Everest Sherpa Country Trek

Trek to Kalapathar or Everest Base Camp on a classic route
Overview

overview

Celebrate your health, fitness, and expeditionary spirit with this most wonderful Himalayan adventure. Everest offers an enduring experience of natural beauty, geological magnificence, and profound cross-cultural discovery. Trekking via Namche, Tengboche, and Pheriche, you follow much of the same route as the early Everest climbing expeditions, but in an unhurried  spirit of understanding, cultural sharing, and ecological awareness. You will hike high into the Khumbu area with your Sherpa guide and pack yaks. Your Sherpa staff and hosts help you to understand their culture by inviting you into their homes, and by stimulating  conversations with Buddhist lamas, local farmers, and national park officials. This trek is one of the most exceptional and enlightening things you can do in your life. Choose to stay in tents or local lodges. Ask about customizing the route, duration, or focus to your special interests. This trek was the founding trip of JOURNEYS in 1978, and we have strived to improve it ever since. Many of the staff in the JOURNEYS office have made this trek at least once, and we are all pleased to share our experiences with you.

If you are considering trekking all the way to Kala Patar, keep in mind that the trekking paths in this region are not always well-maintained, are uneven, and sometimes slippery. Also, a significant portion of the hiking is an uphill climb. Other factors to consider are possible cold to freezing temperatures and possible altitude sickness (though most who follow trekking guidelines only experience minor symptoms.)

Be sure to read Marketing Associate Katina Nichols' MUST-KNOW tips for trekking in the Everest Region. Katina went on a similar trek in November 2013.

itinerary

itinerary

  • 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
    Show on a map
  • Day 2: Kathmandu Sightseeing
    The famous eyes of Swayambu stupa in the Kathmandu Valley

    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
    Show on a map
  • 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
    Show on a map
  • Day 4: Chumoa / Namche
    You will be warmly and traditionally welcomed by your Sherpa hosts

    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
    Show on a map
  • Day 5: Namche Bazaar
    Namche is the largest Sherpa village, in a natural protective bowl

    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
    Show on a map
  • Day 6: Namche / Tengboche Monastery
    Wake up on the Tengboche grounds with a view of Everest

    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
    Show on a map
  • 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
    Show on a map
  • 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
    Show on a map
  • 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
    Show on a map
  • Day 10: Lobuche / Kalapathar / Lobuche
    For Khumbu trekkers, Kalapathar is a victory!

    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
    Show on a map
  • 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
    Show on a map
  • 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
    Show on a map
  • Day 13: Phortse / Kunde / Khumjung / Namche
    Trekkers pose with Pemba Sherpa and family in Khumjung

    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
    Show on a map
  • 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
    Show on a map
  • 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
    Show on a map
  • 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
    Show on a map
  • Day 17: Fly Lukla / Kathmandu
    Find bangles, baubles, brassware and art in the Kathmandu marketplace

    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
    Show on a map
  • Day 18: Kathmandu Free Day
    Visit some of Kathmandu's many temples and stupas

    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
    Show on a map
  • Day 19: Kathmandu / Onward

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

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    None
    Show on a map
Price and Date Details

Price and Date Details

Apr 7-25, 2015
Oct 13-31, 2015
Oct 8-26, 2014
Or Privately on Request
Land Cost:
$4,450
Includes local Nepal flights
Single Supplement:
$550
The single supplement is applicable if a roommate is not available or if single accommodation is specifically requested. While single accommodation is not available on all trips, we will try and honor this request whenever possible.
Need to Know

Need to Know

Numbers in parentheses indicate the estimated walking time between camps.

Duration:
19 days
The number of days, or duration, in a destination corresponds with the itinerary as published. This is the time period covered by the land cost. The total number of days includes the time required to travel between the USA and the destination country.
Comfort Level:
1
Basic Sherpa Teahouses to 3* Nepalese style hotels in Kathmandu (upgrade available in Kathmandu)
Group Size:
2-12
The stated range indicates minimum required for guaranteed departure and maximum accepted on the scheduled dates. Exceptions can often be made for private departures.
Activity Level:
5
Basic Sherpa Teahouses to 3* Nepalese style hotels in Kathmandu (upgrade available in Kathmandu)

Resources

Trip Extensions

Trip Extensions

Everest View Mountain Flight

Duration: 1 days

Enjoy the magnificent Himalayas close up. You'll have a bird's-eye view as you fly along the full length of the Nepal Himalayas. This is the best way to see Everest. *This trip is available from Kathmandu, Nepal when booked with conjunction with a Ne... read more

Dhulikhel Lodge Visit

Duration: 3 days

Lovely lodge with traditional architecture, private gardens and panoramic views; village and short treks nearby.

Bangkok Hospitality

Duration: 3 days

If you are passing through Bangkok and want more than a transit stop, ask for our three day/two night Bangkok Hospitality Extension. We meet you at the airport and transfer you to an attractive centrally located hotel. This extension also includes y... read more

Phuket

Duration: 4 days

Phuket is the largest of Thailand's islands. It is incredibly varied with rocky beaches, long broad sandy beaches, forested hills, and clear waters great for snorkeling and relaxing. There is no better way to end a trip!

Kathmandu Hospitality

Duration: 3 days

2 hotel nights with breakfast, 2 airport transfers, Kathmandu sight-seeing, ticket reconfirmation and assistance with any necessary trekking permits.

Angkor Wat 3-Day Odyssey

Duration: 3 days

This excursion focuses on the amazing ruins of Angkor in Siem Reap. Angkor Wat, a spectacular architectural legacy of a period of bizarre regimes, is the most famous and confusing of the ruins in southeast Asia. This makes a perfect extension to any ... read more

Angkor Wat 5-Day Odyssey

Duration: 5 days

This excursion takes you to Siem Reap where you explore the magnificent Angkor sites followed by a ride on the Tonle Sap to see the local fishing villages. Then a short flight to Phnom Penh where you visit interesting museums, including Toul Sleng, a... read more

Delhi Hospitality Package

Duration: 3 days

Visit Delhi before or after any JOURNEYS Asia tour.

Chitwan National Park

Duration: 3 days

Chitwan National Park is probably the world’s best habitat for the rare Bengal Tiger and the One-horned Rhinoceros. Ride elephants in search of these animals and the hundreds of other animals and birds found here. Almost 700 sq. miles of lush rive... read more

Bangkok Exploration

Duration: 1 days

Accompanied by your personal guide you will meet exotic, ancient, enigmatic Bangkok head-on. After completing this multi-transport, mobile cultural immersion seminar, you should be able to go anywhere in Bangkok by train, ferry, sky-train, taxi or tu... read more

River Kwai & Erawan National Park

Duration: 4 days

This extension gives you a mixed variety of history and nature. You begin by exploring along the River Kwai stopping at important historical sites. You then travel to Erawan National Park, a unique and rugged landscape of high elevation plateau and s... read more

Ko Samui

Duration: 4 days

Relax and explore the beautiful island of Ko Samui. A perfect extension to any Asia tour.

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