A Week Below Everest

Trip Facts

  • Trip duration: 11 Days
  • Grade: Soft adventure
  • Activity: Trekking & Cultural Tour
  • Starts in: Kathmandu
  • Ends in: Kathmandu
  • Trek type: TH (Teahouse/ Lodge)
  • Accommodation: Hotel, Teahouse
  • Transportation: Flights/ Private Cars or Tourist Bus
  • Max Altitude: 3908m

Cultural, religious and natural wonders within an awe-inspiring landscape below the roof of the world – A Week below Everest

A Week below Everest is all about hiking down to its ever so peaceful monasteries; while simultaneously viewing some of the highest and most panoramic peaks on the planet. This scenic trek through the river valley of the Dudh Koshi takes you through the traditional Sherpa villages where you will meet the friendly Sherpas and enjoy their hospitality. Our highest point is Pangboche (3908m), which has a delightful monastery overlooking the village. You will also get an opportunity to visit the famous Tengboche Monastery, set high on an inclined ridge, commanding the most spectacular view of Mt. Ama Dablam.

This trip offers the magnificent views of Mt Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, Ama Dablam, Thamserku and Kantega. You will also see great glaciers, sprawling snowfields and glistening ice ridges shimmering during warm sunshine. You will experience some unique nature hikes through dark forests, open pastures and wade through blooming rhododendrons in the pre- monsoon season. You will also look into the intricately carved Mani stones and colorful prayer flags whispering odes in the breeze, and the all-seeing eyes of Buddha on every chorten and
stupa.

Outline Itinerary

  • Day 1 Arrive Kathmandu
  • Day 2 Sightseeing tour of Boudhanath, Pashupatinath & Patan
  • Day 3 Flight to Lukla - 27 minutes & trek to Phakding (2610m) - approx. 3 hours
  • Day 4 Trek to Namche (3450m) - approx. 7 hours
  • Day 5 Trek to Khumjung (3786m) - approx. 3-4 hours
  • Day 6 Trek to Tengboche (3864m) - approx. 6-7 hours
  • Day 7 Excursion to Pangboche (3908m) - approx. 5 hours
  • Day 8 Trek to Namche (2700m) - approx. 7-8 hours
  • Day 9 Trek to Lukla (2900m) - approx. 7-8 hours
  • Day 10 Flight to Kathmandu
  • Day 11 Depart from Kathmandu

PRICE:

T-house trek: Includes: Accommodation in Lodge, guide, porters and all meals

USD 1595 per person on twin sharing – minimum of 3 persons

  • Single room supplement: US $ 95 (compulsory if no one to share the room with)
  • Note: Single room supplement charge is applicable for Kathmandu hotel only. During trek, as per the availability we shall provide single/double or dormitory room. In case of special requirement, we shall provide single with an additional room surcharge during trek.

 

SERVICE INCLUDES:

  • Accommodation during trek available everyday en-route (local lodge)
  • All meals during trek in Local Lodge
  • English speaking local expert guide
  • Local porters during trek (ratio:- 1 porter : 2 member)
  • Sagarmatha National park fees
  • Trekkers' Information Management System fees
  • Kathmandu/Lukla/Kathmandu airfare with domestic airport departure tax
  • 3 nights' accommodation at 3 star hotel in Kathmandu on twin sharing with breakfast
  • Guided sightseeing tour in Kathmandu with inclusive of monuments entry fees.
  • Airport transfers with an escort by Private Vehicle
  • Equipment clothing for porter & staffs
  • Insurance for all staff & porters
  • All applicable government tax

SERVICE EXCLUDES:

  • Nepal visa - Multiple Entrée 15 days - USD 25 Details in Visa Page
  • International flight
  • Lunch & dinner during Kathmandu hotel stay
  • Extra baggage charges (All together only 15 kg is allow by domestic airline)
  • Personal gears & clothing (available on hire in Kathmandu)
  • Any expenses incurred in emergency evacuation/road block due to any reason, table drinks, snacks while walking
  • Any other tours, transfers and services other than mentioned above
  • Tips for Guide, Porter and Driver
  • Your insurance & Medical Expenses

 

Detailed Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Arrival in Kathmandu and transfer to hotel.

    You will be greeted by a panoramic view of snow-capped mountain peaks sprawling down below once you fly in the sky of Kathmandu. A representative and driver from our office will meet you at the airport and escort you to your hotel. The representative will help you check into your designated hotel. At the hotel you will be briefed about your daily activities. Overnight at Hotel. .

  • Day 2

    Sightseeing tours of Boudhanath, Pashupatinath &Patan

    Kathmandu is the historical and cultural heart of Nepal and has been a popular destination for tourists ever since Nepal opened its doors to visitors. The city presents a wonderful mix of Hinduism, Tibetan Buddhism and Western influence. There will be a guided tour to Boudhnath, the largest Buddhist stupa in Nepal followed by a visit to Pashupatinath, the most popular Hindu shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva. We also take a tour to Patan also called as Lalitpur (the City of Artisans), which is 5km away from Kathmandu. We walk through Patan Durbar Square, and delight in the architectural wonders of Malla era. Mahaboudha Temple, Kumbeshwor Temple, Krishna Temple and Golden Temple are the major attractions at the square. Overnight at hotel. .

  • Day 3

    Flight to Lukla - 27 minutes & trek to Phakding (2610m) - approx. 3 hours

    A scenic flight of thirty minutes from Kathmandu brings us to Lukla, cliff hanging airport in Khumbu from where the trek in Everest Region begins. After meeting the crew, we head up the Dudh Koshi Valley on a well-marked trail and then stay overnight in Phakding. Overnight at lodge. .

  • Day 4

    Trek to Namche (3450m) - approx. 7 hours

    From Phakding, we cross and re-cross the river on high suspension bridges. Beyond Monjo is the entrance to 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 from Topdada on the way. Namche is the main trading village in Khumbu and has a busy Saturday market - a meeting place for the locals, lowland traders and the Tibetan yak caravans that have crossed the glaciated Nangpa La. Overnight at lodge. .

  • Day 5

    Trek to Khumjung (3786m) - approx. 3-4 hours

    Ascending from Namche Bazaar, we pass the airstrip at Syangboche and the Japanese-built Everest View Hotel. From the hotel, there are magnificent views of the valley and Everest. We walk to the picturesque village of Khumjung with many old traditional houses as well as a monastery at the top end of the village. At the nearby village of Khunde, there is a famous hospital built by Sir Edmund Hillary, an important center of health care in the region..

  • Day 6

    Trek to Tengboche (3864m) - approx. 6-7 hours

    Heading east, we pass a large Chorten and then descend to a bridge across the Dudh Koshi at Phunki Tenga. From the river, the trail ascends through a forest of pine and rhododendron, before arriving at Tengboche Monastery. The views here are truly awesome, from the beautiful Ama Dablam to Lhotse and Everest at the head of the valley. The monastery has been rebuilt since a tragic fire in 1989 destroyed it. The monastery is well worth a visit. .

  • Day 7

    Excursion to Pangboche (3908m) - approx. 5 hours

    Today’s visit includes an excursion to Pangboche Monastery and the nunnery at Deboche. The monastery at Pangboche, founded in 1667, is the oldest in the Khumbu region. The magnificent views of Ama Dablam are the highlight of today's walk. .

  • Day 8

    Trek to Namche (2700m) - approx. 7-8 hours

    From Tengboche, we head back down through the forest to Phunki Tenga with its water-driven prayer wheels. With Everest and Lhotse receding at the distance, we make our way back down to Namche and descend further to Chumoa..

  • Day 9

    Trek to Lukla (2900m) - approx. 7-8 hours

    Our final day's trekking follows the Dudh Koshi back down to Lukla. This last evening in the mountains presents an ideal opportunity for a farewell party with the Sherpa guides and porters. We get to sample chang (local beer), try some Sherpa dance steps and end the trek on a merry note. .

  • Day 10

    Fly to Kathmandu

    After an early breakfast, we head to the airstrip for our return journey to Kathmandu. Later, you are free for independent activities. You stay overnight in a hotel. .

  • Day 11

    Depart from Kathmandu

    The Nepali support team will take you to the airport for your flight home. If you prefer to stay longer, you can go for short tours such as jungle safari at National parks, rafting, Tibet tours, mountain biking etc..

Everest Travel Guide - Trekking Guide to Everest

The Everest or Solu-Khumbu region lies on the eastern part of Nepal. Inhabited by the mountain people who have lived in harmony with their surroundings for hundreds of years, the Solu-Khumbu region has still retained its age old practices. The region, which has some of the world’s tallest peaks gained fame with the identification of the world’s tallest peak, Everest (8848m) located in this region. In terms of popularity among trekkers, this region ranks second only after the Annapurna region. The villages and places lying in this region are situated above the 2000m mark. Solu at the south includes villages like Junbesi, Phaplu and Chiwong. Pharak is situated between Solu and Khumbu. Khumbu include villages named Namche bazaar, Thami, Khumjung, Lobuje, Pangboche and Tengboche. The major mountains are the Mt.Everest, Mt.Lhotse, Cho Oyu, Nuptse, Pumori, Ama Dablam, Thamserku, Kantega, Mera Peak and Island Peak.

The Classic Everest Base Camp Trek

Mt Everest Base Camp is the most popular destination for trekkers in Nepal. Its popularity has grown since the first expedition to the Nepalese side of Everest in the 1950s.One can do this trek the old way, by beginning the trek from Jiri. From Jiri it takes around nine days to reach Namche. On the way you will come across Rai settlements. The other (quicker) alternative is to take a flight to Lukla and to begin the trek from there. The trek follows the Dudh Kosi valley route with an ascent up to the Sherpa capital of Namche Bazaar. From Namche, you traverse along a high path from where you have the first good view of Everest. You head towards Thangboche Monastery located on top of a mountain ridge and then descend the Imja Khola and continue to the villages of Pangboche and Pheriche. After that you arrive at the Khumbu Glacier. The trek through the glacier takes you first to Lobuche and then to Gorak Shep. From Gorak Shep you can climb up to Kala Pattar for even more spectacular views of the surrounding mountains, including Everest's southwest face. You then reach your destination, the Everest Base Camp at the foot of the Khumbu icefall.

Climate, Flora & Fauna

The climate in the Everest region can be divided into four climate zones owing to the gradual rise in altitude. The climatic zones include a forested lower zone, a zone of alpine scrub, the upper alpine zone which includes upper limit of vegetation growth, and the Arctic zone where no plants can grow. The types of plants and animals that are found depend on the altitude. In the lower forested zone, birch, juniper, blue pines, firs, bamboo and rhododendron grow. All vegetation that is found above this zone is shrubs. As the altitude increases, plant life is restricted to lichens and mosses. At an elevation of 5,750m begins the permanent snow line in the Himalayas. From this point there is no sign of greenery or vegetation. A common animal sighted in the higher reaches is the hairy animal yak. Dzopkyo a sterile male crossbreed between a yak and a cow is used to move goods along the trail. Red panda, snow leopard, musk deer, wild yak, and Himalayan black bear are some of the more exotic animals that are found in this region. A variety of birds can be sighted in the lower regions.

Everest Peaks

Mt. Everest- Rising to a height of 8848m, the world’s highest mountain was named in 1865 after Sir George Everest. The mountain got its Nepali name Sagarmatha during the 1960s, when the Government of Nepal gave the mountain the official Nepali name. In sanskrit Sagarmatha means "mother of the universe”. The Tibetan name for Mount Everest is Chomolungma or Qomolangma, which means “Goddess Mother of the Snows". Climbers wishing to scale the peak have to obtain an expensive permit from the Nepal Government, often costing more than $25,000 (USD) per person. Base Camp, which serves as a resting area and base of operations for climbers organizing their attempts for the summit, is located on the Khumbu glacier at an elevation of 5300 m (17,400 ft); it receives an average of 450 mm (18 in) of precipitation a year. The climate of Mount Everest is extreme In July, the warmest month, the average summit temperature is -19° C (-2° F). When George Mallory, the British climber was asked why he wanted to climb Everest he replied ‘Because it is there’. After two unsuccessful attempts, in 1924 he again tried to climb the peak with Andrew Irvine. They started on June 8, 1924 to scale the summit via the north col route and never returned. The Mallory and Irvine Research Expedition later discovered their bodies near the old Chinese camp in 1999. Edmund Hillary, a New Zealander and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay from Nepal were the first two climbers to set foot on the summit of Mt.Everest. They reached the summit at 11:30 a.m. on May 29, 1953 by climbing through the South Col Route. More than 300 climbers have scaled the highest mountain since then. Also there have been more than 100 deaths on the mountain where conditions are so difficult that most corpses have been left where they fell, some of them visible from standard climbing routes. 

Mt. Lhotse (8516m) is the fourth highest mountain in the world. It lies south of Mt. Everest. Two Swiss climbers F. Luchsinger and E. Reiss first climbed it in 1956 from the West face. The Czech scaled it via the South face in 1984. An impressive ring of three peaks makes up the Lhotse massif: Lhotse East or Middle, Lhotse and Lhotse Shar. The South Face of Lhotse is one of the largest mountain faces in the world. 

Cho Oyu, (8201m) the sixth highest mountain in the world, has gained popularity among climbers just recently. The mountain sits on both sides of the border of Nepal and Tibet, about 30 km. west of Mount Everest. Cho Oyu in Tibetan means "the turquoise goddess ." The south face of Cho Oyu, facing Nepal, is quite steep and difficult, and is rarely climbed. The north side, accessed from Tibet, is more moderate, and there is a relatively safe route to the summit. In the autumn of 1954, an Austrian team made the first ascent via this route. 

Ama Dablam (6856m) which means ‘mother’s jewelry box’, in sherpa language is considered to be one of the most beautiful mountains in the world. Seen from below, the mountain looks like a woman with outstretched arms or a woman wearing a long necklace. Ama Dablam lies alongside Everest in the heart of the Khumbu valley. Mt Lhotse, Mt. Makalu, Mt. Cho Oyu and Mt. Everest can be seen at close quarters from Ama dablam. 

Nuptse (7,855m.) lies southwest of Mt Everest. It is situated in the Khumbu Himal. From the Thyangboche Monastery Nuptse appears as a massive wall guarding the approach to Everest. The name Nup-tse in Tibetan means west peak. The main ridge, which is separated from Lhotse by a 7556m high saddle, is crowned by seven peaks and goes west-northwest until its steep west-face drops down more than 2300m to the Khumbu-glacier. Nuptse I was first summited by a British expedition on May 16, 1961. 

Pumori peak 7145m is just 8 km away from the world’s highest peak Mt.Everest. The ascent to this peak is described as a classic climb in the 7000m peak category. In Tibetan, ‘Pumo’ means girl and ‘Ri’, mountain. George Mallory, the famous English climber who lost his life trying to ascend Everest in 1924, named the peak. The German climber Gerhard Lenser was the first to reach the summit of Pumori peak in 1962. Pumori is a popular climbing peak. The best season to climb this peak is during autumn and spring. 

Mera Peak (6,475m) is the highest of Nepal's trekking peaks. By its standard route, it is also the highest peak in Nepal that can be climbed without prior mountaineering experience. J.O.M. Roberts and Sen Tenzing first climbed it on 20 May 1953, from the standard route at Mera La. The mountain lies to the south of Everest, dominating the watershed between the wild and beautiful valleys of the Hinku and Hongu. 

Island Peak also known as Imja Tse at 6160m was named by Erick Shipton's group in 1953. It was so named as the peak resembles an island in a sea of ice when observed from Dingboche. A British group as preparation for climbing Mt. Everest first climbed the peak in 1953. Among them one of the climbers was Mr. Tenzing Norgay. The peak is part of the south ridge of Lhotse Shar and the main land forms a semicircle of cliffs that rise to the north of the summits of Nuptse, Lhotse, Middle Peak and Lhotse Shar. Cho Oyu and Makalu lie to the east of the Island Peak. Baruntse, Amphu and Ama Dablam lie to the south. Lobuche(6,119m) is known as Lhauche among the Locals. It rises above the town of Lhauche which is just a few kilometer from Mt. Everest. Laurice Nielson and Ang Gyalzen Sherpa did the first ascent on this peak on 25 April 1984. Kala Pattar is a small mountain 5,545 m (18,500 ft) high on the southern flank of Pumori (7,145 m). It is a trekking peak and every year tourists climb this peak to enjoy the fantastic panoramic views it offers of the Khumbu glacier, the Everest and nearby peaks like Lhotse and Nuptse. To the east, Makalu, Ama Dablam, Pumori, and Cho Oyu are visible.

Sagarmatha (Mt. Everest) National Park

The Sagarmatha National Park is the highest national park in the world. It was formally opened to public in July 19, 1976. The park covers an area of 1,148 sq km. It rises from its lowest point of 2,845 m (9,335 ft) at Jorsale to 8,850 m (29,035 ft) up to the summit of Everest. The park’s area is very rugged and steep, with its terrain cut by deep rivers and glaciers. It includes three peaks higher than 8,000 m, including Mt Everest. In 1979 the park was inscribed as a Natural World Heritage Site. The park's visitor centre is located at a hill in Namche Bazaar, where a company of the Nepal Royal Army is stationed for protecting the park. The park's southern entrance is a few hundred metres north of Monjo at 2,835 m. Trekking and climbing groups must bring their own fuel to the park (usually butane and kerosene), and the cutting of wood is prohibited. The Sagarmatha Pollution Control, funded by the World Wildlife Fund and the Himalayan Trust, was established in 1991 to help preserve Everest's environment. About a hundred species of birds and more than twenty species of butterflies have made this park their home. Musk deer, wild yak, red panda, snow leopard, Himalayan black bear, Himalayan thars, deer, langur monkeys, hares, mountain foxes, martens, and Himalayan wolves are found in the park.

Places

Jiri Early expeditions to climb Everest from the Nepalese side started from Jiri. Before the airstrip at Lukla came into existence all the trekking and climbing expeditions to the Everest region started from Jiri. Starting from Jiri, the route passes through the Sherpa villages of the Solu Khumbu, many of them having beautiful Buddhist monasteries. 

Lukla Lukla, a village in Khumbu, boasts of the region’s sole airport. Lying at a height of 9000ft, most travelers to this region usually begin and end their adventure in Lukla. The airport was built in 1964 by Sir Edmund Hillary as part of his project in Khumbu region during the early 60s to transport the supplies for the Himalayan Trust projects in the Khumbu region. Today, somewhere between 90-95% of the foreign nationals who reach Lukla, arrive by a half hour flight from Kathmandu. 

Namche Bazaar Namche Bazaar is known as the sherpa capital. Namche is actually a village lying at the junction of the Dudh Koshi and a valley that leads to the frontier pass of Nangpa La. It is tucked away in a niche at a height of 7,845 ft. W. H. Tilman and C. Houston were the first westerners to enter it in 1950 and many more have come since then. Facilities like a bank, a post office, hotels and shops where one can purchase climbing equipment as well as tinned food have sprung up over the years. Namche Bazaar is the major regional trading center. Its Saturday market or haat is the place where most of the trading takes place. The headquarters of the Sagarmatha National Park is located in Namche. 

Thangboche Thangboche is famous for the Thangboche gompa. It is one of the most important centers of Buddhism in the region. The gompa is the largest in the Khumbu region. It was first built in 1923. Destroyed by a fire in 1989, it was rebuilt later on partly with foreign aid. From Thangboche, one gets a panoramic view of Kwangde, Tawache, Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse, Amadablam, Kangtenga, and Thamserku. 

Pangboche Buddhism is believed to have been introduced in the Khumbu region towards the end of the 17th century by Lama Sange Dorjee. According to the legend, he flew over the Himalayas and landed on a rock at Pangboche and Thyangboche, leaving his footprints embedded on the stone. He is believed to have been responsible for the founding of the first gompas in the Khumbu region, at Pangboche and Thami. Pangboche is the highest year-round settlement in the valley. The Imja Khola, coming from the right, joins the Dudh Koshi River a little above the village. The gompa (monastery) in Phyangboche is thought to be one of the oldest in the Khumbu region. 

Khumjung Khumjung , a village lying west of Thyangboche, is famous for the gompa where the skull of a supposed Yeti, the Abominable Snowman, is preserved under the supervision of the head Lama. The skull seems more like the outer skin of Himalayan Brown Bear, and this is proved by the report of a scientific exploratory expedition conducted by Sir Edmund Hillary, a copy of which is kept in the gompa. 

Pheriche Pheriche is located at an altitude of 13,845 ft. It lies on a level patch. Apart from the basic facilities available here, there is a medical-aid post maintained by the Himalayan Rescue Association of the Tokyo Medical College with Japanese doctors in attendance. Among other facilities, there is an air compression chamber installed for assisting victims of high altitude sickness. 

People

Sherpas live in the upper regions of Solu Khumbu. They emigrated from Tibet about 600 years ago. In the past they were traders and porters, carrying butter, meat, rice, sugar, and dye from India, and, wool, jewelry, salt Chinese silk and porcelain from Tibet and beyond. The closure of the border between India and China undermined their economy. Fortunately, with the mountaineering expeditions and trekkers, the Sherpa's found their load carrying skills, both on normal treks and high altitudes in great demand. The Khumbu region has provided a strong group of able bodied, hardy and fearless Sherpa porters and guides. The sherpas are Buddhists. 

At the lower elevations lives the Kiranti Rai. The villages of Jubing, Kharikhola, Okhaldhunga, are inhabited by the Rais. Of mongoloid stock they speak their own dialect. Reference is made of their fighting spirit in the Hindu epic Mahabharata. The people from this group have supplied recruits to Gurkha regiments both in the British as well as Indian armies. The Rais follow a religion that is partly animistic with a strong Hindu influence. They revere their ancestors by observing Kul or Pitri puja every year. The Jirels live in the area around Jiri. They are mongoloid and follow Buddhism.

Festivals

Lhosar is celebrated in the month of February by the Sherpas. ‘Lhosar’ means New Year in Sherpa language. Apart from the Sherpas and Tibetans, the Gurungs and Tamangs also celebrate Lhosar. Buddhist monks offer prayers for good health and prosperity at monasteries. People exchange various goods and gifts among them. Families organize feasts and perform dances.

Dumje is celebrated to mark the birthday of Guru Rimpoche (Padmasambhava).The celebration takes place in June and lasts for six days. It is celebrated in a grand way in the villages of Namche, Thame and Khumjung. 

Mani Rimdu is a festival that celebrates the victory of Buddhism over the ancient animistic religion of Bon. This festival is celebrated in the monasteries of Tengboche, Chiwang and Thame. At Tengboche the celebration takes place during the November- December full moon. At Thame, Mani Rimdu is celebrated during full moon in May. Chiwang Gompa generally celebrates this festival during autumn. The Lamas wear elaborate brocade gowns and masks while performing. Through the dances, symbolic demons are conquered, dispelled, or converted to Dharma Protectors as positive forces clash with those of chaos. The dances convey Buddhist teaching on many levels from the simplest to the most profound, for those who do not have the opportunity to study and meditate extensively. It gives an opportunity to the Sherpas to gather and celebrate together with the monks. 

Sakela (Chandi Dance) is a harvest festival celebrated by the Rai community. The harvest ceremony involves the worship of mother earth, called ‘Bhumi-Puja’. The festival is celebrated twice a year, once in spring before planting begins and once during autumn before harvesting.  Ubhauli is celebrated during the spring season on Baishakh Purnima. In the autumn season on Mangsir Purnima, Udhauli is celebrated.

The spring worship is done to propitiate mother earth for a good harvest and the rain god to bless the earth with enough rain. The festival is celebrated with more fervor in the remote hills. The Rai villagers celebrate it with priests (dhami) who perform rituals to worship their ancestors. The elders of the community begin the dance with a puja. Later on everybody participate in the dance forming a circle by holding each other’s hands. With drumbeats, they begin dancing at a slow pace but moves faster later with the drumbeats. The dance steps and hand gestures imitate the sowing and harvesting of crops. The festival also provides an opportunity for the Rai people to socialize.

TRIP GRADE

-Moderate to fairly challenging

-Longer treks going right into high mountain country, to some of the famous mountaineering Base Camps over high passes. Physically quite tiring, involves approx 6-8 hours trekking along rocky ridges of high Himalayan peaks.

-No previous experience is required, you should be moderately fit, used to some regular exercises and enjoy walking in the high altitude conditions.

 

TREKKING TYPES

We offer several options regarding the organization of your trek:

1) Guide, Accommodation and Porter trek (GAP trek)

Includes: Accommodation, guide and porters

Excludes: Food

This option of the trek is for those who want basic support from us. This is the most economic way to do trekking in Nepal. We provide an English speaking local Sherpa guide, book and pay for the accommodation in local lodges during trek and arrange required porters. Trekkers pay for meals directly to the local lodge owner. Expect to spend around $25 a day for food. Guide, accommodation and porters are covered in the price.

2) 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. Under the leadership of the Sirdar (the local trek leader) the crew will ensure you take the right path. The kitchen crew will keep you well fed with delicious and nutritious meals. The porters shall transport the gear from camp to camp. Our main aim is to make the trek as hassle-free and enjoyable as possible. Sirdar and his assistants speak basic English, good enough
to explain to you about the places, local culture or any sight that catches your eyes.

Includes: Guide, Porters, Cook, All meals and tents

3) Lodge or tea house trek

Although simple, the teahouses or lodges do provide shelter and warmth and are normally run by friendly local families. The lodge or tea house treks are less expensive than camping trek and are largely suitable for small groups.

Includes: Accommodation in Lodge, guide, porters and all meals

YOUR TREK CAN BE ORGANIZED IN ALL THE 3 WAYS AS MENTIONED ABOVE.

 

ACCOMMODATION

Trekking in the Khumbu region (Everest area) doesn’t need tremendous logistics in terms of accommodation as you will find plenty of clean and friendly lodges along the trail.

You stay in single rooms where possible, but you will often have to share. Rooms are basic, normally just a bed with a pillow and blankets. A few have electric blanket, hot bags (luxurylodges) and all have a spacious dining room-lounge. We will accommodate you and your group in a comfortable local lodge each day. We send a porter ahead of us to book the required rooms for the group (rooms cannot always be booked in advance).

Please remember that some of them are very basic and a sense of adventure is necessary. It is cheaper to stay in lodge rather than organizing a camping trek.

On camping trek, you sleep in tents either ‘Two men dome’ or ‘A’ shaped. Foam mattress withinsulation underneath is provided for sleeping. Clients need to have their own sleeping bag. Bagsor cloth packs are used as pillows. If you wish, you can bring your own ‘Air pillow’.

FOOD

FOOD

Lodge Trek:

Meals are included in our price and are taken in Lodges available along the trail. You can find a considerable variety of Nepali and Western food as well as drinks (coffee, tea, milk, soft drinks, and beer).

Camping Trek:

Meals are prepared by our cook. We provide three delicious and nutritious meals daily along with drinks.

GAP Trek:

You will have to make your own eating arrangements in the lodges available along the trail. Expect to spend around $25 a day for food. Guide, accommodation and porters are covered in the
price.

 

 

WATER

On camping trek, our staff will boil or filter water and cook meals treated by potassium permanganate or iodine. On GAP trek and Lodge trek, you will be able to buy bottled water in tea houses. We recommend you to bring water purification pills. On the trail, water from stream is safe if away from settlements.

 

LUGGAGE WHILE TREKKING

During the trek, your main luggage will be carried by porter or yaks. Please keep your luggage as light as possible around 12 to 15 kgs. You simply carry a day pack with water bottle, camera, sun-screen, spare jacket etc. You can leave your valuable items at your hotel while trekking. Many hotels have a locker system and provide a deposit slip for the valuables kept under the hotel's safekeeping.

GROUP LEADER AND CREW

We provide different options concerning leadership in order to match your requirements:

1) Western leader

2) Trained Nepali Trek leader (experienced and knowledgeable)

3) Sherpa Guide (handles the logistics and guides you and your team on the trek)

The Sherpa guide (commonly called Sirdar) will be accompanied by a crew of porters. On camping trek, there will be 2/3 porters for each members while on GAP and Lodge trek 1 porter for 2 members.

JOIN A GROUP OR A PRIVATE TRIP

Our trips are available on both fixed departure and private basis. If you are looking for a group to join this trip please check our ‘2020 departures’ link for availability, dates and price. If you would like to travel independently, or with your friends, families & colleagues, you are invited to choose any of the trips at your convenient timeframe for any number of people (minimum 1 & maximum 100 at a time).

If you want to do something that is not included in our trip list, we are ready to tailor your trip to suit your exact requirements. In short, we will make every effort to meet your needs.

 

GROUP SIZE ON FIXED DEPARTURE TRIP

If you opt to join our ‘fixed departure trip’, you are likely to be joining people from different countries of any age group except minors. The size of group varies, minimum no of persons required to operate a trip is 2 the maximum is 12 people.

PERSONAL EXPENSES

Everest region is more expensive than the other regions in Nepal, as most of the goods have to be shipped by airplane and then carried to their final destination by porters.

Lodge trek and Camping trek:
You only need money for table drinks (alcoholic/non-alcoholic beverages), tips, souvenirs, hot shower (available in some places) and snacks while walking.

GAP trek:

You need to pay for your meals and should expect to spend around $25 a day for your food.

 

Tips are appreciated by your support team after the trip. The amount depends on your budget and
appreciation of their work. As a suggestion, we advise that you can allocate 5- 10 % of the total
tour cost as tips.

FLIGHT / LAND TRANSFERS

The starting and ending point of the trek is Lukla, which is connected by a 30 mins’ flight from Kathmandu. We will arrange flight and airport pick up and drop transfers as per the itinerary.

 

COMMUNICATION

For using internet, Wifi service is available in lower altitudes. You have to pay extra charge for this service about $5 (per stay) up to Namche though you can’t be really sure about signal strength. Beyond Namche, teahouses normally don’t have WiFi facility. A better option is to use Everest Link network which works throughout the region. It has better connectivity and faster speed.

You can buy the data package at approximately $2 (10GB) and $3 (30 GB) valid for 30 days. You can also use Ncell and NTC network (both for internet and mobile network) but they don’t work properly in some places as you go higher. If it is crucial for you to keep in contact with your family or others, we can provide you a mobile satellite phone (rental charge on request).

 

TREKKING GEARS & EQUIPMENT

Trekking: You will need walking boots, sleeping bag (4 seasons/ -20C rated), waterproof jacket and trousers, fleece jacket, warm hat and gloves, sunglasses, water bottle, sun-screen and day pack. Comprehensive list of equipments will be provided once you book your trip. It's not necessary to spend a lot of money buying extra equipment and clothing before your trip. Majority of these gears can be bought or hired at reasonable rates in Kathmandu.

 

GEARS AVAILABLE IN KATHMANDU

It's not necessary to spend a lot of money buying extra equipment and clothing before your trip. Majority of these gears can be bought or hired at reasonable rates in Kathmandu.

TYPICAL DAY ON TREK

Lodge/ Tea House Trek, GAP Trek & Camping Trek

Each morning after packing our bags and having a good breakfast, we set off on the day's walk. 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 theentire 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.

However, on a camping trek, you begin your day with a hot cup of tea which will be served to you in the tent at 6 am, followed by a bowl of hot water for washing. Other day activities are the same as mentioned above.

MEETING AND GREETING IN KATHMANDU

You need to pass on your International flight details to us for a “meeting and greeting” service at airport. You just pass the Customs desk and come out of the Terminal building where you will see someone standing with a placard with either ‘Explore Himalaya’ or your name written on it. Our airport representative or tour officer will greet you and welcome you with a garland.

ITINERARY CHANGES

The itineraries for each trip should be taken as a guideline only. Depending on the prevailing situation, you can modify it to some extent after consulting with your 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 the remotest region, where many unforeseen events 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.

TREK DURATION

We ensure liability as indicated in itinerary and list of services. If the holiday is cut short or completed earlier than the projected period upon client’s wish, we shall not be responsible or make refund against unutilized days or services. Clients need to pay for Hotels/services incurred in Kathmandu or elsewhere in such cases.

FESTIVALS

Losar is celebrated in the month of February by the Sherpas. ‘Losar’ means New Year in Tibetan. Buddhist monks offer prayers for good health and prosperity at monasteries. People exchange various goods and gifts among them. Families organize feasts and perform dances.

Dumje is celebrated to mark the birthday of Guru Rimpoche (Padmasambhava).The celebration takes place in June and lasts for six days. It is celebrated in a grand way in the villages of Namche, Thame and Khumjung.

Mani Rimdu is a festival that celebrates the victory of Buddhism over the ancient animistic religion of Bon. This festival is celebrated in the monasteries of Tengboche, Chiwang and Thami. At Tengboche the celebration takes place during the November- December full moon

ITINERARY CHANGES

The itineraries for each trip should be taken as a guideline only. Depending on the prevailing situation, you can modify it to some extent after consulting with your 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 the remotest region, where many unforeseen events 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.

TREK DURATION

 

We ensure liability as per indicated itinerary and list of services. If the holiday is cut short or completed earlier than the projected period upon client’s wish, we shall not be responsible or make refund against unutilized days or services. Clients need to pay extra for Hotels/services incurred in Kathmandu or elsewhere in such cases.

TRIP EXTENSIONS

In addition to your trek, we can organize extensions both within Nepal and other neighboringcountries. You may want to try water rafting or a jungle safari in Nepal or Nepal Cultural Tour. You may as well take a trip to Tibet, India or Bhutan, whichever seems more appealing to you.

VISA

All visitors except the Indian nationals must hold passport and valid visa. Visa can be obtained at the Nepalese diplomatic missions and consulates abroad. You can also get “On Arrival Visa” at entry points. Some countries’ nationals need to get visa prior their arrival. Please check http://www.nepalimmigration.gov.np/page/tourist-visa for detailed information.

Visa can be extended at the Department of Immigration in Kathmandu and Pokhara. Children under 10 years need not pay any visa fee.

VISA APPLICATION FORM

Gratis visa for 30 days available only for tourists of SAARC countries

Multiple entry 15 days - US$ 30 or equivalent convertible currency
Multiple entry 30 days - US$ 50 or equivalent convertible currency
Multiple entry 90 days - US$ 125 or equivalent convertible currency

Tourist Visa Extension
* Visa extension fee for 15 days or less is US $ 45 or equivalent convertible currency and visa
extension fee for more than 15 days is US$ 3 per day
* In case of delay, (less than 150 days), additional US $ 5 per day as late fine.

HEALTH ISSUES AND VACCINATIONS

As vaccination requirements change frequently, we suggest you to consult your doctor at least 2 months prior to the beginning of your trip. We recommend protection against malaria, tetanus, typhoid, hepatitis and polio.

The main health consideration in high altitude is Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). You may experience some mild symptoms initially, such as headache, lethargy, nausea and difficulty sleeping, but these should lessen within a few days. To avoid Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), people take pills called ‘Diamox’. You can also use these pills after consulting with your doctor and purchase them in Kathmandu. Our itinerary will allow your body to acclimatize properly and handle the low oxygen rate.

ALTITUDE SICKNESS

If you have ever suffered from altitude sickness, or have a heart or breathing complaint, we highly recommend you consult your doctor about your suitability for trekking in high altitude areas before booking. We suggest that you take some pain-killing pills with you and enough medicine for cold, diarrhea, nausea and fever. Some nasal ointment and throat-moistening pills will greatly help for those who are sensitive to chilly or freezing weather conditions

FIRST AID KIT

We supply a medical bag with standard medicines prescribed by trekking doctors and a user’s manual. Since our staffs/guides are not qualified for suggesting medications to western clients, we would request you to use the medicines upon your own risk. It is safer and more reliable if you have your own medicine kit and not depend on what we have.

 

RESCUE / EVACUATIONS

In case of a serious sickness or a casualty, which we believe will not happen; we will do everything to transfer you to the nearest hospital. Since you are entirely liable for all the expenses incurred in evacuation, please make sure that it is covered by your insurance before assigning for it or be prepared to pay on your own after getting back to Kathmandu

INSURANCE

Before joining a tour, we recommend you to take a travel insurance which should cover cancellation, medical expenses, helicopter evacuation and emergency repatriation.

CLIMATE AND BEST TIME TO GO

The best seasons to trek to the Everest Base Camp region is Autumn (from mid-September till November end), and Spring (from the beginning of March until mid-May). Temperatures will drop considerably as you trek higher every day. The nights are cold (between -10 C to 5C) but the days are sunny and hot (between 10C to 20C). The mornings are usually clear, with clouds building up during the afternoon, disappearing at night. Trekking during the monsoon and winter is not recommended, as the visibility during monsoon is limited, upper parts and high passes could be covered with snow in winter.

In short, March, April, October and November are the most favored months. Please choose the date that is convenient for you.

RESPONSIBLE TRAVEL

Environmental Responsibility
Wonderful environment of the Himalayas is also an extremely fragile one. Increasing population density and numbers of trekkers threaten the very beauty of Nepal. At Explore Himalaya, we are extremely conscious about the environment and aim to minimize our impact as much as possible. As deforestation is one of the greatest environmental threats, we do not have camp fires and use kerosene for cooking as an alternative fuel to wood. We also discourage trekkers from using wood-fuelled hot showers in lodges along the way. Many lodges, however, now provide solar hot showers, a far more eco-friendly alternative. Garbage disposal is another major problem and some of the busier trails can, at times, appear strewn with litter. Our staff members are well motivated towards eco-friendly practices. We carry out all our garbage, apart from that which can be safely and easily burnt at the campsite. Our aim is to help protect and preserve this beautiful environment for future generations of trekkers to enjoy.

Social Responsibility
Explore Himalaya works with the motto ‘Development through Tourism’. Keeping in line with this motto, Explore Himalaya Community Service Project (EHCSP) has been conceived to empower underprivileged, marginalized, poor and minority segments of Nepal. Since its inception, EHCSP has been incessantly facilitating and advocating for school education, health, community development, forest conservation, agriculture and culture preservation. Explore Himalaya encourages its clients to contribute for the development of Nepal.

Care for Porters and Staff
We ensure that all the porters and other staffs going into high altitude conditions are provided with adequate clothing and equipment. We are the first ever company to supply high-altitude porters with crampons. We run the trek according to the guidelines of the International Porter Protection group (http://www.ippg.net/).

For more details on our responsible initiatives, please visit
https://www.explorehimalaya.com/csr/

BOOKING CONDITIONS

1) Your booking will be confirmed by email once we receive your deposit of USD 300 and the signed copy of booking form and contract. The balance is due no later than two months prior to departure. If you book a tour less than 2 months prior to departure, you must send the full payment within 7 days of confirmation by us.

2) If you cancel, the following scale of charges will apply:

2 months before departure – Loss of deposit (US$ 300)
29 days to 2 months before departure – 30% of total trip cost
10 to 28 days before departure – 60% of total trip cost
Less than 10 days before departure – 100% of total trip cost

 

BOOKING PROCEDURE

If you still have any questions regarding this trip, please feel free to contact us. We answer all enquiries within 24 hours. If you want to book a trip, you can e-mail us at enquiry@explorehimalaya.com or contact us directly by phone: 977-1-4418100.

Everest Travel Guide

 

The Everest or Solu-Khumbu region lies on the eastern part of Nepal. Inhabited by the mountain people who have lived in harmony with their surroundings for hundreds of years, the Solu-Khumbu region has still retained its age old practices. The region has some of the world’s tallest peaks including Everest (8848m). In terms of popularity among trekkers, this region ranks second only after the Annapurna region. The villages and places lying in this region are situated above the 2000m. Solu at the south includes villages like Junbesi, Phaplu and Chiwong. Pharak is situated between Solu and Khumbu. Khumbu include villages named Namche, Thami, Khumjung, Lobuje, Pangboche and Tengboche. The major mountains are Everest, Lhotse, Cho Oyu, Nuptse, Pumori, Ama Dablam, Thamserku, Kantega, Mera Peak and Island Peak.

The Classic Everest Base Camp Trek

Everest Base Camp is the most popular destination for trekkers in Nepal. Its popularity has grown since the first expedition to the Nepali side of Everest in the 1950s.

One can do this trek the old way, by beginning the trek from Jiri. From Jiri it takes around nine days to reach Namche. On the way you will come across Rai settlements. The other (quicker) alternative is to take a flight to Lukla and to begin the trek from there. The trek follows the Dudh Kosi valley route with an ascent up to the Sherpa capital of Namche Bazaar. From Namche, you traverse along a high path from where you have the first good view of Everest. You head towards Tengboche Monastery located on top of a mountain ridge and then descend Imja Khola and
continue to the villages of Pangboche and Pheriche. After that you arrive at the Khumbu Glacier. The trek through the glacier takes you first to Lobuche and then to Gorak Shep. From Gorak Shep, you continue to reach your destination, the Everest Base Camp at the foot of the Khumbu icefall. You can also climb up to Kala Patthar for even more spectacular views of the surrounding mountains, including Everest's southwest face.

Climate, Flora & Fauna

The climate in the Everest region can be divided into four climate zones owing to the gradual rise in altitude. The climatic zones include a forested lower zone, a zone of alpine scrub, the upper alpine zone which includes upper limit of vegetation growth, and the Arctic zone where no plants can grow. The types of plants and animals that are found depend on the altitude. In the lower forested zone, birch, juniper, blue pines, firs, bamboo and rhododendron are found. All vegetation that is found above this zone is shrubs. As the altitude increases, plant life is restricted
to lichens and mosses. At an elevation of 5,750m begins the permanent snow line in the Himalayas. From this point there is no sign of greenery or vegetation. A common animal sighted in the higher reaches is the hairy animal yak. Dzokyo a sterile male crossbreed between a yak and a cow is used to move goods along the trail. Red panda, snow leopard, musk deer, wild yak, and Himalayan black bear are some of the exotic animals that are found in this region. A variety of birds can be sighted in the lower regions.

Everest peaks

Mt. Everest

Rising to the height of 8848m, the world’s highest mountain was named in 1865 after Sir George Everest. The mountain got its Nepali name Sagarmatha during the 1960s, when the Government of Nepal gave the mountain the official Nepali name. In Sanskrit Sagarmatha means "Head of the Sky”. The Tibetan name for Mount Everest is Chomolungma or Qomolangma, which means “Goddess Mother of the Snows". Climbers wishing to scale the peak have to obtain an expensive permit from the Nepal Government. More information on royalty can be found at https://www.tourismdepartment.gov.np/mountaineering-royalty. Base Camp, which serves as a resting area and base of operations for climbers organizing their attempts for the summit, is located on the Khumbu glacier at an elevation of 5364 m (17,600 ft); it receives an average of 450 mm (18 in) of precipitation a year. The climate of Mount Everest is extreme. In July, the warmest month, the average summit temperature is -19° C (-2° F).

George Mallory, a famous British adventurer, was one of the first climbers to attempt Everest. When he was asked why he wanted to climb Everest, he replied ‘Because it is there’- the line which has become immortal in the history of Everest expedition. After two unsuccessful attempts, in 1924 he again tried to climb the peak with Andrew Irvine. They started on June 8, 1924 to scale the summit via the North Col route and never returned.

The Mallory and Irvine Research Expedition later discovered their bodies near the old Chinese Camp in 1999. Edmund Hillary, a New Zealander and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay from Nepal were the first two climbers to set foot on the summit of Mt. Everest. They reached the summit at 11:30 a.m. on May 29, 1953 by climbing through the South Col Route. More than 300 climbers have scaled the highest mountain since then. Also there have been more than 100 deaths on the mountain where conditions are so difficult that most corpses have been left where they fell. Some of them are visible from the standard climbing routes.

Mt. Lhotse (8516m) is the fourth highest mountain in the world. It lies south of Mt. Everest. Two Swiss climbers F. Luchsinger and E. Reiss first climbed it in 1956 from the West face. Czech expedition led by Ivan Galfy scaled it via the South face in 1984. An impressive ring of three peaks makes up the Lhotse massif: Lhotse East or Middle, Lhotse and Lhotse Shar. The South Face of Lhotse is one of the largest mountain faces in the world.

Cho Oyu (8201m) the sixth highest mountain in the world, has gained popularity among climbers just recently. The mountain sits on both sides of the border of Nepal and Tibet, about 30 km. west of Mount Everest. Cho Oyu in Tibetan means "The turquoise goddess". The south face of Cho Oyu, facing Nepal, is quite steep and difficult, and is rarely climbed. The north side, accessed from Tibet, is more moderate, and there is a relatively safer route to the summit. In the autumn of 1954, an Austrian team made the first ascent via this route.

Ama Dablam (6856m) which means ‘mother’s jewelry box’, in Sherpa language is considered to be one of the most beautiful mountains in the world. It looks like a woman with outstretched arms or a woman wearing a long necklace. The mountain dominates the whole EBC trek. Ama Dablam lies alongside Everest in the heart of the Khumbu Valley. Mt Lhotse, Mt. Makalu, Mt. Cho Oyu and Mt. Everest can be seen at close quarters from Ama Dablam.

Nuptse (7855m) lies southwest of Mt Everest. It is situated in the Khumbu Himal. From the Tengboche Monastery, Nuptse appears as a massive wall guarding the approach to Everest. The name Nup-tse in Tibetan means west peak. The main ridge, which is separated from Lhotse by a 7556m high saddle, is crowned by seven peaks and goes west-northwest until its steep west-face drops down more than 2300m to the Khumbu-glacier. Nuptse I was first summited by a British expedition on May 16, 1961.

Pumori Peak (7145m) is just 8 km away from the world’s highest peak Mt.Everest. The ascent to this peak is described as a classic climb in the 7000m peak category. In Tibetan, ‘Pumo’ means girl and ‘Ri’, mountain. George Mallory, the famous English climber who lost his life trying to ascend Everest in 1924, named the peak. The German climber Gerhard Lenser was the first to reach the summit of Pumori in 1962. Pumori is a popular climbing peak. The best season to climb this peak is during autumn and spring.
Mera Peak (6475m) is the highest of Nepal's trekking peaks. By its standard route, it is also the highest peak in Nepal that can be climbed without prior mountaineering experience. J.O.M. Roberts and Sen Tenzing first climbed it on 20 May 1953, from the standard route at Mera La. The mountain lies to the south of Everest, dominating the watershed between the wild and beautiful valleys of the Hinku and Hongu.

Island Peak (6160m) also known as Imja Tse was named by Erick Shipton's group in 1953. It was so named as the peak resembles an island in a sea of ice when observed from Dingboche. A British group as preparation for climbing Mt. Everest first climbed the peak in 1953. Among them one of the climbers was Mr. Tenzing Norgay. The peak is part of the south ridge of Lhotse Shar and the main land forms a semicircle of cliffs that rise to the north of the summits of
Nuptse, Lhotse, Middle Peak and Lhotse Shar. Cho Oyu and Makalu lie to the east of the Island Peak. Baruntse, Amphu and Ama Dablam lie to the south.

Lobuche (6119m) is known as Lhauche among the locals. It rises above the town of Lhauche which is just a few kilometer from Mt. Everest. Laurice Nielson and Ang Gyalzen Sherpa did the first ascent on this peak on 25 April 1984.

Kala Patthar is a small mountain 5545 m (18,500 ft) high on the southern flank of Pumori (7145 m). It is a trekking peak and every year tourists climb this peak to enjoy the fantastic panoramic views it offers of the Khumbu glacier, Everest and nearby peaks like Lhotse and Nuptse. To the east, Makalu, Ama Dablam, Pumori, and Cho Oyu are visible.

Sagarmatha (Mt. Everest) National Park

Sagarmatha National Park is the highest national park in the world. It was formally opened to public in July 19, 1976. The park covers an area of 1,148 sq km. It rises from its lowest point of 2845 m (9335 ft) at Jorsale to 8848m (29,029 ft) up to the summit of Everest. The park’s area is very rugged and steep, with its terrain cut by deep rivers and glaciers. It includes three peaks higher than 8000 m - Mt Everest, Lhotse and Cho Oyu. In 1979 the park was inscribed as a Natural World Heritage Site.

The park's visitor centre is located at a hill in Namche Bazaar, where a company of the Nepal Army is stationed for protecting the park. The park's southern entrance is a few hundred metres north of Monjo at 2835m. Sagarmatha Pollution Control, funded by the World Wildlife Fund and the Himalayan Trust, was established in 1991 to help
preserve Everest's environment. About a hundred species of birds and more than twenty species of butterflies have made this park their home. Musk deer, wild yak, red panda, snow leopard, Himalayan black bear, Himalayan thars, deer, langur monkeys, hares, mountain foxes, martens, and Himalayan wolves are found in the park.

Places

Jiri: Early expeditions to climb Everest from the Nepali side started from Jiri. Before the airstrip at Lukla came into existence, all the trekking and climbing expeditions to the Everest region started from Jiri. Starting from Jiri, the route passes through the Sherpa villages of the Solu Khumbu, many of them having beautiful Buddhist monasteries.

Lukla: Lukla, a village in Khumbu, boasts of the region’s sole commercial airport. Lying at a height of 2800m, most travelers to this region usually begin and end their adventure in Lukla. The airport was built in 1964 by Sir Edmund Hillary as part of his project in Khumbu region during the early 60s to transport the supplies for the Himalayan Trust projects in the Khumbu region. Today, somewhere between 90-95% of the foreign nationals who reach Lukla, arrive by a half hour flight from Kathmandu.

Namche Bazaar: Namche Bazaar is known as the Sherpa capital. Namche is actually a village lying at the junction of the Dudh Koshi and a valley that leads to the frontier pass of Nangpa La. It is tucked away in a niche at a height of 3450m. W. H. Tilman and C. Houston were the first westerners to enter it in 1950 and many more have come since then. Facilities like a bank, a post office, hotels and shops where one can purchase climbing equipment as well as canned food have sprung up over the years. Namche Bazaar is the major regional trading center. Its Saturday
market or haat is the place where most of the trading takes place. The headquarters of the Sagarmatha National Park is located in Namche.

Tengboche: Tengboche (3860m) is famous for Tengboche gompa. It is one of the most important centers of Buddhism in the region. The gompa is the largest in the Khumbu region. It was first built in 1923. Destroyed by a fire in 1989, it was rebuilt later on partly with foreign aid. From Tengboche, one gets a panoramic view of Kwangde, Tawache, Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse, Amadablam, Kangtenga, and Thamserku.

Pangboche: Buddhism is believed to have been introduced in the Khumbu region towards the end of the 17th century by Lama Sange Dorjee. According to the legend, he flew over the Himalayas and landed on a rock at Pangboche and Tengboche, leaving his footprints embedded on the stone. He is believed to have been responsible for the founding of the first gompas in the Khumbu region, at Pangboche and Thame. Pangboche (3985m) is the highest year-round settlement in the valley. The Imja Khola, coming from the right, joins the Dudh Koshi River a little above the village. The gompa (monastery) in Pangboche is thought to be one of the oldest in the Khumbu region.

Khumjung: Khumjung (3790 m), a village lying west of Tengboche, is famous for the gompa where the skull of a supposed Yeti, the Abominable Snowman, is preserved under the supervision of the head Lama. The skull seems more like the outer skin of Himalayan Brown Bear, and this is proved by the report of a scientific exploratory expedition conducted by Sir Edmund Hillary, a copy of which is kept in the gompa.

Pheriche: Pheriche is located at an altitude of 4252m. It lies on a level patch. Apart from the basic facilities available here, there is a medical-aid post maintained by the Himalayan Rescue Association of the Tokyo Medical College with Japanese doctors in attendance. Among other facilities, there is an air compression chamber installed for assisting victims of high altitude sickness.

People

Sherpas live in the upper regions of Solu Khumbu. They emigrated from Tibet about 600 years ago. In the past they were traders and porters, carrying butter, meat, rice, sugar, and dye from India; and wool, jewelry, salt, Chinese silk and porcelain from Tibet and beyond. The closure of the border between India and China undermined their economy. Fortunately, with the mountaineering expeditions and trekkers, the Sherpa's found their load carrying skills, both on normal treks and high altitudes in great demand. The Khumbu region has provided a strong group of able bodied, hardy and fearless Sherpa porters and guides. The Sherpas are Buddhists.

At the lower elevations lives the Kiranti Rai. The villages of Jubing, Kharikhola, Okhaldhunga, are inhabited by the Rais. Of mongoloid stock, they speak their own dialect. Reference of their fighting spirit is made in the Hindu epic Mahabharata. The people from this group have supplied recruits to Gurkha regiments both in the British as well as Indian armies. The Rais follow a religion that is partly animistic with some Hindu influence. They revere their ancestors by observing Kul or Pitri puja every year. The Jirels live in the area around Jiri. They are mongoloid and follow Buddhism.

Festivals

Lhosar is celebrated in the month of February by the Sherpas. ‘Lhosar’ means New Year in Sherpa language. Apart from the Sherpas and Tibetans, the Gurungs and Tamangs also celebrate Lhosar. Buddhist monks offer prayers for good health and prosperity at monasteries. People exchange various goods and gifts among them. Families organize feasts and perform dances.

Dumje is celebrated to mark the birthday of Guru Rimpoche (Padmasambhava).The celebration takes place in June and lasts for six days. It is celebrated in a grand way in the villages of Namche, Thame and Khumjung.

Mani Rimdu is a festival that celebrates the victory of Buddhism over the ancient animistic religion of Bon. This festival is celebrated in the monasteries of Tengboche, Chiwang and Thame. At Tengboche the celebration takes place during the November- December full moon. At Thame, Mani Rimdu is celebrated during full moon in May. Chiwang Gompa generally celebrates this festival during autumn. The Lamas wear elaborate brocade gowns and masks while performing. Through the dances, symbolic demons are conquered, dispelled, or converted to Dharma Protectors as positive forces clash with those of chaos. The dances convey Buddhist teaching on many levels from the simplest to the most profound, for those who do not have the opportunity to study and meditate extensively. It gives an opportunity to the Sherpas to gather and celebrate together with the monks.

Sakela (Chandi Dance) is a harvest festival celebrated by the Rai community. The harvest ceremony involves the worship of mother earth, called ‘Bhumi-Puja’. The festival is celebrated twice a year, once in spring before planting begins and once during autumn before harvesting.  Ubhauli is celebrated during the spring season on Baishakh Purnima. In the autumn season on Mangsir Purnima, Udhauli is celebrated.

The spring worship is done to propitiate mother earth for a good harvest and the rain god to bless the earth with enough rain. The festival is celebrated with more fervor in the remote hills. The Rai villagers celebrate it with priests (dhami) who perform rituals to worship their ancestors. The elders of the community begin the dance with a puja. Later on everybody participate in the dance forming a circle by holding each other’s hands. With drumbeats, they begin dancing at a slow pace but moves faster later with the drumbeats. The dance steps and hand gestures imitate the sowing and harvesting of crops. The festival also provides an opportunity for the Rai people to socialize.

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Testimonials

All was ok. Our trek guide was good and pleasant. Pumori Lodge in Namche was so quite and had kindly people.

- Odile Guerin, France

Happy Explorers

All was ok. Our trek guide was good and pleasant. Pumori Lodge in Namche was so quite and had kindly people.

- Odile Guerin, France Read Testimonials | Submit Your Testimonial

Community Service

Community Service

We work with the motto "Tourism for Development". Explore Himalaya Community Service Project was conceived to empower underprivileged segments of Nepal.

Join our community services