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Everest Circuit Trek
Route: Kathmandu – Namche - Everest Base Camp – Cho La – Gokyo Lakes – Namche - Kathmandu
This trek takes you through the beautiful and awe-inspiring regions of the popular Sagarmatha National Park, home to the world’s highest mountain, Mt Everest. This trail journeys into the heartland of the Sherpa people. Sherpas live in this lush low alpine landscape of ever changing vegetation and dry high altitude scrubland, alongside the highest mountains in the world.
This adventure will provide an insight into the rich Buddhist culture of the Sherpa people and their traditional way of life. Expect to see sights of Ama Dablam (6,856m), Mt Everest (8,848m), Lhotse (8,516m) and Cho Oyu (8,201m) and glimpses of Makalu (8,463m) and Shishapangma (8,013m), as you make your way along the trail. In the northern spring, the valley is awash with towering rhododendron trees of various colours and large white magnolia trees. The northern spring also brings mountaineers from around the world with their goal being to stand at the summit of Mt Everest.
Our route begins from the gateway airport village of Lukla at 2,840m. We will follow along beside the Dudh Khosi river on the valley floor, passing through farming villages of mixed Tamang, Rai and Sherpa communities. After Monjo, we then make a steep ascent over several hours up to Namche Bazaar, the main village of the Khumbu and the traditional trading centre of the Sherpas. On our way, however, we have a chance if weather permits to get our first view of Mt Everest, part way up to Namche. After Namche, we will continue up the valley to Tengboche Monastery, and we will finally reached the 4,000m mark in altitude near the village of Pangboche and then up to Dingboche, a famous potato growing area, where we will also rest and acclimatise for an extra day. Then, we continue up the valley to Everest Base Camp at around 5,350m. There is also an option, for those who would like to trek up to Kala Patar at around 5,500m, for an excellent and seemingly very close viewpoint of Mt Everest.
Then, we head back down the valley to Lobuche before then making a right turn off the main trail in order to trek over Cho La (pass) – another highlight - towards Gokyo Lakes, and for those who feel like an extra trek for more amazing views, there is the option of trekking up to Gokyo Ri. The magical beauty and colour of the glacial lakes will leave you breathless.
After the magical experience of the Gokyo Lakes, we will start our descent down to and through the small settlements of Macchermo and Dole, in the valley parallel to the Everest region, and back to the village of Namche Bazaar, before continuing on down to Lukla, before flying back to Kathmandu.
There is also a variation of this trip - to do it in the reverse and divert to different villages, therefore please contact us to see if and when this option is available as we are flexible in order to offer client’s desired routes. Sometimes clients who have done it in one direction before come to us and ask us to do it in the other direction the next time, with some deviations to different places. Please contact us at Expedition Base to discuss your requirements.
Please note: the 15 April 2018 itinerary varies slightly but for the same duration, for those wanting slightly shorter trekking days and varied stopping points. Please contact us if you would like to receive this itinerary.
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Price Starts From: USD 2,400
Duration: 20 Days, 19 Nights
Difficulty Level: Moderate Trekking
Max. Altitude: 5550 m
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- Views of Mt Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, Ama Dablam, Makalu and Cho Oyu, and many more
- Buddhist culture and spirited Sherpa people
- Crossing Cho La pass
- Ascents of Kala Patar and Gokyo Ri
- Tengboche Monastery
- Namche Bazaar
Trekking permit fees, 4 nights in Kathmandu hotel equivalent to Hotel Tibet or Radisson (Lazimpat or similar), experienced trekking guides, team transport in Nepal, internal fixed wing flights, teahouse accommodation on trek, extensive high altitude wilderness first aid kit, all meals outside Kathmandu plus breakfast in Kathmandu, porters to carry personal/group equipment on trek, plus receive complimentary trekking duffel. (All accommodation is on a twin share basis - single share can be arranged on request at an additional cost).
International flights to and from Kathmandu, lunch and dinners in Kathmandu (allow USD $10- 15 per meal), aerated and alcoholic beverages, personal items (e.g. phone calls, internet, laundry), tips, travel insurance (incl. early departure, evacuation / rescue) and personal trekking gear.
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Day 1: Arrive Kathmandu
Day 2: In Kathmandu
Day 3: Fly Kathmandu to Lukla (2,840m), trek to Monjo (2,840m) ~5 hrs
Day 4: Trek Monjo (2,840m) to Namche Bazaar (3,440m) ~5 hrs
Day 5: Acclimatisation day in Namche ~ 5 hrs
Day 6: Trek Namche (3,440m) to Phortse (3,810m) ~ 5 hrs
Day 7: Trek Phortse (3,810m) to Pangboche (3,930m) ~2.5 hrs
Day 8: Trek Pangboche (3,930m) to Dingboche (4,410m) ~4 hrs
Day 9: Acclimatisation in Dingboche ~5 hrs
Day 10: Trek Dingboche (4,410m) to Lobuche (4,910m) ~5 hr
Day 11: Trek Lobuche (4,910m) to Gorak Shep (5,140m) and Kala Patar (5,550m) ~7 hrs
Day 12: Trek Gorak Shep (5,140m) to Everest Base Camp (5,300m), back to Dzongla ~7 hrs
Day 13: Trek Dzongla (4,830m) to Thangnak (4,700m) via Cho La pass (5,330m) ~6-7 hrs
Day 14: Trek Thangnak (4,700m) to Gokyo (4,910m) ~2 hrs
Day 15: Trek Gokyo Lakes (4,910m) to Dole (4,040m) ~5 hrs
Day 16: Trek Dole (4,040m) to Namche Bazaar (3,740m) ~5 hrs
Day 17: Namche Bazaar (3,740m) to Lukla (2,840m) ~ 6-7 hrs
Day 18: Fly Lukla to Kathmandu, stay in Kathmandu
Day 19: In Kathmandu
Day 20: Depart Kathmandu
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Today, you arrive in magical Kathmandu. An Expedition Base representative will collect you
from Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan Airport. It’s then a free day to recover from your international
flight. Later in the day, there will be a team briefing, gear check and welcome team dinner. For
those with an early arrival, there is a good chance you will want to dip your toes into
Kathmandu by a short walk to the main tourist area of vibrant Thamel.
This is a free day for you to explore Kathmandu. This expansive city is 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
(Swayambhu and Boudhanath).
Fly Kathmandu to Lukla (2,840m), trek to Monjo (2,840m) ~5 hrs
Our day begins with an early morning 40 min or so flight to Lukla. Once in Lukla, we have a
short break to organize porters and gear before starting our day’s walk in the crisp mountain
air, descending and ascending to Monjo, our stop for the night. This region is Buddhist so
remember to walk clockwise or to the left of mani walls (keeping them on your right) and
prayer flag poles.
Trek Monjo (2,840m) to Namche Bazaar (3,440m) ~5 hrs
Before leaving Monjo, we’ll check into the Sagarmatha National Park Information Centre. On a
clear day, you can catch your first view of Mt Everest from a lookout about mid-way up the hill
to Namche. Once in Namche, you have the afternoon to rest, do last minute gear shopping or
catch locals enjoying the Saturday market. There are lots of great cafes in which to relax and
enjoy special treats.
Acclimatisation day in Namche ~ 5 hrs
We spend an extra day in Namche before trekking higher to allow our bodies to adjust to the
increased altitude. In the morning, we will walk up to the Everest View Hotel to enjoy
panoramic views and you can explore the villages of Khunde and/or Khumjung. The afternoon
is free for exploring Namche, or relaxing, as you wish.
Trek Namche (3,440m) to Phortse (3,810m) ~ 5 hrs
We pass a chorten in memory
of Tenzing Norgay Sherpa, Sir Edmund Hillary’s climbing
partner, before reaching Kyangjuma to break for morning tea. We soon take the high trail up to
Mong for lunch en-route to Phortse, well known as a potato and buckwheat growing area.
A variant of this trip is to trek from Namche to Tengboche Monastery and onward to the village
of Pangboche. Both options have their appeal and we will accommodate a variation to the trip
where members have a preference of one route over another.
Trek Phortse (3,810m) to Pangboche (3,930m) ~2.5 hrs
The trail to Pangboche is an easy
day of traversing with views of Tengboche monastery just
across the valley. Pangboche is the highest permanent settlement with the oldest monastery in
the Khumbu region. The horizon from here to Lobuche is dominated by Ama Dablam, (6,856m),
which as an aside is a mountain that is prominently shown in the 2017 movie called ‘Mountain’.
Trek Pangboche (3,930m) to Dingboche (4,410m) ~4 hrs
High altitude scrubs now replace trees, evidencing our ascent into alpine terrain and
formidable mountains suddenly appear within reach. Dingboche is the first of a series of
settlements leading to Everest Base Camp established to accommodate trekkers. Beautiful
views towards Mt Everest, Lhotse, Ama Dablam and more!
Acclimatisation in Dingboche ~5 hrs
It’s a rest day in Dingboche to acclimatise to our increased altitude gain. In the morning, we’ll
walk up to a lookout to touch the 5,000m mark. It’s a steep climb but on a clear day expect
views of giants Makalu (8,463m), Lhotse (8,501m), Nuptse (7,861m) and,
on clear days, Cho
Oyu (8,201m) and Shishapangma (8,013m).
Trek Dingboche (4,410m) to Lobuche (4,910m) ~5 hr
Just above Dingboche and along a plateau of yak herder shelters, we enter a serene sanctuary
of panoramic mountains. You will pass Dughla, and it’s a 1 hr trek up to Thukla (4,830m) then
onto Lobuche where you will sleep for the night.
Trek Lobuche (4,910m) to Gorak Shep (5,140m) and Kala Patar (5,550m) ~7 hrs
Gorak Shep is the last settlement before reaching Everest Base Camp. From Lobuche, it’s a
short trek of a couple of hours across a glacier moraine to reach there around mid morning.
We then walk a trail up the large black hill behind our teahouse. The summit of Kala Patar or
‘Black Rock’ offers us our first real look at Mt Everest, an unobstructed view of the highest
mountain in the world. Since we cannot see Mt Everest from Gorak Shep or Everest Base
Camp, the option of trekking up to Kala Patar is a good one because the views of Mt Everest
open up before you.
Trek Gorak Shep (5,140m) to Everest Base Camp (5,300m), back to Dzongla ~7 hrs
Today, we reach Everest Base Camp! In the northern spring, expect to see many tents and
much activity within the camp. We will have a quick stop here for you to take it all in, we relax
and refuel and then we start to make our way back down the valley through Lobuche and with a
right turn off the main trail to Dzongla, at the start of Cho La pass. After being on the busier
trails of the Khumbu, you will now get a sense of the quieter trails that Nepal has to offer.
Make sure you take the time to take it all in – this is a pretty special day.
Trek Dzongla (4,830m) to Thangnak (4,700m) via Cho La pass (5,330m) ~6-7 hrs
This is a strenuous day that starts early up rocky boulders and up a steep stretch before
reaching our snow covered pass of Cho La. You will need good waterproof boots and poles so
that you are ready to navigate ever-changing terrain. Despite the difficulty, you won’t regret
your effort as the views from the top of the pass are magnificent. Cho La pass offers an
expansive view of Mt Everest alongside other Himalayan giants.
Trek Thangnak (4,700m) to Gokyo (4,910m) ~2 hrs
Thangnak is a an interesting little stop in itself, nestled away at the bottom of Cho La pass,
dwarfed by Cholatse and other major peaks. We will start after breakfast to make our way
across the glacier to Gokyo Lakes, with a great expansive view before we drop down to Gokyo
village itself. You then have the option of relaxing in the lodge with a good book or your
journal, sitting by the lake or taking a stroll up to Gokyo Ri for another viewpoint across to Mt
Trek Gokyo Lakes (4,910m) to Dole (4,040m) ~5 hrs
It’s quite a spectacular trek down this valley. Having been in the generally busier Khumbu
valley with its formed trails, there is an increasing sense of freedom as we make our way down
this lesser travelled valley through the small village of Macchermo and down to Dole, where we
will stop for the night.
Trek Dole (4,040m) to Namche Bazaar (3,740m) ~5 hrs
After breakfast, we slowly make our way back down to Namche Bazaar. We recommend that
you take your time because the trip is gradually coming to an end and you don’t want to miss a
thing. Stop to take in the views and keep your camera on the ready.
Namche Bazaar (3,740m) to Lukla (2,840m) ~ 6-7 hrs
It’s a good trek down to Lukla so we will leave Namche after breakfast in order to get to Lukla
by mid-late afternoon. Enjoy the sights of the mani walls around Ghat and other villages, as we
make our way back to Lukla. This is our last opportunity to take in the Buddhist culture that
has prevailed throughout the trip before returning to the melting pot of cultures found in
Fly Lukla to Kathmandu, stay in Kathmandu
Another early morning flight out of Lukla back to Kathmandu. The rest of the day is yours to
relax and enjoy a rest, shower or a massage! You will be reflecting on what an awesome trip
this has been.
Your last day to take in some sightseeing, shopping, or relax and prepare for departure. If you
didn’t make it to Bhaktapur or the other durbar squares in Patan/Kathmandu, maybe add to
your adventures for today.
Goodbye Kathmandu and Nepal... until next time. See you again soon! We will be sad to see
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Expedition Base Pvt. Ltd.
Bansbari-3, Kathmandu, Nepal, Tel: +977 01 4371291
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