TREKKING INTO THE SHERPA HEARTLAND
A DAY ON THE TRAIL
Our lodge-to-lodge treks are led by experienced Sherpa guide(s) and supported by porters who carry our luggage and equipment. A trek day typically starts around 8-9 a.m., following breakfast. We hike at a leisurely pace, allowing time to stop along our route to take-in our magnificent surroundings. Sections of the trail may be quite busy with other trekking groups and caravans of porters, as well as yaks and donkeys transporting goods throughout the region.
It is important to be patient and to have the right mindset, as, at times, we will need to pull to the side of the trail to allow large caravans to pass. Typically, we’ll stop at local teahouses along our route for tea, snacks, and/or lunch, and then continue on to our lodge for the night. In the late afternoons and evenings, you can relax, wash, read, or take a walk in the village or to local sites of interest. The evening meal is served between 6-7 p.m. in the dining room of our lodge, at which time, your lead guide will brief the group on the next day's hike.
This is a moderate trek through the remote mountain villages of the Everest, or Solo Khumbu region, of Nepal. Each day averages 3-8 hours of trekking (4-8 miles), with altitude gains and losses ranging from 500’ to 3,000’, and one day with 5,000’ elevation loss. Although the actual time on the trail and the distances covered are not especially lengthy, the high elevation, environmental conditions (it can be dusty and cold), and basic facilities—with the exception of a few comfort lodges—on the trail makes this trip suitable for adventurously inclined travelers.
Participants need to have a good, base level of fitness and hiking experience, but, with the exception of any major health concerns or limitations, this trek can be appropriate for most people. In order to prepare for the hikes on this trip, we encourage you to exercise an average of four days a week, for 1-2 hours at a time for several months leading up to your departure. Activities such as biking, hiking, walking, skiing, and running are great for conditioning. Please consult your physician about your participation on this trek if you have any concerns regarding your health. The better physically prepared you are for this adventure, the more you'll be able to enjoy your surroundings and the reward of your hard work on the trail.
The best times to travel to Nepal are from late September to November, and March to May. The weather is similar during our fall and spring treks, both of which take place during high season in the Everest region. Temperatures should be similar during both seasons, averaging in the 50s/60s (℉) during the day, and dipping into the 40s/30s (℉) at night. There is also the possibility of freezing overnight temperatures, especially at some of the higher-elevation villages. Keep in mind that the lower latitude of Nepal, in combination with its high elevation, makes for strong sun, so hiking temperatures are usually quite comfortable. That said, once the sun dips behind the mountains, the dry climate can feel especially cold and the lodges do not have central heating.
In the fall, stable weather and clear blue skies provide reliable views. Springtime brings a slightly higher chance of precipitation, although the wildflowers and rhododendrons are blooming. Our journeys provide the opportunity to observe a variety of seasonal agricultural activities, with farmers in the lower villages harvesting and preparing for winter in the fall, and planting and ploughing their fields in the spring. The Everest climbing season takes place during the spring, while Amadablam climbing season takes place in the fall.
While staying at our Sherpa homestay in Kathmandu, you will be offered delicious, hygienic local cuisine for breakfast and dinner. For lunch, you’ll have the option to eat at one of Kathmandu’s many excellent restaurants or back at our homestay.
While trekking, we enjoy dinner and breakfast at our lodges, and lunches at local tea houses along the route. Generally, meals are fixed menus supervised by our Sherpa staff and prepared by village lodge operators. The food is usually plentiful and delicious, although you should be aware that the menus are not normally extensive, as they are limited by what’s locally available and by what can be supplied and transported by foot. Eating local dishes is encouraged, and we ask that group members be flexible, and willing to go along with what our guides suggest for your party. Set group meals are more efficient and eco-friendly for our hosts, reducing the time and amount of fuel needed to prepare dishes. Our guides will verify the cleanliness, proper hygiene, and availability of nutritional options at the various tea houses along our trek.
Typical breakfasts at our lodges may include porridge and eggs, along with local breads served with jam, butter, or honey. Lunch and dinner may include various soups, rice or noodle dishes, momos (Tibetan dumplings), or dal bhaat, Nepal’s national dish. Consisting of boiled rice with a specially prepared lentil soup and vegetable and curry side dishes, dal bhaat is both light and nourishing, making it ideal hiking food.
ARRIVALS & DEPARTURES
It is your responsibility to book your international flights to and from Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport. Emirates Airlines offers flights from both Boston and New York (stopping over in Dubai), while Qatar Airways offers flights from New York (stopping over in Doha).
Please note: It is important that you plan to arrive in Kathmandu—at the latest—early in the day on the first (pre-tour) day of our trip. If possible, we highly recommend arriving one night prior to the start of your journey, and we will help you make the necessary arrangements for an extra night’s stay at our Sherpa Homestay (at additional cost). Prior to departure, we highly recommend that you plan to stay one additional night in Kathmandu in the event of flight cancellations out of Lukla.