WHAT does Everest Base Camp Trek Involve?
Why Involvement Volunteers International?
PROJECT NAME: EVEREST BASE CAMP TREK
LOCATION: KATHMANDU (starting location)
START DATES: EVERY 2 WEEKS ON SUNDAY
ACCOMMODATION: TEA HOUSES & VOLUNTEER HOUSE
MIN DURATION: 2 WEEKS
MIN AGE: 16+
SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS: N/A
- Airport Pickup
- Local Transportation
- 1 Day Orientation
- 24/7 In-Country Support
- Project Materials & Equipment
- Pre-departure Expert Advice
- Preperation Tools & Checklists
- Certificate of Completion
You have the option for a 2 week or 4 week adventure. THe 2 week option is just the Everest trek on it’s own and the 4 week option will include a 1 week cultural orientation before the trek, and then 1 week of volunteering after the trek. Please see dropdown section further down for full schedule.
Everest – the big kahuna of alpine travel and most popular mountain climbing destination on the planet! The Everest trek covers the upper part of Solu Khumba district taking you through Namche and Tengpoche, Dinbuche and Lobuche then on to Mt. Everest Base Camp.
This minimum 2 week trek will take you over expansive suspension bridges, raging rivers and some of the best scenery in the world. You’ll be taking through the heartland of the Sherpa people and be provided a cultural experience learning from the original inhabitants of the Everest Highlands.
This is a total mountain adventure with outstanding scenery, challenging hiking, local hospitality and culture and popular sights.
Kathmandu, the capital and largest city in Nepal, is an incredible place! The contrast of decaying buildings, smell of incense, street sellers, historic temples and incredible mountain views will invigorate your senses and keep you inspired to learn more about the amazing history and culture. For several hundred years, Kathmandu was one of three rival royal cities, along with Bhaktapur and Patan. The highlight of Kathmandu has long been Durbar Square, the largest of the palace squares in the three royal cities and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Temples and monuments of varying shapes, sizes, styles, and faiths can be found here. This small, mountain-sheltered valley is the historical centre of Nepal, a place where kingdoms rose and fell, where palaces and temples were built and rebuilt, and where Nepali art and culture was developed and refined.
- Trek through the most spectacular scenery
- Meet local people on the way and learn about their culture
- Push yourself and have fun on this challenging adventure
Food & Accommodation
All accommodation is included during your stay on our program within the schedules/ itineraries provided. Your stay will be comfortable, clean and secure with basic modern amenities.
(First & last week)
Located in the heart of Kathmandu, about 1 hours drive from the airport, the large volunteer center has 4 bedrooms which hold up to 12 people maximum, with 3 to 4 people sharing one room. They have modern bathrooms; a modern kitchen and dining room, mini library, a fully furnished living room; live-in staff on call 24/7; a garden complete with a comfortable covered area and 24/7 security.
Centrally located, there are several gym’s nearby as well as local supermarkets, ATM’s, mobile phone shops etc. For couples or those wanting more privacy, there are upgrade accommodation options available for an additional cost (approx US $150 p/room p/week). This must be booked well in advance and is subject to availability.
Kathmandu accommodation includes 3 Meals p/day weekdays, 2 Meals p/day weekends (mostly vegetarian cuisine), 4-6 persons p/room and Wifi in public areas- quality is not the best though. You may want to purchase a local SIM data plan. There is also a T.V, DVD player, computer, Laundry facilities (at an additional fee), Lockable rooms, Hot shower, Private bathrooms, Bed Linen (no towels), Mosquito protection and Fans (no air-con).
(Second & third week)
You’ll stay in a local guest houses and/or tea houses along defined trekking routes. The rooms at the guest houses will generally accommodate 2 to 4 people on sharing basis, single gender. Single rooms are available if booked in advance and at extra cost. Hand washing your clothes will be a necessity.
You will be provided with three meals a day on weekdays and two meals per day on weekends. The meals are a mix of Western and Nepalese food, consisting mainly of vegetarian dishes including rice and vegetables. You can expect to have a chicken dish about once per week. You can chose to eat out at any of the local restaurants.
This is a challenging trek so you will need to be in good health and have a good level of fitness.
- Arrival airport transfer
- 3 Meals p/day weekdays, 2 meals p/day weekends
- Accommodation (Volunteer Centers – shared dorm style rooms)
- Daily ground transportation (to/from project)
- Training & supervision as required
- Use of necessary equipment incl program materials
- 24/7 emergency assistance, volunteer support, local guiding and advice
- Touring & excursions as per itinerary
- Certificate of Completion
- Travel insurance (mandatory)
- Airfares & visa fees
- Additional tours, souvenirs, spending money
- Some daily local transport (depending on program eg. $2 p/day)
- Arrival airport pickup will be via dedicated transfer or tourist bus.
- Local travel to the projects and other sites will be by public transport with help from local staff
- Travel between destinations is via public transport (eg. tourist buses)
- Shared taxis for medium trips
- Walking for short trips!
*Note: Return airfares to Lakla are required but not included in the cost. Expect to pay US$158 each way. This will be organised approx 1 month prior to your start date.
Week 1 – Kathmandu Orientation Week (Recommended- 4 week option)
Kathmandu Arrive in Kathmandu and relax at the volunteer Centre. Get to know your fellow volunteers. Learn about the Nepalese culture through a series of introductory culture classes which are designed help you to develop your Nepalese language skills and deepen your understanding of the Nepalese way of life complete with details on rituals and customs. Learn about Nepal’s history and the religious influences which have shaped it.
Visit the local shops and markets with our staff, learning as you go what the local culture is and how to become a part of it. As part of your city tour and orientation you will also visit some amazing sites of such as the temple of Bouddhanath: one of the most sacred Buddhist sites in Kathmandu whose ancient spherical stupa dominates the skyline and is one of the largest in the world.
- Sunday – Arrival Day. Pick up in the airport/ Check in at the House Center
- Monday – Welcome ceremony, safety review, code of conduct, introduction games, cultural do’s & don’ts, Nepali language training
- Tuesday – Nepali language training, health & well being, cross cultural orientation
- Wednesday – Yoga & meditation (7am), Napali language training, schooling and education system overview, tour to Bouddhanath temple
- Thursday – Nepali language training, religion & culture training, local market tour and scavenger hunt
- Friday – Hiking day trip, cooking demonstration, feedback & evaluation, preparation for volunteer placements
- Saturday/Sunday – Free time
Week 2 & 3 – Mount Everest Base Camp Trek (2 & 4 week option)
- Monday – Fly from Kathmandu to Lukla 2700m and trek to Phakding 2600, 3 – 4 hrs and overnight A spectacular flight and a jagged landing on a steep mountain runway brings us to the start of our trek at the village of Lukla [2850m].
- Tuesday – Phakding trek to Namche Bazaar 3440m, (6 – 7 hrs) and overnight. We will continue north following the Dudh Kosi river and on to Jorsale where we enter the Sagarmatha (Everest) National Park. From here it is a short walk to the confluence of two rivers, the lmja Drangpa (Imja Khola) and the Nangpo Tsangpo (Bhote Kosi) followed by a steep climb (for about 2hrs.) to Namche Bazaar, the main town in the Khumbu region. Namche is a prosperous Sherpa town and an important trading centre with a weekly Saturday market.
- Wednesday – Namche Bazaar (rest day and overnight) Namche Bazaar is tucked away between two ridges amongst the giant peaks of the Khumbu. Once named the “Trekkers Mecca of Nepal”, Namche now boasts an abundance of lodges and souvenir shops. It is an ideal place to spend a rest day, acclimatizing to the new altitude of 3450m before heading off towards Gokyo. Options for acclimatization walks include a visit to Khunde Hospital and also the one hour walk up to the Everest Hotel above Namche for the sunset view of Ama Dablam, Nuptse, Lhotse and Everest.
- Thursday – Namche Bazaar trek to Tyangboche, 3860m, (6 hrs) and overnight. From Namche, the trail contours around the side of the valley, high above the Dudh Kosi. Now we get our first really good views of the great peaks of the Khumbu including Mt Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse and Ama Dablam. Passing by several villages and numerous tea shops, we descend steeply to a bridge over the river at Phunki Tenga. The village is an excellent lunch spot, and here we can rest before making the steep climb to Tengboche. Although tiring, the hike up the zigzag path has numerous distractions, with rhododendron bushes, beautiful birds and superb mountain scenery. Tengboche is famous for its legendary monastery, the largest in the Khumbu. We stay near the monastery with Everest, Lhotse and Ama Dablam framed in the doorway of our guest house.
- Friday – Tyangboche trek to Pheruche, 4252m, (6hrs) and overnight. After breakfast we head up to Pheruche. The majestic Amadablam overshadows our day. On the way, we meet a little Sherpa village called Pangbuche and continue to Pheruche for overnight.
- Saturday – Pheruche trek to Labuche 4933m, (6 hrs) and overnight. We continue up the wide valley beneath the impressive peaks of Cholatse and Tawache on the left. We then turn right and climb more steeply towards the foot of the Khumbu Glacier. At the top of this climb there are many stone cairns, built as memorials to the many Sherpas who have died while climbing Mt Everest. The path then climbs gently along the glacier, to eventually reach the cluster of houses at Lobuche.
- Sunday – Labuche trek to Gorakpshep 5184m, (2 and half hrs) and Kalapattar 5500 m and back to Labuche.
- Monday – Labuche trek to Dingboche (6 and half hrs) and overnight. Today is downhill most of the way, as we retrace our steps to Duglha and descend to Pheriche. The Himalayan Rescue Association have their trekkers aid post here and it is quite interesting to visit.
- Tuesday – Dingboche trek to Tyangboche 3860m, (4 hrs) and overnight. We continue to follow the river and, after crossing it, climb back up through birch and rhododendron forest to Tengboche.
- Wednesday – Tyangboche trek to Namchee Bazaar 3440m, (5 hrs) and overnight. From Tengboche we descend to the bridge over the Dudh Kosi at Phunki where there are water driven prayer wheels, then climb and contour around the hillside to Namche.
- Thursday – Namche Bazaar trek to Lukla 2840m, (7hrs) and overnight. From Namche Bazaar the trail descends steeply to the village of Jorsale. Passing the villages of Phakding (2640m) and Choplung, we reach Chaunrikharka and the trail that cuts up to the airstrip at Lukla.
- Friday – Lukla fly to Kathmandu, Early morning flight to Kathmandu.
- Saturday/Sunday – Free time
Week 4 Kathmandu Volunteering Placement (4 week option)
Volunteering in Kathmandu at the local school or in an orphanage or earthquake rebuilding efforts. The coordinators who are specially trained will help you throughout the course of your stay in Nepal with us and provide you with reassurance and assistance when you need it. Letting you feelnot only a part of the local culture but that you also gave something back to it. Volunteer Placement include:
- Teaching in Local Schools
- Orphanage programs
- Medical program
- Teaching in Buddhist Monasteries
- Renovation projects
- Organic Farm/Community development
The weekends are always open for your leisure. The local team will assist you in organising additional travel plans with heaps of local knowledge. Shopping in Kathmandu is an experience all its own. Thamel, Kathmandu’s tourist hotspot, is where shoppers can find Nepalese, Tibetan and Indian artifacts, woodcarvings, handicraft and an assortments of unique clothing and apparel. There are also several malls where you can find fashionable clothing and grocery stores, offering everything from wine to breakfast cereals. There are numerous dining options available throughout the city, including Italian, Indian, Thai, Korean and Chinese in addition to a variety of local cuisine.
(Note that it’s not recommended to do the mount everest base camp trek during DEC – MAR during winter, however we can organise if desired).
- Bandana or head scarf, also useful for dusty conditions
- Warm hat that covers your ears (wool or synthetic)
- Headlamp with extra batteries and bulbs
- Sunglasses with UV protection
- Polypropylene shirts (1 half sleeve and 2 long sleeves)
- Light and expedition weight thermal tops
- Fleece wind-stopper jacket or pullover
- Waterproof (preferably breathable fabric) shell jacket
- Down vest and/or jacket
- Gore-Tex jacket with hood, waterproof and breathable
- 1 pair of lightweight poly-liner gloves.
- 1 pair of lightweight wool or fleece gloves
- 1 pair of mittens, consists of 1 Gore-Tex over mitt matched with a very warm polar-fleece mitt liner (seasonal)
- Non-cotton underwear briefs
- 1 pair of Hiking shorts
- 1 pair of Hiking trousers
- 1 pair of lightweight thermal bottoms (seasonal)
- 1 pair of fleece or woolen trousers
- 1 pair of waterproof shell pants, breathable fabric
- 2 pairs of thin, lightweight inner socks
- 2 pairs of heavy poly or wool socks
- 1 pair of Hiking boots with spare laces (sturdy soles, water resistant, ankle support, “broken in”)
- 1 pair of trainers or running shoes and/or sandals
- Cotton socks (optional)
- Gaiters (winter only), optional, “low” ankle high version
- 1 sleeping bag (good to -10 degrees C or 14 degrees F)
- Fleece sleeping bag liner (optional)
Rucksack and Travel Bags
- 1 medium rucksack (50-70 liters/3300-4500 cubic inches)
- Small padlocks for duffel-kit bags
- Small, personal first-aid kit. (simple and light)
- Aspirin, first-aid tape, and plasters (Band-Aids)
- 1 skin-blister repair kit
- Anti-diarrhea pills
- Anti-headache pills
- Cough and/or cold medicine
- Anti-altitude sickness pills: Diamox or Acetylzolamide
- Stomach antibiotic: Ciprofloxacin, etc. Do not bring sleeping pills as they are a respiratory depressant.
- 1 small roll of repair tape, 1 sewing-repair kit
- 1 cigarette lighter, 1 small box of matches
- 1 compass or GPS(optional)
- 1 alarm clock/watch
- 1 digital camera with extra cards and batteries
- 2 water bottles (1 liter each)
- 1 small folding knife
- 1 medium-sized quick drying towel
- Toothbrush/paste (preferably biodegradable)
- Multi-purpose soap (preferably biodegradable)
- Nail clippers
- Wet wipes (baby wipes)
- Tissue /toilet roll
- Anti-bacterial hand wash
Nepal is one of the most beautiful and culturally rich countries in the world. Nepal ﬁrst opened its borders to outsiders in the 1950s. It is home to Mount Everest, the birthplace of Buddha, and an astonishingly beautiful landscape, ranging from the well-known peaks of the Himalaya to the low-lying regions of the Terai.
The Nepali people are as diverse at the geography, with over 70 languages or dialects and scores of traditional festivals celebrated throughout the year.
However, Nepal is also one of the most under-developed countries in the world, with low rates of literacy, high rates of poverty and a persistent gender imbalance. The government is frequently unable to provide adequate education and health facilities throughout the country and both urban and rural areas are forced to live without necessary resources to promote growth and development of their communities.
Nepal is a year round destination, and the cliate can vary between the North and South regions. The best overall times to visit are during spring and autumn (particually for trekking).
December to Febuary is winter, and it can get extremely cold in the mountains (down to sub zero). Summer in this region has a pleasent temperature but still bring some warmer clothing for the evenings.
Summer in southern Nepal can get extremely hot (plus 40°C) in some areas. Winter temperatures in this area can range from 7°C to 23°C.
Kathmandu has a pleasent climate on average. The monsoon rains start from June to September in Nepal.
The majority of Nepalis are either Hindus or Buddhists, but there are many other religions here too like Islam, Christianity, Jainism and Sikhism. You will find many temples and monasteries around Nepal. The right hand is used for important things such as passing money, eating and the giving of gifts.
Nepalese people love their food and much of it has been influenced by Indian and Tibetan cultures. Nepali people have a lot of respect for elders and will call each other didi (“older sister”), bahini (“younger sister”), etc, even if they are not actually related. The family unit is very strong and having a close knit family is important for the local people.
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