Complete a challenging circuit in the world’s highest trekking destination
Everest Three High Passes Trek is an unbeatable high altitude challenge that takes you through the less-travelled and challenging 3 high passes of Everest Region. This Everest Circuit Trek takes you across Kongma La Pass, Cho La Pass and Renjo La Pass, the top three mountain passes for daredevil trekkers seeking an adrenaline rush in the Everest Region. Hikes to Gokyo Ri, Everest Base Camp and Kala Patthar further spikes up the intense excitement. Walk through shifting glaciers and lunar landscape filled with boulder fields and frozen scree. Get up close to Mount Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, Cho Oyu and Ama Dablam. The ascents through the Everest High Pass Trek take you to summits higher than the Alps.
Starting from Lukla you walk through traditional Sherpa villages, mesmerizing alpine scenery and swaying metal bridges spanning deep river gorges. Visit Namche, the capital of the Sherpa homeland. Take a hike to Ama Dablam Base Camp and view the most beautiful peak in the world in its totality. Walk through the Khumbu and Ngozumpa glaciers and cross the 3 challenging passes in the Everest Region- Kongma La, Cho La and Renjo La. Enjoy stupendous views of four of the world’s highest peaks – Mount Everest, Cho Oyu, Makalu and Lhotse. Walk beside the magical Gokyo Lake (Gokyo Tsho) and hike upto Gokyo Ri for a 360 degree Himalayan panorama. End this once in a lifetime trip, ultimate Everest Trek with a phenomenal evening photography tour at Kathmandu’s sacred Hindu and Buddhist site – Pashupatinath and Boudhanath. The wonderful spectacle of devotees performing the evening worship ritual with huge oil and butter lamps and dispelling the darkness serves as a fitting finale for your unforgettable Nepal adventure.
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Once you arrive in Kathmandu, you will be greeted by our representative at the airport. Look for a person holding a placard with Third Rock Adventures or your name written on it. You will be driven to your hotel in a private vehicle. Check in, enjoy a welcome drink and get refreshed. Later in the day there will be a trip briefing, where you will be introduced to your guide and other team members. Your guide will talk briefly about the trek, the route you will take and the important things you need to keep in mind while trekking. If you have any queries regarding the trek, you can ask your guide. Evening enjoy welcome dinner and have a taste of authentic Nepalese cuisine accompanied by traditional songs and dances. Overnight in Kathmandu.
Wake up early and head to the airport to catch your flight to Lukla. The flight is one of the highlights of this trip as you get your first view of the mighty Mount Everest and other giants. Once you arrive in Tenzing Hillary Airport in Lukla you meet the other crew members. You sort out your belongings and begin your trek. The first day’s trek is pretty short and it takes you to the picturesque Lukla settlement of Phakding. Leaving Lukla you walk down to the Dudh Koshi river and cross a suspension bridge to arrive at the village. Overnight in Phakding.
Today you get the first taste of real Himalayan trekking. It is a bit strenuous but filled with incredible views. There are steep ascents and several crossings on high suspension bridges over thundering Himalayan rivers that will leave you giddy. At the same time the mesmerizing alpine views will make you pause and feel glad about your decision to trek in this amazing of this world. The pine and rhododendron forests and the snow covered peaks lining the horizon are picture worthy and you stop to take several photos en route. A heart stopping crossing past the swaying Hillary Suspension Bridge brings you to Namche. As you enter the settlement you get your first view of Mount Everest. You make your way to a teahouse and rest your tired muscles. Overnight in Namche.
You spent a day acclimatizing in Namche before you head higher. Carved on the side of a mountain, this beautiful horse-shoe shaped Sherpa settlement is known as the Sherpa capital of Khumbu. It is an important trading point filled with shops, teahouses, high-end mountain lodges, restaurants, bakeries, bank and ATMS. Take a hike up to Shyangboche and Hotel Everest View that lies right above Namche for excellent views of Mount Everest, Ama Dablam, Thamserku, Khumbila etc. While returning, take a detour to Khumjung Village and visit the first school in the Khumbu region established by Sir Edmund Hillary. The village is also famous for its monastery, Khumjung Monastery, where the scalp, believed to be that of a Yeti (the abominable snowman) is kept in a casket. Overnight in Namche.
We take an upward trail and head out of Namche. The trail evens out and you get to walk easily on flat ground as you leave Namche behind. The trail winds around the eastern part of the plateau offering outstanding views of the mountains. Ama Dablam and other Khumbu peaks rise up welcomingly. In a short while you reach Kyangjuma. You proceed onwards to Tengboche, the village with the most important Buddhist Monastery in Khumbu. Visit the monastery and feel the sacred vibe. After praying for a successful trek, head on to Pangboche. Following a steep up and down trail and after the Imja River crossing, you arrive at Pangboche, the highest permanent settlement in the Khumbu region. The village is known for its ancient gompa (Pangboche Monastery), the oldest in Khumbu. The gompa had been established by the patron saint of Khumbu, Lama Sanga Dorje. The monastery has preserved the heart, tongue and eyes of the patron saint. Overnight in Pangboche.
Today you hike to Ama Dablam Base Camp. The trail to Ama Dablam Base Camp begins from Pangboche and this is the last stop at a permanent settlement for Ama Dablam expedition groups. It takes around 2 to 3 hours to reach the base camp. Head down from the village to the Imja River. The scenery filled with yaks grazing on green pastures and lovely view of the river gorges is stunning. Cross the river and climb up.
The Ama Dablam Base Camp lies on a scenic grassy pasture surrounded by mountains, with a small stream running through it. If it’s climbing season there will be colourful tents propped up at the base camp. The whole Ama Dablam peak, from its base to its summit, can be viewed from the base camp. One of the most beautiful peaks in the world, Ama Dablam in Sherpa language means ‘Mother’s Necklace’. It is so named because the ridges of the mountain resemble a woman with outstretched arms and the glaciers, a necklace worn by Sherpa ladies. Take pictures and later head back to Pangboche. Overnight in Pangboche.
Leave Pangboche and walk to Dingboche. It is a short but not less demanding trek as you are gaining altitude. You cross the confluence of the Imja and Khumbu glacier and head up. As you climb higher, the vegetation getting sparser and the landscape barren. The tree line vanishes. The frozen summit of Lhotse, the fourth highest mountain in the world, dominates the background. The mountains appear closer as you near Dingboche. The village of Dingboche lies in a deep valley surrounded by mountains. Walk to a teahouse and take a well-deserved rest. Overnight in Dingboche.
Prepare your body for your challenging 5000m ascents by spending a day at Dingboche. Take a hike to Nagarjun Hill that lies next to the village. The climb to this hill does not involve any technical maneuvers. It is a straightforward hike with excellent views of Himalayan peaks and glaciers. You get close up views of Island peak, Imja Glacier, Cholatse and Kantega plus panoramic views of the three highest mountains in the world - Makalu(5th highest) and Lhotse(4th highest). After taking in the views and clicking pictures head down back to the village. Overnight in Dingboche.
Take a gentle ascent north-east of Dingboche and hit the trail to Chukkung. After leaving Dingboche you feel the altitude gain as Chukkung lies at a higher elevation. From the trail you get marvelous views of Island peak and Lhotse. You lie surrounded by huge mountains, rolling glaciers and glacier moraines. A handful of lodges lie scattered on a desolate but beautiful landscape. Chukkung lies below the Island Peak Base Camp and during climbing season it’s usually filled with climbers attempting to summit Island Peak. Head to a teahouse and take rest. Tomorrow is a big day as you will be crossing Kongma La, the first and the highest of the 3 passes. Overnight in Chukkung.
Wake up early and take the westward trail out of Chukkung. Cross a stream and follow the Kongma La route. Lying beyond the busier EBC route, the trail is isolated and you can find yourself connecting with nature. Walk along the Imja Valley and cross the Imja Khola(river). Take a steep ascent and walk along grassy yak pastures. You come across a frozen lake and some waterfalls. Follow the well-defined path up the mountainside for the first view of Kongma La. You hike across rock and scree to reach the top of the Kongma La Pass. From the top you can enjoy panoramic views of Mount Everest, Gauri Shanker, Pumori, Makalu and the frozen 8 mile long wall of Nuptse and Lhotse. After taking in the views head down. It is a steep descent over boulders and loose rocks. Mind your step and walk carefully. You are walking on the Khumbu glacier and there are crevasses you should be careful of. You can actually hear the glacier moving, the ice shifting below. The stark and bare landscape has a beauty of its own, and you can’t help taking pictures, however tired you may feel. After a long hard day of your first mountain pass traverse you finally reach Lobuche. Have your dinner and take a much needed rest at the teahouse. Overnight in Lobuche.
Today you hike to Everest Base Camp, one of the milestones of your trek. Though the trail is not that difficult, the walk is not easy. High altitude makes it difficult to take each step. Take deep breaths and keep your breathing and pace steady. Don’t walk too fast. It’s better to maintain a slow rhythm. Drink lots of water and keep yourself hydrated. You stop at Gorak Shep, have refreshments and some rest. You leave your stuff at the teahouse and continue your hike to EBC. Walk along the amazing Khumbu Glacier. The landscape devoid of greenery and filled with frozen icicles, snow, dirt and pebbles and rocks feel out of this world. It feels as though you are in the midst of a sci-fi movie.
Your arrival at Everest base Camp fills you with exhilaration. You have reached one of the highest hiking destinations of Earth. Celebrate with your team mates and take pictures. You can see the massive wall of the Lhotse, Western Cwm, Nuptse and the Khumbu Icefall. The summit of Mount Everest is too high to be seen from the base camp. On the far side there’s a rocky valley where camps of Everest summiteers are set up (if it’s climbing season). Soak in the sights and take more pictures before heading down to Gorak Shep. The day had been tiring and it’s great to snuggle in the warm comfort of your bed. Have an early night because you have another eventful day tomorrow. Overnight in Gorak Shep.
Your day begins early with a hike to Kala Patthar just before sunrise. The black hill that lies behind Gorak Shep is named Kala Patthar (meaning black dirt) for its dark appearance. The hill is one of the best vantage point in the Khumbu region. Enjoy panoramic views of Mount Everest. Pumori, Nuptse, Lhotse, etc. While the summit of Everest is not visible from Everest Base Camp, from Kala Patthar you can enjoy close up view of the summit of the world’s tallest mountain. The early morning sun lighting up the snow covered peaks in a golden light is a sight you will cherish forever. Take pictures and head down to Gorak Shep. Have breakfast and later head down to Dzongla. It is mostly downhill and in a short while you arrive at the village. Overnight in Dzongla.
Make an early start and walk out of the village. Enjoy close up views of Cholatse as you make your way to a stream, cross it and climb a steep hill. It is a tough climb through boulders and rocks. Walk across the Cho La glacier, which looks magnificent. You may have to wear crampons or spikes at some icy sections. Walk on a flat terrain for some time and later take the final ascent up to the top of the Cho La Pass. Enjoy fascinating Himalayan views of glaciers and mountains and later take a steep descent. The descent is equally tough through more rocky and boulder strewn portions. Use your trekking poles to steady your legs at steep sections. Walk down on a grassy slope just before you reach the settlement of Thaknak, your overnight stop for today. Overnight at Thaknak.
Today’s hike to Gokyo involves crossing Nepal’s longest glacier Ngozumpa Glacier. Walk up and down through a rocky field. From a lateral moraine take a steep descent to the glacier. Enjoy close up view of Cho Oyu, the 6th highest mountain in the world from the trail. Walk on the glacier. Ngozumpa Glacier originates from Cho Oyu in Tibet and rolls down to the Nepal side. The glacier feeds the Dudh Koshi River and the Gokyo Lakes. Be careful where you step because there are crevasses at places. Crossing glaciers and mountain passes alone is risky and we urge you to always to have someone knowledgeable, practically a guide, with you to accompany on such hazardous trips. Your first sight of Gokyo lying on the bank of the heavenly third lake, Gokyo Tsho, also known as Dudh Pokhari, will leave you spellbound. It is a beautiful sight to behold and you feel invigorated after the long trek to gaze at such a beautiful sight. Head to a teahouse and take a well-deserved rest. Overnight in Gokyo.
Today you hike to Gokyo Ri, a small hill and a popular viewpoint overlooking the village. No technical climbing is involved. The path up the hill is steep with excellent views of the Gokyo Valley, Ngozumpa Glacier and 8000 metre peaks including Cho Oyu and Mount Everest. Depending on your pace it will take 2 to 3 hours to reach the top and about an hour to descend. Enjoy the magical view of the emerald Gokyo Lakes and 360 degree Himalayan panorama – Cho Oyu, Mount Everest, Makalu and the Tibetan peaks. Take pictures and head down. If you still have some energy left you can stroll around the lake area. Overnight in Gokyo.
Today you cross the last of the 3 passes. After breakfast walk out of the lodge and head towards the lake’s northern shore. The trail goes up and levels out. With barren rocks, no sign of vegetation and craters, you feel as though you are taking a moon walk. Colourful prayer flags marking the path add colour to the landscape. Trek to the top of Renjo La pass. Compared to Kongma La and Cho La, Renjo La’s traverse is by far the easiest of the 3 passes. From the top of the pass you can enjoy heart stopping views of Makalu, mount Everest, Rolwaling Range, Gyachung Kang and other peaks. It is an easy descent down the pass to the trail that leads to Lumde, your overnight stop. Take a zigzag route past grassy trail to the village of Lumde. Overnight in Lumde.
Leave Lumde and head towards Namche. Walk past yak pastures and cross traditional Sherpa village. After 3 hours of walk through small villages en route, you will reach Thame. Continue and the trail mostly downhill until you reach the central hub of Khumbu region, Namche Bazaar. Overnight in Namche.
Retrace your steps to Lukla. The final leg of your trek takes you past the same beautiful alpine scenery that mesmerized you at the start of your trek. You can’t help feeling that the challenges you have faced and overcome in the past days have left you a changed person, a better person who can take any challenges in life. This is one of the best perks of an Everest treks, it affirms your belief in you. After arriving in Lukla, head to a teahouse and take rest. Later in the evening get together with your crew members and celebrate the completion of one of your best and challenging journeys. There will be Sherpa brew and lots of singing and dancing. Thank your crew by tipping them. They have helped you carry your load and guided you through the inhospitable terrain. A small monetary gift is nothing to what they have helped you achieve. Overnight in Lukla.
Take a final look of the beloved mountains from your flight as you fly to Kathmandu. The takeoff through the narrow runway and off the cliff is a hair rising one. Once you arrive in Kathmandu, you will be driven back to your hotel. Take rest and shop for souvenirs. Later in the evening you will be driven to Boudhanath and Pashupatinath Temple for a photography tour.
First drive to holy site Boudhanth, a holy Buddhist site. This ancient stupa is Nepal’s biggest Buddhist stupa. It is believed that the remains of the Kasyapa Buddha is buried beneath the stupa. The white domed stupa comes alive very evening when it is lighted up with electric lights and butter lamps offered by devotees. An important centre of Tibetan Buddhism, Boudhanath is surrounded by monasteries, souvenir shops, restaurants and art galleries. Soak in the sacred ambience and take pictures.
Later drive to another Pashupatinath Temple Ghat (bank of the Bagmati River). Fire worship (aarati) is offered to the temple deity (Lord Shiva) as well as the sacred river by priests standing on the banks of the river. Huge oil lamps are lighted up and the priests perform the aarati (fire worship ritual) holding these lamps while devotees sing devotional songs and dance. The lighted pagoda temple in the background, the dancing flames of the huge oil lamps and the harmonious voices of the devotees and priests chanting songs all goes on to build up a wonderful ambience. It is electric and you feel the sacred vibe and energy.
Please note we provide a knowledgeable local guide for this tour. Our guide is not a professional photographer but he/she knows the ideal spots to capture the best shot.
Later, head to a nearby restaurant for farewell dinner. Overnight in Kathmandu.
Our representative will drop you at the airport three hours prior to your scheduled departure. Please do let us know if you want to explore more of Nepal or take a trip to Bhutan or Tibet.
he best seasons for Everest Circuit 3 High Passes Trek are Spring (March to May) and Autumn (September to November). An Autumn trek will offer you clear skies and unhindered mountain views. In Spring the trail will be covered with wildflowers and pretty rhododendron blooms. At 4000 meters and above you can expect freezing cold and temperatures to drop below 0 degree. Read more about the Best Time to Visit Nepal.
Monument entry fees during Sightseeing tour
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Hotel and teahouse accommodations are included in your trip cost. Spend 2 nights in Kathmandu at the 4-star Hotel Shanker. This luxurious hotel lies close to Thamel, foreign embassies and popular restaurants. The hotel features well-appointed rooms, spa, wellness centre, swimming pool, restaurants, bar etc.
While trekking you will be staying at the best available teahouses. Run by local Sherpa families these are a source of livelihood for these hardworking families. At Lukla, Phakding and Namche you will get rooms with attached bathrooms and can enjoy free hot showers. At higher elevations, the lodges will have only basic facilities – bed, shared washroom and a communal sitting and dining area. You will have to pay extra for using the wi-fi hotspot and for charging your electronic devices.
Accommodation is arranged on a twin-sharing basis. If you are travelling solo, you get to share the room with a fellow traveler of the same gender. Single room will be available on request, at added cost. Single rooms will be available at Kathmandu and at lower elevations while trekking. But at higher elevations where there are only a handful of lodges at each stop, single rooms will be hard to book, especially during high season.
Enjoy breakfast, welcome and farewell dinners in Kathmandu. On the trail all meals (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner) will be provided. You can choose from a selection of meals offered on the menu. Traditional Nepali and Tibetan items include local Dal-Bhat (rice, lentil soup, curry), momo(meat or vegetable dumplings), thukpa (noodle soup), thenthuk(a vegetable or meat stew), Tibetan bread etc. Indian and continental items include chappati, curries, pancake, sandwich, hash brown potatoes, macaroni, spaghetti etc.
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