Day 1 – 2: Fly to Kathmandu
Day 3: Fly to Lukla Early morning fixed-wing (such as a Twin Otter, Dornier 228 or similar) flight to Lukla (2,840m), the gateway to the Khumbu Valley. Trek to Monjo. Overnight lodge.
Day 4 – 8: Walk to Pangboche via Namche Bazaar You have five days to slowly walk to Pangboche (4,000m), which is the village nearest to base camp. The trek takes you through Namche Bazaar and Thyangboche, with its famous monastery. The team may choose to trek beyond Pangboche to Pheriche (4,300m), or alternatively, to base themselves at Pangboche for a couple of nights and trek to c4,300m above the village before moving to base camp.
Day 9: Move to Base Camp (4,570m) It is a 3.5 hour walk to base camp from Pangboche. Base camp is a large open grassy area, where you will be accommodated in twin-sharing tents.
Day: Organise food and fixed rope practice You will have a couple of days to get organised. There will be a fixed rope session and the team will walk to 5,000m on the ridge above base camp.
Day: Acclimatisation to Camp 2 (5,900m) En route to the summit you will utilise camps at 5,300m (ABC), 5,700m (Camp 1), 5,900m (Camp 2) and 6,300m (Camp 3). Most climbers choose to climb as far as Camp 2 as part of their acclimatisation, prior to a summit attempt. Initially, you will walk to ABC, sleep there, then carry a light load to Camp 1 before returning to BC. On your second rotation you will sleep at Camp 1, with the aim of climbing along the ridge to Camp 2. Some teams have a final rotation, where they sleep at Camp 2.
Day: Summit push The route from BC to ABC is simple walking, unless there is ice and snow on the scree. ABC is located on a large plateau and not all teams use this, as water needs to be portered to it. The height gain from BC to Camp 1 is nearly 1,200m, so it is a good idea to split this initially by using an ABC. Above ABC is the infamous talus field, which must be traversed to reach the fixed ropes that lead up slabs to Camp 1. Camp 1 to Camp 2 is typically 70% on rock in dryish conditions, with sections of British Grade ‘Severe’. It culminates in a 15m vertical section to reach the top of the ‘Yellow Tower’, just short of Camp 2 (this is normally jumared, using a foot loop). Camp 2 to Camp 3 is mixed rock, snow and ice, which is loose in places, with the hardest part being below the Grey Tower. Above Camp 3 snow and ice on the summit slopes is as steep as 50°.
Day: Return trek to Lukla
Day 29: Fly Lukla to Kathmandu
Day 30: At leisure in Kathmandu
Day 31: Depart Kathmandu