Climb Details

Cost:
Deposit:
Length:
Difficulty:
Type:

$4400
$1500
21 day(s)
Level 2 difficulty 
Trekking

Availability



Upcoming Climbs

October 7, 2014 - HOLD A SPOT

Guide(s):

Seth Waterfall

March 15, 2015 - HOLD A SPOT
March 18, 2015 - HOLD A SPOT

"Thanks to all of you at RMI for putting together another excellent trip."

— Jeff H. | Read More Testimonials

Few mountainous places on earth are steeped in as much legend, culture, and history as the Khumbu Valley of Nepal. Guarded to the north by the highest peaks in the world, including Mt. Everest, the region descends from the high Himalaya in a steep and twisting blend of valleys, gorges, trails and terraces. The Khumbu is home to the Sherpa people who have built a culture shaped by these mountains. Through this breathtakingly rugged landscape RMI's Everest Base Camp Trek brings climbers and trekkers alike on a captivating journey to the foot of the world's highest peak.  Highlights include:

  • Visit the sacred sites of Kathmandu and trek along the narrow mountain trails past mani stones and stupas as you explore the stunning mountains and rich culture of the legendary Khumbu Valley.
  • Enjoy a complete lodge to lodge journey to Base Camp, staying in the best teahouses of the Khumbu with great facilities and excellent food.
  • RMI's trips are tailored to the season:
    • In the spring spend a full two nights at Everest Base Camp, soaking in the mountainous panorama and experiencing the "base camp life" at RMI's Everest Expedition Base Camp.
    • In the fall when the climbing season is not in full swing enjoy the autumn colors of the Khumbu while exploring a less traveled loop through the village of Phortse.
  • Climb Island Peak - Encounter the best of the Himalayas by combining trekking, climbing, and cultural experiences into one adventure with our Island Peak Extension as you trade out your trekking shoes for your climbing boots to climb a classic 20,000' Himalayan Summit surrounded by the world's highest peaks (Spring Only - Select Dates).
  • Benefit from the leadership of an RMI Guide throughout the trip, gaining from their experience, communication, oversight, and care as you venture to high altitudes and see why RMI continues to set the standard in guiding excellence.

Everest Base Camp Trek

We begin our adventures in Kathmandu, the political and cultural hub of Nepal, where we explore the narrow streets, filled with busy shopkeepers, the bustle of traffic, and the faint whiffs of incense burning at the numerous small shrines that blanket the city. In Kathmandu, we visit the city's famous religious sites, such as the Boudhanath Stupa, the Swayambunath Stupa, also known as the Monkey Temple, and Durbar Square, the historic heart of Kathmandu.

Trading out the narrow, chaotic streets of Kathmandu for the rock-lined trails of the Khumbu, we fly to the village of Lukla. From Lukla, we pass through tiny villages perched on hillsides, walk in between fields of wheat, barley, potatoes, and cabbage, and cross back and forth above the raging Dudh Koshi River on narrow suspension bridges lined with fluttering prayer flags, on our way to Namche Bazaar. The steep, narrow streets of Namche Bazaar are the center of the thriving centuries-old trade with Tibet for the region, and long trains of shaggy haired yaks carrying goods over the mountains regularly ply the trails with trekkers.

Above Namche the air grows thinner and the vegetation more sparse as the towering peaks of Kantenga, Ama Dablam, Cholatse, Lhotse, Nuptse, and eventually Everest, loom above us. Our final destination is Everest Base Camp, set on the edge of the Khumbu glacier, amidst a sea of rocks, ice, tents, and prayer flags.  On our way to Base Camp we climb the rocky outcropping of Kala Patar whose prayer flag blanketed summit gives way to a spectacular view of the Everest massif, with the South Col and the Hillary Step clearly visible. Everest Base Camp is a vibrant, exciting place and a center of the mountaineering world every spring. RMI spends two nights at Base Camp, staying at our Everest Expedition's Base Camp, fully enjoying our time spent at the foot of Mt. Everest.  From Base Camp we make our way back down through the Khumbu Valley to end our trip in Kathmandu.

We adjust our trips to take advantage of the best the Khumbu has to offer depending on the season. Everest Base Camp is a vibrant, exciting place and a center of the mountaineering world every spring. In the spring RMI spends two nights at Base Camp, staying at our Everest Expedition's Base Camp, fully enjoying our time spent at the foot of Mt. Everest. In the fall, when fewer expeditions are on the mountain, we visit Base Camp before descending back to Namche via an alternate route high above valley, visiting a less traveled part of the Khumbu and seeing the landscape of the Khumbu change seasons.

RMI's Everest Base Camp Trek is an exhilarating adventure into the heart of the Himalaya. RMI designed our trip to offer an experience that includes the "best of the best" of a visit to the Himalaya: from exploring Kathmandu, to the places we visit along the way to Base Camp, to the teahouses we stay in, and the time spent at Everest Base Camp. Accommodating for travel, acclimatization, and the time needed to visit and enjoy the Khumbu makes three weeks the least amount of time needed to safely and enjoyable visit this area. The trek is open to all individuals in good physical condition.

THE RMI DIFFERENCE

Rainier Mountaineering, Inc. was established in 1969 and is one of America's oldest and most-trusted guide services. We are the largest guide service on Mt. Rainier and Mt. McKinley and leaders in guiding climbs and treks around the globe. Our years of leading mountain adventures give us the experience and knowledge to create the best possible trips and we strive to maintain our reputation as an industry leader.

Our trek is led by our top U.S. guides who bring years of Himalayan experience to the expedition. In addition, we are fortunate to have one of the most experienced Sherpa teams as our partners in Nepal. Our relationships there are the key to our trip's success. Trekking through the Khumbu with these Himalayan veterans is an unforgettable experience.

Everest Base Camp TrekTengboche Monastery

During our trek we stay exclusively in teahouses in a complete lodge to lodge trek; our lodges have been hand picked by our guides for their quality and service. In the spring, during our time at Base Camp we share the same accommodations as our Everest Expedition, enjoying the base camp facilities used by our climbers. Our professional, experienced cooks maintain the highest standards of hygiene and our diverse menu at the teahouses is complemented by a constant supply of fresh vegetables as well as small luxuries brought specially from the United States. Our exceptional focus on detail, our unparalleled level of guest attention, and our genuine passion of these adventures are what make our programs truly memorable.

ISLAND PEAK EXTENSION - SPRING ONLY

Experience the best of the Himalaya by combining a trek to Everest Base Camp with a climb of a classic Himalayan Peak on our Island Peak Extension. After visiting Base Camp head to the Imja Khola valley to the base of Island Peak. This classic Himalayan climb ends with the traverse of a stunning snow ridge leading to the peak's summit. Surrounded by the South Face of Lhotse, soaring up over 8,000 vertical feet above us, Nuptse, Ama Dablam, Cho Polu, and Makalu, among many others, the view from the summit is simply breathtaking. After our climb, we return to Kathmandu where we end our Himalayan journey.

SAFETY

"In every sense, my experience on this RMI trip was fantastic. Your guides, logistics, meals, equipment, planning, and support combined to make this trip better than I ever expected. Indeed, it seemed, even the weather was perfectly planned by RMI!"
— Chris N.

Safety has always been RMI's top priority and we strive to create the safest mountain experience possible. RMI's experienced team of guides and Sherpa focus on leading a fun and successful trek without compromising safety. Careful planning and vigilant care are taken as we venture into high altitudes while comprehensive medical kits, medical oxygen, and satellite phones are carried with the group throughout the trip. Everest Base Camp is also equipped with advanced communication and medical gear.

As you prepare for your upcoming adventure please feel free to contact our office and speak directly to one of our experienced guides regarding equipment, conditioning, the route, or any other questions you may have about our programs. We are available Monday thru Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at (888) 89-CLIMB or info@rmiguides.com.


Everest Base Camp Trek Spring Itinerary

Everest Base Camp Trek Map

RMI's Spring Everest Base Camp Trek spends two full nights at Everest Base Camp in our Everest Expedition's Camp while the Everest climbing season is underway, experiencing the expedition life at the foot of Mt. Everest.

Day 1: TRAVEL DAY
Most climbers and trekkers fly to Kathmandu (KTM) via Thailand with a possible overnight in Bangkok. During your flight you will cross the International Date Line and travel time is approximately three days.

Day 2: TRAVEL DAY

Day 3: KATHMANDU  •  4,383'
Arrive in Kathmandu. We are transferred to our hotel for some rest and recovery before our evening reception and welcome dinner. Overnight in Kathmandu. (D)
Arriving in Kathmandu

Everest Base Camp Trek Elevation ProfileDay 4: KATHMANDU  •  4,383'
Situated in a bowl shaped valley in central Nepal, Kathmandu is the largest city in Nepal and the cosmopolitan heart of the Himalayan Region. Today is our first chance to explore Kathmandu's rich and diverse culture with a city tour including the Boudhanath Stupa, Pashupatinath, and Swayambunath - the Monkey Temple. The rest of the day is spent enjoying the city and local cuisine. Overnight in Kathmandu. (B)
Touring Kathmandu

Day 5: PHAKDING  •  8,700'
Lukla (9,350') to Phakding (8,700'). Trekking time is approximately 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
Today we fly to Lukla, the village where our trek to Everest Base Camp begins. The airport in Lukla is the Tenzing Norgay Airport, and landing on the STOL (Short Takeoff and Landing) runway is an experience in itself. It is usually very busy in Lukla as different expeditions are getting everything organized for the trek. From here on out, there are no more vehicles or roads, just a network of villages connected by footpaths. After we meet our Sherpa team we start trekking along the Dudh Kosi River as we travel to Phakding. We spend the night at a small teahouse on the bank of the milky-blue Dudh Kosi. Overnight in lodge. (B, L, D)
Arriving in Lukla First Day on the Trail

Day 6: NAMCHE BAZAAR  •  11,300'
Phakding (8,700') to Namche Bazaar (11,300'). Trekking time is 4 1/2 to 5 hours.
Hike to historic Namche Bazaar, the gateway to the high Himalayas and the Sherpa community's central meeting place. Namche is where lowland porters bearing supplies meet the highland Sherpa and Tibetan people who have journeyed over high passes from many miles away to trade food and supplies for their home or village. Namche's busy shops, delicious bakeries, and jovial feel are a welcome sight after making the long climb up from the valley floor below. Overnight in lodge. (B, L, D)
Khumbu TrekkingHiking along the Lower Khumbu Reaching Namche

Day 7: NAMCHE BAZAAR  •  11,300'
We build upon our acclimatization by going for a short hike to the surrounding villages of Khunde and Khumjung to visit the historic Hillary School and Hillary Hospital. Our hike takes us along the more remote paths between the villages, offering glimpses of the peaks higher up the valley, before returning us to Namche for the evening. Overnight in lodge. (B, L, D)
Hiking above Namche

Day 8: DEBOCHE  •  12,325'
Namche Bazaar (11,300') to Deboche (12,325'). Trekking time is approximately 4 to 5 hours.
We leave Namche and climb up the valley to Tengboche, the largest Sherpa monastery in the Khumbu area. From the monastery's front steps we have excellent views of Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, and Ama Dablam. We descend from the ridge where the monastery is located into the quiet forest of fir and rhododendron below that surround our teahouse at Deboche. Overnight in lodge. (B, L, D)
Trekking to Deboche

Day 9: PHERICHE  •  13,950'
Deboche (12,325') to Pheriche (13,950'). Trekking time is approximately 3 1/2 to 4 hours.
We hike to Pheriche via the small village of Pangboche. We follow the Imja River which flows directly east of the village to Pangboche, a large Sherpa village at the foot of Ama Dablam. In Pangboche we visit Lama Geshe, a renowned spiritual leader of the area, to receive a blessing for our travels in the mountains before continuing along the river to Pheriche. Overnight in lodge. (B, L, D)
Teahouse on Everest Base Camp TrekVisiting Pangboche Arriving in Pheriche

Day 10: PHERICHE  •  13,950'
We stay another night in Pheriche to continue our acclimatization. We will visit the clinic of the Himalayan Rescue Association and take a day hike up the Imja Khola valley toward Chukkung, offering spectacular views of Ama Dablam's seldom seen north side. Overnight in lodge. (B, L, D)
Hiking above Pheriche

Day 11: LOBUCHE  •  16,175'
Pheriche (13,950') to Lobuche (16,175'). Trekking time is approximately 4 to 5 hours.
We ascend to the village of Lobuche, tucked below Lobuche Peak. Our trail takes us past the memorials for climbers made up of dozens of large rock stupas and strings of prayer flags at the top of Thokla Pass. Along the way we leave the last of the large vegetation and enter into the alpine zone and our trail may have a covering of snow from here. Overnight in lodge. (B, L, D)
Trekking to Lobuche

Day 12: GORAK SHEP  •  16,950'
Lobuche (16,175') to Gorak Shep (16,950'). Trekking time is approximately 3 hours. Leaving Lobuche we walk parallel to the lower reaches of the Khumbu Glacier until we cross over the rocky moraine of the Khangri Glacier into Gorak Shep, the final outpost before Everest Base Camp. In the afternoon we climb to the summit Kala Patar, a small peak across on the valley from Everest on the lower slopes of Pumori, that gives way to stunning views of Everest. Everest Overnight in lodge. (B, L, D)
Climbing Kala Patar

Trekking towards Everest Base CampDay 13: EVEREST BASE CAMP  •  17,575'
Gorak Shep (16,950') to Everest Base Camp (17,575'). Trekking time is approximately 3 hours. We complete the last stretch of our trek, leaving the dirt and grasses of the mountainous valley and setting out across the ice and rock of the Khumbu Glacier into Everest Base Camp. We move into our tents admiring the stunning panorama of peaks surrounding us. Overnight in tents. (B, L, D)
Reaching Everest Base Camp

Day 14: EVEREST BASE CAMP  •  17,575'
After enjoying hot tea in our tents, we eat a late breakfast and soak in the morning sun, experiencing "base camp life" that is such a large part of any Everest expedition. In the afternoon we can hike to the base of the Icefall to get a closer view of the climbing route that weaves its way through enormous towers of ice and across gaping crevasses. Overnight in tents. (B, L, D)
Life at Everest Base Camp

Day 15: PHERICHE  •  13,950'
Everest Base Camp (17,775') to Pheriche (13,950'). Trekking time is approximately 6 to 8 hours.
We make an early departure from Base Camp, leaving the Khumbu Glacier and descend back down the valley to Pheriche for some "thick" air and a good night's sleep. Overnight in lodge. (B, L, D)
Descending to Pheriche

*Departure for Island Peak Extension (Spring Only)

Everest Base CampDay 16: NAMCHE BAZAAR  •  11,300'
Pheriche (13,950') to Namche Bazaar (11,300'). Trekking time is approximately 6 to 8 hours. The downhill trek along the river allows for breathtaking photos of Ama Dablam as it towers ominously above us. As we descend the smells of the pine forests and blooming rhododendrons overwhelm the senses after so many days up high. In Namche we treat ourselves to much deserved yak steaks, beer, and pastries. After Everest Base Camp, the narrow streets of Namche feel like a big city! Overnight in lodge. (B, L, D)
Returning to Namche

Day 17: LUKLA  •  9,350'
Namche Bazaar (11,300') to Lukla (9,350'). Trekking time is approximately 5 - 7 hours. Our last day on the trail. We hike down from Namche to Lukla, crossing the eleven swaying suspension bridges over the Dudh Kosi and re-entering the fertile valleys of the lower Khumbu. Overnight in lodge. (B, L, D)
The trail to Lukla

Day 18: KATHMANDU  •  4,383'
The scenic morning flight back to Kathmandu gives us one last chance to say farewell to the mountains. The afternoon in Kathmandu is open for exploring or just relaxing. Overnight in Kathmandu. (B)

Day 19: CONTINGENCY DAY
This day is available in case of delayed flights in or out of Lukla or if weather postpones our trip at any point.

Day 20: TRAVEL DAY
Depart Kathmandu. Most climbers fly from Kathmandu to Bangkok, and then onto the United States. An overnight in Bangkok is standard for most flights.

Day 21: TRAVEL DAY
Arrive home.

Everest Base Camp Trek Fall Itinerary

Everest Base Camp Trek Map

A trek through the Khumbu Valley to Everest Base Camp in the autumn provides a view of this beautiful region and a glimpse into the lives of the farming communities along the way. On our return from Everest Base Camp we veer from our ascent route and visit the village of Phortse, a traditional village with a rich climbing heritage which takes us through a less traveled and incredibly beautiful portion of the valley.

Day 1: TRAVEL DAY
Most climbers and trekkers fly to Kathmandu (KTM) via Thailand with a possible overnight in Bangkok. During your flight you will cross the International Date Line and travel time is approximately three days.

Day 2: TRAVEL DAY

Day 3: KATHMANDU  •  4,383'
Arrive in Kathmandu. We are transferred to our hotel for some rest and recovery before our evening reception and welcome dinner. Overnight in Kathmandu. (D)
Arriving in Kathmandu

Everest Base Camp Trek Elevation ProfileDay 4: KATHMANDU  •  4,383'
Situated in a bowl shaped valley in central Nepal, Kathmandu is the largest city in Nepal and the cosmopolitan heart of the Himalayan Region. Today is our first chance to explore Kathmandu's rich and diverse culture with a city tour including the Boudhanath Stupa, Pashupatinath, and Swayambunath - the Monkey Temple. The rest of the day is spent enjoying the city and local cuisine. Overnight in Kathmandu. (B)
Touring Kathmandu

Day 5: PHAKDING  •  8,700'
Lukla (9,350') to Phakding (8,700'). Trekking time is approximately 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
Today we fly to Lukla, the village where our trek to Everest Base Camp begins. The airport in Lukla is the Tenzing Norgay Airport, and landing on the STOL (Short Takeoff and Landing) runway is an experience in itself. It is usually very busy in Lukla as different expeditions are getting everything organized for the trek. From here on out, there are no more vehicles or roads, just a network of villages connected by footpaths. After we meet our Sherpa team we start trekking along the Dudh Kosi River as we travel to Phakding. We spend the night at a small teahouse on the bank of the milky-blue Dudh Kosi. Overnight in lodge. (B, L, D)
Arriving in Lukla First Day on the Trail

Day 6: NAMCHE BAZAAR  •  11,300'
Phakding (8,700') to Namche Bazaar (11,300'). Trekking time is 4 1/2 to 5 hours.
Hike to historic Namche Bazaar, the gateway to the high Himalayas and the Sherpa community's central meeting place. Namche is where lowland porters bearing supplies meet the highland Sherpa and Tibetan people who have journeyed over high passes from many miles away to trade food and supplies for their home or village. Namche's busy shops, delicious bakeries, and jovial feel are a welcome sight after making the long climb up from the valley floor below. Overnight in lodge. (B, L, D)
Khumbu TrekkingHiking along the Lower Khumbu Reaching Namche

Day 7: NAMCHE BAZAAR  •  11,300'
We build upon our acclimatization by going for a short hike to the surrounding villages of Khunde and Khumjung to visit the historic Hillary School and Hillary Hospital. Our hike takes us along the more remote paths between the villages, offering glimpses of the peaks higher up the valley, before returning us to Namche for the evening. Overnight in lodge. (B, L, D) Hiking above Namche

Day 8: DEBOCHE  •  12,325'
Namche Bazaar (11,300') to Deboche (12,325'). Trekking time is approximately 4 to 5 hours.
We leave Namche and climb up the valley to Tengboche, the largest Sherpa monastery in the Khumbu area. From the monastery's front steps we have excellent views of Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, and Ama Dablam. We descend from the ridge where the monastery is located into the quiet forest of fir and rhododendron below that surround our teahouse at Deboche. Overnight in lodge. (B, L, D)
Trekking to Deboche

Day 9: PHERICHE  •  13,950'
Deboche (12,325') to Pheriche (13,950'). Trekking time is approximately 3 1/2 to 4 hours.
We hike to Pheriche via the small village of Pangboche. We follow the Imja River which flows directly east of the village to Pangboche, a large Sherpa village at the foot of Ama Dablam. In Pangboche we visit Lama Geshe, a renowned spiritual leader of the area, to receive a blessing for our travels in the mountains before continuing along the river to Pheriche. Overnight in lodge. (B, L, D)
Teahouse on Everest Base Camp TrekVisiting Pangboche Arriving in Pheriche

Day 10: PHERICHE  •  13,950'
We stay another night in Pheriche to continue our acclimatization. We will visit the clinic of the Himalayan Rescue Association and take a day hike up the Imja Khola valley toward Chukkung, offering spectacular views of Ama Dablam's seldom seen north side. Overnight in lodge. (B, L, D)
Hiking above Pheriche

Day 11: LOBUCHE  •  16,175'
Pheriche (13,950') to Lobuche (16,175'). Trekking time is approximately 4 to 5 hours. We ascend to the village of Lobuche, tucked below Lobuche Peak. Our trail takes us past the memorials for climbers made up of dozens of large rock stupas and strings of prayer flags at the top of Thokla Pass. Along the way we leave the last of the large vegetation and enter into the alpine zone and our trail may have a covering of snow from here. Overnight in lodge. (B, L, D)
Trekking to Lobuche

Day 12: GORAK SHEP  •  16,950'
Lobuche (16,175') to Gorak Shep (16,950'). Trekking time is approximately 3 hours. Leaving Lobuche we walk parallel to the lower reaches of the Khumbu Glacier until we cross over the rocky moraine of the Khangri Glacier into Gorak Shep, the final outpost before Everest Base Camp. In the afternoon we climb to the summit Kala Patar, a small peak across on the valley from Everest on the lower slopes of Pumori, that gives way to stunning views of Everest. Everest Overnight in lodge. (B, L, D)
Climbing Kala Patar

Trekking towards Everest Base CampDay 13: GORAK SHEP  •  16,950'
Gorak Shep (16,950') to Everest Base Camp (17,575'). Trekking time is approximately 5 hours.
We complete the last stretch of our trek, leaving the dirt and grasses of the mountainous valley and setting out across the ice and rock of the Khumbu Glacier to Everest Base Camp where we explore the camp on the Khumbu Glacier before returning to our lodge for the evening. (B, L, D)
Reaching Everest Base Camp

Day 14: PHERICHE  •  13,950'
Gorak Shep (16,950') to Pheriche (13,950'). Trekking time is approximately 4 to 5 hours.
Leaving Gorak Shep, we descend back down the valley through Lobuche to Pheriche for some "thick" air and a good night's sleep. Overnight in lodge. (B, L, D)
Life at Everest Base Camp

Day 15: PHORTSE  •  13,000'
Pheriche (13,950') to Phortse (13,000'). Trekking time is approximately 5 to 7 hours.
The downhill trek following a small trail traversing the hillside allows for breathtaking photos of Ama Dablam as it towers ominously above us. We reach the small village of Phortse, a small traditional village with a rich climbing heritage that sits among the pine forests and rhododendrons overwhelm the senses after so many days up high. Overnight in lodge. (B, L, D)
The traverse to Phortse

Everest Base CampDay 16: NAMCHE BAZAAR  •  11,300'
Phortse (13,000') to Namche Bazaar (11,300'). Trekking time is approximately 5 to 6 hours.
We descend to the river and make the climb up the ridge top village of Mong La which offers views across the Khumbu Valley. Descending from Mong La we reach Namche where we treat ourselves to much deserved yak steaks, beer, and pastries. After Everest Base Camp, the narrow streets of Namche feel like a big city! Overnight in lodge. (B, L, D)
The trail back to Namche

Day 17: LUKLA  •  9,350'
Namche Bazaar (11,300') to Lukla (9,350'). Trekking time is approximately 5 - 7 hours.
Our last day on the trail. We hike down from Namche to Lukla, crossing the eleven swaying suspension bridges over the Dudh Kosi and re-entering the fertile valleys of the lower Khumbu. Overnight in lodge. (B, L, D)
The trail to Lukla

Day 18: KATHMANDU  •  4,383'
The scenic morning flight back to Kathmandu gives us one last chance to say farewell to the mountains. The afternoon in Kathmandu is open for exploring or just relaxing. Overnight in Kathmandu. (B)

Day 19: CONTINGENCY DAY
This day is available in case of delayed flights in or out of Lukla or if weather postpones our trip at any point.

Day 20: TRAVEL DAY
Depart Kathmandu. Most climbers fly from Kathmandu to Bangkok, and then onto the United States. An overnight in Bangkok is standard for most flights.

Day 21: TRAVEL DAY
Arrive home.

Spring Only

RMI offers an extension to our Everest Base Camp Trek with a climb of Island Peak. After visiting Everest Base Camp head up the Imja Khola Valley to the base of Island Peak, also known as Imja Tse. This classic Himalayan climb ends with the traverse of a stunning snow ridge leading to the peak's summit. Surrounded by the South Face of Lhotse, soaring up over 8,000 vertical feet above us, Nuptse, Ama Dablam, Cho Polu, and Makalu, among many others, the view from the summit is simply breathtaking. Standing on the summit of Island Peak is an unforgettable addition to a trek in the Himalayas. Combining a climb of Island Peak with the classic Everest Base Camp Trek embodies the very best of what makes the Himalayas so special.

Island PeakIsland Peak Summit Ridge

This climb is a great first Himalayan experience and a perfect "next step" after learning the ropes on Mt. Rainier. Island Peak consists of moderate snow and ice climbing as we ascend above 20,000' and is open to all individuals in good physical condition who posses basic mountaineering skills: cramponing, ice axe arrest, rope travel, self care and efficiency techniques.

Details:

Cost: $1000
Length: 5 Days
Difficulty: Level 3 difficulty
Type: Mountaineering

Island Peak Itinerary:

Island Peak Map

Day 1 - 15: (See Everest Base Camp Trek Spring Itinerary)

Day 16: CHUKUNG  •  15,514'
Today we climb up the Imja Khola Valley to the village of Chukung where we camp in the shadow of Island Peak. We will have the opportunity to climb Chukung Ri, (18,200'), or just admire the fantastic views Island Peak, Ama Dablam, and Makalu. Overnight in lodge. (B, L, D)
Hiking to Chukung

Island Peak Base CampDay 17: ISLAND PEAK BASE CAMP  •  16,685'
We continue up the valley to Island Peak Base Camp, nestled amongst the mountainous ridges of moraine at Pareshaya Gyab. Once there we review basic climbing techniques in preparation for the climb. Overnight in tents. (B, L, D)
The trail to Island Peak Base Camp

Day 18: THE CLIMB - HIGH CAMP  •  18,372'
A couple of hours of hiking up the mountain's rocky flanks with stunning views of the mountains around bring us to our High Camp. From there we are in excellent position for our summit bid the following morning.
Ascent to Island Peak High Camp

Day 19: THE CLIMB - SUMMIT DAY  •  20,300'
The climbing includes moderate glacier travel to a classic airy ridge that leads to the summit. From the summit we are surrounded by the peaks of Lhotse (27,892'), Makalu (27,802'), and Baruntse (25,328'), amongst others. We return to High Camp for the night. Overnight in tents. (B, L, D)
Climbing Island Peak at sunrise The summit ridge of Island Peak

Day 20: PANGBOCHE  •  13,120'
We descend from High Camp and walk down the Imja Khola Valley bound for the village of Pangboche. The downhill trek along the river allows for breathtaking photos of Ama Dablam as it towers ominously above us. Overnight in lodge. (B, L, D)
Descent to Pangboche

Island Summit RidgeDay 21: NAMCHE BAZAAR  •  11,300'
Pangboche (13,120') to Namche Bazaar (11,300'). Trekking time is approximately 5 to 7 hours. As we descend the smells of the pine forests and blooming rhododendrons overwhelm the senses after so many days up high. In Namche we treat ourselves to yak steaks, beer, pastries and one of the best nights of sleep you will ever have in the mountains! Overnight in lodge. (B, L, D)
Returning to Namche

Day 22: LUKLA  •  9,350'
Namche Bazaar (11,300') to Lukla (9,350'). Trekking time is approximately 5 - 7 hours.
Our last day on the trail. We hike down from Namche to Lukla, crossing the eleven swaying suspension bridges over the Dudh Kosi and re-entering the fertile valleys of the lower Khumbu. Overnight in lodge. (B, L, D)
The trail to Lukla

Day 23: KATHMANDU  •  4,383'
The scenic morning flight back to Kathmandu gives us one last chance to say farewell to the mountains. The afternoon in Kathmandu is open for exploring or just relaxing. Overnight in Kathmandu. (B)

Day 24: CONTINGENCY DAY
This day is available in case of delayed flights in or out of Lukla or if weather postpones our trip at any point.

Day 25: TRAVEL DAY
Depart Kathmandu. Most climbers and trekkers fly from Kathmandu to Bangkok and then onto the United States. An overnight in Bangkok is standard for most flights.

Day 26: TRAVEL DAY
Arrive home.

Technical Gear:

Equipment Check Box

SLEEPING PAD: Provided by our in-country outfitter.


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ICE AXE: The length of your axe depends on your height. Use the following general mountaineering formula: up to 5'8", use a 65 cm. axe; 5'8" to 6'2", use a 70 cm. axe; and taller, use a 75 cm. axe. If you hold the axe so that it hangs comfortably at your side, the spike of the axe should still be a few inches above the ground.


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CLIMBING HARNESS: We recommend a climbing harness with removable leg loops


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1 TRIPLE-ACTION LOCKING CARABINER(S): Used for clipping into the climbing rope.


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HELMET: A UIAA (Union Internationale des Associations d’Alpinisme) or CE (European Committee for Standardization) certified climbing helmet. Bicycle or ski helmets are designed for a different type of impact and will not substitute as a climbing helmet.


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CRAMPONS: The 10 to 12 point adjustable crampons designed for general mountaineering are ideal. Rigid frame crampons designed for technical ice climbing are not recommended.


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AVALANCHE TRANSCEIVER: A digital transceiver is preferred; analog will work as well. If you rent a transceiver, one set of new batteries will be provided.


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MECHANICAL ASCENDER: For traveling on fixed ropes. Most people prefer an ascender designed for their weak hand, leaving their right hand free to hold their ice axe. For example, a right-handed person would use a left-handed ascender.


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BELAY / RAPPEL DEVICE: An ATC type device or similar.


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Perlon cord: 15 ' PERLON CORD: 7 mm cordelette in one continuous length.


Head:

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GOGGLES: Amber or rose-tinted goggles for adverse weather. Additionally, contact lens wearers may find a clear-lensed goggle very useful on windy nights.


Hands:

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HEAVY WEIGHT INSULATED GLOVE OR MITTEN: Wind/water resistant, insulated gloves or mittens for protection against wind, snow and cold. These also serve as emergency back-ups if you drop or lose a glove.

 
 
Black Diamond Guide Glove

Feet:

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MOUNTAINEERING BOOTS: Insulated double boots are the preferred choice. They provide the best insulation as well as a more rigid sole for kicking steps and holding crampons. Leather mountaineering boots that have completely rigid soles are also adequate, but they will need to be insulated and may still result in cold feet on summit days. Bring one pair of chemical foot warmers if you are using the leather mountaineering boots.


Miscellaneous:

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1-2 ADDITIONAL CHEMICAL HAND WARMERS


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2 SETS BATTERIES: For avalanche transceiver.


Toilet Articles:

Island Peak Extension Qualifications:

This trip is open to all individuals in excellent physical condition who have prior knowledge of rope travel, the use of crampons, and ice axe arrest. This is a great first trip to altitudes above 15,000 feet. Simply put, climbers perform better and enjoy the adventure more if they have a high degree of fitness and knowledge of basic mountaineering skills. Good basic mountaineering experiences to consider prior to attempting this program include:

  • 4-day or 5-day Summit Climb on Mt. Rainier
  • Expedition Skills Seminar on Mt. Rainier
  • Mountaineer's route on Mt. Whitney
  • Avalanche Gulch route on Mt. Shasta

Additional Information:

We suggest bringing $850 - $950 total for personal spending money and the Mountain Staff Tip Pool. You may choose to bring more depending on your shopping plans.

Everest Base Camp Trek Equipment List

Whittaker Mountaineering Whittaker Mountaineering

The following is a list of required equipment. We may encounter a variety of weather conditions throughout our climb, including rain, wind, snow, sleet and extreme heat. Skimping on equipment can jeopardize your safety and success, so we want you to think carefully about any changes or substitutions you are considering. If you have questions regarding the equipment needed for your upcoming climb, give us a call and speak directly to one of our experienced guides.

Most of the required equipment is available for rent or purchase from our affiliate Whittaker Mountaineering. RMI climbers receive a 10% discount on new clothing and equipment items ordered from Whittaker Mountaineering. This offer excludes sale items. For internet orders, please use the discount code RMI2014.


Pack & Bag Guides' Pick

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SMALL DUFFEL: Needed to store gear in Kathmandu.


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BACKPACK: A 40+ liter pack is the recommended size for this climb.


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PACK COVER (OPTIONAL): Protects your pack from rain while on the trail.


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DAY PACK: A 25+ liter day pack to use as carry-on, while traveling or sightseeing.


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SLEEPING BAG: A bag rated -10° to -20° F will keep you warm. It can get very cold during the trip, even in the teahouses. It is better to err on the side of warmth when choosing a bag.


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SLEEPING PAD: Not required for this trip.  Climbers' hut(s) are equipped with pads.


Technical Gear Guides' Pick

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TREKKING POLES: Lightweight and collapsible poles are preferred. Larger baskets work well with deep snow. Ski poles will also work.


Head Guides' Pick

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BUFF / NECK GAITER / BALACLAVA: One item for face protection is required. Our primary recommendation is the Buff. A neck gaiter or balaclava is also acceptable.


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GLACIER GLASSES: You will need protective sunglasses, either dark-lensed with side shields or full wrap-around frames. Almost all sunglasses block UV-A, UV-B and infrared rays adequately. Pay attention to the visible light transmission. The darkest lenses (glacier glasses) only allow approx. 6% visible light to get through, while lighter lenses (driving glasses) let in as much as 20+ %. A good rule of thumb is that if you can see the wearer’s pupils through the lenses, they are too light for sun protection at altitude.


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CONTACT LENSES/ EYEGLASSES: Spare prescription glasses if you wear contact lenses/eyeglasses.


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HEADLAMP: Be sure to begin the program with fresh batteries.


Hands

Each glove layer is worn separately as conditions change during the climb.


Upper Body

We recommend a minimum of five upper body layers, all of which can be used in conjunction with each other. Two of these should be insulating layers, one light and one medium, that fit well together. Today there are many different layering systems to choose from, including fleece, soft-shell, down and synthetic options.


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2 LIGHT TO MEDIUM WEIGHT BASELAYER: Long-sleeve wool or synthetic top. Quarter zip styles will allow for better temperature regulation. We recommend light colors, which best reflect the intense sun on hot days.


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RAIN JACKET (HARD SHELL): A jacket made of rain-proof material with an attached hood.  We recommend a thinner lightweight jacket rather than a heavier insulated jacket.


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INSULATED PARKA with HOOD: This expedition-style heavy parka should extend below the waist and must have an insulated hood. While the parka is worn primarily at rest breaks on summit day, it serves as an emergency garment if needed. We recommend down rather than synthetic fill as down weighs less. The parka does not have to be waterproof, though that is a nice feature.


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2 HIKING SHIRT: Lightweight, synthetic shirt with either long or short sleeves. The long sleeve is preferred for sun/bug protection.


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SPORTS BRA: We recommend a moisture-wicking, active-wear bra.


Lower Body

We recommend a system of four layers, all of which can be used in conjunction with each other. Products which combine several layers into one garment, such as traditional ski pants, don’t work well as they don’t offer the versatility of a layering system.


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CLIMBING PANT: Soft-shell climbing pants offer a wide range of versatility. You can wear them in combination with the base layer on colder days, or alone on warmer days.


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RAIN PANT (HARD SHELL): A waterproof pant with 3/4 side zippers (sometimes called 7/8 or full side zips) are required for facilitating quick clothing adjustments over boots and crampons.


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LIGHT WEIGHT TREKKING PANT: A lightweight, synthetic pair of pants is a good option for the approach trek when hiking at lower altitudes and in warm conditions. These pants have no insulation, are typically made of thin nylon, and commonly feature zippers to convert between pants and shorts.

M:
  • Mountain Hardwear Mesa Convertible Pant

W:

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HIKING SHORTS: Good for lower elevations and warm, sunny days.


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CASUAL CAMP PANT: A pair of jeans or cotton pants. Great for wearing around camp or teahouses.


Feet Guides' Pick

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HIKING BOOTS: A pair of lightweight boots for approaches and hiking on rugged terrain.


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LIGHTWEIGHT HIKING SHOES: Great for travel, day hikes, and camp.

 
Garmont Zenith Trail
 
La Sportiva Exum Pro
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W:

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GAITERS (OPTIONAL): Large enough to fit over your trekking boots to guard against mud and snow.


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5 - 6 PAIR SOCKS: Either wool or synthetic. Whatever sock combination you are accustomed to wearing during your training or previous adventures (whether single medium weight socks, a medium weight with a liner sock, two medium weight socks together, etc), should work just fine for this climb.


Miscellaneous Items Guides' Pick

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LIP BALM: We recommend SPF 15 or higher.


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SUNSCREEN: We recommend small tubes of SPF 15 or higher, which can be carried in pockets for easy access and to prevent freezing.


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MEALS: See the Food tab for suggestions and quantities.


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2 - 3 WATER BOTTLES: Hard-sided, screw-top, one-liter water bottles with wide mouths are required.


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AQUAMIRA: Chlorine Dioxide water purification drops.


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2 - 3 GARBAGE BAGS (LARGE): We recommend lining your day pack and duffel bag with garbage bags to keep items completely dry.


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LUGGAGE LOCKS: For your duffel bags. Must be TSA approved.


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CAMERA


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QUICK DRY TRAVEL TOWEL: For showers at the teahouses.


Travel Clothes

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SHORTS


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CASUAL PANTS


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SHIRTS: For hotel dinners and while traveling.


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SWEATER / SWEATSHIRT


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SUNGLASSES


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SWIMSUIT


Toilet Articles

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TOOTHBRUSH


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HAND SANITIZER(S): Personal size (2 oz.) bottle.


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PEE BOTTLE (PEE FUNNEL FOR WOMEN)


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TRAVEL SIZE SOAP AND SHAMPOO: For showers at the teahouses.


Personal First Aid Kit

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BAND-AIDS


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ASPRIN / IBUPROFEN / TYLENOL


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BLISTER TREATMENT

 
Dr. Scholl's Blister Cushions and Moleskin
 
Spenco 2nd Skin

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ANTACIDS


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IMODIUM (ANTI-DIARRHEA)


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50 count PEPTO-BISMOL (STOMACH RELIEF)


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SMALL ROLL OF ADHESIVE TAPE


Personal Medications

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ANTIBIOTICS: Broad spectrum antibiotics for Traveler's Diarrhea.


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ANTIBIOTICS: Antibiotics for upper respiratory infection.


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TYLENOL #3: Tylenol 3 for pain


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ACETAZOLAMIDE: For Altitude Illness


Utensils Guides' Pick

Optional Items

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CLEANSING FACE WIPES


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TRAVEL SIZE MOISTURIZERS


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WATERLESS SHAMPOO


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BABY POWDER


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READING MATERIAL / JOURNAL


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iPOD or MP3 PLAYER


Travel Documents

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PASSPORT: Valid for six months beyond your return date.


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COPY OF PASSPORT: The first two pages of your passport.


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COPY OF FLIGHT ITINERARY


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4 EXTRA PASSPORT PHOTOS


Pre-Trip Checklist

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Purchase travel insurance.


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Return the Registration Packet to the RMI Office.


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Purchase airplane tickets.


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Reserve rental equipment.


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Be in the Best Shape of Your Life!


Provided Equipment

RMI provides the following equipment for your program: group and personal tents, stoves, group cooking equipment, fuel, radios for on-mountain communication, and comprehensive first aid and repair kits.


Payments

A deposit of $1,500 per person secures your reservation. Final payment is due 90 days prior to the start of your program. Final payment may be made via check or wire transfer only. Trips departing within 90 days from the reservation date must be paid in full at the time of reservation.

We will send you a payment reminder approximately three weeks before your payment is due. If your final payment is not received within 90 days of the program your reservation will be cancelled and all fees forfeited.

Cancellations

Once we receive written notification (mail, e-mail, or fax) that you are canceling an individual participant or your entire reservation the following fees will apply. A fee of $750 per person will be charged for cancellations made more than 90 days before departure. There will be no refunds for cancellations made less than 90 days before your program.

Cancellation Insurance: We strongly suggest that everyone purchase travel insurance. Please see our Travel Page for details.

Land Cost

Included are the following:

  • Transportation to and from the airport in Kathmandu
  • Hotels with breakfast in Kathmandu for stated itinerary at beginning of expedition, based on double occupancy*
  • One night hotel and breakfast in Kathmandu after returning from Lukla
  • Welcome dinner
  • Round-trip flight to Lukla
  • All group camping supplies such as tents, stoves, etc.
  • All meals while trekking
  • Park fees and permit fees
  • Liaison officers
  • Sherpas
  • Camp staff
  • Radio communications
  • Power supply at Base Camp for charging electronics
  • Yaks and porters
  • Hyperbaric bag and emergency medical oxygen

Not included are the following:

  • International round-trip air fare and travel expenses to/from Kathmandu
  • Meals in Kathmandu
  • Hotels in Kathmandu after the trek
  • Recommended insurance policies (medical, evacuation, trip cancellation, etc.)
  • Personal gear
  • Excess baggage charges
  • International airport departure taxes and Nepal entry visas
  • Customary guide gratuities
  • Mountain Staff Tip Pool (we suggest $200 per person)
  • Satellite telephone, air charges and internet use
  • Personal expenses, room charges and beverages

* Accommodations are based on double occupancy.  A Single Supplement Fee will be charged to those occupying single accommodations by choice or circumstance. The single supplement is not available in huts, tents, or in all hotels.

Rainier Mountaineering, Inc. reserves the right to modify the land cost of a trip at any time before departure.

Risk Management

Safety is RMI's number one priority. Our guides manage significant hazards inherent in mountaineering such as avalanches, ice fall, rock fall, inclement weather, and high winds, but they cannot eliminate them. RMI guides draw from their wealth of experience and training to make sound decisions that improve your chance of reaching the summit without compromising the necessary margin of safety.

Please clearly understand that mountaineering is inherently a hazardous sport. You are choosing to engage in an activity in which participants have been injured and killed. While those accidents are indeed infrequent, they may occur at any time and be out of our control. We ask that participants acknowledge the risk and hazards of mountaineering, and make their own choices about whether or not to engage in this activity. 

Trekker's Responsibilities

Mountaineering is both an individual challenge and a team endeavor. Some of the responsibility for the team is carried by the individual climbers. For this reason, we ask that each participant:

  • is physically and mentally fit, properly attired and equipped, and continues to self assess throughout the program to ensure as safe a climb as possible. If a climber's own physical fitness limits his or her ability to safely continue upward, that can have a negative impact on the summit experience or opportunity of other climb participants.
  • honestly and accurately describe themselves, in terms of fitness, health and skills, and their equipment to their guides, and that they adhere to the advice of their professional mountain guide.

Age-Appropriate Guidelines & Restrictions

In the interest of the safety and well-being of all participants, RMI adheres to the following age-appropriate guidelines and restrictions on all climbing programs, domestic and international.

  • Ages 15 & under: No participants age 15 & under
  • Ages 16 & 17: Accompanied by parent or legal guardian
  • Ages 18 & above: No restrictions 

An individual’s birthday must precede the departure date of the program. For example: a 15 year old who turns 16 on July 1 may participate on a program beginning July 2.

Accompaniment by parent or legal guardian is required for the program or climb.

Under-aged participants on Private Climb or Group Climb programs are assessed on an individual basis.

General Policies

RMI's program plans and itineraries are subject to change or adjustment based on a number of factors. These include, but are not limited to, route conditions, weather, terrain, and many other factors. RMI has complete discretion to change plans to accommodate any of these or other factors, including discretion to change program schedule or itinerary, and change guides or staff, as necessary for the proper and safe conduct of the program.

We reserve the right to cancel any program due to inadequate signups, weather or route conditions. In such a case, a full refund is given; however, RMI cannot be responsible for any additional expenses incurred in preparing for the program (i.e., airline tickets, equipment purchase or rental, hotel reservations).

RMI cannot guarantee that you will reach the summit. Weather, route conditions, your own abilities, or the abilities of other climbers may create circumstances that make an ascent unsafe, and you or your entire party may have to turn around without reaching the summit. Failure to reach the summit due to a person's own lack of fitness or to any of the events associated with mountaineering (such as weather, route, avalanche hazard, team dynamics, etc.), are not Rainier Mountaineering, Inc.'s responsibility and will not result in refund or reschedule.

If the Participant decides to leave a trip at any time after the start of the trip and prior to its conclusion, he or she will not be entitled to a refund.

RMI reserves the right to dismiss the Participant from a trip or to send the Participant to a lower altitude at any time if RMI determines, in its sole discretion, that the Participant is not physically, technically, or psychologically prepared for or capable of participating in the program.

What is a day on the trek like? 

A typical day on the trail begins around 7:00 a.m. when we meet for breakfast in the teahouse dining room. We begin trekking shortly thereafter and walk for approximately 4 to 7 hours on any given day. The trail is not a difficult hike but the altitude does make it a physical challenge. Depending on the length of the day's hike, we either stop for lunch at a teahouse along the trail or continue to our destination and have lunch there.

Most of our breaks on the trail are at teahouses where water, snacks, and toilets are available, though these become less frequent during the final few days approaching Base Camp as the villages are fewer and further apart higher in the mountains.

After reaching our teahouse for the day, we have the afternoon to relax, read, or visit the local village before meeting for dinner. There is plenty of down time during the trek to facilitate the acclimatization process so be sure to bring along a good book and a deck of cards

How much weight am I carrying in my pack?

Backpacks should weigh approximately 15 to 20 lbs as we only carry the day's snacks, water, camera and a few extra layers in case of rain or cold temperatures. Porters assist us on the trek, carrying all of our sleeping gear, extra clothing, and equipment to each teahouse. Our guides and Sherpas are always available to help lighten your load if your backpack is proving a hindrance while on the trail.

What is the trekking pace like? 

Our goal is to get everyone to Base Camp while having an enjoyable time. We walk at the appropriate speed to cover the distance we need to do that day without going too quickly or too slowly. We won't be the fastest group on the trail and the distances we cover on a daily basis are relatively short compared to a typical day spent hiking at home. However, the altitudes to which we travel are very high and the days of hiking are still challenging.

What are the teahouses like? 

The teahouses are very comfortable and surprisingly cozy. RMI hand-selected where we stay: those teahouses with the most comfortable interiors and facilities and with the best cooking practices.

The standard layout of a teahouse is a large insulated dining area heated by wood stove. The sleeping rooms are off of this room and are clean but simple: a bed and pillow and blanket. Most of the teahouses where we stay in have private bathrooms attached to the bedrooms but a few have shared bathrooms down the hall. The rooms are not directly heated and even with the provided blankets a warm sleeping bag is still needed.

What are the toilets like? 

The bathrooms lower in the valley are flush toilets. Up higher an "outhouse style" or hand flushed toilet (pouring the water in the toilet yourself) is common. At Base Camp we have private toilet tents.

Can I take a shower or wash my clothes? 

There are opportunities for showers at most of the teahouses below Lobuche. The teahouses sometimes charge a few hundred rupees (a few dollars) for a shower.

You can also get your laundry done for a reasonable cost at select teahouses during the trek. It is nice luxury to be able to get some of your clothing items like socks and base layers cleaned while on the trail.

What is the Island Peak climb like? 

Island Peak is a classic 6000m Himalayan Peak ideal for those that have climbed Mt. Rainier and are ready for the next climb. The approach above High Camp follows a small, rocky climber's trail to the glacier. Crossing the glacier is straightforward and the crux of the climb is ascending the steep headwall to the summit ridge. The slopes are 50-55 degrees and conditions vary from snow to ice. We establish fixed lines on the headwall and along the summit ridge and use mechanical ascenders to assist us on this portion of the climb.

For this climb, we incorporate several advantages into our program to help climbers have the most enjoyable experience and best chances of reaching the summit. In addition to a traditional alpine start, these include excellent guide and Sherpa support with one RMI Guide and two Climbing Sherpas with a team of ten and a High Camp (18,372') to tackle a total elevation gain of 3,600+ feet.

Why does RMI use a High Camp on Island Peak?

We want to offer our climbers the most enjoyable experience and best possible chances of reaching the summit of Island Peak. Our teams use a high camp on Island Peak as it puts us in a better position to leave for a summit bid, not requiring as early of a start and making overall for a shorter day. This reduces the amount of time to reach the actual climbing on Island Peak and keeping us stronger to focus on the challenges of the climb. The use of High Camp also gives our teams more flexibility in the event of bad weather on Island Peak, allowing us to adapt our program itinerary accordingly. 

Why does RMI only climb Island Peak in the Spring? 

In order to give everyone the best experience and chance of success, we choose to only offer Island Peak climbs in the spring. Our Island Peak climb corresponds with our Everest Expeditions, which are only offered in the spring. In the spring, we can spend two days at Everest Base Camp where we use the ice features of the Khumbu Glacier to complete all of the training for our Island Peak climb. The ice features and steep bulges are perfect for fixed lines and crampon travel, provide great training for the actual terrain encountered on Island Peak.

During the fall there is not an established Base Camp and thus we do not have the opportunity to travel up to the Khumbu Glacier. The terrain available lower on Island Peak is not very conducive to preparing climbers for Island Peak as it is mostly dry rock and low angle boulders. We feel that climbers are better prepared having done some training on the Khumbu Glacier.

What is it like at Everest Base Camp during our spring trek?

The two nights at Everest Base Camp are the only two spent in tents on the trek - however it is a very different experience than a typical night spent in a tent while backpacking. We use the same camp as our Mt. Everest Expedition and our Base Camp is set up to live comfortably in for the duration of a long expedition. We have roomy sleeping tents, separate cooking tents, a large heated dining tent with chairs, carpeting, and private toilet tents.

During the day spent at Base Camp we enjoy a relaxed breakfast before going for a walk into the lower stretches of the Khumbu Glacier to explore. For the climbers going on to Island Peak we set up a ropes course for training. It is a fun activity and most of the time the trekkers not headed to Island Peak opt to join in. In the afternoon we head back to camp and relax there, reading, playing games, or checking out the rest of camp. At that altitude everything is a bit of a bigger endeavor so even a simple day like that outlined above feels full.

What is the temperature difference between the spring and fall trekking seasons?

The spring and fall are the traditional good weather seasons in the Khumbu Valley, falling between the cold winter months and the wet summer monsoon months. The temperatures vary only slightly between the spring and fall trekking seasons. Temperatures in the upper Khumbu Valley (above Namche Bazaar) average in the mid 50s (°F) during the days and around freezing at night. The transition to and from the monsoon season creates slightly different daily precipitation patterns in the Khumbu Valley. The spring season tends to see more afternoon clouds in the valley than in the fall, but the differences in historical averages are minute. Find more detailed weather pattern information here.

When are the rhododendron flowering?

The beautiful flowering rhododendron (Rhododendron arboreum) that blanket the foothills of the himalaya the Khumbu Valley are the national flower of Nepal. The red, pink, and white flowers bloom between late March and mid-May in the Khumbu Valley, with the trees at higher elevations blooming later in that period. Rhododendrons can be found as far up the valley as Pangboche. Blue Gentian flowers can also be found in the spring months around Namche Bazaar.

Can the trail get dusty?

The trail can get quite dusty when we encounter yak trains on the trail or on certain portions of the trek, such as the climb up to Namche Bazaar and the Tengboche Monastery. A Buff works well to protect yourself during those moments. While unpleasant, the dust is not a major nuisance on the trail.

How will I be able to stay connected with those at home? 

For the occasional text/email we suggest bringing a smart phone or a WIFI enabled iPod along and using it at teahouses where WIFI is available. Where WIFI is not available there is usually internet and computer access. Use is charged by the minute and the cost increases the higher up we go. It is easy and affordable to get online every few days to answer emails.

Should I bring a cell phone or a satellite phone?

Sure, cell phone coverage is generally available in the Khumbu Valley with the exception of a few select villages. Check with your cell phone carrier to see if they offer international coverage in Nepal and make sure you have the appropriate international plans and understand the associated rates.

Another option is to bring your own phone from home and buy a SIM card in Nepal. Make sure your phone accepts different SIM cards before leaving the U.S. If it does, then you can purchase Nepali SIM cards. The Nepali carriers have been charging about $.10/min for calls to the States. Please contact us before your departure for help in purchasing a Nepali SIM card.

RMI carries a satellite phone with the group through the entire trip for emergency use.

Do iPhones function well at high altitude?

Yes. However, the cold can impact the battery life making it necessary for it to be charged a few times on the trip.

Is a Kindle or Nook practical on this trip?

Yes, but you will need to recharge it once in a while. We recommend downloading all of your desired books before arriving in Nepal.