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Food

  • Breakfast is included throughout the trip. On trek the breakfast will be a set menu usually consisting of porridge, toast and egg. Any additional items that are not included in the set menu should be ordered and paid for separately. We do not include lunch and dinner on trek allowing you to choose what you want to eat and when. The menus in the lodges are almost identical to one another but offer a varied choice, ranging from traditional Nepalese dhal bhat to pizza and apple pie. Dhal bhat is the staple diet in Nepal and comes in many different forms but generally comprises some curried lentil dhal and meat or vegetables, some rice, and a pickle/chutney. Another popular snack is momos; a type of Nepalese dumpling, fried or steamed, filled with meat or vegetables. Although meat is available in the teahouses, we advise against eating it on trek. The meat has often been carried in the heat from lower altitudes for several days before reaching the lodges, and can cause stomach upsets or illness. Germs can also be spread by handling dirty money - we recommend using hand sanitiser. If you buy imported food and drink whilst on trek you will spend more than the Trip Notes suggest. *Drinking Water* Staying hydrated is important when undertaking any physical activity but particularly so at altitude where it is generally recommended to drink at least 3-4 litres per person per day. We strongly encourage you not to buy bottled water on trek as this contributes to the growing problem of plastic pollution in Nepal’s trekking areas. All teahouses will provide cold water free of charge, if requested. Although this should not be drunk untreated, we recommend that you bring a reusable bottle with a wide opening (Nalgene or similar) with you and use a SteriPEN to treat it with. A SteriPEN is a handheld UV water purifier – small, lightweight and battery powered so easy to pack for a trek. In Nepal’s trekking regions most of the bottled water isn’t strictly ‘mineral water’ anyway but is UV treated, so it’s exactly the same technology. It’s quick to use, far more effective than purification tablets, and the water is ready immediately. It’s fine to use a SteriPEN on non-boiled water so long as it isn’t cloudy or full of sediment (which is uncommon in these regions). SteriPENs are widely stocked on Amazon, outdoor shops and other online retailers; look for the latest models but avoid USB charging ones. Better still, a SteriPEN will pay for itself over the course of the trek and you won’t leave behind a single plastic bottle – you will end up spending the same or even less than you would on bottled water, plus you can keep it for future trips. If you prefer not to invest in a SteriPEN, the teahouses also sell boiled water for approx. Rs150-300 per litre (the price increases the higher you trek) which should not require treating. This is also perfect for a bedtime refill as it can double up as a hot water bottle.

Activities

  • Walking & Trekking
  • Point-to-Point
  • Food

    • Breakfast is included throughout the trip. On trek the breakfast will be a fixed set menu usually consisting of porridge or muesli, with either toast, chapatti or pancake, plus an egg or omelette and a cup of tea/coffee. Any additional items that are not included in the set menu should be ordered and paid for separately. We do not include lunch and dinner on trek allowing you to choose what you want to eat. Lunch will be taken at a teahouse en route - sometimes one of your guides will go ahead with the group’s order to make it more expedient. Dinner will be in the same teahouse that you sleep at (this is custom in Nepal as teahouses base their room rate on it). The menus in the lodges are almost identical to one another but offer a varied choice, ranging from traditional Nepalese dhal bhat to pizza and apple pie. Dhal bhat is the staple diet in Nepal and comes in many different forms but generally comprises some curried lentil dhal and meat or vegetables, some rice, and a pickle/chutney. Another popular snack is momos; a type of Nepalese dumpling, fried or steamed, filled with meat or vegetables. Although meat is available in the teahouses, we advise against eating it on trek. The meat has often been carried in the heat from lower altitudes for several days before reaching the lodges, and can cause stomach upsets or illness. Germs can also be spread by handling dirty money - we recommend using hand sanitiser. If you have a gluten free diet, then we strongly recommend you bring some extra food and snacks with you to supplement the food on trek as there will be little variety available for you, particularly for breakfast. Even many of the soups are from powder/packets and contain gluten. If you buy imported food and drink whilst on trek you will spend more than the Trip Notes suggest. *Drinking Water* Staying hydrated is important when undertaking any physical activity but particularly so at altitude where it is generally recommended to drink at least 3-4 litres per person per day. We strongly encourage you not to buy bottled water on trek as this contributes to the growing problem of plastic pollution in Nepal’s trekking areas. The teahouses sell boiled water for approx. Rs150-300 per litre (the price increases the higher you trek) which should not require treating. This is also perfect for a bedtime refill as it can double up as a hot water bottle.  Alternatively, all teahouses will provide cold water free of charge, if requested. Although this should not be drunk untreated, we recommend that you bring a reusable bottle (or two) and use an effective form of water treatment. There are a wide range of products available these days which are more effective than traditional purification tablets - we recommend talking to an outdoor retailer for the latest advice as technologies are improving all the time: make sure to check the product’s performance in cold/freezing conditions and consider battery life (lithium batteries are best in cold conditions). Handheld UV filters such as a ‘SteriPEN’ are widely available to purchase from online retailers such as Amazon and Ebay – they’re very effective, can treat 1 litre of water in a couple of minutes and the water is ready immediately – look for lightweight lithium battery models and remember that you will need to bring a wide-mouthed bottle (e.g. Nalgene) for use with these devices. There is also an array of water filter and purifier bottles on the market, such as ‘The Grayl’ or ‘Water-to-Go’ but please note that these tend to have a small capacity and the filter systems will be less effective if they freeze so are less practical for high altitude treks such as this.
  • 1

    Start Kathmandu.

    The group flights usually arrive into Kathmandu in the afternoon - those travelling on them will be met at the airport and transferred to our hotel. The rest of the group will join us at the hotel throughout the afternoon. There will be a full briefing this evening. *Hotel Manaslu / Ambassador* (or similar)

  • 2

    Take the short but spectacular mountain flight to Lukla (2800m); trek to Phakding.

    We fly to the mountain airstrip of Lukla (2,800m), and head northwards up the valley of the Dudh Kosi (or 'milk river'). We descend from the small plateau, down into the forested valley. The trail crosses several tributary streams and we have some tantalising views before reaching the small settlement of Phakding (2,650m), where we will spend our first night. *Teahouse (sleeping altitude 2,652m)*

  • 3

    Follow the Dudh Kosi and ascend to Namche Bazaar.

    Heading out of Phakding we follow the Dudh Kosi northwards. This day's walk takes us through magnificent forests with glimpses of the mountains ahead. We cross the river several times by bridges as we pass through the villages of Benkar, Monzo and Jorsale. A final bridge brings us to the foot of the steep climb to Namche. Halfway up this ascent we may get our first glimpse, cloud-permitting, of the summit of Everest appearing majestically behind the great ridge of Nuptse-Lhotse. A last 300m of climbing brings us to Namche Bazaar, the Sherpa capital and the main town in the area. Namche is a prosperous Sherpa town and an important trading centre. It has a weekly market on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning but the town bustle all day every day with trekkers, coffee shops, bakeries and stores selling all kinds of trekking and climbing gear as well as Tibetan souvenirs.  *Teahouse (sleeping altitude 3,440m)*

  • 4

    Acclimatisation walk to Kunde and Khumjung; descend to Kyanjuma.

    We climb steeply out of Namche past the airstrip at Shyangboche, to the Everest View Hotel, the highpoint of our day at 3,880m. Built by the Japanese this spectacularly situated hotel with wonderful views of Everest and Ama Dablam is an ideal place for a tea break. Descending through forest we come to Khumjung, where we have lunch close to the Sir Edmund Hillary School. After lunch, we walk up to Kunde and visit the Edmund Hillary Hospital. The twin villages of Kunde and Khumjung are set below Khumbila, the rocky peak sacred to all Sherpas. For much of the walk, we have great views of Ama Dablam and other Himalayan giants. We walk back down through Khumjumg, to the monastery. Sadly it was damaged in the earthquake but is now being repaired. Inside is a small box and after paying the entry fee (which goes towards the repairs) we will be shown the only Yeti skull in the world! Descending to the main trail we spend the night at Kyanjuma (3,600m). *Teahouse (sleeping altitude 3,600m)*

  • 5

    Trek through the Sherpa heartland to the monastery at Thyangboche (3,870m)

    This morning we descend to the river; we cross it at the little settlement of Phunki Thangkha at 3,250m, then climb steeply through the forest to Thyangboche at 3,867m. We will be here by lunchtime and in the afternoon, we will visit the famous monastery. The sunset and sunrise on the fantastic panorama of mountains surrounding us are not to be missed - Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse and Ama Dablam provide a wonderful backdrop to our teahouse. Look out for Himalayan Tahr in the forest surrounding the monastery. *Teahouse (sleeping altitude 3,867m)*

  • 6

    Trek through the Sherpa heartland and Thyangboche Monastery to Dingboche.

    The trail from Thyangboche leads downhill through a forest of conifers, birch and rhododendrons. The trail passes the nunnery at Deboche to cross a bridge over the Imja Khola, whose valley we now follow. The trail then enters Pangboche, at 3,900m, the highest permanent settlement in this valley. We are above the tree line now. A short climb brings us to Shomore, where we have lunch. After lunch we continue climbing to Dingboche, at 4,530m. Dingboche is a summer settlement and here the great peaks of Ama Dablam, the ridge of Nuptse-Lhotse, Tawoche and Chalotse surround us. *Teahouse (sleeping altitude 4,350m)*

  • 7

    Ascend Nangkartshang Peak (5100m) for views of Makalu.

    We spend this day at Dingboche to continue our acclimatisation. Those who are adapting well to the altitude can climb Nangkartshang Peak at 5,100m. From this hill the views are even more spectacular - Chalotse and Tawoche tower above us, Ama Dablam rears up across the valley and in the distance, we can see Makalu. *Teahouse (sleeping altitude 4,350m)*

  • 8

    Trek to Chukkung and ascend Chukkung Ri (5546m).

    The trail ascends the valley gently towards Island Peak and Chhukung, a small settlement at 4,730m. From Chhukung we will ascend Chhukung Ri (5,546m) and from here we can look directly across the valley to the fantastic snow and ice formations on Ama Dablam and the Amphu Labsa. *Teahouse (sleeping altitude 4,730m)* Trek Profile: 5.5km/3hrs to Chhukung, + 4km/3.5 hrs Chhukung Ri 

  • 9

    Cross the Kongma La (5535m) to Lobuje.

    An early start for a tough and very long day as we cross our first pass. We turn away from the main valley and head up a side valley towards the Kongma La. As we ascend the scenery becomes increasingly spectacular as the ridge of Nuptse appears above us. We can see the glaciers of Kongmatse ahead and the rocky peak of Pokalde is to our left. Finally, we reach a small lake before the last steep scramble to the top of the pass. From the top (5,535m), we are surrounded by peaks and glaciers in all directions. The descent is long and steep and finally brings us to the Khumbu Glacier, a real sting in the tail as we must cross it at the end of the day to reach Lobuje (4,930m) a tiny yak pasture with a few teahouses in the summer. The sunset on Nuptse towering above us is not to be missed. *Teahouse (sleeping **altitude 4,930m )*

  • 10

    Trek to Everest Base Camp (5364m); return to Gorak Shep.

    Another long day so we start very early, following the Khumbu Glacier northwards to Gorak Shep (5,180m). The trail undulates by the side of the Khumbu Glacier on the rocky moraine. It will take us approx. 3hrs to reach Gorak Shep, where we have a rest and something to eat. We stock up on snacks and water as there are no tea houses from here to Base Camp. Leaving Gorak Shep we trek across the sandy flat at Gorak Shep and climb onto the lateral moraine of the Khumbu Glacier. The trail ascends the side of the glacier for a couple of hours before descending onto the rocky glacial moraine itself. The trail winds up and down through fascinating ice seracs to the area known as Everest Base Camp (5,364m), where in spring, we may see some of the expedition teams as they prepare to summit the mountain. From the Base Camp we get fantastic close-up views of the Khumbu Ice Fall. Nuptse towers above us and Pumori rears up behind us. We retrace our steps to Gorak Shep. *Teahouse (sleeping altitude 5,180m)*

  • 11

    Ascend Kala Pattar (5545m) for classic views of Everest; return to Lobuche.

    This morning we climb steeply above Gorak Shep to the small peak of Kala Pattar, 'Black Rock', at 5,545m, from where we can look down over the camps of the various Everest expeditions. This climb affords a most magnificent view of the Khumbu Glacier and above all a close-up view of the world's highest mountain. We return to Gorak Shep and retrace our steps to Lobuje. (Please note that due to bad weather we may change the order in which we do the walks to Everest Base Camp and Kala Pattar). *Teahouse (sleeping altitude 4,930m)*

  • 12

    Trek to Dzongla; optional trek up Awi Peak (5245m).

    Following the terminal moraine of the Khumbu Glacier we head down the valley before turning off above the Chola Tso Lake towards our next pass, the Cho La. Above us are the twin peaks of Tawoche and Chalotse. We stay tonight in the small basic tea house at Dzongla (4,840m). For the energetic there will be a chance en route to ascend Awi Peak (5,245m), a little-known viewpoint but well worth the effort for the views across to Everest Base Camp. *Teahouse (sleeping altitude 4,840m)* Walk profile: 6km/4 hrs to Dzongla, + optional 4km/3-4 hrs Awi Peak

  • 13

    Cross the Cho La (5,420m) into the Gokyo Valley.

    The ascent of the Cho La is very steep and not easy, especially in heavy snow conditions. At the top of the pass (5,420m) we cross the icy sloping surface of the glacier - a true mountain experience - as snow peaks and glaciers now surround us. Initially the descent is very steep and can be icy as it zig zags down the moraine. The trail then becomes easier as we finally reach the lodges at Dragnag, where we stay tonight. *Teahouse (sleeping altitude 4,700m)*

  • 14

    A short walk across the Ngozumpo glacier to Gokyo Lake.

    An easy day today after the exertions of the last few days, as we climb onto the terminal moraine of the Ngozumpo Glacier, which is the largest in the Nepal Himalaya. A magnificent, but quite tough walk, across the glacier brings us to the walled meadows and lodge set next to the azure blue lake at Gokyo (4,750m). There is time this afternoon to rest and take in the views or the energetic may want to explore further up the Gokyo Valley. *Teahouse sleeping altitude 4,750m)*

  • 15

    Ascend Gokyo Peak (5360m).

    A day to explore the magnificent scenery at Gokyo. There is a chance to ascend Gokyo Ri (5,360m.) which is set above the lake and enjoys probably the most magnificent mountain panorama in the Khumbu. Mountains surround us and include four of the seven highest peaks in the Nepal Himalaya: Cho Oyu, Everest, Lhotse and Makalu. In the afternoon it is also possible to visit the fourth glacial lake. *Teahouse (sleeping altitude 4,750m)*

  • 16

    Cross the Renzo La (5,345m) to Lungden.

    Leaving this wonderful desolate mountain arena we climb up the steep barren rocky path to our last pass, the Renzo La (5,345m). From the top the views are truly magnificent. We can still see Everest in all its glory surrounded by Nupste, Lhotse and Makalu. Gokyo Lake is a tiny pinprick way below us and, looking over the pass are the peaks of Rolwaling. We pass Rermo Lake and continue on down to Lungden for the night. *Teahouse (sleeping altitude 4,350m)*

  • 17

    Descend through Thame to Namche.

    We descend to meet the trail from the Nangpa La, which leads into Tibet, and we may well meet Tibetan traders, with their caravans of yaks laden with carpets, salt and hides. Following the Bhote Kosi Valley we head south to Thame with its spectacular monastery. From Thame we follow the valley down to Namche. *Teahouse (sleeping altitude 3,440m)*

  • 18

    A long day back to Lukla

    Quite a long day today but mostly downhill. We descend from Namche and retrace our steps down through Jorsale, Monzo and Benkar to Phakding. Crossing the river the trail undulates through Ghat and Tadakosi and then we have a final climb to Lukla. *Teahouse (sleeping altitude 2,800m)*

  • 19

    Fly to Kathmandu.

    We fly back to Kathmandu and spend the rest of the day at leisure. *Hotel Manaslu / Ambassador* (or similar)

  • 20

    Free day in Kathmandu.

    Today is free in Kathmandu for last minute sightseeing or shopping. *Hotel Manaslu / Ambassador* (or similar)

  • 21

    End Kathmandu.

    The trip ends after breakfast. **

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