The Everest Three Passes trail offers a challenging, moderate to strenuous high altitude 19 day long trek through the world famous Sherpa country. Joining this trip, you explore the charming valleys and sacred peaks of Khumbu region, the mystic Buddhist culture and the serene monasteries and challenging hikes to high passes and holy lakes. From the scenic surroundings of Gokyo you benefit more sights on Mount Everest then from Kala Patthar. An optional hike to Gokyo Ri (5 360 m) offers tremendous views on Cho Oyu (8 210 m), Everest ( 8 848 m), Lhotse (8 516 m) and Makalu (8 463 m) as well as the great Nguzumpa Glacier, the largest glacier in Nepal. Crossing the three passes is technically not difficult and very rewarding. Its an epic journey along 7 000 m and 8000 m Himalaya peaks where you definitely enjoy the most dramatic panoramas in Khumbu region.
Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu
Day 02: Sightseeing in Kathmandu Valley
Day 03: Flight to Lukla & Trek Phakding (2 600 m)
Day 04: Trek Namche Bazaar (3 440 m)
Day 05: Rest day Namche Bazaar (3 440 m)
Day 06: Trek Tengboche (3 860 m)
Day 07: Trek Dingboche (4 410 m)
Day 08: Trek Chukkung (4770 m)
Day 09: Climb Chhukung Ri (5 550 m) or Res Day
Day 10: Trek Lobuche (4930 m) via Khongma La Pass (5 523 m)
Day 11: Trek Gorakshep (5 160 m) & Everest Base Camp (5 300 m)
Day 12: Trek Kala Pathar & Dzonglha (4 830 m)
Day 13: Trek Dragnag (4 700 m)
Day 14: Trek Gokyo & Gokyo Ri (5 357 m)
Day 15: Rest day in Gokyo (4 790 m)
Day 16: Trek Renjo La Pass (5 360 m) & Lungden (4 380 m)
Day 17: Trek Thame (3 800 m)
Day 18: Trek Namche Bazaar (3 440 m)
Day 19: Trek Lukla (2 840 m)
Day 20: Flight to Kathmandu
Day 21: Kathmandu
Day 22: Fly out Kathmandu
Pick-up at Tribhuvan International Airport, meeting with your guide and transfer to the hotel. First impressions of Kathmandu (1 350 m) – walk to medieval Kathmandu Durbar Square and explore the beautiful complex of palaces, temples, shrines and courtyards built by the ancient Nepali kings between the 12th and 18th century. We bring you to our office and Thamel – the vibrant tourist area with hotels, restaurants, bakeries and outdoor shops. We get to know each other over a welcome dinner, check formalities and equipment and discuss your itinerary.
Today we discover the highlights of Katmandu and the valley. We adapt the program to your interests and desires and what you have seen before. Usually, we go to Pasupatinath on the bank of the Bagmati River, where the most important Hindu temples and burning ghats of Nepal are situated. In Bouddhanath we circumambulate together with Tibetan and Nepali Buddhist pilgrims the whitewashed stupa. Our sightseeing usually ends in Patan, the city of Beauty, an astonishing center of fine art and Buddhist and Hindu culture.
We drive to Tribhuvan Domestic Airport to connect our fly to take our flight to Everest region. After breakfast in Lukla (2 850 m) we start trekking through beautiful settlements to join soon the main trail in Churi Kharka. We follow the east bank of the Dudh Koshi- the River of Milk- where you witness the typical Nepal terrace culture, slate roofed houses and views on Kusum Kangaru (5 579 m). We reach Phakding (2 640 m) after 3 – 4 h gentle walking.
Today we make a challenging hike to Namche Bazaar (3 440 m), situated at 6-7 hours walking from Phakding. We climb up along the west bank of the Dudh Kosi to the tiny village of Toktok. We get our first glimpse of Thamserku peak (6 608 m) and reach Benkar (2 710 m). The cliffs above the village are decorated with huge paintings of Buddhist deities. We cross the colorful suspension bridge and enter the Sagarmatha National Park at Monjo (2 840 m). After Jorsale we follow the riverbank over gravel, climb through a pine forest and cross the Dudh Kosi by a big suspension bridge. Then we face a continuous zigzag ascent of 2 hours through dense pine forests. In the early evening we reach the vibrant center of Namche Bazar, on of the most attractive settlements of Solu-Khumbu district.
Rest day in Namche. Optional walk to the Sherwi Khangba Sherpa Culture Museum or dayhike to the Hotel Everest View in Khumjung village (3 700 m) and Khundi Hospital in Khundi Village, the first hospital build in Khumbu Region by Sir Edmund Hillary and Himalayan Trust in 1966.
Trek to Tengboche (3 860 m), 5-6 hour long hike from Namche Bazaar. The first part of trail is a winding smooth path which offers fantastic views on Mount Everest (8 848 m), Thamserku (6 618 m), Ama Dablam (6 814 m). After the trail goes down to the riverbank and then we make a strenuous 2 hour ascend to Tengboche. We walk through rhododendron forests where musk deer and Himalayan ‘tahr’ or mountain goat live. At the rest place you can enjoy the views towards Kantega mountain (6 783 m). Tengboche, is famed for the Buddhist Tengboche Monastery (where you can attend the daily puja), Cafe Tengboche and the view point.
Trek to Dingboche (4 410 m), 6-7 hours walking from Tengboche. We descend through conifer and rhododendron forest to the beautiful settlement Deboche where you have a close view at Ama Dablam. We cross the suspension bridge and look over the surging white waters of Imja River. Soon after a snow white Stupa with gorgeous all seeing eyes is mirroring the Ama Dablam, this is a marvelous place for a picture! Then the trail ascents gently to the village of Pangboche (3 860 m), where we climb above the treeline. After, the trail passes numerous farmer pastures with big yak populations before we reach Dingboche valley.
We will hike 2 hours to Khangri Resort 4730 m and climb Chhukung Ri 5550 m where we will have magnificent sights at Island Peak 6189 m and the white ice lake of Imja Tsho.
We start our walk by 5:30 AM sharp and after ascending 534 m up to the main steep climbing section, we reach at main Kongma La Pass where we have outstanding sights at Lobuche range, Tawachee (6495m), Cholatse peak (6440m), Makalu Barun ranges, Lhotse, Ama Dablam with beautiful lakes just below the Kongma La. After our picnic lunch in Kongma La the trail goes directly down to the terminal moraine of the famous Khumbu glaciers. The challenge of crossing Khumbu glacier starts right after we finished downhill. After 9 hours of walk we will reach the small settlement of Lobuche (4990 m).
The ascent to Gorak Shep (5 160 m) becomes steeper and rougher as we cross several moraines. Soon we see the peak of Pumori (7 145m). We also have our first views at Nuptse (7 864 m), Kala Patthar (5 545 m) and Mount Everest. At the right side you look over the Khumbu Glacier, an enormous tongue of ice which marches down the slopes of Everest. We reach Gorak Shep by lunchtime and trek to Base Camp in the afternoon. In total we hike six-seven hours today. We sleep in a lodge at Gorakskhep, a semi-permanent village at the bottom of the Khumbu Icefall.
Early morning we climb to Kala Patthar – the Black Rock – located at 5 545 m and marked by a tangle of prayer flags. At this viewpoint – one of the most astonishing views on earth- you have a 360 degree panorama of Himalayan giants from Pumori and Lobuche West to Nuptse, Lhotse and Everest. We return back to Gorak Shep via the view points of the ice lakes of Pumori and Everest and take our breakfast. We descend in 4-5 hours over a winding trail to Dzongla, a small settlement below the Cho La pass where we camp. On the way to Dzongla (4 830 m) you’ll already enjoy the scenic Cho La Lake.
We leave early in Dzongla to start the steep and strenuous climb to Cho La Pass (5 368 m). We climb 3 hours over a rocky ridge to reach the top of the pass and are rewarded by awesome vistas over Ama Dablam, Thamserku, Taboche, Baruntse and very nearby Cholatse. Once we cross the pass we hike over the glacier across snow and ice for about an hour. Then we take a rest and lunch and hang some Buddhist prayer flags for peace and succesful reaching our travel destination. We descend 3 hours more over rocky paths to Tangnak (4 700 m).
We start our dayhike with crossing the Ngozumpa glacier, a walk of about 2 hours over dusty trails offering us splendid views on the frozen lakes and Cho Oyu (8 210 m). We join the main trail to Gokyo and hike 2 hours more to reach the sesasonal village of Gokyo. On our way to Gokyo (4 790 m) we stumble on the third and four lake. Gokyo can be described as heaven with the lodges situated spectacular around the brilliant emerald green lake. We enjoy our afternoon admiring the beautiful surroundings around the lake. We sleep in Gokyo Resort which offers great views of Gokyo Lake!
Today you can make a spectacular 2,5 long hike to Gokyo Ri, a 5 360 m high hill on the north side of the Dudh Pokhari. From the summit you have a 360 degree panaroma over Cho Oyu, Everest, Lhotse, Makalu, Cholatse and Taboche and the Ngozumpa Glacier. Another option is an awesome hike up the Gokyo valley past two or three more glacial lakes towards Cho Oyu.
We start early heading for the upper trail west of Gokyo Lake towards Renjo La pass (5 415 m). After climbing a steep sandy ridge for about 3 hours we gain the top of the Renjo La where you have fabulous views on 7000 and 8000 m high peaks of Everest, Lhotse, Chalotse and Taboche. Continuing the pass the trail winds down a stone staircase and leads to the south bank of a small serene lake the Angladumba Tsho. After another 4 hours we reach Lungden (4 380 m), our camp for tonight.
We hike together with Tibetan yak caravan through medeival villages and seasonal settlements to Thame, a traditional village with slate-roofed Sherpa houses. In the afternoon you can climb to the gompa of Thame, one of the oldest in Khumbu, situated in the north of the village.
Back to the headquarters of Khumbu, the lively village Namche Bazaar. We return via the village of Thamo, the hometown of many famous Sherpa climbers. On the way, after crossing the Dud Khosi river, you enjoy close magnificent views of Kongde (6 806 m), Tartikha (6 186 m), Nupla (5 885 m).
We start this 6 hours during trek with a strenuous descent from Namche Bazaar to the Dud Kosi (hard work for the knees), after the path climbs up to Monjo and then runs easily to Benkar, Phakding and Lukla.
After breakfast we fly in about 40 minutes from Lukla to Kathmandu. Arrive at Tribhuvan Airport and transfer to hotel.
On this last free day you have plenty of opportunity to enjoy more sights in Kathmandu: you can make a daytrip to the splendid five storied Nyatapola Temple and exquisite woodcarvings like the Peacock window in medieval Bhaktapur, climb the long stairs to the stupa of Swayambhunath (Monkeytemple) or visit the sleeping Vishnu at Budhanilkantha. You can also shop, relax and drink coffee in the bakeries of Thamel or the Garden of Dreams. Traveltimes Treks recommends you plan one extra day at the end of your trekking in case in case of delayed schedules during your travel.
Transfer to Tribhuvan Airport. We hope you enjoyed your stay!
If you wish to stay longer in Nepal: Traveltimes Treks can offer you plenty of suggestions, we can arrange rafting and safari trips, helicopter flights, mountain biking, multi day tours to old historical city of Bhaktapur, the mountain stations Nagarkot & Dhulikhel or retreats in the serene monasteries of Namobuddha and Kopan.
The trek is non-technical and suitable for everyone in good shape who likes to hike over mountain trails and stay at rustic lodges. You should be in good physical shape for this trip and feel comfortable hiking 11 to 20 km a day on a trail while carrying a day pack of about 5 kilo. In general this is a moderate trek but with this several strenuous days at high altitude. While the trip has been designed to gradually acclimatize you to altitude, several lodges will be above 3 600 m and our highest lodge will be at 5 160 m. On some days altitude gains and losses of up to 1 800 m can be expected. At least 3 rest days are planned. Strengthen your knee muscles and prepare for several days of steep descents of anywhere up to 1 800m.
A program of cardiovascular conditioning such as running, swimming, biking or aerobics is essential, but try to supplement your exercise with hiking on steep hills or running up and down steps. The more you can condition by closely simulating the activities of trekking, the better off you will be. While the trip is rated as moderate overall, several days will be strenuous, and good conditioning is essential to your enjoyment of the trek.
Remember that Nepal has the 2 926 km latitude so it will be warm at the lower elevations (short and T-shirt) while nights will be cool to depending on the elevation and season. For fall trips day trips will be between 0°C and 5°C at the lower elevations. In the higher elevations expect day temperatures to be 10 degrees cooler. Temperatures at night will be cool being mostly between 0°C and – 5 °C except above 3 500 m where temperatures at or below freezing are likely at night. It might even get as low as -10°C at the coldest part of the night at the highest lodges. For spring treks about 10 degrees to the temperatures for fall treks. The weather in fall is generally sunny, although an occasional storm could occur. Spring sees more clouds in the afternoon and the possibility of occasional thunder storms.
The pace will be unregimented. You are encouraged to walk by yourself or in small groups. Take time to visit local houses and temples, share a cup of tea or rakshi with our porters and the locals in the many chiyaa houses. Pursue interest in photography bird watching and botany and sample the culture of the are you are travelling in.
Personal gear will be carried by porters. Porters can carry two members’ duffel bags. Since their load is 25 kg, this means that your duffel cannot exceed twelve kilos. We stay in locally owned lodges and will receive an insight into family living. All the guest houses have toilets and cold showers. Some of the guesthouses have hot showers available and every lodge is equipped with solar power systems for lightning. The main common room has a heater, nice in the cold nights.
This is not a tour where everything can be planned in advance to run like clockwork. You probably won’t experience exactly what is written in the daily itinerary. Often adjustment must be made in the field. We want you to participate in the trip with the clear understanding that things can go wrong. Adventure travel does involve certain risks both emotional and physical. One has to be flexible when traveling in Nepal and have a cheerful attitude.
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Dawa Lama Tamang has been doing this for a long time and knows what to see, where to relax, and the best places to eat. His enthusiasm and good humor are wonderful. I spent three weeks treking with Dawa as well as several days in Kathmandu. I am looking forward to seeing him again.
My wife and I experienced our first trek in Nepal with Dawa and Traveltimes Treks. He was highly recommended by a neighbor who is a repeat customer. We decided to do the three high passes with EBC and it was a trip of a lifetime!! Dawa picked us up and stayed with us for about 3 weeks, finally saying goodbye as the limo took us to the airport in Kathmandu. When weather shut down flights to Lukla, he found a VERY inexpensive helicopter ride that got us there when the planes weren’t flying. HE KNOWS EVERYONE and that helped make the trip so rewarding. He’s very knowledgeable, friendly, positive, encouraging and FUNNY!! While the Himalayas are unsurpassed in beauty, spending time with the Nepali people was our favorite part of the trip. Do yourself a favor and book with Dawa Lama Tamang!!!