Depart country of origin.
Transit (overnight en route).
Arrive Kathmandu. You’ll check into the renowned Yak and Yeti Hotel, a cornerstone of the Kathmandu scene, and attend a welcome dinner with other trekkers and climbers.
Kathmandu. Gear Check.
After final administration requirements, we’ll fly via Twin Otter to the landing strip in Lukla. Weather permitting, this flight offers outstanding views of the eastern Himalayas. In Lukla, we meet and join our Sherpa staff, load the yaks and begin the ascent to Base Camp. Our first day is an easy walk to lush environs of Phakding, located on the Dudh Kosi river. Hiking time: 3-4 hours
We’ll follow the Dudh Kosi, ascending 2,300 ft./700m through Himalayan pine and Doedar cedar forests, to the celebrated village of Namche Bazaar (11,300 ft./3,444m). The village of Namche is an historic trading post where Nepalese and Tibetan traders exchange salt, dried meat, gold and textiles. Besides being a superb place to shop for traditional crafts, Namche remains the central trading post in the Khumbu, attracting Himalayan and lowland merchants. Our group will spend two days in Namche, affording us the opportunity to acclimate, visit local markets and spend time with friends in town. On the hike, we’ll capture our first glimpses of Everest and neighboring peaks. Hiking time: 5-6 hours
In the morning, we’ll take an acclimatization hike, gaining 1,000 feet to take in the amazing mountain vista. In the afternoon, we’ll have time to visit sights in Namche Bazaar, including the local marketplace.
On perhaps one of the most fascinating days of the trek, we’ll travel to the village of Thame (12,464 ft./3,800m), off the main trekking path. We’ll have the unique opportunity of visiting the home of Lakpa Rita Sherpa, our Sirdar (lead Sherpa) and Everest climbing guide. His family has been a mainstay of this small community, raising yaks and farming. This gives us an intimate view of Sherpa culture while visiting a traditional home. Interestingly enough, a number of famous climbing Sherpa have come from Thame. The Thame experience is one rarely afforded to trekkers. After lunch, we climb to the Thame monastery and further explore local Buddhism. We’ll tour this 400 year-old gompa (monastery) and learn about its inner workings and the lives of its monks. As we view the monastery, we’ll discuss the wall paintings and artifacts that are central to Buddhist practice. Hiking time: 5 hours
From Thame, we’ll walk to the beautiful twin villages of Khunde and Khumjung (12,400 ft./3780m), two of the largest villages in the Khumbu and home of Sir Edmund Hillary’s hospital and school. The day’s walk is moderate and pretty, winding through thick cedar forest. Hiking time: 6 hours
We’ll continue on and climb to the village of Tengboche (12,683 ft./3865m), the cultural and religious center of the Khumbu. At the monastery we’ll attend Buddhist ceremonies and rituals performed by local monks. Vistas from Tengboche are spectacular. The jagged peaks of Thamserku and Kangtega stand to our south, as Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse and Ama Dablam are visible to the north. The Monastery at Tengboche is one of the most well-known in the world, as the Rinpoche is revered throughout the Buddhist community, and has authored a number of books and essays.
Views from this locale (one of the finest on earth), include Kwangde (20,293 ft./6,185m), Tawachee (21,457 ft./6540m), Nuptse (25,843 ft./7876m), Lhotse 27,883ft/8498m, Everest 29,029ft/8848m, Ama Dablam 22,487ft/6,854m), Kantega (22,235 ft./6,777m), Thamserku (21,674 ft./6,606m). Hiking time: 4-5 hours
We’ll climb to the village of Pheriche (13,907 ft./4,238m), which is not far from Dingboche (a village en route to Island Peak). Pheriche has become famous for its high-altitude medical clinic. The clinic attracts world-renowned physicians who from time to time acquire data to analyze the effects of high altitude on human physiology. We’ll visit the clinic and learn more about the effects of high altitude on Himalayan climbers. Hiking time: 4 hours. We’ll also spend an additional day further acclimatizing and hiking.
Above Pheriche, the character of the terrain changes, and we’ll begin to understand the starkness of the high alpine landscape. Our path climbs the terminal moraine of the Khumbu glacier and continues to the settlement of Lobuche (16,174 ft./4,929m), where we’ll spend one night. This trail passes through a famous memorial that honors the many Sherpa who lost their lives in the high mountains. Lobuche is located on the flank of an old lateral moraine of the Khumbu glacier. Hiking time: 4-5 hours
We’ll leave Lobuje and eventually cross the moraine of the great Khumbu Glacier to reach Base Camp, which lies beneath the sweeping ridges of Everest and Nuptse. Everest Base Camp at 17,598 ft./5,364 m, is a sprawling tent city set amidst glacial debris. There, the climbers will begin final preparations for their ascent of Mt. Everest. Conditions permitting, we will venture to the edge of the notorious Khumbu Icefall to see climbers en route as they negotiate this complex maze of ice. Overnight at Base Camp. Hiking time: six hours.
Day 15 – Base Camp
Years of experience have helped us to establish the finest Base Camp (17,598 ft./5,364 m) on the mountain with the highest quality tent structures, including private sleeping tents. Our dinning tent is carpeted and heated with Wi-Fi and a movie screen is available. We provide hot showers at your request. We have western-trained cooks that prepare fresh local products as well as imported foods. We strive to ensure that the time at Base Camp is restful and revitalizing. By providing these accommodations, we make every effort to keep climbers healthy and rested.
Here we take a leisurely day at Everest Base Camp, enjoy morning tea at our tent, and spend the day checking out the life at Base Camp. We will spend time watching the daily preparations of our climbing team, taking a look at how meals are prepared, and have a chance to meet our Everest Sherpa staff.
General Climbing Schedule: schedule on the mountain is approximate and subject to changing conditions. Delays/early departures can occur.
Climbing route: By the time we reach Base Camp, our climbing leaders and Sherpa will be well on the way to having the lower part of the mountain (the Khumbu Icefall) already fixed with ropes and ladders. We’ll establish four camps on the mountain. The first, Camp I, at 19,500 ft./5,943 m, is situated at the top of the icefall. This camp functions as an intermediate camp until Camp II (Advanced Base Camp) is established at 21,000 ft./6,400 m in the Western Cwm. Camp II will consist of large tents for cooking and dining and several smaller tents for sleeping. Camp II will be our base during the placements of Camp III and Camp IV (23,500 ft./7,162 m and 26,300 ft./8,016 m respectively).
Camp III, which stands at the head of the cirque on the Lhotse Face, will consist of three- and four-man tents. This intermediate camp helps us to reach Camp IV (High Camp) on the South Col. Most of our Sherpa are able to carry directly from Camp II to Camp IV, so large amounts of gear are not needed at Camp III to establish Camp IV. Oxygen will be used above Camp II to help aid climbers in reaching High Camp before attempting the summit. From Camp IV, we’ll travel along the Southeast Ridge to the South Summit. From there, we’ll traverse for a few hundred meters before reaching the Hillary Step and then onto the main summit.
Summit attempts: After Camps III and IV are established and all our supplies are in place, we return to Base Camp (and lower villages) for a rest. At Base Camp, we’ll organize our summit teams and prepare ourselves for summit attempts. Once we are ready, we’ll return to Advanced Base. If good weather prevails, we’ll move the summit team to Camp III. On the second day, the summit team will move up to Camp IV. Day 3 will be summit day. We’ll start very early that morning and attempt to reach the summit before midday. After the summit, we’ll retreat back to the South Col and the next day descend to Camp II. Guides and Sherpa will accompany all summit attempts and climbers will use oxygen.
Fly to KTM.
Arrive in home country.