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Trip Description

Route and itinerary: Who, what, where and when, but goodness only knows why!

Plus an interactive page displaying the route segments... take a look!

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Arrival and Day 1 - Hike from Lukla up to Phakding

First views of some unbelievably vertical terrain... not a flat spot to be found! We arrive in Kathmandu, then fly to Lukla, the launching point for treks and expeditions into the Everest region of the Himalayas.

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Day 2 - Hike up to Namche Bazaar

Several exciting river crossings on suspended bridges bring us up the valley to the colorful trading town of Namche Bazaar.

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Day 3 - Dayhike up to Everest View Hotel

A steep climb to the top of the ridges above Namche Bazaar is rewarded with terrific views all the way up the valley past majestic Ama Dablam to Mt. Everest itself.

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Day 4 - Hike up to Kyamgjumgma

A windy, then misty morning ended up giving beautiful glimpses of sunlit peaks above the fog.

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Day 5 - Hike up to Dole

Continuing ever higher, we take the left fork into the upper Dudh Koshi River Valley, where we start getting views of the over-8000m peak of Cho Oyu.

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Day 6 - Hike up to Machermo, Christmas Eve

The greenery around us starts to disappear as we ascend above timberline - directly up the valley towards Cho Oyu, but Andy has brought some appropriate greenery with him so we can have a proper Christmas celebration!

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Day 7 - Machermo Ridge Dayhike, Christmas Day

Sherpa Purna and I climb high enough to get a great view of Mt. Everest and Lhotse, and an amazing panorama appears above the mist before we have to race back down to join the group for a cozy Christmas dinner.

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Day 8 - Hike up to Gokyo

A misty, cold day reminds us that we're still gaining altitude, as if the frozen lakes and icefalls beside the glacier weren't clear enough clues!

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Day 9 - Climb the Gokyo Ri

Starting before dawn, the sunrise gives beautiful lighting on the mountains and lakes as we climb to 17,590 ft. for a full panoramic view of all the major peaks in the region.

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Day 10 - Hike across to Thagnag

We cross the Ngozumba Glacier on wonderfully sculpted snowy, rocky, icy terrain... a mere hint of what's to come the next day as we get psyched to cross the Cho La Pass.

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Day 11 - Climb up the Cho La Pass

Six hours up steep rock and icy snow to the pass at 17,780 feet made for the most strenuous day we've faced so far. Two porters even deserted their loads part way up rather than face the climb!

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Day 11 cont. - Descend down the Cho La Pass

Three hours of descent almost as steep as the climb and we're thouroughly exhausted, not to mention hungry and thirsty. Despite a couple of surprises when we arrive at our campsite, the day ends with a gorgeous sunset.

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Day 12 - Hike up to Upper Lobuche

A short stroll around the corner and we're right on top of the Khumbu Glacier, face to face with some of the tallest mountains we've encountered so far.

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Day 13 - Climb Kala Pattar

Starting before dawn for the double header - Kala Pattar (18,470') and Everest Base Camp in one day - I make it up Kala Pattar with plenty of time to enjoy the classic, close-up stunning view of Mt. Everest and surrounding monster mountains!

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Day 13 cont. - Continue On to Everest Base Camp

A few more hours of arduous meandering up the glacier and I catch up with the others, then finally we're there! Where? At a barren pile of rocks below the Khumbu Icefall, otherwise known during climbing season as the Everest Base Camp!

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Day 14 - New Year's Day!

A cozy celebration welcomes in the New Millenium. (Without all the fanfare and hype we all went on this trip to escape!)

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Day 15 - Hike down to Dingboche

The wide open Lobuche Khola Valley provides vistas of distant peaks that stretch on for miles as we pass prayer monuments and climber memorials that attest to the long and sometimes tragic history of the climbing expeditions to this area.

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Day 16 & 17 - Hike down to Thashingo & Monjo

The glaciers have melted down into a rushing river as we descend the steep Dudh Koshi River Valley, and we navigate the many required crossings on suspended foot bridges (wheee!!).

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Day 18 - Hike down to Lukla

We're finally back where we started, and our Sherpas show us the native way to dance in celebration of a successful journey's end.

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People in Action

From exhilaration to exhaustion (and back!), a wide range of individual experiences is revealed in these closeups.

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Kathmandu Scenes

A tour of Kathmandu and nearby Bhaktapur reveal some of the unique facets of Nepalese culture.