Mt. Everest: Explore the Roof of the World

Amir Razi
Last Modified: 6th December 2013
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The Flavour Of Nepal

Barley Fields in Nepal

Barley Fields in Nepal

Every year thousands of people make their way to Nepal; a beautiful South Asian nation which has eight of the world’s tallest mountains, including Mt. Everest. After landing at Tribhuvan International Airport, a vibrant city—Kathmandu awaits thousands of visitors every year. Discovering the cultural heritage of Nepal has always been a joy for tourists. People discover a vibrant city with Hindu temples, Buddhist stupas, sacred burning ghats etc. An interesting thing to look out for is Nepalese folktale; expressed in the form of dance and music. Some cuisines to try out in Nepal are dal bhat, momo, chutni etc.

Nepal is exotic, wonderful, but it is also different. Great elevation changes, differences in customs and language, menu variations, lodge limitations, and the many other mysteries and wonders of travel in Nepal are conditions you must be physically and mentally prepared for. You may meet unknown hardships as well as unexpected pleasures. Come with an open mind and positive spirit.

The latitude of Nepal is between 26˚ and 30˚N so it will warm at the lower elevations (short and T-shirt) while nights will be cool. Day temperatures will be between 10˚C and 15˚C at the lower elevations and between 5˚C and 10˚C at our highest elevations during spring and fall trips (till to -15 ˚C in winter). Temperatures at night will be cool being mostly between 0˚ C and – 5 C except for winter trek where temperatures till – 20˚C may occur at night. In December though you will enjoy clear skies and less crowded hiking trails.

History

Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay

Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay

After all is said and done, more is said than done”-Aesop. This famous quote by the ancient Greek fabulist is a constant reminder of how often, we humans tend to make up our mind but fail to follow it. On May 29, 1953—Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay broke all the shackles of fear and reached to the top of Mt. Everest. There was a wide spread perception that Mt. Everest was unclimbable but the heroic act of these two men started a legacy, which is celebrated till today. A myriad of people dream to go to Mt. Everest and Everest Base Camp Trek gives you the chance to live that dream.

Everest Base Camp Trek

After having a taste and feel of Nepal, one has to gear up for the ultimate trekking experience. The trek to Everest Base Camp (5364 m) is bound to be filled with dramatic landscapes, mountains filled with snow and ultimate panoramic views. One cannot stop to envy nature’s beauty present in this part of the world. The trekking is started with a trek preparation day, where every details regarding safety is given. After the instructions are delivered, and things are ensured, the actually trekking begins the next day. The whole trek is divided into a number of days and each day you halt at different points. The trekking starts from Lukla (2850 m) and after trekking through beautiful settlements and landscapes, you trek to Phadking (3440 m). From Phading, a 6-7 hours hike takes you to Namache Bazar (3440 m). After trekking through various points you finally arrive at Everest Base Camp (5364 m), where you can enjoy a view of the highest peaks of the world. There in the base camp, you enjoy a view of the roof of the world and that’s an experience, which is hard to come by. The trekking is then concluded by safely guiding you to Lukla and then flying to Kathmandu.

Check-list

It is always better to plan your trip in advance. Mountaineering is a serious activity and it needs certain commitments. Make sure that you carry a sleeping bag, sleeping mat, lightweight tent, medicine, food and other necessary articles. One needs to be focused and serious about the whole trekking experience. No doubt, things can get ugly if proper care is not taken.

A program of cardiovascular conditioning such as running, swimming, biking or aerobics is essential, but try to supplement your exercise with hiking on steep hills or running up and down steps. The more you can condition by closely simulating the activities of trekking, the better off you will be. While the trip is rated as moderate overall, several days will be strenuous, and good conditioning is essential to your enjoyment of the trek.

Personal gear will be carried by porters. Porters can carry two members’ duffel bags. Since their load is 25 kg, this means that your duffel cannot exceed twelve kilos. Stay in locally owned lodges and receive an insight into family living. Most guest houses have toilets and cold showers. Some of the guest houses have hot showers available and every lodge is equipped with solar power systems for lightning.

The trek and visit to Nepal is indeed an experience worthwhile. One should not miss out on an opportunity to visit Nepal. The roof of the world has a lot to offer to its visitors and people leave Nepal, having an experience which stays with them for a lifetime. This is not a tour where everything can be planned in advance to run like clockwork. You probably won’t experience exactly what is written in the daily itinerary. Often adjustment must be made in the field. Adventure travel does involve certain risks both emotional and physical. One has to be flexible when travelling in Nepal and have a cheerful attitude.

Our Fixed Departure schedule

Nov 23 – Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu

Nov 24 – Day 02: Sightseeing in Kathmandu Valley

Nov 25 – Day 03: Flight to Lukla & Trek Phakding (2 600 m)

Nov 26 – Day 04: Trek Namche Bazaar (3 440 m)

Nov 27 – Day 05: Climb to Everest View Hotel (3860 m), Acclimatization trek

Nov 28 – Day 06: Trek Tengboche (3 860 m)

Nov 29 – Day 07: Trek Dingboche (4 410 m)

Nov 30 – Day 08: Rest day Dingboche (4 410 m) + Acclimatization trek

Dec 1 – Day 09: Trek Lobuche (4 930 m)

Dec 2 – Day 10: Trek Gorakshep (5 160 m) + Everest Base Camp

Dec 3 – Day 11: Trek Pheriche (4 215 m) + Kala Pathar

Dec 4 – Day 12: Trek Namche Bazaar (3 440 m)

Dec 5 – Day 13: Trek Lukla (2 850 m)

Dec 6 – Day 14: Fly to Kathmandu

Dec 7 – Day 15: Fly out Kathmandu

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 – Arrival in Kathmandu (Nov 23)

Pick-up at Tribhuvan International Airport, meeting with local expert / guide and transfer to the hotel. First impressions of Kathmandu (1 350 m) – walk to medieval Kathmandu Durbar Square and explore the beautiful complex of palaces, temples, shrines and courtyards built by the ancient Nepali kings between the 12th and 18th century. Evening visit Thamel – the vibrant tourist area with hotels, restaurants, bakeries and outdoor shops. We get to know each other over a welcome dinner, check formalities and equipment and discuss your itinerary.

Day 2 – Sightseeing in Kathmandu Valley (Nov 24)

Today we discover the highlights of Katmandu and the valley. We adapt the programm to your interests and desires and what you have seen before. Usually, we go to Pasupatinath on the bank of the Bagmati River, where the most important Hindu temples and burning ghats of Nepal are situated. In Bouddhanath we circumambulate together with Tibetan and Nepali Buddhist pilgrims the whitewashed stupa. Our sightseeing usually ends in Patan, the city of Beauty, an astonishing center of fine art and Buddhist and Hindu culture.

Day 3 – Flight to Lukla and; Trek Phakding (Nov 25)

We drive to Tribhuvan Domestic Airport to connect our fly to take our flight to Everest region. After breakfast in Lukla (2 850 m) we start trekking through beautiful settlements to join soon the main trail in Churi Kharka. We follow the east bank of the Dudh Koshi- the River of Milk- where you witness the typical Nepal terrace culture, slate roofed houses and views on Kusum Kangaru (5 579 m). We reach Phakding (2 640 m) after 3 – 4 h gentle walking.

Day 4 – Trek Namche Bazaar (Nov 26)

Today we make a challenging hike to Namche Bazaar (3 440 m), situated at 6-7 hours walking from Phakding. We climb up along the west bank of the Dudh Kosi to the tiny village of Toktok. We get our first glimpse of Thamserku peak (6 608 m) and reach Benkar (2 710 m). The cliffs above the village are decorated with huge paintings of Buddhist deities. We cross the colorful suspension bridge and enter the Sagarmatha National Park at Monjo (2 840 m). After Jorsale we follow the river bank over gravel, climb through a pine forest and cross the Dudh Kosi by a big suspension bridge. Then we face a continuous zigzag ascent of 2 hours through dense pine forests. In the early evening we reach the vibrant center of Namche Bazar, on of the most attractive settlements of Solu-Khumbu district.

Day 5 – Day hike to Hotel Everest View Hotel (Nov 27)

Today we climb to Hotel Everest View in Khumjung village situated at 3700 m where we visit Khundi Hospital, the first hospital build in Khumbu Region by Sir Edmund Hillary and Himalayan Trust in 1966.

Day 6 – Trek Tengboche (Nov 28)

Trek to Tengboche (3 860 m), 5-6 hour long hike from Namche Bazaar. The first part of trail is a winding smooth path which offers fantastic views on Mount Everest (8 848 m), Thamserku (6 618 m), Ama Dablam (6 814 m). After the trail goes down to the riverbank and then we make a strenuous 2 hour ascend to Tengboche. We walk through rhododendron forests where musk deer and Himalayan ‘tahr’ or mountain goat live. At the rest place you can enjoy the views towards Kantega mountain (6 783 m). Tengboche, is famed for the Buddhist Tengboche Monastery (where you can attend the daily puja), Cafe Tengboche and the view point.

Day 7 – Trek Dingboche (Nov 29)

Trek to Dingboche (4 410 m), 6-7 hours walking from Tengboche. We descend through conifer and rhododendron forest to the beautiful settlement Deboche where you have a close view at Ama Dablam. We cross the suspension bridge and look over the surging white waters of Imja River. Soon after a snow white stupa with gorgeous all seeing eyes is mirroring the Ama Dablam, this is a marvelous place for a picture! Then the trail ascents gently to the village of Pangboche (3 860 m), where we climb above the treeline. After, the trail passes numerous farmer pastures with big yak populations before we reach Dingboche valley.

Day 8 – Rest day Dingboche (Nov 30)

Optional acclimatization trek (5-6 hours) to the remote village of Chhukung (4 730 m) and Chhukung Ri (top) located at 5 550 m. We have magnificent sights at Island Peak (6 189 m), Amphulapche (5 663 m), Baruntse Base Camp (5 400m) and the white ice lake of Imja Tsho.

Day 09 – Trek Lobuche (Dec 1)

After ascending 150 m up to the main road, we reach a viewpoint where we have outstanding sights at Tawachee (6 495 m) and Cholatse peak (6 440m). After our lunch camp in Dugla (4 620m) the trail goes directly up the gravely terminal moraine of the Khumbu glaciers for about one hour. The trail leads to a row of memorial monuments of lost climbers and sherpas. The trail then drops a little and follows the western side of the valley to Lobuche. After four to five hours hiking we reach the small settlement of Lobuche which is situated at 4 930 m. We sleep in a lodge at Gorakskhep, a semi-permanent village at the bottom of the Khumbu Icefall.

Day 10 – Trek Gorak Shep (Dec 2)

The ascent to Gorak Shep (5 160 m) becomes steeper and rougher as we cross several moraines. Soon we see the peak of Pumori (7 145m). We also have our first views at Nuptse (7 864 m), Kala Pathar (5 545 m) and Mount Everest. At the right side you look over the Khumbu Glacier, an enormous tongue of ice which marches down the slopes of Everest. We reach Gorak Shep by lunchtime and trek to Base Camp in the afternoon. In total we hike six-seven hours today.

Day 11 – Trek Pheriche (Dec 3)

Early morning we climb to Kala Pattar – the Black Rock – located at 5 545 m and marked by a tangle of prayer flags. At this viewpoint – one of the most astonishing views on earth- you have a 360 degree panorama of Himalayan giants from Pumori and Lobuche West to Nuptse, Lhotse and Everest. We return back to Gorak Shep via the view points of the ice lakes of Pumori and Everest.

After breakfast we return in 4 hours back to Pheriche located at 4 215 m.

Day 12 – Trek Namche Bazaar (Dec 4)

Trek from Pheriche to Namche Bazaar (3 440 m). We descend approximately 5 hours.

Day 13 – Trek Lukla (Dec 5)

We start this 6 hours during trek with a strenuous descent from Namche Bazaar to the Dud Kosi (hard work for the knees), after the path climbs up to Monjo and then runs easily to Benkar, Phakding and Lukla.

Day 14 – Flight to Kathmandu (Dec 6)

After breakfast we fly in about 40 minutes from Lukla to Kathmandu. Arrive at Tribhuvan Airport and transfer to hotel.

Day 15 – Fly out Kathmandu (Dec 7)

 

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