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Everest was first climbed in 1953 by Hillary and Tenzing, their Base Camp was at Gorak Shep which we will visit. Just above Gorak Shep is the small hill-ridge of Kala Patar (5,545 metres/18,200 feet). It was from here that Eric Shipton helped to choose the first ascent route on Mt Everest, which Tenzing and Hillary climbed in 1953. According to David Padwa, the peak was named by Mallory during the first Everest reconnaissance. The mountain behind Kala Pattar has an interesting story: Mallory wanted to name a peak after his young daughter. In the Sherpa and Tibetan languages, "Pumo" means girl, and "Ri" means mountain. So Mallory chose to name it Pumori.
This easy, peaceful and interesting trek to Everest maximizes many years of accumulated wisdom in the Himalaya, a long and proven record of safe and fun trekking through Nepal, Tibet, China, Africa, and many other facinating destinations around the world. Our friendly guides and trip leaders are experts at leading interesting groups of men and women throughout Nepal. In addition, they have an intimate knowledge of the Sherpa people and customs and temples and shrines in each picturesque village you stroll through. We must also give credit to our polite and highly experienced, hard-working trekking sherpas, cooking, and office staff. Many of these excellent sherpas who work for us have an intimate knowledge of the beautiful trek to Everest and the comfortable villages we will visit, because this is their home region. They live in this land grew up on farms here, have family and friends in the fun areas we will pass through, making our visit less of the usual tourist experience and more involved with the unique and genuine culture of the Khumbu Valley. They go out of their way to help make your visit remarkable, enjoyable along the way, and create lasting ties with the majestic landscapes and the inhabitants who reside there. This is a truly wonderful trek with an enthusiastic and polite group of friends.
Would you like to be involved in charity/service "non-profit" work in the Khumbu valley? Please visit our Service Trek site to learn more.
Style of Trekking-
The Basecamp Trek will be moderately paced, allowing plenty of time for acclimatization and site-seeing and features the classic route to Everest basecamp, where you can follow "Everest Approach March" made by Sir Edmund Hillary and the famous: Tenzing Norgay Sherpa. The trek passes through some of the most spectacular mountain scenery on earth and through interesting and friendly Sherpa villages. Its enjoyable walking the wide trails on this relaxing and energizing trek, where our cooks pamper you and our trusty yaks and porters carry all of your baggage, so you don't have to. After a slow and careful walk up to high altitude, with plenty of time for rest and acclimatization, the team will stop at the tiny hamlet beneath Everest: "Gorak Shep". Using Gorak Shep as your basecamp (it was also Hillary's) you have the opportuntiy to spend an entire day walking up to the modern-day Everest basecamp, where all of the big Everest expeditions now go. The following day you can walk up to the ridge top known as "Kala Patar" for fabulous views of Everest. Full Service Cost includes return round-trip domestic flights, cook, food, porters, guide, and everything for your trek, even a visit to basecamp and a fun and easy climb to 5,545 metre/18,200 foot, Kala Patar. back to top
The proposed itinerary allows enough time for proper acclimatization and rest days. The weather at this time of year is normally quite good and stable. However, we all know the global weather is changing, and in case of storms, you will note the proposed itinerary includes extra days as well.
Throughout the trek temperatures can vary from 27°c to -7°c ( 80°f to 20°f). At night we stay in warm, comfortable teahouse lodges for most of the trek. The wind is the most chilling factor, and can be quite variable, with everything from a flat calm, to brisk at basecamp. There may be snow, rain, mosquitoes in wet areas, blowing dust, heat, and bright sunshine. It is slightly chillier during April trip than in May or October. The coldest portion of the trek is the morning we walk up Kala Patar, where it can get below freezing on average. back to top
Arriving in Kathmandu-
The trip begins in the ancient and colorful city of Kathmandu, and the staff will personally meet your flight at Tribhuvan airport. Tour Kathmandu, a beautiful exotic Hindu and Buddhist city with an abundance of ancient temples. If this is your first visit, we strongly suggest you tour the temples, including the Monkey Temple, atop a small mountain above the Vishnu Mathi river and the Thamel neighborhood, the Pashupatinath Temple, where the cremations are conducted along the Bagmathi River, Boudhanath , an enourmous white massive stupa first built in 600 AD that you can walk around, absolving a lifetime's sin, and finish at the Kathmandu Durbar or King's Square, where the 400 year old Kathmandu capital was situated.
Touring the exotic temples of Bakhtapur, in the Kathmandu Valley (Felix Berg). A holy man praying near the Baghmati River in Kathmandu (Chris Kinny).
We will take this day to finalize arrangements (such as issuing your trekking permit, etc), in between enjoying food and drink at some of the many westernized restaurants in the Thamel neighborhood. Today is an ideal day to pick up extra bits of trekking kit from the plethora of mountain shops selling a surprising variety of good quality new and used mountain clothing, shoes, and nearly everything you might find in a trekking shop in your home country. The local "supermarkets" are great places to stock up on imported chocolates, sweets, and some surprisingly tasty local trekking foods like energy bars, nuts, granola bars, etcetera. back to top
Trekking to Basecamp-
In a small twin engine, twin pilot, 18 seat propeller driven "Twin-Otter", the trusty workhorse of the Khumbu-Everest trekking trade, we will fly for 40 minutes from Kathmandu to the airstrip at 2,840 metre/9,300 foot-high Lukla and stroll a couple of hours down and through the forested and farmed Dudh Khosi valley with a small clean river ripping through a narrow green rocky mountain studded valley to the picturesque small town of Phakding, where we camp in a field on the river bank at 2,650 metres/8,700 feet. Throughout the entire trek, every day, our bags will be carried by porters and yaks. Interacting with the people transporting our equipment, as well as their livestock, will be an interesting part of our trip, and allow us to set foot into the local culture.
We arise early and have a typically wholesome breakfast of omelettes, toast, porridge and hot drinks, then walk 4-7 hours up through the fir trees and ever-rarer herds of Himalayan Tahr, an endangered large wild mountain sheep. Topping the rim of the Sun Khosi Gorge, we slowly and steadily walk into the steep village of 3,440 metre/12,800 foot high Namche Bazaar, the capital of the Sherpa region, which we will have time to explore. It’s important to drink lots of liquids during today's trek, and you will certainly appreciate the stunning views of Numbur Peak (6,959 metres/23,000 feet) over several cups of tea, in our terraced campsite, in what used to be a potato field on the upper slopes of the town. In 30 minutes walk on a trail traversing the slope towards Everest , we will see our first views of the stunning Ama Dablam and perhaps Everest itself. back to top
The Himalayan Tahr can grow to a metre high and weigh upwards of 100 kg. (http://www.americazoo.com/goto/index/mammals/420.htm)
We rest, acclimate, and relax, in order to soak in the comfortable exotic landscape of this Sherpa kingdom. One of the main features of spending a day in Namche is the opportunity to walk 15 minutes down the slope to partake in the tumult of this bustling sherpa and tourist village, especially the many tasty restaurants, tea-shops, pubs, billiard rooms, and internet cafes. All of the electricity here is locally made micro-hydro electric power, and the telephone and internet connections are wireless/satellite.
From Namche we drop down to the river and the famous tea-stop of Fungki Thangka and have a steep climb up through tree nurseries where you could help with the replanting of the Khumbu valley, which is starting to show signs of over-forestation by sherpas heating water for trekker's hot showers. If you are interested in helping, please check out our Service Trek website. Throughout this part of the walk, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for a glimpse of endangered herds of Tahr. Finally cresting a rise in a forest of gorgeous Sub-alpine fir and Hemlock, walking at the feet of the Khumbu giant peaks of Kusum Kanguru and Thamserku, we reach the Buddhist monastery at Thyangboche, which we can visit. The monastery burned in 1989, apparently due to an electric kettle being left on. Tragically the gompa's book collection was ravaged, and during the following years, groups of monks were seen spending hours each day writing with ball-point pens on stenographer's pads, trying to recall ancient texts from memory, which were burned when the fire tore through the library. Here we will find inspiring views of Mt. Everest , Nuptse, Lhotse , Ama Dablam , and a very welcome tea and lunch stop.
At the gompa of Thyangboche, which burned in 1989, Steve doing some exploring (Liz Stevens).
We will then carry on for an hour through the tiny old-style hamlet of Deboche, in a high altitude birch forest, inside the inspiring Khumbu gorge, where there is a spectacular bridge crossing. We will stay in Pangboche, 3,900 metres/12,800 feet, a religious village and the home of the Khumbu Lama, the most respected Buddhist leader in the upper Khumbu valley. This is a long day of trekking, but after all is said and done, you only gain 350 metres/1,150 feet. From Pangboche village, one can enjoy the most stunning views of Ama Dablam , Everest , and the imposing south face of Lhotse . back to top
The next morning we enjoy a walk along the beautiful Dudh Kosi gorge, to the enourmous flat valley where lies the village of Pheriche. At 4,250 metres/13,900 feet, it’s where the famous Himalayan Rescue Association (HRA) health clinic is located. Pheriche is the last permanent Sherpa settlement. Here we have spectacular views of Nuptse, Lobuche, Cholatse, Ama Dablam and many others.
The Pangboche Lama blesses all of us. Here he is blessing our trek employee and trek leader, Ms. Kandu Sherpa. Kandu's sister Maya works for SummitClimb and has become the first Nepalese woman to climb Ama Dablam , Pumori, and Cho Oyu . Kandu would also like to become a climbing Sherpa one day (Liz Stevens).
Two bridges over the Pangboche gorge. The new bridge is the higher one. Sherpas love to hang prayer flags all over their bridges. Looking down on Pangboche at 3,900 metres/12,800 feet (Steve Miscione).
A few hours of walking up a rocky slope brings us to the former yak herder's outpost of Dugla at 4,620 metres/15,150 feet, where a comfortable lodge provides an ideal spot to spend the rest of the day and night, where we can relax, rest, acclimate and drink tea. back to top
Monuments to fallen climbers, known as "chortens" atop the Dugla Hill, with Ama Dablam in the background (Steve Miscione).
The view of Lobuche peak from the teahouse at Lobuche at 4,930 metres/16,200 feet (Liz Stevens).
Hiking across grassy hills, up the rest of the Dugla Hill and through enormous boulders brings us to 4,930 metre/16,200 foot Lobuche, with stunning views of Lobuche peak and Cholatse. Along the way we cross over the Dugla Hill where we are confronted by a knoll studded with chortens, monuments to fallen climbers and Sherpas who have died on Mt. Everest over the years. You will probably recognize several of the names on the memorials.
A short day up the Khumbu glacier takes us to the rocky outpost of Gorak Shep, with three cozy teahouses at 5,160 metres/16,900 feet. We will tuck into a comfortable tea house and marvel at the lovely views of Everest , Nuptse, Pumori, Lobuche, and so many other vast mountains that tower around us, as if our tiny teahouse was a crumb of bread in the jaws of a dragon. We eat and drink a lot up here, so you will have a good chance to rest and recuperate. The nights can be very chilly up here, so you will enjoy bundling up in your warm, fleece, pile, or duvet/down jacket, and wearing your wooly hat, especially in the evening. back to top
One interesting thing about trek life is being woken up every morning by these Himalayan Ular Snow Cocks (Web).
Sturdy and hardworking local gentleman carrying beer to sell to tourists in the teahouses (DL Mazur). These strong yaks carry our expedition equipment (Liz Strevens).
Ms. Elselien te Hennepe, looking out into the Imja Tso Lake on the left of the photo on our October 2005 trek. Behind her, on the right side of the photo is Island Peak basecamp at 5,100 meters (16,728 feet) (DL Mazur).
Those of us who are feeling well will wake up early and walk up to Everest basecamp which lies atop the Khumbu glacier at 5,300 metres/17,400 feet. There is a good trail on rocks and scee all the way to basecamp, where you will see several spectacular crashed Russian helicopters. Then we will return to Gorak Shep for another warm night, lots of tea, and a delicious meal.
With an early start we trek to the top of Kala Patar (5,545 metres/18,200 feet) to see the breathtaking views of Everest . Here is where Shipton stood in 1952, to plan the successful ascent of Everest . After climbing to the top of Kala Patar, we shall walk down to Gorak Shep and have a relaxing lunch, followed by a short walk down to Lobuche and camp. We now walk back down the valley, retracing our steps to Pheriche, and enjoy the final stunning views of the stunning Everest massif. If you are joining our Island Peak trip , here is where you will branch off for the village of Chukkung. back to top
After packing up all of your equipment, supplies, and rubbish, you will make the return trek to Lukla. The following morning, you are up early, and fly back to Kathmandu, where you can enjoy a hot shower and a grand Nepalese western-style feast. In Kathmandu, you can have a day to relax, celebrate, tour the valley, write postcards, and do a bit more shopping, before heading home. We hope you had a safe, enjoyable, and successful adventure. Thanks for joining in! back to top
Thank You for joining our Everest Basecamp Nepal Trek.