A 4 week trekking itinerary accompanying Everest expedition members to EBC.
If Everest isn’t really your thing … but you would like to come on a trek in The Everest region then this 4 week itinerary could well be right up your street. This is an specific itinerary for my group of potential Everest summiteers and is very carefully chosen to make sure that they arrive at Base Camp fit, health and acclimatised. So if it is good enough for them it is definitely good enough for you! The days are reasonably short so that maximum enjoyment can be attained whilst making sure that people aren’t over exerting.
Not only that it provides one of the best itineraries in The Khumbu. This schedule takes us away from the really busy routes whilst trekking over some high passes and taking in an easy trekking peak with unparalleled views and vistas all the way.
No previous experience is required … walking is a transferable skill. If you have hiked in The Lakes (or anywhere in the UK for that matter) then you can hike in Nepal. Indeed the trails are better than most mountainous areas in the UK.
Day 1 (Sunday 26th March 2017) – Arrive Kathmandu (KTM). You will be met at the airport and transferred to a 4* Hotel on the outskirts of Thamel. We will then pop in to town for our first group meal (meals in Kathmandu at the start of the trek are included in the cost of the trip).
Day 2 – Sightseeing trip in the morning (transport, guide and all entrance fees are included). Meet for lunch at the fantastic culinary paradise that is Mike’s Breakfast on the outskirts of Thamel. Sort gear / final preparations for the expedition in the afternoon.
Day 3 – Early morning flight to Lukla (2,800m). This is the flight of a lifetime. After our early morning departure we’ll arrive in Lukla and transfer to our lodge for breakfast. After sorting the gear in to loads we start trekking. We follow the easy trail, stopping for lunch along the way (again all meals en route are included in the price) and gradually descend in to the valley bottom. We use teahouse accommodation for the trek in and our first stop is at Phak Ding (2,650m). Around 4 hours of easy trekking.
Day 4 – After breakfast we start on the trail along the side of the Dudh Kosi (Milk River) which originates from the Khumbu Glacier some 30 miles away. We cross the river 4 times on the route today on some quite exciting (but very well constructed) suspension bridges. We enter the National Park at Monjo and then make our way gradually up the zig zags to Namche Bazaar (3,450m). In Namche Bazaar we convene at the Everest Bakery for Coffee and Chocolate Doughnuts and then continue along the trail to stay with my good friends Tashi and Lakpa at Kyanjuma. All in all about 4 and a half to 6 hours of walking. (Interesting point to note … Tashi & Lakpa are visiting the UK in January for an audience with HRH The Prince of Wales. Lakpa was one of the Sherpas when Prince Charles visited Nepal in the 80s and has been invited for an audience with His Royal Highness at Clarence House. So I’m sure we’ll get to hear all about their trip when we stay with them).
Day 5 – A rest day. But when we say rest day it merely means that we will stay at the same teahouse – in the meantime we will go up an exciting ‘hidden staircase’, an amazing construction, and follow the trail to the Mong La (3,950m) where we will have lunch. We’ll then descend back down to Kyanjuma in time for afternoon tea. At some stage today we’ll also visit Tashi’s amazing prayer room.
Day 6 – Today we transfer to Thame. We go up to Kyanjuma and see the amazing Mani walls (the longest mani walls in The Khumbu) and then crest a col and drop down to Syangboche where we stop for elevenses. We then follow a great trail through a beautiful, wooded valley, to Thamo, where we stop for lunch before continuing to Thame (3,800m). Around 6 to 8 hours of easy walking.
Day 7 – Another rest day. But again, it doesn’t mean that we rest. Today we go to the most amazing monastery, set in the hillside a short walk above Thame. There are some fantastic painted mani stones along the way and we visit the monastery for a puja.
Day 8 – A lovely walk up the quiet Thame valley to the village of Marylung (4,150m). A short day (around 3 hours of walking).
Day 9 – Another acclimatisation day where we trek up to around 5,000m before dropping back down to stay for another night at Marylung.
Day 10 – Another reasonably short day where we trek to Lungde (4,350m).
Day 11 – Today we cross the first of the high passes – The Renjo La. It is an easily accessible pass with a great staircase – but it is at 5,345m and the altitude will make it slow going. The views when you get there are well worth the effort involved. After admiring the scene we drop down to Gokyo (4,750m) for afternoon tea.
Click the photo to be transported to The Renjo La
Day 12 – A rest day. For those who fancy an early start there is the opportunity to see the sunrise from the summit of Gokyo Ri. Or if you prefer you can go in the late afternoon for the sunset views where you get to experience the alpenglow on Everest. Whichever you choose you’ll need a warm jacket, hat, gloves, headtorch and camera.
Day 13 – We descend the Gokyo valley on the East side – a rarely trodden route. The terrain is spectacular and there are hardly any trekkers who take this trail descending to the quiet village of Phortse.
Day 14 – Another day when we will see very few trekkers. This time we are taking the high level route to Pangboche. Great trekking and awesome views especially as we approach Pangboche and have Ama Dablam in the windscreen.
Day 15 – A pleasant day of trekking initially along the main Khumbu trail but after an hour or so we veer off to Dingboche. Dingboche is an amazing village nestled at the bottom of the Imja valley with great views of Island Peak (Imja Tse) at the head of the valley and Ama Dablam opposite the village.
Day 16 – A rest day. And today, if you so desire, you can actually have a rest day.
Day 17 – We transfer up a side valley to a great grassy campsite next to a huge boulder at Dingogma. This is a great campsite with great views.
Day 18 – Today we gradually gain height to the best campsite in The Khumbu – just below The Kongma La (5,535m). At 5,450m this lakeside campsite has the most amazing views of Ama Dablam, Chamalang, Baruntse, and Makalu (the 5th highest mountain in the world).
Day 19 – An ascent of Pokalde (5,800m) – a non-technical trekking peak. The top is accessed by a short scramble but the remainder is easy trekking although it will feel harder than it is due to the rarefied atmosphere. We spend a second night at The Kongma La camp. This is an optional ascent and you can stay at The Kongma La camp if so desired.
Day 20 – We trek up and over the pass and descend to Lobuche village.
Day 21 – We now follow the main Everest trail to Gorak Shep – the highest village in The Khumbu situated at 5,250m.
Day 22 – There are a variety of options today. Either Kala Pattar for sunrise followed by a visit to Everest Base Camp, or just Kala Pattar, or just Base Camp, or Everest Base Camp followed by Kala Pattar for sunset. Either which way this is the culmination of the 3 weeks’ of trekking and it’s awesome whatever you choose to do.
Click to see an amazing 360 x 180 interactive view for Everest Base Camp.
Day 23 – It’s time to start dropping back down the valley where you’ll be staying at Pangboche (3,850m).
Day 24 – After an hour or so from Pangboche you’ll gain a little bit of height to the village of Tengboche where there is an amazing bakery and monastery. After visiting one, or both, of these you’ll drop down to the valley floor and then up the trail on the other side to Kyanjuma to stay with Tashi and Lakpa again.
Day 25 – An hour or so from Kyanjuma and you’ll be back at Namche bazaar where coffee and cake are calling. Then you’ll descend to Monjo and on to Lukla.
Day 26 – It’s time to return to the hustle and bustle of Kathmandu where the agent will collect and deliver you to the hotel.
Day 27 (April 21st) – Depart KTM.
- 3 nights’ hotel accommodation in KTM
- All group meals in KTM at the beginning of the trip
- KTM / Lukla / KTM return flight
- KTM / Lukla / KTM departure tax
- A mixture of Teahouses and tented accommodation for the duration of the trek
- All group feeding arrangements in The Khumbu
- National Park Entrance fee
- TIMs trekking permit
- Cook crew
- Climbing Sherpa(s)
- Insurance for the crew
- Administration fee for our expedition agent in Nepal – we use one of the premiere expedition agencies in KTM. They have a proven track record of providing an excellent service, are able to provide full support throughout the expedition and have a tried and tested emergency call out procedure should the need arise
- My fee for administration and planning prior to the expedition and technical support, guiding, instruction, planning and logistics during the expedition
- Peak Fee for Pokalde
- Ropes etc for fixing Pokalde
- Comprehensive 1st aid kit including antibiotics and medicines for use at altitude
- Insurance for Base Camp and Sherpa crew
- Airport transfers in KTM
- International flight (approx £650 – £950. Please arrange a ticket that is flexible so that you can change the dates if you need to head back ahead of schedule. Alternatively I get a quota of tickets through the Travel Agent I have used for a number of years with a 30kg extra baggage allowance. These tickets will be available directly from the Travel Agent – please contact me for their details)
- Nepalese entry Visa
- Inoculation / vaccination costs
- Travel and medical insurance – MUST be valid for trekking in the Everest region
- Hire of any equipment for personal use
- Tips for the staff (£75 / US$120 in to the kitty)
- Excess baggage charges
- Drinks with meals in Kathmandu
- Any drinks and/or food during the trek other than that which is provided by the crew (e.g. soft drinks, snacks, alcohol, etc etc)
- Any teahouse and feeding costs if rest days are taken other than those in the itinerary
- Meals in Kathmandu at the end of the trip
- Spending money
- Any costs incurred if leaving the expedition early
- Any international freight charges in the event that your bags don’t arrive in Kathmandu from Lukla due to any delays prior to your departure from Nepal.
Tim knows this area well. He has a lot of history with many tea house owners and in-turn creates a fantastic 3.5 week itinerary which goes well beyond the beaten path. We avoided the main trail and most other trekkers and climbers most of the time. We stayed in wonderful tiny secluded villages, experienced epic high altitude pass crossings and had a couple of really cool camping spots also. I was not a trekker per-se as I was on Tim's Everest Climb but the climbers and trekkers are one team on the way to Base Camp. I have the benefit of being able to compare this to other operators and the main trail as I have done that before. My only problem is that we did not stay in Namche Bazaar on the third night and instead passed straight through it and stayed at a nearby tea-house. Namche is very cool and it is a nice experience for weary trekkers as a last chance to enjoy the comforts of civilisation before spending the rest of the trip in tea-houses. There were a couple personality clashes between Tim and clients which he could have handled better but after three weeks these things happen. Tim's customised off-the-beaten-path trip is top notch. Highly recommended.
This trek takes you to Everest Base camp and back in around 3.5 weeks. I chose this company based on the itinerary which sees you follow a less troden path than the usual (faster) route straight to base camp. The parts away from the main trail were the real highlight of this trip. We passed through what felt like very remote villages and some days saw very few other trekkers at all. Tim the leader knows the area really well and also knows most of the owners of the tea houses we stayed in. This meant we got to hear a lot of personal and interesting stories which really added to the experience. We spent 2 nights camping on the way to base camp which was another highlight and a nice change from the tea houses. Incredible views and no one else around during either of these nights. The team managed to produce some excellent hot food which was impressive given where we were. Joining back with the crowds on the main trail on the final miles to basecamp made you really realise how different an experience it would have been had we been on the usual route the whole way. Getting to base camp could have been a bit of an anti-climax for a trekker, however joining a group who were making summit bids meant we got to go to their camp area and spend a couple of nights staying at base camp. That is a pretty unique experience for a trekker and getting to experience base camp life as part of an expedition was fantastic. I would absolutely recommend this trip and route to others considering the Everest base camp trek.