Even though the highest mountain in the world has been conquered many times in this forty six year since the first conquest. Everest is still as mysterious, beguiling and magnificent as ever. Standing incredibly tall silhouetted against the shared sky of Nepal and Tibet, this mountain has many names: Chomolungma, Sagarmatha, Qomolungma or Mt. Everest. Which ever name one chooses, its mystery still lives on. It was first climbed by Sir E. Hillary & Tenzing Norgay in 1953.
Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu Airport (1345meters).
There you will be met by our Airport Representative and transferred to hotel by private tourist vehicle. Overnight at hotel.
Day 2: Pre-trip Meeting and Sightseeing around Kathmandu valley.
In the morning after breakfast at 9 AM, we host a Pre-Trip meeting at your HOTEL IN Kathmandu and introduced your expedition Leader/Guide and Sherpa team, at the same time it will provide an opportunity for individuals to ask questions about the your tour and to introduce you to other participants. This includes a final briefing and preparations for the trip.
After the Pre-Trip meeting and breakfast your sightseeing trip will start at 9.45 AM in the morning. We provide a private vehicle and professional tour guide. We visit Bodhnath Stupa, one of the biggest Buddhist shrines in the world, where we observe Buddhist monks in prayer in the monasteries surrounding the stupa. After Bodhnath Stupa we visit Pashupatinath, the most famous Hindu temple in the country, located on the banks of the holy Bagmati River. Here we see Hindu holy men (sadhus) meditating, pilgrims bathing and occasionally funeral pyres burning on the ghats. We also visit Bhaktapur Durbar Square, which is a collection of pagoda and shikhara style temples grouped around a fifty-five-window palace of brick and wood. The attraction of the Bhaktapur Durbar Square is The Lion gate, The Golden gate, The Palace of fifty five windows, Art Galleries, The Statue of King Bhupatindra Malla.
The rest of our time in Kathmandu is free for further exploration and some last-minute shopping in Thamel area near by your hotel. Later, we are supplied with our Trip Pack and information for tomorrow. Overnight at hotel.
Day 3: Official formalities in Kathmandu.
Formal briefing in the Ministry of Tourism. Today, the expedition leader will also check everyone’s equipment. Overnight at hotel.
Day 4: Final Preparation day in Kathmandu. Overnight at hotel.
The last opportunity to buy anything missing.
Day 5: Fly from Kathmandu to Lhasa (3660meters). Overnight at hotel.
Early morning transfer to the international airport for the hour-long flight to Lhasa. This stunning flight, on a China Southwest Airlines Boeing 757, takes us right across the main Himalayan range and provides us with magnificent mountain views. After landing at Gongar Airport and meeting our local Tibetan Sherpa, it is a further 2-hour drive by Land cruiser to Lhasa. It’s advisable to rest and take it easy for the remainder of the day due to Lhasa’s altitude. Overnight at hotel.
Day 6: Sightseeing in Lhasa. Overnight at hotel.
We spend today visiting several of Lhasa’s many monasteries in the company of a guide and interpreter. One of these is the Sera Monastery, one of the best-preserved monasteries in Tibet, within its whitewashed walls and golden roofs, several hundred monks live and study. After lunch we’ll visit the Norbulingka, the summer palace of the Dalai Lama, as well as the Jokhang Temple. This temple is possibly the most sacred shrine in Tibet and there is always a procession of devout Tibetans through the complex. Surrounding the Jokhang is the Barkor – a maze of narrow cobbled streets that is the central market of Lhasa. Overnight at hotel.
Day 7: Second day of sightseeing in Lhasa. Overnight at hotel.
In the morning, we visit Potala Palace which dominates the city of Lhasa it’s a spectacular building, containing private quarters of the Dalai Lama as well as numerous grand state rooms and many important chapels. There has been a Palace on this site since the 5th or 6th century, but the present Palace was constructed in the 17th century. After lunch, we visit the Drepung Monastery, which was founded in the 14th century and was once the largest in the world, with a population of around 10,000 monks. These days that figure is down to several hundred, but there is still much here of interest as it was left relatively unscathed during the Cultural Revolution. Overnight at hotel.
Day 8: Drive to Gyantse (3950meters) – 261 k.m. Overnight at hotel.
The day begins with our overland journey towards Rongbuk valley. We follow the Friendship Highway by jeep, we cross the Khamba La at elevation of 4794meters from which there are stunning views across the waters of Yamdrok-tso Lake to the snowy summit of Nazin Kang Sa 7252meters. As we continue our journey to westwards over another high pass the Karo La 5045meters, we can view the spectacular sight of a huge glacier tumbling down to within a few hundred meters of the road. After few hours, we arrive to Gyantse passing the beautiful valleys and colourful Tibetan villages. Overnight at hotel.
Day 9: Drive to Shigatse (3900meter) – 90 k.m. Overnight at hotel.
This morning we visit the Gyantse Dzong. This fort dates back to the fourteenth century and offers some of the most amazing views of Gyantse and surrounding valleys. Before leaving we also visit the famed Gyantse Kumbum. This magnificent tiered structure is the largest stupa in all of Tibet. If the exquisite GOLD dome is not enough, this stupa is packed with Tibetan sculptures and paintings.
Thereby, we continue the trip to Shigatse, the second largest city in Tibet. It is only about a 90 km drive taking us to Shigatse which is a laid back city that provides excellent opportunity for both relaxation and exploration. Thereafter, exploring the local market we will make a detailed visit to the Tashilhunpo Monastery, one of the largest functioning monasteries in Tibet. Overnight at hotel.
Day 10: Drive to Shegar (New Tingri) (4050meters) – 244 k.m. Overnight at hotel.
The views of this desert plateau provide wondrous entertainment as we travel along the Friendship Highway. This stretch is the most spectacular landscape in Tibet. After passing through the small town of Lhatse we will cross Gyatmso La elevation of 5220meters, the highest pass on our journey. The land quickly descends to plains after Gyatmso La. While travelling through the plains we will see many nomadic herders, quiet countryside, and secluded monasteries. Overnight at hotel.
Day 11: Drive to Ronguk (5000meters) and hike to Everest Base Camp (5150meters). Overnight at tented camp.
Today we leave the main Lhasa to Kathmandu highway and head due south towards Everest. We drive over the Pang La, which will hopefully give us our first good views of Everest, some 40 miles away. Then we descend to a village in the valley floor, and continue up the valley to base camp. The road becomes rougher and rougher, but the scenery becomes more spectacular as we round each corner. Finally there is the awesome north face of Everest, at the head of the valley before us. From base camp, it does seem very close, but it is still 12 miles away.
Day 12 to Day 16: Acclimatization and local exploration. Overnight at tented camp.
We spend 4 days at base camp while our bodies adapt to the altitude. This gives us plenty of time to enjoy the views, and photograph Everest. For those who are feeling up to it, there are plenty of hillsides to scramble up, and we can walk down the valley to Rongbuk Monastery, 5 miles / 8 km away. Another worthwhile objective would be to reach Tillman’s Camp, an idyllic spot beside the majestic Central Rongbuk Glacier, which offers staggering views of the north side of Everest. It is important not to overdo it during this period – there will be plenty of opportunity for exertion later! We must work at resting, while drinking plenty of fluids and enjoying the base camp food.
Day 17: Trek to First Interim Camp (5,680m). Overnight at tented camp.
The trek starts easily enough, crossing the pebble floodplain of the Rongbuk River, then weaving along a good path between the glacier and the valley side. After about 2 hours we reach a good viewpoint, then turn steeply up to the left, leaving the main central Rongbuk valley. This takes us up into what seems to be a fairly small subsidiary valley, but it soon opens up to reveal the amazing pinnacles of the East Rongbuk Glacier. It was the discovery of this approach in 1922 that provided the key to climbing this side of Everest. We camp in a very pleasant spot, with plenty of space, no more than 2 hours after having turned into the East Rongbuk Valley. The camp is located on the right bank, overlooking the river below, and is short of the moraines and the toe of the glacier that lie ahead.
Day 18: Trek to Second Interim Camp (6,088m). Overnight at tented camp.
Crossing small streams and moraines, we gain the opposite side of the valley and contour along it until the valley makes a very definite swing north.
Here will be the site for our interim camp for future journeys between base and advance base but, for now, it marks the climb onto the glacier proper and the start of the Magic Highway. On subsequent journeys up the East Rongbuk Glacier, we will be fitter and better acclimatized, enabling us to complete the trek to ABC easily in two days, hence this will become the site of a single interim camp located where the glacier sweeps north (c5,890 metres).
The Magic Highway is an unlikely tongue of moraine that passes down the middle of the treacherous ice pinnacles of the East Rongbuk Glacier. The route is surprisingly level, with little height gain for the effort expended as the altitude makes it tough.
Once on the Magic Highway, the conditions become more austere than during the previous day’s walk, with ice and moraine constant companions from here on. At the start of the season, the streams on the glacier will be slight, carrying little water. However, as the season progresses through spring, and towards summer, some of these streams will become torrents, that will require frequent changes to the route in order to cross them safely.
The Highway finally drifts in toward the east ridge of Changtse, where a lake often forms. The interim camp is reached after a 5 hour day of slow walking and nestles close to the entrance of the cwm to the north of Changtse, near to this moraine lake.
Day 19: Trek to Advance Base Camp (6,440m). Overnight at tented camp.
The re-appearance of Everest is a pleasant distraction during the final climb and, as you round the corner towards advance base camp, you can see the whole of the North East Ridge, from the Raphu La to the summit. The shimmering triangle of snow, that highlights the summit over 4 Kilometers distance and 2 Kilometers higher, will issues its siren’s call, until your footsteps cross it!
Day 20 to Day 58: Climbing period of Everest 8848 meters from North Ridge. Overnight at tented camp.
It is impossible to prescriptive about how the mountain will be climbed from this point on, as it will be matter for the leader and the team. For those that have been to extreme altitude before, we would aim to be as flexible as possible to allow for people’s preferred acclimatization routine. For some, this may mean climbing as high as camp 3 on the North Ridge, as soon as possible, before diving back to base camp for a long rest. Others might want to remain longer in ABC, taking several trips to the North Col and sleeping there overnight but not going any higher, for example.
Whatever routine is adopted for acclimatization, as soon as everyone is happy that they have achieved an optimum state of readiness, the team will return to base camp for a long period of rest and eating.
After many days of resting and preparing, we return once more to ABC, using the single interim camp at the start of the Magic Highway, en route. Again, we pause in ABC, to eat some more and to ensure that everything is in place, and the weather is set as fair as possible. Then we head up. The route to the North Col will be well-known entity, as its slopes will have been ascended a few times by each of us as part of our acclimatisation process. However, we should find the meters slipping by more easily, as sights are now set on the very pinnacle of the mountain.
From Camp 1 on the North Col, the route turns to follow a long snow ramp, the north ridge proper, that rests like a gigantic flying buttress supporting the upper reaches of the mountain. Although never steep, this section is prone to wind, sweeping icily across the mountain. After a full day, we reach camp 2 located at the head of the ramp.
From here, the route moves on to broken rocky ground of shattered shale, as the north ridge cast off its layers of snow. However, the route remains relatively easy angled, although the gradient increases gently, until the next camp is reached. This is located where the mass of the north ridge rams home hard against the bulk of the mountain, on rocky shelves. The day is rewarded with stupendous views over the glaciers below. What were viewed as big mountains as they dominated the Magic Highway, now more easily blend with the humble backdrop of the Tibetan Plateau and the flatlands beyond.
The top camp will give you an even greater sense of the world below your feet. The ascent remains on broken ledges, but these are easy with shale and scree interlacing between them until snow runnels give out onto the north face proper. Once clear of the rocks and on more open slopes, you turn directly upwards, to arrive at the final camp at about 8,400-metres.
Summit day begins before mid-night! Leaving the tents in the still of the night, you headlamps shine up to pierce the darkness and illuminate a faint gully that leads to the ridge above. This line through the rocks is steeper than those traverse the day before, but the fixed ropes help lift you towards the skyline. Some scrambling, accompanied by a disproportionate amount of panting, will land you on the ridge at over 8,500- meters. The only thing now between you and the top, is about 400 meters of ascent, 3 rock steps and over a kilometer of ridge – the ultimate tightrope! As dawn breaks, you will see the awesome Kangshung Face falling off to your left – a mind-boggling drop in to Tibet. For the main part, you remain on the right flank and traverse easily in places, but the route is punctuated by the First, Second and Third Steps. The hardest of these is the Second, which has a ladder and fixed rope to allow an ascent, which would be virtually impossible otherwise. Additionally, you can expect an airy traverse en route to gaining the top. Finally, however, the mountain yields, and the final summit snowfield, that you had seen from miles below will come under your feet and herald your arrival to the Top of the World.
Day 59: Packing personal equipment at base camp. Overnight at tented camp.
Day 60: Depart base camp and drive to Zangmu. Overnight at guesthouse.
We undo our remarkable road journey across the Tibetan plateau. We overnight in a hotel, at Zangmu, ready to cross back into Nepal at first light.
Day 61: Drive Kathmandu from Zangmu. Overnight at hotel.
Once back in Kathmandu, Ace the Himalaya will host an evening barbecue to celebrate the expedition and as a farewell party to thank the Sherpas and the team member for their support and friendship during the expedition with the hope of seeing you all again for next expedition.
Day 62: Leisure day in Kathmandu. Overnight at hotel.
Leisure day in Kathmandu
Day 63: Transfer to international airport for your final flight departure.
The trip ends, our Airport Representative will drop you to the Kathmandu International Airport for your flight departure from Nepal.
- Airport transfers
- 3 star HOTEL IN Kathmandu, single with breakfast, in the heart of Thamel
- All group transportation by private vehicle
- Entrance fees and permits as needed
- Chinese visa and all permits
- Expedition Expedition permit fees
- Accommodations in Kathmandu
- All overnight accommodations while on the trek and climb
- Meals in Kathmandu and while trekking and climbing
- All BC, ABC and mountain services
- Email (via Outlook) and group laptops
- Personal 5 watt walkie talkie
- All tents and meals
- Oxygen (up to five 4 liter bottle, factory Poisk)
- Power for charging for cameras etc
- Chinese visa, permits etc
- Group equipment for the climb
- Qualified and Experienced guides
- Experienced Climbing Sherpas
- International airfare and Nepal /Tibet Visa
- Personal equipments and extra services
- Tips and Bonus for Staff and guide
- Insurance, Nepal visas, meals in Kathmandu
- Personal climbing equipment
- Emergency evacuation
- International flights, equipment rental, alcohol and soft drinks, laundry, tipping and other items of a personal nature
- Insurance and Trip cancellation
- Airport departure tax
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