- 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)
First of all a very warm welcome to capital city of Kathmandu. You shall land on TIA airport in Kathmandu today. After you have completed your airport formalities and step out of the arrival terminals, you will be met by one of our office representative who will later transfer you to your respective hotel on a private vehicle. He will help you in checking in the hotel and later you can either relax at your hotel room or simply take a stroll around bustling streets of Kathmandu. We stay overnight at your chosen hotel in Kathmandu.
Day 02: Fly to Lukla (2,800 m/9,184 ft) and Trek to Phakding (2,652 m/8,700 ft)
After packing our gears and getting ready for ultimate Everest high passes trek, our office representative will pick you up from your hotel and transfer to airport again for domestic departure to Lukla airport. Usually weather remains fine during morning time and it will be most probably your morning flight from Kathmandu to Lukla. It will be an excellent mountain flight above the Himalayas that you can see Mt. Everest and other peaks from left hand side of aircraft. We will have a quick jelling with our porter team and have a cup of tea as porters will arrange our baggage and start to walk towards same destination of the day i.e Phakding for overnight stay. We stay overnight at tea house in Phakding with walking times of 3 to 4 hours that includes breakfast, lunch and dinner as meals.
Day 03: Phakding - Namche Bazaar (3,440 m/11,283 ft)
We begin our hike today after having our early meal and spending first night between the mountains. Crossing plenty of uphill an downhill paths, we will be trekking across Dudhkosi river quite a few times. And slowly we start to see close views of Thamerku from the village called Bankar. In this way, we enter through Sagarmatha National Park entrance at Monjo encircling huge mani stone. In a short time, we have our lunch at Jorsale at lunchsite nearby Dudh kosi river. Then challenging up-hill walk will be there infront of us. We take up this challenge by first crossing beautiful Hillary bridge then we get first view of Everest if weather is clear and finally at the end of the day, we reach at our tea house in Namche bazar. At Namche bazar we can find many trekking, peakclimbing, mountaineering gears along with bakeries, coffee shop, ATM and mostly lodges and tea houses. We stay overnight at one of the local lodge. Today it will be approximately 5 to 6 hours walking time. Meal includes Breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Day 04: Namche Bazaar: Acclimatization Day
Our first acclimatization day starts at Namche which is an essential site for letting our body adjust according to changing altitude. From today we will be touching nearly 4000m and cross 4000m altitude tomorrow. Therefore, if you feel dizzy, and got caught by symptoms of AMS, then you are recommended to start taking diamox from this point. The case differs from person to person so, always rely on what our professionally trained mountain guide refers at that moment.
Therefore to avoid AMS, we first hike to Sagarmatha National Park museum where we can see large statue of legendary mountaineer, one of the first man to step at Everest Summit, the man renowned as the great Sherpa of all time, Tenjing Norgay Sherpa. Then we, hike up towards Syangboche airport, followed by higher up to Hotel Everest view at 3800m above sea level. Excellent views of Amadablam and surrounding peaks can be seen from the restaurant of Everest view hotel. We enjoy our lunch there and return towards our lodge in Namche in afternoon. Later we stay overnight at same lodge. Today, total walking time would be 3 to 4 hours with breakfast, lunch and dinner included.
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)
It will be our early morning wake up day to witness cultural affluence of Tibetan Buddhism rituals at ancient Tengboche monastery. There will be more of gradual downhill while passing through yak grazing village of Deboche until we cross the Imja Khola. Then after crossing the river, we will be hiking uphill towards Pangboche, where we will have our lunch and further stretch our legs towards Dingboche. We can see very upclose views of Amadablam infront of us with other nearby peaks. It will be mostly rocky, windy and dusty trail with only small shrubs visible across the surroundings. We will be at around 4410m altitude , therefore we might feel the affect of altitude sickness. Walking slowly taking up plenty of water is the key to success. Later we stay overnight at hotel in Dingboche. Meal includes Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner and walking hours will be from 5 to 6 hours.
Day 07: Dingboche -Acclimatization Day- Side trip to Nagerjun Hill (5100m/16728ft)
At Dingboche, we will be stopping for two days as per recommended acclimatization. After crossing 4000m of elevation, it is suggested to take a day as rest day for every 1000m gain in altitude. It won’t be complete rest day however, it will be an active day going high up to Nagarjun hill or Chukkung ri and again descending to Dingboche for overnight stay. We will have breakfast at local lodge and start ascending while observing an awesome views of Amadablam, Thamserku, Island Peak, Lhotse, Makalu and other nearby snow capped Himalayas. The trail is mostly rocky and unstable with few gradual hikes crossing Imja river once and rewarded by amazing views after reaching up to Chukkung. The homes are mostly stone built and having conversation with a pot of tea shall be a great way to know local lifestyle enjoying stunning Himalayan views. Later we will be sleeping our second night at local lodge in dingboche. Walking time will be from 3 to 4 hours with Breakfast, lunch and dinner included in a meal.
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)
Our day starts today little early as today it will be long walking day with quite a few challenges across the trails at higher altitude. Crossing the Lobuche pass, climbing the very unstable rocky trail to Gorakshep. Here at Gorakshep, we will have our lunch, take rest and push ourselves towards Everest base camp today. The site reflects sunlight from nearby snow capped Himalayas, we enjoy the view saving ourselves from strong wind. Khumbu glacier comes into view after we approach near to base camp. A moment of great achievement is felt after we step at base of highest Himalaya on planet. We will then return towards Gorakshep for overnight stay. We will be trekking for around 8 to 9 hours today. Meal includes Breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Day 11: Gorekshep - Kalapattar (5545m/18188ft) - Dzongla (4830 m /15939 ft)
Top of the kalapathher will be our destination today morning, as we gear up at nearly 4 am in the morning to hike up to Kalapathher. It will be pitch black outside, so head torch is mandatory to have while climbing steep trail to the top. While making our way to the top, plenty of stopping points will be there from where we will take plenty of pictures, snapshots and suddenly magic happens as the sun rises through snow capped Himalayas in a fascinating way. Standing tall at top of the Kalapthher at 5545m is achievement in itself from where best views of Nuptse, Everest and other peaks are visible. We will descend to Gorakshep and make our way towards Pheriche village for overnight stay in local lodge. In total we walk for 7 to 8 hours. There wont be much of distance, but higher elevation and ascend to kalapathher makes walking a challenge for us. Meals include Breakfast, lunch and dinner.
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
While trekking from Namche bazar to Lukla, it will be mostly a downhill trek. And it is suggested to walk with great care while walking down than hiking up as much more balance on shaky leg is needed. We cross the river tributaries, enjoy the landscape views, forest walks and Sherpa culture. In this way keeping the precious memories in our heart we finally arrive at from where all our journey started, at Lukla. We celebrate our successful Everest high passes trek with team members. Later stay overnight at local lodge. We shall walk for 6 to 7 hours today with breakfast lunch and dinner included in a meal.
Day 18: Board a domestic flight from Lukla to Kathmandu
We will be flying from Lukla to Kathmandu today and we will already start missing the Everest Himalayas as soon as we take off from Lukla. In just 27 minutes of time we land at Kathmandu airport. After arriving at Kathmandu, our office representative will assist you in checking in your hotel and we suggest you to take rest. Or, you can also do some last minute shopping at Thamel and nearby area. We stay overnight at hotel in Kathmandu. Meal includes Breakfast only.
Day 19: Leisure day in Kathmandu: Kathmandu Sightseeing:
It will be always an smart idea to plan for one extra day in our itinerary so that incase of domestic flight delay/cancellation due to bad weather. Due to unpredictable Himalayan weather, flights to Lukla specially gets delayed or cancelled. However, if everything went according to itinerary, one day can be well utilized by embarking for sightseeing around Kathmandu valley. We will be staying overnight at your choice of hotel in Kathmandu. Meal includes only breakfast.
Day 20: Final Departure
Finally our 20 days of Everest high passes trek concludes today as we will transfer you to TIA airport 3 hours earlier your scheduled international departure time. We presume that we have offered services that you can recommend us to others being happy genuinely. In this way, hoping to see you again, we bid farewell. Meal includes breakfast.