This trip is our most comprehensive and all compassing journey in the Sagarmatha National park, including a summit of Lobuche East (6119m). It will lead you through the park’s most popular, as well as, the most under explored areas with hidden sights and untouched cultures. The adventure will challenge an enthusiastic hiker over high passes, offer beginners mountaineering experience and provide a glimpse into the quiet and rich culture of Sherpa people, all under the shadow of some of the world’s highest peaks.
The trek passes through varied landscapes ranging from lush low alpine forests to dry high alpine scrubland, and over rocky glacier moraines and snowy passes. Accompanying the trails are ever present colourful Buddhist prayer flags and maniwalls as reminders that the Sherpas have a strong spiritual relationship with the Himalayas. From viewpoints on passes and summits, you’ll be rewarded with awe-inspiring sights of 4 of Nepal’s 8000m peaks (Everest, Lhotse, Makalu, Cho Oyu) and serene blue glacier lakes.
Our Route begins at Lukla at 2840m. We first follow the Dudh kosi river on the valley floor, before making a sharp ascent up to Namche, the trading centre of the Sherpas. The trek proceeds on the traditional route to Everest base camp and Gorak Shep, from where we’ll tackle our first summit on Kala Pattar to experience the mighty beauty of Everest. We’ll then start our 2/3-day climbing expedition on Lobuche East (6119m) that includes an overnight high camp and a summit push with climbing guides. From here, we traverse towards the Gokyo valley crossing over Cho La pass (5330m) and the Ngozumpa glacier to Gokyo. We will summit Gokyo Ri to enjoy sunrise views of Everest, then traverse and summit Renjo La pass. This region borders closely with Tibet and sees little tourist traffic. The Sherpas here farm as they did before the conquest of Everest, living off the land and practising their Tibetan-Buddhist culture. We circuit back to Namche and trek back down to Lukla for our journey back to Kathmandu.
This is primarily a trekking trip with 1 non-technical climb (6119m). No prior climbing experience is required, but we advise that part of the route is exposed so you should feel comfortable under such conditions. Good fitness is essential as most days will involve 4-7 hr of trekking carrying a 5kg daypack. The maximum altitude is 6119m.
- Trek only and no peak climb
- Extra trek to Ama dablam base camp or Imja valley
- Other trekking peak instead of Lobuche East (e.g. Island Peak)
- Stunning views of Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, Ama dablam, Makalu and Cho Oyu
- Colourful Buddhist culture and spirited Sherpa people
- Crossing Cho La and Renjo La passes
- Ascents of Lobuche East, Kala Pattar and Gokyo Ri
A Himalayan Ascent representative will collect you from the airport. It’s a free day to recover from your international flight. Later in the evening, there will be a group briefing and welcome group dinner.Day 2: In Kathmandu
You will first do a gear check at your hotel and organise renting any equipment if needed. Then you have a free day to explore the crazy, yet wondrously beautiful city of Kathmandu. Home to 5 World Heritage sites, Kathmandu is a stunning landscape of handcrafted wooden palaces (durbar or palace squares of Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur) and glorious Buddhist stupas (Swayambu and Boudhanath). It’s a city that stimulates all senses, so be prepared because Sleep and food Kathmandu is a city that demands attention.Day 3: Fly to Lukla (2840m), trek to Monjo (2840m) ~5 hrs
Our trip begins with an early morning 30 min flight to Lukla, that flies over endless rolling hills covered with green terraces. Once in Lukla, we have a short break to organise porters and gear before starting our day’s walk, descending and ascending to Monjo. We pass green villages and colourful maniwalls as we follow the Dudh Koshi river upstream. This region is Buddhist so remember to walk clockwise or to the right of maniwalls and prayer flag poles. Monjo is an apple farming village situated near the base of the hill up to Namche. Note, if we leave on a mid morning flight, we may stop earlier along the trail at Phakding (2640m) instead of Monjo.Day 4: Trek Monjo (2840m) to Namche (3440m) ~5 hrs
Before leaving Monjo, we’ll drop into the Khumbu National Park Information Centre where you can trace our trail from a 3D model of the region. The route crosses several steel suspension bridges covered with katas, white well-wishing scarves, and prayer flags. From the last bridge, it’s a 2-3 hr hike up to Namche. On a clear day, you can catch your first view of Everest from a lookout about mid-way up the hill. Once in Namche, you have the afternoon to rest, do last minute gear shopping or catch locals enjoying the Saturday market.Day 5: Acclimatisation day in Namche ~ 5 hrs
We spend an extra day in Namche before trekking higher to allow our bodies to adjust to the lower levels of oxgyen in the air. In the morning, we will walk up to the Everest View Hotel to enjoy a panoramic view of Everest, Ama dablam and Thamserku. It’s just a taster of the spectacular scenery to come! From here, you can explore the villages of Khunde and Khumjung where Sir Edmund Hillary opened a hospital and school, respectively. Or the afternoon is free for wandering around Namche, emailing friends/family or relaxing over coffee and cakes in the bakery.Day 6: Trek Namche (3440m) to Debuche (3710m) ~ 5 hr
The trail behind Namche is a gentle track that traverses high above the Imja river with overlooking views of Thamserku and Ama dablam. We pass a chorten in memory of Tenzing Norgay, Sir Edmund Hillary’s climbing partner, before reaching Kyangjuma to break for morning tea and to admire direct views of Ama dablam. The route drops to a crossing of Imja river followed by an up hill hike to Tengboche. This monastery village hosts the largest monastery in the Khumbhu. Prayer times at mid morning and mid afternoon are open to the public for viewing.Day 7: Trek Debuche (3710m) to Dingboche (4410m) ~5 hrs
As we traverse along the Imja river and walk up to Pangboche (3930m), take a moment to look back and enjoy the classic view of Tengboche sitting high in the valley backed by the Kongde mountain range. Pangboche is the highest permanent settlement in the Khumbu with the oldest monastery in the region. It is also the last village before heading right to Ama dablam base camp, which dominates the scenery from now to Lobuche. We again gradually traverse up the valley, cross the Imja river and briefly walk upwards to Dingboche. The settlements above Pangboche are seasonal and were originally created for the growing number of visitors to the Khumbu. As the landscape becomes more high alpine with fewer scrubs and fields, the mountains appear distinctly more reachable and glorious.Day 8: Acclimatisation in Dingboche
Another “rest” day for acclimatisation will take us up to the ridge overlooking Dingboche for views into the Imja valley. You will see the great faces of Nuptse, Lhotse and Imja Tsa (Island Peak, 6189m) and another face of Ama dablam. There’s also the option to walk to Chhukung village or visit Pheriche. Alternatively you can rest up, enjoy the sun, drink hot chocolate and curl up with a book too.Day 9: Trek Dingboche (4410m) to Lobuche (4910m) ~5 hrs
Walking out of Dingboche and into a wide plateau with shepherd shelters is a little sanctuary of Himalayan peaks. Here, you can feel that you can almost touch the mountains and sense that Everest must be close. The trail gradually leads upwards to a small river crossing at the foot of Dughla (4620m). We take a short tea break before hiking up to a memorial at Thokla pass (4830m). It’s a quiet peaceful pass with stone piles to honour fallen climbers. The rocky path passes the trekking peak of Lobuche on the left, before we reach the namesake settlement itself.Day 10: Trek Lobuche (4910m) to Gorak Shep (5140m) and Everest base camp (5364m) ~6 hrs
Gorak Shep is the last settlement before reaching Everest base camp. From Lobuche, it’s a short walk of a couple of hours across glacier moraine to reach there around mid morning. After a quick refreshment, we will walk further along the rocky terrain alongside the Khumbu glacier to reach base camp. This pile of rocks sitting at the foot of the infamous Khumbu ice fall in Spring is home to some 30 teams (hundreds of climbers and support staff) aspiring to climb Everest. After inspecting the Khumbu ice fall, we trek back to Gorak Shep for the night to ready for an early start the next day.Day 11: Trek to Lobuche base camp (5100m) via Kala Pattar (5550m) ~6 hrs
We rise early the next morning and begin walking a trail behind Gorak Shep to the summit of Kala Pattar (“black rock”). Despite chilly morning winds, the hike is worth the effort for immediate views of Everest, unobstructed from Lhotse and Nuptse. We return to Gorak Shep for breakfast and then make the return journey towards Lobuche base camp for our own summit ambitions.Day 12: In Lobuche base camp
This day is dedicated to preparing you for climbing Lobuche. Your guide will check your mountain gear and will train you on the basics (clip into fixed lines, ascend with a jumar, descend on an abseiling device). We will get an early night in to rest ourselves for the first part of the climb.Day 13: Climb Lobuche base camp to high camp (5700m)
After crossing a grassy meadow to the foot of Lobuche peak, we ascend steeply on a rocky trail to a col for lunch (approx. 4 hr 5500m). From here, we can appreciate magnificent 360o views of Everest, Lhotse and Nuptse. To reach high camp along the start of the summit ridge, it’s another 1.5-2 hr rock scramble or snow depending on conditions. Do not miss the stunning sunset view from high camp!Day 14: Summit Lobuche East (6119m), return to base camp (5100m)
Summit day begins with an alpine start at 4am for a quick breakfast and dressing for a summit climb. We leave camp by 5am and walk up the ridge for 50m to a face. Climbing on fixed lines up the 45o snow wall, we then reach the ridge proper. We follow the ridge around seracs (snow/ice climb) to the 1st or false summit. Be prepared for exposure along the way as we walk on the ridge. It’s a quick rappel down from the 1st summit, then finally up another 60m to the real summit by mid morning. We return by the same route to high camp for a break and pack up camp. Our home for the night is a campsite on the other side of Lobuche towards Dzongla near Tsholo lake.Day 15: Weather contingency day
If weather prevents us from climbing on our planned dates, this is a spare day to allow some flexibility for success. On such a day, we’ll rest, drink water, eat food, banter with friends and support staff or play cards. There’s never a dull day in the mountains!Day 16: Trek to Dzongla (3860m) ~4 hrs
It’s a relaxing day traversing from our 2nd campsite to Dzongla. The village looks over to Ama dablam. We rest our bodies for another big day over Cho La pass.Day 17: Trek Dzongla (3860m) to Thangnak (3860m) via Cho La pass (5300m) ~5-6 hrs
This is a strenuous day that starts early up rocky boulders to a snow covered pass, Cho La. You’ll need good waterproof boots and poles as we traverse across the glacier and then steeply down to the Gokyo valley. Despite the difficulty, you won’t regret the effort as the views from the pass are breathtaking. A first in a series of panoramas to come, Cho La pass offers an expansive view of Everest alongside its neighbouring giants.Day 18: Trek Thangnak (3860m) to Gokyo (4790m) ~2 hrs
The trail this day is relatively easy. We first cross the terminal moraine of the Ngozumba glacier (biggest in Nepal), and then follow it up passing serene turquoise glacier lakes. Gokyo is a summer pasture for yak herders. The afternoon is free to relax and soak in the stunning views of the Dudh Pokhari lake (4740m).Day 19: Summit Gokyo Ri (5360m), return to Gokyo ~ 4-5 hrs
Another early start if you want to catch sunrise from the summit of Gokyo Ri (approx. 2 hr). The panorama from Gokyo Ri captures Nepal’s major 8000m peaks, Everest (8848m), Cho Oyu (8188m), Lhotse (8414m), Makalu (8475m) and Shisapangma (8013m) in Tibet. The summit also offers a glimpse down the Ngozumba glacier and an encompassing view of the Gokyo lakes.Day 20: Trek Gokyo (4790m) to Lungde (4400m) via Renjo La pass ~ 7 hrs
Yet another challenging day, we start early and walk along Dudh Pokhari to a gradual rocky ascent to Renjo La pass by lunch time. Looking eastward from the pass, the amazing view stretches from Everest to Kangchenjunga (on East Nepal-India border). The pass allows entry into remote valleys that border Tibet. Away from the general trekker traffic to Everest base camp, this part of the trail is reminiscent of older Sherpa ways and traditions. From the pass it is a short descent, then a gentle traverse passing smaller glacier lakes. The trail then descends down to the small village of Lungde.Day 21: Trek Lungde (4400m) to Thame (3820m) ~4 hr
With the high climbs now behind us, our adventure leads us back towards Namche via the small village of Thame. The trail follows the Bhote koshi river over small bridges and passes Sherpa villages. Thame has a reputation for producing famous climbers (e.g. Apa Sherpa -Guinness World Record 21 summits of Everest).Day 22: In Thame
After 3 summits (Kala Patter, Lobuche East, Gokyo Ri) and 2 high passes (Cho La, Renjo La), this is a day to rest and enjoy the higher oxygen levels at lower altitude. If you have any energy, you can visit the Thame school which loves to entertain visitors or visit the local gompas (monastery).Day 23: Trek Thame (3820m) to Namche (3440m) ~3 hr
We continue to follow the Bhote koshi river, passing chortens around the villages of Thamo and Phurtse. It’s mostly a downhill day with a short walk up to Namche. The afternoon is again free to explore the markets, museums and enjoy the hustle and bustle of Namche.Day 24: Trek Namche (3440m) to Lukla (2840m) ~5-6 hr
It’s a big downhill trek from Namche to the valley floor. Take this opportunity to farewell Sherpa culture as the trail undulates through the villages. This is our last night as a group with your guides and porters.Day 25-26: Fly to Kathmandu and in Kathmandu
The flight will give you a final close look at some Himalayan giants (Gauri Shanker, Langtang). Once in Kathmandu, you’re free to relax. A massage in one of the many beauty spas is highly recommended! If you didn’t make it to Bhaktapur or the other durbar squares in Patan/Kathmandu, make sure you don’t miss these world heritage sites. They provide another viewpoint of Nepal’s diverse culture and ancient architectural talents.Day 27: Depart Kathmandu
We bid Kathmandu and Nepal farewell....until next time.