EVEREST THREE PASSES
Day 9 and I have learnt that taking it slow is the key to making it over the high passes.
I have a steady pace, so my breathing becomes rhythmic. My heart is pounding in my chest, but that’s ok, I know it’s doing its job.
But the thing that takes my breath away? The thing that really makes me gasp for air? Is when I reach 5465m above sea level and the top of the Ranjo la and I look up.
Absolutely extraordinary. In front of me are the tallest mountains on the planet, taking up my entire view. 8000-meter peaks, one next to the other, stand like a giant wall separating Tibet from Nepal.
The view hits you so hard, your breath is literally taken away, mouth agasp, eyes wide open.
And then the altitude hits you and your body gasps for air again, and you stand there panting until you recover, for the long hike down to the high altitude lakes of Gokyo.
And we are only a third of the way on our journey!
“If you cannot understand that there is something in man which responds to the challenge of this mountain and goes out to meet it, that the struggle is the struggle of life itself upward and forever upward, then you won’t see why we go. What we get from this adventure is just sheer joy. And joy is after all the end of life. We do not live to eat and make money. We eat and make money to be able to enjoy life. That is what life means and what life is for.”
Everest Base Camp is established on the Khumbu Glacier which flows down the valley at about 1 meter per day. As such, mountaineering campsites need to be constantly constructed and deconstructed to accommodate this movement.
The Everest Three Passes and Peaks is the ultimate Everest region trekking experience, exploring trails most travellers do not see. Live out your Himalayan dreams, trekking high altitude passes and summiting smaller peaks, all without the need for any technical climbing knowledge. You’ll cross the four great valleys of Everest – the world’s most popular trekking destinations: Bhotekoshi, Gokyo, Khumbu and Imja Tse.
You will tackle the rugged high passes of Renjo La (5388 m), Cho La (5380 m) and Kongma La (5535 m), as well as the three peaks of Gokyo Ri (5483 m), Kalapathar (5545m) and Chukung (5550 m).
The adventure starts at Lukla, then enjoy two nights at Namache acclimatising, before heading to the remote trails of Thame and Lungden, close to the Tibetan border. The Renjo la crossing is tough, but you’re rewarded with stunning views of Everest and the pristine Gokyo lakes.
Gokyo Ri is the first of the three peaks you encounter. Work your way across the Ngonumpa glacier to majestic Chola Pass. Plunge down into the Khumbu valley before trekking to Kalapathar peak and Everest Base Camp.
From here the route heads to Chukung via Louche, crossing the Kongmala in another tough but rewarding day. Chukung Ri is the last of the three peaks, offering hardy trekkers stunning views of Amadablam, Lhotse, Nuptse, Makalu and Cho Oyu.
Return to Lukla via the magical Thyangboche monastery, covering all the region’s major highlights and closing the circle. It’s an incomparable and unforgettable Nepalese trekking experience.
Your group leader will meet you at the airport and take you to your hotel where you can relax, meet your teammates and take a stroll through Kathmandu’s bustling streets. We’ll enjoy a traditional Nepali dinner together and watch a cultural performance before getting much needed rest. (D)
Depart for a half-day sightseeing tour of Kathmandu, the ‘City of Temples’. Visit Durbar Square, home to the Kasthamandap temple, Kumari Ghar Kal Bhairav, Hanuman Dhoka and Taleju Temple. It’s a chance to understand the spiritual connection the locals have to the enigmatic landscapes around them. Afterwards, visit the Swoyambhunath Stupa, set majestically on a hill overlooking Kathmandu Valley, to contemplate the life-changing adventure that’s about to begin. Continue to Patan including Patan Durbar Square, Krishna Temple, Golden Temple and the Tibetan Handicraft Centre. Here you can learn more about traditional crafts and ceremonies, giving you a deeper understanding of how Nepalese people have flourished in this majestic but hostile environment. (B)
35 minute Trans Himalayan flight
Altitude: Lukla at 2800m/9184ft & Phakding (2652m/8698ft)
Walking distance: Approx 8 Km/3 to 4 hours
Your guide will take you to the airport in time for your flight departure. The flight duration is about 35 minutes – expect incredible views from the plane. Arriving in Lukla, you’ll eat at the lodge before preparing your kit for the porters. The trek starts on the stone-paved trails towards Bhaisekharka. It’s fairly up and down to Phakding, passing plenty of prayer rocks (mani). After arriving at the lodge at Phakding, freshen up and make the short walk to the village or hike up to Gompa to acclimatise. (B,L,D)
Walking distance: 10-12 Km/5-6 hours
An exciting start to the day as you cross a suspension bridge followed by an easy uphill to Monju, where the Sagarmatha National Park begins. After completing Park entry paperwork, you’ll drop down to the river and another suspension bridge, then back up again to the high Hilary Bridge. The trail then leads further uphill to the Namche Bazaar, with stunning views of Mt. Everest, Mt. Lhotse, Mt. Kusum Khangru and more. (B,L,D)
Explore the museum for a unique cultural taste of this remote region, visit Khumjung and Khongde villages where you can drink in the landscape dominated by Mt. Everest and the surrounding peaks. The rest of the day you’re free to explore Namche Bazaar, use the Internet, visit the National Park head office, museum and monastery. It’s a chance to let the experience sink in, while further appreciating the incredible people that call this place home. (B,D)
Walking distance: Approx 3 to 4 hours
A relatively easy start on the trail leads to Thamo, an ancient Sherpa village. Explore the village before setting off for Thame. After lunch, rest a while and immerse yourself in the Sherpa culture. (B,L,D)
Walking distance: Approx 4 to 5 hours
Another comfortable start, as you ease into it with a peaceful walk to Marlung through the Bhote Koshi River. The trail then leads to Lumde through the valley, with views of the snow-peaked mountains along the way. After arriving in Lumde, it’s worth hiking a bit higher to acclimatise. (B,L,D)
Another important rest day to acclimatise. The day is yours to explore this small village and its surrounds. (B,L,D)
Altitude at Ranjo la Pass: 5465m/17,929ft
Altitude at Gokyo Lake: 4800m/ 15748ft Distance of walking: 7-8 hours
A challenging start as the trail leads uphill for an hour and a half to the top of the Renjo La, to enjoy breathtaking views of Mt. Everest, Mt.Nuptse, and the Gokyo Lake. From Renjo la the trail drops down to the lake and your lodge. Rest up, then make the short climb to the ridge to explore the magnificent glacier. (B,L,D)
Walking distance: 3 hours
Although this is a relatively easy day, we suggest an early start. You’ll be walking across Ngozumpa – the longest glacier in Nepal. On sunny days the ice melts fast, so it’s best to cross the glacier before it warms up. Listen out for rocks tumbling into the glacier lake. Once you arrive at Thaknak, climb the small hill to acclimatise. (B,L,D)
Walking distance: 6-7 hours
This is probably the hardest day of the trip. Start with a steep climb before the trail drops down to the bottom of the Chola pass. Another steep climb this time through rocks follows. Look out for Buddhist prayer flags on the top of the pass and incredible views. The ground can be icy as the trail descends again through huge rocks, followed by easy walking to Zungla. (B,L,D)
Walking distance: 3 hours. It’s mostly downhill in this section surrounded by incredible peaks and valleys. (B,L,D)
Walking distance: 3 hours
A great way to begin the day, as you enjoy an easy downhill, followed by some undulating terrain to Lobuche. The trail continues toward Gorekshep through difficult, rocky ground but there are incredible vistas of Mt. Everest, Mt. Nuptse, Mt. Pumori and the Khumbu Glacier. Finally, you’ll reach Gorekshep, at the base of Kalapatthar. (B,L,D)
Walking distance: 6-7 hours
Today you reach the famed Everest base camp. But there’s a three-hour walk along the ridge of the Khumbu glacier first. Drink in the majestic views, before finally spotting the Buddhist prayer flags – a sign that you’ve made it. After exploring, trek down to the lodge and spend the remainder of the day relaxing and enjoying the experience. (B,L,D)
Altitude: Kalapathar at 5545m
Walking distance: 6-7 hours
Start the day by tackling the two-hour hike up to the Kalapatthar, the best viewpoint of Mt. Everest, Mt. Nuptse, Mt. Pumori, Mt. Amadablam, Mt. Thamerserku and Mera Peak. Take lots of photos before trekking down to the lodge at Gorekshep for breakfast, and then continuing down to Lobuche. (B,L,D)
Walking distance: 6-7 hours
Start heading east by walking across Khumbu glacier. The river trail then leads up to the highest pass of the trip. There’s no water source here, so you’ll have to carry enough drinking water with you. After a hard climb to the top, the trail descends steeply to the Chukung Valley. (B,L,D)
Walking distance: 5-6 hours
An easy day hiking downhill through the valley to Dingboche, passing through a few Sherpa villages along the way. After Pangboche it descends further to the river and across a bridge. Next up is Tengboche where an ancient monastery sits on the top of the hill. At the monastery witness the Buddhist evening chanting ceremony, a deeply moving cultural and spiritual experience. (B,L,D)
Walking distance: 4-5 hours
Begin walking steeply downhill through a beautiful rhododendron, then climb steeply through the pine and juniper forest to Khumjung. Explore Khumjung village and after lunch continue your trek to the Namche Bazaar. (B,L,D)
Walking distance: 18-20 Km/6 to 7 hours
Enjoy an invigorating morning descent through pine forest to Monju. After a National park checkpoint, the trail continues to the Phakding for lunch before the final stage of your trek to Lukla. Take the time to reflect on what you have achieved, experienced and learnt as for many people it’s not just a physical journey but a spiritual one too. (B,L,D)
35minute Trans Himalayan flight
Due to the weather flights are usually in the morning. Your guide will take care of airport formalities and luggage transportation, so you can enjoy breakfast at the lodge. When your guide receives news about your flight, you’ll head to the airport in time to watch your plane land. After a quick photograph, you’ll fly to Kathmandu and have a private transfer to your hotel. (B)
Altitude: 1350m/4428ft Free day for shopping and departure
After breakfast in your hotel, we’ll drop you at the airport to catch your flight home, or onto your next adventure. If you have a late flight, you’ll have plenty of time for last minute shopping. But eventually, it will be time to say goodbye. (B)
- Arrival and Departure transfers on both domestic and international flights.
- 3 nights accommodation at Harati Manor Hotel twin share
- OPEN and CHOICE of Full board meals while on expedition.
- One Trekker: One Porter Policy
- Accommodation at clean and comfortable tea houses or lodges.
- Welcome dinner with the cultural program as listed in the itinerary.
- Half day guided city tour with world heritage entrance permit as listed in the itinerary.
- All Domestic flights and airport tax.
- Private transportation to and from the starting and ending points of the trek as applicable.
- Free use of quality trekking gear – sleeping bag, fleece liner, down jacket, rain poncho.
- Professional local trek leader with Wilderness First Aid.
- Portable Altitude Chamber (PAC) / Gamow Bag (A life-saving device in case of Acute Mountain Sickness) along with a comprehensive First Aid Kit.
- Assistant trekking guides and other support staff for Everest base camp trek.
- Trekking map.
- Personal Sherpa Porters to carry all personal gear.
- Insurance of all staff including Porters.
- Warm clothing and required trekking gear for Porters like Gortex jacket /trousers, trekking shoes, woolen hat, woolen gloves, woolen shocks, sunglasses etc.
- Complimentary souvenir Tshirt.
- TIMS Trekking permit
- International flights
- Tips and beverages
Check out our Journey Extensions for those that want to stay a little longer or try something different along the way.
In the heart of Thamel, is the Nepali Ghar Hotel. The Nepali Ghar punctuates the new trend of modern hotels and breezes an ode to Nepalese traditional styles. These traditions afford a warm and homely environment for all adventurers. The hotels Delux rooms are luxurious and open with excellent facilities. The hotel has a restaurant that serves great food as well as a fitness centre.
If you would like to stay at the Nepali Ghar Hotel as part of your package of 2 nights before and 2 nights after an expedition the extra price will be $550 (for all 4 nights).
For twin rooms where you share the room, the price is $300 per person twin share.
In the heart of Thamel, is the Nepali Ghar Hotel. The Nepali Ghar punctuates the new trend of modern hotels and breezes an ode to Nepalese traditional styles. These traditions afford a warm and homely environment for all adventurers. The hotel’s Delux rooms are luxurious and open with excellent facilities. The hotel has a restaurant that serves great food as well as a fitness centre.
If you would like to stay at the Nepali Ghar Hotel as part of your package of 2 nights before and 2 nights after an expedition the extra price will be $300 per person twin share (for all 4 nights).
For single rooms for these nights the extra price is $550.
No Roads Expeditions provided a fantastic Nepal adventure. They are a highly professional team. Local, knowledgeable, and friendly guides provide all the support you need for a wonderful trek and experience. Our fantastic guide, Horizon, followed the company protocols to ensure our health was the main priority. The 1 porter per trekker policy provides employment and doesn’t overload the porter as you often see with other companies. The team at No Roads arranged all travel, insurance, and accommodation with no fuss and was great to deal with. I look forward to contacting the team again for my next adventure. The guided trek, food, and accommodation were all top class.
Trek responsibly with trained porters and guides
Our team are committed to making sure your journey is a safe and memorable one. Each guest is paired with one porter (we have a 1 Porter 1 Trekker policy) to ensure a comfortable trek, and all of our guides receive medical and mountaineering training to make sure your experience is pleasant. We provide safety equipment and bring necessary medical supplies on each trip.
Enjoy local and cultural experiences with our knowledgeable team
With side excursions to monasteries and farming villages, we take our guests on trails less travelled by other climbing companies. Along the way, our footsteps will cross the shadows of Ama Dablam as our bodies adjust to higher elevations and more rugged terrain. Returning home, we’ll travel down a different route that allows us to encounter ancient Tibetan rituals at the Buddhist Tengboche monastery.
Prepare for an adventure of a lifetime
Before we begin our trek, our team will review our itinerary to Lukla and answer your questions about what to expect in the days leading to your Everest Three Passes Three Peaks trek. The Dudh Koshi River has carved a natural trail for us to follow as we hike towards the picture-perfect village of Namche Bazaar. We’ll spend several nights adjusting to the altitude before making our way into the hidden valleys of Thame and Lumde. From there we depart toward the northwest and Gokyo. This is the first of several very high altitude sections where we will be sleeping well 4500 meters for several nights and trekking passes in excess of 5000 meters. We will rejoin the main Everest Base Camp trail after we cross the Cho La and head toward Gorak Shep to prepare for our ascent to see the ice-blue Khumbu glacier. Your stamina will be tested as we wake before sunrise to climb Kalapathar, a peak resting at 5545 meters above sea level. Here, the first rays of the morning will paint mountaintops copper and gold, and we’ll bask in the breathtaking beauty of the Himalayas. This is truly a moment you’ll never forget. The adventure is not over as we return toward Namche and Lukla not via the normal Everest Base Camp route, but via Chukung and the Kongma La. From there it is back to Lukla and your flight back to Kathmandu.
We get asked a lot of questions about our Everest Three Passes and Three Peaks. The following are certainly the most common however if you have another question please let us know or the answer may be found in our Trip Notes section.
How hard is the Everest Three Peaks trek?
This trek is the ultimate Solu Khumbu experience where you will pass through the4 major valleys of the Solu Khumbu. Altitude is the main obstacle on this trek, however, there are also some very steep passes along the way. The Gokyo Lakes section has several very high sections and passes which makes trekking more difficult. The final section which takes in Chukung and the Kongma La, are also high and steep. You will need to train for this trek, to ensure your body is fit enough for these pass sections. We need to take it slowly so our bodies acclimatise. We have 2 acclimatisation days on this trek where we spend the day hiking to a higher altitude, before heading back down for our bodies to recover.
Do I have to carry my own gear?
You do not have to carry you own gear all the way to Everest Base Camp. Our 1 Porter 1 Trekker policy allows us to carry all your gear for you during the day. Your bag will be at the tea house ready for you to freshen up at the end of the day. All you need to carry is a day pack which will have some wet weather gear in it such as the supplied poncho, possibly warmer clothes, water and sunscreen and some money. Usually the pack will weigh around 5kgs.
What are the Tea Houses like on the Everest Three Peaks trek?
Your accommodation along the way will be the iconic Nepali Tea Houses. These Tea Houses are one of the highlights of the trip. We have handpicked what we think are the best Tea Houses along the trail to Gokyo and Everest. Warm and inviting, each Tea House consists of a communal hall with tables and chairs scattered around the perimeter and central to the room is the heater, which as the sun falls below the horizon becomes a focal point.
The Tea House serves up delicious food from Western staples such as fried potatoes to Nepali dal bhat. We have an open menu policy, so you can pick anything from the menu.
Bedrooms fan out from the main communal room either at the same level or upstairs. Bedrooms are usually basic and bathrooms are shared.
Each Tea House has its own history and are incredible places to stay, to fill our bellies, warm our hands and meet other hikers from all over the world. Put simply, we love Tea Houses.
This is the most complete trek through the Everest region where we get to see Everest from nearly every angle. While it is a tough high altitude trek, you are going to love the isolation of being in the mountains. I love this trek and I can’t wait to share these trails with you.