You will be met by a representative of World Expeditions and transferred to the Radisson hotel. Remainder of the afternoon at leisure. A pre-trek briefing will be given around 4.30-5pm where arrangements will be made for the distribution of your kit bag, sleeping bag and down/fibrefill jacket. This evening we will head out for dinner, this is a great opportunity to get acquainted with your fellow group members.
Overnight: Radisson Hotel
Depending on the season, you will either have a free day to explore Kathmandu's bustling streets and significant landmarks or embark on a bus ride to Ramechap, a small town that operates flights to Lukla, the gate way trekking in the Everest region. Overnight: Radisson Hotel or Private eco-camp * NB: At time of writing, flights from 1 December 2019 to February 2020 remain operational from Kathmandu to Lukla. This situation is subject to change and your leader will brief you on flight arrangements locally.
We transfer to the airport for the 35 minute flight to the STOL airstrip at Lukla. This was the airstrip built by Sir Edmund Hillary and his friends to service the Everest Region when he began his work of building schools and hospitals for the Sherpa people. It is a memorable flight, with marvellous views of the eastern Himalaya (sit on the left side of the plane for the best views). At Lukla we are immediately impressed by the scale of the huge peaks that surround the village but this is only a foretaste of what is to come. Our crew assemble and we commence our trek downhill towards the Dudh Kosi, a raging river that flows from the highest peaks. The broad and well-marked trail meanders around fields of potats and buck-wheat and passes through small villages, as we pass rows of tree dahlia to make our way to our first overnight stop at our private eco camp site at Ghat.
Today we cross and re-cross the thundering glacial river, named "Dudh" (milk) Kosi (river) because of its colour. Sections of today's walk are through pine forest and cleared areas reveal terraced fields and a variety of crops. We pass small groups of donkeys, yaks and dzopko carrying trading goods and trekking gear along the trail. A dzopko is a yak-cow crossbreed while a yak is a full-blood long haired male, more commonly found at higher altitudes. Spectacular mountain peaks unfold above us and seem to hover above the tree-line as they rise above the deep river valley. Shortly after leaving camp we cross the Kusum Khola, a tributary stream to the Dudh Kosi, and the peak of Kusum Kangru (6369 m) can be seen to the East, at the head of the valley. Further along the trail, across the valley to the North-West, Nupla (5885 m) and Kongde Ri (6093 m) rise above the forested ridges. At a turn of the trail, Thamserku (6808 m) rises majestically, seemingly from the river floor. We will see our first Mani walls today. These stone structures are a compilation of many stone tablets, each with the inscription 'Om Mani Padme Hum' which translates to 'Hail to the jewel in the lotus', and is mantra (chant) venerated by Buddhists and Brahmans alike. Budhists will walk to the left of these Mani Walls and chortens, but you may notice that people of the lowlands who have no knowledge of Buddhism do not follow this practice. The allure of the mountains is hard to resist, but we must be patient, as it is very important to acclimatise slowly and thereby fully appreciate our time at higher altitude. Today's walk is not a long one, and you will be eager to press on. Slow down, and enjoy every step of the way. Our camp tonight is at our private eco camp site located above Monjo.
Today’s trek begins as we enter Sagamartha National Park. This National Park was established to address rising concerns of deforestation and to stem the use of fire-wood in the area. The few locals who do have a permit to cut down trees must first gain approval from authorities on the basis the wood is for personal use only. We follow the river course to the confluence of the Dudh Kosi and the Bhote Kosi, cross a high bridge before commencing our ascent to the village of Namche Bazaar, the Sherpa 'capital' of Nepal. It is a challenging climb through pine forests to the vantage point where we get our first look at the formidable Mt Everest. The trail continues and meanders to Namche, a prosperous village nestled in a horse-sh shaped valley opposite the beautiful peak of Kongde Ri. After lunch you may wish to explore the Tibetan trader's stalls or the Sherpa shops in search of a bargain.
Our trek will start with an incline to Syangboche airstrip and along the ridgeline towards Everest View Hotel. This pleasant walk has magnificent views of the surrounding mountains including Everest, Lhotse, Thamserku, Khangtega, Ama Dablam and many more. After enjoying a quick tea and coffee break to the views, we will continue towards Khumjung village to visit Sir Edmond Hillary's famous "Schoolhouse in the clouds." This is the first school in the Khumbu region, built in 1961 with the help of Sir Edmund Hillary and The Himalayan Trust. The school originally opened with only two classrooms but has since expanded to cater for over 350 students of different ages. After visiting, we descend and follow the trail for approx 25 minutes to our new exclusive campsite at Kyangjuma. For those who are feeling the early effects of altitude can opt for a shorter acclimatization walk of around 2 hours directly from Namche to Kyangjuma.
Overnight: Private eco-campsite
The walk to Pangboche is one of the most spectacular trekking days in Nepal. The trail meanders easily around the ridges and Everest can be clearly seen on the horizon ahead before we descend through splendid rhododendron forests for lunch. After lunch we cross the Dudh Kosi and begin the ascent to the top of a long ridge which flows from the summit of Kantega. Our trail takes us through pine and rhododendron forest, and, as this is a devout Buddhist region, the wildlife is unharmed and not too shy. As a result there is a possibility that we may see Himalayan Thar, Musked Deer or pheasants in the forest and around our campsite. As we approach the ridgeline we pass through a traditional gateway and around a chorten before cresting the ridge onto a wide grassy meadow at the monastery village of Thyangboche. The monastery was re-built with the assistance of Sir Edmund Hillary after it was destroyed by fire in 1989. The views of the Everest massif, as well as all the other major peaks of the area are astounding. After a rest and visit to the monastery we head downhill to our private eco campsite at Pangboche.
Leaving the main trail in favour of isolated trails we trek above Thyangboche and into the conifer forest. The views back to the monastery with Tawatse rising beyond are excellent. We follow paths through the forest that lead above the tree line to summer yak pastures and contour around the ridge lines of Kantega. Settlements that are a hive of activity in the wet summer months are deserted and we have these paths to ourselves enjoying the solitude of the walk. We pass through the small settlement of Omoga and travel onto Mingbo for, high above the valley floor. At this altitude, with the clear air, we can look across at the highest peaks, at their level, and only a few kilometers distant. Overnight eco lodge.
Today we make our way up the ridge high in a sheltered valley. We may see many climbing expeditions on our arrival in the base camp as Ama Dablam is one of the world’s most beautiful mountains. It means “Mother’s necklace”; the long ridges on each side like the arms of a mother (Ama) protecting her child, and the hanging glacier thought of as the dablam, the traditional double-pendant containing pictures of the gods, worn by Sherpa women. We have lunch in the Base camp and walk towards Deboche. A lot of up and down on this section, with another crossing of the Imja Khola on a steel suspension bridge. Overnight private eco campsite.
If the weather is clear, the mountain views are outstanding - Everest, Lhotse and
Nuptse are at the head of the valley, their line of sight flanked by Taweche on
one side and Ama Dablam on the other. Almost directly above us are Kantega and
Thamserku. Completing a 360 degree panorama of mountains are Khumblia and
Kongde Ri which encircle us from across the valley. It’s a pleasant walk down to
Phortse Tenga, and as we near the village we pass through terraced fields that are home to
a brightly colored pheasant, the Danphe Pheasant, the national bird of Nepal.
Overnight: Private eco-camp
We start our day with an easy descent down to Dudh Kosi river before climbing through beautiful mixed forests of pine, rhododendron, birch and Himalayan silver fir trees to Mongla Pass. The views at Mongla Pass are stunning with Ama Dablam, Khangtega, Thamsherku and Tawache forming a perfect panorama. We continue along the side ridge walk of Mount Khumbiyula and reach Kyanjuma for lunch before reaching Namche.
Today we continue down through the forest to the valley floor to follow the Dudh Kosi downhill and out of the national park to our private eco camp at Ghat.
Retracing our steps along the valley, we pass through a variety of settlements and forests before an undulating climb to Lukla. We savour our final mountain sunset of the trek as we complete this exhilarating journey. Our last evening of the trek is a perfect time to celebrate a successful journey and say thanks to the team, especially the porters who will return to their villages from here.
We start the day with a stunning morning flight over forests and villages to Kathmandu directly or to return via Ramechap. Upon arrival, you be will be transferred back to the Radisson Hotel and have the remainder of the afternoon free. There will be plenty of time to relax or do some last minutes shopping/sightseeing.
Overnight: Radisson Hotel or similar
After breakfast arrangements cease unless further ones have been made. Those people departing by aircraft will be transferred to the airport and assisted with check-in procedures.