This committing trek is designed to fulfil the dream of many people to experience the historic route to the base of the world's highest mountain. Our carefully devised itinerary provides a fine opportunity to visit both Base Camp and the nearby lookout of Kala Pattar (5545m) for uninterrupted views of Mt Everest and the surrounding Himalayan giants. We trek the more remote trails of the region by hiking in from Shivalaya and exploring the little visited communities of the lower Solu region before joining the main trail at Lukla, this allows for ideal acclimatization and shows us a part of Nepal most trekkers miss out on. A highlight of the expedition will be the community project at a small mountain village school. We will be welcomed by the village as friends and will say goodbye as 'family' as we spend 3 days working on repairing their run down classroom and making it a more enjoyable space to be in. We then rejoin the trail along the far side of the Khumbu valley, savouring the high mountain views from our selected campsites in the company of our Sherpa guides, whose knowledge and passion for trekking in the Khumbu add a further dimension to this memorable trek.
On a moderate trek physical activity will generally not exceed eight hours in a day, and altitudes generally not exceeding 5,500 metres. On a moderate adventure the physical activity is sustained and travelers should be comfortable with occasional rough terrain. At any stage of a moderate trek you can expect long steep climbs and descents and a wide range of weather conditions. An example of an average day on moderate trek could include several ascents and descents of 500 metres or more, level ground is rare in the mountains. To prepare for a moderate trek you should begin training at least four to five months before your departure. As a guideline, an hour of aerobic exercise three to four times per week would be considered a minimum requirement. The best preparation is bushwalking involving relatively steep ascents and descents. If you can manage a couple of valley floor to ridgeline ascents per bushwalk, albeit with stops along the way, you will cope with a moderately graded trek. Speed is not important, stamina, confidence and continuity are.
THIS IS A SAMPLE ITINERARY - IT CAN BE TAILORED TO YOUR SCHOOL'S REQUIREMENTS.
After breakfast there will be a transfer service to the airport. On arrival in Kathmandu you will be met by an employee from World Expeditions and transferred to the your hotel, most likely the Radisson Hotel. Depending on your time of arrival, you may have a couple of hours where you can relax after the flight, change money, or visit the ATM. A pre-trek briefing will be given around 5pm where arrangements will be made for the distribution of your kit bag, sleeping bag and down jacket. This is a great opportunity to get acquainted with your guide, ask any questions and find out about what will take place whilst in Kathmandu. After the meeting you will head out for dinner with your guide to a nearby restaurant.
Today a sightseeing tour has been arranged, taking in the key attractions in and around the Kathmandu valley. Visit Boudhanath boasting the world’s largest Tibetan stupa, and surrounded by approximately 700 mani wheels, it is heavily patroned by faithful worshipers circling its base. Nearby and standing on the Bagmati River is the site of Pashupatinath – where Nepal’s largest Hindu temple is found and where on occasion cremations occur along the ghats (side of the river).Next stop is the interesting Tilganga hopsital created by the late Fred Hollows. Our final visit is possibly the most fascinating as we travel to the UNESCO World Heritage listed town of Bhaktapur. Here in the winding alleyways and numerous squares and temple grounds you will witness life as it has occurred for hundreds of years. Well known as a base for artists the area houses many museums and gallery's. Kathmandu has excellent bookshops, extensive markets, and novelty and handicraft shops which contrast with fantastic centers of cultural and spiritual significance - Kathmandu has more World Heritage sites than any other city in the world. The afternoon can be used to organise any last minute gear or equipment before we drive to the trail head at Shivalaya early tomorrow morning. This evening we have planned a special welcome dinner at a nearby restaurant located in a converted 155 year old palace where you can enjoy a meal of traditional Nepali food.
Today the expedition really begins with an all day bus ride from Kathmandu to the trail head town of Shivalaya (1800m). Driving in a well maintained bus our private transport will take us on a fascinating 195km drive east of Kathmandu. This will be your first opportunity to see the country side and the drive promises to be bumpy at times, slow at others but interesting till the end! Since the airport was built at Lukla, most people tend to fly into the Everest region as it saves the 8hr drive and 7 days of trekking. We have opted to take the more 'traditional approach' and trek in because of the opportunity it provides you to comfortably acclimatise, increase your fitness prior to reaching altitude and enjoy a beautiful walk through little visited Sherpa villages. We will camp nearby the village and begin trekking tomorrow, we suggest an early night as there is nice big hill first thing after breakfast to contend with!
Please note the final trek will be determined by where the community project will take place. This is an example of a past trip: With much excitement and anticipation our trek begins, suitably with a nice big hill to conquer almost immediately out of camp. The hill is quite steep in parts and you soon learn that a slow and steady pace is the best way to tackle such a challenge. After 1.50hrs we reach a school which is located at the top. Here we enjoy the views, a rest, and maybe even a song and a dance from the kids. The trail continues high along the sides of a valley before yet another steep rise to the village of Deurali. As the day progresses you will see increasing evidence of Buddhist Sherpa culture. One of these observations will be the Mani walls as we enter Deurali village. 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. Buddhists 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. From Deurali the path drops steeply down big stone steps to the lush valley floor to where Bhandar is located. Today is typical of what to expect for the first week of trekking, so please take it slowly, enjoy the walk and listen to your body.
From the fertile valley of Bhandar we cross a couple of fast flowing rivers on modern suspension bridges before entering a broad-leaved forest which is a contrast to what we have experienced so far. We walk through the bustling village of Kinja which has many tea houses and shops and a busy market area. Kinja is located at the confluence of the Likhu Khola and Kinia Khola rivers, yet the main reason most trekkers remember Kinja is that it is located at the base of a steep trail taking you up to Chimbu at 2070m. We will continue on to our camp at the friendly village of Shete, walking past productive farms, traditionally built houses, welcoming villages and enjoying the insight that trekking amongst friendly locals on remote mountain trails provides.
Have a good breakfast this morning as the first half of today is a long and arduous trek to the highest point of the trek thus far, the 3530m Lamjura Bhanjyang Pass. There are few villages along the way as the trail picks it way through moss covered forest of rhododendron, maple, birch and magnolia trees. We should make the crossing of the pass around lunch time, and often the conditions are cold. The views can be spectacular of the Rolwaling range and you will often hear the planes low overhead on there approach to Lukla airstrip. At 3530m the Lamjura Bhanjyang Pass is the highest point on the trek between Shivalaya and Namche Bazaar. From the pass the trail descends through fir and rhododendron forest and after a couple of hours we will reach camp at the town of Junbesi (2675m). World Expeditions and the village of Junbesi have a very close relationship as in 2006 one of our head guides Mr Ang Tshering Sherpa created the Kushudebu Public Health Mission which annually assists close to 4,000 patients a year. After a drink and a rest at camp we will enjoy a look around this important facility.
Today we leave the main trail to Namche Bazzar and begin a deviation which will see us in a couple of days reach the site of our community project at Wapsa. Following the banks of the Junbesi Khola then the Solu Khola we travel south towards the market town of Phaphlu. After passing through a huge pine forrest we reach Jalsa Tibetan camp in time to explore the carpet weaving centre and other stores selling all sorts of interesting handicrafts.
Today's walk will be an interesting one as we leave the main trading, trekking and access trails and walk through preserved forests and small villages.
After a glorious mountain sunrise we follow the trail through rhododendron forest before continuing through a series of Sherpa villages where lifestyles have not changed substantially over the centuries. After lunch we follow a well-marked trail to the village of Wapsa (final village will be determined when creating your custom school trip) where we camp for the next four nights and complete the project. The Wapsa School kids will be expecting our arrival and we will be welcomed into there village like family, prepare for lots of noise, singing and above all appreciation for the work about to get underway.
After a short walk to the village school we will commence our community project work. We will first meet with the local foreman who will take us on a tour of the school showing us what work we will be doing and in conjunction with your World Expeditions guide you will be broken up into small work teams. Some of the work across the next 3 days will involve sanding and preparing the surfaces for painting, paintings the walls, ceilings and any timber work, sweeping, light load carrying or possibly assisting the renders with their work. You will not need any specific skills or experience, just the willingness to participate and the ability to roll your sleeves up and get a little dirty, all for a great cause. The residents of Wapsa will be ready for our arrival and they will also participate on the refurbishment of the classroom. Working alongside the locals, teachers and students will provide a rare insight into the people of Nepal and the incredible Sherpa people. We will camp in a peaceful spot nearby the village where the local children will be delighted to pay you an afternoon visit!
Happy to be back on the trail and feeling fit, acclimatised and familiar with the daily routine, we excitedly recommence our trek to Everest base camp. Over the next three days we will trek through the small and interesting villages of the lower Solu-Khumbu region. Camping each night at the villages of Gomba Danda (1790m), Bumre Sherpa School (2000m) and on the third night at Surke Khola (2293m), each day will see us trekking for approximately 6 hours per day. This part of the the Solu-Khumbu is often called Pharak. There have been many improvements in agriculture in Pharak over the years, you may notice fruit trees and many varities of vegetables. You will see the short take off and landing (STOL) airstrip of Lukla, as well as the sacred mountain Khumbiyula at the head of the valley. The village of Surke is located about 30minutes walk below Lukla. The airstrip has an interesting history and we will be using it at the end of our trek to fly back to Kathmandu. It was 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.
Approx 6hrs walk per day
This morning we continue the climb to Lukla. The broad and well-marked trail meanders around fields of potatoes and buck-wheat and passes through small villages, as we make our way to the World Youth Adventures permanent camp sites at Ghat. Joining the main trekking trail now you will notice the increase in activity, be it trekkers, porters, yaks or traders heading to Namche Bazaar. 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 and yaks carrying trading goods and trek-gear along the trail. Our own gear will most likely be carried by yak, or more correctly dzopko, a yak-cow crossbreed, 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.
This morning we pass through the gates of the Sagamartha National Park. The establishment of this national park is a significant attempt to stem the use of fire-wood in the area and the few local people who have a permit to cut wood must gain approval from the authorities on the basis of it being primarily for their personal use. We follow the river course to the confluence of the Dudh Kosi and the Bhote Kosi, and cross a spectacular high bridge before commencing our ascent to the village of Namche Bazaar, the Sherpa 'capital' of Nepal. It is a tough climb as the trail passes through forest of pine to a vantage point that provides our first view of Mt Everest. The trail continues to climb and meander to Namche, and the sight of this prosperous village spread within a horse-shoe shaped valley opposite the beautiful peak of Kongde Ri is worth every step. After lunch you may wish to peruse the Tibetan trader's stalls or the Sherpa shops in search of a bargain. Our accommodation will be at Sherwi Khangba, a delightful Sherpa Hotel above Namche village.
Sagarmartha National Park Headquarters just above our Sherpa hotel offers a very interesting display of photographs, memorabilia and information on the park, and the hill above is a wonderful vantage point for the spectacular view up the Imja Khola Valley towards Everest. The change from the narrow lowland valleys to the broad glacial ones is immediately obvious. The steep-sided glacial valley before us gradually winds towards the base of Everest, broken only by the moraines left by retreating glaciers. Its more gradual rate of climb is a blessing for those trekking higher. Towering to over 4000 metres above the valley floor, spectacular peaks seem to engulf us. Around us are Taweche (6542 m), Thamserku (6808 m), Kantega (6685 m), Ama Dablam (6856 m), Nuptse (7896 m) and Lhotse (8511 m). The greatest of all, Mt Everest (8848 m), rises at the head of the valley. The Sherpa Cultural Centre next to our hotel has an interesting collection of mountaineering items and photographs. To further assist acclimatising we will enjoy a walk to the historic village of Khumjung. Khumjung is where Sir Edmund Hillary built his "Schoolhouse in the Clouds", and the famed Khunde hospital is close by. World Expeditions supports both of these famous community facilities, as well as the many other projects operated by the Himalayan Trust. There will generally be an opportunity for you to visit the hospital and school, as well as the monastery at Khumjung where we may see the "scalp of a yeti". Return to Namche Bazaar.
The walk to Thyangboche 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 Deboche and our camp for the night.
The early morning mountain views from the monastery are outstanding. Everest, Lhotse and Nuptse are at the head of the valley, their line of sight flanked by Tawatse 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. From Thyangboche we head down to cross the Imja Khola before an easy climb along a wide, open trail to the small village of Pangboche (3901m). We may take a slight detour to visit the Pangboche Gompa - the oldest monastery in the Khumbu, said to be over 300 years old. The views of Ama Dablam, one of the Himalaya's most stunning peaks, are spectacular. Continuing on, we cross the river again and trek up to Dingboche, situated just beneath the impressive Ama Dablam.
We are gaining altitude and it is important that we move at a slow, steady pace. The slopes are quite barren now as we have moved above the tree line. Views of different peaks, such as Cholatse and Lobuche, unfold before us in this contrasting and spectacular landscape. We move up the Dhugla Ridge and onto moraine towards Khumbu Glacier. Rock cairns can be seen, many of which are dedicated to the memory of climbers attempting the high mountains of the area, including Everest. The temperatures drop here as we are more exposed with our camp situated amongst this glacial moraine. We enjoy spectacular views all day today of Pumori and Nuptse. The hill above the town affords fine sunset views of Nuptse.
We trek alongside the Khumbu Glacier as the path winds over the rocky moraine towards the settlement of Gorak Shep. We are high, among the glaciers of the world's highest peaks. At the junction of two large glaciers and nestled in an amphitheatre of peaks, this campsite is spectacular. Pumori (7145m), Lingtren (6697m) surround our camp. Following our arrival at Gorak Shep we have an early lunch before ascending Kala Pattar. Kala Pattar is not a Nepali name but a Hindi name and translates to "black rock". From these black rocks atop the hill the views are spectacular. Most eyes are locked on the mass of Everest and its rocky buttresses immediately before us. Many of the famous ascent routes are quite clear. Below us the Khumbu Glacier snakes towards the icefall and Western Cwm. We can see the area where expeditions set their base camp but the original site was at Lake Camp, now known as Gorak Shep. Take a look in every direction and soak it in. The view south and our route out, is particularly beautiful. The air is clear and the sun is strong but as the sun sets it becomes very cold. Sunsets here can be stunning.
By camping at Gorak Shep we can get an early start and the extra day of acclimatisation we have had by staying here will be invaluable on the walk to Base Camp. Although it has undoubtedly been a cold night we have time to comfortably ascend to the historic site and enjoy it to the fullest. Return to Lobuche.
Descending alongside the glacier we reach the snout and drop steeply onto the old moraine. We reach the site of a row of cairns to climbers who died in the mountains, before we continue to the small settlement at Tugla. Our path is along the old valley floor through the village of Pheriche.
There can be a tendency now to rush, particularly as we are walking downhill, but there is still much to see. We descend to Pangboche and visit its historic old monastery, thought to be the oldest in the Khumbu. After lunch we continue to Deboche and our overnight camp.
Nearby on a hilltop, with views of the mountains, is the Everest View Hotel, where you can stop for refreshments before passing through the yak breeding farm and descending to Namche. After a break we continue down through the forest to the valley floor to follow the Dudh Kosi downhill and out of the national park to our camp at the small settlement of Monjo.
Retracing our steps along the valley, we pass through a variety of settlements and forests before a gentle climb to Lukla. We savour our final mountain sunsets of the trek as we complete this exhilarating journey. Our last evening of the trek is a good time to have a small party for all the team, especially the porters who will return to their villages from here. There is usually lots of music, dancing and singing and if we are lucky, one of the superb cakes that our Nepali chefs are renowned for.
This morning we take the easy option and fly to Kathmandu, a thrilling flight over forests, fields and villages, with the Himalaya in the background. On arrival, we transfer to the hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure.
There are a million things to see in Kathmandu and we recommend you spend this day wandering the town, doing some shopping and reacquaint yourself with the modern world where there are cars, roads and motorbikes! Tonight we head to a unique restaurant where all Everest summiters enjoy a free meal. The Rum Doodle Restaurant is an institution and reading the walls and seeing the memorabilia from past Everest expeditions is as interesting as the food is tasty!
After bidding farewell to the guide we will transfer you to the airport.
Per Person, Twin Share