- Breakfast is included throughout the trip and all meals are provided while camping. On trek the breakfast will be a set menu usually consisting of porridge and toast. Any additional items that are not included in the set menu should be ordered and paid for separately. Please allow £25 - £35 per day for other meals and drinks on trek and in Kathmandu. We do not include lunch and dinner in the tea-houses, allowing you to choose what you want to eat and when. The menus in the lodges are varied, ranging from traditional Nepalese dhal bhat to pizza and apple pie. Please note that if you buy imported food and drink whilst on trek you will spend more than the above amount as both are very expensive in the Everest region.
- Accom: camping
- Accom: hotel/lodge
- New trip
- Serious adventure
- Walking & Trekking
- Guided Group
- Trek: point-to-point
- Trek: summits
Arrive into Kathmandu in the afternoon and transfer to the Royal Singi Hotel. Those on land only arrangements will join us at the hotel early evening.
Free day in Kathmandu.
Today is free for sightseeing in Kathmandu. You may wish to visit the monkey temple at Swayambhunath, one of the largest Buddhist Stupas in the world at Bodnath, or the most important Hindu temple in the valley at Pashupatinath. Sightseeing tours can be booked locally. Please see the Optional Excursions section. There will also be a full trek briefing today.
Fly to Lukla; trek to Phakding.
We fly to the mountain airstrip of Lukla (2,800m), and set off on the first short leg of our trek, heading northwards up the valley of the Dudh Kosi (or 'milk river'). The trail crosses several tributary streams and we have some tantalising views before reaching the small settlement of Phakding (2650m), where we will spend our first night. Walk profile: approx. 6km / 2.5-3hrs
Trek to Namche Bazaar.
We follow the Dudh Kosi north, crossing from one bank to the other throughout the day. Heading out of Phakding, we first cross to the west bank, climbing high above the river. This day's walk takes us through magnificent forests of rhododendron, giant fir and magnolia trees, and in both spring and autumn the ground is bright with flowers. After Jorsale (2800m) the trail climbs over a spur and alongside a dripping moss-grown cliff, to cross the west fork of the river, the Bhote Kosi, and start the steep climb to Namche Bazaar. About 300m up this ascent we may get a first glimpse, of the summit of Everest appearing behind the great ridge of Nuptse-Lhotse. Another 300m of climbing brings us to Namche Bazaar, administrative centre of the Khumbu region, headquarters for the Mount Sagarmatha (Everest) National Park, a prosperous Sherpa village and an important trading centre. Walk profile: approx. 16km / 6hrs
Acclimatisation walk through Kunde and Khumjung to Kyanjuma.
We climb steeply out of Namche to the Everest View Hotel. This spectacularly situated hotel with wonderful views of Everest and Ama Dablam is an ideal place for a tea break. Continuing, we trek to the villages of Kunde and Khumjung set below Khumbila, the rocky peak sacred to all Sherpas. In Kunde we can visit the Edmund Hillary hospital, and there should also be time to visit the monastery in Khumjumg, where for a small donation we will be shown the only Yeti skull in the world! Descending to the main trail we spend the night at Kyanjuma (3,600m). Walk profile: approx.13km / 6-7hrs
Climb to Phortse.
At Kyanjuma we turn off the main trail and begin climbing to the Mong La, marked by a chorten on the top of a ridge at 3972m. This ridge descends from Khumbila, the abode of the patron god of all sherpas. From the top we have great close-up views of Ama Dablam, probably the most photographed mountain in Nepal. From the ridge, the trail descends in a series of steep switchbacks past Phortse Tenga to the Dudh Kosi. We cross the river on a small bridge and then have a short climb up to Phortse (3,800m), a fairly large village with a school and monastery. Walk Profile: approx 9km / 6hrs
Continue to Dingboche.
A wonderful walk today as we take the little used but spectacular high trail to Pangboche. The trail climbs out of Phortse and contours round the valley high above the river on a dizzying trail with spectacular views across the valley to Ama Dablam. As the trail winds upwards look out for Himalayan Tahr grazing on the steep slopes above. We then drop down to meet the main trail at Pangboche, at 3900m, the highest permanent settlement in this valley. We are above the tree line now passing through an alpine meadow landscape where we may catch a glimpse of the rare Impeyan pheasant, the national bird of Nepal. Following a ledge above the river, the trail crosses a wooden bridge at the confluence of the Khumbu and Imja Kholas. A short steep climb brings us to Dingboche, at 4530m. Here the great peaks of Ama Dablam, the ridge of Nuptse-Lhotse, Tawoche and Chalotse surround us. Walk Profile: approx 13km /6/7hrs
Acclimatisation day in Dingboche. Ascend Nangkartshang Peak (5100m).
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. Walk profile: approx. 5km / 5hrs
Trek to Lobuje.
The trail climbs steeply out of Dingboche past a chorten and ascends the valley gradually to Dugla at the end of the terminal moraine of the Khumbu Glacier. From here we have a short, steep climb up to Chukpo Lari, a beautiful, yet poignant place where there is a line of memorials in tribute to the climbers who have died on Everest and from where we have a beautiful panorama of the peaks lying on the Nepal-Tibet border. The trail then eases off as we follow the valley to Lobuje, a tiny hamlet with a few teahouses. The sunset on Nuptse is not to be missed. Trek Profile: approx. 5/5.5 hours walking / 8.3km / sleeping altitude 4,930m
Trek to Gorak Shep; visit Everest Base Camp.
A very long, hard day today as we leave very early, following the Khumbu Glacier northwards to Gorak Shep (5,184m). The trail undulates up and down the moraine with some short steep sections. The trail is rocky in places as we are now on the lateral moraine of the Khumbu Glacier. It will take us about 3 hours to reach Gorak Shep where we will have a rest and something to eat. From here to base camp and back there are no lodges so we will fill our water bottles and take some snacks for the walk to Everest Base Camp. We start by walking 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 finally 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, where in spring, we might see in the distance some of the expedition teams as they prepare to climb the mountain. From the Base Camp we get fantastic close up views of the Khumbu Ice Fall and we can appreciate just how difficult it is to negotiate a route through the huge blocks of ice. Nuptse towers above us and Pumori rears up behind us. After a short photo stop by the Base Camp rock we retrace our steps to Gorak Shep. Trek Profile: approx. 9/12 hours walking / 13km / sleeping altitude 5,184m
Ascend Kala Pattar (5545m) for views of Everest; return to Lobuje.
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). Walk profile: approx. 8km / 5.5-6hrs
Cross the Kongma La (5535m) to Chhukkung.
An early start for a tough and very long day as we cross the Kongma La. Taking a packed lunch and plenty of snacks, we head onto the Khumbu glacier and cross it on a small rocky trail which climbs up and down in between the seracs. It takes about 1.5hrs to cross the glacier to a small meadow. From here the trail climbs very steeply all the way to the top of the pass. As we ascend the scenery becomes increasingly spectacular. A final steep zig zag brings us to the top of the pass (often the top is snow covered and icy so we must take care). From the top (5,535m), we are surrounded by peaks and glaciers in all directions. The great ridge of Nuptse appears above us and we can see the glaciers of Kongmatse ahead and the rocky peak of Pokalde is to our right and below us is a small lake. The descent is steep at first with a short scramble down to the lake. We then have a long descent to Chhukung, where we stay tonight. Walk profile: approx. 9km / 8-12hrs
Short trek to Island Peak Base Camp (5,180m)
An easier day as we head towards Island Peak Base Camp (5,180m). The trail crosses the river and follows the valley up for a few hours. Base camp is by the side of the Imja Glacier, below the grassy slopes, which mark the start of the climb of Island Peak. This afternoon we will prepare all the climbing equipment, practice using a jumar and abseil device and pack for high camp and the climb. Walk profile: approx. 4hrs
A short steep climb to high camp at 5,685
A short steep climb to high camp at 5,685. High camp is situated on some levelled ledges beneath a rock buttress which leads onto the Island Peak Glacier. It is not a comfortable campsite but the head start it gives us for tomorrow is vital and the views are spectacular. Walk profile: approx. 3hrs
Climb Island Peak (6189m).
Leaving very early (about 2am) we scramble onto a narrow rocky ridge leading on to the glacier. We will rope up here and put on crampons for the glacier crossing. Care should be taken crossing the glacier as there are several deep crevasses. The views are amazing with Baruntse, Chamlang and Ama Dablam on the horizon. Once across the glacier we come to the bottom of a steep snow and ice headwall leading to the summit ridge. Our climbing guides will fix a rope here and we will use a jumar to climb this section. The slope is steep (up to 50 degrees in places) and after 150 metres the summit ridge is reached. Suddenly Lhotse's South Face looms before us and the most exciting part of the climb begins as we tread carefully along the narrow ridge to the summit. There's one more steep section just before the summit, but we have the fixed ropes to help. Finally, we reach the summit (6,189m), which has only just enough space for the group to take in their surroundings. Flanked by Lhotse and the Imja glaciers and a host of other huge peaks, Island Peak really is an island of rock and snow in this grand mountain arena. We descend carefully back down the ridge and then abseil off the steep section. We return via high camp to base camp and then we descend further to the relative comforts of the lodge at Chhukung. (Please note that the climb is technical and also optional. The above notes describe the route last year. Because of gradual snow melt the route is becoming increasingly steeper, icier and rockier. It may alter depending on conditions. (For anyone not wishing to climb there is an alternative trek to the head of the Imja Valley) Walk profile: approx. 11/13hrs
Long descent to Kyanjuma.
A long walk today but as it is mostly downhill and we are heading to lower altitudes, the walking should seem a lot easier. We leave Chhukung and descend to Dingboche. From here we re-join the main trail passing Pangboche and cross the Dudg Kosi by bridge. An undulating trail takes us through a magnificent rhododendron forest near Devoche, from where we have a short climb up to Thyangboche 3,870m. From here we have a fantastic panorama of mountains including Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse and Ama Dablam. Thyangboche has long been a sacred spot. The Lama Sange Dorje, who first brought Buddhism to the region, is said to have flown from his monastery in Tibet over the Himalaya, landing and leaving his footprints here. There will be time to have a quick look round the monastery before we descend off the ridge and down through the forest to Phunki Tenga. There is a sting in the tail today as we have a long climb up to Kyanjuma, from where we get magnificent views of Ama Dablam. Walk Profile: approx. 23.5km / 9-10hrs
Follow a trail high above the Dudh Kosi to Monzo via Namche Bazaar.
The walk to Namche Bazaar takes us along a beautiful undulating trail high above the Dudh Kosi. We have some time in Namche and after lunch we descend through Namche Bazaar and pick up our outward trail again to Monzo, where we stay tonight. Walk Profile: approx. 14km / 4.5/5 hrs
Return to Lukla.
We retrace our steps to Chaunrikhara where we start the last climb to the airstrip at Lukla. Walk Profile: approx. 13km / 5hrs
Fly to Kathmandu.
We fly back to Kathmandu and transfer to our hotel.
Free day in Kathmandu.
Today is free for sightseeing in Kathmandu (it is also a spare day to allow for any delays in the flights to or from Lukla). You may wish to visit the monkey temple at Swayambunath, one of the largest Buddhist Stupas in the world at Bodnath, or the most important Hindu temple in the valley at Pashupatinath. We offer a full range of sightseeing tours, which can be booked and paid for locally. Please see the Optional Excursions section or the Exodus notice board in the hotel in Kathmandu.
The trip ends after breakfast. Those on the group flight will be transferred to the airport in time for their flight home.