Binod Rai guides you on a trek to Namche
The beauty of the hills, the charm of the forests, the chirping of birds, the songs of the rivers, the howling animals, the
pleasant air and quiet places can heal us from within.
Namche Trek is one of the most popular treks in the Himalayas. Trekkers usually take a flight from Kathmandu to Lukla which is the starting point for the Namche trek. The other option is to walk from Jiri, which is 12 hours by road from Kathmandu. It’s a seven day walk to Lukla from Jiri.
Kathmandu-Lukla (2850m)-Phakding (2650m)
You can take a spectacular mountain flight to Lukla. Watch out for the Langtang and Jugal ranges then Gaurisankar and Menlumtse before getting your first glimpse of Everest from the aircraft.
Khumbu gateway is the starting point for the trek. The trek goes gently downhill on pitched stone trails through low rhododendron forest, small farms and old and new hamlets to the bank of the foaming Dudh Koshi River.
There are plenty of short stops to meet the locals, take photographs and just soak up the scenery and the clear mountain air. It takes about three hours to get to Phakding in the time for lunch.
Phakding–Namche (3440 m)
The trek to Namche starts from the bank of the Dudh Koshi River. Mt Thamserku (6623m) looms skyward on the opposite bank. After crossing a stream and climbing terraced hills from the Dudh Koshi route, you arrive at Benkar. Walking along the river bank through a forest you arrive at Chumow. Passing a path with many ups and downs and after crossing a stream you pass Monjo a small village where you can stop for lunch. From Monjo, descending the stone steps you come across a suspension bridge and after a short walk you reach Jorshale which is the main entrance to the Sagarmatha National Park.
Namche (3440 m)
Take it easy here and explore the shops and cafes of this delightful little town. It has wonderful viewpoints to see the mountain world spread out. The beautiful Lhotse, Nuptse, Everest, Ama Dablam and Thamserku mountains ring the deep valley sides in a magnificent arena. Follow the downhill trail to the villages of Khumjung and Kunde.
Namche–Thame (3820 m)
After breakfast at Namche, start your trek to Thame, you’ll pass through beautiful pine forest and a Sherpa village.
A lunch stop is a must at Thamo, home of Ang Rita Sherpa, who holds the record for scaling Mt Everest 10 times without
oxygen. From here you descend to the bridge crossing the Bhote Koshi River and after a half hour hike uphill you’ll reach Thame Village.
Walk back to Namche, following the same route and descend towards Monjo. Retract the same trail; it takes about six hours to Monjo.
It is the last day of your trek. It takes around four hours to Lukla. You should retract the same trail and reach Phakding for lunch. Stay the night at Yeti Mountain Home, Lukla.
Time to wave goodbye to the Himalayas with a spectacular flight back to Kathmandu! In clear weather this can be one of the highlights of your tour, with an amazing view of the surrounding mountains.
Things to carry
Air Tickets: Rs 12,000
(Round trip for Nepali citizens)
Accommodation: Rs 2,000 per day
Best Time: October to November and April to Ma
A version of this article appears in print on April 21, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.