|Trekking in Nepal Links:|
|Nepalese Embassy: http://www.nepalembassyusa.org/
CDC Health Information: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/list
Weather for Kathmandu: http://weather.weatherbug.com/Nepal/Kathmandu-weather.html?zcode=z6286
Everest’s awe-inspiring summit soars above you as you trek towards its base camp at 17,590 ft. After discovering the historic treasures of Kathmandu, you’ll set off on your trek towards the highest peak on earth. Staying in villages set against the Himalayan backdrop, you’ll immerse yourself in the unique culture of the Sherpas. You’ll hike trails lined with mani stones engraved with Tibetan Buddhist prayers, walk by cairns built by travelers in honor of their loved ones and be surrounded by prayer flags aimed, in part, at blessing the surrounding countryside. You’ll discover remote mountain monasteries and learn about the Sherpas’ spiritual perspective on the mountains they call home. Considered by many as one of the best treks on the planet, a successful Everest Base Camp trek will provide an incredible sense of accomplishment and a new understanding of the humble and welcoming people of Nepal.
- Mount Everest is the highest mountain on Earth, with its summit 8,848 meters (29,029 ft) above sea level. The mountain, which is part of the Himalaya range in Asia, is located on the border between Sagarmatha Zone, Nepal, and Tibet, China.
- By the end of the 2008 climbing season, there had been 4,102 ascents to the summit by about 2,700 individuals. Everest has claimed 210 lives.
- In 1856, the Great Trigonometric Survey of India established the first published height of Everest, then known as Peak XV, at 29,002 ft (8,840 m). In 1865, Everest was given its official English name by the Royal Geographical Society upon recommendation of Andrew Waugh the British Surveyor of India at the time. While Waugh was anxious to preserve local names if possible but was unable to find any commonly used. Waugh’s search for a local name was hampered by Nepal and Tibet being closed to foreigners at the time. Many local names existed, with perhaps the best known in Tibet for several centuries being Chomolungma (“Saint Mother”), which had appeared on a 1733 map published in Paris by the French. However, Waugh argued that with the plethora of local names, it would be difficult to favor one specific name over all others. So, he decided that Peak XV should be named after George Everest, his predecessor as Surveyor General of India. George Everest opposed the name and told the Royal Geographical Society in 1857 that Everest could not be written in Hindi nor pronounced by the Indians.
- Everest is the mountain whose summit attains the greatest distance above sea level. Several other mountains are claimed as alternative “tallest mountains on Earth.” Mauna Kea in Hawaii is tallest when measured from its base on the mid-ocean floor, rising over 10,200 m (6.3 miles), but only attains 4,205 m (13,796 ft) above sea level. By the same measure of base to summit, Mount McKinley in Alaska is also taller than Everest. Despite its height above sea level of only 6,193 m (20,320 ft), Mount McKinley sits atop a sloping plain, yielding a height above base of approximately 5,600 meters (18,400 ft). The summit of Chimborazo in Ecuador is 2,168 m (7,113 ft) farther from the Earth’s center than Everest, because the Earth bulges at the Equator.
- A minute black jumping spider has been found at elevations as high as 6,700 meters (22,000 ft), possibly making it the highest confirmed non-microscopic permanent resident on Earth. They lurk in crevices and possibly feed on frozen insects that have been blown there by the wind. It should be noted that there is a high likelihood of microscopic life at even higher altitudes. Birds, such as the bar-headed goose, have been seen flying at the higher altitudes of the mountain, while others such as the Chough have been spotted as high as 7,920 m scavenging on food left by prior climbing expeditions.
- The Sherpa are an ethnic group from the mountainous region of Nepal. The term Sherpa is also used to refer to local people who are employed as guides for mountaineering expeditions. They are highly regarded as elite mountaineers and experts in their local terrain.
- Sherpas are renowned in the international climbing and mountaineering community for their hardiness, expertise, and experience at high altitudes. It has been speculated that a portion of the Sherpas’ climbing ability is the result of a genetic adaptation to living in high altitudes. Some of these adaptations include unique hemoglobin-binding enzymes, doubled nitric oxide production, hearts that can utilize glucose, and lungs with an increased sensitivity to low oxygen.
- Everest is growing by about 4 millimeters a year. It became the highest mountain in the world some 200,000 years ago.
- The Everest View Hotel is at 12,779 feet the highest hotel in the world. Each room affords a panoramic view of Everest, weather permitting. Guests are flown to an airstrip and are then transported by yak to the hotel. The sudden high altitude is a shock to the unacclimatised guests, and so the hotel pumps a constant fresh supply of oxygen into each room.
- A white plume of clouds is often seen blowing off the top of Everest. It is the jet stream, a wind current reaching speeds up to 250 mph.
Day 1 (Mon, Oct 15th): Arrive in Kathmandu – Welcome and transfer to hotel.
Day 2 (Tues, Oct 16th): Free Day In Kathmandu – Spend the morning sightseeing in Kathmandu. Relax and get acquainted with your trek mates. Group welcome dinner in Kathmandu. (Meals: D)
Day 3 (Wed, Oct 17th): Flight to Lukla – Transfer to the Kathmandu airport for the flight to Lukla airstrip (9,275 ft). From there we fly via a Twin Otter STOL to the landing strip in Lukla. This flight will offer amazing views of the eastern Himalayas (assuming the weather cooperates). After meeting our Sherpa staff we will load yaks and begin our journey to base camp. There is a slight drop in elevation on our first day and we travel mostly on flat lands through pine forests, magnolia trees and rhododendron along the Dudh Kosi (“milk river”) to Phakding (8,560 ft). (Hiking time: 3-4 hours. Meals: B, L, D)
Day 4 (Thurs, Oct 18th): Trek up to Namche – We will continue along the Dudh Kosi through Jorsale (9,200 ft) and enter into the Sagarmatha National Park. Passing through the canyon we will continue to meander through the small pine forest with stones and huge boulders that line the trail and are inscribed with the holy inscription, “Om mani padme hum”. The trail rises steeply at this point and leads us to the village of Namche Bazaar (11,286 ft) – and your first view of Everest! – where we will spend the night and enjoy a rest day. This historic village is a trading post for Nepalese and Tibetan traders. (Hiking time: 5-6 hours. Meals: B, L, D)
Day 5 (Fri, Oct 19th): Rest Day in Namche* – Spend the day acclimatizing and exploring Namche’s many shops, the Namche market, and have the opportunity for a short hike to the park headquarters for great views of Everest and a chance to acclimatize. This is a great place to re-supply on treats, batteries, etc. (Meals: B, L, D)
Day 6 (Sat, Oct 20th): Short Trek to Khumjung – We climb up and over the hill into the beautiful little village of Khumjung (12,600 ft). A highlight of the day is our visit our Sherpa’s home where you’ll experience their culture and traditions firsthand. Overnight in Khumjung. (Hiking time: 2-3 hours. Meals: B, L, D)
Day 7 (Sun, Oct 21st): Trek to Phortse – We will travel from Khumjung to Phortse (12,500 ft) stopping for tea at one of our favorite tea houses. Everest, Nuptse, Ama Dablam, and Lhotse are all visible to the north, as are Kantenga and Thamserku to the south. You will have time to tour the Khumjung monastery and we hope to receive a blessing for the trek. We also have the opportunity to visit the Edmund Hillary school, which was funded and built by Sir Edmund Hillary (the first person, along with his partner Sherpa Tenzing Norgay, to summit Mt. Everest). (Hiking time: 3-4 hours. Meals: B, L, D)
Day 8 (Mon, Oct 22nd): Trek to Pheriche – We hike to the village of Pheriche (14,000 ft). Here the canyon begins to widen into high alpine meadows with the mountains of Tawache and Ama Dablam sweeping upward to each side of the valley. The trail climbs gradually to Pheriche, a small hamlet with teashops, stores, a trekker’s medical post and a high altitude research center. This world-renowned center attracts physicians who study the effects of high altitude on humans. We will have time to chat with the doctors at the center and possibly attend a class on high altitude illnesses. (Hiking time: 7-9 hours. Meals: B, L, D)
Day 9 (Tues, Oct 23rd): Rest Day in Pheriche* – We will spend an extra day in Pheriche to rest and acclimatize. There will be optional day hikes for those who want to participate. (Meals: B, L, D)
Day 10 (Wed, Oct 24th): Trek to Lobuche – After our stay in Pheriche, we begin the 2-day trek to our next major destination, the village of Gorak Shep. En route to Gorak Shep, we will encounter the small village of Dughla and more importantly the stone memorials that were built for climbers killed on expeditions of nearby summits. The majority of them are from Everest expeditions. This is a peaceful, impactful place that sits atop a beautiful ridge crest. For many it offers an opportunity to reflect and take in the silence and magnificence of the Everest region. From here the trail heads northeast to the more primitive lodges of Lobuche (16,175 ft), situated below the terminal moraine of a tributary glacier. While in Lobuche, a climb to the ridge crest to the west provides stunning views, especially at sunset. Overnight in Lobuche. (Hiking time: 5-6 hours. Meals: B, L, D)
Day 11 (Thurs, Oct 25th): Trek to Gorak Shep – We will continue through the glacial moraine and high tundra into the “Valley of the Gods,” where we will come to the sporadically occupied hamlet of Gorak Shep (16,942 ft). Outside of Gorak Shep lies Kala Pattar, the black hill (18,515 ft). From its summit you can see the giants of the earth looming: Everest, Pumori, Lhotse and the Tibetan peak Changste. We often choose to climb Kala Pattar on this afternoon to see the sunset on Everest which often offers up a spectacular alpenglow. Overnight in Gorak Shep. (Hiking Time: ???. Meals: B, L, D)
Day 12 (Fri, Oct 26th): Everest Base Camp!!! – Today we make our way to Everest Base Camp to visit one of mountaineering’s most famous places. This time of year, Base Camp will most likely be deserted, but if you look hard enough you just might find a souvenir to take home. Everest Base Camp sits at the foot of the Khumbu glacier (17,575 ft) and can be reached from Gorak Shep in a few hours. We will travel over the rubble-covered surface of the Khumbu glacier and see many serac formations along the way. Once at Base Camp, we will have an hour or two to explore the area and take pictures of the infamous Khumbu Icefall. Overnight in Pheriche. (Hiking time: 7-9 hours. Meals: B, L, D)
Day 13 (Sat, Oct 27th): Reserve Day** (Meals: B, L, D)
Day 14 (Sun, Oct 28th): Trek to Thyangboche – We will continue our walk downhill from Pheriche reaching the village of Thyanboche (12,664ft). Here, will visit a monastery. (Hiking Time: ??? Meals: B, L, D)
Day 15 (Mon, Oct 29th): Trek to Namche – We will continue to walk downhill to the trading village of Namche Bazaar. Upon reaching the village, we can once again enjoy the traders and their treasures, and pick up souvenirs for family or friends. Many men also make time for a shave (yes, they are known for this in Namche!) and those that want a shower can often grab one here! We’ll end our day with a meal from one of the local restaurants – pizza is often on everyone’s list! Overnight in Namche Bazaar. (Meals: B, L, D)
Day 16 (Tues, Oct 30th): Trek to Phakding – Trek from Namche to Phakding (Hiking Time: 3-4 hours. Meals: B, L, D)
Day 17 (Wed, Oct 31st): Trek to Lukla – The walk from Phakding to Lukla will take half the day. Once in Lukla, our Sherpas will prepare our gear for the flight back to Kathmandu as we settle in to our lodge. We will spend the last night celebrating with the Sherpa people and enjoying their gift of friendship. This is a memorable night that will be cherished by all! (Hiking time: 3-4 hours. Meals: B, L, D)
Day 18 (Thurs, Nov 1st): Return Flight to Kathmandu – Fly from Lukla to Kathmandu. This day is kept very open and flexible as flights from Lukla can often be delayed due to weather, overbooking or other factors. Overnight in Kathmandu. (Meals: B)
Day 19 (Fri, Nov 2nd): Free day in Kathmandu – Most people tour the city as there are many sites to see. Some of the top things to do are: Boudhanath (Stupa), Swayambhunath Temple, Garden of Dreams, Cultural tours, the Rum Doodle (restaurant/climbers gathering spot) and Thamel. On the evening of Day 19, we’ll have a cultural evening and experience an authentic Nepalese dinner celebration. (Meals: D)
Day 20 (Sat, Nov 3rd): Flights home from Kathmandu – Transfer to Kathmandu International Airport. Depart for home. (Meals: B)
*Rest days have been added to the itinerary to ensure participants acclimatize to elevation before proceeding. Day hikes will be offered to those feeling well and acclimatized.
**One Reserve Day is built into the trip to account for illness, weather or additional time deemed necessary by your guide. If this day is not used at the time scheduled, the guide will decide when and where to use it.
Note: Time and schedules are flexible and delays are commonplace. Adventure travel is by nature unpredictable. Itineraries are subject to change without notice. Though we will make every effort to run this trip as planned, we cannot guarantee that you will be able to visit each destination on your itinerary. Itineraries should be seen as statements of intent only and not contractual obligations. Your trek leader will make any necessary changes, usually in consultation with the group, and will make every effort to minimize the effects of changes and delays. The trek leader will, however, have the final say and make final decisions.
The best way to stay comfortable on any active adventure is going lightweight. Wearing the right versatile layers will insure a system with great ventilation and maximum protection in any conditions. The items on this list are just suggestions, however traveling with these items will give you the best chance for comfort and protection while in Nepal against any and all conditions. Your local outdoor shop employee would be glad to help determine which product is right for you!
As with many high altitude mountain trips, the weather can change very quickly. During the night Khumbu region, temperatures can be quite cold (0-25 degrees) with daytime temperatures ranging between 30-60 degrees. Most days will be clear and enjoyable, however, cool and misty conditions are possible, along with the occasional dusting of snow.
Weight for duffle bags carried by porters during the trek is 15 kilograms (33 lbs.). This would be a great time to update your gear with some really lightweight equipment. Travel/city clothing may be stored at the hotel in Kathmandu during the trek.
✓ Day pack – 2,000-3,000 cu. in
✓ Large duffel bag
✓ Luggage tags and luggage locks
✓ Passport pouch or money pouch
✓ Casual Clothing and lightweight, comfortable items for travel.
✓ Valid passport.
✓ Airline tickets
✓ Electrical adapter plug
✓ Travel pillow
✓ Waterproof Breathable Jacket
✓ Waterproof Breathable pants, should be able to slip on and off easily over boots
✓ Mid-weight fleece pants or tights
✓ Long-sleeved shirts
✓ Hiking pants or shorts
✓ Lightweight synthetic long underwear top
✓ Lightweight synthetic long underwear bottom
✓ T-shirts synthetic
Cold Weather Accessories
✓ Gloves warm-weight waterproof
✓ Gloves mid-weight windstopper
✓ Ski hat
✓ Hiking boots – waterproof, lightweight, broken-in, aggressive tread
✓ Tennis shoes, a break from your boots
✓ Hiking socks.
✓ Warm socks
✓ Sock liners
✓ Sleeping bag – lightweight, easily packable (rated to 10 degrees).
✓ Sleeping pad.
✓ Tents are supplied.
✓ Water bottles and / or Hydration Resevoir (2-3). (optional)
✓ Headlamp (w. spare batteries and bulb).
✓ Sun hat
✓ Money ($800-$1,000 in cash including some small US, Euros or Tanzanian bills)
✓ Ski or trekking poles
✓ Pack cover
✓ Headlamp or flashlight
✓ Camera, film, tripod
✓ Batteries – extra for headlamp and camera
✓ Small binoculars
✓ Notebook, journal, pencil and pen
✓ Pocket knife or multi-tool
✓ Energy bars, hard candy, snacks and comfort foods
✓ Personal first-aid kit
✓ Watch with alarm
✓ Several Ziploc plastic bags
✓ Heavy duty trash bag
✓ Toilet paper (and baggie to put used paper while on trail).
✓ Small towel
✓ Toothbrush and toothpaste
✓ Handi-wipes (moist towels for cleaning)
✓ Hand sanitizer
✓ Personal toiletry items
✓ Sun block and lip balm
- Transportation between airport and hotel in Kathmandu (arrival and departure)
- Hotel room in Kathmandu (twin share basis)
- Buffet breakfasts in Kathmandu
- Welcome and farewell dinner in Kathmandu
- Round-trip flight between Kathmandu and Lukla
- All lodges along the trek (twin share basis)
- All meals while trekking (Breakfast, lunch, & dinner)
- All National Park fees and trekking, expedition, and trekking permits
- Charges for Sherpas, porters, and insurance for all Sherpas and porters.
- Airfare to and from Kathmandu
- Passport and Nepal entry Visa
- Meals not mentioned in itinerary
- Personal trekking gear and clothing
- Personal expenses (alcohol, gifts, laundry, massage, etc.)
- Travel/Rescue insurance (Required – we can provide recommendations upon request)
- Lodging and/or transportation needs caused by delays of any kind or if you leave the trip early.
- Evacuation or rescue expenses including costs associated with sending a Sherpa out with you if needed.
- Sherpa and porter fees and wages, their meals and lodging, and your food and lodging if you get sick or injured and need to return back to Kathmandu
- Any other charges incurred as a result of delays beyond the control of the trip or if you leave early.
- Tips for your Guide, Sherpas, dining
Menus in the mountain lodges will include a variety of Nepali and western-style foods including rice, noodles, vegetables, Nepali pizza, soups and stews, eggs, porridge, cereal, peanut butter, jam, bread, yak cheese, fish, canned and fresh fruit, crackers, cookies, snacks, juice, coffee, tea, hot chocolate, etc. During the trek, you will be provided three meals; Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner daily. Hot drinks are included with these meals. You’re free to purchase juice, soda, beer, and water at your expense, and chocolate and snacks in local stores along the way.
We stay in 3-4 star hotels in Kathmandu. We will stay in comfortable, high-quality teahouses in all the villages. Please realize that the teahouses and hotels in Nepal are often not as modern and do not have the same amenities as you might be accustomed to. Hotels subject to change based on availability.
You must hold a valid passport and visa to enter Nepal. Your passport should be valid for at least 6 months beyond the return date of your trip. You can obtain your visa at the airport upon your arrival in Nepal. You will need to present your passport, two passport size photos and @$40.00 in USD for a 30 day multiple entry visa. Visas can also be obtained ahead of departure through the Royal Nepalese Embassy or consulate in your home country prior to departure.
* Don’t forget to bring two passport photos if you are planning to obtain your Visa in Nepal.
Travelers will be required to have a physician sign a form stating that they are healthy enough to participate in this activity. The most common medical problems, which occur during a trek in Nepal include diarrhea from the food or water and the change of diet, “trekker’s cough”, and/or altitude sickness (Acute Mountain Sickness or AMS). There are no specific factors such as age, sex or physical conditions that correlate with susceptibility to mountain sickness; however those in poor physical condition are the most susceptible. Symptoms usually appear within a few hours. The major cause of mountain illness is going too high too fast. Given time, your body can adapt to the decrease in oxygen at specific altitudes. This acclimatization usually takes 1-3 days at each elevation. Our schedule is planned to allow you time to acclimatize.
FROM OUR TRAVELERS
“The trip was well thought out and planned. [Our guide] kept us updated at every step of the way. His knowledge of the area and local conditions we would be facing was vast. He thoroughly understood the local customs. His connections and friendship with the local guide company was a tremendous asset. “
“Steven carries a wealth of knowledge about Nepal and expresses a keen passion for the culture and her people. I thoroughly enjoyed both of my treks to Everest Base Camp (2006 and 2010), and having Steven as our guide made ALL the difference in the world.”
“What I enjoyed most about my trip to Nepal was that I was in charge of nothing! On this trip, although we were provided an in-depth agenda, I didn’t need to worry about where I was staying, when we were leaving, what trail to take, nothing. All I had to do was follow the guide.”