Late October 2018: Everest View Explorer

Post from RICOH THETA. – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

Click & drag the 360° photo above to check out the view from Gokyo Ri, 17,500 ft


October 25 – November 12, 2018

Your Guides
Himalaya Specialists Ang Dendi Sherpa & Jerry Lapp
Tour Sketch
Trek through the High Himalaya to discover untouched Everest viewpoints;  an explorer’s dream, this journey is less-structured than most
Adventure Rating
High ~ we’ll have plenty of views, culture and adventure, trekking and scrambling through high alpine terrain with a bit of mountaineering thrown in
Low Point
8,400 ft in the village of Phakding, our first night on trek
High Point
18,500 ft ~ 5,639m on a glaciated crossing of Changri La Pass
Dodging yaks?  exploring the Sherpa capital of Namche Bazaar?  plying the ancient trade route towards Tibet?  camping alongside pristine lakes?
Room & Board
We’ll stay in well-located, hospitable, clean hotels in Kathmandu ~ while trekking, our accommodations will range from comfortable & basic family-run lodges to campsites set up by our team of speedy Sherpas
US$ 3,699 covers almost all of your expenses in Nepal over 19 days, including guides; porters; airport transfers; domestic flights (2); all hotels in Kathmandu; all lodges on trek; meals throughout; double occupancy ~ international airfare not included, but expect East Coast round trip tickets to be in the range of $900 – $1,300; single occupancy add $200 (may not be available on camping nights, lodges will be based on availability)
Extra Expenses
International airfare not included, but expect East Coast USA round trip tickets to be in the range of $900 – $1,300; required evacuation insurance; Nepal visa; alcohol and other bottled beverages; tips for local staff; snacks on trek; other small miscellaneous expenses


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Registration closes August 1, 2018


The beauty of the Everest Region goes far beyond its sunny skies, jagged, vertical terrain, and friendly Sherpas.  It’s laced with a series of well-maintained trails that lead from village to village, and give us access to the high passes and massive mountains that surround the world’s highest peak. Get ready though, because this time around we’re going off-roading with the yaks!


A Sherpa on snowy Cho La Pass gives the thumbs up signal under sunny, blue skiesOur local guide, Ang Dendi Sherpa, gives the all-clear signal on Cho La Pass

The majority of our overnights will be spent in hospitable mountain lodges with small private rooms, tasty menus, and the company of other trekkers from all over the world.  Our team of precocious porters will also be carrying tents giving us a free pass to the most remote mountains and valleys of the Everest Region.  Dipping in and out of civilization gives us a chance to recharge our batteries, literally and figuratively, in the high country.

  This is a fully supported trek with a fantastic crew of Sherpa guides and porters . . .  you’ll carry only a daypack with snacks and a few extra supplies each day.  It’s your vacation!  Our staff will cook all our meals when we’re in the outback of Everest; when walking in more civilized terrain, we’ll eat in mountain lodges.  This leaves you with a simple task for the day – walk!


Two trekkers hiking down the valley towards the village of Dzonghla with Cholatse Peak ahead

      the high himalaya   

▼   your route through the high himalaya   

A Google Earth snapshot of the Everest View Explorer trekking route


FastFacts for EverestExplorers

    • 14 days of trekking
    • 19 days in Nepal
    • 20 days door-to-door from North America
    • highest lodge . . . 15,870 feet in the tiny village of Dzonghla
    • highest campsite . . . 17,560 feet at Abi Peak BaseCamp
    • dipping in and out of high altitude civilization, this route stretches the definition of trekking
    • Sherpas speak their own Sherpa language + Nepali, and often English as well
    • Buddhism is the religion of Everest . . . we’ll visit a number of monasteries along the way
    • The summit of Mt. Everest is parked on the border of Tibet and Nepal


A Sherpa leads the way up through boulders to the summit of Sumdur Peak

Temba leads the way through the boulders of Sumdur Peak . . . at 17,500 ft, this is our first legitimately high viewpoint

Because this trek leads us to high altitudes, we’ll take our time getting there, going up one day at a time, one step at a time to allow our bodies time to acclimatize.  A nice bonus of this style is that we don’t have killer long days, ever, throughout the trek, well, at least in terms of mileage.

Two brilliantly-dressed trekkers hike down Gokyo Ri above the 3rd LakeFive brilliant lakes line the Gokyo Valley, each with its own unique shade of turquoise . . . above, two trekkers descend Gokyo Ri towards the waters of the 3rd Lake  (Gokyo to Everest Base Camp, 2016)


Exceptional Everest Tour Outline

  •      Day 1     Fly from North America to your layover city
  •      Day 2     Fly onward to Kathmandu, Nepal – trip package begins this afternoon
  •      Day 3    Tour Kathmandu, a virtual living museum
  •      Day 4     Fly to Lukla and trek to Phakding
  •      Day 5     Hike to Namche Bazaar
  •      Day 6     Acclimatization day w/ ascending day hike to Khumjung & Kunde Peak
  •      Day 7     Take the high road to Lawudo Monastery and Thame
  •      Day 8     Day hike the spectacular Sumdur Peak, Thengbo Kharka or Tashi Labsta
  •      Day 9     Upvalley trek towards Tibet to Lungden
  •      Day 10    Trek to first campsite at Nangpa BaseCamp
  •      Day 11     Exploratory climb up and over 4th Lake Pass to 4th Peak BaseCamp
  •      Day 12    Climb 4th Peak, then descend to Gokyo Village; sunset on Gokyo Ri?
  •      Day 13    Trek across Ngozumpa Glacier, climb to Abi ii and Abi BaseCamp
  •      Day 14    Climb over glaciated Changri La Pass to Dzonghla
  •      Day 15    Start descending in earnest to Deboche
  •      Day 16    Trek to Namche Bazaar
  •      Day 17     Last day of trek to Lukla Airport and the Buddha Lodge
  •      Day 18    Fly Lukla to Kathmandu, shower, eat, rinse, repeat
  •      Day 19    Eat, shower, visit Swoyambu, aka, The Monkey Temple
  •      Day 20    Prepare for departure, catch flight to international layover city
  •      Day 21    Fly final leg and arrive home today


The Detailed Plan of Attack (subject to change)

Day 1
Depart North America  ~  Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Although your Tour doesn’t start until tomorrow in Kathmandu, you’ll need to begin your journey today (or yesterday, god forbid, for a few longer flights) to arrive tomorrow, if that makes any sense!  Fly from North America to your layover city today; most major U.S. airports have high-quality, one-stop flights to Kathmandu, Nepal.  While it’s not included in the Tour cost, Skychasers will arrange a group flight from Philadelphia or New York for those who would like to travel together.

Day 2
Kathmandu Arrival;  Tour begins this afternoon with hotel check-in & dinner  ~  Oct 25

Upon arrival at Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan International Airport, those traveling on the group flight from the East Coast will be met by our driver who will take us directly to our hotel near Tibetan Buddhism’s holiest site in Nepal, the Boudha Stupa.  If arriving in Kathmandu independently, you will be met at the airport by myself or a member of our staff.  Our tour begins this afternoon with hotel check-in followed by dinner.  Airport transfer, dinner, hotel included. 

The Boudha Stupa with prayer flags framed against clouds and a brilliant blue sky



Day 3
Tour Kathmandu, living museum of culture and chaos  ~  Oct 26

From our grand station overlooking the pilgrims circumambulating the Boudha Stupa, we enjoy a relaxed rooftop breakfast.  After breakfast, we’ll give our hiking legs their first minor test by taking the 45-minute walk to Pashupatinath, the Hindu cremation ghats and temple complex.  The area is also home to an immense amount of activity ranging from flying monkeys to ganja-smoking sadhus, Indian holy men.  We’ll walk to the historic Dwarika’s Hotel for a late lunch or afternoon tea, as you wish, before returning to Boudha for free time and dinner.  B/L/D, Pashupatinath entrance fee, hotel.

Girls taking a groupie and celebrating a fall festival in Kathmandu
October is festival time in Kathmandu . . . here, a roving band of merrymakers pauses for a groupie on the stairs of an ancient pagoda in Kathmandu’s Durbar Square, Oct 2017 Exceptional Everest 


Day 4
Fly to Lukla and trek to Phakding  ~  Oct 27     5-mile trek
  • 84 miles KTM – Lukla flight
  • 9,365 ft   Lukla elevation – also today’s high point
  • 8,375 ft   today’s low point near Phakding
  • 8,500 ft   finish in Phakding

We’ll head to the domestic airport after an early breakfast for our soaring shuttle flight alongside the spine of the Himalaya to Lukla, our portal to the world’s highest mountains.  To be sure, the Lukla landing is a great adventure, but it’s merely a harbinger of things to come.  With plenty of time in the day left to hike, we set off to the north.  As we walk upvalley, the jagged summit of Kusum Kanguru comes into view above the northeast foothills.  Oddly, our first few hours lead us downhill through larger villages before ending the day alongside the rushing waters of the Dudh Kosi River.  Along the way, there’s plenty happening; trekkers, yaks, lodges, and a delicious lunch stop.  KTM>Lukla flight tickets, B/L/D, trekking & tims permits, mountain lodge.

A group of students begins their trekking day on a wet morning in Chaurikharka, Nepal
The main drag on the Everest Base Camp trail from Lukla is a high-speed superhighway on Day 1 leading to the start of a nice daily routine, walking!


Day 5
Trek to Namche Bazaar  ~  Oct 28     6 miles
  • 8,500 ft   start & low point
  • Namche Hill  ~  1,900 vert ft ascent
  • 11,300 ft   finish & high point

Namche Bazaar’s a definite highlight, but it’s going to make us work a bit to get there.  Shortly after our walk commences, we enter the borders of Sagarmatha (the Nepali name for Everest) National Park before diving down once again to the riverside.  Our crossing brings us to the last town of the area, Jorsale.  For the next hour, we’re undulating along the banks of the river as it roars beside us.  Our final river crossing is on a high, swinging bridge lined with prayer flags.  This bridge also marks the start of the infamous “Namche Hill” . . . one step at a time will find you in Namche in an hour or two, maybe a bit more if you really love to smell the roses.  Catch your first glimpse of the world’s highest mountain a few minutes up the hill!  Take the rest of the day visiting Namche’s bakeries, pubs, and coffee shops before retiring to our lodge for dinner.  B/L/D, mountain lodge.

Namche Bazaar in green season with blue skies and Tham Serku peak in the background



Day 6
Rest/acclimatization, Khumjung day hike  ~  Oct 29     4 miles
  • 11,300 ft   start, low point & finish in Namche Bazaar
  • 12,715 ft   high point at Hotel Everest View

This is a classic day in the Everest region, starting with a slow hike up and out of Namche Bazaar.  As we wind our way upward, the monster mountains of the Khumbu slowly come into view . . . first ThamSerku, then Ama Dablam, the Lhotse-Nuptse wall, and behind that, Everest.  From the high outdoor patio of the Everest View Hotel, we’ll order tea and coffee, and sit, sometimes in silence, sometimes sharing thoughts with friends, but always in awe.  We’ll continue our walk down into the large Sherpa village of Khumjung, enjoying pastries from its famous bakery, eventually eating lunch, and maybe visiting the local Edmund Hillary School.  In the afternoon, we’ll continue our looping walk, heading to the Syangboche Airport before descending back down to the comforts of Namche Bazaar and our warm dining room.  B/L/D, mountain lodge.

Trekkers in the Khumbu Region of Nepal with Everest behind the Lhotse-Nuptse Wall
Rick and the rest of Team Scratch & Dent enjoying a warm drink at the aptly named Hotel Everest View, Everest upper left


Day 7
Trek to Lawudo Monastery and Thame  ~  Oct  30     7 miles
  • 11,300 ft   start and low point
  • 14,500 ft   high point in the Kyajo Valley
  • 12,800 ft   Lawudo Monastery
  • 12,464 ft   finish in Thame

A hearty, hot breakfast fuels our gentle ascent westward out of Namche Bazaar.  Presently, we enter a forest where there’s a good chance to see the Himalayan tahr, the local version of the mountain goat.  Traversing the hillside, we have excellent views across the valley to the jagged peaks of Kongde.  I have a friend, Pemba Tenzing, who’s a monk at one of the high Buddhist monasteries above the trail, so we’ll stop in to see him, check out the meditation cave (below), and eat a traditional Nepali lunch.  Or, scratch all of the above and have Pemba Tenzing lead us on the high road to Lawudo, a truly alpine experience culminating at the gateway to the mysterious Kyajo Valley.  Either way, as we begin our afternoon hike, our destination of Thame will be visible upvalley.  If we’re feeling relaxed and happy, we can take a detour to the high Thame Monastery as we roll into town.  Otherwise, we’ll head straight into Thame, enjoying its remote situation with towering peaks above.  B/L/D, mountain lodge.

click to enlarge
Pemba Tenzing & Kaji Sherpa in conversation in front of Lawudo Monastery’s meditation cave


Day 8
Day hike the spectacular Sumdur Ridge  ~  Oct 31     5.6 miles
  • 12,464 ft   start, low point & finish
  • 16,150 ft   hiking to trekkers’ summit high on Sumdur Ridge
  • 17,500 ft   scrambling to true summit of Sumdur Peak
  • 14,200 ft   easier hike to Tengbo Kharka
  • 18,000 ft   only for the wicked, hike to the Tashi Labsta Glacier . . . please make it back before tomorrow

Today will suit everyone’s tastes.  Feeling a little tired?  Spend the entire day eating and sleeping the day away.  Want a little exercise to shake out the cobwebs?  Hike up to the Thame Monastery and watch the mountains roll by while enjoying a meal in one of the adjoining restaurants.  Or, maybe you want to hike higher than you’ve ever been before, with the bonus that your route turns into a boulder scramble with death-defying drops?  Trek Sumdur Peak (see photo below), the spectacular, exposed ridgeline high, high above the Thame Monastery.  The trail begins gently, crisscrossing its way up to the monastery.  From there, it traverses west, then climbs steeply, gaining the ridgeline at 14,075 ft.  Once on the ridge, the views are full-on 360° for the final 2,000 vertical feet (or 3,500 if going to the true summit).  You’ll feel the altitude, but you’re well acclimatized to this point to make it a reasonable day to the trekkers’ summit where the trail ends.  Beyond that, call it a full-on high-altitude rock scramble the final 1,500 ft to the summit.  You can do it . . . in 2017, a couple of our trekkers scrambled high above the trekkers’ summit while three of our staff summited.  This is truly a lifetime achievement – we did a lot of research beforehand to pave the way for your attempt.  Although I’m sure others have summited, I haven’t heard of anyone else who’s made it to the summit of Sumdur.  Our Nepali staff will carry your daypack, the pace will be slow, and we’ll stop a lot to take pictures, let the breath catch up, and enjoy a packed lunch on the summit.  Challenge your world!  The numbers to the trekkers’ summit?  3,686 ascent + 3,686 descent, 5.6 miles round-trip, 6-8 hours.  To the true summit, you’re in for  5,186 ft of ascent + 5,186 ft of descent, 7.5 miles and ten or more hours for the round-trip, nervous laughter.  Click here for 2017 Strava numbers, incomplete on the return descent.  B/L/D, mountain lodge.

Six hikers on the trekkers' summit of Sumdur Ridge
Above, Kami Tendi, Temba, Ang Dendi, Sherry, Jeanni & Jade take five on the trekkers’ summit with the true summit above. Below, see Temba & Dendi on Sumdur’s true summit

Two Sherpas on the summit of Sumdur Peak, a pile of rocks high above Thame, Nepal



Day 9
Trek to the Lungden  ~  Nov 1     6.5 miles
  • 12,464 ft   start & low point in Thame
  • 14,440 ft    finish & high point in Lungden

After a nice breakfast in Thame, we’ll pack up our bags, stretch off the cobwebs from yesterday’s Sumdur hike, and hit the trail with a minor uphill for dessert of breakfast.  The uphill quickly leads to a descent into the village of Thame Teng, thus beginning our upvalley march through very tiny villages.  The valley now leads directly up, up, up to the Nangpa La Pass and the border with Tibet, a legendary trade route that’s been closed for political reasons for a number of years.  ETA to Tibet though is three or four days and we won’t be going that far.  On the western hillside above the trail, we can make a small detour to a Buddhist monastery if we have time.  And, sooner than later, the impressive pyramid of Kyajo Ri will come into view and stay with us the rest of the day.  We’ll stop for a nice lunch break en route and should be arriving in Lungden by mid-afternoon.  If you’d like a sunset tour or some extra acclimatization, there’s a very large hill behind our lodge that will deliver both.  B/L/D, mountain lodge.

The Thame Valley with the village of Lungden in the center and the peaks of Pasang Lamu and Cho Oyu in the background
We’re hiking up the Thame Valley towards Tibet today . . . the peaks of Cho Oyu, right and Pasang Lamu, left, guard the forboding gateway to Tibet, the Nangpa La Pass; Lungden is the plateau village in the center


Day 10
  Trek to Nangpa BaseCamp ~  Nov 2     7 miles
  • 14,440 ft   start & low point in Lungden
  • 16,125 ft   finish & high point at Nangpa BaseCamp

One of the great things about trekking the Himalaya is that, unexpectedly for such massive terrain, the view is constantly changing.  As we trek onward and upward towards Tibet into bigger and bigger country, our immediate landscape retains its rugged charm and so there are lots of little ups and downs, turns and curves, peaks and valleys, all combining to change our views by the minute.  Lungden was our last real outpost, but signs of life persist through the presence of yaks, pastures, stone corrals, and herders’ huts, if not herders themselves.  Our trail on the east side of the valley constantly yields views to the west and 23,000 ft border peaks.   A little after noon, a glacier appears on our left and then meets another massive glacier tumbling down a side valley.  Staying on the eastern flank of the valley, we reach Nangpa BaseCamp and set up camp for the night at the foot of the pass we’ll be climbing in the morning.  Today marks our first day of tent camping . . . all food, tents, supplies will be carried along by our porters.  They’ll also cook our meals.  ***Note that due to political sensitivities near the Tibet border, the Thame Valley and our trail today is sometimes closed north of Lungden.  If we’re not able to travel north of Lungden, we’ll trek eastward over the Renjo La Pass, hardly a consolation prize, below.  B/L/D, tent camp.

Renjo La viewpoint shows Mt Everest, the Lhotse-Nuptse Wall, and Makalu rise above a snowy Gokyo Valley
Mt Everest, the Lhotse-Nuptse Wall, Makalu and other high peaks from the summit of Renjo La



Day 11
Climb the 4th Lake Pass to 4th Peak BaseCamp  ~  Nov 3     5 miles
  • 16,125 ft   start & low point at Nangpa BaseCamp
  • 17,780 ft   high point at 4th Lake Pass
  • 16,950 ft   finish at 4th Peak BaseCamp

The numbers above aren’t very intimidating, but they don’t really tell the full story . . . because there’s no real trail today, our hike will be more difficult than its stats.  Starting with a 1,600 ft climb to the pass with some route-finding, we’ll be mightily rewarded at the top with majestic views of Everest, probably the most comprehensive of our entire trek.  We’ll don crampons for the descent to cross a short stretch on a dying glacier.  Picking our way down the pass, we’ll have a nice visual on our goal for tomorrow, 4th Lake Peak.  The descent isn’t particularly long, bottoming out just 1,000 ft below the summit of the pass.  After lunch, we’ll finish up our trek through wide open, trailless, treeless alpine landscape with grandiose views of Mt. Everest much of the way, making camp beside a small mountain lake.  B/L/D, tent camp.

After climbing 4th Lake Pass, we take the backcountry route to 4th Peak BaseCamp


Day 12
Climb 4th Peak, descend to Gokyo Village  ~  Nov 4     7 miles
  • 16,950 ft   start at 4th Peak BaseCamp
  • 18,500 ft   estimated highpoint at trekker’s summit of 4th Peak
  • 15,600 ft   low point & finish in Gokyo Village

I’ve had 4th Lake Peak in my sights for a number of years as a better, higher, cooler, easier to a point, totally untraveled alternative to Gokyo Ri, everyone’s choice as a Gokyo Valley viewpoint.  In 2016, I got a chance to scout this peak, but did it as an afterthought on a very foggy day and had to turn around at 17,600 ft.  Our group should be able to make it to the base of the summit steeps, then we’ll follow the ridge around to the right and descend a different ridgeline to arrive at Gokyo’s 5th Lake.  The entirety of this climb, up and down, will have majestic Everest views, better than any trekkers ever get in the Khumbu.  Cho Oyu though, the world’s 6th highest peak is going to steal the show . . . it’s much closer and is piled high with spectacular, icy glaciers.  We’ll likely run into our first trekkers since Lungden when we descend to 5th Lake.  From there we’re marching above and beside Nepal’s biggest glacier, Ngozumpa, for our last four miles into Gokyo Village.  Gokyo’s a great place for a warm shower, warm lodge, wifi and delicious food.  B/L/D, mountain lodge.

A spire of a mountain rises above the 4th Lake in the Gokyo Valley with the glaciated peaks around Cho Oyu on the right
Mountain Relief Trekkers hike past the base of 4th Lake Peak, upper left. Hiking up from the left ridge, it’s relatively easy to get to 17,500 ft where the boulder field starts. I’m guessing that the summit cliffs start at 18,500 ft and would require a full-on mountaineering assault to make it to the summit, probably beyond the purview of this trek.  The peaks of Cho Oyu are on the right.

Three trekkers doing laundry above the turquoise lakes of Gokyo
If you have to do laundry, you could do worse than doing it in Gokyo Village . . . Jacob, Alyssa, and Chris can only hope that it eventually dries


Day 13
Cross the Ngozumpa Glacier, climb Abi II  ~  Nov 5     7 miles
  • 15,600 ft   start in Gokyo Village
  • 15,400 ft   low point at Thagnak lodges
  • 18,300 ft   high point on Abi II summit
  • 17,560 ft   finish at Abi BaseCamp

Abi Peak II is in a bajillion Everest shots from Gokyo Ri, but nobody really knows its name, including me.  I’ve coined it Abi II because it occupies a high, rocky ridge twisting down from the real Abi Peak.  We’ll get a nice, early start in Gokyo and begin our hike by crossing the groaning, melting Ngozumpa Glacier, a highlight of any trek through the Gokyo Valley.  On the other side, the village of Thagnak is generally used as a basecamp for Cho La Pass, but we’ll use it as an early lunch break.  Climbing steeply out of Thagnak, we’ll gain the ridge to Abi II giving us 360 views in all directions, including a closeup of the impressive northwest ridge of Cholatse Peak.  Even though Abi II is a stunning summit in the middle of all the action, our route above Thagnak will be exploratory because I’ve been unable to uncover very little information on routes to the summit.  Our day comes to an end with a short cross-country trek to Abi Peak BaseCamp.  B/L/D, tent camp.

Two hikers climbing Gokyo Ri with a black mountain and Mt Everest visible behind
Ngima and Reynold climbing Gokyo Ri . . . the black mountain, center right, is our goal today with our summit attempt climbing the south ridge, ie, from right moving left; Everest is in the clouds directly behind



Day 14
Climb the Changri La Glacier, descend to Dzonghla  ~  Nov 6     5.5 miles
  • 17,560 ft   start at Abi BaseCamp
  • 18,500 ft   high point on the Changri La Pass
  • 15,870 ft   finish & low point Dzonghla

Our last night in tents ends with breakfast and tea prepped and served by our efficient Sherpa staff, as usual.  A half-mile scramble over rocky terrain lands us at the foot of the Changri Glacier and its icy crossing of the high pass, although relatively, it’s only 1,000 ft higher than our basecamp.  Expect slow going as we make our way up and over the glacier and down the other side.  The Cho La Pass will be our alternate route if we encounter bad weather or other obstacles on Changri La.  Entering the next valley, the sharp summit of Lobuche Peak comes into close-up view and the iconic Ama Dablam centers itself perfectly for us, down and up across the valley.  A couple lakes come into view underneath Lobuche and we continue descending into an ever-widening valley with new, spectacular landscapes revealing themselves by the second.  The beautiful village of Dzonghla is tiny, really just a small collection of lodges and pops up out of nowhere.  Look for alpenglow sunsets on Ama Dablam tonight.  B/L/D, mountain lodge.

High country and trails near Cho La in the Everest Region of Nepal
The path in the foreground cuts off from the route to Cho La and heads to Abi BaseCamp . . . the Changri La Glacier, right leads to the Changri La Pass and continues down the other side

The Himalaya village of Dzonglha with snow and the mountains around the Cho La Pass
The trekkers’ village of Dzonghla, looking back towards the passes of Changri La and Cho La



Day 15
Meet up with the main Everest trek, descend to Pangboche  ~  Nov 7     10 miles
  • 15,870 ft   start & high point in Dzonglha
  • 12,980 ft   finish & low point in Pangboche

We’re getting after it today . . . after many days of low mileage due to challenging, high altitude routes, it’s time to start the descent.  Hooking up with the main Everest trail at mid-morning makes our day go even faster.  No, it’s not paved, but it’s smoother and wider than anything we’ve been on since Namche.  The trail from Dughla to Dingboche rolls through a high balcony above the Pheriche Valley, giving us wide mountain views in all directions.  Dingboche is the highest permanently inhabited village of the Khumbu Valley and a great place for lunch.  Beyond that, we’re in for a nice walk with many more trekkers than we’re used too, generally not a bad thing.  Our destination village of Pangboche has front-row seats to the Matterhorn of the Himalaya, Ama Dablam.  B/L/D, mountain lodge.

In the Everest village of Pangboche, a young girl sits on a wall with two trekking guides
A young, mischevious resident of Pangboche and a couple trekking guides



Day 16
Trek to Tengboche Monastery, then continue to Namche Bazaar  ~  Nov 8     8.25 miles
  • 12,980 ft   start & high point in Pangboche
  • 10,850 ft   low point at Phungi Tenga
  • 11,300 ft   finish in Namche Bazaar

Our first destination today, the Tengboche Monastery, occupies a high place in Everest lore.  Traditionally, beginning with the very first expeditions, Everest climbers were obliged by their devout Buddhist Sherpas to stop at the monastery to perform a puja, or blessing ceremony, for their climb.  These pujas and blessings are still bestowed on Everest climbers to this day.  The monastery sits on a commanding ridge in the center of the Khumbu region.  After a nice visit of the monastery, we’ll head down a steep hill a couple thousand feet, regain some of that altitude on the opposite valley wall and end up back in the booming metropolis of Namche Bazaar by late afternoon.  B/L/D, mountain lodge.

The Tengboche Monastery on the trek to Everest Base Camp under blue skies and puffy clouds





Day 17
Final trek from Namche to Lukla  ~  Nov 9     12 miles
  • 11,300 ft   start & high point in Namche Bazaar
  • 8,375 ft    low point near Phakding
  • 9,365 ft   finish in Lukla

It’s endlessly fascinating to watch the airplanes fly in and out of Lukla, seeing firsthand the skills of Nepal’s immensely talented pilots, but as usual, we probably won’t make it back to Lukla in time for much of this.  By now, we’ll be in great shape, and with a hike of only 12 downhill miles, it seems like it should be an easy day.  Don’t underestimate this one though . . . we dispense with almost all of our downhill mileage in the first 30 minutes of the day then start in with a nice chunk of classic “rolling” Himalayan terrain.  But wait for it; our trek has one final twist . . . our “downvalley” trek finishes with a rising traverse along the side of the valley, so we get to end our trek in grand style, with an uphill.  Remember though that we’ve been downhilling for the better part of three days, so our quads and toes will be happier with a finishing ascent.  Bonus of the day?  Lukla is the proud home of a knock-off Starbucks with decent coffee and better ambiance than you’ll find anywhere in North America.  B/L/D, mountain lodge.

A young monk walks across the wet rooftop of a building near the airport in Lukla, Nepal
Tenzing is the resident monk-in-training at the Buddha Lodge, above the Lukla Airport



Day 18
Fly to Kathmandu, check into hotel  ~  Nov 10
  • 84-mile flight (35 mins)
  • 9,365 ft Lukla
  • 4,500 ft Kathmandu

Take your pick for the highlight of the day:  the mountain flight along the spine of 100 miles of High Himalaya?  checking into our pristine hotel, most likely the legendary Kathmandu Guest House?  being propelled by something other than our legs?  These are all great, but usually pale in comparison to showering and eating.  Oh yes, our food will be delicious on trek, and there will be showers, but Kathmandu is a veritable smorgasbord for foodies, there’s endless hot water, and you’ll be able to throw on very clean clothes at the end.  If any of you are itching to get out, I love Kathmandu and am always ready to show you a new adventure.  Most, however, are content to eat, shower, rinse, repeat, so there will be very little beyond that on our agenda today.  B/L/D, Lukla>KTM flight tickets, airport transfer, hotel.

Sunset on the High Himalaya
The High Himalaya north of Kathmandu



Day 19
Free day to take in all of Kathmandu  ~  Nov 11

OK, today’s not exactly free, but if you’d rather enjoy the hotel pool, you’re more than welcome.  But remember, I lived in Kathmandu for five years and I will show you the best the city has to offer – with a little crazy thrown in.  Breakfast will be in the hotel garden and will be long and leisurely as we continue to try to nip the trekking calorie burn in the bud.  Following will be a morning of relaxation with plenty of time for shopping on your own with a smorgasbord of colorful Himalayan arts and crafts just outside the hotel gate.  From there we’ll walk into the very heart of old town Kathmandu just to test each and every one of our five senses.  Then it’s onward to Indra Chowk, the bead market, and Kathmandu Durbar Square and its collection of ancient pagoda-style temples.  As dusk approaches, we’ll taxi to Swayambhunath, aka, “The Monkey Temple” (photo below) brave its 365 ever-steepening steps to arrive at a mini-summit with a Buddhist stupa and a lot of monkeys.  This shrine shows us a phenomenal mix of Tibetan Buddhism from the north and Indian Hinduism from the south meeting and mixing in Kathmandu.  A farewell dinner ends our day with a bang!  B/L/D, 4 or 5-star hotel.

Click & drag the 360° photo below of the Swoyambhunath Temple to look all around & up & down ▼

kolorful kathmandu – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA



Day 20
Depart Kathmandu to International Layover City  ~  Nov 12

Most international flights depart Kathmandu in the afternoon or evening, and, we’ve only just scratched the surface of this ancient city, so we’ll most likely have time to take in another eye-popping temple or plaza and do a bit of shopping before we’re due at the airport.  Expect to arrive at your layover city sometime today or early tomorrow.  B/L, airport transfer.

Qatar Airways is one of a number of airlines that offers magnificent service and equipment on one-stop flights between Kathmandu and North America
Day 21
Fly from International Layover City to North America  ~  Nov 13

With any luck, you’ll arrive at your hometown airport today and be sleeping in your own bed tonight!




Logistics, Registration, Etc . . .


Registration & trip deposit

Total trip cost is $3,699

Reserve your spot on the trip by clicking the button below, entering your information, and making a $500 trip deposit, either by credit card or check


Register Now

Registration closes  August 1, 2018


New for 2018 . . . interest-free installments!

Make your trip deposit during registration, then follow up with three monthly payments of $1,066 by the 1st of the month in July 2018 / Aug. 2018 / Sep. 2018


Choose a traditional plan, make your trip deposit during registration, and follow up with your full balance payment of $3,199 by August 1, 2018


Mountain Lodges & Sherpa Camping

Our mountain lodges along the Trek are comfortable and basic with small, private rooms and warm dining rooms heated with yak dung stoves.  Lodge kitchens prepare delicious, powerful meals that aid our recovery and fuels us for the next day.  Meals are served up communally in the dining room with a menu that’s extensive enough to accommodate a wide range of food sensitivities. Wifi is sometimes available, although it can take some coaxing to do what needs to be done.

When we’re trekking in the uncivilized wilderness, our Sherpa team will cook and serve all of our meals, set up and tear down camp, carry all of our camping gear, provide plenty of good cheer, and deliver us to most excellent places and experiences that would not be possible anywhere else in the world!


So, you’re not a professional hiker?  No problem!

Everest View Explorer has been designed to be accessible to anyone who is in good physical condition . . . a number of things make trekking in Nepal more inviting to those who may not hike on a regular basis:

You carry only a daypack, not a big backpack . . . our precocious porters do the heavy lifting, transporting your big backpack or duffel bag to the next mountain lodge.
There are only three nights of camping . . . and, when we do camp, our staff will set up and break camp, cook all our meals, and generally spoil us; not to be confused with glamping, but much better than camping along a backpacking route in North America.
Show up with a mediocre amount of fitness, suffer a bit the first few days, then watch in amazement as your body rises to the challenge and you end up in the best shape of your life!
Alternate routes over the Renjo La & Cho La passes give us an out for anyone who, for whatever reason, may not be feeling up to the higher wilderness passes . . . meet up with the main group on the other side.

This trek is a great intro for those of you who are attracted to high mountains but may not have a lot of experience.  Crampons, ice axes and any other gear you’ll need is available for rent inexpensively in Kathmandu and Namche Bazaar.


Contact Your Tour Organizer

Skychasers, LLC and Jerry Lapp are honored to organize and lead your Trek . . . we specialize in mountain treks, particularly in the High Himalaya, but in other locales as well.  Get in touch with me, Jerry, on any questions or comments:

USA phone     +1  717 . 682 . 5265

628 Oxford Drive  ~  Lancaster, PA  17601  ~  USA


” Did this trip push me outside of my comfort zone?  Absolutely, sure did!  As I get older I find myself craving trips that not only educate me but physically challenge me.  I would go back, again, in a heartbeat.  Jerry did everything he possibly could to prepare us physically for the trip.  Well, we had to do all the work, but he did not sugar coat any detail related to trek.  Even when I was at my breaking point (the first day of trekking) Jerry stayed back with me to help me to realize the journey was my own and it was ok for me to take one step at a time. “
~ Beth B., Kali Gandaki Trek, 2017


Register Now

Registration closes August 1, 2018


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