Everest Base Camp Trek & Kala Pattar

18,187ft/5,545m, Nepal

Everest Base Camp Trek Itinerary

Upon sign up, we will send you our richly detailed, pre-trip information package.

Day 1: Depart home country.

Day 2: Transit (overnight en route).

Day 3: Arrive Kathmandu. You'll check into the renowned Yak and Yeti Hotel, a cornerstone of the Kathmandu scene, and attend a welcome dinner with other trekkers and climbers.

Day 4: Kathmandu. From the centrally located Yak and Yeti, we'll begin our exploration of Kathmandu. While modern by Nepalese standards, Kathmandu is a sacred city to Hindus and Buddhists. Our tour is an important introduction to understanding the cultures that lay ahead. Kathmandu is prominently featured in Buddhist scriptures and Hindu texts such as the Ramayana. Our tour includes 3,000-year-old Swamayabhu (monkey temple), the great Stupa of Bodnath, and a local school.

Day 5: After final administration requirements, we'll fly via Twin Otter to the landing strip in Lukla. Weather permitting, this flight offers outstanding views of the eastern Himalayas. In Lukla, we meet and join our Sherpa staff, load the yaks and begin the ascent to Base Camp. Our first day is an easy walk to lush environs of Phakding, located on the Dudh Kosi river. Hiking time: three hours

Day 6: We'll follow the Dudh Kosi, ascending 2,300 ft./700m through Himalayan pine and Doedar cedar forests, to the celebrated village of Namche Bazaar (11,300 ft./3444m). The village of Namche is an historic trading post where Nepalese and Tibetan traders exchange salt, dried meat, gold and textiles. Besides being a superb place to shop for traditional crafts, Namche remains the central trading post in the Khumbu, attracting Himalayan and lowland merchants. Our group will spend two days in Namche, affording us the opportunity to acclimate, visit local markets and spend time with friends in town. On the hike, we'll capture our first glimpses of Everest and neighboring peaks. Hiking time: five to six hours

Day 7: In the morning, we'll take an acclimatization hike, gaining 1,000 feet to take in the vista on the patio of the Everest View Hotel, or take similar altitude trek. In the afternoon, we'll have time to visit sights in Namche Bazaar, including the local marketplace.

Day 8: On perhaps one of the most fascinating days of the trek, we'll travel to the village of Thame (12,464 ft./3800m), off the main trekking path. We'll have the unique opportunity of visiting the home of Lakpa Rita Sherpa, our Sirdar (lead Sherpa) and Everest climbing guide. His family has been a mainstay of this small community, raising yaks and farming. This gives us an intimate view of Sherpa culture through the lens of a traditional home. Interestingly enough, a number of famous climbing Sherpa have come from Thame. The Thame experience is one rarely afforded to trekkers. After afternoon tea, we'll climb to the Thame monastery and further explore local Buddhism. We'll tour this 400-year-old gompa (monastery) and learn about its inner workings and the lives of its monks. As we view the monastery we'll discuss the wall paintings and artifacts that are central to Buddhist practice. We'll hopefully have the opportunity to receive a blessing from the Thame Rinpoche (head priest). Hiking time: five hours

Day 9: From Thame, we'll walk to the beautiful village of Khunde (12,400 ft./3780m), one of the largest villages in the Khumbu and home of Sir Edmund Hillary's hospital and school. The day's walk is moderate and pretty, winding through thick cedar forest. Hiking time: six hours

Day 10: We'll continue on and climb to the village of Tengboche (12,683 ft./3865m), the cultural and religious center of the Khumbu. At the monastery, we'll attend Buddhist ceremonies and rituals performed by local monks. Vistas from Tengboche are spectacular. The jagged peaks of Thamserku and Kangtega stand to our south as Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse and Ama Dablam are visible to the north. The Monastery at Tengboche is one of the most well known in the world; the Rinpoche is revered throughout the Buddhist community, and has authored a number of books and essays. In the past, our groups have had an audience with the Rinpoche and received his blessing. Views from this locale (one of the finest on earth), include Kwangde (20,293 ft./6185m), Tawachee (21,457 ft./6540m), Nuptse (25,843 ft./7876m), Lhotse (27,883 ft/8498m), Everest (29,035 ft./8850m), Ama Dablam (22,487 ft./6854m), Kantega (22,235 ft./6777m), and Thamserku (21,674 ft./6606m). We'll visit the community Sherpa Cultural Center and an excellent nearby bakery, and descend slightly to lodge in the village of Deboche. Hiking time: four to five hours

Day 11-12: We'll climb to the village of Pheriche (13,907 ft./4238m), which is not far from Dingboche (a village en route to Island Peak). Pheriche has become famous for its high-altitude research center. The center attracts world-renowned physicians who acquire data to analyze the effects of high altitude on human physiology. We'll visit the research center and learn more about the effects of high altitude on Himalayan climbers. Hiking time: 4 hours. We'll also spend an additional day further acclimatizing and hiking.

Day 13: Above Pheriche, the character of the terrain changes, and we begin to understand the starkness of the high alpine landscape. Our path climbs the terminal moraine of the Khumbu glacier and continues to the settlement of Lobuje (16,174 ft./4929m), where we'll spend one night. This trail passes through a famous memorial that honors the many Sherpa who lost their lives in the high mountains. Lobuje is located on the flank of an old lateral moraine of the Khumbu glacier. Hiking time: four to five hours

Day 14: The trail winds past the Italian Research Center through the high tundra and glacial moraine to Gorak Shep (16,924ft/5158m), the last inhabited area before Everest Base Camp. Gorak Shep presents a rougher environment and gives the trekker the true flavor of the nighttime rigors of mountaineering. In the afternoon, we'll take a short walk up the moraine to look down on the chaotic Khumbu glacier and take in the closeness of these renowned Himalayan peaks. Hiking time: four to five hours

Day 15: We'll leave Gorak Shep and cross the moraine of the great Khumbu glacier to reach Base Camp, which lies beneath the sweeping ridges of Everest and Nuptse. Everest Base Camp at 17,598 ft./5364m, is a sprawling tent city set amidst glacial debris. There, the climbers will begin final preparations for their ascent of Mt. Everest. We'll spend a few hours at Base Camp, getting a sense of the community and meeting climbers. We also venture to the edge of the notorious Khumbu Ice Fall to see climbers en route as they negotiate this complex maze of ice. We return to Gorak Shep and prepare for an early morning. Hiking time: six hours

Day 16: Waking before sunrise, we'll make an early ascent of Kala Pattar (18,300 ft./5577m), a small peak with excellent views of Everest, Nuptse and nearby Pumori. Many well-known Everest photos are taken from the summit of Kala Pattar. We begin our return to lower altitudes and quickly feel the difference in our lungs. This night is spent in the village of Dingboche (14,450 ft./4404m), a stunning village of stone huts known as the summer village for local herders. The mountain views are outstanding from the Imja valley as Makalu stands in the distance. Hiking time: six to seven hours

Day 17: We'll enjoy the downhill walks as we take our time and return to Namche Bazaar. This seemingly remote village is a center of commerce where we'll spend the evening and morning shopping, drinking coffee, getting shaves, sampling food and enjoying all the thrills of "urban" life. Hiking time: eight hours

Day 18: In the afternoon, we'll descend the hill from Namche and enter the lower valley, returning to lush greenery and the Dudh Kosi river. This night's stay will be in Monjo, just at the head of the lower valley. Hiking time: three hours

Day 19: Our final walk to Lukla will take most of the day. In Lukla, we'll begin the process of readjusting to the lowlands and prepare for the flight back to Kathmandu. It'll be a memorable night of laughter and merriment. Hiking time: five hours

Day 20: Early morning flight to KTM (weather permitting). We'll spend much of the afternoon relaxing and enjoying the deluxe services of the Yak and Yeti hotel.

Day 21: Free time to tour the city including the temples and sites of Durbar Square and the Thamel section. Here we'll assist trekkers with their final shopping needs, and have a farewell dinner.

Day 22: Early morning departure.

Day 23: Arrive in home country.

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