If you have heard about Nepal, chances are high that you have heard about its mighty mountains, rolling hills and wonderful wilderness, always welcoming travelers since the country opened its door to visitors. No doubt this beautiful country is an amazing destination for world class trekking adventures. You have hundred of choices here. From busy trails of Everest to quiet trails of Dolpo, from easy mid hill walks to challenging mountain passes, from few days’ hike to month long clambering on the glaciers – the list is endless. You will literally be spoilt by the choices. This broad range of trekking options, however, is normally categorized into three trekking types on the basis of the service and logistic arrangement involved in it. At Explore Himalaya, we offer all three trekking types to our visitors.
1. CAMPING TREK
Camping Trek is fully organized trekking in which you will be supplied with all camping equipment along with food, Sherpas, helpers and tents for accommodation. This trekking type is ideal for those who want less frequented trails with no teahouses or less accommodation options. This type of treks offer a really special experience as you will be visiting the far flung areas that have very less contact with the modern world. Nowadays, with the availability of teahouses and lodges in most of the trekking trails in Nepal, compared to other trekking types, this style of trekking is less in use, and used only where there is special requirement or no other option of accommodation left. Treks in Dolpo and Dhaulagiri regions are operated in this style.
Support Crew in Camping Trek
On camping trek you will be sleeping and eating on tents. A trekking crew contains one sirdar, one cook and the numbers of kitchen crew, Sherpa assistants and porters depending on the size of the group. Sirdar and his assistants speak reasonable amount of English, good enough to explain you about the places, local culture or any sight that catches your eyes. Under the leadership of the Sirdar (the local trek leader), the crew consists of several Sherpa assistants who will ensure you don’t take the wrong path, a cook and kitchen crew to keep you well fed with delicious and nutritious meals and the porters to transport all the gear from camp to camp.
Our main aim is to make the trek as hassle-free and enjoyable as possible. Some of the best moments of the trek are the times spent getting to know your trekking crew who are born and brought up in remote mountain villages. The ratio of both Sherpa guides and kitchen crew to group members is generally 1:4 and the ratio of porters to group members is around 3:1 at the beginning of the trek, but this decreases as food is consumed and loads become smaller. For bathroom facilities we carry a toilet tents, your camping staff dig a deep hole in the ground for excrement and cover the hole with soil after the business is done.
A Typical Day in Camping Trek A typical day begins with a hot cup of tea brought to the tent at about 6am, followed by a bowl of hot water for washing. After packing our bags and having a good breakfast, we set off for the day. All you need to carry is a small day pack containing water bottle, camera, sun cream, hat, rain jacket and a warm jumper, just in case. The porters will carry the rest of your gear for you. After walking for 3-4 hours we stop for lunch at around midday. Then after we continue for the afternoon’s walk which is generally shorter and we arrive at camp in time for afternoon tea. The remainder of the afternoon can be spent exploring the nearby villages, doing a bit of washing or simply relaxing with a good book. On some days, we will arrive at camp by lunchtime and the entire afternoon will be free. Dinner is usually served between 6 – 7pm. After dinner, the evening will often be spent playing cards and talking with the crew, or perhaps even joining in some singing and dancing, before heading off to the tent for a well-earned sleep.
Meals and Drinking Water in Camping Trek
We provide three tasty, plentiful and nutritious meals daily with a variety of local and Western dishes. To start the day, breakfast consists of a choice of porridge, muesli and cereal followed by omelet, fried or scrambled eggs with chapattis or bread. Lunch is generally a selection of salad, cooked vegetable dishes, pasta and traditional breads.
After a long day on the trail, dinner is a hearty 3 course meal – soup, followed by a variety of vegetable, meat, rice and pasta dishes and completed with a simple dessert. Tea, coffee and hot chocolate are also provided at all meals. We use as much fresh products as possible and special dietary requirement is always catered for. The leaders are able to maintain very tight controls on health and hygiene in the kitchen with respect to general cleanliness and food preparation and also within the group with respect to personal hygiene. This has allowed us to maintain remarkably high standards of health over many years of trek organization – and good health is vital to an enjoyable and successful trek and climb.
All foods are well cooked and vegetables are treated by potassium permanganate or iodine. You will be provided filtered water about 3-4 liters per person per day. The good thing about such water is it doesn’t smell chlorine. We normally use Sawyer Filters. You can also bring water purification pills in case you want to drink water from local taps. Antiseptic soaps and potassium or iodine treated water are provided for washing.
2. TEAHOUSE/LODGE TREK
Teahouse trekking type involves accommodating in teahouses dispersed up and down the travelling trails of Nepal. In this type of trekking, your service includes food, guide, porter and accommodation. Teahouses basically refers to mountain lodges operating the bedding and eating facilities for trekkers. Generally, all the teahouses have sharing rooms (with few single rooms), indoor latrines, restrooms, eatery, kitchen and lounge area. Most of the teahouses are owed by local people where family members, relatives and some additional staffs work every day to satisfy the necessities of guides, porters and travelers. This type of trekking is popular in all major trails in Everest, Annapurna and Langtang regions.
Support Crew in Teahouse Trek On teahouse trek you will be accompanied by a team of local crew whose aim is to make the trek as hassle-free and enjoyable as possible. The crew consists of a local leader (Sirdar) and a team of porters to carry all your gear. On average, there will be a ratio of one porter to every two group members. Sirdar speaks reasonable amount of English, good enough to explain you about the places, local culture or any sight that catches your eyes.
Whilst we endeavor to stay in the best possible accommodation along the way, you should be aware that most teahouses, particularly in the smaller villages, are quite basic. The bedrooms are usually very small, the bathroom facilities are often shared and meals are served in a communal dining hall. Although simple, the teahouses do provide shelter and warmth and are normally run by friendly local families. Teahouse treks are less expensive than Camping trek and are largely suitable for small groups. Usually during busy seasons if private rooms in smaller villages are fully occupied you might have to sleep in dormitory.
Meals & Drinking Water in Lodge Trek
On our teahouse/lodge based treks we provide standard breakfast, lunch and three course dinner, tea or coffee will also be included with each meal. Your guide will help with menu selection and ensure that you get the best value meals possible. Although the food is usually plentiful and delicious, you should be aware that the menu is normally not extensive. Most teahouses offer a variety of rice and noodle dishes, as well as soup and seasonal vegetables. A variety of cereals, bread and egg dishes are generally available for breakfast. There will also be plenty of snacks available such as biscuits, chocolate and soft drinks and in some areas you will find fresh fruit in season. You can buy packaged water (bottled mineral water) from local lodge and shop en route or you can also ask your guide to fill your water bottle with filtered water.
A Typical Day in Teahouse Trek The day activity is pretty much same as in camping trek. The only difference is we will have our meals in teahouses instead of camps. Each morning after packing our bags and having a good breakfast, we set off for the day’s walk. All we need to carry is a small day pack containing water bottle, camera, sun cream, hat, rain jacket and warm jumper, just in case. The porters will carry the rest of our gear for us.
After walking for 3-4 hours we stop for lunch at around midday. The afternoon’s walk is generally shorter and we usually arrive at our destination in time for afternoon tea. The remainder of the afternoon can be spent exploring the village, doing a bit of washing or simply relaxing with a good book. On some days we will arrive at our destination by lunchtime and the entire afternoon will be free. After dinner, the evening will often be spent playing cards and reliving the day’s adventures, before heading off to bed for a well-earned sleep.
3. GAP TREK
This is a shortened form of Guide Accommodation and Porters (GAP). This type of trek is ideal for those that want basic and essential support from us. We offer an English speaking local Sherpa guide, accommodation in local lodges during trek and arrange required porters. Trekkers buy meals on their own. So, the whole arrangement is same as Tea House aside from you paying for your own meals.
The Government of Nepal recently announced a new trekking route in the Ganesh Himal area and a peak nearby ,at Langtang valley, north of Kathmandu, to be named after the founder of International Scouts ,Lord Baden Powell. This was done to mark the centenary celebration of the International Scouts’ Movement. To mark the launching of the Lord Baden Powell Trek and Lord Baden Powell Peak, scouts from different parts of the world gathered in Nepal. They went on a trek along the Lord Baden Powell Trek and ascended the Lord Baden Powell Peak. Here we reproduce the details of the trek as recorded by Mark Mangles, an Australian scout leader. The journey commenced from Kakani on the 27th of August, 2007. There were, altogether, seventeen trekking members from Australia, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong.
Excerpts from a trekker’s diary : A Day to Day Account of the Lord Baden Powell Trek
27th August ’07– We left Kakani for Syabrubesi. The drive was interesting because the bus kept breaking down on the way. We reached Trishuli and had lunch there. It started raining heavily from there onwards. On the way we came to a part of the road which was flooded. We had to stop and wait for the water to recede. After resuming our journey, we came to a new landslide that had just happened .The driver had to make an alternate arrangement for us. He arranged another bus. We had to walk across the landslide to get to the bus. After driving for about twenty minutes, we came to another landslide. We had to traverse in the dark, as it was already evening. When we reached the other side, we got on to another bus (the third one since we started our journey!).This one was quite crowded .There were about fifty-six passengers in the bus. We reached Syabrubesi at around 10 o’clock at night. It was a difficult journey but quite an interesting one. I took it as a part of an adventure!
28th August ’07– We started our trek from Syabrubesi at 8o’clock in the morning. The weather was fairly hot, almost everybody got sunburn. We walked from Syabrubesi to Gatlang. It was a very steep climb. We climbed the first half of the day and the second half, we followed the road. The second part of the trek was easier than the first half. We stayed in Gatlang that day. We put up our tents in the school ground and spent the night there. It started raining during the night and from then on it rained constantly for ten days.
29th August ’07– It was a lucky day for us. After walking for about an hour and a half, we came to a village which was having a full-moon celebration. We got to participate in the singing and dancing. It was a very interesting experience. We enjoyed it very much!
The day’s walk was pretty easy. We walked for about six hours and climbed an altitude of 3,400 m. It was a good day. One of the Korean girls celebrated her sixteenth birthday. We had a bit of a celebration that night.
30th August ’07-We had a steady climb, a bit up and a bit down. We passed some rhododendron bushes. Just after lunch we climbed through the 4000 meters mark. We walked for six hours that day. We spent the night at a kharka, which was at the height of 4,247 m.
31st August ’07-We got up and had porridge for breakfast (my favourite!).Since it was still raining, the way was a bit dangerous. We had to walk on narrow trails that were quite wet and slippery. It was a bit dangerous because the trail was quite steep. We walked for five hours and covered a distance of 2.5 kilometers. We spent the night at a height of 4,300 m. As it did not cease raining , we had a wet night!
1st September ’07-We trekked over four peaks that day. The chief highlight was, we reached the highest mark on the trek, 4,728 m. It was a fairly long day. We walked for about ten and a half hours. Unfortunately we could not enjoy the scenery as the weather was cloudy. We camped at Sanjun kharka.
2nd September ’07– We left Sanjun kharka for Tatopani. It rained the whole day. The route was pretty interesting because we actually had to cross over Tibet and walk for about a kilometer and half. We crossed some interesting bridges. It was a long day walk. But Tatopani(2,600 m) was very welcome. At Tatopani we got the chance to wash ourselves and our clothes .In fact Tatopani offered us the first opportunity to dry our clothes. We swam in the hot baths. We actually had a very restful stay in Tatopani.
3rd September ’07– Spent a restful day in Tatopani. Good food, great people, great place to relax!
4th September ’07-We left Tatopani for Nagthali. We walked for four hours. It was a reasonably short route. We got some sunshine during the day and so got the chance to enjoy some good views. The trek was uphill. As we passed through the Tamang Heritage route, we stopped at a Tamang village. We got to visit the gompas. The villagers were very friendly. We had a homestay that day.
5th September ’07-We left Nagthali and hit Thuman. It was downhill all the way. As it was raining, the trail was quite muddy and slippery. Sometimes during the day, the clouds shifted and we got to see some good views. It took two hours to walk from Nagthali to Thuman.
Thuman, a big Tamang village, has a medical centre and a school. We had two home stays at Thuman. The families that we got to stay with were very hospitable. They looked after us very well. We got to know a lot about Tamang culture from them. They do have a very rich culture.
6th September ’07– We left for Syabrubesi. The way was all up and down. We passed paddy and corn fields. We arrived at Syabrubesi at around 12o’clock.We had walked for four hours. It was good to be back in Syabrubesi. We had a small party that night as one of the trek members, a Singaporean, was going back. We had a good time!
“I found the trek quite adventurous and interesting because we had to trek under bad weather conditions. Although we could not enjoy the beautiful scenery that Nepal is so famous for, it was still an interesting trek . We went to an area where normally people don’t go to. Being a new route, it was quite challenging for us. We reached a height of 4,700 meters which is fairly high for a trek It is a difficult trek and I wouldn’t recommend it to people who haven’t trekked before.” Mark Mangles
The Trek from Makalu Base Camp via Sherpani Col to the Solo Khumbu region “One of the Best Challenging Treks that Nepal has to Offer” – Armandus Dirks
Explore Himalaya organized a trek to Makalu Base camp for Eveline Wessels, Armand Dirks and Frank Van Hulst, from the Netherlands. They did not follow our usual itinerary of 23 days but had an extended one of 26 days and they took a different route. After reaching the Makalu Base Camp, instead of making their descent, they climbed further up to the Upper & Lower Barun glacier till they reached Baruntse BC (6140m), the highest point on the trek. They made their way via the Sherpani Col (6135m) crossing the West Col & Amphu Labtsa pass to the Chukung valley. Eveline and Armand dropped in at our office on the morning of 20th November to share their experience. Both of them have visited Nepal before and this was their first trek to Makalu/Barun region.
The trek started on the 24th of November 2007 with a flight to Tumlingtar from Kathmandu. The group started their trek the same day they reached Tumlingtar. According to Armand this trek offers a very diverse experience, both culturally and naturally. He says, “It starts from a very low elevation of 460m and goes up to a height of about 6140m. On the way we met different groups of people: Rai, Tamang & Sherpa. The terrain also changed as we climbed higher, varying from rice terraces, jungle and wide rivers, to huge moraines, glaciers and impressive 7000 and 8000m peaks. One should be physically fit in order to do this trek, as one has to climb up above 6000m, traversing some difficult passes and steep ridges. The passes in this trek involve some basic, but technical climbing. So I would only advice the traverse from Makalu BC to the Khumbu to keen and experienced trekkers who like a challenge. Some basic mountaineering experience is preferred.”
Eveline added, “There were green forests and meadows in the lower regions but as soon as we crossed the 5000m mark the landscape changed completely. By the time we left the Makalu BC, we encountered a very desolate landscape of rocks, snow and ice. As we began the trek it was very warm and humid, above BC the temperatures dropped to -10C to -25C during several nights. Apart from a little drizzle at the beginning of the trek, the weather was stable with clear skies in the mornings”.
Describing the trail Armand said, “The first few days of the trek involved easy walking with some longer and steep descents and ascents. The walking hours varied from 5 to 7 hours a day, but as we got higher, there where some shorter and much longer days. After reaching the 4000m mark, we walked for just 3 or 4 hours a day. One porter got AMS before the Sherpani Col and was sent down with another porter. A second porter got sick just behind the West Col. He had severe cold stress with back ache and stomach cramps and could not carry on, so we had to help him get down again. I think the porter was not properly dressed for the cold at this altitude, and he had some problems acclimatizing properly. Clients and crew should be physically fit and should have proper equipment to climb to these heights (above 6000m).”
According to Armand there are some steep rock faces at the Sherpani Col, West Col & Amphu Labtsa which involves some technical climbing. So he says, “This trek cannot be classified as pure trekking: walking on paths and trails. Some rock and snow climbing is involved as well. At all high passes we had to fix ropes to get every body up or down. This trek is difficult because of the high passes and the cold in the higher regions, but its one of the best treks in Nepal”.
Talking about their climbing guide, both of them said, “We were lucky to have an experienced guide, Namgyal Sherpa. He was strong, able and came well equipped with down suit, climbing gear and sufficient rope. There was a difficult section after crossing Sherpani Col, where a porter unfortunately dropped the jerry can with kerosene. All kerosene was lost. Our supply was not enough as we needed kerosene not only to heat food but to melt ice for water as well. The only option to get kerosene was in Chukung, beyond the Amphu Labtsa pass, a long distance away. Namgyal and Nima offered to go across the Amphu Labsta to Chukung to get kerosene. It took them about 30 hours, very exhausting for them, but they succeeded.”
Armand and Eveline advice to the other trekkers wishing to do this trek is, “Come well equipped with suitable down clothes as the temperature drops well below freezing point at the higher altitudes. Some basic climbing equipment is necessary. A satellite phone is a must for emergencies. Some camps are situated in the middle of nowhere and it might take days to get help. Having a satellite phone will surely get help faster”.
Both of them rate the trek as one of the best. Though this trek had an extended itinerary of 26 days, Armand believes that this trek can be done in 24 days if nothing goes wrong , and provided that all the members (porters, cooks, guides and other members) are physically fit and strong enough. But as the whole team is responsible for each other, it’s better to have some extra spare days. This will give any party the possibility to deal with slower acclimatization, bad weather and other unforeseen difficulties.
Original itinerary (changed during trek)
24th Oct: Kathmandu-Tumlingtar-Khandbari By flight (460m)
25th Oct: Bhotebas (1700m)
26th Oct: Mure(1980m)
27th Oct: Seduwa (1460m)
28th Oct: Tashigaon (2200m)
29th Oct: Kauma Kharka (3470m
30th Oct: Shipton La (4250m) – Mumbuk (3570m)
31st Oct: Nehe Kharka (3670m)
1st Nov: Rest day (3670m)
2nd Nov; Merek (4340m)
3rd Nov: Makalu Base camp (4900m)
4th Nov: Rest day (4900m)
5th Nov: Rest day (4900m)
6th Nov: Sandy camp upper Barun Glacier (5250m)
7th Nov: Sherpani East Col BC (Below East Col) (5250m)
8th Nov: Rest Day (5720m)
9th Nov: Traverse East (6140m) – Baruntse BC (6140m)
10th Nov: Spare day (6140m)
11th Nov: West Col (6135m) – Panch Pokhari (5445m)
12th Nov: Spare Day (6140m)
13th Nov: Amphu Labtsa BC (5520m)
14th Nov: Amphu Labtsa (5520m) – Chukung (4730m)
15th Nov: Tengboche(3860m)
16th Nov: Namche (3600m)
17th Nov: Lukla (2970m)
18th Nov: Fly from Lukla to Kathmandu (1300m)
A Group 7 Dutch Trek to Kanchanjunga Base Camp “Dherai ramro trek! A very well organized Trek!”
In the month of Oct – Nov’07 Explore Himalaya organized a trek to Kanchenjunga Base camp in Eastern Nepal for a group of 7 Dutch trekkers. After the completion of their trek, the Dutch group came for a last visit to the Explore office on 29th Nov. The group of seven, who are also very good friends, expressed their appreciation to the Explore team for a well organized trek. When asked how the trek went, their refrain was, “A very well organized trek. We enjoyed it thoroughly. Whenever we wanted something, Bagbir (the sirdar) answered ‘No problem,’ and really we never faced any problem.”
Hallo! Goddag, ven!!
Hengel who has done the Everest trek said, “I expected the trail to be uphill all the way, like in the Everest trek. You know, steep climbs, going up and up. But the trail on this trek had a lot of variety. It was different. We started from the foothills where there was a lot of greenery. As we got higher, the landscape changed. Also at the higher reaches there were some landslides, but we could make our way through it.” Ingrid Maria added, “There were some difficult parts but there also parts which were truly very beautiful and lovely.”
Back row (from right ) John Paul, Hengel Hermanus
Front row (from right) Martinus, Ingrid Wilhelma, Ingrid Maria, Jaqueline, Bart
“In the lower reaches there was mist and a slight drizzle and at the higher elevation there was snow,” Martinus chipped in.
This trek was referred to by Bart’s elder brother. Their trek lasted for 28 days. Two members started on the 31st Oct while the five others started on the 1st Nov. During the trek the friends hiked through quaint Rai, Limbu, Tamang and Sherpa villages. About the local people they met on the way the friends had this to say, “The people whom we met during the trek were very open and friendly. Most of them were anxious to know where we were from. They were very amiable.”
It was Jacqueline’s first visit to Nepal (the others have already been to Nepal before) and was she charmed! She asserted, “I will surely visit Nepal again,” to which the others too joined in a chorus, “We too!”
As we wrapped our tête-à-tête they had a final request. They wanted us to mention their gratitude and appreciation, for a wonderful trek, to all the people involved in the trek: Bagbir (the sirdar), the kitchen staff and the porters as well.
It’s a known fact that Everest Base Camp Trek is a very rewarding highland adventure. Flying to thrilling Lukla Airport, walking past quaint Sherpa villages and breathtaking landscape, and finally getting real close to Everest, the highest of all peaks in the world, Everest Base Camp Trek is definitely a whole new level of experience. As expected of any trekking in Nepal, it also involves a lot of walking (continuously for about 11/12 days) in the alpine terrain. So, anyone interested to undertake trekking in Nepal is sure to ask mandatory questions like how high? how far? and how many hours. However, there is absolutely no reason to get worried – we are making things easier for you! Below we have listed some major facts on distance, time and elevation involved in Everest Base Camp Trek. Please note that we have used a standard itinerary to provide a general overview of the trek, though there can be some side treks and different stopovers depending on individual requirement.
Summary of distance, time and elevation
Distance in Everest Base Camp: The total distance in Everest Base Camp trek (Lukla-Everest Base Camp-Lukla) is about 130km round trip (65 km each way). Normal number of days to cover the distance is 11/12 days. So, you will be walking roughly about 11 km in about 6 hours a day in average. As the terrain is rocky with switchbacks (gradual ascent and descent), the pace will be slow about 2.5 km an hour. So, distance in Everest Base Camp Trek is achievable for people of all ages. As you need to acclimatize while going up, it takes 9 days to reach the Base Camp (including the 2 acclimatization days) and just 3 days to return to Lukla.
Elevation in Everest Base Camp Trek : Everest Base Camp Trek is not a very technical trekking. However, elevation is a bit of challenge that needs to be considered of. The very starting point of the trek, Lukla Airport itself is at an altitude of 2860m. Lukla Airport, known as Tenzing Hillary Airport, is popularly known as one of the most adventurous airports in the world due to its tricky runway perched on a cliff. The highest point you reach is 5545m (Kala Patthar), an amazing viewpoint to savor the beauty of Everest and her sister peaks. Though the altitude variation looks extreme, the itinerary is planned in such a way that your body gets enough time to acclimatize. An average elevation gain ranges from 400m to 800m per day. When you gain significantly high altitude in a particular day, the next day will usually be the rest day to acclimatize. As a whole, elevation in Everest Base Camp Trek defines both the challenge and joy.
Day to day distance, time and elevation
To get a more comprehensive idea on the distance, time (walking hours) and elevation, here is a day-to-day break down of the standard Everest Base Camp Trek with en-route highlights.
Day 1: Lukla to Phakding
2860m – 2656m
En-route Highlights: mani walls and boulders, villages like Cheplung, Lhawa and Ghat, suspension bridge (first one of six such bridges in the trail)
Day 2: Phakding to Namche
2656m – 3440m
En-route Highlights: Monjo (National Park Entry point, Entry Permit Check Point), Jorsalle, 4 suspension bridges (3 above Dudh Koshi and 1 above Imja Khola, the iconic one seen in movies), approximately 700m vertical climb before reaching Namche – shouldn’t be taken lightly as you will set off for the climb right after your lunch and when you have to walk uphill in altitude right after meal, it can’t so easy. This uphill climb is the first of the two tough climbs you will have in Everest Base Camp Trek.
Day 3: Rest Day at Namche
3440m – 3880m – 3440m
Visit to Sherpa Culture Museum, Sagarmatha National Park Museum ( about 100m above Namche) & Monastery
Hiking to Khumjung/Khunde (3790m- about 2 km from Namche) – about 400m climb from Namche to Syangboche Airport and continue to Khunde and Khumjung
Hiking to Hotel Everest View (3880m – about 2.5 km from Namche) – about 400m climb from Namche to Synagboche Airport and continue to the hotel
Hiking in a loop Namche-Syangboche-Khunde-Khumjung-Hotel Everest View-Namche; you can also choose to stay overnight in Khumjung or Hotel Everest View
En- route Highlights: Views of Everest, Nupste, Lhotse and Ama Dablam; Khunde Hospital, Khumjung School, Khumjung Monastery, Hotel Everest View (one of the highest hotels in the world) etc.
Day 4: Namche to Deboche
En-route Highlights: Views of Everest, Nupste, Lhotse and Ama Dablam; a suspension bridge over Imja Khola , after about 300m downhill walk to Punki Tenga; about 500m of climb to Tengboche (second of the two vertical climbs after Namche climb), Tengboche Monastery (3867m – 10 km, 5 hours)
Day 5: Deboche to Dingboche
3734m – 4410m
En-route Highlights: Views of towering Amadablam and Nuptse; Everest starts to hide behind the Nuptse wall; Pangboche Village (3985m- about 3 km, 2 hours) combination of 2 settlements lower and upper; Pangboche Monastery with its famed yeti skull; Pangboche is also the last village for Amadablam expedition – climbers go to Amadablam Base Camp via Pangboche; consistently flat trail throughout; crossroad one leading to Pheriche and other leading to Dingboche
Day 6: Rest Day at Dingboche
i. 1.5 km (if Nangkar Tshang Hill)
ii. 11 km (if Chhukung Village & Chukkung Ri)
i. 3 hours (includes steep climb)
ii. 6 hours
i. 4410m – 5083m
ii. 4410m – 4730m – 5550m
Hiking to Nangkar Tshang Hill (5083m, about 700m high from Dingboche, 2.5 hours) which sounds like Nagarjun (Nepali word of Sanskrit origin), at first steady climb and later on steep. Nangkar Tshang hill is right behind Dingboche village.
Hiking to Chhukung Village (4730m, about 5km, 1.5 hours) – the last village before Island Peak, can continue to Chhukung Ri (5550m, about 820m high from Chhukung Village, 3 hours) if you want to push yourself a bit harder – in this case an early start from Dingboche is required.
En-route Highlights: From Nangkar Tshang Hill 360 degree views of Mt. Makalu, Lhotse, Cho Oyu, Island peak, Amadablam, Kangtega , Thamserku , Taboche, and Cholatse ; From Chhukung Ri impressive view of Imja Tse (Island Peak), Imja Glacier, Ama Dablam, Makalu and Nuptse
Day 7: Dingboche to Lobuche
4410m – 4910m
En-route Highlights: Views of Amadablam, Taboche and Cholatse; Thukla – a riverside lunch stopover, A Memorial Park at Thukla Pass – has about 100 memorials (called chhortens in local language) of those who died while climbing Everest and other mountains including legendary climber Babu Chhiri Sherpa; Khumbu Glacier moraine
Day 8: Lobuche to Gorakshep (Base Camp hike)
i. 4.3 km (Lobuche – Gorakshep)
ii. 3.5 km (Gorak Shep – Everest Base Camp)
i. 2.5 hours
ii. 5 hours for round trip (3 hours + 2 hours)
i. 4910m – 5140m
ii. 5140m – 5364m – 5140m
En-route Highlights: Khumbu Glacier, close up views of Pumori, Nuptse, Khumbutse, Lhola, Everest Base Camp,Tip of Everest (highlight of the whole trek)
Day 9: Morning Kala Pathhar hike; Gorakshep to Pheriche
i. 1.2 km (Gorakshep – Kala Pathhar)
ii. 10 km (Gorak Shep – Pheriche)
i. 3.5 hours for round trip
ii. 5 hours
i. 5140m – 5545m – 5140m
ii. 5140m – 4371m
En-route Highlights: Spectacular sunrise view of Everest, Nuptse, Changtse, Lhotse etc. from Kala Pathhar
Day 10: Pheriche to Namche
4371m – 3440m
En-route Highlights: Pangboche monastery; Tengboche monastery; Suspension bridge at Phunki
Tenga; views of Nupste, Everest, Amadablam, Kangtega Thamserku, Kongde Ri etc.
Day 11: Namche to Lukla
3440m – 2860m
En-route Highlights: 5 Suspension bridges, Dudh Koshi River; and of course trees (you might have almost forgotten about them)