Kathmandu is a bustling, energetic and exciting city with many amazing sights to see and things to do. But most of all, we love to gear-shop! Kathmandu has a good selection of local and international mountaineering equipment and clothing in its stores. We always find something that we can’t do without. After spending a day doing last minute shopping and ensuring bags are properly packed, we start our journey to basecamp.
Basecamp on the south side of Everest is reached over an eight-day leisurely trek through villages of the Sherpas. We’ll begin by take a 40 minute flight to Lukla. In pre-expedition times people had to walk from Kathmandu, since there were no motorable roads or airports beyond the capital. The expedition supplies are carried from Lukla to basecamp by yaks and zokyos (yak hybrids) and by porters.
On the way we will stop at Pangboche Village , which is one of the oldest villages of the Khumbu valley. Next morning we will visit the monastery, which also houses the Yeti’s Skull, and request a special blessing from the highly regarded local lama (monk), Lama Geshi, who normally does puja for all expeditions above this ancient village, to solicit the local deities’ blessing for a peaceful and safe expedition for all members. We accept good wishes in the form of a khata (a scarf with the eight lucky signs displayed by Buddhist during all religious and farewell ceremonies) from the lama and continue our walk up to Basecamp.
There a final ceremony will be celebrated for all expedition members and equipment that we will take with us on mountain. Once the puja is performed the Sherpas will begin their work of transporting the equipment, high altitude food and other supplies to the higher camps, leaving the us to make a training climb on surrounding peaks for acclimatization. After a week acclimatizing we will begin our climb to Camp I, II, and III and following the normal procedure the members take the route up to Camp II at least two times and up to Camp III at least one time.
Upon your arrival in the Kathmandu airport (KTM) you will be greeted by a representative from Himalayan Glacier Trekking (HGT). After completing your custom formalities (Visa, etc) pick up your luggage and look for our representative with a Himalayan Glacier’s display board at the arrival gate. You will be then transferred to your hotel. After check in, you will visit HGT office, meet your trekking guide as well as other participants and do final preparation for the trip. Later in the evening there will be a welcome dinner which will introduce you to the Nepalese food culture.
Sightseeing and Preparation for Everest Expedition. While the leader attends a formal briefing in the Ministry of Tourism, you will explore the fascinating city of Kathmandu. Take rest, familiarize, and make a sightseeing tour to Kathmandu’s World Heritage Sites. We make a guided tour to some of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Kathmandu valley: Kathmandu Durbar Square, Pashupatinath, Swayambhu, and Boudhnath. The day will also be for finalizing official procedure and other necessary arrangements. You will be also briefed on the nature of expedition, equipments and team composition. You can also make your last minute buying of personal items as you will be flying to the Himalayas tomorrow. In the late afternoon, the leader will check everyone’s equipment, as Kathmandu is the last opportunity to buy anything missing. You will also get introduced with fellow expedition members and guides.
An early morning scenic flight to Lukla. The mountain flight over to Lukla is one of the most beautiful air routes in the world culminating in a dramatic landing on a hillside surrounded by high mountains peaks. In Lukla, we will meet our camp staff and porters.After meeting our other crew members and with some packing and arrangements, we start our trek through the prosperous village of Lukla until we reach Phakding. Phakding lies on the main trade route through the area and there are a number of clean well-built lodges where we can spend the night.
Continue up the banks of the Dudh Kosi, crossing it twice by small suspension bridges before reaching the village of Monjo where we will enter the Khumbu National Park. Cross the confluence of the Dudh Kosi and the Bhote Kosi on a high suspension bridge and climb steeply for about two hours to reach Namche Bazaar. This is a prosperous trading town and the capital of the Khumbu region with genuine Tibetan artifacts.
We spend a day in Namche Bazar resting and allowing our bodies to become acclimatized to the altitude of 3,450m (11,300ft).Although a leisure day, it’s important not to remain idle. Health experts always recommend us to stay active and moving during the rest day too instead of being idle. We either spend the day taking a day hike to Thame or visiting Khunde or relaxing and exploring Namche Bazaar itself. Namche Bazzar is the main centre of the Everest (Khumbu) region and has government offices, ATMs, Internet cafes, shops, restaurants, a bakery and a colorful market each Friday evening and Saturday. If we trek a few hundred vertical feet during the day, it will help us to properly acclimatize. Our guides will take us to the Tourist Visitor Center near the headquarter of the Sagarmatha National Park where we can observe an assortment of things related to the first Everest ascenders, Sherpa culture and learn about the various plant and animal life of the Everest region.
The well worn Everest trail contours around the side of the valley high above the Dudh Kosi. Follow the path, savoring the first really good views of the great peaks of the Khumbu: Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse and Ama Dablam. Passing by several villages and numerous tea shops, cross the Dudh Kosi River and make a steep climb to Thyangboche, home of an impressive and newly rebuilt monastery.
We pass through several Chortens and Mani walls and small villages. We enjoy lunch with fantastic close-up views of Ama-Dablam. Shaded by rhododendron trees, the path leads gradually down to the river once again to another airy suspension bridge. An hour’s walking from here brings us to Pangboche, an excellent viewpoint for Ama Dablam. Contouring up the valley side, re-cross the river and turn up the Imja valley to reach the picturesque farming village of Dingboche.
This is an important phase of the expedition. Dingboche is a good location for acclimatization. The team leader will organize daily outings to the adjacent hills with the aim of providing gradual acclimatization. Walk some of the nearby hills in order to slowly increase exposure to altitude. Follow the regime that you have previously found most suitable, in order to give you maximum acclimatization before arrive in base camp.While in Dingboche, we can attend a seminar on high altitude acclimatization at a hospital run by the Himalayan Rescue Association nearby Pheriche. The walk over to Pheriche and back will also serve as good acclimatization training.
Retrace back to Pheriche before continuing up the trail towards base camp. Reach Dugla situated below the snout of the Khumbu Glacier, a convenient place for lunch. After lunch, the trail starts steeply to climb up beside the glacier moraine. After a couple of hours the track eventually leads to a small cluster of tea houses pleasantly situated at Lobuje.
Contouring along the valley-side and looking down on the Khumbu Glacier, follow a reasonable trail to Gorak Shep. This was the site of the base camp in 1953 and now consists of a few small tea houses. Leaving Gorak Shep, the trail leads on to the moraine of the Khumbu Glacier and becomes quite vague, weaving between mounds of rubble and eventually reaching base camp near the foot of the Khumbu Icefall. This will be our home for the next six weeks.
All team members return to base camp and assist with packing expedition stores and cleaning the base camp area.
We will return to the welcome haven of the Hotel. Once back in Kathmandu, Himalayan Glacier will host an evening barbecue to celebrate the expedition and as a farewell party to thank the Sherpas for their support and friendship.
Included in the Cost
- Expedition Expedition permit fees
- Accommodations in Kathmandu
- Flights from Kathmandu to Lukla and back including airport transfers
- All overnight accommodations while on the trek and climb
- Meals in Kathmandu and while trekking and climbing
- Group equipment for the climb
- Qualified and Experienced guides
- Experienced Climbing Sherpas
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