Everest Region Photography Trek 2021

Gokyo Lake Sunrise, Nepal, 29-October-2019

Experience the overwhelming scenery of the Mt. Everest region of Nepal, on this epic 22-day photography-oriented fully-supported trek!

The Route

In 2019, I trekked the Everest Three Passes route...it was a fantastic experience, but the trekking was so challenging that it made exploring and serious photography difficult. For 2021, I have created a different route...it avoids the major passes, while spending multiple nights in the most photogenic spots. The highlights should be 4 nights at Gokyo, and 4 nights at Pangboche...both with extraordinary day hike possibilities.

The total trip length is 22 days (not including any required Covid protocols), starting on 10-October. Trip distance is roughly 95 km (60 miles), with 40-60 km of optional day hiking opportunities.

Note: although this trek is somewhat easier than a standard trek, it will still be very challenging. Elevations up to 5357 m (17,575 ft). Temperatures down to -12 C (10 F). And rocky trails shared with yaks. For a closer look at trekking in Nepal, check out photos from my Three Passes Trek in 2019.


Fully Supported

This trek will be fully supported with guides and porters. I used the Nepali-based Mountain Monarch guide service in 2019, and will use them again in 2021. Their guides are medically trained and equipped with supplemental oxygen, sat-phones, etc. They took very good care of us in 2019, and the company has policies to support their porters, and the environment. Highly recommended.

We will be staying in tea houses along the route. These are family-run lodging and restaurant combinations where we will be staying and eating. Facilities are primitive, but adequate. Rooms are small, and not heated. The food is mostly vegetarian...simple and hearty.


Reservations

This trek is now on the Mountain Monarch website, as an open trek that you can sign up for. To reserve a spot requires payment of $200 US, with the balance due in Nepal. The link below has all the details.

https://www.mountainmonarch.com/everest-photography-trek


The Itinerary

Note: this is for the trek starting on October 10th. Mountain Monarch will probably offer this trek on other dates as well...check their site if you're interested.

10-Oct - Arrive in Kathmandu / dinner with cultural program.

11-Oct - Cultural Tour Kathmandu - Explore Buddhist Boudhnath and Hindu Pashupatinath temple.

12-Oct - Flight to Lukla (2,800 m /9,186ft) Trek to Phakding (2,600 m / 8,530ft) Walk approx. 3/4hrs

13-Oct - Trek to Namche Bazaar (3,450 m /11,318ft) walk approx 7 hrs.

14-Oct - Rest day in Namche (3440 m)

15-Oct - Trek to Phortse Thanga (3680 m, +240 m), 9 km (5.6 mi)

16-Oct - Trek to Dhole (4040 m, +360 m), 3.4 km (2.1 mi)

17-Oct - Trek to Machermo (4470 m, +430), 5.6 km (3.5 mi)

18-Oct - Trek to Gokyo (4790 m, +320), 7 km (4.3 mi)

19-Oct - Rest/photo day Gokyo - Climb Gokyo Ri

20-Oct - Rest/photo day Gokyo - day-hike north to Gyazumba

21-Oct - Rest/photo day Gokyo - day-hike north to Ngbzumba Ri, or west to Renjo La

22-Oct - Trek to Dhole (4040 m, -750 m), 12.6 km (7.8 mi)

23-Oct - Trek to Pangboche (3930 m, -110 m), 10 km (6.2 mi)

24-Oct - Rest/photo day in Pangboche - Climb to Ama Dablam Base Camp

25-Oct - Rest/photo day in Pangboche - Climb to Tobuche Base Camp

26-Oct - Rest/photo day in Pangboche - Day-hike to Pheriche, or start down to Namche.

27-Oct - Trek to Namche, 15.1 km (9.4 mi)

28-Oct - Trek to Lukla, 19 km (11.8 mi)

29-Oct - Fly to Kathmandu

30-Oct - Rest and explore Kathmandu

31-Oct - Airport and flight home

This trek has been designed with photography in mind, but it is not a photography workshop. That said, I hope that we can all work together to share our knowledge with each other. On the trek, will will work with our guides to identify the best and safest locations for early morning and evening photography, and where we will day-hike on days we are not trekking to a new tea house.


Notes

I am not making any money off of this trek, nor collecting any money. All of that will be handled by the guide service in Nepal, Mountain Monarch. My main interest is in putting together a photography-oriented itinerary, in one of the world's highest wildest places.

Mountain Monarch has priced this 22-day trek at $2100 US. That provides for nearly all expenses, including airfare to and from Lukla, all lodging and nearly all meals, as well as guides and porters. You will need to budget a bit extra for alcoholic drinks, a couple of dinners in Kathmandou, souvenirs and snacks, and...important...tips for the guides and porters (recommend 10%+ of trip price).   


Coronavirus

Like most other countries, Nepal has been affected by Coronavirus. I suspect that we will need proof of vaccination (or, a quarantine period, if not vaccinated), and a negative Covid test, to enter Nepal. Keep an eye on the news, as this situation is changing day by day. 


Flying in and out of Lukla

If you have any fears of flying, this might not be for you. It is a short runway, at high elevation, sloped at 12%. Here's what the landing looks like coming into Lukla: https://www.highwildplaces.com/ToShare/n-5QnZCP/Nepal-2019/i-gw56jxr


If you are interested in this trek, please sign up for this Facebook Event. It will help me to keep track of who is interested. Or, comment below. Thanks.

If you are interested or have questions, enter a comment below.

  • Thanks for your interest, Mark. I trekked Three Passes in 2019, starting 17 October! It was great.

    As for the first day...we will probably hike from Lukla to Phakding, as you say. But, that depends on us arriving in Lukla in the morning. If all goes to plan, we will hike to Phakding. But, if we arrive on the last flight of the afternoon, that might not be possible and we will have to hike farther the next day to Namche.

  • Mark Libante

    on March 20, 2021

    Sounds like a great trip! We also trekked the Everest region in 2019 (Mountain Monarch Three Passes/Three Peaks).
    Trekking Lukla to Namche Baazar in one day would be quite the effort. We did Lukla to Phakding and then Phakcing to
    Namche Baazar when we visited.

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