Day 1 : Meet at the group hotel in Kathmandu. Transfers from Kathmandu Airport are provided.
Welcome to Nepal! On arrival in Kathmandu, you will be met at the airport by your representative. They will have YMH signboard if you have booked directly or the logo of travel agent if you are through your agent.
There is a short drive to your hotel. You’ll be served with welcome drink and given keys to your rooms. Rest of the day is for you to prepare for the trek. We have group welcome dinner where you will be introduced to your other members joining the adventure with you. Your leader will brief you on the program. If you have any questions on the trip, it is the right time to ask.
Day 2 : 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 45 minute flight to Lukla. Landing on the narrow, sloping runway high above the Dudh Koshi River 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. After meeting our porters we will take lunch in the Yeti Mountain Home lodge and then start our trek with an easy, mostly downhill leg, from Lukla to Phakding. This trek takes us through pastoral lands of the Sherpas and we pass several small villages and individual farms. Many Sherpas now make their living exclusively from trekking and there are also many tea houses and basic lodges where its possible to stop for a drink or a chat. We will also pass by many stones intricately carved with prayers in the evocative Tibetan script, and prayer wheels of all sizes. Everywhere in the valley colorful strings of prayer flags flutter from high points and bridges. After 2-3 hours of trekking we finally meet the river and reach our first lodge at Phakding located beside the tumbling Dudh Koshi. The altitude at this first stop is actually lower than Lukla at 2610 metres.
Day 3 : 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 main Khumbu Valley. We make a final crossing here on a spectacular high suspension bridge and then begin an hour and half long ascent to Namche on a wide switch back trail. About an hour below Namche, we gain our first views of Everest. On arrival in Namche, we check into our Yeti Mountain Lodge. Altitude at our overnight accommodation is 3400 metres.
Day 4 : 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 were and still are traded, Namche today boasts an abundance of lodges, cafes, bars and souvenir shops. Close to our lodge is the internationally known Museum of Sherpa Culture and the traditional villages of Kunde and Kumjung are a highly recommended half-day excursion. The location of our lodge is superb giving us a birds eye view over Namche and across the Valley to the serrated ridges of the Kongde range, while the magnificent peak of Thamserku (6623m) rises as a backdrop. Just a short walk away is a classic view of Ama Dablam, one of the most beautiful mountains in all Nepal and of Lhotse and Everest. This is an ideal place to spend the day, acclimatising to the new altitude before heading further up-valley to Thame.
Day 5 : Trek above the Bhote Khosi River via Phurte and Thamo to the Sherpa settlement of Thame (3820m).
After breakfast at our lodge we start the day with a 2 to 3-hour walk through forest of spruce, juniper and pine to the village of Thamo. This trail is much less used by trekkers and we will immediately notice the difference. It is, however, a important trail which leads all the way to Tibet via the Nangpa La on the shoulder of Cho Oyu (8012m). On today’s trek we are likely to see few other trekkers. We stop for our lunch in Thamo which is the home village of the Ang Rita Sherpa, who has summitted Everest 10 times without oxygen. After lunch, we continue walking for another 2 hours to arrive at a deep gorge where the Bhote Koshi River thunders through the narrow defile. We cross a sturdy bridge spanning the gorge to reach Thame (3800m). This important village is the home of many famous mountaineers including Tensing Norgay the first man to reach the summit of Everest along with Sir Edmund Hillary. Apa Sherpa who has reached the summit at least 18 times lives here now. The village is very picturesque and also has a magnificent 16th century Nyingmapa gompa (monastery) built by Lama Rolwa Dorje. We check into our deluxe rooms with breathtaking views of Thamserku and Kusum Kanguru.
Day 6 : Thame Monastery visit and optional trek to Sumdur Ridge (4830m). We spend a second night in Thame.
A steady pace is required for the steep trail up to Thame Monastery. Most people agree that viewing the interior of the traditionally decorated gompa is well worth the effort of the climb. After spending some time here, there is the option to extend our acclimatisation walk up to a shoulder of Sumdur Peak where we have magnificent views of Teng Kangpoche, Kongde and Everest. We return to spend a second night at our cosy lodge at Thame.
Day 7 : Trek on an ancient and recently renovated trail to Kongde (4250m) with its amazing Everest views.
Now fit and well acclimatised, we have 2 tougher trekking days which bring great rewards in terms of the outstanding Himalayan panoramas which they allow us. We start out today with a descent of around 30 minutes and then follow a trail on the south side of the Bhote Kosi River, through the tiny village of Pare. We then climb gradually through beautiful rhododendron, pine and bamboo forest to arrive at the glacier of Kongde Peak where we have stunning views of Everest, Lhotse and Ama Dablam. This is a very new trail, built specifically for the Yeti Mountain Home lodge and we are unlikely to see many other trekkers at all on this section. Although the trail is well built it does cross some very steep ground and there is one short section where cables are used as hand rails to safeguard progress. We check into our lodge for the next two nights in Kongde. This lodge situated at 4250 metres and has the most spectacular view, looking right across the valley to Namche and beyond to Thyangboche, with the backdrop of Everest, Lhotse, Thamserku and Ama Dablam. The restaurant and bar serve fine wines and delicious cuisine which we can enjoy while watching the sunset on the world's highest peak out of the window. It just doesn't get better than this!
Day 8 : Trek to the viewpoint of Farak Ri (5000m) or relax at the lodge. We spend a second night in Kongde.
For those who wish to make the excursion to Farak Ri (5000m) we have an early start to catch the best views. It will
take us 2 to 3 hours to reach the top of this viewpoint peak. From the summit, we are treated to a panoramic view of the
entire Khumbu Valley, including four of the six highest peaks in the world, namely Everest, Lhotse, Makalu, and Cho
Oyu. Returning to Kongde we take lunch on the terrace with our birds-eye view over Namche and Khumjung village, and the rest of the day is free for relaxing or further walks in the area.
Day 9 : Today involves a long trek down to reach the Everest Trail and the small Sherpa village of Phakding (2610m).
From our high perch above the Dudh Kosi river the trail to Phakding descends quite steeply and trekking poles are highly recommended. There is no hurry and along the way we have the chance to spend time in a number of small Sherpa settlements, situated off the main trail and unused to seeing trekkers. Finally, we reach the Everest Trail and continue our trek to Phakding.
Day 10 : Trek back to Lukla, with the afternoon free to explore this thriving airstrip settlement.
We enjoy a leisurely start to the day before completing our trek with the final short stage to Lukla. Remembering that our first day's walk from Lukla was downhill and what comes down must go up, prepare for the sting in the tail as we climb steeply for the final 40 minutes to crest the ridge on which Lukla Airstrip was built. Here we check in at the Yeti Mountain Home for our last night in the Khumbu.
Day 11 : Fly to Kathmandu. The rest of the day is free for sightseeing or relaxing.
Saying goodbye to our Sherpa crew, we take the 45 minute flight back to Kathmandu. Arriving in the bustling city after trek is always a bit of a shock but we are soon in the tranquillity of our hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to relax and do independent sightseeing. If you need guided sightseeing, you can let your representative know in advance.
Day 12 : Freeday 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. The afternoon is free for independent sightseeing or shopping in the colorful bazaars. This evening we will have a celebratory meal and reflect on our Everest adventure.
Day 13 : Departure day
Transfers to Kathmandu Airport are provided.