This is a non-technical, entry level trek planned by world class climbers who think you should have a great experience in the high-country. We have organized expeditions to many of the world’s highest peaks on seven continents with great success. Our expeditions are individually tailored to the team dynamic and emphasize safety. The team will have the benefit of seeing some of the world’s most beautiful mountains in the company of highly experienced Sherpa from the local area and mountaineers who have a deep attachment to this wonderful place. For most, this unique, spiritual and cultural experience, under the canopy of the highest mountains in the world, is the highlight of a lifetime. Most important, you will also be part of an expedition that values safety, thorough planning, group management and successful plan execution.
What Should I Expect This trip will provide members with a close cultural experience with the Sherpa people in the Khumbu Valley. The Khumbu Valley is an amazing place – you will experience the grace of several of the world’s highest 8,000m mountains. Members will also benefit from the personal experience and knowledge of the Sherpa and mountaineers who will be a part of the expedition.
General Route Summary After arriving in Kathmandu, we fly to the village of Lukla the next day (9,000 ft.) where our trek begins. The days are moderately strenuous, requiring the ability to walk approximately 4-6 hours. There are plenty of beautiful places to stop along the way. You will be required to carry a small backpack with the personal items you need throughout the day. The rest of your gear will be carried for you by porter or yak. From Lukla, the trail winds through the lower Khumbu Valley to Phakding, Namche Bazar, and Tyangboche Monastery to high ridges with incredible views of Mt Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse and Ama Dablam.
We use the best accommodation available in the Khumbu Valley. Our quarters will typically be in the simple but comfortable ambiance of Nepali teahouses and family lodges. At the end of a good day of trekking, you may find that the chill of the air, a setting sun on the ridge of 8,000m peaks, a cup of hot tea, the warmth of a stone fireplace and the company of new friends is the most memorable part of the journey
After advancing to the high village of Gorak Shep, we depart the next morning for Everest Base Camp where we are surrounded by the high walls of the Khumbu Ice Fall, Mt. Everest, Lhotse and stunning glaciers. The trekking team can enjoy the lower reaches of the ice fall, the surrounding glaciers and the stir of the base camp community. For interested trekkers, this is an opportunity to experience the inner workings of major expedition climbing. During the spring, there is plenty of activity as Sherpa and climbers prepare to ferry gear (i.e. tents, food, fuel) from base camp to four high camps.
After departing base camp, we begin the descent back to Lukla. For interested trekkers, we will have the opportunity to climb sub-peaks in the surrounding area, including the summit of Kalapatar. This is a particularly beautiful place to be at sunrise and sunset for an incredible view of Everest and the surrounding mountains.
Preparing for an Everest Base Camp Trek Trekkers are on the trail for 11 days and hiking approximately 4-6 hours over gentle gradient and terrain. Four of the 11 days will be descending. The trail is well traveled by the Sherpa that live in the Khumbu Valley, passing by the many tea houses and monasteries where we break and have rest days. The pace will be leisurely to enjoy the people and our surroundings. Our experience suggests conditioning before any lengthy trek is a good thing – remember, base camp is at 17,500 ft! Altitude is a concern for some people. Our schedule allows for short trekking days and two full rest days on the ascent to properly acclimatize for base camp. You will also be in the company of other experienced staff that can assist you with your acclimatization schedule. We are trained in the early identification of high altitude health conditions and treatment to maximize your safety. Experience has shown us that good hydration, slow and steady progress, and rest help to avoid many problems associated with altitude.
In an effort to help our trekkers prepare, we schedule a series of team conference calls to assist with physical conditioning, personal gear selection and individual logistics. Trekkers are also invited to join us for weekend conditioning hikes in the Blue Ridge Mountains (Virginia) for personal assessments. Finally, we are available to our team members on an individual basis to assist in their personal preparation and planning – we want you to make it to base camp!
What Type of Gear is Required Trekkers will be sent a gear list detailing all necessary clothing and equipment. We will also conduct a personal review of your equipment to make sure you’re prepared for a comfortable experience in the Khumbu Valley.
Standard 18 Day Itinerary
- Day 1: Team member arrivals in Kathmandu.
- Day 2: In-country briefings and gear check, preparation and shopping in Kathmandu.
- Day 3: Domestic flight to Lukla (2,850m/9,350ft). Trek to Phakding (2,640m/8,661ft). Trek length is 7km/ 4.4mi with elevation gain of 210m/ 689ft. Trekking time is approximately 2.5 – 4.5 hours.
- Day 4: Rest Day in Phakding (2,640m/8,661ft). Short day hikes.
- Day 5: Trek to Namche Bazar (3,450m/11,319ft). Trek 9km/5.6mi with elevation gain of 810m/2658ft. Trekking time is approximately 3 – 5 hours.
- Day 6: Rest day and sightseeing in Namche Bazar.
- Day 7: Trek to Tyangboche Monastery (3,860m/12,664ft) and Deboche (3770m/12,369ft). Trek length is 14.5km/ 9mi with elevation gain of 320m/1,050ft. Trekking time is approximately 4 – 6 hours.
- Day 8: Trek to Pheriche (4,280m/14,042ft). Trek length is 9.7km/6mi with elevation gain of 510m/1,673ft. Trekking time is approximately 4 – 6 hours.
- Day 9: Rest day in Pheriche.
- Day 10: Trek to Lobuche (4,940m/16,207ft). Trek length is 9.7km/6mi with an elevation gain of 660m/2,165ft. Trekking time is approximately 3.5 – 5.5 hours.
- Day 11: Trek to Gorak Shep (5,170m/16,962ft). Trek length is 7.2km/4.5mi with an elevation gain of 230m/755ft. Trekking time is approximately 3 – 5 hours.
- Day 12: Trek to Everest Base Camp (5,300m/17,388ft). Trek length is 8km/5mi with an elevation gain of 130m/ 426. Trekking time is approximately 2 – 5 hours. After spending the day at base camp, we will return to Gorak Shep.
- Day 13: There will be an optional early morning trek to the top of Kala Patar (5500m/18204ft). Trekking time is approximately 3-4 hours. Our departure time for Kala Patar will be determined the evening before our ascent. After Kala Patar, we will trek to Lobuche. Trek length is 7.2km/4.5m with an approximate trekking time of 2 – 4 hrs.
- Day 14: Trek to Dingboche and Pangboche for a monastery visit. Trekking time is approximately 4 – 6 hrs.
- Day 15: Trek to Namche Bazar. Trekking time is approximately 4 – 5 hrs.
- Day 16: Trek to Lukla. Trekking time is approximately 4 – 5 hrs.
- Day 17: Return flight to Kathmandu.
- Day 18: Members depart from Kathmandu or stay for optional travel.
What’s Included in the Cost This is a fully supported expedition. Logistics are provided by western leaders and local Sherpa who have been supporting successful expeditions to Everest Base Camp for more than twenty-five years. The cost includes advance assistance with conditioning, preparation and planning, airport ground transfers from Kathmandu International Airport, in-country flights, double occupancy accommodation, back-country permits and registrations, national park entry fees, rescue service, professional guide service, team radio communication and a professional expedition medical kit. Items not included in the cost are your round-trip airfare to Nepal, personal equipment, medical/evacuation and trip insurance, gratuities (approximately $$200-$250 total per climber), entry visas and early departure services. Personal meals in Kathmandu and surrounding villages are not included. Members are required to make a non-refundable $US 500 deposit no less than four months in advance of departure to reserve your place on the team. The remaining balance is due two months in advance of departure.
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