Everest Base Camp & Kala Patthar Trek
- Country: Nepal
- Trip grade: Strenuous
- Destination: Everest Base Camp
- Activities: Trekking
- Accommodation: Hotel and Guesthouses
- Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
- Maximum altitude: 5545 meter
- Group size: Min - 1
- Best Season: Spring & Autumn
Hiking up a legendary trail amidst some of the most stunning scenery and mountain culture ever known…
Trekking Everest Base Camp is an unforgettable experience of lovely views and mountain culture, set in the backdrops of snowy peaks in a world famous region known for adventure. This is one of the most commendable mountain hikes that give meaning to the sense of a holiday. We visit mountain farm villages and monasteries at high elevations with a wealth of Buddhist culture. Our trails go into charming woodlands of tall rhododendron, birch, Magnolia and fir trees. The breathtaking views of some of the highest mountain ranges on earth are a unique reason for trekking in this region. Furthermore, this outstanding beauty blends in perfect agreement with the fascinating Sherpa culture. We also visit the Everest national park which is listed as a world heritage site. This park is home for some of the ecological systems and rare wildlife as well.
Our trip begins with a flight to Lukla airport. We hike through lively colourful Sherpa villages to the vibrant capital of the Khumbu – Namche. We spend two nights here before we get to the base of the king of all peaks – Mt. Everest. We then ascend Kalapathar at 5545m for some gripping close-up views of Everest and the routes climbers use to summit this peak. It is from this mind blowing point where we heave a deep sigh of fulfillment which takes our emotions on overdrive, giving us a sense of success!
Our itinerary is carefully planned for anyone, but specially focuses on greenhorns who are reasonably fit and in good health. We have put in 3 acclimatisation days to get you used to the thin air at altitude so you have a safe, hassle free trek. This is especially important in the Everest region.
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Your detailed itinerary for deeper insights into this trip:
Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu - 1,350m/4,428ft
On touchdown at the Tribhuwan International Airport, our office representative will be on standby with our vehicle to meet and greet you and escort you to your hotel. We then check-in at the hotel, have some welcome drinks; go to our rooms and freshen up. Perhaps, we would like to have some rest to do away with all that jetlag. Later In the evening you will be briefed about your trek at our office or at your hotel. Overnight at your hotel in the ancient valley of temples, said to be the most on earth.
Day 02: Fly to Lukla, trek to Phakding (2,651m/8,700ft): 40 minutes flight; 8km, 3 - 4 hours trek
After an early morning breakfast, we board a thrilling scenic flight to Lukla and land on a steep mountain runway which brings us to the start of our trek at the village of Lukla. After meeting up the crew and sorting out our equipment, we head up the Dudh Kosi Valley on a well-marked trail and get a wonderful glimpse of Mt. Khumbila, a sacred mountain which has not been climbed till now. We then proceed on to Phakding for an overnight.
Day 03: Trek to Namche Bazaar (3,438m - 11,284ft) - 6 Hrs Trek
After a good breakfast at Phakding, we set out for the mountain junction town of Namche; we cross and re-cross the river on high airy suspension bridges. Beyond Monjo is the entrance to the Sagarmatha National Park which was set-up in order to protect and preserve the fragile mountain environment. We then take a steep hike to Namche. If the weather is clear, we get the first glimpse of Mt Everest on the way. Namche is the main trading village town in the Khumbu and has a busy Saturday market - a meeting place for the Hindu traders from the lowlands and the Tibetan yak caravans that have crossed the glaciated Nangpa La. Namche is the gateway to the Khumbu. This is where we crash out for the night with all meals included.
Day 4: Acclimatization Day
Namche is tucked away between two ridges amidst the giant peaks of the Khumbu and has an abundance of lodges, tea shops and souvenir shops. It is an ideal place to spend a day, acclimatising to the new altitude before heading off towards Syangboche.
To acclimatize, you visit Khunde Hospital set-up by Sir Edmund Hillary, or take a one hour walk up to the Everest View Hotel above Namche for the sunset view of Ama Dablam, Nuptse, Lhotse and Everest. We then go to Khumjung where we visit a school established by Hillary. We begin our hike after enjoying lunch; by passing the route of Khimde. There are also good views from the National Park Centre and Museum just above the town. After lunch you may also wish to check out the Tibetan trader's stalls or the Sherpa shops to work on a deal for something you like. After going through our acclimatization drills, we head down to our lodge for some beers and a good sleep. Overnight Namche with all meals included
Day 5: Trek to Tengboche (3,870m - 12,694ft) - 6 Hrs Trek
After breakfast in Namche, we start our trek towards Tengboche enjoying superb views of Mt. Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse, Ama Dablam and close up views of Thamserku.
Our trek follows on a gradual trail with few ups and downs overlooking magnificent views of the great Himalaya. Along the way we can spot wild lives like pheasant, musk deer, or a herd of Himalayan Thar. The trail goes gradually down up to Kyangjuma. The path eventually reaches Sanasa which is the major trail junction to Gokyo valley and Everest Base Camp. The track then follows through pine forests and after we cross the prayer flags festooned bridge over Dudh Kosi River, we reach Phunki Tenga, a small settlement with a couple of teahouses and a small army post amidst the alpine woods. After having a relaxed lunch at Phunki Tenga we then have a little tough climb steep up through the pine forests before we reach Tengboche. Tengboche is a great place for close up views of Ama-Dablam, Nuptse, and Everest and it has the biggest Buddhist Monastery in the Khumbu region. This is where we spend our overnight for the day
Day 06: Trek to Dingboche (4,360 m/14,300 ft): 9km, 5 - 6 hours
After a warm breakfast, we hit the trails with the Mountains as a backdrop; the monastery in Tengboche looks spectacular more in the morning. We click pictures of the monastery and the sceneries around and as usual start the day journey on a merry note. We choose the upper trail for better views to visit Pangboche village and its ancient Monastery. We pass through several Chortens and Mani walls and small villages. At high noon, we haul up to enjoy lunch with fantastic close-up views of Ama-Dablam. After lunch, we head north to Pheriche or take the eastward trail beneath the towering north face of Ama Dablam. From here onwards the walk is fairly moderate as we enter the Imja Valley. The valley ahead will begin to open up as we approach the confluence of the Lobuche River; we descend through the stream and begin the last and steepest climb of the day up to Dingboche. On arrival in Dingboche, we enjoy the beautiful array of fields enclosed by stone walls to protect the barley, buckwheat and potatoes from the cold winds and grazing animals. We bunk out for an overnight in Dingboche with all meals covered
Day 07: A day for rest and acclimatization at Dingboche
Today is an ideal day for some rest and acclimatization to get used to the high elevations. This will prepare us well for the higher altitudes to come. But we ought not to hang around doing nothing; perhaps, we could hike up a crest located behind the village and get some great views of the planet’s highest peaks which include Lhotse, Makalu and Cho Oyu. Additionally, we can also relish the views of Cholatse and Taboche peaks. Towards the north-west we get to view more Himalayan peaks rising above the Khumbu Khola Valley. These peaks cover Lobuche West, Lobuche East and Lhotse which stand out among the others. From another site on the ridge we also get amazing chocolate box views of the Imja Khola Valley and pretty Dingboche village which we’ll shortly say farewell to. We crash out for the night at Dingboche.
Day 08: Trek to Lobuche (4940 m/16,207 ft) – 5 km - trek approx 6 hrs
After a hot breakfast, we set out on the trail while slowly gaining altitude and it is essential that we hike slow and easy now.
The slopes have less vegetation as we go above the timber line. Views of different peaks, such as Cholatse and Lobuche, display fantastic distinct features with awesome landscapes. We plod up the Dhugla rim and onto a moraine towards the Khumbu Glacier. Rock cairns are seen hereabouts, many of which are set up to the memory of climbers attempting the high mountains of the area, including Everest. We slowly realize a drop in temperatures as we become exposed to this glacial moraine. We savour lovely views throughout the day of Pumori and Nuptse. The trail then gets soft as we approach the valley to the village of Lobuche. We do an overnight here in the laps of Pumori
Day 09: Trek to Everest Base Camp (5,364 m/17,594 ft) and get back to Gorak Shep (5,170 m/16,961ft), 13km, 6-7 hours
Today is a pretty challenging day, but it will surely prepare us for Kalapathar at 5545m which will follow the next day. We trek alongside the Khumbu Glacier as the path winds over the rocky moraine towards the settlement of Gorak Shep which was once a large lake. Hereabouts we’re really high up, among glaciers of the world's mightiest peaks. On arriving at Gorak Shep we have an early lunch before heading up to Everest Base Camp. In the May window mountaineering season, many expeditions can be seen at base camp and this trip is one of the highlights of the trek. Overnight at our guest house
Day 10: Trek to Kalapathar (5,545m/18,192ft) to Pheriche (4,288m/14,070ft): 16km, 7-8 hours
Today is the most important part of our trip. We start early at dawn to catch the dramatic views from Kalapathar witnessing the first light of day shining on Mt. Everest. However, we need to get prepared for an early morning, dark and cold temperature (-10 to -14 C) departure beforehand. Plus there is always that chance for strong biting winds which are quite common hereabouts. Familiar peaks such as Lingtren, Khumbutse and Changtse tower over us to the east even as Everest begins to expose itself emerging between the west shoulder crest and Nuptse. During the ascent to Kalapathar we can pause to catch our breath at several outstanding view points to click pictures. After several hours of ascent, we reach Kalapathar. From here, we scuttle to climb the rocky outcrop near to the summit marked by cairns and prayer flags. As we reach the top, we sit on the Kalapathar rocks and our eyes take in the unbelievable Himalayan views, wandering from one mighty massif to another. We take as many pictures as we possibly can for a lifetime of memories. After this we make our way back to Pheriche with a slow descent; for some rest and a steaming hot breakfast which we truly deserve. Overnight at our teahouse lodge after a great start to our day
Day 11: Trek to Namche Bazaar (3,440m/11,280 ft): 20km, 6 - 7 hours
After a good breakfast, we get set to hike down a hillside carpeted by rhododendron and juniper trees. This walk gives us a good feeling of inner peace and quiet. After crossing the airy prayer-flagged bridge over the Dudh Koshi River, our trail goes by the Dudh Koshi gorge descending rapidly through lovely pine forests. While In the forest, we may come across colorful pheasants and mountain goats. The route finally reaches Sanasa from where we can enjoy views of Ama Dablam, Thamserku and Nuptse mountains. We also pass twisting trails that lead through a forest before reaching Namche Bazaar. Overnight in Namche Bazaar
Day 12: Trek to Lukla (2,860m/9,186ft) - 19km, 6 - 7 hours
This is our last day on these magnificent mountains which have been home to us all these days!
Today, we begin to get warmed up by the light cool breeze. Although we are traveling the same route down, we enjoy completely different views. We snap a mixture of open plains, rhododendron and pine forests, and in the distance snow covered peaks. We take time and walk at our own pace today as this is the last day of our trek. We experience the Sherpa villages' impressive faith in Buddhism and culture of prayer stones and prayer flags while we walk through the villages. Upon arrival in Lukla, we have plenty of time to relax, stretch those aching legs, and recall the experiences of the last couple of days. We come to the culmination of a fantastic trek on a merry note with everyone back safe and sound with truly happy faces!
We stroll around in the sunshine while our leader will re-confirm our flight tickets. In the evening, we enjoy a last specially prepared dinner with our crew and make it a celebration night which calls for a great party. This is our last night on these lovely mountains that were home to us all of these weeks. After enjoying some local mountain beer [‘chhang’ – fermented rice] we dance to a jig by trying some Sherpa steps familiar with mountain dancing before we sit down to a sumptuous dinner. We then retire for the night to reminisce on a trip enjoyed to the hilt. Overnight at our lodge
Day 13: Fly to Kathmandu, 30 minutes flight
We board an early morning flight to Kathmandu after our long mountain journey. On reaching Kathmandu, we can do with some rest or go on some last minute souvenir shopping. We also have options to discover some ancient parts of Kathmandu, which we can do today. There will be a farewell dinner in the evening to celebrate the successful completion of our journey. Overnight in Kathmandu
Day 14: Buffer day in Kathmandu (in case of Lukla flight delays or cancellation due to bad weather)
Due to experiences of the past, we added a buffer day [contingency purposes] in the event your Lukla flight is delayed or cancelled. However, if everything runs smoothly and you still have this extra buffer day left then you can participate in some extension activities which can be arranged by Nepal Climbing Adventure on request. The optional activities may include visiting places/landmarks of your choice, adventure sports, shopping or anything you’d like etcetera. Overnight Kathmandu
Day 15: Departure for home or next destination
After breakfast, our rep and office vehicle will be on standby at our hotel to transfer us to the airport for our connecting flight home. Knowing you was a wonderful experience we will not forget. We at Nepal Climbing Adventure will remember this relationship developed between us over the weeks we spent together. Thank you for choosing us as your travel partner and visiting our sublime country Nepal. We are sure that trekking in this beautiful region of the Khumbu will give you unforgettable memories of a holiday that warmed your heart. Ciao friends! Till we meet again.
Vital Frequently Asked Questions [FAQs] for treks in Nepal
• Are you a licensed trekking agency?
• Do the guides speak English and have first aid training?
• How big are the groups?
• Are permits included in the price of the trek?
• Do you arrange private treks?
• Do you provide any equipment while trekking?
• How difficult are the treks?
• How long do we walk each day?
• What is exactly 'teahouse' trekking?
• What do we mean by FOT trek?
• What is security like during trekking?
• What happens if I fall ill during the trek?
• What type of food is served during a trek?
• Do I need to carry my own gear?
• How much could porters carry?
• What is the overnight accommodation like?
• Can we change the itinerary?
Depending on the prevailing situation, you can modify it to some extent after consulting with your senior guide. However, the date of trek completion should always coincide with the original itinerary. You should keep in mind that this is an adventure trip into some of the most remote regions in the world, where many unforeseen circumstances may contribute to the need for a change in itinerary. In such cases, we or your guide will suggest the best alternative similar to your original itinerary.
• Is tipping included and if not, how much should I budget?
Amazing trip. So well organised.
It’s an amazing part of the world and you won’t regret it, especially if Chris organises it. He was there 24/7 to help us and change flights out of lukla. His guides were the best we saw. Chris is a man of of word. After getting a refund for the unused part of the trip, as agreed prior, I have 100% faith in his honesty. We will be back for another amazing tour organised by Chris.Richard Reynolds , Australia