My wife and I recently completed a wonderful 13 day trek in the Everest region, I thought I would jot down some points. The motivation is two fold -
First, to encourage those of you are hesitating to go ahead with a trek in Nepal. The repercussions from the earthquake are less than I feared, at least in the areas of Everest, Kathmandu and Annapurna. Also if a 54 year old sedentary and not particularly fit person like myself can manage the trek comfortably, then there's hope for most people out there.
Second, after utilizing the forum for preparing the trek, and the very generous contributors (special thanks to Scoodly and IntoThinAir), I wanted to give something back.
So to the trek itself - we did the Gokyo trek with a slight diversion in that we walked along the EBC route until Tengboche and then cut across on a little used trail that goes across to Phortse and makes a wonderful day walking up and down the valley. It also spreads out the altitude gain, giving an extra day around 3800m
Day 1 Fly to Lukla. Walk to Phakding
Day 2 Phakding to Namche
Day 3 Namche acclimitization
Day 4 Namche to Tengboche
Day 5 Tengboche to Dole (via Phortse)
Day 6 Dole to Machermo
Day 7 Machermo to Gokyo
Day 8 climb Gokyo Ri and then descend till Machermo
Day 9 Machermo to Mongla
Day 10Mongla to Namche (via Khumjung)
Day 11 Namche to Phakding
Day 12 Phakding to Lukla
Day 13 Fly back to Kathmandu
1. We were lucky with our flights - but we came across a group that waited 3 days in Kathmandu airport and in the end ended up hiring a helicopter. Take this into account when scheduling your international flight.
2. In retrospect, probably should have done the three day walk in from Phaplu as would have given a more varied trek in terms of scenery and more acclimitization
3. Best guesthouse - Rivendell House in Debuche, just below Tengboche
4. Don't forget your antibiotics - I got ill in Machermo and they saved me. By the way, there were doctors in Machermo.
5. Be flexible - and allow sufficient time to make changes to the itinerary
6. The view at the top of Gokyo ri is out of this world. But my wife had a rough night at Gokyo so we opted to go straight down to Machermo rather than staying another night in Gokyo.
7. We hired a porter and a guide. There is no need for a guide in terms of route finding, but he definitely added to our experience by chatting to him about life in Nepal.
8. There are definitely less people visiting Nepal so this is probably the ideal time to go, especially on the busier routes and the country really needs the business
9. Kathmandu is painful - because of the pollution, which has got worse from the last time we were there . Think about staying outside, at least on the way back