The Everest base camp trek is considered the most iconic of all treks in the world. It is very popular and very rewarding for everyone that comes to experience The Himalayas. The very name motivates trekkers from around the world to make their dream of visiting the highest mountain of the world true.
We fly with a small twin-engine unit to Lukla (2840 m), We start the trek with a descent to Ghat (2490 m) in the valley of the Dudh Kosi (Milk River). Then we continue to Pakding (2610 meters) our first night place.
A tough day awaits us. In total, about 900 meters up to Namche Bazar. At Monjo we enter the Sagarmatha National Park. We see Thamserku (6,608 meters) towering high above us. Following the Dudh Kosi for the fifth, and now last time, to be crossed, we get a tough final climb high above the river to Namche Bazaar. With clear vision in the distance we can see Mount Everest and Lhotse. We stay in a comfortable lodge in Namche Bazaar (3500 meters). If we just go up in the direction of the military camp and go just around the corner we can see Everest and the Ama Dablan. Namche Bazaar is a real commercial city, on the Saturdays there is still the famous market and many lodge owners come to buy their supplies.
We stay one day because of acclimatization in Namche Bazaar, we make a short hike with views of Lhotse, Ama Dablam and the Everest. We just go around the corner in the direction of Kenjoma where we have a lunch and for getting used to the altitude. This is really necessary because the next few days we only go uphill.
Today we walk at a leisurely pace through Thamo to the village of Thame (3800 m). Slowly since the height will be noticeable. With nice views to the other side of the valley with high above us the peaks of the Nupla, Shar, and Lho Nup we walk along above the Bhote Kosi river. At Thame a visit to the monastery is very worthwhile. East of Thame is the Rolwaling area with beautiful high peaks; with sonorous names such Bigphera Go Shar, Panayo Tippa and Tengi Rai Tau.
We walk nearly the same route back to Namche Bazaar and have views on Kangtaiga and Thamserku. Beyond Phurte we go through Shyangboche to the pretty village of Khumjung (3800 meters). However, from the junction there is an hour of climbing before reaching the top of Shyangboche village. From the nearby hill you will have a beautiful view of the Ama Dablam and surrounding mountains. There is a German bakery in Khumjung with delicious oven-fresh bread and real coffee. The village has excellent educational facilities, thanks to the efforts of the famous Sir Edward Hillary. A visit to the upper village Khunde, with its hospital, is a possibility for an extra side trip.
From Khumjung we descend less than one hour to Phunki Tenga (3250 meters), after this there is a long climb of 600 meters to Tengboche. On the other side of the valley; the Thamserku (6608 m) and Kangtega (6685 m) high above the valley. The Tengboche monastery is the largest in the region, after a fire in 1989 it was completely destroyed and with help and donations it was rebuilt in its former style. Here we can, while enjoying many goodies from the bakery, enjoy the views of Everest, Ama Dablam and Lohtse. Here we can visit the monastery and the museum. From Tengboche we descend first descend through the beautiful rhododendron forest before we cross the Imja Khola. From the steelbridge we gently climb up and arrive in Pangboche (4000 m). We sleep this night near one of the oldest monasteries of the region.
With stunning views of the Ama Dablam we leave Pangboche. Along the way we pass many prayer walls (Mani walls), always pass them on the left! We continue our way towards Orsho where beautiful rock paintings give some color to the environment. Moments later we cross the Lobuche Khola and catch some views on Pumuri in the north. A final climb brings us to Dingpoche (4410 meters), a beautifully elongated village at the foot of the mighty Ama Dablam (6856 meters). Here we take our lunch, a trip to the 5080 meters high Nagkar Tshang is possible. The cold will this evening are already noticeable, as the sun disappears behind the peaks.
We leave our luggage at the lodge and walk with a light daypack to Chhukung; the last village in eastern direction. We're getting closer to Island Peak, a climbing peak of nearly 6200 meters. From Chhukung we have a spectacular view of the great northern ice wall of Lhotse. There is enough time to have some side tour and to go up in the direction of the Chhukung Ri (5550 meters) or to walk in the direction of Island Peak base camp (about 5000 meters), but not to force anything, since later in the week the Cho La is waiting in the program.
Today we cross the Thukla pass at 4830 m and ascend 500 meters in total to Lobuche (4910 m). Like previous days we ascend another 200 meters for acclimatization in the afternoon.
30 minutes after Lobuche, a little detour from the main trail, we can visit an Italian research centre with the shape of a pyramid. This center collects and monitors climatologically data and is beautifully situated close to a glacier. We continue our way to Gorak Shep (5140 m), the highest located accommodation of this trek. Walking hours: 4-5. After lunch in Gorak Shep we climb Kala Patthar (Black Rock) at 5550 m from where we have a beautiful sunset view and close view of Mt. Everest and surroundings. Climbing up and down takes about 3 hours.
We walk up to Everest Base Camp (5364 m), starting-point for many climbing expeditions. On our way we can see the fascinating structure of the Khumbu glacier. We descend the same trail back to Lobuche.
From Lobuche we take the same way back to Tukla and from there we take the lower path in the direction of Pherice and further down to Orsho where the higher route goes to Upper Pangboche. Here we can have our last tea of snack before following the narrow mountain path on the steep slopes leading us to the nice village of Phortse.
It's only 2-3 hours to Namche Bazaar (3500 meters), first we have to descent to the river at Phortse Tengi before having a final climb toward Mong La. From Mong La we have a perfect view on Ama Dablam and surrounding mountains from here some ups and down before, we reach Namche where there is still enough time to enjoy some shopping and good food. The temperatures will certainly nicer feel than two days ago.
This is the last day of walking and we move along the same route as we came. We leave the national park at Monjo and cross the Dudh Kosi again four times. After Phakding we descent to Ghat, from where we have some ups and downs. A final climb brings us to Lukla airport and we can finally take off our shoes and dance along with our staff at the goodbye party.
Morning flight from Lukla to Kathmandu
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