The high point of this trip is Renjo Pass at 5,420m (17,782ft), or it may come well before! We will fly into the high altitude airstrip in Lukla and then travel quick, fast, and self-supported to the Gokyo valley (including a climb up to Gokyo Ri at 5,357m (17,575ft) before traversing east using Chola and Renjo passes. Those who are feeling strong can go up and visit Everest Base Camp and climb Kala Patar for stunning 360 degree panoramas. We will also attempt to cross Kongma Pass before looping back to Namche 3440m and retracing the stick of the lollipop back to Lukla. Depending on weather and other conditions, instead of flying back to Kathmandu – we may decide to continue on foot from Lukla, following the original trekking trail either to to Phaplu or Jiri where we will take a jeep back to Kathmandu.
This trip is meant for hardy souls who are looking to visit this region when most other trekkers stay away. Members need to realize that nights will be cold as well as some of the passes. However, days should be sunny with clear skies if the past is a predictor of the future. Like all things in the Himalaya, there is no certainty that we will be able to cross all of the passes, fortunately we can detour around them if needed.
Like all of our other trips, you can count on long, hard days with lots of climbing alongside jaw dropping views. You can also count on acclimatization days where we climb high and sleep low, great gear advice, carrying your own weight, and a fun small-group experience with time to stop and visit temples. Last, you can count on us adjusting the itinerary to meet group needs, vagaries of the weather, and other mundane reasons if needed. We have acclimatization days, but we also have a fairly aggressive schedule.
Early bird, all inclusive cost in 2018 is $2,550. This includes round trip airfare in Nepal from Kathmandu to Lukla, lodging, food, drinks….pretty much everything except your booze and snicker bars. Our maximum group size is 10, and our minimum is 2. Preference given to applicants with solid histories of endurance ‘stuff’ and high altitude experience.
Days 18 including arrival, two nights in Kathmandu, fifteen in the mountains and and departure days. Total Distance: 122k/76mi. Gain: 7,315m/24,000ft, Loss: 7,315m/24,000ft. Max elevation: 5,601m/18,376ft, Avg Elevation: 4,130m/13,551ft. Fun: Impossible to quantify. Max Participants 10.
Saturday, October 13th – Tuesday, October 30th (18 days)
- Day 1: Arrival Day. Fly in sooner if you can so you have more time to get over your jet lag and see the sites in Kathmandu. One of us will meet you at the airport with a silly sign.
- Day 2: Briefing, gear check, shopping trip to Thamel where gear stores abound. Group dinner and early to sleep.
- Day 3: Early morning flight to Lukla (2,860m/9,383ft) and after a quick cup of tea at Chewang Sherpa’s tea house we will head north from the village. It is a good half day on trails with a tough little climb to Namche Bazaar (3440m/11,286ft)) where we will sleep for two nights while we (hopefully) acclimatize.
- Day 4: Namche Bazaar. This is an acclimatization Day. We will hike high above Namche, come down and eat way too much at the German Bakery.
- Day 5: Thame (12,532ft), This is not too far up the valley from Namche but we want to go slow since we are still acclimatizing and it is a great hike.
- Day 6: Another stunning day getting up into alpine terraine – we will stay in Lumde: 4,368m/14,330ft
- Day 7: Acclimatization hikes, climbing high and sleeping low with another night in Lumde as we continue to acclimatize.
- Day 8: Cross Renjo Pass (5,360m) and descend to Gokyo (4,790m)
- Day 9: Climb Gokyo Ri? (5,360m). Sleep in Gokyo (4,790m).
- Day 10: Head east by crossing the wide Ngumba Glacier. Climb and cross Cho La (5,420m/17,782) descend to Zongla (4,830m)
- Day 11: Gorak Shep. This is a collection of a few lodges – really the last outpost before Everest Base Camp. In fact, it was the original basecamp for Tenzeng and Hillary.
- Day 12: This is it! Up early and a climb up to Kala Patar (5,550). snack, and then walk to EBC (5,364) and down to Loboche (4,910m).
- Day 13: We will get up really early and cross Koma La (5,535m) and descend and sleep at Dingboche (4,410m). If we are running short on time we will skip this pass and head down in the direction of Namche.
- Day 14: Long day dropping down. Monastery visit in Tengboche (3,860m) and then drop and contour all the way down to Namche (3,440)
- We will face a decision point here. Lukla is only a few hours from Namche and where most trekkers fly back to Kathmandu from…but it is a tiny airstrip and planes can only land there when they can see the runway. It is very common for things to get backed up for days and days. There is also some great trail that extends beyond Lukla and it sees very few trekkers. (Be sure to read up on how Lizzy Hawker made her famous run from here to Kathmandu!) We may just keep cruising on that trail and eventually get a jeep from Phaplu (about a day from Lukla) or Jiri (a few days moving fast) back to Kathmandu. If we decide to fly back from Lukla – we would continue with the itinerary below.
- Day 15: Pretty easy walk (except last part is uphill!) to Lukla (2,840m). We will stay with Chewang Sherpa who guided Seth in 2010 on Island Peak. He has a shiny new lodge.
- Day 16 Flight back to KTM. If all goes well we will arrive early in the day.
- Day 17 Buffer Day/Party in Kathmandu
- Day 18th: October 30. Departure Day (though we strongly encourage you to try to fly out later so if we get stuck in Lukla you are not stressed about your departing flight. Plus, we hope you will stick around and go on a safari or otherwise explore Kathmandu).
Please add your name to the roster!