- Trekking through three high passes of Everest circuit (Kongma La, Cho La, and Renjo La)
- Hiking to Everest Base Camp and Kalapatthar
- Climbing Gokyo Ri and Chhukung Ri Peaks
- Visiting ancient Buddhist monasteries, Sherpa villages, ancient trading routes
- Sightseeing tour to historical and religious sites of Kathmandu city
- Fantastic views of 8000m peaks like Ama Dablam, Cho Oyu, Lhotse, and Nuptse and Mt. Everest throughout the Everest three passes trek
Embark Everest High Passes Trek comprising of three passes of Everest region: Kongma La, Cho La and Renjo La that are challenging highlights of Everest region walking through which you make a circuit. Thus, Everest High passes trek is also popular as Everest Circuit Trek. Everest High Passes Trek is great way to enjoy unique taste of nature and culture of Everest Himalaya. Remote and beautiful landscapes, impressive mountains, narrow ridges and magnificent villages make the trip a memorable experience for lifetime. When you go for this trek, you get an opportunity to explore your dream destination: Everest Base Camp, Kalapatthar, Gokyo Lakes, Gokyo Ri besides the three passes of Khumbu (Everest).
We spend two days discovering the historic treasures of Kathmandu before flying to Lukla to start trek. We trek first take the classic trail through Sherpa villages of Namche Bazaar, Tengboche, Dingboche. Leaving the classic Everest trail at Dingboche, we fork to Chhukung. We climb Chhukung Ri to enhance acclimatization and for great mountain views. Next day, we cross our first among three high passes, the Kongma La and reach Lobuche. Next we spend two days getting to Everest Base Camp and Kalapatthar. Then we march towards Cho La, the second pass. We spend almost two days in Gokyo valley exploring and climbing Gokyo Ri. Now, we trek down through the third pass, the Renjo La and eventually trek back to Lukla.
Everest High Passes Trek prerequisite
If you carry extreme adventure zeal with longing to see Everest Himalayas then Everest High Passes trek is for you! If you are experienced trekker, energetic, fit and yearning to accomplish almost all the Everest region has on a trek, then write or call us today to book your Everest High Passes trek. If you think ‘three passes’ is too much for you, we have other programs for you in the Everest! Gokyo Lakes and Everest Base Camp Trek, Gokyo Lakes and Renjo La Pass Trek that are less challenging treks than Everest High Passes Trek.
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Everest High Passes Trek – 20 days Day to day Itinerary
Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu airport (1345m)
Welcome to Kathmandu! As you land at Kathmandu airport (Tribhuvan International Airport), reclaim your luggage and finish your custom formalities (visa, etc.) and get to the airport waiting terminal, you will find our representative waiting to greet you. He/she will be holding Icicles Adventure Treks & Tours signboard with your name. You will be then transferred to your respective hotel in our private vehicle. You can rest at your hotel to recover from jet lag or if you have plenty of time you can visit Thamel market for any lacking gears for your Everest High Passes Trek -20 days. Overnight in Hotel in Kathmandu.
Day 02: Fly to Lukla (2,800 m/9,184 ft) and Trek to Phakding (2,652 m/8,700 ft)
Wake up at dawn and be ready for the adventure. We will escort you to domestic terminal of Kathmandu airport for an early morning flight. After an adventurous 35 minutes flight above the array of beautiful green and white mountains, we arrive at the Tenzing-Hillary Airport at Lukla (2,800m/9,186ft), an entry town from where your trek begins. This is one of the most beautiful air routes in the world concluding in a dramatic landing site on a hillside surrounded by high mountains peaks. In Lukla, we meet our additional crew members and do some packing and arrangements, we start our trek through the prosperous village of Lukla, descend to Chaurikharka, head up the Dudhkoshi valley until we reach Phakding. As we just land at the altitude of almost 3000m today, to assist in acclimatization, we only have a short walk today. Yet, if you are interested in additional activities you can take a side trip to a nearby monastery. Overnight in local lodge. Walking time 3 -4 hrs, Included Meals: B, L, D
Day 03: Phakding - Namche Bazaar (3,440 m/11,283 ft)
We start our walk soon after breakfast. Today’s trek is exciting not only due to few uphill and downhill walks but also because of crossing and re-crossings of Dudh Koshi River and magnificent view of Mt. Thamserku (6,608m/21,675ft) from the Benkar village. We cross more bridges and reach Monjo. We get our trekking permits checked at the entrance of Sagarmatha National Park at Monjo. We tumble down and a gradual walk brings us to Jorsale, the last village until Namche Bazaar. The walk is enjoyable through the river bed and we reach Hillary Suspension Bridge. As we climb up towards Namche Bazzar, magnificent sight of Kwangde Peak, Kusum peak, Kangaru peak, Mt. Everest, Lhotse, Tawache, and many other magnificent mountains greet us. We break at the Chautara to admire the view. Finally, we reach the colorful village of Namche Bazzar, the main trading village in the Khumbu. Overnight in local lodge. Walking time: 5-6 hrs, Included Meals: B, L, D
Day 04: Namche Bazaar: Acclimatization Day
In order to assist acclimatization today is a rest day at Namche Bazzar, which is an ideal place to spend a rest day to acclimatize to the new altitude before heading off towards higher elevation. It is recommend staying active and mobile during the acclimatization day instead of resting in your lodge. If you trek a few hundred vertical feet during the day, it will help you to properly acclimatize. You can either spend the day exploring Namche Bazzar or taking a hike to Thame or Khunde. Tucked away between two ridges amidst the giant peaks of the Khumbu, Namche Bazzar is centre of Everest region and has plenty of lodges, tea shops, souvenir shops, money exchangers, government offices, ATMs, Internet cafes, restaurants, bakeries, etc. You can also even enjoy colorful market each Friday evening and Saturday. You can visit Visitor Center near the headquarter of the Sagarmatha National Park where you can observe an assortment of things allied to the first Everest ascenders, Sherpa culture and learn about the various flora and fauna of the Sagarmatha National Park. You can also take an interesting side trip up to Khumjung, Syangboche airstrip and Everest View Hotel, a Japanese build deluxe hotel which offers you great views of Mt. Everest, Ama Dablam, Nuptse, Lhotse and others. Surrounded by the snowy peaks of Kongde and Thamserku and the scared peak Khumbila, Khumjung hosts a well known monastery that houses a yeti scalp. You can also visit to Hillary School which is in the same location. Overnight in local lodge. Walking time 4 – 5 hrs, Included Meals: B, L, D
Day 05: Namche Bazaar - Tengboche (3860m/12660ft)
Today we shall have a gradual climb following the trail high above the Dudh Koshi River, a further 2 hour steep ascent to Tengboche. Get yourself immersed in the scenery that surrounds the trail as we are literally surrounded by mountains and the views of which just will keep getting better as we move ahead. We trek along this section through forests of birch and silver fir trees and possible view of wildlife including musk deer, a herd of Himalayan Thar and colorful pheasants. Passing through the village of Sansa, we drop steeply to Phunkitenga where we relax and have lunch. Everest stays in view most of the day, often recognizable due to cloud surrounding the black rocky summit. The walk ahead is a tough climb through pine forests until we reach up to an exposed ridge which is Tengboche. Tengboche boasts of the biggest monastery in the Khumbu region and the view of lofty peaks of Tawache, Nuptse, Ama Dablam, Lhotse, Thamserku, and star attraction, Mt. Everest. After relaxing, we shall visit Tengboche monastery and witness the ceremony performed by monks there. A resilient monastery, it was destroyed by an earthquake in 1933and was rebuilt and again badly damaged by fire in 1989. The current building was constructed in 1992. Stay overnight in local lodge. Walking time 5 – 6 hrs, Included Meals: B, L, D
Day 06: Tengboche - Dingboche (4410m/14464ft)
This part of the trek has a five hundred metres gain but it is a little more gradual. Give a good lovely look to the Everest today morning because you will not see Everest from your trial until you reach Gorekshep. We set off and straight away through musk deer trail (the trail is called so as plenty of musk deer is seen there among birch and rhododendron forest) and the village of Deboche and descend down to the suspension bridge over Imja Khola. This stage of the trek has Ama Dablam towering over us on our right the whole time with the bluest of sky showing every detail of this magnificent mountain. We pass through several Chortens and Mani walls and small villages. You would better have a tea break at Pangboche to enjoy the view of the most beautiful mountain on earth, Ama Dablam while sipping your tea. After Pangboche, we spent most of the day walking close to the river with a reasonable ascent towards the end of the walk before arriving Dingboche. At this altitude 4410m the lack of oxygen in your breath is normality. At Dingboche you will notice there are no more trees around and the only vegetation present is small spiny shrubs. While trekking in these parts you better watch where you land your foot. There are stones and rocks everywhere and accidentally kicking one really hurt. On arrival at Dingboche, we will see beautiful array of fields enclosed by stone walls to protect barley, buckwheat and potatoes from the cold winds and grazing animals. Overnight in local lodge. Walking time 5 – 6 hrs, Included Meals: B, L, D
Day 07: Dingboche -Acclimatization Day- Side trip to Nagerjun Hill (5100m/16728ft)
This is second acclimatization day on our trip. As per the preventative rule of altitude sickness, it is necessary to have an acclimatization day at about every 1000m gain, so we spend a day here to let our body acclimatize with the altitude and you are suggested to stay active. After breakfast, to aid acclimatization our guide will take you to climb Nagarjun (5100m), a hill located on the edge of the Chhukung valley directly above Dingboche. The trail becomes steep at times, resulting in a physically challenging day but the view says – keep going. Ascending the hill could take up to 5 hours at altitude. Taweche (6367m), Cholatste (6335m), Lobuche (6119m), Awi Peak (5245m), Amphu Gyabjen (5630m), Ama Dablam (6856m) seen from a different angle, Lhotse (8516m) 4th highest peak, Nuptse (7861m), Island Peak (6189m), Mt Peak 38 (7590m), Makalu (8481m) 5th highest peak, Thamserku (6608m), Kangtega (6685m) and Chola Tsho a lake at 4590m are just some of the named peaks that surrounded us, there were also the peaks that remain unnamed. The Pheriche Valley looks beautiful as well. After a short rest, you start the descent back to Dingboche. Rest at your lodge after lunch. Overnight in local lodge. Walking time 3 – 4 hrs, Included Meals: B, L, D
Day 08: Climb Chukkung Ri (5546m/18190 ft) and trek to Chhukung (4730m/15514ft)
After breakfast, we start the trek to aid acclimatization our guide will take you to climb Chhukung Ri, a hill located on the edge of the Chhukung valley directly above Dingboche. The trail becomes steep at times, resulting in a physically challenging day but the view says – keep going. Ascending the hill could take up to 5 hours at altitude. Taweche (6367m), Cholatste (6335m), Lobuche (6119m), Awi Peak (5245m), Amphu Gyabjen (5630m), Ama Dablam (6856m) seen from a different angle, Lhotse (8516m) 4th highest peak, Nuptse (7861m), Island Peak (6189m), Mt Peak 38 (7590m), Makalu (8481m) 5th highest peak, Thamserku (6608m), Kangtega (6685m) and Chola Tsho a lake at 4590m are just some of the named peaks that surrounded us, there were also the peaks that remain unnamed. The Pheriche Valley looks beautiful as well. After a short rest, we descent back to Chhukung. Rest at your lodge after lunch. Overnight in local lodge. Walking time 4 – 5 hrs, Included Meals: B, L, D
Day 09: Chhukung-Kongma La –Lobuche Lobuche (4910m/16105ft)
Among three high passes of Everest region, we will cross on our Everest High passes trek, today we will do the first but highest one, the Kongma La, 5540m. To reach the Kongma La, we head directly west out of Chhukung on a small, rocky trail and contour around many hillsides, usually not very steeply, until we reach the Pokalde Base Camp. After a few other hills, more steep, we will reach another Camp for Pokalde and a clear blue lake which sits just below the pass. We climb the last half hour on a trail which is good but looks impossibly built into the cliff-side, and about 4 hours later we have reached the Kongma La, our highest pass at 5540 meters. Walking time 6-7 hrs, Included Meals: B, L, D
Day 10: Lobuche - Everest Base Camp (5364m/17594ft) and back to Gorekshep (5181m/16994ft)
We have to wake up early as we have a long and grueling day ahead of us with a minimum of eight hours net walking time. It starts with a three hours climb to Lobuche Pass. Then after three and a half hour push to Everest base camp which is an exhausting climb up. We walk past lateral moraine of the Khumbu Glacier which is a tough path and when you stand still and quiet you can occasionally hear cracking or scraping sound of the glacier movement. Everest does not seem to get any nearer and by now we have five of the world’s highest mountains in such a small area. We see crest of north ridge of Everest along with Mt. Pumori, Mt. Mahalangur, Mt. Lingtern, Mt. Khumbutse, Mt. Nuptse, etc. The trail ascends the side of the glacier for a couple of hours before we finally drop onto the glacial moraine itself. Not far to go now, the trail winds up and down through fascinating ice seracs to Everest Base Camp. We do not get views of Mt Everest but can see the notorious Everest Ice Fall that flows from the Western Cwm. The Ice Fall is regarded as technically the hardest and most dangerous section of the mountain. If its spring we will see colorful tents that arises charisma in the gray surroundings. By now we have met the ultimate objective of our trip. Spend some time taking photos in the natural amphitheatre. Trek back to Gorekshep takes about another three hours. Overnight in local lodge. Walking time 8 -9 hrs, Included Meals: B, L, D
Nevertheless, it is suggested (if weather permitted) to visit Kala Patthar today during sunset because the sunset view from Kala Patthar is more marvelous than the sunrise view. As the setting sun’s rays strike the snow capped mountains the resulting scenery is indescribable. For those trekkers who want to continue to Kala Patthar, our guide and Sherpas will coordinate in hiking to Kala Patthar or you can do Kala Patthar today and do Everest Base Camp the next day, decision can be made discussing among your group and guide. Overnight in Gorak Shep at a local lodge.
Day 11: Gorekshep - Kalapattar (5545m/18188ft) - Dzongla (4830 m /15939 ft)
Kala Pattar (5,550m) is a small peak literally meaning black rock, it appears as a big brown bump below the impressive Pumo Ri (7,165m) and above Gorak Shep (5,140m). Kalapatthar offers splendid views of the Mount Everest Panorama. We are going to conquer Kala Patthar today which provides the most assessable point to view Mt Everest and the views are said to surpass the wildest imagination. We start early in the morning to catch the outstanding views from Kala Patthar witnessing the first light of day striking on Mount Everest. During the ascent to Kala Patthar, we take several breaks to catch our breath and to take pictures from several outstanding view points. After about two hours of an ascent, we reach Kala Patthar. From this juncture, we push ourselves to climb the rocky projection near to the summit manifested by cairns and prayer flags. At the very top of Kala Patthar is a small stupa and a weather station. Standing on top of Kalapatthar can be an emotional experience for you. After enclosing as many pictures as we like of the gorgeous Everest, its neighboring peaks and as whole scenery, we trek down to Gorekshep and finally to Dzongla, another beautiful but small settlement with a complete view of Mt. Cholatse, Mt. Ama Dablam, Lobuche peak and the Pheriche village far below. Overnight in local lodge. Walking time 7 -8 hrs, Included Meals: B, L, D
Day 12: Dzongla - ChoLa (5420 m/17,780 ft)-Thangnak (4750 m/15,580 ft)
Today as we are going to cross the Cho La pass (5370m), we start early. A steep and somewhat difficult ascent of a rocky ridge and glacier a few hours walk from Dzongla. We start by crossing a small glacial stream, and then start climbing up the pass along a ridge with Lobuche West looming above us. From the iron-stained rock at the top of the ridge we climb a rock staircase to reach the bottom of the melting Chola glacier, often icy and requiring Yak Traxs or micro-spikes. The ascent of the Chola glacier is exciting and stunningly beautiful as we trek across the snow, and we soon reach the gaping and usually frozen crevasse just below the pass. We may hang up Buddhist prayer flags at the top of the pass that will send prayers out across the Himalaya. We amaze at the top of Cho La pass at the stunning view of Ama Dablam, Kangtega, Thamserku, Tarboche, Cholatse and Baruntse on the Khumbu side, and of Nangpai Gosain, Pasang Lhamo, Numbur and on the Gokyo side. We scramble back down on the often icy and slippery pass. At the bottom of this first stretch we still have to negotiate a rocky, hilly trail across the valley followed by a long descent to the hamlet of Thangnak! Overnight in local lodge. Walking time 7-8 hrs, Included Meals: B, L, D
Day 13: Thagnak to Gokyo (4800 m/15,744 ft)
First we start through the lateral moraine of the Ngozumpa Glacier then descend into the glacier itself on its east side. After hiking further north on a slightly exposed trail just inside the moraine, we cross the glacier on a sandy, boulder-strewn trail. We pass through first and second Gokyo lakes, Longpongo and second Taboche Tsho at 4740 m, a larger one where green Brainy ducks are often seen swimming in the freezing waters. As we walk up the valley paralleling the Ngozumpa Glacier the massive lateral moraine separates us from the glacier. Gokyo village stands by the third lake and Mt. Cho-Oyu as a backdrop sets an amazing spectacular sight at this juncture. We spend rest of the day chatting with fellow trekkers, watching shaggy yaks amble their way in and around Gokyo and admiring the views. For those with energy left over after the pass, a must is an excursion up to the fourth and fifth Gokyo lakes and Scoundrel’s View Point (4995m) for some Everest spotting and all-around spectacular views of the lakes, the glacial moraine and the Himalayan peaks surrounding the peak on all sides. It is fantastic in the morning, the middle of the day or for sunset, but don’t forget to take a torch with you if you opt for a ‘sunset on Everest’ views, which in our opinion is better than the sunrise view. Overnight in local lodge. Walking time 2-3 hours for Thagnak to Gokyo and trip up to fifth lake and back takes about another 5 hours time, Included Meals: B, L, D
Day 14: Rest day in Gokyo - Gokyo Ri (535m) 3 - 4 hrs
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. Walking time: 3-4 hours. Included Meals: B,L,D.
Day 15: Gokyo – Cross Renjo La (5360m/17580 ft) and trek to Lungden (4370m/14334 ft)
Starting early we head west of Gokyo lake towards the Renjo La pass. The trail switchbacks very steeply up a sandy ridge, crosses an often-frozen stream, and continues along finally skirting the dramatic rock face below the pass to the top, a climb of about four hours with Makalu looming ever larger on the horizon. Views from the top of Renjo La are some of the best in all of the Himalayas, with a long and impressive panorama of 7000 and 8000 meter peaks all around, and as usual, colorful prayer flags to mark the pass. After snapping plentiful pictures on top of the Renjo La, we begin the even steeper descent down large stone slab steps, often icy, to the lake below. Trekking poles and crampons would be always useful on descending down the slippery icy trails. Continuing past several small meadows, the twin Renjo Lakes and an old lake bed with intertwined streams sparkling in the sun, we finally descend steeply to the Thame valley to Lungden. Overnight in local lodge. Walking time: 7-8 hours. Included Meals: B,L,D.
Day 16: Lungden to Namche Bazzar
The descent from Lungden is comparatively easy as we will be at lower altitude gradually. . We cross an icy stream, jumping from stone to stone, and follow the Bhote Kosi past Marulung (4210m) and then Taranga village, where Sherpa folklore tells of a yeti massacre, and past the pointed, snow-covered Langmuche Ri (6344m). The trail we use from Marulung to Thame follows an ancient that was a trade route used by Tibtean traders for centuries. Today as we pass by many old, walled Sherpa villages, seasonal settlement of the Thame, we feel like we are back step in time. We will probably also share the trail with Tibetan yak caravans, Khampas trading en route to and from Namche and Tibet with the villagers. Thame has a sprawling village with a few lodges with stunning views of 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. After passing through a check post, we come to the world`s highest hydroelectric power station built on Austrian help. Then after, 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. Overnight local lodge. Walking time: 6-7 hours. Included Meals: B,L,D.
Day 17: Namche Bazaar to Lukla
Today the trail goes steeply downwards, so we need to walk carefully having control over our shaky legs. After again multiple crossings over the prayer flags festooned suspension bridges over the fast flowing Dudh Koshi and its tributaries, the trail becomes more level and natural. The more we trek downwards the more we feel easier to breathe as the air gets denser. Any remaining sore throats and colds will be gone by today. Although we are following the same route down, we feel completely different views with open plains, rhododendron and pine forests, and in the distance snow covered peaks. Upon arrival in Lukla, stretch those sore legs and summon up the experiences of the last couple of weeks. Celebrate your successful and safe trek with your crew. Overnight in local lodge. Walking time 6 – 7 hrs, Included Meals: B, L, D
Day 18: Fly back to Kathmandu
The early morning flight drops us in Kathmandu. Flights to Kathmandu are usually scheduled for morning because wind can create problem to fly the aircraft after noon. But sometimes the flight can be delayed and even canceled due to bad weather and other reasons that are beyond our control. You will be transferred to hotel in Kathmandu after arrival in Kathmandu. You can rest in your hotel, could do some last minute shopping and packing, or stroll around Thamel. Overnight in Kathmandu Hotel. Included Meals: B
Day 19: Leisure day in Kathmandu, kathmandu Sightseeing
Mountain weather becomes unexpectedly bad sometimes that can affect the Lukla-Kathmandu flight to be delayed and even canceled. An extra day would help you to be in safe side from missing your flight back home. If everything went smooth as planned, you can use this day for sightseeing around Kathmandu UNESCO World Heritage sites. Overnight hotel in Kathmandu. Included Meals: B
Day 20: Final Departure
Today your Everest High Passes -20 day trip comes to an end. If you have more time you can do some shopping or sightseeing. Approximately 3 hours before your scheduled flight a representative from Icicles Adventure Treks and Tour will take you to the airport for your flight back home. Hope you are overtaken by Nepal, a country of hospitable people, beautiful scenery, and a large variety of cultural traditions and you will come back again! Included Meals: B