These destinations include treks in all the popular trekking areas. We will provide the additional service of working with you to ensure all your requirements are met. You could either camp or use lodges however you will certainly encounter many other trekkers on route.
As an example here we have included the ever popular Everest Base Camp trek although there are several other itineraries in this sector that offer fantastic experiences and mountain views.
Treks that we consider would fit into this category include:-
For this section we have included the Everest Base Camp Lodge Trek itinerary
Duration: 14 trek days | Max Elevation: 5550m | Style of Trek: Teahouse | Trek Grade: Streneous
With eight of the world’s 8,000m peaks, Nepal is a spectacular country with not only unique mountain panoramas, but, also with many diverse cultures and festivals, ethnic intrigue, mystifying traditions and architecture. The Everest trek is justifiably famous, not only for its proximity to the world’s highest mountain (8,848m), but, also for its friendly Sherpa people in whose district, the Solu-Khumbu, Everest is situated, as well as for the colorful festivals and Buddhist monasteries. By avoiding some of the main trails trekkers can still experience the unique flora and fauna of the Sagarmatha National Park in relative seclusion; the story of the yeti from the Khumbu region is still a mystery to the world at large, but, with many local residences still claiming there is a mysterious being somewhere within the locality who knows he might just put in an appearance!
The Sherpa, the Famous Mountaineers of the Khumbu
Are the Sherpa, the famous mountaineers? Many famous Nepali mountaineers and Guides do come from this ethnic group. However, many trekkers refer to all the boys and girls who carry loads up and down the valleys as sherpas, these people should not be confused with the ethnic groups of Sherpa people. Many of the so-called porters do in-fact originate from other ethnic groups.
The areas traditionally inhabited by the Sherpa peoples are in the high Himalaya, although the higher these people are found, the more chance there is that they do not reside in their communities all year round, due to the climatic conditions. Their villages normally cling to steep hillsides and are subjected to a greater range of temperatures.
Sherpas are of Tibetan descendants and many migrated south over the Tibetan border via the Nangpa La in the Khumbu region around 600 years ago in order to escape the Tibetan feudal system and religious persecution. In the mid 16th Century they came in search of more fertile land and hospitable climate compared to those they were accustomed to on the high Tibetan plateau. They brought with them their own Tibetan customs, dress, script and language, all of which are still in general use today. These cultures are closely connected to Lamaism and their rituals and rites are based on the directions of the lamas at the local monastery, the gompa. The lamas of today are still seen as the religious and social head of the community. The Sherpa economy is directly governed by the mountain environment in which they live. Traditionally they are farmers and earn a living from the produce they sell to their southern neighbours, but today they are more famous for their mountaineering exploits and their involvement in the tourism industry. The yak is probably the most important animal associated with the Sherpa people and is used for transporting goods and supplies to high mountain settlements. The female, the nak, provides milk from which butter and cheese is produced. Blankets, carpets and mats are made from its wool. There is an increasing importance associated with cross-breeding between the cow and yak to produce the male dzo and female dzum. These are the hardy beasts that carry goods for the lodges continuously passing up and down the trail from the road head to the higher valley. These cross-breeds are more adaptable to lower altitudes, as yaks typically are not found below 3,000 metres where they cannot survive.
The Sherpa tend to be good business people and many own and run the wealthy lodges and tourist-related businesses in Himalayan areas visited by trekkers, often employing Rai, and other ethnic group members to work for them.
The traditional Sherpa house is often of two storeys, although in the higher altitudes, the harsh environment sometimes means that it can only be of one storey. On the ground floor they keep their animals, their dung being a good source of fuel when dried. They also store firewood and potatoes below while the floor above is used for living, cooking and sleeping. There is a fire pit or stove at one end, and the surrounding walls are shelved to hold all their utensils, bedding, clothes and other processions. In all Sherpa homes there will be a space set aside for praying and this will be richly decorated with Buddhist idols and paintings. Depending on how wealthy the family is, there might be a lavishly decorated prayer room in the style of Nyingmapa, the Tibetan sect of Buddhism. Along the trails, many Mani walls and stones can be found with prayers etched or painted on them. Om Mani Padme Hum is a mantra asking for wisdom in choosing the right path in life. When encountering a Mani or prayer pole you should always walk clockwise round it; it is believed that this is auspicious and the traveller will not tire so easily on the journey. Although Buddhist people are allowed to eat meat they will traditionally employ a Dalit, or Tibetan butcher, to kill and prepare the meat ready for cooking.
There are many sacred summits in the Sherpa culture that are regarded as the home of deities. Mount Everest, (Sagarmatha as it is known in Nepal, or Chomolungma in Tibet), Mother of the World, is worshipped in many festivals but more importantly, Khumbi La that stands above Namche Bazaar and has never been climbed, is the home of a white faced deity who rides a magical horse. This deity is considered to be the protector of the Sherpa people and is worshipped at all Sherpa festivals when they repeat the ‘shyo, shyo, Khumbi La’ mantra.
Namche Bazaar is now a busy trading centre with a noisy and lively market held on a Saturday. It is also the administrative centre with its own bank and many coffee shops and cyber cafes.
They are many clans and groups within the Sherpa ethnic group, many of their names are adaptations of the names of the villages they left in Tibet. If a member of the highest clan, the Khadev, marries someone from a lower clan, the Khamedu the Khadev will lose his/her status, and only by paying a fine to the village council will their social status be re-instated. In Sherpa culture there are both practices of marriage; love marriage and arranged marriage. The clan structure is only important when it comes to marriage; the person must marry outside of his or her clan. Not only is the Lama consulted over marriage issues, but also over the naming of a child. However, there is no rice-feeding ceremony which signifies the initiation of the male child into boyhood.
As in all Nepali cultures, the Sherpa people follow many religious festivals. However the most important is Lhosar, their New Year, which is determined by the Tibetan calendar and usually falls in February. Even if Sherpa people have descended to warmer locations during the winter, they will always try to return back to their communities for this celebration. The other important festival is Mani-rimdu. This is celebrated twice a year: in Thame Monastery in May, and at Thengboche in November, and involves the famous dance of the monks when they wear costumes and the masks of the various deities. This has become very commercialised and has been adapted to appeal to the tourists that it is increasingly attracting.
At the time of a death, the lama makes decisions on everything and takes the leading role in the rituals, taking note of astrological scripts. Sherpa generally bury dead children, cremate young people, but the lama decides on behalf of the old the type of ritual, its time, place and the form of the funeral. In some cases both sky and water burials take place whereby after several rituals have been performed the body is prepared for its final journey on the wheel of life and either cast for the fish or birds to devour at a sacred site.
As would be expected, the Sherpa dress is similar to the Tibetan dress. The men wear a chuba, a shirt like tunic down to the knees, often made of a thick material, a shirt called a tutung and tight trousers (nangoya) on the legs. The women wear a long tunic known as an anggi and an inner shirt (bangjur). Most women wear a cap, and a shyamahu, a striped apron. Sherpa women adorn themselves with gold jewellery, bangles, earrings and necklaces. Often Tibetan turquoise and coral are worn mounted on silver necklaces. Men and women traditionally grow their hair long, often plaited and decorated with silver jewelled pins. Nowadays many Sherpa people, especially the young, choose to wear western styled clothing. These days just about every local person in Namche Bazaar can be seen wearing a down jacket!
Day 01: Departure from your home and international airport
Day 02: Arrive in Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu
You’ll be met and assisted at the international airport by our Nepali representatives who will escort you to your hotel in the city. Depending on your arrival time the remainder of the day and evening is free for you to explore the surrounding area or simply relax and have dinner in your hotel. Your first night will be spent in a 5 star deluxe hotel in Kathmandu.
Day 03: A day in Kathmandu and the Valley
After breakfast there will be time for you to enjoy the day relaxing by the hotel pool or sightseeing with a guided tour of some of the highlights of Kathmandu and the surrounding Valley. There are many options that you might like to consider:
- An easy walking tour of Durbar Square, the central social and religious hub of the city where you can visit ancient palaces and temples including Hanuman Dhoka, Kastamandap Temple and the Temple of the Living Goddess Kumari
- A private car tour to Swoyambhunath Stupa, also known as the Monkey Temple, with its fine views over Kathmandu with its interesting skyline, you'll also see the great spiral stupa itself.
- You might like to drive to Patan, also known as the City of Fine Arts with its myriad of temples and stunning Newari architecture.
- The Buddhist Stupa of Boudhanath is a popular choice for many where you can not only enjoy the tranquil kora around the Stupa but have a wonderful roof top lunch watching the world go by
- You can of course hire a private car and arrange your own itinerary for the day
- We can even arrange for someone to take you shopping for those special gifts that you won't find in the Thamel tourist district of Kathmandu
However, you must leave time when we can all meet up back at the hotel for the final briefing and preparation for the start of the trek the next morning. This will be the chance to ask any questions and to meet your trekking Guide. Later in the evening you will enjoy a complimentary welcome dinner at one of Kathmandu’s finest restaurants. However, you must also find the time to pack and prepare for tomorrow's flight and the early start of your trek.
Day 04: Kathmandu to Lukla (2743m) to Phakding approximately 3-4 trekking hours
After an early morning 'wake-up call' you will transfer, via a short drive, to the domestic airport and the short flight to Lukla, where you’ll begin your trek, after having breakfast in one of the local Lukla lodges. The 35 minute flight to Lukla is a scenic and dramatic mountain flight; you fly parallel to the Himalayan giants bordering Nepal and Tibet. Lukla lies at an altitude of 2850m; Luk - La means a place of sheep. Our destination today is the small village of Phakding and along the trail you'll meet plenty of local people going about their daily business and the Nepali greeting 'Namaste' will frequently echo in your ears.
Day 05: Trek to Namche Bazaar (3440m) approximately 5 trekking hours
Today we enter Sagarmatha (Everest) National Park at Monjo and begin the slow ascent towards Namche Bazaar 3446m, a beautiful day’s trekking. You will share the trail with many Porters from the lower Solu district ferrying supplies up to Namche, while Sherpas with their Zopkio (half yak, half cow) will be encountered ferrying trekking and climbing expedition equipment to the higher valleys. The trail passes through several villages which provide welcome teashops rests and the views of the peaks which improve continuously along the way.
Climbing steadily, the path passes through pine forests to reach the distinctive horse-shoe shaped hanging valley that contains the town of Namche Bazaar.
Day 06: Acclimatization day Namche Bazaar
Although often referred to as a 'rest day' with time to relax, it is more important today to acclimatise for the climb over the next few days. From Namche you'll get your first real views of Everest (8,848m), Lhotse (8,511m), Nuptse (7,879m), Ama Dablam (6,856m), and Tawoche (6,542m) and many other famous Peaks of the Khumbu. After breakfast you will leave Namche for a short walk and maybe a chance to cross the 4000m mark before returning to the lodge later for the evening meal.
Day 07: Trek from Namche Bazaar to Deboche (3820m) approximately 6 trekking hours
After a full day's rest and acclimatizing in Namche yesterday today we contour along the hill-side towards Thengbouche. At every bend in the trail there is another unexpected view of Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, at the head of the valley, with Ama Dablam, Kantage, and Thameserku to the east and Taweche to the west. The trail passes through Sonasa where the valley splits off to Cho Oyu to the west while you will continue to the north dropping down to cross the Dudh Koshi at Phunke Tenga. After lunch the trail climbs steadily to Thengboche, before losing a little height down to Deboche.
Day 08: Trek from Deboche to Pheriche 4240m 7 trekking hours
Starting out in the cool of the morning you quickly cross over the river to the west bank and the warmth of the sun. From this point the valley takes on a new and 'wild' character, steadily moving about the tree line you begin to feel the proximity of the big mountains. After lunch in Somare the final climb takes you out of the middle valley and up into the Khumbu valley and Pheriche.
Day 09: Acclimatisation Day at Pheriche
As at Namche you will have another acclimatisation day, but, this time your target might be the 5000m contour. The anticipated spectacular views of not only the mountains of the Khumbu but those of the Makalu range, and Makalu itself, will be enough to spur you on. You will return to the lodge for the evening.
Day 10: Trek from Pheriche to Lobuche 4910m approximately 7 trekking hours
Today the valley changes again, it's wider, cooler and more rugged than before. Initially the trail wanders gentle along the broad valley floor before climbing up to Dughla, the terminal moraines of the retreating Khumbu Glacier. After lunch the valley takes another step up in altitude to the monuments of the many Sherpa climbers, and now foreign climbers, who have all died on Everest before leveling out for the final trek into Lobuche.
Day 11: Acclimatisation day in Lobuche
For most people the last day of the trek to Everest Base Camp is a day well outside of their previously experienced comfort zones. So to provide the best opportunities to reach your goal in relative comfort Off the Wall Trekking has put into the itinerary another rest day in Lobuche. During the day you will take a short walk to the Italian Pyramid Research Centre before returning to the comfort of your lodge.
Day 12: Trek from Lobuche to Gorak Shep and then onto Everest base Camp 5364m 8 trekking hours
Today is a hard one. At Gorak Shep you will have lunch and then set off for EBC, once past the small lakes the trail crosses onto the moraines and glacier so extreme care must be taken crossing loose moraine slopes and the exposed ice of the glacier. EBC might be inhabited by many expeditions preparing for their ascent of Everest, please give them the privacy they need for their final thoughts and personal preparation. After your visit to EBC you will return to the lodge at Gorak Shep for the night.
Day 13: Gorak Shep, climb Kala Patthar 5550m and then descend to Lobuche
Starting out in the dark you will slowly climb the good trail to the summit of Kala Patthar to witness the first rays of the sun on the summit of Everest. After a light nibble on chocolate and fruit bars you will descend to Gorak Shep for a more substantial meal before descend back down to lower altitudes and the thicker oxygen levels.
Day 14: Descend from Lobuche to Thengboche 7 trekking hours
Today is a long day but it won't seem so tiring as the loss in altitude will make life seem so much better!
Day 15: Thengouche to Monjo
Descending all the time the valley appears so much more vibrant then the wilderness experienced above 5000m.
Day 16: Monjo to Lukla
The stage from Phadking seems a lot harder and longer than it di on the way in!
Day 17: Lukla to Kathmandu
Hopefully the first flight will be at 6.30am and by 9am you will be back in the hotel, weather permitting. The rest of the day will be free for you to relax, sort your gear out and do that last minute shopping.
Day 18: Final departure