As we cross Everest Three Pass Trek Challenge, high passes that are not included on the standard Everest trail, we feel accomplished. Pushing oneself further the Renjo La (5,388m), Cho La (5,380m) and the Kongma La (5,535m). We also take the chance to climb three trekking peaks; Gokyo Ri (5,483m) and Kala Pattar (5,545m) each offer superb views of Everest, whilst Chukkung Ri (5,550m) is a lesser-known summit, tucked away nicely under the imposing Lhotse-Nuptse wall. Our westerly approach to Everest provides amazing vistas of the world’s highest mountain and should be considered in particular, by the keen photographer or by those who want a tougher work out in the mountains.
Our trek begins in Lukla after a flight from Kathmandu. Strolling gradually and consistently, we take after the excellent trail towards Everest, through Namche Bazaar and the delightful Thyangboche . Aftre Dingboche, we proceed with west along the Chukhung valley. Rest days are incorporated along the best approach to that we are appropriately acclimatized to handle the first high pass. Khongma La will give us best views and The down hill takes us the Khumbu Glacier and afterward to Lobuche then Gorkshep outing to Everest Base Camp . We climb Kala Patar for stunning up best views of Everest, . we head towards our second pass, the Cho La, a navigate with changeless snow driving into the Gokyo valley. There are amazing turquoise lakes to be investigated here, and Gokyo crest to move for all the best views of Everest(8848m), its neighbors, and Cho Oyu(8201m) on the Tibetan border. over Renjo La brings us into the Bhote Kosi , which broadens the distance from the border of Tibet and Nepal. It is a short day from Thame to Namche Bazaar, where we re-follow our prior strides to Lukla and afterward fly back to Kathmandu.Marvelous views of Mt. Everest ( Top of the world ) ,Mt. Pumori,Mt. Lhotse,Mt. Amabdablam,Mt. Thamserku,Mt. Cho Oyu,Mt. Makalu, Island peak,Gokyo Lake and Sherpa culture with monastery /beautiful people.Khongmala Pass ,Kalapather ,Cho La pass Renjola pass with Thema Village
As we cross Everest Three Pass Challenge, high passes that are not included on the standard Everest trail, we feel accomplished. Pushing oneself further the Renjo La (5,388m), Cho La (5,380m) and the Kongma La (5,535m). We also take the chance to climb three trekking peaks; Gokyo Ri (5,483m) and Kala Pattar (5,545m) each offer superb views of Everest, whilst Chukkung Ri (5,550m) is a lesser-known summit, tucked away nicely under the imposing Lhotse-Nuptse wall. Our westerly approach to Everest provides amazing vistas of the world’s highest mountain and should be considered in particular, by the keen photographer or by those who want a tougher work out in the mountains.
Upon your arrival in the Kathmandu you will be greeted by a representative from Lion Trekking for the transfer to your hotel. After check in and time to freshen up you meet your trekking guide as well as other group participants. The guide will go through the preparations for the trip. Overnight at Hotel
We make an early morning start to the domestic airport for the flight to Lukla (2,840m/9,317ft), the gateway to the Khumbu Region. This is an exciting flight, with a glimpse of Everest in the distance. On arrival at Lukla, we meet our trekking staff and porters before setting off for our first stop at Phakding, where we stay overnight.
Today we continue up the banks of the Dudh Koshi, crossing it twice by suspension bridges before reaching the Khumbu National Park. After completing trekking formalities we trek on to cross the confluence of the Dudh Koshi and the Bhote Koshi on a high suspension bridge before climbing steeply for about two hours up what is known as ‘Namche Hill’ to reach Namche Bazaar. Namche is a prosperous trading town and the capital of the Khumbu Region.A lot of local trade is completed here, many Tibetans cross over the nearby border to trade their wares and the local market is a fascinating place to just sit and watch local life go by. This is a good place to buy genuine Tibetan artefacts. Just across the valley to the east the impressive peaks of Thamserku and Kangtega can be seen.
Today we rest to allow our bodies to become better acclimatised to the altitude of 3,450m. We spend some time on a side trek up to Khumjung perhaps visit the local school then carry on to visit the Everest View Hotel (3,900m) built by the Japanese to accommodate expensive guests before returning to Namche for lunch. The afternoon is free for shopping or exploring this ancient settlement.
Today we leave the main Everest Base Camp trail behind us as we trek north-west towards Tibet. We may meet Tibetans with their yaks who have come over the high passes and down the valley to trade their goods in Namche Bazaar. Thame is famous for being the birthplace of Tenzing Norgay.
Today, we take another rest day and enjoy the local atmosphere of our surroundings. Thame is a relaxing place and this day is essential for acclimatization in readiness for the large height gain we make tomorrow to reach Lungden . There are some particularly good views from here of the peaks of Teng Kangpoche and Kwangde Ri to the south. We often visit the monastery above the town, which is not only interesting but also helps us acclimatise.
Now we have left the well worn Everest Base Camp trail there are very few other trekkers on this route we will not find many more until we arrive at Gokyo, as Thame tends to be the limit of exploration for most people. The high valley above and beyond the village remains the simple domain of yaks, the odd farmer and local Sherpas. Most of this area has been unaffected by trekking there are some very old, authentic Himalayan villages to discover on the way before we eventually reach the small village of Lungden, for the night.
The trek today is a short and steady one on a easy going path.Our campsite tonight is set a beautiful, deserted valley, just below Nangpa La(pass). This pass lies on an ancient and important trade route between Tibet and Nepal. It is still used today, despite attempts by authorities to control the flow of goods and migrants over the Tibetan border.
The ascent of the Renjo La is tough for most of us, unlike the locals who frequently cross over with yaks. With the thinning air in mind we make an early start to give ourselves plenty of time. Once on top of the pass, the views towards Everest to the east are breathtaking with Everest, Cho Oyu, Gyanchung Kang, Makalu, Nuptse and Ama Dablam all laid out in their majestic glory before us. We need to take some time here just to take it all in before we begin the descent to Gokyo Lakes. The trail is fairly rough and steep at first, we continue down a blunt ridge to eventually reach more level ground. From here trek the north side of the Dudh Pokhari on our way eastwards towards our overnight at Gokyo Lakes.
It is timely to take a well earned rest day today considering yesterdays exploits and we have tough days ahead. Gokyo is a great place to relax with time to soak up the breathtaking scenery. For those who want to stretch their legs after a leisurely breakfast a wander down to one of the lakes is one option, or take a gentle stroll up and onto the moraine at the edge of the vast Ngozumpa Glacier.
Today, we make our first climb of the 3 passes in our itinerary – from the top of the pass there is perhaps the finest viewpoint in the world with stunning views of Everest and other peaks such as Cho Oyu. We start early to catch the sun as it rises in the east to highlight Everest in an incandescent orange glow. The climb up to the pass takes around two hours. Every high pass in Nepal is draped with prayer flags, a sign of the repeated homage and respect Sherpas and porters pay to their gods. After time at the pass we retrace our steps back to Gokyo for lunch. After lunch we head for the far side of the glacier across the moraine and sandy trails to the small settlement of Dragnag it takes around three hours.
Today is another big day as we tackle the second of the three high passes. We need to set off very early in the morning to give ourselves enough time to cross the Cho La before a descent to our overnight stay at Dzongla. The trail is very gradual at first along the river and up a small valley to eventually reach a sandy ridgeline. Cho La can be clearly seen ahead along with some impressive 6,000m peaks to the north and south: Nirekha Peak, Kangshung Peak and Cholatse, among them. From the ridge there is a gradual descent on a grassy path before our lunch stop below the pass. After lunch, the ground becomes steeper and rockier time to pack away our trekking poles. The route bends and crosses over boulders at first, before a climb up onto stonier ground before a final steep section to reach the pass. It might be necessary to fix a short section of rope and we may have to fix crampons if the route is icy. The top of the pass is glaciated we need to negotiate the top for around 20 minutes before a descent. Dzongla is clearly in view now as we gently pick our way down the pass and into a beautiful valley with a stream that we follow along to reach our campsite and time to relax and rest up.
There are more superb views today, including a great view of the north face of Ama Dablam. After leaving Dzongla the trail descends slightly, then contours steadily around a tor known as Awi Peak, we continue on to reach the main Khumbu Valley trail and to Lobuje. It will probably feel like a bustling city arriving in Lobuje,it is a busy place where all base camp trekkers stay en route to Everest.
Today to Gorak Shep would be fairly short around three hours if it were not for the climb of Kala Pattar – the Black Rock. This is best tackled in the late afternoon enablng us to be on the top in the early evening to catch sunset over the mighty Everest with the perfect light for photographs. Time to truly reflect on the experience so far before a journey back to camp and a warm bowl of soup before dinner.
We Contour along the side of the valley and up on to the moraine of the Khumbu Glacier that weaves between mounds of rubble reaching base camp near the foot of the Khumbu icefall in around three hours. Base Camp is spread over quite a wide area, we spend some time wandering through it soaking up the atmosphere and getting a sense of what it must be like for the mountaineers camped there for two whole months, whilst attempting the mountain. We take lunch here before we make the return trek to Gorak Shep.
In the morning there is still time to make another side trek to Kala Pattar as there is no need to rush it is an easy day as we retrace our steps back to reach Lobuje for the night. Tomorrow we have another big day, as we plan to tackle the third of the High Passes for the last of our 3 Peaks.
The Kongma La is a challenging pass and often underrated the trek in is a more interesting way to approach the Imja Valley than either via Dugla and Dingboche the usual route taken by most trekking parties. The path is steep on the way up to the top of the pass. From the top the views are truly spectacular, especially towards Makalu in the east with Ama Dablam’s North Ridge and Nuptse towering immediately over our heads. We trek down past some glacial lakes and yak pastures on the descent to finally reach Chukkung a small settlement around 4 hours from the pass.
We need to be up early today for the last of our ascents after breakfast we strike out on our final challenge. From the Chukkung the path quickly leads upwards, crossing open grassy slopes and heading straight towards the towering massif of Lhotse that stands steadfast behind our mountain. Two weeks into the trek we feel more like mountain goats, well acclimatized and very fit, this peak should be easier to negotiate as we zig-zag our way to the top and yet it is as daunting as any taken so far. With the warming sun and clear air we make the final steps up rocky blocks. At the top there are yet more prayer flags to greet us and seal our triumph. The views from the top are as spectacular as ever and it is here we can see just how far we have come. We can trace out our journey across the Khumbu with the Dudh Khosi flowing south towards Lukla and down south to the terai (almost at sea level) beyond, to the west lies Cho La and Gokyo towards Tibet.Behind us stands the gigantic wall of Lhotse so great that it masks our view of Everest which now hides behind it. No matter we are repaid with views of Makalu to the east and the great mountains of the Upper Hongu with Chamlang and Baruntse clearly visable. It is hard to imagine a better climax than this as we stand amongst these towering giants. Time to descend from our high point, for some food before an easy trek down to Dingboche.
Today we Follow the main Everest trail down the beautiful and scenic valley passing through Pangboche at the base of Ama Dablam before crossing the river and climbing up to the monastery at Thyangboche. We spend time here exploring the famous monastery. A circuit of the monastery, with its many prayer wheels there is also a splendid bakery here!!. From Thyangboche, a steep descent of around 500m leads us through rhododendron bushes alive with birds and fir trees to the Dudh Koshi at Phunki Dingma.We then climb up the opposite bank with our new found fitness and energy compared with those toiling in the opposite direction and yet to become accustomed to the rarefied air. We spend the night at Kyangjuma.
We continue on the path that leads back to Namche Bazaar. There is enough time in Namche to relax here spend time in the local bakery, or even to check the Internet. We journey down a steep descent of Namche Hill and on to the suspension bridge over the Dudh Koshi to the small village of Monjo. We are now back on familiar paths, there is no rush with perhaps a tea whenever we fancy a break. We arrive in Phakding for our last tented camp.
The trail today flattens out we need to cross the river twice before a climb up the hillside, past numerous teahouses to Lukla. Our last day is very steady trekking and what appeared to be thin air a couple of weeks back now feels positively normal with energy for our party this evening with our Nepalese crew.
An early morning flight back to the big city. We are met at the domestic airport in Kathmandu for the transfer to our hotel. The afternoon is free with time to explore the temples, or simply browse the bookshops and shop in the Thamel area. Evening is free.