Hiking or TrekkingTours in Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan
Climbing or Peak TrekkingTours in Nepal
Cycling or Mountain BikingTours in Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan
Sightseeing or FestivalTours in Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan
On this trip, we will follow the Friendship Highway through some of the most beautiful and picturesque landscapes on Earth.
We'll pass small Tibetan settlements, nomadic herdsmen wandering across the wide arid plains and awe-inspiring mountain peaks. Equally as fascinating is the wealth of cultural interest and we will have plenty of opportunity to explore this side of Tibet, both in Lhasa and the other towns we pass through on our journey to Kathmandu. We spend 3 nights in Lhasa, staying right in the centre of the old city. This will allow both plenty of time for acclimatisation and easy access to the city's main attractions - the Potala Palace and the Jokhang Temple. Leaving Lhasa in our Toyota Land Cruiser 4 wheel drive, we'll travel through this amazing country. In the towns of Gyantse and Shigatse we explore monasteries and fully immerse ourselves in the Buddhist culture. Without doubt, a highlight of this trip is the visit to Everest Base Camp, and the trek to camp 3 at 6340m., where the sheer grandeur of Everest's north face has to be seen to be believed. This trek takes you as close to the summit of Everest as any non-mountain climber can go, all the way to Camp 3 and the base of the North Col via the East Rongbuk Glacier.
Day-1: Arrive Kathmandu and transfer to Hotel.
Day-2: Full day guided sightseeing around of the Kathmandu valley.
Day-3. Kathmandu to Lhasa (3660m) Transfer to the airport for the hour-long flight across the main Himalayan range. Afternoon at rest to acclimatise to Lhasa's high altitude.
Day-4: Lhasa We will visit Lhasa's many monasteries and sites, such as the Sera Monastery, and the Norbulingka, the summer palace of the Dalai Lama.
Day-5: Lhasa We visit the Potala Palace and Drepung Monastery founded in the 14th century, and once the largest in the world, with a population of around 10,000 monks. The afternoon, is a time to relax or further explore the area.
Day-6: Lhasa to Gyantse (3950m)Travelling by jeep along the Friendship Highway we cross the Khamba La (4794m) and continue westwards over another high pass the Karo La (5045m) with incredible glacial views. We spend the night in a Hotel at Gyantse. [261km]
Day-7: Gyantse to Shigatse (3900m)After an early morning tour of some of the Gyantse Dzong (14th Century fort) and the Kumbum, a large stupa, we head off on a short 90km drive to Shigatse, the second largest city in Tibet. In the afternoon we will explore the area, local monasteries and market. Overnight at the Hotel. [90km]
Day-8: Shigatse to Shegar (4050m)We continue along the Friendship Highway, marvelling once more at the barren yet spectacular landscape of Tibet. Beyond the town of Lhatse we cross the highest pass on our journey, the Gyamtso La [5220m]. From here we descend to the plains en route to Shegar and overnight at Hotel Quomolongma.[244km]
Day-9: Shegar to Rongbuk (5000m) On our travels, we are rewarded with uninterrupted views stretching from Makalu to Shishapangma, with clear views of Everest as we turn into the Rongbuk Valley. Overnight Guest House.(68km)
Day-10: Rongbuk to Everest Base We spend a night to acclimatise after the 8km trek to Base Camp. Overnight in tents.
Day-11: Everest Base We will explore the surroundings of the Rongbuk Everest base on short treks and spend time acclimatising. Overnight in tents.
Day-12: Everest Base to Camp 1 We trek alongside the Rongbuk Glacier, an impressive frozen ocean of ice waves. Camp 1 [5460m] is set amongst barren moraine hills and we spend the afternoon acclimatising and doing short treks in the area. (5460m)
Day-13: Everest Intermediate Camp We trek on the west rim of the glacier as we head to intermediate camp at 5760m. We will also look at the nearby ice seracs which rise like white sails from a debris-laden glacier surface. (5760m)
Day-14: Rest at Intermediate We spend time acclimatising.
Day-15: Everest Camp 2 We trek towards the confluence with the Changtse glacier, above which we will find Camp 2 at 5970, set amidst glaciers in the appropriately named Serac Highway. (5970m)
Day-16: Everest Advanced Base Camp (6340m) and return to camp 2 Camp 3 is the advanced base camp for the North Col route up Mount Everest. The top of Everest appears phenomenally close now and is as little as some 2400 meter higher than camp 3. Retrace our steps from Advanced Base to Camp 2.
Day-17: Return to Everest Base The return to Base is obviously a longer down hill journey from Advanced Base than Camp 2. The decision taken on Day-17 will determine the distance to be covered.
Day-18: Drive Rongbuk - Nyalam After arriving back at Rongbuk, we begin our drive towards Tingri, cross another two high passes, and begin our descent from the Tibetan Plateau to Nyalam just 30 km before the Nepalese border. [215km]
Day-19: Drive Nyalam - Kathmandu We arrive at the Chinese - Nepalese border, say goodbye to our Tibetan team, pass through customs and join up with our Nepalese staff. We then head back into Kathmandu, a trip which takes about 5 hours, depending on road and weather conditions. [153km] (1400m)
Day-20: Day at leisure
Day-21: Final Departure.
End of services
Being a high altitude plateau, weather conditions can be unpredictable.
Summer (June to September) is the warmest time of year across the Tibetan Plateau and as a result, a popular time for people to visit. It is however, also the time when Tibet is likely to get more rain. Despite this, it is still possible to go trekking, although the downside is that the mountains tend to be more cloud covered than in the winter. Summer in Tibet is also the time when you will see more signs of nomadic life, as nomads make their way through green pastures with their yaks.
In September and October there is not much rain making the air drier. It is also harvest time in Tibet. This is a perfect time to come to Tibet for trekking or cycling and also a great time for good photographic opportunities.
Winters (November to March) are cold (the average temperature in January is -2°C)
The night temperatures listed below are from April to November on average. Minimum temperatures on average at base camp are:
April: -10 deg C or -14 deg F
May: -8 deg C or 18 deg F
June: -4 deg C or 25 deg F
July: -3 deg C or 27 deg F
August: -4 deg C or 25 deg FSeptember: -6 deg C or 21 deg F
October: -10 deg C or 14 deg FNovember: -11 deg C or 12 deg F
Across the Tibetan Plateau, we make use of three star hotels in Lhasa, Gyantse, Shigatse and Shegar.
Once we arrive to Rongbuk, we may stay in the local lodge or start camping, which we will do for the duration of the actual trek, where we stay in tents which will be erected by our porters and trekking team. You will be given a bowl of boiled water in the morning for washing along with a cup of bed tea. Meals are prepared by our cook and served in the Dining Tent. Lunches will probably be packed lunches which you can enjoy along the route.
Your final night in Tibet will be in Zhangmu where hotel standards are not good, but we will stay at the best available.