Day 1 (Fri 27 Mar) – We depart O R Tambo for Kathmandu
Day 2 (Sat 28 Mar) – We arrive Kathmandu Airport and transfer to our hotel (1350m)
Day 3 (Sun 29 Mar) – Rest day and prepare for assignment & briefing. A pre-trek briefing will be conducted at which general information will be distributed. This will also offer the team the opportunity to ask any last-minute questions, go gear shopping and do some sight seeing.
Day 4 (Mon 30 Mar) – We fly by Twin Otter aircraft from Kathmandu to Lukla. (2840m) Lukla is infamous for its short landing strip and perhaps the most dangerous runway in the world! On the flight we watch the rugged foothills give way to the snowline of the Himalayas and many of the world’s highest mountains, including Kanchenjunga, Lhotse and Makalu (the world’s 3rd, 4th, and 5th highest respectively). On arrival, we meet our Sherpas and after a cup of tea, we take the trail out of Lukla. Surprisingly, this high-altitude trek begins by descending to the river at Phakding.From Lukla, we trek to Phakding. (2650m)
Day 5 (Tue 31 Mar) – Trek from Phakding to Namche Bazaar. (3440m) Namche is the most prosperous and the largest town in the Khumbu Valley. A bazaar is held here every Saturday. The wares on display include meat, grains and vegetables, tennis shoes and trinkets as well as hand woven aprons and Tibetan boots. Thamserku (6648m), Kwangde Ri (6187m) and Khumbila (5707m) surround the natural bowl that Namche rests in. Halfway up the hill, a gap in the trees allows us to see Everest for the first time. If the weather is clear the top of the South-West Face will be just visible behind the long Lhotse-Nuptse ridge. A plume can often be seen stretching away from the summit.
Day 6 (Wed 1 Apr) – Namche Bazaar. Option to walk to Everest View Hotel. (3800m) An early hike above town, before the clouds move in, rewards us with a spectacular Himalayan sunrise and views of Everest, Lhotse (the 4th highest peak in the world), and the beautiful Ama Dablam (6696m).
Day 7 (Thu 2 Apr) – Trek from Namche Bazaar to Tyangboche. (3860m) The trail this morning descends to the Dudh Khosi (river). There are spectacular views of Ama Dablam and Kantega (6779m) as well as Everest (8848m) and Lhotse (8501m). We cross the river at Phunki Thanga and climb through the afternoon amongst Rhododendron forest to the saddle at the top of the hill to Thyangboche, the spiritual centre of the Khumbu area. The views from here are unforgettable. We spend the night next to the Thyangboche monastery.
Day 8 (Fri 3 Apr) – Trek from Tyangboche to Pheriche / Dingboche. (4250m) We are now in the heart of the Khumbu, with spectacular views across to Ama Dablam. The walk takes us along a path that hugs the valley wall and then across wide plains to a split in the valley. The Khumbu breaks left, up to Pheriche, but we take a detour right to Dingboche at the start of the Imja Tse valley.
Day 9 (Sat 4 Apr) – Dingboche – rest day for acclimatization. We take the day off to allow our bodies to adjust to the rarified atmosphere before ascending to higher altitudes. The secret of safe acclimatisation is to ‘climb high and sleep low’. There is one of two hikes from here. The shorter option ascends the hill immediately behind Dingboche, to drop steeply down to Periche. The Himalayan Rescue Association operates a medical post here and the western doctors conduct excellent seminars on Altitude Mountain Sickness (AMS) here on most afternoons. The longer option is to trek up the Imja Tse valley towards Island Peak. The views of Lhotse, Ama Dablam and Cho Polu from here are outstanding.
Day 10 (Sun 5 Apr) – Trek from Dingboche to Lobuche. (5018m) We climb up to the ridge behind Periche, mesmerised by the views of Tawoche and Cholatse, until we reach the teahouses at Dughla. A steep, stiff ascent to the terminal moraine of the Khumbu glacier is now tackled. The top of the climb is marked by a series of stone monuments (cairns) to commemorate some of the climbers that have not returned from expeditions to this region. The Lhotse ridge is simply awesome from this angle.
Day 11 (Mon 6 Apr) – Trek from Lobuche to Gorakshep. (5170m) We trek along the path along the side of the Khumbu glacier to the tea shacks at Gorak Shep. For those feeling strong and if the weather is good, there is an option of climbing Kala Pattar, which is a neighbouring peak of Mt Everest and offers amazing views. The route up Kala Pattar is straightforward and takes most people about 90 minutes. All the peaks – Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, Changtse, AmaDablam can be seen from this wonderful vantage point.
Day 12 (Tue 7 Apr) – Trek from Gorakshep to Base Camp (5200m) Behind us rises the attractive 7000m peak of Pumori, which dwarfs our trek to the actual Base Camp (BC) of Everest. In the first hour of hiking, all you see is a sign that says we’re on our way to Base Camp, then the moment arrives and suddenly Everest opens up and we see the tiny multicoloured dots representing Base Camp tents. Once we reach Base Camp we are told there is hot apple pie! For those who are energetic a walk through the campsite.
Day 13, 14, 15 (8, 9, 10 Apr) – Rest, organisation and training day in BC
Day 16 (Sat 11 Apr) – Trek to Pumori basecamp or KalaPatar 5650m
Day 17, 18 (12, 13 Apr) – Rest in BC waiting for Icefall doctors to fix the Khumbu icefall. Depending on the condition of the Ceracs on the South West face and the Icefall, we either trek to Lobushe peak (6119m) to acclimatise or we adopt the following program:
Day 19 (Tue 14 Apr) – Climb through the Khumbu icefall to C1 (6150m). Return to BC
Day 20, 21 (15, 16 Apr) – Rest in BC. Here, there may be more rest days depending on weather conditions.
Day 22 (Fri 17 Apr) – Climb to C1, overnight in C1
Day 23 (Sat 18 Apr) – Trek to C2 (6560m), return to BC, overnight
Day 24, 25, 26 (19. 20, 21 Apr) – Rest in BC
Day 27 (Wed 22 Apr) – Climb directly to C2, overnight
Day 28 (Thu 23 Apr) – Rest in C2, overnight
Day 29, 30 (24, 25 Apr) – Return to BC
Day 31 (Sun 26 Apr) – Descend to Amadablam/ Deboshe for rest lower down.
Day 32, 33, 34 (27, 28, 29 Apr) – Rest lower down, watching sateliite images for weather window
Day 35 (Thu 30 Apr) – Return to BC
Day 36 (Fri 1 May) – Rest in BC
Day 37 (Sat 2 May) – Trek to C2, overnight
Day 38 (Sun 3 May) – Rest in C2
Day 39 (Mon 4 May) – Climb to C3 (7300m) return to C2 or BC, overnight
Day 40, 41, 42 (5, 6, 7 May) – Return to BC and rest
Day 43 (Fri 8 May) – Climb to C2, overnight
Day 44 (Sat 9 May) – Rest in C2 in anticipation of summit attempt
Day 45 (Sun 10 May) – Summit attempt push to C3, overnight on low flow rate supplementary oxygen.
Day 46 (Mon 11 May) – Climb to C4 on oxygen
Day 47 (Tue 12 May) – Summit attempt and return to C4 (8000m), overnight
Day 48 (Wed 13 May) – Return to C2, overnight
Day 49 (Thu 14 May) – Trek to BC, overnight
Day 50 (Fri 15 May) – Rest day in BC and pack gear
Day 51 (Sat 16 May) – Trek out of BC OR the following:
Day 52 (Sun 17 May) – Summit attempt
Day 53, 54, 55, 56, 57 (18, 19, 20, 21, 22 May) – extra weather day
Day 58 (Sat 23 May) – Pack up and clean BC and trek to Lobuche
Day 59 (Sun 24 May) – Trek from Lobuche (5218) to Namche Bazaar (3440m)
Day 60 (Mon 25 May) – Trek from Namche Bazaar to Lukla (2840m)
Day 61 (Tue 26 May) – Fly from Lukla to Kathmandu, overnight hotel
Day 62 (Wed 27 May) – Kathmandu – party/farewell dinner, overnight hotel
Day 63 (Thu 28 May) – Final departure Kathmandu for Johannesburg
Day 64 (Fri 29 May) – Arrive Johannesburg