Nepal and Everest Base Camp
Our photo tour of Nepal including Everest Base Camp is the most spectacular and challenging that we run and will require a good fitness level. You will experience the chaotic grace of Kathmandu, spend time with and photograph the majestic monks of Tengboche, experience the famous Mani Rimdu festival, visit Everest Base Camp and trek to heights of over 6,000 metres to witness the grandeur of Everest and the region it looks over.
At times we are in very remote locations so accommodation and food is can be basic. It's a unique journey for a very small group of photographers through a diverse country of landscapes and cultures. Philip and Tim will be there every step of the way to help you to get the right sunset, to access the most idyllic wilderness, to meet diverse ethnic groups and to make sure you have the time to explore your photography in the process – they'll also bring a selection of professional level Canon lenses and bodies for you to try out. Some structured sessions are planned for the trip, but every moment of the journey is a chance to learn and experiment with your photography. Philip and Ram first took this route to make the Pheriche Hospital documentary in 2006. They repeated the route in 2007 and 2008 to make the 'Everest +' documentary for the BBC.
“In our lives we are sometimes blessed to be able to visit a country and culture that affects us as people for the rest of our lives and only for the good – Nepal is one of those countries. It provides incredible and memorable moments and using the art of photography we are able to capture the heart and soul of this country, immerse ourselves in it and take home those memories of the land; the vastness, the solitude, the beauty. The people of this country will have an equally strong effect on you – they have a grace and honour that will stay with you forever. Simply soak it all up and capture the light, the landscape, the culture and the people through a medium that allows you to capture a moment in time..” Philip North-Coombes
October 30 – November 18; 2018
20 days / 19 nights
£6195 / $7540 per person
Maximum Group Size: 8
Price Includes: All accommodation and meals. Internal return flights to Lukla. Guides, portrait photography with the Tengboche Monks.
Price Excludes: International flights, travel insurance, single supplement TBC.
Terms & Conditions: Prices are per person based on two people sharing a twin/double room; prices are subject to availability and possible change; normal booking conditions apply.
Day 1 – Kathmandu
Arrival at Kathmandu airport, clear customs and meet up with your driver. Hotel stay in the Thamel region of Kathmandu. Meet and greet and dinner at a traditional Nepali restaurant in the heart of a vibrant and bustling capital city.
Day 2 – Kathmandu
Breakfast and a meeting with Philip, Tim and Ram to go through equipment and settings and any immediate questions you may have. Time to wander around the shops get supplies and any additional gear for your trek to Everest Base Camp. Our guides will brief you and help you sort out all the equipment for the trip. The excitement and anticipation will be building now for the adventure to come. In the afternoon we will visit the famous Durbar Square and for sunset go to the Monkey Temple- Swayambhunath temple.
Day 3 – Kathmandu to Phakding via Lukla
Early start to the airport for our flight to Lukla. So the adventure really begins. Lukla is a small isolated airport in Solukhumbu District and the gateway to the Khumbu. At 2,860 meters it makes for an exhilarating 25 minute flight that can be bumpy! At Lukla we will gather all our belongings, meet with our porters and begin a leisurely trek to Phakding. The trek is about 3 hours but take your time to take photographs as there will be plenty of opportunities along the way. Settle into Lodge on arrival and relax and regroup. Discuss your day and the photos you took.
Day 4 – Phakding to Namche
Today we enter Sagarmatha (Everest) National Park in Nepal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The strenuous part of the trek begins as the trail is mostly uphill. It could be busy with locals with Yaks – we cross suspension bridges and travel through villages – all offering superb opportunities for photography. A 700 meter climb to Namche. Namche is a staging point for many expeditions and gives us a perfect opportunity for acclimatization. It is at 3,440 meters. A village with lots of local life and activity. Stalls, lodges, and shops. In the afternoon we have a perfect opportunity to discuss post production.
Day 5 – Namche
Acclimatisation day in Namche. We will take a short hike to Sagarmatha National Park's Headquarter where there's a small museum. We will then climb the hill towards Hotel Everest View at 3880m. The Hotel first in 1971. From here you enjoy a 360 degree view of the Himalayas and a view of Everest. We will be back in Namche for lunch. The afternoon can be spent exploring the local market and the streets. It gives everyone the opportunity to spend time capturing images of the heart and soul of Namche and its residents .
Day 6 – Namche to Khumjung
Early start and trek up to Syangbouche, one of the highest airports in the world and is now abandoned apart from the occasional helicopter landing. We are heading for Khumjung at 3,790 meters. There we will find a school built and run by the Sir Edmund Hilary foundation and monastery with the preserved skull of a yeti!
Day 7 – Mani Rimdu Festival
Early breakfast and start. The trek to Tengboche starts with a long descent to the river. We will have lunch at Phungi Tenga once crossing a suspension bridge. We will take it slowly as we climb steeply to Tengboche where the Tengboche monastery is located. The monastery is Khumbu’s largest Buddhist Gompa and the famous Mani Rimdu festival takes place here every October / November. We will be spending two nights here to take in the surroundings and continue our acclimatisation. On arrival we will go to our lodge and than we can wander around and take some photographs of the area. The monastery is majestic and dominates the top of the hill. We will also spend time on post production techniques.
Day 8 – Mani Rimdu Festival
A day of photography at the last day of the Mani Rimdu Festival and portrait photography with the monks from the monastery. We will spend time after the shoot to discuss post production. Dinner at lodge and early night ready for an early start the next day.
Day 9 – Tenboche to Pheriche
Early start for a trek to Pheriche at 4,371 meters. This is also our acclimatisation stop. A change of landscape gives you more opportunities for Photography along the way – it becomes more barren and dusty as we escape from the tree line. In the afternoon we will be visiting the Himalayan Rescue Association medical clinic where we will also attend a talk on high altitude sickness by one of the doctors. This is a familiar setting as we made many documentaries for the BBC in 2005,2006 and 2007 here. It was rebuilt and is sustained by the Everest memorial trust. We'll have time to wander and enjoy Pheriche before dinner at lodge.
Day 10 – Pheriche
In the morning we will trek up to Dingbouche Ri (5075m) to assist our acclimatisation. The hike is challenging but well worth it as the view of the valley is stunning and a perfect time for photography. Take time to rest and relax before the trek to base camp. Chance to experience local life in Pheriche and mix with the local residents. Feel free to take portraits. Use every opportunity for photography as there will be plenty of them. Re-pack and dinner at lodge.
Day 11 – Pheriche to Lobouche
An early start. The distance from Pheriche to Lobouche is not great, but the vertical gain makes it more challenging. We will start slowly towards Dughla. After lunch we'll head towards the Lobuche Pass where there are memorials dedicated to climbers and expedition teams who have lost their lives on Everest. Take your time and take photos respectfully –it's a profound reminder of how dangerous climbing the highest mountain in the world can be. Lobuche is a small place and at 6,119m one of the highest points of the expedition and the mouth of the glacial landscape. We will feel the climb, so spend time relaxing, reviewing your photos and discussing ideas with Tim and Philip. Dinner at lodge.
Day 12 – Lobouche to Gorakshep
Today we will head out early to Gorakshep, stop for lunch and then hike up to Kalapathar for a sunset view of the Himalayas and Mt. Everest. The hike up to Kalapathar is difficult because of the vertical gain in altitude and decreasing oxygen levels. However, if you’re well acclimatized the ascent is not more than two hours and the descent is quite easy. The climb is definitely worth it as you will come back with panoramic photos of the Himalayas. Dinner at lodge.
Day 13 – Gorakshep to Everest Base Camp
Early start Everest Base Camp. The trek is tiring and the terrain very remote and glacial-rocky and unstable. We will have the chance for some landscape and panoramic photography and get a sense of the enormity and potential dangers of climbing Everest. This time of the year there may be camps or it might be totally deserted. In Spring, Base Camp is a thriving endless hub of expeditions, climbers,sherpas, café’s etc. There is also a Medical clinic here which is where we spent much time making the BBC documentary 'Everest +'. We will then trek back to Gorakshep for dinner and rest.
Day 14 – Gorakshep to Pheriche
Today is the start of our decent. Ultimately to Lukla and then Kathmandu. We will walk through the glacier back to Lobuche and have lunch. We will encourage you to do this descent solo – it's one of Philip's personal highlights so we think you should experience it to! Meet at the lodge in where we will regroup for dinner. This will also enable you to take time to focus on your own photos as you trek down. Philip and Tim will be following and can always lend a hand. Dinner all together in Pheriche!
Day 15 – Pheriche to Tengboche
We will be hiking down the same route back to Tengboche. Again today you will be on your own to walk and take photos as you like but you must ensure you reach Tengboche on time. During the afternoon we will explore the monastery and surrounding areas for the right locations and light to take great shots. Dinner in Lodge.
Day 16 – Tenboche to Monjo
Continuing our hike down we will set off in good on a new route passing through Phungi Tenga followed by a climb to Kyangjuma. There are some spectacular views along the way. We will cross Namche, cross the bridge and walk straight to Monjo where we will rest for the night.
Day 17 – Monjo to Lukla
It will be a 6 hour hike (approx.) to Lukla – those wishing to travel individually may do so. Travelling on your own can create different photo opportunities. On our arrival at Lukla, we will enjoy a much deserved beer after our epic trek!You will have time to wander at your own pace, finding great locations around Lukla and the airport – it's a bustling area with lots of opportunities. This is where we part from the porters and guiding team. This is always a sad and touching moment as we will have shared some great memories together. Dinner at lodge
Day 18 – Lukla to Kathmandu
An early flight will take us out of Lukla and the Khumbu, back to Kathmandu. The take-off from Lukla airport offers remarkable views (weather permitting!). Once back in Kathmandu you will have the rest of the day to enjoy this great city. We will be happy to accompany you to certain spots or advise on great places visit. Meet in the evening for drinks and dinner.
Day 19 – Kathmandu
An extra day in Kathmandu for shopping or sightseeing if you are interested in visiting some places we can arrange that for you. Use the time to take some more photos, do some post production, edit the photos you have. In the afternoon we will meet, have a drink and everyone will have the opportunity to show a selection of their favourite photos from the previous 18 days! We will then take you for farewell dinner at Rum Doodle restaurant. This is a unique restaurant in Kathmandu where they have signatures of all Everest summiteers – and the preserved foot of a Yeti.
Day 20 – Kathmandu
Breakfast and the morning at your leisure. We will arrange a de-briefing for those who don’t have early flights. Transfer to Airport.
A large backpack / holdall plus smaller backpack for equipment. Your camera – if you have a selection of lenses we recommend a 24–70mm for this trip. If you have a laptop please bring it along. We use Capture One Pro, Lightroom and Photoshop for post production but will be able to assist you with any software you use. Please feel free to email or call us if you have any questions in regard to equipment.
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If you're interesting in finding out more about this tour or you would like to make a booking please email or telephone Philip, Bruce or Tim directly.
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