Everest Luxury Trek
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Until recently, if you wanted to get close to the highest mountains of the world then you either had to trek in with a full Sherpa crew, sleeping in tents, or trek up to base camp area using normal lodges. A few years ago Ker & Downey, more famous for their lodges in Africa, built three extremely comfortable ‘luxury’ lodges in the Annapurna foothills. It did not go unnoticed that these were very popular and successful, and as a result, more enterprising Sherpa businessmen and particularly by a Bhutanese family who, with the help of their Sherpa friends, built five super lodges in the Khumbu region. We designed a trek which takes you up to into the Everest region and which utilises these comfortable luxury lodges.
There are good views of Everest, the world highest, Lhotse, the fourth highest, Nuptse and the most prominent peak Ama Dablam and many other famous Himalayan giants as you walk up the Everest trail to the famous Tibetan Buddhist monastery of Tengboche. The trek has three main areas of focus. Firstly, Namche Bazaar, the colourful and vibrant heart of Sherpa country, secondly, the Everest trail and the monastery and thirdly, part of the trail that leads ultimately over the old trade route to Tibet, the track that leads to the Nangpa La. The whole trek has magnificent mountain views throughout.
You will be met at the airport and transferred to shangrila Hotel, a luxurious 4 star hotel with a cool elegant garden where it it is pleasure to relax. The hotel has a superb restaurant, where you can eat and drink, as well as a swimming pool, an excellent place to relax after the long flight from your home. Overnight – Hotel Shangrila
In the morning you will explore Kathmandu on an organised sightseeing tour. You visit Boudhnath Stupa, one of the biggest Buddhist shrines in the world, where you can observe Buddhist monks in prayer in the monasteries surrounding the Stupa. In addition you visit Pashupatinath, the most famous Hindu Temple in the country, located on the banks of the holy Bagmati River. Here you will see Hindu holymen (or Sadhus), pilgrims bathing and occasionally funeral pyers burning on the ghats. The afternoon is free to relax in the spacious hotel garden or you may wish to visit Thamel, for any last-minute shopping or some further exploring. Meals included : B. Overnight: Hotel Shangril
The flight from Kathmandu to Lukla and the landing at the small mountain airstrip is something you will be talking about for many years to come. The flight itself is awe-inspiring as we fly parallel to the Himalayan giants bordering Nepal and Tibetan China. After landing on the resurfaced airstrip, you will probably have a cup of tea in one of the lodges in Lukla before starting the trek. It is about 3 hours to Phakding (2652 m) where you will probably stop for lunch. First the path drops down a steep, stony path to meet the trail coming up through Chaurikharka. You will encounter porters, sherpas, trekkers and the common beast of burden, the Dzopkyo, then the path contours the mountainside, past lodges and the small hamlets of Ghat and Chuthrawa. The trail takes you past large stones carved and painted with prayers, a couple of large new suspension bridges. From Phakding it is another 2 and half to 3 hours to Monjo (2835 m), which lies just past Chumoa. Before you get to Monjo, have tea at Benkar at a lovely lodge in a wild spot. Meals included : B, L, D. Overnight: Monjo Lodge
Monjo is a picturesque small village comprising about 25 houses and located at a small, narrow valley at the base of the Peak Thamserku and Kaysaro. It is also at the confluence between the Thamserku Khola and Dudh Kosi River and just on the edge of the Sagarmatha National Park. Today, to help you acclimatize, your guide will take you on a day walk to Thakchok Hill, which lies a little above 3000 m. From this vantage point the views of the Kongde Ri, Thamserku and the Numbur mountains are quite spectacular. The total excursion should take about 4 hours. Meals included : B, L, D. Overnight: Monjo Lodge
This will be one of the harder days physically on your trek so take it slowly. The path itself is full of interesting sights. Not least of these will be your first view of Everest as you get higher up the trail. Having completed paperwork at National Park Head Office, you leave Monjo and again cross the Dudh Kosi river, to the western bank at Jorsale (2805 m). Continuing upstream to the confluence of the Bhote Kosi and Dudh Kosi, it is here you start steep ascent to Namche Bazar after crossing the Hillary Bridge, named after Sir Edmund of Everest fame. This is a tremendously impressive suspension bridge, spanning a deep chasm. The path then zig-zags up through the forest where trees pack themselves in between giant boulders and cliffs. If you are ludky, you may will see small herds of Himalayan Thar, a small deer like animal. Eventually you pull into Namche Bazar, its Sherpa houses built one above the other on the steep sedes of a sloping mountain bowl. The narrow streets at its centre are a mixture of cyber cafes, souvenir shops and places where you can rent/buy any piece of equipment under the sun. Meals included: B, L, D
Namche is a bustling place and the hub of everything that goes on in the Everest region. All expeditions pass through here on their way to the peaks, and there is a huge cross section of nationalities staying in lodges or camping. From here, you climb out of the village bowl and follow a small trail high above the Dudh Kosi River. The views are incredible : behind to the west, the ridge of Nupla and Kwongde Himal (6194 m); across the valley to the east, the towering ice-fluted walls of Thamserku (6623 m) and Mount Ama Dablam (6848 m); to the north-east at the head of the valley the Lhotse and Nuptse wall. Everest looms above the ridge, a black, triangular rock; Sagarmatha (Goddess Mother of Earth), is a truly magnificent sight. On a small ridge across the valley, the monastery of Tengboche can be seen, a small speck against the gigantic mountain background. It is only a short trek to Trashinga, about 2 hours, on the classic route towards Everest. The path is more or less level as it winds its way around the mountainsides. Before it drops down the hill to the Dudh Kosi River before Tengboche, and after a couple of lodges, the path breaks of to the small hamlet of Trashinga. Meals included: B, L, D. Overnight: Trashinga Lodge
This morning, looking across the valley, you will be able to see the path slopping diagonally up towards the famous monastery of Tengboche, but first you have to descend to the Dudh Kosi. Here you cross a suspension bridge in the lee of a gigantic overhanging cliff at 3250 m. A little way further on is a small hamlet, Phungi Thenga, where you could stop for a cup of tea. It is 2 to 3 hours from the bridge to reach the monastery at a slow, even pace. At first you climb steeply up through a pine forest and then emerge to walk up long gentle straight path that rises like a ramp to the monastery. Emerging at the top, there is a mandala gateway and a huge chorten which are passed before your first sight of the gompa. The setting is nothing sort of magic and it is incredible to think that the temple was burnt down only a few years ago and was re-built largely through the efforts of the Sir Edmund Hillary Trust. There is a very good visitor’s centre and in the afternoon it is possible to sit down inside the temple for afternoon prayers. A small donation is appreciated. Then sadly it is time to leave and return down the trail and back up through the forest to Trashinga. Meals included: B, L, D. Overnight: Trashinga Lodge
Today you will trek by the villages of Khumjung and Khunde, across the top of Namche Bazar and then up the Nangpo Dzangpo valley to the lodge at Mende. Leaving Trashinga Lodge you contour on a small path to reach the main trail leading to Khumjung, approximately one hour. The path leads gentlhy up the shallow valley and Khumjung itself is another village built into a mountain bowl. The villages are surrounded by mountains and regular patterned terraced fields. The village of Khunde is a short walk further on and contains the famous medical centre instigated by the Sir Edmund Hillary trust. Before you also visit the Edmund Hillary School. Leaving Khumjung befind there is a short climb out of the valley and the path then descends towards Namche. You in fact take the high trail across the top of the township, turning the corner to head north again. The valley ahead is extremely beautiful and you just wander along a dappled forest track or in the open with wonderful views. Again you may see Danphe Pheasants, Blood Pheasants or small herds of Himalayan Thar. Having turned the corner above namche, after an hour you come to the small village of Phurte where there is a Sir Edmund Hillary forestry project, a large chorten and some very attractive mani walls (prayer walls). The path continues quite easily and runding a corner you look down at the small hamlet of Tshro and then turn off the main trail and make your way slowly up a closed valley. This valley is closed off by the holy peak of Khumbul Yui Lha (5761 m). As you move up to the head of the valley you come to one or two lone houses and small fields and then you will cross the river and climb steeply up the hillside to the hamlet at Mende. This is the sting in the tail at the end of the day! The lodge has a commanding position and very fine views and once reached you will feel the effort has been worth it. Meals Included : B, L, D. Overnight: Mende Lodge
A small path contours off, passing above the much larger villages of Dramo and Thomde. After 1 and half hour, you connect with the old Tibetan trade route when Tibetan traders who used to come over the Nangpa La (5716 m) to trade in Namche Bazar. The path then becomes an airy traverse, with big dark cliffs above and large drops to the river below. The path, however, is well formed and wide but do stand on the uphill side if there are trains of yaks passing through. The path then descends to a bridge over a narrow fissure with water roaring below. The path up to Thame then becomes the sting in the tail. Zig-zaging across ancient moraine you come to a lovely stram with inviting pools on the left. Suddenly you breast a slope and there is the village of Thame, one of the prettiest villages you will visit. It has scattered houses, enclosed fields and a backdrop of massive snow and ice peaks. Rest and have a cup of tea in one of the lodges and if you have the energy the walk up to the monastery is well worthwhile.
The walk up to the monastery (3940 m), which being 600 years old is one of the four oldest in Khumbu region, takes about one hour. There are cells for the monks, piles of mani stones and a couple of chained Tibetan mastiffs. The main temple has fantastic atmosphere, and, not surprisingly, the monks smile permanently. The walk back to Mende is now only takes about 2 hours as it is mostly downhill, but you could opt to take the higher level traverse to visit another interesting monastery where Guru Rimpoche meditated. It is not occupied but well worth a visit if you can find the energy.
We would highly recommend the ½ hour steep walk up to the monastery above Mende. The main temple is only 40 years old and was used until recently as school for Western Buddhists. It has a remarkable meditation room built underneath a hufge rock. The main temple is also beautiful, the main figure being Chenrizig, the Buddha of Compassion. From Mende you will return to the lovely lodge at Monjo. You will take the lower path to trek back to Namche. There will be time for a short stop in Namche to do some last minute shopping before making the descent to Monjo. Meals included : B, L, D. Overnight: Monjo Lodge
Today you will trek back to Lukla via Gumila, above village of Phakding and have a chance to visit the monastery. Within the monastery reside 12 – 13 monks from the Gelukpa Sect. It is also a Buddhist teaching monastery. From here you will retrace your steps back to Lukla. Meals included : B, L, D. Overnight: Lukla Lodge
This morning you will take the small fixed wing flight back to Kathmandu, be met on arrival and transferred to the hotel. A further day for sightseeing and exploring the bazaars. Meals included : B. Overnight: Hotel Shangrila
After breakfast we farewell you to continue your journey or you will be transferred to the airport for your flight home. Meals included : B
SUGGESTED CLOTHING AND EQUIPMENT LIST
Swimming costume (for Kathmandu & Pokhara)
The gears with an asterisk (*) sign are handed out by Himalayan Hikers as a part of service You can use your personal gears if you prefer to do so i.e. sleeping bag, liner, down jacket
We would like to inform you that the weight limitation for Everest treks is 33 pounds or 15 kg approximately