difficult, but it is steep and involves a glacier traverse on the eastern side. We need to be careful as the trail is vertical and the rocks glazed by ice may cause trouble by making the trail slippery. The trail from Phedi climbs through a ravine and a rocky trail. While trekking through the side of a frozen lake, we reach at the top of the pass decorated with prayer flags. The pyramidal Ama Dablam presides over a range of mountains on the south even as Cholatse soars to the west and Lobuche East and Baruntse rises sharply to our right. We need to pass through some crevasses before we reach Dzongla Village. The village provides great views of Cholatse, Ama Dablam, Lobuche mountains along with the Pheriche Village far below.
Day 12: Trek from Dzongla to Lobuche (4940 m)
This will be a very short trek so we have a lot time to relax and enjoy the beauty that surrounds us. We climb down from Dzongla and walk through a grassy trail while enjoying the view of Lobuche Peak. The trail curves through the wide river bed before reaching Lobuche. We can spend the rest of day taking a rest which will help us prepare for the next day’s long trek.
Day 13: Trek from Lobuche to Gorak Shep (5170 m), visit Everest Base Camp (5364 m)
We take the trail to Everest Base Camp through the once vast Gorak Shep Lake. Continuing straight ahead, we come across the Indian army mountaineers' memorials. The path from here can be misleading; hence, it is important that we follow our lead Sherpa diligently. The walk is strenuous due to thin air in the high altitude. We pass through rocky dunes, moraine and streams before reaching the Everest Base Camp. Upon reaching the Everest Base Camp, we see tents of mountaineers that stand out in bright colours against the monotony of grey surroundings (especially in the spring). Nuptse, Khumbuste and Pumori are the mountains we can view from the base camp. 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, so it is recommended that we visit Kala Patthar today during sunset. As the setting sun's rays strike the snow-capped mountains, the resulting scenery is incredible. Therefore, for those trekkers who wish to continue to Kala Patthar today instead of the next day please inform your guide and he/she will coordinate accordingly.
Day 14: Trek from Gorak Shep to Kala Patthar (5545 m) to Pherice (4288 m)
We prepare for an early morning departure, amid pre-dawn darkness and cold temperatures (-10 to -14 C). Plus, there is always the potential for chilly winds which are quite common. Familiar peaks such as Lingtren, Khumbutse and Changtse tower to the east even as Everest begins to reveal itself. But it is upon reaching Kala Patthar that we get to see 360 degree up-close and formidable views of Mt. Everest. We take pictures, enjoy the magnificent mountain panorama, and then return back to Lobuche for a good night's rest. Overnight in Lobuche.
Those participants who will visit Everest Base Camp today will have an early breakfast to start early as Everest base camp hike takes longer than the hike at Kala Patthar. After returning to Gorak Shep, both the groups will have lunch together; the afternoon is taken to descend down to Pheriche for a good night's rest.
Day 15: Trek from Pheriche to Namche (3440 m)
Enjoying the passes and forest today we will be reach Namche for night stay at Namche.
Day 16: Trek from Namche to Lukla (2840 m)
It is interesting to watch others starting enthusiastically on the trek ahead as we head down to the village of Phakding. Today we re-trace our steps along the Dudh Kosi, crossing to the western bank at Benkar. It is a beautiful and easy walk through blue pine and rhododendron forest, back-dropped with views of Kusum Kangaru. An early lunch will be taken at Phakding and in the afternoon we ascend out of the river valley back to the airstrip and our lodge accommodation at Lukla. It is a delightful ending to the trip as one enters into this busy village of Lukla. In the evening, a farewell dinner may be followed by a few celebratory drinks and dancing with our Sherpa companions
Day 17: Fly Lukla to Kathmandu (1340 m)
After a hearty breakfast, walk up to the airport and later board the 45-minute flight back to Kathmandu.
Day 18: Final departure
Your adventure in Nepal comes to an end today! There is nothing to do but trade emails with your travel companions and organize your photos. A representative from HST Adventures will take you to the airport, approximately 3 hours before your scheduled flight. On your way home you'll have plenty of time to plan your next adventure in the wonderful country of Nepal.