Everest Base Camp & Island Peak Trek
Price from: £1850.00
A classic high altitude trek to Everest Base Camp
Venture into the magnificent Himalayan mountain range with this exciting trekking package which visits the Everest Base Camp as well as the Island Peak.
- Fantastic views of Mount Everest
- Nepalese wilderness mountains
- High altitude trek
Surrounded by mighty peaks including Ama Dablam, Baruntse and Lhotse this impressive but easy climb can be combined with a visit to Everest Base Camp and the classic view point of Kala Pattar.
Mountaineering and trekking can be dangerous and carries an inherent risk of injury or death. Our professional leaders will continually undertake dynamic risk assessments to minimise the level of risk but it is impossible to reduce the risk entirely, nor is it desirable to. Objective dangers such as avalanches, rock fall and altitude illness will occur in the mountains. Participants must understand and accept these risks and take responsibility for their own involvement.
A combination of hotel accommodation at start and end of trip. Staying in lower and higher level camps inbetween as the trek proceeds.
Arrive in Kathmandu and complimentary transfer to your comfortable hotel just outside Thamel, the bustling hub of Kathmandu. Meet up with the rest of your team and your leader for a full briefing and equipment check.
Early morning flight to Lukla (2850m). This 40 minute flight deposits you in the very foothills of Everest at the jaw dropping Lukla airport perched on the very side of a cliff. Here you will the meet the rest of our team of porters who will load up your kit bags and head off up the Everest trail. An easy descent through the terraced fields leads in 3-4 hours to Phakding (2640m) overlooking the Dubh Kosi river.
Trek to Namche Bazaar (3450m) via the Sagamartha Park Gate at Joresale. From Phakding the trail follows the Dubh Kosi with a number of spectacular suspension bridges, none more so than the final bridge at the bottom of Namche hill. This two hour climb can be a struggle as your body adapts to the thin air but in good weather will offer your first views of Everest. Nestled in a natural bowl the village of Namche Bazaar is the Sherpa capital and our home for the next 3 nights as our bodies acclimatise.
Acclimatisation day in Namche Bazaar. This thriving village offers a Tibetan market, plenty of shops, internet cafes, Sherpa & Everest museums and a German bakery which does a mean apple pie. If you are feeling good then a steep climb leads to the infamous Everest View Hotel at Syangboche (3900m). This spectacularly situated hotel offers oxygen to those guests who have flown in by helicopter to prevent altitude sickness!
Day hike to Thame (3800m). Unlike many expedition providers we spend three nights in Namche Bazaar to aid our acclimatisation, which greatly increases our chances of success later in the trip. The age old maxim of climb high, sleep low still holds true today so we take a hike up to 3800m and the village of Thame to stretch our lungs and legs. This is the ideal space to spot Himalayan Tahr, the Danphe Pheasant and the elusive musk deer.
Trek to Tengboche (3860m). The views today towards Ama Dablam, Lhotse and Everest are stunning. The path initially traverses a steep hillside far above the Dubh Kosi river before descending steeply to Phunki Tenga, the lowest point on the trek north of Namche. The trail to Tengboche now climbs steeply for a couple of hours until you reach one of the spiritual and cultural centres of the Khumba region. The stunning Gompa has had a chequered history which is explained in the visitors centre but is a site of international importance in Buddhism.
Trek to Dingboche (4350m). The trek now leaves the tree line and heads up in to the summer pastures of the Shepra passing below the awe inspiring Ama Dablam. From Dingboche we will have our first views of Island Peak a days walk to the east. Just over the hill is Pheriche, the home of the Everest Memorial and the Himalayan Rescue Association hospital staffed by volunteer western doctors. The HRA usually run a series of evening lectures about problems at altitude which are very informative.
Acclimatisation day in Dingboche. After the significant jump in altitude yesterday we spend two nights in Dingboche to ensure everybody is acclimatising. There are plenty of short walks including an ascent of Nangkartshang Peak or a half day walk to the Ama Dablam Lakes.
Trek to Lobuche (4940m). Suitably refreshed after our acclimatisation day we head west up the wide valley to Thuklha at the foot of the Khumba glacier. A steep climb follows which will feel hard work at these altitudes but it eventually leads to the village of Lobuche set in a small ablation valley.
Trek to Gorak Shap (5170m). A rugged walk of 2-3 hours across the moraine leads to Gorak Shap, the final village before Everest Base Camp. You will undoubtedly meet a number of Tibetan Snowcocks, a comic pheasant like bird which thrives at these altitudes. Sitting to the north, beneath the bulk of Pumori, is the black rock of Kala Pattar, the famous Everest viewpoint. If the weather is good we make an evening ascent to watch the sunset over Everest, Nuptse and Lhotse.
Trek to Everest Base Camp. We make an early start to climb Kala Pattar in 1-2 hours. The sun rises behind the bulk of Everest giving an unforgettable panorama followed by a quick descent back to Gorak Shap for a late breakfast. The trek to Everest Base camp, situated at the foot of the Khumba icefall, is tough going over the moraine but the surroundings will take your mind off it. In the spring base camp is a hive of activity with hundreds of climbers and Sherpas working hard to make their dreams of climbing Everest a reality.
Trek to Chukung (4750m). We retrace our steps to the village of Dingboche where we again get the classic view of Island Peak, dominating the end of the valley out of all proportion to its size. The trail climbs gently until Chukung appears suddenly in front of you.
Trek to Island Peak Base Camp (5150m) A winding and dusty track leads to the narrow base camp situated on the moraine. Your tents will be erected by the porters along with a dining and toilet tent. Inquisitive Himalayan Snowcocks are usually spotted wandering between the tents.
Climb to Island Peak Advanced Base Camp (5400m). The morning is allocated to learning and perfecting the techniques for travelling across glaciated terrain and climbing & descending fixed lines. After lunch and a final kit check we make the short climb up to our Advanced Base Camp by way of a good path which zig zags its way up the hill side.
Summit day on Island Peak (6189m). We leave our high camp before sunrise while everything is still frozen in place. The route finds a devious way up a gully and a rocky shoulder via Grade 1 scrambling. Sunrise is stunning as the first rays hit the pyramid of Ama Dablam and should find us crossing the short narrow ridge to the glacier. Here we will rope up and fix crampons as there are a number of large crevasses to cross. As we approach the summit ridge the headwall rears up, offering 200m of steep snow which is climbed on fixed lines. The final ridge is exposed and delicate (fixed lines) leading to a perfectly formed summit and stupendous views of Lhotse, Baruntse and Ama Dablam. We descend all the way to Base Camp by the same route to a welcome evening meal.
Descend to Pangboche (4000m). Fully acclimatised the walk back down the Khumba valley will fly by. We descend to the village of Pangboche which nestles below Ama Dablam and used to be the highest permanently occupied village before the development of tea house trekking created a demand for year round accommodation higher up the valley.
Trek to Monjo via Namche Bazaar (2815m). After a couple of weeks in the mountains the smells of the forests are particularly vivid as you continue to descend. We have a late lunch in Namche Bazaar before continuing down to the small village of Monjo just outside the National Park boundary.
Trek to Lukla (2850m). Our final days walking, alongside the Dubh Kosi, is a feast of colours, prayer wheels, chortens and mani stones. We eventually leave the river and make the climb back up to Lukla perched on the side of the valley.
Flight to Kathmandu. If the weather is fine we make the short flight back to the hustle and bustle of Kathmandu with its showers, restaurants and bars for a well deserved celebration!
Day enjoying the delights of Thamel and Kathmandu. Tours can be arranged to visit Swayambhunath (the Monkey Temple), Pashupatinath and the World Heritage Site of Durbar Square This is also a spare day in case of bad weather or delayed Lukla flights.
Departure. Transfer to Kathmandu airport for your return flight.
- This itinerary is only a guide. Adventure travel in a developing country can be affected by a huge variety of factors including weather, landslides, strikes, breakdowns etc. Our staff will work hard to give you the best possible experience but please be aware there are some things outside of our control.
- Trip planning, organisation, local logistics and client liaison
- Airport transfers in Nepal by air-conditioned vehicle
- Complimentary welcome dinner with live Nepali cultural show
- Experienced local mountain leader
- Airline ticket - Kathmandu to Lukla return
- All permits and entrance fees for National Parks
- Local guides and porters
- Climbing Sherpa guide (at ratio of 1 guide: 6 climbers)
- Daily wages, proper equipment and full insurance of whole staff
- Accommodation at Thamel Eco Resort (boutique hotel) on a bed and breakfast basis in Kathmandu (3 nights)
- Full board accommodation in lodges on the trek (14 nights)
- Full board accommodation while camping (3 nights)
- Group equipment including tents and ropes
- Duffel bags for trek
- Hyperbar Chamber (PAC)
- 2 litre oxygen bottle, mask and regulator
- Satellite mobile telephone for emergency use (pay call)
- Discount outdoor clothing voucher for Cotswold and Montane
- International flights
- Excess baggage charges
- Tourist visa for Nepal (approximately US$40)
- Personal equipment
- Travel Insurance
- Lunches & evening meals in Kathmandu
- Optional Kathmandu sightseeing tour
- Tips for porters and local staff
- Costs incurred if the expedition finishes early or late
- Costs incurred if you leave the expedition early
Q. How fit do I need to be?
A. During the trek most days are between 4-6 hours walking along obvious but rough tracks. As a general guide if you can enjoy two good consecutive days walking in the UK (e.g. Scafell from Langdale and Helvellyn via Grisedale Tarn) over a weekend and not feel too bad on the Monday morning then then the trek to Everest Base Camp should not present too many problems. The ascent of island Peak involves one long day of climbing at altitude. The usual plan is to leave the high camp a couple of hours before sunrise, summiting around 11am and descending to base camp by mid afternoon. For most people long days in the hills and some form of aerobic training will give them a good base to enjoy this stunning summit day.
Q. I am a vegetarian. Will this be a problem?
A. No. The cooks in the Nepalese teahouses are experts at producing a huge variety of dishes from a very basic kitchen. Omelettes, Dal Bhatt, pancakes, potatoes, rice, momos etc. form the basis of a carbohydrate rich diet which is very useful to aid acclimatisation. It is also possible to order western dishes such as pizza and chips along with Pringles and Coke. In Kathmandu there is a wide selection of restaurants and it is possible to eat very well.
Q. I am concerned about porter welfare?
A. Our hardworking Sherpas and porters are fundamental to the success of our expeditions and are very much part of our team. We support the work of the International Porter Protection Group (IPPG) and work very hard with our local agent to ensure all our staff are well equipped, insured and provided for. We welcome your feedback on any aspect of this either during the trip or on your return.
Q. I have never been to altitude before. What should I expect?
A. For many people a trip to Everest base camp is their first experience of going to altitude. We have a very gentle acclimatisation profile which should allow you to enjoy the experience with nothing more than the occasional minor headache. We recommend you download the free booklet - Travel at High Altitude - from our Useful Links tab on the home page. This was written by MedEx, a collective of doctors with an interest in mountaineering and high altitude medicine and provides clear and simple advice on going to altitude.
Q. I would like a single room and tent. Is this possible?
A. Accommodation in Kathmandu is on a twin room basis with a member of the same sex or a double room where requested. During our trek most tea houses offer basic twin rooms. Where possible we can offer the option of a single room or tent (approximately GPB15 supplement per night) although this may not be physically possible in some tea houses.
Q. Is it possible to charge camera batteries, MP3 players etc?
A. Nepal has an electricity supply of 220V using round two pin and three pin sockets in two sizes. Powercuts are common but our hotel has a back up generator. Many of the tea houses are now offering a charging service for a small fee. You should bring your normal charging unit and a travel adaptor.
Q. Is Nepal safe?
A. Nepal is one of the friendliest and safest developing countries in which to travel. However as it emerges from a decade of civil war there are still frequent strikes and small pockets of unrest. We support the British government campaign: Know Before You Go. This provides invaluable information on any potential risks as well as lots of other useful information.
Q. What equipment will I need?
A. You will be supplied with a detailed equipment list on booking but you will require the following specialised equipment: 1) Double mountaineering boots (B3) 2) Crampons 3) Ice axe 4) Climbing harness 5) Jumar 6) Four season sleeping bag If you are looking to purchase new equipment team members receive a discount at Cotswold Outdoors and Montane. If you need to get any additional equipment in Kathmandu then we recommend Shonas. Their own brand mitts and down booties are particularly good. You will be able to leave any spare clothing and equipment in our hotel in Kathmandu. Please note for our Kathmandu - Lukla flight there is a 15kg checked baggage restriction.
Q. What happens if I get ill?
A. When travelling in developing countries there is always a risk of illness or accident. Our staff will work hard to reduce this risk to an acceptable level. Our itineraries include extra acclimatisation and spare days in case of inclement weather or illness. This gives us plenty of flexibility to deal with any unexpected occurrences. All our leaders have a current mountain first aid qualification and they will carry an extensive first aid kit. The following websites all provide useful information on staying healthy while travelling: MedEx Book , BMC Medical Information, UIAA Fact Sheets, NHS Choices, Fit for Travel, Travel Health.
Q. What insurance do I require?
A. It is a requirement of your booking with Activus Outdoors that you have adequate travel insurance for the planned activities which covers you for emergency medical, repatriation and rescue expenses, including the use of helicopters, up to the maximum altitude of your trip. We also recommend you have cancellation cover as your deposit is non-refundable. Some good insurers for high altitude trips are Snowcard and BMC.
Q. What previous experience do I need?
A. This expedition is ideally suited to regular UK walkers with basic experience of using crampons and ice axe. If you need training in this then our Winter Mountain Skills course based in the Lake District or Scotland will give you a solid foundation. Island Peak gets an alpine grade of PD and involves climbing and descending fixed lines. Experience of using ropes in scrambling or climbing is useful but not essential as there will be an opportunity to learn and practice these skills at base camp prior to your ascent
Q. What visas do I require?
A. The following is the latest information we have on file. However it is your responsibility to check with the relevant authorities and ensure you have the correct visa or the means to get one on arrival. British passport holders can purchase their tourist visa on arrival in Nepal. You will need approximately US$40 in clean unmarked bills, your passport with a least 6 months validity beyond the end of your trip, an application form and a passport photo. We will send you an visa application form with your joining pack which you can fill in in advance in order to save time at Kathmandu airport on arrival.
Q. Who will be leading my expedition?
A. One of the most important factors affecting the enjoyment and success of your expedition is the quality of your leader. Activus leaders have successfully led expeditions to all seven continents, they have climbed 8000m peaks, they are active in mountain rescue, they train and assess mountaineering instructors and are out walking and climbing in all conditions across the UK everyday of the year. As soon as your trip is confirmed we will look to appoint a suitably experienced leader who will be in contact with you prior to the trip departing. They are selected on their communication & group management skills as well as their experience and qualifications. Many of our leaders are members of the Association of Mountaineering Instructors or British Mountain Guides. For trekking holidays they may also be a member of the British Association of International Mountain Leaders. All leaders will also hold a Mountain First Aid Certificate. Smaller groups may use one of our regular local leaders. This will be discussed with you prior to any decision being taken.
If you have any questions about this activity please do not hesitate to ask.
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