The magic of Everest lures trekkers from all over the world to trek along the best-known trail in the Himalayas – and this classic Everest Base Camp Trek is a once in a lifetime opportunity to stand in the shadow of the tallest mountain in the world.
Garry, our previous Chairman, joined Mountain Kingdoms for this fantastic trip to Everest Base Camp and Kala Pattar. Taking advantage of luxury lodges he travelled in style, enjoying the magnificent views of many peaks, including Ama Dablam which means "Mother's necklace"; the long ridges on each side like the arms of a mother (ama) protecting her child, and the hanging glacier thought of as the dablam.
Follow his route to experience the magic of walking in this part of the world where many of us can only dream of visiting.
Days 1 & 2 - - - Fly to Kathmandu.
Mountains merge into cloud as the plane flies south of the Himalaya range
Dwarika Hotel, 5 star luxury in Kathmandu
Low cloud suspended flights to Lukla so a helicopter trip gave me the opportunity
to try out the co-pilot position where I got great views of Kathmandu City
We sort out our kit in Lukla
The wooded lower slopes . . .
of the Khumbu Valley
A Mani Stone and a prayer wheel
Our team gathers together at the Monjo Lodge
Waitresses at Monjo
Khumbi Yui (18,896ft), a holy mountain which climbers are respectfully asked not to summit
First views of . . .
A yak train
Namche Bazaar, the Sherpa capital . . .
climbs up the hillside
The Tenzing memorial at Jorkhang National Park HQ
School at Namche Bazaar
Heading north from Namche Bazaar
Sherpa Tenzing's house, newly rebuilt house after the earthquake
Staff at Mende Lodge
A Himalayan thar spotted in the woods
Airstrip at Syangboche
The breathtakingly beautiful Ama Dablam (22,350) soars above Khumjung
Khumjung main square
The Edmund Hillary school in Khumjung with a statue to the great man himself
Ama Dablam from Thyangboche
Classic view of Everest (29,02ft) from Thyangboche. From this angle Everest, on the left, . . .
looks smaller than sister mountain Lhotse (27,883ft) on the right
Gompa entrance at Thyangboche
The Everest massif from Pangboche
We cross the river to begin our climb to Ama Dablam base camp
Saying goodbye to the only waitress at Pangboche
Patient yaks await their next assignment
The tea house accommodation is very basic compared to the lodges,
but no less welcoming as our trek gets tougher
Peaks galore! Lobuche (20,123ft) on the right
Nuptse in a fiery alpenglow - stunning!
Toweche and Cholatse
Memorials to those who have lost their lives on and around Everest, a grim reminder
Pumori (23,501ft) Lingtren (22,137ft) and Khumbutse (21,774ft),
peaks which look down on base camp
Descent to Gorak Shep, the final habitation before Base Camp.
Notice the Kala Pattar track climbing to the left
Walking to Base Camp
Everest has a peep!
View of Base Camp, the rough stony ground next to the ice fall
Everest Base Camp
It is me - despite goggles and shadow!
A 6:00am start to climb Kala Pattar (18,188ft)
The summit is the stony promontory in the centre
We are rewarded with the classic view of Everest - . . .
a moment of sheer unbridled joy!
Heading back down, Ama Dablam
It's the market day at Namche Bazaar
The group gathers to bid farewell at Lukla
The very short runway at the notorious Hillary Tenzing airport in Lukla
A plane makes the hazardous approach . . .
before turning into the apron
Flying to Kathmandu
Welcome luxury in the Dwarika Hotel
Our final meal
Unwinding . . .
in . . .
Kathmandu . . .
with a spot of . . .