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.