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ITINERARY for EVEREST BASE CAMP and/or KALA PATTHAR TREK
In many ways the ultimate trek ! It begins with the flight to Lukhla, great mountain views (and heart-stopping approach and landing !). The trek itself will take you through a range of magical landscapes, interesting villages, monasteries at Monjo, Namche, Tengpoche and Panboche, and ultimately to the midst of soaring peaks, with stunning views of Ama Dablam, Kang Tega, Nuptse, and Everest itself.
It's a moderately strenuous trip. Day 2 includes the gruelling 600 metre climb out of the valley to reach Namche, day 4 has a similar ascent to Tengpoche. Further north there are several shorter ascents, but they are made more strenuous by the effects of altitude. There are also though stretches of far more gentle terrain, and because of the need to acclimatise steadily the daily walking distances are not great. Ultimately you'll reach 5500 metres - pretty high ! If taken steadily, and allowing the recoomended days for acclimatisation, most trekkers will find that they can reach their goal without undue problems.
There's plenty of accommodation, including a number of quite sophisticated lodges. Again obviously the degree of sophistication tends to lessen as you gain height, but even at Gorak Shep twin-bed rooms are the norm.
The itinerary below can be used as a tea-house trek. If you're prepared, you can reach the summit of Kala Pattar quite comfortably (though didn't go up to EBC - if you have to make the choice, probably Kala Pattar, with it's incredible view of Everest, is more rewarding than the crowded glacier of EBC) It was done comfortably as a group of 5 ageing trekkers (and a 68 year old was first to the summit of Kala Pattar)
Day 1: Fly out to Lukhla early in the morning. Trek to Phakding
Day 2: Trek to Namche Bazar
Day 3: Rest / acclimatisation day in and around Namche
Day 4: Trek to Deboche (30 minutes beyond Tengpoche)
Day 5: Trek to Dingpoche (Dingpoche seems an easier route up than going via Pheriche, and it’s a more pleasant spot for Day 6 rest / acclimatisation day: there’s a pleasant short day excursion eastwards towards Island Peak)
Day 6: Rest / acclimatisation day around Dingpoche
Day 7: Trek to Lobuche (or Gorak Shep if you are feeling fit)
Day 8: Trek to Gorak Shep. Ascend Kala Pattar, back to Gorak Shep
Day 9: To Everest Base Camp. Back to Gorak Shep (or Lobuche)
(Actually didn't do this day, mainly because of dislike of crowded, festering patches of glacial moraine, so avoided Base Camp. The actual trek was therefore a day shorter as the descent
on day 9)
Day 10: Trek via Pheriche to Pangboche
Day 11: Trek towards Namche (either to Namche or to Kyanjuma, 1 hour short of Namche, or to Kyanjuma then 30 minutes up to Khumjung)
Day 12: Trek via Namche to Monjo, Ghat, or Phakding (depending on how well you are going !)
Day 13: Trek to Lukhla
Day 14: Fly back to Kathmandu
(Originally planned as 14 day itinerary, but with a spare day built in. Originally descending from Lobuche to Tengboche, then to Monjo, thence to Lukhla. The spare day was used it to make this more leisurely descent)
There is also another trail connecting Namche to Pangpoche besides the normal Tengpoche route 98% of trekkers use. This High Trail follows the west side of the valley and connects the villages of Phortse and Pangpoche. It actually offers better views than the standard Tengpoche route. Between Namche and Phortse the trail climbs to the high ridge of Mong La with couple of spectacularly situated lodges. Hiking to or returning from EBC using this variation is highly recommended. Going up and down the same route shows lack of imagination.