Everest Classic trek - Nepal
A spectacular extended trek that takes us from the foothills all the way up into the heart of the Himalaya at the foot of the highest mountains on earth. The time spent in the lower regions, below the main Everest base camp trail, provides a unique window into the culture and lives of the legendary Nepali and Sherpa people, who are inseperable from the great stories of the Himalaya. The rich landscapes here will also provide a stunning prequel and counterpoint to the desolation of the upper mountain valleys.
The 24 day trek involves an 18 day ascent of 3000 metres over 170 kilometres, from a starting altitude of 2370 metres. The trek begins in Jiri, climbing steeply through forests, deep gorges with bridges and many villages until reaching Lukla, where the gradient of the path becomes less steep, however, still with lots of ups and downs until reaching Namche Bazaar.
A rest day in Bupsa gives you the opportunity to see where Adventure Alternative Ltd hires most of its staff and how Moving Mountains carries out its work. You will stay in lodges or homes of the Sherpa people, who will be very happy to see you and show you their way of life.
On this trek it is generally hot during the day (up to 20ºC) and cool in the evening (average 5ºC) with little wind and occasional rain showers in the afternoon.
Above Namche Bazaar, capital town of the Khumbu, the path enters the high Himalayan valleys with large fast flowing rivers and surrounded by very high peaks. The gradient is consistent and gradual, villages further apart and it is colder and more exposed. The exposure to altitude makes the walking harder and the likelihood of altitude sickness higher, so it is necessary to allow rest days and walk very slowly.
Everest itself is at the head of the valley, a vast cul de sac with the Tibetan border on the other side of an impassable wall. The final days involve hiking along the edge of, and eventually on top of, the Khumbu Glacier, and it is noticeably colder at night. The terrain is never dangerous or precipitous, it is still just a walk, but requiring the usual care and caution. There is no climbing or special equipment required.
It is important to mention that occasionally flights out of Lukla are cancelled or delayed because of bad weather, so it is not a good idea to book an international flight on the same day as the internal flight.
Dates and Itinerary
The Jiri trek is a longer trek to base camp and enjoys more of the rural regions which are less westernised compared to the area above Lukla. The dates of the Jiri trek also link in with the shorter trek route which flies into Lukla so you will meet other Adventure Alternative trekkers along the trail.
|2nd April - 28th April|
|1st October - 27th October|
|1||Arrive Kathmandu , Transfer to Hotel or AA guest house.|
|2||Kathmandu city sightseeing plus trek briefing.|
|3||2370m||6hours||Kathmandu to Jiri. Leave Kathmandu early in the morning and drive for 6 hours to reach Jiri in the late afternoon. Spend the night in Jiri.|
|4||1750m||4 hours||Jiri – Shivalaya. Quite an easy day of walking. The trek starts with a climb to the ridge top at 2370m, then drops down to Shivalaya at 1750m, for an overnight stay.|
|5||1570m||6 – 7 hours||Shivalaya – Kenja. Today is quite a long day, beginning with a climb for around 2 ½ hours to Sangbadanda, on the Deorali Pass. From Deurali danda the trail descends to Bhandar, a small Sherpa village, where you will have lunch. From Bhandar, the trail continues to drop to the Linkhu Khola and crosses the river at 1490m, then follows alongside bringing you to Kenja, where you will stay overnight by the riverside.|
|6||3530m||6 hours||Kenja – Sete. Today, the trek gains almost 2000m to the highest point. It begins with a 3 hour long ascent to Lamjura Bhanjyang Pass, and then passes through rhododendron forest to Sete village (2575m).|
|7||2680m||2 - 3 hours||Sete – Junbesi. the trail passes up gradually for another 3 hours to Lamjura Pass, which is the highest point between Jiri and Namche Bazaar. The trail descends for 1 ½ hours through fir and rhododendron forest to Taktor, and then continues on the north side of the valley before dropping down to the village of Junbesi, for an overnight stay. We will reach Junbesi in time for lunch and afterwards you will have the choice to relax or take a short 2hour walk, north of Junbesi to a village called Phugmochhe (3100m), where there is a traditional Sherpa art centre. On route to Phugmochhe, you can also visit the huge Tibetan Buddhist monastery named Thubten Chhuling. It will only take around one hour to reach this monastery from Junbesi.|
|8||2330m||5 hours||Junbesi – Nunthala. The trail journeys below Junbesi to cross the Junbesi Khola on a wooden bridge, and then follows the route to Khumbu. Turning north, the trail descends through Salung to the Dudhkoshi River. We descend further through dense forests and few shepherds huts, before crossing several beautiful streams to reach Nunthala, for an overnight stay.|
|9||2300m||5 hours||Nunthala – Bupsa. From Nunthala the trail descends to the Dudhkoshi River at 1480m, and across the suspension bridge. The trail wanders through terraced fields and stone houses, and then descends steeply through forests overlooking the river. The trek follows alongside the river before climbing to the village of Khari Khola (2004m) and onwards up the steep hill to Bupsa.|
|10||Rest and acclimatization day in Bupsa, one of small villages where Adventure Alternative hires its staff, for a chance to see where and how Moving Mountains carries out it’s work. Here you will be greeted very happily by everyone, excited by visitors and keen to show you their homes. You will stay in lodges or homes, all very traditional and safe. Each home is a like a small farm, with their own cows and chickens, so you can experience the way that Sherpas and Rai people live. During your day here our staff will really show you how Moving Mountains has helped transform this region, along with the Village Committees we helped to set up. You can visit the monasteries to see our school for Buddhist monks and the hydro-electric project, the way they grow tea to sell in the markets to make money. The purpose of this day is to really understand the culture and spend time with the people. Your presence is bringing tourist income to the villages, and introducing interaction in an area which is well away from the normal tourist trails. It’s amazing to see how people farm and making a living, and how they build their homes in an environment which to us is so difficult. Dry stone walling is common here, for example, is a skill we have virtually lost.|
|11||2796m||4 hours||Bupsa – Puiyan. On leaving Bupsa the trail ascends to Bhumsing (2300m) and continues to climb through a valley filled with oak and rhododendron forest, where monkeys can occasionally be seen. The trail then ascends along the north side of the valley to reach Puiyan, for an overnight stay.|
|12||2866m||5 hours||Puiyan – Surkhe. For around one hour after Puiyan, the trail climbs to the ridge at 2800m then descends to Surkhe (2293m) situated by the Dudhkoshi river. The trail stays above, circling the village, until leaving the valley and heads directly upwards to Lukla.|
|13||2460m||2 hours||Surke – Phakding. From Surke, we have an enjoyable and relaxed walk to Phakding or Jorsale along the edge of the Dudh Kosi River. Easy, busy path, surrounded by forest. This is where we meet any other Adventure Alternative trekkers who are doing the shorter route and will have flown into Lukla.|
|14 & 15||3440m||6 hours||Phakding – Namche Bazaar. Uphill to Namche Bazaar which is the Sherpa ‘capital’ in the heart of the Khumbu region. Initially follow the valley to Monjo where you enter the National Park, then cross the river a few times and start a long unrelenting path uphill, with one spectacular bridge spanning a deep gorge. Leave the coniferous forest behind, and arrive at a huge natural amphitheatre with the houses spread around the sides. Namche is the major trading centre of the Khumbu, with Tibetans crossing the high Nangpa La Pass to reach the Saturday market. Nowadays there are also many equipment shops, internet, bank, post office, cafes, bars, lodges and hire shops. Rest here for a day and take the chance to visit the Everest Museum.|
|16||3850m||6hours||Namche Bazaar – Debouche. Walk to Deboche which is near the famous Thyangboche Monastery. The path out of Namche is initially steep and then opens out into a high valley, passing through villages like Pangboche before negotiating two steep hills. After this it is a short walk to the beautiful rhododendron glade where you will find the lodge.|
|17 & 18||4252m||5 hours||Debouche – Dingboche. A gradual gradient up to Dingboche for another rest day. The path skirts the side of the valley with the river far below on your right and passing beneath the spectacular Ama Dablam. The village sits on the confluence of two valleys and is good farming land. In the neighbouring village of Pheriche it is important to visit the Himalayan Rescue Association to listen to the daily lecture on high altitude health, and get a check from the medical staff.|
|19||4920m||5 hours||Dingboche – Lebuche. Trek up the high valley to Lobuche which is alongside the huge Khumbu Glacier. You can now easily feel the effects of the thin air as the hike takes us up to the Thukla Hills where there are many stupas erected in memory of Sherpas who have died on expeditions. Few plants live up here and it will be much colder in the evenings. It is important to walk slowly and listen to your body. Fatigue from lack of oxygen to your muscles is common, but some people may feel nauseous and suffer from headaches. Drink lots of liquid and keep warm, give your body maximum opportunity to recover.|
|20||5200m||4 hours||Lebuche – Gorak Shep. Hike on the glacial moraine to the final settlement of Gorak Shep. The views here are spectacular; Nuptse dominates the other side of the valley, behind which the black triangular peak of Everest is just visible. The giant wall of ice ahead is the border with Tibet. Gorak Shep is the last outpost, a small collection of huts just below a hill called Kala Patthar which is your final destination and traditionally the finest viewing point for Everest itself.|
|21||5360m||6 hours||Gorak Shep – Everest Base Camp. Trek to Everest Base Camp along the lateral moraine and finally on the glacier itself. Sometimes this route is impassable. Arriving at the small tented city where climbers congregate to climb the mountain is a surreal experience. There is a network of ‘roads’ between the camps, a bakery, and a chance to have a chat with people. Visit the Himalayan Rescue Association, which does an amazing job of looking after climbers.|
|22||5540m||5 hours||Early morning climb to the summit of Kala Patthar to see sun rise behind the peak of Everest. The climbing route through the Khumbu Icefall, into the Western Cwm and up the Lhotse Face to the South Col is clearly visible, with the SE ridge to the top on the right hand skyline side of the summit block. This is a tough walk in the cold and not to be underestimated. Take warm clothing. Back at the lodge for breakfast and a walk back to Lobuje and further if the team wishes.|
|23, 24 & 25||Descent to Lukla. Over three days a descent via Namche Bazaar all the way to Lukla with various options for accommodation. It is possible to stay in different villages, for example Pheriche, Khumjung, Monjo, but the route is the same as the way up.|
|26||Lukla flight to arrive in Kathmandu in the morning. Day rest and sightseeing.|
|27||Depart Kathmandu. If you leave in the morning it is possible to arrive in London the same day, or arrive home on day 27.|
Everest Classic trek cost: £1,495.00
- Airport transfers
- Internal flight from Lukla
- Accommodation in Kathmandu for 3 nights - twin/double rooms
- Accommodation in lodges/tea houses (twin rooms with beds and mattresses)
- Three meals per day during the trek, and hot drinks (e.g tea, coffee, juices)
- Sagamartha National Park Fees
- Sherpa guides (English speaking, trained in first aid)
- Porters (1 per member, carries about 15kgs)
- Staff food, insurance and equipment
- International flight to Kathmandu (~£600.00)
- Meals and drinks in Kathmandu (~£40)
- Personal costs like drinks, laundry, hot showers, bottled water (~£100)
- Trip Insurance
- Visa ($30 for two weeks)
- Airport departure tax for some tickets (£15 paid in Nepalese rupees)
- Tips (~£30)
- Sightseeing Tours
Cost of Add-Ons and Some Optional Extras
Island Peak: £450.00
Island Peak, 5 day climb: £450.00 (single person supplement £250)
Spa Hotel: £60.00
Located just outside of Kathmandu is the lovely Spa Resort, Park Village. We can arrange transfers and accommodation at the resort for you. People can then select and 'pay as you go' for the various pamperings and treatments. They also offer classes in yoga and have lovely trail walks in the surrounding hills. This option is all about rest, relaxation and rejuvenation.
Chitwan Jungle Adventure: £399.00
This is a trip for those who would like a bit more excitement rather than pampering. We depart Kathmandu by coach and after a couple of hours driving we meet up with your white water rafting crew who will take you on an adventurous trip down river for many miles until you reach the Chitwan Jungle. We then spend the next four days based in a lovely jungle resort. This quaint home from home is our base for river trips in traditional dug out canoes, jungle walks and the highlight; an elephant back safari, which at the end involves jumping in the river with your elephant to give him or her a wash! After all of the jungle fun and activities we then return to Kathmandu by a short flight.
Everest Flight!: £160.00
This is a flight around Mt Everest offering spectacular views of the mountain. This flight leaves daily in the morning and can be undertaken by those who plan to depart Kathmandu for home, on an evening flight following the trek or as an addition to the next two options. The one hour flight takes off from Kathmandu Airport and flies east in a fully pressurised aircraft, where one can see magnificent mountains from a height of around 25,000 feet. A must take tour of the majestic Himalayas. It’s an hour of breathtaking scenic beauty of the Mighty Mountains. It is a sparkling clear journey across the world’s highest peaks, Mt. Everest, Kanchenjunga – 3rd highest, Lhoste, Makalu, Cho Oyu, to name just a few including the Tibetan plateau. You enjoy a seemingly endless chain of snow capped peaks as you fly above the clouds, over glaciers and lakes, rivers and gorges from your private individual window. The clear, non tinted windows offer a great opportunity to experience and photograph the aerial views of the Kathmandu valley, the high peaks and the landscapes of Nepal.
Moving Mountains Village Trek: £350.00
This is a wonderful 7 days trek extension which starts when you approach Lukla on the way back from Everest. Two days further and off the beaten trail is two villages which our charity had been developing over the last decade. You are welcome to come and see what we've been doing and get involved. This is beautiful trip, like stepping back in time and will introduce to the traditional ways and cultures of the local people.
Not all about money
Our prices are competitive and good value, and we offer quality, service, security and an ethical stance on tourism in a developing country. We don’t want to be so expensive to run fewer trips and have our staff idle, but on the other hand we believe that running cheap trips that promote the practise of skimming budgets would result in the porters getting next to nothing, which is something we cannot consider.
Additionally we plan treks with sufficient rest days and with achievable daily altitude increases which gives good time to acclimatise. Reducing the number of days may make the price cheaper but the chances of successfully completing the trek also greatly reduce.
We include professional staff and a porter for each member. We do not operate kitties and we use an excellent hotel in Kathmandu with which we have built up a strong relationship over the years.
We have our own licensed company in Kathmandu, Adventure Alternative Nepal and full time staff to operate all our treks, climbs and tours in Nepal.
You must have an insurance policy which covers trekking at high altitude and helicopter rescue in the event of an evacuation.
Type of Terrain
From Jiri the trail winds through established forest on well established paths. These paths are the main highways for the area and you will see all sorts of things being carried along it both by people and by mules. As such the trail can become a bit muddy after the effects of rain and a few teams of animals. The trail makes some steep ascents and descents as it skirts in and out, up and down along the edge of the main valley. Most of these ascents have rough steps constructed by workers arranging the native rocks to minimise erosion and exertion on the part of the porters and animals.
Above Lukla the route joins the main Everest Base Camp trek route. It is on a well trodden path all the way though this can be rocky and uneven in parts. It is not precipitous and there is no rock climbing or ‘mountaineering’ which requires equipment. It is a walk all the way to Everest, although some of the hills can be steep and never-ending!
You will meet many people along the way, and also yaks. There is only one rule of the road when meeting an oncoming yak, and that is to always ensure you step to one side, towards the inside of the trail.
Poles are useful but not necessary, depending on whether you have problems with knees and if you have a personal preference for using them. Higher up, the open slopes and moraine may give you added reassurance with a pole, but again the path is quite easy to follow.
The final section to Everest Base Camp, on the Khumbu glacier itself, is not difficult but occasionally slippery underfoot. The ice is covered in dirt and stones, so it is not like being on a skating rink.
Lightweight hiking boots with a high ankle are recommended for the base camp trek, to protect you against possibly going over on an ankle, but heavy boots will be hot and heavy and cumbersome. Cross trainers are popular, but cold in the morning up high.
The total distance covered throughout the trek is approximately XXkm. Every day the trek starts after breakfast at about 8.30am and there are many opportunities to stop and take photos, or have a cup of tea. The pace is slow and the itinerary allows for acclimatisation and also rest days. At the start of the trek the distances are short but there are hills aplenty, and higher the distances increase but the gradient is more consistent and even.
Kathmandu is at an approximate altitude of 1400m and the journey to Jiri will take you up to a height of 1900m. With Everest Base Camp standing at 5360m and Kala Patthar at 5545m, the whole trek gains a total of 3645 metres on foot from Jiri and 4145 metres in total from Kathmandu.
Accommodation will be in comfortable lodges and tea houses run by Sherpa families, unless people specify a preference for tents. Each lodge has a central communal area with stove, while the bedrooms are unheated with two beds and mattresses and pillows. You will need to bring a sleeping bag (3 season is normally enough), and the lodge will lend you a blanket if you ask.
The lodges generally have showers which are powered by gas and they use ‘drop’ toilets (in Namche Bazaar they are generally flush systems now).
Sometimes we use tents which are two person mountain tents, and we will provide foam mattresses. The tents are pitched close by the lodge and eating is done indoors.
The Everest trek is not a forced march and the pace is always slow, the days generally being shorter than a day hike at home.
We do recommend that you embark on a good fitness programme at least 6 weeks prior to your trip though, and one that builds up general stamina and specific leg muscle groups. There is nothing like hiking with a rucksack to train for Everest Base Camp, so the best advice is to get out into the hills as often as you can. You are likely to carry about 5 kilos in your day sack so this is a good weight to work with.
If you are going to be using the gym then concentrate on step machines which work on the thigh and calf muscles, and try to build your heart rate up to 50% above resting rate. Any cardiovascular activity is good, but remember that swimming will not train the correct muscle groups so it must be added to other exercises to be effective. Exercise groups like bodypump, Pilates and aerobic are all excellent preparation for a trek like this, especially those which work on core strength, balance and stability.
Adventure Alternative Support
The porters will carry your main bag up to a maximum weight of 15 kgs and cater for all the group needs, including assisting you if you need to go back down the valley. Unless specifically tenting, all accommodation is in lodges or teahouses which are very well equipped, warm and sociable.
Pasang Tendi Sherpa is our operations manager in Kathmandu and Director of Adventure Alternative Nepal. He organises all the staff, equipment, permits and hotel arrangements. You will have his telephone number, or the staff at the hotel desk can call him for you. He is the organiser, translator, problem solver, advisor and the main link between you and the UK office. He will talk to the Sherpa guides regularly on the mountain and can make arrangements while you are on trek.
You also have continued support from the main office in Northern Ireland. Should a problem arise of significant proportion then you only need to call us. In the Khumbu region there is still an opportunity to communicate since most lodges now have satellite phones.
- 80-100 Litre Duffle or Rucksack
- 35Ltr Day Pack
- Stuff sacks, waterproof, various sizes
- Warm Jacket Synthetic or Down insulated
- Waterproof jacket
- Waterproof trousers
- Trekking trousers x2 (zip off legs)
- Long sleeved trekking shirt x1
- Long sleeved base layer top x2
- Thermal Base Layer Legginngs x1
- Thin liner socks x2 (optional)
- Thick trekking socks x2
- Underwear x4
- General socks x3
- Warm Hat
- Warm gloves or mitts
- Wide brimmed Sun Hat
- Trekking boots
- Crocs/Sandals/Flip flops
- 4 season sleeping bag (comfort temperature -20C)
- Compression sack for sleeping bag
- Thermarest or thick foam sleeping mat
- Thermarest repair kit
- Walking Poles (optional)
- Head torch & spare batteries
- Watch with alarm
- 2x 1 litre drinks bottles
- 1 litre bottle to urinate in (optional)
- Toilet roll
- Ear plugs (wax)
- Passport & copies, visa, insurance details, money, credit cards, plane tickets
- Diary & Pencil
- Personal Wash Kit
- Antibacterial hand gel
- Wet wipes (optional)
- Toothbrush with cover
- Roll on deodorant
- Shaving gear & small mirror
- Showergel/shampoo (<100ml for before/after climb)
- Microfibre trekking towel
- Personal Medical Kit (see below)
Additional Kit Info
Personal Medical Kit
Water Purification Tablets
Personal Medication as required:
eg. Anti-Malarials, Asthma Inhalers, Insulin, Epi-Pen etc
Possible Additional Personal First Aid Items
Prochlorperazine tablets (for sickness/nausea)
Ciprofloxacin tablets (general antibiotic; prescription required)
Acetazolamide tablets (altitude prophylactic; prescription required)
Note: you must check with your GP for your personal suitability to all medicines and their possible side effects and interactions. Please inform us of the details of all regular medication that you intend to use though the course of your trip and any relevant allergies and medical history related to them. You also need to check the requirements and regulations of the airline and all countries visited in relation to medications. For example; laws governing transport of some pain control medication and the need keep insulin at a suitable temperature, ie not in the cargo hold.
If you have any questions about kit do give us a call. Kathmandu is a treasure trove of gear shops! If you need to buy, rent or forget to bring some kit then it's easily and cheaply replaced in one of hundreds of equipment shops. Many sell second hand expedition equipment / clothing and fake locally branded gear but the materials and quality tend to be very good. You may not rely upon the fake gear / kit on a serious and remote expedition but it will be fine for trekking.
All equipment both real and fake can be hired in Kathmandu and also higher in the mountains in Namche, though Kathmandu tends to be cheaper.
- All our guides are personally trained by Gavin Bate, Company Director and high altitude climber who has made six expeditions to Mount Everest
- We offer small scale, authentic adventures, which support the local economy.
- We do not contract out our trips, we employ full time staff, offering job security and good benefits, and we are continually improving our quality service year on year.
- All the staff in our UK office have been to Nepal so you can chat to people who understand what it’s like to go up for the first time, before you go.
- We are members on Interhealth which gives you access to pre-trip health information and on-site assistance by phone in the event of an emergency.
- We are passionate about responsible tourism and our company supports sustainable development in Nepal in a real way.
- Adventure Alternative underwrites the charity Moving Mountains.
- Financial security guaranteed as we are AITO bonded.