Five Peaks Expedition 2013
Do you want:
To trek in the highest, most famous mountain region in the world?
The chance to climb five (5) Himalayan peaks?
Cost: $4,800 per person.
April 19th to May 16th, 2013
Do you have 4 weeks and a sense of adventure?
Then read on....
Gokyo Ri 5483m (17,988ft)
Lobuche East 6119m (20,075ft)
Pokalde Peak 5806m (19,049ft)
Chhukung Ri 5540m (18,176ft)
Island Peak 6189m (20,305ft)
Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu (Nepal)
Upon arrival you will be met at the airport and received with a traditional welcome. After checking in at the hotel you will have a chance to rest and relax after your journey in 5 star luxury. Later we will hold a short meeting to allow everyone to get to know each other and to go over some of the details of the trip.
Day 2: Visit Swayambhunath Stupa, Kathmandu Durbar Square and Boudhanath Stupa
After breakfast we'll drive to Swayambhunath. Located on a lovely little hill, Swayambhunath Stupa is one of the most fascinating architectural jewels of the world. This Buddhist shrine is said to have been built around 250 b.c. Its main feature, the white dome, is identified with the spotless pure jewel of Nirvana, and it is crowned by a thirteen-tiered golden spire of conical shape. On the cube at the base of the spire is a pair of the Buddha's all-seeing eyes, painted on all four sides. The stupa stands on a typically stylized lotus mandala base, believed to have surfaced years ago from the lake that originally filled the Kathmandu Valley.
From the hilltop one can enjoy a panorama of Kathmandu and the rest of the Valley. The Stupa is reached by a long stairway up the wooded hillside and past statues of the Buddha. But watch out for the monkeys! At the top you'll see devotees making rounds of the stupa, spinning the praying wheels as they go.
Then we'll head on to Basantapur, Kathmandu's Durbar Square, the old palace complex (durbar means "palace"). There you can admire the multitude of temples and palaces, including the Gaddi Baithak Durbar (a palace constructed in the Rana style in 1908), Basantapur Durbar (the main building of the old royal palace), Kumari Chowk (the residence of the Living Goddess) and Kumari Bahal (where her family resides). All these are located in Basantapur.
Some two hundred years ago a Western visitor wrote that there were as many temples as there were houses, and as many idols as there were people in the city. Indeed Kathmandu boasts one of the largest assemblages of magnificent historical monuments and shrines ever built. Duly recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, Kathmandu Durbar Square lies in the heart of the city. Locally, it is also called Hanuman Dhoka Palace Square. One particularly fascinating part of this palace complex is the towering Nautale Durbar (Nine Storey Palace) overlooking the beautiful cityscape and the vast Basantapur Square where King Prithivi Narayan Shah built a mansion to commemorate his conquest of the Valley in 1768 A.D. This building complex is known for intricately carved wooden doors, roof struts and massive lattice windows full of mythical figures.
In the evening a visit will be paid to the Boudhanath Stupa. Boudhanath, located about 8 kilometres from the centre of Kathmandu, is one of the world's largest stupas. The base of the stupa is composed of three successive mandalas, geometrical representations of the cosmos. The base itself represents the element earth, the dome on top of it symbolizes water, the cube represents fire, and the finial represents air. Finally, the culminating flame symbolizes ether. This great stupa is much like Swayambhunath except for its finial. Also, it is much bigger and lies on the valley floor. This stupa is said to have been built in the 5th century a.d. The site attracts great numbers of Buddhists pilgrims from all over the Himalayan region, and indeed the world. Finalize the visit and drive to hotel. The rest of the time is free.
Day 3: Kathmandu to Lukla 2866m/Phakdingma 2652m 40-minute flight, 3-hour trek
Early in the morning we'll drive to Tribhuvan International Airport to board the domestic flight to Lukla. It is an exhilarating mountain flight of 40 minutes. During the 40 minutes, weather permitting, you can enjoy fine views of the Himalaya. Upon arrival to Lukla, you'll meet the porters and Sherpa staff. After a short tour of Lukla village we'll set out on a trek of about 3 hours to Phakdingma, where we'll lodge for the night.
Day 4: Phakdingma to Namche Bazaar 3,440m 5-hour trek
Today's trek goes through the villages of Toktok and Jorsalle, and on to Namche. The entire route is scenic. The surrounding hills are covered with dense forest, and beyond them are mountaintops capped with snow. After a lunch stop in Jorsalle, we continue on to Namche Bazaar. Along the way we climb to a vantage point called Topdanda, near Namche Bazaar. From there, weather permitting, one can see Mt. Everest and the Tengboche valley and its famous monastery. Half an hour later and you are at Namche Bazaar, the “capital of the Khumbu valley”, where we'll lodge for the next two nights.
Day 5: Rest day in Namche
At Namche Bazaar, encased in a beautiful mountain landscape, it is good to rest for a day in order to get your body acclimatized. Depending on your choice, you can visit the monastery of Namche, the Sagarmatha National Park Museum and Sherpa House Museums or other attractions. If we arrive on a Friday, we can go to the weekly bazaar the next day, when local people converge from the surrounding area. In the Khumbu Valley, it is forbidden to kill any animals, so people from lower valleys come on Saturdays to sell meat and everyday supplies.
You can also use your rest day to hike to Thami village or to Khumjung/Khunde village; or up to Hotel Everest View, a 5-star hotel.
Day 6: Namche to Dole 4,084m 5-hour trek
The trek starts with magnificent views, up to Phortse Tenga, of Everest and Amadablam, Tramserku, Lhotse and the Nupse Wall. Phortse Tenga is a paradise valley to marvel at all the way up to Gokyo. A gentle climb from Phortse Tenga offers a startling view of the tip of Mt. Cho-Oyu, which rests like a smiling baby. The path then enters summer pasture land. The entire valley is surrounded by huge mountains. Our destination, Dole, is a beautiful place with an enchanting view of Mt. Ama Dablam. We will lodge in a guest house.
Day 7: Dole to Machermo 4,465m 3½ hour trek
The trail leads up a gentle incline and along an open ridge. It offers stunning views of the mountains, including Kang Thega, Cho-Oyu, Gyachung Kang, Tawu Che, Cho Lhatse and Macchermo Che. Machermo stands over a small valley, which looks out east onto a fine panorama.
Day 8: Machermo to Gokyo 4,750m 3-hour trek
The trail first passes along a cliff and crosses a rushing glacial river. Finally we reach the first lake of Gokyo; one can often see colourful mountain ducks paddling on it and enjoying the harmony of the valley. Then it's on to the second and third lakes of Gokyo. Gokyo, 4750 meters above sea level at the base of Gokyo Peak, is a small hamlet of a few stone housed hotels and one of the highest settlements in the world. Its third lake makes it the most awe-inspiring place of blue lakes, dazzling views of giant mountains and a breathtaking glacier. We will stop for the day at the third lake but if you are energetic you can extend your walk to the fifth lake which is also known as one of the most beautiful view points of the area.
Day 9: Rest at Gokyo (Climb Gokyo Peak)
Wake up to a cup of tea or coffee (really early in the morning). And as everybody does, we'll trek to the top of Gokyo Ri (5,483m). This peak is located on the west side of the Ngozumpa glacier, which is the largest glacier in Nepal, and reputed to be the largest in the whole Himalayas. From Gokyo peak it is possible to see five 8,000 meter peaks - Mount Everest, Lhotse, Makalu, Kangchenjunga, and Cho Oyu. We will then descend down to Gokyo for a hearty breakfast and a relaxing rest at the camp. Five minutes walk from our camp you can reach the edge of the Ngozumpa glacier to get a close up view of the Ngozumpa glacier.
Day 10: Gokyo to Tragnak 4,690m 2-hour trek
The trek takes us on to Tragnak. This day provides the opportunity to walk over the Ngozumpa glacial drift of Gokyo - an unbelievable experience. Just after crossing the glacier we reach to Tragnak, the base for Chola Pass, where we'll stay the night. The small campsite, used to shelter livestock in the summer, is located under a huge cliff, with some tea-houses.
Day 11: Tragnag to Dzongla 4,596m 6-7-hour trek.
We start trekking early in the morning since we'll have to cross Cho La (5,420m). First there is a gentle climb in the narrow gorge towered over by the cliff at Tragnak. After half an hour a small hidden valley slowly opens up to reveal a beautiful mountain meadow. From it up to Cho La does not take long. The pass affords a stunning view of the Everest valley in front and the Gokyo valley behind. We descend slowly to Dzongla for the night. Dzongla is another beautiful place with a broad view of Cholhat Che, Ama Dablam and Pheriche village far below.
Day 12: Dzongla to Loboche Peak Base Camp
The trail to Laboche Peak Base Camp is a short walk, 45 minutes, with fine views of Mount Ama Dablam and Pheriche Valley. We reach camp and meet up with our cook and kitchen crews, who come there directly from the Everest base camp trail to serve us here and we spend an excellent rest day to prepare for next days climbing up to high Camp. From today we will enjoy the meals prepared in our own camp kitchen by our own sherpa cook and kitchen staff, for next 10 days.
Day 13: Climb to High Camp (2hrs)
Today we shift our camp to the high camp of Loboche Peak, which is situated high above rocky ridge. The route to high camp climbs up a grassy gully.
Day 14: Ascent of Loboche Peak (8hrs)
The ascent up starts very early in the morning with packed lunch. The first phase of climbing is a rock scramble and steep snow slopes till 6,000m which many refer to as the summit of Loboche East. However, the true summit is much further with far harder climbing and is very rarely done. If succeeded the summit gives stunning views of Everest and the other Khumbu peaks. After the ascent we descend back to Base Camp where our kitchen crews will be waiting for us with some much needed food and drinks.
The Loboche Mountain consists of two different summits, East and West with heights of 6,119 m and 6,145 m respectively. A continuous ridge connects them but there is still a sharp gap and a considerable distance between them. The East Peak is recognised as a trekking peak, whereas the West is known as an Expedition Peak.
Loboche being an attractive mountain offers various existing routes and also a potential for new ones. The dark triangle of its rocky East face rises over the moraines of the Khumbu Glacier to a spectacular skyline, forming the south ridge.
The peak of Loboche East is reached by descending a marked notch and climbing steep snowy slopes to the top. On most occasions, the mountain is climbed on the summit ridge only as far as a subsidiary snow summit, south-east of the true peak and before the notch. This peak is identified as the false peak.
Day 15: Loboche BC – Loboche – Gorakshep – Kalapathar – Loboche (6hrs)
From Base camp a short walk brings us on to Loboche, the base for most of the trekkers who are hiking to the Kalapathar View Point. We continue to without stopping at Loboche along the rim of the Khumbu glacier with great views of Nuptse, Pumori, Changse, Cho-Lhatse, Kusum Kangru and many more small peaks to Gorakshep. Gorakshep is a pleasant place, towered over by beautiful Mt. Pumori. From here you have a choice: a further 2½-hour walk brings you to Everest Base Camp (5,350m), or in one hour you're on top of Kalapathar (5,554m). Only the most daring will try to do both, but ......
Kalapathar is one of the most famous view points for Mount Everest. If you see a picture of Mt Everest it is most often taken from this stunning peak. After enjoying the views we descend to Gorakshep and on to Loboche, where our kitchen staff will be waiting us with their best delicacies to make the day more memorable.
Day 16: Loboche to Kongma La (3 ½ hrs)
From Loboche we cross the khumbu glacier and continue climbing through a rocky slope that leads to the top of Kongma La pass. On reaching the pass (5,535m) you will see a wide view toward the Chhukung valley. From here, weather permitting, the views across towards Ama Dablam offer some of the best pictures of this beautiful peak.. This small section, Loboche to Chhukung, in the Khumbu region is one of the most isolated areas so we will have great chances to enjoy the incredible surroundings with complete silence. Just below the top of Kongma La Pass there is a crystal clear lake providing beautiful reflections of mountains around.
Day 17: Ascent Pokalde Peak and trek to Chhukung (4.753m. - 8hrs trek)
We start the day early in the morning for the summit of our third peak: Pokalde (5806m). Pokalde Peak is a rocky ridge dominated by the vast bulk of Nuptse when seen from Nuptse. The mountain has a small and spectacular hanging glacier, which is best reached along the ridge rising from the Kongma La, on its northern side. The summit is comparatively small but provides a good view. This peak was first climbed in 1953 via the Kongma La ridge by the 1953 Everest Expedition team led by John Hunt.
After a successful climb we continue trekking down to Chhukung where we will spend two nights. Chuukung is the last village and gateway to Island Peak.
Day 18: Rest day (Climb Chhukung Ri Peak)
Today is a rest day (well sort of). Before we can really relax, we will climb the nearby hill: Chukung Ri, (5,540m). It is a hill above Chhukung village and just below the unbelievably large Nuptse/Lhotse wall. Some say the view from Chukung Ri is better than that of Everest from Kala Patar. The Nuptse/Lhotse wall, the red granite Makalu, and the southern wall of Baruntse, fluted with ice next to 7000m Ama Dablam. Many feel that Chhukung Ri peak has the most beautiful views in the world.
Day 19: Chukung / Island Peak Base Camp / High Camp 5600m. (5.100m. - 5hrs trek)
We leave Chukung with only some porters and our necessary equipment. The porters drop our luggage and tents at High Camp and return to Chhukung. The High Camp site is panoramic with great narrow mountain barrier and glacial lakes.
Day 20: Attempt Island Peak and return to Chukung (10hrs)
Today we begin very early in the morning in order to summit earlier since the route is long and the cold makes saps your strength. But this peak is one of the most climbed peaks of Nepal so climbing is straight forward. The first 300m of blocky ridge up brings us to an icefall at 6000m level. Then a long climb up a glacier to the bergshrund and then 120 metres of 60 degree ice and snow climb takes us to a ridge top. From here we follow a steep snaking ridge to the summit of Mt Imjatse (Island Peak). If the weather is good, then the view from the summit is indescribable..
The Imjatse Peak, also known as Island peak (6,189m) was first climbed in 1953 in preparation for the ascent on Everest. This is a very popular peak. Apart from being an enjoyable climb, it has some of the most spectacular scenery of the Khumbu region. Island peak is said to resemble an "Island in a sea of ice" and is actually an extension of the south ridge of Lhotse Shar. The mainland forms a semi-circle of cliffs that rise in the north to the rugged summits of Nuptse, Lhotse, Lhotse central and Lhotse Shar. To the east lies Cho Polu and beyond this, the red granite Makalu.
To the south lie the Baruntse, Amphu and the lofty Ama Dablam. Ama Dablam looks like a giant sea-stack guarding the entrance to the glacial bay where Imjatse peak stands. Imjatse peak's first route of ascent was the south-east flank and south-west ridge. The usual base camp site is between Imja Tse and moraine of Imja glacier.
Day 21: Chukung / Pangboche 3,985m. / Tengbuche (3,867m. - 5:30hrs trek)
From Chhukung, the trail descends to Dingboche village and then to Pangboche village. Pangboche is an ancient village with a Monastery. Depending on group decision we may want to pay a visit to the village and monastery which is the oldest (450 years) in the region.
After lunch we’ll set off for Tengboche. Continuing on, we arrive at Diboche, a convent surrounded by a primeval forest. Then it is on to Tengboche for an overnight camp.
From the meadow at Tengboche there are fine views of Nuptse-Lhotse, the tip of Everest and the giant Mt. Ama Dablam. Tengboche is one of the religious centres of the Khumbu Valley. The monastery burned down in 1989, but it was rebuilt to its original shape thanks to generous contributions from the local community, trekkers and the Himalayan Trust. Here, every year in October/November, according to the Buddhist lunar calendar, is celebrated one of the region's most spectacular and important festivals, the Mani Rimdu.
Day 22: Tengboche to Khumjung / Khunde 3,790m 5-hour trek
The trek continues directly down to Pungi Tenga, which lies at the confluence of the Dudh Koshi River and the river that flows from Gokyo. After two hours of gentle climbing, we arrive at Sanasa; there you get a view of your day's trek. Thirty minutes further on brings you to Khumjung, one of the main villages of the Khumbu Valley. Time permitting, we'll either go on immediately to Khunde or camp at Khumjung, and next morning trek through Khunde village.
Day 23: Khumjung / Khunde to Lukla 2,866m 7-hour trek
After visiting the monastery in Khunde, we trek down to Namche Bazaar past the Syangbuche airstrip.
From Namche the trail directly drops to the Dudh Koshi River. We are getting back again to "European" altitudes as we descend towards the entrance to Everest National Park at Jorsalle.
From Jorsalle the trail mostly follows the river. We pass through a number of small Sherpa villages and arrive at Lukla. In Lukla we spend our last night in the Khumbu Valley. This is the occasion to enjoy a farewell party with your Sherpa friends who have accompanied you. They depart separately on a 4 days' trek and bus ride to Kathmandu.
Day 24: Fly to Kathmandu (40 minutes)
We’ll board an early morning flight to Kathmandu and arrive to Kathmandu before 9a.m. Drive to Hotel and check in. The rest of the day is free for shopping and visits to the interesting sites of Kathmandu.
Day 25: Free day at Kathmandu: This is an extra day built into the schedule for an extra rest day, or a bad weather day, or a recovery day.
Day 26: Free day at Kathmandu: This is an extra day built into the schedule for an extra rest day, or a bad weather day, or a recovery day.
Day 27: Departure
Today its time to go home. We will provide transport to the airport and accompany you there to see you off.
- Airport pick up and departure service as per program
- 4 Night Hotel in Kathmandu with breakfast (category 5 star)
- Kathmandu to Lukla and to Kathmandu Airfare including guide (tax included)
- Trekking and climbing guide and porters for whole trek
- Insurance and all expenses of local staff
- National Park entry permit fee
- Climbing permits of Loboche, Pokalde and Island Peaks
- All group climbing equipment such as, snow bars, ropes, rock pitons and tents and mattresses along with all Kitchen equipment and food for climbing period from day 12 to day 21 morning.
- NOTE: the meals and accommodation for the period from day 3 to day 11 and from day 21 to day 24 morning will be served in Lodges
- Warm clothes and equipment for porters
- Kathmandu to Kathmandu full board service
Whats Not Included:
- Travel insurance (please have one with helicopter evacuation coverage)
- Travel to and from Kathmandu from your home
- Alcoholic and mineral beverages during the trek
- Tips for Sherpa staff
- Lunches and dinners in Kathmandu.