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Pikey Peak trek (fast-paced)

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Duration: 10 days, 9 nights
Everest
Minimum Age: Min Age : 12+
Max People : 12
Grade: 4 - Strenuous
Max Elevation: 13,300 feet
Accomodation: Lodges

The Pikey (pronounced pee-kay or just PK) Peak trek is a great short trek for outstanding views of Everest and the surrounding peaks. A bonus is the opportunity to experience the Sherpa culture that hasn’t been overrun by tourism. Pikey Peak at around 13,300 feet is a great vantage point to view Mt Everest, Makalu, Gauri Shankar, Rolwaling, Numbur and others. The Pikey Peak trek is also a great option for the over-crowded Annapurna region especially during the main trekking season.

The trip begins with a long bus ride (9 hours) to Jhayprey from where you begin the trek. Alternatively, you could fly to Phaplu (cost is extra) and make a shorter 3 hour drive to Jhyaprey. There are flights to Phaplu every Mondays and Wednesdays only. Over the next two days, trek through pastures and temporary shepherd sheds to the summit of Pikey Peak. Descend to Junbesi village and visit the Thuktencholing monastery – the monastery founded by Trulsik Rimpoche who fled from Tibet after the Chinese occupation. This monastery houses around 200 monks and nuns (almost all Tibetans) and allows visitors.

The journey ends at Phaplu from where you fly back to Kathmandu. The trip also includes time to enjoy the sites in and around Kathmandu, including Bodhanath and Pashupatinath.

 

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Trip at a glance

Brief Itinerary

Day Description Overnight Altitude
Day 1 Arrival in Kathmandu Kathmandu 1,340m/4,300ft
Day 2 Exploring Kathmandu Kathmandu 1,340m/4,300ft
Day 3 Kathmandu – Dhap – Jhyaprey Jhyaprey 2,935m/9,600ft
Day 4 Jhyaprey to Bhulbhule Bhulbhule 3,340m/10,995ft
Day 5 Bhubhule to Pikey Base Camp Pikey Base Camp 3,721m/12,211ft
Day 6 Pikey Base Camp to Junbesi Junbesi 2,715m/8,900ft
Day 7 Visit Thuktencholing monastery. Junbesi 2,715m/8,900ft
Day 8 Short drive to Phaplu. Fly to Kathmandu. Free day in Kathmandu. Kathmandu 1,340m/4,300ft
Day 9 Sightseeing in Kathmandu. Kathmandu 1,340m/4,300ft
Day 10 Final departure
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Detailed Itinerary

Day 1Arrival in Kathmandu

Arrive in Kathmandu. Our representative will meet you at the airport and transfer you to the hotel. Welcome dinner.

MEALS: D

Day 2Exploring Kathmandu

In the morning, visit Bodhanath, the Stupa of a Million Dew Drops, to watch monks and devotees circumambulate the largest stupa in the world. Then visit Pashupatinath, Nepal’s most sacred Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva, with its two-tiered golden roof and silver door. Drive to Patan for lunch in the garden of the Patan Museum Café. After lunch, visit the well-maintained Patan Museum storing ancient Nepali artifacts, followed by a tour of Patan Durbar Square.

MEALS: B, L

Day 3Kathmandu - Jhyaprey

Start early as today is a long day of driving – total of 9/10 hours. It is around 237 kilometers to Dhap on paved road (Nepali standards) and then another 15 kilometers to Jhyaprey on dirt road. The drive begins on the BP Highway built by the Japanese to connect Kathmandu to Southern Nepal. Then follow the highway to Okhaldhunga and Phaplu. Around 33 kilometers before Phaplu, head north west on dirt road to Jhyaprey.

MEALS: B, L, D

Day 4Jhyaprey - Bhulbhule

Today is a short day of around 2 to 3 hours to allow for acclimatization. Follow the jeep track passing a shepherd settlement. Shepherds here raise Dzopkyos (a cross between a cow and a yak). Continue further past a thick forest of rhododendrons and oaks to arrive at the small settlement (two homes) of Bhulbhule.

In the afternoon, to aid with acclimatization, you may opt to hike for an hour to Boudha. There is a small stupa here.

Overnight Lodge
Meals: B, L, D

Total distance: 3.46 miles/5.5 kilometers
Ascent: 1,277 feet/389 meters
Descent: 72 feet/22 meters

Day 5Bhulbhule - Pikey Base Camp

Today is another shortish day of around 3/4 hours. Past Bhulbhule, the jeep track ends after a short ascent. We then head east towards Pikey Peak to a small shepherd settlement with a stupa. During late April and May, this area is quite beautiful as all the rhododendrons are flowering. Past the stupa, follow a mostly level through another thick jungle of rhododendrons and oak to another shepherd settlement. From here it is a steep ascent to Pikey Peak base camp which has two lodges.

Overnight Lodge
Meals: B, L, D

Total distance: 5.44 miles/8.75 kilometers
Ascent: 1,453 feet/443 meters
Descent: 217 feet/67 meters

Day 6Pikey Base Camp - Junbesi

Begin early to catch the best weather for views of the Eastern Nepal Himalayan range. There are two peaks at Pikey. We first summit Pikey I. If the weather is clear, there is almost a 120 degree mountain view including Everest, Makalu, Gauri Shanker, Numbur etc. On really clear days, it is even possible to see Kanchenjunga in the far east.

Descend along the ridge over a small hump. Those who wish can then summit Pikey Peak II. Descend to Jase Bhanjyang for breakfast. It is then a 1,000 feet ascent before making the descent through a thick forest to Taktor and then the quaint Sherpa village of Junbesi.

Overnight Lodge
Meals: B, L, D

PIKEY BASE CAMP TO PIKEY SUMMIT
Total distance: .9 miles/1.44 kilometers
Ascent: 1,006 feet/307 meters
Descent: 22 feet/6.7 meters

PIKEY SUMMIT TO JASE BHANJYANG
Total distance: 1.72 miles/2.76 kilometers
Ascent: 41 feet/12.4 meters
Descent: 1,835 feet/560 meters

JASE BHANJYANG TO JUNBESI
Total distance: 6.25 miles/10 kilometers
Ascent: 1,188 feet/363 meters
Descent: 3,820 feet/1,164 meters

Day 7Day trip to Thuktencholing monastery

Visit the local Junbesi monastery. Hike a short distance to Thuktencholing monastery. This monastery was founded by the late Thrulsik Rimpoche who escaped from Tibet. He was the head of the Nyingma school and the teacher of the 14th Dalai Lama. A re-incarnate has recently been discovered and will head the monastery. This monastery houses around 200 nuns and monks (numbers keep varying as most move on to monasteries in India) and mostly include Tibetans who have escaped over the Nangpala pass in the Khumbu region. Slowly, over time, as fewer Tibetans cross into Nepal, the local Sherpas will mostly study to become nuns/monks at this monastery. For two or more participants, we will try to arrange a lunch with the monks/nuns.

Return to Junbesi.

Overnight Lodge
Meals: B, L, D

JUNBESI TO THUKTENCHOLING MONASTERY
Total distance: 2.41 miles/3.87 kilometers
Ascent: 1,082 feet/330 meters
Descent: 74 feet/23 meters

Day 8Fly to Kathmandu

A one hour jeep ride to Phaplu airport for a short flight to Kathmandu. The rest of the day is free in Kathmandu.

Overnight: Hotel
Meals: B

Day 9Exploration day in Kathmandu

This is a contingency day in Kathmandu. If bad weather prevents us from flying to Kathmandu, we will take a jeep back which is about 9 hours of driving.

DAY 10 Final departure

Transfer to airport for final departure.

Meals: B

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Detailed Cost Information

Per person price (valid until December 31, 2019)

1 person: $2,500 per person (includes single supplement)

2 – 4 persons: $2,125 per person

5 or more persons: $2,000 per person

Single supplement: $200

US$ 150 per person discount on September, December, January, February, May and June departures

Extra: US$200 per group for lunch ceremony at Thuptencholing monastery.

Payment policy:

  • A 20% non-refundable deposit is required at the time of booking.
  • Balance is payable a week prior to departure.
  • Contact us for coupon code if you are eligible for a US$150 low season discount or a US$150 alumni discount. Only one discount is applicable.

Cancellation policy:

  • Deposit is non-refundable.
  • No refunds for unused services once trek begins.

Price Includes

All airport transfers; Two full days sightseeing in Kathmandu as indicated in the itinerary and entrance fees to monuments; Four nights twin sharing hotel accommodation at Hotel Tibet (3 star) in Kathmandu; Chartered 4 x 4: Kathmandu to Jhyapre; Airfare: Phaplu to Kathmandu, Meals as indicated in the itinerary, Lodge trekking as indicated in theitinerary, Three meals a day, Boiled water for your bottles two times a day, Use of Steripen to sterilize water, Guide and staff wages, equipment and meals, Guide and staff insurance, Gauri Shanker National Park Fee.

Price Excludes

Your international airfare, Nepal Visa, Meals not indicated in the itinerary, Tips and gratuities, Personal equipment (a suggested list will be mailed to you), Travel insurance (Required), Other expenses of a personal nature

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Trip Gallery

Options

One day on this trek is slightly fast-paced. The day from Pikey Peak Base Camp to Junbesi can be quite taxing on some – especially those with bad knees. It is possible to customize and add a stop over at Jase Bhanjyang to break up this long day.

For those who want to experience Sherpa village life, check out our Pikey Peak Trek. This itinerary is 15 days in Nepal.

It is possible to add onto the itinerary and hike to Lukla or all the way to the Everest Base Camp. Write to us to learn about the possibilities.

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Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ

When is the best time to do the Pikey Peak trek?

There are two preferred seasons for the Pikey Peak trek: Spring (March through May) and Fall (October through November). Day time temperatures range in the 50’s and 60’s (10 to 15 Centigrade) while night-time temperatures are in the 30’s and 40’s (0 to 5 Centigrade). Expect some late-afternoon showers in the Spring which is also the season for rhododendrons and magnolias. October is historically regarded as the best month to trek with clear skies and better views of the mountains.

As the trek doesn’t go to very high altitudes, it is also possible to do the Pikey Peak trek in the Winter (December through February). You will experience a couple nights at or near freezing in the Winter.

How fit do I need to be to do the Pikey Peak trek?

Anyone who is reasonably fit and can hike 10-12 miles a day can sign up for the Pikey Peak Trek. The trek is a roller coaster and does involve some steep ascents and descents. So, the better shape you are in, the more you will enjoy the trek. It is advised that anyone with a pre-existing condition consult their doctor before signing up for a trek.
We rate the Pikey Peak Trek a 4 on a scale of 1 (easy) to 5 (challenging).

Can I drink tap water on the Pikey trek?

Nepali tap water is NOT safe to drink. Even if you see the locals drinking water straight from the tap, never drink water before boiling or sterilizing. Bring water purifying tablets or other water purifiers. At higher elevations during the coldest times of year the water will freeze, so you’ll need to buy boiled water from teahouses. If you plan to use a STERIPEN, bring wide mouth water bottles. You would need at least 2 one-liter water bottles for the trek. Even if you plan to bring a hydration pack, bring 1 one-liter water to sterilize the water before pouring into your hydration pack.

Crystal Mountain Treks will provide you with a Steripen to use on the trek for no charge.

What kind of meals should I expect on the Pikey trek?

Meals on the Pikey Peak trek are not as varied as on the Everest Base Camp Trek. Especially at the home-stays, expect basic but healthy and organic meals. In general, expect porridge (Oatmeal), toast, eggs (any style), muesli, hash browns, sausages etc for breakfast. And sandwich, pizzas, momos, noodles (dry and with soup), rolls, fried rice, Indian bread with vegetables etc for lunch and dinner. And expect Nepali dal-bhat (rice-lentils with vegetables and/or meat) at all the lodges.

Ours is an OPEN menu. Meaning we allow our clients to order anything from the lodge menu besides bottled beverages, specialty coffee and packaged snacks. We also don’t limit the number of items per meal as long as you aren’t wasteful. When choosing your trekking company, ask if meals are fixed or if you are only allowed to order one item from the menu. If this isn’t the case, costs can add up over 15/16 days.

Is there mobile coverage on the Pikey trek? Wi-fi?

Most of the places on the Pikey Peak trek route now has cell coverage. Lodges in some locations will offer wi-fi for between $1 to $2 per hour. You can also buy a Sim card with 5GB or 10GB data for under $25: do this in Kathmandu.

Once in Junbesi, you can buy a 500 MB card for around $3.

How should I prepare for the trek?

The more physically fit you are, the more you will enjoy the trip. There are three aspects to training for any trek. 1) Cardiovascular Training will make your body more efficient in using oxygen. Running, walking, swimming or biking, or any combination of these are great for cardiovascular conditioning. 2) Strength Training by either using free weights or machines at the gym will build hiking strength. Walking stairs, especially with a pack will simulate the hiking environment. We also recommend practicing squats. Trekkers will encounter low hanging obstacles to duck under, and many toilets are at ground level, which requires a low squat.
3) Endurance Training is where you build endurance in the months leading up to your trek, slowly increase your length of training sessions. By the time you are 2 weeks from the scheduled trek date you should be able to ascend 3,000 ft. in a 3-4 hour period.

In the end, the more your training simulates a trek, the better off you will be. So hiking 4-5 hours outdoors, uphill and downhill, about once or twice a week in addition to other cardio vascular training at the gym or at home will greatly benefit and prepare you for the trek.

What are the toilets like? Will I have a chance to take a shower?

Most tea houses have a common toilet. Only a couple tea houses on this trek have en suite rooms. While squat toilets are more prevalent, newer lodges have Western style toilets.

It is possible to shower in almost all the lodges. And hot shower usually means a bucket of boiled water. At Junbesi, there is a proper shower with water heated by a gas geyser. Be prepared to pay anywhere from $2-$5 for this service. A wet-wipe “bath” is a better option.

What kind of gear do I need for the trek?

Layering is key. And it’s always recommended to trek with good branded gear. A good pair of hiking boots that’s been broken in is very important. Good top and bottom base layers, a mid layer (fleece or capilene), and an outer layer (Gore-tex or other material). If you tend to get cold quickly, bring a down parka especially for the evening at the lodge. On most days, you’d be hiking in a convertible hiking pant that can be converted into shorts and one or two top layers.

if you’re trekking with Crystal Mountain Treks, we provide a sleeping bag (rated to 0 degree F or -17 degree C), duffel bags, down jacket and Steripen for water purification to our clients for no charge.

It is possible to buy cheap and relatively functional gear in Kathmandu – convertible pants, down jackets, fleece, Gore-tex jackets. But remember, you get what you pay for. Wool gloves, hats, socks are available too.

There are quite a few branded stores too. North Face, Moutain Hardwear, Marmot and Sherpa. If you’re coming from Australia or Europe, items in these shops are probably cheaper than back home. But if you’re coming from the US, it’s better to buy branded gear at home.