Trek Everest the Hard Way

A trek to Everest Base Camp across the high passes of the Khumbu

22

days

Trek

From $2,740 Land only

Book this holiday

Holiday Overview

Highlights

  • A high level circuit trek exploring the homeland of the Sherpas
  • Trekking over the Renjo La, Cho La and Kongma La
  • Climb the viewpoint peaks of Gokyo Ri and Kala Patar
  • Lodge trekking with a Nepalese guide and full support crew
  • While in Kathmandu, stay at the prestigious Yak & Yeti Hotel

This superb lodge-based trekking holiday makes a complete high-level circuit of the Khumbu and crosses 3 major passes to link the valleys of Thame, Gokyo, Khumbu and Imja Khola. From Namche Bazaar, we follow the course of the Bhote Khosi towards Tibet, before turning eastwards to cross the spectacular Renjo La (5340m). Then, from the holy lakes at Gokyo, where we spend 2 nights and have the option to take it easy for a day, it's up and over the Cho La (5420m) to reach Everest Basecamp and the dramatic viewpoint summit of Kala Patar. Our walk out takes us by way of the Kongma La (5535m) before joining the Everest Trail to walk out via the villages of Dingboche and Pangboche and the monastery of Tengboche. Optional ascents of Gokyo Ri and Chukung Ri add spice to this challenging trip. Running this circuit of the main passes of Khumbu in a clockwise direction means we can build up our acclimatisation on uncrowded trails and in the unspoiled valley of the Bhote Kosi, leaving Everest Basecamp as the climax of the trip and also means we spend a minimum amount of time on the popular Everest Trail. For experienced trekkers who want to visit Everest Basecamp but wish to eschew the crowds and experience authentic Sherpa culture, this holiday really does have it all.

free equipment

FREE equipment hire on all Nepal holidays!
Already booked on this holiday? Or looking to book on one of our departures in 2016? ALL clients will benefit from free hire of a sleeping bag and down jacket worth £70 - when booked in advance.

Book NOW, save money and help support a country we love.

Is this holiday for you?

The majority of the time on this holiday you will be walking on good paths and yak trails, providing straightforward walking conditions. Climbing to cross the three principal passes on the circuit offers more difficult trekking conditions, mainly due to the relatively high altitudes. Crossing these passes will involve negotiating slopes of loose rock and scree. In addition the Cho La pass is glaciated and often snow covered. The optional walk-up peaks and viewpoints and the trek to Everest Basecamp require no technical equipment or experience but each presents a challenging climb at altitude. In order to provide a comprehensive tour of the Khumbu, the trekking programme is necessarily ambitious and the high grade of the holiday reflect this. If the optional walk-up peaks and excursion to basecamp are not included (taken as rest days) this trip will be one or two grade points easier. This holiday should be within the capabilities of fit and active hill-walkers who have put in some extra training leading up to the trek. It should be noted that trekking at altitudes up to and over 5000 metres is always strenuous.

Brief Itinerary

View in full
  • Meet at the group hotel in Kathmandu. Transfers from Kathmandu Airport are provided.
  • 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 day-walk to Khumjung and Kunde for views of Everest.
  • Trek above the Bhote Khosi River, via Phurte and Thamo to the Sherpa village of Thame (3820m).
  • An acclimatisation day. Monastery visit and trek up to a high viewpoint (4250m). Overnight in Thame.
  • Following an ancient trade route towards the Nangpa La and Tibet, trek to Marulung (4210m).
  • An acclimatisation day. Return trek up towards Arye (4400m). We spend a second night at Marulung.
  • Trek up via Renjo Lake to the Renjo La (5340m) for views of Everest. Descend to Gokyo (4790m).
  • Exploration above Gokyo. Trek up to the 'Fifth Lake' amongst amazing scenery. Overnight at Gokyo.
  • Early morning 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).
  • Descend to Lobuche, then follow the main Everest Trail up to Gorak Shep (5140m).
  • Trek to Everest Basecamp on the moraine of the Khumbu Glacier. Return to Gorak Shep.
  • Trek to the top of Kala Patar (5500m) for classic dawn views of Everest. Descend to Lobuche.
  • Cross the Khumbu Glacier and trek up to the Kongma La (5400m). Descend to Dingboche (4360m).
  • Trekking out through Sherpa villages, we pass through Pangboche to Deboche (3700m).
  • Trek via the monastery at Tyangboche to Namche Bazaar. Continue downvalley to Monjo.
  • Trek downhill beside the Dudh Kosi River with a short final climb to Lukla.
  • Fly to Kathmandu. The rest of the day is free for sightseeing or relaxing.
  • In Kathmandu. Half-day sightseeing tour included. Rest of the day at leisure.
  • Departure day. Transfers to Kathmandu Airport are provided.
2016
Sun 02 Oct - Sun 23 Oct Code EHW /02/16/ Adult$2,740 Status Available Book now
More information
  • Trek Everest the Hard Way
  • The departure reference for this tour is EHW /02/16/
  • This tour begins on Sun 02 Oct and departs on Sun 23 Oct
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of $400
  • Single Supplement $205 - 3 group hotel nights in Kathmandu.
Sun 16 Oct - Sun 06 Nov Code EHW /03/16/ Adult$2,740 Status Available Book now
More information
  • Trek Everest the Hard Way
  • The departure reference for this tour is EHW /03/16/
  • This tour begins on Sun 16 Oct and departs on Sun 06 Nov
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of $400
  • Single Supplement $205 - 3 group hotel nights in Kathmandu.
Sun 30 Oct - Sun 20 Nov Code EHW /04/16/ Adult$2,740 Status Guaranteed Book now
More information
  • Trek Everest the Hard Way
  • The departure reference for this tour is EHW /04/16/
  • This tour begins on Sun 30 Oct and departs on Sun 20 Nov
  • This departure is guaranteed. Secure your place today with a deposit of $400
  • Single Supplement $205 - 3 group hotel nights in Kathmandu.
Sun 06 Nov - Sun 27 Nov Code EHW /05/16/ Adult$2,740 Status Sold Out Call Us
More information
  • Trek Everest the Hard Way
  • The departure reference for this tour is EHW /05/16/
  • This tour begins on Sun 06 Nov and departs on Sun 27 Nov
  • Single Supplement $205 - 3 group hotel nights in Kathmandu.
2017
Sun 26 Mar - Sun 16 Apr Code EHW /01/17/ Adult$2,900 Status Available Book now
More information
  • Trek Everest the Hard Way
  • The departure reference for this tour is EHW /01/17/
  • This tour begins on Sun 26 Mar and departs on Sun 16 Apr
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of $400
  • Single Supplement $205 - 3 group hotel nights in Kathmandu.
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 Joining Arrangements and Transfers 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
  • trek

Holiday Itinerary

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

    Meet at the group hotel in Kathmandu. Transfers from Kathmandu Airport are provided. Depending on your arrival time, you may have the opportunity to explore the immediate vicinity of the hotel and get acclimatised to this bustling city. Alternatively, you may prefer to recover from your journey by relaxing beside the hotel pool. KE Land Only package services begin with the evening meal. Your guide will take dinner with you and will provide an informal briefing about the days ahead.

    • Accommodation Hotel with swimming pool

    • Meals d

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

    We return to 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 (2610m) beside the river.

    • Accommodation Lodge

    • Ascent 180m

    • Distance 7km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 510m

    • 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 a short climb to escape a narrow gorge section. We pass the entrance to the Khumbu National Park where details of our permits are recorded and then drop down again to the river which we cross on a suspension bridge. We continue up the wooded valley on a good trail and cross the river again before reaching a confluence of rivers, one coming down from Thame and the other from the Khumbu. We make a final crossing here on a spectacular high suspension bridge and then begin an hour and half long ascent to Namche Bazaar (3440m) on a wide switch-back trail. This is the sting in the tail of today’s otherwise quite gentle ascent, and one of the steepest of the trek. Just over halfway up this last hill to Namche, we gain our first views of Everest. On arrival in the Sherpa capital, we check into one of the town’s many lodges. Namche has changed tremendously since trekking first became popular in Nepal. The Sherpa people are very adept at working out what visitors need. Many of the Sherpas that own lodges, cafes and shops in the town have visited cities in the USA and Europe and have brought back all sorts of concepts. Today you can find in Namche, German bakeries, Italian coffee, British pubs, pool halls, and hot tubs.

    • Accommodation Lodge

    • Ascent 1200m

    • Distance 12km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 420m

    • Time 5 - 6 hrs trekking

  • At Namche Bazaar. Optional day-walk to Khumjung and Kunde for views of Everest.

    Namche Bazaar is tucked away between 2 ridges amongst the giant peaks of the Khumbu. An ancient market place where goods from as far away as Tibet used to be traded, Namche today boasts an abundance of lodges, cafes, bars and souvenir shops. It is an ideal place to spend a rest day, acclimatising to the new altitude before heading off towards Thame. Options for acclimatisation walks include the one-hour walk up to the Everest View Hotel above the village for the spectacular view of Ama Dablam, Nupste, Lhotse and Everest itself.

    • Accommodation Lodge

    • Meals bld

  • Trek above the Bhote Khosi River, via Phurte and Thamo to the Sherpa village of Thame (3820m).

    We first climb up to the gompa above the town and here we pick up a trail which contours the bounding ridge of Namche and then follows the Bhote Khosi river through the villages of Phunte, Thamo, Thomde and Somde. The walk takes us through woods of oak, birch and juniper and we pass several impressive mani walls built from tablets of stone intricately carved with prayers in Tibetan script. What will be very noticeable today after the trek from Lukla is the lack of other trekkers in this quiet valley. After approximately 3 or 4 hours walking we reach a suspension bridge slung high across the river and on the other side the trail climbs to Thame at a strategic location at the junction of routes from Rolwalling via the Tesi Labcha and from Tibet via the Nangpa La. There are tremendous views of Teng Kangpoche and the north side of Kwangde Ri. Overnight in a lodge at Thame (3820m).

    • Accommodation Lodge

    • Ascent 510m

    • Distance 9km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 230m

    • Time 3 - 4 hrs trekking

  • An acclimatisation day. Monastery visit and trek up to a high viewpoint (4250m). Overnight in Thame.

    The key to good acclimatisation is careful staging. The old adage of climb high, sleep low holds as true today as for those expeditioners of the nineteen fifties. Today we have a spectacular walk up the valley leading to the Tesi Labcha on a high trail above the Thame Khola, as far as the summer yak grazing settlement at approximately 4250 metres. On our return we will make a visit to the Gompa located high above the town. We spend a second night at the lodge in Thame.

    • Accommodation Lodge

    • Ascent 990m

    • Distance 7km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 990m

    • Time 4 - 5 hrs trekking

  • Following an ancient trade route towards the Nangpa La and Tibet, trek to Marulung (4210m).

    The trail becomes even quieter today as we leave even the more adventurous Everest trekkers behind and head north beside the Bhote Khosi which means ‘River from Tibet’. We pass through the village of Tangmote and follow a wide trail which ascends gradually above the river. After approximately 2½ hours we pass through the village of Tharngga and a further hour of gentle ascent brings us to our lodge accommodation in Marulung (4210m). This is a relatively short day but it is vital at this stage of our acclimatisation that we do not make too great a jump in our overnight altitude.

    • Accommodation Lodge

    • Ascent 710m

    • Distance 9km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 140m

    • Time 4 - 5 hrs trekking

  • An acclimatisation day. Return trek up towards Arye (4400m). We spend a second night at Marulung.

    We will spend 2 nights at Marulung to make sure we are sufficiently acclimatised to make the crossing of the Renjo La on the following day. Today, we will be able to hike up the valley of the Bhote Kosi as far as the simple teahouses at Arye (4400m) or even a little higher, towards the glacier which comes down from the Nangpa La. The views on this acclimatisation walk are superb and one of the excellent aspects of this itinerary is the opportunity to spend time in this beautiful unspoilt valley. We return to spend a second night at the lodge in Marulung.

    • Accommodation Lodge

    • Ascent 120m

    • Distance 6km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 120m

    • Time 2 - 3 hrs trekking

  • Trek up via Renjo Lake to the Renjo La (5340m) for views of Everest. Descend to Gokyo (4790m).

    Today, we make an early start for the trek up and away from the Bhote Khosi towards the ‘twin lakes’ below the Renjo La. Passing the lakes, we continue our approach to the Renjo La, following a well-made trail, with stone steps leading almost all the way to the top. We reach the summit prayer flags (5340m) after a long morning's walk and take time to enjoy the views across the ranges to Mount Everest - simply breathtaking. Then, after an initially steep descent, which may be snow covered, the trail becomes well managed once more with stone steps which descend towards the lakes of Gokyo. The third lake is known as Dudh Pokhari and on its east shore is the summer settlement of Gokyo (4790m). We check in at a lodge below Gokyo Ri after a long day.

    • Accommodation Lodge

    • Ascent 1250m

    • Distance 12km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 830m

    • Time 6 - 8 hrs trekking

  • Exploration above Gokyo. Trek up to the 'Fifth Lake' amongst amazing scenery. Overnight at Gokyo.

    After the long day crossing the Renjo La, there's the option today to take it easy. Those who wish to make the most of this high and wild place can hike up to the 'Fifth Lake' for the ‘Scoundrel's View' of Everest. We spend a second night at our Gokyo lodge.

    • Accommodation Lodge

    • Ascent 490m

    • Distance 11km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 490m

    • Time 5 - 6 hrs trekking

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

    Gokyo Ri lies at the northern edge of Dudh Pokhari, a classic viewpoint for Everest and Cho Oyu and for the magnificent panorama encompassing the lakes and the across the Ngozumba Glacier towards the Cho La. The ascent is quite strenuous and takes approximately 3 hours for the round trip. Group members wishing to make this ascent will have a reasonably early start and will be guided by the trip leader or one of the Sherpa staff. Returning to the lodge for an early lunch, we will then set off on the next leg of our journey. Descending to the ‘second’ lake, we then climb to the crest of the moraine overlooking the Ngozumba Glacier. The route across the glacier is well marked by cairns and takes around 45 minutes. We climb off the glacier at the place known as Dragnag (4700m) and check in at one of the teahouses there.

    • Accommodation Lodge

    • Ascent 910m

    • Distance 8km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 1030m

    • Time 5 - 6 hrs trekking

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

    An early start for the long day across the Cho La (5420m). Approaching the pass, we cross a large boulder field. Beyond this ancient moraine, the climb to the pass is steep in places, involving some easy scrambling. The upper part of the route can be snow-covered, particularly after November. From the pass, there are excellent views including a completely different aspect of Ama Dablam, now seen from the north west. The descent from the pass involves the crossing of a small glacier (often snow-covered) which is fairly straightforward. We descend to the grazing pastures below, the trail becoming more and more defined as we approach our overnight lodge at Dzongla (4830m).

    • Accommodation Lodge

    • Ascent 880m

    • Distance 10km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 720m

    • Time 6 - 7 hrs trekking

  • Descend to Lobuche, then follow the main Everest Trail up to Gorak Shep (5140m).

    Leaving Dzongla, we follow a trail which first drops to cross the stream and then contours grassy slopes to join up with the main Everest trail just 20 minutes below the seasonal settlement of Lobuche. From here, a trail climbs steadily up the ablation valley by the side of the Khumbu Glacier. After crossing the rubble of a side glacier we arrive at Gorak Shep (5140m), a summer yak herding settlement at the foot of Kala Patar, which now boasts two of the highest tea houses in Nepal. We check in at one of these simple lodges after a longish day.

    • Accommodation Lodge

    • Ascent 630m

    • Distance 11km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 270m

    • Time 5 hrs trekking

  • Trek to Everest Basecamp on the moraine of the Khumbu Glacier. Return to Gorak Shep.

    Today can be taken as a rest day. However, we should now be quite fit and acclimatised and for those who wish, there is the opportunity to visit the site of Everest Basecamp. We follow a good trail at first on the moraine crest, and finally on the glacier itself. After a relatively short morning's walk, we reach the traditional basecamp for Everest below the stupendous Khumbu Icefall. In the spring season this area will be a tent city housing the hundreds of climbers who come to scale the World’s highest peak. Very few climbers tackle the world’s highest mountain in the Autumn season and at this time basecamp is a truly wild place although there is always much evidence of the expeditions in the form of ‘furniture’ built from the stone blocks transported down from the Western Cwm by the power of the imperceptibly moving ice. After spending some time in this fascinating place, we return to our lodge at Gorak Shep for a second night.

    • Accommodation Lodge

    • Ascent 390m

    • Distance 7km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 390m

    • Time 4 - 5 hrs trekking

  • Trek to the top of Kala Patar (5500m) for classic dawn views of Everest. Descend to Lobuche.

    This morning there is an option to climb Kala Patar, one of the finest viewpoints for Everest and the Khumbu Valley. Aiming to make the most of the usually fine morning weather, we have another early start at first light to make the short (2 hour) ascent of Kala Patar (5500m). Returning to Gorak Shep, we have breakfast before retracing our steps to Lobuche (4930m) where we check in at our lodge accommodation.

    • Accommodation Lodge

    • Ascent 600m

    • Distance 9km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 820m

    • Time 5 - 6 hrs trekking

  • Cross the Khumbu Glacier and trek up to the Kongma La (5400m). Descend to Dingboche (4360m).

    From Lobuche, we make a crossing of the Khumbu Glacier. The glacier at this point is very slow moving, covered with rubble and moraine debris and usually has a good trail across. We then make the ascent to the Kongma La (5535m). The climb to the pass is steep, at first following a trail on a grassy hillside and then on a good path which zig-zags its way to the top of a scree slope. From the top of the scree the summit comes into view but we have another 45 minutes more level now, over boulders and scree to reach the prayer flags which stretch across from cairn to cairn. It will take a total of 3 hours or so from the glacier to the summit of the pass, but the views more than compensate for the expended effort. As well as the tip of Everest and the fantastic 8 mile-long Lhotse-Nuptse wall, 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 summit we pass a usually frozen lake and follow an improving trail across yak pastures and down into the Imja Valley - one of the most beautiful walks of the trip. After a final steep descent mostly on grassy hillside, we reach the Imja Khola and our lodge in the settlement of Dingboche (4360m). This Sherpa village is spectacular located beneath Ama Dablam and just a little way down-valley from the spectacular south ace of Lhotse.

    • Accommodation Lodge

    • Ascent 660m

    • Distance 13km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 1270m

    • Time 6 - 7 hrs trekking

  • Trekking out through Sherpa villages, we pass through Pangboche to Deboche (3700m).

    We now begin our walk out from the Everest region. This is definitely no anti-climax as we have some beautiful country to travel through still. However, it is nice to be going down and into the land of warmth and abundant oxygen. Leaving Dingboche we soon join the main Everest Trail and follow the Imja Khola on an undulating path to Pangboche (3930m). The oldest monastery in the region is located here and it is well worth the extra effort to climb up to the upper part of the village where the gompa is located. From Pangboche, we descend to cross the river on a suspension bridge at a narrow gorge. Beyond, we enter a forest of birch and Juniper - the first real forest we have seen since leaving Namche and walking through the trees we come to the small settlement of Deboche where there is a nunnery. We check in at a lodge here. Today’s walk should take around 5 hours including the visit to the monastery.

    • Accommodation Lodge

    • Ascent 250m

    • Distance 10km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 790m

    • Time 4 hrs trekking

  • Trek via the monastery at Tyangboche to Namche Bazaar. Continue downvalley to Monjo.

    After an early breakfast we set off and make a short climb through the woods to Tyangboche Gompa spectacularly located on a ridge-top. 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 which flows down from the Gokyo Valley. We now have a steep climb to the lodges of Kangjuma from where we pick up a contouring trail which leads around the hillside bringing us to the top of the bowl in which Namche Bazaar nestles. A final steep descent on stone steps leads to the main bazaar. We will take our lunch here and there will be some time for shopping before setting off again. We have now completed our grand circuit of the Khumbu and all that remains is to walk back down the Dudh Khosi valley. This afternoon we go as far as Monjo – close to the entrance to the National Park. This is a longish day, mostly downhill but with one long uphill section.

    • Accommodation Lodge

    • Ascent 550m

    • Distance 13km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 1280m

    • Time 5 - 6 hrs trekking

  • Trek downhill beside the Dudh Kosi River with a short final climb to Lukla.

    We continue the descent of the Dudh Khosi Valley passing through Phakding. Though we are still going downhill, the day does have a sting in the tail and so remember to reserve some energy for the final climb up to the airstrip at Lukla. For our last night on trek we stay in a lodge at the airstrip. No doubt we will have a party to say goodbye to our trek crew after what is surely the best trek in the Khumbu.

    • Accommodation Lodge

    • Ascent 850m

    • Distance 13km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 820m

    • Time 4 - 5 hrs trekking

  • Fly to Kathmandu. The rest of the day is free for sightseeing or relaxing.

    We take the early morning flight to Kathmandu, check in to our hotel, and have the afternoon free for sightseeing. This evening we will visit one of Kathmandu’s excellent restaurants for a celebration dinner.

    • Accommodation Hotel with swimming pool

    • 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 flights from Lukla. If we have experienced no delays this is an opportunity to explore the fascinating city of Kathmandu. There is an optional complimentary half-day guided tour of some of the city’s most important sites. The afternoon is free for further independent sightseeing or shopping in the colourful bazaars.

    • Accommodation Hotel with swimming pool

    • Meals bld

  • Departure day. Transfers to Kathmandu Airport are 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

  • An experienced English speaking local leader
  • Kathmandu Airport transfers
  • Internal flights and all land transport involved in the itinerary
  • Accommodation as described in the trip dossier
  • All meals throughout the trip
  • Once on trek the group will be assisted by porters and a local guide
  • Guided sightseeing tour of Kathmandu
  • Travel Insurance
  • Nepalese Visa
  • Tips for porters and other trek staff
  • Miscellaneous expenses - drinks and souvenirs etc.

The food served during the trek is a mixture of local and international cuisine, cooked by our 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. All meals while on trek and in Kathmandu are included in the trip price.

All meals are included from dinner on Day 1 to breakfast on Day 21 of the Land Only itinerary. While staying in Kathmandu meals will be taken in the hotel or at a local restaurant. On trek the group will take their meals at lodges. Normally this will be a set meal for the whole group. Boiled or purified water is available at all the lodges we stay at. Bottled water is also available to purchase (at additional cost) but we do not recommend this on grounds of environmental care.
All Clients travelling to Kathmandu will be met at the airport by a KE representative who will arrange the transfer to the group hotel. Clients MUST provide the KE office with full details of their flights. Hotel contact details and an emergency number will be provided with your booking confirmation. If you have time, it may be worth considering arriving earlier in Kathmandu. Our trekking holidays are normally designed with minimal 'down time' in the city, but Kathmandu is a fascinating place and it is well worth spending extra time here. Arriving a day or two early will have the additional benefit of allowing you time to get over the stress of travelling across time zones, leaving you refreshed and ready for your trek. Note that on this holiday we have a very early start on day 2 to catch the morning flight to Lukla. We can easily arrange for you to spend extra nights in the city and airport transfers are included for all flights.
The group will spend 3 nights in Kathmandu at the prestigious Yak & Yeti hotel. Whilst on trek there are 18 nights in lodges/tea houses. All accommodation is on a twin sharing basis (note that in some lodges only dormitory beds may be available). If you are travelling by yourself you will be paired up with another single client of the same sex. It is not possible to arrange single accommodation in lodges. The Nepalese trekking lodges also known as 'tea-houses' are simple, friendly and atmospheric. As they are far from the nearest road is it not surprising that they are simple establishments as everything must be carried up by porters or animals. Mostly these lodges have heated dining areas which are often attractively decorated. Accommodation is basic in unheated rooms with wooden beds and foam mattress. You will need a sleeping bag. The lodges have shared washing and toilet facilities. Some lodges have solar powered showers (charged at $2 - $3 per shower) and battery charging facilities (also charged at a rate per hour). Staying at the lodges is a great way to meet fellow hikers and the locals. For the hotel nights in Kathmandu single rooms are available for a supplementary cost. Additional hotel nights in Kathmandu are also available. For Hotel prices and single supplement costs please refer to the dates and prices page of the trip on our website. Hotels are subject to availability and prices may vary.

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

Shortly after first light you should wake and start packing your kitbag and making preparations for the day. Coming down to the lodge dining room we will be served with a hot breakfast before setting off on the days trek. We will generally reach our lunch stop by mid-day after around 3 or 4 hours walking. Lunch taken at a teahouse along the route usually takes about an hour and 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 the evenings stop as we set off again. It is usual for the afternoons walk to be shorter than the morning session. After checking in to your room you may wish to relax with a beer on the terrace of your lodge before taking dinner. This is a great time of day for reliving the events of the trek so far and for general socialising. By 9.00pm most trekkers will have retired to bed and by 10.pm the whole lodge will be asleep.

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, Buddha Air and and Simrik Airlines. In addition to this both Tara Air and Yeti Airlines have fulfilled the IATA Standard Safety Assessment (ISSA) - a new global safety standard for commercial airlines operating smaller aircraft www.iata.org/whatwedo/safety/audit/issa/Pages/index.aspx. 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 led by an experienced English-speaking local leader, and on trek will have the services of porters to carry luggage and local Sherpa guides.

Approximately £300 (or equivalent in US dollars, Euros etc.) should be allowed for miscellaneous expenses including approximately £70 (in equivalent Nepali 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 some days. Please be aware that these as everything has to be carried up from the nearest road or airstrip, 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 the equivalent of around £70 (in Nepali rupees) to these tips. Note that you will need to obtain this money in small bills (100 rupee notes) prior to leaving Kathmandu for the 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. 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 or pack animals. The packed weight of your trek bag whilst trekking should be no more than 15kg (33 pounds). For all flights to and from STOL airstrips in Nepal, the maximum allowance for hold baggage AND hand baggage combined, is 15kg. It is essential you keep the total weight of your baggage within this limit. This weight allowance is normally strictly enforced and excess baggage will be charged. Please be aware that you will have to pay for this at check-in. 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. 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.

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. The packed weight of your trek bag while trekking should be no more than 15 kgs. For all STOL flights in Nepal including to Lukla, the maximum allowance for hold baggage AND hand baggage combined, is 15 kg. It is essential you keep the total weight of your baggage within this limit. Paying for transportation of excess baggage is not normally an option on these flights. It is possible to leave clothes or other items not required on trek at the group hotel in Kathmandu.

You must bring the following items:

  • Hiking boots (must be waterproof)

  • Gaiters

  • Trekking poles or ice axe **

  • Socks

  • Trekking trousers

  • Waterproof overtrousers

  • Underwear

  • Baselayer shirts

  • Casual shirt and/or T-shirts

  • Fleece jacket or warm jumper

  • Waterproof jacket

  • Sunhat

  • Warm hat

  • Sunglasses

  • Thermal gloves

  • Warm and waterproof gloves or mittens

  • Headtorch and spare batteries

  • Sun protection (including total bloc for lips, nose etc.)

  • Water bottles 1 Litre x2

  • Washbag and toiletries

  • Toilet paper (you can also buy this in the lodges if necessary)

  • Antibacterial handwash

  • Small towel

  • Selection of dry bags (to keep trek bag contents dry)

  • Small padlock (to lock trek bag)

  • Daypack 30 litres.

  • Sleeping bag (comfort rated-15ºC)*

  • Warm jacket (down)*

  • Basic First Aid Kit including: antiseptic cream, throat lozenges, diarrhoea treatment (Imodium), altitude (Diamox), painkillers, plasters and blister treatment, insect repellent, and re-hydration salts (Dioralite). Glucose tablets and multi-vitamin.

The following items are optional:

  • Lightweight trekking boots (for the lower trails)

  • Training shoes or similar for camp use

  • Spare laces

  • Shorts

  • Thermal baselayer - leggings. It will be cold at times

  • Sleeping bag liner

  • Scarf or buff

  • Swimwear (for the hotel pool in Kathmandu)

  • Travel clothes

  • Camera

  • Pen-knife (remember to pack sharp objects in hold baggage)

  • Repair kit – (eg. needle, thread, duct tape)

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.

*Available for hire/rental through KE Adventure Travel. Please make all requests at least 6 weeks prior to the trip departure date. Please note all hire / rental equipment is issued in Kathmandu. Please remember to allow room in your trek bag for these items.

 

** For this trip you must bring EITHER a set of trekking poles or a ‘walking’ ice axe. This is a safety measure only for the pass crossings and you will not necessarily be required to use this equipment. In certain conditions, the trip leader may issue ‘instep’ crampons to group members for one or more of the pass crossings. These are small lightweight crampons, which can quickly and easily be attached to any kind of walking boot.

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. > Click here to go to the PHD Gear Advisor for the Ultimate Everest Trek

 

 

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.

The unit of currency in Nepal is the Nepalese Rupee.

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 holiday getting some additional exercise. The fitter you are, after all, the more enjoyable you will find the experience. This is a challenging itinerary even for regular hill walkers and you will need to be in good condition. We suggest that you adopt a weekly exercise regime leading up to your trip. Regular weekend hiking in hill country is the ideal preparation for this trip but any regular exercise such as jogging, squash or swimming will also be good for developing cardio vascular fitness and stamina.

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 through to May is the best time for trekking in Nepal. These months outside of the summer monsoon season offer the best conditions for trekking. Pre-monsoon from March to May is the main climbing season for Everest and at this time there will be many expeditions at the basecamp. This is also 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. You will encounter a wide range of daytime temperatures during your holiday. In October/November and April/May this will range from approximately 25C in Kathmandu to approximately 14C at 3000 metres, and approximately 3C at 5000m. From December to early April, temperatures will average around 5C lower than this but at any time of the year the real feel temperature in the middle of the day will be much warmer. At night in the rarefied air the temperatures plummet. You can expect to experience overnight temperatures below freezing once above approximately 4200m. (above 3000m from mid December) and at our highest overnight stops, outside temperatures may drop as low as minus 15C. Extended periods of rain or snow are very unlikely outside of the monsoon period but short-lived storms can and do occur.

  • Lonely Planet Guide to Nepal. Lonely Planet

  • Rough Guide to Nepal. Rough Guides

  • Trekking and Climbing in Nepal. Steve Razzetti

  • Everest: A Trekkers Guide. Kev Reynolds. Cicerone

  • Into Thin Air. Jon Krakauer

  • The Climb. Anatoli Boukreev

  • The Ascent of Everest. John Hunt & Edmund Hillary

  • Sherpas & Himalayan Mountaineering. Sherry B. Ortner

  • Everest the Old Way. John Driskell

Gokyo 1:50,000 Nepa Maps

These days the best trekking maps are published in Nepal. Nepa are one of the oldest established publishing houses in Kathmandu. This map covers the whole route from Lukla at a reasonable scale. Relief shading and spot heights give visual representation of the terrain and contours are drawn at 40m. intervals. Villages, monasteries, passes and peaks are indicated and latitude/longitude markings are shown. Note: All clients will be given a free trekking map in Kathmandu before the start of their trek.

Extend Your Holiday

Chitwan Jungle Extension

The jungles of southern Nepal are an interesting counterpoint to trekking in the foothills or the high Himalaya. Tiger Tops Tharu Lodge provides a relaxing and comfortable base for a wildlife safari and cultural village experience. During two days of wildlife viewing in the Chitwan National Park 'buffer zone' - the interface area between visitors and the animals that live at Chitwan – you will be accompanied by expert guides on safaris by jeep, boat, on foot and by elephant back.



Tiger Tops Tharu Lodge Chitwan

From $1000 per person

More info

Kathmandu Tour - Nagarkot and Bhaktapur

The Kathmandu Valley contains the cities of Patan, Bhaktapur and Kathmandu itself, all of which were once independent kingdoms. An exploration of the valley’s historic and cultural sights is an excellent way to begin or end your adventure in Nepal. Highlights of this tour includes a very early drive up to Nagarkot on the Kathmandu Valley rim, the perfect place to watch a Himalayan sunrise. This is followed by a tour of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Bhaktapur, renowned for its temples and traditional buildings. 

 

Nagarkot and Bhaktaphur Tour

From $135 per person

More info

Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge (join Kathmandu)

Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge sets the standard for comfortable and luxurious mountain lodge accommodation with its relaxed atmosphere, tranquil setting, eco-tourism and conservation ethos. Located on a spectacular hilltop ridge, it has panoramic views of ‘Fishtail Mountain and Himalayan giants, Dhaulagiri, Annapurna and Manaslu. It has won several prestigious awards including the PATA Heritage and Culture Gold Award and the Conde Nast Traveler magazine Ecotourism Award.

Tiger Mountain, exit KTM

From $950 per person

More info

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.

Recent Reviews & Blog Posts