The Ultimate Everest Trek
Destinations Destinations
Everest region, Kathmandu, Gokyo Lakes, Kala Patthar, Cho La Pass, Namche Bazaar
Activity Activity
Adventure, Trekking, Backpacking, Hiking
Tour Type Tour Type
Group tour
Physical Level Physical Level
Season Season
December - May

Good to know

  • Operated by Snow Cat Travel, part of Rural Heritage, the highly recommended Nepal adventure travel specialists.
  • Max 8 people with guest to guide ratio 1:4 for safety and risk management.
  • All camping and safety equipment provided (satellite phone, maps, GPS, and medical kit).
  • Fully qualified expert mountaineering guides.
  • 24/7 support.

For experienced mountain walkers this may be the ultimate alternative route to Everest Base Camp. From the sacred lakes at Gokyo, ascending Gokyo Ri for Everest views, cross the Cho La, then to Lobuche and EBC. Kala Pattar offers classic Everest views before your descent to Lukla. Acclimatisation days allow adjustment to high altitudes. The challenge is well worth it!

Tour itinerary

What you'll see and do

Arrive Kathmandu

Arrive at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, where you'll be met and receive a private transfer into central Kathmandu and to the KGH Hotel in the heart of the Thamel district. Get a briefing on your forthcoming adventure, and in the evening enjoy dinner in one of the many choices of cafes & restaurants in the city.

Where you'll stay
KGH Hotel

KGH Hotel

Lukla - Trek to Phakding

Take a private transfer to the airport for a 40 min flight to Lukla. Meet your porter team, then trek a short downhill descent to the river valley. Walk 3-4 hours to the village of Phakding (2610m) and stay overnight in a typical trekking lodge. The distance is around 10km with approx 650m descent/390m ascent.

Includes: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Trek to Namche Bazaar

Begin by following the trail alongside the river and through pine forests to Jorsale. As you cross the river you will hopefully glimpse Everest's summit over the Nuptse ridge. It's then a climb of 2-3 hrs as the trail heads up to the Sherpa capital. Walking time approx. 5-6hrs, altitude 3440m. The distance is 10km with 1150m ascent and 400m descent.

Includes: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Acclimatisation Day

At 3440m, now is a good time for an acclimatisation day to let your body adjust. Namche is a fascinating place to explore with several souvenir shops, cafes, and bars. Take an acclimatisation walk up to the Museum of Sherpa Culture, then near the museum there’s an excellent Everest viewpoint and magnificent views of the iconic peak of Ama Dablam.

Includes: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Trek to Phortse Tenga

You’ll have a relatively short day in order to further help you acclimatise. From now, the trekking becomes increasingly higher altitude. It’s a stiff climb out of Namche, with the reward of spectacular views as the trail then eases off a bit, before rising steadily to cross the Mon La (approx. 3900m) and then descending to Phortse Tenga (3860m). Around 3-4hrs walking.

Includes: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Trek to Dole

You’ll gain height as you head up a side valley and go off the main Everest Base Camp trail. Once again, it’s relatively short walk today to aid the acclimatisation process by not over exerting or gaining height too quickly, as you gradually ascend to Dole (4060m). Walking time around 4hrs.

Includes: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Trek to Machermo

Heading further up the Gokyo Valley, you begin today’s walk on a reasonably level trail. It’s worth exploring Machermo (4460m) tomorrow, which will be another necessary acclimatisation day. Today is a shorter day of around 4hrs, covering some 5km with 570m ascent and 200m descent.

Includes: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Acclimatisation Day - Machermo

Today is another acclimatisation day, before you overnight any higher. It's good practice to go a little higher and then come back down to allow the body the best chance of acclimatising. This isn't necessarily a rest day, so you can walk up to the ridge line above the village for views of the surrounding peaks.

Includes: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Trek to Gokyo Lakes

There's some up and down at the start, as you walk alongside the Ngozumba Glacier. Pass one of the lakes and a little further you'll pass the route you'll take tomorrow across the glacier. Continue steadily up the valley to Gokyo (4790m), with its sacred turquoise lakes. It's around 7km and the walking takes between 4-5hrs, ascending 575m and descending 200m.

Includes: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Gokyo Ri and Trek to Dragnag

Gokyo Ri (5360m), aside from its higher altitude, is not technical. You'll leave just after dawn, and there's around 600m of ascent and descent. Return to the lodge for breakfast and then down to one of the lakes to take the trail to reach Dragnag (4700m). Walking distance (excluding Gokyo Ri) is around 6km with 430m ascent and 520m ascent, 4hrs walking.

Includes: breakfast, lunch, dinner
The Cho La Crossing to Dzongla

The Cho La pass involves crossing a boulder field and old moraine. At times it’s very steep and some scrambling is required. It’s recommended to have a walking ice axe and in-step crampons with you for this (not mountaineering crampons). Enjoy the views and then head down and on to Dzongla (4830m). It's around 9hrs, 9km distance, and 930m ascent/840m descent.

Includes: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Trek to Gorak Shep

You continue descending and drop down to join the main EBC trail at Lobuche. From here you walk steadily uphill alongside the moraine of the Khumbu Glacier and onto Gorak Shep (5140m). It's around 12km walking distance, quite a long day of 7-8hrs walking and with around 870m ascent and 550m descent.

Includes: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Walk to Everest Base Camp - Then Back to Gorak Shep

The round trip sounds easy, just under 7km with under 200m ascent and descent, but it takes approximately 6 hours to get to EBC and back at this altitude. You’ll have a good hour to appreciate EBC itself. You won’t see the summit of Everest, but there are some impressive views of the Khumbu Icefall and the west shoulder of Everest.

Includes: breakfast, lunch, dinner
View from Kala Patar and Walking to Pheriche

It takes around 2 hours to follow the trail to Kala Patar (5500m) and for the classic view of Everest, the most impressive view on this trip. Returning to Gorak Shep you walk back to Lobuche and onto Pheriche (4270m) to stay the night, where there is a clinic staffed by western doctors ( main trekking season). Distance over 16km takes 7-8hrs with 500m ascent and 1400m descent.

Includes: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Trek to Phortse

You're essentially heading down today, and the walk to Phortse takes around 6-7 hrs to complete the 14km distance with around 450m ascent and 1300m descent.

Includes: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Day 16 Trek to Monjo

You’ll have a long descent down to the river and then up a zig zagging trail to the Mon La. There is a slight deviation off the main EBC trail, which you then rejoin and descend to Namche. Then it’s a couple of hours of mostly downhill to Monjo. Distance is around 14km with 650m ascent and 1350m descent, 6-7hrs walking.

Includes: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Back Up to Lukla

At first you continue to head down the valley, passing through Phakding and then climb back up to Lukla. The distance is around 13.5km with about 670m ascent and 580m descent and takes about 5hrs of walking.

Includes: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Fly to Kathmandu

You will take off from Lukla for the short flight to Kathmandu. A private transfer will take you from the airport to the hotel. However, you may wish to consider additional contingency plans, whether it be for any delays/cancellations that can and do occur for flights to/from Lukla, or any difficulties that may arise on the trek.

Includes: breakfast
Where you'll stay
KGH Hotel

KGH Hotel

A private transfer will take you to the airport for your return international flight. If you don’t want to leave on Day 19, in the planning stage you can also customise your journey and stay longer.

Includes: breakfast

Upcoming departures

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18 Mar 2020 5 Apr 2020 Enquire
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Not sure when you're travelling yet? Looking for a different date? Contact Snow Cat Travel for more information.


Good to know

  • Operated by Snow Cat Travel, part of Rural Heritage, the highly recommended Nepal adventure travel specialists.
  • Max 8 people with guest to guide ratio 1:4 for safety and risk management.
  • All camping and safety equipment provided (satellite phone, maps, GPS, and medical kit).
  • Fully qualified expert mountaineering guides.
  • 24/7 support.

Tour inclusions

Get in touch now for more details

Included Accommodation

16 nights in teahouses (trekking lodges). Lodging on night 1 and 18 is at the 3* KGH Hotel in Kathmandu.

Included Guided excursions

All guides are english-speaking, professionals and fully licensed.
Also included: porterage on trek, permits and national park fees.

Included All meals

Meals in teahouses (trekking lodges) are usually taken in a communal dining area, rather like most Alpine Huts. What’s “on the menu” can depend upon factors like, what is available locally, how remote the teahouse is and even how busy the teahouse is. With limited cooking facilities, a busy teahouse may provide a set menu in order to be able to feed everyone adequately. Please note teahouses may not be able to provide dietary requirements beyond vegetarian options. While meals are included refreshments and snacks aren't, so budget accordingly.

For a general idea of the food provided, please see the below guide:

A typical breakfast will consist of porridge, pancakes, toast, muesli and other cereals, eggs (various ways), tibetan style bread, tsampa etc. Tea and coffee.

Some days this will be at a teahouse, other times it will be a picnic.
Dal Bhat lentil curry, fried noodles, noodle soup, rice, Tibetan dumplings, chapatis with a curry sauce, sandwiches.

First Course — Vegetable or noodle soup.
Main Course — Dal Bhat, noodles dishes, rice-based dishes, momo’s, chapati, spring rolls, stews, spaghetti, pizza, dhido, potato and buckwheat pancakes, chips.

Included Ground transfers

Includes all airport and land transfers and any internal flights in the itinerary.


What people are saying about Snow Cat Travel

Eileen H, UK

I waited 50 years to visit Upper Mustang Nepal and now thanks to Snow Cat Travel the dream has been realised. The journey was above expectation I will never find another one to equal the experience. As we travelled it was like peeling an onion each layer had a new adventure. The highlight was Lo Gekar gompa when I saw it tears came to my eyes. Mark took great care in planning the journey taking into account altitude, ages and any health issues. It paid off I never even got a headache even at 14000 feet at Lo Manthang. Thank you Mark I will always be grateful to you for arranging my Mustang Experience.

Paul Stiles - author, Lonely Planet Guidebook to Nepal (2018)

I am one of the authors of the forthcoming Lonely Planet guidebook to Nepal. Snow Cat handled the very complicated logistics of my recent month-long research trip to the country. They did so brilliantly. I would not hesitate to use them again and would advise anyone else to make them their first call.

Mike L, UK

We had very specific requirements for our trip to Nepal. We wanted to see wildlife including lots of birds, to see something of how people live in the rural parts of the country and of course to see the Himalayas. The trip that Mark put together ensured that all this was achieved, including about 240 bird species. This was due both to the itinerary and the superb guides that Mark found for us. This made it very special as it was probably not typical of the usual holiday to Nepal. Nothing was too much trouble in making the arrangements and the team in Nepal were also excellent. If you want a tailor-made trip to Nepal with some ideas of you want then Snowcat is the organisation that will ensure that you will have a wonderful holiday. Even if you want to see Nepal with no specific ideas then Mark has an excellent knowledge of the country and where you can go. I cannot recommend Snowcat too highly.

Chris D, UK

My friends and I have now been back from our amazing Nepalese trip for just over two weeks and we are still reminiscing virtually every day. Thanks again for your help with organising an extremely memorable holiday!



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