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We have shown the itinerary on the basis of a complete holiday purely for illustrative purposes. Naturally as tailor-made Nepal holiday specialists we would be happy to discuss additional options, whether it be other activities, more/less sightseeing, alternative/upgraded accommodation etc dependent upon your interests, preferences and time available. We even tailor-make a suggested 'what to pack' list for you based upon your ultimately chosen Nepal tailor-made holiday too.
Day 1 - Arrive Kathmandu
Arriving at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, you'll be met and receive a private transfer for the short distance into central Kathmandu and to the "KGH" Hotel in the heart of the Thamel district. You'll be given a briefing on your forthcoming adventure, and in the evening can take dinner at your leisure in one of the many choices of cafes & restaurants in Kathmandu, although the open air courtyard cafe of the KGH Hotel is as good as anywhere,
A private transfer to the airport for the 40min spectacular flight to the airstrip at Lukla. Here you'll meet your porter team and then your first day of trekking is actually downhill and relatively short as you descend a trail to the bottom of the river valley below. It's around 3-4hrs of walking to the village of Phakding (2610m) and your overnight halt staying in a typical trekking lodge. The walking distance is around 10km with approx 650m descent and 390m ascent.
Todays walk begins in a straightforward manner as you follow the trail alongside the river and through pine forests to Jorsale. You'll cross the river a couple of times by suspension and plank bridge and in around 2hrs you'll hopefully get your first glimpse of Everest's summit poking over the Nuptse ridge in the far distance. It's then a stiff climb of 2-3 hrs as the Everest Base Camp trail winds its way up and up to the Sherpa capital of Namche Bazaar. Walking time approx. 5-6hrs to an altitude of 3440m. Altitude gain 800m. The distance today is around 10km with 1150m ascent and 400m descent.
Now at 3440m you really have to have an acclimatisation day today and let your body take it easy. Namche is a fascinating place to explore with plenty of souvenir shops, cafes and bars, as well as a particularly good German bakery too! If you like you can take an acclimatisation walk up to the Museum of Sherpa Culture. Near to the museum is an excellent Everest viewpoint and magnificent views of the iconic peak of Ama Dablam.
A reasonably straightforward day, firstly with a steep climb out of Namche and to be greeted by spectacular views of the main valley with Everest sitting behind the Nuptse Ridge, as well as being able to see a considerable amount of the next few days walking route too. You now contour the hillside with a couple of shorter but steep climbs to then lose height as you walk down to the Imja Khola and cross the river via a bridge. It's then a steady climb up the ridge to reach the village of Thyangboche, not only renowned for its great views (of Ama Dablam in particular) but also the monastery here where hopeful Everest summiteers usually seek the blessings for their challenges that lie ahead. Total distance walked today is just over 11km over 6-7 hours of walking with around 870m ascent and 420m descent.
More up and down (but mostly up) as you gradually make your way ultimately to Dingboche. After around 3 hours you'll reach Pangboche which is home to the oldest monastery in the region. Distance covered today is around 11.5km with approx 870m ascent and 415m descent. Walking time around 6hrs. Now at 4410m another acclimatisation day is necessary tomorrow.
Before overnighting any higher, today is a further acclimatisation day. It's good practice to aim to go a little higher and then to come back down again to allow the body the best chances of acclimatising. An acclimatisation day isn't necessarily a rest day as such. So, today you can walk up into the Imja Valley towards Chukung. It's worth it for the views! The walking is about 10.5km with 440m ascent and descent as you spend a further night in Dingboche.
Distance wise todays walking is a bit less than the past few days, but at this higher altitude it will likely feel harder. It takes around 5-6 hours to make the steady ascent up to Lobuche (4910m). Distance around 8.5km with approx.650m ascent and precious little in the way of descent.
Lobuche is traditionally where people would trek all the way to Base Camp from. But, this makes for a very long, tough day. We prefer to break that day up, particularly mindful of the now high altitudes involved which make easy walks feel tougher than were they at lower levels. So today you'll walk up to Gorak Shep (5140m). At these far reaches the lodges are becoming increasingly basic. The distance today is around 5.5km with about 300m ascent. If you're going well it takes around 3-4 hours of walking to reach Gorak Shep and if you have some energy reserves it may be possible to make the ascent of Kala Patar in the afternoon, THE Everest view point. If you're struggling then today will be taking much longer and so Kala Patar can and should wait for another day.
Today you will walk up to EBC and then back to Gorak Shep. The round trip sounds easy....just under 7km with under 200m ascent and descent. But, it generally takes a good 6 hours to get to EBC and back at this high altitude. Still, you should have a good hour or so to appreciate EBC itself. The summit of Everest cannot be seen from EBC, but there are some pretty impressive views of the tumbling Khumbu Icefall and the west shoulder of Everest. During the trekking season there is little in the way of activity at EBC (other than curious trekkers) and whilst it is from Kala Patar that the best views of Everest can be had on the Everest Base Camp trek, you so 'sorta kinda' have to come to EBC to say you've been there.
We firmly believe that the 'jewel in the crown' of this trek is the view from the top of Kala Patar and not EBC itself. Hoping for the often clear morning weather it takes around 2 hours to follow the now well worn trail to Kala Patar (5500m) and for the classic view of Everest. Returning to Gorak Shep you walk back down to Lobuche and then onto Pheriche (4270m), where there is also a permanent clinic staffed by western doctors during the main trekking season. Todays walk of just over 16km takes around 7-8hrs with around 500m ascent and 1400m descent.
A long descent down to the river and then up a zig zagging trail to the Mon La. A slight deviation off the main EBC trail, which you now rejoin and descend to Namche and a couple of hours of mostly downhill and you're in Monjo. Distance is around 14km with 650m ascent and 1350m descent and takes around 6-7hrs walking.
At first you continue to head down the valley, passing through Phakding and then to climb back up to Lukla. The distance is around 13.5km with about 670m ascent and 580m descent and takes about 5hrs of walking.
Today is necessary as a contingency day should there have been any delays to the return flight from Lukla. We know that many trekking companies do not incorporate a contingency day. Sure, more often than not Lukla-Kathmandu flights happen on a daily basis, but they are weather dependent flights and no one controls the weather. So, we think a contingency day is necessary as it may have been your flight from Kathmandu that was affected. Either way there is always the potential for losing a day. So what do you do if there is no contingency? Miss EBC or your International flight home? If nothing happened, then you're in Kathmandu with a free day! We can pre-arrange a guided tour of the principle sights of Kathmandu and to medieval Bhaktapur, or other ways to enjoy the Kathmandu Valley.
Everest Base Camp