The Three Passes of Everest

Trip Overview

A trek packed for the ultimate adventurer – this tailored journey is an astounding experience amidst the Himalayas. The Himalayas has allured trekkers/mountaineers/travelers for decades now – and with each passing year, new routes are established (this one of them) – of course one can never have enough of the Himalayas.

The trek begins from Lukla – the gateway to the Everest Region and explores the Sagarmatha National Park. We cross pine forests and picturesque villages as we make our way north to the Everest Base Camp. En route we experience the authentic Sherpa culture and are exposed to some of the best vistas the Himalayas have to offer. After exploring Everest Base Camp and Kala Pathhar and the magnificent views they have to offer of Everest and other majestic peaks, we make our way to the Gokyo Valley via the beautiful Chola Pass (5420m) to reach Gokyo village – a place with beautiful turquoise lakes, so still, calm and blue – the lakes evoke a feeling of heaven on earth. We summit the Gokyo Ri to avail a 360 degree panoramic view of the beautiful paradise we are in. We push towards our final pass – the Renjo La pass to reach Thame Valley, Nepal’s trading route with Tibet.

Challenging yet exciting, traversing through the Himalayas above 5,000 meters, and crossing some of the highest Himalayan passes, this trek is a test of our endurance – a ‘once in a lifetime experience’.

Note: No prior climbing experience required, however a certain level of physical fitness is expected.


Day 1

Arrival: TIA, Kathmandu
Overnight: Hotel
Arrival in Kathmandu, met by a Khempalung Adventure representative and hotel transfer. Relax the rest of the day. 

Day 2

A.M.: Sightseeing: Kathmandu P.M.: Trek Preparation
Overnight: Hotel
In the morning, we explore Kathmandu – explore the traditional architecture and ancient palaces in the Durbar Square, visit temples, and make way to Swayambhu Stupa (the Monkey Temple) which lies atop a hill where we can watch the valley go about its daily life. The Durbar Square and Swayambhu Temple are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. In the afternoon, we pack for the trek and purchase last minute necessary items (if needed).

Day 3

Flight: Lukla Trek: Phakding (2650m)
Overnight: Lodge     Trek Duration: 3 hours.
Today we head for the Himalayas – a short but a spectacular flight to Lukla offers us glimpses of the long Himalayan Range – a part of it our home for the next few days. As we take in the snow capped peaks we land at Lukla and meet with the porters. A short break, before we begin our trek. We leave the town of Lukla and cross a suspension bridge. We pass small villages of Chaunrikharka (2713m) and Ghat (2550m) until we descend down the river to reach our stop for the night – Phakding.

Day 4

Namche Bazaar (3447 m)
Overnight: Lodge          Trek Duration: 5 – 5 ½ hours
Our destination for the day is Namche Bazaar – a bustling and thriving town – the largest in Khumbu region. We follow the Dudh Koshi River through agricultural fields, small villages and a monastery. At Benkar, after we cross the river, we are greeted with tantalizing views of Kusum Kanguru (6369m) and Thamserku (6623m). A 20 minutes steep climb leads us to Monjo, our lunch stop. After lunch, we register ourselves at the check post and officially enter Sagarmatha National Park. We pass through a beautiful pine forest with occasional villages. A steep climb leads us to Namche, and halfway through we are treated with our first views of the big three – Mt. Everest (8848m), Lhotse (8383m), Nuptse (7879m). Reach Namche.

Day 5

Rest/Acclimatization: Namche Bazaar
Overnight: Lodge          Trek Duration: 3 ½ to 4 hours.
We take the day to allow our bodies to acclimatize – yet plenty of things to do. In the morning, we hike up to the Shyanboche Airport (closed) with its stone paved runway and head up to Everest View Hotel to enjoy views of the surrounding Himalayas. In the afternoon, we are free to explore the bustling town of Namche.

Day 6

Thyangboche (3860m)
Overnight: Lodge          Trek Duration: 5 ½ hours.
A steep climb for 20 minutes to reach a big prayer stone and the trail becomes steady. We enjoy magnificent views of the Ama Dablam, Thamserku and Kang Taiga as we follow the meandering trail. Reach Phunki Tanga for lunch – an interesting village with large water driven prayer wheels. A steep trail leads us to Thyangboche where we can get spending views of the Himalayas, including Everest. Thyangboche features a monastery, the most revered in the Khumbu Region where all Everest Expeditions receive their blessings before heading towards the challenge they are about to embark on.

Day 7

Dingboche (4350 m)
Overnight: Lodge          Trek Duration: 5 ½ hours.
We cross through a forest of birch, conifer and rhododendron to the meadows of Devouche. Cross the Dudh Koshi and climb up a pass and meet a gentle walk all the way to Pangboche. Watch the landscape change after the village of Pangboche as an interesting vista opens up. Reach Shomare and a gradual climb up to a ridge before descend to Khumbu Khola. Cross a wooden bridge and arrive at Dingboche.

Day 8

Rest/Acclimatization: Dingboche (4350 m)
Overnight: Lodge          Trek Duration: 3 ½ hours.
Studies on AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness) suggest, when trekking in high altitude areas, a trekker acclimatize to the changing altitudes, especially after 4000 meters. Thus, today we take a day to allow our bodies to adapt before proceeding to higher altitudes. We can explore the village and the surrounding areas.

Day 9

Lobuche (4930 m)
Overnight: Lodge          Trek Duration: 3 ½ – 4 ½ hours.
Cross the ill-defined track across an open landscape and after a short steep ascent to arrive at a hill top, our tracks converge with the trekking trail arriving from Cho La Pass to lead to the EBC. Mt. Cholatse shimmers en route. Reach Thugla for an early lunch. (Note: Early lunch owing to unavailability of water until Lobuche). A steep ascent leads us to a Sherpa Memorial – chortens (Buddhist shrines) dot the skyline as a tribute to the brave mountaineers who died during their expeditions. Behind the shrines are the majestic mountains – a perfect resting place. Ahead, we are led to the terminal moraine of Khumbu Glacier with beautiful views of Pumori (Widow’s Peak). Arrive at the windswept valley of Lobuche; be enchanted with the mesmerizing views of the Tawatse (6501m) and Nuptse (7855m).

Day 10

Gorakshep(5160m) – Everest Base Camp (5360m) – Gorakshep
Overnight: Gorakshep          Trek Duration: 7 ½ – 8 ½ hours.
Travel along the Khumbu Glacier through jumbled moraines and scattered rocks – on a clear day Everest can be seen looming behind Nuptse. Approach the ridge above Gorakshep and tread down to reach it. Gorakshep was used as EBC during the 1950s expeditions and has several monuments dedicated to Everest expeditioners who lost their lives during their attempts to scale Everest. After a short rest, we head up to the EBC – just below the infamous Khumbu Icefall. The EBC is not a specific location, more of a scattered region, where each expedition team sets camp before heading on towards the summit. Watch the towering mountain ranges surrounding us and be in awe of the treacherous Khumbu Icefall as we trek alongside it. Return to Gorakshep.

Day 11

Kala Patthar (5545m) – back to Pheriche (4371m)
Overnight: Lodge          Trek Duration: 5 ½ – 6 ½ hours.
Early breakfast and an arduous trek uphill for about 2 hours, reach Kala Patthar to catch stunning, panoramic, awe-inspiring views of the Himalayas – Everest included. The trip to Kala Pathhar although difficult is rewarding – find yourself deeply immersed in the majestic Himalayas. Catch sights of some of the tallest peaks of the world – Everest (8848m), Nuptse (7855m), Lhotse (8516m), Pumori (7145m), and more. Take some time to fully soak in the visual treat ahead of you before heading back down. From Gorakshep, we collect our belongings and head down the jumbled moraines to reach Lobuche.

Day 12

Dzongla (4850m)
Overnight: Lodge          Trek Duration: 3 – 4 hours.
Descend from Lobuche to pursue the trail towards Cho La Pass. Pass through a stupa and tombstones. We begin our ascent as we notice towering mountains alongside us and the Chola Tsho Lake below us. Continue ascend to reach a smaller lake and cross the Chola Khola (River) via a small bridge to reach Dzongla. Short day to prepare for the big trek the next day. Admire the beauty of the surrounding ranges.

Day 13

Cross Cho La Pass (5420m) to Thagnak
Overnight: Lodge          Trek Duration: 7 hours.
Big day today, so we start early to cross the Cho La Pass at 5420m. A steep climb made worse by rocks and boulders through which we have to scramble or maneuver. Final climb is trickier as the trail curves through a crevasse. Reach the pass and just be amazed by the breathtaking view of the Himalayas ahead of you. After taking in the view, we make a steady walk downhill. Reach Nymagawa and ascend a relaxed trail to reach Thagnak.

Day 14

Gokyo (4750m)
Overnight: Lodge          Trek Duration: 4 ½ hours.
For many, there is nothing like Gokyo – it is a piece of paradise. Relatively easy trek today, we head towards the Ngozumba Glacier (the longest glacier in Nepal). Pass through small glacial lakes and arrive at the snout of Ngozungpa Glacier, the source of the Dudh Koshi (the river we trekked along earlier). We reach the first of the Gokyo Lakes, the second and the third, along whose bank the village of Gokyo lays. Enjoy the view ahead of you – first the turquoise blue lake (tranquil), the picturesque village, and the shimmering Cho Oyu in the back drop. Spend the remainder of the day exploring.

Day 15

Climb Gokyo Ri (5463m)
Overnight: Lodge          Trek Duration: 4 – 4 ½ hours.
Today we climb a mountain in the Himalayas – the Gokyo Ri. An early morning trek will ensure excellent views along with the sunrise. The view atop Gokyo Ri is like none – the lakes behind you and the mountains all around you – all shimmering. Everest (8848m) showing its northern flank, Makalu (8643m) to the east and Cho Oyu (8201m) – these three fall within the world’s top 10 highest mountain peaks. Mesmerizingly beautiful, the view of the Himalayan range will render you out of words to describe it. Drop back down to the village and either rest, enjoy the Himalayan sun or head to the 5th lake.

Day 16

Cross Renjo La Pass (5345m) to Lungden (4650m)
Overnight: Lodge          Trek Duration: 7 to 8 hours.
The fifth time you will be crossing 5,000 metres in a week, and the second 5,000 metre pass – today we push towards another challenging leg of the journey – the Renjo La Pass. We follow the trail around the lake and ascend to reach the highland pasture. A steady but continuous climb for three hours leads us to the top of the pass. Prayer flags can be seen fluttering and a beautiful Nangpa Valley lies ahead of us. Everest and Makalu come into view, in shimmering glory. The descent is tricky – we have to walk on scree (loose stones on a slope). Ropes are fixed to facilitate descent during snowy conditions. We reach a glacial lake and the valley opens up. Cross open pastures to reach Lungden.

Day 17

Namche Bazaar (3447m)
Overnight: Lodge          Trek Duration: 6 – 7 hours.
We follow the Bhote Koshi River to Nangpa Valley, a beautiful valley. Reach Marlung, rest. From Marlung we follow a centuries old trading route followed by Tibetan traders. Cross Bhote Koshi, reach Taranga. A continuous descent until we reach Thame. From Thame, pass through the village of Thamo to reach Namche Bazaar.

Day 18

Phakding (2652m)
Overnight: Lodge          Trek Duration: 3 – 4 hours.
After many days up in the mountains at high altitudes, your bodies will welcome the warmer weather. A gentle walk takes us to Jorsale, exit the national park and continue to Monjo. We retrace our journey backwards; at the same time watch others enthusiastically begin their trek. We walk through beautiful blue pine and rhododendron forest along the Dudh Koshi (whose source we met earlier) to reach Phakding.

Day 19

Overnight: Lodge          Trek Duration: 3 ½ – 4 ½ hours.
We make our way out of the river valley, an elated and exhilarated feeling within our tired bodies, as we approach closer to the end of our treks. We enter the busy village of Lukla, settle in our lodges. In the evening, dinner may be followed with a few celebratory drinks and dancing with our Sherpa friends.

Day 20

Flight: Kathmandu
Overnight: Lodge
Enjoy a hearty breakfast, our last meal in the heart of the Himalayas. Take another spectacular flight out of Lukla to Kathmandu. At the airport, be met by a representative and transferred to hotel.

Day 21

Free day in Kathmandu
Overnight: Lodge
Take the day to explore Kathmandu – a city where the modern meets the traditional. Note: If you wish to go sightseeing, please contact our representative for tour options.

Day 22

Last minute shopping of souvenirs and transfer to TIA, Kathmandu for onward journey. Watch the Himalayas pass by as you relive the memories spent only days ago in the heart of the mountains. Relish on the achievement of a lifetime experience.

Trip Facts

Best Period: Feb, Mar, April, May – Oct, Nov, Dec

Time Period: 21 Nights / 22 Days.

Trek Period: 17 Night / 18Days

In Kathmandu: 04 Nights    

Flights: 2 Ways. (Kathmandu/Lukla/Kathmandu)

Trek Type: Strenuous

Highest Altitude: 5545 meters

Warning: Altitude Sickness.
Trek Start Point: Lukla

Trek End Point: Lukla

Accommodations: Hotels in Kathmandu / Lodges on trek


National Park: Sagarmatha National Park (1148 sq. kms)

Mountains: Everest, Lhotse, Tamserku, Ama Dablam, Nuptse,  Kantega, Pumo-ri, etc. 

Rivers: Bhote Kosi, Dudh Kosi and Imjatse Khola etc.

Villages: Lukla, Namche, Machermo, Thyangboche, Pheriche, Lobuche, etc     

Tribes: Mostly Sherpas & Tibetans 

Forest: Of Rhododendron and Pine. 

Landscapes: Varying from temperate valleys to snow clad mountains

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