Home to the formidable Mt.Everest, the highest peak in the world, thousands flock to the Everest region of Nepal every year to admire the majesty of Sagarmatha. A lot has changed since Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay first summited Everest in 1953, you don’t have to be a professional to be able to experience the magic of the region. Mt.Everest is not the only sight to be excited about – Cho Oyu (8188m), Lhotse (8414m) and Ama Dablam (6856m) all populate the Khumbu landscape. Aside from mountains, it’s the village life and the people that also make the Khumbu region a must visit.
This two-week adventure begins in Phakding following the scenic Kathmandu-Lukla flight. The first day of trekking leads to the market hub of Namche Bazaar, the gateway to Everest and acclimatisation stop. After a few nights in Namche Bazaar, the trek continues onto Tengboche, famous for its monastery and sighting of the Himalayan Griffon. Ama Dablam (6812m), Nuptse (7861m) and Everest (8848m) tower over the monastery. The trail to Dingboche is the easiest part of the trek, here trekkers have another day to acclimatise and explore the surrounding Imja and Chukhung valley. Some of the best mountain views can be seen as trekkers make their way to EBC via Lobuche and Gorak Shep. Before reaching Everest Base Camp, trekkers pass through the Khumbu Glacier and icefall. After a day ascending and then descending to basecamp, trekkers stay another night in Gorak Shep. After must needed rest, trekkers rise early to hike up to Kala Patthar (5,644.5m) to watch the giants of the Himalayas turn golden at sunrise. On the way back to Namche Bazaar via Pheriche, the trail passes through thick forests of fir, rhododendron and magnolia with stunning views of the mountains. This trek is moderate in difficulty and can be completed by anyone with average physical fitness.
A more strenuous trek that begins at the same point as the EBC trek, diverting at Namche Bazaar. Highlights include hiking the glacier-fed Dudh Kosi River and Gokyo valley, home to the Ngozumpa glacier – the largest in Nepal. The first day of trekking consists of a 5-6 hour hike to Dhola, with the opportunity to visit the stupa sitting at the foreground of Mount Khumbila. Mount Khumbila is a patron god to the local Sherpa people and therefore is too sacred to climb. Before reaching the Gokyo village, trekkers can pause and enjoy the tranquillity of three turquoise blue lakes. The hike up to the Cho La Pass (5420m) is one of the most challenging of the trip – a steep climb and carefully crossing a glacier. Afterwards, trekkers can gain some respite as the trail descends down through Lobuche followed by Gorakshep. The trail then ascends to Kalapatthar, hanging around for the incredible sunset in strongly advised. The trek comes to close at Namche Bazaar and trekkers can relax in Lukla before boarding the flight back to Kathmandu.
The trail begins from Namche Bazaar heading to Dingboche via the EBC trail and turns eastward to Chukkung. This long difficult trek passes through Kongma La Pass (5535m), Cho La Pass (5420m) and Renjo La Pass (5360m). Prospective trekkers should be prepared to tackle rocky steep terrain, cross glaciers and steep inclines. The arduous trek is compensated by the truly astonishing views of the Himalayas that are unique to this trail. Similar to other treks in the region, the trail goes onto Kalapatthar, Lobouche and Gokyo. This trek has been described by many as the ultimate adventure and ideal for those who like a challenge.
An alternative trek to the EBC trek – with the amazing scenery of the Everest region but without the physical challenge of making it to basecamp. This moderately difficult trek begins by trailing through the Gokyo Valley admiring the crystalline lakes, lush alpine forests, rocky terrains and Ngozumpa glacier. Trekkers can mesmerising views of Everest (8848m), Cho Oyu (8201m), Lhotse (8516m), Makalu (8481m) and Ama Dablam (6812m) as they navigate the trail. The highlight of this trail is the Everest viewpoint which offers panoramic views of the range.
The trek is ideal for those who have a shorter time schedule or a smaller budget but still want to experience the Khumbu region. Starting from Lukla, trekkers make their way to Pakding through Charui Kharka village. The trail stretches through forests, crosses over the Dudh Koshi River and onto Namche Bazaar. On the way back to Lukla, trekkers will have the opportunity to visit the Tengboche monastery, the largest monastery in the Everest region. The trail offers views of Mt.Everest (8848m), Ama Dablam (6856), Lhotse (8414m), Nuptse (7861m) and Thamserku (6608m).
The trek catered to those who want to experience the Himalayan lifestyle and culture but prefer a shorter trek. No prior trekking experience is required and is one of the easiest ways to experience the Khumbu region. The trail takes the Namche Bazaar-Thame-Khumjung-Tengboche route and it encompasses visits to numerous monasteries, Himalayan views and rhododendron covered trails.
The Khumbu region is hailed as one one of 10 best regions in the world to travel. It’s easy to see why – it’s where otherworldly nature intersects with religion and ancient cultures, making for a truly unforgettable experience. What sets this region apart is the sheer magnitude of the mountains – the dimensions of the landscapes are found nowhere else on earth. Unlike before, people of all abilities can experience this wonderful region in some capacity.