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Everest High passes

  • Overview
  • Itinerary in Short
  • Itinerary in Detail

Trip Fact

Duration: 21 days
Grade: Hard
Trip activity: Trekking
Max. Altitude: 5543m
Best time to Travel : April, May, Oct, Nov


  • Unique panorama of 4800m
  • Buddhist-kora-like original trek
  • Way up through the Gokyo Valley and its turquoise lakes via the Nangpa La Valley
  • Everest base camp visit
  • 3 high passes above 5000m

  • Level : 17/20 17 days trekking with 9 days above 4000 m and three high passes above 5000 m.

    A challenging, 'best of the Everest region' journey through some of the most spectacular landscapes in the Himalaya. This is an outstanding trekking like a Buddhist kora in the heart of Sherpa Khumbu with three high passes above 5000 m and Gokyo Ri, Kala Patthar and Chukung Ri ascent, view point of Everest, Lhotse, Makalu and Cho Oyu, all summits above 8000 m. Several other mountains are also present and tower the landscape such as Thamserku, Kangtega, Kwangde, Ama Dablam, Cholatse, Tawoche, Island Peak…all prestigious names that you will be able to put on surrounding peaks.
    This exceptional program is very hard in a very cold environment with nine days staying above 4000 m. In 15 days, the kora goes up the valley heading to the Nangpa La, a mythic high pass on the Tibetan border and used by many Tibetans. You will turn to the east before and cross the Renjo La, a pass overlooking the turquoise Gokyo lakes. The ascent of Gokyo Ri offers superb views of close-by Cho Oyu, as well as several other peaks. From Gokyo the route crosses the Cho La at 5420m, a pass linking the Gokyo valley with the Khumbu one. You ascent the Kala Patthar to get some awesome views of the Himalayan giants which literally numb your senses with breathless admiration that beholds the eye; and makes up for the lung-bursting climb that took you up there. You soon realize it was absolutely worth it. This also includes fantastic views of the south west face of the colossal Mt. Everest. The extreme northern point will be the Everest base camp, with many expeditions spending two months there. It will give you a chance to have a closer look at the spectacular Khumbu Icefall.
    Back from base camp you cross Kongma La that links with the Imja Khola Valley and you make your last ascent of Chukung Ri offering dramatic views of Lhotse, Ama Dablam, Makalu and Island Peak. From Chukung you will trek down the valley crossing Sherpa villages of Pangboche and Thengboche, with its monastery draped with a panoramic view of Tawache, Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse, Ama Dablam and Thamserku. From Thengboche you descend to Namche and further on to Lukla.

    Day1 Arrival Kathmandu Transfer hotel
    Day2 Flight: Kat – Lukla, trek 1 – Phakding, 3h 2600m logde
    Day3 Trek 2 – Namche Bazar, 5h 3440m lodge
    Day4 Trek 3 – Acclimatization around Namche 3440m lodge
    Day5 Trek 4 – Thame, 4h 3800m lodge
    Day6 Trek 5 – Acclimatization around Thame 3800m lodge
    Day7 Trek 6 – Lengdeng, 5/6h 4380m lodge
    Day8 Trek 7 – Renjo la 5340m –Gokyo, 7/8h 4750m lodge
    Day9 Trek 8 –Gokyo Peak ascent 5280m, 4h30 4750m lodge
    Day10 Trek 9 – Dragnak, 3h 4690m lodge
    Day11 Trek 10 – Cho La 5420m - Dzongla, 7/8h 4830m lodge
    Day12 Trek 11 – Kala Patthar 5543m, Gorakshep, 6/7h 5160m lodge
    Day13 Trek 12 –Everest BC -Lobuche, 6/7h 4910m lodge
    Day14 Trek 13 – Kongma La 5535m - Chukung, 7/8h 4730m lodge
    Day15 Trek 14 –Chukung Ri 5550m, Dingboche 2/7h 4410m lodge
    Day16 Trek 15 – Thengboche, 4h 3860m lodge
    Day17 Trek 16 – Namche bazaar, 4h30 3440m lodge
    Day18 Trek 17 – Lukla, 6h 2850m lodge
    Day19 Flight : Lukla – Kathmandu Transfer hotel
    Day20 Kathmandu Valley sightseeing Hotel
    Day21 Final departure Transfer Airport

    Day 01 Arrival at Kathmandu airport and transfer to your hotel by private vehicle

    Day 02 Flight Kathmandu – Lukla (2800m)

    Trek to Phakding (2600m). 3h

    After a 40mn morning Twin Otter flight from Kathmandu to Lukla, the gate of Khumbu. We meet our local staff at the airport and walk till the end of the village. The trail goes down steeply to cross a river with Kusum Kangaru at the back. The path climbs a bit, then contours around a ridge to Ghat on the bank of the Dudh Kosi. Then it makes some ups and downs before reaching Phakding. Overnight in lodge.

    Day 03 Phakding – Namche Bazar (3440m), 6h
    The trail continues north of the Dudh Kosi valley, climbing through fields to Benkar with its huge mani stone in the centre of the trail. Then the trail climbs up through magnificent forests of rhododendron, magnolia and giant firs. Soon, Thamserku peak is on sight and the trail enters the Sagarmatha National Park at Jorsale. After crossing on a suspension bridge high over the Dudh kosi and Bhote Kosi confluence the trail makes a long climb till a ridge where there are first views of Everest, Nuptse and Lhotse. The trail climbs steadily through forest to Namche, a town lying in a natural amphitheater protected from the weather and blessed with a major natural spring.
    Overnight in lodge.

    Day 04 Around Namche for acclimatization, 5 to 6h
    Today we need acclimatizing to the new altitude and the program is optional. Namche has an abundance of lodges, tea shops and souvenir shops as well as a magnificent outlook that seems to meet western standards, even at this remote mountain outpost. The amazing Sherpa folks down here have learnt a lot from the big expeditions that have passed this way. It is an ideal place to spend a rest day. Options for acclimatization walks include a visit to Khunde hospital which was set-up by Sir Edmund Hillary, or a one hour walk up to the Everest view hotel above Namche for the sunset view of Ama Dablam, Nuptse, Lhotse and Everest. There are also good views from the national park centre and museum just above the town.
    Overnight in lodge.

    Day 5 Trek Namche Bazar – Thame (3800m), 4h
    Leaving Namche, the trail goes through pine and rhododendron forests and crosses small villages such as Gangla, Phurte and Samshing, quite over the Bhote Kosi valley and offers nice views of Kongde Ri. Reaching Thamo, there is a police check post and after the trail climbs steeply for a short while before becoming more gradual till Samde. The path is much less frequented now and we descend to a bridge before our last ascent to reach Thame, a typical Sherpa village, known for its famous climbers such as Ang Rita and Appa Sherpa. Thame Gompa is situated above the village overlooking the valley and is the site for the spring celebrations of the Mani Rimdu festival.

    Day 6 Acclimatization around Thame (3800m), 4h
    Next days will take you above 5000m and you need to well acclimatize. You may wish to go towards the Trashi Labtsha pass linking the Rolwaling Valley with Khumbu or you may wish to ascent short Sundar Peak around.

    Day 7 Trek Thame – Lengden (4380m), 5/6h
    The route goes upstream the Bhote Kosi Valley leading to Nangapa La on the Tibetan border, a pass used by local traders with their caravans of yaks and by Tibetan people too. The trail goes up through alpine meadows and crosses the Langmuche Khola on a bridge before Taranga. You cross another stream and go on the other bank of the Bhote Kosi before Marulung at 4210m. It continues ascending to Lengden, the last village before the Renjo La.

    Day 8 Trek Lengden – Renjo La (5340m) Gokyo (4750m), 7/8h
    Today you cross the first of the three passes and the route makes a series of steep climbs and short plateau through alpine meadows and passing by Renjo and Relama lakes. The last section of the pass crossing a rocky part requires precaution. From the top of the pass you can see from west to east: Tengi Ragi Tau, Rolwaling Himal, Rermo lake, Gyachung Kang, Everest, Lhotse, Makalu and Gokyo lakes! The beginning of the way down is steep then it is easier above the lake in the last section.

    Day 9 Gokyo Ri ascent (5280m) – Gokyo (4750m), 4/5h
    Gokyo Ri looms above the village on the northern edge of the lake and we leave camp just after first light, following a steep path up the hillside. As we climb, the summits of Everest, Lhotse and Makalu slowly come into sight and the view from the summit of Gokyo Ri itself, is one of the finest to be had in the Everest region - some say it is even better than that from Kala Pattar. For those who still have some energy, there are more good views to be had by dropping back down to the main path and following it north to the fourth and fifth of the Gokyo lakes, the latter being about three hours from Gokyo.

    Day 10 Trek Gokyo – Dragnak (4700m), 3h30
    The trail leaves Gokyo to cross the Ngozumpa Glacier and descends to the second lake and drops down onto the glacier. The route across the glacier is marked by cairns and is generally quite well defined. We climb off the glacier by a small dwelling known as Tragnag. Lodges are basic in this remote place.

    Day 11 Trek Dragnak – Cho La (5420m) – Dzongla (4830m), 7/8h
    Today you cross your second high pass linking to the Khumbu valley. Continuing up the valley, we cross a ridge and an old lateral moraine, before beginning the rocky scramble to the pass. From the pass there are excellent views, across to the Rolwaling Valley in the west and Ama Dablam to the south east. The descent from the pass involves the crossing of a small glacier [often snow covered] which is fairly straightforward. There are more excellent views of Ama Dablam and the forbidding north face of Cholatse as we descend to the pastures below.

    Day 12 Trek Dzongla –Kala Pattar (5543m) Gorakshep (5160m), 6/7h
    The way to Lobuche contours the grassy slopes above a lake, the Tshola Tsho, and heads north through meadows at the bottom of Awa peak. It joins up with the main Everest trail from Pheriche and Thyangboche. The trail flattens out and follows the valley on the west side of the Khumbu Glacier to Lobuche. The summit of Nuptse is impressive from here with its staggering wall.

    The trail follows the western side of the broad Khumbu Valley and ascends gently through meadows beside the glacial moraine. The ascent becomes steeper and rougher as it crosses several side moraines. After rounding a bend in the trail, the conical peak of Pumori (7161m) comes into view. On the lower slopes of this mountain a ridge extending to the south terminates in a small peak. This peak, Kala Patthar meaning “black rock”, is 5543 metres high. It takes two hours from Lobuche to Gorakshep. The ascent of Kala Patthar begins at Gorakshep (5,160 m), the original base camp for Mt. Everest. After a brief dip to an ancient lake bed (which now contains a small lake and a helipad), the ascent makes its way up a series of steep switchbacks before leveling off somewhat as it traverses to the eastern side of the mountain. The trail then becomes steep once again until it reaches the wind-swept summit ridge. From there, a five to ten minute scramble over boulders takes one to the top, which is marked with prayer flags. The full ascent usually takes between 1.5 and 2 hours.

    Day 13 Trek Gorakshep – Everest BC (5360m) – Lobuche (4910m), 6/7h
    A very early start is required to reach the Everest Base Camp. It takes several hours as the trail weaves its way through ice pinnacles and past the crevasses of the Khumbu Glacier. You will reach the base camp where all the expeditions are spending two months during their ascent. Ice Fall is terrific. Way back to Gorakshep and Lobuche on the same trail.

    Day 14 Trek Lobuche – Kongma La (5535m) – Chukung (4730m), 7/8h
    Today you will cross the last of the three high passes and you have to start early going along the Khumbu Glacier that you cross on its lower part. On the left bank the trail ascends on a rocky path. The top of the pass is nestling on a sharp ridge. The panorama is breathtaking with Ama Dablam, Pokalde, Makalu and the huge and impressive barrier made of Lhotse and Nuptse. The way down goes on a steep rocky path in the beginning and bypasses a small lake before crossing through the meadows of Chukung in front of the Ama Dablam.

    Day 15 Trek Chukung – Chukung Ri (5550m – Dingboche (4100m), 2/7h
    Chukung ri ascent is optional: it’s an easy climb and the view from Chukung Ri is beyond that of Everest from Kala Patar. The Nuptse-Lhotse wall, the pink granite monolith of Makalu, and the southern wall fluted with ice gulleys from 7000m Baruntse to 7000m Ama Dablam, the peak that many feel is the most beautiful in the world.
    After the ascent and back to lodge you have your lunch and go down to Dingboche along the Imja khola through meadows.

    Day 16 Trek Dingboche – Thengboche (3860m), 4/5h
    The route from Dingboche descends the Imja Khola Valley, then crosses the khumbu Khola on a wooden bridge and climbs to rejoin the upward trail crossing Orsho, Shomare on the trail taken while ascending. After Pangboche you continue to follow the river and, after crossing it, climb back up through birch and rhododendron forest to Tengboche. Kwangde, Tawache, Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse, Ama Dablam, Kantega and Thamserku are just a few of the Himalayan giants to be seen.

    Day 17 Trek Thengboche – Namche (3440m), 5h
    From Tengboche you descend to the bridge over the Dudh Kosi. At Phunki Tenga, you get to see the water driven prayer wheels, before making your way back to Namche through Teshinga and Sanasa.

    Day 18 Trek Namche – Lukla (2850m), 6h
    From Namche, the trail makes a steep descent back to the Dudh Kosi river to Jorsale then follows the upward route as far as Chablung, then turns off above the village of Chaurikharka towards Lukla.

    Day 19 Flight Lukla – Kathmandu
    Early flight back to Kathmandu by Twin Otter and transfer to our hotel.

    Day 20 Katmandou valley sightseeing
    We will discover the multi riches of the Kathmandu Valley with the medieval city of Bhaktapur, then after lunch the holiest Hindu temple of Pashupatinath before ending our day visit by the huge white Buddhist stupa of Boudhanath.

    Day 21 Transfer to airport for return flight.