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Himalayas

Everest Base Camp Trek

Available During: Apr, May, Oct, Nov £1999 pp

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SUMMARY

Everest Base Camp Trek

No. of People: 1

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Mount Everest, standing at 8,848m/29,029ft, is the highest mountain on earth.  Known locally as Sagamartha in Nepalese and Chomolungma in Tibetan, it separates Nepal and China and is flanked by Lhotse and Nuptse forming a fantastic horseshoe of the world’s highest mountains.

A chance to stand in the shadow of the world’s highest mountain, this is an adventure of a lifetime.  The Base Camp is located on the southern Nepalese side, which was the start point for the original ascent and is still the most frequented line today.  First climbed in 1953 by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, this mountain has become the mecca for world mountaineering.

This is a two-week-plus round trip from the UK with approximately 12 walking days and time to acclimatise built in.  Adjusting slowly to the high-altitude levels which will be reached on this trip gives you the best chance of fully experiencing and enjoying the trek to Base Camp.

Quick Facts

  • Maximum altitude reached is 5,545 metres/18,192 feet
  • 14 nights’ accommodation – 2 nights in Kathmandu, 12 nights in teahouses or mountain lodges
  • We recommend you fly to and from Tribhuwan International Airport, Kathmandu
  • We will pick you up and drop you off at the airport
  • 12 trekking days guiding by experienced local leaders
  • Porter assistance for the entire route
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner provided on trekking days
  • Good level of fitness required and be prepared for ‘lodge-living’ whilst on the trek
  • We recommend you give yourself a few days of flexibility after you are due to return from Lukla to Kathmandu
  • We offer this trip either with a dedicated UK guide, for an extra supplement, or with an all-local team which is English-speaking, certified, and highly reputable
  • Available for solo travellers for an additional supplement
  • One of the ultimate challenges – but well worth it!

About & Details

Arriving in Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal, there will be time to explore the city and get a glimpse of the Nepalese way of life.  The first trekking day starts with a short scenic flight by twin-otter plane to Lukla and the first chance to see the majestic peaks of Cho Oyu (8,153m/26,748ft), Lhotse (8,516m/27,939ft), Gauri Shankar (7,145m/23,441ft), and Menlungtse (7,181m/23,559ft).

As Lukla is a mountain airport, it is subject to weather fronts that can lead to flight delays or cancellations for safety reasons.  This all adds to the adventure!  But to ensure  your flight home is not impacted, it is a good idea to give yourself a few days flexibility after you are due to return from Lukla to Kathmandu.

Altitude and Climate

This trek visits high altitudes!  You will be spending at least five or six nights at or above 4,000m/13,123ft which is serious altitude.  The Nepalese sherpas are well versed in looking after visitors, but it is important that you are properly acclimatised not only to have a safe trek, but also an enjoyable one as altitude sickness has the capacity to make you feel very miserable!  All along the way you will find warnings about ascending too quickly.  If you show signs of altitude sickness, appropriate measures (i.e. descent) must be taken.  Learn as much as possible about this issue before you go in order to have an understanding of how you may be affected and ask lots of questions of our local experts too.  Keep your guide informed regarding how you are feeling during the trek.  The climate during your trip will vary between warm in Kathmandu (20-30oC), to relatively warm on the lower trekking trails (15-25oC daytime) to cold at the higher elevations (0-5oC daytime).   Night-time temperatures at Gorak Shep and Base Camp can be as low as -15oC during the trekking season with snow.  Generally it should be dry, but this cannot always be relied upon and expect strong winds.  On average the temperature falls by 1oC every 200m in altitude gained and whatever the season, mountainous weather is always unpredictable and can change very quickly, be prepared for wind, rain, sun and snow.  One thing’s for sure, it will be an adventure!

Visas and Vaccinations

You will need:

  • A Valid Passport:  Your passport will need to be valid for at least 6 months after your return date.  Please bring  a photocopy of your passport with you.
  • Entry Visa:  All British nationals require a visa for entry into Nepal.  You need to arrange this prior to departure and tourist visas can be purchased online via the Government of Nepal Department of Immigration or Embassy of Nepal, London websites.  If you are not a British national then you will need to contact the embassy to enquire about visa requirements.
  • Relevant Vaccinations:  For medical and inoculations advice contact your GP and visit the Foreign & Commonwealth Office website before you travel.  Do this in good time (at least 3 months) as many injections/treatments must be given a certain time apart.
  • Relevant Travel Insurance:  You will need to make sure your insurance includes an element of trekking up to 6,000m/19,685ft.
Guides and Porters

Our Nepalese leaders are certified, accredited and English speaking.  Some of our clients however do prefer to have a UK guide and are happy to pay a little extra for that service.  Should you prefer a UK guide then please do contact us.  Our scheduled events are led by our Nepalese leaders.  Either way, you will, of course, have the backup of a great local team to help you along.

The guide’s responsibility is to ensure your safety on the trip, select the lodge accommodation and organise the porter crew.  You will be amazed how much easier having a local guide makes the dealings with lodges, etc.  Evening meals and drinks miraculously appear and you have many less chores during the day.  You will miss them when you are back in the UK!

We adhere to the guidelines laid down by the International Porter Protection Group. This organisation works to improve the working conditions of mountain porters in the tourism industry worldwide. Therefore we do not ask our porters to carry more than 30kg per load (this is advised by the IPPG).  In view of these guidelines, we request that you limit the equipment you ask your porter to carry to a maximum of 15kg.  Many ‘Westerners’ feel uncomfortable seeing a local ‘carrying their bags’ but guiding and portering are recognised professions in Nepal, so remember that for them this is a job and often forms a vital part of a family’s income.  They will enrich your holiday experience immensely by being a source of information about local cultures and traditions.

Fitness

To participate in this trip you will need to be physically fit and prepared for ‘lodge-living’ whilst on trek.  An often used phrase in Nepal is ‘Nepali flat’.  Your guide will surely say this to you a few times.  This means the trail is about to ‘undulate’ quite considerably.  Distances are not measured in conventional metres, kms or even miles on the trails in Nepal, but in walking times.  This is because the trails go uphill or downhill but seemingly never flat.  Therefore it is best to arrive in Nepal suitably conditioned and if you have not done so already then start getting fit!  Visit your local gym or go for regular bike rides.  However you achieve it, if you arrive there suitably fit, you will enjoy the trip so much more.  You should be able to walk for 4 to 6 hrs in a day on undulating terrain (going up and down hill) and not feel exhausted!  There are also a few steep hills to negotiate (takes about 2hrs) and so you should be ready for these.

We recommend that you follow a fitness plan in preparation for your challenge, an example of which will be sent to you when you have confirmed your booking.

Although the fitness plan we will send to you has been devised by a fitness professional, this is only provided as a guide and you should seek professional advice before starting your own fitness regime.

Accommodation

The accommodation is in en-suite, twin rooms in a Kathmandu hotel (single rooms are subject to availability).  The hotel boasts all the facilities you would expect.  Each room has air conditioning, 24hr room service, multi-channel TV, etc.  The lodges we use on the trek are of the higher standard but are walkers’ lodges so are obviously more basic than the accommodation in Kathmandu.  The rooms are singles, doubles or triples shared as part of the group; there are hot showers (water has to be heated in advance), toilets (sometimes flushable) and they are fully catered.  Many have 24hr electricity.  The general rule is the higher you go, the more rudimentary they become.

Currency

The Nepalese Rupee is the local currency.  You can exchange pounds, dollars and traveller’s cheques at the airport and at exchange stores throughout Kathmandu.  There are also ATMs in Kathmandu.  In the hotel in Kathmandu you will be able to pay for your extras by credit card.  Shops and other restaurants in Kathmandu accept rupees.

Once you have left Kathmandu you will only be able to change money in Lukla and Namche Bazaar on your trek.  When exchanging money remember to take an official exchange receipt.  Once on the trek, low denomination rupee notes are necessary.  Your extras (drinks/lunch/evening meal etc.) in Kathmandu should be approximately £20 per day.

Safety

The days of zero crime in Nepal are gone; however Nepal still has a very non-aggressive society, especially towards foreigners.  Nonetheless you should exercise the usual common sense precautions to avoid becoming a victim of crime.  Don’t flash your valuables (camera, watch, money etc.) around, and don’t act ostentatiously!  For an official British Government view on this issue please visit the Foreign Office website

Inclusions

  • Professional event organisation
  • Arrival and departure transport from Kathmandu Airport
  • Internal flight to/from Lukla
  • 2 nights bed and breakfast accommodation in comfortable hotels in Kathmandu. Single rooms are available at a supplement
  • Full board tea house  or mountain lodge accommodation during trek
  • Experienced trekking leaders from Nepal
  • Group first aid kit with qualified first aiders
  • Trek Permits and National Park Fee
  • Porter assistance for the duration of the trek
  • All other in country ground transfers relevant to the course
Exclusions
  • International flights to/from Kathmandu
  • Lunch and evening meals whilst in the hotel
  • Beverages
  • Personal equipment
  • Excess baggage beyond 15kg including day pack
  • Visa fee
  • Vaccinations
  • Insurance (for cancellation, accident, health, emergency evacuation and loss, theft of or damage to baggage and personal effects), liability insurance. Insurance required to cover for altitudes up to 6000m and include emergency evacuation
  • Tips

Optional Extras

  • Single Room Supplement (when in hotel) £95 per person per night (subject to availability)
  • Solo traveller supplement £200
  • Extra night in Kathmandu prior to start (single room) £160 per person
  • Extra night in Kathmandu prior to start (twin room, needs 2 people) £80 person
  • Extra night in Kathmandu at the end of the event (single room) £160 per person
  • Extra night in Kathmandu at the end of the event (twin room, needs 2 people) £80 per person

Departures

We run the Everest Base Camp trek as an open or bespoke event over 15 days and 14 nights with 12 trekking days.

For example, if Friday is your arrival day, Saturday would be the first day of your trek, finishing on Thursday (two weeks later) and then the departure day would be the next day, on Friday.  Extra night accommodation can be selected as an optional extra at an additional supplement.

For best weather conditions we run this course anytime during April, May, October and November.  The listed dates are ‘in country’ service provision dates and do not include time required for travel to and from this event.  Please see our itinerary and factor in your travel time to/from Nepal when planning your trip.  We do recommend you give yourself a few days flexibility after you are due to return from Lukla to Kathmandu before returning home.

The best time to trek to Everest Base Camp is in the spring, April-May and autumn, October-November.

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Itinerary

  • Day 1 - Arrive at Kathmandu Airport

    Upon arrival at Tribhuwan International airport, you will be transferred to your first night’s accommodation where we will go through the planned route and carry out an equipment check to ensure you have everything you need to enable you to enjoy the trip.

    Driving Time: 20-30 minutes depends on traffic.  Altitude above sea level: 1,302m/4,270ft

  • Day 2 - Flight to Lukla, trek to Phakding

    Early morning you will fly to the mountain airstrip at Lukla, Nepal’s busiest domestic airport.  This will be your first opportunity to see some of the giants of the Himalayas.

    Upon landing at Lukla, you will meet your trekking crew and set off to Phakding on the first hike of your adventure to Everest Base Camp.  The village of Phakding is located on the banks of the Dudh Koshi River which originates from the southern slopes of Mount Everest.  Before arriving at Phakding you will pass through picturesque villages and hamlets filled with teahouses, see prayer wheels, pack animals and traverse swing bridges.

     Flight time: 35 minutes approx.  Walking time: 4-5 hours.  Altitude above sea level: 2,610m/8,562ft

  • Day 3 - Phakding – Namche Bazaar

    After breakfast you will leave Phakding and head up to the traditional Sherpa town of Namche Bazaar.

    Leaving Phakding you will follow the trail north to the glacial waters of the Dudh Koshi River and officially enter the Sagamartha National Park.  Zig zagging your way through pine trees, you will pass villages with traditional houses, cultivated fields and cross suspension bridges offering views of the crystal blue river below, one such bridge is the long Edmund Hillary double suspension bridge.  Continuing along the trail you will come to a viewing platform and your first opportunity to glimpse Everest.  Carrying on along the trial you will reach Namche Bazaar and your accommodation for the next two nights.

    Nestled in the Himalayas, Namche is considered as a centuries old trading centre between Nepal and Tibet and is the largest town in the Khumbu region, surrounded on three sides by mountain ranges.  Namche Bazaar is full of teahouses, restaurants, cafés, pub and shops, and there is even the chance to purchase trekking equipment.

    Walking time: 6-7 hrs.  Altitude above sea level: 3,445m/11,302ft

  • Day 4 - Acclimatisation Day; hike to Thame

    Namche is an ideal place for acclimatising and the places of interest around Namche are remarkable and beautiful too.  After breakfast, you set off on a hike to the village of Thame, passing Namche’s Gompa, a Tibetan monastery, to join a high alpine trail through a pine forest.  You can expect to see Mani walls, yaks, mountain goats, sheep and maybe even a Griffin vulture.

    The village of Thame is home to numerous famous Sherpa mountaineers including Apa Sherpa, who holds the world record for summiting Everest 21 times!  It was also a childhood home of Tenzing Norgay, who, along with Sir Edmund Hillary, reached the summit of Everest in 1953.

    Leaving Thame, you will then retrace your steps back to Namche.

    Walking time: 7-8 hrs.  Altitude above sea level: (3,750m/12,300 ft.); Thame

  • Day 5 - Namche to Khumjung

    Today will be a short hike to the village of Khumjung, located at the foot of Khumbila, a sacred mountain.

    Before arriving at Khumjung, you will leave Namche following the trail on the steep ascent heading to the Syangboche airstrip, a rarely used airport sitting at an elevation of 3,780m/12,402ft.  Continuing along the trail to the Hotel Everest View for lunch.  The hotel offers a fantastic vista of the Himalayas with views of Everest, Lhotse (the world’s 4th highest mountain), Ama Dablam and Thamserku.   After lunch, you have the chance to visit Khumjung Monastery, explore the school Sir Edmund Hillary established in Khumjung, see Kunde Hospital and Monastery before heading to your overnight accommodation in Khumjung.

    Walking time: 4 hrs.  Altitude above sea level: 3,790m/12,430ft

  • Day 6 - Khumjung – Phortse Village

    Leaving Khumjung after breakfast, the trail continues with a few downs and steep ups to the Mong La pass at 3,975m/13,041ft where you will stop for lunch and enjoy the spectacular panoramic views of Ama Dablam, Thamserku, Khang Theka and Tawoche mountains.  After lunch you will descend to Phortse Tenga, cross the small bridge over the Dudh Koshi River, continue through the rhododendron forest, arriving at the very traditional Sherpa village of Phortse and your overnight accommodation.  Along the trail, keep a look out for yaks, goats, musk deer, Himalayan tahr and Himalayan monal, the national bird of Nepal.

    Walking time: 5 hrs.  Altitude above sea level: 3,810m/12,500ft

  • Day 7 - Phortse Village to Dingboche

    After breakfast, you will leave Phortse village, today, you will head upwards contouring narrow mountain paths, descend the valley to traverse small bridges over rivers and see the spectacular skyline of snowcapped mountains.  The trail will take you to Pangboche and its ancient gompa, thought to be one of the oldest in the Khumba region.  From here you will carry on to Somare, at 4,120m/13,517ft, for lunch.  Leaving Somare, you will continue along the trail for around 3 hours and arrive at Dingboche, nestled at the foot of Ama Dablam, and your accommodation for the next two nights.

    Walking time: 5-6 hrs.  Altitude above sea level: 4,350m/14,304ft

  • Day 8 - Acclimatisation Day; Day hike

    Gradually hiking to higher levels each day, you are now above 4,000m/13,123ft.  Today is an acclimatising day.  You will have the chance after breakfast to hike to the summit of Nagerjun Hill (5,050m/16,568ft) on the edge of Chukkung valley, see Ama Dablam up close and a panoramic view of Lobuche East (6,119m/20,275ft), Lobuche West (6,145m/20,160ft), Kangtega (6,685m/21,932ft), Taboche Peak (6,367m/20,889ft), Thamserku (6,608m/21,679ft) and on a clear day you will be able to see Makalu, the world’s 5th highest mountain.

    Or, you can hike towards the village of Chukkung and see Island Peak, known locally as Imja Tsa.  Surrounded by Lhotse, Nuptse and Baruntse, the peak is popular for climbers preparing to attempt to summit Mount Everest – Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzig Norgay used this peak for their training.

    Walking time: 5-6 hrs.  Altitude above sea level: 4,350m/14,304ft

  • Day 9 - Dingboche to Lobuche

    Leaving Dingboche early after breakfast, today will be your first chance to see the Khumbu Glacier, it is over 10 miles (17kms) long and the highest glacier in the world.  You will start off following the trail, slowly, along a slight incline heading into the valley to the small village of Thukla, situated below the terminal moraine of the Khumbu Glacier.  After stopping for lunch in Thukla, you will continue along a zig zag path up to the Thukla Pass and see the memorials for all the people who have lost their lives climbing Everest.  Carrying on along the path you will reach Lobuche and your overnight accommodation.

    Walking time: 5-6 hrs.  Altitude above sea level: 4,910m/16,105ft

  • Day 10 - Lobuche to Gorak Shep and hike to Everest Base Camp

    Today is the day you will reach Everest Base Camp!  Leaving your accommodation, you will walk alongside the Khumbu Glacier on a gentle incline over rocky terrain, crossing over the rocky moraine of the Changri Nup Glacier, for approximately 2½ miles (4½ km) and arrive at the village of Gorak Shep, (5,288m/17,349ft) on a dried lake bed and the original location of the Base Camp, where you will stop for lunch.  After lunch, you will head out for the final leg to Everest Base Camp.  Following the trail over rocks, sand and icy terrain and slight incline, you reach will reach Base Camp, colourful prayer flags mark the spot.  From here you will see the Khumbu Icefall and snow-capped views of Lingtren (6,749m/22,142ft) and Khumbutse (6,665m/21,867ft).  After soaking up the views and taking lots of photographs, you will head back down to Gorek Shep and your accommodation for the night.

    Walking time: 4-5 hrs.  Altitude above sea level: 5,360m/17,585ft at Everest Base Camp and 5,288m/17,349ft at Gorek Shep

  • Day 11 - Gorak Shep to Pheriche and hike to Kala Patthar

    Early morning, you will walk to Kala Patthar, which means black rock, although not a particularly scenic peak it is probably the most visited one in the Himalayas and offers the best view of Everest and surrounding mountains.  The trail is steep, so a slow, steady pace is required.  At the summit you will be a the highest part of the trek, at 5,545m/18,192ft and the views will not disappoint.  You will have spectacular views of Nuptse, Pumori, Lhotse, Changtse, the entire Khumbu Glacier, and, of course, Mount Everest, and about 200m/656ft below is the Base Camp at the bottom of the Khumbu Icefall.  From the summit of Kala Patthar, you will head downhill to Gorek Shep for breakfast.  Leaving Gorek Shep behind, you will retrace your steps to Lobuche alongside the Khumbu Glacier and continue along the trail to Pheriche where you will spend the night.

    Walking time: 5 hrs.  Altitude above sea level: 5,545m/18,192ft at Kala Patthar and 4,240m/13,901ft at Pheriche

  • Day 12 - Pheriche to Namche

    Today is a long trekking day, with a few ups and downs heading back to the tree line and rhododendron forests.  The first part is mostly downhill back to Pangboche.  From here the trail ascends to the village of Tengboche where you can visit the Tengboche monastery, standing on a hill at the confluence of the Dudh Koshi and Imja Khola rivers.  On today’s trail, look out for giant vultures, black ravens and yellow billed choughs flying above, and tahr, goral and musk deer.  The trek continues to downwards all the way to Namche and your overnight accommodation.

    Walking time: 8 hrs.  Altitude above sea level: 3,445m/11,300ft

  • Day 13 - Namche to Lukla

    The last day of your trek.  After breakfast you will descend to the village of  Monjo, and continue to the Dudh Khosi Valley through the villages of Phakding, Ghat and Cheplung, passing many small hamlets, chortens, prayer flags, mani-stone walls and small Gompas along the route.  Upon reaching the village of Chaurikharka you will ascend the final hill of the trek back to Lukla.

    Walking time: 7 hrs.  Altitude above sea level: 2,840m/9,315ft

  • Day 14 - Fly Lukla to Kathmandu

    After an early breakfast you will walk to Lukla airport and take flight, approximately 25 minutes, back to Kathmandu and transferred to your hotel.  The afternoon is yours to do as you wish.

    Flight time: 25 minutes approx.  Altitude above sea level: 1,302m/4,270ft

  • Day 15 - Fly Back Home

    It is time to fly back to home.  After checking out of the hotel, you will be transferred to Tribhuwan International airport where you should check-in 3 hours prior your scheduled flight.

Disclaimer

Please note:  This itinerary is a guide only.  It can be subject to change dependent upon viability, course members’ fitness and weather conditions or for any other reason the guide may deem necessary.  This trip involves travel to high altitudes and to areas where short notice of a change of itinerary may be necessary.  In particular the flight from Kathmandu to Lukla and return can suffer from weather related delays.  With this in mind, it is a good idea to give yourself a few days flexibility after you are due to return from Lukla to Kathmandu and back home.

Charity Information

How to take part for Charity
To do this challenge for a charity there is a non-refundable registration fee, payable to Maximum Adventure at the time of booking.  You can then choose between the two different options below.

Self-Funding
Pay a registration fee at the time of booking then the balance due 10 weeks before departure.  With the self-funding option, you personally cover the full cost of the challenge.  This option means that there is no minimum sponsorship target due, but we encourage you to raise as much money as you can for the charity.

Minimum Sponsorship Pledge
Pay a registration fee at the time of booking and confirm with your charity their minimum fundraising requirements for the balance.  This will typically be double the cost of the adventure, less the registration fee.  With the minimum sponsorship pledge option, you must submit 80% of your fundraising target to the charity 10 weeks before the departure date.

For more details of how fundraising works please read our step by step guide here or contact us for help.

Maximum Adventure work with lots of charities to offer our events as fundraising opportunities.  You can find our Charity Events from the ‘Menu’ in the corner of your screen or from our homepage.  If your chosen charity is not listed, please contact us and we will be happy to approach them on your behalf.

Payment Terms

  • Deposit £499 - at point of booking

  • Balance due 10 weeks before departure

Why book with us

We know you have a choice of companies providing trips for your next adventures. Here are some of the reasons you should choose to travel with Maximum Adventure:

  • We are an established adventure travel business
  • We have been trading since 2002
  • We are financially protected in accordance with the 1992 travel regulation
  • Knowledgeable and available office staff
  • Qualified leaders and guides with ascents ranging from Ben Nevis to Mount Everest
  • All activities are risk assessed
  • We will provide you with the best service available
  • We are aware this is your holiday/your challenge and will do our best to make it an enjoyable and rewarding experience
  • We have many repeat clients stretching back over a number of years
20+ years adventure organisation experience
Full liability & financial protection
Leading provider of high quality adventure challenges
Great team of staff to support you