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Everest Base Camp Trek

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Everest Base Camp Trek

Everest Base Camp Trek

Few mountainous places on earth are steeped in as much legend, culture, and history as the Khumbu Valley of Nepal. 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.

TREK HIGHLIGHTS

  • 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.

  • 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.

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.

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. From Base Camp we make our way back down through the Khumbu Valley to end our trip in Kathmandu.

We spend two nights at Base Camp, staying at our Everest Expedition's Base Camp, fully enjoying our time spent at the foot of Mt. Everest.

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. In the fall, when few 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 Denali 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.

During our trek we stay exclusively in teahouses in a complete lodge to lodge trek; our lodges have been handpicked 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.

SAFETY

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.

Climber Reviews

Filter By
07/22/2015
The beauty of the Khumbu valley and the company of the group. Our Sherpa porters and guides were great.
Brian J.

04/22/2014
The whole trip.
Travis Y.

11/26/2013
Elias was thorough and detailed in every aspect of the trek. He helped me anticipate the physical challenges that lie ahead and the best way for me to respond (pressure breathing, rest-stepping, slower pace than I expected of myself, etc.). He constantly encouraged me, reminded me that it was supposed to be difficult and that it was within my abilities to succeed.
Chris P.

  • Upcoming Climbs

    • Please call our offices at 1-888-892-5462 to inquire about availability.
  • Price
    $4600
    Deposit
    $1500
    Duration
    26 days
    Difficulty
    Level 2
    Type
    Trekking
Table of Contents
Spring Itinerary Fall Itinerary
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OVERVIEW

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)

KATHMANDU

Day 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)

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)

PHAKDING PHAKDING

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)

PHAKDING PHAKDING

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)

PHAKDING

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)

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)

PHERICHE PHERICHE

Day 10

PHERICHE • 13,950'

Deboche (12,325') to Pheriche (13,950'). Trekking time is approximately 3 1/2 to 4 hours.

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)

PHERICHE

Day 11

LOBUCHE  •  16,175'

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)

PHERICHE

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. Overnight in lodge. (B, L, D)

GORAK SHEP

Day 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)

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)

EVEREST BASE CAMP

Day 15

PHERICHE  •  13,950'

Everest Base Camp (17,775') to Pheriche (13,950'). Trekking time is approximately 5 to 6 hours.

We make an early departure from Base Camp, leaving the Khumbu Glacier and climbing to the summit Kala Patar, a small peak across on the valley from Everest on the lower slopes of Pumori. Upon reaching our trek's highest point, we soak in the stunning views of Everest bathed in morning light. From Kala Patar we descend back down the valley to Pheriche for some "thick" air and a good night's sleep. Overnight in lodge. (B, L, D)

PHERICHE

Day 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)

NAMCHE BAZAAR

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)

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. (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.

 

 

 

Key: B, L, D = Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner included.

 

 

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OVERVIEW

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)

KATHMANDU

Day 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)

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)

PHAKDING PHAKDING

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)

NAMCHE BAZAAR NAMCHE BAZAAR

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)

NAMCHE BAZAAR

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)

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)

PHERICHE 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)

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)

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)

GORAK SHEP

Day 13

GORAK SHEP  •  16,950'

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)

GOREK SHEP

Day 14

PHERICHE  •  13,950'

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)

PHERICHE

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)

PHORTSE

Day 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)

MANCHE BAZAAR

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)

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.

 

 

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Travel Consultant

RMI has partnered with Erin Rountree to provide comprehensive travel support. We have been working with Erin for many years. As an independent agent of the Travel Society, she has booked countless miles for adventure travelers across the globe and is extremely knowledgeable about the travel needs of our programs. In addition to travel arrangements, Erin can also provide information and coverage for evacuation policies and insurance options. Please call (208) 788-2870 or email etravel@cox.net.

Cancellation Insurance, Medical Evacuation & Security Evacuation

We strongly encourage participants to consider travel insurance, a medical evacuation policy, and a security evacuation policy. Travel insurance which can cover trip cancellation, interruption, delay, baggage loss or delay, medical expenses, medical evacuation, repatriation and more. Travel insurance offers the best possible protection in the event of a sudden, unexpected illness or injury prior to or when traveling. Note that many of the insurance options can be purchased under one policy but some coverage may only be available if purchased within 14 days of making your trip deposit or if purchased as an upgrade to an existing policy rather than as a stand-alone option.

Cancellation Insurance: Cancellation insurance offers protection of deposit and registration funds should you need to cancel from a program. This might be due to an injury during training, a personal illness, or it might be due to extenuating circumstances, such as family emergencies. Policies are determined based upon your home state, check with the insurance providers listed below for specific coverage details and options, including adventure/sports coverage*.

*Adventure/Sports Coverage: Most standard policies do not cover climbing or mountaineering. You can purchase Adventure/Sports Coverage as an upgrade to a standard policy. Please be sure to check with your provider and their description of coverage to make sure the policy you are purchasing provides you with adequate protection.

Medical Evacuation: An illness or injury in a remote area could require a medical evacuation costing well over $100,000. Travel insurance providers typically offer reimbursement for medical evacuations. Additionally, crisis response companies (such as Global Rescue) can orchestrate an actual field rescue as necessary in medical, security or other evacuation situations, even from extremely remote areas. Check with the insurance providers listed below for specific coverage details and options, including details of what constitutes a medical vs. a non-medical emergency.

Security Evacuation: This policy offers crisis evacuation services in non-medical situations. Examples include evacuations from areas affected by natural disasters, war or conflict zones, terrorism, and other areas in which participant security is threatened.

For more information please visit one of the websites below, or contact your local travel agent.

AIG Travel Guard

Erin Rountree

Global Rescue

Travel Advisories / Warnings

Please confirm any current travel advisories/warnings as well as passport and visa requirements with the U.S. Department of State.

Getting There

During your flight to Kathmandu (KTM) you will cross the International Date Line. Travel time is approximately three days. If you want to see the mountains as you fly into Kathmandu, make sure you sit on the right-hand side of the plane.

Entry Requirements

A valid passport is required for entering Nepal. Your passport must be valid for 6 months beyond the expected date of return. U.S. passport holders can stay up to 90 days without special visas.

We suggest making a copy of the first two pages of your passport and keeping them in a separate bag as a back up. A copy should also be left with your emergency contact.

Visas

Nepal: All foreigners (except Indian Nationals) require visas, which can be obtained in advance or upon arrival with one passport photo and payment in cash (U.S. Dollars).

Airport Arrival

Upon arrival at the Kathmandu Tribhuvan Airport (KTM), follow signs to the Arrivals Building. Proceed to the visa counter for Visitors without a Visa. The debarkation and visa application forms you need are available both on your incoming flight as well as in the arrivals building. You will need one passport photo for your visa application.

Once you receive your bags from Baggage Claim, you will proceed to Customs. Be sure to keep all your bags together.

Outside the arrivals hall there will be a large group of taxi drivers and agents from many hotels and travel companies. Look for a sign with the name Rainier Mountaineering, Inc. A private vehicle will take us to our hotel.

In-Country Transportation

The provided transportation in Nepal as stated in the itinerary is via authorized taxi or private vehicle.

Immunizations & Travel Medicine

For the most current information on inoculation requirements and recommendations, please refer to the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention.

Traveler's Health

Travelers may suffer from upset stomachs when in foreign countries. There are some basic rules, however, that can help keep you healthy.

  • Hygiene - It is important that you wash your hands thoroughly before meals and after using the restroom. If water is not available for washing, we recommend using a hand sanitizer.
  • Water - The number one rule is: don't drink the water, and that includes shower water and ice! Brush your teeth with purified water rather than tap water. You should check bottled water for a good seal and use a napkin to wipe dry excess moisture in drinking glasses. Take care with fruit juice, particularly if it has been diluted with water. Carefully clean the tops of bottled beverages before opening.
  • Food - If it is cooked, boiled or can be peeled, you can usually eat it. Salads and fruits should be washed with purified water or peeled where possible. Be wary of ice cream and shellfish. Always avoid any undercooked meat.

Medical Emergencies

Excellent care for minor illnesses and injuries is readily available. In the event of more serious illnesses or injuries, we recommend transport to any of the Level 1 care centers in Kathmandu.

Nepal Country Facts

Nepal is one of the world's richest countries in terms of bio-diversity due to its unique geographical position and altitudinal variation. The country is roughly 497 miles long and 124 miles wide, with an area of 56,827 square miles. The collision between the Indian subcontinent and the Eurasian continent produced the Himalaya and the Tibetan Plateau. Nepal lies completely within this collision zone, occupying the central sector of the Himalayan arc, nearly one third of the 1,500 mile-long Himalayan Mountains.

The first civilizations in Nepal, which flourished around the 6th century B.C., were confined to the fertile Kathmandu Valley where the present-day capital is located. It was in this region that Prince Siddhartha Gautama, the founder of Buddhism, was born c. 563 B.C.

Nepali rulers' early patronage of Buddhism largely gave way to Hinduism, reflecting the increased influence of India, around the 12th century. Nepal is now primarily a Hindu country, with more than 80% of the population adhering to that faith.

Until the Kingdom of Nepal became the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal in May 2008, it had been ruled in relative isolation by monarchs or a ruling family for most of its modern history. Nepal is now home to nearly 29,000,000 people. The population is primarily rural. Kathmandu, the largest city, has less than 1 million inhabitants.

Weather

Nepal’s lowlands have two seasons: the dry season and the monsoon. The higher mountains have a cold winter as well. The dry season runs from October to May and the wet (monsoon) season from June to September. Spring (March to May) and fall (September to November) ring nearly perfect weather and are definitely the best times for trekking and climbing.

Cultural Etiquette

Although it is not expected that we dress formally, we should dress modestly. Casual and comfortable clothing is suggested along with comfortable shoes. Except at swimming areas, it is generally considered offensive for a man to take off his shirt in public and, equally, women should be conservatively covered.

"Namaste" is perhaps the most important phrase you should learn when visiting Nepal. It is a greeting that means "salutations to you" or "I bless the divine in you." It is said while at the same time pressing your two hands together in front of you as if in Christian prayer.

When eating, you should only use your right hand. This practice extends to passing food containers and plates with your right hand only.

Nepal has a huge population of beggars. Some are professionals. Others are genuine. The number of street children in Kathmandu can be heartbreaking. Giving money or sealed food to them, however, is also not recommended. To keep from being hassled, a polite but firm "No” is generally sufficient.

A person’s head is considered the most revered/spiritual part of the body and therefore it is important that you do not make any kind of physical contact with it. This means that it is unacceptable for you to pat a child on the head.

Nepal is very photogenic and the photos you take will be priceless. Ask for permission before photographing individuals, particularly indigenous people. Many of the locals are used to posing for photographs. If in doubt, either ask or refrain. Don't photograph any government or military property or persons; this includes the airport.

Electricity

Electricity in Kathmandu normally comes as 220 Volts/50 cycles. It is advisable to carry voltage converters and plug adaptors with you while traveling. Voltage converters and plug adaptors are easily accessible at shopping malls in the cities of Nepal and the U.S. Most teahouses and lodges will charge your electronics for a small fee.

Money

The official currency of Nepal is the Nepalese Rupee (NPR). In Nepal you are almost always required to pay for goods or services with the Nepalese Rupee. It is recommended that you change only as much money as you think you may spend as local currencies cannot be removed from the country or reconverted easily. Check a financial newspaper or www.xe.com for the current exchange rate prior to departure.

We suggest bringing $800 - $1,000 total for personal spending money and the Mountain Staff Tip Pool. If participating in the Island Peak Extension, we suggest bringing $950 - $1,150 total for personal spending money and the Mountain Staff Tip Pool. You may choose to bring more depending on your shopping plans.

American Express, MasterCard and Visa are accepted in tourist shops, hotels, restaurants and agencies in Kathmandu. You will find a large number of ATMs in Kathmandu and using ATMs is the common method of obtaining cash. Plan on bringing cash for any purchases you will make while on the trek. While a few teahouses and bakeries in the Khumbu do accept credit cards, they charge a very high commission.

Everyone has a preferred way to carry money. Some use money belts, others have hidden pockets. Whatever you do, be aware of pickpockets and thieves in any area which caters to tourists.

Tipping

Everyone approaches tipping a little differently. Whether or not a person tips, and how much is completely dependent on the individual, but here are some suggested tipping guidelines for your trip.

Local waiters, drivers, and other service personnel expect to be tipped. Ten to fifteen percent is standard. Restaurants and hotels add a 10% service fee to all bills in which case no further tip is required. Elsewhere it is not customary to tip, but gratuities are always appreciated.

Mountain Staff Tip Pool: We recommend that each trekker contribute $200 to the Tip Pool. This is collected at the beginning of the trip and will cover tips for our support staff while trekking the Khumbu. Teahouse staff, porters, Sherpa, and BC staff will all receive a tip from the group.

RMI Guides: Our guides work hard to ensure your well being and success on the mountain. If you have a positive experience, gratuities are an excellent way to show your appreciation. Amounts are at your discretion and should be based on your level of enjoyment. Tips for excellent service normally average 10 – 15% of the cost of the program.

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Qualifications

This trip is open to all individuals in excellent physical condition and is a great first trip to altitudes above 15,000'. No previous mountaineering experience is required.

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Fitness for Trekking

 

Trekking requires a high degree of physical stamina and mental toughness. Even for the healthiest and fittest individuals, this qualifies as an extremely challenging endeavor.

  • Start immediately. Start a rigorous fitness and training program now with the goal of arriving in top physical condition and confident in your skills.
  • Be intentional. Focus on gaining the necessary strength, stamina and skills to meet the physical demands of the trek.
  • Be sport-specific. The best fitness and training program mimics the physical and technical demands of your trekking objective. The closer you get to your program date, the more your training should resemble the climbing.

For this program, you are preparing for:

  • Hiking/trekking/climbing with a 15-20 lb load
  • The Everest Base Camp trek climbs through lowland forest and you should expect to spend at least some time travelling in the rain.
  • Trekking requires core strength and flexibility

Nothing ensures a personally successful adventure like your level of fitness and training. Bottom line: Plan on being in the best shape of your life and ready for a very challenging adventure!

Please refer to our Resources for Mountaineering Fitness and Training for detailed fitness and training information.

 

Acclimatization

The key to climbing high is proper acclimatization. Our program follows a calculated ascent profile which allows time for your body to adjust to the altitude.

Excellent physical conditioning significantly increases your ability to acclimatize as you ascend. Climbers in excellent physical condition simply have more energy to commit to the acclimatization process throughout the days and nights of the ascent, allowing their bodies to adjust to the altitude more easily.

Finally, physical performance and acclimatization are also related to how well you have taken care of yourself throughout the hours, days and weeks prior to summit day. Arriving healthy and well-rested, maintaining proper hydration and caloric intake, and protecting against unnecessary heat loss (staying warm) are all key factors in an individual’s success on an expedition such as this.

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What You’ll Need

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.

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Equipment List

    • 2 SMALL DUFFEL(S)

      An 80 - 90 liter bag. One duffel bag will be used for your second checked bag for the flight from Kathmandu to Lukla. The second bag is needed to store gear in Kathmandu.

    • SLEEPING PAD

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

    • 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.

    • CONTACT LENSES/ EYEGLASSES

      Spare prescription glasses if you wear contact lenses/eyeglasses.

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

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • CASUAL CAMP PANT

      A pair of jeans or cotton pants. Great for wearing around camp or teahouses.

    • SUNSCREEN

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

    • MEALS

      See the Food tab for suggestions and quantities.

    • 2 - 3 WATER BOTTLES

      Hard-sided, screw-top, one-liter water bottles with wide mouths are required. Plastics made with high post-consumer recycled content and BPA-Free are recommended.

    • AQUAMIRA

      Chlorine Dioxide water purification drops.

    • 2 - 3 GARBAGE BAGS (LARGE)

      We recommend lining your day pack and duffel bag with garbage bags to keep items completely dry.

    • LUGGAGE LOCKS

      For your duffel bags. Must be TSA approved.

    • CAMERA
    • QUICK DRY TRAVEL TOWEL

      For showers at the teahouses.

    • SHORTS
    • CASUAL PANTS
    • SHIRTS

      For hotel dinners and while traveling.

    • SWEATER / SWEATSHIRT
    • SUNGLASSES
    • SWIMSUIT
    • TOOTHBRUSH
    • PEE BOTTLE & PEE FUNNEL (FOR WOMEN)

      Pee bottle should be 1 to 1 1/2 quart size.

    • TRAVEL SIZE SOAP AND SHAMPOO
    • BAND-AIDS
    • ASPRIN / IBUPROFEN / TYLENOL
    • ANTACIDS
    • IMODIUM (ANTI-DIARRHEA)
    • 50 count PEPTO-BISMOL (STOMACH RELIEF)
    • SMALL ROLL OF ADHESIVE TAPE
    • ANTIBIOTICS

      Broad spectrum antibiotics for Traveler's Diarrhea.

    • ANTIBIOTICS

      Antibiotics for upper respiratory infection.

    • TYLENOL #3

      Tylenol 3 for pain

    • ACETAZOLAMIDE

      For Altitude Illness

    • CLEANSING FACE WIPES
    • TRAVEL SIZE MOISTURIZERS
    • WATERLESS SHAMPOO
    • BABY POWDER
    • READING MATERIAL / JOURNAL
    • iPOD
    • PASSPORT

      Valid for six months beyond your return date.

    • COPY OF PASSPORT

      The first two pages of your passport.

    • COPY OF FLIGHT ITINERARY
    • 4 EXTRA PASSPORT PHOTOS
    • Purchase travel insurance.

    • Purchase airplane tickets.

    • Reserve rental equipment.

    • 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.

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Meals

All meals and an assortment of snacks are provided during the expedition. The high quality of food that we eat in the mountains is often surprising for first time visitors to the Khumbu and it is rare to not look forward to a meal.

MOUNTAIN SNACKS

While the food in the mountains is excellent, it is nice to bring along a few of your favorite snacks and drink mixes to enjoy after a long day. We recommend that climbers bring 2 - 3 lbs. of their absolute favorite snacks and comfort foods to have throughout the expedition.

On the trek, our lunches vary depending on the day. Some days we may stop at a teahouse and have a proper sit down lunch before continuing on to our lodge for the evening. On other days we may walk directly to our destination and have a late lunch there. As a result, you will want to have a few snack items with you everyday to fuel you up the trail.

The importance of having snacks foods that are genuinely enjoyed cannot be overstated. Eating properly is the key to maintaining strength while in the mountains. In order to combat the loss of appetite at altitude we aim to have a variety of foods that stimulate the whole palate, from sweet to sour to salty.

Recommended snack items: dry salami, smoked salmon, Jerky (turkey, beef, fish), small cans of tuna fish, individually wrapped cheeses such as Laughing Cow or Baby Bell, crackers, bagels, candy bars, hard candies (Jolly Ranchers, Toffees, Life Savers), Gummy Bears, Sour candies (Sweet Tarts), cookies, dried fruit, nuts, energy bars, GORP mixes, and drink mixes (Gatorade/Kool-Aid).

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

The quality of food that we eat in the mountains is often surprising for first time visitors. It is rare to not look forward to a meal. Breakfast during the trek consists of most typical breakfast items. Eggs, toast, hash browns, corn flakes, muesli, oatmeal, pancakes and the local specialties of chapatti and Tibetan bread are all common menu items. Breakfast meats like sausage are also sometimes found. Breakfast is accompanied by juice, coffee, tea, cocoa and other hot drinks.

Lunch and dinner options in the teahouses include a variety of choices. Soups (commonly tomato, vegetable, noodle, or hearty "sherpa stew") and momos (Nepali dumplings) are excellent starters. Main courses like chicken and yak dishes, pastas, pizzas, and even fries are served alongside vegetable fried rice or noodles and Nepali specialties such as dal bhat (rice and lentils). Be sure to save room for a dessert such as apple pie, chocolate cake, or "snickers pie"! Soft drinks, beer, and wine are also widely available, although they are priced at a premium the higher you trek.

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Payments

Deposit Payments: A deposit payment of $1,500 per person secures your reservation. Deposit payments may be made via MasterCard, Visa, e-check, check, or wire transfer.

Balance Payments: The balance payment is due 90 days prior to the start of your program, and we will send a payment reminder approximately three weeks before your payment is due. If your balance payment is not received within 90 days of the program, your reservation will be cancelled and all fees forfeited. Trips departing within 90 days from the reservation date must be paid in full at the time of reservation. Please note that balance payments may be made via check, e-check or wire transfer only.

Cancellation

Once we receive written notification that you are canceling an individual participant or your entire reservation the following fees will apply:

  • A fee of $1,000 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.

Unfortunately, due to the time-sensitive nature of our business, and the difficulty in re-booking a trip close to departure, we cannot make exceptions to this policy.

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

Land Cost

INCLUDED

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

NOT INCLUDED

  • International round-trip air fare and travel expenses to/from Kathmandu
  • Meals in Kathmandu
  • Any additional hotel nights in Kathmandu not included above
  • Recommended insurance policies (medical, evacuation, trip cancellation, etc.)
  • Personal gear
  • Excess baggage fees
  • 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

Managing risk 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.

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

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 programs are assessed on an individual basis.

General Policies

Any Participant under the age of 18 must be accompanied on the trip by a parent or legal guardian and both the Participant and parent or legal guardian must sign all forms.

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).

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.

The Participant understands and agrees that RMI assumes no responsibility or liability in connection with any travel and hospitality service provided to the Participant by others in connection with the trip, including but not limited to the services provided by airlines, hotels, and motor vehicle operators, and that RMI is not responsible for any act, error, omission, or any injury, loss, accident, delay, irregularity, or danger by a supplier of travel or hospitality services to the Participant in connection with the RMI program.

RMI recommends and strongly advises that the Participant have or purchase personal life, medical, accident, travel, baggage, trip cancellation, and other insurance that may pertain to participation in the program. The Participant understands that RMI provides no such insurance coverage in connection with the trip.

 

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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 distance of the trek to Base Camp?

The distance we will walk on our trek to Everest Base Camp is approximately 35 miles.

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 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 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.

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