Brisbane Boys College Nepal Trek & Service Expedition 2017

Brisbane Boys College Nepal Trek & Service Expedition 2017

Trip Highlights

  • Working alongside the community at the Pema Choling School Mission to improve their classroom facilities.
  • Returning home with an intimate insight into the beautiful Sherpa culture and of Nepal.
  • Enjoying a spectacular trek in the Everest Himalaya range and the views of Mount Everest from Thyangboche Monastery.
  • Thorough sightseeing itinerary throughout the Kathamndu valley, including: Bhaktapur Durbar Square, Pashupatinath (a major Hindu shrine), the giant Buddhist stupa at Bodhnath, and the Fred Hollows funded Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology.
  • Fully supported camping based trek with ample acclimatisation days built including 3 hearty meals per day prepared by our cooks.
  • Himalayan Mountain flight from Kathmandu to Lukla return.

Trip Summary

With ample time and expert guides you will explore the ancient Buddhist and Hindu pagodas, temples and monuments of the Kathmandu valley followed by a special visit to the Fred Hollows Foundation supported Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology. From Kathmandu we take a scenic flight to Lukla where the trek weaves through the famous Buddhist villages and monasteries of the Sherpa people while affording unparalleled views of some of the world's highest peaks.

At the village of Ghat you will complete a three day community service project at the Pema Choling School working on essential building repairs and improvements which will also provide a rare insight into the day to day village life of this predominantly Sherpa region. On completion of the project work, participants will complete a fully supported camping based trek where you will get beyond the established trails to our alpine camp beneath the awesome flanks of Ama Dablam. From our spectacular vantage point we gain a breathtaking 360 degree mountain panorama that culminates in the distinctive summit of Everest looming above the Nuptse-Lhotse wall.

A further dimension to our trek is a visit to the Sherpa villages of Khunde and Khumjung where we visit some of Sir Edmund Hillary's projects established through the Himalayan Trust. Returning to Kathmandu you have time to further explore the UNESCO World Heritage sites and an opportunity for some last minute shopping before your flight home to Brisbane.

This is a learning and service adventure which will develop a range of characteristics in the BBC participants and also provide long term benefits to the Nepalese students attending Pema Choling School. Come and be a part of this rewarding Nepal expedition!

Suitability

The BBC Nepal Expedition is graded as Moderate.

These adventures involve trekking for up to 6 or 7 hours a day at a steady pace. You will need a good level of fitness and must be in good health. Be prepared for variable weather conditions and rugged terrain.

Suggested preparation: 45 minutes of aerobic type exercise, three to four times a week. Hill walking with a pack in variable weather conditions is recommended.

Sample Itinerary

After all the time planning, preparing and training for Nepal, the time has finally arrived to begin this exciting adventure. You will depart from Brisbane bound for Kathmandu with Singapore Airlines at 11:35pm. 02 DEC SQ246 BNE SIN 23:35 05:35+1 (Arriving Singapore 3 Dec)

Meals:  D

After a short stopover in Singapore you will depart on your flight to Kathmandu where you will be met by your group leader and transferred by private minibus to the comfortable and well located Radisson Hotel. Namaste and welcome to Nepal! The short drive from the airport to the hotel will give you an initial taste of the chaotic and interesting streets of Kathmandu. After a chance to check in and relax you will meet as a group for a detailed briefing where you will learn more about the plans for the coming days and also be presented with your gear pack consisting of souvenir WYA kit bag (yours to keep), sleeping bag, fleece liner and down jacket. The meeting also gives you an opportunity to get acquainted with your guide. In the afternoon we will venture out to look around some of the nearby sites and have an opportunity to change money or visit an ATM. An early dinner is planned at a local restaurant and we suggest an early night as tomorrow will be an exciting and fascinating day exploring historic Kathmandu. 03 DEC SQ5312 SIN KTM 09:00 11:55 Accommodation - Radisson Hotel

Meals:  B

Today a full day 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). Nearby is the Fred Hollows funded Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology where you can witness important research, eye examinations and the manufacturing of intraocular lenses. You will also have an opportunity to meet the staff who make this not for profit organisation run. 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. Tonight we will head out for a special welcome dinner at the Nepali Chulo restaurant located in a restored 160 year old Rana Palace. Accommodation - Radisson Hotel

Meals:  B,L,D

We transfer to the airport for the 45 minute flight to the airstrip at Lukla. This was the airstrip 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 marvelous views of the Eastern Himalaya. At Lukla we are immediately impressed by the scale of the huge peaks that surround the village, but this is only a foretaste of what is to come. Our crew assembles and we head downhill towards the Dudh Kosi, a raging river that flows from the highest peaks, named "Dudh" (milk) Kosi (river) because of its colour. Today's walk is not a long one take your time, allow the body to acclimatise, and enjoy every step of the way. The broad and well-marked trail meanders around fields of potatoes and buck-wheat and passes through small villages, as we pass rows of tree dahlia to make our way to our private permanent campsite at Ghat. After lunch we will walk the short distance to Pema Choling School. The village will be expecting our arrival and you will be welcomed like family. Prepare for lots of noise, singing and above all appreciation for the work about to get under way. A thorough briefing and safety discussion will take place with the foreman and the hired help who will assist you in some of the technical aspects of the construction work. You will not have access to ladders, be allowed on the roof or use any power tools. The foreman will take us on a tour of the school showing us what work you will be doing and you will be broken up into small work teams which will rotate through the various tasks. Some of the work will involve sanding and preparing the surfaces for painting, plastering, tiling, paintings the walls, ceilings and any exposed timber work, sweeping, light load carrying, basic carpentry 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. 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! Accommodation - permanent camp

Meals:  B,L,D

Throughout the days completing the service project the World Youth Adventures crew and cooks will be keeping you refueled with hearty and nutritious meals prepared with the highest hygiene standards. After breakfast you will walk the short distance to Pema Choling School where work will commence. Plenty of breaks will be had and snacks and drinks will be provided so as to keep energy levels high. A hot lunch will be delivered daily and enjoyed in the middle of the day where there will also be time to enjoy a game of football or volleyball with the students. By mid afternoon work will stop which will allow for another game before the sun drops behind the ridges for the day and the temperature starts to drop. Warm washing water will be provided daily which will provide you with a 'birdbath' wash! The evening is a time for reflection, conversation and relaxation. Accommodation - permanent camp

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning we walk to Pema Choling one last time to finish off the last remaining tasks. It is important all tasks are completed today which can make the day feel like a race and at times a hard slog. In the afternoon a handover ceremony will take place where a plaque will be unveiled and lots of singing and dancing will follow. We bid farewell to our friends at Pema Choling and return to camp pleased and proud of the efforts yet also excited to get back on the trail tomorrow to recommence the trek! Accommodation - permanent camp

Meals:  B,L,D

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, yaks and dzopko carrying trading goods and trek gear along the trail. A dzopko is a yak-cow crossbreed while a yak is a full-blood long haired male, more commonly found at higher altitudes. We pass through a variety of small hamlets as we slowly gain altitude. 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. We will see our first Mani walls today. 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 ceremony. The allure of the mountains is hard to resist, but we must be patient, as it is very important that we acclimatise slowly in order that we can fully appreciate our time at higher altitude. Today's walk is not a long one, and you will be eager to press-on. Slow down, and enjoy every step of the way. It is the journey, not our overnight stop, which makes the experience so special. Accommodation - permanent camp

Meals:  B,L,D

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. Those with a little more energy might consider heading to the very top of Namche to visit the Sagarmatha National Park Headquarters which offers a very interesting display of photographs, memorabilia and information on the park, and a wonderful vantage point for the spectacular view up the Imja Khola Valley towards Everest. Also nearby is the Sherpa Cultural Centre at the Sherwi Khangba Eco Lodge which has an interesting collection of mountaineering memorabilia and photographs. 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. Towering to over 4000 meters 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 (8848m), rises at the head of the valley. Again we stay in a well appointed semi permamnet camp which has amazing views from the warm dining room. Accommodation - permanent camp

Meals:  B,L,D

This rest day in Namche Bazaar is very important for safe acclimatisation. Those who are fit and acclimatising well may wish to take the optional walk to the Everest View Hotel where spectacular views of Everest and Ama Dablam may be seen. Sagamartha National Park Headquarters just above our camp offers a very interesting display of photographs, memorabilia and information on the park, and 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 Tawatse (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 has an interesting collection of mountaineering items and photographs. Those who are fit and acclimatising well may wish to take the optional morning walk to the Everest View Hotel where spectacular views of Everest and Ama Dablam may be seen. Accommodation - permanent camp

Meals:  B,L,D

The walk to Deboche 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 our private eco campsite at Deboche. Accommodation - permanent camp

Meals:  B,L,D

Leaving the main trail in favour of isolated trails we trek above Thyangboche and into the conifer forest. The views back to the monastery with Taboche rising beyond are excellent. We follow paths through the forest that lead above the tree line to summer yak pastures and contour around the ridge lines of Kantega. Settlements that are a hive of activity in the wet summer months are deserted and we have these paths to ourselves enjoying the solitude of the walk. We pass through the small settlement of Omoga and travel onto Mingbo, high above the valley floor. At this altitude, with the clear air, we can look across at the highest peaks, at their level, and only a few kilometers distant. Overnight eco lodge.

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we make our way up the ridge high in a sheltered valley. We may see climbing expeditions on our arrival in the base camp as Ama Dablam is one of the world’s most beautiful mountains. It means “Mother’s necklace”; the long ridges on each side like the arms of a mother (Ama) protecting her child, and the hanging glacier thought of as the dablam, the traditional double-pendant containing pictures of the gods, worn by Sherpa women. We have lunch in the Base camp and walk back to Deboche along the main trail in the afternoon. A lot of up and down on this section, with another crossing of the Imja Khola on a steel suspension bridge. We return to our camp at Deboche from day 10. Accommodation - permanent camp

Meals:  B,L,D

If clear the mountain views from Thyangboche monastery on our way through are outstanding. Everest, Lhotse and Nuptse are at the head of the valley, their line of sight flanked by Taweche 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. It is a comfortable day’s walk, with time to explore these unique and more traditional villages. As we near the villages we pass through terraced fields that are home to a brightly colored pheasant, the Danphe Pheasant, the national bird of Nepal. Overnight private eco camp site at Portse Tenga

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we descend all those hard fought metres in altitude and return to the village of Namche Bazaar via the historic villages of Khunde and Khumjung. Khumjung is where Sir Edmund Hillary built his first school which he wrote about in the book “Schoolhouse In the Clouds” and the famed Khunde hospital is close by. World Youth Adventures supports both of these famous community facilities, as well as the many other projects operated by the Himalayan Trust. There will generally be the opportunity for you to visit the hospital and school. We will also be able to visit the monastery at Khumjung where we may have the opportunity to see the “scalp of a yeti”. It is not so far now to reach Namche where we will stop for the night at our private eco camp site. Accommodation - permanent camp

Meals:  B,L,D

Following the trail down we continue down through the forest to the valley floor to follow the Dudh Kosi downhill and out of the national park. Today's walk is long and with a few small hills which surprisingly have have a 'sting' to them. We pass through a variety of settlements and forests before an undulating climb to the finish line at Lukla. We savour our final mountain sunset 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. Accommodation - Lukla Eco Lodge

Meals:  B,L,D

We fly to Kathmandu, a thrilling take off followed by a patch work quilt of terraced fields, forest and villages, with the Himalayan chain to the north. On arrival, we transfer to the Radisson Hotel where a warm shower awaits! The rest of the day is free to do some last minute shopping or sightseeing. Your guide will be able to provide ideas and sugestions. Accommodation - Radisson Hotel

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast at the hotel, we journey a short distance to the medieval town of Bhaktapur. This fascinating town is rich with temples, monasteries and palaces, with ornately carved features such as the famous ‘Peacock Window’. The main square, Durbar Square, is a UNESCO world heritage site, and is best appreciated by sitting and watching with your knowledgeable guide. We will walk along winding alleyways and numerous squares and temple grounds where you will witness life as it has occurred for hundreds of years. Following time to appreciate this living history and the many artisans workshops(the town is famous for pottery and wood carving) we return to Kathmandu and head out for a celebratory farewell dinner and hear from one of the World Youth Adventures staff who has climbed Mt Everest, twice! Accommodation - Radisson Hotel

Meals:  B,L,D

Today as a group you can decide what you would like to do. With access to a vehicle you could venture into Kathmandu to do some shopping or do some more sightseeing. Today is free for you to do some last minute shopping or sightseeing. After a final farewell to our guides we will be transferred to the airport for our return flight home. The Singapore Airlines flight departs at 10:15pm and arriving in Singapore early tomorrow morning. 19 DEC SQ5313 KTM SIN 2215 04:40+1 (Arriving Singapore 20 Dec) Accommodation - Day use access at Radisson Hotel

Meals:  B,L,D

Upon arriving back in Brisbane all arrangements are conclude yet the memories of your time spent in the mountains, lessons learned, the people you have met and the friends you have made will remain forever. Congratulations! 20 DEC SQ245 SIN BNE 09:35 19:35

Meals:  Nil

What's Included

  • Return economy Singapore Airlines flights from Brisbane to Kathmandu via Singapore including your international airport taxes approx $190
  • All meals. 16 breakfasts, 16 lunches & 17 dinners
  • Use of private vehicle with driver for all airport transfers, sightseeing, & required vehicle transportation
  • Flights Kathmandu/Lukla return US$388 approx
  • Expert bilingual group leader, sirdar, assistant guides and kitchen staff
  • Extensive group medical kit carried at all times
  • Good quality accommodation in Kathmandu at the Radisson Hotel
  • Trek pack including sleeping bag, down or fibre filled jacket, insulated mat and a souvenir World Youth Adventures kit bag
  • All park entrance fees, trekking permits and sightseeing entrance fees
  • Porters to carry all personal and group equipment and porters insurance
  • Extensive sightseeing program throughout the Kathmandu valley
  • Detailed Pre Departure Information Kit with all you need to know to prepare

What's Not Included

  • Any meals in addition to the itinerary
  • $200.00 donation required for the purchase of materials to be used for the community projects. This should not be seen as an out of pocket expense as we encourage this amount to be fundraised through school sanctioned events.
  • Bottled water & aerated drinks (drinking water, hot drinks & cordial supplied whilst trekking & at the project)
  • Items of a personal nature such as phone calls, email, laundry, etc
  • Tips (not compulsory. If you would like to contribute then approx US$60 would be suitable)
  • Nepal Visa - compulsory approx $75
  • Travel Insurance - compulsory. Approx $218 (Suresave Budget policy including a 20% discount) For more information: https://www.suresave.com.au/what-we-cover
  • Vaccinations
 

AT A GLANCE

Duration:19 Days
Countries:Nepal
Starting Point:Brisbane. 10 + Students
Activities:Community Project
Trekking
Camping
Grade:Moderate  Click for more information
Trip Code:SOG4138