Day 1 – Day 2: Flight to Chongqing
Scheduled flight to Chongqing (depending on availability, flight directly to Chengdu).
We arrive at Chongqing in the early morning hours. Chongqing, as well as Chengdu, belong to the largest cities of China (more than 10 million inhabitants) and they are important centres in western- and south-western China. We spend the night in a hotel.
Day 3: Chongqing – Lhasa (3,600 m)
Short domestic flight to Lhasa and arrival at the airport Gonggar, about one hour of driving away from Lhasa.
In Lhasa, we check in to a snazzy hotel and we intentionally take some time to relax.
Especially at the beginning of an expedition it is incredibly important to not travel hastily, after all, the body needs time to acclimatise. We spend the night in the hotel.
Day 4: Lhasa (3,600 m)
We take our time to explore the famous city in the valley of the Kyi Chu, a tributary of the Tsangpo (Brahmaputra). The city is located at the most northern part of the shore of this river and its east-west extension is around 10 km. The history of Lhasa, which from Tibetan roughly translates to „place of the gods“, goes back to the 7th century. At that time the Jokhang temple, which to this day is the religious centre of the historic district of Lhasa, was constructed. The Potala Palace was constructed around the same time. During the 15th century the Buddhist Gelug tradition built three monasteries in the region surrounding Lhasa. During the 17th century the Potala Palace was rebuilt on the „Red Hill“ under the supervision of Ngawang Lobsang Gyatso, the fifth Dalai Lama. The Jokhang temple was also enlarged during the same period. We spend the night in a hotel.
Day 5: Lhasa – Gyantse (3,950 m)
We begin our drive by travelling over the passes Kampala La (4,990 m) and Karo La (5,010 m). From the Kampala La one has a wonderful view on the turquoise lakes Yamdrok Tso and Ninchin Kangsa. After the Karo La pass we descend to Gyantse (3,950 m).
During the drive we take breaks from time to time to take photographs of the sometimes very alien landscape. The city of Gyantse also has a lot to offer, for example, the absolutely one-of-a-kind Stupa as well as the fortress that surrounds the monastery. Gyantse is located at one of the most important trade routes between Sikkim (India) and Tibet. Already George Mallory used this trade route in 1921 for the first exploration of the Mt. Everest. We spend the night in a hotel.
Day 6: Gyantse – Xigatse (3,977 m)
Drive to the second most important city in Tibet, Xigatse, where we go and visit the Thashilumpo Temple. At this temple we also have the chance to visit the seat of the Panshen Lama, one of the most important authorities of Tibetan Buddhism. Originally, the Panshen Lama resided in the Samzhuzê fortress, which was built in 1363 and it is the oldest building in Xigatse. The fortress was destroyed in 1950. After the reconstruction of the fortress it was repurposed as a museum for the antique culture of the city. The Panshen Lama has been residing in the Zhaxilhünbo monastery, the most important monastery of the Gelug Tradition in western Tibet, since 1446.
The administrative region of Xigatse of the Tibet Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China has a surface area of 3,859 km2 and it has about 60,000 inhabitants (effective 2001). Its administration, the large community of Gyantse, is the third largest location of Tibet after Lhasa. Xigatse is located at about 3,977 m above sea level at the „Friendship Highway“, which connects Kathmandu in Nepal with Lhasa, the capital of Tibet. We spend the night in a hotel.
Day 7: Xigatse (3,977 m) – Xegar (4,300 m)
Drive through the typical Tibetan landscape, that goes from desert like to agricultural. We cross the 5,520 m high Lhakpa La (La = pass); here we enjoy the view on the Himalayan giants Makalu and Everest for the first time. During the afternoon we arrive at Xegar. We spend the night in a simple hotel.
Day 8: Xegar – Everest Base Camp (5,000 m)
Today we leave the main connection Lhasa-Kathmandu. For a short time we follow the Arun River until we reach the famous village Rongbuk. From here we have an overwhelming view and thus we get even more excited to tackle the Mt. Everest. After another hour of driving, we reach the Chinese Base Camp of the Everest.
Day 9 – Day 45: Base Camp – Advanced Base Camp (ABC; 6,400 m) – Ascent of the Mt. Everest (8,850 m)
First comes the most important part of the ascent of the Mt. Everest – the acclimatisation! Our experience has shown that an individual ascent to the higher camps can be incredibly important for the summit success. However, because it would go beyond the limits of this detailed travel programme to address all important points of an Everest expedition, Kobler & Partner offer the opportunity to discuss the exact procedure and the difficulties of the expedition during a meeting ahead of the beginning of the expedition. Additionally, this meeting before the expedition allows us to take up personal contact for the first time and address possible personal wishes.
Base Camp (5,050 m) – Advanced Base Camp (6,400 m)
The Advanced Base Camp (ABC) is reached in company of yaks. First we follow the Rongbuk- and then the East Rongbuk Glacier for two days. This march by foot through the impressive mountain world of Tibet is surely one of the most spectacular ways to reach the Advanced Base Camp (ABC), which is located at the foot of the Chang La. This distance of 25 km during the beginning phase should not be underestimated. Therefore, we will establish an intermediate camp with a fixed kitchen.
Ascent of the Mt. Everest:
After the acclimatisation we do want to ascend the Everest in the weeks that follow. For this purpose we need to establish three high camps at the following heights: Camp I: 7,000 m, Camp II: 7,800 m, Camp III: 8,300 m.
Beforehand, our sherpas have already established the camps in-between. These camps are equipped with tents, cookers, gas, mats and food. Oxygen is available starting from Camp I (7,000 m). If you wish, you can use oxygen already starting from ABC (6,400 m). In the Camps I-III the meals and drinks are prepared by the sherpas.
The ascent is undertaken via a not very steep flank onto the north pass. From there we continue over the very long, and very windswept, but safe north eastern ridge until we reach Camp II at 7,800 m. This will be the first challenge on the mountain. Afterwards, we cross the north-western flank. During this part of the expedition, the path is moderately difficult, only during increased snowfall there is an increased risk of avalanches in the middle part of the path. Reaching the north eastern ridge will be the next challenge on our way to the summit. On the summit ridge we soon come across the First Step, which is short, easy and can easily be secured with a short rope. The Second Step is secured with fixed ropes and a ladder and it is overcome with a short burst of exhaustion (30 metres wall at approximately 8,300 metres). Those who managed to get up to this point should be able to also overcome the Third Step as well as the following summit slope.
Please Note: Part of the ascent of the Mount Everest are several ascents and descents between the Base Camp and the different High Camps, which advances the acclimatisation.
Day 46: Advanced Base Camp – Base Camp
The march back to the Base Camp will once again be undertaken together with yaks.
Day 47 – Day 48: Base Camp – Kathmandu
The drive back is taken via the Kirong La (Kriong Pass). Since the earthquake in 2015, the Tibetan – Nepalese border crossing is a bit more to the west of Zhangmu. After the crossing of the border we drive past Dunche and Trisuli to Kathmandu. The old border crossing Zangmu/Kodari is surely going to stay closed until 2020.
Day 49: Kathmandu
We enjoy a free day Kathmandu and thus we have time to visit the markets and temples or the men can use the chance to reign in their beards at a barber shop.
Day 50: Flight Back Home