Between 27 September and 13 October 2022, Adventure Consultants operated its Luxury Everest Base Camp Trek #4. Follow the team's journey as they trekked up through the incredible Khumbu Valley to Everest Base Camp, staying in the best lodges in the lower valley and our own luxury tented camps.
The Adventure Consultants Luxury Everest Base Camp Trek 2022 #4 Team includes:
Kami Tenzing Sherpa – Nepal/USA
Namgel Jangbu Sherpa – Nepal
Anne Hirvonen – Germany
Kate Baliotti – USA
Tenzing Bhote – Nepal
Tilak Rai – Nepal
Sonam Rai – Nepal
27 September 2022
After much anticipation, lots of planning and some long flights our team have all converged in Nepal's capital, Kathmandu, for the beginning of what is going to be a fabulous journey into the Khumbu to Everest Base Camp. After equipment checks, team introductions and a briefing were complete the team headed out into the city and enjoyed a welcome dinner at one of Kathmandu's finest restaurants, Le Sherpa.
Tomorrow everyone will enjoy a city day, there will be time for last minute equipment purchases, a little souvenir shopping and a guided tour of the city. Everyone is looking forward to a relaxing day before flying to Lukla the following day and beginning the trek.
Photo: Kate, Anne and Kami Tenzing at Le Sherpa Restaurant
29 September 2022
The trekking begins!
What an amazing day it's been! After much anticipation the team woke to perfect weather and early this morning departed Kathmandu for the lush green hills of Lukla.
The flight is incredibly scenic, taking off from the sprawling city of Kathmandu, and flying across rural fields, over small towns and into the foothills of the Himalaya. On a clear day the skyline is full of white peaks, and if you're lucky you'll catch a glimpse of Everest in the distance. The flight of course lands at the infamous Lukla airport with its steep angled runway. Avoiding the somewhat nail-biting approach in the helicopter though, our team land on flat ground!
After some refreshments, the team begin their 6 hour trek to Monjo. The lower part of the Khumbu Valley is more populated than it's higher reaches and the trail wanders through a multitude of small villages and farmlets, where local families have toiled for centuries making a living from subsistence farming, and now in more recent years from tourism. The trail is dotted with tea houses and lodges, and always a welcoming smile from their owners.
The trail is also home to many ornate stupas and mani stones, painted stones offering the Buddhist prayer Om mani padme hum, hence the name mani stone. They create a beautiful path, quite unlike anything we see in other parts of the world.
Tonight the team enjoy a comfortable night at their lodge in Monjo, as the slowly adjust to the altitude. Tomorrow they will tackle the Namche Hill, a tough climb to the village of Namche Bazaar where they will enjoy a couple of days acclimatising.
AC Office for Kami Tenzing Sherpa
30 September 2022
Onwards and Upwards to Namche Bazaar!
The trail from Monjo winds alongside the raging Dudh Koshi river, crossing it several times, across sturdy, high wire swing bridges. Part way along the trail is the park entrance, a beautifully designed and intricately painted entranceway into Sagarmatha National Park, where we stop briefly for photos and to have our permits checked.
Eventually the trail meets the bottom of the Namche Hill, and signals the first really challenging climb of the trek, as the trail zig-zags up the hillside towards the village of Namche, nestled into terraces towards the top of the hill. At this altitude (Namche sits at 3,440m), the climb is tough and it's a welcome sight to emerge from the trees and see the colourful roofs of Namche's lodges and homes.
We plan to stay in Namche for two nights, and tomorrow explore some of the surrounding area. AC Office for Kami Tenzing and the Lux EBC Team. Photos by Kami Tenzing Sherpa. (Above R) Namche Bazaar at last! (Above L) Entrance to Sagarmatha National Park (Below L to R) The Dudh Koshi River, The Team with the Namche Bridge in the distance behind, Kate and Anne at the Namche Bridge and Climbing the Namche Hill.
1 October 2022
Acclimatisation Day in Namche
Throughout our trek we have strategic acclimatisation days to help people better cope with the transition to increasingly higher altitude. Ideally, we spend the day at active 'rest', and so today Kate and Anne enjoyed exploring some of the many sights in and around Namche.
Namche is the cultural and economic centre of the Khumbu Valley, it's home to a large market where locals from up and down the surrounding areas gather to sell their wares, and boasts many tourist lodges, souvenir shops, cafes and restaurants. The region has never lost sight of it's cultural roots however, and there are various Buddhist traditions and symbols around every corner, such as the prayer wheels pictured left.
Kate and Anne also visited the memorial to Tenzing Norgay Sherpa who famously summited Mount Everest first with Sir Edmund Hillary in 1953, and the Sherpa Cultural Museum, which houses an extensive history of the Sherpa people and their strong connection to Mount Everest.
AC Office for Kami Tenzing Sherpa. Photos by Kami Tenzing Sherpa - Kate and Anne in and around Namche.
2 October 2022
Trek to Tashinga
Blue skies greeted the team early this morning as they began their trek onwards to the small village of Tashinga (3,450m). Their day began climbing high above Namche towards the small village of Khumjung, stopping enroute to enjoy spectacular views from the Hotel Everest View.
They enjoyed seeing some local wildlife as the trail narrowed towards Khumjung village, including this friendly yak that obligingly posed for a photo with Anne and Kate. They stopped in Khumjung village for some lunch and enjoyed seeing Khumjung School, the first of many schools to be opened in Nepal by the late Sir Edmund Hillary.
From Khumjung they continued on a trail to the small village of Tashinga and their hotel for the night. With a beautifully tended garden in full bloom outside the lodge, excellent food and comfortable, warm rooms the team will enjoy their short stay. Tomorrow they move on to Pangboche. AC Office for Kami Tenzing Sherpa.
3 October 2022
Musk Deer and Monasteries
Today's trek had a little bit of everything, from spectacular mountain vistas, to thick forest full of wildlife, farms, small villages and a monastery visit! Leaving Tashinga early this morning the team made their way to the small village of Tengboche via a little used trail, known for it's abundant wildlife. Their efforts were rewarded when they saw some Himalayan Thar and some Musk Deer as they climbed through the trees. The trail was steep and it was with some relief that they arrived at the top of the hill to the welcome sight of Tengboche with it's monastery taking pride of place in the centre of the village, surrounded in lodges and tea houses.
The Tengboche Monastery is the largest gompa in the Khumbu, originally being built in 1916, it's seen a number of rebuilds over the years due to earthquakes and fire, and is home now to some 60 monks. After spending some time in Tengboche the team continued onwards through to Pangboche (3,985m). Around Pangboche the vegetation changes become more notable, as they move above the treeline into the alpine zone. As they approach 4,000m everyone will be starting to feel the effects of the altitude, tomorrow the team moves to Dingboche (4,240m) where they will spend two nights to further acclimatise.
AC Office for Kami Tenzing Sherpa
4 October 2022
Wet Walk to Dingboche
The stint of fine weather came to an end today as the team woke to low cloud and drizzly rain. The monsoon season has stretched longer than normal in the Himalaya this year, so it's no surprise to have a little rain. Luckily the weather did little to dampen everyone's spirits and it was a short three and a half hours trek to the AC Luxury Camp in Dingboche.
From Pangboche the trail rises into the alpine zone, leaving the tree covered hillsides and valleys behind. It's a stark and rocky landscape, as the trail winds along a hillside, gradually climbing to the small village of Dingboche. Clouds obscure what would normally be a stunning contrast of rocky hills, snow covered mountains and blue skies - hopefully the cloud will lift soon!
Chortens, prayer flags and mani stones continue to adorn the trail, a reminder that the rich cultural heritage of the local Sherpa extends far into these surrounding mountains. The team enjoyed seeing some yaks grazing amongst the sparse vegetation, and the welcome sight of Dingboche village and the luxury of a warm and dry camp. The team will spend two days here at the Dingboche Camp, they're at 4,410m now and it's time to let bodies adjust to the altitude. AC Office for Kami Tenzing Sherpa
Photos by Kami Tenzing Sherpa (above) Kate stopping to photograph chortens alongside the trail, (below L to R) Yaks grazing, Anne and Kate arriving at Dingboche Village, Anne and Kate arriving at the AC Luxury Dingboche Camp and Anne and Kate drying out in the Dining Tent.
5 October 2022
A very happy birthday from all of us at Adventure Consultants to Anne! What a wonderful way to celebrate with new friends on the trek to Everest Base Camp. In their usual kind and thoughtful manner our Sherpa team arranged a birthday cake, complete with a sparkler candle.
Earlier in the day, the team climbed high above Dingboche village to a height of around 4,545m. Again the cloud was low, with rain, making for a damp climb. Spirits remained high though, despite the wet, and the team enjoyed having the trail to themselves with views looking back down onto their camp and the village of Dingboche.
Tomorrow they trek higher again, to Lobuche for another two nights at the AC Luxury tented camp. AC Office for Kami Tenzing Sherpa
Photos (above) Anne receiving her cake complete with fireworks! (below) Views looking down on Dingboche village and our Luxury Tented Camp, trekking into the cloud and more birthday celebrations. All photos by Kami Tenzing Sherpa.
7 October 2022
Acclimatising in Lobuche
Yesterday the Luxury Everest Base Camp team hiked from their camp in Dingboche to the Luxury Camp in Lobuche Village (4,940m). The monsoon rain continued making for a wet day, but the team took it in their stride and spirits are still high. This morning the cloud remains, with patches of blue, the sun trying hard to poke through!
Today's acclimatisation hike took the team to around 5,085m, with a visit to the Italian Research Pyramid. Installed and operational since 1990, the pyramid has become a fundamental outpost for high-altitude research.
Lobuche is a small village built on glacial moraine, at one time near the base of the Khumbu Glacier which has now receded much further up to the valley. The cloud lifted enough to catch a glimpse of the lower glacier today though, so it's with much excitement that the team move even closer tomorrow with the trek to Gorak Shep, and with luck a climb of Kala Patar. AC Office for Kami Tenzing Sherpa.
Photos by Kami Tenzing Sherpa - Trekking near Lobuche and the Italian Research Pyramid.
8 October 2022
Everest Base Camp!!
At last, blue sky! With much relief the team woke to clearing skies this morning and made the bold decision to push through to Everest Base Camp from Lobuche, it's a big day, but with monsoon rains lingering it was an easy decision to make the most of the fine weather.
From Lobuche the trail winds along moraine left by the receding Khumbu Glacier to the outpost of Gorak Shep, a small collection of tea houses and lodges catering to tourists and climbers on the trek to Everest Base Camp. From Gorak Shep it's another 2 hours of scrambling along a rocky, but well trodden trail to Everest Base Camp.
The main climbing period for Mount Everest is during the pre-monsoon in April/May, so at this time of year it's relatively quiet, and makes for a peaceful and serene experience. Standing at the base of the world's highest peak you're surrounded in cirque of peaks, Pumori and Nuptse dominating the skyline with the shambolic cascade of the Khumbu Icefall snaking down to the edge of the camp - it's a spectacular place to be. Today a low misty cloud blew in and out, adding to the ambience.
After a break and time to explore it was with some reluctance that the team returned to Gorak Shep, all coping extremely well with the long day of trekking and ready for the comfort of their sleeping bags! AC Office for Kami Tenzing Sherpa.
Photos by Kami Tenzing Sherpa (above) Anne and Kate at Everest Base Camp (right) Blue skys and mountain scenes at last! (below) a selection of images trekking to Everest Base Camp.
10 October 2022
Yesterday's hike was nothing short of spectacular for our Luxury Everest Base Camp team as they climbed Kala Patar, the scenic Everest viewpoint above the village of Gorak Shep. At 5,550m, it's the high point of the trek, around 250m higher than Everest Base Camp. The climb rewards trekkers with fantastic views of Mount Everest and the surrounding peaks. The photo above (L to R) we see the west shoulder of Everest, Everest's main peak and Nuptse. The Khumbu Icefall snakes down below the west shoulder of Everest into the lower part of the glacier where Everest Base Camp sits. It's a fabulous view and the team were really pleased to be able to experience such great views after the wet weather on the trek in.
After soaking in the view the team returned to Gorak Shep and today continued trekking back down the valley, in the cloud to Dingboche. From here the team will wait for some good weather and fly back to Kathmandu - the trekking phase of their journey now complete. Congratulations Anne and Kate for making the trek to Base Camp in such challenging conditions! AC Office for Kami Tenzing Sherpa.