A trek packed for the ultimate adventurer – this tailored journey is an astounding experience amidst the Himalayas. The Himalayas has allured trekkers/mountaineers/travelers for decades now – and with each passing year, new routes are established (this one of them) – of course one can never have enough of the Himalayas.
The trek begins from Lukla – the gateway to the Everest Region and explores the Sagarmatha National Park. We cross pine forests and picturesque villages as we make our way north to the Everest Base Camp. En route we experience the authentic Sherpa culture and are exposed to some of the best vistas the Himalayas have to offer. After exploring Everest Base Camp and Kala Pathhar and the magnificent views they have to offer of Everest and other majestic peaks, we make our way to the Gokyo Valley via the beautiful Chola Pass (5420m) to reach Gokyo village – a place with beautiful turquoise lakes, so still, calm and blue – the lakes evoke a feeling of heaven on earth. We summit the Gokyo Ri to avail a 360 degree panoramic view of the beautiful paradise we are in. We push towards our final pass – the Renjo La pass to reach Thame Valley, Nepal’s trading route with Tibet.
Challenging yet exciting, traversing through the Himalayas above 5,000 meters, and crossing some of the highest Himalayan passes, this trek is a test of our endurance – a ‘once in a lifetime experience’.
Note: No prior climbing experience required, however a certain level of physical fitness is expected.
Day 01: Arrival
Arrive at TIA, Kathmandu. Be met by our representatives and transfer to hotel. Free to relax the rest of the day. A short briefing about the trek in the evening.
Day 02: A.M.: Sightseeing: Kathmandu P.M.: Trek Preparation
In the morning, we explore Kathmandu – explore the traditional architecture and ancient palaces in the Durbar Square, visit temples, and make way to Swayambhu Stupa (the Monkey Temple) which lies atop a hill where we can watch the valley go about its daily life. The Durbar Square and Swayambhu Temple are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
In the afternoon, we pack for the trek and purchase last minute necessary items (if needed).
Day 03: Flight: Lukla Trek: Phakding (2650m)
Today we head for the Himalayas – a short but a spectacular flight to Lukla offers us glimpses of the long Himalayan Range – a part of it our home for the next few days. As we take in the snow capped peaks we land at Lukla and meet with the porters.
A short break, before we begin our trek. We leave the town of Lukla and cross a suspension bridge. We pass small villages of Chaunrikharka (2713m) and Ghat (2550m) until we descend down the river to reach our stop for the night – Phakding.
Overnight: Lodge Trek Duration: 3 hours.
Day 04: Namche Bazaar (3440m)
Our destination for the day is Namche Bazaar – a bustling and thriving town – the largest in Khumbu region. We follow the Dudh Koshi River through agricultural fields, small villages and a monastery. At Benkar, after we cross the river, we are greeted with tantalizing views of Kusum Kanguru (6369m) and Thamserku (6623m). A 20 minutes steep climb leads us to Monjo, our lunch stop.
After lunch, we register ourselves at the check post and officially enter Sagarmatha National Park. We pass through a beautiful pine forest with occasional villages. A steep climb leads us to Namche, and halfway through we are treated with our first views of the big three – Mt. Everest (8848m), Lhotse (8383m), Nuptse (7879m). Reach Namche.
Overnight: Lodge Trek Duration: 5 – 5 ½ hours
Day 05: Rest/Acclimatization: Namche Bazaar
We take the day to allow our bodies to acclimatize – yet plenty of things to do. In the morning, we hike up to the Shyanboche Airport (closed) with its stone paved runway and head up to Everest View Hotel to enjoy views of the surrounding Himalayas. In the afternoon, we are free to explore the bustling town of Namche.
Overnight: Lodge Trek Duration: 3 ½ to 4 hours.
Day 06: Thyangboche (3860m)
A steep climb for 20 minutes to reach a big prayer stone and the trail becomes steady. We enjoy magnificent views of the Ama Dablam, Thamserku and Kang Taiga as we follow the meandering trail. Reach Phunki Tanga for lunch – an interesting village with large water driven prayer wheels.
A steep trail leads us to Thyangboche where we can get spending views of the Himalayas, including Everest. Thyangboche features a monastery, the most revered in the Khumbu Region where all Everest Expeditions receive their blessings before heading towards the challenge they are about to embark on.
Overnight: Lodge Trek Duration: 5 ½ hours.
Day 07: Dingboche (4350m)
We cross through a forest of birch, conifer and rhododendron to the meadows of Devouche. Cross the Dudh Koshi and climb up a pass and meet a gentle walk all the way to Pangboche. Watch the landscape change after the village of Pangboche as an interesting vista opens up. Reach Shomare and a gradual climb up to a ridge before descend to Khumbu Khola. Cross a wooden bridge and arrive at Dingboche.
Overnight: Lodge Trek Duration: 5 ½ hours.
Day 08: Rest/Acclimatization: Dingboche
Studies on AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness) suggest, when trekking in high altitude areas, a trekker acclimatize to the changing altitudes, especially after 4000 meters. Thus, today we take a day to allow our bodies to adapt before proceeding to higher altitudes. We can explore the village and the surrounding areas.
Overnight: Lodge Trek Duration: 3 ½ hours.
Day 09: Lobuche (4931m)
Cross the ill-defined track across an open landscape and after a short steep ascent to arrive at a hill top, our tracks converge with the trekking trail arriving from Cho La Pass to lead to the EBC. Mt. Cholatse shimmers en route. Reach Thugla for an early lunch. (Note: Early lunch owing to unavailability of water until Lobuche).
A steep ascent leads us to a Sherpa Memorial – chortens (Buddhist shrines) dot the skyline as a tribute to the brave mountaineers who died during their expeditions. Behind the shrines are the majestic mountains – a perfect resting place. Ahead, we are led to the terminal moraine of Khumbu Glacier with beautiful views of Pumori (Widow’s Peak). Arrive at the windswept valley of Lobuche; be enchanted with the mesmerizing views of the Tawatse (6501m) and Nuptse (7855m).
Overnight: Lodge Trek Duration: 3 ½ – 4 ½ hours.
Day 10: Gorakshep(5160m) – Everest Base Camp (5360m) – Gorakshep
Travel along the Khumbu Glacier through jumbled moraines and scattered rocks – on a clear day Everest can be seen looming behind Nuptse. Approach the ridge above Gorakshep and tread down to reach it.
Gorakshep was used as EBC during the 1950s expeditions and has several monuments dedicated to Everest expeditioners who lost their lives during their attempts to scale Everest. After a short rest, we head up to the EBC – just below the infamous Khumbu Icefall.
The EBC is not a specific location, more of a scattered region, where each expedition team sets camp before heading on towards the summit. Watch the towering mountain ranges surrounding us and be in awe of the treacherous Khumbu Icefall as we trek alongside it. Return to Gorakshep.
Overnight: Lodge Trek Duration: 7 ½ – 8 ½ hours.
Day 11: Kala Patthar (5545m) – back to Pheriche (4371m)
Early breakfast and an arduous trek uphill for about 2 hours, reach Kala Patthar to catch stunning, panoramic, awe-inspiring views of the Himalayas – Everest included. The trip to Kala Pathhar although difficult is rewarding – find yourself deeply immersed in the majestic Himalayas. Catch sights of some of the tallest peaks of the world – Everest (8848m), Nuptse (7855m), Lhotse (8516m), Pumori (7145m), and more.
Take some time to fully soak in the visual treat ahead of you before heading back down. From Gorakshep, we collect our belongings and head down the jumbled moraines to reach Lobuche.
Overnight: Lodge Trek Duration: 5 ½ – 6 ½ hours.
Day 12: Dzongla (4850m)
Descend from Lobuche to pursue the trail towards Cho La Pass. Pass through a stupa and tombstones. We begin our ascent as we notice towering mountains alongside us and the Chola Tsho Lake below us. Continue ascend to reach a smaller lake and cross the Chola Khola (River) via a small bridge to reach Dzongla.
Short day to prepare for the big trek the next day. Admire the beauty of the surrounding ranges.
Overnight: Lodge Trek Duration: 3 – 4 hours.
Day 13: Cross Cho La Pass (5420m) to Thagnak
Big day today, so we start early to cross the Cho La Pass at 5420m. A steep climb made worse by rocks and boulders through which we have to scramble or maneuver. Final climb is trickier as the trail curves through a crevasse. Reach the pass and just be amazed by the breathtaking view of the Himalayas ahead of you.
After taking in the view, we make a steady walk downhill. Reach Nymagawa and ascend a relaxed trail to reach Thagnak.
Overnight: Lodge Trek Duration: 7 hours.
Day 14: Gokyo (4750m)
For many, there is nothing like Gokyo – it is a piece of paradise.
Relatively easy trek today, we head towards the Ngozumba Glacier (the longest glacier in Nepal). Pass through small glacial lakes and arrive at the snout of Ngozungpa Glacier, the source of the Dudh Koshi (the river we trekked along earlier). We reach the first of the Gokyo Lakes, the second and the third, along whose bank the village of Gokyo lays. Enjoy the view ahead of you – first the turquoise blue lake (tranquil), the picturesque village, and the shimmering Cho Oyu in the back drop. Spend the remainder of the day exploring.
Overnight: Lodge Trek Duration: 4 ½ hours.
Day 15: Climb Gokyo Ri (5463m)
Today we climb a mountain in the Himalayas – the Gokyo Ri. An early morning trek will ensure excellent views along with the sunrise. The view atop Gokyo Ri is like none – the lakes behind you and the mountains all around you – all shimmering. Everest (8848m) showing its northern flank, Makalu (8643m) to the east and Cho Oyu (8201m) – these three fall within the world’s top 10 highest mountain peaks. Mesmerizingly beautiful, the view of the Himalayan range will render you out of words to describe it.
Drop back down to the village and either rest, enjoy the Himalayan sun or head to the 5th lake.
Overnight: Lodge Trek Duration: 4 – 4 ½ hours.
Day 16: Cross Renjo La Pass (5345m) to Lungden (4650m)
The fifth time you will be crossing 5,000 metres in a week, and the second 5,000 metre pass – today we push towards another challenging leg of the journey – the Renjo La Pass. We follow the trail around the lake and ascend to reach the highland pasture. A steady but continuous climb for three hours leads us to the top of the pass. Prayer flags can be seen fluttering and a beautiful Nangpa Valley lies ahead of us. Everest and Makalu come into view, in shimmering glory.
The descent is tricky – we have to walk on scree (loose stones on a slope). Ropes are fixed to facilitate descent during snowy conditions. We reach a glacial lake and the valley opens up. Cross open pastures to reach Lungden.
Overnight: Lodge Trek Duration: 7 to 8 hours.
Day 17: Namche Bazaar (3447m)
We follow the Bhote Koshi River to Nangpa Valley, a beautiful valley. Reach Marlung, rest. From Marlung we follow a centuries old trading route followed by Tibetan traders. Cross Bhote Koshi, reach Taranga. A continuous descent until we reach Thame.
From Thame, pass through the village of Thamo to reach Namche Bazaar.
Overnight: Lodge Trek Duration: 6 – 7 hours.
Day 18: Phakding (2652m)
After many days up in the mountains at high altitudes, your bodies will welcome the warmer weather. A gentle walk takes us to Jorsale, exit the national park and continue to Monjo. We retrace our journey backwards; at the same time watch others enthusiastically begin their trek. We walk through beautiful blue pine and rhododendron forest along the Dudh Koshi (whose source we met earlier) to reach Phakding.
Overnight: Lodge Trek Duration: 3 – 4 hours.
Day 19: Lukla
We make our way out of the river valley, an elated and exhilarated feeling within our tired bodies, as we approach closer to the end of our treks. We enter the busy village of Lukla, settle in our lodges. In the evening, dinner may be followed with a few celebratory drinks and dancing with our Sherpa friends.
Overnight: Lodge Trek Duration: 3 ½ – 4 ½ hours.
Day 20: Flight: Kathmandu
Enjoy a hearty breakfast, our last meal in the heart of the Himalayas. Take another spectacular flight out of Lukla to Kathmandu.
At the airport, be met by a representative and transferred to hotel.
Day 21: Free day in Kathmandu
Take the day to explore Kathmandu – a city where the modern meets the traditional.
Note: If you wish to go sightseeing, please contact our representative for tour options.
Day 22: Departure
Last minute shopping of souvenirs and transfer to TIA, Kathmandu for onward journey.
Watch the Himalayas pass by as you relive the memories spent only days ago in the heart of the mountains. Relish on the achievement of a lifetime experience.
Best Period: Feb, Mar, April, May – Oct, Nov, Dec
Time Period: 21 Nights / 22 Days.
Trek Period: 17 Night / 18Days
In Kathmandu: 04 Nights
Flights: 2 Ways. (Kathmandu/Lukla/Kathmandu)
Trek Type: Strenuous
Highest Altitude: 5545 meters
Warning: Altitude Sickness.
Trek Start Point: Lukla
Trek End Point: Lukla
Accommodations: Hotels in Kathmandu / Lodges on trek
National Park: Sagarmatha National Park (1148 sq. kms)
Mountains: Everest, Lhotse, Tamserku, Ama Dablam, Nuptse, Tawatse, Kantega, Pumo-ri, etc.
Rivers: Bhote Kosi, Dudh Kosi and Imjatse Khola.
Villages: Lukla, Namche, Machermo, Thyangboche, Pheriche, Lobuche, etc
Tribes: Mostly Sherpa’s & Tibetans
Forests: Of Rhododendron and Pine.
Landscapes: Varying from temperate valleys to snow clad mountains.
NEPAL TREK INFORMATION
What is Tea House / Lodge trek?
A simple way to under Tea house / Lodge is probably ‘a small hotel’. However this can sometimes be misleading, as they do not have high-end facilities like modern hotels in urban areas. The concept though is same as hotels in providing accommodations (rooms) and meals for guest staying in it.
So if one does a trek going from point A to B to C etc., and spending nights in these kind of lodges or teahouse is called a ‘Lodge Trek’ or ‘Tea House Trek’
Which areas in Nepal have Tea House treks?
The most popular regions for treks in Nepal are Annapurna, Everest Langtnag and Upper Mustang. All these places have good quality lodges, well managed, variety of food to choose from the menus available and boast of Wi-Fi, bakeries etc.
Around the areas that have lesser trekkers like, Makalu Barun, Manaslu, Kanchenjunga etc. the tea house/ lodge are very basic in comparison.
Basically good lodges have developed where foot traffic is the most and Annapurna, Everest and Langtang receive the most trekkers in Nepal.
Rooms in the Lodges?
The rooms are very basic in most places. In some very popular areas like Annapurna and Everest high-end rooms with attach bath and flush toilet and ruining hot/ cold water have come out in the recent years. However these kinds of lodges are very few and not available in all places on the trek route.
Basic room’s sizes are on an average of 8 feet by 8 to 10 feet. They have twin cots with mattress and pillows. Most lodges provide blankets, however for hygienic regions it’s advisable to carry a good sleeping bag of your own. The walls are pretty thin and noises carry. Earplugs are recommended to be carried.
In more remote areas one may only get dormitories for accommodations and dinning and sleeping arrangements may be in the same common area.
Toilets in the Lodges
Most lodges have several common toilets inside the lodge. The number depends on how big the lodge is. On an average a lodge having 15 /18 rooms may have 3 /4 common toilets. The toilets are very basic and no flush or running water is available in the toilets. Please bring you own Toilet paper. Drums with water and a mug are the ways to flush!
In Annapurna and Everest region we try and provide rooms with attach bath
where available. However, do note that there are only a handful of places where this kind of facility is available.
Food in lodges
Menu in most places especially the more popular trekking routes have extensive looking menus ranging from local, Tibetan to western delicacies. Items like Dal Bhat (rice, vegetables and lentils), pizzas, pastas, momos (dumplings), noodles, soup, fried rice etc., are amongst the common ones in all menus.
Our recommendation is to avoid meat, as in most places porter carry the meat to lodges without any hygienic way to keep the meat fresh on the way. It takes at least few days to reach the lodges. Even the canned meat items are not recommended, as one has no way to check the expiry date etc.
Recommended food items are the local ones like Dal Bhat, Momos (Dumplings), noodles etc, as they are freshly made in comparison to other food items. Please remember the cooks in the lodges are ‘not chefs’, very few are trained professionally as most have learned through looking at other cooks cooking in the same lodges or similar ones in the area. Basically sticking to local food is best as they are hygienic and fresh.
For breakfast pancakes, porridge, toast (not available everywhere), eggs etc. are available in all lodges.
There is a common dining area with fireplaces in all lodges. This is not only a place to eat but also a good place to unwind, interact with fellow trekkers, read a book, play board games or cards and relax.
Everyday our guide will help you and provide information on what choices to make in which places / lodges for food.
Drinking water on treks
One can get boiled water or bottled mineral water or filtered water in the Everest region, Annapurna and Langtang region. On an average a liter of water will cost US $ 1.50 to US $ 4.00 per liter. As one gains altitude on trek or goes further from the urban areas the higher the cost of drinking water.
Showers during treks
Hot or Cold showers are available everywhere in the Lodges. In some lodges, especially as we go higher in altitude instead of showers a bucket of hot water may be the option.
A hot shower cost on an average of US $ 3.00 to US $ 5.50 per shower. The higher we go the more expensive the bath.
We recommend not to take too may baths on treks specially if one is going to high altitude treks. The reason being the temperature drops rapidly as the sunsets and getting the body temperature back to normal after shower at high altitude becomes difficult. This increases the chances of catching cold and walking with cold at high altitude with thin cold air is not a pleasant experience. So please try and avoid taking showers as much as possible.
Electricity on treks
Electricity hasn’t reached all places in Nepal. So electricity is limited to certain areas of the trek. On an average one has electricity till about 3500 meters in altitude. As we gain altitude solar system has been set up in all lodges.
Rooms have lights only till places where electricity has reached. So where electricity has not reached there are no room lights. Dining hall, toilets and all common areas have electricity through the night even if it is being supplied through solar system.
Charging camera batteries, mobile phones can be done at the dining hall upon informing the management. They charge on an average of US $ 2.00 to US $ 6.5 for getting the batteries fully charged. The higher we go the more expensive to charge.
We recommended that you put your batteries in your sleeping bags at night to keep it warm as in cold the batteries drains energy very fast.
Wi-Fi and mobile phone on treks
Annapurna and Everest regions have lodges that provide Wi-Fi. A cost of US $ 5.00 to $ 12.00 depending on what data package they have is charged on per hour or per day basis.
Other trek areas have not developed this facility.
Annapurna and Everest region has good mobile connectivity. Other areas don’t have much coverage but the mobile network connection is growing. Please enquire via mail about the mobile phone coverages on trek routes for details.
One can get a mobile phone sim card on arrival at the airport. Passport photocopies with passport size photo (one) is required.