Everest Base Camp Trek - 17 Days

Mercury Himalayan Explorations
  • 17 days
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Everest Base Camp Trek by Mercury Himalayan Explorations


The Everest Base Camp Trek used to be one of MHE's most iconic treks. And then, for the longest time, we stopped operating it. For many reasons. The raw commercialization of climbing Sagarmatha, the Nepalese name for Mount Everest, left us stupefied. The unwillingness of climbers in commercial groups to help others in life-threatening situations appalled us. And then we realized, staying away wasn't the solution. Respect for the mountains and the culture of climbing could be communicated better if we were part of the system.

COSTS INCLUDE: Accommodation in Kathmandu on Day 1, 15 and 16 at the Yak N Yeti - 5-Star. Good quality standard lodges/tea-houses in trek zone as required by the itinerary. All accommodation on twin sharing basis. Attached baths in lodges/tea-houses where available - in ten locations on the trek. Guided trek led by qualified guide with adequate number of porters. All meals with limited but adequate amount of non-alcoholic beverages while on the trek, including boiled water for drinking purposes. Airport and other transfers in Kathmandu as required by the itinerary. All applicable Taxes and Permits. Domestic Flights to and from Lukla. Half-Day sightseeing of Boudha and Swayambhu. Assistance at request from our staff for all guests while in trek or in cities to make your trip more convenient. All meals while in Kathmandu. Medical-Kit with necessary medications. Wages and expenses incurred by our trek crew. Staff Insurance. Local taxes and insurance for guide and porters. Snacks at Rum Doodle Bar. The accommodation on the trek is in local tea-houses with the best facilities that we can avail. Wherever possible, you will have a room with attached bathroom. The local tea houses are basic but clean and often they may not have attached bathrooms or hot showers.

COSTS DO NOT INCLUDE: Round trip flight airfare from your home to Kathmandu. Tourist visa fees for Nepal (if required). Required entrance fees for monasteries, temples and monuments (because it depends on an individual's requirements and the pace they keep while on the trek). Extra charges that lodge owners may levy for hot showers (if these facilities are available) Expenses relating to the charging of your various gadgets - phones, cameras, ipads etc. Wi-fi charges at the individual tea-houses. Unforeseen expenses that demand a change in itinerary like natural forces, changes in weather, road blockages, flight/train cancellations and illness. Medical, Travel, Evacuation or any other form of insurance. Personal medical expenses and costs related to rescue evacuation. Expenses of a personal nature - tips, alcohol and other beverages (mineral water, tea etc. on the trek), phone calls. Drinks at Rum Doodle Bar. Scenic Everest flight post trek.


  • Day 1:

    FLY OUT TO KATHMANDU When you arrive at Kathmandu's Tribhuvan International Airport, our staff will receive you and escort you to the hotel. Once you've settled in, the trip leader will call for a group huddle and brief you on the Everest Base Camp Trek, camping, and some dos and don'ts (just a few, we promise!). Feel free to ask him for any information that you might require while in Nepal. Our Tour Officer will retain your international flight tickets and your passport for safe keeping before your trek begins. This will also help us reconfirm your outbound flight from Kathmandu at the end of trip. Overnight at Yak N Yeti hotel or similar

  • Day 2:

    FLY TO LUKLA, TREK TO MONJO, 10 KM (6 MILES), 5 - 6 HOURS WALK It is tradition to burst into wild applause the moment your plane lands at Lukla Airport - only the best pilots in Nepal can navigate their way through the treacherous valley. At an altitude of 9,325 feet (2,843 meters), this small airstrip has the dubious distinction of being one of the most extreme and dangerous airports in the world! The wobbly 40-minute flight with the constant roar of the engines could leave you a bit unsettled - perfect start to a great adventure on the Everest Base Camp Trek!

    The trek to Monjo at 9,219 feet (2835 meters), takes around five to six hours and is mainly downhill through forests of rhododendron, magnolia trees and pine. The village of Phakding emerges after passing through several small settlements with prayer wheels, flags, prayer stones, lodges and shops. Stop here for a tea or a cold drink and continue on through small settlements until you reach Monjo, which is the headquarters of the Sagarmatha National Park. Overnight at tearoom lodge with attached bath.

  • Day 3:

    TREK TO NAMCHE BAZAAR, 9.9 KM, 4 HOURS GRADUAL ASCENT Often referred to as the capital of the Sherpas, the little village of Namche Bazaar is the gateway to the high Himalaya. It's a brilliant walk through valleys, over rivers and suspension bridges, past Buddhist monasteries. If you're lucky, and if the clouds decide not to play party pooper, you'll get your first glimpse of the Everest peak right here. This part of the Everest Base Camp trek is a gradual ascent and takes around six hours, only the last 500 meters is a gruelling uphill climb. By the end of the trek, you're at an altitude of 11,286 feet (3,440 meters). The little hamlet is the perfect place for last minute shopping if your kit bag's missing anything, and to connect with the world - internet cafes abound here. Browse the markets and mingle with the local folk, you'll enjoy the experience. Overnight at tearoom lodge with attached bath.

  • Day 4:

    TREK TO THAME AND KHUMJUNG AND RETURN TO NAMCHE BAZAAR 6 KM, 2 - 3 HOURS WALK Today is set aside for altitude acclimatization. It means you will allow your body to get used to the lower oxygen levels as you continue to climb. You will trek up north on to a hill overlooking Namche Bazaar and then continue to Thame and Khunde. The trek is well worth it - you get the most splendid views of Mt. Everest, Lhotse, Kantenga, Thamserku and Ama Dablam from here. There is an option to visit the Edmund Hillary School in Kunde and the hospital he helped build in the 1960s - both of which are thriving even today. Enjoy lunch with the mountain views before you head back to Namche Bazaar Overnight stay at tearoom lodge in Namche Bazaar.

  • Day 5:

    TREK TO DEBOCHE, 8.6 KM, 5 HOURS WALK AND CLIMB It's an easy up-down trail until the descent to the village of Phungitenga after which it's a three hour climb up to Tengboche - a Buddhist monastery built on a small plateau of grass. At an altitude of 12,687 feet (3,867 meters), it's a magical place and for several of us who have done the Everest Base Camp Trek before, it is one with the most terrific views of Ama Dablam and Mount Everest. Ama Dablam ("Mother's necklace") dominates the eastern sky - the long ridges on each side like the arms of a mother protecting her child, and the hanging glacier thought of as the dablam, the traditional double-pendant containing pictures of the Gods, worn by Sherpa women. The monastery itself is perched on the saddle of a ridge and commands an outstanding panoramic view with peaks in every direction. From here, it's a 15 minute walk to Deboche. Overnight at tearoom lodge in Deboche with attached bath.

  • Day 6:

    TREK TO DINGBOCHE, 9 KM, 7.5 HOURS WALK In this part of the Everest Base Camp trek you will gain about 1,640 feet (500 meters). It's a gradual climb though, so not that daunting. Almost the minute you set off, you will descend to the white river and cross over a suspension bridge. If you look below, you will see the remains of the old bridge with rotten wood and frayed ropes - the same bridge that Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary would have used all those years ago! All through this part of the trek, Ama Dablam towers over you on your right. In about 30 - 45 minutes, you will reach the village of Deboche at 12,251 feet (3,734 meters), home to Nepal's oldest convent and in the news of late for the massive restoration projects being undertaken by international foundations to repair the 85-year old nunnery that lies is complete disrepair. Two - three hours into the trek, you will reach Pangboche at 13,074 feet (3,985 meters). Pangboche village is famous for its monastery that is supposed to have a yeti head and a hand (the latter though was stolen!). Some Sherpa soup, dumplings and Tibetan bread later you move on. Most of this part of the Everest Base Camp trek is spent close to the river flowing past with a gentle slope that's not hell for the knees. The last part has a bit of a steep climb and then you're in Dingboche. At an altitude of 14,468.5 feet (4,410 metres) you are bound to feel slightly out of breath! Overnight at tearoom lodge in Dingboche.

  • Day 7:

    REST DAY FOR ACCLIMATIZATION, WALK TO CHUKHUNG VILLAGE, 4.3 KM, 2 HOURS WALK Okay we admit, "rest day" on the Everest Base Camp Trek is a bit of a misnomer! We recommend you walk to Chukhung Village - a little hamlet on the way to the Imja Glacier. Traditionally used as a pasture for yaks, Chukhung today has a few lodges and tea houses - catering mainly to Everest Base Camp trekkers who pass by. It's a gradual ascent to Chukhung on an easy trail but it is great preparation for the thin air you will experience in just 3 days when you reach the high point of the trek at Everest Base Camp. Have a rest and refreshments at one of the small teahouses here before heading back down to Dingboche to relax in the afternoon. Overnight at tearoom lodge in Dingboche.

  • Day 8:

    TREK TO LOBUCHE, 7.7 KM, 5 - 6 HOURS WALK The track is a wide plane today with softer walking but it does start with a steep trail, as you climb out of Dingboche, past a chorten (a Tibetan stupa) and ascend into the valley to Dughla. At 15,075 feet (4,595 meters), this glacial lake and hamlet is possibly one of the highest settlements in the world, though not permanently inhabited all year around. There are several little tea houses here and you can relax and have a cup of tea before you head out to Chukpo Lari - a beautiful and poignant reminder of the pitfalls of Everest. A line of memorials built in tribute to climbers who have lost there lives in the pursuit of this mountain makes one realize the enormity of what Tenzing and Hillary achieved back in 1953. From here you also get a beautiful panoramic view of the peaks on the Nepal-Tibet border. The trail then eases to Lobuche, a tiny little village that lies at the foot of the Kumbhu Glacier. A few little tea houses for trekkers headed to EBC are scattered around and the air is rare at 16,210 feet (4,940 meters). Overnight at tearoom lodge in Lobuche.

  • Day 9:

    TREK TO GORAKSHEP, 5 KM, 3 HOURS WALK It's a slow windy walk on the glacial moraine. The winds are icy and strong and you hope the sun will stop playing hide and seek - something to keep the warmth going! Take it slowly, there's no rush and acclimatization is the key here. The Lobuche Pass is a slow and steady climb at this altitude and Gorakshep isn't far after that. Last stop before Everest Base Camp! This day gives everyone the best chance to reach the highlight of Everest Base Camp tomorrow. So drink plenty of fluids and relax. Overnight at tearoom lodge in Gorakshep.

  • Day 10:

    TREK TO EVEREST BASE CAMP! 6 HRS WALK Today is the day. Everest Base Camp is nigh. It's a longish day and the final haul is a three hour ascent to EBC. You will be walking on the lateral moraine of the Khumbu Glacier, it's a tough path and if you stand still and be really quiet, you can actually hear the glacier creak and move! You're now surrounded by five of the world's highest mountains - the world, it would seem, ends right here! A winding trail through columns of glacial ice will eventually lead you to Everest Base Camp. You spend about half-an-hour there and then head back to Gorakshep where you will rest for the night. Be sure to pack plenty of water and some snacks today - you'll appreciate them at Base Camp. Overnight at tearoom lodge in Gorakshep.

  • Day 11:

    KALA PATTHAR ( 2- 3 HOURS) AND THEN PHERICHE 4.4 KM, TOTAL 8 - 9 HOURS WALK Most of us realize this only when we reach Everest Base Camp - you can't actually see the Everest summit from there! To make sure you don't miss out on the splendid Mount Everest views, this morning you will set off on a trail that climbs to a moraine from where you get a view of Gorakshep, with its sandy, flat area and frozen lake, and Kala Patthar - a peak popular with Everest Base Camp trekkers because it gives you an uninterrupted view of Everest from base to peak. At 18,208 feet (5,550 meters) it's a tough climb and many of you may choose not to do it. The view from the top is spectacular though - not just Mount Everest, but a 360-degree panorama of peaks including Nuptse, Ama Dablam, Kantega, Thamserku, Tawatse, Pumori and Changtse! Everest seems just a stone’s throw away between Nuptse and Lhotse while the other snow-capped giants dominate the surrounding view. The Everest Base Camp is also visible from here on the Khumbu Glacier! It's time then to trek to Pheriche and rest after two very hard and exciting days. Overnight at tearoom lodge in Pheriche.

  • Day 12:

    TREK PHERICHE TO KYANGJUMA, 10 KM, 5 - 6 HOURS WALK This is an easy day for the Everest Base Camp trekkers- at least compared to what you've experienced the last week! Most of the trek is a gradual downhill - a relief after the uphill tasks the last week (literally!) You will stop at Tengboche for lunch. Then it's downhill to the river and up the steady slope through the beautiful forests, where you may be lucky enough to see some Himalayan wildlife such as Red Panda or Blue Sheep, to the pretty village of Kyangjuma. From here you can relax with a cuppa and enjoy Ama Dablam views as the sun sets. Overnight at tearoom lodge in Kyangjuma.

  • Day 13:

    TREK TO PHAKDING, 8.9 KM, 6-7 HOURS WALK You will descend from Kyangjuma at 11,712 feet (3,592 meters) down to Namche Bazaar at 11,286 feet (3,440 meters). The steepest downhill section comes after Namche until we hit river bed of Dudh Koshi river. From here the route follows on the busy main path winding down all the way to Monjo for the overnight camp, located just near the Everest National Park entrance and exit. You can walk at your own leisurely pace enjoying the lush green scenery and the amazing view of the surrounding mountains.

    Once again Ama Dablam presents herself in all her glory, and you also get to see Mount Everest one more time as you turn around to soak up the Himalayan splendour. Additionally, below the forest line, there's finally some colour compared to the otherwise icy and rocky landscapes you saw at higher altitudes! Don't expect isolation here Everest Base Camp trekkers, it's a busy route with crowds of other trekkers and an endless stream of porters going back and forth. Take your time to enjoy the views and the downhill walking after what seems like an almost endless week of ups all the way to Everest Base Camp. Overnight at tearoom lodge in Phakding with attached bath.

  • Day 14:

    TREK VIA DUDH KOSI TO LUKLA, 6.4 KM, 3-4 HOURS WALK The last day of the Everest Base Camp Trek! Your final trek follows the Dudh Kosi back down to Lukla. Dudh Kosi, Milky River, so called because the water of the river is extremely white, like milk. This is your last evening together and an ideal opportunity for a farewell party with the Sherpa guides and porters, where you can sample some chang (local beer), put some twinkle on those tired toes with Sherpa dancing, and look back on a memorable Everest Base Camp trekking experience. And oh yes...you can finally have a bath! Overnight at tearoom lodge in Lukla with attached bath.

  • Day 15:

    FLY TO KATHMANDU, NIGHT AT THE RUM DOODLE BAR! After 12 days of high altitude Everest Base Camp trekking, perhaps the flight back from Lukla won't be as hair raising as the last time. Once you reach your hotel you can simply relax or spend the afternoon doing some final shopping in Thamel. In the evening, we will head to the Rum Doodle bar - a tradition followed by all climbing expeditions to Mount Everest for decades now! Although it has moved from its original place in Thamel, its legend continues and no climbing expedition to Nepal is complete without a visit to the Rum Doodle! Sir Edmund Hillary, Ang Rita Sherpa, Reinhold Messner, Rob Hall and Col. Bull Kumar have all left their mark on the walls. A visit here is a bit like a pilgrimage for mountain lovers. Cardboard Yeti footprints are plastered on the wall and hang from the ceiling - reports filed in by trekking groups on their return from the big mountain. You can add your own Yeti footprint there too - for posterity's sake. Dinner and overnight at hotel.

  • Day 16:

    KATHMANDU SIGHTSEEING So what if the Everest Base Camp Trek is over? You can still take the early morning mountain flight around Mount Everest! It's a spectacular view - all the more special because of how close you actually got to this majestic mountain. This optional extra can be arranged by us with prior notice. You may also want to take it easy and after rising late, go shopping for some last minute souvenirs.

    A half-day guided tour of Kathmandu is arranged to visit places of cultural, religious and historical importance. The enchanting medieval city has lots to offer to keen visitors. The tour will be conducted either in the morning or afternoon, depending upon previous day’s arrivals of group members, to ensure everyone is well-rested. We'll all meet for a final dinner in one of Kathmandu's wonderful restaurants. Dinner and overnight at hotel.

  • Day 17:

    FLY BACK TO DELHI/MUMBAI Breakfast at the hotel and then time to catch your international flight back to Delhi or Mumbai. Our journey with you ends here. If you want to spend more time in Kathmandu, please let us know so that we can arrange accommodation and/or activities for you.


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