"Trekking Kathmandu-Everest Base Camp" Dolakha Off The Beaten Path Tip by Saagar
Dolakha Off The Beaten Path: 1 reviews and 0 photos
Hi, I was asked to comment on this, but for now I am just briefly checking in on VT - will come back.
Yes, you can walk from Kathmandu to EBC.
Yes you m a y walk from KTM to EBC unaided, however, select your route so that you can replenish your food reserves. There is not a singular track with tea shop/guest house trekking possibilities on this route. You will need to connect a number of existing routes.
Depending on the route you can walk this section any time of the year, providing the EBC is accessible (snow etc).
You can get a visa on arrival in KTM valid for 90 days. A regular tourist visa will do. In addition you need to fill in forms stating your planned route and pay a trekker's fee for parts of the trip, and pay national park fees (in Langtang and Sagarmatha Nat'l Parks).
You can do this trek without any climbing or scrambling - only the last part up to EBC may be high altitude - toward the end of your trek.
I would not go for a route by ruler out of KTM, that will be boring terrain and instead consider the following route: starting at the northern end of Kathmandu, hiking north-east into Helambu and skirting the Langtang National Park crossing the Melamchi basin a bit to the north and following a roundabout route turning east bit and arriving at Barabhise in Sindhupalchok district where you can cross the river coming out of Tibet along the Kodari hwy. From Barabhise you trek east across Tinsang La, Bigu and make a choice as you approach Tamakhosi river whether to take the high route or the low one. On the low route I would actually recommend skipping Bigu-Singati and follow the Kalinchowk ridge from Tinsang La and onwards to Dolakha bazaar or even Charikot for resupply. On the high route you should NOT go unaided, but seek assistance at the Rolwaling settlement of Beding to take you across the exposed Teshi Lapsta (5700+) and see you off in Khumbu. The Beding people will return with all equipment once you are safely in Thame. Should take 3 nights. Continue either along a high route east toward EBC against the grain of the terrain via Gokyo (I would not do it unaided) or easier, turn SE toward Namche and follow the regular trail to EBC. The low route from Singati/Dolakha takes you across ridges east toward Jiri and on to Lukla on the old, established Everest trail. There are potentially many nice diversions of this route. You will end up in Namche most likely via Lukla, and proceed to EBC.
Food, accommodation and supplies may be a challenge between Helambu and Bharabise. The previous lodge system between Barabhise and Rolwaling is partly functioning, and will soon be reestablished (I am actually working on a program to establish the Gaurishankar Conservation Area linking Langtang and Sagarmatha nat'l parks these days). It may also be a challenge between Tamakhosi river and Jiri as well, depending on the route you follow. Off the main routes in Sindhupalchok, Dolakha and Ramechhap districts there is considerable poverty and hardship. Thinking while I write, I am now convinced that you should go in late September-October and finalise by Mid November latest. This will give you statistically good weather, water in the creeks and village pumps, and good post harvest food supply. I was on a work trek in the Tamakoshi-Bigu area (Shorong khola basin)in late September 2008 and it was foggy and rainy and lots of leeches, but plenty of drinking water and food. People told me the rains extended unseasonally late. The monsoon isn't that precise as it used to be anymore.
You need to consider AMS/HAPE as previous writers have mentioned, and the places are quite obvious if you read yourself up on the route and perhaps use Google Earth. Also consider some escape routes - how to get down to a road/bazaar/accommodation/telephone if you decide to quit. Northern Sindhpalchok and Dolakha are the least trekked areas where you may think about this.
If you google the Great Himalayan Trail you may find bits of info on a program supported by SNV, a Dutch agency, on a trekking route east-west across Nepal. There is a book available in KTM that describes the trek, but it is rudimentary in terms of the kind of info that you ask. A booklet on the Gaurishankar trek was published some years ago by EcoHimal, still useful, but for the lodge info.
OK, this is what I can think of for now.