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Nepal: Everest Base Camp with Hiker Mike
Thanks to Joe Pillar at Canadian Himalayan Expeditions!
As heard on CFRB RADIO 1010AM
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Everest Base Camp with Hiker Mike
Mount Everest. To the Nepalese it is simply called Sagarmatha, the "sky head". To the Tibetans it is Chomolungma, the mother goddess of the earth. To the rest of the world it is the most renowned mountain of all. When it comes to spectacular breathtaking mountain panoramas, the Everest Trek is without equal. This spectacular 22-day trek basically follows the classic route to Mt. Everest used by the 1953 expedition which successfully placed Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay on the summit of the world's highest mountain. The trek starts from Lukla, a village a few hundred kilometres east of Kathmandu. Above Lukla we are into the Khumbu region, trekking through alpine forests, stopping in friendly Sherpa villages and visiting Buddhist monasteries. The final leg takes us to the spectacular terrain far above the tree-line and to the base of the world's highest mountains: Ama Dablam, Lhotse, Nuptse, and Mt. Everest. This approach to Everest is especially interesting as it involves walking at altitudes between 9,400ft (1900m) and 18,000ft (5500m) where a great variety of culture, vegetation, natural habitats, and geography is observed. A challenging but very rewarding trip!
On April 29th, 2001, Hiker Mike started leading a trek to the EVEREST BASE CAMP!
DAY 1 - April 29:
Arrive in Kathmandu and transfer to the Kathmandu Guest House. Day free to relax and get over your jet-lag.
DAY 2 - April 30:
Today there is an organized sightseeing tour of Kathmandu and Patan that will give you a basic orientation of the area for further exploration on your own.
DAY 3 - May 1:
This day is partly free but is used mainly to organize and prepare for the trek. There will be a major briefing on all the final details.
DAY 4 - May 2:
In the morning we take a spectacular 40 min. flight from Kathmandu to Lukla, perched at 9400ft (2865m) in the Khumbu region of Eastern Nepal. The flight is bound to be one of the most exhilarating you will ever take. Much of it is only a few thousand feet above ground and the views of the terraced landscape and river valleys below, as well as the closeness of some of the worlds highest mountains make it a truly memorable experience. In Lukla the porters load up and we proceed to Phakding (8700ft, 2650m), an easy afternoons scenic walk. Camp at Phakding.
DAY 5 - May 3:
Today there is a long, steep climb up to the town of Namche Bazaar (11300ft, 3440m), the main administrative and trading centre for the Khumbu region. The climb is, however, made easier by the distractions offered by the magnificent forests of blue pine, fir, juniper and rhododendron as well as our first views of Mt. Everest.
DAY 6 - May 4:
Acclimatization day at Namche. This day can be spent relaxing at camp, exploring the tiny shops in the bazaar or on an optional hike to Kunde, Khumjung, Thame or the small museum dedicated to the history and culture of the Everest region.
DAY 7 - May 5:
Much of this days walk is along a trail with spectacular views of Everest, Lhotse, Kantaiga, and Ama Dablam. Our campsite is at or near Tengboche (12700ft, 3875m), one of the most impressive locations on earth and site of the region's most important Buddhist monastery. We will have the opportunity to explore the monastery and see monks at prayer.
DAY 8 - May 6:
The first part of the day is spent walking through lush rhododendron and pine forests. We eventually emerge above the tree-line and continue for the rest of the day up the glacial valley until we reach Dingboche at (13950ft, 4252m). En route we see some of the areas most beautifully carved mani (prayer) stones.
DAY 9 - May 7:
This is the second of our important acclimatization days, and it can be spent in Dingboche relaxing by the village stream enjoying scenic views of Ama Dablam, or on an excursion up the Imja Khola valley to Chukkung to get a marvellous view of the surrounding mountains, especially Lhotses massive south wall.
DAY 10 - May 8:
Making sure of proper acclimatization, we cautiously continue up the valley from Dingboche to the tiny settlement of Dughla (15150ft, 4620m), on the terminal moraine of the great Khumbu Glacier.
DAY 11 - May 9:
It is a short but steep climb up to Lobuche (16175ft, 4930m), which is really just a few huts at the foot of giant Lobuche peak. Again the views are spectacular and the sunset on Nuptse, towering directly ahead of Lobuche is especially impressive.
DAY 12 - May 10:
This will be one of the most difficult yet rewarding days of the trek. Most of this day is spent climbing Mt. Kala Patar, a small peak (by Himalayan standards) at 18200ft, 5545m. The ascent is demanding but the climber gets the most magnificent mountain panorama possible: Everest, the highest point on the planet at 29028ft, 8848m, towers directly ahead and on all sides loom the other giants, Nuptse, Pumori, Chagatse, Lhotse and countless others. If possible we can stay and watch the awe-inspiring sunset on Everest and its neighbours. We make a quick descent to Gorak Shep, a tiny hamlet at 16950ft, 5170m, where we stay the night.
DAY 13 - May 11:
On this day we walk along the Khumbu Glacier and up to Everest Base Camp at 17600ft, 5380m., the closest you can get to Mt. Everest without mountaineering equipment. There will likely be a team there about to attempt the summit. The view of the Khumbu Icefall from Base Camp is spectacular. We return down to Lobuche for the night.
DAY 14 - May 12:
From Lobuche we take a slightly different route down to Upper Pangboche. Here is the oldest monastery in the region which contains what is said to be the scalp and bones of a Yeti, or abominable snowman!
DAY 15 - May 13:
From Upper Pangboche we descend to join the main trail above Tengboche and continue on down to Namche.
DAY 16 - May 14:
From Namche we continue our descent to Jorsale.
DAY 17 - May 15:
An easy days walk brings us back to Lukla for our final night in the Khumbu. Although it may have looked primitive the first time through, Lukla will seem quite modern after the isolated villages up the valley.
DAY 18 - May 16:
An early morning flight takes us back to Kathmandu, and gives us a last view of the mountains we have just spent two weeks exploring.
DAYS 19-20 - May 17-18:
Free in Kathmandu to continue exploring the valley and surrounding hill towns. We will organize an optional flight over Mt. Everest ($100 US) or an optional biking trip around the Kathmandu Valley.
Day 21 - May 19:
End of program. Fly home. OR start optional trips in India, Burma, Thailand or other exotic areas!
PLEASE NOTE: On adventure trips of this type, weather, local politics, transport or a multitude of other factors beyond our control can result in a change of itinerary. It is, however, very unlikely that the itinerary would be substantially altered; if alterations are necessary the leader (Hiker Mike) will decide what is the best alternative, taking into consideration the best interests of the whole group. Where a change does occur, we do everything we can to minimize its effect, but we cannot be responsible for the results of changes or delays.
Brought to you by:
Canadian Himalayan Expeditions Ltd.
2 Toronto Street, Suite 302
Toronto, Ontario M5C 2B6
Toll Free: 800-563-8735
Mike in Nepal
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