14 Days of Trekking in the Shadow of Mt. Everest
Lots of travelers head every year to the Everest region. While some trails like EBC are very popular and crowded with travelers, there are also those regions that rarely see visitors. These are the trails less traveled, and hold a deep mystery of the local culture, far away from the prying eyes of outsiders. The area north of Namche Bazaar and Renjo La Pass is one of those places.
Renjo-La pass is on the trail to Tibet, and for centuries used to trade salt, goods and local handicrafts that were made by the Sherpa people. From here are spectacular views of Mt. Everest as well as Mt. Cho Oyo. There are wonderful glaciers to see, magnificent waterfalls, wildlife, picturesque Sherpa villages and much more.
This is a strenuous trek, with Renjo-La being 5,390 meters in height. All along this trek are incredible views of the snowcapped peaks of Mt. Everest and the other peaks that surround it.
This is a high altititude trek, and we will allow you plenty of time to acclimatize to avoid altitude sickness. But even in the days when you acclimatize, there is plenty to see and do as you experience the full culture of the High Himalayas.
This trip is for the most adventurous who want to escape the crowds and to experience the real culture of Nepal. If you are moderately fit, you can do this trek. It will challenge you, but those who are willing to be challenged will be rewarded with views and memories few ever experience. Swiss Nepal Family Trek & Expedition is pleased to be able to offer this exciting trek as part of our Everest trekking packages.
DAY 1 – Arrival in Kathmandu, transfer to hotel.
DAY 2 – Fly to Lukla (elev. 2840 m), trek to Phakding (elev. 2610 m) 3 – 4 hours
DAY 3 – Trek to Namche Bazaar (elev. 3440 m) 5 – 6 hours
DAY 4 – Acclimatization Day
DAY 5 – Trek to Thame (elev. 3800 m) 5 - 6 hours
DAY 6 – Acclimatization Day
DAY 7 – Trek to Lumde (elev. 4368 m) 4 – 5 hours
DAY 8 – Trek to Gokyo (elev. 4790 m) 7 – 8 hours via Renjo-La (elev. 5,360m)
DAY 9 – Trek to Gokyo-Ri (elev. 5360 m) to Dole (elev. 4120 m) 4 – 5 hours
DAY 10 – Trek to Namche Bazaar (elev. 3440 m) 5 – 6 hours
DAY 11 – Trek to Lukla (elev.2480 m) 6 – 7 hours
DAY 12 – Fly to Kathmandu, transfer to hotel.
DAY 13 - Buffer Day/Free Day in Kathmandu Valley
DAY 14 – Departure.
DAY 1 – Arrival in Kathmandu: You arrive at Tribhuvan International Airport where a representative of Swiss Nepal Family Trekking & Expedition will greet you and take you to your Three Star Hotel by private car. You will enjoy a welcome drink as well as an evening orientation about your trip as well as equipment check. Spend the night in the hotel.
DAY 2 – Flight to Lukla (elev. 2840 m), Trek to Phakding (elev. 2610 m): After breakfast, we will take a domestic flight to Lukla where we begin our trek in the Everest region. It is just a 45 minute flight, and what a flight it is! We literally follow the backbone of the Himalayas eastward. On the flight you will see not only Mt. Everest, but also the peaks of Kanchenjunga III, Mt. Lhotse IV, and Makalu V. Each of these peaks is over 8,000 meters, literally forming the roof of the world. We land in Lukla village where we begin our trek. There are no roads to Lukla, so this village is only accessible by air or a seven day trek from Jiri village. We will be heading toward Phakding village. We actually go downhill from Lukla as we travel through the rugged foothills of the Everest region. Trekking time is around three hours and we will stay in a local lodge at Phakding.
DAY 3 – Trek to Namche Bazaar (elev. 3440 m): Our walk begins early in the morning. It is a fairly easy trek, even starting out rather level as we follow the Dudh Koshi River. The land will start to move uphill gradually as we make our way toward the main district city of Namche Bazaar. We will cross the Hillary suspension bridge, and until we finally come to the steepest part of today's trek that leads us to Namche Bazar. There are plenty of views of the high mountains along the way, as well as becoming immersed in the local Buddhist culture of the Sherpa people. We will check into a local guesthouse for the night.
DAY 4 – Acclimatization in Namche Bazaar: It is important to spend a day acclimatizing to the higher elevation as altitude sickness can be quite serious. The day will not be spent just lying around, but we will trek to Everest Viewpoint for a magnificent view of Mt. Everest. From here, you will see the spectacular peaks of Everest, Amadablam, Nuptse and many more. It is only a two hour trek to Everest Viewpoint and we will spend a few hours there enjoying the view as well as having lunch. We will return to Namche Bazaar where you can spend the afternoon exploring the village. There is a lot to see here. We will spend the night in our local guest house.
DAY 5 – Trek to Thame (elev. 3800m) We start trekking again with our destination the village of Thame. We will pass many Buddhist chhortens and mani walls. There is a monastery we can visit along the way if we desire. The trek takes 5 – 6 hours and we will spend the night at a mountain lodge.
DAY 6 – Acclimatization Day: We have a lot of climbing to do, and our bodies need to become adjusted to the high elevations. We will do some light hiking today, visiting a monastery above Thame village and spending time looking at local moraine and glaciers. We will return to our mountain lodge for the night.
DAY 7 – Trek to Lumde (elev. 4368 m): Today we are following an ancient pathway used by traders going to and from Tibet as they transported black salt, gold and other items. We climb over the moraine on our way to Lumde. It is a short day of trekking, taking about four hours before arriving at our destination to spend the night at a local mountain lodge. Great views along the way today.
DAY 8 – Trek to Gokyo (4790 m) via Renjo-La (elev. 5368 m): We had a short day yesterday because today will be a long day. From Lumde, it is uphill as we cross Renjo-La Pass. WE are ascending to high elevation where we will be delighted with eye-popping mountain vistas. From here, we can easily see Mt Everest, Lhotse, Cholatse and Tawache. It takes about four hours to reach the top of the pass. Yes, it is bit of a climb, but the views from on top more than make up for the effort to get here. We can see the rooftops of Gokyo and the shores of the mountain lakes from up here. We will descend from here to Gokyo, which takes around three hours. Total trekking time is between 7 – 8 hours and we will spend the night in a local mountain lodge.
DAY 9 – Trek to Gokyo-Ri (elev. 5360 m) and Dole (elev. 4120 m): Gokyo sits in a beautiful alpine valley and from here, we will ascend upwards to another mountain pass of Gokyo-Ri. It is just eight meters lower than Renjo-La, and again offers some incredible views of the mountains as well as the valley below. It is a steep trail as we move upward, but from on top, we can see Mt. Everest, Nupste, Makalu, Lhotse, Cho-Oyu, Pumori, Ama Dablam and more. It is a festival of snowcapped peaks that will overwhelm your senses as you gave around in a 360° panorama vision. From here, it is a steep descent down the mountain path for about 1 ½ hours until we come to the Dudh Kosi River where the trail starts to level off a bit. Our destination is the village of Dole, where we will spend the night in a mountain lodge. Trekking time is 4 – 5 hours
DAY 10 – Trek to Namche Bazaar (elev. 3440 m): From Dole, it is a descent for about 90 minutes as we work our way to Phortse Thanga We pass Buddhist stupas and small villages along the way as we work our way to Namche Bazaar. Trekking time is 5 – 6 hours and we will stay in a local lodge.
DAY 11 – Trek to Lukla (elev. 2480 m): It is a little longer day as we make our way back to Lukla and the airport. We will trek through rhododendron forests and cross the Dudh Koshi River on a suspension bridge. We cross several more bridges over a variety of mountain streams until we come to Lukla where we will spend the night in a local lodge. Trekking time is 6 – 7 hours.
DAY 12 – Fly to Kathmandu: It is an early morning flight as we return to the capital city. Our private car will be there with driver at the airport take us to our hotel. Today, relax or do some exploring on your own in the Kathmandu Valley.
DAY 13 – Free Day: This is a buffer day on the tour in case we can't fly out on the day before. It's a free day to explore around the Kathmandu Valley, do some shopping in Thamel or simply to relax on the roof garden of your hotel. There will be a farewell dinner and cultural show in the evening.
DAY 14 – Final Departure: All good things must come to an end, and your trip to Nepal is no exception. Before leaving, why not talk to your representative at Swiss Nepal Family Trekking & Expedition about returning to Nepal for your next holiday. The vast majority of people make a return trip to Nepal because they are impressed by not only the beauty, but also the local people. Swiss Nepal Family Trekking & Expedition offers trips into neighboring Tibet, Bhutan and India. Be sure to discuss your interests and plans with them today.
While traveling with Swiss Nepal Family Trekking & Expedition, your all-around safety and satisfaction is of our paramount concern. Please not that the Trip Leader has the authority to cancel or amend any part of this itinerary if it is considered necessary due to any safety concern. We leave no stones unturned to keep the itinerary mentioned above, but as this adventure includes traveling to remote areas of the Himalayas, we can't guarantee that we will not be forced to make last minute changes in our plans. Factors enter into these decisions include extreme weather conditions, unexpected natural disaster, health concerns of any of our group members, etc., can all contribute to the necessity of make unexpected changes. Your SNFT trip leader will try to insure that the trip runs as planned, but we kindly request that you please be accommodating if such changes do occur.
Please note that the Kathmandu-Lukla-Kathmandu flight often gets delayed by a few hours or even cancelled due to critical weather conditions. The Lukla airport is notorious for fog which we have no control over. Swiss Nepal Family Trekking will do everything it can to avoid such a situations. Mr. Kishan Gurung, the managing director of Swiss Nepal Family Trekking & Expedition has developed a strong relationship with the manager of the Lukla airport as well as with local helicopter companies. Mr. Gurung will try to arrange alternative flights if necessary if flights are cancelled. We have a 99% success rate for arranging such flights for our valued clients in case of flight delays and cancellations. For the successful flight in rescue or cargo helicopters, the cost is around USD 200 to $250 per person additional cost. If we must charter a helicopter, then the cost is around USD 3500 for up to five people. It is advisable to always be able to stay an extra day should weather conditions require. Normally, we can usually fly out the same day, but it is a good idea to be prepared.
If everything runs smoothly and you still have a few of your buffer days left, you can arrange alternative activities to participate in with Swiss Nepal Family Trekking & Expedition upon your request. There are plenty of things to see and do in the Kathmandu Valley, including seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
In case of flight delays or cancellations at the start of the trip, you can also choose an alternative trip, which includes trekking in the Annapurna Region, Manaslu, Langtang, Mustang or any other region in Nepal. Swiss Nepal Family Trekking & Expedition can offer you some really wonderful trekking opportunities in a variety of great locations. You can also choose to spend the time in Kathmandu exploring the Valley and all it has to offer. There is no need to be stuck in a hotel room; we can provide some great experiences as you wait for the weather to clear so you can fly to Lukla.
It is recommended that you set aside two to three days as "buffer days" at the end of your trip before having to depart Nepal when trekking in the Everest region. This is just good planning and will make for a much more pleasant trip. We apologize in advance for any difficulty the weather may contribute to. It is just part of being at the roof of the world.
THE TREKKING GROUP:
For this trip, there will be a Trek Leader and Sherpa Porters for carrying luggage (2 trekkers = 1 porter). This arrangement ensures that if anyone in the group is sick, the trip can still go ahead as planned. However, Swiss Nepal Family Trekking can run this trek for the group of any size. Generally, the maximum number of trekkers that the company has found optimum is 12.
All accommodations for the North of Namche Bazaar and Renjo-La Pass Lodge Trek are on twin-sharing basis with inclusive costs and are chosen based on standard hygiene and standard of food, services, locations, etc. There will be two styles of accommodations during this trek. We will spend three nights at a Three-Star Hotel in Kathmandu. During the trek, we will spend Ten nights at standard tea houses or lodges with unheated rooms with wooden beds and foam mattresses. We can provide you with attached bath in some major towns; however, tea houses and lodges in some places have only shared washing and toilet facilities. We share a room with someone else of the same sex of our group if you are a solo traveler. If you prefer a single room, you may indicate your preferences and obtain a single room for an additional fee. Please understand that single rooms are not always possible at tea houses and mountain lodges. We will do our best to try and make the appropriate arrangements.
During this trek, you can enjoy the typical Nepali food along with different ethnic cuisines as well as all types of international cuisine (Tibetan, Continental, Italian, Indian, etc.) with items from pizza to chips to apple pie. You can even enjoy hot chocolates, a variety of breads, drinks and snacks. Breakfast of a day will be served from the tea house or lodge where we spend the night. Lunch will be served on the way to our destination with dinner served where we are spending the night. During your stay in Kathmandu, a farewell dinner along with breakfasts will be served.
We are back from Nepal. How was it? Incredible! Of course it was difficult, and we heard a lot of complaining, especially because of the cold. Every..2012-11-10 more