Trek to the 5545 metre summit of Kala Pattar for views of Mount Everest, the highest point on earth
We include all meals whilst on trek in the tour price, making it excellent value.
2012 Standard Itinerary
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4 nights Standard Hotel
18 nights Simple Teahouse
Approx 10 -
Explore Tour Leader plus driver(s), Sherpas, porters or pack animals and some local guides.
This is a 19-day trek with an average of 7 hours walking each day. Most of the trekking route is above 3500m. We have graded this trek as tough.
High Passes Of Everest
Details may vary depending on departure date. Please choose
On this challenging trek we cross three high passes, ascend three peaks and visit Everest Base Camp – making it perhaps the ultimate trek through the Everest region. We follow the famous expedition route to Base Camp and trace old Tibetan trading routes to Thame. Along the way we stay in traditional teahouses and experience Sherpa culture.
Everest Base Camp -Follow in the footsteps of great climbers to Everest Base Camp
High Passes & Peaks - Cross three high passes and climb 3 peaks; Nangkartshang Peak (5060m), Kala Pattar (5545m) and Gokyo Ri (4790m).
Namche Bazaar - spend time in the capital of the Sherpa's
Kathmandu - Relax after the trek and explore the cities temples and bazaars
AM walking tour of Kathmandu. PM full trek brief and equipment check
After breakfast we have arranged a walking tour, visiting the bazaar and temples of old Kathmandu in the company of a local Nepali guide. Nepal’s bustling capital is a captivating mix of spice sellers and potters, rickshaws and sacred cows, all crowded together amidst a city of vibrant noise and colour. Our sightseeing this morning takes in the sumptuous majesty of Durbar Square, with its collection of ornate palaces, courtyards and temples that span some three centuries of dynastic rule by Malla, Shah and Rana kings. We’ll see the Great Bell and the fearsome image of the six-armed Kala Bhairab, the magnificent Taleju Temple and the Kasthamandap, the oldest building in the Kathmandu Valley. We will also visit the Asan Bazaar and the Kumari Ghar, home to the Kumari Devi, a living goddess worshipped by both followers of the Hindu and Buddhist faiths. This afternoon we will then have a full briefing on the trekking days ahead and an opportunity to visit a local hire shop to pick up any last minute equipment still needed.
Overnight Standard HotelIncluded meals: Breakfast
Fly to Lukla (2840m) and walk to Phakding
Transferring to the domestic airport this morning we take the short 40 minute flight to Lukla (2840m), hopefully enjoying the spectacular views of Gauri Shankar (7415m), Melungtse (7181m) and Numbur (6955m) en route. Please be aware that adverse weather conditions and other local factors can cause delays and even cancellations to this flight and, although seats are booked and confirmed well in advance, it may be necessary to adjust the itinerary accordingly. Arriving in Lukla we will meet up with our Sherpa guides and crew and begin the descent down towards the village of Choplung (2697m). We then head north, following the east bank of the Dudh Kosi to Ghat (2545m), before crossing the river to our final destination for the day in Phakding (2610m). Approximately 3.5 hours walking. Overnight altitude 2610m.
After breakfast we depart Phakding and continue along the western bank of the river, following a fairly level trail that leads into the Sagarmatha National Park at Jorsale. The journey takes us through a landscape of pine and rhododendron forest, crossing the Dudh Kosi on a couple of occasions and ascending to the village of Chomoa. After lunch we then begin the long ascent up to Namche Bazaar, a fairly strenuous 666 metre climb that should afford us our first views of Everest and Lhotse, as we follow a meandering trail that leads through more pine forest up to the horseshoe-shaped bowl that contains the Sherpa village of Namche (3440m). Approximately 6 hours walking. Overnight altitude 3440m.
Situated high above the Bhote Kosi Gorge, Namche is the centre of Sherpa life in the Upper Khumbu and its bustling market and steep, narrow streets provide plenty of colour and interest. We have an extra day here to help acclimatize to the altitude, which affords an ideal opportunity to visit the National Park headquarters, as well as the nearby Sherpa Museum. There are some spectacular views of Ama Dablam, Everest, Nupse and Lhotse from here. We take it easy and enjoy the atmosphere of Namche itself, doing a little shopping amongst its myriad of tiny stalls, or watching the bustling chaos of street life as yaks, trekkers and sherpas vie for space amongst its narrow lanes. Overnight altitude 3440m.
Visit the monastery at Thyangboche; trek to Deboche
Today we follow wide, clear trails with excellent views of Ama Dablam, Everest and Lhotse throughout. As we walk there is a chance of seeing the Himalayan Thar (goat antelope). Descending through the forest we reach the Dudh Kosi River and the small village of Phunki Tenga where we will stop to take lunch. In the afternoon we have a steep climb to reach Thyangboche (3867m) where we visit the famous monastery with stunning mountain views. For the final part of todays walk we descend slightly to Deboche (3760m) where we spend the night. Approximately 6 hours walking. Overnight altitude 3760m.
Leaving Deboche we descend through meadows and rhododendron forest, past the Buddhist nunnery at Deboche, to the Imja Khola. Then up along the north bank of the river, with spectacular views of Ama Dablam, to our teahouse at Orsho. Approximately 4 hours walk. Overnight altitude 4100m.
From Orsho we have a gentle level walk before beginning to zig zag slowly to the crest of a hill. Descending a little we make our way to Pheriche Bridge where we cross the Khumbu River before taking a flat path to Pheriche. We hope to be able to visit the Medical Post and listen to their talk on altitude and climbing expeditions (please note the talk isn't always available). We then make our way to Dingboche, aprroximately 1 hours walk away. Approximately 4 hours walk in total.Overnight altitude 4410m.
Continue following the Imja Khola Valley through Bibre (4570m) until we reach some permanent yak huts at Chhukung (4730m). There is the option to walk on to a small view point offering views of the east face of Ama Dablam and the Lhotse-Nuptse wall. Approximately 8 hours walking.Overnight altitude 4730m.
Cross the Kongma La Pass (5530m); trek to Lobuje
An early start this morning as we head towards the Kongma La Pass. We begin by following the valley on a fairly level path before a short, steep ascent which brings us in to the shadows of Pokalde Peak and Chhukung. We continue to climb until we reach the pass at 5530m. From the pass we descend steeply to the Khumbu Glacier which we cross, clambering up the moraines on the far side to reach a large meadow. The difficulty of today's trek should not be underestimated, particularly in snow conditions where the trek across the glacier at the conclusion of the day can be quite challenging. Approximately 8 hours walking. Overnight altitude 4930m.
Trek to Everest Base Camp (5364m); trek to Gorak Shep (5150m)
Another early start this morning sees us following the moraine peppered Khumbu Glacier towards Everest Base Camp and the imposing face of the Khumbu Icefall. Whilst the views along this stretch of the valley aren’t as spectacular as the ascent of Kala Pattar (you can’t actually see the peak of Everest along this route) the journey is still fascinating. It affords us the chance to view towering pinnacles of ice, called seracs, which are a particular feature of the Himalayan glaciers. Reaching up to 15 metres in height, these pillars of ice present an ever-present danger to mountaineers, as they can collapse without warning and, indeed, the Khumbu Icefall is considered one of the most dangerous sections of the South Col route up to Everest’s summit. Retracing our steps from here we return to Gorak Shep. Approximately 9 hours walking. Overnight altitude 5150m.
Gorak Shep to Kala Pattar, climb to the summit of Kala Pattar (5545m), trek to Lobuje (4910m)
Taking the other route today, we have a steep ascent, which brings us to the top of Kala Pattar (5545m). From here, on a clear day, we will have the opportunity to see the breathtaking views of the surrounding mountain peaks: Mt Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse, Ama Dablam, Kangtega, Thamseruk, Tawache, Pumori Gyachung Kampg, plus Khumbu Icefall and Glacier. After taking in this fabulous sight we will head back down again back to Gorak Shep, and on to Lobuje for our overnight stay. Approximately 6-7 hours walking. Overnight altitude 4910m.
We head west towards the Cho La Pass, contouring around the valley and towards the picturesque Dzong La Pass which cuts across a jagged spur descending from the summit of Lobuje Peak. The path takes an obvious, gently ascending line, but is very narrow and in snowy conditions can be slippery. High on the flanks of Lobuje we will lunch beside a glacial lake before a long descent to a magnificent settlement at the foot of Cholatse, near the base of the Cho La Pass. For those who feel up to it, there is an optional climb of Awi Peak (5245m). Approximately 4-5 hours walking. Overnight altitude 4830m.
Cross the Cho La pass (5430m); trek to Thagnak (4700m)
The views today are magnificent as we leave the Everest watershed and enter that of Cho Oyu, the sixth highest mountain in the world. The crossing is hard work, involving a steep scramble up rock boulders and then a walk across the gently ascending, snow-covered glacier that caps the pass. However, the views of the route ahead, and of the glacier itself, are breath-taking. We descend steep boulder strewn slopes to the Gokyo valley below, a stunning valley with a collection of turquoise lakes and great glaciers. For the first (and steepest) part of the descent there is a distinct paths that zigzag down the mountainside - this can be slippery in snow so we take our time. The ground then levels out and the path all but disappears as we hop across a field of boulders. Finally we climb a gentle slope to the top, from where it's all downhill following a narrow river valley all the way to its base where we stay overnight at Thagnak, a small Sherpa settlement nestled beneath great rock walls, just a stone's throw from the Ngozumba Glacier. Approximately 7-8 hours walking. Overnight altitude 4700m.
A fairly easy day today as we cross the glacier and ascend the lateral moraine valley past beautiful lakes with Siberian ducks swimming across the mirror-calm surface, to the village of Gokyo (4790m). Approximately 5 hours walking. Overnight altitude 4790m.
Again we make an early start to make the most of the clear morning skies. Crossing a small stream we make a long steep ascent to the small peak called Gokyo Ri (5360m). From this vantage point there are excellent views of Cho Oyu, Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse and Makalu. Approximately 6 hours walking. Overnight altitude 4790m.
Cross the Renzo La Pass (5345m); trek to Lungden
The days walk is rewarding as the top exposes the view of Everest massif in the east, Rolwaling Himal in the west with other snowy peaks towards the north. We begin with a steep climb up to the Renjo-la pass (5345m) before descending to the settlement of Lungden (4380m). There is a chance we will meet Tibetan Traders descending from the Nangpa La pass that leads through the Himalayas fromTibet with their caravans of woolly yaks laden with goods. Approximately 7 hours walking. Overnight altitude 4380m.
A shorter day today as we walk through a stunning landscape following an old Tibetan trade route to the village to Thame, the birthplace of Tenzing Norgay Sherpa, the first man to summit Mt Everest along with Sir Hillary. Approximately 4 hours walking. Overnight altitude 3800m.
Our trail today first descends to the river before hiking on the gradual and beautiful trail towards the village of Namche Bazaar where we stop for lunch. After lunch we descend even further to Monzo (2840m). Approximately 7 hours walking. Overnight altitude 2840m.
Retracing our steps along the east bank of the Dudh Kosi we make our final ascent down to Lukla, arriving sometime in the middle of the afternoon, affording ample time to relax and enjoy the feeling of a job well done. Lukla itself is a thriving community that is an eclectic mix of Sherpas, yaks, trekkers and soldiers and makes for a fascinating place to explore at the end of the trek. Approximately 5 hours walking. Overnight altitude 2840m.
Walking the short distance to the airport this morning we catch the early flight back to Kathmandu (weather permitting). On arrival back in the capital the rest of the day has been left free to relax and enjoy something of the city’s lively markets and myriad of sites. Alternatively, there is also an opportunity to take an optional afternoon excursion Patan. A destination for connoisseurs of fine arts, Patan is filled with wood and stone carvings, metal statues, ornate architecture, including dozens of Buddhist and Hindu temples, and over 1200 monuments.
Note: the flight to Kathmandu may be delayed by hours or days, in which case the group will be accommodated in lodges.
Overnight Standard HotelIncluded meals: Breakfast
This morning there is the option to visit the temple of Pashupatinath on the banks of the Bagmati River, the oldest and holiest Hindu shrine in Nepal and regarded by many as the most revered temple of Shiva on the planet. Alternatively visit the stupa of Bodnath, one of the city’s most dominating monuments and one of the largest Buddhist stupa’s on the planet. A remarkable structure towering some 40 metres above the surrounding streets, Bodnath is a dazzling array of prayer flags, monks and pilgrims, all overlooked by the ever-present and all seeing eyes of the Buddha himself. This afternoon there is also an opportunity to take an optional excursion to the almost perfectly preserved Newari town of Bhaktapur in the eastern corner of the Kathmandu Valley. Also know as Bhadgaun or the City of the Devotees, Bhaktapur, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, evokes the feel of a medieval village, a snapshot of a time when the city lay along the prosperous trade routes between Tibet, China and India.
Overnight Standard HotelIncluded meals: Breakfast
Tour ends Kathmandu
Included meals: Breakfast
Please note that from time to time our itineraries may be amended, either for operational reasons or in response to feedback from customers. Please ensure you have read the latest Tour Notes before booking or travelling on your tour.