Mount Everest Region
Mt Everest © Scott Yost
Many trekkers and adventurous mountaineers are drawn to the sight and challenge of the highest mountain in the world and set out to explore part of the Sagarmatha National Park, in the northeast of Nepal, even if they are not attempting an ascent. The Sagarmatha National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the terrain is a mixture of deep gorges, glaciers and rocky landscapes; it is home to some interesting animals and plants but as altitude increases the alpine vegetation gives way to bare rock and snow. Most trekkers fly to the airstrip at Lukla at an altitude of 9,350 feet (2,850m) from where the trek begins to Everest Base Camp. From Lukla the trail winds up the Dudhkoshi River Valley to the famous Sherpa village of Namche Bazaar. Above Namche travellers will find the smaller traditional villages of Khunde and Khumjung, and across the canyon from Khunde the fascinating Tengboche Monastery which is one of the highlights of the area. At the monastery there are lodges and camp sites. By flying in and out, the trek requires about two weeks; it is also possible to walk in, but this requires much more time. Multi-day treks in the region are a wonderful opportunity to observe and participate in the daily life of the Sherpa people, and of course the views and landscapes are breathtaking.