Khumbu Climber - Three Peaks Challenge

Climb Lobuche, Pokalde and Island Peaks in the shadow of Everest

26

days

Trek

Climb

From $4,980 Land only

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Holiday Overview

Highlights

  • Challenging circuit trek of the Everest region
  • Option to visit Everest Base Camp and Kala Pattar
  • Led by a KE Western Climbing Leader supported by Sherpa guides
  • 1:3 guide to client ratio on summit days and full trek crew

Back by popular demand, the original KE ‘‘Khumbu Climber'' climbing holiday not only explores the three principal valleys of the Everest region, but also includes ascents of three major peaks in the shadow of Everest. This classic climbing holiday begins with a trek to the holy lakes at Gokyo where we make a training and acclimatisation climb of the 'Nameless Towers' above Gokyo's 'Fifth Lake' with the 'Scoundrel's View' of Everest'. We then cross the Cho La to reach our first mountain challenge, an ascent of Lobuche Peak East (6119m), which we tackle from a high camp spectacularly located on a level part of the ridge overlooking the main Khumbu Valley. After the climb there is the option to visit Everest Base Camp and / or climb the viewpoint peak of Kala Pattar before we cross the Kongma La to tackle our next peak, Pokalde (5806m). This provides an enjoyable and entertaining climb involving some easy scrambling protected by fixed line. From the summit there are sensational views of nearby Ama Dablam and all the peaks of the Khumbu, as well as the more distant but equally imposing Makalu. The fitting climax to this Khumbu trilogy is an ascent of the aptly named Island Peak, set in a sea of glacial ice directly adjacent to the incredible Lhotse South Face. Island Peak or 'Imja Tse' (6183m), is one of the most popular of the so-called 'trekking peaks' and gives classic Himalayan climbing on an alpine scale.  Each of these peaks offers challenging and exciting climbing in exposed situations protected by fixed lines amongst breathtaking scenery.

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Is this holiday for you?

This is a challenging and sustained trekking and climbing holiday. The trekking circuit generally follows good paths and yak trails in the valleys, providing straightforward walking conditions. The two principal passes involve more difficult trekking conditions and the Cho La is glaciated and usually snow covered. As this trip is primarily aimed at those wishing to climb trekking peaks, the difficulty of the trekking will not be a major consideration. However, the aim of this trip is to accomplish as much climbing as possible and it should be noted that in order to achieve this the trekking programme is quite ambitious. Climbing at altitudes of over 5000 metres is always strenuous.

Trekking peak difficulty

The term ‘Trekking Peak' was coined in the seventies when trekking was a relatively new phenomenon. Few of the trekking peaks can be simply ‘trekked' up, and perhaps ‘Alpine' peak would have been the better term. For these peaks, experience in the use of crampons, of roped climbing, occasionally in exposed situations, and competence on such terrain, is essential. Fixed lines will be placed by the guides to safeguard any exposed passages but previous experience of fixed lines is not required as full training in the simple techniques required will be given prior to the climbs. If you are in any doubt as to your capability for any of these climbs, please give our office a ring.

The following are the approximate Alpine climbing grades of the peaks.
Lobuche: PD with 45 degree snow slopes and exposed ridge climbing
Pokalde: F Mixed ground with some easy rock scrambling
Island Peak: PD with 45 degree snow slopes and exposed ridge climbing

Brief Itinerary

View in full
  • Meet at the group hotel in Kathmandu. Transfers from Kathmandu Airport are provided.
  • In Kathmandu. Half-day sightseeing tour included. Rest of the day at leisure.
  • Fly to Lukla, then trek mainly downhill to the riverside settlement of Phakding (2610m).
  • Trek to the Sherpa capital of Namche Bazaar (3400m). Rest of the day free to relax or explore.
  • At Namche Bazaar. Optional walk up to the Sherpa Museum or a longer day hike to the village of Thame.
  • Trek via the Sherpa villages of Kumjung and Kunde to Kangjuma (3620m).
  • Trek across the Mon La (3900m) towards the Gokyo Valley and continue trekking to Dole (4050m).
  • Trek across a forested hillside and via several tea-shops to Machermo (4465m).
  • Trek up into the spectacular upper part of the Gokyo Valley, as far as the third lake (4800m).
  • Climb the Nameless Tower (5400m) for views of Everest, Makalu and nearby Cho Oyu. Return to Gokyo.
  • Trek to the top of Gokyo Ri. Then, cross the Ngozumpa Glacier to Dragnag (4700m).
  • Cross the Cho La (5420m) with views of Ama Dablam. Descend to overnight in Dzongla (4830m).
  • Trek to Lobuche East High Camp (5400m)
  • Climb Lobouche Peak East (6119m) and descend via High Camp to Lobouche Village (4910m).
  • Rest day. Option to visit Everest Base Camp (5380m) or climb Kala Pattar (5400m).
  • Trek across the Kongma La (5400m) to Pokalde Base Camp (5300m).
  • Climb Pokalde (5800m) by its N or NE ridge and descend to Chukkung (4730m).
  • Trek beneath the 3000m Lhotse Face to Island Peak BaseCamp (5040m).
  • Contingency day for possible delays.
  • Climb Island Peak (6187m). Return to Base Camp (5070m) or continue to Chukung (4730m).
  • Trek via Dingboche (4410m) and Pangboche (3985m) to Deboche (3710m).
  • Trek via Thyangboche Monastery (3860m) to Namche Bazaar (3440m).
  • Trek beside the Dudh Kosi with a final uphill to Lukla (2840m).
  • Fly to Kathmandu. Rest of the day free for sightseeing or relaxing.
  • In Kathmandu. Half-day sightseeing tour included. Rest of the day at leisure.
  • Departure day. Kathmandu Airport transfers provided.
2016
Mon 03 Oct - Fri 28 Oct Code ETP /01/16/
The Khumbu Climber - Three Peak Challenge
Adult$4,980 Status Available Book now
More information
  • Khumbu Climber - Three Peaks Challenge - The Khumbu Climber - Three Peak Challenge
  • The departure reference for this tour is ETP /01/16/
  • This tour begins on Mon 03 Oct and departs on Fri 28 Oct
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of $400
  • Single Supplement $285 - 4 hotel nights in Kathmandu (single tent and single rooms in lodges not included)
  • Single Tent $215
Mon 31 Oct - Fri 25 Nov Code ETP /02/16/
The Khumbu Climber - Three Peak Challenge
Adult$4,980 Status Available Book now
More information
  • Khumbu Climber - Three Peaks Challenge - The Khumbu Climber - Three Peak Challenge
  • The departure reference for this tour is ETP /02/16/
  • This tour begins on Mon 31 Oct and departs on Fri 25 Nov
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of $400
  • Single Supplement $285 - 4 hotel nights in Kathmandu (single tent and single rooms in lodges not included)
  • Single Tent $215
The LAND ONLY dates and prices are for the itinerary, joining in Kathmandu. For clients making their own flight arrangements, Kathmandu Airport is the most convenient for transfers to the group hotel. Please refer to the 'Joining arrangements & transfers' section in the trip dossier for further details.

Flights SHOULD NOT be booked until you have received your booking confirmation and this trip is showing the 'Guaranteed to Run or Limited' symbol. If your trip is still showing 'Spaces', we will contact you as soon as it has reached the guaranteed status.


BOOK WITH KE CONFIDENCE - No surcharge guarantee

We have undertaken to guarantee that all of our Land Only prices will not change once you have booked your holiday. Unlike some of our competitors we have decided never to surcharge, whether you are booking for this year or the next.

Map & Itinerary

The Route

  • peaks
  • point
  • pass
  • airport
  • trip direction
  • pass
  • trek

Holiday Itinerary

  • Meet at the group hotel in Kathmandu. Transfers from Kathmandu Airport are provided.

    Meet at the group hotel in Kathmandu. Complimentary airport transfers are provided. After check in and depending on your flight schedule, there may be an opportunity to explore the immediate vicinity of the hotel and get acclimatised to this bustling city, or you may prefer to recover from your journey by relaxing beside the hotel pool. KE Land Only package services begin with the evening meal.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals d

  • In Kathmandu. Half-day sightseeing tour included. Rest of the day at leisure.

    We have a free day in Kathmandu while our permits for the three trekking peaks are being processed. There is an optional complimentary guided sightseeing tour of the city’s main attractions, including the Buddhist temple at Bodhnath and the principally Hindu temple complex at Pashupatinath. Alternatively, you may prefer to do your own thing, especially if you have visited Kathmandu before. One of the attractions of any visit to Nepal is the chance to walk the streets of Kathmandu, which presents a fascinating mosaic of shops, cafes and restaurants, food markets and street vendors, as well as a bewildering array of colourful temples and shrines of both the Buddhist and Hindu religions.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

  • Fly to Lukla, then trek mainly downhill to the riverside settlement of Phakding (2610m).

    After breakfast in the hotel we take a bus to the domestic terminal of Kathmandu Airport for the 35 minute flight to Lukla. Landing on the narrow, sloping runway in the heart of the mountains is a very spectacular way to arrive. To assist with acclimatisation, we allow 2 days for the walk up to Namche Bazaar. We start our trek with an easy downhill leg, from Lukla to Phakding beside the river.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 2 - 3 hrs trekking

  • Trek to the Sherpa capital of Namche Bazaar (3400m). Rest of the day free to relax or explore.

    A very pleasant walk by the river through pine forest leads to Jorsale and the entrance to the Khumbu National Park. Dropping to the river, a suspension bridge is crossed and a good path follows, passing numerous teahouses to cross the river once again. A sting in today’s tail is the steep climb on an excellent switch-back trail to the Sherpa capital of Namche Bazaar (3440m).

    • Accommodation Lodge

    • Meals bld

    • Time 5 - 7 hrs trekking

  • At Namche Bazaar. Optional walk up to the Sherpa Museum or a longer day hike to the village of Thame.

    Namche Bazaar is tucked away between two ridges amongst the giant peaks of the Khumbu. Known as the ‘Trekkers Mecca of Nepal,’ Namche is a bustling market town which has maintained its ancient charm while offering many modern facilities for the trekker. Here you will find bakeries, cafes and bars, banks, telephones and internet connection, and there is even a hot tub! It is an ideal place to spend a rest day, acclimatising to the new altitude before heading off towards Gokyo. Options for acclimatisation walks range from a visit to the Sherpa museum at the top of the hill to a full day’s outing to visit Thame Monastery located in the Thame Valley, a return trip of approximately 9 hours.

    • Accommodation Lodge

    • Meals bld

  • Trek via the Sherpa villages of Kumjung and Kunde to Kangjuma (3620m).

    An easy day, but very spectacular in terms of scenery. Leaving the main trail out of Namche, we climb first to the tiny airstrip of Syangboche, tucked away on a level platform above the town. The great amphitheatre of Namche market becomes well defined below as we continue to the ridge crest where we are confronted with spectacular views of Everest, Lhotse, Ama Dablam, Kang Tega and Thamserku. A high level traverse now takes us to the famous Everest View Hotel where we can sit on the terrace and enjoy the usually clear morning views. After a short descent we arrive at the twin Sherpa villages of Khunde and Khumjung. Whereas Namche is (and always has been) the centre of commerce for the Sherpas, this is their traditional home. Much quieter than the busy market town below, we take some time here in these peaceful villages before continuing our descent to rejoin the main trail at our overnight stop at Kangjuma. (3620m). We camp beside a lodge with spectacular views across the valley to Ama Dablam.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 4 - 5 hrs trekking

  • Trek across the Mon La (3900m) towards the Gokyo Valley and continue trekking to Dole (4050m).

    From Kangjuma the main Everest trail drops down to Phunki, whereas our trail now climbs to the prominent skyline chorten of the Mon La (3900m). The Mon La is not really a pass but rather a convenient point to turn the ridge into the Gokyo Valley. However, it will certainly feel like a real pass when we plunge almost 300 metres down to Phortse Tenga just above the river. Our route now begins to climb again through a dense rhododendron forest until after an hour the trees begin to thin and cresting a ridge, we are rewarded with our first view of Cho Oyo. A little way beyond we come to our overnight halt at the settlement of Dole (4050m).

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 6 - 7 hrs trekking

  • Trek across a forested hillside and via several tea-shops to Machermo (4465m).

    We continue up the valley on a fairly level path for one hour to Lhabarma Kharka and a further 45 minutes to Luza Kharka, eventually skirting around a ridge to gain our first views of Machermo Village (4410m), spread out in the valley below. There is a clinic run by the ‘Porter Protection Group’ at Machermo, and the doctors there give a daily lecture on altitude sickness provided they are not on a call-out. There are plenty of possibilities for exploration above the camp. Just above the village there is an excellent view encompassing Cho Oyo and the mountains that flank the Ngozumba Glacier, as well as Everest and Makalu.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 3 - 4 hrs trekking

  • Trek up into the spectacular upper part of the Gokyo Valley, as far as the third lake (4800m).

    Today we head for the holy lakes at Gokyo. We follow a very scenic path to Pangka and then descend slightly, following one of the melt water rivers which flow down the west side of the Ngozumba Glacier. We climb a steep rocky incline into the ablation valley by the side of the glacier, passing the first of the holy lakes. We soon arrive at the second of the lakes, crossing the path which heads across the glacier to the Cho La - our route to Lobuche and Everest, later in the trek. The third lake is known as Dudh Pokhari and on its east shore is the summer settlement of Gokyo (4791m). Walking by the side of the lake, the scenery is magnificent with the summits of Cho Oyo and Gyachung Kang reflected in its emerald green waters. There are several dwellings, including lodges which boast solar showers which we can make use of for a small fee.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 4 - 5 hrs trekking

  • Climb the Nameless Tower (5400m) for views of Everest, Makalu and nearby Cho Oyu. Return to Gokyo.

    Depending upon how the acclimatisation is going we may make a training ascent of one of the Gokyo peaks. One option is the Nameless Tower which lies between the fourth and fifth lakes of Gokyo. The ‘Tower’ is actually three fingers of rock and ice. At around 5500m, the lowest of the fingers gives an excellent scramble to an airy summit. Today’s exact itinerary will be determined by the trip leaders.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 5 - 7 hrs trekking

  • Trek to the top of Gokyo Ri. Then, cross the Ngozumpa Glacier to Dragnag (4700m).

    For those with the energy and enthusiasm, there is an optional ascent of Gokyo Ri in the early morning. This hill rises to 5360m at the northern edge of Dudh Pokhari. It will take around two hours to reach the summit and for those who take this option, a sunrise over Everest is the reward for another pre-dawn start. After breakfast, fit and acclimatised, we leave Gokyo to cross the Ngozumba Glacier. We descend to the second lake and drop down onto the glacier. The route across the glacier is well marked by cairns and in places the path is quite well defined. We climb off the glacier to a grazing area and tea houses known as Dragnag. From here we follow a shallow valley to our camp by a small grazing meadow or “kharka” (5100m) below the Cho La.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 5 - 8 hrs trekking

  • Cross the Cho La (5420m) with views of Ama Dablam. Descend to overnight in Dzongla (4830m).

    We have an early start to make the best of the weather on our crossing of the Cho La. From our camp, it is a rocky scramble for one and a half hours to the top of the pass at 5420 metres. Directly to the east, there is the very impressive summit of our next objective, Lobuche East. The descent from the pass involves the crossing of a small and straightforward glacier (often snow covered), beyond which a rocky scramble leads to an increasingly good trail which descends to the first of the grazing pastures on the Lobuche side of the pass. We camp beside the lodges of Dzongla, two hours from the pass.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 6 - 7 hrs trekking

  • Trek to Lobuche East High Camp (5400m)

    Today we climb a spur, just beyond our camp, grassy at first and then becoming an easy scramble up to a bowl containing a mountain tarn. We continue to climb above the tarn to reach a broad rocky ridge overlooking the main Khumbu Valley which carries the main trail to Everest. We establish a high camp here at 5400 metres. This is a magnificent location, high above the Khumbu Glacier and at the foot of our chosen route on Lobuche Peak East.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 4 - 5 hrs trekking

  • Climb Lobouche Peak East (6119m) and descend via High Camp to Lobouche Village (4910m).

    The first of our three main objectives of the trip is an ascent of Lobuche East (6119m) via the south east ridge. Full alpine mountaineering equipment will be required for this challenging climb which follows easy snow slopes at first and then steeper slopes of up to 45 degrees to reach the summit ridge. There are actually three summits and the prevailing snow conditions along the ridge, which can make the climbing difficulties vary from straightforward to almost impossible, will determine our final high point. After the climb we return to high camp, where the cook team will be waiting with hot soup. We now make our descent directly to the Khumbu Valley which involves some scarambling and a short abseil or rope lower to reach the welcoming tea houses of Lobuche Village where our camp will be set up and waiting for us (4910m).

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 9 - 12 hrs trekking/climbing

  • Rest day. Option to visit Everest Base Camp (5380m) or climb Kala Pattar (5400m).

    Today is a rest day. For those who wish and who have sufficient energy left after yesterday’s big climb, there is an option to visit Everest Basecamp and/or to climb Kala Pattar, the classic trekkers’ viewpoint for Everest. To reach either Everest Basecamp or Kala Patar, the trail at first follows the ablation valley beside the Khumbu Glacier, with superb views of the surrounding mountains, especially where the path is forced to rise to cross a tributary glacier. At Gorak Shep the path forks and Kala Patar rises up just 40 minutes walk above this small settlement, while Everest Basecamp is a further three hours walk along the Khumbu Glacier. The round trip to Everest Base Camp will take 9 - 10 hours.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

  • Trek across the Kongma La (5400m) to Pokalde Base Camp (5300m).

    By now we should be perfectly acclimatised and climbing the peaks should become easier! Our next ‘‘Everest Trekking Peaks’’ objective is Pokalde. We first cross the Khumbu Glacier to a good trail that climbs up to the Kongma La (5400m). The climb to the pass is steep, but the views from the pass more than compensate for the expended effort. From the top the panorama includes Gauri Shankar, Makalu, Cho Oyu, Pumori and the distant peaks of Tibet. This relatively accessible Khumbu pass is not often crossed and is something of a hidden gem. A short distance below the pass, on the Imja Valley side, we make camp beside a small lake.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 6 - 7 hrs trekking

  • Climb Pokalde (5800m) by its N or NE ridge and descend to Chukkung (4730m).

    A short scramble up the west ridge of Pokalde leads to a rocky summit at 5800 metres and yet more impressive views. Ice axe and crampons are only needed on this climb if there has been considerable recent snowfall. Usually a cairned trail and a final rock scramble leads to this excellent summit. We will return to camp for a late breakfast and then pack up to descend into the Imja Valley, making camp by one of the lodges at Chukung (4730m). On the way down there are good views of our next objective, Island Peak.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 8 - 10 hrs trekking/climbing

  • Trek beneath the 3000m Lhotse Face to Island Peak BaseCamp (5040m).

    A relatively easy day’s walking to Island Peak Basecamp. The trail crosses the river by the last tea shop and follows a beautiful ablation valley for 2 hours. Basecamp is at 5040 metres by the side of the Imja Glacier, below steep grassy slopes which mark the start of the climb on Island Peak.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 3 - 4 hrs trekking

  • Contingency day for possible delays.

    This is a contingency day in case of any delays so far to our schedule. If we have not used it at this point there are a couple of options for the group. Depending on the availability of water there is the possibility of climbing Island Peak from a high camp situated on some levelled ledges at 5760 metres. This camp is half way up the rock buttress which leads onto the Island Peak Glacier. It is quite a small campsite, and often short of water, but it suffices for one night and offers spectacular views across to Baruntse and the Amphu Labtsa pass. If the option is taken to climb Island Peak from the base camp, the summit day can take place today or tomorrow after a good rest. Your trip leaders will make this decision.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

  • Climb Island Peak (6187m). Return to Base Camp (5070m) or continue to Chukung (4730m).

    From the base camp a midnight start is required. Leaving the area of high camp around 3 a.m., we climb to a narrow, rocky ridge leading on to the glacier. This is the place to rope up and put on crampons as the most interesting part of the climb begins with the glacier crossing. The setting couldn’t be more impressive with the mountains of Ama Dablam, Chamlang, and Baruntse painted by the dawn’s light. We cross the glacier to the bottom of a snow gully leading to the summit ridge. Here the guides fix a rope, and jumars are used to safeguard this section. The climbing is more interesting than technical, but steepens up to 50 degrees in places. After approximately 200 metres, the summit ridge is gained and Lhotse’s vast South Face looms before us. Again the guides will place fixed lines on some sections of this undulating and corniced ridge. A final steep pitch brings us to the actual summit (6189m) which has space enough for everyone to sit down and take in the vastness of the surroundings. Island Peak is truly an island of rock in a sea of ice, flanked as it is by the Lhotse and Imja glaciers and a plethora of giant peaks. Descent is by the same route and we aim to arrive back at the basecamp by early afternoon. Depending on the fitness of the group and time available we may wish to continue our descent to Chukung a further hour and a half down valley.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 12 - 14 hrs trekking/climbing

  • Trek via Dingboche (4410m) and Pangboche (3985m) to Deboche (3710m).

    We leave our basecamp (or Chukung) and descend the Imja Valley on our way back to Namche Bazaar and Lukla. This part of the trek is all new territory as we pass through the villages of Dingboche and Pangboche with their neatly walled fields and then enter the first woodland we have seen for many days to camp at Deboche below the Tyangboche ridge.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 6 - 7 hrs trekking

  • Trek via Thyangboche Monastery (3860m) to Namche Bazaar (3440m).

    The morning begins with a short climb through woods to Tyangboche Gompa. The ridge affords a good view of the Everest/Lhotse massif and is also the classic viewpoint for Ama Dablam. Depending on what is happening at the monastery we can arrange a tour of this most impressive building. There is also an interesting and informative visitor centre here. Leaving Tyangboche we descend a steep path to the village of Phunki, where there is a bridge crossing the Dudh Kosi. After a steep climb out of this river valley we rejoin our original path to Gokyo which we follow back through Kangjuma to Namche.

    • Accommodation Lodge

    • Meals bld

    • Time 6 - 7 hrs trekking

  • Trek beside the Dudh Kosi with a final uphill to Lukla (2840m).

    We make the return trek through the villages of Phakding, Chopling, and Chaumrikharka and the final climb to Lukla. Here we say thanks and goodbye to our crew and celebrate the end of a great adventure.

    • Accommodation Lodge

    • Meals bld

    • Time 7 - 8 hrs trekking

  • Fly to Kathmandu. Rest of the day free for sightseeing or relaxing.

    The flight to Kathmandu is normally in the morning and after checking in to our hotel we have the afternoon free for sightseeing, shopping or just relaxing by the hotel pool. Tonight we will have our dinner in one of Kathmandu’s excellent tourist restaurants.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

  • In Kathmandu. Half-day sightseeing tour included. Rest of the day at leisure.

    This is an important contingency day in case of delays to the Lukla flight. If not required, this will be a free day for independent sightseeing, shopping or just relaxing and in the evening the group will have their end of trek dinner in one of Thamel’s superb restaurants.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

  • Departure day. Kathmandu Airport transfers provided.

    KE Land Only package services end after breakfast. Transfers to Kathmandu Airport are provided. There are lots of extensions that can easily be added to your holiday in Nepal. Why not pre-book a simple day-tour in the Kathmandu Valley, or a multi-day excursion to one of the important wildlife reserves at Chitwan or Bardia. Extension packages are also available to include a visit to neighbouring Tibet or Bhutan. Contact our office for details.

    • Meals b

Holiday Information

  • A professional KE climbing leader and Sherpa mountain guides
  • Guide to client ratio of 1:3 on summit days
  • Peak permits for Lobuche East; Pokalde and Island Peak
  • Kathmandu Airport transfers
  • Internal flights and all land transport involved in the itinerary
  • All accommodation as described in the trip dossier
  • All meals throughout the holiday
  • Guided sightseeing tour of Kathmandu
  • A full service on trek including food and all equipment (excluding personal equipment)
  • Travel Insurance
  • Nepalese Visa
  • Tips for porters and other trek staff
  • Miscellaneous personal expenses - drinks etc

The food served during the trek is a mixture of local and international, prepared from ingredients mostly locally sourced and cooked for us by highly trained trek cooks. The emphasis is on providing a high-carbohydrate and largely vegetarian diet, which we have found to be easily digestible at high altitude. In Kathmandu we take our meals at the hotel or in one of the city’s excellent restaurants. All meals while on trek and in Kathmandu are included in the trip price.

All meals are included in the holiday price from dinner on day 1 until breakfast on day 26.
All clients travelling to Kathmandu will be met at the airport by a KE representative who will arrange the transfer to the group hotel. 'Land Only' clients MUST provide the KE office with full details of their flights and should let us know if Kathmandu Airport transfers are not required. Hotel contact details and an emergency number will be provided with your booking confirmation.
During this trip the group will spend 4 nights in Kathmandu at a centrally-located tourist-class hotel. Whilst on trek there are 4 nights spent in lodges and 17 nights camping. All accommodation is arranged on a twin sharing basis. If you are travelling by yourself you will be paired up with another single client of the same sex. It is possible to hire a single tent for this trip for an additional cost. (Single tent hire does not include single rooms in hotels). Please note that single tent occupation is practicable only as far as basecamp. At any of the high camps we use, group members will share tents. Depending on availability it may be possible to book a single room for the hotel nights in Kathmandu for a supplementary cost. Single rooms in lodges cannot be booked in advance.

View the gallery below for images of the style of accommodation used

Shortly after first light one of the cook crew will wake you with a cup of tea or coffee brought to your tent. You will have plenty of time to get up and pack your kitbag before sitting down to a hot breakfast, during which camp will be struck and the porters given their loads. We will generally reach our lunch stop after 3 or 4 hours walking. The cook crew, having overtaken us on the trail, will already have the lunch preparations well under way. Lunch usually takes an hour or two and this is a great time for relaxing, reading and sitting in the sun. Porters usually catch up with the group during lunch and are well on their way to camp as we set off again. It is usual for the afternoon’s walk to be shorter than the morning session. We aim to establish our overnight camp well before dusk. On arrival, the Sherpas will quickly put the tents up and a hot drink will soon follow. Group members can explore the environs, relax with a book or even do some laundry. Dinner is a 3-course meal served in the mess tent. This is a great time of day for reliving the events of the trek so far and for general socialising. After dinner the trek leader will give a briefing on tomorrow’s walk. After dark, the temperature quickly falls and everyone will soon be tucked up in their sleeping bags. On the three summit days a pre-dawn start is required to ensure the best snow conditions. On these days a simple breakfast will be brought to your tent and group members will gather at the appointed time to set off by the light of their head-torches. The first part of the route will be a steady walk on generally uncomplicated terrain. When the sun comes up the group will stop to remove head-torches and layers and shortly after, the main interest of the climb begins and it becomes neccessary to put on crampons and rope up. The guides will have fixed sections of line on any steep ground and these are tackled using jumars for security. It will still be early morning and hopefully cloud free when we reach the summit. Depending on time and conditions the group can enjoy a short time (up to half an hour) photographing and generally absorbing some of the most impressive scenery on the planet before beginning the long descent.

Access to the high and remote areas of the Himalaya where our treks start is often only possible using internal flights. The changeable nature of mountain weather makes flying conditions complex. In addition, the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal does not operate to the same standards as those of western nations and all airlines in Nepal appear on the European Commission’s list of airlines that are banned from flying into EU member states. Flying in Nepal is an acknowledged risk, and the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office travel advice provides further details which you can read on their website at: www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/nepal/safety-and-security. KE is mindful of its duty of care to clients travelling with us in Nepal and we were stakeholders in an independent air audit of Nepal airlines undertaken by UK tour operators during 2015. KE uses only three airlines in Nepal which were approved by this audit as safe carriers. These airlines are: Yeti Airlines, Tara Air and Buddha Air. We continue to cooperate with other tour operators to monitor aviation safety in Nepal and will ensure we remain a stakeholder in any further air safety audits. While we have taken appropriate action to try to minimise the risks of flying in Nepal, you should be aware that flying in mountainous terrain is not without any risk.

Please note that poor weather can cause delays on internal flights. If at the start of your holiday internal flights are cancelled for the day, you will spend an extra night near the airport and this may be at a hotel other than the group hotel. On the majority of trips there is enough flexibility in the trekking itinerary to make up 1 or possibly 2 lost days, but alternative arrangements must be made if internal flights are cancelled for a subsequent day. For trips that end with an internal flight out of the mountains with no alternative road access, we have included 2 nights in Kathmandu as a contingency against delay. Helicopters can sometimes fly when the scheduled fixed wing aircraft cannot. If your group is offered the opportunity to use a chartered helicopter, either flying up from or back to Kathmandu, the cost will be shared between those choosing to take this option. In the extremely unlikely event that flight cancellations cause you to miss your homeward international flight, KE will render all assistance, but cannot be held liable for any extra costs incurred. We advise you to take out suitable insurance and to keep your receipts, as you may subsequently be able to make a claim.

The group will be accompanied by an experienced professional Western leader throughout the trip, and on trek will have the services of a full Nepalese trek crew, including a local guide or sirdar and several Sherpas. During the climb the KE leader will be assisted by experienced climbing Sherpas and on the summit days for Lobuche, Pokalde and Island Peak, we have a guide to client ratio of 1:3.

Approximately £250 (or equivalent in US dollars, Euros etc) changed into local currency, should be allowed for miscellaneous expenses including approximately £75 (or equivalent) changed into Nepal rupees, for porter and trek crew tips. It is not necessary to obtain local currency prior to departure. Sterling, US Dollars and Euros are equally acceptable for exchange in Nepal. We recommend that you carry your travel money in the form of cash, since you will exchange the majority of this on the day of your arrival in Kathmandu. If you prefer not to carry all of your spending money in cash, it is possible to withdraw money from ATMs in Kathmandu using your debit or credit card. During the trek it is possible to buy snacks, chocolate, soft drinks and beer on several days. Please be aware that since everything has to be carried up from the nearest road, these items become more expensive as you gain altitude.

Tipping is the accepted way of saying ‘thank you’ for good service. Tips do not form part of the wages of your porters and trek crew but they are very much appreciated. It is important to remember that tipping is voluntary and should be dependent on good service. Normally the tips are given at the end of the trek and this is best done as a group. Your trek leader will give you help and advice on this. Most groups will give the tips with a bit of ceremony (or sometimes a party) on the last evening, to mark the end of the trip. As a guide, we recommend that each group member contributes around £75 (in local currency) to these tips. At the end of a trek many people also like to donate various items of their equipment to the porters and trek staff who work so hard to make the trip a success. Boots, gloves, hats, scarves and even socks (clean of course) are always warmly received by the porters. Technical clothing and equipment are highly prized by the local guides and camp crews. If you think you would like to donate equipment at the end of your trip, your trek leader will make arrangements for a fair distribution among the trek crew.

Your baggage on trek will be carried by porters. The packed weight of your trek bag whilst trekking should be no more than 15kg. Your personal mountaineering equipment (boots, axe, crampons etc) will be carried separately. On arrival at Lukla you will hand these items of equipment to your trek leader who will pack them in communal bags until you reach base camp. For all STOL flights in Nepal, the normal allowance for hold baggage AND hand baggage combined is 15kg. We do recognise that it is difficult on a climbing holiday to keep your total baggage below 15kg and we have arranged a special allowance for these trips of 15kg hold baggage and 5kg cabin baggage. You may also wish to consider wearing your heavy mountaineering boots and any heavier clothing on these flights. Please be aware that you will have to pay any charges for excess personal baggage above this allowance at check-in, and that excess baggage may have to be flown separately. It is possible to leave clothes or other items not required on trek at the group hotel.

All KE clients will receive a FREE KE trek bag.  These have been specially made to stand up to the rigours of adventure travel.  Your KE bag will be posted to you when your trip is guaranteed to run or on receipt of your booking if the trip is already guaranteed.  If you have travelled with us before and already have a KE trek bag you can select an alternative free gift in the booking process.

This holiday involves going to very high altitude. During the course of your trip you will be spending at least one night above 4000 metres and/or trekking to 5000 metres or above. This is not something that you should worry about; the human body is quite capable of adapting to a very wide range of altitudes, but it is important that we follow some simple rules in order to acclimatise successfully. Before coming on this holiday you should read the advice on trekking at high altitude on our website which can be viewed via the link below. Unless you have previous experience of trekking above 4000 metres you should consult one of our trekking experts before embarking on this holiday. On this trip we carry a portable altitude chamber (PAC-bag) and/or bottled oxygen for use in emergencies. www.keadventure.com/page/altitude.html

The following checklist should help you with your packing. As a general rule, you should always try to keep the weight of your equipment to a minimum. Once on trek, your mountaineering equipment including your plastic boots will be carried separately in a group equipment bag. For STOL flights, the normal maximum allowance for hold baggage (including your personal mountaineering equipment) AND hand baggage combined is 15 kg. We have negotiated a special allowance of 20kg for your combined hold and hand baggage. It is essential you keep the weight of your baggage within this limit. Any excess baggage will have to be paid for at the time of check in and may be routed on a different flight.

You must bring the following:

  • Hiking boots
  • Mountaineering boots - see ‘Mountaineering Equipment’
  • Snow gaiters
  • Socks
  • Trekking trousers
  • Windproof and waterproof overtrousers
  • Underwear
  • Long johns (thermal underwear)
  • Thermal baselayer shirts (at least 1 long sleeve)
  • T-shirts or similar
  • Fleece jacket
  • Windproof and waterproof jacket with hood
  • Warm jacket (down)*
  • Sunhat
  • Warm hat and thermal balaclava
  • Eyewear - Sunglasses
  • Thermal gloves or mittens
  • Warm and waterproof over-gloves or mittens
  • Daypack minimum 40 litres
  • Headtorch with spare batteries
  • Sun protection (including total bloc for lips, nose etc.)
  • Water bottles 1 Litre (1 quart) x2
  • Selection of dry bags (to keep trek bag contents dry)
  • Sleeping bag rated to minus 20 degrees C*
  • Sleeping bag liner
  • Thermarest or similar sleeping mat*
  • Washbag and toiletries
  • Antibacterial handwash
  • Towel
  • Small padlock (to lock trek bag)
  • Basic First Aid Kit including: Broad spectrum antibiotic, antiseptic cream, throat lozenges, diarrhoea treatment (Imodium), altitude (Diamox), painkillers, plasters (band-aids) and blister treatment, and re-hydration salts (Dioralite).

Mountaineering Equipment

Mountaineering double boots - see below

Ice axe *

Crampons (preferably with ‘step-in’ bindings)*

Mountaineering or climbing harness*

Karabiners (4 x screwgate)*

Descender (rappelling device) *

Climbing helmet*

Sling (120cm. / 3ft.)*

Prussik loops X 2 (5m. / 16ft. of 6mm cord makes 2)*

The following items are optional:

  • Travel clothes
  • Shorts
  • Fleece trousers
  • Trekking poles (recommended)
  • Trainers / sneakers or similar for camp use

Spare laces

  • Pee bottle
  • Swimwear (for the hotel pool in Kathmandu)
  • Camera, film, batteries
  • Penknife (remember to pack all sharp objects in hold baggage)

Notes

  • The Nepalese are still traditional and conservative in the way they dress. Therefore to avoid embarrassment on both sides we recommend that you respect this and do not wear revealing clothing or sleeveless tops while visiting Nepal. Shorts are acceptable, but they should reach to just above the knee and be modest and for women it is preferable to wear trousers or a long skirt.

Equipment hire: Items marked * can be hired / rented through KE Adventure Travel. Please make all requests at least 6 weeks prior to the trip departure date. All equipment is issued in Kathmandu. Please remember to allow room in your trek bag for these items (note that from Lukla, your mountaineering equipment and plastic boots will be carried separately in communal equipment bags).

  • Mountaineering boots required for this trip: Climbing at altitudes of up to 6500 metres, the temperatures can be very cold (as low as minus 30 degrees centigrade). Standard leather mountaineering boots are really not suitable for these cold, high altitude conditions. Plastic boots with insulated inners (eg. Scarpa Vega HA, Scarpa Omega IT) and also the new generation of synthetic double boots (eg. La Sportiva Spantik, Boreal G1 light), are the best to keep your feet warm at altitude in these extremely low temperatures.  Also, you can sleep in the removable inner boots to ensure warm toes in the morning! These boots are also designed to take step-in crampons, quickly and efficiently. This combination of plastic or double synthetic boots and step-in crampons is by far the most sensible option when considering a trekking peak climb. You must make sure that you are suitably equipped for these extremely low temperatures.
  • PHD Gear Advisor

    • PHD specialise in cold weather equipment, from the world’s lightest right up to the most protective for Everest or the Poles. It’s a large range. So to help you choose what you need to keep you warm, PHD have listed the gear that is appropriate for this expedition.

    For each holiday there is a minimum number of participants required to enable it to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to run'. You can check the trip status for each departure in ‘Dates and Prices’ table. Other than in exceptional circumstances, we will not cancel a trip once it has achieved this guaranteed to run status and so you are free to proceed with your international flight booking and other travel arrangements.

    A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required. The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. Please check the relevant embassy or consulate for other nationalities. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Visa requirements and charges are subject to change without notice. If you are travelling outside the EU you should have at least 2 blank pages in your passport.

    Visa Nepal

    All nationalities require a visa. The visa fee is $25 for 15 days, $40 for 30 days, $100 for 90 days and is obtainable on arrival. Payment must be made in cash and USD, GBP or Euros are accepted. You will require 2 passport photos.

    For all the regions of Nepal that we visit an additional permit is required. This is included in the holiday price and KE will apply for it, with your full passport details and 1 passport photo (sent by post or emailed). You must supply this to us at least 4 weeks prior to departure.

    For the following holidays, in addition to the above, we will also require you to supply a copy of the information page of your passport (sent by post or emailed).

    These trips are: Kanchenjunga (KAN), Mustang (MUS), Dolpo (DOL), Manaslu (MAN), Hidden Valleys of Naar and Phu (NAP), Naar to Mustang (NTM), Humla and Limi Circuit Trek (HUM), Naya Kanga and the Ganja La (NKG), Yala Peak and the Ganja La (YPGL), Tent Peak (TPK), Ramdung and Parchemo (RAM), Mera Peak, Island Peak and the Amphu Labsta (MIP), Island Peak Climber (IPC), Peaks and Passes on Nepal (MTR); Mera Peak Climb (MER); and Chulu Far East & the Tilicho La (CTL); Tabsar Peak and the Tsum Valley (TVC), Mukot Peak (MKP).

    Transit via India

    If you are travelling via India (Delhi or Calcutta) to your destination you may also require a visa for India. This may apply even if you are not leaving the airport unless your baggage has been checked all the way through to your destination. Generally, if you use the same carrier for both legs of your journey, you will not need an India Visa. Please download the detailed information document: Visa PDF India.

    You should contact your doctor or travel clinic to check whether you require any specific vaccinations or other preventive measures. You should be up to date with routine courses and boosters as recommended in the UK e.g. diphtheria-tetanus-polio and measles-mumps-rubella, along with hepatitis A and typhoid. Malarial prophylaxis is not usually required for trips in the mountains, however if you are visiting rural and remote low lying areas then they might be necessary. On holidays to more remote areas you should also have a dentist check up. A good online resource is Travel Health Pro.

    We recommend you check if you require an adaptor for your electrical items at:

    http://www.worldstandards.eu/electricity/plugs-and-sockets/

    It makes a lot of sense to spend some time before coming on a trekking or climbing trip getting some additional exercise. The fitter you are, after all, the more enjoyable you will find the experience. This is a strenuous trek and you need to be aerobically fit and comfortable with walking up to 8 or 9 hours each day. The best preparation for this trip is regular hiking in mountain or hill country. If this is not possible, we suggest that you adopt a weekly exercise regime and gradually increase your work rate as you get nearer to departure. Jogging, squash and swimming are all good for developing better stamina. Whatever your preparation, before departure, we suggest that you try to fit in a number of long walks in hilly country. For this trip it is also essential that you have previous experience of walking on moderately angled snow slopes wearing crampons, and are comfortable with a degree of exposure while secured on fixed lines. No previous technical mountaineering experience is required and clients will be instructed in the basic techniques of glacier walking and use of fixed ropes prior to the ascent of Lobuche East Peak.

    As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign & Commonwealth Offices ‘Know before you go’ campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas, and we recommend that all KE travellers take a look at the FCO Travel Advice for their chosen destination on the official FCO website: www.fco.gov.uk. North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: www.travel.state.gov for essential travel advice and tips.

    KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

    October to November and March to May are the best times for trekking in Nepal. These months either side of the summer monsoon season are neither too hot in the foothills nor too cold in the higher elevations and they offer the best conditions for trekking. Pre-monsoon is the time to see the colourful blooms of the rhododendron at lower elevations. The post-monsoon months usually offer the clearest skies and the most settled weather. At either of these periods you will encounter a wide range of daytime temperatures during your trip from approximately 25ºC in Kathmandu to approximately 14ºC at 3000 metres and approximately 3ºC at 5000m. The ‘real feel’ temperature in the middle of the day will be much warmer than this. At night in the rarefied air the temperatures plummet. You can expect to experience overnight temperatures below freezing once above approximately 4200 metres and at the high camps, the night time temperatures may drop as low as –25ºC (or below -30ºC for trips in December/January). Extended periods of rain or snow are very unlikely outside of the monsoon period but short lived storms can and do occur. It is very important that you are equipped and prepared for these extremely low temperatures.

    • Lonely Planet Guide to Nepal.

    • Rough Guide to Nepal

    • Trekking and Climbing in Nepal. Steve Razzetti.

    • Sherpas & Himalayan Mountaineering. Sherry B. Ortner

    • A History of Nepal. John Whelpton

    • Field Guide to Birds of the Himalayas. Bikram Grewal

    • Portraits of People:Nepal Himalayas. Eric Valli

    • Nepal: Lonely Planet Pictorial. Richard I'Anson

    • The High Himalaya. Art Wolfe

    Gokyo 1: 50,000 Nepa Maps

    Nepa are one of the oldest publishing houses in Kathmandu. This map covers the whole route from Lukla at a reasonable scale. Relief shading and spot heights represent the terrain and contours are at 40m. intervals. Villages, monasteries, passes, peaks etc are indicated.

    Extend Your Holiday

    Malla Hotel

    From $100 per room per night

    Gokarna Forest Resort Kathmandu

    From $138 per room per night

    Shanker Hotel

    From $100 per room per night

    Situated next to the grounds of the former Royal Palace and only a 10-minute walk from the popular Thamel district, this former Rana residence was converted into a hotel in 1964. The original architecture was based on a French palace and the hotel has a grand appearance. Set in a large and beautifully tended garden, it provides a hideaway from the hustle and bustle of city life and is an ideal base from which to explore Kathmandu. All its rooms which are en-suite have been recently refurbished and the hotel facilities include 2 restaurants, 2 bars and a swimming pool where you can also order drinks.

    Shangri La

    From $119 per room per night Another of Kathmandu’s original ‘luxury’ hotels. While the sophistication of its amenities may be upstaged by Kathmandu’s more modern concrete and glass hotels, the Shangri La maintains an old world charm that cannot be beaten. Located in the diplomatic enclave of Lazimpat, away from the hustle and bustle yet just 10 minutes walk from tourist centre of Thamel, the hotel is set in a pleasant garden and facilities include a pool, tennis court and massage therapist. The hotel has a speciality Indian restaurant and a garden café serving international cuisine as well as a bar.

    Dwarikas Hotel

    From $279 per room per night Dwarika’s is a heritage hotel modelled on the grandeur of the palaces of the Newar Kings. Consisting of several buildings arranged around a quiet courtyard, the hotel incorporates many original 15th – 17th century features in its architecture from the lifetime collection of its founder. The rooms are in the same Newari style and lavishly luxurious in their appointments. Its location close to Pashupathinath and Bouddhanath is perfect for exploring this side of Kathmandu. There are 3 restaurants serving Nepali, Japanese and international cuisine, a bar, spa and fitness centre, and a swimming pool.

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