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31telephone: 0845 330 8579 (local call rate, UK only)international telephone: +44 1453 844 400www.mountainkingdoms.comO ur adventure begins amidst the hustle and bustle of Kathmandu where a walking tour reveals the many cultural highlights of this vibrant capital city. Leaving the crowds behind we take the dramatic flight into the high mountain village of Lukla where our Sirdar (guide) and his crew welcome us to the beautiful Khumbu region before we begin our trek.Two days later we arrive at the Sherpa capital, Namche Bazaar. Here we rest and acclimatise before trekking to Thyangboche Monastery which commands glorious views of Everest. Two of our autumn departures will attend the lively Mani Rimdu festival held here. Now the serious trekking begins as we gradually ascend through pretty villages and endlessly stunning scenery to reach the foot of the world's highest peak. Next we hike to Base Camp itself for closeup views of the remarkable Khumbu Icefall. Finally we slowly climb the rocky outcrop of Kala Pattar, (5,545m/18,188ft) for panoramic views of numerous Himalayan summits and to look down on to Everest Base Camp. Leaving Everest behind we cross the Cho La pass, (5,400m/17,700ft), that leads over to Gokyo. A scramble ascent of nearby Gokyo Ri, (5,483m/17,984ft) gives more spectacular views of Everest and the beautiful turquoise Gokyo lakes. Please note that the trekking route varies slightly by departure. In addition to all meals, various extras are provided as part of the trek including daily snacks, a four-season sleeping bag and liner, four hot showers and a welcome cup of 'bed tea' first thing each day. These ensure that the Mountain Kingdoms trek to Everest Base Camp & Gokyo is the very best available and offers excellent value for money. Everest Base Camp & Gokyo Lakes A longer variant of the classic trek which includes an ascent of Gokyo Ri. On Trek: 17 days Local Leader Accommodation (nts): Hotels: 3 Tea Houses: 17Optional: Single Room Kathmandu £90Insurance: £99Trek | Duration: 22 Days£1,660£1,660£1,750£1,660£2,365£2,395£2,485£2,295Land OnlyLand OnlyLand OnlyLand OnlyFlight IncludedFlight IncludedFlight IncludedFlight IncludedSat 26 Mar - Sat 16 Apr 11Sat 05 Nov - Sat 26 Nov 11Sat 24 Mar - Sat 14 Apr 12Sat 08 Oct - Sat 29 Oct 11Sat 22 Oct - Sat 12 Nov 11Thu 27 Oct - Thu 17 Nov 11Festival27 Oct & 05 Nov departures only. Festival date provisional.Grade: StrenuousGuaranteed to run for a minimum of 2 clientsFor detailed itineraries see www.mountainkingdoms.comThe Himalaya The Everest RegionNamche Gompa prayer wheels, Steve Berry

32Download holiday itineraries fromwww.mountainkingdoms.come: info@mountainkingdoms.comA fter time spent exploring Kathmandu from our base in the heritage hotel, Dwarika's, we fly into Lukla and trek up to the Sherpa capital, Namche Bazaar. From here we ascend steadily through a series of pretty Sherpa villages, with plenty of time to relax and enjoy our grand surroundings. Our path takes us to Thyangboche Monastery, where the Mani Rimdu Festival is held in the autumn, before retuning to Lukla along part of the old trading route from Tibet. The scenery throughout our trek is sensational, as we find ourselves surrounded by many of the Himalayan giants, including, of course, fabulous close up views of Everest and the ever elegant Ama Dablam. This trek will be operated in the same indulgent style as our highly popular Luxury Lodges trek in the Annapurna foothills (page 26). It is however a more demanding trek and is at slightly higher altitude, though nothing very excessive in Himalayan terms. The lodges themselves far surpass anything else that exists in the Everest region. Built in an eco-friendly style they offer en suite bathrooms, excellent food and service, comfortable lounges and delightfully landscaped gardens. They are situated to make the most of the superb surrounding scenery and allow us to relax in relative comfort at the end of our walking day. S taying in the stylish Dwarika's hotel, we have time to enjoy the busy Kathmandu Valley before the dramatic flight up to Lukla. The trek itself has been designed to take in some of the prettiest Sherpa villages within easy walking distance of the Sherpa capital, Namche Bazaar, with the ultimate objective of standing at the foot of the region's most beautiful mountain, Ama Dablam. Ama Dablam means 'mother and necklace' - the perennial hanging glacier resembles a 'dablam', which is a piece of traditional jewellery worn by Sherpa women. Base Camp sees few trekkers as most tend to stay on the main paths leading to Everest Base Camp and beyond. We will therefore enjoy an enviable sense of isolation and exploration. In the spring, we may even meet climbers preparing to make their ascent of this challenging mountain.There are two nights in tea houses, but the remainder are spent in the five lovely luxury lodges, used in our Luxury Lodges of Everest Trek (see above).Luxury Lodges of Everest A thorough exploration of the Khumbu region staying in super comfortable lodges.Everest Trails to Ama Dablam Slightly more demanding than our Luxury Lodges of Everest trek, but using the same comfortable accommodation. Ama Dablam, Frank LeaSherpa girls, Alan FoxGuaranteed to run for a minimum of 2 clients£1,785£2,060£2,060£1,870£2,480£2,695£2,795£2,595Land OnlyLand OnlyLand OnlyLand OnlyFlight IncludedFlight IncludedFlight IncludedFlight IncludedWed 06 Apr - Sun 24 Apr 11Sat 15 Oct - Wed 02 Nov 11Fri 04 Nov - Tue 22 Nov 11Wed 04 Apr - Sun 22 Apr 12On Trek: 12 days Local Leader Accommodation (nts): Hotels: 4 Luxury Lodges: 11 Tea Houses: 2Optional: Single Room £120 Kathmandu Single Room £325 On TrekInsurance: £99Trek | Duration: 19 DaysFestival04 Nov departure only. Festival date provisional.Grade: Vigorous On Trek: 10 days Local LeaderAccommodation (nts): Hotels: 4 Luxury Lodges: 10Optional: Single Room Kathmandu £120 Single Room £260 LodgesInsurance: £95Trek | Duration: 16 DaysOther Christmas trips - see pages 12, 14, 26, 30, 36, 40, 45, 50, 51, 52 & 73£1,560£1,855£1,740£1,855£2,250£2,495£2,475£2,595Land OnlyLand OnlyLand OnlyLand OnlyFlight IncludedFlight IncludedFlight IncludedFlight IncludedSat 26 Mar - Sun 10 Apr 11Sat 02 Apr - Sun 17 Apr 11Sat 09 Apr - Sun 24 Apr 11Sat 16 Apr - Sun 01 May 11Sat 01 Oct - Sun 16 Oct 11Sat 08 Oct - Sun 23 Oct 11Sat 15 Oct - Sun 30 Oct 11Sat 22 Oct - Sun 06 Nov 11Sat 24 Mar - Sun 08 Apr 12Sat 31 Mar - Sun 15 Apr 12Sat 07 Apr - Sun 22 Apr 12Sat 14 Apr - Sun 29 Apr 12Sat 05 Nov - Sun 20 Nov 11 Sun 18 Dec - Mon 02 Jan 12Grade: Moderate/VigorousGuaranteed to run for a minimum of 2 clientsFor detailed itineraries see www.mountainkingdoms.comFor detailed itineraries see www.mountainkingdoms.comThe Everest Region The HimalayaFestival05 Nov departures only. Festival date provisional.