Nepal’s Khumbu region is one of the most extraordinary high mountain scenery on earth and its popularity as a trekking destination is easy to understand. Hiking up to Everest Base camp and having the chance to meet the famously friendly Sherpa people is high on the wish list of many adventure travellers. After flying in to Lukla, this exciting trek to Everest Base camp takes us via the Sherpa capital of Namche Bazaar and then up to the sacred lakes in the stunning Gokyo Valley. Here, we climb Gokyo Ri which is one of the finest vantage points for Mount Everest.
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Transfers from Kathmandu Airport are provided. Depending on your arrival time, you may have the opportunity to explore the immediate vicinity of the hotel and get acclimatised to this bustling city. Alternatively, you may prefer to recover from your journey by relaxing beside the hotel pool. Himalayan Memories Trek package services begin with the evening meal and Nepali cultural show. Your guide will take dinner with you and will provide an informal briefing about the days ahead.
Drive to Airport where we check in for the 35/40 minute flight to Lukla (2840m). Landing on the narrow, sloping runway in the heart of the mountains is a very spectacular way to reach the Khumbu. We have lunch at Lukla, meet our trekking crew and set off on the first stage of our trek to Everest Basecamp. The short and very pleasant afternoon’s walk leads down to the river then northwards through a number of villages to our lodge in Phakding (2610m).
A very pleasant walk by the river through pine forest leads to a short climb to escape a narrow gorge section. We pass the entrance to the Khumbu National Park where details of our permits are recorded and then drop down again to the river which we cross on a suspension bridge. We continue up the wooded valley on a good trail and cross the river again before reaching a confluence of rivers, one coming down from Thame and the other from the Khumbu. We make a final crossing here on a spectacular high suspension bridge and then begin an hour and half long ascent to Namche Bazaar (3440m) on a wide switch-back trail. This is the sting in the tail of today’s otherwise quite gentle ascent, and one of the steepest of the trek. Just over halfway up this last hill to Namche, we gain our first views of Everest. On arrival in the Sherpa capital, we check into one of the town’s many lodges. Namche has changed tremendously since trekking first became popular in Nepal. The Sherpa people are very adept at working out what visitors need. Many of the Sherpas that own lodges, cafes and shops in the town have visited cities in the USA and Europe and have brought back all sorts of concepts. Today you can find in Namche, German bakeries, Italian coffee, British pubs and snooker-pool halls.
Namche Bazaar is tucked away between two ridges amongst the giant peaks of the Khumbu. Known as the Trekkers Mecca of Nepal, Namche now boasts an abundance of lodges and souvenir shops. It is an ideal place to spend a rest day, acclimatising to the new altitude before heading off towards Gokyo. Options for acclimatisation walks range from climbing the hill above the town for a visit to the Museum of Sherpa Culture, to a full day’s outing to Thame Monastery located in the Thame Valley – a round trip of approximately 8 hours from Namche Bazaar.
A relatively easy day, though at this altitude the first leg climbing to the airstrip of Syangboche will feel anything but easy. The spectacular views of Ama Dablam, Lhotse and Everest however will certainly help alleviate the pain. Leaving the main trail out of Namche, we climb first to the tiny airstrip of Syangboche, tucked away on a level platform above the town. The great amphitheatre of Namche market becomes well defined below as we continue to the ridge crest where we are confronted with spectacular views of Everest, Lhotse, Ama Dablam, Kang Tega and Thamserku. A high level traverse now takes us to the famous Everest View Hotel where we can sit on the terrace and enjoy the usually clear morning views. After a short descent we arrive at the twin Sherpa villages of Khunde and Khumjung. Whereas Namche is (and always has been) the centre of commerce for the Sherpas, this is their traditional home. Much quieter than the busy market town below, we take some time here in these peaceful villages before continuing our descent to rejoin the main trail close to our lodge at Kyangjuma (3620m).
From Kyangjuma the main Everest trail drops down to Phunki, whereas our trail now climbs to the prominent skyline chorten of the Mong-La (3900m). The Mong-La is not really a pass but rather a convenient point to turn the ridge into the Gokyo Valley. However, it will certainly feel like a real pass when we plunge almost 300 metres down to Phortse Thanga just above the river. Our route now begins to climb again through a dense rhododendron forest until after an hour the trees begin to thin and cresting a ridge, we are rewarded with our first view of Cho Oyo. A little way beyond we come to our overnight halt at the tiny settlement of Dhole.
We continue up the valley on a fairly level path for one hour to Lapharma Kharka and a further 45 minutes to Luza Kharka, eventually skirting around a ridge to gain our first views of Macherma Village (4465m) spread out in the valley below. After checking into the lodge there are plenty of possibilities for exploration above the village. Just above our lodge there is an excellent view encompassing Cho Oyu.
We spend an acclimatisation day at Machermo. There is the option of a walk above the village, on an excellent ridge, which offers tremendous panoramic views of the Khumbu peaks.
Today we head for the holy lakes at Gokyo. We follow a very scenic path to Pangka and then descend slightly, following one of the meltwater rivers which flow down the west side of the Ngozumba Glacier. We climb a steep rocky incline into the ablation valley by the side of the glacier, passing the first of the holy lakes. We soon arrive at the second of the lakes, crossing the path which heads across the glacier to the Cho La – our route to Lobuche and Everest, later in the trek. The third lake is known as Dudh Pokhari and on its east shore is the summer settlement of Gokyo (4791m). Walking by the side of the lake, the scenery is magnificent with the summits of Cho Oyu and Gyachung Kang reflected in its emerald green waters.
Gokyo Ri lies at the northern edge of Dudh Pokhari and is the first of our Everest viewpoint peaks. This is a walk-up peak requiring no technical expertise – merely resolution and the ability to keep going in the thinning air. We leave the lodge just after first light, crossing the ablation valley and following a zig zag path up the hillside. As we climb, the summits of Everest, Lhotse and Makalu slowly come into view and from the summit of Gokyo Ri itself (5360m) we have one of the finest views of Everest to be had in the Khumbu – some say it is a finer view than that from Kala Patar (a similar peak which is much closer to Everest and one that we climb later in the trek). We return to the lodge for a breakfast or brunch before setting off on the next leg of our journey. Descending to the second lake, we then climb to the crest of the moraine overlooking the Ngozumba Glacier. The route across the glacier is well marked by cairns and takes around 45 minutes. We climb off the glacier at the place known as ThakNak (4700m).
An early start for the long day across the Cho La (5368m). Approaching the pass, we cross a large boulder field. Beyond this ancient moraine, the climb to the pass is steep in places, involving some easy scrambling over boulders and loose scree. The upper part of the route can be snow-covered, particularly after November. From the pass, there are excellent views including a completely different aspect of Ama Dablam, now seen from the north west. The descent from the pass involves the crossing of a small glacier (often snow-covered) which is fairly straightforward. As we descend to the grazing pastures below, the trail becomes more and more defined and walking beneath the impressive north face of Cho La Tse we reach the several lodges of our overnight halt at Zongla (4830m).
We have a reasonably short day today to set us up for the trek up to Everest Basecamp tomorrow. Leaving Dzongla, there’s a short descent to a river, which we cross and then begin the traverse around above the lake of Chola Tso, with views across to two impressive 6000 metre peaks, Cholatse and Taboche. Crossing an open spur, we find ourselves in the Khumbu Valley and have views of the Khumbu Glacier as we arrive at the seasonal settlement of Lobuche (4910m). We reach our lodge accommodation here in the late morning and have the afternoon free to relax.
Lobuche is the traditional start point for the final day’s trek all the way to Everest Basecamp. We begin by following a trail through the ablation valley at the side of the Khumbu Glacier, gaining height steadily. At this point the glacier is still hidden from us by the moraine, but as we climb to cross the rubble of a tributary glacier, we can see the great Khumbu Glacier stretching away down valley and also up towards the area of basecamp. Beyond this tributary we reach an island of sparse grasses below the famous hill known as Kalo Pathar. This place is Gorak Shep (5140m), once a summer yak herding meadow in the middle of nowhere, this remote spot now boasts several of the highest lodges in Nepal. Above Gorak Shep, it is a steady trek to Everest Basecamp (5364m), walking at first on the moraine crest and finally on the Khumbu Glacier itself. We will spend an hour or so in this inspirational place, close beneath the stupendous Khumbu Icefall, before returning to Gorak Shep.
Aiming to make the most of the usually fine morning weather, we have an early start for another highlight of our trip, the short ascent of Kala Patar (5550m). This is one of the finest viewpoints for Everest and the Khumbu Valley. The climb is not particularly difficult and will take less time than the ascent of our previous viewpoint Peak of Gokyo Ri. We should also now be well acclimatised from our previous ascents. At the top we are rewarded with the classic view of Everest seen across the Khumbu glacier and in spring we can make out the tents of the climbing expeditions below. The view down the glacier towards the peaks of Ama Dablam and Kang Taiga is no less spectacular. Returning to Gorak Shep, we first retrace our steps to Lobuche before descending the Khumbu Valley on the main Everest trail. We pass several memorials to Sherpas and other climbers who have died on Everest. as we descend to the tea houses of Thukla. Here we have a choice of routes either directly down the main trail to Pheriche (4240m) or via a high level traverse to Dingboche. We will stay overnight in a lodge at one of these Sherpa settlements, Dingboche/Pheriche.
A rather easier day today although still a long one as we walk through greener pastures beside the Imja Khola. First we trek mostly downhill to Pangboche, where we may make an optional climb to visit the monastery, the oldest in the Khumbu. From Pangboche, it is a short and pleasant walk down to a bridge slung spectacularly over a narrowing of the river as it plunges through a rocky gorge. Just beyond the bridge we enter a forest of rhododendron, birch and pine, the first trees we have seen for over a week. It is a short climb through the rhododendrons and pine trees to the top of the ridge and one of Nepal’s finest monasteries at Tyangboche. Here, we will take a tour of the main gompa and its visitor centre. Leaving Tyangboche we descend a steep path to the village of Phungi Thangga where there is a bridge crossing the Dudh Kosi. Climbing once again we meet our original path to Gokyo and a short way beyond this junction we have the welcome sign of the lodges of Khumjung.
An easy morning’s walk as we follow the contour trail around the hillside to reach Namche Bazaar. We will take lunch here and there is plenty of time for a second look round the town or to do some souvenir buying. Leaving Namche the trail drops steeply down to the river and then more gently as we follow the Dudh Kosi to Monjo where we spend overnight.
We retrace our first day’s walk to Phakding before the final climb up to the airstrip at Lukla. Arriving at this bustling airstrip settlement, we check in at our lodge and have some free time. In the evening we will no doubt have a party to celebrate the end of a great trek and to say goodbye to our hard working trekking staff.
After saying goodbye to our staff, we take the 35/40 minute flight to Kathmandu. Arriving in the bustling city, there is time to freshen up and change before heading into town to enjoy the particular delights of Thamel. This evening we will have another celebratory meal and reflect on our Himalaya adventure with few Sherpa or Everest Beers.
This is an important extra day in case of delays to the flights from Lukla. If we have experienced no delays this is another opportunity for independent exploration amongst the colourful streets and temples of Kathmandu.
It’s your last day in Nepal! Grab some breakfast, and then take in some last-minute shopping in Kathmandu. We’ll make sure you arrive at Kathmandu International Airport with plenty of time before your flight home. At this time, we’ll say our goodbyes and bid you farewell, armed with warm memories and gorgeous photos to show your loved ones.
- 1. ARRIVALS AND TRANSFER TO HOTEL BY THE TOURIST BUS OR PRIVATE VEHICLES.
- 2. ACCOMMODATION IN 3 STAR CATEGORIZED HOTEL IN KATHMANDU.
- 3. TRIP BRIEFING AND EQUIPMENT CHECK.
- 4. WELCOME DINNER WITH NEPAL CULTURAL SHOW.
- 5. AIRFARE KTM/LUK/KTM.
- 6. FULLY QUALIFIED GUIDE
- 7. ALL MEAL BREAKFAST, LUNCH, DINNER, AND TEA, COFFEE,
- 8. STAFF EXPENSES
- ALL STAFFS MEDICAL AND EMERGENCY RESCUE INSURANCES DURING THE TRIP.
- ALL STAFF FOODS.
- PORTER WAGES.
- GUIDE WAGES.
- PORTER EQUIPMENT.
- 9. NATIONAL PARK ENTRY FEE.
- 10. MUNICIPALITY CHARGE.
- 11. TIMS CARD FEE.
- 12. ALL GOVERNMENT TAXES
- 1. LUNCH AND DINNER IN KATHMANDU EXCEPT WELCOME AND FAREWELL DINNER.
- 2. INTERNATIONAL AIR-FARE.
- 3. PERSONAL TRAVEL INSURANCE AND EMERGENCY RESCUE INSURANCE.
- 4. NEPAL ENTRY VISA FREE.
- 5. ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES.
- 6. FILMING PERMIT OF DRONE AND CAMERA.
- 7. EXTRA NIGHT ACCOMMODATION IN KATHMANDU IF LATE DEPARTURE.
- 8. PERSONAL EXPENSES, LAUNDRY, WIFI CHARGE…..
- 9. STAFF TIPS.(MINIMUM OF 5% OF YOUR TOTAL TRIP COST)!
On your trek, every morning, you are awoken early by a Himalayan Memories Trek staff with a first cup of native tea or coffee, along with a bowl of warm water to freshen up. Next, you are served a full breakfast of local fare. Such as fresh fruit and vegetables where it is available. We mainly serve freshly made porridge, eggs, camp made breads etc.
While you have breakfast the Sherpa’s use this time to disassemble the tents, so make sure you pack all bags before sitting for breakfast. while some porters set off on the daily walk in order to make setups in advance of our arrival at the next stop/camp, so that when we get there, all you have to do is relax and enjoy the area.
Typically, our walks start soon after breakfast. After a couple of hours walk, we will stop for lunches. In general, the afternoon walk is shorter than the morning one, to give people time to visit neighbouring villages, to rest and to chat while the chefs prepare the supper.
As soon as you book your trip with Himalayan Memories Trek you should purchase a policy which covers trekking upto 5500m this will cover you any unexpected events force you to cancel. Your policy should also cover helicopter rescue in the event of an emergency evacuation.The only two methods of travel mostly are on foot or by helicopter once in the mountains. Obviously certain medical conditions are either so debilitating or urgent that the first option is not practicable as an evacuation method. Helicopter evacuation is very expensive and is also dependent on favourable weather conditions. Many of the helicopters are working at the limit of their operating altitude in the higher parts of the valley. Himalayan memories trek will be well placed to coordinate an efficient rescue but we must stress that there is no single definitive cost for a helicopter rescue, much depends on what else the pilot is doing in the area, how far the helicopter has to fly, where it started from and so on. The maximum is about $10,000 so your travel insurance should cover up to this figure specifically for rescue costs. The helicopter company will require a payment guarantee before they fly, this will be done by your insurance provider, opening a case number and arranging the relevant exchanges of information and certification. For this purpose, it is essential that you have the right policy and provide us with all the policy details. Our staff have got mobile phones and generally, there is somewhere near with a phone signal, or else one of the staff will go to the nearest place. The safety and stability of the injured person is the job of the group and the staff and anyone nearby who can assist because sometimes it can take hours for a helicopter to arrive. Thankfully many of the trails have first aid posts along the way, but every group should be prepared to help deal with an injured person and in this case, it goes without saying that the needs of that person are more important than the trek itinerary.
It will be a matter of the helicopter company ascertaining that it is safe to fly to the relevant location and then flying the casualty to a nominated location, almost certainly a hospital in Kathmandu. The helicopter will then be met by Himalayan Memories trek who will help to coordinate any further stages in the process. The helicopter will also fly into Kathmandu airport and our staff will arrange for a car or ambulance to take the person to the hospital. If for any reason the helicopter is unable to fly we will use our many local staff and contacts to coordinate an alternative rescue and treatment regime. Normally this means using horses or simply stretchering a person off the mountain to the nearest safe place or safe helicopter landing area. Again, this is something that will generally involve everyone.
Our treks allow a good time to acclimatise and as a mountain guiding outfit we always want to ensure the trek is safe. Reducing the number of days may make the price cheaper but the chances of safely reaching base camp also greatly reduce. We follow established mountaineering principles of height gain on all treks to altitude.
1) Go slowly and take a full day for the hike rather than get there as fast as possible.
2) Drink lots of liquid.
3) Always give way to yaks right of way and when you meet one on a path with a drop to one side, always stand on the uphill side.
4) Don’t get caught out with inadequate clothing to cope with a rapid change in weather This is the high Himalaya and a clear bright morning does not mean the same in the afternoon.
5) Do not wander off by yourself and always make sure people know where you are. Anything can happen and a slip on scree or moraine can mean getting cold very quickly while waiting for someone to come and help.
6) Part of the trek is on lateral moraine and some places are slippery. There is no need for crampons but simple care where you are walking is important.
7) Remember that the best approach to safety is to prevent an accident happening in the first place.
Your main item of luggage should be a sturdy kit bag, duffel bag or similar. This will be carried during the trek by porters or pack animals and must weigh no more than 15kg. You should also bring on your holiday a day-pack of approximately 30 litres capacity. It is possible to leave items not required on trek at the hotel in Kathmandu. For your international flights, please check the baggage allowance with your airline.
Himalayan Memories Trek aims to keep you warm, dry, protected from the sun, able to move comfortably in the mountains and able to be comfortable in the evenings and night.
You will be given a detailed kit list after booking, but the main points to cover are as follows:
BAGS : Rucksack or duffel bag for a porter to carry plus a day pack to be carried by you. Your day-pack should be comfortable and capable of carrying everything you need for the day, plus any valuable items such as a camera and passport.
SHELL : Top and bottom waterproofs to keep off wind/rain.
PUFFY LAYER : A puffy jacket, filled with either down or synthetic, designed to be worn while doing physical activity in the outdoors is essential for your kit. This layer will not only keep you warm on the trail should it be cold, but also help you stay cosy in lodges and tea-houses. Often times, these places do not have heat outside of the common area, so a warm puffy jacket will come in handy.
LAYERS : Shirts, trousers, shorts, T-shirts, jumpers and jackets, hats and gloves. We advise that you do not wear cotton while trekking. Cotton can actually make you colder, and in certain cases, give you hypothermia. Look for synthetic or merino wool material for your layering system.
BASE LAYER : Thin layers to wick away any sweat and to wear for cold mornings. Both top and bottom. At least two sets.
UNDERWEAR : We recommend non-cotton. 5-7 pairs.
FEET : Comfortable Lighter footwear to change into in the evenings. Always be sure that footwear is well-broken in prior to arriving in Nepal. For socks we advise using non-cotton socks with plenty of cushion. If you are prone to blisters, consider getting silk sock liners. 3-5 pairs.
SLEEPING : Warm sleeping bag (3-4 season) to get a good night’s sleep at the lodges (they also have blankets)
DRINKING : Water bottles should be hard plastic (Nalgene), not throwaway bottles. We also advise that you do not bring a water bladder. Hose lines can freeze, and if you use boiled water, the hot water will melt your water bladder. For purification methods, we encourage you to bring a UV Filter (SteriPEN), iodine tablets, or a back-country water filter. Please bring spare batteries if you have a UV filter and at least one other method for sterilising water.
WASHING & MEDICAL : Quick-dry travel towel, first aid kit, blister kit, extra toilet paper, hand sanitiser, lotion (the air is quite dry), lip balm,
SUN CARE: Sunglasses, sunhat, sunscreen
TREKKING : Trekking poles, umbrella, dry bags, waterproof cover for your rucksack
PERSONAL ITEMS: Cameras, books, headlamp, music, journal, etc.
(Personal first aid kit contents)
Water Purification Tablets
Approximately $350 (or equivalent in pound Sterling, Euros) changed into local currency, should be allowed for miscellaneous expenses including porter and trek crew tips, drinks etc. It is not necessary to obtain local currency prior to departure. Pound Sterling, US Dollars and Euros are equally acceptable for exchange in Nepal. We recommend that you carry your travel money in the form of cash, since you will exchange the majority of this on the day of your arrival in Kathmandu. If you prefer not to carry all of your spending money in cash, it is possible to withdraw money from ATM’s in Kathmandu using your debit or credit cards. (Fee applies) During the trek it is possible to buy snacks, chocolate, soft drinks and beer on most days. Please be aware that since everything has to be carried up by porters or animals, these items become more expensive as you gain altitude.
Tipping is the accepted way of saying thank you for good service. Normally the porters and any other trek staff are given their tips at the end of the trek and this is best done as a group. Your Guide will advise the group on an appropriate level of tipping. Most groups will hand out the tips with a bit of ceremony (or sometimes a party) on the last evening, to mark the end of the holiday. we recommend that each group member contributes around 5 to 10 % of your total trip cost to these tips. At the end of their trek many people also like to donate various items of equipment to the porters and trek staff who work so hard to make the trip a success. Boots, gloves, hats, scarves and even socks are always warmly received by the porters. Your guide will make arrangements for a fair distribution (possibly by raffle) amongst the trek crew. Please note that you will have the opportunity to tip your guide separately during dinner on the final evening of the holiday. If you felt your guide was especially helpful, please consider an appropriate bonus to him or her of 20% of group tips.
Our prices are competitive and good value, and we offer quality, service, security and an ethical stance on tourism in a developing country. We don’t want to be so expensive to run fewer trips and have our staff idle, but on the other hand we believe that running cheap trips that promote the practice of skimming budgets would result in the porters getting next to nothing, which is something we cannot consider. Your porters work extremely hard to carry your gear, advance set ups and keep your journey safe and enjoyable, sometimes at their own risk and peril. We could not complete our journey without them. They have families, too, and we all want to have an enjoyable, rewarding expedition full of great memories! Tashi Delek!