From: October 5 to October 23, 2018

Destination: Kathmandu and the Himalaya, Nepal

  • Trekking to Everest Basecamp

    Himalaya! Just the name invokes images of ice and snow-clad peaks soaring miles into the heavens, as well as the high mountain villages en route. On this three-week trek we combine strenuous and invigorating hiking in one of the most beautiful places in the world with a chance to learn about Sherpa culture. And while the trekking is incredibly beautiful, it is the legendary warmth and hospitality of the Sherpa that make it special. Our challenging trek through the Himalaya to the Everest region is guaranteed to be the trip of a lifetime! Maximum group size: 12
  • Friday, October 5
    Welcome to Nepal! It's been a long journey but it will be so worth it! You will be met at the Kathmandu airport and transported to our hotel, located in the tourist area known as Thamel. Anything you forgot to bring, you can buy here (if the price for a name brand is too good to be true, it's probably too good to be true). We'll gather at 6pm to begin getting to know each other, and then go out for a Welcome dinner together at a Nepalese restaurant. Overnight Kathmandu, 4500 ft elevation

    Saturday, October 6
    Today as we start to overcome jet lag and adjust to a very different time zone (yes, you will wake up early), we'll enjoy some sight-seeing in Kathmandu. We'll visit the giant Buddhanath Stupa, one of Asia's largest Buddhist shrines. From there we'll walk through neighborhoods to Pashupatinath Temple, one of the holiest Hindu Temples in entire South Asia. The temple is situated on the bank of the sacred Bagmati River, a tributary of the sacred Ganges. Admission to the temple is reserved for Hindus only, and we can have close up view of the temple from the other side of the river. Return to the hotel in the afternoon, our local partner will meet us to brief us about the trek and answer any questions we have about our upcoming adventure. There will then be time for last minute shopping for our trek and packing. Overnight Kathmandu, 4500 ft elevation

    Sunday, October 7
    Lukla/Phakding We leave early for the airport and fly to Lukla, the most renowned mountain airstrip in the world. The 40 minute flight is spectacular as we view the foothills all the way to snowline of the Himalaya, possibly including some of the world's highest mountains. We'll meet our trekking crew in Lukla (9,318 ft) and after packing our gear, we begin our trek with a fairly short day to Phakding to help with our acclimatization. For anyone interested we can take a side trip to a nearby monastery. There are no roads or vehicles in the Khumbu so you can expect to see numerous other people on the Lukla-Namche "highway". This is the most densely populated area in the Khumbu and we will go through numerous small villages  Overnight Phakding, 3 - 4 hours trek, 8563 ft elevation

    Monday, October 8
    Phakding/Namche Bazaar We continue trekking along the banks of the Dudh Koshi, crossing this roaring river on a variety of amazing bridges laden with prayer flags. After entering Sagarmatha National Park, the trail climbs steeply, part path and part steps (over 2200 ft). About halfway up the hill, a gap in the trees allows for our first glimpse of Everest. If the weather is clear, the top of the Southwest face will be just visible behind the long Lhotse-Nuptse ridge. A plume can often be seen stretching away from the summit. We continue on to Namche Bazaar, the gateway to the Khumbu region. Namche is the most prosperous and the largest town in the Khumbu. Thamserku (6648m), Kwangde RI (6187m) and Khumbila (5707m) surround the natural bowl in which Namche sits. Overnight Namche Bazaar, 5 - 6 hours trek, 11,300 ft elevation

    Tuesday, October 9
    Rest and acclimatization in Namche Bazaar We'll take today off to allow our bodies to adjust to the rarefied atmosphere before ascending to higher altitudes. The secret of safe acclimatization is to 'climb high, sleep low' so if you feel like some exercise, it is safe to hike up the hill behind Namche to the airstrip at Syangboche, perhaps even all the way to Khumjung, or stroll across to the excellent museum behind the police post. Or if you prefer, you can visit one of the lodges for a freshly-baked cinnamon roll, spend time shopping or photographing, visit the Tibetan traders, or actually rest! Namche is a busy and bustling trading place and there is always plenty going on. Overnight Namche Bazaar, 11,300ft elevation

    Wednesday, October 10
    Namche Bazaar/Tengboche Today we really know we're in the Himalaya. As we set out for Tengboche, we'll enjoy superb views of Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse and Ama Dablam. Initially the trail has only short ups and downs and then goes gradually down to Sansa, the major trail junction to Gokyo valley or Everest Base Camp. Trekking through pine forests, we cross the prayer flags festooned bridge over the Dudh Koshi River, and then reach Phunki Thenga, a small settlement amidst the alpine woods. After having a relaxed lunch at Phunki Thenga, we gear up for a tougher climb steadily up to Tengboche. Tengboche is home of the world famous Buddhist monastery where the Rimpoche (lama reincarnate) resides. If we arrive in time we can choose to attend the daily prayer service. This is a cultural and religious center for the people of the Khumbu region, and for the trekker, it is also the place to see one of the best mountain panoramas in the world. Kwangde, Tawoche, Nuptse, Lhotse, Kangtega, and Ama Dablam all loom high above. Overnight Tengboche, 5 -6 hours trekking, 12,670 ft elevation

    Thursday, October 11
    Tengboche/Dingboche With mountains as backdrop, the monastery at Tengboche looks even more spectacular in the morning. We'll choose the upper trail for better views on the way to Pangboche village. We pass through several Chortens and Mani walls, and small villages. Our lunch stop not only serves delicious food but also allows a fantastic close-up view of Ama Dablam. In the afternoon, we might walk north to Pheriche or take the eastward trail beneath the towering north face of Ama Dablam. From here onwards, the walk is fairly moderate as we enter the Imja Valley. The valley gradually unfolds as we approach the confluence of the Lobuche River. We descend into the river and begin the last and steepest climb of the day up to Dingboche. On arrival at Dingboche, we will see a beautiful array of fields enclosed by stone walls to protect barley, buckwheat, and potatoes from the cold winds and grazing animals. Overnight Dingboche, 5-6 hours trekking, 14,469 ft elevation

    Friday, October 12
    Rest and acclimatization in Dingboche We spend our second day of acclimatization at Dingboche. A refreshing breakfast while admiring a looming Ama Dablam (6856m/ 22493 ft.) to the south is really fantastic. To better appreciate Ama Dablam, Lhotse and numerous other peaks visible from Dingboche, we climb the ridge on the north behind the village. This will be an ideal acclimatizing excursion. Upon this juncture, we can see three of the world's six highest peaks, Lhotse, Makalu and Cho Oyu. To the west, loom the towering peaks of Cholatse (6440 m/21,126 ft.) and Tawoche (6542 m/ 21,463 ft.). As we look northwest, we see an array of peaks rising at the head of the Khumbu Khola valley. The Lobuche West and Lobuche East peaks are most dominant along with Lhotse, which stands over 8500 meters (8501m/27,890 ft.). From a vantage point high on the ridge, we can scan the sweeping Imja Khola valley as well as the picturesque fields and pastures of Dingboche. Our hike is about four hours so there will also be time to rest in the afternoon. Overnight Dingboche, 4 hours trekking, 14,469 ft elevation

    Saturday, October 13
    Dingboche/Dughla We start the day with a climb to Dughla through the Khumbu Khola valley. The walk along the arid terrace is rewarding with awesome views of mountains on all sides. As we come to a yak herder's place called Dusa, the valley begins to narrow and we continue through Phulung Karpo, the camp site of the first successful Everest Expedition in 1953. As we move on, the majestic view of Pumori (7138 m/ 23418 ft.) comes into view. As the trail descends and curves, Mt. Pumori disappears from view and we come across a roaring stream. After crossing a small wooden bridge, we ascend to Duglha. We can see the tip of Nuptse from here as well as Cholatse, Thamserku, and several other magnificent peaks. Overnight Duglha, 3- 3.5 hours trekking, 15,100 ft elevation

    Sunday, October 14
    Dughla/Lobuche Beyond Duglha, we climb up the steep terminal moraine of the Khumbu Glacier. We pass through boulder-strewn slopes as we ascend Chupki Lhara, an eerie ridge top with dramatic mountain views. At the top of the ridge, we will find many stone memorials built to honor fallen climbers, including those lost in the May 1996 Everest storm such as Scott Fischer, and 10 times Everest summiteer Babu Chiri Sherpa (a Nepali mountain guide) who perished on a mission to climb Everest. As the trail drops to the Khumbu Glacier moraine, we find ourselves facing several great peaks - Khumbutse, Lingtren, Pumori and Mahalangur Himal. We are now in the vicinity of Everest but the great mountain still remains elusive. Mt Nuptse towers to the right as the trail crosses the Khumbu Glacier. As we pass along a murmuring stream leaving the Khumbu Glacier behind, we definitely feel out of breath due to high altitude, if we haven't before. We could have gone from Dingboche to Lobuche in a day, but breaking it into two days will help conserve our strength for the arduous days ahead. Overnight Lobuche, 3 -4 hours trekking, 16,200 ft elevation

    Monday, October 15
    Lobuche/Gorak Shep Early this morning, depending on conditions, we continue up the moraine trails to Gorak Shep, the highest settlement in the Khumbu. You can stop here or, after a break, conintue on to the Everest basecamp area at the toe of the Khumbu Icefall. It will be a long day: the trail to base camp is challenging and affords magnificent views along the way. We may even see an avalanche! We aren't here during the main climbing season so Basecamp is likely to be fairly quiet, possibly completely empty, which means we are free to walk through it. Only upon reaching the camp do we really appreciate the Everest climbers who brave the hazardous route through the Khumbu icefall. Nuptse, Khumbutse and Pumori are the mountains we can view from the base camp; Everest actually is not visible from here. We'll spend this night in Gorak Shep,. There is nothing like watching the sunset on the southwest flank of Mt. Everest from this spectacular vantage point. Overnight Gorak Shep, 3 - 3.5 to Gorak Shep, 5 - 6 hours trekking to basecamp. 17,598 ft elevation

    Tuesday, October 16
    Kala Patthar/Lobuche/Duglha Today is the high point (literally!) of our trip. We start early in the morning to catch the dramatic views from Kala Patthar and witness the first light of day caress the peaks of the mountains, particularly Mt. Everest. However, we need to be prepared for an early morning departure, amid predawn darkness and cold temperature (5 - 15 degrees F). Further, there is always the potential for chilly winds which are quite common. Familiar peaks such as Khumbutse and Changtse tower to the east even as Everest begins to reveal itself. During the ascent to Kala Patthar, we can pause to catch our breath at several outstanding view points from where we can snap great pictures. After several hours of ascent, we reach Kala Patthar. From Kala Patthar, we scramble up to the top of a rocky outcrop marked by cairns and prayer flags. A mind-blowing Himalayan panorama unfolds before our eyes as they wander from one mighty massif to another. We definitely want to take the time to imprint this vista into our mind's eye so that it lasts a lifetime. Upon return to Gorak Shep, we'll share a celebratory lunch together. We descend in the afternoon and arrive at Dughla in time for a well-earned night's rest. Overnight Duglha, 8 - 9 hours trekking, 15,100 ft. elevation

    Wednesday, October 17
    Duglha/Debouche Since we are no longer worried about acclimatizing, our descent down the Khumbu is much faster. Continuing the descent from Duglha, we reach the village of Pangboche, the barley-growing center of the Khumbu area. Beyond Pangboche the trail descends past some magnificently carved Mani stones to the Imja Khola, which we cross via a steel suspension bridge high above the river at a spot where it rushes through a narrow cleft. Finally we reach Debouche, a nunnery at the base of the mountain on which Tengboche sits. We'll enjoy breathtaking views of the sunset and sunrise, as well as a magnificent view of Everest. Overnight Debouche, 5 - 6 hours trekking, 12,533 ft. elevation

    Thursday, October 18
    Debuche/Namche Bazaar After breakfast, we continue to retrace our steps with a short steep climb to Tengboche through a forest of birches conifers and rhododendrons.  We then continue through the hillside blanketed by rhododendron and juniper trees. After crossing the prayer flag festooned bridge over the Dudh Koshi River, the trail follows the Dudh Koshi gorge, ascending rapidly through the pine forests. The path eventually reaches Sansa where we have lunch. After lunch we continue our trek to Namche Bazaar. After passing a Chorten, we reach the army camp at of Namche Bazaar. Here we'll stop to take a long last look back to Lhotse, the tip of Everest, and Tengboche as tomorrow we'll descend further and they will no longer be in sight. Upon reaching our lodge, we'll enjoy a hot shower and undoubtedly will sleep deeply. Overnight Namche Bazaar, 4.5 - 5.5 hours trekking, 11,1300 feet

    Friday, October 19
    Namche Bazaar/Phakding After breakfast we will retrace our steps down the steep Namche hill, along the Dudh Kosi and out of Sagarmatha National Park. The air feels rich with oxygen as we descend. Although we are traveling the same route down, the views are completely different. We reach Phakding in time for lunch and some afternoon rest. Overnight Phakding, 3 - 4 hours trekking, 8,563 ft elevation

    Saturday, October 20
    Phakding/Lukla Compared to what we jave just acomplished, the rest of our trek is relatively easy and we'll have time to notice the impressive faith in Buddhism and the culture of prayer stones and prayer flags as we walk though the Sherpa villages. At Lukla we'll celebrate with dinner, say goodbye to the staff that has taken such good care of us, and undoubtedly have mixed feelings about the end of the trek - happy to have completed it safely and somewhat sad to say goodbye to the simplicity and beauty of the last 2 weeks. Overnight Lukla, 3 - 4 hours trekking, 9,300 ft elevation

    Sunday, October 21
    Kathmandu 4,500 ft. We prepare to fly out early. Back in Kathmandu by early afternoon, there's time for hot showers, shopping in Thamel, and relaxing at our hotel. Overnight Kathmandu, 4500 ft elevation

    Monday, October 22
    Kathmandu 4,500 ft. As is customary, we have put in an extra day here in case weather has delayed our return. But there is plenty more to see in Kathmandu and the day will not go to waste. We'll make a 40 minute drive to Bhaktapur, one of the three medieval principalities of Kathmandu valley and the best preserved one. Bhaktapur, with its Durbar Square and beautiful temples, intricate wood carving in the balconies and windows, fabulous stone sculptures, and clean, brick paved streets gives the impression of being an open air museum. There will be some time for last minute shopping or sightseeing before going out for our Farewell dinner at a Kathmandu restaurant.

    Tuesday, October 23
    Home, or on to your Next Adventure! We will get you safely to the airport three hours before your scheduled flight and on your way
  • $3895  (Click here for travel discounts) $400 deposit. Single supplement (only required if you want a room to yourself) is $575. You can read our cancellation policies here

    Trip Includes

    • An Adventures in Good Company guide, an English-speaking Nepali sirdar (leader) and all necessary trekking staff
    • 18 nights lodging
    • All meals except for lunches in Kathmandu and beverages and desserts during the trek
    • All transportation during the trip including airport transfers and the flight between Kathmandu and Lukla
    • Full day of sight-seeing in Kathmandu including entrance fees
    • All trekking staff gratuities
    Not included: airfare to Nepal, Nepal visa, guide gratuities, desserts and beverages, items of a personal nature, emergency evacuation, and travel insurance.
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  • Common Questions

    If you’ve never traveled with us before, you may have some questions about how we do things and what you can expect. We’ve answered the most common ones below and are always available by phone or email to answer any others.

    How do I pay for my trip?

    You can make the deposit by submitting a secure form with your credit card information after filling out the registration form or calling us with your card information. We will send you an invoice for the balance due with your Predeparture Information 4 months before an International trip and 3 months before a domestic trip. You can get a 3% discount for paying the balance by check.

    What if I’m coming alone?

    The majority of women who travel with us come by themselves. If you want to pay a single supplement to guarantee your own room, or if you want to share a room with someone with whom you are traveling, you can indicate that on the registration form. Otherwise we randomly assign roommates and rotate every time we change lodging – it’s a great way to get to know different women on the trip.

    Can you accommodate special diets?

    It depends on both the trip and on your specific needs. With advance notice, we can accommodate most dietary restrictions or allergies on our domestic trips, including vegetarian, vegan, and gluten intolerant. This is not always true on international trips, so please contact us in advance if you have specific dietary needs. We've found that if you are willing to bring some of your own snacks and a couple of items to supplement what is on the menu (peanut butter is always good!) and possibly have less variety than you are used to at home, then dietary needs usually are no obstacle. If in doubt about your specific dietary needs, especially if you have Celiac disease, please give us a call (877/439-4042) or send us an email.

    What if I have to cancel my trip?

    The amount of your refund depends on how close to the trip you cancel and whether it is a domestic or an international trip. You can read our cancellation policies here. We highly recommend travel insurance because cancellations are always unexpected; we will send you additional information about insurance when you register.

    Will my family be able to get in touch with me in case of an emergency?

    Yes, we always send out emergency contact information. On a few trips, because of limitations in communication, the best approach is to give them the office number and let us make the contact.

    What other information will you send me?

    When you register, we’ll send you a Trip Summary that includes the itinerary, travel information, and a packing list. Three to four months before your trip we’ll send you Pre-Departure information that includes detailed information on how to get to the trip starting point, pre- or post-trip lodging suggestions, suggested books and websites etc. Four to six weeks before the trip, we’ll send you a list of everyone who is registered along with their travel plans; and a Pre-Trip letter with the name of your guide(s) and how to contact them if your arrival is delayed as well as any other important updates.

    Do you help with pre-trip and/or post-trip hotel reservations?

    For international trips, if you want to stay at the hotel where we’re staying the first night before the trip, or at the hotel we’re staying the last night after the trip, we’re happy to make a reservation for you. Otherwise our PreDeparture Information will have hotel suggestions. Our travel agent is also happy to help you with this.

    How does the waitlist process work and how often do people cancel?

    If you are interested in a trip that is full, you should sign up here. If there is a cancellation, we send out an email to everyone who has expressed interest and ask them to respond within 24 hours. If more than one person is interested, we give the space to the person who has traveled with us before or in the order of being put on the waitlist. Frequently, even when we have a long wait list, it is the last person to sign up who is still available to go. Whether or not there will be a cancellation is completely unpredictable, although not uncommon.

    What is the role of the guide(s)?

    On every trip, the primary roles of the guide(s) are to ensure your safety and to make sure that, to the extent possible, you are having the trip you want. The guide(s) will also make sure that you know what is happening each day and what you need to bring to be prepared. On domestic trips the guide(s) will also likely be driving, preparing picnic lunches and sometimes other meals, providing skills instruction, and giving you information about the natural history of the area. On any trip where we partner with another company (which is most international trips and some trips that require special equipment), the AGC guide will work with the local guide to make sure that the trip is conducted in accordance with the AGC philosophy.

    What if I have more questions?

    Give us a call (877/439-4042) or send us an email. A Program Manager is assigned to each trip. Once you have registered, she will send you a registration confirmation letter that includes her name and email, and she will be your primary contact. Her job is to make sure that you get all your questions answered and that you feel completely prepared for your adventure.

    What if I'm the oldest/youngest/heaviest/least in shape/only single woman/only mom on the trip?

    You might be. Someone has to be the oldest/youngest/heaviest/least in shape person on the trip. And while the great majority of our trips have both single and non-single women, and moms and non-moms, sometimes they don't. But it doesn't matter if you're "different" in any of those ways - what you will share with everyone else is a desire to experience adventure in your life, and an appreciation of the joy and camaraderie of being in an all women's group.

Trip highlights

  • Trekking through the Khumbu, world famous both for its sheer beauty and the hospitality of the Sherpa people who live there
  • Visiting mountain villages, including Namche Bazaar and Tengboche
  • Staying in tea house lodges and talking with the people who own them
  • Gazing at the mountains you've only read about
  • Chatting with the international trekking community
  • Having your gear transported so you only need carry a daypack

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