“Reaching the summit of a mountain gives great satisfaction, but nothing for me has been more rewarding in life than the result of our climb on Everest” – Sir Edmund Hilary – the first man to climb Everest.
There are mountains and then there is Everest. Mount Everest is world renowned for its sheer size, priceless views and untouched terrain that has called to generations of trekkers looking for the ultimate challenge. Unknown to most is the delicate scenery and wide range of indigenous flora and fauna which call Everest home.
The journey beings in Kathmandu, the heart of Nepalese culture and the country’s’ largest and most interesting city. Here, you will spend a day absorbing the bustling city streets and taking in the environment, as you pass by timeless shrines on one side of the road while a local peddles authentic handicrafts nearby. With a certain mystique, Kathmandu is a wonderful blend of Buddhist roots coupled with a strong Hindu influence, that needs to be experienced in order to be truly appreciated. You will see everything from the bustling backpacker hub of Thamel, to the worlds largest stupa, to Hindu cremation sites, and maybe spot a living Hindu Goddess in between. After a day exploring Kathmandu, you will board your flight and begin the trek. The morning flight to Lukla is a breathtaking experience. You will be shuffled into a small plane, seating at most 10 people. Make sure to stay awake, to catch breathtaking views of the Kathmandu Valley and the surrounding mountain scenery. Upon arrival in Lukla, the journey truly begins, as you begin your trip to basecamp.
From here on, you will spend your days hiking and getting accustomed to the hospitality and warmth offered by the indigenous people inhabiting the small mountain towns. Each stop has its own charm, ranging from the bustling Namche Bazar, to the quiet tranquil villages. You feel like you are living in a tiny bubble, surrounded by the beauty that is the Everest region. Here, you will have a chance to speak with Sherpas, whose families have guided the trails for generations. You will get a first hand understanding of their wisdom of one of the worlds most popular trekking destinations. Couple this with home cooked meals of Daal Bhat and other authentic Nepali cuisines, and you will truly get a taste of Nepal.
The trek passes along the traditional route, passing through Khumbu, the capital of the region. Pass along the scenic Imja Khola river, through daunting forests featuring local flowers such as the rhodedendrons, magnolia and countless other flowers, whose colors truly illuminate your hike. Work your way to the valley that lies below Everest. The trek itself passes through an enchanting array of small villages, each with their own story. You will have several opportunities for photos and fireside chats, creating memories that will last a lifetime. Along the path, you will have the chance to visit a secluded mountain sanctuary in Thyangboche, perched nearly 4 kilometers into the snowy mountains. The stunning views just a short hike from the monastery make for an unforgettable sunrise experience. Work your way up the path in the dark of the night, under the banner of early morning stars and moonlight. Following a descent to Imja Khola and through the quaint villages of Pangboche and Pheriche, you will arrive at the Khumbu Glacier. Past the glacier is Lobuche, an unparalleled vantage point, with views of some of the worlds tallest and most impressive peaks. We will trek to Kala Pattar, located 5554 meters above sea level. Every step of the journey is one step closer to the awe-inspiring sights that reward devoted trekkers. The views of Everest must be experienced to be described. There is a common bond amongst adventurers who make the Everest trek. We then work our way to the Everest Base Camp, where everyone who has ever climbed to the top of the world has stayed. You can literally walk in the footsteps of the most daring men and women in history, including Sir Edmond Hillary. As you work your way back to Lukla, you will have formed a strong bond with your guide, as he has shared the insider secrets of the region with you. You will have been dazzled you with the complexities of the mountains, the Sherpa culture, and you may have even learned some Nepalese, allowing you to haggle over souvenirs in the local language .
In Summary, the Everest trek is one of the worlds most popular trekking adventures for a reason. Few people can say they truly climbed the worlds highest mountain and saw the top of the world with their own eyes. At the end of the day, you will realize that the true reward, aside from the breathtaking views and photos, is the bond you created with your travel partners and guide, without the everyday modern distractions. These bonds are the true souvenirs that will last a lifetime.