Kathmandu Nepal Garma School Project & Everest Trek

 shutterstock_289606508 Buddhist temple in mountains

Trek in the Everest Region of Nepal and raise much needed funds for the Australian Himalayan Foundation’s rebuild Nepal program

Offered exclusively to Summit Club members, our trek takes place in the famous Everest region of Nepal. The main focus of this trip is to visit the Australian Himalayan Foundation projects and to participate in the rebuild of the Garma School after the devastating earthquakes of 2015. Not only does this trip offer magnificent trekking in unrivalled mountain scenery, it is also a rare opportunity to experience at a grass roots level, the hard work and commitment of the Australian Himalayan Foundation in Nepal. Beginning in the vibrant and colourful city of Kathmandu, we take time to visit some of the world heritage listed sites and AHF projects before taking a mountain flight into the foothills to participate in the Garma School project. Following our time at Garma we ascend into the Everest Region on an unforgettable trek that takes us into the Sherpa heart of Nepal. Finally, we take a magnificent flight out of the mountains and back to Kathmandu.

Kathmandu

The Kathmandu Summit Club Community is a group of people who love the outdoors. They believe the world is an invitation and they are passionate about exploring their own boundaries. Wherever in the world that takes them. Kathmandu have teamed up with The Australian Himalayan Foundation to help raise awareness and funds, and to educate and introduce people to the philosophy of giving back to the communities in which we travel through.

The Australian Himalayan Foundation

In remote communities like the Everest region of Nepal, children and their families are cut off from basic health and education services. Children as young as 11 carry heavy loads for days at a time and have no chance of receiving the benefits of a basic education. In response to this need, AHF’s Teacher Training and Quality Education program, operating in one of the poorest regions of rural Nepal, helps ensure that all children have access to primary education. In the wake of the 2015 devastating earthquakes, the AHF is now working hard to rebuild over 100 schools across the Everest region. AHF is also supporting and training community nurses in order to provide much needed maternal health services in as many remote villages as possible.

Highlights

  • Trek the Everest region of Nepal on a fully supported trek escorted by AHF Ambassador George Hillary
  • Raise much needed funds for the Australian Himalayan Foundation and take part in the re-build of Garma School
  • Experience the vibrant city of Kathmandu with sightseeing tours of Bhoudanath Stupa and Pashupatinath Temple
  • Led by an experienced Nepali Trek leader fluent in English and trained in Wilderness First Aid
  • Stunning Himalayan mountain views

Kathmandu logo

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shutterstock_544114717 Porter walking on the way to everest base camp shutterstock_289606508 Buddhist temple in mountains shutterstock_278193716 Yaks carrying gear to Everest base camp shutterstock_607708094.Nepal Forest shutterstock_537816076 Prayer wheels shutterstock_504833425 Nepalese women in traditional dress shutterstock_677274877 Trekkers on suspention bridge shutterstock_636117722 Panoramic view of Mount Everest from Kala Patthar

Kathmandu Nepal Garma School Project & Everest Trek

Escorted by Australian Himalayan Foundation Ambassador George Hillary

  • 17 Days  1 October – 17 October, 2018
  • 13 day trek
  • 3 nights hotel
  • 6 nights camping
  • 7 nights eco-lodge

Ex: Kathmandu, Nepal

Group size 6 to 16 guests

 

Itinerary

 

Day 1 Join Kathmandu

Namaste! Welcome to Nepal!

Upon arrival into Kathmandu airport you will be met by a representative of Adventure Associates and transferred to the Hotel Tibet International. Today is a joining day and so you are free to relax this afternoon. In the evening a trip briefing will be held with your Trek Leader and AHF Ambassador, before heading out for a welcome dinner.

Overnight hotel.

(D)

Day 2 In Kathmandu    

Kathmandu is a fascinating city and home to many UNESCO World Heritage sights such as Boudhanath Stupa, Pashupatinath Temple and Durbar Square. Following breakfast we will take a sightseeing tour of Pashupatinath, the major Hindu Temple, and Boudanath Stupa, the major Buddhist Stupa in Kathmandu. Afternoon is at your leisure, and we suggest heading into Thamel, the major tourist quarter of Kathmandu. Thamel is a hive of activity; there are many restaurants, cafes, book shops, gear stores and markets. This is the ideal time to pick up any items for your trek, which you may have forgotten to bring with you.

Overnight hotel.

(B)

Day 3 Fly Kathmandu to Phaplu (2360m), trek to Garma School (45mins)

Today we leave behind the colourful chaos of Kathmandu and board our mountain flight to Paphlu. The flight takes around 25 minutes and is a spectacular flight that takes us into the foothills of the Solu region where we will begin our journey into the mountains. This region is green and fertile, and is made up of small villages where we will catch our first glimpses of Nepal’s country side and the many cultural groups that inhabit these regions.

After we arrive we will set off on our trek to Garma School. On arrival at Garma we will set up our camp nearby and begin to establish a camp routine. Our camp will comprise of sleeping tents, toilet tent, a kitchen tent where our food will be prepared and a mess tent where we will take our meals as a group each evening.

Overnight camp.

(B,L,D)

Day 4 Garma School visit & project

You will be woken with a cup of bed tea and a washbasin so that you may wash in your tent. After breakfast we will meet the teachers and students of Garma School. The AHF will have identified with the school and community the project you will be undertaking at the school. This is likely to include painting, hammering and digging, this will be confirmed closer to your trips departure date.

Overnight camp.

(B,L,D)

Day 5 Trek to Phera (2150m), 5 hrs

Today is the first day of our trek into the mountains. Following breakfast we say goodbye to the teachers and students of Garma and set off towards Phaplu, along the same route in which we arrived. After some time we swing to the north towards Chiwang Monastery where we stop for lunch. Chiwang Monastery is the oldest monastery in the region and whilst here we will take some time to visit the monastery and see the monks who live and study here.

In the afternoon it is a short walk to Phera where we set up camp for the night.

Overnight camp.

(B,L,D)

Day 6 Trek to Nunthala (2200m), 6hrs

Todays trek begins with a gentle ascent to the Taksindu La (3870m). We pass through many Sherpa villages, the largest being Ringmu and Taksindu, where we will stop for our lunch break. After lunch we descend steeply to the village of Nunthala where we will camp for the night.

Overnight camp.

(B,L,D)

Day 7 Trek to Kharikhola, Bupsa (2600m),  5hrs

The trail to Bhupsa is undulating and mostly uphill before a steep descent takes us to a long suspension bridge which crosses the Dudh Koshi River. We pass through Jubhing and Kharikhola, both large villages with mixed ethnic groups of Sherpa, Rai and Magar. We then cross a small bridge spanning the Khari Khola river and finally we walk uphill to the village of Bupsa and our camp for the night.

Overnight camp.

(B,L,D)

Day 8 Trek to Chaurikharka (2750m), 7.5hrs

Once again we cross a small bridge over the Khari Khola river and then ascend a forested trail which traverses the ridge line. We are now close to the Khumbu region. We cross another river, the Piya Khola, and then head uphill to the Chutak La (pass at 2940m), followed by a steep down hill to the Surke Khola river. We traverse low, bypassing Lukla to Cheplung, where we join the main Everest Base Camp Trail. We are well and truly in the Sherpa heartlands now, and the trail will become busy with trekkers making their way up high into the most famous mountain region of the world.

Overnight camp.

(B,L,D)

Day 9 Trek to Monjo (2800m), 5hrs

We follow the Dudh Koshi river up valley crossing a number of spectacular suspension bridges to finally arrive in Monjo where we spend the night in a lodge. Tomorrow we will enter the Sagarmartha National Park, officially the Everest Region, and begin the big uphill to Namche. Tonight we stay in a lodge, where you may take a swell earned hot shower, and charge any electrical equipment or camera batteries you may need.

Overnight lodge

(B,L,D)

Day 10 Trek to Namche (3450m), 4-5hrs

The Sherpa culture of the valley is evident in the colourful Mani walls and prayer flags as we ascend the trail. We cross numerous spectacular suspension bridges today as we cross and re-cross the Dudh Koshi, the main river that travels down through the Khumbu from the high mountains. We enter the Sagarmartha National Park near Monjo, and stop to view the 3D model of the Everest region. Sagarmartha literally means “Forehead in the Bluer Sky” and is the Nepali name for Mount Everest. The Tibetan people refer to Mount Everest as Chomolongma, which means “Goddess Mother of Mountains”.
Finally a long steep ascent brings us to Namche, the gateway to the Everest Region, and if the weather is clear, we will have had our first glimpse of Mount Everest from the trail leading to Namche.

On arrival in Namche we settle into our lodge. At 3450 metres in altitude, we must take it easy and relax, allowing our bodies to acclimatise to the new altitude. Namche, commonly known these days as Namche Bazaar, is a traditional trading village. For centuries the people of Tibet would cross into Nepal over the Nangpa La, to trade salt and other commodities. It is now a major village with many lodges, cafe’s, bakeries and gear stores. It is an interesting place to walk around and observe the hustle and bustle of trekkers, local villagers and shop owners.

Overnight lodge.

(B,L,D)

Day 11 In Namche

We are now well and truly in the mountains of the Himalaya, and Namche is a beautiful Sherpa town set in a hillside and surrounded by snowy peaks. Due to the altitude we must take an extra day to acclimatise here. For those who are feeling energetic we will take an early morning walk to the National Park Headquarters to see the sunrise of Everest. We will also visit the Namche Monastery and take some time to rest and enjoy the hustle and bustle of Namche.

Overnight lodge.

(B,L,D)

Day 12 Trek to Tengboche Monastery (3800m), 6-7hrs

As we traverse high above the Dudh Koshi river, the forest thins out and the views open up. As we round the bend after Namche we are rewarded with awesome views of peaks such as Thamserku, Kantega and Ama Dablam, one of the most photographed peaks in the world. This is Himalayan trekking at it’s best, be sure to have your camera at the ready!

Eventually we descend to the village of Phunke Tenga for lunch, and afterwards we cross a bridge and make a final two-hour ascent up to Tengboche.

The Monastery sits spectacularly in a saddle on the ridge, and the surrounding views of snowy peaks are magnificent. Tengboche Monastery is the religious centre of the Solu Khumbu and the largest monastery in Nepal. In January 1989 a fire devastated the monastery, it has now been re-built and is a working monastery housing at least 30 young monks who pursue their religious education here.

Overnight lodge.

(B,L,D)

Day 13 Trek to Khumjung (3700m), visit Hillary School & hospital, 5hrs

Today is a short trekking day, in the morning we hope to see the monks in the prayers before we depart and back track to Khyangjuma. It’s then a short 30 min walk to Khumjung for lunch. Khumjung is a picturesque village. In the afternoon we visit Khumjung School, built in 1961 as the first major project of the Himalayan Trust, founded by Sir Edmund Hillary. The school caters for pre-school, primary and secondary students with over 350 students attending. We also take time to visit the Khunde Hospital, another of the Himalayan Trust projects which provides much needed medical care to the Sherpa community.

Overnight lodge.

(B,L,D)

 Day 14 Trek to Monjo (2800m), 5 hrs

After breakfast we trek through picturesque forested trails to Namche, where we pick up the main trail back to Monjo.

Overnight lodge

(B,L,D)

Day 15 Trek to Lukla, 3-4hrs

Our final day in the mountains sees us re-tracing our steps back to Lukla, although we have travelled this trail before it offers a different perspective of the mountain views and villages we pass through.

Overnight lodge.

(B,L,D)

Day 16 Fly Lukla to Kathmandu

We rise early this morning to be ready for our exciting 45-minute STOL aircraft mountain flight back to Kathmandu. It is one of the most exciting flights in the world as we float through the high mountains and descend once again into the organised chaos of Kathmandu. On arrival we transfer to the hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure.

In the evening enjoy a final group dinner.

(B)

Day 17 Depart Kathmandu

After a leisurely breakfast transfer to the airport for your international flight.

(B)

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Dates and Cost

  • 17 Days  1 October – 17 October, 2018
  • 13 Day trek
  • 3 nights hotel
  • 6 nights camping
  • 7 nights eco-lodge

Ex: Kathmandu – Nepal

Twin Share

AU$ 3,050
Single Supplement AU$550

Single supplements

The cost of this tour is based on twin share arrangements; if you are travelling alone we will match you up with another traveller of the same gender. If you wish to guarantee your own room and tent you can pay the single supplement applicable to this trip.

Fundraising

To join this trip there is a minimum charity donation or fundraising requirement of $1000. AHF will contact you to organise your online fundraising platform. This trek is registered through GoFundraise, payments can be made at www.gofundraise.com.au

What’s included

  • Kathmandu gear voucher valued at $250
  • Escorted by Australian Himalayan Foundation Ambassador George Hillary
  • Arrival and departure transfers if arriving day 1 and departing day 17
  • All internal transport by private vehicle
  • 16 breakfasts, 13 lunches, 14 dinners
  • Internal flights Kathmandu to Phaplu and Lukla to Kathmandu
  • Hotel accommodation at the Tibet International Hotel in Kathmandu in twin share
  • Welcome dinner in Kathmandu
  • Half day sightseeing tour in Kathmandu with site entrance fees
  • Experienced English speaking Nepalese trek leader trained in remote wilderness first aid and mountain medicine
  • Park entrance fees and trekking permits
  • Trekking crew including trek cook, kitchen staff, Sirdar and porters to carry 15kg of your personal luggage
  • AHF trek duffle bag, yours to keep
  • Sleeping bag, down jacket and sleeping mat for use on trek
  • Porter insurance
  • Expedition medical kit

What’s not included

  • International airfares and airport taxes
  • Any meals not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Personal travel insurance (compulsory)
  • Bottled water, soft drinks and alcoholic beverages
  • Items of a personal nature such as laundry, hot showers in lodges, battery charging fees, phone calls
  • Tips
  • Additional transport due to an emergency

How to Book

To ensure your place on this exciting adventure, please contact us to reserve a place 02 6355 2022 or mail@adventureassociates.com, then complete the Adventure Associates Booking Form and return to us with your AUD 500 per person deposit.

Deposit required per person: AU$500 per person
Balance due: 75 days prior to departure
If booking within 74 days of departure: Full payment must be made.

Reservations are established when you receive written confirmation and acceptance of the deposit and Booking Form. Travel insurance is strongly recommended at the time of booking.

Cancellations

Cancellations must be advised in writing to Adventure Associates. Cancellation charges are subject to regulations of airlines, coach and tour operators, hotels and other principals involved. If it is necessary to cancel your arrangements, the following non-refundable charges will apply.

More than 100 days prior to departure Full loss of deposit per person
Between 99 and 75 days prior to departure Full loss of deposit per person
Between 74 and 31 days prior to departure 75% of tour cost per person
On or within 30 days prior to departure No Refund

If the cancellation charge is more than your advance payment you remain liable for the difference. For these and other reasons mentioned above you are strongly recommended to take out Travel Insurance. Once the Land Tour has departed there will be no refund for any unused portions of the trip.

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Trek difficulty & fitness

Preparation is important to ensuring you enjoy your trek and meet the challenge of each day. Some days we will trek for only 4 hours or so, and others will be longer days of up to 8 hours. You should start preparing at least 6 months before your trip commences. This trip is a moderately graded trek, and so you can expect up to 8 hours of walking per day. There is no “easy” walking in the Himalaya, and so you must expect steep ascents and descents, and possible adverse weather conditions. Aim to train 2 -3 times per week, it’s about legs and lungs, and so running and cycling are good, as well as gym sessions which should include an hour of cardio work and some leg work. Extended bushwalking or hiking on the weekends is great preparation. Anywhere where you can find lots of ups and downs will stand you in good stead for the challenge ahead. It is not about speed, but rather slow and steady. Your trek leader and staff will ensure you keep a slow steady pace, which helps with acclimatisation to the high altitudes. Once you have booked your tour you will receive our comprehensive pre-departure information covering all aspects of preparation and equipment needed for your trek.

Weather

Out trek takes place in autumn, during the trek the weather is likely to be quite pleasant. Daytime temperatures can reach 15 to 25 degrees, however mornings and evenings will be cooler. At lower altitudes it will feel quite warm and humid, especially when you are trekking, night time temperatures may drop to around 5°C. We spend several nights at around 3,200 metres, where it can be quite cold (as low as -5º C at this time of year), these nights are spent in comfortable and warm lodges. October usually offers clear skies as the monsoon has moved away by mid to late September. Remember that you are in the Himalaya and so it can be unpredictable at times, make sure you come prepared for mountain weather conditions.

Nepal

Nepal is home to the most famous mountain range in the world – The Himalaya. Thousands of people travel to the Himalaya each season to trek to the base of Mount Everest, the world’s highest mountain, and to experience the unique Buddhist culture of the Sherpa people.

Originally from Tibet, the Sherpa people live and work in the Everest region, and are famous for their strength and endurance amongst the highest peaks in the world, and also their resilience in eking out a very basic existence in one of the most inhospitable regions of the world.

Nepal is also extremely poor and disadvantaged in many of its rural areas. Schools and medical help are not available in many villages, and in some cases the locals must walk for days just to reach medical clinics for basic care, or to go to school. Still, a trip in Nepal leaves long lasting impressions of a people who are generous and caring and above all smiling and happy.

It is said that every person should travel to the Himalaya once in their life, however many people return again and again, and it’s not just for the stunning mountain scenery, it’s the beautiful people of Nepal that brings people back time after time. A trip in Nepal is far more than just a holiday, it is a life changing experience!

 About the trek

This is a camping and lodge based trek, but one that is very different to any camping trek undertaken in the west. You will sleep in a tent, and you will have a trek leader, a Sirdar, trekking crew, a kitchen crew, and porters to carry your personal baggage. The crew will set up camp, cook and serve all meals. You will be woken in the morning with bed tea in your tent, there will be time for a quick wash and to pack your duffel ready for the porters to take to our next nights camp. You will then be served breakfast in the mess tent and soon after depart for your days trekking.

This is the traditional way of mountain travel in Nepal and it offers an unbeatable opportunity to get to know a Nepali crew while visiting remote country in reasonable comfort.

We use two-man tents. Each tent is supplied with a foam mattress for each person. During the day all you carry is a daypack with a water bottle, camera, jacket, sunscreen and any other personal items you might need.

The rest of your gear goes into your trek duffle bag to be carried by our porters.

As we ascend higher into the mountains we will use eco-lodges, where you will be accommodated in private rooms with a comfortable bed. Each lodge is hand selected by us for their responsible environmental practices and high standards of hygiene and service. In the lodges hot showers are available as well as facilities to charge your electrical equipment, this is at a small extra cost.

Our Leaders in the field

Our trek leaders are experienced and highly trained in wilderness first aid and high altitude medicine. They are local to the region and highly skilled expedition leaders who are knowledgeable and passionate, and will ensure that all aspects of you trek run smoothly. Many of our leaders have progressed from trekking crew members through to fully qualified international mountain guides, and many have also studied abroad. If you are undertaking a mountaineering expedition you can be assured that your climbing leader is highly skilled in the mountains with a wealth of experience and knowledge.

Altitude

If you are ascending above 3500m, acclimatisation to altitude is an important factor and can greatly impact your enjoyment. Our trekking schedules have been carefully designed to minimise the effects of altitude. We ascend slowly and ensure an adequate number of rest days to enable safe acclimatisation. It is still possible for mountain sickness to occur, therefore a close watch is kept on each group member by the your trek leader, who is trained in recognising and treating early symptoms of acute mountain sickness.

These symptoms include bad headache, nausea, lethargy and, in extreme cases, ataxia or loss of co-ordination and severe breathlessness on rest. A mild headache and breathlessness are not uncommon at altitude but in combination with any of the above more serious symptoms, immediate descent is imperative. If you or your friends display any of these symptoms please make sure that you inform the Group Leader immediately. It is essential at altitude that you keep your fluid intake up and it is important that you drink at least 4 liters of liquid per day to keep well hydrated. Your Group Leader will advise you more thoroughly regarding altitude problems during your group briefing in Kathmandu and throughout your trip.

Food & Hygiene

The trekking crew is very conscious of hygiene and food is carefully prepared.

Whilst camping much of the food will be carried in with us so that we do not impact on local resources.

The food will be a mix of Nepali and western style and you will be amazed at the quality and variety that the kitchen staff can produce. Safe drinking water is provided for you throughout the trek. Please let us know in advance if you have any dietary requirements.

Routine

The average day begins at dawn (around 6.00 am) with a hot cup of bed tea and basin of washing water. The crew will break camp and pack while you are having a cooked breakfast. The kitchen crew walks on ahead to set up and cook lunch, which we normally eat around noon.

After lunch we travel for a couple of hours. Normally we reach our campsite around mid-afternoon, which leaves time for relaxing, or exploring, there are always things to explore and curious locals to meet.

We eat around 5.30 – 6pm – either in a dining tent, or lodge dining room if lodging. Night falls early (around 6.30 pm) and it can start getting cold as soon as the sun drops behind the mountains.

Unfortunately there is a major shortage of wood in some areas of Nepal. This makes life very difficult for locals who still need wood for heating and cooking, and over-harvesting has led to serious environmental problems. We do not use wood for cooking and we do not have campfires at night. We do have kerosene lamps if you want to stay up, but the best place to be is in a sleeping bag!

 Mountain Flights

The maximum baggage allowance on flights to and from Lukla and Phaplu is 15kgs, this includes the weight of your hand luggage. On this trip we will allow you up to 20kgs, however remember that the weight of your luggage to be carried by the porters should not exceed 15kgs. Our partner in Nepal will hold your e-tkts for your flights in and out of the Everest region.

 Conservation

Nepal’s environment is extremely fragile. Its rapidly increasing population is putting immeasurable pressure on the country’s environment and resources and it is our responsibility as visitors to minimise the impact of our presence. De-forestation is Nepal’s greatest environmental challenge and it is for this reason that we use cooking gas for all cooking in camps and at the lodges. We do not have campfires and we strongly discourage travellers from buying wood-fuelled hot showers in lodges along the trail. The lodges we use have solar power or gas water heating.

 Adventure Travel

In the remote areas that we operate things don’t always go to plan. By its very nature adventure travel presents it’s own challenges, sometimes flights don’t run on time, or traffic makes us run late. The weather may not always co-operate or any other number of issues may arise to keep us on our feet. Sometimes we may need to adjust our itinerary and schedules due to events beyond our control. If something like this occurs your trek leader will always keep you informed. Keep an open mind and a flexible attitude, and any challenges that may arise will be taken in your stride.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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George Hillary

George has always had a strong connection with Nepal, through his father, Peter Hillary, and grandfather, Sir Edmund Hillary. He has been fortunate enough to travel through the area on several occasions, during which he has been able to foster a more personal connection with the local communities, and the projects and goals of the AHF. He is looking forward to continuing his family’s legacy through his work as a Youth Ambassador for the AHF, which allows him to introduce people to the Nepal Himalaya through our trekking programs.

 shutterstock_278193716 Yaks carrying gear to Everest base camp

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