Everest Base Camp Classic Trek
Destination: Khumbu Valley, Nepal
Difficulty: 6/10 Moderately vigorous
Routes: EBC Classic
Trip Dates: Post Monsoon season (October – December)
Pre Monsoon season (March – May)
Team Size: 4 – 10
Accommodation: Hotel (KTM) & Tea House (on trek)
Minimum Age: 16 Years
High-altitude trekking in mountainous regions calls for flexibility and adaptability to many conditions. In the wilderness, nature has the final say. For us to survive, we need flexibility and adaptability to circumstances as they unfold. While we endeavour to follow the itinerary below, we may need to change it to suit conditions. The end point will always be returning safely to our families. It is imperative to commit to pre-acclimatisation training beforehand to cope with the low oxygen environment that we will be visiting. During the trek, our blood oxygen will be monitored and your guide will advise you how to handle any issues that will inevitably crop up. With this in mind, we will have the best time on a trek that has unparalleled mountain views.
Unique among natural heritage sites world-wide is the Sagarmatha National Park, which includes Mt. Everest and other high peaks such as Lhotse, Lhotse Shar, Cho-Oyu, Ama Dablam, Pumori, Kangtega, Gyachung Kang, Thamserku, Kwangde, and many more. Located North-east of Kathmandu, Sagarmatha National Park is 1,148m2 in area and consists of the upper catchment areas of the Dudh Kosi, Bhote Kosi and the Imja Khola (rivers). Much of the park lies above 3,000m. Sagarmatha is rugged with deep gorges, glaciers and nonnegotiable ice and rock faces. Locally known as the ‘Khumbu’, it is the home of the famous Sherpa people. The Sherpas make a living by farming barley and potatoes, and graze their yaks in high altitude pastures. Young Sherpas have also made their name in mountaineering and the trekking industry has of late become the community’s economic mainstay. In 1979 the park was declared a World Heritage Site.
Famous for its spectacular mountain peaks and the loyalty and friendliness of its inhabitants (the Sherpas), the Everest region (Khumbu) is one of the most popular destinations for tourists in Nepal. While trekking is possible in this area the whole year round, the best times to visit are from March to mid-May and from October to mid-December. The winters are very cold and snow may make it difficult to travel higher than Tengboche, and also lodges may be closed above this altitude. Summers, on the other hand, are wet, and the spectacular peaks are often lost in the clouds. April and early May is a good time to see the hedgerows and trees bursting into bloom, with Rhododendrons, in particular, adding a spectacular splash of colour to the landscape. However, dust from the plains of India during the spring routinely provides less than ideal conditions for clear mountain views. The views are much better after the summer monsoons have cleared the atmosphere of dust, but the days are shorter and cooler. Wildlife most likely to be seen in Sagarmatha is the Himalaya Tahr, Ghoral, Musk deer, Pikka (mouse hare) weasel and occasionally jackal. Other rarely seen animals are Himalayan black bear, wolf, lynx and snow leopard. Birds commonly seen are Impeyan pheasant, blood pheasant, snow cock, snow pigeon, red billed and yellow billed chough, Himalayan griffin vulture and lammergeyers. Sagarmatha National Park is also known as Khumbu region and sometimes, Everest region.
This trek involves back-to-back days of trekking at high altitude, sometimes over rugged terrain. We expect all trekkers to have a good level of fitness so they can deal better with the altitude and the physically demanding nature of the trek. Our itinerary is tried and tested and includes multiple acclimatization and rest days along the way. However, we can’t predict how each team member will react to the altitude so we ask that all participants come well prepared (which means you need to train!). At The Altitude Gym, we will have a great opportunity to pre-acclimatize and all trekkers must commit to an agreed training program to make our collective journey a success.
Day 1: Arrive Kathmandu
A very warm welcome to the Kingdom of Himalayas. Upon your arrival at the Tribhuvan International Airport our representative welcomes you and assists with your transfer to your hotel close to the airport.
Day 2: Kathmandu / Lukla / trek to Phakding (2,630m)
It’s a panoramic thrill flying into Lukla in a Twin Otter plane on a clear day. The views of snow-capped mountain peaks sprawling around you are almost ecstatic, beginning a whole chain of memorable experiences that will stay with you for a long, long time. This is an exciting flight which should give a glimpse of Everest in the distance. In Lukla, we will meet our trek staffs and porters and set off straightaway for our first night’s stop at Phakding, situated on the banks of the Dudh Kosi River, which drains the whole of the Khumbu Region. This small hamlet is on the main trade route through the area and there are a number of clean, well-built lodges where we can spend the night.
Day 3: Trek to Namche Bazaar (3,440m)
We will continue up the banks of the Dudh Kosi River, crossing it twice by small suspension bridges before reaching the village of Monjo where we will enter the Sagarmatha National Park. We will then cross the confluence of the Dudh Kosi River and the Bhote Kosi River on the high suspension bridge and climb steeply for about 2 hours up “Namche Hill” to reach Namche Bazaar (3,440m). This is a prosperous trading town and the capital of the Khumbu region. Many Tibetans cross the nearby border to trade their wares and the local market is a fascinating spectacle. This is a good place to buy genuine Tibetan artefacts. Just across the valley to the east stand the peaks of Thamserku and Kangtega, both very impressive mountains.
Day 4: Acclimatisation / Free day in Namche Bazaar
Namche Bazaar is the highlight of Everest Base Camp Trek and the heart of the Everest (Khumbu) region which has government offices, ATM’s, internet cafes, shops, restaurants, a bakery and a colourful market each Friday evening and Saturday. This is first scheduled ‘acclimatisation’ day for this trek. Health experts always recommend us to stay active and moving during the rest day instead of being idle. If we trek few hundred metres vertical during the day, it will help us to acclimatise with the unfamiliar heights that we are going to confront on the trek. Having been born, guiding and leading trips in the Himalayas, we believe in the natural process of acclimatisation – “Climb high, sleep low”. We take an interesting side trip up to Khumjung and climb up to the famous airstrip at Syangboche. Just above the airstrip is the Everest View Hotel (3,800m), a Japanese arrangement to build a deluxe hotel with great views of the highest mountains on earth. The Khumjung valley surrounded by the snow peaks of Kongde and Thamserku and the sacred peak the Khumbiyul-lha hosts a well-known monastery that houses a yeti scalp. Visit Hillary School which is at the same site and spending some time in Khumjung after having lunch, we walk back to Namche Bazaar.
Day 5: Acclimatisation hike to Thame (3,800m) and return to Namche Bazaar
Thame is located west of the main Khumbu valley. It is famous as being the birthplace of Tenzing Norgay, the first person to set foot on the summit of Everest with Edmund Hilary in 1953. We may meet Tibetans, who have crossed over the high passes from Tibet called Nangpa La, coming down the valley to trade their goods in Namche Bazaar. Today we will take a leisurely walk towards Thame, to further aid our acclimatization, before continuing the following day up the main Everest trail. Keep an eye out for the Impeyan Pheasant, the national bird of Nepal, which inhabits the woods here. The walk to Thame is mostly flat and gentle uphill climbs, and there are superb views of the surrounding peaks. If the time permits, we’ll pay a visit to the oldest monastery in the Khumbu valley at Thame. We’ll retrace our steps back to Namche to overnight – today’s walk will take about 7 hours.
Day 6: Trek to Deboche (3,700m)
From Namche, the well-worn Everest trail contours around the side of the valley high above the Dudh Kosi. As we follow the path, we will get our first really good views of the great peaks of the Khumbu… Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse and Ama Dablam. Passing several villages and numerous tea houses, we will cross the Dudh Kosi river and make a steep climb to Tyangboche, home of an impressive, rebuilt monastery. We have plenty of time to look around Tyangboche (even have a cake at the bakery!), but this place may get busy at the height of the season, so we will drop down to the river and the village of Deboche a little further along the trail where we will stay at a relaxing lodge.
Day 7: Trek to Dingboche (4,410m)
Shaded by rhododendrons, the trail crosses an airy suspension bridge just beyond Deboche. An hour’s walk away is Pangboche, which has excellent view for Ama Dablam and home for the Sherpas who work on this imposing mountain each post-monsoon season. Contouring up the valley side, we will re-cross the river and turn up the Imja valley to reach the picturesque farming village of Dingboche.
Day 8: Acclimatisation day in Dingboche (4,410m)
It is very important to spend an additional night here to aid the acclimatization process and Dingboche is a great location for it. We can go on a short hike of about 400m up to the Nangkartshang Gompa on the ridge, to the north of Dingboche. Form here, we get a good view of Makalu (8,463m), and views up both the Khumbu and Imja valleys. On our way back to Dingboche, we can attend a seminar about high altitude acclimatization at the hospital nearby in Pheriche, run by the Himalayan Rescue Association.
Day 9: Trek to Lobuche (4,940m)
We will retrace our steps back to Pheriche before continuing along up the broad valley bottom towards Dugla. Ahead is the trekking peak of Lobuche East (6,119m) and to the left is the formidable face north face of Taweche, the scene of many cutting-edge Himalayan ascents of the 80’s and 90’s. After three hours, we reach the small collection of lodges at Dugla (4,620m). We may walk up the Sherpa memorials, from where there are outstanding views of Ama Dablam, Cholatse and Taweche. From Dugla, the trail starts climbing steeply beside the glacier moraine. After a few hours, the trail leads to a small cluster of tea houses of Lobuche.
Day 10: Trek to Gorak Shep (5,180m) & visit EBC (5,364m)
The first section of the trail from Lobuche follows the narrow gap between the glacial moraine and the mountain walls, past turn off to the “Italian Pyramid”. We’ll detour to the edge of the moraine to look over the Khumbu glacier. Along the windy and rocky path with wonderful views of Pumori, Nuptse and other magnificent peaks, we reach Gorak Shep the last village on the EBC trail and the site of the original EBC. We will stop at our lodge for lunch and then we will go for a walk towards our goal of Everest Base Camp. The trail is over rocky dunes, moraine and small stream from the glacial melt. EBC provides the opportunity to experience the freezing and harsh conditions that mountaineers brave to summit the highest mountain in the world. During the spring climbing season, this area is a tent city teeming with activity as teams prepare to start their climb. Break out your cameras for unbelievable views of breathtaking beauty. Before the afternoon sun starts to wane and the temperature plummets, we’ll head back to Gorak Shep for some much-needed rest and relaxation.
Day 11: Climb Kala Patthar (5,555m) and trek to Pheriche (4,200m)
This morning will possibly be the most gruelling one for the trip, but also the most rewarding one yet. We head off in the cold at 4am to trek up Kala Patthar (which means “Black Rock” in Hindi) under the light of our head-torch. The day’s first light will illuminate the most spectacular mountain panorama view of Everest and its neighbouring peaks – Himalayan giants all… Nuptse, Lhotse, Pumori, Changtse, Lingtren etc. Afterwards, it’s back down to Gorak Shep for breakfast and a quick rest before retracing our steps to Lobuche. We continue down further down the Khumbu and stop for a break at Dugla. With more views of Ama Dablam ahead of us and the north face of Taweche, we continue along a flat valley to Pheriche where we will stay the night.
Day 12: Trek to Kyangjuma (3,550m)
Following the main EBC trail down the scenic valley we notice our energy gaining as the air becoming increasingly thicker. We pass Pangboche at the base of Ama Dablam and cross the river before climbing to the monastery at Tengboche. Here, we will certainly check out the bakery as exploring the monastery. A circuit of the monastery with its many prayer wheels is not to be missed as is a visit within. From Tengboche, a steep decent of around 500m leads through the bird filled Rhododendron bushes and fir trees to the Dudh Kosi River, and on to Kyangjuma for the night.
Day 13: Trek to Monjo (2,835m)
Crossing yet another suspension bridge, we climb up the opposite side of the valley to reach the contouring path leading back to Namche Bazaar. We should have enough time in Namche to shop and relax in the bakery with a coffee and cake, or get some internet. A steep descent of 600m down Namche hill leads to the suspension bridge crossing the Dudh Kosi River and to the village of Monjo. This is a quieter village and gives a break before our final walk back to Lukla tomorrow.
Day 14: Trek to Lukla (2,840m)
The trail now flattens out and we cross the river twice more before a rising traverse up the hill-side, past numerous tea houses to Lukla. This is a steady day of trekking and with nothing left to prove, we can soak up the atmosphere in each of the village we amble through. All excess energy is guaranteed to be exhausted tonight at our evening after dinner party with our porters and guides.
Day 15: Fly back to Kathmandu
Saying final goodbyes to our porters, we fly back to Kathmandu after our long mountain journey. The flight time to Kathmandu are scheduled for the morning as Lukla experiences a lot of windy afternoons. Sometime the flight time can be delayed due to bad weather and other reasons. The early morning flight drops us at Kathmandu where we will be met and transferred to our hotel. You will have time to relax and have a long hot shower after the long journey. Remember, we will be hosting a fantastic celebration dinner together in the finest restaurant in Thamel in celebration of successfully completing your trip in the Himalayas.
Day 16: Kathmandu
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 in the Valley.
– Boudhanath Stupa with its 40m dome is one of the world’s largest Stupa and is generally acknowledged to be the most important Tibetan Buddhist monument outside of Tibet.
– Pashupatinath Temple is considered one of the holiest shrines of all the Hindu Temples. The temple has remained the presiding deity of ruling Nepalese Royalty.
– Swayambhunath 3km west of the city is one of the world’s most glorious Buddhist Stupas – it is said to be 2,000 years old. Visitors often call it the “Monkey Temple”.
Day 17: Kathmandu
Today is free for last minute souvenirs and gifts shopping, and general exploration of the city.
Day 18: Depart Kathmandu
Today we will be transferred to the airport for our departure flight.
– Four nights’ hotel accommodation (3 Stars x 1 night; 4 Stars x 3 nights) in KTM including breakfast. Twin share basis. Single rooms at additional cost. Please inform us early if you wish to have a single room.
– One day sightseeing tour in and around KTM.
– Trekking permits, National Park entry fees, TIMS Card and all government taxes
– Return domestic flight ticket KTM/Lukla/KTM in a twin otter plane. Please note: USD500 per person extra cost for chartering a private helicopter flight in case of bad weather disturbance on fixed wing twin otter flights.
– All pickup and drop off transportation from airports to airport. All clients are kindly requested to international travel together. Individual transfer charge is about USD20pp per trip.
– One locally made waterproof duffel bag will be provided for the trek.
– All lodging and meals during the trekking period. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, all hot drinks plus 2 litres of boiled water per person per day while on trek.
– A local Sherpa guide and an assistant Western guide
– One porter between two trekkers.
– Farewell dinner in KTM, local cultural music and dance show in a well reputed restaurant after trek.
– All local staff and porters insured and equipped.
– One bottle of Oxygen will be provided during the trek (for emergency medical use only).
– A comprehensive medical kit. All guests are requested to bring their own personal First Aid Kit with sufficient medication supplies for the trip.
– One regular cell phone with local SIM Card and charger cable will be provided for the team during the trip.
– Travel & Rescue arrangements.
– International airfares.
– Personal Travel Insurance – medical, helicopter rescue and repatriation is obligatory.
– Personal expenses e.g. phone calls, laundry, alcoholic beverages, mineral/bottled water, charges for showers, battery charging and wireless internet fee in tea houses.
– Main meals (lunch & dinner) in Kathmandu apart from celebration meal.
– Nepal Visa fees (USD40 available on entry and valid for 30 days) and two passport photos.
– Excess baggage above 15kg will be charged at USD15 per kg.
– Additional accommodation in KTM for early arrival, late departure or early return from mountain (due to any reason) than the scheduled itinerary.
– Tipping to guide and local staff (recommend USD$150-200… i.e. about AUD$10/day)
– Personal Trekking Gear.
Trekkers can contact us at any time for any concerns that they may have about the trip.