Arrive in Kathmandu.
You have a second day to explore Kathmandu as your trip is prepared.
Unless you prefer the idea of a 10-day walk, you fly to Lukla, at the entrance to the Khumbu Valley. This might be easier said than done, as flights are infamously unreliable owing to the weather. Then the walking begins. The first day of trekking ends in Monjo.
You enter Khumbu National Park and cross at the junction of the Dudh Kosi and Bhote Kosi rivers. There is then two hours of steep climbing up Namche Hill, which gets you to Namche Bazaar, a prosperous and consequently bustling trading town and the capital of the region, known as the gate to Mount Everest.
You remain in Namche Bazaar to acclimatise. Altitude sickness is a very common phenomenon with this particular trek.
You make your way along the much-trekked Everest trail, which perches on the edge of the valley in which Dudh Kosi is located. You cross the river and embark upon a tough climb to Tengboche, where there is a famous monastery. You then descend rapidly to the river and enter the village of Deboche where you stay the night.
You trek through rhododendrons to Pangboche, where the view of Ama Dablam (22,525 feet), which towers over Thyangboche and Pangboche, is phenomenal. The trail adheres to the side of the valley and points up the Imja Valley. You finish at Dingboche, which is lovely picturesque village.
You have a day in Dingboche to acclimatise.
You hike up the valley for an hour-and-a-half and then turn left. More walking puts you in a very private cirque, a bowl-shaped mountain basin formed by glaciation.
You could trek to Pokaide directly from your camp, but it is better to take things easy and halt at an intermediate camp.
You ascend Pokaide, which is quite easy. Then you descend to Chukkung.
Now you move along the Imja Valley, next to the Imja glacier, and reach Island Peak Base Camp
You undertake a very steep climb up a hillside which takes around three hours. You camp immediately below a rocky gully.
Before sunrise, you climb the rocky gully and attain a ridge line leading to the snout of the glacier. Fixed lines on the headwall are necessary. You climb to the ridge. After that, there are three rope lengths to the top. You descend.
This is a spare day in the event of bad weather.
You retrace your steps down Imja Valley to Dingboche.
You trek up the wide bottom of the valley in the direction of Dugla. Camp is made in a small, grassy cirque.
Around an hour-and-a-half is expended moving to a camp next to a small lake.
The route is along rocky slabs that access the glacier. Once you reach snow, you climb a long, oscillating snowfield to the summit ridge. You may have to resort to “interesting” climbing to pass crevasses. The summit is Lobuje East. You descend and then camp.
Here we have another spare day in case of inclement weather.
This is a long day – more than nine hours. The trail goes up a valley to a pass. You then traverse rock shelves to arrive at a small glacier. You descend scree on its far side. The descent is long and you cross the Ngozumpa glacier, the largest in Nepal, which bears a close resemblance to the moon. You conclude at Dragnag.
You can either vegetate or walk for two hours to Gokyo Ri (17,575 feet), a famous viewpoint from which your 360-degree view includes Everest (29,029 feet), Cho Oyu (26,906 feet – the sixth highest mountain in the world), Gyachung Kang (26,089 feet), Lhotse (27,940 feet – fourth highest), Kangchenjunga (28,150 feet – third highest) and, on a clear day, Makalu (27,825 feet – fifth highest). Sherpas call Everest “Sagamartha,” which means “head of the sky.”
You descend the Gokyo Valley and camp by a river.
You rejoin the Khumbu Valley. Trekking via Namche Bazaar and Monjo, you return to Lukla.
You fly back to Kathmandu.