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Everest Base Camp Trek Charity Expedition Logistics

March 29, 2014
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Everest Base Camp Trek. Photo courtesy of Amy Centers.

Mt Everest Charity Expedition Logistics

Guide Service: Alpine Ascents International (AAI)
Minimum Fundraising Total: $10,000 USD

Overview

Explorers, travelers and climbers alike have long been seduced by the mythos and excitement of Mt Everest and the dynamic region of the Sherpa people. While the world’s greatest peaks — Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse and Ama Dablam — characterize the mighty Khumbu region, trekkers have the opportunity to explore its lower majesty. Along the way, trekkers are showered with impressions of ancient Tibetan Buddhism as we visit and learn from our friends living in these inspiring monastic communities. Trekkers will be guided by world-famous Everest climbers.

A reasonable trek for the very fit enthusiast, a journey to these sacred regions will offer a lifetime of impressions and reflections. Most days are nothing short of breathtaking while we walk amidst the Himalayan giants to the jingle of yak bells. Each corner reveals new vistas that transport our psyche further into the shadow of the daunting peaks.

Traveling to these regions with Alpine Ascents offers an uncompromising experience. We dare say that no other organization can provide the combination of expertise, intimate relationships with local Nepalis and knowledge of its mountains and environment. Our walking days will include much discourse on the peaks of the Everest region, architecture of Buddhist shrines, Sherpa Buddhism and first-hand climbing lore from the Everest climbers that lead each trek.

Like all our expeditions, we believe that the trekker should be lost in the world of mountains and travel unfettered by the rigors of food preparation, lodging and logistics. Alpine Ascents certainly offers the most comprehensive program available utilizing a distinguished staff of Sherpa, and a diverse assortment of quality meals. (Some of the food is flown in from the U.S. Although the local food is a part of our diet, we find a large variety of food helps keep trekkers healthy and strong).

Lodging & The Khumbu
We lodge in Sherpa villages, many of them remote, giving us a rare look into both traditional and monastic communities. Our lodging is usually in tea houses. While the environs are often primitive by western standards, they are balanced by the warmth and tremendous support of the Sherpa people.

Everest Base Camp Trek Itinerary

Day 1-3: Depart March 26: USA-Bangkok-Kathmandu. (Overnight in Bangkok and arrive on March 28 in Kathmandu.) Upon arrival check into the renowned Yak and Yeti Hotel, a cornerstone of the Kathmandu scene, and attend a welcome dinner with other trekkers and climbers. (Most trekkers use Thai airways via LA/Bangkok/Kathmandu).

Day 4: Kathmandu. From the centrally located Yak and Yeti we begin our exploration of Kathmandu. While modern by Nepalese standards, Kathmandu is a sacred city to both Hindus and Buddhists. Our tour is an important introduction to understanding the cultures which lay ahead. Kathmandu is prominently featured in both Buddhist scriptures and Hindu texts such as the Ramayana. Our tour includes the 3000-year old Swamayabhu (monkey temple), the great Stupa of Bodnath and the chaotic Hindu temple complex of Pashupatinath. This temple is home to many Hindu ascetics or Sadhus.

Day 5: After final administration requirements, we fly via Twin Otter to the landing strip in Lukla. Weather permitting, this flight offers outstanding views of the eastern Himalayas. In Lukla, we meet and join our Sherpa staff, load the yaks and begin the ascent to base camp. Our first day is an easy walk to lush environs of Phakding, located on the Dudh Kosi river. Hiking time: 3 hours

Day 6: We follow the Dudh Kosi, ascending 2,300 feet through Himalayan pine and Doedar cedar forests, to the celebrated village of Namche Bazaar (11,300 feet). The village of Namche is an historic trading post where Nepalese and Tibetan traders exchange salt, dried meat, gold and textiles. Besides being a superb place to shop for traditional crafts, Namche remains the central trading post in the Khumbu, attracting Himalayan and lowland merchants. Our group spends two days in Namche affording us the opportunity to acclimate, visit local markets and spend time with friends in town. On the hike we capture our first glimpses of Everest and neighboring peaks. Hiking time: 5-6 hours

Day 7: In the morning the group takes an acclimatization hike, gaining 1000 feet to take in the vista on the patio of the Everest View Hotel. In the afternoon we have time to visit sights in Namche Bazaar, including the Sherpa museum and local marketplace.

Day 8: Perhaps one of the most fascinating days of the trek, we travel to the village of Thame (12,464’), off the main trekking path. We have the unique opportunity of visiting the home of Lakpa Rita Sherpa, our Sirdar (lead Sherpa). His family has been a mainstay of this small community, raising yaks and farming. This gives us an intimate view of Sherpa culture while visiting a traditional home. Interestingly enough, a
number of famous climbing Sherpa have come from Thame. The ‘Thame’ experience is one rarely afforded to trekkers. Hiking time: 5 hours

Day 9: Waking early we climb to the Thame monastery and further explore local Buddhism. We tour this 400 year-old gompa and learn about its inner workings and the lives of its monks. As we tour the monastery we discuss the wall paintings and artifacts that are central to Buddhist practice. Before departure we will hopefully have the opportunity to meet and receive a blessing from the Thame Rinpoche (head priest). From Thame we walk to the beautiful village of Khunde (12,400′), one of the largest villages in the Khumbu and home of Sir Edmund Hillary’s hospital and school. The day’s walk is moderate and rather pretty, winding through thick cedar forest. Hiking time: 6 hours

Day 10: We continue on and climb to the village of Tengboche (12,683’), the cultural and religious center of the Khumbu. At the monastery we attend Buddhist ceremonies and rituals performed by local monks. Vistas from Tengboche are spectacular. The jagged peaks of Thamserku and Kangtega stand to our south as Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse and Ama Dablam are visible to the north. The Monastery at Tengboche is one of the most well-known in the world as the Rinpoche is revered throughout the Buddhist community and has authored a number of books and essays. In the past our groups have had an audience with the Rinpoche and received his blessing. Views from this locale (one of the finest on earth), include Kwangde 20,293 feet , Tawachee 21,457 feet, Nuptse 25,843 feet, Lhotse 27,883 feet, Everest 29,021 feet, Ama Dablam 22,487 feet, Kantega 22,235 feet, Thamserku 21,674 feet. We take time to visit the community Sherpa Cultural Center and excellent nearby bakery, and descend slightly to lodge in the village of Deboche. Hiking time: 4-5 hours

Day 11-12: We climb to the village of Pheriche (13,907 feet) which is not far from Dingboche (a village en route to Island Peak). Pheriche has become famous for its high altitude research center. The center attracts world renowned physicians who acquire data to analyze the effects of high altitude on human physiology. During our stay we visit the research center and learn more about the effects of high altitude on Himalayan climbers. Hiking time: 4 hours We also spend an additional day further acclimatizing and hiking.

Day 13: Above Pheriche, the character of the terrain changes, and we begin to understand the starkness of the high alpine landscape. Our path climbs the terminal moraine of the Khumbu glacier and continues to the settlement of Lobuje (16,174 feet), where we spend one night. This trail passes through a famous memorial which honors the many Sherpa who lost their lives in the high mountains. Lobuje is located on the flank of an old lateral moraine of the Khumbu glacier. Hiking time: 4-5 hours

Day 14: The trail winds past the Italian Research Center through the high tundra and glacial moraine to Gorak Shep (16,924 feet), the last inhabited area before Everest Base Camp.. Gorak Shep presents a rougher environment and gives the trekker the true flavor of the nighttime rigors of mountaineering. In the afternoon we take a short walk up the moraine to look down on the chaotic Khumbu glacier and take in the closeness of these renowned Himalayan peaks. Hiking time: 4 – 5 hours

Day 15: We leave Gorak Shep and cross the moraine of the great Khumbu glacier to reach Base Camp, which lies beneath the sweeping ridges of Everest and Nuptse. Everest Base Camp at 17,300 feet is a sprawling tent city set amidst glacial debris. Here the climbers begin final preparations for their ascent of Mt. Everest. We spend a few hours at base getting a sense of the community and meeting climbers before returning to Gorak Shep. During our visit to base camp we venture to the edge of the notorious Khumbu Ice Fall, and see climbers en route as they negotiate this complex maze of ice. Hiking time: 6 hours

Day 16: Waking before sunrise, we make an early ascent of Kala Pattar (18,300 feet), a small peak with excellent views of Everest, Nuptse and nearby Pumori. Many Everest photos are taken from the summit of Kala Pattar. We begin our return to lower altitudes and quickly feel the difference in our lungs. This night is spent in the village of Dingboche (14,450 feet), a stunning village of stone huts known as the summer village for local herders. The mountain views are outstanding from the Imja valley as Makalu stands in the distance. Hiking time: 6-7 hours

Day 17: Enjoying the downhill walks we take our time and return to Namche Bazaar. This seemingly remote village is suddenly a center of commerce where we spend the evening and morning shopping, drinking coffee, getting shaves, sampling food and enjoying all the thrills of “urban” life. Hiking time: 8 hours

Day 18: In the afternoon we descend the hill from Namche and enter the lower valley, returning to lush greenery and the Dudh Kosi river. This night’s stay is in Monjo, just at the head of the lower valley. Hiking time: 3 hours

Day 19: Our final walk to Lukla takes most of the day. In Lukla we begin the process of readjusting to the lowlands and prepare for the flight back to Kathmandu. It is a memorable night with much laughter and general merriment. Hiking time: 5 hours

Day 20: Early morning flight to KTM (weather permitting), and we spend much of the afternoon relaxing and enjoying the deluxe services of the Yak and Yeti hotel.

Day 21: Free time to tour the city including the temples and sites of Durbar Square and the Thamel section. Here we assist trekkers with their final shopping needs followed by a farewell dinner.

Day 22-23: Early morning departure for Bangkok. Arrive in U.S.

Everest Base Camp Trek Gear List

For a current list of required gear, please visit http://www.alpineascents.com/pdf/everest-trek-gear.pdf

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