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Everest Base Camp Classic Trek is a less common way to reach the base camp of the world’s tallest mountain. The 19-day trek entails walking on trails that very few trekkers have explored. Intially known as the Jiri to Everest base camp trek, this is the only hike to Everest that involves a long drive. Our trip begins in Kathmandu with visits to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. We drive from Kathmandu to Salleri the next day and begin trekking from there. The long drive from Kathmandu to Salleri is an enjoyable one, showcasing the diverse and beautiful Nepalese landscape. Our trek on the classic trail ends on the eighth day and we join the main trails. Lush rhododendron forests, Buddhist monasteries, Sherpa settlements, colorful prayer flags, deep gorges, fast flowing rivers, waterfalls and the unique suspension bridges are all part of our invigorating journey leading up to the Everest base camp. On our trek, we also climb up Kalapathhar, which is perhaps the best place for views of the Everest panorama. Everest Base Camp Classic Trek is a relief for any of us who wish to avoid the crowded trails but still want to experience the rich Sherpa culture, Nepalese mountain landscape and of course reach the base camp of the highest mountain on earth.
After arriving in Kathmandu, a representative from Himalayan Aster Treks will pick us up from the airport and take us to our hotel. In the evening, there will be a welcome dinner hosted by Himalayan Aster Treks . For dinner, you will be served authentic Nepalese cuisine which will introduce you to the country’s food culture. Overnight in Kathmandu.
After breakfast, we begin our tour of four amazing UNESCO World Heritage Sites. These include the architecturally rich Durbar Square, the sacred Hindu temple of Pashupati Nath, the interesting ‘Monkey Temple’ (Swayambunath), and the Bauddha Nath Stupa which is one of the largest stupas in the world. After completing our tour late in the afternoon, we drive to Himalayan Aster’s office for a brief meeting about our trek and get to know our team leader (guide) and fellow travelers.
We begin our drive to Salleri after breakfast. Our drive will be on the Madhya-Pahadi Highway and across the Sun Koshi River. We pass through beautiful riversides, jungles and villages. We continue to Okhaldhunga and begin to notice a change in the climate and landscape. The views of Numpur Himal and Everest are ours to admire. We continue our drive higher up and reach Salleri. Overnight in Salleri.
We begin our trek after breakfast and pass Ringmo Village from where we begin ascending on a steep trail until Namche Bazaar. The trail passes through some great ruins before reaching Nunthala which is a located at a lower elevation than Salleri. Roughly, we ascend 600m and descend 800 m. Overnight in Nunthala.
We begin our trek after breakfast and descend for the most part of the trek. We cross a bridge over the Dudh Koshi River and climb up for a little over an hour. The trail passes through Khari Khola village and the scenery starts to get more picturesque. We trek through a beautiful rhododendron forest before reaching Bupsa. Overnight in Bupsa.
We begin our trek after breakfast. The trail climbs up a ridge. We walk on the ridge and climb another ridge. Next, we cross a deep gorge with a great view of a waterfall and begin ascending to Chaurikharka. It is a wonderful small village with fields of barley, wheat and a few green vegetables. The village also houses a Buddhist monastery. Overnight in Chaurikhara.
We trek for some time and cross a bridge over the Chheplung Khola (stream). We continue our trek on a trail alongside the Dudh Koshi River. On our way to Monjo, we also pass through a few villages, rhododendron and magnolia forests and Buddhist monasteries. We also cross Dudh Koshi River and its tributaries several times before reaching Monjo. Overnight in Monjo.
We walk a little further from Monjo and enter the Sagarmatha National Park. We continue walking on the trail alongside the Dudh Koshi River and pass a chorten on the way before reaching Namche Bazaar. The traditional Sherpa village is one of the busiest villages in the Khumbu region with government offices, ATMs, Internet cafes, shops, restaurants, and a colorful market. Overnight in Namche Bazaar.
Our guide(s) can take us to explore the real charm of Namche Bazaar today. Hiking to Sagarmatha National Park rewards trekkers with a sunrise view and the views of Mount Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, Ama Dablam, Thamserku, Kongde and so on. We can also enjoy a day hike to Khumjung village (12,401ft) which is a beautiful Sherpa village. In exploring Namche Bazar, we observe traditional Sherpa life, Khumjung Hillary School and enjoy flora and fauna found at such altitude. Overnight in Namche Bazaar
This segment of the trek includes the famous descent to the Dudh Koshi River and the equally popular ascent along the rhododendron forests to Tengboche. While descending to Dudh Kish River, we enjoy the views of mountain tops like Mount Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, Ama Dablam, Thamserku, Kongde and so on. Upon reaching Tengboche, we visit Tengboche monastery-the largest monastery in the region and soak in the views of Everest, Ama Dablam and other peaks. Overnight in Tengboche.
We descent and trek through forests filled with a variety of lush trees – birch, conifers and rhododendrons. This journey again rewards us with tremendous views of Mt. Everest, Lhotse, and Ama Dablam. The picturesque trail dips down to Devuche, crosses the Imja River and takes us to Pangboche. The upper Pangboche trails reward us with a more pristine view of the Himalayas and the Pangboche Monastery. The trek moves ahead towards the Imja Valley, Lobuche River and ultimately begins climbing up to Dingboche. At Dingboche, we see a beautiful array of fields enclosed by stone walls to protect barley, buckwheat and potatoes from the cold winds and grazing animals. Overnight at Dingboche.
Dingboche is a popular stop for trekkers and climbers headed to Mt. Everest, Ama Dablam or Imja Tse. The village is beautiful with an array of fields enclosed by stone walls to protect barley, buckwheat and potatoes from the cold wind and grazing animals. We spend a day at Dingboche for acclimatization. We take day hikes to either Nagarjun Hill or Chukkhung Valley for great views of Makalu, Lhotse, Chalotse, Tawache and Ama Dablam.
We start the day with a gradual climb to Duglha at the end of the terminal moraine of the Khumbu Glacier. From here, we climb up a steep trail to Chupki Lhara, where we find an array of stones with prayer flags used as memorials to Scott Fischer (American mountaineer) and 10-time Everest submitter Babu Chiri Sherpa (Nepali mountain guide) who perished on a mission to climb Everest. Next, we continue to the Khumbu Glacier moraine and find ourselves facing several great peaks – Khumbutse, Lingtren, Pumori and Mahalangur Himal. The trail then eases off as we follow the valley to Lobuche. Overnight in Lobuche.
We take the trail to Everest Base Camp through the once vast Gorak Shep Lake. Continuing straight ahead, we come across the Indian army mountaineers’ memorials. The path from here can be misleading; hence, it is important that we follow our lead Sherpa diligently. The walk is strenuous due to thin air in the high altitude. We pass through rocky dunes, moraine and streams before reaching the Everest Base Camp. Upon reaching the Everest Base Camp, we see tents of mountaineers that stand out in bright colors against the monotony of gray surroundings (especially in the spring). Nuptse, Khumbuste and Pumori are the mountains we can view from the base camp. We get back to Gorak Shep for a good night’s rest. Overnight in Gorak Shep.
However, the sunset view from Kala Patthar is more admirable than the sunrise view, so it is recommended that we visit Kala Patthar today during sunset. As the setting sun’s rays strike the snow-capped mountains, the resulting scenery is incredible. Therefore, for those trekkers who wish to continue to Kala Patthar today instead of the next day please inform your guide and he/she will coordinate accordingly.
We prepare for an early morning departure, amid pre-dawn darkness and cold temperatures (-10 to -14 C). Plus, there is always the potential for chilly winds which are quite common. Familiar peaks such as Lingtren, Khumbutse, and Changtse tower to the east even as Everest begins to reveal itself. But, it is upon reaching Kala Patthar that we get to see 360 degree up-close and formidable views of Mt. Everest. We take pictures, enjoy the magnificent mountain panorama, and then return back to Pheriche for a good night’s rest.
Those participants who will visit Everest Base Camp today will have an early breakfast to start early as Everest base camp hike takes longer than the hike at Kala Patthar. After returning to Gorak Shep, both the groups will have lunch together; afternoon time is taken to descend down to Pheriche for a good night’s rest.
We trek down through the hillside blanketed by rhododendron and juniper trees. After crossing the prayer-flag festooned bridge over the Dudh Koshi River, our trail follows the Dudh Koshi gorge descending rapidly through pine forests. In the forest, we may come across colorful pheasants and mountain goats. The path eventually reaches Sansa from where we can enjoy views of Ama Dablam, Thamserku and Nuptse mountains. We also pass winding trails then through a forest before reaching Namche Bazaar. Overnight in Namche Bazaar.
The trail descends steeply downward so we need to walk cautiously as our shaky legs continuously battle the rocky terrain. After crossing the suspension bridges over the fast flowing Dudh Koshi and its tributaries, the trail becomes more level and natural. After our arrival in Lukla, we stretch those sore legs and recall the experiences of the last couple of weeks. Overnight in Lukla.
We catch an early morning flight to Kathmandu after our long mountain journey. After reaching Kathmandu, we can take a rest or do some souvenir shopping. If we want to explore any other areas of Kathmandu, we may do that today. Our guides can help you with both souvenir shopping or sightseeing. There will be a farewell dinner in the evening to celebrate the successful completion of our journey. Overnight in Kathmandu.
Your adventure in Nepal comes to an end today! There is nothing to do but trade emails with your travel companions and organize your photos. A representative from Himalayan Aster will take you to the airport, approximately 3 hours before your scheduled flight. On your way home, you’ll have plenty of time to plan your next adventure in the wonderful country of Nepal.