Everest Gokyo Lakes Trek - Nepal

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

With hundreds of Nepali companies running cheap treks in Nepal, numerous Western companies running expensive lodge and teahouse treks in the Himalaya, why trek in the Everest Gokyo Lakes region with Kamzang Journeys?

Over ten years of local knowledge, extensive interaction with Sherpas and Tibetans, friends and family in the Khumbu region, Sherpa AND Western guides along with a great staff, a full medical kit and O2, a record of mountain safety, a private heater, a library of books on Everest & the Khumbu region, hot water bottles for your sleeping bag and a combination of yaks and porters to carry your duffel bags. You can choose from the extensive lodge menus for your meals, which are accompanied by snacks, desert, a choice of herbal teas, hot drinks and freshly brewed coffee.

Our Everest Gokyo Lakes trek is a moderately challenging trek through some of the most spectacular landscapes in the Nepal Himalaya with local Sherpa guides; our Everest trek is a window into traditional Sherpa villages and 'gompas' (monasteries), their mountain Buddhist culture and their s acred peaks and valley.

Not only peaks, the Everest region of Nepal is an incredibly spiritual place, and we have the chance to visit its many colorful gompas, and have tea with their monks; Tengboche, Pangboche, Namche, Khumjung and Khunde.

Some of the highlights of our trek: the turquoise Gokyo lakes, Gokyo valley and climbing Gokyo Ri, the remote route to Phortse, the Khumbu valley (Pangboche & the high route) & visiting Tengboche Gompa and bustling Namche Bazaar. Throughout, we are surrounded by spectacular 8000 meter peak panoramas and hosted by welcoming Sherpas in their cozy lodges ...

We think November is the perfect time to trek in the Everest region, the Himalayan peaks accentuated by clear, blue skies. And without the hoards of trekkers of the peak months. Wildlife such as the Himalayan thar, musk deer, danphe (Nepal's national bird), blood pheasant, Himalayan snow-cock, snow-pigeon and chukkar roam the mountain-sides.

Customize Your Journey
We are happy to customize your journey to include more days in Kathmandu, Chitwan National Park or Pokhara.

Join us for this unforgettable trek through the Everest Gokyo Lakes region of the Nepal Himalaya!



Day 1 - Monday, 20 November 2017 - Arrive Kathmandu
Day 2 - Kathmandu
Day 3 - Fly Lukla. Trek Monjo
Day 4 - Trek Namche (Day Trip Khunde & Khumjung)
Day 5 - Namche
Day 6 - Trek Dole
Day 7 - Trek Machermo
Day 8 - Trek Gokyo
Day 9 - Gokyo (Climb Gokyo Ri)
Day 10 - Gokyo (Day Trip Scoundrel's Point + Fifth Lake)
Day 11 - Trek Phortse
Day 12 - Trek Pangboche (Via Tengboche Gompa)
Day 13 - Trek Namche
Day 14 - Trek Chhuserma
Day 15 - Trek Lukla
Day 16 - Fly Kathmandu
Day 17 - Wednesday, 6 December 2017 - Trip Ends

Chitwan National Park | Maruni Sanctuary Lodge
Chitwan + Tharu Villages Wildlife Safari

Add Ons
Kathmandu World Heritage Sightseeing Tour | Pashupatinath, Boudhanath + Swayambunath (+$75)
Kathmandu Durbar Square Walking Tour | Durbar Square (+$50)
Bhaktapur Heritage Sightseeing Tour (+$100)
Patan Heritage Sightseeing Tour (+$50)
Extra Trek Day Gandruk (+105)
Extra Day Chitwan (+$125)
Everest Sightseeing Flight (+$250)
Extension Shivapuri Heights Cottage (+75 Night Depending on Room)
Cycling Trip in Kathmandu Valley (+Trip Price)

Nepal Modules
Nepal & Kathmandu Modules | Customize Your Trip!

We STRONGLY recommend scheduling an extra day in Kathmandu in case of flight delays or cancellations out of Lukla. Please make sure you have travel & travel medical insurance!


Trip Advisor Reviews

Client Comments
Thank you for everything you did to make our anniversary trip special. From the extras at our hotel rooms to the amazing quality, warmth and hospitality of every person who works with you – we were blown away by the trip you planned. We loved meeting you, Lhakpa, Doma and all the guides, drivers and porters who created such a hassle-free and seamless environment for us to explore beautiful Nepal.  Thank you so much – you created a truly life changing and unforgettable trip for us.
 - Kim + Bob (USA), Private Amazing Nepal Trek 2016 (Honeymoon Trip)

Kim and her colleages at Khumbu Adventures arranged a solo trek for me at very short notice in November 2013 - and did it even whilst most of them were leading another trek in Mustang! They made the complex easy. From a wonderful guide to helping me arrange evacuation when I got sick, I was always in knowledeable, kind, efficient hands. I recommend Kamzang Journeys without reservation and I'll be using them when I return to Nepal in September 2014!
- Nick A (UK), Private Everest Trek 2013

Tsering Sherpa is marvelous, extremely responsible, serious, devoted, very thoughtful, discreet and very pleasant to trek with. He is very helpful, well travelled, speaks good English, is well-mannered and has a good experience as a mountaineer and a climber.  He is very powerful, strong and quick, and smiles a lot! He seems to know everybody on the trail, is active in his community and is respected by other Sherpas. On trek he was a good counsellor on food, and of course respectful of tradition and of the Tibetan Buddhist faith. With him we felt very secure as he knows the trail and all the short cuts.
- Nan & Odette (France), Private Everest Base Camp Trek 2014

Viney was my private guide to trek to Everest base camp in October 2013.  I felt very secure with him the entire time.  He was always attentive to my wellbeing from the time we started in x (kim pls fill in) where we ended up slogging through rainfall and mud due to the cyclone left over from India, all the way through to the end of our trip in Lukla.  I could count on him without a doubt every day of the entire 3 weeks we spent together.  Thanks to Viney for an excellent trek!
- Lori C (USA), Private Everest High Passes Trek 2014

Last May I spent almost three weeks hiking with Mingma in the Khumbu region of Nepal and we explored the Gokyo lakes, Gokyo valley and we climbed Gokyo Ri. Mingma is an experienced mountain-guide, knows all the summits in the region, the Sherpas and routes.  He is responsive of the challenges, strong and kind, but he is very calm in case of difficult situations. While we walked together, he was attentive and he always tried to accommodate my phyisical condition and my spiritual eagerness. We spent wonderful time together and I immensely enjoyed every moment of the trek. I am planning to walk with him again in 2015!
 - Kati K (Hungary), Private Gokyo Lakes Trek 2014

Tashi was the perfect guide for me. I was going solo, and looking mostly for solitude; Tashi's temperament was the perfect match for mine. When he had something to say, it seemed eerily to come right when I was about to ask him a question about the very thing he started to speak about! He has a real passion for the natural world he lives in and for the Sherpa people and their traditions, too. I ended up falling ill with something and here again Tashi was the perfect guide - helpful but not smothering or overly-solicitous. I will be back, and with my family and I'm certain to request that Tashi accompanies us when we return.
- Nick A-H (UK), Private Everest Base Camp Trek 2013

Read More Testimonials
Trekkers' Comments

Trek Highlights

  •  The Gokyo Lakes & Gokyo Valley
  •  Everest, Lhotse & Nuptse Views
  •  Ama Dablam Base Camp & Sunset Views
  •  Tengboche, Pangboche, Namche Bazaar & Khumjung Monasteries
  •  Tibetan Buddhist Culture
  •  Cozy Sherpa Lodges
  •  The Beyul & Hermitage Lodge
  •   Namche Bazaar (Saturday Market: option)
  •   Rhododendron Season in the Spring
  •   Himalayan Wildlife
  •   The Best of Trekking in the Nepal Himalaya

Photo Gallery | Trip + Trek Photos
Kim Bannister Photography

Himalayan Photos
Himalayan Wildlife Photos

Himalayan Bird Photos

Himalayan Flowers Photos

Travel Reading
Travel Books

Online Articles + Documentaries on Everest Region

Glacier Works - David Breshear's Interactive Site

1953: First Footsteps - Sir Edmund Hillary & Tenzin Norgay - National Geographic Adventure

Sherpas | The True Heroes of Mount Everest - Film

On Mount Everest, Sherpa Guides Bear the Brunt of the Danger - NPR

Lakes Expanding Dangerously in Everest Glacier - BBC

Rivers of Ice - Vanishing Glaciers - BBC

Everest - National Geographic Adventure

Climbing Everest Then & Now - National Geographic Adventure

Everest Revealed: Photos by Renan Ozturk - National Geographic Adventure

Flying a Drone at Everest - Himalayan Aerials

The Everest Avalanche 2014 - YouTube

Living Through the Himalayan Thaw - Himalayan Times

Nepal Quake Caused Minimal Damage to Everest Trails - Reuters

Nepal Before & After the Earthquake - New York Times

Jan Morris: No One Else Needs to Climb Everest - New Statesman

Airport Near Everest is its own Perilous Adventure - New York Times

Sherpa - They Die, We Go Home - New York Times

On Mount Everest - Surviving and Earthquake & an Avalanche - New York Times Lens Blog

Climate Model Suggests Glaciers Could Nearly Disappear - New York Times

Forty Years of Everest - YouTube


2017 Dates
20 Nov - 6 Dec
17 days

2017 Trek Price

+ Private Departures Available
+ Hotel Single Upgrade $150
+ Helicopter from Namche or Lukla - Inquire


  • Kathmandu Guest House
  • Kathmandu-Lukla-Kathmandu flights
  • Departure taxes
  • Airport pick-ups & drops
  • Sagarmatha National Park entrance fee
  • TIMS card
  • Kamzang Lodge-style Trekking:
    All meals from lodge menu, herbal teas and French press coffee, hot drinks (hot chocolate, lemon tea, milk tea, etc), filtered drinking water, double rooms at good lodges, small medical kit, Sherpa guide & porters, local support in the Khumbu with our network of Sherpa connections, office support in Kathmandu, local knowledge ....


  • International flights
  • Nepal visa
  • Travel or travel medical insurance
  • Rescue service (cost)
  • Helicopter shuttle in case of flight cancellation into or out of Lukla
  • Meals in Kathmandu (while not on trek)
  • Equipment rental
  • Alcohol & soft drinks
  • Showers
  • Hot water bottles
  • Boiled drinking water
  • Laundry
  • Tipping & other items of a personal nature

Tips & Extra Cash
Allow approx $250 for meals (while not on trek), drinks (on trek) and tips. We recommend $150 per trekker thrown into the tips pool for the crew.


Trekker's Comments
Travel Books

Trek Guide
Doma, Tshering or Phu Tashi Sherpa

Kamzang Journeys Contact
Kim Bannister
Mobile: +(977) 9803414745
On-Trek Satellite Phone: +88216 21277980 (Nepal)
On-Trek Satellite Phone: +88216 21274092 (Tibet & India)

Kathmandu Contact
Khumbu Adventures
Lhakpa Dorji Sherpa Mobile: +(977) 9841 235461, 9813 371542
Doma Sherpa Mobile: +(977) 9841 510833, 9803 675361

Follow Us on Facebook
Kamzang Journeys Facebook

Arrival Hotel
Kathmandu Guest House

Kathmandu Guest House Single or Double Upgrades | 3 Nights
Garden Single - $75
Deluxe Single or Double - $300

Kathmandu Guest House Extra Nights
Includes breakfast + 25% taxes
Book with Kamzang Journeys + save on room rates

Kathmandu Guest House | Room Prices
Standard Single - $80
Standard Double - $100
Garden Single - $120
Garden Double - $140
Deluxe Single - $200
Deluxe Double - $220

Kamzang Journeys | Room Prices
Standard Single - $55
Standard Double - $75
Garden Single - $80
Garden Double - $100
Deluxe Single - $160
Deluxe Double - $180

Extra Days in Kathmandu | Customize your Journey!
We have plenty of great suggestions for extra days, or weeks, in Nepal! See our Nepal & Kathmandu Modules | Customize Your Trip! to put together the perfect journey.

Mountain biking, rafting, vespa tours or yoga retreats around the Kathmandu valley or Pokhara, trips to Bhaktapur or Patan (Kathmandu Valley's other historic capital cities), a visit to the Newari temple of Changu Narayan and a night at the Fort Hotel in Nagarkot for sublime Himalayan panoramas, an Everest sightseeing flight, a luxurious stay at Temple Tree Resort & Spa, paragliding, hiking or zip-lining in Pokhara, a spa & wellness getaway at Dwarikas Resort in Dhulikhel, a relaxing excursion to Chitwan National Park Wildlife Safari & Tharu Villages (staying at Maruni Sanctuary Lodge) or Bardia National Park, a weekend of adventure, sauna and pampering at The Last Resort or five-star treatment in historic Dwarika's in Kathmandu.

Kamzang Journeys can customize any of these excursions for you, just inquire!

Kathmandu Heritage + Happenings

Photo Gallery | Trip + Trek Photos
Kim Bannister Photography

You can get your Nepal visa either at the airport (or any land border) when you arrive in Nepal, or before you leave home.
Nepal Visa

Health Information
Nepal Health Information

We have a full medical kit with us including Diamox (for acclimatizing), antibiotics, inhalers, bandages, re-hydration, painkillers, anti-inflammatory drugs etc. but please bring a supply of all prescription and personal medications. Kim has First Aid, CPR and Wilderness First Responder (WFR) certifications as well as many years of experience with altitude in the Himalaya but is NOT a qualified medic or doctor, so please have a check-up before leaving home, and inform us of any medical issues. This is for YOUR OWN safety.

DO bring all prescription medications and good rehydration/electrolytes. We advise bringing your own Diamox, Ciprofloxin, Azithromyacin & Augmentin. We have all of these with us but the Western versions are always better than the Indian equivalents.

Notes on Itinerary
Although we try to follow the itinerary below, it is ONLY a guideline based on years of experience trekking in the Himalaya. At times local trail, river or weather conditions may make a deviation necessary; rivers may be impassible, snow blocks passes, and landslides wipe out trails. The trekking itinerary and campsites may also vary slightly depending on the group's acclimatization rate or sickness.

The Himalaya are our passion, and we take trekking seriously. Although everyone is here on vacation, please come with a dollop of patience and compassion added to your sense of adventure ...

Arrival Kathmandu

You'll be met at the airport by Lhakpa or Doma Sherpa (of Khumbu Adventures) or the Kathmandu Guest House van. They will bring you back to the wonderful Kathmandu Guest House, where your rooms have been booked for you.

NOTE: Let us know if you would prefer to book an alternative hotel for the start of the trip or instead of the Kathmandu Guest House We can also provide a range of boutique and luxury hotels, or budget hotels.

Arrival Hotel
Kathmandu Guest House

You can get your Nepal visa either at the airport (or any land border) when you arrive in Nepal, or before you leave home.
Nepal Visa

Temperatures + Clothing
Kathmandu during trekking season, in the spring and autumn, is usually warm (t-shirt, sandals, light pants or skirts) during the day, and gets chilly (light fleece or windproof top) in the afternoon. Nights can be cold enough for a sweater or light jacket, or warm enough for t-shirts. Summer is hotter and wetter; you’ll need a rain jacket and umbrella. The winter months (November – March) are chilly in the mornings and evenings, cold enough that you might start the day in a down jacket, but often warms up enough to wear a t-shirt by mid-day. Nights get cold enough for a down jacket if you’re sitting outside in the spring and autumn, and much colder in the winter when you won’t leave the hotel without your down jacket. It never snows in Kathmandu, leave your snow boots behind. Keens or lightweight sandals great for wandering around Kathmandu, and for trekking in lower altitudes.

Trekking is a mixed bag of temperatures. LAYERS are the key as hot can change quickly to freezing crossing the passes and snowfalls are common. We often have some rain below 3000 meters in the spring and early autumn, and it can rain hard in the summer. Have a wide range of layer-able trekking clothes for summer to winter temperatures. Keep a lightweight down jacket or synthetic jacket with you at all times, available inexpensively in Kathmandu. A lightweight rain poncho and umbrella for trekking recommended spring and summer. Be prepared! See our GEAR LIST for full details on gear, shoes, clothing, electronics and meds for the trek.

There are lots of real gear shops (North Face, Mountain Hardwear, Marmot, Sherpa Gear) and of course many fake ones in Kathmandu, so if you don't think you have the right gear starting the trip it will be easy to pick-up stuff once in Kathmandu. We have sleeping bags, duffel bags down jackets to rent.

Dress conservatively in Kathmandu and on the trail as a rule. Shorts are okay if they aren't too short, mini skirts aren’t recommended. Sleeveless t-shirts are absolutely fine, but perhaps avoid tank-tops on the trail. Super tight doesn't go over so well with the village elders. Many of the younger generation in Nepal wear modern Indian or Western-influenced clothes, but remember that you haven't signed up for a beach or surf vacation. Use your good judgment, be an ambassador for western tourists! Please ask Kim or your guide if unsure about appropriate clothing.

Duffel Bags
We have North Face style duffel bags with Kamzang Journeys logos for sale (XL, orange). They are (mostly) waterproof, mid to lightweight (lighter than North Face) and good quality. Price 4000 NRP (about $40)

Cultural Issues
Nepalis are very open and welcoming, but there are a few issues you should be aware of to make your stay in Nepal more fulfilling. Use your right hand to pass things, shake hands or do most anything. Left hands are somewhat taboo. Nepali's often place their left hand on the right forearm when passing things to others, a sign of respect. Best not to pat kids on heads, or point feet ahead of you at monasteries. Don't walk over someone's legs or feet, but put your hand down in front of you to signal them to pull their legs to the side. Take off shoes and hats when going into Buddhist monasteries and Hindu temples, don't use flashes inside monasteries or temples in general, be respectful of a puja (prayer ceremony) if attending one. You can talk, all religious are very tolerant, but be aware of your level of voice.

Nepalis don't anger quickly, so try not to raise your voice if exasperated or angry as it only will make a situation worse. Do bargain at shops, with taxis and rickshaws, but don't fleece them. They are poor and making a living, generally.

Give small donations on the streets if you choose, but try not to encourage begging too much. Be aware of who you are giving money to, and please only give small amounts. If you do want to donate to a cause, ask about our Kamzang Fund or other responsible organizations.

Pampering Yourself in Kathmandu
We’re happy to book your rooms before or after the trek (or upgrade during the trek) at other boutique or luxury hotels in Kathmandu. We recommend Dwarika’s, Shangri-La, Yak & Yeti or Hyatt. We can also direct you to wonderful spa & massage centers in Kathmandu.

Tips for Staff
We recommend at least $200 per person to go into the tip pool for the staff. Please bring Nepali Rupees (NRP) with you on the trek for the tips. It’s nice to buy the staff drinks on the last night. Or any other night that you feel like getting them a bottle of Kukure Rum!

Tips in General
Tips are always appreciated but they don’t need to be extravagant. 100 NRP to carry bags to/from your room is fine. The women who clean your room will be happy with 100-200 NRP when you leave, and 100 NRP is good for drivers to/from the airport. Round up taxi fares. A larger tip would be expected for a daytrip in a car, perhaps 500 NRP. 10% is included in most restaurant and hotel bills in Nepal, and if it’s not included it’s still expected. Check your bills, and still round up at restaurants. Feel free to give out small change to the beggars in the streets (5, 10, 20 NRP) but try not to give it out to the street kids who use it for glue to sniff.

Cash + ATMs
You’ll want some cash with you on the trek for drinks, snacks, beer, sodas, etc. There are often  chances to during the trek, and usually local crafts to buy en route. (You’ll want your tip money in NRP as well). There are ATMs in KTM but they don’t dispense large amounts of cash (usually 10-20,000 NRP) so you’ll be best with currency or TCs to change.

International Medical Center Kathmandu

Kathmandu + Kathmandu Valley Information
Our personalized 'Insider' list of things to do, places to go, what to visit, the most happening restaurants + the best hotels in Kathmandu and the beautiful Kathmandu Valley.
Kathmandu Heritage + Happenings


Travel Photography Gear Guide
The Complete Guide to Gear for the Landscape Photographer

Gear List
This is a guideline, not a bible, for the gear you will need on the trek. Ask if you have questions! One 15 kg (33 lbs) maximum weight limit for the duffel bag for flights. 20 kg (50 lbs) weight limit for treks.

  • Duffel Bag
  • Day Pack (35-45 L)
  • Sleeping Bag (-20F/-30C recommended)
  • Down Jacket
  • Trekking Boots
  • Crocs (evenings & washing) 

  • Trekking Pants (2-3)
  • T-Shirts (3)
  • Long-sleeve Trekking Shirts (2-3)
  • Trekking Jacket
  • Gortex (or similar) Jacket & Pants
  • Fleece or Thermal Top (evenings)
  • Fleece or Thermal Bottoms (evenings)
  • Lightweight Long Underwear (to sleep in or layer under clothes)
  • Socks (5)
  • Gloves (lighter & heavier for passes)
  • Wool Hat
  • Baseball Cap or Wide-brimmed Hat
  • Camp Towel
  • Trekking Poles (optional, recommended)
  • Down Booties (optional, recommended)
  • Sunglasses (2)
  • Water Bottles | Nalgenes (2-3)
  • Bladder (optional, recommended)
  • Toiletries, Sunscreen with SPF, Lip Balm with SPF
  • Watch (with alarm)
  • Extra Batteries
  • Battery Chargers
  • Head Lamp 
  • Yak Trax (for treks with icy passes)
  • Water Purifying Tablets, Small Water Filter or Steripen
  • Camp Washing Bowl (optional, collapsible for clothes)
  • Laundry Detergent (Kathmandu) or Bio-degradable Clothes Soap
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Small Solar Panel (optional, recommended for iPods, iPhones, camera batteries, Kindles)
  • Book(s)
  • Zip-Lock | Plastic Bags
  • Soft Toilet Paper | Tissues (we supply toilet paper but you will want something softer for blowing your nose)
  • Baby-Wipes | Wet-Wipes (for personal cleaning)
  • Handi-Wipes, J-Cloth or Chux (optional: easy for a quick daytime clean, fast drying)
  • Rehydration | Electrolytes
  • Snacks!
  • Personal Medical Supplies

Available in Namche Bazaar

  • Snacks, chocolate bars, energy bars (Western brands), dried fruit & nuts
  • Laundry Detergent
  • ALL trekking gear (Sherpa Gear, Mountain Hardwear, Tsetang's Gear Shop all have real gear), real & knock-offs.
  • Lemon Tang (for water if you want)
  • Batteries
  • Trekking Poles
  • Micro Spikes

Medical Supplies
We strongly suggest bringing Western meds with you as there are a lot of Indian fakes on the market!

Suggested: Diamox, Azithromyacin, Ciprofloxacin, Tinidazole or Flagyl & Augmentin. Bring COMPEED for covering blisters & good tasting electrolytes &/or rehydration salts (Emergen-C is a good American brand). The local versions aren’t very appealing.

We also recommend bringing strong knee & ankle supports & braces, ACE bandages for sprains & strains, Tegaderm &/or other would coverings. Duct tape is always useful. We're happy to take excess medical supplies off your hands when you leave if you won't need them and pass them on to others. We use lots of the large amount we have with us to treat locals we meet when trekking.

Comments on Gear
Layers are essential for trekking. Quality is more important than quantity. It’s worth investing in the great, newer lightweight trekking gear available in all gear shops, online or in Kathmandu.

Kim's Gear Suggestions: I generally wear a trekking t-shirt, light trekking pants, a mid-weight shirt, a lightweight synthetic jacket (instead of a fleece) and carry a lightweight wind jacket and pants for wind and rain. If the weather looks stormy, or if it's a pass day, I carry a lightweight down jacket and a storm-weight jacket. I always have a pair of lightweight gloves (heavier ones additionally for pass days), a hat, a baseball cap and an extra pair of socks in my day-pack. I generally trek in low Merrill hiking shoes or Salomon running shoes, and wear Keen boots on very cold days and over passes. I always carry Crocs with me in case of river crossings and to give feet a break at lunch. I carry a 35-40 L Black Diamond or Osprey day pack. On pass days I carry Yak Trax and trekking poles, and I always have an extra pair of sunglasses, electrolytes, my camera, a medical kit, a SteriPen, snacks and water in my day pack. My favorite gear brands available in Kathmandu are Sherpa Gear, Mountain Hardwear and Marmot. I wear a lot of Patagonia gear although it's not available in Kathmandu.

Good trekking boots are essential. High boots are best, but you don’t need climbing or plastic boots (for mini-crampons or micro-spikes). You can also get away with low, sturdy trekking boot. Trekking poles are not required but strongly recommended, especially for going down passes which are often steep and icy and for treks with river crossings. Bring gators if you tend to use them but they’re not required if you don't own a pair. Micro-spikes (mini-crampons) or YakTraxs are almost always useful (or essential) for the pass crossings. We will have at least one ice ax with us. It’s also good (possibly essential) to have a pair of plastic Crocs for washing and to wear in the lodges in the evenings. Tevas take a long time to dry and are relatively heavy.

Good, polarized sunglasses are essential. Do bring an extra pair. Don’t forget a sun hat and/or a baseball cap, an extra headlamp and have plenty of sunscreen and lip balm with SPF! Bring extra large plastic bags or stuff-sacks in case of rain. You can pack electronics in them or stash your sleeping bag and clothes. The weather is very changeable in the Himalaya! We supply covers that go over the duffel bags to protect them from rain, dirt & rips.
Nights (in the rooms) are cold, so a down jacket and a WARM sleeping bag are essentials. Quits are usually provided as well. For your sleeping bag, we recommend a DOWN bag of 0 to -20 F (-18 to -28 C). Mine is -20 F. At lower altitudes I open it and sleep under it like a quilt and up higher am toasty warm during the cold nights. Rentals available.

Inside the lodge dining rooms, the wood or yak-dung stoves heat the room very well and you'll often strip down to a t-shirt!

Nights (in the rooms) are cold, so a down jacket and a WARM sleeping bag are essentials. Quits are usually provided as well. For your sleeping bag, we recommend a DOWN bag of 0 to -20 F (-18 to -28 C). Mine is -20 F. At lower altitudes I open it and sleep under it like a quilt and up higher am toasty warm during the cold nights. Rentals available.

Inside the lodge dining rooms, the wood or yak-dung stoves heat the room very well and you'll often strip down to a t-shirt!

Day Pack
We recommend a 25-35 liter day pack (ask at your gear shop if you’re not sure of the capacity). Most have internal water bladders built in, which are good for ensuring that you stay hydrated. Make sure it fits and is comfortable before purchasing!

In your day pack you will carry your camera, water, snacks, lightweight wind & rain pants, hat, light gloves, sunscreen, electrolytes. hand sanitizer, a pack-cover and sometimes your lightweight down jacket. Recommended to carry your Crocs to give feet a break mid-day. Water purifying tablets, filter or SteriPen optional. Go as light as possible with your day pack.

We bring MSF water filters along on the trek for fresh drinking water, ecologically the best way to get water in the Himalaya’s fragile trekking regions. Bring your own filter pump, SteriPen or iodine tablets for fresh water while trekking. NOTE: To be extra safe with your drinking water, you can drop one purifying tablet into your water bottle after filling with our filtered water. Make sure you wait the required amount of time before drinking, and don’t add anything with Vitamin C as this negates the iodine.

Please bring at least TWO Nalgene, Sigg or other unbreakable plastic or metal water bottles. Camelbacks and other bladder systems are good for trekking but can leak, so as a back-up it’s best to also bring a Nalgene or water bottle.

NOTE: We do not provide boiled water for drinking on either our tea-house | lodge or camping treks although there is endless hot water for herbal, milk and green teas, hot chocolate and hot lemon.

You body needs snacks hiking at altitude, even if you don't generally snack between meals. We burn more calories at altitude, as well as in the cold, and you will crave certain foods at altitude. Energy or nutrition bars, ‘GU’ gels, chocolate, dried fruits, nuts and jerky work well for immediate energy. Emergen-C, Nuun and electrolytes are important for daily re-hydration.

We have Western down jackets to rent for $1.50 per day.  We also have good super-down sleeping bags to rent (0 to -10F) for $2.50 per day.

Packing & Storage
Packing and unpacking is easy from a duffel bag, and easy for a porter to carry.Inexpensive duffel bags are also available in Kathmandu. You can store extra gear in Kathmandu in your hotel's storage room free of charge. You can drop a bag for Pokhara at the hotel before setting off for the trek.

Almost all gear is now available in Kathmandu, from real (North Face, Mountain Hardwear, Sherpa Gear, Marmot - all in Thamel) to inexpensive knock-offs. The real gear shops take credit cards!

Everest Region

The Everest | Solu Khumbu Region

Nepal’s Solu Khumbu, widely known as the Everest region, is a diverse region of spectacular Himalayan panoramas, diverse flora including blue pine, juniper and silver fir, rare wildlife and some of the highest mountains on the planet. The Khumbu is the original Sherpa homeland, a region of Nyigma-pa Tibetan Buddhist monasteries, ancient chortens, lung-ta (prayer flags), glaciers, Himalayan passes, high pasture lands and once traditional villages which are now often (but not always) crowded with trekking lodges and colorful shops. The region is dominated by the sacred Khumbila peak, which rises above Khumjung and Kunde, two of the larger villages in the area, with Mount Everest, Lhotse and Ama Dablam towering over the village from the opposite side. The elevation of the Khumbu ranges from 2840 meters to the 8,848 meter summit of Mount Everest.

There are several ways to enter the Khumbu, the most commonly trekked part of the Everest region. Most people fly into the Hillary Airstrip in Lukla (2840 meters), and the second most popular route is via Jiri, a diverse trek of 7-8 days crossing numerous smaller passes and ridges, and trekking through traditional Hindu, Rai and Tamang villages. The third route is via the old mountaineering trail of Shipton, Hillary and all of the original mountaineers starting in Tumlingtar (or before that, way back when), following the Aun River for a few days before veering west and trekking in very hilly, beautiful country through sprawling Rai villages until the Jiri route is intersected. The last route is via the Rolwaling Tashi Laptsa Pass, a challenging six day trek from Barabise and Chariot, through the realm of the goddess Tashi Tseringma (according to Sherpa mythology), which crosses the somewhat treacherous Tashi Laptsa Pass (5755 meters) to reach the Thame valley. The last route is from Tibet, a trail not open to Westerners and often closed even for Nepalis and Tibetans. From the Tibetan side traders cross the Nangpo La (5710 meters) and trek down several days through a glacial valley where Sherpas have their ‘doksas’, or seasonal herding villages, to reach Thame and Namche Bazaar.

The Everest (Khumbu) region is entered through the Sagarmatha National Park at the top end of Monjo (where Kim taught school in 2001). The Sagarmartha National Park is a UNESCO world heritage site since 1979, an area of 1148 square meters which ranges from 2840 - 8840 meters. The buffer zone was established in the late 90s to give some income to the villages between Lukla and Monjo. Namche Bazaar is a bustling old trading village at the fork of three valleys, situated in an amphitheater of peaks. The far left valley leads to Thame valley and Tibet, the middle valley leads to Gokyo Lake and the far right valley leads to the Khumbu Glacier, formed during the last great Ice Age approximately 500,000 years ago, and Everest Base Camp. This valley branches off to the right about half way up and leads to the Chhukhung Valley and the base of the Island Peak climbing route.

The Khumbu region, with a population of about 4000, gets from 10-20,000 Western trekkers per year, and probably double that amount of Nepali staff and local porters coming to the markets at Lukla and Namche with their goods to sell.

Mount Everest, also referred to in Sherpa and Tibetan as Chomolungma, was recognized as the highest peak in the world in 1856 by the Great Trigonometrical Survey of India (it was until then known as Peak XV). Everest was named after Sir George Everest, the British Surveyor General of India, by the Royal Geographical Society in 1865.

The first mountaineers to attempt to climb Everest were British, and the first attempt made in 1921 from the Tibetan side as Nepal was then closed to foreigners. This 1921 expedition reached 7000 meters on the North Col, the 1922 expedition climbing on the North ridge reached 8320 meters but tragically 7 porters were killed in an avalanche while descending. George Mallory & Andrew Irvine attempted to climb Everest on 8 June, 1924, perhaps even submitting before disappearing. Mallory’s body was discovered in 1999 on the North Face of Everest, at 8155 meters; the question of whether or not they summited Everest still remains a mystery.

Nearly 30 years later Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary succeeded in making the first official ascent of Everest, climbing on the southeast ridge route in 1953 to reach the summit of Chomolungma together!

Notable Himalayan peaks include Everest (8848m), Lhotse (8516m), Nuptse (7861m), Makalu (8462m), Cho Oyu (8201m), Ama Dablam (6812m), Mera Peak (6476m), Island Peak (6189m), Cho Polu (6735m), Khumbutse (6640m), Kwongde Ri (6187m), Thamserku (6623m), Kang Guru (6981m), Kusum Kanggaru (6367m), Changtse (7580m) & Cholatse (6440m).

HoneyGuide Apps


Day 1 - Arrive Kathmandu 1340m/16,350'
You'll be met at the airport by a representative from your hotel who will have a sign with your name on it. Transfer to your hotel where your rooms have been booked for you.

The Kathmandu Guest House and Kantipur Temple Home are located in the hub of Thamel, a myriad of banners, signs, music shops, bakeries, internet cafes, restaurants, bars, hotels, shops of all imaginable varieties and eccentrically clad backpackers. Dwarika's is an oasis of calm near the airport. Relax by the pool, visit the spa and enjoy the historic and serene surroundings, dining at one of their world-class restaurants. Yak & Yeti is just off Durbar Marg, a tree-lined, upscale road of shops and hotels. Shangri La is in Lazimpat, just a few kilometers outside Thamel and features a lovely garden and outdoors cafe.

We'll need your travel medical insurance, a copy of your passport and Nepali visa and one (or more) visa-sized photo, so have them ready to give to your guide.

Day 2 - Kathmandu
Enjoy a free day to explore Kathmandu's many World Heritage sites, to decompress at your hotel or the spa, to head out shopping or to embark on a tour of the Kathmandu and the beautiful Kathmandu valley, surrounded by Himalayan snow-peaks.

Kathmandu | World Heritage Sites (Optional Tour)
Kathmandu is filled with World Heritage sites and sacred destinations, crowded with traditional neighborhoods and colorful festivals. Spend a few days exploring Nepal's exotic capital and the history-laden Kathmandu valley. We can arrange sightseeing guide, vehicles and guides as required. See Kathmandu Heritage + Happenings for more details.

We recommend beginning with Pashupatinath in the early morning, and moving on to Boudhanath mid-morning. Hindu Pashupatinath on the sacred Bagmati river and its sacred temple complex is one of Nepal's most important sites, a powerful cremation site and Nepal's most important Hindu temple. Here, monkeys run up and down the steps of the burning ghats, and trident-bearing saddhus draped in burnt-orange and saffron sit serenely meditating, when they’re not posing for photos-for-rupees. Local guides can explain the significance of the complicated ceremonies. Please be respectful when taking photos.

Boudhanath, in the midst of traditional monasteries (gompas) and hung with long strings of multi-colored prayer flags, attracts Sherpas, Tibetans and tourists alike for daily circumambulations (koras) of the iconic stupa. The striking Buddha eyes of Boudhanath Stupa watch over a lively and colorful Tibetan community and attract pilgrims from all over the Himalayan Buddhist realm. There are wonderful spots for lunch at Boudhanath (Roadhouse Cafe has wood-oven pizzas and a breathtaking view of the stupa and colorful Nepals circling it), and it's a good place to learn the technique of thanka painting and purchase a thanka (Buddhist mural). See also Bhaktapur for more options for shopping for thankas.

Wander through the many temples, pagodas, courtyards and the museum at Kathmandu Durbar Square, a timeless gathering spot and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Kathmandu Durbar Square, including the old royal palace, is Kathmandu's 'Palace Square', a showcase for the world renown artisans and craftsmen of Kathmandu and a synthesis of Hindu and Buddhist palaces, temples, stupas and statues. The Malla and Shah kings ruled over the Kathmandu Valley during the centuries of the building of the layers of this Durbar Square. Along with their opulent palaces, the square surrounds numerous courtyards and temples, all works of art with intricate and often erotic carvings. Kathmandu Durbar Square is known as Hanuman Dhoka Durbar Square, a name derived from a statue of Hanuman, the monkey devotee of Lord Ram, at the entrance of the palace. The social, religious and urban focal point of the city, Durbar Square is often the site of festivals, marriages and other ceremonies such as Teej. Some important structures are Hanuman Dhoka Palace, Kumari Ghar (Abode of the Living Goddess), Taleju Temple, built between the 12th and 18th centuries, the 17th century stone inscription set into the wall of the palace with writings in 15 languages.

In the evening (take the interesting back streets from Durbar Square) climb the many steps to the gilded Swayambhunath stupa (known as the monkey temple) which rises from the Kathmandu valley floor at 1420 meters and is one of the holiest Buddhist sites in Nepal. . Swayambunath, the 'self created’  stupa, was founded over 2000 years ago at a time when the Kathmandu valley was filled by a large lake, with a single lotus in the center. Mythology says that Manjusri, a bodhisvatti, drained the lake with one cut of his sword and the lotus flower was transformed into the stupa. From its commanding views of Kathmandu, circumambulate Swayambunath's white-washed stupa, painted with distinctive Buddha eyes, the complex a unique synthesis of Buddhism and Hinduism. Another interesting time to visit Swayambunath is in the mornings, when Nepalis visit the temple dedicated to the God of Smallpox to with colorful offerings for the goddess.

Stop to photograph reflections in Kathmandu's many pokhari's, or ponds, including the beautiful Rani Pokhari (queen's bath) near New Road, and the Naga Pokhari (pond of the snake gods of the underworld) just beyond the palace gates. The many bathing ghats, square enclosures with steps leading down to water spouts, often decorated with naga heads, are also interesting and colorful gathering spots.

Kathmandu World Heritage Sightseeing Tour | Pashupatinath, Boudhanath + Swayambunath (+$75)
Kathmandu Durbar Square Walking Tour | Durbar Square (+$50)

Day 3 - Fly Lukla 2850m/9350'. Trek Monjo 2835m/9300'
Just after sunrise we embark on a spectacular 30-minute flight over the Kathmandu valley and along snow-capped Himalayan peaks to the well-known Lukla airstrip. After sorting out our loads on our dzobkios (a mix of yak and cow) and a hearty breakfast at Eco-Paradise Lodge at the other side of the airstrip we start trekking!

Leaving the bustling village of Lukla, packed with colorful shops, restaurants and bars and still a bit of Sherpa character, we trek north, with snow-capped Karyolung peak in the distance. The quaint village of Chaunrikharka lays below us. The trail takes us above a rhododendron-choked forest, over the school and gompa and past the checkered fields of barley, spinach and potatoes of the village. We are trekking along the Dudh Kosi (river) on a centuries-old trading trail from Nepal to Tibet. It is well traveled by stout, heavily loaded Nepali porters and Tibetan traders (Khampas, most distinguishable by the length of red or black tassel wrapped around their heads) conducting business between the weekly markets of Lukla and Namche with Chinese and Tibetan goods brought over the 5700m Nangpa La (pass) from Tibet.

Half an hour out of Lukla we reach the idyllic hamlet of Chheplung. Up valley rises the sacred peak of Khumbila, a black triangle that dominates the valley. From the small hamlet of Thado Kosi, while crossing the metal bridge, we have our first view the three sister peaks of Kusum Khangkaru to the east. Half an hour of lovely trekking over cobbled trails brings us to Ghat and the best-maintained cluster of mani stones and prayer flags in the Khumbu. The local lama, owner of the Lama Lodge in Ghat, is responsible for this magical setting. Once at Phakding, a lively village a half hour's walk from Ghat, we will stop for lunch at Ang Sani and Jangbu's Shangri La Lodge. Their son, Nawang, has just opened a stylish cafe with great cappuccinos from an Italian coffee maker!

Hiking by the small tea-houses servicing the locals and workers in Phakding, we cross a long suspension bridge over the Dudh Kosi and trek above the river, climbing through evergreen forests to reach the first lodge of Benkar. Look up on the protruding rocks for Himalayan thar. Continuing over a small bridge, we continue through larger Benkar, the first village to attend the Monjo school. Another suspension bridge, several small tea houses serving local fare and another climb, and we reach Chumoa, with apple and peach trees which bloom in the springtime. One more small bridge and a last climb on uneven stone steps to reach Monjo, where we stop at Top Hill Lodge for the night, owned by Domey and Pasang Dawa.

Monjo is a small Sherpa village tucked away in the forests high above the Dudh Kosi where Kim taught English years ago, only the newer part of the village visible from the trail. There is a newly reconstructed gompa above the school, and above than a steep drop off and good view of tomorrow's hike. (6 hrs)

Day 4 - Trek Namche Bazaar 3465m/11,365'
After a short walk past the school with Khumbila (or Khumbu Yul La) looming majestically ahead of us, we enter the gateway to the Sagarmatha National Park. Descending steeply on a stony trail to the river, we cross a long suspension bridge to reach the hamlet of Jorsale, and then cross one more long bridge before continuing along the sandy riverside trail, still amongst the pine forest, the shores peppered with large, rounded river rocks. We continue along the river for about 45 minutes, with two large ascents on steep, stone staircases. Hike carefully as these steps are a bit precipitous.

Bring your five-colored Tibetan prayer flags to hang on the long (new in 2013) suspension bridge over the confluence of the Dudh Kosi (milk river) and the Bhote Kosi (river from Tibet) and send prayers out into the Everest region! The steep hour and a half climb to Namche on a dusty, rocky, switch-backing trail is broken half-way up the hill by our first view of Everest, Lhotse & Nuptse. Local women sell delicious oranges at this resting point, which we'll share for sure with other trekkers. Another 45 minutes of climbing, mostly off the main trail amongst the evergreens, we arrive at the old trading village of Namche Bazaar, now a thriving trekking metropolis. We'll have a short tour of the shopping and bakeries in Namche before heading up steep stone steps to our guest house, Natang & Pemba's idyllic Moonlight Lodge, scenically situated at the top of Namche.

Namche Bazaar, once called Nauje and now the most prosperous trading village on the old trade route with Tibet, sits in an amphitheater surrounded by mountains. From Namche we have perfect views of Kongde Ri in front of us, Kangtega, Thamserku and Kusum Khangkuru to the east and Khumbila to the back. Down-valley the hills and valleys along the route from Solu to Khumbu from Jiri sit shrouded in hazy shades of steely-grey and blues. (3 1/2 hrs)

Day 5 - Namche Bazaar | Day Hike Khunde 3855m/12,638' + Khumjung 3800m/12,465'
This is your acclimatization day in Namche. If it's Saturday (or Friday) Market day we we'll take the morning to explore the bustling market, a feast of colors, smells (not all of them appealing), and colorfully-clad Sherpa women up from their villages for the weekly event. It’s as much a social gathering as a produce, meat and essential goods market, so the atmosphere is spirited and lively.

People are free to relax and explore the crowded main streets of Namche, the Sherpa Cultural Center (photographic museum, fantastic), the reconstructed traditional Sherpa house (next door), the National Park Headquarters Museum (where you'll have easy views of Everest, Lhotse & Nuptse+), colorful Namche Gompa with its own new museum and the Tibetan market. The Tibetans are often encamped in the center of town in a muddy bazaar (potato fields in the summer) touting their goods from China. Indulge yourself at one of the many bakeries, shop for some yak bells or hand-woven Himalayan hats, chat with the sociable Sherpas in the village, or just relax in preparation for the trek. There are now new Mountain Hardwear and Sherpa Gear shops as well as Tsedam's Gear Shop with a great variety of real trek gear if you find that you're missing warm clothes. All often have gear on sale, bonus! Watch out for dzobkios and cows wandering the narrow streets.

For some peak-spotting at sunet, hike up 15 minutes from the lodge, the intersection to the left of the trail, just past the National Park headquarters. For a higher viewpoint, climb steeply to any of several viewpoint an hour+ walk straight up the ridge (above the huge mani stone at the top of the steps). Continue just past Syangboche airstrip, worth the effort for the panoramic views of Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, Thamserku, Kantega, Kusum Khangkuru, Tarboche and Ama Dablam.

Moonlight Lodge has a great hot shower, a large library, beer and wine in the cabinet and delicious home-cooked food so there is really no reason to leave at all if you're feeling lethargic, or enjoying basking in the sunny dining room.

Your guide will lead whoever wants to join on a scenic and cultural high loop through the Khunde and Khumjung valley. Taking advantage of the crisp morning light we hike up the steep hill in back of Namche (the same as towards the viewpoint) towards the lively, old Sherpa villages of Khunde and Khumjung, passing through the old airstrip at Syangboche en route. The first section of the climb is steep and sandy, and we will break the climb with great photos from the large mani stone hung with colorful prayer-flags. On the ridge above the airstrip we climb gradually on tundra to a large, whitewashed chorten to the right of the yak-breeding center. From here we climb briefly to a small hill topped with chulung (memorial chortens) for fabulous views of Kumbila, Tabuche, Ama Dablam, Thamserku, Kangtega, Kusum Khangkuru, Everest, Lhotse and Nuptse. We  trek down to Chhukhung along a small, scenic trail through rhododenrons. We may spot Himalayan tahr grazing on the hillsides, and possibly iridescent danphe and chortling chukkars.

Descending into magical Khumjung (marketed as the Green Valley), we walk through the entrance chorten and past a long, beautiful mani wall and the old Khumjung school, established by Hillary in the 70s. We'll contour through ancient rock walls through the lower half of the village to Khumjung Gompa, one of the oldest in the Khumbu (approximately 500 years) and home to the only existing Yeti scalp on the planet ...

The adjoining villages of Khumjung and Khunde are some of the original villages of the Khumbu region, both about 600 years old and wonderful examples of local Sherpa architecture with their winding stone walls, yak paddocks, potato patches and wood and slate houses. Perhaps we will run into Sherpa friends who will invite us in for some salt-butter tea, climbing up a wooden ladder over the straw-lined manger to get into the main house on the first floor. Both villages sit below Khumbila, the sacred Sherpa peak surrounded by lhaso (shrines to mountain deities), above a famous rock-mural of Guru Rimpoche. The views of Ama Dablam from this valley are breathtaking. Heading up the valley to neighboring Khunde, we continue to trek through trails lined by lichen-covered stone walls, past traditional Sherpa houses, to Khunde Hospital, where Lhakpa's uncle Kami is the head doctor.

Next door, at Khunde Guest House, we'll have lunch with the lovely owner Doma Tseri and her daugher. Their lodge has expansive mountain views from the warm, glass dining room. Satiated, we'll hike through Khunde's entrance kane and back up the small ridge, where more Himalayan vistas await. Way down below us, along another magical trail, is Namche and a warm and cheerful dining room.

Hillary Memorial
The side trip to Hillary Memorial (4200m), locally referred to as Gong Ri, is a relatively easy hike (approximately 45 minute) along a gradually ascending through a hillside lightly wooded with fir and juniper above Khunde Monastery. Just before reaching the monastery, take the intersecting trail heading left to a scenic ridge with a nearly 360 degree view of Himalayan peaks. The dramatic ridge top setting was dedicated as a memorial to Edmund Hillary’s wife, Louise, and his 16 year old daughter, Belinda, who died tragically in a plane crash just outside of Kathmandu in 1975. The plane was heading to Phaplu Airstrip. Just above the memorial to Louise and Belinda Hillary is a chorten built by local Khunde inhabitants to honor Sir Edmund Hillary.

Views from the memorial include Everest, Lhotse, Nupte, Tabuche, Ama Dablam, Kangtega, Thamserku, Kusum Kangkaru, Kwongde and Pharchamo, as well as the twin villages of Khunde and Khumjung just below Khunde Gompa, Shyangboche, Namche and Monjo down valley, and Tengboche and Pangboche to the north. From the ridge, look to the west to the Thame valley leading to the Nangpa La, once an important Tibetan trade route. The narrow valley before the Thame valley is rumored to be the home of several yetis. Descend from the memorial along the same trail, or head straight down the ridge towards Shyangboche, cutting back towards Khunde to meet the main trail back to Namche as well as the trail leading west towards Thame. You can bushwack your way directly down to Namche but it takes some work, and the trails are only for wood cutters or musk deer. On the plus side, you’ll encounter the many colorful Danphe en route! (6+ hrs)

Day 6 - Trek Dole 4050m/13,284'
Leaving Namche and heading back up the hill, we turn right at the large mani stone at the top of the village and hike along a wide trail to the prayer flag on the pole at the next corner. From here it's easy trekking high above the Dudh Kosi heading north, contouring around several ridges and past the large, newly erected memorial chorten where we'll be treated to fantastic views of Everest, Lhotse and Ama Dablam rising high above the valley. About an hour later we reach Tashi & Lhakpa's Ama Dablam Lodge in Kyangjuma, perched dramatically on a steep hillside overlooking the peak of the same name. Their pet yak will by in the morning for some grub, and Tashi has some of the best shopping in the Everest region, so we'll have a short stop here. Continuing along the main trail, we veer sharply left at the intersection of Gokyo and Tengboche, and take the steep trail up to the bridge which intersects with the old trail from Khumjung. We climb gradually, first on stone steps and then on a smaller trail, for another hour of so to Mong La, where we will have lunch on the deck of Boudha Lodge, perched spectacularly on this 4000 meter ridge. It's a wonderful spot overlooking both the Gokyo and Kala Pattar valleys, with a breath-taking panorama of peaks: Ama Dablam, Thamserku, Malan Palan, Taboche and the newly named Kamzang Peak. Phortse, one of the oldest villages in the Everest region, is perched at the intersection of the Khumbu & Gokyo valleys in front of us. The misty layers of the hills and valleys south of us are visible down-valley, as are Monjo and the bridge to Jorsale. Walk out on the ridge and look down on Tengboche Gompa on the ridge across the Dudh Kosi.

After lunch we descend steeply, through a forest of pine and rhododendron on a steep switchbacking trail and then on stone steps, to Phortse Tenga. Tenga means riverside, so after descending we immediately ascend again on the higher trail at the intersection of Phortse and the Gokyo valley. The route is beautiful, past frozen waterfalls, up cathedral-like stone staircases, through old rhododendron and Himalayan Birch forests, across small rivers and past tiny Sherpa settlements. The forest is home to several musk deer, shy creatures which peer out at us through the tangle of rhododendron. We arrive a few hours later, having had our first view of the 8000 meter Cho Oyu, at the summer herding settlement of Dole, where we stop for the night at either Himalayan Lodge or Thamserku Vew Lodge. Dole translates as 'plenty of stones', and anyone who has extra energy can cross the stony streambed and ascend either of the neighboring ridges for some good Himalayan views. It's a cold spot; the sun drops below the ridge at 2:30, but it comes up early in the morning to make up for a chilly evening. Huddle around the stove and enjoy a Himalayan evening. (6 hrs)

Day 7- Trek to Macherma 4430m/14,530'
We continue up the Gokyo valley on similar tundra-like terrain with well-worn trails cutting paths in the hard-packed earth. We'll be gaining elevation as we trek along the ftrail high above the valley floor, Cho Oyu looming in front of us at the border of Nepal and Tibet for the later part of the walk. We pass some small Sherpa herding huts en route, the first a singular lodge above local Sherpa huts. and after a few more hours of trekking we arrive at the charming yak-herding settlement of Luza. This is one of the many seasonal settlements of the Khunde and Khumjung inhabitants; the next one is Macherma, which we reach 45 minutes later, having climbed steeply out of Dole to a set of prayer flags marking the end of the settlement, and ascending and descended once again to Macherma. Macherma is the name of a local female goddess, who we hope will bless our stay here!

We'll get some rooms at the quite luxurious Tibetan-styled Namgyal Lodge, and enjoy some good Sherpa cooking around the warm dining room stove. Try the 'thukpa'. Namgyal is half Sherpa and half Tibetan and plays the 'damye', or Tibetan guitar. Again, anyone wanting an afternoon hike can climb up the ridges on either side of Macherma. (4 hrs)

Day 8 - Trek Gokyo 4790m/15,711'
Another sublime trekking day heading to Gokyo and the Gokyo lakes at 4800 meters. Another climb to start the day; we hike up to the prayer flags and cairns on the ridge and then descent gently with Fanga, a single lodge across the river from the seasonal village of Nha, a half hour ahead of us. Past Fanga where the trail narrows, we descent and then climb on stone steps on an often icy trail, with frozen waterfalls to our left. We reach the confluence of the Dudh Kosi coming from the Gokyo valley and the stream coming from the Nzozumba Glacier and cross this river on a small metal bridge. We've reached the idyllic Gokyo valley, with the small first lake, now partially filled with algae, surrounded by sculptural cairns just ahead. Ruddy Shelducks float on the far end of this lake as well as the next two. In the Gokyo valley the character of the trekking changes abruptly. The opaque powder-blue lakes are often on the verge of freezing over, and sometimes perform a Himalayan symphony of expanding and retracting ice. We have entered the grassy ablation valley running beside the Ngozumpa Glacier; we continue trekking on a rocky, winding trail for half an hour to the second lake and soon after have our first sight of Gokyo, a seasonal village and grazing area built beside the third, and biggest lake. Gokyo has become something of a Himalayan resort without the crowd – at least in terms of the comfortable lodges with sunrooms, unbeatable views, excellent food and warm stoves. A more spectacular setting is difficult to imagine, and our guesthouse, the Cho Oyu Lodge, perfectly situated on the lake-side, is a little piece of heaven. Dali Sherpa, our host, is always ready with a smile and a laugh, and with her son Tenzin and daughter Ang Tashi helping at the lodge you'll feel right at home. (We'll stay at the Gokyo Resort or Namaste Lodge if Cho Oyu is closed for the season).

Lured into the wonderful sun-room, it is easy to spend the rest of the day chatting with fellow trekkers, watching shaggy yaks amble their way in and around Gokyo (sometimes casually sticking their heads inside the lodges) and admiring the lake-side views. Wander along the lateral moraine overlooking the Khumbu glacier for sunset, just a ten minute walk above Gokyo ... (4 hrs)

Days 9 + 10 - Gokyo | Climb Gokyo Ri 5360m/17,580' + GOKYO VALLEY DAY HIKE
We've scheduled two full days at this lake side Himalayan paradise. Enjoy!

DAY 1 - After breakfast you'll cross the small, glacial stream, jumping over the stone 'bridge' to get to the base of Gokyo Ri (5360m), just five minutes from the lodge. It will take you about two hours of switch-backing to reach the prayer-flag festooned summit; take your time as the views down valley past Gokyo lake are great the whole way up. From the top, you are treated to a spectacular, 360 degree panorama of the Gokyo lakes, the glacial moraine and the surrounding Himalayan giants; Cho Oyu, Everest, Lhotse and Makalu among many others. To the west is the Renjo La (4515 meters) pass, the gateway to the Thame Valley and the Nangpa La, which the Tibetans cross with their yaks en route to Namche. (3 1/2 hrs)

DAY 2 - An option for today is a scenic day hike up the Gokyo valley, past two or three more glacial lakes, towards Cho Oyu. There are several trails that snake up this gorgeous valley, one emerging on the ridge overlooking the creaking glacier, another passing the eerily deserted fourth lake with it’s white, stony beach. The unobstructed view of Everest from Scoundrel's Point (4995m), just before the fifth lake, is reason enough for the hike. (4 1/2 hrs)

GOKYO LAKE KORA + GLACIAL RIDGE SUNSET - A nice afternoon excursion is a circumambulation of Gokyo lake; there is a beach at the other side, and then Buddhist and Hindu shrines just afterwards. And for sunset, don't miss a quick hike up the moraine ridge in back of the village for glorious sunset colors on Cho Oyu, turning pink down valley towards Cholatse, Tarboche and Thamserku. (1 - 1 1/2 hrs kora, 15 min ridge)

Day 11 – Trek Phortse 3780m/12,398'
A truly epic day of wonderful hiking on high mountain trails which skirt the ridges on the west of the river. We trek back along the lakes, across the metal bridge and to a few minutes below the stone steps, where we cross the river on a small bridge to the small hamlet of Nha. We stay low and hike through old grazing settlements and soon after gradually climb back up, contouring on a high trail along the western side of Cholatse and Taboche peaks. The trail undulates, so although we lose 1000 meters during the day it's a challening hike. We pass lichen-covered rocks, ancient mani walls and large mani stones en route, and looking back we have a continuous unobstructed view of Cho Oyu and the glacial valley, and ahead of us Ama Dablam. There are several very traditional seasonal Sherpa villages, with yaks and Tibetan Snowcocks in the walled enclosures; we'll stop for lunch about four hours after leaving Gokyo at Thore, the second seasonal village. After lunch we'll have two or three more hours to hike, a few ridges topped with chortens, magnificent views of Taboche, and lots of wildlife, so enjoy the day.

We arrive early afternoon at Phortse, in time to stop at the colorful Phortse Gompa at the very top of the village. Phortse, a maze of small, walled lanes, traditional houses and now many newer lodges, is one of the oldest villages in the Khumbu. The village perches scenically on the promontory protruding from Taboche, which towers majestically above it. Many daphne, musk deer and blood pheasants live in the woods that border the village, and you can almost always see them early and late in the day.

We stay the night at Ba Nuru and Pasang's Phortse Lodge, which boasts one of the regions nicest dining area, a good sound system and TV, delicious food and a stocked bar, a good thing! (6 hrs)

Day 12 – Trek Pangboche 3900m/12,792'
We have a breath-taking hike ahead of us today, leaving Phortse on the northeastern side heading towards Tengboche Gompa across the deep river gorge below. Our trail skirts the high ridges of Taboche Peak, often precipitous but always safe, and offering fantastic views around every corner. Everest, Nuptse and Lhotse dominate the northern skyline, while Ama Dablam is close enough to touch to the east and our old friends Kantega and Thamserku grace the valley below us. After an hour of scenic walking we climb a small pass for a few hundred steep meters (4080m), descend and eventually reach Upper Pangboche, where we'll wander the old alleys and take a peek inside Pangboche Gompa, at approximately 500 years old one of the four oldest gompas (monasteries) in the Khumbu.

Contouring above the newer Lower Pangboche, we pass a high mani wall, some memorial chortens and the school before dropping down to our lodge in Lower Pangboche. Pangbohe is a lovely village with views across the river to the trail to Ama Dablam Base Camp and the old airstrip at Mingbo. We stay at the last lodge in the village, Sonam Lodge, owned by Lhakpa's (ex) brother-in-law, Gyurme. Gyurme is one of the many lodge owners that we will meet along the way who has summited Everest many times. From the three-sided windows of the dining room, we will be treated to a sunset over Ama Dablam, Everest, Lhotse and Nuptse. (3 1/2 hrs)

Day 13 – Trek to Namche | Via Tengboche Gompa 4000m/13,120m
Continuing back down the valley, leave Pangboche by passing by the numerous trekking lodges and shops of Lower Pangboche and exiting the town through the open chorten (kane). Descend, on a beautiful and well-worn trail lined with ancient mani walls and whitewashed chortens with Bouddha eyes, down to the Imja Khola far below. After crossing the river on a new metal bridge (look below to see the old bridge), you wil hike on wide yak-trails through the hamlet of Devoche, passing ancient, moss-covered mani stones and the ani gompa (nunnery) of Devoche on the right. Stop for a peek into this old monastery, the equally ancient looking nuns often perform mid-day pujas. Soon after passing the nunnery you pass the few small lodges of Devoche and then ascend a relatively steep, switchbacking trail through a dense rhododendron forest for a good half an hour to reach Tengboche (4000 meters), backed by the massive wall of Kangtega and well-known for its large monastery, Tengboche Gompa. Tengboche Gompa is the largest monastic community in the Everest region and one of the Khumbu's most important monasteries.

Take some time to visit Tengboche Gompa before the steep, hour-long descent on a dusty, hill-side trail to Phunki Tenga. From here, you cross the Dudh Koshi on a new bridge and heading back up steeply through pine forests, and past small local settlements to Tashi and Lhakpa's Amadablam Lodge at Kyangjuma. You'll stop for a scenic lunch on the terrace, gazing out on the majestic Ama Dablam. Don't miss the shopping; Tashi is famous for her jewelry which she also sells in Colorado in the summertime. From here, it's an easy hour and a half contour around many brushy hillsides to reach Namche, the Tibetan market, the Moonlight lodge, hot showers, good food and a glass of wine or a cold beer. (5 1/2 hrs)

Day 14 - Trek Chhuserma | The Beyul 2660m/8725'
Leaving Namche along the same trail that you hiked up over a week ago, you will hike down that big hill to Phakding from where you'll cross the bridge over the river and hiking along the opposite side of the river, well away from other trekkers. Your destination is Nima & Caryl's charming new Beyul & Hermitage Lodge where you will enjoy Himalayan views on their terrace, sit around the stove with the welcoming family, eat an organic meal from their own garden and enjoy true peace. This is a unique lodge and a chance to get to know Sherpa culture with some Western amenities! (5 hrs)

Day 15 - Trek Lukla
Trekking down to the river, you'll again cross on the bridge and start your hike uphill through Chharikharka. You will finish the trek back at Dawa Phuti & Ang Pasang's Eco-Paradise Lodge where everyone stays in the new en-suite rooms. In the evening you will have yet another Sherpa feast (after hot showers) and perhaps try some of Dawa's famous Sherpa tongba. This cozy dining room is one the nicest in the Everest region, so it's always an added treat to return there after the trek. Ang Pasang works for the airport, so you are in good hands for your flight out the next morning. (2 hrs)

Day 16 - Fly Kathmandu
Bags packed and ready to go before the sun rises as you fly out of Lukla to Kathmandu early; taking off from the Hillary Airstrip is just as exciting as landing!

Day 17 - Trip Ends
Transfer to the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) for your flight home. Namaste!

NOTE: We STRONGLY recommend scheduling an extra day in Kathmandu in case of flight delays or cancellations out of Lukla.

Kathmandu | Optional Sightseeing Tour Bhaktapur
One more day in Kathmandu, with a sightseeing excursion by private vehicle to Bhaktapur. Bhaktapur which translates as 'Place of Devotees’ and is also known as Bhadgaon, is an ancient Newar city approximately 15 kilometers east of the Kathmandu Valley. Bhaktapur is one of three ancient capitals of the Kathmandu valley, the capital of the Newar Kingdom and a city of artisans and craftspeople famous for its art and architecture: intricate carvings, sculptures, paintings, thankas, pottery, statues and temples, or pagodas. Bhaktapur has a well-preserved ‘durbar square’, or palace square, and has been named a World Heritage site by UNESCO because of its incredible temples, pagodas, wood carvings, stone carvings and metalwork. Bhaktapur is also famous for its yogurt, called curd in Asia, a taste which hasn’t been duplicated anywhere.

Spend a full day exploring Bhaktapur and its rich cultural heritage, where a majority of enthnic Newaris live in traditional ways, and life seems to stand still. There are many great restaurants and cafes to rejuvenate, and it's possibly the best spot in Kathmandu for purchasing a thanka after watching the technique, as well as shopping for endless other locally produced crafts. Bhaktapur is home to countless local festivals, so if you are lucky and arrive on a festival day, enjoy the timeless and colorful events unfold.

Kathmandu World Heritage Sightseeing Tour | Bhaktapur (+$100)

Kathmandu | Optional Patan Sightseeing Tour
Visit the third of Kathmandu's ancient capitals, known as 'The City of Fine Arts', best if you have an extra day in hand as Patan is also rich in cultural heritage, has many lovely roof-top cafes for lunch and world-class museums. Some of the highlights of Patan are its Durbar Square, the Krishna Temple within the palace complex of Patan (entirely made of stone, with 21 distinctive spires), and Hiranya Varna Mahavir, or the Golden Buddha Temple.

Kathmandu World Heritage Sightseeing Tour | Patan (+$50)

Option | Everest Sightseeing Flight
An hour long extravaganza of the world's 8000 meter peaks, including airport transfers. (+$270)

Option | Extra Days at Shivapuri Heights Cottages
A wonderful get away 20 km north of Kathmandu, Shivapuri Heights Cottages are stylishly designed and personal cottages built around a 'common house', where you can breakfast overlooking the stunningly beautiful Kathmandu valley. Massages available on request. (+$)

Option | Cycling Trip in Kathmandu Valley
Many options for day trips, or extended trips, in the Kathmandu Valley. We can customize a cycling trip for you in partnership with one of our knowledgeable partners in Kathmandu. (+$)

Extra Days in Kathmandu | Customize your Journey!
We have plenty of great suggestions for extra days, or weeks, in Nepal! See our Nepal & Kathmandu Modules | Customize Your Trip! to put together the perfect journey.

Mountain biking, rafting, vespa tours or yoga retreats around the Kathmandu valley or Pokhara, trips to Bhaktapur or Patan (Kathmandu Valley's other historic capital cities), a visit to the Newari temple of Changu Narayan and a night at the Fort Hotel in Nagarkot for sublime Himalayan panoramas, an Everest sightseeing flight, a luxurious stay at Temple Tree Resort & Spa, paragliding, hiking or zip-lining in Pokhara, a spa & wellness getaway at Dwarikas Resort in Dhulikhel, a relaxing excursion to Chitwan National Park Wildlife Safari & Tharu Villages (staying at Maruni Sanctuary Lodge) or Bardia National Park, a weekend of adventure, sauna and pampering at The Last Resort or five-star treatment in historic Dwarika's in Kathmandu.

Kamzang Journeys can customize any of these excursions for you, just inquire!

Namaste & Tashi Delek!

© Kim Bannister

Signup for our Newsletter kimkim Add me to Skype  Facebook  Blog        Kamzang Youtube  Tripadvisor Kamzang Contact Informations