The Khumbu region of Nepal is truly the 'top of the world', crowned as it is by Mount Everest, the world's highest mountain,lt is home to the Sherpa people, famous as much for their friendliness and hospitality as for their mountaineering skills. Practicing their Tibetan Buddhist faith, they have lived in these high valleys for at least 3 centuries. The region is now governed by the Sagamartha National Park and is an area of outstanding natural beauty - home of musk deer, Himalayan Thar and Nepal's national bird, the brilliantly coloured Danphe pheasant Khumbu is of course famous for its mountains. The views of the 8000m giants of Everest, Lhotse and Cho Oyu, and the smaller peaks ofNuptse, Thamserku, Kangtega and Kwongde are sensational. One of the most impressive mountains there is Mount Ama Dablam - a lot of people call it the world's most beautiful mountain.The trek takes us in the footsteps of Hillary and Tensing and the 1953 British Expedition to the foot of the gigantic Mount Everest From the viewpoint of Kala Pattar we'll have close up views of the 'Mother Goddess of the world'. The trip is carefully planned to ensure correct acclimatization and it includes exploration of the Upper Imja Khola, a high altitude world of giant glaciers and snow peaks.
Early morning we drive to the domestic airport for an exhilarating 30-minute flight to Lukla (9350ft/2860m), which is in the heart of the Everest region. Upon arrival, we have breakfast at a local lodge. Acclimatization is important, so today's walk is a short one, along the Dudh Kosi River to the village of Phakding, where you can stay in a comfortable lodge. Along the way, we pass through Ghat village and look up the river valley to the enormous south face of Kusum Konguru. (approx. 3 hours). Ascent by plane 1400m.
We Continue the walk along Dudh Kosi and enter the Sagarmatha National Park at Jorsale (9100ft/2 774m) and then, after crossing one of Nepal's most famous and dramatic suspension bridges, trek up the hill to Namche Bazaar. Today's walk takes about 6 hours, Namche Bazaar is often referred to as the 'capital' of the Sherpa region and is the true gateway to Everest. With Bhote Kosi river far below to the south and the Dudh Kosi to its east, Namche forms a natural amphitheatre around the hillside. Across the Bhote Valley, Mount Kwangde rises to over 7000 meters and is a wonderful sight at dawn, when the rising sun paints it with a fiery orange glow. The mighty Thamserku is visible across the valley and from the nearby viewpoint you'll see mountain after mountain revealing itself- Tawoche, Thamserku, Kangtega, Ama Dablam, Lhotse and of course, rising above them all - Everest itself. Ascent: approx. 796m.
There are lots of things to do in Namche, including shopping, sending emails and eating at the Everest Bakery. On Saturdays, there is a large market or 'Haat Bazaar' in the middle of town, which attracts people from far and wide to trade and sell their products. Set in a grove of juniper trees, Namche has its own monastery and there are several very old stupas scattered around the hillside. Many people just find a good place to sit and watch the mountains or the comings and goings of the yak herders and their animals and the unfolding Sherpa life, but those who would like a walk can hike out along the Bhote Kosi valley for about one hour towards Thame, where there's a good chance of spotting Himalayan Thar.
This is one of the real beauty spots of the trek, set beneath the outspread arms of Ama Dablam and directly beneath the giant rock slopes of Khumbila, the abode of the patron god of Khumbu. Pine and dwarf azaleas dot the landscape, framing the giant snow peaks to the north. Look out for red panda and pine martin in the woods. Khumjung village also has an interesting monastery and a school built by Edmund Hillary, not to forget delights of the Everest Bakery! Ascent: Approx. 340m.
6 hours. Follow the west side of the Imja Khola to the Mong Lo poss (3962m), then descend o steep trail to Dudh Kosi. After crossing Dudh Kosi river on a small bridge, walk up the forested trail to the village of Phortse (3700m) This is an active Sherpa settlement and you can visit the new monastery at the top of the village. In the springtime the rhododendrons are magnificent From this point we take the exciting high trail along the west bank of the Imja. Across the valley you'll get amazing views of Tengboche Monastery, perched on a spectacular ridge There are also impressive views of Mt. Ama Dablam from the village of Pangboche Pangboche has the oldest monastery in Khumbu, set in a grove of ancient juniper trees Ascent: approx. 220m
4 hours. Continuing north on the west bank of the Imja to reach the rocky ridge of peaks, which seem to close of the valley. The place is reminiscent of a gigantic Scottish moor, dotted with enormous boulders Cross the Imja and head east to the Chhukhung volley and the village of Dingboche, one of the world's highest settlements You art now above the tree line and ancient stupas and rock carvings are everywhere Ascent approx 350m
A chance to visit Everest base camp (17,700ft/5300m), or to explore this incredible area and return to Gorakshep. The route to the base camp follows the west side of the Khumbu glacier, passing enormous wind eroded ice castles From the base camp Everest itself is not visible, but views of the Khumbu icefall are superb. The round trip can be done in about 5 hours.
We start early to trek along the west flank of the Khumbu glacier to the yak pastures of Gorokshep (17,000ft/5184m) From here, ascend the grassy edge known as Kola Pattar (18,200ft/S545m) for spectacular close up views of Mount Everest This was the view that Tillman saw in 1950 and the successful '53 route to the summit can be clearly seen. Kala Pattar is actually a spur of Pumori (7400m), one of the Khumbu's most beautiful mountains. To the south and east rises a sea of smaller peaks and one feels truly on top of the world! Ascent: approx. 230m Kala Pattar 624m. Trek back down to Pheriche (13,950ft/4252m), m about 6 hours. Descent: approx. 930m
4 hours. Cross the Imja Khola and visit monasteries, with its incredible views of Ama Dablam and the Everest massif. Tengboche Monastery was built in the 1920s, but the original was destroyed in the earthquake of 1934. Tragedy struck again in 1989 when fire gutted the building. Today there is an impressive new monastery on the site and the Buddha image contained within is one of the largest and most beautiful in Nepal. Descent: approx. 433m.
Trek back through rhododendron forest and poss several Sherpa settlements, to Namche Bazaar in 4 hours. Descent: Approx. 467m
7 hours, we follow the way back down in the Dudh Kosi valley. Descent: Approx. 600m
Transfer to hotel. Afternoon at leisure for shopping or sight-seeing.Visit the ancient city of Bhaktapur, the valley's second largest city. The medieval city is dedicated to the god Vishnu and was built in the shape of a conch she IL Its name means The City of Devotees'' and it houses some of Nepal's finest works of art, including the Golden Gate, the Palace of 55 Windows and the huge Nyatapola Pagoda, said to be the most perfectly constructed pagoda in Asia. A visit to the Potter's Square allows the opportunity to see craftsmen at work and in the Dattatreya Square, you can see one of the oldest Buddhist Viharas in the valley and the work of the Newari wood-carvers. Take your time to explore the medieval streets, squares, and temples, which include masterpieces in wood and stone built by the Malta kings of the 17th century. Bhaktapur is one of the valley's 7 world heritage sites and is largely closed to traffic. Afternoon at leisure.
Your safety is of paramount concern whilst traveling with Himalayan Trailfinders. Please note that your leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Every effort will be made to keep to the above itinerary; However, as this is adventure travel in remote mountain regions, we cannot guarantee it! Weather conditions, health condition of a member, unexpected natural disasters etc, can all contribute to changes in the itinerary. The leader will try to ensure that the trip runs according to plan, but please be prepared to be flexible if required.
Experienced guide and porter one for two guests.
All ground transportation during the trip.
Three meals a day (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner) and accommodation in local family house/lodge.
Emergency rescue arrangement.
First aid kit.
Water resistant kit bag.
High quality Italian camping equipment (Ferino, La Sportiva, Salewa).
Down sleeping bag, Down jacket air mat on request.
Drinks, beverage water
Visa fee on arrival