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Expedition At A Glance

23 days, 22 nights

Difficulty Level: 5 (Challenging)

Price (US$): From $2,895.00

Months Available: April, May, October and November

OVERVIEW


Ultimate Everest Trek:

Trekking through Sherpa villages and over two high passes, the Ultimate Everest Trek is a challenging circuit trek offering dramatic views of the highest mountains on earth. While there is some trail exposure, no technical climbing skills are required for this trek. It is the perfect adventure if you are looking for a challenge.

The Ultimate Everest Trek begins after a flight to the airstrip at Lukla. You will follow the classic route to the Everest Base Camp and climb Kalapathar for an up-close view of the south face of Everest.  Return is via an alternate route crossing the Cho La (pass) to the Gokyo valley near the Ngozumpa Glacier.  At Gokyo, you will hike to the summit of Gokyo Ri – a vantage point to view four mountains over 8,000 meters: Everest, Lhotse, Cho Oyu and Makalu.  From Gokyo, cross the Renjo La pass to reach Thame, home of several famous Sherpa mountaineers.  Finally, descend to Lukla via Khumjung.

This is a comprehensive Everest trek that allows you to see more of everything in the Khumbu: spectacular mountain vistas, Sherpa culture, high passes, and rustic villages. The Ultimate Everest trek is rated as challenging (or 5 on a scale of 1 to 5). While it does not require any technical mountaineering skills, it does involve sleeping and hiking at high altitudes for an extended period of time with some days where total altitude gain/loss is more than 4,000 feet.

Our Nepal and Tibet treks and climbs are operated by our sister company based in Nepal – Crystal Mountain Treks – owned by our founder’s family. Crystal Mountain Treks has been in business for over two decades and employs only the best guides with a minimum of 15 years experience. We treat our staff with the utmost care and respect. Each staff member is provided high-quality equipment and paid higher-than-average wages. Our clients have commented that our treks provide a better value (we provide more for less) than other companies they researched, comparing services, quality and price. We are happy to provide with references of people who have journeyed with us in the past upon request.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Explore monasteries and palaces in the Kathmandu valley for two full days.
  • Visit Sherpa villages including the famous Namche Bazaar.
  • Optional hike to the Everest Base Camp
  • Optional summit of Kalapathar for unparalleled views of the South Face of Mt. Everest.
  • Take up the exciting challenge of crossing two Himalayan passes (both over 17,500 feet).
  • Hike to Gokyo Ri for views of Everest, Lhotse, Cho Oyu and Makalu (all over 8,000 meters).

 

ITINERARY SUMMARY:

Day 01: Arrive Kathmandu.

Day 02: Sightseeing in Kathmandu.

Day 03 to Day 05: Fly into Lukla. Trek to Namche at 11,270 feet. An additional day in Namche is scheduled for acclimatization.

Day 06 to Day 08: Trek to Tengboche Monastery. Trek to Dingboche at 13,950 feet. An additional day at Dingboche for acclimatization.

Day 09 to Day 11: Ascend steadily to Gorakshep at 17,100 feet. You have the option to visit Everest Base Camp.

Day 12: Ascent of Kalapathar (18,195 feet) and descend to Dzongla from where you cross the Cho La pass.

Day 13 to Day 18: Trek into Gokyo valley. A rest day at Gokyo is planned. Continue the crossing of Renjo La pass. Descend rapidly to Khumjung – the site of the famous Hillary school and clinic.

Day 19 to Day 21: Descend to Lukla where the trek ends. Fly back to Kathmandu.

Day 22: Additional day in Kathmandu.

Day 23: Final departure

 

DETAILED ITINERARY


Day 01 - Kathmandu (1,350m/4,450ft)
You will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel.  In the early evening, we will gather for a trip briefing where we will also get to know each other.  Welcome dinner is a 15-minute walk-away in the tourist hub of Thamel.

Hotel Tibet or similar. (Dinner).

Day 02 - Kathmandu
Full day exploration of the sights, sounds and pleasant chaos that is Kathmandu.  You will be accompanied by our in-house city guide. Visit Bodhnath - the Stupa of a Million Dewdrops.  Bodhnath is a sacred destination for Buddhists from all over the world.  You will find devotees circumambulating this sacred monument during any time of the day.  Step in with the devotees, spin the prayer wheels along the stupa walls, and immerse yourself in the experience of Bodhnath.

BoudhaVisit Pashupatinath, Nepal's most sacred Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva, the God of Destruction.  The main temple has a two-tiered golden roof and an ornate silver door.  However, visitors cannot enter the main temple sanctum and must view it from across the sacred Bagmati River.

Then drive to Patan for lunch in the garden of the Patan Museum.  After lunch, visit the well-maintained Patan Museum which houses ancient Nepali artifacts, followed by a tour of Patan Durbar (Palace) Square.  Patan is also known as Lalitpur, the City of Arts. Patan boasts of the most craftsmen in Nepal, and there are numerous stores selling metal artwork in the city.  The medieval architecture of Patan is the finest amongst the ancient kingdoms in Kathmandu Valley with stunning architectural designs of palaces and temples including the Krishna Mandir. Return to hotel.  Free evening to prepare for your trek.

Hotel Tibet or similar. (Breakfast and Lunch)

Day 03 - Kathmandu to Phakding (2,800m/8,700ft)
Please note that flights to Lukla could be delayed or cancelled for a number of reasons.  In such an event, return to the hotel and resume program the following day.

traffic jamYour day will start very early today as most flights to Lukla are scheduled for the early morning hours.  You must arrive at the airport one hour before your scheduled departure time.  Be ready for a wait at the airport if your flight is delayed due to weather at either Kathmandu or Lukla.  The flight to Lukla (2,800m/8,700ft) is approximately 30 minutes and a bit bumpy, but you will make a dramatic landing at Lukla Airport.  Lukla Airport is a STOL (Short Take-Off and Landing) airport that was originally built to ferry goods for Sir Edmund Hillary's school project with The Himalayan Trust.  It is now one of the busiest mountain airports in Nepal with up to 50 flights per day during peak tourist season.

At Lukla, meet your trek staff – porters and assistants.  While you eat breakfast, your porters will tie your bags and prepare their loads.  Begin trekking after breakfast.  Today's three/four hour trek to Phakding is on fairly level terrain along the Dudh Koshi ('koshi' means river in Nepali).

Past Lukla, descend to Chaurikharka and continue on a fairly level trail to Choplung (2,700m/8,910ft). Here, the trail from Jiri joins the main Everest trail.  Continue on a trail that descends to Tharo Koshi, a settlement named after the stream flowing through it. Once past the bridge over the Thado Koshi, the trail climbs a bit then contours around a ridge to Ghat (2,590m/8,500ft).  There is a monastery, numerous prayer wheels, mani stones and a chhorten at Ghat. Whenever possible, please remember to turn all prayer wheels in a clock-wise direction and to walk on the left side of shrines and manis (i.e. keeping these objects to your right). From Ghat, it is approximately 20 minutes to Phakding, a fairly large settlement dominated by lodges.

Lodge. (All meals)

Day 04 - Phakding to Namche (3,400m/11,270ft)
crossing bridge
The day’s trail follows the Dudh Koshi past several villages until you begin your ascent to Namche.  Before reaching Monju (2,840m/9,350 ft.) is the village of Chumoa where in the 1970s, an eccentric but creative Mr Hagayuki lived without a visa for almost 10 years - farming and running the Hatago Lodge – before being deported. The lodge is now falling apart, but his fruit trees still bear flowers and fruits in the spring and summer. Just beyond Monju is the entrance to the Sagarmatha National Park where your park permit will be checked.  Visit the Information Center there while your permit is processed by Park staff.  Depending on the time you reach this point, lunch will be either at Monju or Jorsalle (2,830m/9,300ft) inside the park.

Past Jorsalle, the trail follows the Dudh Koshi and crosses it, twice before the base of the hill which climbs up to Namche.  This climb is long and steep. Walk slowly on this hill to avoid altitude sickness. The switchback trail is well-worn and wide through a pleasant pine forest.  Weather permitting, you will get your first view of Mt Everest at the beginning of the switchback trail.  At the end of the long switchback trail, you enter the open panorama of Namche which is built in a natural amphitheater.

Lodge. (All meals)

Day 05 - Namche acclimatization day
Namche Bazaar
Acclimatization day. There are numerous things to do in Namche.  Hike up to the Park Headquarters at Mendalphu, which is an excellent view point for Mt. Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse and Amadablam. Visit the information center there.  Then climb up the hill to Syangboche (3,790m/12,450ft), and perhaps further up to the Everest View Hotel from where you can also get excellent views of Everest. Another option is to hike towards Thame and get as far as you can before you backtrack the same way to Namche. En route, you can visit Namche Gomba and Thamo Gomba.

Also remember that you can get online at Namche or make a telephone call (although both internet and calls can be fairly expensive).

Lodge. (All meals)

Day 06 - Namche to Tengboche (3,870m/12,900ft)
Tengboche Monastery1
Climb to the top of Namche Bazaar, then walk on a fairly level trail to Kenjuma and Sanasa (3,600m/11,830ft).  Here, there are extensive displays of souvenirs to tempt you. Bargaining is very much in order! The trail now descends to the Dudh Koshi, which is crossed to reach Phungi Tenga (3,250m/10,700ft). There is a now-deserted army post here.  Past this point, the trail ascends to Tengboche through conifer and rhododendron forests.  It is a grueling three/four hours of uphill climbing.

Visit Tengboche monastery in the evening, or watch the setting sun cast its last rays over Everest if the skies are clear.  There is also an eco-center with historical and cultural exhibits in the monastery compound. If monks are performing prayer ceremonies when you visit, please do not take flash photos or otherwise disturb the ceremonies. Lodge. (All meals)

Day 07 - Tengboche to Dingboche (4,360m/13,950ft)
The trail descends steeply to the small village of Debuche. Here, quietly tucked away in the trees is a Buddhist nunnery.  Well past Debuche, cross the Imja Khola and climb to the village of Pangboche (3,880m/12,800ft).  The Pangboche Monastery is the oldest in Khumbu and once contained relics that were said to be the skull and hand of a yeti. These items were stolen in 1991.

After lunch at Pangboche, hike to well past the village where the trail climbs to Shomare and then to Orsho on a shelf above the river. Beyond Orsho, the trail divides, the left leads to Pheriche and the right to Dingboche. We will take the right trail to Dingboche. Dingboche is a pleasant village with outstanding mountain views.

Lodge. (All meals)

Day 08 - Dingboche acclimatization day
approaching dingboche
Acclimatization Day. You can spend this day resting, walking around the restful village, or climbing up to the chhorten on the top of the ridge above the village.

Lodge. (All meals)

Day 09 - Dingboche to Dughla (4,620m/15,100ft)
Climb gradually to the top of the moraine above Pheriche Valley and continue across a few yak pastures. Then make a short but steep ascent to Dughla where you will arrive for lunch.

Lodge. (All meals)

Day 10 - Dughla to Lobuche (4,930m/16,200ft)
Climb directly up a trail on the terminal moraine of the Khumbu Glacier into an area dedicated to climbers who have perished on Khumbu’s mountains. Past this point, it is a very gradual incline to Lobuche.

Lodge. (All meals)

Day 11 - Lobuche to Gorakshep (5,160m/17,100ft)
EBC 2012 sign
Begin the climb today by ascending gently through meadows in the Khumbu valley.  Then cross several steep moraines while also walking on an 'active' glacier. Gorakshep is situated on a sandy and flat section that served as base camp for the 1952 Swiss Everest Expedition.

After lunch, if you feel up to it, hike to Everest Base Camp and return to your lodge at Gorakshep.  The round trip hike from Gorakshep to Everest Base Camp can take around four or five hours.

Lodge. (All meals)

Day 12 - Gorakshep to Dzongla (4,830m/15,900ft)
Hike up Kalapathar (5,545m/18,195ft) for views of Everest and surrounding peaks.  This 335m/1,100ft steep ascent is challenging.  Previous clients' hiking times for this climb have ranged from two to five hours – one way.  But there is no doubt that, weather permitting, the summit of Kalapathar serves as one of the best unobstructed view-point for the southern massif of Mt Everest.

Enjoy a well-deserved lunch either at Gorakshep or Lobuche, and then continue to Dzongla.

Lodge. (All meals)

Day 13 - Dzongla to Thangnak (4,700m/15,450ft)
trail to gokyo
Start early from Dzongla, walking through a pasture before beginning a steep ascent to the Cho La ('la' means pass in the local Sherpa language) at 5,420m/17,850ft.  Some scrambling on all fours might be necessary as you navigate through the rocky trail.  You will then reach a glacier from where it is a gradual ascent to the pass.  The trail on the descent from the pass is steep and can be icy.  After crossing this section, you will again hike on a moraine until you reach Thangnak.

Lodge. (All meals)

Day 14 - Thangnak to Gokyo (4,750m/15,500ft)
Climb to the Ngozumpa Glacier, the longest glacier in Sagarmatha National Park and the origin of the Dudh Koshi.  Cross the glacier and then ascend gradually, passing a few lakes, until you reach Gokyo.  Situated at the head of the Dudh Koshi Valley and along the bank of the Ngozumpa Glacier, Gokyo used to be a small yak herding settlement.  It has now become a popular tourist destination.  Gokyo Lake is a sacred lake revered by both Buddhists and Hindus.

Lodge. (All meals)

Day 15 - Gokyo
gokyo.
Exploration or Rest Day. The hike to Gokyo Ri (5,483m/17,990ft) is similar to the hike to Kala Pathar, but a little shorter and easier.  From here, you will be able to view Everest, Lhotse, Makalu and Cho Oyu, all rising majestically above 8,000 meters.

Lodge. (All meals)

Day 16 - Gokyo to Lungden (4,350m/14,350ft)
Another early start today.  Climb steeply to Renjo La (5,375m/17,700ft) from where you will again experience awe-inspiring views of Everest and other mountains.  From the pass, descend steeply to reach Lungden, a village that has still not been influenced much by tourism.  The hike today can take over eight hours.

Lodge. (All meals)

Day 17 - Lungden to Thame (3,750m/12,500ft)
The hike to Thame is a short descent along the Bhote Koshi, a river that originates in Tibet.  The quiet village of Thame is home to many famous Everest summiteers: Tenzing Norgay, who with Sir Edmund Hillary, made the first summit of Everest in 1953; Ang Rita Sherpa, also known as the 'snow leopard', has successfully climbed Everest ten times without the use of supplemental oxygen; and Appa Sherpa who is attempted his record-breaking 20th summit of Everest in 2010.

At Thame, visit the Thame Monastery, one of the three oldest monasteries in the Khumbu.

Lodge. (All meals)

Day 18 - Thame to Khumjung (3,870m/12,900ft)
Khumjung 2
Trek on fairly level trail today.  Approaching Namche, take a diversion and climb past the Syangboche airstrip to the picturesque valley of Khumjung.  The village is famous for the 'Hillary School' where the first school built by Hillary, with all its parts brought in from New Zealand, still stands.  The adjoining village of Khunde above Khumjung is home to Khunde Hospital which you can opt to visit.

Lodge. (All meals)

Day 19 - Khumjung to Monjo (2,840m/9,100ft)
Descend to Namche, and then retrace your steps down to Jorsalle. Return to Monjo.

Lodge. (All meals)

Day 20 - Lukla (2,800m/8,700ft)
Return to Lukla.  This is your last day of trekking.

Lodge. (All meals)

Day 21 - Lukla to Kathmandu
Fly Lukla to Kathmandu.  Transfer to your hotel. Rest of the day free in Kathmandu.

Hotel Tibet or similar.  (Breakfast)

Day 22 - Kathmandu
This is a contingency day in case of flight delays from Lukla to Kathmandu.

Another day of sightseeing in Kathmandu.

Monkeys at a templeVisit Swayambunath, better known as the Monkey Temple.  It is situated on a small hill overlooking Kathmandu City.  Be prepared to climb almost 300 steps to reach the stupa at the top of the hill.

Drive to Bhaktapur, the City of Devotees for lunch and a tour of the royal palace square. Bhaktapur is a medieval city in the Kathmandu valley and is least disturbed by modern life. Here, you can absorb the architectural splendor of the five-storied Nyatapola temple, or the sculptural delight of the Peacock Window.

A final farewell dinner in Kathmandu.

Hotel Tibet or similar.  (All meals)

Day 23 - Final departure
Transfer to airport for final departure. (Breakfast)

PHOTO AND VIDEO GALLERY


COST AND INCLUSIONS


Per Person Price - valid till December 31, 2018

1 person: $3,495 USD (Includes Single Supplement)
2 - 4 persons: $3,095 per person
5 or more persons: $2,895 USD

Single Supplement: $300 USD

  • $250 per person discount available on May and June departures.
  • $150 per person discount on November and December departures.
  • Contact us for private departures for two or more participants. Group discounts for 5 or more participants available for private groups.

(Did you know that the price for Grand Asian Journeys’ Everest Base Camp Trek is about 30% less expensive than other major US outfitters’ prices? It’s because we run a Nepal office and have direct access to the best rates and most reliable staff – without the middleman. Other outfitters sell the same trek package for an inflated price. Just ask our previous clients and they’ll tell you we provide more for less.)

Price includes:

  • Expert pre-trip advice and detailed information
  • Motivated, well-cared-for staff
  • All airport transfers
  • Two full days sightseeing in Kathmandu as indicated in the itinerary and entrance fees to monuments.
  • 4 nights twin sharing hotel accommodation at Hotel Tibet (3 star) in Kathmandu.
  • Round trip airfare: Kathmandu to Lukla
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary
  • Lodge trekking as indicated in the itinerary
    • Three meals a day (You choose from a menu; NO set meals)
    • Boiled water for your bottles three times a day
    • Use of Steripen for water purification
    • Use of clean sleeping bag (rated to 0 degree F), down jacket and duffel bags. (Our sleeping bags are washed after each use).
    • Tea, coffee and hot lemon (unlimited)
    • Guide and staff wages, equipment and meals
    • Guide and staff insurance
  • Sagarmatha National Park Fee
  • Gamow Bag (High altitude pressure chamber)

Price does not include:

  • Your international airfare
  • Nepal Visa
  • Meals not indicated in the itinerary
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Personal equipment (a suggested list will be mailed to you)
  • Travel insurance (Required)
  • Other expenses of a personal nature

DATES AND AVAILABILITY


2018 Dates:

Apr 09 - May 01

Apr 23 - May 15

May 07 - 29

Oct 01 - 23

Oct 22 - Nov 13

Nov 05 - 27

Nov 19 - Dec 11

Cannot find a departure that fits your schedule? No problem. Contact us for private departures (two or more participants) for a date of your choosing. No additional charge for private departures.

AVAILABLE:

Book this trip now as spaces are available.

GUARANTEED:

This trip has the minimum sign ups required and is guaranteed to run.

LIMITED AVAILABILITY:

Limited spaces are available so please contact us to inquire about the departure status.

FULL:

This date is unavailable. please contact us to inquire about other trip departure dates or booking this trip as part of a Custom Itinerary.

BOOK THIS TRIP


 

"We just returned after an amazing trip to Nepal with Grand Asian Journeys trekking in the Everest region.  Everything from start to finish was well planned and arranged, with wonderful guides, porters and all the support staff.  Trekking in Nepal is as people say "the trip of a lifetime" and Grand Asian Journeys makes it easy.  I would recommend them for any trip they offer.  This was my second trip with them, and I will definitely be traveling with them again!"

-Robin G., Portland, OR - Ultimate Everest Trek, October 2015

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