Everest Region Trekking
The Everest region has always been popular among trekkers, and of course the name Everest evokes real awe. Located in eastern Nepal, the Everest region offers a wide range of trekking experiences. From the Everest Base Camp trek (listed as one of the ten best trips in the world) to treks in remote semi-wilderness areas, there is much to choose from.
Solukhumbu district is the home of the legendary Sherpas and also the most popular region in the Himalaya. The northern part of the district (Khumbu) lies within the Sagarmatha National Park, which was established to protect the fragile ecosystem of the alpine region. To the east of the Sagarmatha National Park is the Makalu-Barun National Park, a remote and wild stretch of mountain peaks and deep, densely forested valleys. To the west is the Rolwaling valley, a well protected microcosm of cultures. The southern part of the district, Solu is less frequented by tourists but can be a very rewarding destination in its own right.
Mount Everest naturally is the major attraction here, but there are other 8,000 meter peaks in the region such as Lhotse, Cho Oyu and Makalu besides the many lesser peaks which are no less stunning. There's more to Khumbu than just mountains. The stark beauty in the form of glacial lakes, resplendent rhododendron forests, native flora and fauna, charming villages and ancient Buddhist monasteries all add up to make this region an irresistible tourist destination.
Permits and Fees
No special trekking permits are required for visiting this area, as long as trekkers stick to the established routes and refrain from mountaineering. An entry fee paid before entering the Sagarmatha National Park is all one needs to pay and this can be taken care of at the National Park desk in Thamel. However for treks to the east of the main Everest trail, an additional permit is required to enter the Makalu-Barun National Park (obtainable from the same location in Thamel). Visitors must also carry a TIMS (Trekker’s Information Management System) card obtainable free of cost from the Nepal Tourism Board office when they enter this national park.
The Everest base camp trek is one of those “trips of a lifetime”. It begins with an exciting flight to Lukla at 2800m and passes through the picturesque Sherpa village of Namche Bazaar to Gorakshep, and culminates in the ascent of Kala Patthar (5500m) from where classic views of Everest as well as Ama Dablam, Lhotse and many other peaks can be seen. Most of the trek is spent above 3000m in the Khumbu and Imia valleys, whose skylines are dominated by the massive peaks of the eastern Himalayas.
The Classical Jiri- Everest Base Camp Trek is probably the most famous trekking route in the world. Jiri is the traditional starting point for the approach to Everest, but this approach is very often omitted these days as busy visitors take the option to fly to Lukla.