Tour 2001 Overview.
There are 2 high seasons for trekking in the Everest Region: end of March to start of June, and September to November. Our trek took place from March 27 to April 10, 2001. Most of the Everest Expeditions were just starting up to the Base Camp a few days behind us, and up until April 5 there were not too many organized tours along the way. We traveled on our own, backpacking all of our gear. Each day we hiked between 4 and 8 hours, with a maximum altitude gain of about 500m. A daily summary is provided at the bottom of this info page, including daily stages, altitude gain, lodge recommendations, and weather.
. Getting there From Kathmandu, there are 2 ways to get to the mountains: by bus to Jiri or by plane to Lukla. We chose the latter - why spend time on a bus when you can get to the mountains faster? Tickets can be arranged at the airline offices in Kathmandu. As it turned out, we traveled from Frankfurt on the same plane as the German Everest Expedition and ended up making our arrangements directly through their contact - within 30 minutes everything was arranged and we spent our time enjoying Kathmandu rather than worrying about how to get to Lukla. If you want to do the same, contact: Nima Nuru Sherpa, Managing Director Cho-Oyu Trekking Private Ltd PO Box 4515, Gairidhara Kathmandu, Nepal e-mail: We trekked with all of our own gear. If you should want to hike with the help of a guide or porter, Nima Nuru Sherpa`s friendly staff can most likely assist you with these arrangements before setting out. In 2001, the Lukla Airport and runway were in the process of getting a massive makeover, so our flight took us by plane to Phaphlu, and by helicopter from Phaphlu to Lukla. One-way fare cost $140. Airport tax payable before check-in cost an additional 165Rps ($US2.20). Flights from Kathmandu leave early in the morning, and all of the companies leave at the same time… theoretically!! We waited for an additional 1-½ hours on the tarmac before takeoff.
. Lodging There is an abundance of lodges along the trail, as well as camping areas for organized tours. Since we were trekking during the early weeks of the season, we had no issues with finding a lodge every night. However we have been told that during the peak weeks in the autumn it can get overcrowded. A typical lodge has a main dining area, heated and with lighting in the evenings and mornings, where food and drinks are served. The sleeping area consists of simple double rooms with 2 narrow single beds and sometimes with a small table, without electricity nor lighting. The room costs 100Rps ($US1.33) with the expectation that you have your meals at the lodge. All lodges have outhouses, water can be obtained from the kitchen, and occasionally showers are available for 150Rps ($US2).
. Food & Drink There is no need to bring along food, other than a few granola bars for snacks. The lodges provide a large variety of excellent breakfasts and dinners for a reasonable price. We had our best meals at the Gokyo Inn Resort! Delicious!! The bakeries in Namche Bazaar are also well worth trying out. Be sure to bring along iodine crystals or some other form of water purification pills. At high altitudes you need to drink lots, and water should always be treated.
. What to bring The temperature ranges from +25°C at the start of the hike to well below freezing. Gore-Tex and wind-resistant clothing is a must, not to mention long johns, hats, mitts, warm socks and something to cover your face against cold weather as well as dust on the trails. A warm down sleeping bag that closes in around your head is also a must. In your first aid kit, be sure to include medication for an assortment of sicknesses. For a good reference, see the Lonely Planet Trekking in the Nepal Himalaya, Health & Safety section. To prevent altitude sickness, we took daily doses of Glopax and had no side effects. Others we met took similar medications (Diamox) without the same luck. Definitely pack a roll of toilet paper! To better identify all of the amazing peaks along the way, have a good topographical map in your pack. We recommend "Khumbu Himal 1:50,000 Nepal-Kartenswerk der Arbeitsgemeinschaft für vergleichende Hochgebirgsforschung Nr.2" (it is a map with a light green cover). The scenery in the area is incredible, so pack your best camera equipment, including at least a 300mm zoom lens, wide angle lens, and of course a tripod.
. Park Fees Fees are payable at the Park Entrance just past Monjo, and are 1000 Rps ($US13.33) per person for 30 days. Be sure to keep your receipt - you will be asked to show it when you make your return trip back to Lukla!
. Trip Tips Try to leave early in the mornings - the days start off clear and sunny, plus you have a better chance to get a place in your choice of lodges at your end destination. There is an excellent view of Everest, Lhotse, Ama Dablam and Tengboche from the Park Headquarters just above Namche Bazar. Sunrise here is spectacular even though the sun hits Everest from the wrong side. To adhere to local custom, pass the chortens and monuments on the left side. A couple from San Francisco introduced us to the "pee bottle" - a water bottle with the top cut off - conveniently kept beside your bed to save making those middle of the night freezing cold treks out to the outhouse emptied every morning. When the temperature dips below 0°C, it is worthwhile! Tea is sold either by the pot or by the cup. While it will be tempting to order a full pot, it usually costs less to order tea by the cup. If you are travelling on a budget, bring tea bags and instant soup with you and order a pot of hot water (we did not do this, but a group of French seniors did). Hot showers are 150Rps; cold showers, if you can bear it, are usually free. Do not count on electricity when travelling. If you bring along a video camera, pack a spare battery. Alternatively, you might be able to convince a lodgekeeper (for a small fee) to let you recharge in Namche or the 8000 Inn. Keep your batteries in a warm place when not in use to ensure a longer life. If you can choose where to sleep in a lodge, take a room with the window facing the east so you get the sun in your room in the morning! In Gokyo, it is well worth the hike up to the Ranchola Pass - the view is amazing over to Everest. You can always trade your books with other trekkers. If you don't like being dirty or are one of those people that have an affinity for bathing, Nepal is not for you. Go to Club Med. Wear sunscreen.
Day Date Start Elev. (m) End Elev. (m) Day Trips Hours hiked Weather morning/afternoon Lodging & our rating*
1 27.03 Lukla 2800 Phakding 2650 . 3 Intl. Trekkers o
2 28.03 Phakding 2650 Namche Bazar 3440 . 5 Mountain View o
3 29.03 Namche Bazar 3440 Namche Bazar 3440 Everest View Hotel (3820 m) Khumjung (3780 m) 3 Mountain View o
4 30.03 Namche Bazar 3440 Tengpoche 3870 . 4 Trekkers Lodge o
5 31.03 Tengpoche 3870 Dingpoche 4300 . 4 1/2 Snow Lion Lodge ++
6 01.04 Dingpoche 4300 Lobuche (Upper) 5050 . 4 1/2 8000 Inn +
7 02.04 Lobuche (Upper) 5050 Lobuche (Upper) 5050 Everest Base Camp (5400 m) 7 1/4 8000 Inn +
8 03.04 Lobuche (Upper) 5050 Dingpoche 4300 Kala Patar (5545 m) 7 1/2 Snow Lion Lodge ++
9 04.04 Dingpoche 4300 Phortse 3850 . 4 1/4 Sodena Lodge o
10 05.04 Phortse 3850 Gokyo 4750 . 7 3/4 Gokyo Resort Inn ++
11 06.04 Gokyo 4750 Gokyo 4750 Renjo La (5415 m) 5 Gokyo Resort Inn ++
12 07.04 Gokyo 4750 Gokyo 4750 "5th lake (4850 m)/ Knobby Hill (5550 m)" 7 Gokyo Resort Inn ++
13 08.04 Gokyo 4750 Namche Bazar 3440 . 7 1/2 Panorama Lodge ++
14 09.04 Namche Bazar 3440 Namche Bazar 3440 Thame (3800 m) 5 Panorama Lodge ++
15 10.04 Namche Bazar 3440 Lukla 2800 . 5 1/4 Hotel Panoramic +
Rating Lodges o...o.k. +...good price, service and meals ++...excellent price, service and meals
Lukla is Nepal's 3rd busiest airport, and up until 2001 was operated without navigational aids. This year, the airport is getting a complete overhaul, and the only access to Lukla is via helicopter.
is the largest & most active monastery of the Khumbu region. The monastery burnt down in 1989 and has since been rebuilt. It is possible to attend the morning prayer ceremonies in the monastery, which is well worth the visit.
Namche Bazar (3440 m) is the cultural center of the Khumbu Region.
Every Saturday, people from the whole region come to Namche to trade food and supplies at the market.
Dingpoche (4300 m)
Snow Lion Lodge is highly-recommended for great food, friendly service, and clean lodging. In the backdrop is Taboche (6367 m)
Gokyo and second lake. Taboche (6367 m) on the right (snow covered).
Upper Lobuje (4900m)
Italian Pyramid research centre , 8000 Inn and Pumori. Expeditions enjoy a last night of comfort at the 8000 Inn before heading to Base Camp. When climbers need a few days of rest or a good meal, they head here.
Gorak Shep (5200 m), Kala Pattar (5545 m) and Pumori (7145 m) are all dusted with snow. A few hours after sunrise, the snow on Kala Pattar melts.
Cho Oyu and Knobby Hill (dark small peak).
From the Knobby there is the best view to Everest and South Col in the whole region.