25 Day trip
20 day moderate to challenging trek
4 nights hotels
This itinerary has been specially designed for members to experience the adventure and excitement of one of the most spectacular parts of Nepal. It concentrates on high alpine views as we trek the high ridges and passes in the Gokyo and Khumbu valleys, including the legendary vantage points of Gokyo Ri, Kala Pattar and Cho La. As well we experience the culture of the Sherpa people in their homeland, visiting major monasteries of the region. Many of our staff are Sherpa, and they will show you the area's greatest attributes, possibly even taking you to their own homes.
A highlight of the autumn and spring treks is the high crossing of Cho La, a challenging but not technically difficult pass. Winter treks are unlikely to be able to cross Cho La but will still enjoy the Everest region's best views at Gokyo Ri and Kala Pattar.
DAY 1 Arrive in Kathmandu (1330 m).
You will be met by your group leader and transferred to the hotel where the pre-trek briefing will be given. Arrangements are made today for the distribution of your kit bag, sleeping bag and down jacket. Remainder of the afternoon at leisure.
DAY 2 Half Day Sightseeing Tour. Rest of day at leisure.
This morning a sightseeing tour has been arranged, taking in the key attractions in and around Kathmandu. In the afternoon you have time to explore Kathmandu, Patan, Bhaktapur, and the lesser-known towns that dot the valley on foot, by bicycle or trishaw. The area has an amazing range of fascinating highlights, whatever your interest. Excellent bookshops, extensive markets, and novelty and handicraft shops contrast with fantastic centres of cultural and spiritual significance - Kathmandu has more World Heritage sites than any other city in the world.
DAY 3 Fly to Lukla (2800 m).
Trek to Choplung (2600 m). Walk approx ½ hour.
We transfer to the airport for the 45 minute flight to the STOL airstrip at Lukla. This was the airstrip built by Sir Edmund Hillary and his friends to service the Everest Region when he began his work of building schools and hospitals for the Sherpa people. It is a memorable flight, with marvellous views of the Eastern Himalaya. At Lukla we are immediately impressed by the scale of the huge peaks that surround the village but this is only a foretaste of what is to come. Our crew assemble and we head downhill towards the Dudh Kosi, a raging river that flows from the highest peaks. The broad and well-marked trail meanders around fields of potatoes and buck-wheat and passes through small villages, as we pass rows of tree dahlia to make our way to the first campsite. We will camp in the vicinity of Choplung.
DAY 4 To Monjo (2850 m). Walk approx 4-5 hours.
Today we cross and re-cross the thundering glacial river, named "Dudh" (milk) Kosi (river) because of it's colour. Sections of today's walk are through pine forest and cleared areas reveal terraced fields and a variety of crops. We pass small groups of donkeys and yaks carrying trading goods and trek-gear along the trail. Our own gear will be carried by yak, or more correctly dzopko, a yak-cow crossbreed, A yak is a full-blood long-haired male, more commonly found at higher altitudes. We pass through a variety of small hamlets as we slowly gain altitude. Spectacular mountain peaks unfold above us and seem to hover above the tree-line as they rise above the deep river valley. Shortly after leaving camp we cross the Kusum Khola, a tributary stream to the Dudh Kosi, and the peak of Kusum Kangru (6369 m) can be seen to the East, at the head of the valley.
Further along the trail, across the valley to the North-West, Nupla (5885 m) and Kongde Ri (6093 m) rise above the forested ridges. At a turn of the trail, Thamserku (6808 m) rises majestically, seemingly from the river floor.
We will see our first Mani walls today. These stone structures are a compilation of many stone tablets, each with the inscription "Om Mani Padme Hum" which translates to "Hail to the jewel in the lotus", and is mantra (chant) venerated by Buddhists and Brahmans alike.
Buddhists will walk to the left of these Mani Walls and chortens, but you may notice that people of the lowlands who have no knowledge of Buddhism do not follow this practice. The allure of the mountains is hard to resist, but we must be patient, as it is very important to acclimatise slowly and thereby fully appreciate our time at higher altitude. Today's walk is not a long one, and you will be eager to press on. Slow down, and enjoy every step of the way. It is the journey, not the campsite, that is important.
DAY 5 To Namche Bazaar (3440 m). Walk approx 3-4 hours.
This morning we cross the green/aqua waters of the Dudh Kosi and pass through the gates of the Sagarmartha National Park. The establishment of this national park is a significant attempt to stem the use of firewood in the area. Self-contained trek groups must use only kerosene fuels for cooking, a philosophy we follow everywhere in Nepal, whether we are in a national park or not. Tea-houses and lodges are encouraged to use kerosene, yak dung or electricity, but unfortunately continue to use mostly firewood for cooking, heating, and hot water for trekkers' showers. This practice continues to deplete the forests. We follow the river course to the confluence of the Dudh Kosi and the Bhote Kosi, and cross a spectacular high bridge before commencing our ascent to the village of Namche Bazaar, the Sherpa "capital" of Nepal. It is a tough climb as the trail passes through forest of pine to a vantage point that provides our first view of Mt Everest. The trail continues to climb and meander to Namche, and the sight of this prosperous village spread within a horseshoe-shaped valley opposite the beautiful peak of Kongde Ri is worth every step. After lunch you may wish to peruse the Tibetan traders' stalls or the Sherpa shops in search of a bargain.
DAY 6 Rest Day in Namche.
This rest day in Namche Bazaar is very important for safe acclimatisation. Sagarmartha National Park Headquarters on the hill above the village offers a very interesting display of photographs, memorabilia and information on the park, and is a wonderful vantage point for the spectacular view up the Imja Khola Valley towards Everest. The change from the narrow lowland valleys to the broad glacial ones is immediately obvious. The steep-sided glacial valley before us gradually winds towards the base of Everest, broken only by the moraines left by retreating glaciers. Its more gradual rate of climb is a blessing for those trekking higher. Towering to over 4000 metres above the valley floor, spectacular peaks seem to engulf us. Around us are Tawetse (6542 m), Thamserku (6808 m), Kantega (6685 m), Ama Dablam (6856 m), Nuptse (7896 m) and Lhotse (8511 m). The greatest of all, Mt Everest (8848 m), rises at the head of the valley. The Sherpa Cultural Centre has an interesting collection of mountaineering items and photographs.
DAY 7 To Portse Tenga (3600 m). Walk approx 6 hours.
Heading North-East we initially follow the main trail to Thyangboche as it contours around the hills, before we branch off on a short climb on the flanks of the sacred peak of Khumblia (5761 m). We traverse for some time across yak pastures as the trail gradually ascends to Mon La. Below us is the confluence of the Dudh Kosi and Imja Khola and across the valley Thyangboche monastery is framed by Ama Dablam and Kantega. We reach a stupa draped with prayer flags atop a ridge at 3992 metres and then descend steeply through forest to the Dudh Kosi. Crossing the river on a traditionally styled bridge, we pass a water-powered grain mill and camp in the potato fields beyond. After afternoon tea an optional walk up the ridge beyond camp will bring us to the village of Portse.
DAY 8 To Dole (4000 m). Walk approx 3 hours.
The early morning sun warms the camp site and we head north, still following the Dudh Kosi towards it's source, the magnificent Ngozumpa Glacier. An initial short climb gets us onto the trail for the steady climb towards Gokyo. Since leaving the main trail we have seen progressively fewer trekkers and locals and the relative isolation of the trail is a pleasure. Sections of red birch, fir and dwarf rhododendron forest are interspersed with areas of yak pasture as we gradually gain altitude. We pass pleasant waterfalls and sit to gaze at the glaciers that flow from Tawetse and Cholatse on the opposite side of the valley. Behind us, spectacular ridges lead to the peak of Khumblia and the numerous unnamed peaks that reach almost 6,000 metres.
Camp will be at Dole, in a field beside a pleasant stream. In the distance Kantega and Thamserku rise above the foothills. It was at Dole that one of the more recent and "credible" yeti sightings took place. Ask your trek leader for details and draw your own conclusions.
DAY 9 To Machhermo (4410 m).
Continuing a steady but constant climb, we reach the "village" of Machhermo for lunch. Like the few small villages in this valley, Machhermo has only a few buildings and these are empty much of the year. Villagers in Khumjung and Khunde generally own land here high up the valley, where they graze yaks in the summer months.
This is a valuable acclimatisation day as we prepare for our ascent of Gokyo Ri (5483 m). We take things easy but this afternoon you may wish to stretch your legs and take a walk up the ridge behind Luza for a view of the Gokyo Valley.
DAY 10 To Gokyo (4759 m). Walk approx 5-6 hours.
Following the valley high above the river, we commence the ascent to Gokyo village. There are excellent views of Cholatse at the village of Pangka and we stop to enjoy them. We are now in high alpine country and as we approach the Ngozumpa Glacier we trek onto the moraine and rock that extends down from it. We enjoy excellent views of Kantega to the south and Cho Oyu to the north. Each mountain has its individual character and presence, and you can understand why the Nepalese give them such religious significance.
Once we have ascended the snout of the glacier the path levels. We pass the first of the lakes, Longpongo, before reaching the second, Taoche Lake, a larger body of water and a place where ducks are often seen swimming in the freezing waters. As we walk up the valley our path parallels the Ngozumba Glacier and separating us from the glacier is the massive lateral moraine. We camp near the shores of Dudh Pokhari, the third lake.
DAY 11 Ascent of Gokyo Ri (5483 m). Walk approx 4 hours.
An early start is best for the opportunities that the early morning views offer. The steady and unrelenting ascent of Gokyo Ri will take two to three hours, depending on your level of fitness and acclimatisation. It is not a race and times of up to six hours are cherished by those who thought they would not make it at all. If you find the climb hard work don't hesitate to ask one of the guides to carry your day pack.
You will be elated when you reach the summit with its spectacular view. Probably the most comprehensive view of 8,000 metre peaks in Nepal, many people consider it to be Nepal's best. Surrounding us are Cho Oyu (8153 m), (a mountain that defeated a British Expedition of climbers, including Hillary, in their lead-up to their successful assault of Everest), Gyangchung Kang (7922 m), Lhotse (8501 m), Makalu (8475 m), Cholatse (6440 m), Tawetse (6542 m), Kantega (6685 m), Thamserku (6808 m), Lobuche (6145 m) and Mt Everest (8848 m). Hundreds of other unnamed peaks fill the scene, whilst below us the Ngozumba Glacier, the largest in Nepal, stretches through the valley. The striking colour of the lakes below completes the picture. The only way to get a better view of the entire Everest region would be to climb an 8,000 metre peak!
Although further from Everest than Kala Pattar, the traditional viewing point, here we see more of the mountain and enjoy a more relaxed environment to view the peak.
DAY 12 Rest Day.
This rest day can be used as a spare day in case poor weather delays our ascent of Gokyo Ri. Those with the energy will enjoy the walk along the rim of the glacier as it affords excellent views in every direction. We will now be well acclimatised for the pass crossing. At this stage your leader will make a decision based on the safety of the group and porters whether a pass crossing should be attempted. It is rare for World Expeditions to not cross the pass on this trek. An excellent alternative route to Kala Pattar is available, but we understand that crossing the pass will be a keen goal of group members. All our staff and porters will have equipment to cross the pass, even in reasonably adverse conditions, and it is always our attention to do so, but group safety will be the key consideration.
DAY 13 To Yak Kharka (5000 m). Walk 4-5 hours.
We weave our way across the glacier to our lunch stop at Thagna on a trail that meanders around the constantly changing obstacles. Great views today of Cho Oyu and Cholatse . A slow climb after lunch as we cross deserted yak pastures and dawdle high into the mountains. Keep an eye open on the rocky slopes for Himalayan Thar. As they have not been hunted they are not too shy. Our camp site at the base of the pass is tight and we use the little level space available.
DAY 14 Over Cho La (5420 m) and on to
Dzongla (4843 m). Walk 5-7 hours.
An early start this morning to cross the pass in the best weather conditions. Early mornings are usually when the weather is at its most stable, and depending on the snow conditions, it will take us approximately two hours to reach the saddle of the pass. We will spend half an hour or so on the pass and a few hours to descend to the valley and our camp on the other side. There is time for rest and photo stops so that the day can be appreciated to the fullest. This is a special day and for some the highlight of the trip. The views of the peaks are excellent all day and once at the saddle of the pass, the glaciers and immediate peaks seem to hover over us. Words can't describe the beauty and the sense of achievement of this pass crossing. As we descend to our camp Ama Dablam comes into view and we camp beside the steep north face of Cholatse.
DAY 15 To Lobuche (4930 m). Walk approx 3 hours.
The early morning sun is welcome after a cold night and reveals a dramatic panorama of spectacular peaks. We traverse high on the flanks of Awi Peak, above the village of Chola and continue past Cholatse Lake. Beyond the lake, Chola Glacier flows steeply from a saddle between the cliffs of Cholatse and Tawetse in a rugged and beautiful display. We crest a small rise and before us unfolds the stunning form of Nuptse (7745 m), rising above the Khumbu Glacier. We continue our traverse until we join the busy trail from Thyangboche to Lobuche. The volume of people and yaks comes as quite a shock. Following this trail we stride along towards our lunch place and campsite at Lobuche. The successful 1953 British Expedition to Everest thought of this place as a warm and pleasant rest point. Sadly it has become an untidy and unattractive collection of tea houses and not the place where we wish to spend too much time. The hill above the town affords fine sunset views of Nuptse.
DAY 16 To Gorak Shep (5288 m). Walk approx 2 hours.
We trek alongside the Khumbu Glacier as the path winds over the rocky moraine towards the settlement of Gorak Shep. We are high, among the glaciers and peaks of the world's highest peaks.
At the junction of two large glaciers and nestled in an amphitheatre of peaks, this campsite is spectacular. Pumori (7145 m), Lingtren (6697 m), Nuptse (7745 m) and of course Everest (8848 m) surround our camp. The air is clear and the sun is strong but as the sun sets it becomes very cold. Sunsets here can be stunning. The afternoon can be spent exploring, or gazing at the peaks.
DAY 17 To Kala Pattar (5545 m) and to
Lobuche (4930 m). Walk approx 5 hours.
An early start is best to avoid the "crowds" that can converge on Kala Pattar at some times of the year, and to get the clearest views. You will be surprised at how well acclimatised you are compared to those on shorter treks and should not have any difficulty ascending the peak. Kala Pattar is not a Nepali name but a Hindi name and translates to "black rock". From these black rocks atop the hill the views are spectacular. Most eyes are locked on the mass of Everest, its rocky buttresses immediately before us. Many of the famous ascent routes are quite clear. Below us the Khumbu Glacier snakes towards the icefall and Western Cwm. We can see the area where modern Everest expeditions set their base camp but the original site was at Lake Camp, now known as Gorek Shep. Take a look in every direction and soak it in. The view south and our route out, is particularly beautiful.
We descend to Gorak Shep for lunch. Snow Cocks gather around for scraps before we pack up for the walk downhill to Lobuche.
DAY 18 To Dingboche (4330 m). Walk approx 4 hours.
Descending alongside the glacier we reach the snout of glacier and drop steeply onto the old moraine. We reach the site of a row of cairns to climbers who died in the mountains, before we continue to the small settlement at Tugla. Our path on an old lateral moraine takes us to the sheltered village of Dingboche. To the east at the head of the Imja Khola valley sits the pyramid peak of Imja Tse (6189 m). An option for this afternoon is to walk up the ridge behind Dingboche for sunset views of Nuptse, Lhotse and Chhukung Peak.
DAY 19 To Thangboche (3867 m). Walk approx 5 hours.
There can be a tendency now to rush, particularly as we are walking downhill but there is still much to see. We descend to Pangboche and visit its historic old monastery before continuing through the monastery archway down to the Imja Khola The bridge across the river is spectacular and the rapids cause the river to roar beneath us. We walk through pleasant forest of rhododendron, fir, pine and birch that provides shelter for birds and Hog Deer, before we reach a clearing at Thyangboche Monastery. The monastery was recently re-built with the assistance of Sir Edmund Hillary after it was destroyed by fire. Your leader will arrange for you to be shown around the monastery and will explain the relevance of the many ceremonies that take place and discuss the life of the monks in residence.
DAY 20 To Khumjung (3780 m). Walk approx 4 hours.
The early morning mountain views from the monastery are outstanding. Everest, Lhotse and Nuptse are at the head of the valley, their line of sight flanked by Tawetse on one side and Ama Dablam on the other. Almost directly above us are Kantega and Thamserku. Completing a 360 degree panorama of mountains are Khumblia and Kongde Ri which encircle us from across the valley. From Thyangboche we follow the main trail through the monastery gate and into the forest, continuing downhill to the river. We head off on a small trail that ascends to the villages of Khumjung and Khunde. It is a comfortable day's walk, with time to explore these unique and more traditional villages. As we near them we pass through terraced fields that are home to a brightly coloured pheasant, the Danphe Pheasant, the national bird of Nepal. Khumjung is where Sir Edmund Hillary built his "Schoolhouse In the Clouds", and the famed Khunde hospital is close by. World Expeditions supports both of these famous community facilities, as well as the many other projects operated by the Himalayan Trust.
There will generally be an opportunity for you to visit the hospital and school, as well as the monastery at Khumjung where we may see the "scalp of a yeti".
DAY 21 To Benkar (2600 m). Walk approx 4 hours.
Nearby on a hilltop, with views of the mountains, is the Everest View Hotel, a joint Nepali - Japanese project, where you can stop for refreshments before passing through the yak breeding farm and descending to Namche. After a break we continue down through the forest to the valley floor to follow the Dudh Kosi downhill and out of the national park to our camp at the small settlement of Benkar.
DAY 22 To Lukla (2800 m). Walk approx 5 hours.
Retracing our steps along the valley, we pass through a variety of settlements and forests before a gentle climb to Lukla. We savour our final mountain sunsets of the trek as we complete this exhilarating journey.
DAY 23 To Kathmandu by air (1330 m).
This morning we fly to Kathmandu, a thrilling flight over forests, fields and villages, with the Himalaya in the background. On arrival, we transfer to the hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure.
DAY 24 Day at leisure in Kathmandu.
There are a million things to see in Kathmandu and we recommend you spend this day wandering the town and exploring the valley on bicycle or by taxi. The old Royal Palace, Durbar Square, Swayambhunath (the Monkey Temple), Pashupatinath (a major Hindu shrine) and the giant Buddhist stupa at Bodhnath are absolute musts. Our W.E. staff can arrange a guide and/or transport should you wish, or you can head off armed with a map and let the day unfold. A celebratory dinner will be organised this evening at a traditional Nepali restaurant with music and dance of the country's various ethnic groups.
DAY 25 Trip concludes Kathmandu.
After breakfast arrangements cease unless further ones have been made. Those people departing by aircraft will be transferred to the airport and assisted with check-in procedures.
The itinerary is a guide to the trek and may be varied. There is sufficient time for a comfortable pace throughout the trek. If additional time is required due to bad weather, acclimatisation or illness, days 12, 15 and 18 can be amended accordingly.
When trekking in the Everest region you should be aware that flights can be unreliable due to unfavourable weather or shortage of aircraft. Please also note that all people travelling to the Everest region are required to leave a US$250 deposit with our office in Kathmandu. This deposit will be utilised if flights between Lukla and Kathmandu are cancelled and a helicopter is required to fly passengers to meet their international flights. This money can be deposited by cash, credit card or travellers cheques. If a helicopter is not utilised, this money will be returned. It is not likely that this event will occur, but we must protect your best interests and be ready to evacuate you if required. International flights out of Kathmandu are heavily booked and failure to join your flight may result in long delays in Kathmandu. Travel insurance will generally cover this evacuation. Check with our office for details.
THE COUNTRY AND ITS PEOPLE
Nepal is known for its beautiful and dramatic scenery. Avid walkers and non-walkers alike are drawn to its mountains and foothills to view the Himalaya and the world's highest peaks. Many also discover the beauty of the forests and the enjoyment of time spent as a self-contained expedition, far from the rush of the modern world and in the delightful company of the trek crew as they tend to our needs and ensure that we are comfortable and able to enjoy the trek to the fullest. They are physically strong, sharp-witted and have an incredibly positive attitude towards a life that we would consider extremely tough.
There is something about a trek in the Himalaya that draws you back time and time again. For keen walkers it is a paradise and even avowed non-walkers find that one foot just seems to follow the other, drawn by the appeal of what lies beyond.
Nepal's population of around 20 million people is a blend of Hindu, Buddhism and animist religion. Nepal is a mosaic of cultures, ethnic groups and languages. It is remarkable that in a country of this size there are over 30 different ethnic groups, with at least as many languages. One million people live in the Kathmandu Valley, but at least ninety percent of the population live in the rural areas of the lower and middle hills of the Himalayan Range. Nepal is predominantly a simple rural society and a trek in the foothills of the Himalaya is a strong cultural experience as we spend time with our crew and meet local village people.
Our trekking season extends from mid-September to May. From early September the monsoonal rains decrease. By mid-October through to December the weather is usually stable with mild to warm days, cold nights and clear views. Daytime temperatures can reach 25 deg C at low altitude and nights can drop to below -15 deg C at higher altitudes.
Winter trekking, from December to February, offers cool to mild and clear days with often very cold nights. Daytime temperatures at low altitudes will be mild, around 15 deg C and at night may drop to -15 deg C. At altitudes above 3000 m temperatures can vary from 15 deg C during the day to -15 deg C at night. Occasionally winter storms can bring snow as low as 2500 m.
In March the cold, dry winter season begins to give way to warmer, wetter spring conditions. Mornings are usually clear with cloud build-up occasionally bringing afternoon rainstorms. Daytime temperatures increase quickly in March, with temperatures of up to 20 deg C and mild nights at low altitudes. At higher altitudes it is still cool during the day and at night temperatures can drop below -10 deg C. The increase in rainfall in the hills is more than compensated for by the spectacular displays of rhododendrons and other wildflowers at this time of year. Late spring conditions, as in April and May, are generally hot at low elevations and as the clouds build up to the next monsoon, daily afternoon rainstorms are common. This is a period that generally has clear weather at the higher altitudes and is traditionally a time when mountaineering expeditions commence their ascents.
The weather patterns are never so predictable that you can be absolutely positive of weather conditions before hand, but there are well-established patterns. Day time temperatures and night temperatures at lower altitudes vary through the seasons, but night temperatures at high altitude are cold whatever the season. Modern equipment and clothing will keep you warm.
DAILY TREK ROUTINE
You will be woken with a cup of tea brought to your tent between 6 am and 7 am, followed by a small bowl of warm water for washing. Before breakfast you pack your gear into your kit bag which is then taken by the porters and will not usually be available to you until camp that afternoon. We are usually on the trail between 7.30 am and 8.30 am. Following a good morning's walk, we stop for lunch at around 11 am. Lunch is usually a 2 hour break to allow for the trekker's meal followed by the crew meal. This break also enables you to do your washing in the warmest part of the day, catch up on your diary, read or rest. The afternoon walk is generally a little shorter and camp is usually reached by around 3 pm to 4 pm. Once we have reached camp and the kitchen is set up afternoon tea is served. Washing water is again provided to enable you to wash at the end of the trek day. Until dinner there is time to rest, explore the surrounding area and villages or sit and chat with the crew and local people. Dinner is usually served around 6 pm to 7 pm. Remember to bring your torch and water bottle to the mess tent so it can be filled with boiling water. It then makes a great hot water bottle. Trekking evenings afford some of the best memories of your trek, whether it is talking, playing cards, chatting with the crew or joining in some singing and dancing with the local people, it is always a special time.
All camp chores are done for you, leaving you free to use your time to the fullest. You carry only a light day pack as your gear is carried by yaks or porters.
Our menu is based on fresh food to provide three nutritious, plentiful and tasty meals daily. Breakfast is a selection of cereal, muesli, porridge, followed by pancakes, chapati, puri and local breads. An egg dish usually completes the meal. Lunch is a selection of salads, pasta, traditional breads, cheese and potato dishes. Our evening meal commences with soup and is followed by rice, pasta and a range of vegetable and meat dishes. Fruit or a local dessert complete the meal. Tea, coffee, hot chocolate, cordial and biscuits are provided at meals and on request. We can cater for specific dietary needs if we know in advance. First-time trekkers are pleasantly surprised at the quality of the meals.
Our cook and his assistants will prepare the meals in the lodge kitchen on kerosene burners. This means that we are not exhausting local supplies and resources, and allows us to provide meals of quality, quantity and of course the highest possible standard of hygiene. We do not, therefore, follow the more basic lodge menus offered.
You can expect to remain healthy throughout the trek. All food is hygienically prepared, cooked and served. Our kitchen crew are well trained and conscientiously adhere to strict hygiene guidelines. All water is boiled to ensure it is safe to use. You should be conservative when you eat in Kathmandu prior to the trek. Do not eat any food from alternate lodges on the trek as the risk of illness is far too high.
All our leaders undertake intensive first-aid and medical skills courses with Dr Jim Duff. We carry an extensive medical kit and if necessary can promptly evacuate.
LEADER AND CREW
Our leaders include males and females who are of Western and Nepali background. All have years of experience and are professional guides dedicated to providing the best experience possible. They have a high level of competence in wilderness and emergency medicine as they all complete annual courses with Dr. Jim Duff. We travel as a self-contained expedition ensuring that we do not deplete limited local food resources, and provide valuable employment for the local people. We enjoy the company of the crew members with whom we share our days. Guides will ensure we take the right trail, kitchen hands prepare our food and do the washing up, the skilled cook's meals will enthral you, porters and yak handlers move your gear from camp to camp and the sirdar oversees the operation. The times you spend with these people - walking, talking, playing games - will often be the fondest memories of your trek.
Tipping is a tradition throughout the Indian sub-continent. At the end of the trek your leader will collect what you wish to give and distribute it fairly amongst the crew. The staff will work very hard and look forward to your tip as an indication from you of a job well done.As a guide, you should budget on tipping around 120 rupees (approximately USD$2) for each trek day. If you wish to tip the leader please do this in addition to the crew's tip. The reason we do not include the tip in the cost of your trek is that the crew would not see it as an expression of your satisfaction.
Our itineraries are designed to allow you to acclimatise to the altitude gains comfortably and without risk. Although it would be possible to do this trek in fewer days, we believe that extra time in addition to the minimum days must be included to allow for contingencies such as bad weather, or the opportunity to attend a festival.
The walking hours mentioned are only a guide and could vary considerably according to each individual, depending on your particular pace and how often you stop for photographs or breaks. The route and overnight stops are at the discretion of the group leader and the itinerary should be seen only as an indication.
World Expeditions clients will generally stay at the Radisson Hotel, a first class hotel within walking distance of the town centre, where a full breakfast is provided. However at peak times it may be necessary to use other hotels of equal standard. You will leave all those items not required on the trek at the hotel.
Prior to April 1998 , helicopters were the primary mode of passenger transport between Kathmandu and Lukla. However the government has ceased the use of helicopters and implemented Twin Otter aircraft services to and from the airstrip at Lukla. This means that without scheduled helicopter services any helicopter flight is an "evacuation" and requires a helicopter charter. The Twin Otter flights are much more weather dependent than the scheduled helicopter flights that previously operated. In the event that the scheduled Twin Otter flight is delayed or cancelled, thus jeopardising your connection with international out-bound flights, a helicopter will be utilised.
Payment for this must initially be met by yourself, and later claimed from your insurance. (Currently Toursafe will refund this amount if this insurance is selected.)
In light of this it is necessary for you to lodge US$250.00 deposit with our office in Kathmandu prior to your trek. This will be collected and receipted by your group leader and can be lodged in US cash, or travellers cheques, or credit cards (Visa card, American Express only). If required, your deposit will be used to pay for the costs involved with helicopter evacuation and you will need to recoup these monies from your travel insurance company on your return.
If a helicopter is not required, a full refund will be given. While the helicopter option is rarely used, the deposit is precautionary and we request your cooperation with our staff in Nepal.
Should you have any questions regarding this matter, please contact our office.
ACUTE MOUNTAIN SICKNESS
When we ascend above 2500 meters our bodies have to acclimatise to the decreasing amount of the oxygen available. To allow our bodies to adjust World Expeditions has structured its treks so that you ascend slowly, allowing acclimatisation to occur. However, during the acclimatisation process, you may experience some of the following symptoms:
· Disturbed sleep
· Loss of appetite/nausea
· Shortness of Breath
· Swelling of the hands and face
Individuals acclimatise at different rates. Your best strategy is to take your time and drink plenty of water. These symptoms may not indicate the onset of A.M.S. and if you experience them it does not necessarily mean that you should not continue. All World Expeditions group leaders have extensive first aid training and we urge you to communicate with the group leader at all times should you believe you have any symptoms in order that we can effectively monitor your symptoms. The only cure for Acute Mountain Sickness is to descend.
Please note that your group leader has ultimate responsibility and may ask you to descend if symptoms persist.
Nepal's environment is extremely fragile. The rapidly increasing population puts immeasurable pressure on the country's environment and resources and it is our responsibility as visitors to minimise the impact of our presence. Deforestation is Nepal's greatest environmental problem and World Expeditions pioneered the use of kerosene as an alternative fuel to wood on all expeditions. We do not have camp fires and we strongly discourage trekkers from buying wood-fuelled hot showers that they may encounter. We do not use wood for cooking or heating water whilst in lodges but use kerosene stoves that we carry with us.
We carry our own food supplies in order to maintain high hygiene standards and meal quality, and do not deplete local resources.
We provide much of the gear you require. We provide good quality a quality sleeping bag and inner liner, insulating rubber mat, and a down or fibre-filled jacket. You will need walking boots, a day-pack and a water bottle in addition to your clothing and personal gear.
· Trek Pre-departure Information Guide, with all you need to know for your trek.
· Hotel accommodation at one of Kathmandu's best hotels on a twin share basis with breakfast for the nights listed in the trip itinerary.
· All internal transport by private bus, jeep, car or scheduled air services.
· All group airport transfers.
· Gear package including kit bag, sleeping bag and liner, insulated sleeping mat and down or fibre-filled jacket on trek.
· All meals while trekking.
· Two-person tents with sewn in floor and fly sheet.
· Porters to carry all personal and group equipment. Porter's insurance.
· Group leader, sirdar, guides and kitchen staff.
· All park entrance fees and trekking permits.
· Emergency medical kit.
· Farewell dinner at a traditional Nepali restaurant
· Half day sightseeing in Kathmandu
· Lunch and dinner in Kathmandu.
· Aerated and alcoholic drinks on trek
· Items of a personal nature such as phone calls, laundry, etc.
· Airport and departure taxes
· Travel Insurance
Please note that "Everest Circuit notes" are copyright of World Expeditions, and information contained in them it's current as per 2001. For an updated version of this document, please contact World Expeditions. For your convenience I included a link to World Expeditions home page.