March 23, Day 1 - Kathmandu (1360m) Upon arrival in Kathmandu, you will be met by our Himalayan Hikers representative and transferred you to the hotel. The drive from the airport to the hotel is around 20 minutes. After your checking the group leader will set a time for your trek briefing to discuss in regards to the trek. The evening is free but your trek leader will organize a welcome dinner at a fine local restaurant. Overnight: Kathmandu
Day 2 - Kathmandu (1360m) Today, you will visit Bodhnath Stupa, one of the biggest Buddhist shrines in the world and Pashupatinath, the main temple for the Hindus. Here you will see Hindu holy men (sadhus) meditating, pilgrims bathing, and occasionally funeral pyres burning on the “ghats”. The rest of your afternoon is free. In the late afternoon you will be handed over with your trek pack. Departure information for the next morning will also be given.
Day 3 - Phakding (2652m) - 3 hours In the early morning you will take the spectacular flight from Kathmandu to Lukla (2827m) with breath taking views of the Himalayas. The flight time is about 40 minutes and you will land at an airstrip built by Sir Edmund Hillary and the Sherpa’s in the mid-1960s. After landing you will have time to explore the village while the Sherpa crew sort and load your trekking equipment. You will begin the trek by walking through the Lukla village and join the main trail to the Everest Valley. The walking is easy today with great views of Kusum Khanguru. We trek through small villages of Thadokoshi and Ghat. After passing through Ghat (2550m), it is only a short walk to Phakding.
Day 4 - Namche Bazaar (3446m) - 7 hours From Phakding you will head towards the valley for Namche Bazaar following the Dudh Koshi river. You get spectacular views of Mt.Thamserku from Benkar. From here it is only a short walk to Monjo (2835m), the entrance of Sagarmatha National Park. After lunch, its fairly an easy walk till we get to the last suspension bridge. The views of Lhotse, Nuptse and Tawache come into views for the first time, You now make a steep ascent to get to Tope Danda where you have photo opportunities of Everest Nuptse and Lhotse. We now make a gradual climb to get to Namche Bazaar.
Day 5 - Namche Bazaar (3446m) - 4 hours (Acclimatization Day) We have an extra day today for you to Acclamatise.You can either go for a hike to Syangboche or do other optional walks around Namche. The stunning vista includes a superb panorama of the Khumbu peaks and great views of Everest. The afternoon is free to wander through Namche. You can enjoy the bakeries, surf the Internet or buy souvenirs, etc.
Day 6 - Mongla (3970m) - 4 hours From Namche, you will ascend to the airstrip at Shyanboche and then to a lunch spot in Khumjung - the largest village in the region. Towering above Khumjung is the sacred rocky peak of Khumbilya (5761m). It is the home of the guardian goddess of the region, often depicted in religious paintings (or thangkas) as a white-faced figure on a white horse. The trail contours around Khumbilya's lower slopes, passing through beautiful birch forest and then climbing on to treeless, grassy slopes to a stupa on top of a rocky ridge (3992m). Once again the views of the surrounding mountains are magnificent. Phortse can be seen across the valley - a picturesque village set in a patchwork of stone walled fields. You will stay overnight at the cluster of lodges on the saddle, known as Mongla.
Day 7 - Dole (4038m) - 4 hours From the stupa you will descend 300 meters on a series of switchback trails to the Dudh Kosi River at Phortse Bridge. The trail to Gokyo is deceptive and you can ascend too quickly if the trekking days aren’t planned sensibly. So, in the interests of acclimatization, you will take three days to reach Gokyo. Leaving Phortse Bridge, you will ascend steeply at first and then contour high above the valley, enjoying excellent views of Kantega, Thamserku and Ama Dablam (6856m). About an hour's walk from Phortse Bridge, you will gain our first views of the mammoth Cho-Oyo (8153m) at the head of the valley. You will be trekking beyond the tree line and pass some imposing waterfalls en route to the yak herding settlements of Tongba (4015m) and Gyele (4050m). From here it is a short distance to Dole (4038m), where you will spend the night. After lunch you can explore the upper Dole Valley, returning via a high ridge above the lodge to enjoy fantastic views of Cho-Oyo and Gyachung Kang (7922m) to the north, and Taweche (6542m) and Cholatse (6440m) across the valley to the east. You will be at higher altitudes today so it is important to take notice of the trek leader’s advice and recommendations regarding rest and fluid intake.
Day 8 - Machhermo (4465m) - 3 hours Today will be another short day starting with a climb out of the small Dole Valley before ascending more gradually up the Dudh Kosi Valley, high above the river Though the walk is easy you will feel the effects of altitude on even the smallest hill. The barren alpine scenery with only small clusters of scrub juniper is a stark contrast to the snowy white peaks and deep blue skies. After two hours you will arrive at Luza (4360m) and, after a further hour's walk, you will reach the lodge at Machhermo (4465m), where you will spend the evening. After lunch there is an option to take an excursion across rocky moraines to the base of Kyajo Ri (6168m) and Machhermo Peak (6073m). However, keep an eye open for the yeti - It was here in 1974 that three yaks were killed and a Sherpa girl injured when trying to fight off a hairy, ape-like intruder!
Day 9/10 - Gokyo (4720m) - 6 hours A short, steep climb leads from the Machhermo Valley on to the steep grassy slopes of the Dudh Kosi Valley. Keep an eye open for the colorful Tibetan snow cocks, often found in this area. The valley widens as you pass through Pangka (4390m) and on to the jumbled, terminal moraines of Ngozumpa Glacier, the largest in Nepal and the source of the Dudh Kosi River. Climbing steeply over a rocky trail you will keep to the western side of the glacier to reach a small lake at the head of a wide valley and then pass a larger lake at Longponga(4690m), before following the lateral moraines to the third lake at Gokyo (4750m). Gokyo consists of a number of stone dwellings surrounded by stone walled yak pastures. The lodge is located close to the lake and, if there are no clouds around, the sunroom will be lovely and warm in the afternoon. For those feeling energetic, it is worth ascending to the ridge at the back of Gokyo for views down to the mighty Ngozumpa Glacier.
Day 11: lungden (4350m) (Renjo-La 5420m) 10/11 hours We have an early start as we have a long day ahead of us. The trail skirts around north of Gokyo Lake and then climbs up though scree slope as we reach a highland pasture. Looking back, we enjoy excellent views of Gokyo and the mountains in the background. We continue to climb on scree and also boulder hop towards Renjo - La Pass (5420m). We finally reach the top of the pass, which is marked by prayer flags, from where we can have a look into Nangpa Valley and, looking back, we have views of Everest and Makalu. We stop at the pass to have our pack lunch and take a well-deserved rest. The descent is tricky as we have to walk on scree and loose rocks (ropes are fixed in icy conditions to facilitate the descent). After a while we reach a glacial lake from where the valley opens up. We continue to head down the valley through open pastures for sometime before bearing left to reach the small settlement of Lungden, the main occupation of the people around here is farming. We can also see the famous trading route between Tibet and Nepal and from where the caravans from Tibet still come to Namche for trading. To the right bottom of Lungden is the Bhote Khosi being fed from Tibet.
Day 12: NamcheBazaar (4289m) 9hours You start the day descending all the way, following the Bhote Kosi River downstream. We walk down Nangpa Valley, passing through small settlements to finally reach the village of Marlung, where we stop for a rest or can enjoy soft drinks. From Marlung the trail continues to descend and passing through the village of Taranga to reach Thame for lunch. Thami Teng, the birthplace of Tenzing Sherpa. Thame is quite a famous village with many Everest summiteers living here, including Appa Sherpa who has climbed Everest an incredible 21 times. After lunch our route continues through the village of Thamo and onto Namche Bazaar for the night.
Day 13: Phakding (2652m) 4.5 hours You will enjoy a leisurely departure from Namche Bazaar with a final opportunity to visit the shops in the bazaar before descending steeply down to the large suspension bridge over the Dudh Kosi River. You will follow the trail through Jorsale and back to Monjo, where you will stop for lunch. In the afternoon it is only a short walk via Benkar through blue pine and rhododendron forest, with great views of Kusum Kangaru, back to the lodge in Phakding.
Day 14 - Lukla (2800m) 3.5 hours This is your last day of trekking, where it is only a short walk in the valley before making the final climb up to the airstrip at Lukla. You will then have lunch at the lodge and the afternoon is free to wander around, relax. In the evening you will enjoy a farewell dinner, followed by a few celebratory drinks and dancing with your Sherpa companions.
Day 15 - Kathmandu (1360m) You will rise early in the morning today for your flight back to Kathmandu. On arrival in Kathmandu you will be met and transferred back to the starting hotel. The rest of the day is free to do some souvenir shopping or further sightseeing. Your final night in Kathmandu offers you the chance to go out on the town and enjoy a final dinner (optional) with your travelling companions and newfound friends. Meals
April 7, Day 16 - Kathmandu (1360m) Your trip comes to an end today after breakfast. Your leader will be on hand to advise and assist you with your onward travel arrangements. A departure transfer to the airport is included. Thank you and Namaste!