Immaculate combination of mountain scenery, alpine hiking, off-beat trail, exclusive Sherpa culture and challenging high passes, Everest Three Pass Trek is a great hiking journey in remote Khumbu region of Nepal.
Everest Three Pass trek includes crossing of three high passes namely Renjo La Pass (5,465m), Cho-La Pass (5,465m) & Kongma La Pass (5,545m) and two popular viewpoint – Gokyo Ri (5,330m), Kalapatthar (5,545m) and Everest Base Camp (5,364m). Apart from high passes and viewpoints, this exciting trekking route introduces trekkers with remote and un-explored Nangpa La Valley, Marlung village and monastery village of Thame.
Everest three pass trek adventure starts with a short scenic flight to Lukla town, the door to Everest region. From Lukla, the trek starts and follows the traditional Sherpa villages with their rich old culture and custom and awe-inspiring scenery. You will follow the glacial Dudh Kosi River upstream and reach the famous Sherpa’s capital at Namche Bazaar, with all kinds of modern facilities, hotels, lodge, restaurants, bakery, Cyber café, post office and banks.
From Namche, you will move higher through beautiful serene woodlands of rhododendron, birch, pines and firs tree lines with tremendous views of high snowcapped mountain. You will eventually reach the quaint village of Thame and cross over Renjo-la pass located close to the border of Tibet near Nangpa-la. After leaving the tree lines behind for few days, you will walk through barren moon like landscape and then on the glacial wide valley to Gokyo Lake with beautiful views of high snowcapped mountain. Then you will climb to the high view point at Gokyo Ri 5,357 meters which offers awesome panorama of Mt. Cho-Oyu, Mt. Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse and Mt. Makalu towards east and other adjoining mountain range. After a grand time here, you will head forward to cross the high pass of Cho-la through least trekked area.
Next, you will walk through famous Everest base camp facing the notorious Khumbu ice falls and glaciers and then climb to Kalapatthar at 5,545 meters – one of the highest point of this trips for mind blowing views of surrounding high peaks with Mt. Everest at a stone throw distance.
After an enjoyable and memorable time, you will head towards the last and final pass over Kongma La Pass at 5,535 m. And then you will head back to Lukla and enter into the tree lines after visiting the famous Tengboche Monastery before Namche and Lukla and conclude this remarkable adventure with a sweeping scenic flight back to Kathmandu with great service of Annapurna Encounter.
Physical Requirements for Everest Three Pass Trek
Everest Three Pass Trek is challenging trek perfect for intrepid trekkers who have ability to walk at least 6 – 7 hours a day on remote mountain terrain. Sometime you even need to walk for 8 – 9 hours, especially while crossing the pass.
The series of steep ups and downs, snows & ice on approaches and incredibly high altitude passes even challenge experienced trekkers.
A good fitness level and strong determination along with a support of an experienced guide & porter is required to complete the Everest three pass trek safely and successfully.
A sound fitness and mind set-up are not enough, you need to get fully acclimatized before conquering the high altitude.
Walk on slow pace, schedule ample acclimatization days, stay hydrated and avoid alcohol to stay away from mountain sickness. You also need to make cautions on food and water to stay healthy and fit.
Everest Three Pass Trek – Best Time
Autumn (September – November) and spring (March – May) are considered as the best time of the year for Everest Three Pass Trek. The weather during these months remains stable and the views are superbly clear. There is very little chance of snow falls and the passes are highly achievable in spring and autumn.
Everest Three Pass Trek Permits & Regulations
Like other treks in Everest, for Everest Three Pass Trek, you will need to purchase TIMS and Sagarmatha National Park. The cost of TIMS is USD 20 or convertible Nepali currency. Likewise, the Sagarmatha National Park Permit Costs you USD 34 or convertible Nepali currency.
You can buy TIMS Permit from Kathmandu and Sagarmatha National Park Permit from Monjo Check Point (a small village in Khumbu region).
Early morning transfer to Kathmandu domestic airport for the super scenic flight on smaller aircraft Dornier or Twin otter to Lukla with awesome panorama views array of snow capped mountains from Ganesh-Langtang-Jugal Himal, Gaurishanker, Numbur and Mt. Everest with Nuptse, Lhotse, after half an hour reaching at Lukla at 2,820 meters the starting point of Everest trekking and mountaineering expeditions begins from this busy town of Lukla, after a break and rest, starting the first day walk through Lukla bazaar with shops, stores, restaurants and number of well built lodge and hotels, and then on downhill walk for an hour with gradual winding trail with few ups and down passing many smaller villages and farm fields with view of Kusum kanguru and Kwangde peaks going around clockwise on Buddhist mani (prayer) walls and monument to reach at Phakding village for the first overnight in Khumbu area. Phakding located by the glacial Dudh Kosi River.
Starting the fresh morning walk with pleasant uphill following the Dudh Kosi River and re-crossing the same river few times as the walk progress to reach at a nice Monjo village with views of Tharmasarkhu peak and the sacred peak of Khumbila at 5,865m (the patron God of Khumbu area) from here heading down to the entrance of Sagarmatha National Park after registration of Park & TIMS permits (Trekking Information Management System) which all trekkers must have to travel in the Nepal Himalayan region, here with information centre which is interesting to learn of the Khumbu area and its mountains and culture.
From here leading to cross a bridge over Dudh Kosi and arriving at Jorsalle the last village before Namche Bazaar of 2-3 hrs walking distance, stopping here probably for lunch break, afternoon walk leads on the river valley for sometime on reaching the last high bridge an uphill climb for 1-2 hours to reach our overnight destination at Namche, walking on the winding uphill through nice pines, firs and rhododendron woodland, chances of seeing some wildlife like Impeyan pheasant Danfe (Lopoforous) a colorful big bird which is Nepal national bird.
After a tiring climb finally reaching at Namche Bazaar with colored roofs houses set in huge U shaped with views of Kwangde Himal and Tharmasarkhu peak, here check into nice clean comfortable and cozy lodge for overnight stop for 2 nights.
A full rest day here for acclimatization at this high altitude of 3,440 meters before heading higher destination, Namche bazaar full of shops, stores, pubs and restaurants, post office, banks, cyber café with fresh bakery, this place is flooded with locals for shopping fresh supplies in Saturday market. Namche offers places for short or day hike to neighboring scenic areas up to Syangboche small airstrip and towards famous Everest View Hotel, Khunde and Khumjung village on the wide glacial valley beneath Mt. Khumbila or long hike to Tamo and Thame towards west, but the best thing is to 30 minutes climb the top ridge of Namche for aerial view of Namche bazaar and the surrounding mountain panorama with first view of Mt. Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse and the majestic peak of Ama Dablam, Kangtenga, Tharmasarkhu, Kwangde and Pachermo towards west, here visit the museum with information on flora / fauna, Sherpa traditions, culture and of mountaineering history of Khumbu area.
From Namche Bazaar heading west for a day to turn east back again, walk leads on the rural farm area’s where few trekkers visit this region, walking on the pleasant path with few up sand downs reaching at Tamo village home of Ang Rita Sherpa the 1st Sherpa to climb Everest 10th times honored with title as “Snow Leopard” from here on the winding trail towards Bhote Kosi river which joins Dudh Kosi downstream, here crossing the bridge with an uphill walk to Thame for overnight stop . This is again the home of famous Apa Sherpa 20th time Everest summiter, time permitting visit the old Gompa of Thame, or the next morning.
After a nice stop at Thame carry on trekking towards North of Thame near the trail to Tibet, and then following the road to Marlung village and Bhote Kosi River
upstream, passing the villages of Thyangmoche and Hungmo, and then on the wild country where tree lines disappears for barren arid landscapes with awesome scenery of mountain panorama passing few cattle herders shelters and reaching at Marlung a small village for overnight stop.
From this quaint village journey carries on higher with mind blowing panorama of surrounding landscapes close to the frontier to Tibet, where Tibetans often visits Khumbu area to trade with Nepali goods, after few hours of great good walk reaching to our overnight stop at Lungdeng small place with superb views.
After this small settlement morning walk leads up to Renjo Pokhari a small two glacial ponds, after a break here leading to cross the first pass of this adventure heading for another hour on the steep up to the cairn of Renjo-la where its festooned with Buddhist prayer flags offering tremendous views of Gokyo Lake, Mt.Cho Oyu and other adjoining peaks, from this high pass at 5,465 meters, after enjoying the fantastic scenery, leading downhill to Gokyo valley and to its nice comfortable lodge for overnight for two days with rest in Gokyo and its tranquil emerald lake.
A necessary rest day here at this altitude for proper acclimatization before heading two more passes of this adventure, Gokyo offers super views and walk around this beautiful spot..
Starting very early to catch the stunning sunrise over the high mountain range from the top of Gokyo Ri at 5,357 m the highest spot of this fabulous journey, walk leads to a long hard climb, but worth the view in the end after reaching the top of Gokyo ri with awesome panorama of world’s tallest peaks from Cho-Oyu, Mt.Everest, Lhotse and of Mt. Makalu in the eastern horizon including array of other smaller snow capped peaks, after a mesmerizing stop heading back to Gokyo for breakfast and rest till lunch time, afternoon a short walk to a small place at Thangnag village at the end of Ngozumba glacier and the base of Cho-la pass.
Today crossing the high pass of Cho-la, starting early morning with a strenuous climb over moraines and rocky area, with short gradual section and then leading higher to the top of Cho-la pass adorned with many Buddhist prayer flags enclosed within Cholatse, Lobuche and Nirekha Peaks, after a rest here a steep descend towards summer Yak grazing area at Dzongla with few lodges for overnight stop, after a hard day walk and feeling high and tired.
With night rest at Dzongla and feeling refreshing, from here getting closer to our another destinations, starting the morning walk with a slow climb to the first top ridge above Dzongla with grand views of surrounding snow capped peaks as far to Mt. Makalu in the east, and then on the pleasant trail for few hours with gradual uphill looking down at Pheriche and the valley beneath the peaks of Tawache and Cholatse, and with first view of Mt. Pumori and reaching at Thugla for lunch stop, a small place with 2-3 small lodges located at the end of Khumbu glacier where it melts and starts into a raging Dudh Kosi River. After a nice break a steep up for an hour or less on the ridge top lined with tombs and memorial of unfortunate climbers on the mountaineering expeditions on Everest and other mountains of Khumbu area, from here a nice walk with slight up to reach at Lobuche for overnight halt with views of Nuptse and Changtse peak which lies into Tibet side over Lho la mountain ridge.
Today towards our final destination and the highlight of this wonderful trip to Everest Base Camp, starting earlier to reach base camp and back to Gorakshep on time, as this will be one of the longest day trek heading North slowly past the metrological glass Pyramid station nearby, managed by Nepal and Italy government geologist, and then the walk leads through rocky moraine above Khumbu glacier to reach Gorakshep after 2-3 hours of walks, Gorakshep located on route Everest Base Camp beneath Kalapatthar rocky hill and towering Mt. Pumori with 3-4 lodges, after a break here continue walk towards east for few hours on the moraine of rocks with few hard ground and then on the icy glacier reaching to our goal at Everest base camp with awesome views of Nuptse, Lhotse, Changtse, Lho-la Lingtren and of Pumori Everest is hidden behind these high peaks and then looking at notorious Khumbu ice falls, after a wonderful moment feeling high spirit on reaching the highlight of this trip, base camp is flooded with expeditions camps during high season of April to May.
After a time here return back to Gorakshep for overnight stop after 5-6 hours of steady and tiring walk due to high altitude.
Early morning 2 hours hike to the top of rocky summit of Kalapatthar at 5,545 meters the highest spot of this trip offering glorious views of surrounding mountains that encircles this amazing spot with Mt. Everest at near distance after an enjoyable and hard climb return trek back to Gorakshep and continue walk downhill to Lobuche to cross the last pass of this adventure.
Heading very early at the break of dawn the last pass of this awesome adventure, walk leads through the Khumbu glacier where one has to be cautious in this glacier zone and moraines and then walking on rocky trail at the base of Kongma-la and the peak Kongma with both name as Mehra also, after a nice rest around this wild zone in between high peaks cross the last pass of this trip over Kongma-la pass at 5,535 meters in between great Nuptse mountain wall with Mehara and Pokalde peaks, and then descend towards Imjatse valley with awesome scenery of Island peak, Ama Dablam and adjoining mountains, before Dingboche reaching at a small place of Bibre between Chukung and Dingboche from here an hour or more leads to in the comfort of nice lodge at Dingboche village a popular place for trekkers with more than 20 good lodges.
From Dingboche walk is easier on the downhill path with few ups on route, walk leads to cross the river and with 40 minutes climb to a ridge and then downhill to Pangboche and then back to green vegetation and tree lines after the bridge, from here leading to a climb for few hours to Tengboche for overnight stop, afternoon visit the monastery with monks and Lama prayer chanting in this peaceful environment, Tengboche offers fabulous views of Ama Dablam, Kangtenga, Thamserku, Kwangde and Mt. Everest, this place regarded as holy place where the head lama (Rinpoche) resides in this monastery teaching student monks.
After a nice and enjoyable time at Tengboche walk leads downhill to Phungetenga a small place in the gorge surrounded by thick woodlands, from here after crossing the Imjatse River an uphill walk for an hour or more reaching at Shanasa, a familiar place which waso on route Gokyo several days ago, from here walk leads on the pleasant trail with great scenery and then on losing more altitude reaching at Namche Bazaar, after a rest here continue walk downhill to river bed and after crossing two bridges back at Monjo for overnight stop.
Today the last leg of the trek with pleasant walk on the winding trail passing several villages of Benkar, Toc-toc and Phakding and then Ghat, from Choplong village where the trail from Jiri joins with the last climb for an hour or more to reach at Lukla for last dinner and overnight with the guides and porters.
As per the flight time to Kathmandu, a short walk to Lukla airport terminal in the early morning, on boarding the smaller plane 30 minutes of sweeping flight with parallel views of mountains all the way to Kathmandu, at Kathmandu transfer to hotel after a short drive around Thamel area, with whole day free as per the time of return flight from Lukla.
The Everest Three Pass Trek is a challenging and adventurous trek in the Everest region of Nepal that takes you across three high-altitude passes: Renjo La Pass (5,360m/17,585ft), Cho La Pass (5,420m/17,782ft), and Kongma La Pass (5,535m/18,159ft). This trek is known for its stunning mountain views, including Mount Everest, as well as its unique cultural experiences and challenging terrain.
The Everest Three Pass Trek usually takes around 19-21 days to complete, depending on the itinerary and the pace of the trekker. This includes acclimatization days and rest days to help you adjust to the high altitude.
Yes, the Everest Three Pass Trek is considered a difficult trek and requires a high level of physical fitness and endurance. The trek involves steep ascents and descents, as well as crossing high-altitude passes, which can be challenging for even experienced trekkers. Proper acclimatization and preparation are crucial to completing this trek safely.
The best time to do the Everest Three Pass Trek is during the spring (March to May) and fall (September to November) seasons. These seasons offer clear skies, mild temperatures, and stable weather conditions, making it easier to trek in the high-altitude terrain. However, be prepared for colder temperatures and occasional snowfall at higher altitudes.
Yes, you will need several permits to trek in the Everest region, including the Sagarmatha National Park Permit, the Khumbu Pasang Lhamu Rural Municipality Entry Permit, and the Trekkers' Information Management System (TIMS) card. These permits can be obtained in Kathmandu or at the entrance of the national park.
Accommodation during the Everest Three Pass Trek ranges from basic teahouses to more luxurious lodges, depending on the location and altitude. Teahouses are small guesthouses that offer basic facilities such as a bed, shared bathroom, and simple meals. Lodges provide more amenities such as private rooms, hot showers, and a wider selection of meals. However, at higher altitudes, the facilities become more basic due to the remote location and harsh climate.
To prepare for the Everest Three Pass Trek, it is important to focus on building your physical fitness and endurance through regular exercise and hiking. You should also acclimate to higher altitudes gradually and take necessary precautions such as staying hydrated, eating a healthy diet, and getting adequate rest. It is also recommended to pack appropriate gear and clothing for the trek, such as a warm jacket, waterproof boots, and a high-quality sleeping bag.
The Everest Three Pass Trek involves trekking at high altitudes, which can increase the risk of altitude sickness. This can include symptoms such as headaches, nausea, fatigue, and shortness of breath. In severe cases, altitude sickness can lead to life-threatening conditions such as High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE) and High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE). Proper acclimatization, hydration, and medication can help reduce the risk of altitude sickness.
The Everest region is home to the Sherpa people, who have a rich culture and history. Along the trek, you will pass through traditional Sherpa villages and have the opportunity to learn about their way of life, including their food, language, and customs. You may also visit Buddhist monasteries and witness traditional rituals and ceremonies. It is important to respect the local culture and traditions while on the trek.
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