Jamie McGuinness - Project Himalaya owner-guide


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A Kala Pattar sunset - Copyright 2016 Jamie McGuinness

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Detailed itinerary

**This detailed itinerary is a work in progress...

Day 1 - fly from Singapore to Kathmandu 1350m

We take a minimalist approach to time in Kathmandu, only spending one night. If you wish to spend time sightseeing, we are happy to book your hotel stay and show you around.

2 - fly to Lukla, trek to Phakding 2640m

We take a spectacular 50 minute flight by a small twin-engined plane to Lukla and after a hearty second breakfast, trek to Phakding, a couple of hours walk. The pretty trail traverses the side of the deep Dudh Kosi valley until we meet the base of the valley.

3 - trek to Namche 3450m

At Jorsale, a fitting gateway, we enter Sagarmatha National Park. This is a cool damp area since the rugged valley walls block the sun for most of the day. It's not a long day but it is finished with a steep hour and a half or so climb to Namche. Usually we arrive for a late lunch so during the afternoon you have time to discover the village, wash clothes or dive into that book you've been too busy to read. Namche sits in an amphitheater surrounded by mountains, and from here on up we have million dollar views every day.

A typical room - Jamie

From here up our itinerary is dictated by the acclimatization process so we have plenty of shorter days walking.

The high bridge and the very high bride across the Dudh Kosi en route to Namche - Jamie

4-5 - Namche 3450m

We have two acclimatization days here and you are free to explore and/or relax. Options are visiting Thame and its gompas, the Everest View Hotel, the National Park Headquarters and Sherpa cultural centre, Khumjung and Khunde with the Hillary hospital, wildlife spotting, or simply eating and relaxing. Optionally, if everyone is feeling good we can move up to Kyangjuma for the third Namche night instead, for an Ama Dablam sunset and sunrise.

The amazingly set Namche - Jamie

6 - trek to Tengboche 3860m/Pangboche 3840m

From Namche it is three-quarters of a day's walk to Tengboche or an easy full day to Pangboche. In the forest en route we often see Himalayan tahr, pheasants, barking deer and musk deer. What a place! From Tengboche there's an extensive panorama including the tip of Everest.

Lenticular cloud spills from Everest over Lhotse - Jamie

7 - trek to Dingboche 4350m

In the morning we take a look around the huge Tengboche gompa. The energetic could also climb part of the ridge behind Tengboche. Pangboche is an afternoon's stroll away. Pangboche is the highest year-round inhabited village. It also has an old gompa, rich in history, which we have the chance to explore.

Now we begin passing through high altitude cropping and grazing areas. We have more excellent views of Ama Dablam, and many other mountains. Dingboche has many good lodges and makes a good base for exploring.

The lovely Mingma Yangjee and her wonderful coffee shop - Jamie

8 - Dingboche 4350m

It is traditional to spend two nights here to assist with acclimatization, and there is plenty of exploring possible. We will discuss.

The lodge village of Dingboche with sunset cloud spilling from Lhotse - Jamie

9 - to Thuklha 4600m

Leaving Dingboche, after a short climb, we traverse with huge vistas of the peaks around. It is an easy 2 hour walk to Thuklha. This is an easy day however it breaks the altitude jump by staying part of the way to Lobuche, however if everyone is feeling good, we may trek further.

10 - to Lobuche 4940m

From Thuklha, it is only a few hours walk to Lobuche but the altitude makes it tougher. Leaving, we pass a series of memorials to some of the lives that the mountains around have claimed. The trail follows the ablation valley so we can peer over the moraine and eyeball the glacier close up. Once at Lobuche we have time to explore or relax.

11 - to Gorak Shep 5150m via Everest Base Camp

Everest Base Camp day! We trek to Everest Base Camp where we will meet some Everest Expeditions and the view of the formidable Khumbu Ice Fall is spectacular.

Wandering in to Everest Base Camp, where Jamie has a lot of friends - Jamie

12 - to Pheriche 4280m via Kala Pattar 5600m

In the morning is the rewarding climb of Kala Pattar (5600m). at the top the panorama in every direction is staggering, and of course includes Everest. It may be the top of the world, but from Kala Pattar you will feel on top of the world.

Heading down feels like you are floating on air.

The classic view of Everest, Lhotse peaking through in the middle, and Nuptse - Jamie

13 - to Namche 3450m

Today we must reach Namche (or Kyangjuma). Whatever the route we take it will be a classic day's walk. There is a hot shower and a beer waiting for you.

14 - to Lukla 2850m

This is also longer trekking day, taking around 5-6 hours actual walking. The Lukla lodges gently prepare us for tomorrow - back to so-called civilization.

Lukla Airport on a great day to fly - Jamie

15 - fly to Kathmandu and farewell

We fly by plane to Kathmandu in the morning and stay at the airport for the SilkAir departure.