Everest The Hard Way

Days 23
Price On Request

Leave the busy Everest trails behind to explore the wild side of Everest.

At a Glance

Trip Style
Exploratory Treks
Best Time to Travel
end Sep - Nov/ Apr -end May

Inspired by Sir Chris Bonnington’s new route on Everest in 1975 this trek introduces a new twist on the traditional treks in the Everest region. Whilst you don’t trek to base camp you will explore valleys and passes very rarely visited by trekkers in the region. You trek away from the crowds staying in lodges on the approach and camping in more remote locations. The highlight of the trek is a challenging crossing of an unknown pass north of the Renjo La.


Day 1 – KATHMANDU (1360m)

Kathmandu, the incredibly diverse capital of Nepal is a fascinating blend of centuries old Hindu and Buddhist shrines, traditional architecture and a city embracing the 21 century. Upon arrival, your leader will transfer you to your hotel from the airport. Your hotel is in the heart of the city close to Thamel, a popular choice with tourists, with colourful handicraft stalls, trekking gear shops and excellent restaurants. In the evening, after your trek briefing, you have the option of going out for a group dinner with your trek leader.

Day 2 – KATHMANDU (1360m)

Many of our trekkers undertaking our Explorer adventures have visited Kathmandu before. So today is a free day to relax after your flight and prepare for the trip ahead. For those looking for sightseeing suggestions your leader will be on hand to help out and organise any side trips you may wish to undertake. In the late afternoon you will be issued with your trek pack and departure information for the next morning.
Meals included: Breakfast

Day 3 – PHAKDING (2650m)

Flight 45mins. Trekking: 3 hours
In the early morning you take the spectacular flight from Kathmandu to Lukla (2827m), flying parallel to the Himalayan range bordering Nepal and Tibet. The flight time is about 40 minutes and you land at the airstrip built by Sir Edmund Hillary and the Sherpas in the mid-1960s. After landing you have time to explore the village while your Sherpa crew sort and load your trekking equipment. In the afternoon you begin your trek by descending towards the Dudh Kosi River to join the main trail to Namche Bazaar, located just above Chaunrikharka (2713m). The walking is easy and after passing through the small village of Ghat (2550m) it is a short walk to Phakding and your overnight halt.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 4 – NAMCHE BAZAAR (3440m)

Trekking: 6 hours
From Phakding you cross the river and head up the valley, following porters from the south that are ferrying supplies to Namche Bazaar. The trail keeps close to the river valley and is lined with blue pine and rhododendron forest that is very spectacular in the spring months, when the flowers are in bloom. You cross the Dudh Kosi River at Benkar, where there are tantalising glimpses of the snow-capped peaks of Kusum Kanguru (6369m) and Thamserku (6623m). From here it is only a short walk to Monjo (2835m), where we arrive in time for lunch. In the afternoon the walking is a little tougher and includes the steep ascent to Namche Bazaar. From Monjo it is a short walk to the entrance of the national park, before we cross the Dudh Kosi River to Jorsale (2805m). The trek continues upstream on generally flat terrain, crossing back to the right bank to the confluence of the Bhote Kosi and Dudh Kosi Rivers, where you start the steep climb to Namche Bazaar. After crossing a large and stable suspension bridge high above the river, you slowly ascend at a steady pace. There are some fantastic photographic opportunities as the peaks of Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse and Taweche (6542m) come into view for the first time.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 5 – NAMCHE BAZAAR (3440m)

Acclimatisation Day
You remain at Namche Bazaar for two nights to allow for proper acclimatisation. Namche is a prosperous village situated in a large protected hollow. It gained its importance during the period when Tibetan salt was traded for the lowland grains of Nepal. Today a limited amount of trade still exists at Namche and Tibetans are often seen in the village trading rugs and Chinese-made goods, clothing, salt and dried meat. It is recommended that you take the opportunity to see both the sunrise and sunset views from the national park headquarters above the village. The stunning vista includes a superb panorama of the Khumbu peaks and great views of Everest. After breakfast, a variety of options exists. Perhaps a walk towards Thami (3810m) above the beautiful Bhote Khola River Valley or a visit to the national park headquarters to see the interesting
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 6 - THYANGBOCHE (3870m)

Trekking: 6 hours
From Namche Bazaar, you climb towards the park headquarters and follow a contouring trail high above the Dudh Kosi River. Above Namche the route to Thyangboche becomes visible with the monastery seen nestling below the summit of Everest and surrounded by other Himalayan peaks. On today’s walk there are opportunities to spot local wildlife including the beautiful Danfe pheasant, often seen among the birch and silver fir forest between Shanasa and Trashinga, and Himalayan Thar, on the high ground above the trail. After reaching the reforestation nursery at Trashinga, the trail drops steeply before crossing the Dudh Kosi River at Phunkitenga (3250m) where you take lunch. In the afternoon you ascend, initially steeply, through pine, fir, black juniper and rhododendron forests towards Thyangboche. The monastery and your lodge are located in a beautiful meadow surrounded by towering Himalayan peaks in a truly peaceful and tranquil setting. The most notable peaks seen from here are Kantega, Ama Dablam (perhaps the most beautiful peak in the region) and, of course, Mount Everest.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 7 - PANGBOCHE (4040m)

Trekking: 2 hours
According to legend, Thyangboche Monastery was founded in the 17th century by Lama Sange Dorjee, who came from Tibet’s Rongphu Monastery. Thyangboche was destroyed by an earthquake in 1933, rebuilt and again badly damaged by fire in 1989. Construction of the present monastery was completed in 1992. You spend the first part of morning at Thyangboche to visit the monastery and the nearby museum. There is a small entrance fee for the museum and a small donation to the monastery is appreciated. Later in the morning you descend through alpine forests to the settlement of Deboche, where there is a nunnery, and then through to Milingo to cross a bridge over Imja Khola. From here the trail gradually climbs up, with great views of Ama Dablam, to the village of Pangboche where you stop for the night. In the afternoon you visit the village of Upper Pangboche. You then head of towards a ridge below Tawache to aid your acclimatisation before returning to our lodge for tea and biscuits.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner


Trekking: 6 hours
Today’s walk takes you away from the main trail to Everest to Ama Dablam Base Camp to enjoy spectacular mountain scenery not seen by most trekkers to the region. From your lodge you descend to the Imja Khola river and begin the ascent on open alpine slopes to Lhabarma. The mountain looms directly above as you trek to the base camp located at an open yak pasture at an altitude of 4,560m. The standard climbing route on Ama Dablam follows the south west ridge so if you look towards the right hand skyline you may see climbers on the mountain. There are also excellent views of Kantega (6,783m), Thamserku (6,618m) and Tawoche (6,542m. After enjoying a packed you return to your lodge in Pangboche.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 9 - PHORTSE (4360m)

Trekking: 4 hours
From Pangboche the trail ascends on a slightly exposed trail high above the main trail to Everest. There are fine views of the monastery at Thyangboche and keep an eye open for the Himalayan Thar that are often seen on this section of the trail. You will arrive in Phortse in time for lunch and the afternoon is free to explore this picturesque Sherpa village.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 10 - DOLE (4040m)

Trekking: 4 hours                                                                                       In the morning you descend to the valley and cross the river at Phortse Bridge to join the main trail to Gokyo. Initially you ascend steeply through forest and then contour high above the valley, enjoying dramatic views of Kantega, Thamserku and Ama Dablam (6856m). Your first view of Cho-Oyo (8153m), at the head of the valley, is enjoyed about an hour beyond Phortse Bridge as you emerge above the tree line. The trail is easy to follow, and well defined, with impressive rock faces and waterfalls lining the route. You pass the small yak herding settlements of Tongba (4015m) and Gyele (4050m) and from here it’s a short descent to Dole (4084m), After lunch you can explore the upper Dole Valley, for beautiful views of Cho-Oyo and Gyachung Kang (7922m) at the head of the valley. The imposing peaks of Taweche (6542m) and Cholatse (6440m) lie across the valley to the east.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 11 - MACHHERMO (4460m)

Trekking: 3 hours
The trek up the Gokyo Valley ascends gently but it is essential you acclimatise properly so today is another short walk. You begin with a short but steep climb to regain the main Dudh Kosi Valley. You will feel the altitude so take your time to enjoy the view and rest as often as you wish. The barren and open alpine scenery is particularly spectacular and after two hours you arrive at Luza (4360m) for a welcome tea break. Frrom here it is only a further hour’s walk to your lodge at Machhermo (4460m) where you spend the night. In the afternoon it is worthwhile heading up the valley and ascending the ridge line below Kyajo Ri (6168m) and Machhermo Peak (6073m). Machhermo is famously known for Yeti sightings in 1974; three yaks were killed and a Sherpa girl injured when the Yeti came into the village.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 12 - GOKYO (4460m)

Trekking: 4 hours                                                                                       You leave the lodge at Machhermo by climbing out of the valley to follow Dudh Kosi Valley northwards. Tibetan snow cocks are often found in this area where the valley widens at Pangka (4390m). The jumbled, terminal moraines of Ngozumpa Glacier (the largest in Nepal) can be seen ahead and the trail follows the left side of the glacial moraines. The route is well defined as you picks your way through a maze of boulders to reach the first of the Gokyo lakes followed by a second lake at Longponga (4690m). The trail then ascends gently to the third lake at Gokyo (4750m). Gokyo itself consists of a number of lodges and stone walled paddocks and yaks can be seen grazing on the surrounding hillsides. After lunch it is recommended that you take it easy due to the altitude, but if you are feeling fit, take a short walk to the ridge at the back of Gokyo for views down to the huge Ngozumpa Glacier.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner


The next four days are spent exploring the Upper Gokyo Valley and crossing a remote 5000m pass, where you rope up and use ice axe and crampons to access the Nangpa Valley. These are real exploration days and we prefer to keep the details of our previous excursions to ourselves for the benefit of our clients. You will also ascend Gokyo Peak (5360m) for one of the best panoramas in the Everest area. From the top, four 8000-metre peaks can be seen - Everest (8848m), Cho-Oyo (8153m), Lhotse (8511m) and Makalu (8481m) as well as many more snow capped peaks. This section of the trek will involve camping.
Meals included: Breakfasts, Lunches and Dinners

Day 17 - LUNGDE (4650m)

Trekking: 4 hours
After the pass crossing you continue to head down the valley through open pastures for sometime before bearing right to reach the small settlement of Lungde, on the main trade route to Tibet coming from the Nangpa La.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 18 - THAME (4290m)

Trekking: 4 hours
You have a late start and descend all the way, following the Bhote Kosi River downstream. You walk down the Nangpa Valley, passing through a number of small settlements to finally reach the village of Marlung, where you stop for lunch. From Marlung the trail continues to descend passing through the village of Taranga to reach Thami Og and then Thami Teng, the birth place of Tenzing Sherpa.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 19 - PHAKDING (2650m)

Trekking: 6 hours
After breakfast you leave Thami and descend to cross the Bhote Khola on a sturdy suspension bridge. There are some impressive Buddhist rock paintings in the area and, from here and on the cliffs above and below, Himalayan tahrs are often seen. Your route continues through the village of Thamo and back to Namche Bazaar where you take a welcome break for lunch. In the afternoon you descend steeply down to the large suspension bridge over the Dudh Kosi River. You follow the trail through Jorsale and back to Monjo, fromhere it is a short walk via Benkar through blue pine and rhododendron forest, with great views of Kusum Kangaru and back to your lodge in Phakding.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 20 - LUKLA (2800m)

Trekking: 3 hours
This is your last day of trekking, where it is only a short walk following the valley before making the final climb up to the airstrip at Lukla. You take lunch at your lodge and the afternoon is free to wander around, relax or perhaps enjoy a hot shower! In the evening you enjoy a farewell dinner, followed by a few celebratory drinks with your Sherpa crew.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch an Dinner


Flight: 45mins
After breakfast you fly to Kathmandu. The rest of the day is free for shopping or further sightseeing. Enjoy a final evening out on the town.
Meals included: Breakfast.

Day 22 – KATHMANDU (1360m)

We have allocated a full day in Kathmandu for you to relax and explore after your trek in the Everest region. This also serves as a contingency day in case of delays in Lukla due to inclement weather. There is an option to see the heritage city of Bhaktapur or Patan. Please ask your leader for sightseeing options and arrangements.
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 23 – DEPART KATHMANDU (1360m)

The adventure ends today after breakfast. Your leader will be on hand to advise and assist with your onward travel arrangements. A departure transfer to the airport is included.                                                         
Meals included: Breakfast

Dates and Price

Dates Price Single Sup Status Book/Enquire
- On Request Available Any Date Book Now

If the trip dates don't match your available dates we can run a private departure for just your friends or family. Just fill up this form and we can discuss the options

Price Includes

  • 4 nights accommodation at Shangri La Hotel or similar on B&B basis
  • 18 nights lodge and tented accommodation with all Meals & on trek Twin Share
  • Down sleeping bag,Fleece Inner Liner, High altitude Down jacket, ice axe, crampons, harness and Kitbag
  • Experienced English speaking local leader trained in Wilderness First Aid
  • Porters with appropriate clothing, boots and insurance
  • International Airport Arrival & Departure Transfers
  • Domestic Airport Transfers
  • All Domestic Transfers in a private Vehicle as per Itinerary
  • Medical Kit, Portable Altitude Chamber and Medical Oxygen
  • Trekking and National Park Permits
  • Flights Kathmandu – Lukla – Kathmandu
  • Pre departure trek dossier
  • Trekking map

Price Excludes

  • International flights
  • Nepal visa
  • Travel Insurance
  • Lunches and Dinners in Kathmandu
  • Items of a personal nature, laundry
  • Tipping


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