After breakfast depart Shegar, following the Friendship Highway for a few kilometres before turning onto a road that winds through Qomolangma National Park, the world’s highest national park. Spanning 78,000 square kilometres it boasts ten mountains over 7,000 metres high and an additional five that peak above 8,000 metres, including the legendary Mount Everest, known as Mount Qomolangma in Tibetan.
Make a stop at the tiny Rongbuk Gompa, the highest monastery in the world (at 5,000m) and unusual in that it is home to both monks and nuns. Cloud-cover permitting, you should catch your first unobstructed view of the snow covered north face of Mount Everest.
From here, begin the trek to Everest Base Camp (EBC) which sits at a height of 5,200 metres. Whilst it’s only a few kilometres along the valley to EBC, because of the high altitude it’s important to take it slowly and the trek is likely to take around two hours. Essentially built as the starting point for climbers attempting to scale the mountain, for non-climbers EBC offers an unrivalled close-up view of the tallest mountain in the world (8,848m).
Having taken plenty of photos, retrace your steps along the valley to the Rongbuk Gompa. Next door to the monastery is Rongbuk Guesthouse and it is here that you will spend the night. It's incredibly basic in all departments (this is Everest Base Camp after all!) however the views at sunrise and sunset certainly make what will undoubtedly be a chilly night, worthwhile.
Overnight at Rongbuk Guesthouse.