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Everest Base Camp and Gokyo Lakes Heli Trek


Itinerary

Day 01 - Arrival in Kathmandu [1350m/4455ft]

Arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport, Nepal. Upon completing the visa formalities and collecting your luggage in the airport, kindly proceed to the exit of the arrival hall. Your trip leader will await you just outside the arrival hall and will escort you to your hotel in Kathmandu. Please look out for a placard of Highland Expeditions at the exit of arrival hall. Welcome drinks will be served and after you’ve refreshed, your trek leader will brief you about your trip in the lobby of your hotel in the evening. Get familiar with your surroundings by taking a walk down the street

Day 02 - Fly to Lukla and trek to Phakding [2,600m/8,531ft]

Today we take an early morning flight from Kathmandu to Lukla on STOL aircraft. Flight time is about 35 minutes to the airstrip built by Sir Edmund Hillary and the Sherpas in the mid-1960s. After landing we will have time to explore the village while the Sherpa crew sort out and load the trekking equipment. In the afternoon, we begin the trek by descending towards the Dudh Kosi River, where we join the main trail to Namche Bazaar, just above Chaurikharka at 2713m. The walking is easy and after passing through the small village of Ghat at 2550m, it’s a short walk to Phakding. Overall elevation gain tonight from previous night: 1,250m/4,100ft

Day 03 - Trek to Namche Bazar [3,450m/11,319ft]

We will continue our journey along Dudhkoshi River which will take us through pine forest. After crossing suspension bridges at several points and passing through small settlements of Zapute, Toktok, Benkar and Chumoa, we will reach Monjo. Ahead of Monjo is the entry to the Sagarmatha National Park planned to look after and preserve the fragile mountain environment. Lowering down from the park, crossing another suspension bridge, we will proceed towards high Hillary Bridge located at the foot of the hill. Crossing this bridge, we will climb uphill to the Namche Bazaar. We can get view of Thamserku Mountain. If weather is clear, we can also have first view of Mt. Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse and Kusum Khangru mountains. Overall elevation gain tonight from previous night: 850m/2,788ft

Day 04 - Acclimatization day and O/N at Namche [3,450m/11,319ft]

We remain at Namche for a second night to allow for proper acclimatization to the altitude. Namche is a prosperous village, situated in a large protected hollow. After breakfast, there are a number of options: perhaps a hike up to Everest view hotel, Khumjung and Khunde, or walk towards Thame (3810m) above the beautiful Bhote Khola river valley, or a visit to the National Park Headquarters to see the interesting displays of Sherpa lifestyle and culture. There is also a mountaineering display and details of the park’s flora and fauna. Your guides will be on hand to offer advice and escort you on your walks.

Day 05 - Trek to Dole [4,040m/13,255ft]

Today it’s a steep climb out of Namche Bazaar up to Kyangjuma Village. At Kyangjuma, we can contemplate on terrific views of Thamserku, Kantega, and Ama Dablam. The tough part of today is sure going to be the ascent of the Mong La, a very appealing place hanging on the spur of Mt. Khumbila. A medieval historical Chorten stands at the centre of the settlement of Mong La. We spend some time at the top of Mong La to look with awe at the surrounding snow-capped mountains and valleys while enjoying lunch. The most eye catching feature of the trail today is the wealth of plant and animal vegetation including wildflowers and Rhododendrons that we see on the way. We may even spot wild lives like pheasants, mountain goats, and the subtle musk deer. Continuing our hike through forests, some waterfalls and bridges, we reach Dole, a small village with few teahouses. Overall elevation gain tonight from previous night: 590m/1,936ft

Day 06 - Trek to Machermo [4,470m/14,655ft]

Today it’s another short day starting with a climb out of the small Dole Valley before ascending more gradually up the Dudh Kosi valley, high above the river. The walking is easy, but we will still feel the effects of altitude on even the smallest hillock. The barren alpine scenery with only small clusters of scrub juniper is a stark contrast to the snowy white peaks and deep blue skies. After two hours, we will arrive at Luza (4360m), and after a further hour's walk we reach our lodge at Machhermo (4465m) where you will spend the evening. After lunch there is an option to take an excursion across rocky moraines to the base of Kyajo Ri (6168m) and Machhermo Peak (6073m). However, keep an eye open for the Yeti! It was here, in 1974 that three yaks were killed and a Sherpa girl injured when trying to fight off a hairy, ape-like intruder that could have been a hungry grizzly bear! Overall elevation gain tonight from previous night: 430m/1,411ft

Day 07 - Rest and Acclimatization day [4,470m/14,655ft]

We are more or less nearing an altitude of 4500m, so we haul up at Machhermo for an extra day to acclimatize by getting our bodies used to the thin air as we climb up. There are plenty of outlets for exploration around the camp and just above the village there is a gracious vista that encircles Cho Oyu at [8210m] and the mountains which flank the Ngozumpa Glacier.

Day 08 - Trek to Gokyo [4,800m/15,750ft]

After breakfast, we climb through a crest Chorten from where we enjoy master views of the valley below and Mt. Kangtega, Thamserku, and the northern part of Cho-Oyu at (8153m). Beyond the ridge the valley opens out as the trail passes through a Chorten and reaches Phangka at (4480m) after a brief soft hike. Phangka is an area where an avalanche in 1995 killed 40 people. We descend to the river bank before beginning to climb up to the terminal moraine of the Ngozumpa Glacier. It is a steep climb on the moraine. After crossing an iron bridge over a stream the trail levels out as it follows the valley past the first lake, known as Longpongo at 4690m, where we get chance to see the Lama footprints on a stone. As we see the sights of the second lake, Taboche Tsho, we watch in awe the glimmering turquoise blue mass of water dazzling in the sunshine. Just ahead of the second lake, we reach the third lake, the two connected by a heaving stream. Gokyo village is neatly placed by the third lake and Cho-Oyu Mountains stand tall in the backdrops, setting off stunning scenery, an ideal spot for our video cams to go on overdrive at this awesome area. After lunch, we discover more of the third Lake, Dudh Pokhari. Overall elevation gain tonight from previous night: 330m/1,083ft

Day 09 - Hike to Gokyo Ri [5,357m/17,575ft] and trek to Thagnak [4,750m/15,584ft]

Today we hike to Gokyo Ri early in the morning before dawn to catch the spectacular sunrise over Everest and surrounding peaks. Afterwards we retrace back to Gokyo for breakfast. After relishing a warm breakfast, we trek down to Thagnak for overnight scaling by the second of the Lakes; the route across the glacier is identified by cairns and is pretty well determined. We climb off the glacier by a small dwelling known as Thagnak and follow a low valley to our camp by a small kharka. Overall elevation gain tonight from previous night: -50m/-164ft

Day 10 - Traverse Chola pass [5,420m/17,783ft] and trek to Dzongla [4820m/15,814ft]

Cho La Pass is also another show up of this trip. Today is the toughest day and we need to start early (4-6 am) compared to other days on the trip. The pass is not itself difficult but it is steep and involves a glacier traverse on the eastern side. We need to be careful as the trail is vertical and the rocks glazed by ice add trouble to the trekkers making the trail slippery. While trekking through the side of a frozen lake we reach at the top of the pass decorated with prayer flags. The pyramidal Ama Dablam presides over a range of mountains on the south even as Cholatse soar on the west and Lobuche East and Baruntse rises sharply to our right. We need to pass through some crevasses before we reach Dzongla, another beautiful place with a complete view of Mt. Cholatse, Mt. Ama Dablam, Lobuche peak and the Pheriche village far below. Overall elevation gain tonight from previous night: 70m/230ft

Day 11 - Trek to Lobuche [4,910m/16,109ft]

From Dzongla, we plod higher onto the pretty risky moraine of the Khumbu glacier, passing a chain of stone monuments built in memory of Sherpas and Climbers who have died on mountaineering expeditions to Mt Everest. From hereabouts, the trail lowers and goes by the west side of the valley to Lobuche. The sunset on Nuptse from this point is an amazing sight to behold. Overall elevation gain tonight from previous night: 90m/296ft

Day 12 - Trek to Everest Base Camp [5,364m/17,559ft] and retrace back to Gorekshep [5,140m/16,864ft]

A real early start is required to reach the Everest Base Camp. It takes several hours as the trail weaves its way through ice pinnacles and past the crevasses of the Khumbu Glacier. After a brief lunch and rest, we take the trail to Everest Base Camp through the once vast Gorak Shep Lake. Only upon reaching the Everest Base Camp do we really appreciate the Everest climbers who brave the risky route through the Khumbu icefall. Mountaineer's tents stand out in bright colors against the monotony of gray surroundings (especially in the spring). Nuptse, Khumbuste and Pumori are the mountains we can view from the base camp. On the return leg, we can take a higher route to get a grand view of the Khumbu icefall and the route to the South Col. We return to Gorakshep for a restful night. Overall elevation gain tonight from previous night: 230m/755ft

Day 13 - Hike up to Kalapathar [5,545m/18,193ft] in early morning and descend to Dingboche

Today is the pinnacle of our trip. We start at the break of dawn to catch the heartwarming views from Kala Patthar witnessing the first light of day shining on Mount Everest. However, we need to get prepared for an early morning, dark and chilly temperature (-10 to -14 C) departure beforehand. Further, there is always the likely chance for strong wind which is quite common. Familiar peaks such as Lingtren, Khumbutse, Changtse tower to the east even as Everest begins to expose itself emerging between the west shoulder crest and Nuptse. During the ascent to Kala Patthar, we can pause to catch our breath at several dazzling viewpoints to snap pictures. After several hours of an ascent, we reach Kala Patthar. From this juncture, we jumble to climb the rocky outcrop near to the summit marked by cairns and prayer flags. As we reach the top, we sit on the Kala Patthar where rocks our eyes taking unbelievable Himalayan Panorama, wandering from one mighty massif to another. We take as many pictures as we can and take the views with our memories to last a lifetime. We then descend to Gorekshep, have breakfast and we retrace our steps to Duglha and descend to Dingboche

Day 14 - Fly back to Kathmandu on a chartered helicopter [1,350m/4,430ft]

We will fly back to Kathmandu on a chartered helicopter flight that dazzles us with epic views of mystical Mountains. Enjoy the close-up views of mountain ranges. Once the helicopter lands at domestic terminal of Tribhuvan Airport, you will be transferred to the hotel. Spend the day taking rest. Rest helps you to calm your stiff limbs. Stay overnight in a hotel in Kathmandu.

Day 15 - International departure / Trip ends

Thank you for joining us on this trek and it has been a pleasure getting to know you during this time. We hope this venture has enriched your experience with happy memories. Keep in touch and hope to hear from you soon. Bon voyage for a safe and pleasant trip home.

Trip Includes

  • All meals (B,L,D) on OPEN/CHOICE Menu whilst on trek with tea & coffee.
  • Twin sharing accommodation at Kathmandu guest house or similar category for 2 nights with breakfast
  • All required permits for trek (TIMS Card and Everest National Park )
  • Accommodation at clean and cozy teahouses/lodges on trek
  • Internal flights (KTM-LUA)
  • Dingboche to Kathmandu chartered helicopter service
  • Experienced local trek leader with 1:4 assistant guide to client ratio
  • Full support crew with 1 porter for every 2 trekkers
  • Kathmandu airport transfers and escorts
  • Comprehensive first aid kit with high altitude medicines and supplementary oxygen system
  • Satellite phone for emergency purpose and nominal charge for personal use
  • Duffel bag, Sleeping bag with liner and Down Jacket (Sleeping bag and down jacket must be returned after completion of trek)
  • Staff insurances and allowances
  • Trek completion certificate (Upon request)
  • Group welcome dinner at typical Nepalese restaurant 

Trip Excludes

  • International airfare, Visa and travel insurance
  • Meals at Kathmandu
  • Extra night accommodation in Kathmandu or on trek for any reason (Early arrival or delay, Early arrival from trek due to any reason)
  • Personal expenses
  • Gratuities for staff