We spend two nights in Kathmandu and then fly out to Lukla where our trek starts. Heading up the Dudh Kosi valley we reach Namche Bazaar and from there proceed into the Gokyo Valley.
A series of shorter walking days sees us safely acclimatized by the time we reach our lodge at Gokyo, beside the Ngozumpa glacier. It is well worth a morning climb up Gokyo Peak, as all of the 8000-plus m peaks in the area (including Everest and Cho Oyu) can be seen spectacularly from here. The tranquil lakes can be dazzlingly blue and during a good freeze in winter, provide a novel opportunity for some skating!
From Gokyo we trek into the Khumbu Valley via Phortse, Pangboche and Dingboche. A more challenging option, weather conditions and group fitness permitting, is to cross the Ngozumpa glacier and take the Cho La pass to join the main Everest trail near Lobuche. We follow the trail up to Gorek Shep, our highest lodge. An afternoon is spent walking the rugged trail to Everest Base Camp. Our climb up nearby Kala Patar, at the base of Pumo Ri (7165m), is best done in the early morning. It is short but steep and tough, and our efforts are rewarded by a brilliant close-up view of mighty Everest from one of the best vantage points around.
Our return trek to Lukla takes in the famous Thyangboche Monastery. It is a beautiful and peaceful place to pause and absorb the immensity of the Himalayas, spread out in a magnificent 360-degree panorama around us. We farewell our trekking crew and the Khumbu region in Lukla, and fly back to Kathmandu where there is time to relax, shop, and sample more of the fascination of this exotic city.
Day 01: Arrive in Kathmandu (1360m) transfer to hotel
Day 02: Kathmandu, half day sightseeing tour
Day 03: Phakding (2600m)
Day 04: Namche (3446m)
Day 05: Namche, rest & acclimatization
Day 06: Mong La (3892m)
Day 07: Dole (4084m)
Day 08: Machhermo (4465m)
Day 09: Gokyo (4750m)
Day 10: Gokyo, rest & exploration
Day 11: Dole (4084m)
Day 12: Pangboche (3985m)
Day 13: Dingboche (4360m)
Day 14: Lobuche (4930m)
Day 15: Gorak Shep (5160m)
Day 16: Gorak Shep, rest & exploration
Day 17: Pheriche (4243m)
Day 18: Kyangjuma (3650m)
Day 19: Monzo (2835m)
Day 20: Lukla (2827m)
Day 21: Fly back to Kathmandu
Day 22: Kathmandu, shopping in Kathmandu
Day 23: Departure (Trek ends after breakfast)