Kathmandu to Phakding (2,600m)
This morning you’ll make your own way to the airport for your mountain flight to Lukla. The journey is spectacular and the landing a very exciting way to begin your trek – one end of the runway is 60 meters higher than the other! Once you’ve landed, you’ll hike through pine and cedar woods, where you’ll encounter your first yak caravans carrying trekking equipment and supplies towards base camp. Keep your eyes peeled as you walk, because you may well spot musk deer, Himalayan tahr and scurrying water rats on the riverbank.
Trek to Namche Bazaar (3,450m) & Rest
Today, you’ll spend five hours trekking to Namche Bazaar, the administrative capital of the region and, historically, the staging point for trading expeditions to Tibet. The Saturday market remains an important event bringing traders from villages a whole week’s walk away. The next day is set aside for acclimatisation, so you can set off on a side-trip to Thame, a large and beautiful valley. Many Sherpas live in the village of Thame, and it’s the home of Apa Sherpa, who holds the world record for summiting Everest 20 times! It was also the childhood home of Tenzing Norgay.
Trek to Tangboche (3,860m)
Today, you’ll set off again and the route is unbelievably beautiful, with twisting rivers below you and snow-dusted peaks appearing at every footstep. Sun-dappled woods, rhododendron forests, Mani walls, chorten stacks and suspension bridges across rushing rivers make this a lovely walk. Tonight, you’ll stay in Tangboche, where the gompa is considered the cultural and religious centre of Khumbu. Founded in 1912, it has been destroyed and rebuilt twice.
Trek to Dingboche (4,400m) & Rest
The morning view across the mountains from Tangboche is one of the most magnificent in the world, so grab a coffee and your camera before you hit the trail again. Today, you’ll follow stone steps through forests thick with rhododendrons, birches and conifers and packed with pheasants. Then, climbing above the tree line, you’ll enter alpine meadows where the views of Island Peak (6189) and the fluted ice walls flanking the Amphu Lapcha pass will appear before you.
The next day you’ll take another break to acclimatise to the altitude and to rest your legs before the final push to Everest Base Camp.
Trek to Lobuche (4,900m) & Gorakshep (5,150m)
Today, you’ll cross alpine meadows and summer yak pastures leading to the end of the Khumbu Glacier, where a steep, tough climb awaits. From Lobuche, the views are sensational and the sunsets seriously magnificent.
The next day you’ll trek to Gorakshep, near a small and usually frozen lake. Reaching the village by lunchtime, you can put your feet up or make a trip up to Kala Pattar, which provides the best views of Everest.
Everest Base Camp (5,337m)
Today, all of your efforts will be rewarded as you trek the final stretch to Everest Base Camp. The route follows the Khumbu Glacier with its towering columns of ice, a feature unique to Himalayan glaciers. Finally, you’ll reach your goal and take a well-earned rest. Simply soak up the views, whip out your camera and take the weight off your feet – you’ve made it to Everest Base Camp!
Today, you’ll begin descending the Imja Khola and spend the night in Pangboche, the highest permanent settlement on the Everest Base Camp trek.
Things will quickly get easier, as you’ll be heading down the way you came. You’ll continue down through Namche Bazaar and Phakding to Lukla, where you’ll pick up your flight back to Kathmandu and conclude your trek.
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