On Top of the World Trip Notes

At Imaginative Traveller we always aim to provide accurate information for our travellers. Unfortunately information such as the price of optional activities is occasionally subject to change, and this means that we are constantly revising our trip notes. In order to ensure that you have the most up to date information for your trip we suggest that you check the trip notes for your tour around one month before departure.

  • Trip code :GIEG
  • Trip length : 19
  • Trip starts in : Kathmandu
  • Trip ends in : Kathmandu
  • Maximum group size : 15
  • Ages : 18 - 39
  • Accommodation : 2 Nights Hotels/Guesthouses, 16 Nights Trekking Lodge
  • Transport : Bus, Plane

 

highlights1

  • Bodhnath Stupa of Kathmandu - one of the biggest Buddhist shrines in the world
  • Everest Base Camp and the notorious Everest Ice Fall
  • Kala Patar (5545m) - the best vantage point to see Mount Everest
  • Kathmandu’s hidden old town
  • Namche Bazaar – the gateway to the High Himalaya
  • Aint' no mountain high enough
  • Having a (eye)ball in Nepal

This trek covers the trifecta: Everest Base Camp, Kala Patar and Gokyo. BOOM. You’ll also swing by Namche Bazaar, hang out in birch forests and Instagram some jealousy-inducing sunsets before heading back to Lukla for beers and home. There's a lot of walking on this trip. Right... that should scare away the lazy sods. The rest of you go and get your thermals because we're off to Everest Base Camp, the top of Gokyo Peak (5360m) and Kala Patar (5545).

daily-itinerary1

Day
1

Kathmandu (1360m)

Or2K cafe has zucchini pie, fresh mint lemonade, falafel, free wi-fi...we think this is going to be the start of a beautiful friendship. Pop on some clean socks because you can't wear your shoes inside.

  • Pre-departure meeting at the hotel and an optional group dinner in the evening

 

Day
2

Phakding (2652m)

After a quick flight you'll get to meet your porters. Explore the village and check out the milky white waters of the Dudh Kosi River.

  • Fly parallel to the Himalayan giants en route to Lukla
  • Land on an airstrip built by Sir Edmund Hillary and the Sherpas in the mid 1960s
  • Explore the village of Lukla
  • Begin the trek and descend to the Dudh Kosi River, en route to a lodge in Phakding

(Walking time: approx 3 hours)

 

Day
3-4

Namche Bazaar (3446m)

We’ll stay for here a few days to acclimatise, but you'll also get your first look at Everest - so it's not a bad place to stop. Rugs, clothing, salt and dried meat all do a roaring trade in the village centre. Dried goat meat, anyone?

Day 3

  • Set off on an 6 hour trek
  • Awesome views of Kusum Kanguru and Thamserku peaks
  • Cross a suspension bridge over the Dudh Kosi River 
  • See the peaks of Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse and Taweche
  • Stay in a village lodge in Namche
  • Haggle for Tibetan artifacts in local shops

(Walking time: approx 6 hours)

Day 4

  • Stay at Namche to allow for acclimatisation 
  • Perhaps view the sunset and sunrise, and fantastic panoramas of Everest from the national park headquarters above the village
  • Optional walk up the Bhote Khola River Valley to Thami (3880m)
  • See displays of Sherpa lifestyle and culture
Day
5

Mongla (3970m)

We'll stop at Khumjung for lunch (dhal bhat, noodles etc), with views of birch forests, grassy slopes, rocky ridges and across to the village of Phortse.

  • Ascend to the airstrip at Shyanboche
  • Pass through beautiful birch forest
  • Enjoy magnificent mountain views
  • Spot Phortse across the valley
  • Overnight at the cluster of lodges on the saddle, known as Mongla

(Walking time: approx 4 hours)

Day
6-7

Dole (4038m) - Machhermo (4465m)

Acclimatisation is a jerk. Take it easy over the new three days and don't push yourself too hard. Also, a yeti was spotted here in 1974 so be on guard.

Day 6

  • Descend to the Dudh Kosi River
  • Enjoy excellent views of Kantega, Thamserku and Ama Dablam
  • Experience first sightings of Cho Oyo
  • Pass imposing waterfalls
  • Explore the upper Dole Valley
  • Spend the night in Dole

(Walking time: approx 4 hours)

Day 7

  • Ascend gradually to the Dudh Kosi Valley
  • Reach the lodge at Machhermo
  • Keep an eye out for the yeti - it killed 3 yaks and injured a Sherpa girl in 1974

(Walking time: approx 3 hours)

Day
8-9

Gokyo (5357m)


You'll need a new word to describe the colour blue after seeing the Gokyo Lakes. At Gokyo Peak we'll come face to face with four 8000-metre giants: Everest, Cho Oyo, Lhotse and Makalu.

Day 8

  • Climb from the Machhermo Valley on to the steep grassy slopes of the Dudh Kosi Valley
  • Keep an eye open for Tibetan snow cocks
  • Pass through Pangka and on to the jumbled, terminal moraines of Ngozumpa Glacier - the largest glacier in Nepal
  • Follow the lateral moraines to the third lake at Gokyo
  • Reach the lodge, located close to the lake

(Walking time: approx 3.5 hours)

Day 9

  • Early ascent of Gokyo Peak, boasting the best panoramas in the Khumbu
  • View four 8000-metre peaks - Everest, Cho Oyo, Lhotse and Makalu
  • Spot countless other towering peaks including Gyachung Kang, Cholatse, Taweche and Kangchung.
  • Bird's eye view of the Gokyo lakes and the huge creaking Ngozumpa Glacier
  • Descend back to Gokyo for a late breakfast

(Walking time: approx 4 hours)

Day
10-11

Phortse (3810m) - Dingboche (4360m)

Not many groups stop in Phortse, a traditional Sherpa village. It’s our little secret. You're almost completely above the tree-line now so the sunsets are pretty Instagram-worthy.

Day 10

  • Continue the descent to Phortse Bridge
  • Keep an eye open for musk deer
  • Ascend to the peaceful village of Phortse, with dramatic mountain views

(Walking time: approx 5 hours)

Day 11

  • Set off on an exposed trail to the Imja Khola
  • Keep eyes peeled for Himalayan tahr
  • Enjoy lunch in Pangboche
  • Perhaps see the monastery that once housed a legendary yeti scalp
  • Pass the Orsho tea houses
  • Cross the Imja Khola and old glacial moraines to a lodge in Dingboche
  • View huge peaks towering above the eastern end of the valley

(Walking time: approx 6 hours)

Day
12-13

Kala Patar (5545m)– Everest Base Camp (5364m)

From Kala Patar you can see Pumori, Nuptse, Changtse, Ama Dablam, Taweche, Kantega and Mt Everest. Don’t be surprised if you get a little tear in your eye (um, we mean a bit of dirt). The trek to Base Camp can be done in about three hours. Not bad for a day's work.

Day 12

  • From Dingboche, ascend the small ridge behind the village above Pheriche Valley
  • View the peaks of Taweche and Cholatse in the west and Lobuje in the north
  • Reach a line of memorial cairns, built in memory of Sherpas and other climbers who have died on various Everest expeditions
  • Arrive at the lodge on Lobuje

(Walking time: approx 6 hours)

Day 13

  • Head off towards Everest Base Camp
  • Encounter yaks and porters supplying food and equipment to expeditions here (March - May)
  • See the notorious Everest Ice Fall

(Walking time: approx 3 hours to Gorak Shep, 5 hours round trip to Everest Base Camp)

Day
14-15

Pheriche (4270m) - Namche (3446m)

It's all downhill from here. Visit Thyangboche Monastery and toast what you've just seen over a cup of steaming hot chiyaa (Nepali tea).

Day 14

  • Hike surrounded by the mountains - Pumori, Nuptse, Changtse, Ama Dablam, Taweche, Kantega and Everest - they're all here
  • Experience sunrise views from Kala Patar - easily one of the most emotional moments of the trip

(Walking time: approx 8 hours)

Day 15

  • Great views of the Imja Valley, Ama Dablam and Kantega
  • Cross the suspension bridge over the Imja Khola River
  • Visit the Thyangboche Monastery
  • Spend the night in Namche Bazaar

(Walking time: approx 7 hours)

Day
16-17

Phakding (2652m) - Lukla (2827m)

Our last days of trekking. Cross a big, cliched suspension bridge over the Dudh Kosi River, then celebrate with your team in Lukla.

Day 16

  • Final chance to visit the shops in Namche Bazaar
  • Experience Great views of Kusum Kangaru

(Walking time: approx 4 hours)

Day 17

  • Arrive in Lukla and enjoy free time to celebrate with the group
Day
18-19

Kathmandu (1360m)

You don't need to carbo load anymore. But surely another plate of pasta at Rumdoodle couldn't hurt?

Day 18

  • Flight back to Kathmandu

Day 19

  • The trip ends this morning, but there's plenty more to see in Kathmandu for those who wish to stay on

included1

Experienced local tour guide, trekking staff and porters, first-aid kit, transportation, twin-share accommodation.

optional-extras

We have chosen a selection of some great optional activities to enhance your travel experience. You will need to cover any additional costs yourself. The below list is not exhaustive and should be used as a guide only. Prices are approximate and are for entrance only and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability and it may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination.

Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. This means that it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, however we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Activities not listed below have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with booking these activities. The decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.

  • Kathmandu - Bhaktapur entrance
    US$15
  • Kathmandu - Half Day tour to Bhaktapur & Patan
    US$60 approx
  • Kathmandu - Mt Everest scenic flight - including transfers
    approx US$210
  • Kathmandu - Patan entrance
    US$7
  • Kathmandu - Taxi to Bodnath Stupa
  • Namche - Sherpa House Museum
    US$2 ( small donation also appreciated)

not-included1

International flights, arrival and departure transfers, airport/departure taxes, visas, pre or post tour accommodation, all other meals, optional tours sightseeing or activities during free time, transfers outside of the tour program, fully comprehensive travel insurance (obligatory on all trips and must include helicopter evacuation and repatriation), tips, items of a personal nature, laundry, cost of showers on trek (if available) and flights unless specified.

 

tripgrade1

RAW

Our Raw tours are best suited for those with a sense of adventure, are willing to step outside their comfort zone and don’t mind being thrown in at the deep end. For independent travellers who want to travel with others. Just the ticket for those aged between 18-35 or anyone young at heart who has an open mind, an eye on the budget and a nose for adventure. Authentic experiences that expand the mind rather than hold the hand.

Style Facts

  • The freedom to explore without breaking the bank
  • Time to do your own thing – or join in optional group activities
  • YOU choose where YOU want to eat
  • Basic accommodation
  • A variety of public transportation
  • Fully trained and experienced leader.

Active

Explore the world on two feet - or two wheels! Our active trips range from classic treks & trips where walking forms an integral part of the itinerary to cycling tours offering a totally new perspective on a destination.

Some of our active adventure tours include the classic treks such as the Inca Trail, Kilimanjaro or Everest Base Camp as well as shorter one day or overnight hikes. Our cycling tours allow you to access hidden corners of a destination, discover remote villages and meet the locals – either en route or even by cycling alongside them. All our active trips are fully supported – with either porters and mules or by a support vehicle.

Basic

Our Basic tours offer superb value and are ideal for those who are happy to forgo some creature comforts in favour of an authentic and fun experience. Under the leadership of a fully trained tour leader, you will enjoy all the highlights and freedom of independent travel with the convenience, security and companionship of a small group.

Style Facts

  • Plenty of free time to explore independently
  • Optional activities to suit your budget
  • Freedom to choose your own meals
  • Simple famliy run hotels
  • Mostly public transportation
  • Fully trained and experienced leader.

This tour is operated by our partners Geckos Adventures

 

visa1

A necessary bugbear of adventure travel, visas can appear complicated, costly and confusing to apply for. Imaginative Traveller recommend applying for visas with a professional visa service who can guide you though the process and take care of lodging and collecting your passport with multiple embassies, so we have teamed up with The Visa Machine.

The Visa Machine ‘live and breathe’ visas and have the expertise to provide current and accurate information and arrange the correct visas for your trip, quickly and at a good price.

Please click here for more information.

 

medical-preparation1

We strongly recommend you visit your doctor to discuss health requirements for your trip. They will advise you regarding the appropriate inoculations. In some places anti-malaria medication may also be required. Some vaccines need to be administered a few weeks before departure so allow yourself plenty of time. Obtain a certificate of vaccination and carry this with you on this trip. A dental check up is also highly recommended.

 

Money1

Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping, participating in optional activities, and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
 
You will need to take cash to cover all additional expenses not included in your tour cost. These include food, drinks, optional sightseeing, tips, laundry, souvenirs and possible delays. If in doubt, bring more than you think you will need. It is always useful to carry an additional amount for emergencies. If there is a medical emergency you are sometimes required to pay at the time; providing your claim falls within the scope of your policy, your insurance company will make reimbursement later.

 

travel-insurance

You must have extensive travel insurance as a condition of booking with us, and without evidence of a valid policy you won’t be allowed to start your trip. Please click here for more information

 

responsible-travel1

Responsible tourism is at the heart of Imaginative Traveller. For 20 years we have taken customers to places around the world in social and environmentally responsible manner, ensuring everyone involved respects and maintains the natural and often delicate balance of the destination.

As travellers ourselves we are well aware of the impact that tourism can have and whilst economic gain from tourism is often fundamental to a country, it should never be at the expense of its culture or the environment. It is our aim to provide journeys that have minimal negative and maximum positive impact on the places we visit. We do not believe that, as visitors, we should impose our own cultures on others; rather that we should experience foreign cultures and appreciate them for what they are.

We believe giving something back is essential. We therefore work with our customers and the people we visit to ensure the benefits go directly to contribute to local cultures and environmental conservation. This is not only good the communities we visit but it also gives our travellers more enriched adventures.

For further information about responsible travel please click here.

other-important-information

Itinerary Variation

While the information presented here details our planned itinerary, including routes taken, activities included, accommodation and meeting times, please accept that unforseen changes may occur. We are constantly on the lookout to improve our program and further enhance your experience. Naturally, we will keep you up to date with any last minute amendments to your tour.

Single room supplement

Most of our travellers like the thought of travelling with a few like-minded souls. There are NO compulsory single supplements on most tours as we simply arrange twin shared accommodation for you and another tour member of the same sex. But don't worry if that doesn't appeal. We do understand there are times when you just want a bit of privacy and 'me' time so we are more than happy to arrange a private room upon request when you book.

Other Information

A good level of fitness is essential. You will trek on hilly or mountainous terrain at altitudes of up to 5000 metres, up to 6 hours per day.

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