Footsteps of Hillary

17th Century Thyangboche Monastery
Namche Bazaar – the gateway to the High Himalaya
Aint' no mountain high enough
Kathmandu’s hidden old town
Having a (eye)ball in Nepal
Kala Patar (5545m) - the best vantage point to see Mount Everest
Bodhnath Stupa of Kathmandu - one of the biggest Buddhist shrines in the world
Everest Base Camp and the notorious Everest Ice Fall
  • Got your trekking pants on? Good. Fly from Kathmandu to Phakding then start walkin’. Check out Namche Bazaar, have a lil’ look at old Everest, bliss out in the coolest monastery in the world, eat cake, visit Everest Base Camp. Yeah… this is a pretty ace trip. 

    Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay were the first ones to summit Everest in 1953. Even though you won't be climbing the great mountain you'll still feel the rush of being up there where it all began.



    Day 1 - Kathmandu (1360m)

    Surely one of the highlights of any trek is the forced carb loading? Break out the stretchy pants and tuck into some guilt-free pizza, pasta, cheese spaghetti and momo dumplings.

    • Pre-departure meeting at the hotel and an optional group dinner in the evening
    Hotel Shakti or similar

    Day 2 - Phakding (2652m)

    Fly to Lukla then head off on foot from the airstrip. Towering above our route to Phakding are the icy peaks of Thamserku and Kusum Kanguru.

    • Fly parallel to the Himalayan giants en route to Lukla
    • Land on an airstrip built by Sir Edmund Hillary and the Sherpas in the mid 1960s
    • Explore the village of Lukla
    • Begin the trek and descend to the Dudh Kosi River, heading to a lodge in Phakding

    (Walking time: approx 3 hours)

    trekking lodge or similar

    Day 3-4 - Namche Bazaar (3446m)

    Yes, that's right. You're looking at Everest. Spend a bit of time acclimatising in Namche, which means "no strenuous activity". See if you can find the yak parking area above the market and gorge yourself at the bakeries (you're still carb loading, remember).

    Day 3

    • Set off on an 6 hour trek, acclimatising slowly to ensure peak physical form
    • Walk through tracts of blue pine and rhododendron forest - both spectacular in the spring
    • Awesome views of Kusum Kanguru and Thamserku peaks
    • Cross a suspension bridge over the Dudh Kosi River 
    • The peaks of Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse and Taweche come into view for the first time
    • Stay in a village lodge in Namche
    • Haggle for Tibetan artifacts in local shops - if you've got the energy

    (Walking time: approx 6 hours)

    Day 4

    • Stay at Namche to allow for acclimatisation 
    • Perhaps view the sunset and sunrise, and fantastic panoramas of Everest from the national park headquarters above the village (3880m)
    • Optional walk up the Bhote Khola River Valley to Thami
    • See displays of Sherpa lifestyle and culture
    trekking lodge or similar

    Day 5 - Khumjung (3970m)

    You'll come to appreciate the tern "short walking day". Stop by the National Park Museum, Everest View Hotel and a hospital built by Sir Edmund Hilary on our way to Khumjung.

    • Continue the ascent alongside Everest
    • Panoramas of towering Himalayan snow peaks
    • Perhaps visit the nearby small hospital run by Sir Edmund Hillary’s Himalayan Trust
    • View a yeti skull at the Khumjung Monastery (if you're lucky!)
    • Stay in a lodge in Khumjung

    (Walking time: approx 2 hours)

    trekking lodge or similar

    Day 6 - Thyangboche (3875m)

    As far as monasteries go, this one takes the cake. If you don't feel a sense of calm sitting at 3867m in Nepal's spiritual centre of Tibetan Buddhism while looking at Mt Everest, then you might be a robot.

    • Perhaps stop off for a hard-earned coffee and cake from the Khumjung bakery
    • Rejoin the trail to Everest, keeping eyes peeled for Danphe Pheasant and Himalayan Thar
    • Enjoy views of Kantega, Ama Dablam and Everest
    • Stay overnight at Thyangboche

    (Walking time: approx 5 hours)

    trekking lodge or similar

    Day 7-8 - Dingboche (4360m)

    Everest is so close you could touch it. We know you're excited but pace yourself because altitude sickness can sneak up when you least expect it.

    Day 7

    • Visit the Thyangboche Monastery
    • Indulge in lunch at village of Pangboche, with the peak of Ama Dablam in the background
    • Climb through alpine hillside to a lodge in Dingboche

    (Walking time: approx 5 hours)

    Day 8

    • A day off from hiking to rest and acclimatise if you're up for a short walk (4700m)
    • Explore the beautiful Imja Khola Valley and view the surrounding peaks
    trekking lodge or similar

    Day 9-11 - Kala Patar (5545m) - Base Camp (5364m)

    Yes folks, it's the one you've all been waiting for - Everest Base Camp. Look out for expedition groups on their way to the summit. They're the rock stars of the climbing world (without all the groupies).

    Day 9

    • Tough hike to Lobuche (4930m)
    • View the peaks of Taweche and Cholatse from the chorten atop the Pheriche Valley
    • Eat lunch at the foot of the huge terminal moraines of Khumbu Glacier
    • Visit a line of memorial cairns, built in memory of Sherpas and other climbers who have died on various Everest expeditions
    • Spectacular views of Pumori, Lingtren, Khumbutse, and, across the border in Tibet, Changtse

    (Walking time: approx 6 hours)

    Day 10

    • Follow the broad valley that runs parallel to Khumbu Glacier
    • Ascend gradually to the moraines of Changri Nup Glacier
    • Experience the sensational sunset views from the amazing vantage point of Kala Patar
    • Gains views of Pumori, Nuptse, Changtse, Ama Dablam, Taweche, Kantega and Everest

    (Walking time: approx 3 hours)

    Day 11

    • Wake early for the trek along the glacier to Everest Base Camp
    • If trekking between March and May, you'll almost certainly encounter yaks and porters supplying food and equipment to expeditions
    • See the notorious Everest ice fall

    (Walking time: approx 7 hours)

    Day 12-14 - Thyangboche (3875m) - Lukla (2827m)

    Say goodbye to our Sherpa crew at Lukla, where they'll entertain us with a bit of a traditional song and dance. Get together with the rest of your group and pool your tips.

    Day 12

    • Head downhill to Dughla and enjoy a long tea break in Pheriche
    • Visit a trekkers' aid post
    • Great views of Imja Valley, Ama Dablam and Kantega
    • Re-trace your steps to Debuche and on to Thyangboche

    (Walking time: approx 6 hours)

    Day 13

    • Descend from Thyangboche to the suspension bridge at Phunkitenga
    • Cross the Dudh Kosi river and ascend to Trashinga
    • Grab lunch in Namche Bazaar and enjoy a final opportunity to visit the shops

    (Walking time: approx 7 hours)

    Day 14

    • Set off on the last, steady 5 hours of the trek
    • Arrive back in Lukla and celebrate (or sleep off) what you've just achieved

    (Walking time: approx 5 hours)

    Day 15-16 - Kathmandu (1360m)

    Time to celebrate with a tongba (hot millet beer) and a plate of ziva (pastry fingers filled with cheese), while you relax your weary but incredibly toned legs. You've earned it.

    Day 15

    • Wake early in Lukla for the flight back to Kathmandu - hopefully not too hungover
    • Spend the final night in the Thamel district of Kathmandu

    Day 16

    • The trip ends this morning, but Kathmandu has a lot more to offer those who wish to prolong their stay
    • At the end of your tour please consider donating to the KEEP Porters Clothing Bank. As you will have come to realise on your tour, porters play a vital role in the tourism industry enabling tourists to visit Nepal’s most picturesque and difficult terrain. The majority are subsistence farmers who travel from lower areas of Nepal to the higher elevated trekking routes to find employment. Contrary to the belief that porters are well-adjusted to the cold and altitude of the Himalayas, every year many porters suffer from a variety of illnesses such as altitude sickness, snow blindness, hypothermia and frostbite and some even die as a result. The Clothing Bank was set up in 2009 to provide ill-prepared porters with better clothing suitable for trekking in a mountain environment and reduce the number of unnecessary illnesses and fatalities which occur each year.
      Usually donations of used jackets and trousers/pants from Westerners do not fit Nepali porters who tend to be smaller. However donations of other clothing items such as socks, boots, sunglasses, warm gloves and sleeping bags are always welcome. Your leader can ensure that your donation is passed on.
      If you would like to make a financial contribution to KEEP please do so through the Intrepid Foundation and we will match your donation dollar for dollar.

    Hotel Shakti or similar
  • What's Included

    • • Gecko's expert English-speaking local tour guide and trekking staff.

      • 13 day trek along the classic route to Everest Base Camp. Total trip 16 days.

      • Return local flights from Kathmandu to Lukla.

      • Twin-share lodge accommodation, generally in rooms with sleeping mattresses.

      • Porterage on trek.

      • Ascent of Kala Patar.

      • Acclimatisation days in Namche Bazaar and Dingboche.

      • Gecko’s kit bag and first aid kit.

    Not Included

    • International flights, arrival and departure transfers, airport/departure taxes, visas, pre or post tour accommodation, all other meals, optional tours sightseeing or activities during free time, transfers outside of the tour program, fully comprehensive travel insurance (obligatory on all trips and must include helicopter evacuation and repatriation), tips, items of a personal nature, laundry, cost of showers on trek (if available) and flights unless specified.

    Safety Information

    Personal Safety:
    Pick-pocketing and bag-snatching are common, particularly in airports and on buses. Take care when walking around at night. Avoid walking on your own and don’t carry large sums of cash. Keep valuables in a hotel safe if possible. Bars and restaurants now close at midnight as part of a government crackdown on illegal activities. Foreigners remaining in bars and clubs after hours have been detained by the police.

    With the exception of medical and emergency evacuations, due to the safety risks involved we are unable to use helicopters as a substitute for cancelled or postponed internal flights or for any other itinerary alterations.

    Travelling in India and Nepal whilst the Holi festival is on (a lunar festival but generally held in March every year), can at times be dangerous - a lot of locals participate in consumption of intoxicating substances. The day has been associated with physical violence and danger. Your leader will be advising you and your group on what places to avoid on this day and it may even be necessary for us to alter your itinerary for the day to avoid putting you or our group leader in high risk situation.

    Traffic and Roads:
    Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home. Be aware!

    Seat Belts:
    Please be aware that local laws governing transportation safety may differ from those in your home country and not all the transport which we use is able to provide seat belts.

  • Trip Dates and Prices

    Start Date – End Date Trip Status Price
    14 Feb 2015 - 01 Mar 2015 Available
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    Sale: US $1,139
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    07 Mar 2015 - 22 Mar 2015 Available
    smokin' deal
    Sale: US $1,139
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    21 Mar 2015 - 05 Apr 2015 Available
    smokin' deal
    Sale: US $1,139
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    18 Apr 2015 - 03 May 2015 Available
    smokin' deal
    Sale: US $1,139
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    16 May 2015 - 31 May 2015 Available
    smokin' deal
    Sale: US $1,262
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    12 Sep 2015 - 27 Sep 2015 Available US $1,500 Book Now
    03 Oct 2015 - 18 Oct 2015 Available US $1,535 Book Now
    24 Oct 2015 - 08 Nov 2015 Available US $1,595 Book Now
    07 Nov 2015 - 22 Nov 2015 Available US $1,595 Book Now
    21 Nov 2015 - 06 Dec 2015 Available US $1,595 Book Now
    05 Dec 2015 - 20 Dec 2015 Available US $1,535 Book Now
    26 Dec 2015 - 10 Jan 2016 Available US $1,485 Book Now
    02 Jan 2016 - 17 Jan 2016 Available US $1,485 Book Now
    13 Feb 2016 - 28 Feb 2016 Available US $1,485 Book Now
    05 Mar 2016 - 20 Mar 2016 Available US $1,485 Book Now
    19 Mar 2016 - 03 Apr 2016 Available US $1,485 Book Now
    16 Apr 2016 - 01 May 2016 Available US $1,485 Book Now
    14 May 2016 - 29 May 2016 Available US $1,485 Book Now
    10 Sep 2016 - 25 Sep 2016 Available US $1,485 Book Now
    01 Oct 2016 - 16 Oct 2016 Available US $1,535 Book Now
    23 Oct 2016 - 07 Nov 2016 Available US $1,595 Book Now
    05 Nov 2016 - 20 Nov 2016 Available US $1,595 Book Now
    19 Nov 2016 - 04 Dec 2016 Available US $1,595 Book Now
    03 Dec 2016 - 18 Dec 2016 Available US $1,535 Book Now
    24 Dec 2016 - 08 Jan 2017 Available US $1,485 Book Now
  • Past Travellers' Ratings & Comments

    At the end of each trip, we ask our travellers to provide feedback. We publish the positive, negative and neutral feedback on this page to give you an overall idea of what to expect on this trip.

    Footsteps of Hillary

    Justine - Australia, 21 Jan, 2014
    Overall Rating

    Great trip, placed together with another great couple. Despite the cold and the level of difficulty it was great. Only suggestion you need a high level of fitness to enjoy the trek, moderate is ok but not as enjoyable.

    Footsteps of Hillary

    Vincent - Australia, 13 Feb, 2014
    Overall Rating

    The Trip was great. Is definitely a place to visit before you die. The tour leader was also amazing - definitely recommending Indra Kumar Rai.

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- 15
Bus, Plane
2 nights Hotels/guesthouses, 13 nights Trekking lodge

What to know

A good level of fitness is essential. You will trek on hilly or mountainous terrain at altitudes of up to 5000 metres, for up to 7 hours per day.

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