Mt. Everest Base Camp Trek and Photography Tour
Join Hudson Henry, a professional adventure and landscape photogragher, and Don Beavon, an experienced climber who was summited Mt. Everest, on an incredible adventure and on-location photography seminar into the highest mountains in the world.
This classic trek to the rarefied altitudes of Mt. Everest Base Camp is indeed one of the most interesting treks the world has to offer. You'll trek through the heart of the Sherpa homeland to Kalapathar (18,195 ft.) for an incredible view of Mt. Everest and on to base camp where you can visit with mountaineers and watch the drama unfold as they prepare for their summit attempts.
Most mornings on this journey begin with optional dawn, magic-light photography sessions. These may be cancelled from time to time based on weather and visibility of the surrounding scenery. You may choose to participate in as many or as few of these sessions as you desire. Nearly every evening we’ll incorporate guided sunset photography sessions as well to make use of the best light possible.
Small groups provide a more intimate atmosphere allowing you to get to know your Sherpa guides better and to develop lifelong friendships. Therefore, the maximum group size for this trek is 12 people. The minimum is 6 people.
Tea House Lodge Trek
All accommodations during the trek are in tea house lodges, which helps support the local economy and gives you an insight into the Himalaya culture. Morning and evening meals will be at these lodge and you'll have choices of both western and local dishes.
Trip Dates: October 16th through November 2nd, 2012
Plan to schedule your international flights to arrive in Kathmandu on October 16th and depart from Kathmandu on November 2nd.
Oct 16 – Tuesday, Day 1: Arrive in Kathmandu (4,400 ft)
Arrive at the Kathmandu airport where you will be welcomed by our representative and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the afternoon is free until evening when you'll enjoy a welcome dinner and orientation with Don and Hudson for the upcoming trek. Overnight in Kathmandu. (Dinner)
Oct 17 - Wednesday, Day 2: Kathmandu (4,400 ft)
Early risers can begin their day on a dawn photo shoot with Hudson and Don. After breakfast and an interactive lecture by Hudson on light, composition and equipment we will tour Kathmandu making images. Visit the Boudhanath temple, the largest Buddhist stupa in Nepal. Tour the inside of one of the several monasteries neighboring the stupa. Next visit Pashupatinath, a Hindu pilgrimage site, and possibly photograph cremation ceremonies along the banks of the Bagmati River. Continue on to Kathmandu Durbar Square to photograph ancient Nepalese architecture and enjoy lunch at the museum garden. View Nepalese art in the museum. After lunch, visit Swayambunath, the Monkey Temple, where you will have spectacular views over the Kathmandu Valley and be able to view Hindu ceremonies being performed for locals. Optional evening image review and critique with Hudson. Overnight in Kathmandu. (Breakfast, Lunch)
Oct 18 – Thursday, Day 3: Kathmandu to Lukla to Phakding (8,692 ft)
After an optional guided pre-dawn photo shoot, take an unforgettable scenic flight in the early morning to Lukla with views of Himalayan peaks including Gauri-Shankar and Melungtse. Upon arrival, meet your sirdar and porters. Enjoy lunch, and an interactive lecture by Hudson on photographing while trekking, as your crew finishes final preparations for the trek. In the afternoon, trek 3 hours along the Dudh Kosi River to the village of Phakding. Along the way photograph intricately carved Mani stones. Overnight at Phakding. Optional evening image review and critique with Hudson. (All meals)
Oct 19 – Friday, Day 4: Phakding to Namche Bazaar (11,283 ft)
After breakfast and a lecture by Hudson on scouting landscape locations and using filters in low light, begin today’s 6-hour trek, and enter Sagarmatha National Park. Cross the Bhote Kosi River and begin the steep ascent to Namche Bazaar, the hub of Sherpa society. Keep an eye out for glimpses of Mt. Everest along today’s route. Overnight at Namche Bazaar. Presentation by Don on the experience of climbing Mt. Everest Part I (Preparation). Optional image review and critique with Hudson. (All meals)
Oct 20 – Saturday, Day 5: Namche Bazaar
After an optional early morning photo session, enjoy Hudson’s interactive lecture on photographing people and culture. Spend today acclimating to the altitude in Namche. Namche has plenty of lodges, restaurants, and gear and souvenir shops. Wander through the weekly Saturday Market. If you like, take an acclimatization walk to Khunde Hospital, established by Sir Edmund Hillary or an an hour-long hike to the Everest View Hotel above Namche. Later photograph the sunset alpenglow on Ama Dablam, Nuptse, Lhotse and Everest with Hudson. Optional image review and critique with Hudson. Overnight at Namche Bazaar. (All meals)
Oct 21 - Sunday, Day 6: Namche to Tengboche (12,250 ft)
After an optional sunrise photo shoot, begin the 5- hour trek to Tengboche. Photograph the magnificent views of Mt. Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse, Ama Dablam and a close-up of Tharmserkhu. Abundant wildlife will keep you reaching for your camera along the way. Look out for Nepal’s national bird, the colorful Danphe pheasant (Impeyan Pheasant), musk deer, or herds of Himalayan Tahr, similar to wild goat. The trail descends into Phungitenga, a small settlement of teahouses and Royal Nepalese Army barracks in the midst of the alpine woods. Join Hudson to photograph the sunset at Tengboche, considered one of the most beautiful villages in the Himalayas situated directly beneath the spectacular Ama Dablam with distant views of Everest to the north. Optional image review and critique with Hudson. Overnight at Tengboche. (All meals)
Oct 22 – Monday, Day 7: Tengboche to Dingboche (14,800 ft)
After an optional dawn photo shoot, follow the trail through Deboche towards Pangboche village where you will visit the ancient monastery and enjoy an interactive lesson on photographing dimly lit interiors and have lunch. Enter the Imjatse Valley, where the trail becomes more moderate. Arrive in the scenic agricultural village of Dingboche. Optional image review and critique with Hudson. Overnight at Dingboche. (All meals)
Oct 23 – Tuesday, Day 8: Dingboche
Today is a very important acclimatization day. After an optional dawn photo shoot, enjoy Hudson’s interactive lecture on the use of artificial light in travel photography. Options on this rest day could include visiting the Dingboche monastery, photographing breathtaking views of the North face of Ama Dablam and the Lhotse-Nuptse ridge as you explore the beautiful valley that leads up to Island Peak. Listen to Don’s presentation on climbing Mt. Everest Part II (The Climb). Optional image review and critique with Hudson. Overnight at Dingboche. (All meals)
Oct 24 – Wednesday, Day 9: Dingboche to Lobuche (16,200 ft)
After an optional sunrise photo shoot and brief interactive lecture by Hudson on using pattern, line and color to dramatize your images, head north and follow the ascending trail. Stop in Dugla for lunch. Continue a steady incline for about an hour, enjoying views of Mt. Pumori and other peaks west of Everest. Stop for a short break to enjoy the scenery. Another hour and a half of trekking will bring you to Lobuche, hidden and sheltered from the wind. Today's trek takes about 5 hours. Take in Don’s epic tale of survival and success on Pumori. Optional image review and critique with Hudson. Overnight at Lobuche. (All meals)
Oct 25 – Thursday, Day 10: Day trip to Kalapatthar (18,195 ft)
Today, embark on a stunning day trip to Kalapatthar to photograph close up views of Mt. Everest. You'll walk approximately 3 to 4 hours to Gorakshep (16962 ft) and another 1.5 to 2.5 hours to Kalapatthar. The high altitude and steep terrain are challenging, but today’s fantastic views are worth the climb. Feel on top of the world from Kalapatthar, with spectacular panoramic views of Everest, Nuptse, and Lhotse. Participate in Hudson’s interactive panoramic digital photography demonstration. Next we will return to Gorakshep, the location of the original Everest Base Camp. For those who desire, participate in Hudson’s interactive low light photography demonstration. Overnight at Gorakshep. (All meals)
Oct 26 – Friday, Day 11: Day Trip to Mt. Everest Base Camp (17,500 ft)
After an optional dawn photo shoot and breakfast, continue north to Mt. Everest Base Camp. Photograph the spectacular scenery and base camp culture along the way. Optional image review and critique with Hudson. Overnight at Lobuche. (All meals)
Oct 27 – Saturday, Day 12: Lobuche to Pheriche (13,780 ft)
Start with yet another optional sunrise photo shoot, then retrace your way back to Pheriche while creating close up photographs of the giant peaks. The 4-5 hour trek back to Pheriche will be easier and mostly downhill, passing through the village of Dugla. Optional image review and critique with Hudson. Overnight at Periche. (All meals)
Oct 28 – Sunday, Day 13: Pheriche to Tengboche (12,250 ft; 3,867 m)
After an optional predawn photo shoot, begin your 4-5 hour walk passing through Upper and Lower Pangboche and then through Deboche which offers formidable views of Khumbi-Ila, the revered mountain and protector goddess of the Sherpas. There is also a small nunnery here. Continue walking to Tengboche. Enjoy an interactive discussion with Hudson on what you have learned so far on this photographic journey. Optional image review and critique with Hudson. Overnight at Tengboche. (All meals)
Oct 29 – Monday, Day 14: Tengboche to Namche Bazaar
After an optional dawn photo shoot and breakfast, the walk from Tengboche is mostly downhill on the main trail with a few steep climbs for an hour from the bridge at Phungitenga, near Shanasha. The walk to Namche is very scenic on a long winding path. En route visit traditional villages of Khumjung and Kunde, with an opportunity to photograph the only monastery that has a Yeti scalp. Today's trek takes about 5 hours. Image review and selection of your favorite images for a group slideshow with Hudson and Don. Overnight at Namche Bazaar. (All meals)
Oct 30 – Tuesday, Day 15: Namche Bazaar to Lukla
Of course we’ll have an optional sunrise photo shoot. The last day of your trek leads from Namche Bazaar via Monjo to Lukla. The trek is pleasant, with a few short uphill climbs and then down to the Bhote-Koshi River, crossing it three times before arriving at the busy village of Lukla. Today's trek takes about 5 hours. Optional image review and critique with Hudson. Overnight at Lukla. (All meals)
Oct 31 – Wednesday, Day 16: Lukla to Kathmandu
Fly to Kathmandu. Upon arrival, you'll be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. The rest of day is free for image sorting and editing, unpacking, doing laundry, writing emails, or souvenir shopping. Group photographic question and answer session followed by optional image review and critique with Hudson. Overnight at Kathmandu. (Breakfast)
Nov 1 – Thursday, Day 17: Kathmandu
After one last optional predawn photo-shoot, enjoy a full-day of sightseeing and photography. Drive to the ancient city of Bhaktapur with its 55-window palace and the famous five-storey temple. Enjoy lunch at the square overlooking the temple complex. In the evening, enjoy a farewell dinner with performance by Nepali dancers, and if possible a slideshow of our combined images from this journey together. Overnight at Kathmandu. (All meals)
Nov 2 – Friday, Day 18: Final Departure
Transfer to the airport for your flight home. (Breakfast)
-- End of Services --
Per Person Rates (based on double occupancy):
Single Supplement: $300
- Arrival and departure airport transfers
- 4 nights accommodation in Kathmandu
- All meals during the trek and meals in Kathmandu as indicated in the itinerary
- 2 full days of guided sightseeing in Kathmandu Valley
- 14 day trek with lodging, meals, guide, and porters
- Sagarmatha National Park fee
- All photography seminars led by Hudson Henry during the trek and in Kathmandu
- Mountaineering stories of hardship and survival in the high mountains as experienced by guide Don Beavon
- Airfare: Kathmandu - Lukla - Kathmandu
Rates Do Not Include
- International airfare to and from Kathmandu
- Some meals in Kathmandu
- Personal trekking gear such as a sleeping bag and clothing (we'll send you a gear list)
- Travel insurance (required)
- Tips and gratuities
- Expenses of a personal nature
To Book This Trek
Please call us toll free at 1-877-362-2793 and let us know that you would like to book this tour. We will hold a spot for you. Then follow these instructions:
- Download, print, and fill out the Reservation Form for each person.
- Fax the form to us at 206-529-4803, or mail it to:
Red Lantern Journeys
1000 N. Northlake Way, Suite H
Seattle, WA 98103
- Pay a non-refundable $500 per person deposit
- Final payment is due 75 days prior to departure.
Payments can be made by personal check, bank wire transfer, or credit card. Upon receipt of your deposit, we will initiate your reservations and send you a statement showing your payment. Approximately 4 weeks prior to your departure, we will send you a final confirmation package containing your itinerary and detailed information on how to prepare for your trip.
Forms to Download (pdf file)
Reservation Form with Complete Terms and Conditions
- If this trip is cancelled by Red Lantern Journeys due to insufficient sign-up, all payments will be refunded. You will also be given the option of doing a private trek during those same dates at a reduced cost if you have already purchased your airline tickets.
- Cancel more than 60 days prior to departure - forfeit your deposit.
- Cancel between 30 and 60 days prior to departure - forfeit 50% of the tour cost.
- Cancel less than 30 days prior to departure - NO REFUND of tour cost.
- Cancellations must be made in writing and sent via mail, fax, or email to Red Lantern Journeys.
- Refunds will be processed within 30 days of receipt of your written request.
- No refunds are available for unused services or tours during your trip.