Trek To The Tallest Mountains In The World
UPDATE: As of July 1, 2018, this workshop is sold out. Please contact us to be placed on a waiting list.
Join Muench Workshops pro Marc Muench as he leads and guides this trek into one of the most spectacular high mountain landscapes on the planet, the Kharta Valley in Tibet. Marc is teamed up with veteran Tibet guides and pro landscape photographers Alister Benn and Juanli Sun. We’ll immerse ourselves into the Tibetan culture, while photographing and acclimating in the city of Lhasa for 3 days. Then we’re off to see and photograph the Potala Palace, Sera Monastery, and the debating Monks. Then we begin our expedition, as we continue to Shigatse, for another cultural feast. From Gudang, we’ll trek into the mountains for seven nights of camping, where we’ll reach amazing locations next to the tallest mountains on earth. We'll photograph Mt. Everest from the east, as well as other surrounding giants like Qomolangma, Lhotse and Makalu.
This is an extremely demanding trek that will require both physical and altitude conditioning. Our expedition will be fully staffed to carry everything for you except your personal pack for the day. We have timed this expedition during the time of year when the weather is best and the temperature is as mild as it can be. Everything’s all-inclusive, from food and lodging, to internal flights, to tips for the local guides. This trip is for the extreme adventure photographer who is in great physical shape. Everyone will be interviewed before registration, to be sure that this trekking experience is right for you, and you are right for it.
May 18–June 3, 2019
Itinerary and General Information
May 18, 2019: Meet in Xining China for dinner and orientation. Xining is at 2,300 meters (7,500 feet) in elevation.
May 19, 2019: Fly to Lhasa, check-in to hotel and begin acclimating at the elevation of 3,600 meters (12,000 feet). We'll be spending the next few days acclimating and going on photo walks around town. We’ll get the chance to visit Barkhor Square for sunrise, immerse ourselves in local Tibetan culture including visits to the outsides of Potala Palace, and Jokhang Temple. We’ll plan on meeting a local family and watching the Monks debate.
May 22, 2019: We’ll leave Lhasa to Shigatse and see very high peaks for the first time. We’ll view one of the four most sacred lakes, Lake Yamdrok Tso. Shigatse is the second largest city in Tibet and another cultural feast, including amazing architecture and more culture. Shigatse is at 3,900 meters (12,800 feet) in elevation.
May 23, 2019: We'll take a scenic drive from Shigatse to Qudang, to obtain even higher elevation on the drive before we descend back down to 3,650 meters (12,000 feet) in elevation for the night. This will be a full day of driving.
May 24, 2019: Camp 1—The trek begins with our first camp at around 4,650 meters (15,300 feet). We’ll ascend 750 meters (2,460 feet) over 6 hours, approximately 6.3 miles. We’ll be getting our first view of an 8,000 meter (26,000 feet) peak, Makalu. Trekking and camping in one fo the most beautiful places in the world, the Kharta Valley. This is a high alpine region with spring flowers, rivers and glacial lakes. All this with the world's tallest mountains as a backdrop.
May 25, 2019: Camp 2—We will ascend 250 meters (820 feet), and descend 1,000 meters (3,280 feet) over an 8 hour period, approximately 7.5 miles. Rhododendron and azalea flowers will be abundant in front of the 5,000 meter (16,400 feet) high snow capped mountains.
May 26, 2019: Camp 3—We will ascend 650 meters (2,132 feet) over an 6 hour period approximately 5 miles. With good weather, Mt. Everest and a vista of surrounding Himalayan mountains will be in view.
May 27, 2019: Camp 4—We will stay in the lower valley, where wild flowers provide a great foreground for Mt. Everest. The trekking will be much less on this day.
May 28, 2019: Camp 5—We retrace our steps a bit, and trek back to Camp 3, ascending back up 1000 meters (3,280 feet).
May 29, 2019: Camp 6—We will ascend 450 meters (1,476 feet) over a 6 hour period approximately 7.5 miles, with amazing views of glacial lakes and panoramic views of Mt. Everest range in the distance.
May 30, 2019: Camp 7—Depending on weather, and our condition, we may stay in Camp 6.
May 31, 2019: Trek back to Qudang, ascending 400 meters (1,312 feet) and descending 1100 meters (3,608 feet) in a 10 hour period, approximately 10 miles. We'll be back in a hotel!
June 1, 2019: Eight hour drive to Shigatse, filled with amazing scenery and Wi-Fi throughout. Enjoy the time off our feet!
June 2, 2019: Shigatse to Xi’an, where we will visit Tashilhunpo Monastery. This is one of six big monasteries of Gelugpa in Tibet, founded by the first Dalai Lama in the year 1447.
June 3, 2019: Morning flights from Xi'an to Beijing. Book flights home after 3:00 PM.
- Double occupancy lodging (Single available, just ask).
- All meals during the workshop
- Transportation during the workshop
- Fully outfitted, guided camping
- Internal flights (Xining to Lhasa, Shigatse to Xi'an, and Xi'an to Beijing
- Photographic guiding and instruction from two pros
- All tips and gratuities
- Fun, inspiration and a great time!
What’s Not Included?
Transportation to Xining, China and from Beijing, China. Passport and visa fees. Medical Evacuation Insurance (required). Travel Medical and Trip Cancellation Insurance (optional, but recommended). Personal sleeping bag and air mattress. Items of a personal nature. Alcoholic beverages. Anything not specifically listed as included.
Your deposit of $6,000 will hold your place in this workshop. Further deposit of $5,000 is due by June 1, 2018. The balance of $4,495 will be due not later than February 1, 2019. All payments are non-refundable which is why you should have Trip Cancellation Insurance. All of our other normal Terms and Conditions apply.
Logistics: We'll use Yaks and sherpas to carry all the gear, but you will want to carry a minimum of 5 pounds of personal items including snacks for the day and valuable documents along with any medications.
Physical: You do not need to have high altitude or trekking experience to join this trekking workshop, so long as we have determined that your health is sufficient. The quality of this experience is based on your fitness level and the better you feel after hiking 8 hours at altitude the more you'll enjoy yourself. You will will be interviewed by us to determine if you are able to successfully participate in this trekking workshop.
Unexpected Circumstances: Tibetan permits are officially granted 5–10 days prior to entering Lhasa. If political events prevent us from our original itinerary, we will work hard to offer the best possible alternative photography locations to create a unique experience.
This is a great opportunity to experience Tibet and photograph the tallest mountains in the world, including Mt. Everest.