Join us this Fall as we collaborate with Mountain Kora, a small, innovative adventure travel company based out of Stowe, Vermont.
Trekking into the Sherpa Heartland:
A moderate to challenging two-week trek exploring the high mountain villages set amidst the world-renowned Himalayan peaks of the Everest region. Highlights include staying at our Sherpa family home in Kathmandu, the thrilling mountain flight to Lukla, getting off the main route to visit traditional Sherpa villages and remote Buddhist monasteries, trekking to Ama Dablam Base Camp (approximately 15,000'), and pampering ourselves from time to time while staying at some of the comfort lodges in the region. You will gain real insights into the local Sherpa way of life through the eyes of our expert Sherpa guides who are from the villages scattered throughout the upper Khumbu region (Everest region). This is a real trip of a lifetime for those interested in trekking through the Himalaya and experiencing traditional Sherpa culture and hospitality.
Trip Length: 16 days
Activity Level: Moderate to challenging
Activity Type: Trekking
Upcoming Trip Dates: October 1-16, 2019 I April 7-22, 2020
Trip Cost: 2019: $2,995* per person (land cost)/ 2020: $3,495* per person $370 per person for internal flight (KTM-Lukla) *A portion of the proceeds go towards supporting Sherpa women in mountaineering.
Trek Crew: Our Sherpa team consists of one lead Sherpa guide, assistant guide(s) and porters. Our guides are highly experienced, proficient in English and have excellent connections in the region. www.mountainkora.com | firstname.lastname@example.org | 70 Dewey Farm Rd Stowe, VT 05672 | 802-760-9948
Lodging: Unique and comfortable Sherpa homestay in Kathmandu. While on trek we stay at a mix of rustic, Sherpa-run mountain lodges and comfort lodges (please keep in mind that although we incorporate higher end lodges where available and appropriate, accommodations and facilities are generally basic in these remote mountain communities).
Meals: All meals except one lunch in Kathmandu. Meals are selected by our talented Sherpa staff and include coffee, tea and boiled water. Dessert is not included except for the final night of the trek.
Other: Trekking permits, National Park entrance fees, basic group first aid kit, insurance and flights for our trek crew, touring several sites in Kathmandu, cultural show, all airport transfers.
What’s not included: International flights, visas, mandatory emergency medical evacuation insurance, optional tips to trek crew, items of personal nature such as laundry, hot showers on trek, WiFi and device charging on trek, drinks other than what’s included at meal times, potable water (except boiled water provided at meals).
TREK ITINERARY September 30: Pre-tour Arrival Day in Kathmandu (4,265’); transfer to Sherpa Homestay You may choose to arrive in Kathmandu one day early. If so, please inform us so that we can meet you at the airport and transfer you to our cozy Sherpa Homestay in the heart of Kathmandu. This is a pre-tour day, so lodging and meals will be at an additional expense. Overnight: Sherpa Homestay (most rooms w/ attached bathrooms)
Oct 1 / Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu and Orientation Once you exit through customs and collect any checked baggage, we will meet you just outside the airport. This can be quite crowded and a bit chaotic, but we'll hold a sign with the group name: Mountain Kora, so keep an eye out for this. Make sure you do not accept any offers for changing over money, transportation, or baggage handling. We will change money as needed once we settle into our homestay. Be sure to also keep your money and passport close to your chest. If for SOME reason you have trouble finding us at the airport, call the mobile numbers for Dadoma and Tenzing, included in the Trek Planning Document. It is approximately a 10-15 minute drive from the airport to our cozy Sherpa homestay, situated in a quiet neighborhood within walking distance of some of the city’s major attractions. Tonight we have an orientation with our Sherpa hosts and share a traditional Nepali meal. Overnight: Sherpa Homestay (most rooms w/ attached bathrooms) Meals: All meals provided depending on flight arrival times.
Oct 2/ Day 2: Fly to Lukla-2840m / 9,317’ Approximate trek time: 2 hours Elevation gain: 500’ Elevation loss: 500’ It is approximately a thirty minute flight from Kathmandu to Lukla. En route, we gain magnificent views of Langtang, Dorje Lhakpa, Gauri Shanker, Numbur, Kirilung and eventually Mount Everest. Upon our arrival we have a full breakfast at our lodge and meet our entire Sherpa trekking team. Following a trek briefing, we organize and distribute our duffel bags to our porters and then set out for an acclimatization hike to a nearby village. The hike meanders through forests on the same trail which leads to Mera Peak. We may see locals using this trail to collect firewood, a scarce resource in a region where the primary fuel source is dried animal dung. Tonight we enjoy the warmth and company of our Sherpa host who is the uncle of our trekking partner. Overnight: Paradise Lodge (all rooms w/ attached bathrooms) Meals: B, L, D
Oct 3/ Day 3: Trek Lukla to Monjo-2840m / 9,301’ Approximate trek time: 6 hours Elevation loss: 230m/ 755’ Elevation gain: 230m/ 755’ This morning we set out after breakfast for our trek along the Dudh Kosi Nadi through villages and past mani walls (traditional walls made of stone slabs etched in Buddhist prayers). We gain a glimpse into the agrarian mountain life in the upper Khumbu as we pass villagers working in their well-kept fields of potatoes, barley, and vegetables. We eventually make our way to the tiny mountain village of Monjo and gateway to Sagarmatha National Park, where we stay in a cozy lodge run by our trekking partner’s cousin. Overnight: Mount Kailash Lodge (all rooms w/ attached bathrooms) Meals: B, L, D
Oct 4/ Day 4: Trek Monjo to Namche Bazar-3440m/ 11,286’ Approximate trek time: 3 hours Elevation gain: 600m/ 1,968’ We take our time on the trail today as we gain nearly 2,000’ during our steep climb to Namche Bazar. We cross several suspension bridges and undoubtedly some donkey and yak caravans. If the weather is clear, we get our first view of Mount Everest from Todpana. As we wind our way through the bustling streets on Namche, we eventually reach our lodge located in the middle of Namche Bazar. Following lunch, we settle into our rooms and take advantage of the chance to rest and allow our bodies to acclimate. www.mountainkora.com | email@example.com | 70 Dewey Farm Rd Stowe, VT 05672 | 802-760-9948 Overnight: Khangri Hotel (most rooms w/ attached bathrooms) Meals: B, L, D
Oct 5/ Day 5: Explore around Namche-3440m / 11,286’ Today is a rest day and we have the chance to explore Namche. There are options to visit Namche Monastery, Sagarmatha National Park Museum and Sherwi Khangba, a traditional home and Sherpa museum. We may enjoy our lunch today at Kyangjuma where there are spectacular views if the weather is clear. Overnight: Khangri Hotel (most rooms w/ attached bathrooms) Meals: B, L, D
Oct 6/ Day 6: Trek Namche to Khumjung-3790m / 12,434’ Approximate trek time: 3 hours Elevation gain: 350m/ 1,148’ Today is approximately a 3-hour walk from Namche to Khumjung. We take a local forest trail where it is much quieter as we get off the main route. As we climb, we gain magnificent views of Mount Thamay Sarku, Kangtage, Amadabalm, Mount Everest, and Lhotse Nuptse. Upon our arrival in Khumjung, we can visit the Kunde Hospital and Khumjung Secondary School which was built by Sir Edmund Hillary and also Khumjung Monastery. We will also have the chance to stop by one of our family members’ home for tea, a unique opportunity to gain insights into the traditional way of life. Our lodge this evening is centrally-located in upper Khumjung Village. Overnight: Hidden Valley Lodge (all rooms w/ attached bathrooms) Meals: B, L, D
October 7/ Day 7: Trek Khumjung to Pangboche - 3985m / 13,074’ Approximate trek time: 5 hours Elevation loss: 700m/ 2,296’ Elevation gain: 900m/ 2,952’ Today we descend to the tiny hamlet of Phugi Tanga, before ascending to the famous Tengboche Monastery, where we have lunch. Following lunch we have the chance to visit the monastery before ascending to the village of Pangboche, where we stay at a charming lodge with some additional comforts, such as en suite bathrooms with hot and cold water, a welcome mid-trek treat. Upon settling into our lodge, we have the opportunity to visit our uncle Nima Tashi’s home and hear his stories of his Everest climbs (he has summited Everest 10 times). Overnight: Everest Summit Lodge, Upper Pangboche (all rooms w/ attached bathrooms) Meals: B, L, D October 8 / Day 8: Day hike to Amadablam Base Camp- 4576m/ 15,013’; return to Pangboche-3985m / 13,074’ Approximate trek time: 5 hours round-trip Elevation gain: 500m/ 1,640’ Elevation loss: 500m/ 1,640’ Today is a sensational trek to Ama Dablam Base Camp, where we get magnificent views of Mount Pumori, Kangtaga, Thamasarku, Thahuchay and have the chance to see what a bustling Himalayan base camp is like. This afternoon upon our return, we visit Pangboche Monastery which is one of the oldest Monasteries in Khumbu area. Overnight: Everest Summit Lodge, Upper Pangboche (all rooms w/ attached bathrooms) Meals: B, L, D October 9 / Day 9: Trek from Pangboche to Phortse-3810m / 12,500’ Approximate trek time: 3-4 hours Elevation loss: 175m/ 574’ Veering off the main route to Everest Base Camp, we meander on a beautiful trail high above the valley floor this morning to the village of Phortse. The trail is narrow with some steep drop-offs and if we’re lucky, we may spot mountain goats along the route. Eventually, we enter Phortse, which still maintains the feeling of a traditional agrarian-based Sherpa village. Our lodge tonight is basic, but we get a true flavor of local life in upper Khumbu as we hear stories from the lodge owner’s 85-year-old father. Overnight: Namaste Lodge, Phortse (shared bathrooms) Meals: B, L, D
October 10 / Day 10: Trek from Phortse to Mende - 3736m / 12,258’ Approximate trek time: 7-8 hours Elevation loss: 427’ Elevation gain: 525’ Elevation loss: 1,476’ Elevation gain: 1,135’ Leaving Phortse behind this morning, we trek on an alternative trail by-passing Namche and enjoy the relative quiet of this route. Today the trail is a bit up and down and en route we’ll stop for lunch in Khumjung, before heading up towards the Thame valley. We stop overnight in Mende, a quiet spot off the main trail, where we enjoy a splurge of relative comfort at our lodge this evening. Overnight: Everest Summit Lodge, Mende (all rooms w/ attached bathrooms) Meals: B, L, D
October 11 / Day 11: Trek from Mende to Thame - 3820m / 12,532’ Approximate trek time: 4 hours Elevation gain: 84m/ 274’ This morning we relax in the comfort of our lodge and enjoy its’ spectacular surroundings. By mid-morning we trek to Thame, a picturesque village in a dramatic setting off the main tourist route. Following lunch at our lodge, we have the opportunity to visit Thame monastery before settling into our lodge. We enjoy meeting our lodge owner, Dr. Mingma Sherpa, who is been working at the only hospital in the region built by Sir Edmund Hillary for over 25 years. Mingma is our long-time family friend and has so many incredible stories. We also have the chance to visit one of our family’s traditional Sherpa homes for tea. Overnight: Valley View Lodge, Thame (limited rooms w/ attached bathrooms) Meals: B, L, D
October 12 / Day 12: Trek from Thame to Khongde - 4250m / 13,943’ Approximate trek time: 5 hours Elevation gain: 430m/ 1,410’ Today we climb on a trail that leads us off the main trekking routes and follow the original trading route of the Khumbu Sherpas. It is a steep climb to Khongde, however we are rewarded with majestic views of five of the world’s highest mountains, Everest, Lhotse, Makalu, Cho-Oyo, Gyajung Khang (the highest under 8000m), and Ama Dablam. We enjoy a picnic lunch amidst our spectacular surroundings on the trail. This afternoon, we relax in a relative lap of luxury at our lodge as a culmination of our trekking journey. Overnight: Khongde Hotel (all rooms w/ attached bathrooms) Meals: B, L, D
October 13 / Day 13: Trek from Khongde to Phakding - 2665m/ 8,743’ Approximate trek time: 4 hours Elevation loss: 1585m/ 5,200’ Today we make a long descent down to the village of Phakding, reconnecting with the main route from Lukla to Namche. Our lodge this evening is cozy and comfortable and owned by the same owners of Khongde Hotel. Overnight: Shangri La Hotel Resort (all rooms w/ attached bathrooms) Meals: B, L, D www.mountainkora.com | firstname.lastname@example.org | 70 Dewey Farm Rd Stowe, VT 05672 | 802-760-9948 October 14 / Day 14: Trek from Phakding to Lukla - 2840m / 9,317’ Approximate trek time: 3 hours Elevation gain: 175m/ 574’ Today we have a relaxed morning at our lodge before setting out to Lukla. This afternoon we have the chance to stroll around Lukla before an evening celebration with our entire trekking crew. Overnight: Paradise Lodge (all rooms w/ attached bathrooms) Meals: B, L, D
October 15 / Day 15: Fly Lukla to Kathmandu This morning we have an early flight from Lukla to Kathmandu. Please note that there can be weather delays and cancellations, so there is always the possibility that we’ll have to stay another night in Lukla. Upon our arrival in Kathmandu, we are picked up by our Sherpa hosts and transferred to their home. Once we settle back in and have the chance to freshen up, we head out on a walking tour Pashupatinath Temple, a famous Hindu temple along the Bagmati River, where Hindus cremate their dead and bath in the holy waters. Following lunch on our own, we have the time for independent exploration and souvenir shopping. This evening, we’ll enjoy a cultural show and farewell dinner provided by our Sherpa hosts. Overnight: Sherpa Homestay Meals: B, D
October 16 / Day 16: International Departures or optional extension to Chitwan National Park This morning, very early, there will be the option to visit Boudanath Stupa, a holy Buddhist shrine and home to the largest Tibetan refugee community in Nepal. You have the option to extend your trip to Chitwan National Park, or airport transfers will be provided for your international flights home. Meals: B