“AFS Fly-In Everest Base Camp Challenge”

Sept 18 – Oct 2, 2017

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Namaste, welcome to the roof of the world! If there’s one epic adventure on the planet, it has to be this trek to the “Mother Goddess of Snows”. Now’s your chance to check off a true bucket list item for the greatest hike in the world. As the world’s highest mountain, mighty Mt Everest towers at 29,016 feet, always snow-capped, it’s the holy grail of mountaineers. It begins and ends in legendary Kathmandu. Just stepping off the plane here is a sensory overload of intoxicating sights, smells and sounds. Stroll the streets of timeless Buddhist culture and temples of artistic heritage. There will be stunning Himalaya views, flowering forests, ancient monasteries and colorful traditional culture throughout for your best photos ever.

Overview

After endless research, we feel the best trek to save days of hiking is to Fly-In and out of tiny Lukla at 9,000 ft. Our classic route provides 360 degree vistas of verdant hills, vast glaciers and razor sharp ridges. The crisp mountain air, the trudging yaks and friendly Sherpas make it so special.

This perfectly planned non-technical route INCLUDES a full day to acclimatize in the fabulous buzzing hub of Namche Bazaar at 11,270 ft. Our English speaking guide is by your side at all times minding every detail along with one porter per two of you. No special equipment is necessary. We even provide your bottled water! No tents. Overnight in cozy “tea houses” and your cook prepares all your meals. September is an ideal time and our price is beyond excellent.

Base camp is strenuous so 20 of you must be fit to participate. If this is conducive to your stamina, then nothing can make your spirit soar higher than the world’s highest peaks. Don’t miss this epic adventure of a lifetime to a kingdom in the clouds!

 

 

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Our Glorious Itinerary

This adventure is the classic Everest Base Camp and Kala Pattar trek. This trek includes important acclimatization day to allow you to adjust to the increasing changes in altitude and to do some local exploring. You will be trekking through the homelands of the Sherpa people, among their villages and Buddhist monasteries, with distant views of Everest, considered by many to be among the most beautiful mountain in Nepal. Namche Bazaar is the bustling market town in the heart of the Sherpa country.

Without a doubt, the highlight for most will be the awe-inspiring views which unfold from the summit of Kala Pattar, the chaotic ice sculptures of the Khumbu Glacier, and the base camp of Everest itself. Each day's trek is between 5 and 8 hours in duration.


Sept 19 - Arrive Kathmandu

Our guide will greet you on airport arrival with an AFS sign and transfer you to your hotel. After freshening up, a senior executive from the office will give you a briefing about your whole program.

 

Nepal is popular for its wooden handicrafts- products of traditional wood carving skills developed by ancient artisans and passed over generation to generation. Likewise, the people of Nepal are known to the world for the generous hospitality they offer to guests. Atithi Devo Bhava, guests are gods, is at the heart of every Nepalese household who take great satisfaction in serving guests with utmost respect and care. Apsara Boutique draws inspiration from these two important features of Nepal and marries them to provide haute hospitality at the heart of Kathmandu.  Located in the heart of town and very convenient.

Overnight: Apsara Boutique Hotel   Address:  Thamel-29, Kathmandu, Nepal  Email: [email protected]

 

 


Sept 20 - Kathmandu - Lukla - Phakding (Approx. 2,650 m/8,694 ft - 4 Hrs)

After breakfast, we have an early morning start for our 7:30 departure. Fly from Kathmandu to Lukla, a gateway destination from where our trek begins. After an adventurous 40-minute flight above the breathtaking green and white mountains, we reach the Tenzing-Hillary Airport at Lukla, airstrip built by Sir Edmund Hillary. This is one of the most beautiful air routes in the world culminating in a dramatic landing on a hillside surrounded by high mountains peaks.

Upon arrival at Lukla, we have our lunch and meet our other crew members. After some packing and arrangements, we start our trek through the prosperous village of Lukla until we reach Phakding. To assist in acclimatization, we only have a short hike today. However, if interested in additional activities we can take a side trip to a beautiful nearby monastery.

Overnight: Mountain Hiking Lodge (Tea House)        B, L, D


Sept 21- Phakding - Namche Bazaar (Approx. 3,440m /11,286 ft -6 Hrs)

Walking through a beautiful pine forest, the track leads us along the Dudh Koshi River through many suspension bridges, one of which is the famous Hillary Suspension Bridge. First, we catch wonderful prospect of the glistening Mt. Thamserku (6618 m).

Through the settlement of Benkar, Chumoa, Monjo, we come to the check post and entrance to Sagarmatha National Park. We pass through the last village of Jorsale before reaching Namche Bazaar. The trail climbs through the forests and bridges until we reach the confluence of the Dudh Koshi and Bhote Koshi rivers.

After a final steep ascent of about two hours we get first sight of Mt. Everest peering over the Lhotse-Nuptse ridge. Upon this juncture, we stop at Chautara to admire the view. We still need to hike about 1.5 hours to reach Namche Bazaar, a gateway to all Everest expeditions and main trading center of this region. We stay overnight in Namche Bazaar. You’ll witness spectacular sunrise and sunset here.

Overnight: Mountain Hiking Lodge (Tea House)        B, L, D


Sept 22 - Free day in Namche Bazaar to Acclimatize

This day is for "acclimatization". Health experts recommend to stay active and moving during the rest day too instead of being idle. We either spend the day taking a day's hike to Thame or visiting Khunde or relaxing and exploring Namche Bazaar itself. Namche Bazzar is the main centre of the Everest (Khumbu) region and has government offices, ATMs, Internet cafes, shops, restaurants, a bakery and a colorful market on weekends.

If we trek a few hundred vertical feet during the day, it will help us to properly acclimatize. Our guides take us to the Tourist Visitor Center near the headquarter of the Sagarmatha National Park where we can observe an assortment of things related to the first Everest ascenders, Sherpa culture and learn about the various plant and animal life of the Everest region.

Overnight: Mountain Hiking Lodge (Tea House)        B, L, D


Sept 23 - Namche Bazzar to Tengboche (Approx 3,870 m /12,696 ft 6 hrs)

After breakfast in Namche, we set out towards Tengboche, enjoying superb view of Mt. Everest, Mt. Nuptse, Mt. Lhotse, Mt. Ama Dablam and close up view of Thamserku. Our trek follows more or less smooth trail with few ups and downs which will not bother us as the magnificent view of the Himalayas keeps us company all through the journey. Along the way, we can spot wildlife musk deer, a herd of Himalayan Thar and multicolored pheasants. The trail goes gradually down up to Kayangjuma.

The path eventually reaches Sansa, which is the major trail junction to Gokyo valley and Everest Base Camp. The track then follows through the pine forests and after we cross the prayer flags festooned bridge over the Dudh Koshi River, we reach Phunki Thenga, a small settlement with a couple of teahouses and a small army post amidst the alpine woods. After having a relaxed lunch at Phunki Thenga, we gear up for a slightly tougher climb through the pine forests before we reach Tengboche.

Tengboche is a great place for close up views of Mt Ama Dablam, Mt Nuptse, and Mt Everest, and it has the biggest Buddhist Monastery of the Khumbu region. We pay our visit to the monastery the same day at around 3 pm to witness the ceremony in the principal and popular monastery of Everest region.

Overnight: Mountain Hiking Lodge (Tea House)        B, L, D


Sept 24 - Tengboche to Pheriche (Approx. 4,250 m / 13,943 ft - 6 hrs)

With mountains at its backdrop, the monastery at Tengboche looks more spectacular in the morning. At this juncture, we can take pictures of the monastery and the scenery around and as usual start the day journey. We choose the upper trail for better views on the way to Pangboche village. We pass through several Chortens and Mani walls and small villages.

The place where we stop for lunch not only serves delicious food but also allows a fantastic close-up view of Mt Ama Dablam. In the afternoon, we walk north to Pheriche.

Overnight: Mountain Hiking Lodge (Tea House)        B, L, D


Sept 25 - Pheriche - Lobuche (Approx. 4940 m/16,207 ft- 6 Hrs)

This day we will start on the straight path for some hours then climb up to Dugla. Beyond Duglha, we climb up the steep terminal moraine of the Khumbu Glacier. We pass through boulder-strewn slopes as we ascend Chupki Lhara, an eerie ridge top with dramatic mountain views. At the top of the ridge, we will find an array of stones with prayer flags used as memorials to Scott Fischer (American mountaineer) and 10 times Everest submitter Babu Chiri Sherpa (a Nepali mountain guide) who perished on a mission to climb Everest.

As the trail drops to the Khumbu Glacier moraine, we find ourselves facing several great peaks - Khumbutse, Lingtren, Pumori and Mahalangur Himal. We are now in the vicinity of Everest but the great mountain still remains elusive. Mt Nuptse towers to the right as the trail crosses the Khumbu Glacier. As we pass along a murmuring stream leaving the Khumbu Glacier behind, we now begin to feel a little out of breath due to high altitude.

Overnight: Mountain Hiking Lodge (Tea House)        B, L, D


Sept 26 - Lobuche - Gorakshep– Excursion of Kala Patthar (Approx 5545m/18,192 ft)

The trail to Gorak Shep goes ahead through the lateral moraine of the Khumbu Glacier. We pass through the pyramid sign post. Ahead on the trail we see crest of north ridge of Everest along with Mt. Pumori, Mt. Mahalangur, Mt. Lingtern, Mt. Khumbutse, Mt. Nuptse, etc.

A small ascent would take us to Thangma Riju from where we perceive 360 degree vista of snowy mountains. Today is the climax of our trip as we catch the dramatic views from Kala Patthar and witness the sunset.

Overnight: Mountain Hiking Lodge (Tea House)        B, L, D


Sept 27 - Gorak Shep - Dingboche (Approx. 4,360m/14,304 ft- 7 hrs)

Descending takes a lot less hours and effort and obviously AMS is no longer an issue, enjoy the passes and forest until we reach Dingboche.

Trek to Goraksheep and explore EBC and stay overnight at Goraksheep. (6/8 hour): The trail is flat and easy for about an hour then you will pass through the moraine formed by glaciers where the trail becomes rocky and icy. The trail ascends gradually up all the way to Gorakshep.

Overnight: Mountain Hiking Lodge (Tea House)        B, L, D


Sept 28 - Dingboche - Monjo (Approx. 2,850m /9350 ft - 7 Hrs)

The trail to Namche Bazar clings to the steep wooded slope beyond Kyangjuma, winding through several bends. We lookout for wildlife such as mountain goats, snow leopards, and colourful pheasants while passing through the forest by the trail. We have enough time in Namche to shop and relax in a bakery that serves coffee and cakes, and provides Internet access.

A steep descent from Namche Hill leads to the suspension bridge crossing the Dudh Kosi  river near the confluence of the Dhudh Koshi and the Bhote Koshi Rivers. We cross the Dudh Koshi River twice at separate locations before reaching Monjo. We are out of the Sagarmatha National Park after exiting from its official entrance near Monjo and finally reach Monjo Village. Not only is Monjo a quieter place to stay than Namche, it also means our porters have a less strenuous walk back to Lukla tomorrow.

Overnight: Mountain Hiking Lodge (Tea House)        B, L, D


Sept 29 - Monjo to Lukla (Approx. 2850 /9,350 ft - 6 Hrs)

Today we enjoy the last walk at lower altitude in the Everest region. Most tracks today are flat although we will have some descents and brief ascents too. Enjoy a combo of open plains, rhododendron and pine forests, and in the distant background Kwangde peak. As we walk through the Sherpa villages, we notice impressive display of faith in Buddhism and cultural practices associated with it as prayer stones dot the landscape and prayer flags flap in the wind.

We cross the Dhud Koshi River three times through the prayer flags strewn suspension bridges and also cross one of its tributary, Thado Koshi once. The final ascent of about 45 minutes from Chheplung takes us to Lukla, where we stretch our fatigued legs and recall the experiences of the last couple of weeks. Our fantastic trek culminates on a happy note with everyone back safe and sound with faces that show happiness! This last evening in the mountains is the ideal opportunity to spend some relaxing moments with whole crew as the porters will not accompany us to Kathmandu.

Overnight: Mountain Hiking Lodge (Tea House)        B, L, D


Sept 30 - Lukla - Kathmandu

Fly back to Kathmandu. Rest of day free to relax. Toast your fellow AFS Trekkers goodbye over a farewell dinner for accomplishing your challenge.

Overnight:  Apsara Boutique Hotel    B, D


Oct 1 - Kathmandu Departure

Check out hotel, go to airport to fly home.  (Arriving back in USA on Oct 2) (B)


Activity Level:

1. I regularly jog, take long (8+ miles) hikes and or do aerobics. I consider myself to be physically active.

Pricing

Level 6 – strenuous. You will be required to sign a medical waiver. Full detailed trip information to follow.

Limited to 22 participants

Land $1495 plus $280 roundtrip charter Kathmandu to Lukla

Costs Includes: 12 nights accommodations, airport transfers, meals, Trek Guide, assistant guide, 1 Sherpa per 2 clients, Nat Park fees, Trekking TIM permit fee, I liter mineral water per day.

Not Included: $20 visa on arrival, gratuities, travel insurance mandatory, air.

Air – No Group Air for small group. It’s so easy to get roundtrip air to Kathmandu and flights are so affordable. You may want to add a few days pre or post trip to explore Nepal.

Options

Name
Description
Price
Fly-In Air

This 'option' is a required additional charge for this trip.

Round-trip Air Kathmandu to Lukla and Lukla to Kathmandu
$280.00
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Please review AFS Terms and Conditions as well as Heading Abroad with AFS. Group air - Airlines may add surcharges to offset fuel inflation or taxes. The total ticket cost is not final until we receive your final payment and are ticketed. If doing own air, airport transfer may or may not be included depending on your air schedule. Do not buy air until we either group air is set or we advise - dates can change! Itineraries are prepared often a year in advance. Though not likely, AFS and our suppliers reserve the right to change or modify such to meet local conditions. Although rare, hotels can change – all hotel rooms are run of the house. Our prices are based on current taxation structures. In case any revision in taxes, sudden fluctuation in currency levels, change in Visa fees or increase in fuel charges, we will amend our prices and inform you accordingly. Land price is based on minimum number of trip participants.