On Top of the World

Bodhnath Stupa of Kathmandu - one of the biggest Buddhist shrines in the world
Everest Base Camp and the notorious Everest Ice Fall
Kala Patar (5545m) - the best vantage point to see Mount Everest
Kathmandu’s hidden old town
Namche Bazaar – the gateway to the High Himalaya
Aint' no mountain high enough
Having a (eye)ball in Nepal
  • This trek covers the trifecta: Everest Base Camp, Kala Patar and Gokyo. BOOM. You’ll also swing by Namche Bazaar, hang out in birch forests and Instagram some jealousy-inducing sunsets before heading back to Lukla for beers and home. 


    There's a lot of walking on this trip. Right... that should scare away the lazy sods. The rest of you go and get your thermals because we're off to Everest Base Camp, the top of Gokyo Peak (5360m) and Kala Patar (5545).


    Thank you for choosing to visit Nepal. It is a decision you can be proud of because by visiting you are helping Nepal get back on its feet after the devastating earthquake of April this year. The following trip notes reflect our itineraries before the earthquake occurred. As Nepal rebuilds, there are likely to be changes. We may not be able to visit some destinations and sights, some accommodation may be closed and some activities may not be available. We are working closely with our operations team in Nepal to finalise as much as we can.

    We will be able to let you know about some of these changes in advance before you travel. Others may need to be communicated to you by your tour leader once you are already in the country. We ask all our travellers to be flexible, patient and understanding both as you prepare for your travels and while on your trip in Nepal.



    Click here to view updates about the Nepal earthquake.



    From 1st January 2016 this trip will change name to Epic Everest. As Nepal recovers from the earthquake there may be other  changes to the itinerary.



    Day 1 - Kathmandu (1360m)

    Or2K cafe has zucchini pie, fresh mint lemonade, falafel, free wi-fi...we think this is going to be the start of a beautiful friendship. Pop on some clean socks because you can't wear your shoes inside.

    • Pre-departure meeting at the hotel and an optional group dinner in the evening from around 6pm.
    Hotel Shakti or similar

    Day 2 - Phakding (2652m)

    After a quick flight you'll get to meet your porters. Explore the village and check out the milky white waters of the Dudh Kosi River.

    • Fly parallel to the Himalayan giants en route to Lukla, remember to sit on the left of the plane
    • 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, en route to a lodge in Phakding

    (Walking time: approx 3 hours)

    Day 3-4 - Namche Bazaar (3446m)

    We’ll stay for here a few days to acclimatise, but you'll also get your first look at Everest - so it's not a bad place to stop. Rugs, clothing, salt and dried meat all do a roaring trade in the village centre. Dried goat meat, anyone?

    Day 3

    • Set off on an 6 hour trek
    • Awesome views of Kusum Kanguru and Thamserku peaks
    • Cross a suspension bridge over the Dudh Kosi River 
    • See the peaks of Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse and Taweche
    • Stay in a village lodge in Namche
    • Haggle for Tibetan artifacts in local shops

    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
    • Optional walk up the Bhote Khola River Valley to Thami (3880m)
    • See displays of Sherpa lifestyle and culture

    Day 5 - Mongla (3970m)

    We'll stop at Khumjung for lunch (dhal bhat, noodles etc), with views of birch forests, grassy slopes, rocky ridges and across to the village of Phortse.

    • Ascend to the airstrip at Shyanboche
    • Pass through beautiful birch forest
    • Enjoy magnificent mountain views
    • Spot Phortse across the valley
    • Overnight at the cluster of lodges on the saddle, known as Mongla

    (Walking time: approx 4 hours)

    Day 6-7 - Dole (4038m) - Machhermo (4465m)

    Acclimatisation is a jerk. Take it easy over the new three days and don't push yourself too hard. Also, a yeti was spotted here in 1974 so be on guard.

    Day 6

    • Descend to the Dudh Kosi River
    • Enjoy excellent views of Kantega, Thamserku and Ama Dablam
    • Experience first sightings of Cho Oyo
    • Pass imposing waterfalls
    • Explore the upper Dole Valley
    • Spend the night in Dole

    (Walking time: approx 4 hours)

    Day 7

    • Ascend gradually to the Dudh Kosi Valley
    • Reach the lodge at Machhermo
    • Keep an eye out for the yeti - it killed 3 yaks and injured a Sherpa girl in 1974

    (Walking time: approx 3 hours)

    Day 8-9 - Gokyo (5357m)

    You'll need a new word to describe the colour blue after seeing the Gokyo Lakes. At Gokyo Peak we'll come face to face with four 8000-metre giants: Everest, Cho Oyo, Lhotse and Makalu.

    Day 8

    • Climb from the Machhermo Valley on to the steep grassy slopes of the Dudh Kosi Valley
    • Keep an eye open for Tibetan snow cocks
    • Pass through Pangka and on to the jumbled, terminal moraines of Ngozumpa Glacier - the largest glacier in Nepal
    • Follow the lateral moraines to the third lake at Gokyo
    • Reach the lodge, located close to the lake

    (Walking time: approx 3.5 hours)

    Day 9

    • Early ascent of Gokyo Peak, boasting the best panoramas in the Khumbu
    • View four 8000-metre peaks - Everest, Cho Oyo, Lhotse and Makalu
    • Spot countless other towering peaks including Gyachung Kang, Cholatse, Taweche and Kangchung.
    • Bird's eye view of the Gokyo lakes and the huge creaking Ngozumpa Glacier
    • Descend back to Gokyo for a late breakfast

    (Walking time: approx 4 hours)

    Day 10-11 - Phortse (3810m) - Dingboche (4360m)

    Not many groups stop in Phortse, a traditional Sherpa village. It’s our little secret. You're almost completely above the tree-line now so the sunsets are pretty Instagram-worthy.

    Day 10

    • Continue the descent to Phortse Bridge
    • Keep an eye open for musk deer
    • Ascend to the peaceful village of Phortse, with dramatic mountain views

    (Walking time: approx 5 hours)

    Day 11

    • Set off on an exposed trail to the Imja Khola
    • Keep eyes peeled for Himalayan tahr
    • Enjoy lunch in Pangboche
    • Perhaps see the monastery that once housed a legendary yeti scalp
    • Pass the Orsho tea houses
    • Cross the Imja Khola and old glacial moraines to a lodge in Dingboche
    • View huge peaks towering above the eastern end of the valley

    (Walking time: approx 6 hours)

    Day 12-13 - Kala Patar (5545m)– Everest Base Camp (5364m)

    From Kala Patar you can see Pumori, Nuptse, Changtse, Ama Dablam, Taweche, Kantega and Mt Everest. Don’t be surprised if you get a little tear in your eye (um, we mean a bit of dirt). The trek to Base Camp can be done in about three hours. Not bad for a day's work.

    Day 12

    • From Dingboche, ascend the small ridge behind the village above Pheriche Valley
    • View the peaks of Taweche and Cholatse in the west and Lobuje in the north
    • Reach a line of memorial cairns, built in memory of Sherpas and other climbers who have died on various Everest expeditions
    • Arrive at the lodge on Lobuje

    (Walking time: approx 6 hours)

    Day 13

    • Head off towards Everest Base Camp
    • Encounter yaks and porters supplying food and equipment to expeditions here (March - May)
    • See the notorious Everest Ice Fall

    (Walking time: approx 3 hours to Gorak Shep, 5 hours round trip to Everest Base Camp)

    Day 14-15 - Pheriche (4270m) - Namche (3446m)

    It's all downhill from here. Visit Thyangboche Monastery and toast what you've just seen over a cup of steaming hot chiyaa (Nepali tea).

    Day 14

    • Hike surrounded by the mountains - Pumori, Nuptse, Changtse, Ama Dablam, Taweche, Kantega and Everest - they're all here
    • Experience sunrise views from Kala Patar - easily one of the most emotional moments of the trip

    (Walking time: approx 8 hours)

    Day 15

    • Great views of the Imja Valley, Ama Dablam and Kantega
    • Cross the suspension bridge over the Imja Khola River
    • Visit the Thyangboche Monastery
    • Spend the night in Namche Bazaar

    (Walking time: approx 7 hours)

    Day 16-17 - Phakding (2652m) - Lukla (2827m)

    Our last days of trekking. Cross a big, cliched suspension bridge over the Dudh Kosi River, then celebrate with your team in Lukla.

    Day 16

    • Final chance to visit the shops in Namche Bazaar
    • Experience Great views of Kusum Kangaru

    (Walking time: approx 4 hours)

    Day 17

    • Arrive in Lukla and enjoy free time to celebrate with the group

    Day 18-19 - Kathmandu (1360m)

    You don't need to carbo load anymore. But surely another plate of pasta at Rumdoodle couldn't hurt?

    Day 18

    • Flight back to Kathmandu

    Day 19

    • The trip ends this morning, but there's plenty more to see in Kathmandu for those who wish to stay on
    • 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

    • Experienced local tour guide, trekking staff and porters, first-aid kit, transportation, twin-share accommodation.

    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.

    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.

  • Trip Dates and Prices

    Start Date – End Date Trip Status Price
    22 Nov 2015 - 10 Dec 2015 Available US $1,825 Book Now
    06 Dec 2015 - 24 Dec 2015 Available US $1,710 Book Now
    31 Jan 2016 - 18 Feb 2016 Available US $1,670 Book Now
    13 Mar 2016 - 31 Mar 2016 Available US $1,670 Book Now
    03 Apr 2016 - 21 Apr 2016 Available US $1,735 Book Now
    08 May 2016 - 26 May 2016 Available US $1,735 Book Now
    11 Sep 2016 - 29 Sep 2016 Available US $1,670 Book Now
    09 Oct 2016 - 27 Oct 2016 Available US $1,670 Book Now
    20 Nov 2016 - 08 Dec 2016 Available US $1,735 Book Now
    04 Dec 2016 - 22 Dec 2016 Available US $1,735 Book Now
    19 Feb 2017 - 09 Mar 2017 Available US $1,670 Book Now
    26 Feb 2017 - 16 Mar 2017 Available US $1,670 Book Now
    12 Mar 2017 - 30 Mar 2017 Available US $1,670 Book Now
    26 Mar 2017 - 13 Apr 2017 Available US $1,670 Book Now
    02 Apr 2017 - 20 Apr 2017 Available US $1,735 Book Now
    09 Apr 2017 - 27 Apr 2017 Available US $1,735 Book Now
    07 May 2017 - 25 May 2017 Available US $1,735 Book Now
    21 May 2017 - 08 Jun 2017 Available US $1,735 Book Now
    10 Sep 2017 - 28 Sep 2017 Available US $1,670 Book Now
    24 Sep 2017 - 12 Oct 2017 Available US $1,670 Book Now
    01 Oct 2017 - 19 Oct 2017 Available US $1,670 Book Now
    08 Oct 2017 - 26 Oct 2017 Available US $1,670 Book Now
    15 Oct 2017 - 02 Nov 2017 Available US $1,735 Book Now
    22 Oct 2017 - 09 Nov 2017 Available US $1,735 Book Now
    05 Nov 2017 - 23 Nov 2017 Available US $1,735 Book Now
    19 Nov 2017 - 07 Dec 2017 Available US $1,735 Book Now
    03 Dec 2017 - 21 Dec 2017 Available US $1,670 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.

    On Top of the World

    sriane - Australia, 5 May, 2013
    Overall Rating

    The most amazing thing I have ever done, incredibly challenging, rewarding, life changing and wonderful all in one. As a solo traveller I could not have asked for a better group, tour leader or sherpas, I have had the time of my life.

    On Top of the World

    marianne - Australia, 7 Apr, 2013
    Overall Rating

    Great to have a little more challenge than the great but common EBC experience. Gokyo Lakes were frozen but views from Gokyo Ri were well worth it and seeing a different landscape was a welcome diversion.

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- 15
Bus, Plane
2 nights Hotels/guesthouses, 16 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, up to 6 hours per day.

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