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Famous for its spectacular mountain peaks and the loyalty and friendliness of its inhabitants (the Sherpas), the Everest region (Khumbu) is one of the most popular destinations for tourists in Nepal. While many of the routes through the mountains are arduous, there are ample places to rest and enjoy a meal along the way. Furthermore, don't worry about getting lost. Just ask a local the way to the next village on your route, and they will direct you. Most Sherpas under the age of fifty can at least understand basic English, and many speak it fluently.
While trekking is possible in this area the whole year round, the best times to visit are from the beginning of March to mid May and from the beginning of September to mid November. The winters are very cold and snow may make it difficult to travel higher than Tengboche, and also lodges may be closed above this altitude. Summers, on the other hand, are wet, and the spectacular peaks are often lost in the clouds. April and early May is a good time to see the hedgerows and trees bursting into bloom, with Rhododendrons, in particular, adding a spectacular splash of
Trekkers' Information Management System (TIMS) is compulsory to visit Khumbu region.
Lodges and restaurants in Khumbu only accept Nepalese rupees. Budget
Prices are as follows:
Lodges, basic room
Hot Shower 200-400Rs
Battery Charging 100-300Rs per hour.
== Prepare ==
Water Disinfection drops. A 60ml bottle can be found in Kathmandu for around 10-30 Rs. This will let you treat your own water, saving you from buying new bottles. 1L of water at Namche is 100 Rs, past Namche its anywhere from 200-350 Rs.
* '''Soft and light shoes''' (sneakers or kung-fu shoes are perfect) - after a long hike in inflexible hiking boots, you will be '''extremely''' happy to have some light and soft footwear to to wear around the lodge or in the village.
* '''Binoculars''' -certainly not a necessity but they bring the mountains details closer and also great for spotting elusive wildlife.
=== Guides/porters ===
Do you need a '''guide and porter''' for the journey? If you are strong, then a porter is not required, though hiring one does direct well needed cash into the homes of poor families and allows you more flexibility. If you do hire a porter, remember to keep valuables with you. The vast majority of porters are extremely honest, but it only takes one who is not to ruin a vacation! Expect to pay around
Guides are definitely not necessary if you are traveling no higher that Tengboche or Pangboche. Above that, you might consider hiring one. Not only can they guide you on the right path and explain local sights, but can be invaluable should you fall ill. Guides speak English (and often other languages - specify your choice when hiring) and need an official license to operate. They command a much higher rate than porters (negotiate), and carrying your bags is '''not''' part of their service. Like porters, they will find their own accommodation and meals unless you invite them.
In general, guides are local Sherpas
Guides and porters can be hired for a fee through trekking agencies in Kathmandu or you can inquire at lodges in Lukla or Namche. At Lukla airport, there are always hopeful porters milling around the exit, but it is better to use a lodge owner as an intermediary. They can help you negotiate a good deal and translate your specific needs. '''Eco Paradise''', Lukla or '''Namche Hotel''', Namche are convenient and good places to do this.
Khumbu is an area for trekking. The trek can be as short as a two day walk from [[Lukla]] to [[Namche Bazaar]] or an eight to ten day trip to Everest Base Camp. Irrespective of the length of the journey, as there are no roads in the area, it will definitely involve putting on hiking boots and walking the mountain paths. Below is an itinerary from Lukla Airport to Everest Base Camp and all points in between.
'''Day one''' - '''Lukla airport''' (about US$115 from KTM) to [[Monju]] (2800m): Pass directly through the village of Lukla (there is no compelling reason to stop here, though it is a good place to have breakfast/lunch.) and follow the path to '''Namche'''. There will no doubt be a string of porters carrying goods up to the Sherpa capital, so the route is easy to locate. The first village after '''Lukla''' is '''Chheplung''', and further down the trail, you will pass through [[Ghat]] and [[Phakding]]. Both these villages have a good selection of lodges and restaurants and are conveniently located for taking a meal break. However, if you still have enough stamina, it is advisable to press on to '''Monju''' (about 90 minutes to two hours from '''Phakding''') to spend the night as this will give you a good start for the steep ascent to '''Namche''' the following morning.
'''Day two''' - '''Monju''' to '''Namche''': After passing through the '''Sagarmatha Park''' entrance (1,000rs for overseas visitors), the trail passes through the village of [[Jorsale]] and then along the river. You will cross two bridges before beginning the steep ascent to '''Namche''', which can take up to three hours to complete. Be aware that there are no tea houses or lodges on this path, so ensure that you have ample water to get you to the top. In addition, you are now heading into a high altitude area, so take it easy. Even the fittest people are prone to '''[[altitude sickness]]'''.
'''Days three and four''' - '''Namche Bazaar''' (3440m): It is recommended to take an altitude acclimatization rest day in '''Namche'''. Although no more than a village, the Sherpa capital has two museums, several internet cafes, and, at last count, two pizza houses and three cafes (locally known as bakeries), so there is much to keep you occupied during your stay here. '''Namche''' also has two official money changers, so it is a good place to stock up on local currency for the days ahead (NB: Lodges and restaurants in Khumbu only accept Nepali Rupees). There is also a reasonable selection of English books, though the prices are higher than in '''Kathmandu'''.
During your '''acclimatization rest day''', you might like to visit neighboring villages. [[Khumjung]] (3790m) is over the hill directly behind '''Namche''', and takes about one and a half to two hours to reach. There are several sights in the village (See listings below) and a few lodges and eateries. '''Khunde''' is a short walk from [[Khumjung]]. Getting there: Take the Tengboche trail, then at the top of the hill above '''Namche''', near the huge mani stone and just past the bank, head straight up the mountain - the wider path to the right goes to [[Tengboche]]. After a steep climb, you will arrive at an airstrip. Cross this and rejoin the path at the other side. After a short distance you'll pass a stupa. From there, take the paved path down the hill. Soon you will see the playground and school buildings of Khumjung Hillary School. [[Thame]] (3750m) is a more traditional village that is about a two and a half hour to three hour walk from '''Namche'''. Getting there: Leave '''Namche''' on the path that passes the ochre
'''Day five''' - '''Namche''' to '''Tengboche''' (3870m/12696ft): After a short but steep climb out of
'''Day six''': For those heading for '''Everest''', the trail passes through the villages of '''Deboche''' (here, there is a small nunnery on the left - definitely worth a visit), [[Pangboche]] (3860m/12664ft), [[Dingboche]] and finally [[Periche]] (4240m/13910ft). All these villages offer food and lodgings. '''Pangboche''' (especially Upper-Pangboche, where the local monastery is located) is, however, probably the the most pleasant as it is surrounded by trees. So, if you decide to take the journey slowly, this is the best place to rest and relax. For those heading for [[Island Peak Trek]] and/or the '''Lhotse Glacier''', your final destination will be [[Chukhung]]. As this is further than '''Periche''', you will definitely need to stop the night in '''Pangboche''' or '''Dingboche'''.
Mount Everest is the highest mountain in the world. Its height is 8,848
There are several bodies still lying on the upper portions of the mountain above the South Col on the Nepal side and the North East ridge on the Tibetan side. The Governments of Nepal and China requires all prospective climbers to purchase a permit. The fees depend on the route and season of the climb. A standard Nepali permit is $USD 50,000 for 7 climbers. There are also additional bonds to ensure garbage is removed from the mountain.
From ABC, climbers ascend the Lhotse face on set ropes up to Camp III, situated on small ledges at approximately 7,200 m to 7,400 m. From there, it is another 500 metres to Camp IV on the South Col at 7,920 m (26,000 ft). From Camp III to Camp IV,
On the South Col, climbers are very close to 8,000 m and can only spend limited time at those altitudes even with supplemental oxygen. Climbers typically only have a maximum of two or three days they can tolerate at this altitude for making peak bids. Clear weather and low winds are important factors when deciding on a summit attempt. If weather does not cooperate within these short few days, climbers are forced to move down, many all the way back down to Base Camp.
From Camp IV, mountaineers will start their summit push from 8 pm to 2 am with the hope of reaching the summit (still another 1,000 metres above) within 10 to 12 hours. Climbers will first reach "The Balcony" at 8,400 m (27,700 ft), a small platform where they can rest and gaze at peaks to the south and east in the early dawn light. Continuing up the ridge, climbers are then faced with a series of impressive rock steps which usually forces them to the east into waist deep snow, a grave sudden large amount hazard. At 8,750 m (28,700 ft), a small table-sized arena of ice and snow marks the South Summit.
From the South Peak,
Tenzing and Hillary were the first mountaineers to rise this step and they did it with prehistoric ice climbing equipment and without fixed ropes. Now, climbers will ascend this step using fixed ropes previously set up by Sherpas. Once above the step, it is a comparatively easy climb to the top on fairly angled snow slopes - though the exposure on the ridge is extreme especially while traversing very large cornices of snow. After the Hillary Step, climbers also must traverse a very loose and rocky section that has a very large entanglement of fixed ropes that can be troublesome in bad weather. Climbers will typically spend less than a half-hour on "top of the world" as they realize the need to descend to Camp IV before darkness sets in, afternoon weather becomes a serious problem, or supplemental oxygen tanks run out.
Don't drink the water no matter how pristine it appears. Use iodine tablets as a purifier or purchase boiled water. Exceptions: Namche and Phortse have clean water supplies that the locals drink directly from the faucet. However, this may not be a good idea for outsiders lacking immunity to local bacteria, but certainly it should be ok for brushing teeth.
There is an '''emergency rescue
== Stay healthy ==
'''Western medicine''' - Kunde Clinic, in Kunde Village (above Namche) has Western trained doctors and is a surprisingly well equipped facility - they even have a decompression chamber for those suffering with severe altitude sickness. On your return journey, you might like to donate your unused medicines to Kunde Clinic, though ensure that they are clearly labeled in English - even the most valuable medicine is useless if there are no instructions on how to use it.
The Himalayan Rescue Association operates a clinic staffed by western physicians in Pheriche.
'''Tibetan medicine''' - the Healing
Along the trail, you will also see small medical stations. These stations generally have very rudimentary facilities and can only realistically offer treatment for very minor ailments, such as cuts and bruises and (non-altitude sickness related) headaches etc.
International '''phone calls''' can be made in Namche and many of the other villages in the region, however this is very expensive compared to [[Kathmandu]]. The cheapest place is the one-phone government telephone office, on the second floor of the nondescript wooden building behind Hotel Buddha, identified with an official yellow sign in Nepalese with a faded paper sign in English stuck on to it. Expect a lengthy queue on Saturdays (market day).
Namche also has several '''Internet''' cafes. A good one with well working keyboards and photoshop is Namche Cyber Cafe next to Everest Bakery. They also have
Tengboche has a internet cafe, its 20 rs per min.