The treks provide internship opportunities to disadvantaged youths so that they can learn more about the industry as assistant guides, and all profits go towards the work of The Umbrella Foundation charity.
A social enterprise in partnership with the charity, The Umbrella Foundation Nepal (20063764).
An early morning 45 minute flight from Kathmandu Domestic Airport propels us into the Everest region of Nepal. The landing at Lukla airport (2800m) is spectacular and on arrival we are greeted by our trekking crew who organise the luggage and hustle us off for tea. After lunch we start in earnest, setting off to Phakding (2800m), 3 hours trek to the north. Our route takes us past hotels, shops and airline offices to the edge of the Lukla plateau where the path drops to meet the intersection of the Jiri trail at Chablung. From here we follow the Dudh Kosi river north through the village of Ghat and then finally to Phakding where we spend the night. 45 minute flight to Lukla and 3 hour trek to Phakding.
From Phakding we continue north up the Dudh Kosi valley, staying 100m above the river on its west bank. The trail leads us to Jorsale (2810m) where we enter the Sagarmatha National Park. Sagarmatha is the Nepali name for Mount Everest. We continue along an ever-steepening trail to Namche Bazaar (3440m) and en route we cross the spectacular suspension bridge high above the Bhote Kosi and Dudh Kosi rivers and shortly after glimpse our first views of Everest, way off to the north-east. The trail to Namche is steep and long, but eventually we reach this remarkable Sherpa capital perched high on the hillside and dominated to the east by the immense mountain of Kwangde (6187m). 6 hour trek to Namche Bazaar.
The main purpose of today is to acclimatise to the thinning air and reduced levels of oxygen at this altitude before we continue upwards towards the Everest Base Camp. Ascending too quickly can bring forth the symptoms of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), which can be fatal, so it is very important that we take today to allow our bodies some extra time to adjust, grow some more red blood cells and rest before we continue on our journey upwards. We can spend the day browsing the local shops, visiting the National Park Visitor Centre or by taking a side trip to Thami or Khumjung. Namche is a great place to hang out by taking in the stunning mountain views, observing the trading of visiting Tibetans or listening to the stories of departing mountaineers.
From Namche the trail brings us north-east on a direct line to Everest, starting up the hill behind Namche and continuing along the reasonably flat trail high above the Dudh Kosi river. Ahead of us we can see one of the most beautiful mountains in the Khumbu – Ama Dablam (6856m), as well as Everest still far off in the distance. We pass through the settlement of Sanasa before making our descent to the Dudh Kosi and the village of Phunki Thanga. From here it is a steep long climb back up the side of the hill to where Tengpoche monastery is located. As we enter the grounds of the monastery we are welcomed by some of the most magnificent mountain views in the world encompassing a panorama of Himalayan giants and Everest as it peeks above the Lhotse-Nuptse ridge. 6 hour trek to Tengpoche.
The path initially descends through beautiful rhododendron forests and reaches a bridge across the Imja Khola where the river rushes through a narrow gorge, and from here it is a short walk to the settlement of Pangboche (3860m). After this point the trail and surroundings become distinctly alpine in appearance as we start to trek above the natural tree line. Our route is relatively easy, with a gentle climb towards Dingboche at 4410m. Dingboche is a long thin settlement nestled below a ridge that separates it from its neighbour Pheriche, at which there is a Himalayan Rescue Association medical centre. To the east we have fantastic views of Lhotse (8501m) and the popular climbing peak of Island Peak (6189m). 6 hour trek to Dingboche.
To allow us to become adjusted to the thinning air and lessening pressure we take our second dedicated acclimatisation day. Whilst by no means compulsory, a recommended aid to acclimatisation is a side trip to Chhukung at 4730m. This is a short hike eastwards up the Imja Khola valley where you are rewarded with fantastic views of Lhotse, Ama Dablam and Island Peak. Alternatively we can climb the ridge above Dingboche, walk across to Pheriche, or walk ahead to Duglha (4620m), tomorrow’s lunch spot.
Starting out from Dingboche we slowly ascend to the ridge above the village and continue northwards to the settlement of Duglha, reaching the terminal moraine of the great Khumbu Glacier where the trail and surrounding terrain becomes increasingly barren and harsh. After a short rest we continue up a steep slope higher on the moraine to a small flat area that is home to a number of memorials to mountaineers who have died in the Khumbu over the years. Entering the Khumbu Valley we are granted magnificent views of the mountains that form part of Nepal’s border with Tibet as well as the giants that form part of the Everest massif. The trail brings us along the western side of the valley before eventually reaching the settlement of Lobuje (4930m). 6 hour trek to Lobuje.
We rise early and continue along the western side of the broad Khumbu Valley along the rough trail that brings us over 5000m for the first time. Due to the somewhat difficult terrain and high altitude it is important that we take our time here and hence progress can be slow. The pyramid peak of Pumori (7145m) comes into view soon and underneath this we see the small dark peak of Kala Pattar (5545m). Kala Pattar offers the best vantage point for views of Everest and will be our objective tomorrow. However, the trail then descends down to the small settlement of Gorak Shep (5160m) where we take a short break. Refuelled and rested we continue along the side of the Khumbu Galcier up to the site of Everest Base Camp. Everest Base Camp offers up amazing views of Nuptse (7861m), Khumbutse (6636m) and Pumori (7161m), although not Everest itself. The high point of the trek EBC can be home to an eerie hustle and bustle at this altitude and depending on the time of year, the colourful tents of mountaineers, with Everest summit on their minds, can be scattered around the base camp area. 8 hour trek to Gorak Shep via Everest Base Camp.
Rising early again before dawn we trek up to Kala Pattar to take in the spectacular sunrise above Everest. The ascent takes around 2 hours of steady walking but from the summit we are able to see many of Everest’s key features including the South Col from where Hillary and Tenzing made their first ascent in 1953. Kala Patter offers up the greatest mountain view in the world and after taking our pictures of Everest and the surrounding Himalayan giants we descend back to Gorak Shep and start our walk back out of the mountains. Trekking back down our previous route we will notice the reduction in altitude as the increased oxygen levels bring new energy to our tired muscles. Upon reaching Pangboche we take some well earned rest and after dinner we turn in for the night. 8 hour trek to Pangboche via Kala Pattar.
Descending from Namche we can relax and enjoy the views across to Kwangde and to Thamserku (6808m) and Kantega (6685m) to our left. From Pangboche we make our way back to the monastery at Tengpoche after which the trail drops steeply to the river at Phunki Thanga before rising again on the way to Sanasa and back to Namche. 5 hour trek to Namche Bazaar.
Today is the final day of our trek and it brings the conflicting feelings of relief and sadness as we retrace our steps along the trail above the Dudh Kosi. Descending steeply out of Namche we cross the suspension bridge below and get our last views of Everest for now. After lunch at Phakding we continue down the path, before turning off the main Jiri route and arriving back to Lukla by mid-afternoon. 8 hour trek to Lukla.
The short return flight brings us back to the hustle and bustle of Kathmandu where you will be transferred back to your hotel by mid-afternoon. 45 minute fight to Kathmandu. Weather conditions at Lukla can affect flight times and departures so we therefore advise you to have at least 2 extra days in your itinerary between your expected Everest trek completion date and your departure flight from Nepal. In the case of emergencies you can take a shared Helicopter, which can fly in conditions not suitable for planes, from Lukla to Kathmandu at an extra cost.
It is strongly advised that you arrive in Nepal at least 1 full day before the intended start date of your trek. This will give you the opportunity to allow for any jetlag and to obtain any additional items you may require in the numerous trekking and climbing supply shops in Kathmandu.
An airport pick up and hotel on arrival can be arranged easily for you if you wish and we will be on hand to assist you in picking up any items you need or want and to arrange tours of Kathmandu’s numerous cultural sites.
Sagarmatha (Everest) National Park is located in the remote area of Solukhumbu in eastern Nepal and encompasses the world’s highest mountain, Everest (8848m) or Sagarmatha (the Nepali name for Everest) and many other Himalayan giants, such as Lhotse (8516m), Cho-yo Ama Dablam (8201m) and Pumori (7161m). This vast region contains multiple routes and offers a good standard of amenities for visiting trekkers.
With a peak altitude of 5360m, this trek is demanding. Days may involve walking for between 4 and 9 hours and can become more strenuous as we gain elevation, especially over 4000m. While most people can manage this trek, some regular walking and hiking exercise beforehand defiantly helps. Anybody with some reasonable level of physical fitness and a positive frame of mind can enjoy this trek.
The most common way to travel to the Sagarmatha (Everest) National park is via the 45-minute domestic plane ride from Kathmandu to Tenzing Hilary airport at Lukla. The airport’s landing strip is famously short and at an altitude of 2800m, flying in and out of this airport provides some of the most memorable experiences for anyone who undertakes a trek or climb in the Everest region.
If you have a few extra days to spare and/or would prefer to go by land to the Everest Region, the overland trip takes a minimum of 3 days each way with a one day bus trip to the town of Jiri and two days trek onwards to Lukla, where the main trek will begin.
Guest Lodges, sometimes called Teahouses, along the way provide good accommodation and a considerable choice of well-prepared meals. However, it is advisable to bring your own sleeping bag, as during the high season, bedding can be in short supply and it can get very cold at the higher altitudes.
March to May is one of the best times to trek with lots of flowers in bloom, especially rhododendrons in the mountains. While the sky may not be crystal clear as during the autumn months, it is the second busiest season for trekking and mountaineering.
June to August are wet but the mountains and hills are covered with lush and full green forests and vegetation. The daily cloud cover means that mountain views are not guaranteed but as very few people travel during this time it can present the perfect opportunity for people to explore the trails and nature in quiet.
September to November are the busiest trekking months due to predictable weather and mostly clear skies. The mountain views are spectacular but the most popular trails can become quite busy.
The winter months of December to February are good to trek due to the clean skies and the reduced number of trekkers. However, you should be prepared for cold temperatures.
Our guides are trained in First Aid and have significant experience in trekking this and many other routes throughout Nepal. Safety is our foremost priority and our staff will be available for any issues, and alert to any symptoms of illness that may come up.
Altitude problems, Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), can be life threatening and can occur at any point above 3000m. Our trip itinerary has been designed specifically to allow you to have enough time to acclimatise to the altitude as our height increases. Our guides are very experienced and will act in accordance with the gravity of any mountain sickness suffered. The easiest and best remedy for AMS is to descend quickly, so never ignore the symptoms and please talk to your guide or leader if you feel unwell. They are trained to manage the logistics and assess the situation continually to make sure that you have a safe trip and enjoy yourself.