Three Passes Trek
For true adventurers who love challenges, yearn to do something different, and wish to view everything that the Khumbu offers than the Everest Transverse trek, is an authentic platform. The world famous superb trekking provides us the opportunity to visit the Everest base camp, Kalapatthar, Gokyo Valley and its tranquil Lakes, the best view point of Gokyo Ri and more especially introduces a route to the remote and untouched Nangpa La Valley, the Sherpa village of Marlung, the monastery village of Thame as well through other major remote villages and valleys. Moreover, taking help of the classical route to make complete high-level circuit via world famous demanding passes Kongma La (5,535/18,159 ft.), Cho La (5420m/17,782 ft) and Renjo La (5,340m/17,520 ft).
We begin our Journey to the Everest Transverse Trek with a sightseeing day in Kathmandu which offers a brief exploration of the temples, shrines, bazaars and restaurants of Kathmandu. We take a stimulating mountain flight to Tenzing-Hillary Airport at Lukla on the following day followed by trek up through the classic route to the Sagarmatha National Park playing with mighty Dudh Koshi river, colorful landscapes, Gompas and monasteries in the land enclosed by the soaring peaks. After reaching the summit of Kongma La, as we compose our way to the Everest Base Camp we marvel at the spectacle of Khumbu icefall cascading from the Western Cwm. Our trek to the view point of Kalapatthar is followed by the tough Climb through Cho La that finally takes us to the cobalt-blue lakes at Gokyo. After enjoying awe inspiring views from the fifth lake and Gokyo Ri, we make our way to the next great pass, the Renjo La . Making a night in Marlung we follow a little of the route used for centuries by the Tibetan Traders via Nangpa La to get to Thame. Following the classical route we drop down to Lukla and fly back to Kathmandu leaving behind our foot prints in the shadow of the Everest.
If you are a real adventurer looking for more of a challenging trek crossing some of the most famous high passes in the world, you definitely need to consider our Everest Transverse Trek (Three Passes). If you are looking for trek slightly less adventurous than this involves suburb views of Gokyo Lakes along with Everest base camp and Kala Patthar, probably "Everest Base Camp Trek via Gokyo Lakes-17 days" would be ideal for you! Our "Everest Base Camp-14 days" itinerary would be perfect for you if you are young, energetic, physically fit, and yearn to hike up to Everest base camp and Kalapatthar but will have a limited amount of time to trek.
Important Note and Optional Activities
Your safety is of paramount concern whilst traveling with Himalayan Glacier Trekking. Please note that your leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Every effort will be made to keep to the above itinerary; however, as this is adventure travel in remote mountain region, we cannot guarantee it! Weather conditions, health condition of a member, unexpected natural disasters, etc., can all contribute to changes in the itinerary. The leader will try to ensure that the trip runs according to plan, but please be prepared to be flexible if required.
Day to Day Itinerary
Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu [1300 m/4264 ft]
Upon your arrival in the International airport at Kathmandu, you will be greeted by a representative from Nepal Spiritual Trekking P Ltd . After completing your custom formalities (Visa, etc) , pick up your luggage and look for our representative with a Nepal Spiritual Trekking display board at the arrival gate. You will be then transferred to Hotel afterward. After check in, you can take a rest, hang around in the city, or visit our office; it all depends upon your interests and condition. In the evening we will organize a "Welcome Dinner" at an excellent traditional Nepalese Restaurant where you will enjoy a Nepalese cultural program as well as a fine meal. Included meal: Dinner (D)
Day 02: Kathmandu: Sightseeing and Trek Preparation
ToDay after breakfast we will start a guided tour to several of the most historical and spiritual attractions in Kathmandu. Some of these landmarks are considered World Heritage Sites; including the historic Durbar Square, the sacred Hindu temple of Pashupati nath, the famous 'Monkey Temple' (Swayambunath) and Buddhists shrine (Buddha Nath) which is one of the large Stupas in the world. In the afternoon, there will be a pre-trip discussion where we can meet our trek leader and other team members. Himalayan Glacier Trekking briefs us regarding our trek as well as provides us opportunity to ask any questions we may have regarding our upcoming adventure. Included meal: Breakfast (B)
Day 03: Kathmandu-Lukla [2840 m/9320]- Phakding [2,652m/8,700ft]: 40 minutes flight, 3-4 hrs trek(Trekking times only)
After breakfast, we get transferred to the domestic terminal of Kathmandu airport for an early morning flight to Lukla (2,800m/9,186ft), a gateway to the destination from where our trek starts. After an adventurous 40 minute flight above breathtaking green and white mountains, we reach the Tenzing-Hillary Airport at Lukla. This is one of the most beautiful air routes in the world culminating in a dramatic landing on a hillside surrounded by high mountains peaks. Here we meet our other crew members and after some packing and arrangements, we start our trek through the prosperous village of Lukla until we reach Phakding. To assist in acclimatization, we only have a short hike toDay. However, if interested in additional activities we can take a side trip to a nearby monastery. Overnight in Phakding. Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner (B,L,D)
Day 04: Phakding-Namche Bazaar [3440 m/11,280 ft]: 5-6 hrs trek
Walking through a beautiful pine forest, the track leads us along the Dudh Koshi River through many suspension bridges, one of which is the famous Hillary Suspension Bridge. First, we catch wonderful prospect of the glistening Mt. Thamserku (6618 m). Through the settlement of Benkar, Chumoa, Monjo, we come to the check post and entrance to Sagarmatha National Park. We pass through the last village of Jorsale before reaching Namche Bazaar. The trail climbs through the forests and bridges until we reach the confluence of the Dudh Koshi and Bhote Koshi rivers. After a final steep ascent of about two hours we get first sight fist of at Mt. Everest, peering over the Lhotse-Nuptse ridge. We stop at Chauatra to admire the view. We still need to walk about 1.5 hours to reach Namche Bazaar, a gateway to Mt. Everest and main trading centre of this region. We stay overnight in Namche Bazaar.(B,L,D)
Day 05: Namche Bazaar: Rest Day
This is the first of the three scheduled "acclimatization" Days. Health experts always recommend us to stay active and moving during the rest Days instead of being idle. We either spend the Day taking a Day hike to Thame or visiting Khunde or relaxing and exploring Namche Bazaar itself. Namche Bazzar is the main centre of the Everest (Khumbu) region and has government offices, ATMs, Internet cafes, shops, restaurants, a bakery and a colorful market each FriDay evening and SaturDay. If we trek a few hundred vertical feet during the Day, it will help us to properly acclimatize. Our guides will take us to the Tourist Visitor Center near the headquarter of the Sagarmatha National Park where we can observe an assortment of things related to the first Everest ascenders, Sherpa culture and learn about the various plant and animal life of the Everest region. Overnight in Namche Bazaar.(B,L,D)
Day 06: Namche Bazaar-Tengboche [3860 m/12,660 ft]: 5-6 hrs
After breakfast in Namche, we start our trek towards Tengboche enjoying superb view of Mt. Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse, Ama Dablam and close up view of Thamserku. Our trek follows on the gradual trail with few ups and downs overlooking magnificent view of the great Himalaya. Along the way we can spot wild lives like pheasant, musk deer, or a herd of Himalayan Thar. The trail goes gradually down up to Kayangjuma. The path eventually reaches Sansa which is the major trail junction to Gokyo valley and Everest Base Camp. The track then follows through the pine forests and after we cross the prayer flags festooned bridge over Dudh Koshi River, we reach Phunki Thenga, a small settlement with a couple of teahouses and a small army post amidst the alpine woods. After having a relaxed lunch at Phunki Thenga we then have a little tough climb steep up through the pine forests while before we reach Tengboche. Tengboche is a great place for close up views of Ama-Dablam, Nuptse, and Everest and it has a biggest Buddhist Monastery all over in Khumbu region. We visit the monastery the same Day at around 3 p.m. to witness the ceremony in the principal and popular monastery of Everest region. Overnight stay at lodge in Tengboche.(B,L,D)
Day 07: Tengboche- Dingboche [4360m/14,300 ft]: 5-6 hrs
Early morning fabled scenic beauty of Tengboche takes our breath away. The mountain panorama includes ranges of Kangtega, Thamserku, Ama Dablam, Taboche, Kwangde, Tengboche, Lhotse and Nuptse. After snapping pictures, we start the Day journey through the trial that follows through Imja Khola upstream. Descending rapidly from the Tengboche meadow to the river bank, the track traverses a deep forest of birch and rhododendron with magnificent views of Ama Dablam, Lhotse-Nuptse ridge. As we reach Deboche, a charming place amidst the woods, we visit Buddhist nunnery. Climbing up we come across few Chortens. Upon reaching Pangboche we are amazed at the dramatic views, we might visit Upper Pangboche to best view the mountains. The trail eventually climbs to Shomare. We notice decrease in tree line after Pangboche and upon reaching Shomare the terrain changes dramatically to rolling arid stretch and an alpine terrain with patches of scrub and isolated pastures. As we reach Orsho the pyramidal peak of Pumori emerges above the mountains ahead. We finally reach cold and windy settlement of Dingboche overlooked by Chortens and prayer flags finally for the night's rest. Overnight in Dingboche.(B,L,D)
Day 08: Dingboche-Chhukung [4750m/15,580 ft]: 3-4 hrs
The walk is pleasant as we leave Dingboche through stone walled fields and alpine landscape. We take the trial from Dingboche through Imja Khola valley to land raven by glacier moraines amidst towering formidable mountains. We walk leisurely as our schedule for toDay is only 3-4 hours trek. While walking through the valley, Lhotse towers on our left and Ama Dablam on our right. After walking about 3 km, we reach at yak herdman`s place called Bibre. Straight ahead, beyond a terminal moraine wall, soars the Island peak (Imja Tse), a most popular trekking peak. The pyramidal Imja Tse looks awesome with its step rock and-icy south face. The trail ahead is intersected by icy streams. We reach Chhukung in about half an hour from Bibre. There are glaciers and massive snowy mountains all around the place. We might choose to hike to the rocky knoll of Chhukung Ri which offers stunning views of Lhotse, Island Peak, Ama Dablam, Makalu and several others including Baruntse. Overnight in Chhukung. (B,L,D)
Day 09: Rest Day in Chhukung
Trekking experts strongly recommend an acclimatization in Chhukung before doing the Kongma La pass. However, we are not supposed to stay inactive. The view from Chhukung and further up the valley on the moraines towards Island Peak (6189 m) are tremendous. We grasp this opportunity to climb the Chhukung Ri or climb to the base camp of Island Peak. The great south face of Lhotse towers above to the north, while Amphu Lapcha a (5780 m pass) and the immense fluted ice walls that flank it dominate the horizon to the south. To the southwest, the eastern face, of Ama Dablam provides an unusual view of this picturesque peak. Overnight in Chhukung(B,L,D)
Day 10: Chhukung-Kongma La [5535m/18,159ft] -Lobuche [4940m/16,210ft]: 6-7 hrs
We start at first light from Chhukung as we have to conquest highest pass of the trip toDay. We carry plenty of water and some snacks and a packed lunch as there is no tea shops on the way. We really enjoy the remoteness of the area and absolute nature!! We can select to go via any of the possible trails- either taking a climb over the hill northwest of Chhukung over the moraine of he Nuptse Glacier or we might walk back down the valley to Bibre and follow a high trail above the Niyang Khola. Just after some walk there are great views of Island peak valley and jagged ridge of Amphu Lapcha. Ascending along the east side of Niyang Khola valley, we turn west and walk through the sloppy stony trial. We enter a wide basin dotted with small frozen lakes. The trail rises over loose scree gaining the Kongma La after about five hours we leave Chhukung. Upon reaching the top, we seen cairn wrapped in prayer flags,-marks of the pass. Behind us is the landscape of icy lakes ahead down of which is the Khumbu Glacier. The final descent is the most difficult stage of the trek toDay, upon climbing the moraine on the far side, the trail turns north through Khumbu Glacier which takes us to Lobuche. Overnight in Lobuche.(B,L,D)
Day 11: Lobuche - Gorak Shep [5170 m/16,961ft] - Everest Base Camp [5364 m/17,594 ft] / Kala Patthar (5545 m/18,192 ft) - Gorak Shep: 8-9 hrs
The trail to Gorak Shep goes ahead through the lateral moraine of the Khumbu Glacier. We pass though the pyramid sign post. Ahead on the trail we see crest of north ridge of Everest along with Mt. Pumori, Mahalangur, Lingtern, Khumbutse, Nuptse, etc. A small ascent would take us to Thangma Riju from where we perceive 360 degree vista of snowy mountains. Climbing steeply up to the top through the torrent of Changri glacier, we catch our first glimpse of Kala Patthar, a grey-green knoll beneath the Mt. Pumori. As we reach Gorak Shep, we will be surrounded by snow-capped mountains looming all around us including the top of the world - Mount Everest. After a brief lunch and rest, we take the trail to Everest Base Camp through the once vast Gorak Shep Lake. Continuing straight ahead, we come through the Indian army mountaineers' memorials. As we reach Everest Base Camp we cannot stop ourselves from appreciating the Everest climbers those take the hazardous route through the Khumbu icefall. Mountaineer's tents stand out in bright colors against all the dull gray surroundings (especially in the Spring). Nuptse, Khumbuste and Pumori are the mountains we can view from base camp. Everest actually is not visible from here. By now we have met the ultimate objective of our trip.
However, the sunset view from Kala Patthar is more admirable than the sunrise view, so it is suggested to visit Kala Patthar toDay during sunset. As the setting sun's rays strike the snow capped mountains the resulting scenery is indescribable. For those trekkers who wish to continue to Kala Patthar, our guides and Sherpas coordinate your hike to Kala Patthar for amazing sunset view toDay rather than waiting until the next Day. Overnight in Gorak Shep at a local lodge. (B,L,D)
Day 12: Gorak Shep - Kala Patthar / Everest Base Camp - Lobuche [4940 m/16,207 ft]: 8-9 hrs
ToDay is the climax of our trip. We start early in the morning to catch the dramatic views from Kala Patthar witnessing the first light of Day shining on Mount Everest. However, we need to get prepared for an early morning, dark and cold temperature (-10 to -14 C) departure beforehand. Plus there is always the potential for chilly winds which are quite common. Familiar peaks such as Lingtren, Khumbutse, Changtse tower to the east even as Everest begins to reveal itself emerging between the west shoulder crest and Nuptse. During the ascent to Kala Patthar we can pause to catch our breath at several outstanding view points to snap pictures. After several hours of an ascent, we reach Kala Patthar. From here we scramble to climb the rocky outcrop near to the summit marked by cairns and prayer flags. As we reach the top, we sit on the Kala Patthar rocks our eyes taking in the unbelievable Himalayan Panorama, wandering from one mighty massif to another. We take as many pictures as we can with our camera and take the in view with our mind's eye to last lifetime. On being back to Gorak Shep, we have breakfast and wait other participants to return back.
Those participants who plan to visit Everest base camp toDay will have early breakfast to start early as Everest base camp hike takes longer time (4-5 hrs) than the Kala Patthar hike. Upon return back to Gorak Shep, the group will have lunch together; and afternoon time is taken to descend down to Lobuche for a good night's rest. (B,L,D)
Day 13: Lobuche-Dzongla [4830m/15,850 ft]: 3-4 hrs
Trek toDay is very short compared to previous or next Days walk. The path to Dzongla branches off from the main trail some distance from Lobuche. After crossing a stream we come through a fork and later curving round to the wide gravelly river bed of the stream as it flows southwestward, the trail runs across it and climbs the ridge ahead. From the grassy ridge ahead, as the trail runs across to southeast from where we can see soaring heights of Ama Dablam and Kangtega-Thamserku while Taboche looms prominently ahead. Pheriche village is also visible down in the distance. Visible also is the mound in Chukpi Lhara and its memorials and the lodges of Dugla. As the ridge veers northward, the vast Chola Lake spreads below Mt. Cholatse . The lake stays with us over a long stretch until we descend to a wide basin. The trail climbs up a spur and descends steeply to another broad basin. After an hour walk transverse from the basin and shortly after crossing a wobbly bridge, we reach Dzongla. We spend the night in one of the local lodges in Dzongla (only very basic lodges are available in Dzongla).(B,L,D)
Day 14: Dzongla-ChoLa [5368m/17,611 ft]-Thangnak [4680m/15,350 ft]-Gokyo [4800m/15,580 ft]: 7-8 hrs
Early morning as we get out of our lodge we are greeted by the mesmerizing sight of Cholatse looming over. ToDay is going to be one of the toughest Days of our trip. The walk begins as we transverse through a spur extending westward from Dzongla. The path descends to a basin across which meanders a murmuring stream crusted with ice at places. In about an hour, we reach the top of the basin readying for the triumph on ChoLa. As we gain height, the view back gets increasingly more captivating; the Chola Lake begins to appear and the Ama Dablam in its pyramidal incarnation presides over a range of mountains on the south as Cholatse soars on the west. Climbing the incline is not easy; it is steep, but made worse by boulders over some of which we will have to scramble. We need to be alert as rocks can be glazed by ice. The final climb to the ChoLa can be a little tricky as the trail curves round the bergschrund. Upon reaching the top, we see prayer flags, strung across cairns, flapping in the strong wind. Scenery of majestic peaks in all directions is breathtaking. Although long, the path leading down to Thangnak can be easily made out from the pass because it is just decent but can be hazardous if rocks are glazed by ice, a bit of cautiousness is needed. We reach Thangnak, a rather more substantial hamlet with a small village. Stepping out of the settlement, we are greeted by fabulous mountain views. The trail brings us to the Ngozumpa glacier edge after short walk, which is longest glacier in Nepal. Reaching the other side of the glacier, we get view of the second of the Gokyo lakes on the series of six lakes. A short distance away is the third Gokyo Lake. On the edge of this lake stands the Gokyo Village where we finally give rest to our tired body. Overnight in Gokyo.(B,L,D)
Day 15: Rest Day in Gokyo-Gokyo Ri [5357m/17,575 ft]: 3-4 hours
Rest Day in Gokyo Valley is an exceptional opportunity. This acclimatization Day is grasped as an opportunity to climb Gokyo Ri to enjoy the scene from the best viewpoint of Everest Region. Or, as we know Gokyo is not only popular for its grand view from Gokyo Peak but also for the six lakes which it hosts, definitely we would not miss the chance to observe the fourth lake (Thonak Tsho) and fifth lake (Ngozuma Tsho). About 3 km north of Gokyo is the fourth lake with its high cliffs and peaks rising above it. The trail continues to fifth lake and we get mesmerized by the shimmering turquoise blue sheet of water. If interested, we climb on a hill at the edge of the Lakes to get astounding views of Cho-Oyu, Gyachung Kang, Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, and Makulu. We can see a lot more from here - the spot is called Scoundrel's Viewpoint. Beyond the fifth Lakes is the Cho Oyu Base Camp. Scenery here is breathtaking with Cho Oyu and Gyachung Kang seeming just a stone's throw away. Northern part of the fifth lake provides fabulous views of Cho-Oyu Base Camp and biggest glacier of the world- the Ngazumpa glacier. Moved by the charm, we may even try to go sixth lake too but depends upon our own interest and time. Back to Gokyo village. Overnight at Gokyo.(B,L,D)
Day 16: Gokyo- Renjo La [5360m/17585 ft]-Marlung [4210m/13,810 ft]: 7-8 hrs
We need to start at dawn toDay as we have to trace our trail up to Marlung toDay after conquest of Renjo La. As there is no alternative to Marlung for overnight toDay, we need to start early. Down from the Gokyo Valley, we leave the main trail and turn to Renjo La trail by Dudh Pokhari. After about 3 hours, we gain the Renjo La where a dazzling vista awaits. The Everest itself, Lhotse, Cholatse and Taboche can be seen shining in the sun. Views from Renjo La are much like that from Gokyo Ri with third Gokyo Lake and Gokyo Village beneath the gray smear of Ngozumpa Glacier. Continuing on from the pass, the trail winds down a stone staircase and then scramble over loose scree to reach the south bank of a small lake, Angladumba Tsho. Presence of ice on the trial while descending down can make our descend a bit hazardous. Along the way we see Relama Tsho and Renjo Lake. However, we walk down through narrow valley clogged with giant boulders to Lumde where there is a support Lodge but it can be closed often. We walk almost for an hour from Lumde to get to Marlung on the east bank of the Bhote Kosi. Overnight in Marlung. (B,L,D)
Day 17: Marlung-Namche Bazzar: 5-6 hours
The descent from Marulung to Thame follows a traditional route used for centuries by the Tibetan traders. Down from the Marulung we cross the Bhote Kosi and descend to Taranga. The trail then goes through the valley of Langmuche Khola. This stream drains down from Dig Tsho, the glacial lake that burst its banks in 1985, causing devastating floods along the Dudh Kosi Valley to moraine to Thame. Thame has a sprawling village with a few lodges and stunning mountains like Thamserku, Katenga, Kusum Kangguru, etc. Overlooking Thame is its famous Gompa situated some the fields, on a hill to the west. Established some 325 years ago, the Gompa has three big images of Chenresig (Avalokiteswara), Guru Rimpoche, Buddha Sakyamuni. Colorful Mani Rimdu festival featuring colorful mask dances is held in this Gompa in May. We climb down after crossing a bridge after then eventually reach Samde. The place offer breathtaking views. The path steeply descends down to Thamo village which hosts a monastery called Khari Goma which is a nunnery being home to some nuns and monks. After passing through a check post, we come to the world`s highest hydroelectric power station built on Austrian help. The project provides electricity to most parts of upper Khumbu. We reach small village of Phurte where there is Laudo monastery which is run by Kopan monastery of Bouddhanath in Kathmandu and is popular among the westerners for Buddhist study and meditation center. We eventually reach Namche again through some Gompas, colorful player flags, Mani stones, and Chortens for the night rest.(B,L,D)
Day 18: Namche Bazzar-Lukla: 6-8 hours
The trail descends steeply downward so we need to walk slowly and under control as our shaky legs continuously battle the rocky terrain. After crossing the suspension bridges over the fast flowing Dudh Koshi and its tributaries the trail becomes more level and natural. By toDay we start to get warmed up by the light breeze. Any remaining sore throats and colds will be gone by toDay as we pass through this charming mountain air. Although we are travelling the same route down, we feel completely different views. We snap a mixture of open plains, rhododendron and pine forests, and in the distance snow covered peaks. We walk through the Sherpa villages' noticing impressive faith in Buddhism and culture of prayer stones and prayers flag while we walk through the villages. On arrival in Lukla, we stretch those sore legs and recall the experiences of the last couple of weeks. We experience the culmination of a fantastic trek on a happy note with everyone back safe and sound with smile on their faces! Overnight in Lukla. (B,L,D)
Day 19: Lukla-Kathmandu
Flights to Kathmandu are usually scheduled for morning because wind can create problem to fly the aircraft in the afternoon but sometime the flight time can be delayed due to bad weather and other reason that are beyond our command. We fly back to Kathmandu after our long mountain journey. The early morning flight drops us at Kathmandu. You can rest and relax throughout the Day in your hotel. If get interested to take some gifts home from Nepal for friends and relatives, visit to some nearby shops or venture out in Thamel for typical Nepalese goods which can be assisted by our guides or you can do it yourself too. If you want to explore any other areas of Kathmandu take the time to do that toDay! Remember, we will be hosting a fantastic celebration dinner together on occasion of successful completion of the adventurous Everest Transverse Trek! Overnight in Kathmandu.(B,D)
Day 20: Departure
We are saying good bye as your journey to Nepal comes to an end toDay! There is nothing to do but trade emails with travel companions and organize photos. If you have more time you can do some shopping or sightseeing. Approximately 3 hours before your scheduled flight a representative from Nepal Spiritual Trekking will take you to the airport. On your way home you'll have plenty of time to plan your next adventure in the wonderful country of Nepal.(B)