Tasmania Secondary College 2019

Tasmania Secondary College 2019

Trip Highlights

  • A private trek for Tasmanian secondary school students from the State, Independent and Catholic Education systems
  • Co-ordinated by Outdoor Educators Doug Grubert & Samantha Fox with additional field support from Dr Sue Keating
  • Stunning views of Mount Everest and surrounds
  • Sherpa Culture
  • Namche Bazaar
  • Thyangboche Monastery
  • Fully supported camping based trek including 3 hearty meals per day prepared by our cooks
  • all camping nights in World Expeditions private permanent campsites
  • Visit Gokyo Lakes and climb Gokyo Ri
  • Ample acclimatisation days built in
  • Himalayan Mountain flight from Kathmandu to Lukla return
  • Sightseeing in Kathmandu - Pashupatinath (a major Hindu shrine) and the giant Buddhist stupa at Boudhanath

Trip Summary

We trek into one of the most spectacular mountain regions of the world, where the Sherpa culture is thriving and where we are able to view the highest peaks. There is time to explore and savour the magnificent peaks of the Himalaya, including Mt Everest; trek through the Gokyo Valley; and visit Thyangboche Monastery. To complete this remarkable journey we visit the many sites of Kathmandu, where fantastic highlights are a daily occurrence.

Itinerary

Transit in Melbourne for Thai Airways flight to Kathmandu via Bangkok. Overnight on flight.

Meals:  Nil

On arrival in Kathmandu (1330 metres) you will be met by your group leader and transferred to the hotel where a pre-trek briefing will be given. Arrangements are made today for the distribution of your kit bag, sleeping bag and down jacket. After a rest we will walk into the Thamel area of Kathmandu for a taste of the days to come as we amble through the markets and enjoy dinner in one of the many good restaurants. Overnight Radisson Hotel.

Meals:  Nil

Sightseeing will be organised for this morning to visit the key cultural sites of Pashupatinath and Boudanath. During our visit you will also have time to explore Kathmandu, Patan, Bhaktapur, and the lesser-known towns that dot the valley. The area has an amazing range of fascinating highlights, whatever your interest. Excellent bookshops, extensive markets, novelty shops and handicraft shops contrast with fascinating centres of cultural and spiritual significance. Kathmandu has more World Heritage sites than any other city in the world. Overnight Radisson Hotel.

Meals:  B

We transfer to the airport for the 45 minute flight to the STOL 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 marvellous views of the Eastern Himalaya. At Lukla we are immediately impressed by the scale of the huge peaks that surround the village, however this is only a foretaste of what is to come. Our crew assemble and we head downhill towards the Dudh Kosi, a raging river that flows from the highest peaks. 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 first campsite at Ghat. Overnight in permanent fixed camp.

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we cross and re-cross the thundering glacial "Dudh" (milk) Kosi (river). Sections of today's walk are through pine forest and cleared areas of terraced fields, with a variety of crops. Along the trail we pass small groups of donkeys and yaks carrying trading goods, food supplies, building materials and trek-gear. Our own gear will 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). 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 Dudh Kosi, and traverse through farmland to a monastery and school for young monks, and where 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) appears majestically, seemingly to rise from the river bed. We will see our first Mani walls today. These structures are built from many stone tablets, each with a carved inscription from Buddhist text. As a sign of respect Buddhists will walk to the left of these Mani Walls and chortens, but you may notice that people of the middlehills do not follow this practice. The allure of the mountains is hard to resist, but we need to be patient, as we acclimatise slowly so as to appreciate our time at higher altitude. Today's walk is not a long one, and you may be eager to press on. Slow down, and enjoy every step of the way. It is the journey, not the campsite, that is important. Overnight in permanent fixed camp.

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning we pass through the gates of the Sagarmartha National Park before crossing the milky white waters of the Dudh Kosi. 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 horseshoe-shaped valley opposite the beautiful peak of Kongde Ri is worth every step. After lunch you may wish to peruse the Tibetan traders' stalls or the Sherpa shops in search of a bargain. Our accommodation will be at our permanent campsite.

Meals:  B,L,D

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. It’s 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. We can take an optional morning walk to the Syangboche panorama chorten for spectacular views of Everest and Ama Dablam. Our accommodation will be at our permanent campsite.

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning we trek up the hill behind Namche and onto the plateau above. We pass by the yak breeding centre and stop at the Everest Hotel for views of Everest before we continue to Khunde, where Sir Edmund Hillary built his first hospital. We will then visit the school he built for the region before continuing to our lodge. This is a busy valley, with many houses and cultivated fields, and is a real indication of traditional Sherpa lifestyle. It is also home to many of the world’s greatest Everest summiteers. Overnight in eco lodge.

Meals:  B,L,D

We initially follow the main trail to Thyangboche as it contours around the hills, before we branch off on a high path that traverses the flanks of the sacred peak of Khumbila (5761 m). We traverse for some time across yak pastures as the trail gradually ascends to Mon La. Below us is the confluence of the Dudh Kosi and Imja Khola and across the valley Thyangboche monastery is framed by Ama Dablam and Kantega. We reach a stupa draped with prayer flags atop a ridge at 3992 metres and then descend steeply through forest to the Dudh Kosi. Sections of red birch, fir and dwarf rhododendron forest are interspersed with areas of yak pasture as we gradually gain altitude. We pass pleasant waterfalls and can rest and gaze at the glaciers that flow from Taweche and Cholatse on the opposite side of the valley. Behind us, spectacular ridges lead to the peak of Khumbila and the numerous unnamed peaks that reach almost 6,000 metres. It was at Dole that one of the more recent and "credible" yeti sightings took place. Overnight in permanent fixed camp.

Meals:  B,L,D

Continuing a steady but constant climb, we reach the yersa or summer village of Machhermo for lunch. Like the few small villages in this valley, Machhermo has only a few buildings and these are empty in the winter. Villagers in Khumjung and Khunde own land up here in the high valley, where they graze yaks in the summer months. This is a valuable acclimatisation day as we prepare for our ascent of Gokyo Ri (5483m). We take things easy but this afternoon you may wish to stretch your legs and take a walk up the ridge behind Luza for a view of the Gokyo Valley. Overnight in permanent fixed camp.

Meals:  B,L,D

Following the valley high above the river, we commence the ascent to Gokyo village. There are excellent views of Cholatse at the village of Pangka and we stop to enjoy them. We are now in high alpine country and as we approach the Ngozumpa Glacier we trek onto the moraine and rock that extends down from it. We enjoy excellent views of Kantega to the south and Cho Oyu to the north. Each mountain has its individual character and presence, and you can understand why the Sherpa people give the peaks such spiritual significance. Once we have ascended the snout of the glacier the path levels. We pass the first of the lakes, Longponga, before reaching, Taoche Lake, a larger body of water and a place where ducks are often seen swimming in the freezing waters on their annual migrations to and from Tibet. As we walk up the valley our path parallels the Ngozumpa Glacier while separating us from the glacier is the massive lateral moraine. We camp near the shores of Dudh Pokhari, the third lake. Overnight in eco lodge.

Meals:  B,L,D

An early start is made to take advantage of the early morning views. The steady yet unrelenting ascent of Gokyo Ri will take two to three hours, depending on your level of fitness and acclimatisation. It is not a race. If you find the climb hard work don't hesitate to ask one of the guides to carry your day pack. You will be elated when you reach the summit with its spectacular view. Probably the most comprehensive view of 8,000 metre peaks in Nepal, many people consider it to be Nepal's best. Surrounding us are Cho Oyu (8153 m), (a mountain that defeated a British Expedition of climbers, including Hillary, in their lead-up to their successful assault of Everest), Gyangchung Kang (7922 m), Lhotse (8501 m), Makalu (8475 m), Cholatse (6440 m), Taweche (6542 m), Kantega (6685 m), Thamserku (6808 m), Lobuche (6145 m) and Mt Everest (8848 m). Hundreds of other peaks fill the scene, whilst below us the Ngozumpa Glacier, the largest in Nepal, stretches through the valley. The striking colour of the lakes below completes the picture. The only way to get a better view of the entire Everest region would be to climb an 8,000 metre peak! Overnight in eco lodge.

Meals:  B,L,D

At the head of the valley, rising from the Tibetan Plateau, is the huge peak of Cho Oyu. Today we will trek beside the huge glacier as we head up the valley and enjoy the small lakes and spectacular mountains. Overnight in eco lodge.

Meals:  B,L,D

We cross the valley, making our way over the Ngozumpa Glacier, and trek back down the valley. After descending the terminal moraine we follow the trail as it winds high above the river, and enjoy the wonderful mountain panorama. Overnight in lodge.

Meals:  B,L,D

As we descend we gain more energy, but it is important to take our time. Passing small settlements along the trail, we make our way to Portse, a picturesque village on a sunny ridge, and a vantage point where we can enjoy the mountain views from a different perspective. After a walk through the village we descend to the bridge across the Dudh Kosi, and our camp. Overnight in permanent fixed camp.

Meals:  B,L,D

We cross the river and make a short climb to Portse. The trail meanders easily around the ridges and Everest can be clearly seen on the horizon ahead before we descend to Pangboche. This is a day that affords many stunning mountain views. After lunch we cross the Dudh Kosi and trek through rhododendron forests. As this is a devout Buddhist region, the wildlife is unharmed and may be seen around camp. Overnight in permanent fixed camp.

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning we visit the visually stunning Thyangboche Monastery. We will be able to walk within the monastery and talk with the monks as we enjoy this fascinating visit. The views of the Everest massif, as well as all the other major peaks of the area are astounding. We may have time to ascend to a nearby ridge that affords a dramatic view of the monastery. We pass around a chorten and through a traditional gateway before cresting the ridge on a trail that descends to the river below. We pass through terraced fields that are home to a brightly coloured pheasant, the Danphe Pheasant, the national bird of Nepal, and although this is not a long walk, it can take time as we stop to enjoy the views. We continue our walk to Namche along a trail that contours the hills and offers great views.

Meals:  B,L,D

We trek downhill and depart the national park to reach Monjo, before continuing along the river to Ghat. Overnight in permanent fixed camp.

Meals:  B,L,D

We continue down the valley floor and follow the Dudh Kosi out of the mountains, passing through a variety of settlements and forests before a gentle climb to Lukla. We have an afternoon to explore the village, or perhaps to reflect on the stunning trek we have completed. We savour our final mountain sunset of the trek as we complete this exhilarating journey. Overnight in eco lodge.

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning we fly to Kathmandu, a fascinating 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. Overnight Radisson Hotel.

Meals:  B

You have time to explore the many fascinating sites in the Kathmandu Valley, visit the markets, or relax. Overnight Radisson Hotel.

Meals:  B

We transferred to the airport for our flight to Bangkok, and transfer to the Melbourne flight. Overnight on flight.

Meals:  B

**The itinerary is a guide to the trek and may be varied. There is sufficient time for a comfortable pace and adequate acclimatisation throughout the trek.

Meals:  Nil

What's Included

  • Trek Pre-departure Information Guide, with all you need to know for your trek.
  • Hotel accommodation in Kathmandu at a first class hotel on a twin share basis with breakfast
  • Accommodation on trek in selected eco lodges, and World Expeditions fixed camps with large 2 person tent with stretcher bed
  • All internal transport by private coach or scheduled air services.
  • All group airport transfers.
  • Gear package for use on trek including sleeping bag and liner, insulated sleeping mat and down or fibre-filled jacket on trek.
  • Kit bag for personal use on trek issued in Kathmandu and kept by you.
  • All meals while trekking.
  • Porters to carry all personal and group equipment.
  • Porter's insurance and protective clothing.
  • Group leader. sirdir, guides and kitchen staff.
  • All park entrance fees and trekking permits.
  • Emergency medical kit.
  • Half day sightseeing in Kathmandu, including entrance fees.
  • Flights Melbourne - Kathmandu - Melbourne.
  • Economy airfares Tasmania - Melbourne - Tasmania up to the value of $250.

What's Not Included

  • Lunches & dinners in Kathmandu (Allow $120)
  • Bottled water in Kathmandu, drinks and soft drinks on trek. (Allow $40)
  • Items of a personal nature such as phone calls, laundry, etc.
  • Tips. (Allow $65)
  • Nepal Visa. (Allow $45)
  • Travel Insurance

Upcoming Travel Dates

 

AT A GLANCE

Duration:23 Days
Countries:Nepal
Activities:Trekking
Grade:Moderate  Click for more information
Trip Code:SOG5686