These photos were taken on our recent successful Everest Basecamp Service Trek where members trekked to the Deboche Nunnery and Everest base camp and returned home safely. Photos in the Everest Basecamp Service Trek slideshow: Marcia MacDonald, Elselien te Hennepe, Dan Mazur, Tunc Findik, Bruce Manning, and Mike Martin. For caption information on these photos, please visit our Everest Basecamp Service Trek photo gallery .
Support trek to visit and help restore the Pema Choling Buddhist women’s convent, also known as the Deboche Nunnery
Includes a walk to the world' s most famous basecamp and enjoy a beautiful trek with our friendly team.
Walk up the famous Kala Patar for fabulous Everest views.
Trek to the Deboche Nunnery and base camp on snow-free paths through green terraced villages, rushing rivers, suspension bridges, lush forests, stay in civilized 'teahouses' and camp in verdant meadows beneath towering peaks.
We welcome all members to join this trek, including medical practitioners, educators, farmers, gardeners, technicians, builders, foresters, renewable energy professionals, and everyone else. You don't have to be an expert to make a difference.
We offer 5% discounts for carpentry and building specialists, medical practitioners, environmental energy and sanitation engineers who perform service work along the trek.
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Recent news: Our November Rural Nepal Service Trek has just returned. Please check the news for recent dispatches and updates from the trek. Please also visit our "Archived News" for more stories of past trips.
Please click one of the links below to view that section of our introductory information or just scroll down (photo right: Marcia Macdonald, one of the Deboche Nunnery project's biggest supporters, sitting on the steps of the convent with the nuns).
Everest Basecamp Service Trek Programme Description:
Introduction: Support trek to the Pema Choling Buddhist women’s convent, also known as the Deboche Nunnery (also spelled Debouche Nunnery and Debouche Monastery), where 20 impoverished nuns live in a leaky old convent, while also getting to walk to Everest Base Camp and Kala Pattar. The building is falling down, and many tourists walk past and never consider it. The nunnery was built in 1928 and it has had little or no maintenance since. The convent is the “sister-monastery” to the famous Thyangboche monastery on top of the hill between beautiful Deboche and Namche, along the Everest basecamp trek. The men who live in the monastery on top of the hill have brand new buildings with fancy paintings and solid walls and intact roofs, while the women live at the bottom of the slope in very simple (and leaky) circumstances. We plan to help with putting in a new water system and remodeling the building the nuns share for a few days before heading up to Everest base camp and Kala Pattar (photo below right by Fabrice Imparato: The Khumbu Icefall seen from basecamp. Everest is on the right behind Nuptse, with Lhotse in the center).
Mt. Everest was first climbed in 1953 by Hillary and Tenzing. Their base camp was at Gorak Shep which we will visit along our adventure. Our trek to the base of the highest mountain in the world allows you to enjoy the incredible beauty of Nepal and walk to a very high altitude on good snow-free paths, providing spectacular views of Everest and the surrounding Himalaya Giants.
We trek to the Deboche Nunnery and base camp on snow-free paths through green terraced villages, rushing rivers, suspension bridges, lush forests, stay in civilized 'teahouses' and camp in verdant meadows beneath towering peaks. There is ample time to experience the friendly and exotic culture of the Khumbu Valley, as we walk through some of the most spectacular natural settings and mountain scenery in the world, while staying in comfortable lodgings.
This trek is in the spring, the main climbing season for Everest. After working at the Deboche Nunnery for a few days, you will have a chance to sample expedition life and check out the basecamps of teams from around the world (photo right by Liz Stevens: Our past Everest basecamp trek leader, Elselien, receiving a blessing from the local Buddhist Lama in Pangboche).
You travel at a very careful pace without having to carry a heavy rucksack, while enjoying freshly prepared meals and lots of hot drinks, all important for acclimatization. The logistics are all taken care of, so just relax and enjoy the pure and pristine environment of the high Himalaya.
This easy, peaceful and interesting trek to the Deboche Nunnery and Everest maximizes many years of accumulated wisdom in the Himalaya, a long and proven record of safe and fun trekking through Tibet, Nepal, China, Africa, and many other fascinating mountain destinations around the world. back to top
Leader and staff: 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 (photo right by Tunc Findik: Namche Bazaar at 3,440 metre/11,300 feet, the capital of the Sherpa people. See this unique village on our trek to and from basecamp).
On trek: Our guide, together with friendly and helpful sherpas, cooks and local people leading yak caravans carry all of your personal equipment, group equipment, and set up camp each day, prepare and serve delicious meals, so you can relax and enjoy the trek. You do not need to carry a heavy rucksack during the trek.
Sherpas: Our excellent sherpas have an intimate knowledge of the beautiful trek to the Deboche Nunnery, 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 also have a lot invested in the remodeling and upkeep of the Deboche Nunnery and hope to see it flourish once again. They go out of their way to help make your visit remarkable and create lasting ties with the majestic landscapes and the inhabitants who reside there. This is a very enjoyable trek with friendly people. back to top
Everest National Park: The park covers an area of 1148 square kilometres in the Khumbu region of Nepal. This includes Mt. Everest and several other well known peaks such as Lhotse, Pumori, Island Peak , and Ama Dablam. Mt. Everest and the surrounding area is a 'world biosphere reserve'. Since 1976 the park has served to safeguard unique cultural, physical and scientific values through sound conservation principles. Vegetation in the park varies from oak, pine and hemlock forests at lower altitudes to fir, juniper, birch and rhododendron woods at mid-elevations. Scrub and alpine plant communities with bare rock and glacier are found above the tree line. 22 species of rhododendron bloom during the spring (April and May) and much of the flora is colourful throughout the year. Wild animals most likely to be seen in the park are Himalayan tahr, goral, serow, musk deer, and well over 100 different bird species (photo right by http://www.americazoo.com/goto/index/mammals/420.htm: The Himalayan Tahr can grow to a metre high and weigh upwards of 100 kg).
Our Everest Nepal Basecamp trek is one of the most beautiful trips in the world (Bruce Manning). One of the many terraced hillsides on the trek to Everest basecamp (Elselien te Hennepe). Annie and Dolma, Buddhist nuns we met in Tibet several years ago on a trip to Mt. Kailash, two of the kindest trekking staff we've ever met (Dan Mazur).
Trek to Deboche Nunnery and basecamp: This is one of the most beautiful treks in the world with ancient snow-free paths winding past green terraced villages, rushing streams crossed on swinging bridges and each night a comfortable 'teahouse' or a good tent pitched in a quiet pasture beneath the highest peaks in the world. Throughout the trek we eat delicious meals prepared by our skillful cooks. The trek will be moderately paced, allowing plenty of time for acclimatization, rest and site-seeing. Together we retrace the classic "Everest Approach March" made by Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa. The trek winds through some of the most spectacular mountain scenery on earth, where you can relax in exotic, friendly Sherpa villages. Our trusty yaks and porters carry all of your baggage, so you don't have to carry a heavy rucksack.back to top
Everest basecamp on a misty morning (Fabrice Imparato). Nuns made a special prayer ceremony wishing good luck to our team at the Deboche Nunnery. Thanks to Marcia Macdonald (Dan Mazur)! Our trek team standing in front of Pumori (Mike Martin).
Service Work at Deboche: Before going up to Everest Basecamp and Kala Pattar, we will stop into visit the nuns at the Deboche Nunnery for a few days of service work. We are organizing and putting in a new water system for the convent, as well as preservation work and remodeling the ongoing building rennovations. You do not need to be a professional to help out. Anyone can join and make a difference and we welcome all to come with us for this exciting new Service Trek. Thanks for getting involved!
A view of the Deboche Nunnery and surrounding valley (Marcia Macdonald). A stunning view of Ama Dablam, Asia's most famous mixed snow-ice-rock climb (Elselien te Hennepe). Two of our members up near Everest basecamp (Patty Burritt).
Kala Patar: Just above Gorak Shep is the small hill-ridge of Kala Patar (5,545 metres/18,200 feet). It is a windy path up grassy, rocky slopes to reach the top. It was from here that Eric Shipton helped to choose the first ascent route on Mt Everest, which Tenzing and Hillary climbed in 1953. The mountain behind Kala Patar 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. According to David Padwa, the peak was named during the first Everest reconnaissance.back to top
Who is this trip for?
We encourage men and women from around the world, of all ages to join us as an individual team member or with your own group, whether that is your spouse, partner, friends, sibling, clients, colleagues, etc. Most of our members join as individuals, our team dynamics work well, and we are able to build successful and safe groups of people that enjoy trekking, climbing, and traveling together (photo right by Dan Mazur: Ani Dolma, Mia and Squash enjoying making new friends at the Deboche Nunnery).
Previous camping experience is beneficial to enjoying the trip, although not required.
It would be nice if you have some experience with foreign travel, although we are happy to advise and help you if this is your first time out of the country and, for many of our members, it is. back to top
All of the work is done for you, such as cooking, carrying group equipment, setting up tents, etc. Yaks and sherpas will carry all of your personal items so you do not have to carry a heavy rucksack.
It is not necessary to be in extremely good shape to enjoy this trek. If you can have fun walking for 3-6 hours up and down hills with a few 20 minute breaks mixed in, then you can accomplish this trek.
Please "click" one of the links on the column on the upper right of your screen under "Everest Basecamp Service Trek" to learn more about our trip.