Everest Base Camp Trek – Himalaya Climb

Every mountain enthusiast should visit the Himalaya!  The classic Everest Base Camp Trek and Kala Patar climb is justifiably one of the most famous treks in the Himalaya, if not the world.  If you only have one opportunity to visit Nepal, this trek is not to be missed.

Trekkers follow the same route as our climbers will take to reach base camp on the Everest Expedition.

High in the Himalaya, the Khumbu is a beautiful and culturally rich region. The immense mountain landscape and its warm and welcoming people are inseparable and yet are often in stark contrast with one another. The Sherpa and Tibetan peoples have been living in the high mountains of the Himalaya for thousands of years and have rich traditions entwined with their mountain surroundings. They are an incredibly warm and generous people, which provides a wonderful respite from the high, cold environs of their surrounding peaks.

dZi Foundation Fundraiser Trek!  dzi_log_NEW 717kb

The earthquakes that began in April 2015 devastated many communities in Nepal, and nobody was unaffected by the tragedy.   It also laid bare the lack of basic infrastructure that exists, particularly in remote areas of Nepal.  We’ve explored many ways to help the people of Nepal, and sent direct aid to many of our Sherpa team whose homes were damaged, but that doesn’t address the long term needs and development in small rural villages.  So we’ve decided to team up with our friends at dZi Foundation for our Everest Base Camp Treks.  See Tab Below for details on these fundraising treks.

dZi Foundation has worked in partnership with extremely remote communities in Nepal to create lasting improvements in their quality of life since 1998. dZi’s work now impacts over 29,000 people through an innovative array of community-led initiatives that focus primarily on infrastructure and agriculture. Since the earthquakes that began in April, 2015, dZi  has stayed true to its mission while also increasing its budget to affect additional relief and reconstruction efforts. To learn more about dZi’s work,visit their website dZi Foundation.

We’ll begin the Everest Base Camp Trek in the busy city of Kathmandu, Nepal.  We depart the hustle and bustle of Kathmandu, via an awe-inspiring flight into the foothills of the Himalayas to the mountain airstrip in the village of Lukla.  The Khumbu region is the home of the Sherpa people and we will visit the bustling village of Namche Bazaar and the iconic Tengboche monastery, as we make our way through mountain valleys en route to our destination. The unmatched scenic beauty of this region is truly hard to describe, but as we climb out of deep valleys and gain altitude, it unfolds before us, with views of legendary peaks, steeped in a rich tradition of mountaineering.  Ama Dablam, Baruntse, Imja Tse, Lhotse, Cholatse, Nuptse, and numerous other stunning peaks come into view as we climb our way up to the foot of Mount Everest.

On the trek we will be hiking for 4-8 hours a day at a comfortable pace, we have an itinerary (see tab below) designed to allow our guest to acclimatize so you can feel good and really enjoy the experience.  Yaks and porters help carry the majority of our gear for the trek so that trekkers need only carry a day pack with some extra clothes, snacks and water for the day.  Our trekking teams stay in comfortable, locally owned lodges that we have chosen for their quality, healthful food, as well as the facility.

Our treks are led by both local Sherpa guides and highly experienced and trained Mountain Trip guides, many of whom have climbed extensively in the Himalaya.  Mountain Trip brings our high level of personal service and commitment not only to our trekkers, but also to developing and maintaining relationships with our Himalayan friends and staff, most of whom have worked with us for years.  Our guides’ expertise and Mountain Trip’s  personal touch enable us to provide you with the experience of a lifetime.

dZi Foundation Fundraiser Trek

Visit one of the most spectacular mountain regions in the world and do something to help the local people rebuild after the earthquakes of 2015!  Join Mountain Trip on this beautiful trek to Everest Base Camp, climb Kala Pattar, learn about the local culture from our Sherpa guides, and know that you are helping people out!   The dZi Foundation has a great organization on the ground in Nepal to continue to help with the immediate needs of rebuilding, and they’ll be there in the long term as well to help with sustainable community development projects to improve the lives of the people of rural Nepal.

On our Spring Everest Base Camp Trek we will trek through the spectacular Khumbu Valley, marvel at some of the most iconic and storied peaks in the world, stay in locally owned lodges and “tea houses”, and visit the bustling Everest Base Camp.  This is truly THE iconic trek of Nepal, and each day new views of the Himalayas open up until we are standing at the base of the highest mountain on earth.  Our treks are led by a team of local Sherpa guides and US trained Mountain Trip guides so you get the best of both worlds.   We work with a great team of local Sherpa guides on our climbs and treks, most of whom come from the village of Kurima in the Solukhumbu district.

**You can do it all in just two weeks!  There is an option of flying out via helicopter if you need to make this a two week trek to accommodate people with a more limited time to visit Nepal (please contact us for details and costs)

Please see the dZi Foundation Fundraiser tab for more details on this special trek.

KathmanduDay 1:  Arrive Kathmandu.  We will meet you at the airport and bring you to your hotel.

Day 2:  Explore Kathmandu — This will be a day of leisure in the bustling city of Kathmandu. You can visit local temples and we will check your gear to be certain that you are have everything you’ll need for the trek.  This evening we will have a team “Welcome Dinner” and a representative from dZi Foundation will give us a presentation about their programs in Nepal.

Day 3:  Fly to Lukla and begin the trek!  We will catch an early morning flight from Kathmandu to the village of Lukla in the foothills of the Himalaya. After organizing our gear and meeting our team of porters, we’ll have a bit of lunch and then begin our first short day of trekking. We’ll follow the Dudh Kosi river from Lukla up to the village of Phakding (9,000 ft/2610 m) along the banks of the Dudh Khosi River, where we will spend the first night.  (3 hours trekking)

Day 4:  Phakding to Namche. We will continue to follow the Dudh Kosi river deeper into the mountains to the village of Jorsale where we enter the Sagarmartha National Park and register with the park. From here the trail gets steeper as we climb towards Namche Bazaar (11,200ft/3440m) which is the capital of the Khumbu region and the Sherpa people. As the trail climbs towards Namche we’ll cross a spectacular suspension bridge above the confluence of the Bhote Kosi and Dudh Kosi rivers. (5-6 hrs trekking)Namche Nepal

Day 5:  Namche Bazaar. We will spend the day enjoying the bustling trading hub that is Namche. This day is an important acclimatization day as we are climbing high into the Himalaya. It is also a great place to hang out and see how many bakeries you can visit in one day. The Sagarmartha National Park Visitors Center is just above Namche and is a fascinating place to explore, we’ll also hike up to the Everest Hotel, have a cup of tea and enjoy our first views of Everest.

Day 6:  Namche to Tengboche Monastery, and down to Deboche. The views above Namche become dominated by the striking mountain, Ama Dablam (22,493ft/6856m), and views of Mt Everest and Nuptse still off in the distance. The trail eventually drops down to the Dudh Khosi river one more time, followed by a Tengboche Monasterysteep climb out of the river valley to the Tengboche Monastery (12,700ft/3870m). The monastery sits high above the river and under the towering Himalaya. We’ll visit the monastery and visitors center, and enjoy some spectacular views of the Himalayas from this high point.  We may have an opportunity to attend some Buddhist ceremonies in the famous Tengboche Monastery, and get a chance to learn about the Buddhist culture that is foundational to the lives of the local Sherpa people at the Sherpa Cultural Center.   We’ll enjoy the afternoon here, and visit one of the local bakeries before descending a short way down through lush rhododendron forests to Deboche, where we will spend the night. (4-5 hrs trekking)

IMG_0461Day 7:  Deboche to Dingboche. The trail climbs very gradually from Deboche thru lush rhododendron forests up to the small village of Pangboche, and then the gradual climb up the valley to the village of Dingboche (14,500ft/4410m).  We can stop in Pangboche at another famous monastery where Llama Geshe offers blessings to climbers heading up into the high mountains.  We’ll continue up to the village of Dingboche at the base of Ama Dablam, where we will spend an extra day to acclimatize. (4 hours trekking)

Day 8:  Dingboche acclimatization and hiking. We will spend a day in Dingboche to allow our bodies to catch up to the thin air at this altitude. There are many great hikes to take out of Dingboche including a hike to the village of Chhukung near the base of Island Peak. There is plenty of exploring to do, or you can sleep in and read a book!IMG_0554

Day 9:  Dingboche to Lobuche. The trails ascends slowly out of Dingboche towards the terminal moraine of the Khumbu Glacier. This mound of rock was pushed in front of the glacier before it retreated back up to the flanks of Mt Everest. The terrain above here becomes more rocky as we climb higher into the upper Khumbu valley. Along the way we’ll pass the collection of memorials to mountaineers who have died on Everest. The bulk of Nuptse (25,850ft/7879m) dominates the views as we climb towards the lodges of Lobuche (16,175ft/4930m) where we will spend the night. (4-5 hrs trekking)

Day 10:  Lobuche to Gorak Shep. The trail continues to climb up to the last lodges before base camp at Gorak Shep (16,920ft/5157m). The terrain becomes more stark and the air becomes colder as we continue to climb into the alpine environment high in the Himalaya. After reaching Gorak Shep we can take a tea break, and if the weather is nice, continue up to the famous Everest viewpoint of Kala Patar which is a short and very rewarding hike. This will be the highest point we reach on the trek at 18,300 ft/5577 meters. You will certainly notice your lungs working overtime as you hike at this altitude. If the weather doesn’t cooperate on this day, we’ll work the Kala Pattar climb into another day.  (3-4 hours trekking)

IMG_0648Day 11:  Gorak Shep to Everest Base Camp. From the last lodges we will set off across the enormous moraine of the Khumbu glacier and on to the bustling tent city that is Everest Base Camp (17,300ft/5273m) during the climbing season. It is an unlikely environment of rock and rubble to carve out a home, but a community of mountaineers and adventurers come every year to live in the tent city.  When we arrive, we’ll settle into our tents, and enjoy meals cooked by our wonderful base camp cook.  (4-5 hours trekking)

Day 12:  Everest Base Camp. We will spend the next day exploring base camp, the lower reaches of the Khumbu Icefall, and feeling the incredible energy of the climbers making their preparations for their Everest expeditions. We will be able to watch climbers, and the hard working Sherpas begin their ascent through the Khumbu icefall IMG_0520 2and hope to be able to witness the traditional Puja ceremony. **(If you need to leave the trip early, you can fly back by helicopter to Lukla/Kathmandu from Base Camp on this day, please inquire for details and costs)

Day 13:  Everest Base Camp to Pheriche. After saying goodbye to the Mountain Trip Everest climbing team, we will begin the trek back towards Lukla. It goes much quicker on the return, but it’s hard to leave this stunning place.  (7-8hrs trekking)

Day 14:  Pheriche to Namche. One more night in Namche in the bustling village. (6-8hrs trekking)

Day 15:  Namche to Phakding. We’ll have one last opportunity to visit our favorite bakeries and even buy a few souvenirs from the Bazaar before heading down valley back to Phakding.  (4 hours trekking)

Day 16:  Phakding to Lukla.  Our final stretch of the trek is back uphill to the village of Lukla where the local airport sits.   We’ll have this evening to enjoy the relatively urban feel of Lukla and to celebrate our return.  We’ll say our farewells and thank you’s to our local porters and Sherpa team this evening. (4 hours trekking)

Day 17:  Fly to Kathmandu.  These are usually early morning flights to take advantage of the typically clear morning weather.  We’ll return to the hustle and bustle of the city, and enjoy one of the many great dinner spots.  (This day also serves as an extra day in case we have any weather delays flying in/out of Lukla)

Day 18:  Kathmandu. One last day to explore the exciting blend of Hindu and Budhhist cultures that define this city. Visiting Durbar Square, Boddinath Stupa, Temples, and shopping in Thamel will keep you busy. We’ll have our final farewell dinner before everyone begins their journey’s onwards.

Day 19:  Flights back home!

On our Spring Everest Base Camp Trek we will join up with our Mount Everest climbing team for the trek to base camp and spend a couple of days with them as they begin their journey.  The Autumn Everest Base Camp trek will go to the base camp, but there will typically not be climbing teams and base camp set up that time of year.  The itinerary for the Spring and Autumn trek is slightly different to accommodate.

Day 1:  Arrive Kathmandu.  We will meet you at the airport and bring you to your hotel.

Day 2:  Explore Kathmandu — This will be a day of leisure in the bustling city of Kathmandu. You can visit local temples and we will check your gear to be certain that you are have everything you’ll need for the trek.

Day 3:  We will catch an early morning flight from Kathmandu to the village of Lukla in the foothills of the Himalaya. After organizing our gear and meeting our team of porters, we’ll have a bit of lunch and then begin our first short day of trekking. We’ll follow the Dudh Kosi river from Lukla up to the village of Phakding (9,000 ft/2,800 m) where we will spend the first night.

Day 4:  Phakding to Namche. We will continue to follow the Dudh Kosi river deeper into the mountains to the village of Jorsale where we enter the Sagarmartha National Park and register with the park. From here the trail gets steeper as we climb towards Namche Bazaar (11,200ft/3440m) which is the capital of the Khumbu region and the Sherpa people. As the trail climbs towards Namche we’ll cross a spectacular suspension bridge above the confluence of the Bhote Kosi and Dudh Kosi rivers.

Day 5:  Namche Bazaar. We will spend the day enjoying the bustling trading hub that is Namche. This day is an important acclimatization day as we are climbing high into the Himalaya. It is also a great place to hang out and see how many bakeries you can visit in one day. The Sagarmartha National Park Visitors Center is just above Namche and is a fascinating place to explore.

Day 6:  Namche to Tengboche. The views above Namche become dominated by the striking Ama Dablam (22,493ft/6856m), and some of our first views of Mt Everest still off in the distance. The trail eventually drops down to the Dudh Khosi river one more time, followed by a steep climb out of the river valley to the Tengboche Monastery (12,700ft/3870m). The monastery sits high above the river and under the towering Himalaya. We’ll be able to visit the monastery and visitors center, and will wake in the morning to the prayers and bells of the Buddhist monks living here.

Day 7:  Tengboche to Dingboche. The trail initially descends from Tengboche thru lush rhododendron forests down to the small village of Pangboche, and then the gradual climb up the valley to the village of Dingboche (14,500ft/4410m). We will spend 3 nights in Dingboche to acclimate before moving higher.

Day 8-9 :  Dingboche acclimatization and hiking. We will spend a couple of days in Dingboche to allow our bodies to catch up to the thin air at this altitude. There are many great hikes to take out of Dingboche including a hike to the village of Chhukung near the base of Island Peak. There is plenty of exploring to do, or you can sleep in and read a book!

Day 10 :  Dingboche to Lobuche. The trails ascends slowly out of Dingboche towards the terminal moraine of the Khumbu Glacier. This mound of rock was pushed in front of the glacier before it retreated back up to the flanks of Mt Everest. The terrain above here becomes more rocky as we climb higher into the actual Khumbu valley. Along the way we’ll pass the collection of memorials to mountaineers who have died on Everest. The bulk of Nuptse (25,850ft/7879m) dominates the views as we climb towards the lodges of Lobuche (16,175ft/4930m) where we will spend the night.

Day 11:  Lobuche to Gorak Shep. The trail continues to climb up to the last lodges before base camp at Gorak Shep (16,920ft/5157m). The terrain becomes more stark and the air becomes colder as we continue to climb into the alpine environment high in the Himalaya. After reaching Gorak Shep we can take a tea break, and continue up to the famous Everest viewpoint of Kala Patar which is a short and very rewarding hike. This will be the highest point we reach on the trek at 18,300 ft/5577 meters. You will certainly notice your lungs working overtime as you hike at this altitude.

Day 12:  Gorak Shep to Everest Base Camp and return to Lobuche. From the last lodges we will set off across the enormous moraine of the Khumbu glacier and on to the place where the tent city that is Everest Base Camp (17,300ft/5273m) springs up during the climbing season. It is an unlikely environment of rock and rubble to carve out a home, but a community of mountaineers and adventurers come every year to live in the tent city.  We’ll begin our trek back down the valley this afternoon.

Day 13 : Lobuche to Pangboche.  We will visit the village of Pangboche on the return, the home of Llama Geshe who famously gives blessings to climbers passing through on their way up the Khumbu Valley.

Day 14:  Pangboche to Namche. One more night in Namche to visit your favorite bakery.

Day 15:  Namche to Lukla. The last day is a big one, but by now you’ll be a fit trekker, and the air just keeps getting thicker as we descend. We’ll spend the night in Lukla and have a farewell dinner with our Sherpa staff before flying to Kathmandu early the next day.

Day 16:  Fly to Kathmandu. We’ll return to the hustle and bustle of the city, and enjoy one of the many great dinner spots.

Day 17:  Kathmandu. One last day to explore the exciting blend of Hindu and Budhhist cultures that define this city. Visiting Durbar Square, Boddinath Stupa, Temples, and shopping in Thamel will keep you busy. We’ll have our final farewell dinner before everyone begins their journey’s onwards.

Day 18: Flights Home

Refunds and Cancellations

Mountain Trip recognizes how difficult and disappointing it can be for climbers who must cancel expeditions which they have planned for a long time. Team members must also recognize that, due to the nature of planning expeditions and dealing with governmental permits and regulations, Mountain Trip also accrues significant expenses in the months prior to expedition departure dates. We must therefore adhere to a strict refund policy for all climbers. Trip cancellation and travel insurance is generally available for all expeditions. U.S. and Canadian residents should contact us for more information regarding travel insurance. Our refund and cancellation policy is outlined below.

  • All expeditions require a deposit to secure a spot on the team. Your submission of a deposit constitutes your acceptance of this Fee Schedule, Refund and Cancellation Policy.
  • All deposits for Everest Base Camp Treks include a non-refundable $750 administration fee.
  • Final payments for expeditions must be received 120 days prior to the Team Meeting Day.
  • Failure to pay expedition fees by the date they are due constitutes cancellation of your spot on the team and forfeiture of your deposit.
  • Any cancellation 120+ days before your Team Meeting Day will be refunded in full, less the administration fee.
  • If you cancel 120-90 days before your Team Meeting Day, you are eligible for a refund of 50% of any monies paid, less the deposit.
  • No refunds will be provided for cancellations occurring within the last 89 days prior to an expedition.
  • All requests for refunds must be made in writing and received in our Colorado office.
  • If you register for a climb within 90 days of the Team Meeting Date, expedition fees will be due in full to secure your spot on the team.
  • Mountain Trip reserves the right to cancel an expedition prior to the departure date for any reason. In such an event, all monies collected by Mountain Trip from team members for that expedition shall be promptly refunded. This is the extent of our financial liability.

 

Inclusions and Exclusions

Included in the Trip Fee:

  • Mountain Trip Guide.  Your expedition will be led by one of our guides with extensive 6000 meter experience.
  • Climbing permits
  • Sherpa support.  We have an all-star team of Sherpa who work with us in the Khumbu.
  • Hotel transfers in Kathmandu
  • Up to three nights hotel lodging in Kathmandu at a 4-star hotel
  • Welcome Dinner in Kathmandu
  • Scheduled group flights via fixed wing aircraft between Kathmandu and Lukla
  • All food and lodging during the trek to BC
  • Group climbing and camping equipment as necessary
  • All porter support to/from Base Camp
  • Custom expedition dispatches so your friends and family can follow along on your adventure.

Not Included in the Trip Fee:

  • Trip Cancellation Insurance.  US and Canadian residents can contact us for insurance options.
  • International flights to and from Nepal
  • Kathmandu personal expenses (apart from those included above)
  • Personal equipment per our equipment list
  • Customary gratuities for local staff and Mountain Trip guide(s)
  • Sodas, beer, bottled water, internet, and assorted “extras” during the trek to Everest Base Camp
  • Expenses incurred as a result of an early departure from the expedition
  • Expenses incurred due to delays beyond the control of Mountain Trip

 

General Agreement Concerning Services to be Provided And Responsibilities of Team Members

When registering for an expedition with Mountain Trip we want to help make sure you understand the services we are providing and the services you are responsible for.

Transportation is incidental

The main purpose of becoming a team member is to join us on an expedition in the mountains. As such any transportation we provide or that you may contract for on your own is incidental to the trip. We suggest that you make sure you have time built into your itinerary for delays.

Transportation to and from your destination

We will designate a specific Team Meeting Day for your expedition. Transportation to the meeting point on your Team Meeting Day is to be provided by you. You must arrive in time to be ready to participate in a team meeting at the appointed time on the Team Meeting Day for your expedition. Expedition climbing is very dynamic and we will provide you with a recommendation as to when you should book your flights to and from your destination. We suggest you book a ticket that allows you to change your flight with little effort or cost.

Lodging off the mountain

Mountain Trip will provide lodging per the Inclusions and Exclusions section above. Any additional lodging due to weather or other delays is your responsibility.  We will help you with make these arrangements.

Responsibilities of Team Members

You are ultimately responsible for your own well-being, including making all necessary preparations to ensure good health and physical conditioning. You are responsible for understanding the conditions that may exist on the trek and choosing a trip that is appropriate for your abilities and interests. You are responsible for having knowledge of all pre-departure information and for assembling the appropriate clothing and equipment for your climb.

While on the expedition, team members are responsible to maintain basic levels of hygiene and to conduct themselves respectfully with other team members and members of the local population. If a guide feels that a team member is putting other members’ health or safety at risk, the guide has the discretion to remove a team member from an expedition.

Use our office staff and your lead guide as pre-trip resources to ensure that all your questions are answered. Travel insurance may help recoup expenses if you need to leave an expedition due to an illness.

Airline Responsibility Passenger/Airline contracts are in effect while team members are on board any aircraft contracted for use in the expedition.

How it works.

We will take $500 off of the price of the trek when you donate that amount to the dZi Foundation.  They’ll send us a confirmation of your donation, you get the tax deduction and we take $500 of the price of the trip.

dZi Foundation gets $500 to go towards their work in Nepal, and you know that you are helping out the people in this beautiful country.   The dZi Foundation is a wonderful organization that puts their money to work in a very efficient and transparent way on the ground in rural Nepal.

dZi Foundation has worked in partnership with extremely remote communities in Nepal to create lasting improvements in their quality of life since 1998. dZi’s work now impacts over 29,000 people through an innovative array of community-led initiatives that focus primarily on infrastructure and agriculture. Since the earthquakes that began in April, 2015, dZi  has stayed true to its mission while also increasing its budget to affect additional relief and reconstruction efforts. To learn more about dZi’s work,visit their website dZi Foundation.

dzi_log_NEW 717kb

Many of the items on the list need to fit you well in order for you to fully enjoy your experience on the trek. Please plan ahead with equipment purchased for your trip so you can be certain that your gear fits you well.  Part way up the Khumbu Valley is not the place to discover that your pack is too small for your torso, or that your boots give you blisters. Recommended items reflect the opinions of our guides. We have used and have faith in all of our recommendations, but they may not necessarily fit or work for you.

Call or email us with any gear questions. We want you to be as prepared as possible for your expedition.

Please follow this list closely and do not hesitate to call us for clarifications or to solicit an opinion about anything you are considering. There is a pretty good selection of gear available in Kathmandu, but we will have a limited amount of time to shop prior to your trek.  All clothing and equipment should be in good condition and of high quality as we can encounter real Himalayan weather!

Footwear

GearDescriptionGuide's Pick
Trekking SocksTrekking socks do not need to be as thick or warm as mountaineering socks. Most trekkers prefer a light to medium weight, wool or wool/synthetic blend sock for use with trekking shoes. Make certain that your socks do not make your trekking shoes too tight, as this will result in cold toes. Aconcagua climbers should bring 2 - 3 pair for the trekking portion of the climb. Nepal trekkers should bring 3-4 pair for the trip.
Light Hiking Shoes or BootsThe days spent hiking require waterproof, well broken in boots or hiking shoes. Trail running shoes will work, if you are comfortable using them, as we will only carry daypacks.
CrocsCrocs make a great lodge/camp shoe. They are lightweight and versatile, you can wear them with a sock in the evening, and even use them for a shower shoe.

Torso Layers

GearDescriptionGuide's Pick
Base Layer Top(1 or 2 sets) Synthetic layers work well, such as Capilene 2 or 3 from Patagonia. There are some really nice Merino wool options on the market as well. One set it sufficient for most expeditions and for overnight trips, however; the choice as to whether to bring a second set is a personal one, based on your level of comfort with wearing the same clothes for days or weeks at a time.
Light Fleece TopYou'll want a light fleece top in a weight similar to Thermal Weight Capilene Hoody, or the warmer R1 Hoody from Patagonia. A rather deep zip t-neck really helps with ventilating and we are fans of a hooded version for this layer.
“Puffy” Light Insulated JacketSize this layer to fit over your light fleece and wind shell. We are fans of the puffy Primaloft insulated jackets because they are lighter and warmer than thick fleece and compress down much smaller. A hood on this layer is mandatory.
Hard Shell JacketThis jacket should be large enough to go over your light puffy jacket layer. You do not need the burliest/heaviest Gore-Tex jacket you can find, and we prefer the lightest weight versions.
Soft Shell Wind JacketMany high alpine peaks are cold and dry. If you are not getting rained on or experiencing wet snow, perhaps you do not need a waterproof jacket? We are huge fans of very lightweight softshell wind jackets for high, dry, cold peaks. Weighing just a few ounces, these can be carried in your pocket or in the lid of your pack for rapid deployment. A soft shell is a highly breathable layer that still cuts most, if not all of the wind, but is not as waterproof as a GoreTex shell. Some trips require a hard shell down low when you may experience rain or wet snowfall, but can be climbed using soft shells higher up on the mountain when you just need to cut the wind and keep a little snow off and can save you a half a pound or more. These soft shell jackets are not a substitute for a waterproof shell jacket, but can be very nice when your concern is wind and snow.
T ShirtSynthetic or lightweight Merino wool shirts can be a nice "extra" piece in the mountains and even on glaciers. Consider this optional. Synthetics dry faster than cotton!
“T” or Sun ShirtSynthetic or synthetic/cotton blend shirts are nice for hiding from the sun. Long sleeve "sun hoodies" are becoming increasingly popular, as they provide a high level of sun protection. Other people favor ventilated, button up shirts- either long or short-sleeved. Whatever you choose, consider it as part of your system, and try it out before your trip.
Vest (optional)A lightweight down or synthetic filled vest can be a nice addition for colder climbs or for those bringing a lighter weight expedition parka. We are fans of the ultralight down vests or the lightweight Nano vests from Patagonia. This is an optional layer for most climbers.
Down JacketA nice simple down jacket that you can put on over your light puffy jacket on a cold night. This doesn't need to be a big 8000 meter down parka.

Leg Layers

GearDescriptionGuide's Pick
Base Layer BottomsLightweight synthetic or Merino wool bottoms are a good choice for this layer. Synthetic seems to wick a bit better and is the choice of most of our guides, but Merino tends to be more fragrance-free, and many people appreciate that quality. One pair is sufficient for overnight climbs and most expeditions, even longer climbs such as Denali and Aconcagua. Everest climbers should bring two pair.
Light Fleece BottomsAs the air thins and the wind picks up, you'll want a bit more insulation on your legs. Light fleece bottoms, such as the Thermal Weight Capilene bottoms from Patagonia are breathable and have a broad comfort range, so you can wear them all day long, even if the sun pokes out from the clouds. If you tend to run cold, consider thicker fleece, such as Powerstretch from Polartec, which most outdoor clothing manufacturers also use.
Hard Shell, Waterproof PantsIf there is a probability or good possibility of getting wet, you will need to have waterproof breathable pants. Also known as Hard Shell Pants, these should be as light weight as possible, and should have fully separating side zippers, so you can put them on and remove them over your boots. Gore Tex is commonly used, but there are a number of other materials that work fine. On some peaks, you might carry hard shell pants for the lower mountain, but switch to soft shell pants for the colder and drier upper mountain.
Lightweight Softshell Trekking PantsA lightweight synthetic softshell pant is a great layer that you'll wear every day on a trek. These are water resistant, breathable and comfortable in a wide range of weather and temps.

Head and Hands

GearDescriptionGuide's Pick
Medium Weight GlovesMid-weight gloves have become increasingly popular in recent years, gaining traction on the traditional heavyweight gloves as the go-to hand protection on many trips. Appropriate gloves generally have a soft shell exterior with light synthetic insulation .
Buff Neck GaiterBuff is a brand of light weight neck gaiters that have grown to become a staple of every guide's kit. These are amazingly versatile, and can be worn as a hat, a neck gaiter or pulled over your face for protection from the wind or sun. They come in many thicknesses nowadays, but we prefer the original weight for its versatility.
Warm HatBring one warm hat or two hats of different weights. Wool or fleece are fine, but your hat must provide ear protection from the cold.
Sun HatBaseball type or wide brimmed sun hats are required for protection against the intense sunshine found on many peaks. You can combine a baseball hat with a bandana for good sun protection or go for a wide brimmed version to protect your face, ears and neck.
SunglassesSunglasses are essential in the mountains. Choose a pair that are comfortable and provide 100% UVA and UVB protection.

Sleeping Gear

GearDescriptionGuide's Pick
0 degree Sleeping BagYou'll want a bag rated to about 0 degrees Fahrenheit and warmer if you tend to sleep cold. Down or synthetic will work fine, although down is lighter and more compact for traveling and packing.

Packs and Duffels

GearDescriptionGuide's Pick
Large Zippered DuffelYou'll want an XL sized (90 – 120L) duffel for your expedition. Lightweight and inexpensive bags work fine, although water resistant bags like the Patagonia Black Hole Bag 120L are nice for their toughness to weight ratio. A quality bag can work for a sled bag on Denali, a mule bag on Aconcagua and a great all around travel bag.
Trekking Day PackYou will want a day pack of around 30 liters of volume for carrying your extra clothing, food, water, etc. for a day of trekking.

Climbing Gear

GearDescriptionGuide's Pick
Trekking Poles(Lightweight)Trekking poles can be helpful for long days on the trail and help take some strain off of aching joints going downhill! These are typically lighter weight than a ski pole, and have a smaller basket as you don't use them in deep snow.

Other

GearDescriptionGuide's Pick
Toiletry KitTooth brush & paste, dental floss, Handi-wipes (1 per day on average), a small bottle of hand sanitizer, perhaps some foot powder… keep it small!!!
Personal Medical KitMountain Trip's guides will have fairly comprehensive medical kits developed by our Medical Director, but we encourage each climber to bring a small, personal kit. Items to consider bringing include: blister treatment and prevention, pain relievers, and antacids. Presctiption medications should be based on consultation with your personal physician. Suggested drugs for altitude expeditions include: Diamox (acetazolomide) 125 mg, Decadron (dexamthazone) 4 mg, Nifedipine XR 30 mg, and a couple of antibiotics for respiratory and gastrointestinal issues.
Several Good Jokes!"A Moose walks into a bar..."
Lip BalmBring a tube of quality lip balm with sun protection (SPF).
Water BottlesThe ability to carry 2 liters of water will help you stay hydrated throughout the day.
SunscreenThe sun can be intense at altitude. Bring one small tube for use while climbing and one larger tube for use while not on route.
Water Purification SystemThere are many good options, and they get better every year. Pumps work well, but can be heavy. Our favorite is the relatively easy to use and lightweight water treatment drops by Aquamira. The SteriPen style water treatment is not recommended. Be certain to have enough to treat 3-5 liters per day for the duration of your trip.
HeadlampBring an extra set of batteries, as well. Lithium batteries work the best in cold weather!!
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