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adventure travel trip to Nepal
Enjoy great views of the Himalayas
Dates
  • Oct 8-26, 2014
  • Apr 7-25, 2015
  • Oct 13-31, 2015
  • Privately on Request
  • Duration 19 days
    Group Size 2-12
    Land Cost $4,350 Details
    Single Supplement $500
    Lodging 1 star-2 stars
    Grade III
    Best Time

    Everest Sherpa Country Trek

    Trek to Kalapathar or Everest Base Camp on a classic route

    Day 1      Arrive Kathmandu

    On arrival in Kathmandu, you will be met by a JOURNEYS staff member at the airport and transferred to your Western-style hotel. Your guides will be available for advice on everything from how to bargain to choosing restaurants to learning a little bit of the Nepali language. You will have some time to just relax, or to nibble at the feast of new experiences in this exotic city. Later in the day, you'll have a brief orientation.

    Meals: None
    Lodging: International Guesthouse or similar

    Day 2      Kathmandu Sightseeing

    Your second day in Kathmandu includes guided visits to famous temples of Swayambhunath, Pasupatinath, or Boddhanath. You will see life going on as it has for hundreds of years against a background of sacred peaks, terraced hillsides, and an exotic culture. In Kathmandu, and throughout your trip, we encourage you to interact with local people either through your guide as interpreter, or through participation in the activities occurring all around you. While you explore, your staff gets all your food supplies and logistical requirements in order.

    Meals: Breakfast
    Lodging: International Guesthouse or similar

    The famous eyes of Swayambu stupa in the Kathmandu Valley
    Day 3      Lukla / Trek to Chumoa

    Trekkers flying into Lukla to begin their trip find themselves breathing deeply due to the spectacular beauty and the rarefied air at 9,000'. Starting on a five-hour hike from Lukla, you proceed up the deep valley of the Dudh Khosi, pausing frequently to admire the mani walls, long rows of stones with "Om Mani Padme Om" meticulously carved in Tibetan script. Prayer flags fly above every house and large wooden or metal prayer wheels sanctify the trail. You cross the rushing glacial waters of the Dudh Khosi (literally translated as "milky river"). You stay in a basic lodge by the river near Phakding or Chumoa (8700') just outside the Sagarmatha National Park boundary.

    Note: Today's hike is moderate. Keep in mind, though, that the trekking paths in the Everest region are not well-maintained. They tend to be rocky, uneven, and slippery after a rain. We suggest you bring hiking poles for extra support or rent them in Kathmandu. Your guide can assist you with rentals.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: Sherpa guesthouse

    Day 4      Chumoa / Namche

    On today's four-hour hike, you enter Sagarmatha National Park at Jorsale and climb out of the pleasant pine forest through a series of switchbacks. If the sky is clear, you will catch your first glimpse of Everest halfway up the slope. If it is visible, it is well worth the long pause while your guide helps you distinguish Sagarmatha, the Nepali name for Everest, from the other giants. At another point, you’ll reach the site of an epic battle where the Nepalese fought the Tibetans centuries ago. At last you arrive in Namche Bazaar (11,300'), the most important cultural and economic center in the area. It lies in a natural amphitheater protected from the weather and blessed with a major natural spring. Several of your staff are from this area, and you will be welcomed in the Sherpa family home of your guide. This is a convenient place to rest for a day, both to acclimatize to the elevation and to investigate the town.

    Note: Today's hike is strenuous, due to challenging uphill climbs and a considerable gain in elevation.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: Sherpa guesthouse

    You will be warmly and traditionally welcomed by your Sherpa hosts
    Day 5      Namche Bazaar

    Namche is a convenient place to rest for the day and to acclimatize to the 11,000’ elevation, but you’ll also have time to explore the town. You can stock up on chocolate bars, barter for Tibetan artifacts, try traditional Sherpa food, visit the National Park visitor center, observe the daily rituals of Sherpa life, and just wander in search of photographs. We highly recommend that you take a day hike to the very famous Japanese “Everest View Hotel”. The hike to the "Everest View Hotel" is not easy, but it's relatively short and totally worth it.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: Sherpa guesthouse

    Namche is the largest Sherpa village, in a natural protective bowl
    Day 6      Namche / Tengboche Monastery

    Today you will want to keep alert for the beautiful (Danfay) Impeyan pheasant, the national bird of Nepal. Today's five-hour hike is not easy, as you will be hiking mainly uphill. Luckily, the beauty of the final climb through the sacred forest of the Tengboche monastery will carry you through. At last, as you pass through the greeting arch of the monastery, a spectacular panorama unfolds. You will camp near the monastery at a site offering a view of the mountains. This is a great area for bird watching. Tengboche is the most sacred monastery of the Sherpas. You will have a chance to see the inside of the sanctuary and possibly meet with the head Lama. Ask your guide about getting up very early to see the chanting rituals.

    Note: Today's hike is very strenuous.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: Tengboche Monastery or Sherpa guesthouse

    Wake up on the Tengboche grounds with a view of Everest
    Day 7      Tengboche Monastery / Dingboche

    The trail follows the river, climbing gradually as you head directly for Everest on today's five-hour walk. You pass through Deboche, a community of nuns, then cross the Dudh Khosi again and climb to Pangboche for lunch. After lunch you continue on to Dingboche at 14,250'. It can snow here any month of the year, but you are so far back in the mountains that precipitation is usually light. Snowy peaks, however, are all around with majestic Ama Dablam the most impressive. If the weather is clear, you can see Everest for most of the day, but the closer you get to your next lodge, the less the summit projects above Lhotse.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: Sherpa guesthouse

    Day 8      Dingboche / Chukhung / Dingboche

    Spend a half-day walking, or take an optional full-day trip up the Chukhung Valley to the "feet" of the Lhotse glaciers. The scenery is spectacular, and there are many possibilities for side excursions. You can work your way up Chukhung Glacier toward Island Peak, climb the slope above Chukhung for a view of Makalu or just relax in this usually deserted high valley. (15,535'). Return to camp at Dingboche.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: Sherpa guesthouse

    Day 9      Dingboche / Duglha / Lobuche

    Crossing above Pheriche on a high "shoulder," you enter the upper Khumbu valley on today's five-hour hike. After stopping for lunch at Duglha, ascend the toe of the Khumbu glacier and then follow a path above the buried surface of the ice, reaching Lobuche (16,175') after a long, hard day's walk.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: Sherpa guesthouse

    Day 10      Lobuche / Kalapathar / Lobuche

    Rise before dawn to begin the walk to Kalapathar (18,300'). Following the buried Khumbu glacier for a way, you then cross a patch of jumbled scree and descend into a sandy hollow that shelters Gorak Shep (17,000'). From here, you face the ascent to Kalapathar -- quite steep and very tiring due to the altitude. Everest Base Camp can be reached by continuing along the Khumbu glacier, although Everest itself is not visible from Base Camp and most of our participants opt to climb Kalapathar instead. In either case, we suggest participants not make a singular goal of reaching these destinations. You will spend up to ten hours hiking today.  Your guide will be alert to your acclimatization and may suggest you not try to climb Kalapathar. Interesting sights and activities abound the entire trekking route and, in fact, are more numerous at lower elevations. Fantastic mountain views are available at all points above Namche. These are times for reflection, relaxation, and fantasy in most exhilarating surroundings. Return to camp at Lobuche.
    (We are always prepared to accommodate individuals at lower elevations if they do not feel, for any reason, capable of ascending to the highest planned point on the itinerary. )

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: Sherpa guesthouse

    For Khumbu trekkers, Kalapathar is a victory!
    Day 11      Lobuche / Pangboche

    You begin retracing your route on your seven-hour hike today, returning somewhat more quickly than you ascended, and camp for the night at Pangboche (13,000'). The monastery here is the oldest in the Khumbu, and you are free to visit and hike around this appealing town.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: Sherpa guesthouse

    Day 12      Pangboche / Phortse

    At Pangboche, you take a different route for your three-hour return. The trail is steep but rewarding as you climb high above a gorge along narrow yak trails to Phortse (13,000'). This route is one of the best in the area for seeing musk deer, the Himalayan Tahr, and other wildlife, including the Himalayan Blood Pheasant and Danfay. The path is quite safe, but dramatically scenic and suggestive of precipitous terrain. You pause near Phortse for lunch, then continue on down through the forest to the stream for your campsite. Across the stream is the dense sacred forest of Tengboche.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: Sherpa guesthouse

    Day 13      Phortse / Kunde / Khumjung / Namche

    Your six-hour hike today takes you on a path through Tolkienesque terrain. You climb a stone stairway and then descend through a cavernous chimney reaching the twin Sherpa communities of Kunde and Khumjung. You may be able to visit the Hillary school and hospital here. Finally, descend to Namche Bazaar and again spend the night with your Sherpa host's family, recounting your experiences of the past week and perhaps logging a few more.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: Sherpa guesthouse

    Trekkers pose with Pemba Sherpa and family in Khumjung
    Day 14      Namche / Thame Day Trip

    If you find the prospect of an extra day in Namche exciting, spend a full day in personal exploration. People with energy for more trekking may choose to make the day trip to Thame (12,400'). Many famous Sherpa climbers have come from this small town. A monastery built into the rock high above the town holds a spectacular festival each May. From vantage points near the monastery, it is possible to see into Tibet. Depending on the timing, some trips this may also be a market day in Namche, and you will encounter many Sherpas dressed in their finest clothes, coming and going along the trail.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: Sherpa Guesthouse

    Day 15      Namche / Phakding

    Hike four hours back from Namche to Phakding. This can be an easy day, a contingency day, or a day for exploration of some of the steep trails along surrounding hillsides below Namche. Look for large beehives on overhanging cliff faces, and keep your eyes open for the rare honey guide birds which raid them.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: Sherpa guesthouse

    Day 16      Phakding / Lukla

    There is no rush to reach Lukla today. This is a three-hour walk that initially takes you down and then finishes with an uphill climb. For some, this is the toughest climb on the trip because your legs are pretty tired from an extended period of hiking. On arrival, stay at a hotel near the airstrip. The airstrip itself is an interesting place. Without actually seeing it happen, you might not believe a 19-passenger plane could fly in and out of here.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: Sherpa guesthouse

    Day 17      Fly Lukla / Kathmandu

    You are back in Kathmandu by late morning following a 35-minute flight soaring over the ridges of the Solu. Your afternoon is free in Kathmandu.

    Meals: Breakfast
    Lodging: International Guesthouse or similar

    Find bangles, baubles, brassware and art in the Kathmandu marketplace
    Day 18      Kathmandu Free Day

    If you are delayed in Khumbu by flight cancellation, this is a contingency day. Otherwise, it's an open day for shopping and seeing the things that just didn't fit in your schedule on arrival in Nepal. If you wish, you may extend your stay in Nepal to include white-water rafting or a jungle safari in Chitwan National Park.

    Meals: Breakfast
    Lodging: International Guesthouse or similar

    Visit some of Kathmandu's many temples and stupas
    Day 19      Kathmandu / Onward

    Transfer to the airport for your onward flight, or continue on with further adventures in Nepal.

    Meals: Breakfast
    Lodging: None



     
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