Before Lukla was recognized as the gateway to the Himalayas, all expeditions to the Himalayas began from the village of Jiri. This traditional journey that will take you back a half a century, but with all the modern accompaniments. The attractive feature about Everest Trek via Jiri is that fewer hikers opt this route. Nonetheless, it offers spectacular views that others miss.
We set out on our adventure on a jeep that takes us from the Kathmandu airport to the head of the trail at Bhandar (2190m), via Jiri. The quaint town still maintains its rustic roots and charm although it doesn’t see as much tourist traffic as in its heyday.
We head out on the first day with our sights set on the Sherpa capital of Namche Bazaar, finding our path on a seldom-used trail that has laid dormant for almost five decades. The hike is not taxing as we hike at modest elevations and rest in simple lodges thereby avoiding any occurrence of altitude sickness.
We will, however, encounter lots of undulating sections that will have our adrenaline pumping for short stretches of the trek for a wholesome Himalayan Trek experience. We proceed east and cross a succession of rivers and forest ridges, all the while staying below the tree lines.
The crowning glory of this trek is the spectacular view of the famous pinnacles of the Lhotse, Ama Dablam, and Everest. If you are looking to experience the best of the Himalayas with little trekking and a quiet journey through the Khumbu, this itinerary comes highly recommended by us.
The superlative trait of Everest Trek via Jiri trek is that while there is not much net elevation gain, we will gather considerable elevation gain and loss as we traipse eastward across established paths and silent valleys.
We will traverse several high passes for picturesque views of our surroundings, the highest of which is the Lamjura Pass located higher than Namche Bazaar at 3530m. Our highest point of ascent is the Everest View Hotel situated above Namche at 3800m, which by Himalayan standards is moderate elevation and we don’t expect any victims of altitude sickness due to the passive pace that will allow us to acclimatize well to our surroundings.
Due to the undulating nature of the path followed, we suggest this trip only for fit hikers and avid trekkers as 11 days of sustained hiking is no small feat.