Images: Thomas Heaton (representative images)
Are you ready for a true adventure?
Join us to Nepal to explore mythical mountains, culture and people!
Get ready for an epic adventure to to the Everest region of Nepal, with Thomas Heaton and Jonas Paurell. Together we have put together a 24-day creative and trekking expedition and workshop to photograph, film and explore the unbelievably beautiful landscapes of the the roof of the world.
Nepal surely needs no introduction as the reputation of its mythical mountains, culture and people precedes it. Nepal is a photographer’s dream - foreboding mountain, sharp snow-clad peaks, breathtakingly beautiful monasteries, glaciers, azure blue mountain lakes, and of course the people. Nepal is rich with culture and history and we will explore it all.
This expedition has been created with passion and enthusiasm and each location has been selected to ensure that we get optimal chances to get the photos that we have been dreaming about. The focus of this expedition is to enjoy some adventurous trekking, while we create great images and memories for life. This expedition only allows for a small number of participants who are joined by common interests for nature, photography to make sure we can travel as friends, rather than just travellers!
Day 1 | 19 November 2019 | Arrival in Kathmandu
The team from Terra Photography Expeditions will meet you throughout the day at the arrival hall, Kathmandu Airport (Tribhuvan International Airport). Transfer to hotel and free afternoon to rest.
Day 2 | Kathmandu
In the morning of our first full day in Nepal we will photograph some of the UNESCO World Heritage sites, and in the afternoon we will prepare for the expedition and finally we will have a big welcome dinner to mark the beginning of a big journey and to start to get to know each other.
Day 3 | Departure to Lukla, trek to Phadking
Early morning departure for the 45 minute domestic flight to Lukla (2845m) and then we trek the relatively short trail to Phadking (2610m) for our first night at altitude.
We will photograph the famous landing strip at Tenzing–Hillary Airport, the lush surroundings along the trek and village life in Phadking.
Trekking: Approx. 3hrs | Distance 6km | Hight gain/loss XXXm
Day 4 | Phadking - Namche Bazzar
We will leave Phadking (2610m) in the early morning to slowly make our way to Mondo to enter the Sagarmatha National Park. And then to continue to Namche Bazzar (3410m). The day includes our first significant climb at altitude so we will move slowly. Given the significant altitude gain we will rest in Namche Bazzar for two nights. Namche Bazzar is located on a bowl shaped slope that offer stunning views of the mountains across the valley. Cameras at the ready for views along the trek, Namche Bazaar, Namche Monastery, village market, mountain views.
Trekking: Approx. 5hrs | Distance 7.4 km | Hight gain/loss +830m
Day 5 | Namche Bazzar
A rest and acclimatisation day in Namche Bazaar (3410m). Traditionally the village was a trading post, predominantly for yak cheese, butter and other agricultural goods. The first climb of Mount Everest in 1953 by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay changed this forever. Today the village is a hotspot for trekkers and climbers getting ready to move into the mountains or coming back out. A must ti visit is the Namche Monastery, which is located off the Thame trail above the village. It is a small Tibetan Buddhism monastery with a nice courtyard and traditional frescoes on wall of the main shrine. We will witness and photograph Namche Bazaar, Namche Monastery, village market, mountain views.
Trekking: rest day
Day 6 | Namche Bazzar - Phortse
After having spend a day gaining altitude in our bodies we set out for Phortse (3680m). We follow the trail to Sonasa, before heading to the Monga La and then onto Phortse. We gain less than 300m sleeping altitude, but the trail reaches our first time over 4000m so be prepared for a proper trek! Phortse is a farming village and our first stop outside the famous and well trodden Everest Basecamp trek. Seeing significantly less visitors means that this small village hass maintained some of its traditional character.
Trekking: Approx 5-6 hrs | Distance 7.4 km | Hight gain/loss +800m
Day 7 | Phortse - Dhole
We start our trek bu retracing the last part of the trail from yesterday and then ascend to Dhole (4200m). Its a short trek and we will all realise that in Nepal, at altitude, our days are not measured in kilometers travelled, but by altitude gained! Dhole is our first night above 4000m
Trekking: Approx 3 hrs | Distance 3.1km | Hight gain/loss +520m
Day 8 | Dhole - Machhermo
Leaving Dhole behind, we continue onto the village of Machhermo (4470m). Machhermo is situated just below the moraine of the Ngozumpa glacier, which is Nepal's longest glacier. Having gained significant altitude over the last two days we will rest in the village for two nights to allow time for acclimatisation and, of course, photography!
Trekking: Approx 5 hrs | Distance 5.3 km | Hight gain/loss +270m
Day 9 | Machhermo (rest day)
A rest and acclimatisation day in Machhermo (4470m). The villige is situated in a deep valley surrounded by high peaks. We will spend the day resting and photographing the river, the valley and the mountains.
Trekking: Rest day
Day 10 | Machhermo - Gokyo Ri
A short morning trek leads you to Gokyo (4790m). In the afternoon there is an option to climb our first peak, Gokyo Ri (5360m), to witness the sunset on Everest.
Trekking: Approx. 6 hrs | Distance 6.8 km | Hight gain/loss +320m
Day 11 | Gokyo (rest day)
Goyko is one of the highlights of the expeditions so we will spend a second day in Gokyo to explore the area and the turquoise Gokyo lakes in the shadow of Cho Oyo, the world’s sixth highest mountain at 8188m.
Trekking: Rest day
Day 12 | Gokyo - Dragnag
The days trek is short but slow as we cross the Ngozumpa Glacier. Once safely across, our trek continues to Dragnag (4700m) where we will get early to be to prepare ourselves for the Cho-La pass that awaits the next day.
Trekking: Approx 3hrs | Distance 4.5km | Hight gain/loss -50m
Day 13 | Dragnag - Dzongla
We are up early to ascend the Cho-La pass - our highest pass at 5367m - which will see us crossing into the Everest Valley to Dzongla where we will be welcomed by steaming food and well deserved rest.
Trekking: Approx 8-10hrs | Distance 9.4km | Hight gain/loss +/-863m
Day 14 | Dzongla - Lobuche
Tired from the previous day's effort we have an easy day and trek down into the Everest valley past Tawache and Cholatse arriving at Lobuche (4910m). We are now on the Everest Base Camp Trek and will see a lot more people. We will continue to explore and photograph.
Trekking: Approx 2.5-3hrs | Distance 6.6km | Hight gain/loss -350m
Day 15 | Lobuche - Everest Base Camp
Today is the day! We are heading to the climax of our trek: the Gorak Shep and Everest Base Camp, where we will stay overnight in Gorak Shep (5140m). Naturally we will photograph this iconic location and make memories for life!
Trekking: Approx 3hrs | Distance 4.3km | Hight gain/loss +250m
Day 16 | Everest Base Camp - Kala Patter - Pheriche
An optional peak summit awaits - we will have a very early start to catch the sunrise on Everest from the summit of Kala Patter (5550m)! This is an extra climb but will be so worth it when we witness Mount Everest painted by the morning sun. We will return to the lodge for breakfast, pack our belongings and head down to Pheriche (4240m). We are now following the EBC trek south and will enjoy the fact that we are now descending!
Trekking: Approx 10-12hrs | Distance 14km | Hight gain/loss +400m -1300m
Day 17 | Pheriche - Tengboche Monastery
We continue the descent to Tengboche Monastery (3860m), a.k.a. Dawa Choling Gompa. The monastery is a Tibetan Buddhist monastery of the Sherpa community.
Trekking: Approx 6-7hrs | Distance 9km | Hight gain/loss -400m
Day 18 | Tengboche Monastery - Mondo
We will reach Namche Bazzar for lunch then slowly descend to Mondo (2835m). We are now back to the trail we took to climb to Goyko, but we are sleeping in different villages, allowing us to keep exploring!
Trekking: Approx 6-7hrs | Distance 11km | Hight gain/loss -1000m
Day 19 | Mondo - Lukla
Our last day of trekking is Mondo to Lukla (2840m) and one that is likely to be filled with chatter about the memories that we have made.
Trekking: Approx 3hrs | Distance 12km | Hight gain/loss +300 -300m
Day 20-23 | Kathmandu
Our trekking is officially over and we will catch the 45 minute domestic flight to Kathmandu and then transfer to our hotel, where will have the rest of the day free. We will require extra days in Kathmandu to account for potential delays on the trail due to weather. Should we arrive in Kathmandu on day 20 we will spend three days exploring the city, with its many monasteries and markets. The day after arrival to Kathmandu we will celebrate our efforts with a special dinner.
Trekking: Around town
Day 24 | 12 December 2019 | Departure Day
The expedition will officially end at noon with transport to the airport.
Environmental and Local Ethos
The entire expedition is delivered with a strong ethos for the protection of the environment where we will endeavour to leave as small a footprint as possible. We only use local suppliers for the expedition in an effort to contribute to local communities and economy.
The Agenda, Weather and Daylight Hours
The weather in high Nepal can either be stable for weeks or can change rapidly one hour to the next, so even though we have a planned agenda, this will be open to revision on the day. Each day we will study the synoptic charts and the local maps over breakfast to plan our day. Sunrise is at approx 6.30AM and sunset at 5PM throughout the trek.
During this expedition we will be staying in teahouses along the trail that we are trekking. Accommodation will mainly be in twin rooms. In Kathmandu we will stay in good quality 4 star hotel.
Trekking with Porters
This trek is supported by Porters. Each participant will be able to able to leave maximum 10kg of clothing and equipment (including the weight of the bag) to be transported by the Porters. The remaining items, mainly camera equipment and daily personal and safety items will be brought and carried by ourselves in our daypacks. A detailed packing list will be shared well ahead of the expedition, this general guide for packing for the summer mountains might be helpful for the curious. Please get in touch if you have any questions.
Trekking at Altitude
The specific challenges of trekking at altitude is something that we should be prepared for, but it isn't something that we should be scared of. The tour is designed so that we have gradual increase in trekking altitude, we will also have plenty of rest days. This allows the body to gradually acclimatise and for us to enjoy our time as much as possible. Please consult you doctor to make sure that you have a clean bill of health and get your doctor's recommendations on altitude. If you have any questions about altitude - don't hesitate getting in touch!
Outdoor Skills Covered on the Expedition
We are first and foremost out to enjoy the mountains and to pursue the art of photography, however, as we are moving toward our locations there is always time to share some outdoor skills.
Planning for a day out in the mountains in ever changing conditions
Using safety equipment and emergency transponders
Navigation with map and compass
Relocation with map and compass
Using sighting for fast movement
What it means to be a leader in the outdoors
Group management skills
We reserve the right to change the itinerary without previous notice due to weather conditions, National Parks regulations or notifications and unforeseeable circumstances.
This tour is governed by the Terms and Conditions
Dates: 19 Nov - 12 Dec, 2019
High effort. This is a serious trekking expedition where we can expect 6-10 hours of trekking per day and at altitude. Previous multi-day trekking experience is mandatory. Clean bill of health from a doctor is mandatory. More info about effort levels here.
All levels welcome
Thomas Heaton is a landscape photographer and content creator. Using the Youtube platform, Thomas documents his landscape photography and travel adventures. His popularity comes from his extremely honest and unpolished approach to film making and photography. He is an outdoor enthusiast and aims to showcase the beauty of the great outdoors through his photography. Thomas’ Youtube channel has over 6.5 million views, his photography has been published in the UK and internationally and he has appeared on television including the BBC’s ‘One Show’.
Jonas is the founder of Terra Photography Expeditions, has been a passionate photographer for well over 20 years and has travelled extensively across the globe. Jonas is a qualified Mountain Leader and will be leading the expedition together with a team of Nepalese Trekking Guides. More info here.
Price: 6795 EUR
50% deposit due to secure your reservation, remaining 50% due 45 days before the start of the tour. Single occupancy not possible. Excl. VAT, where applicable.
Start: Kathmandu airport, 19 Nov 2019
End: Kathmandu airport, 12 Dec 2019 at approx. 1PM
Guided photography sessions
Guided treks by qualified Mountain Leader and qualified Nepalese Trekking Guides
All accommodation during the tour: 23 nights in a shared room (single occupancy available in Kathmandu at an extra cost)
All transport during the tour (except for those by foot!)
Transport (e.g. flights or train to Kathmandu airport)
Insurance. All participants are required to have their own insurance appropriate for hiking in the alps, such as health, accident, mountain rescue, repatriation, cancellation, personal liability, etc.
Trail snack to eat on the go