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Mount Everest Base Camp
Duration - 10 Days
Kathmandu is the gateway to the exciting Khumbu
region from where the pinnacles of Everest, Lhotse, Annapurna, Machapuchare, and
Dhaulagiri have beckoned explorers. Once the haunt of the flower children, the
town is today trying desperately to maintain the old image of a Shangri-La.
is famous not only for its proximity to the world's highest mountain but also
for its Sherpa villages and monasteries with their culture virtually unchanged
through the centuries. SoluKumbu has received countless trekkers and
mountaineers from all over the world. Solukhumbu has developed to a stage where
many options are possible-from a full-scale expedition with tents and porters to
an independent trek using the local lodges. Sagarmatha National Park established
in 1976 covers much of the region. This fascinating land surrounded by high
mountains is a real paradise for mountaineers and trekkers. There is many option
for explore this region, your dream becomes true at Himalayan Worldwide Treks.
The flight runs parallel to the "Great Himalayan Range, starting with Langtang
and Jugal Himal and going on to Cho Oyu and Everest itself. When the plane
takes a left into the Dudh Kosi valley, your heart starts pounding at the
proximity of the gigantic massifs. You also see a distant piece of land stuck
vertically on a mountainside like a stamp on an envelope-the Luki airstrip.
16 Days Tour
Trekking Season :
October to early December and mid-March to
reaching Luka, at 9,000ft / 2,743 m, walk immediately. This can be tough, but
the first day's walk is a gentle descent to the village of Pakding (8,500 ft /
2,590 m), just more than three hours away from the airstrip. After reaching the
valley floor, cross a narrow suspension bridge over the Dudh Kosi at Chopung.
Make sure that there is no yak or dzopkyo (a cross between a yak and cow) coming
from the opposite side-the right of way in the region favors animals!
You go from Pakding to Namche Bazaar, the fabled headquarters of the
Sherpas. Namche was the most vital trading post between Tibet, mainland Nepal
and India. With the decline in trade, however, the local economy has depended
on the climbing and trekking groups. Every Saturday, a weekly bazaar turns this
hamlet into an oriental film set. The first part of the walk up from Pakding is
You enter the Sangarmatha National Park at Monjo
early in the day. The Everest Region has been declared a national park and your
trekking permit is checked here. This part of the trek has magnificent forests
of rhododendrons and magnolias (a large magnolia tree looms near the entrance of
the of the National Park). The trek till the confluence of the rivers Dudh Kosi
and Bhote Kosi, you barely climb 900ft / 275m. Cross over to the right bank of
the Dudh Kosi over a dramatic suspension bridge, then switch back steeply the
next 2,000 ft / 610 m to Namche Bazaar. From where you get the first view of the
Lhotse-Nuptse wall and the tip of Everest.
Take rest at Namche or go on short walks. One such walk is to the top of
the ridge above town, to the national park headquarters. From near this
building, a panorama awaits you: Kusum Kanguru, Thamserku, and Kang Taiga on the
right; Ama Dablam, the Lhotse-Nuptse wall with Everest showing its crest from
behind, and Taboche to your left.
The trail takes you past the Syangboche airfield to Khunde (12,400 ft /
3,780m), another sherpa Village. This landing strip at 12,200 ft/ 3,718 m is
used to fly out rather than to fly in because of the acclimatization problem.
The trail is through thick birch and fir forest. In spring, the rhododendron,
the national flower of Nepal, dazzles you. Khunde and Khumjung are twin
villages on either side of a stream with Khumbu's sacred mountain, Khumbila,
While going from Khunde to Tangboche monastery, stop at monastery at
Khumjung to look at what is ostensibly a yeti skull! When taken to America for
verification in 1960 by Hillary, the scalp was found to be made of antelope
skin. The path from Khumjung joins the main trail to Tangboche at Sanasa. It
winds its way to Treshinga and then dips steeply to the Phunki Tenga village
(10,660 ft / 3,250 m), where you cross over to the other side of the Dudh Kosi.
Being the lowest point on the trek, it is also the warmest. Switchbacking up a
tough climb, reach Tangboche, the most sacred monastery of the area.
After descending from the ridge, it is a three-hour walk to Pangboche
(12,800 ft / 3,900 m). Pitch your camp above the trail for a view of Ama Dablam.
A side trail from there takes you to a yersa (a high altitude shephered camp) at
Mingbo, spectacularly situated in a valley between Thamserku and Ama Dablam.
This is where the base camp is set up for climbing Ama Dablam.
A simple climb brings you to Dingboche. Just lounge around there, or take a
walk. The next two days are tough. Climb up to the tea shops at Chukung, then
to the Chukung Ridge at 17,700 ft / 5,395 m , on a steep trail after crossing
the Imja Khola river. Makalu, Imjatse (also called Island Peak), and Baruntse
peaks are to your east. In the north, you are just under the Nuptse-Lhotse
wall. With the cold night approaching, descend fast to Dingboche.
On way to Lobuche,
you are on the Khumbu glacier and get the first taste of walking on a lateral
moraine. A retreating glacier leaves rocks and stones behind: walking can be
taxing on your calves. Take your time and do it in six hours.
The ascent to the Kala Pathar
or the Black Peak (18,200 ft / 5,547 m ) is your rendezvous with climbing
history. From this ridge top in 1951, Shipton and Hillary got a glimpse of a
route over the Khumbu icefall. From Lobuche, walk on the moraine for two hours
to reach Gorak Shep. From there, start your climb up the Kala Pathar. As you go
up, Everest reveals itself a bit and farmed by Khumbuse and Nuptse, finally
unmarks itself completely.
Reach the yak herders' summer camp at Dozonglha.
The camp is pitched beneath the north wall of Cholatse with the magnificent
Thamserku beckoning from the valley.
The climb up the Cho La is over a flat field but
turns quite steep. In fact, for a short stretch you would be doing four-point
climbing! Another steep ascent would bring you to the top of Cho La (17,612 ft /
5,368 m). A sharp descent on the other side would lead to the scree on the other
side would lead to the scree on the Nima Gawa glacier. After crossing the
glacier and climbing a ridge for half an hour, you go down to Thagnak (15,300 ft
/ 4,663 m), another summer camp.
Descend to the
Ngozumba glacier flowing from the base of the Cho Oyu and Gyachung Kang. Walk
on the glacier for two kilometers and then for another two hours on its lateral
moraine, climbing up to Gokyo (15,700 ft / 4,785 m). Pitch your camp on the
shores of the Dudh Pokhri lake which is covered with ice in spring.
The most enchanting
view still awaits the climber at the Gokyo Ri (17,576 ft/5,357 m ) above Dudh
Pokhri: four of the fourteen peaks above 26,248 ft / 8,000 m - Everest, Cho Oyu,
Lhotse, and Makalu - and huge glaciers tumbling down into valleys, spires, and
jagged precipices. This is the wildest arena on earth - nature in its most
savage incarnation, yet serene and sombre. Descend from this grand theatre to
the moraine, ad in seven hours reach the lush forests around Dole meadow.
Back at Namche.
After two weeks of isolation, it looks like a metropolis. It's worth your while
soaking in the charms of Khumbu for another day.
Important Travel Tips
Direct regular flights from Kathmandu to Lukla in
small eighteen-seater planes. Make advance bookings as these flights get
very full during the trekking season. Alternatively, a seven-hour bus
journey from Kathmandu gets you to the road head at Jiri, from where it's a
pleasant five-six days of walking to Lukla.
Lowest altitude at Phakding on second day 8,600ft
/ 2,621m. Highest altitude at Chukung Ri and Kala Pathar, over
18,000ft/5,500m. Highest campsites at Lobuje and Gokyo lake - over 15,000
What could be seen during this trek
As many as four of the world's eight highest peaks
visible from several points. Spectacular views from many high points like
Chukung Ri, Kala Pathar, Cho La, and Gokyo Ri. High altitude mountain scenery
including glaciers. A culture-rich area with monasteries, especially at
Tangboche, and the hospitable Sherpas.
Trekking Supports Services
Porters and pack animals (yaks and dzopkyos)
easily available. Many good lodges offer very good food throughout on the trip.
These lodges do get very basic and fewer as one goes up. Lukla and Namche
Bazaar help stock up on food and camping equipment.
Important & Emergency
Relatively easy to call for
helicopter rescue, but very expensive. Basic medical facilities are
available at Lukla, Namche, Khunde, and at Pheriche where there is a
camp, useful managed by a Western doctor.
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