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The Everest region (or Solu Khumbu region, as it is locally known) is the second most popular trekking area in Nepal (the Annapurna is the first). The popularity of this region is derived, of course, from its proximity to the world's highest mountain, but also from its Sherpa people and buddhist monasteries.
Of the trek's strongest difficulties are it's up-and-down walking (resulting from crossing ridges instead of walking along them) and it's steep gain of altitude (especially for those starting at Lukla).
Although the trek is named the Everest Base Camp trek, the main highlight of the trek is the walk up to Kala Pattar ("Black Rock") peak, a magnificent view point at 5545 meters, offering astonishing views of Mt. Everest and it's surrounding mountain peaks.
The trek takes you along the Dudh Kosi, Bhote Kosi and Imja Kola rivers, all with blueish melted glacier water, past beautiful water streams and, below 4000 meters, beautiful green forests with much wild life. Past the tree line, above 4000 meters, the green pastures fade away and pass control to rocky "moon-like" surroundings.
The trek is divided into two main treks.
The first starts from Jiri (to which you travel by bus from Kathmandu) to Lukla and takes about 8 days, while the second starts from Lukla to the Everest Base Camp area and takes 14 days round-trip. Most people do not trek the Jiri-Lukla route and instead, just as I did, fly in from Kathmandu to the Lukla airstrip , at 2800 meters.
After flying in to Lukla, we arrive on day 2 at Namche Bazar, 3440 meters, one of the largest villages on the trail. Namche's houses are built in terraces forming a half circle design, a common design for villages in this area. In Namche you can find a big bazar which operates all week (but is especially colorful on Saturdays), trekking equipment shops (including rentals), film, sweets (including MARS!), coffee shops, bakeries ... In short, everything. Prices are not cheap, but will be much higher as you go up, so stock up on your film here ! (just imagine that mineral water prices are 18 rupees in Kathmandu but jump to as high as 200 rupees higher up at Dingboche).
Past Namche Bazar, we climb up to Khumjung, 3790 meters, passing a beautiful flat mountain viewpoint and buddhist mani stones (which we will encounter throughout the trek). Khumjung is the village where the famous Sir Edmond Hillary (first climber of Mt. Everest) built the first school for the children of the region. On the way to Thengboche, we pass through forests where Himalayan mountain goats can be spotted. Thengboche, 3867 meters, is a village on a 'saddle' with a few tea houses and monk dormitories built around a monastery. The views from this spot are said to be one of the most magnificent in the world. You can support the Thengboche running-water project by purchasing one of their T-shirts at 500 rupees, which pays for a full one-man-digging-day...
Passing Thengboche, we ascend to either Periche (at 4240 meters) or Dingboche (4410 meters) and come across not only awesome views but also some extreme cold, which only gets worse on the following days ... In Periche there is an HRA (Himalayan Rescue Association) aid post attended by American doctors. Very helpful if you feel any level of altitude sickness.
From Periche / Dingboche we make a demanding ascent to Lobuche, at 4930 meters. Lobuche collects trekkers ascending from several places, but offers only 3 or 4 tea houses with only dormitory (26 beds in one smoky room) beds, a few spots for tenting, and even fewer toilet facilities... (Actually, if you have some money to spare, you can spend it on a $25 hotel some 20 minutes walk from Lobuche, but it seems totally inappropriate). The area around Lobuche is occupied by very big rocks and almost no plants, with the huge snowy mountain peaks forming a majestical background. The sunset on Nuptse is an inspiring view !
From Lobuche we ascend to Gorak Shep, at 5160 meters, where we start our climb to Kala Pattar. Remember to start trekking from Lobuche very early (as early as 5 o'clock), in order to reach Kala Pattar before the low altitude clouds hide away everything. While Lobuche had almost no plants, the Gorak Shep area is totally rocky and gray, with day time temperatures well below 0. We encounter the Khumbu Glacier on our way, and we will be actually walking on this huge rock covered glacier from now on. If you're lucky (I was) you can spot some beautiful gray birds known as Tibetan snow cocks (yep, even the birds are gray here). The climb to Kala Pattar, at 5545 meters, is not only the most demanding part of the trek, but also the most rewarding. It takes some very long two hours to walk up to the peak but only 30 minutes to walk it down.
The Everest Base Camp itself is on the rocky slopes left of the Khumbu Ice fall. The trail from Gorak Shep to the Base Camp is a 2 hour walk in each direction on a difficult and sometimes dangerous ever changing trail (resulting from the simple fact that we are walking on a huge glacier covered with rocks !). On our way we encounter some beautiful ice caves and rock formations. You can't actually see Mt. Everest from the Base Camp.
On the trek back to Lukla, we take a side trip to Phorche, a beautiful village with some great kids and wildlife. Passing Phorche we come across Mong La, a small tea-house village on the top of a ridge featuring a typical buddhist stupa surrounded by the distinctive Ama Dablam 6856-meter-high peak and other mountains. The route from Mong La connects us to Khumjung, from where we follow the trail through Namche back to Lukla. From Lukla we fly back to the crowded noisy and polluted city of Kathmandu.
In short: an Amazing trek !
Day 01 - Arrive Kathmandu
Day 02 - Sightseeing tour in Kathmandu
Day 03 - Flight to Lukla & trek to Phakding
Day 04 - Trek to Namche (3450m)
Day 05 - Rest day in Namche
Day 06 - Trek to Thyangboche[3864m]
Day 07 - Trek to Pheriche [4252m]
Day 08 - Rest day in Pheriche
Day 09 - Trek to Lobuche[4930m]
Day 10 - Trek to Gorak Shep [5184m]
Day 11 - Trek to Everest BC , back to Gorak Shep
Day 12 - Trek to Pangboche [3985m]
Day 13 - Trek to Namche[3450m]
Day 14 - Trek to Lukla[2900m]
Day 15 - Flight to Kathmandu
Day 16 - Depart Kathmandu
- Pick up from airport and transfer to hotel
- Accommodation in kathmandu as your Budget.
- Kathmandu valley sight seeing and prepare for trek
- An professional Sherpa Guide with Government License
- Sherpa porter who will carry your baggage(2 person 1 sherpa porter)
- Food in Trekking(Breakfast, Lunch , Dinner )
- All Accommodation during Trekking(Tea House/ Camping)
- Necessary Trekking permits
- TIMS (Trekkers Information Management system card)
- Necessary Equipment( sleeping bag and Down Jacket)
- All programme as per Itinerary
- Necessary flight Ticket/ Land Transport(Domestic only )
- Food , salary Transport, clothing for Guide and Porter
- Insurance for Guide and Porter
- Rescue Help
- Lunch and dinner in kathmandu and Pokhara
- Any kinds of Drinks( soft and Hard Drinks)
- Visa, international flight ticket
- Personal Nature expenses
- Tips for Staffs
- Rescue and Evacuation cost
- Everest Advance Base Camp Trek with Lhasa Trip ( 22 Days)
- Everest Trekking - 14 Days
- Everest base Camp Kalapatthar Trek - 16 Days
- Everest Base Camp Trekking - 16 Days
- Gokyo Lake Trekking - 15 Days
- Everest Chola Pass Trekking - 16 Days
- Gokyo Lake Trekking - 16 Days
- Jiri to Everest Base Camp Trekking - 28 Days
- 16 Days Everest Base Camp with Chola Pass Trekking - 16 Days