Everest Three High Passes Trek is an unbeatable high altitude challenge that takes you through the less-traveled and challenging 3 high passes of Everest Region. This Everest Circuit Trek takes you through 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 landscapes 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 Three High Passes 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 up to Gokyo Ri for a 360 degree Himalayan panorama. End this once in a lifetime trip, ultimate Everest Three High Passes 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.
If you are looking for a shorter trek or a different route you can check out our other Everest Treks - Everest Base Camp Trek - 14 Days, Gokyo Lakes Gokyo Ri Renjo La Pass Trek -14 days, Gokyo Ri and Everest Base Camp Trek - 15 days, Everest Base Camp Trek with Gokyo Lakes- 18 days, Everest Base Camp Heli Trek-11 days, Everest Base Camp Short Trek Heli Return-12 days and Everest Base Camp Gokyo Lakes Helicopter Trek - 8 days. Heli Treks lets you visit EBC and return to Lukla via helicopter.
Lukla Flight Alert: As there's too much traffic at the Kathmandu airport during high season (Spring- March, April, Autumn - October, November) flights scheduled to and from Lukla will operate from Ramechhap Airport. The airport lies 132km (4hrs 30mins drive) from Kathmandu. However, most airlines will operate their first and last flights directly from Kathmandu and Lukla (KTM-LUKLA-KTM). If you make an early booking, we can try to secure a place for you on the direct flight to Lukla (KTM-Lukla). It will be easier to fly directly from Kathmandu instead of making that additional journey to Ramechhap. Helicopter Flights to Everest Region will continue to operate from Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu.
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. 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. 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 you will be glad to have our knowledgeable guide with you to accompany on this hazardous section.
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.
You can change this itinerary, services, accommodation, duration of this trip etc.to suit your needs and budget. The choice is yours. Let us help you tailor your perfect holiday.
All ground transportation by comfortable private vehicle as per the itinerary
Farewell Dinner at the end of the trip
Monument entry fees during Sightseeing tour
During your Everest Three High Passes Trek, you spend 2 nights in Kathmandu at a 3-star hotel - Oasis Kathmandu Hotel or Thamel Boutique Hotel. These hotels are centrally located in Thamel, Kathmandu’s tourist hub. The rooms have comfortable beds with en suite bathrooms and air cons. Other amenities include an in-house restaurant, café, bar, and free wi-fi.
While trekking you will be staying at the best available teahouses. These are run by locals and are a source of livelihood for Sherpa families.
At Lukla, Phakding, and Namche you will get rooms with attached bathrooms and can enjoy free hot showers. Beyond Namche, the lodges will have only basic facilities – bed, shared washroom, and a communal sitting and dining area.
The rooms have thin walls and are not insulated. Most rooms have two single beds with a small table in between. The beds come with mattresses, pillows, and blankets. Using your sleeping bag and pillow liner will be more hygienic. Layer your sleeping bag with the blanket for warmth as it can get quite cold during the night.
Carry toilet paper rolls as most teahouses’ toilets don’t have toilet paper rolls. You will have to pay extra for using the wi-fi hotspot and charging your electronic devices. To save on cost, you can bring extra batteries.
Accommodation is arranged on a twin-sharing basis. A single room will be available on request, at an added cost. It’s possible to get a single room in Kathmandu and at lower elevations while trekking. But at higher elevations, there are very few lodges and single rooms are not available during high season.
During your stay in Kathmandu, breakfast will be complimentary. There are many multi-cuisine restaurants and eateries around Thamel which serve good food. From fine dining options to budget eateries, you will be spoilt for choice. On your last night in Kathmandu, we invite you for a complimentary farewell dinner at an authentic Nepali restaurant.
On the trail, enjoy full-board trekking. Meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) and accommodation costs are already included in the package. While breakfast and dinner will be served at the lodge you will be staying at, lunch will be taken at a teahouse en route.
If you are gluten-intolerant, we advise you to bring your own gluten-free snacks and extra food as there will be limited food options for you at the teahouses.
The meals served at the teahouses are freshly prepared. Items on the menu include the traditional Nepali and Tibetan fare like dal-bhat (rice, lentils, curry), momo, Tibetan bread, etc. as Indian and continental dishes (chapattis, apple pie, pancake, pizza, mac & cheese, noodles, etc.).
At breakfast, you can expect bread, eggs, hash brown, cereal, or porridge with tea or coffee. During lunch and dinner, you can choose from the extensive menu. Nepalese traditional meal of ‘Dal-Bhat’ (rice, lentil soup, curry, and pickle) with unlimited refills is the most filling and energy-giving.
We urge you to stick to vegetarian foods as the meat served on the trail could be several days old and not safe for consumption. As slaughtering animals is not allowed in the Khumbu Region due to the Sherpa’s Buddhist belief of not harming a living being, meat is transported from the lowlands by porters. It takes a couple of days for the meat (unrefrigerated) to reach the Sherpa settlements.
If you feel you need your dose of protein, you can bring canned tuna or sardine. These are readily available at departmental stores in Kathmandu.
It is advisable to stay away from alcohol and carbonated drinks while trekking, as these, will adversely affect your body’s acclimatization process.
Choose your own travel dates and book your trip online through our safe and secure online booking portal. Once you have booked and paid, it's 100% confirmed that your trip will run on schedule.
We have more than 23 years of experience in planning adventure holidays in the Himalayas. Our trips are fully-supported and we offer personalized service to our clients. The care and attention that we put in your trip ensures that your holiday is more enriching, satisfying and successful. When you travel at your personal timeframe with your own group it's guaranteed that you will have the trip of a lifetime.
Spring (March to May) and autumn (mid-September to November) are considered as the best seasons for Everest Three High Passes Trek. The weather stays dry and clear during these times which makes it ideal for trekking and enjoying unobstructed views of mountains. The days are warm and the nights chilly. On the downside, however, these are peak seasons and the trails get crowded and busy.
During spring, the hillsides are verdant and covered with wildflowers, including rhododendron blooms. It is also the climbing season and the Everest Base Camp is transformed into a tented city filled with climbers and Sherpa guides.
Autumn is the most popular season for trekking to the Everest Three High Passes. With the end of wet monsoon season which clears the skies of dust and impurities, you can enjoy crystal clear views during this season. Timing your trek around October will allow you to experience the most important festival in the Everest region, Mani Rimdu. This festival is held in the monasteries of Tengboche, Chiwong, and Thame.
As this trek involves crossing 3 of the high mountain passes in the Everest Region, which can be quite hazardous during bad weather, taking this route during monsoon or winter season is not recommended.
The easiest way to reach Lukla (2840m), the trailhead of your Everest Three High Passes Trek is via a flight. One of the highest and most extreme airports in the world, flying to Tenzing-Hillary Airport in Lukla has its own challenges. The chief among them is the weather.
The airport is built on a narrow plateau, over a steep cliff. Navigating the plane along the short and narrow runway is difficult when strong winds whip across the mountains. Surrounded by some of the highest peaks in the world, the weather here is unpredictable and changes frequently. It would be clear and sunny one minute, and the next moment the clouds will appear and everything will turn hazy. Flights operate only when the weather is stable and visibility clear.
The chances of your Lukla flight getting canceled cannot be ruled out. If this happens your trek may get extended by a day or two. So come prepared and keep buffer days so that you may not miss your international flight.
If there is a long delay due to bad weather, we will try to secure a space for you on a helicopter flight. The cost for the heli flight is not included in the trip price and should be borne by you.
Due to congestion at the Kathmandu airport during high season (spring and autumn), flights to and from Lukla now operates from Manthali Airport in Ramechhap. The airport lies 132km (4hrs 30mins drive) from Kathmandu.
However, airline companies operate their first and last flights directly from Kathmandu and Lukla (KTM-LUKLA-KTM). If you book your trip early, we can try to secure a place for you on the direct flight to or from Lukla. It will be easier and more comfortable to fly directly from Kathmandu to Lukla and vice versa, instead of making that additional journey to Ramechhap.
Helicopter Flights to Everest Region will operate from Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu.
The permits needed for the Everest Three High Passes Trek are – 1) Sagarmatha National Park Entry Permit, and 2) Khumbu Rural Municipality Entrance Permit. Unlike other treks in the Nepal Himalaya, you won’t be needing a TIMS (Tourist Information Management System) card.
Sagarmatha National Park Entry Permit can be obtained from the Nepal Tourism Board’s Office in Kathmandu or at the park’s entrance gate in Monjo by paying NRS 3000. For citizens of SAARC countries, the fee is NRS 1500. You need to fill out the permit form and show your passport or a copy of your passport.
To get the Khumbu Pasang Lhamu Rural Municipality Entrance Permit, you need to be in Lukla. You have to pay NRS 2000 for the permit at the rural municipality counter which lies at the edge of the village.
If you are planning to trek from Jiri, you will be required to pay the Gaurishanker Conservation Area Project Entry Permit fee of NRS 2000 too. The permit can be obtained from the Nepal Tourism Board’s office in Kathmandu before the start of your trek.
You won’t have to worry about queuing up to get the permits as the company or our guides will arrange all the permits for you.
Trekking in Everest Region, the highest trekking destination in the world, exposes you to several dangers including altitude sickness. The air begins to thin as you walk higher making breathing becomes difficult. Everest Three High Passes Trek involves a crossing of 3 of the highest mountain passes in the Everest Region. This is a challenging adventure as this itinerary takes you to several points above 5000 meters, where the oxygen level is almost half of that at sea level.
To let your body get used to the thin air, you need to walk slowly, steadily, and keep your body hydrated. If you try to hasten and walk fast to reach your destination in less time, chances are you may suffer from AMS or Acute Mountain Sickness.
AMS symptoms like dizziness, headache, nausea, shortness of breath, fatigue, etc., are seen at elevations above 2000 meters. Usually, these symptoms occur once you reach Namche or beyond Namche.
Taking Diamox and a good night’s rest may work for mild cases. Drinking plenty of fluids (water, tea, soup, etc.) and keeping your body hydrated will also help to keep the sickness at bay. One should take the necessary precautions to ensure that the condition does not worsen. But if the symptoms worsen, one may have to return to a lower elevation and get medical help.
There are clinics at Lukla, Namche, and Pheriche which offer basic care for minor ailments. In the worst-case scenario, an air evacuation will be arranged, where the patient will be flown to Kathmandu to receive medical aid. AMS, if untreated or ignored can take your life.
For a high altitude trek like the Everest Three High Passes Trek, acclimatization is very important. Your body needs time to get used to thin air which can be done by resting at a lower altitude before reaching a higher level of elevation. Our experts have included two days in the itinerary for acclimatization and a contingency day for emergencies. You will be spending extra days at Namche (3440m) and Dingboche (4410m) to acclimatize successfully before trekking further.
The chart given below will give you a rough idea about the level of oxygen in the atmosphere on the trail.
It is important to keep your body hydrated on the trail as dehydration also causes AMS. One should drink at least 3-4 liters of fluids daily.
We dissuade you from buying bottled water as it adds up to the thrashing problem in the mountains. Moreover like everything else, bottled water is also expensive in the mountains.
We highly recommend you to carry a reusable water bottle with you, one that can hold hot water.
You can use one with a steri pen or an inbuilt filtration system like LifeStraw.
You can also use water purification tablets to treat the water. While the water in the mountains tends to be pure and without impurities, it’s better not to take chances and filter or treat the water before drinking.
Using chlorine or iodine tablets to treat the water may alter its taste. You can add flavored electrolyte powder (which are readily available at pharmacies in Kathmandu) to mask the bitter chemical taste. Adding electrolyte to your drinking water may also be beneficial as the minerals (sodium, potassium, magnesium, etc.) you lose while walking gets replenished.
Teahouses offer boiled drinking water at an additional cost. It can cost anywhere between 1 USD to 4 USD. Up to Namche, you may have to pay around 1 USD per liter or pot (every teahouse use a different sized pot). The price increases gradually as you climb higher. You pay the highest for boiled water at Gorak Shep, ie, 4USD.
Despite being the world’s highest trekking trail, internet connection (though erratic and irregular at some places) is available in the Everest Region.
You can connect with your loved ones while trekking, post updates, and upload pictures on social media. Wi-fi is available at all teahouses up to Gorak Shep. While it is free at some cafes in Lukla and Namche, most teahouses will charge you extra for using their Wi-Fi hotspot.
It will be cheaper and easier to get a sim card (preferably Ncell) in Kathmandu and purchase internet data that could last you for your entire trip. Ncell offers 3G connectivity up to Everest Base Camp (5364m).
Everest Link, another local internet provider also offers paid internet access on the trail. You can purchase the username and password at any of the teahouses or shops along the trail.
As opposed to popular belief, you don’t need a lot of complicated gear and equipment for an Everest adventure. Here’s a basic checklist of the most essential items that you should not forget to bring with you during your Everest Three High Passes Trek:
These are only some of the essential items. Find a more detailed list by clicking here.
Most of the trekking equipment are available on hire in Kathmandu. You can keep your baggage light by only packing the most essential items and renting or buying the rest in Kathmandu. Shops in Thamel offer branded as well locally made gear and equipment.
You can leave your spare luggage at your hotel’s storage room. It is completely safe and free. But do make sure to lock your luggage before leaving it at the storage unit.
Everest Three High Passes Trek takes you to the highest trekking trail in the world. Having an experienced local guide accompanying you will enrich your trip in so many ways. Trekking with a person who has in-depth knowledge of the mountain will also keep you safe and secure.
When you book a trek with us, we pair you up with one of our local guides. All our guides have an experience of more than 10 years and have a vast knowledge of the area you are visiting. They have completed the trekking guide course and have the required government license to work as a mountain guide. They can communicate in English and have received training on wilderness first aid and crisis management.
The trek will be led by a chief guide or trek leader. For every 4 trekkers, there will be an assistant guide assisting them personally. One porter will carry the luggage of 2 clients. Make sure that your luggage does not exceed 15 kg, as the porter can only carry a weight of 30 kg.
We believe in the ethical treatment of our staff. All our Guides and Porters are provided with weather-appropriate gear and clothing to battle the harsh weather in the mountains. Before the start of a trek, we ensure that our mountain guides are fully insured. They are given fair wages and treated with respect.
We seriously follow the guidelines set by IPPG (International Porter Protection Group) and offer assistance to porters to develop other skills. A portion from the booking fee goes to fund the education of our field staffs’ kids.
For Everest Three High Passes Trek, you need a good travel insurance policy that offers you coverage for all activities and altitudes included in your itinerary. The highest altitude you reach is 5,550 meters and your travel insurance should offer you suitable coverage up to this elevation.
Though we take your safety as our number one priority, we cannot rule out mishaps and emergencies that may occur at this altitude. There is less oxygen in the environment and trekkers usually suffer from Acute Mountain Sickness, which could prove to be fatal if not treated on time.
Walking on a treacherous mountain environment also exposes you to physical injuries. Therefore make sure that your insurance covers the cost of all injuries and emergencies that you can possibly face during this trekking adventure.
Your insurance policy should especially cover the cost of helicopter evacuation and hospitalization in case of an accident or medical emergency as these happen to be quite expensive. Check for vaccination requirements as some travel insurance policies makes it mandatory to immunize yourself before you leave your country.
Before you decide on a policy, be mindful and don’t forget to read the fine print. It would be advantageous for you also to choose a company that offers insurance cover on both domestic as well as international flight cancellations and lost or stolen baggage.
We ensure the safety of our clients by following all safety protocols during the trip. This itinerary has been designed by travel experts and veteran guides who have trekked on this route innumerable times.
To prevent AMS, the required number of rest days has been added to the itinerary. Our guides always carry a first-aid kit and pulse oximeter (to measure the oxygen level in your blood) with them. The guides assigned to you have more than 10 years’ experience and know what steps to take during an emergency. They are well-trained in wilderness first aid and crisis management.
If a client shows symptoms of AMS and needs to descend to a lower elevation, an assistant guide will escort him/her and will follow the safety protocol. He will closely monitor the client’s condition and will take the required steps needed for the well-being of the client.
If he/she feels alright after a night’s rest, the guide will escort the client back to join the group. But if the condition worsens, the client will be escorted down to Lukla or get airlifted to Kathmandu for expert medical aid.
A typical day on the trail begins with a wakeup call at around 6 AM by your guide. Freshen up and get ready. Pack your belongings and head to the dining area for breakfast by 7 AM. Check your luggage for the final time and fill your water bottle, before you hit the trail by 8 AM along with your guide.
To avoid walking in the heat and to enjoy clear views of the mountains, you make an early start. En route, there will be short breaks to enjoy the views and take photographs. You stop for lunch at a local teahouse around noon or mid-day. After a quick rest of about an hour or 40 minutes, you get back on the trail and continue till you reach your overnight stop.
Upon reaching the stop for the night, you head to your teahouse, check-in, and have some rest. Tea with some light refreshments (cookies or biscuits) will be served at 5 PM. As the rooms are not insulated, you can warm yourself by the heater or stove in the communal area.
Exchange stories or play cards with other trekkers and sherpas till dinner is served (around 7 PM). After dinner, your guide will brief you about the next day’s trek – the route you will take, difficulty, where you will stop for lunch, etc. Afterward, retire for the night and have a well-deserved rest.
On average you may have to walk 6 to 7 hours daily. The most difficult days will be Days 10, 11, 13, and 16 when you cross the 3 high passes (Kongma La, Cho La, and Renjo La) and hike to Everest Base Camp. On Day 12, a hike to Kala Patthar for the sunrise view is scheduled. So you will have to wake up before 4 AM to reach Kala Patthar before sunrise. Your guide will share the details of the hike at the post-dinner briefing on Day 11.
Travel responsibly and try to limit any negative impact on the environment. Limit the use of plastic and be mindful of throwing waste in the mountains. When you trek with us, you will be supporting local communities (from the guides and porters to teahouse owners). We as a company support sustainable tourism and patronize local businesses. We partner with service providers who work towards saving the environment. As an active member of KEEP (Kathmandu Environmental Education Project), we make sure that our trips are environment friendly.
When you are up in the mountains in Nepal, we would suggest you to be ready for anything. Weather forecasts for Lukla are never correct and different sources will give you different information. If it is a really bad day in terms of weather, the airlines will themselves cancel the flight and you might have to wait till the weather clears. Yes, flying in high altitude is never easy, even on a clear sunny day, the plane might face turbulence because of the wind blowing from the mountains. But overall the flight to Lukla is very exciting and it’s an experience that you will never forget
These are the best months to do this trek, as the weather is mild and the temperatures range from 12 to 15 degrees. The skies generally remain clear and the days are pleasant and warm. You can expect an occasional spring shower and hazy weather during spring. The mountain views are stunning in September, as there is more snow on the mountains. Nights can be freezing as the temperature dips after sun down.
If you have booked a package with us you won’t be spending much as accommodation and 3 meals are already included in your trip price. You may have to personally pay for items like beverages and drinks, extra snacks, hot showers, electronic device charging, wifi etc. USD 20 to 30 (NRS 2000-3000) per day will suffice.
If the flight gets cancelled due to bad weather there is no alternative but to stay an extra day. You will have to bear the cost for the accommodation. Sometimes even when the airlines cancel their flights, helicopter companies offer charters. If you would like, you can take a heli flight. This will incur an extra cost and you have to pay for it.
There is mobile network in the Everest Region. If you get a local SIM (Ncell or NTC) you can use your mobile phone to communicate easily. As this is a mountainous area the network may get erratic at times. At most places the network is good enough for internet use and video calls. Our climbing guides also carry a Satellite Phone for emergencies.
Please do note that if you are traveling in a group, a member falling sick won’t disrupt your trip. While the sick person will be taken care of, the rest of the group will be able to continue with the trip.
If someone becomes ill on the trail your trekking guide will take the sick person’s condition on account and decide he or she shall continue with the trek or return to a lower elevation and wait for the rest of the group. If his or her condition is serious then the person will be flown by air ambulance to Kathmandu or Pokhara for expert medical attention. An assistant will take care of the sick person, while the rest of the group shall proceed onwards and complete the trip as per the itinerary.
You can either buy bottled mineral water or fill up a reusable water bottle with boiled or sterilized water. During the trek, the teahouses or lodges serve you bottled and filtered water which is generally safe and have to be paid for. A liter of water would cost anything between 1 to 4 USD. As you go higher the cost of all commodities, including water, increases. But do note there is no dearth or scarcity of drinking water at teahouses. We encourage our guest to use iodine and other purifying agents to treat the water before drinking. You need to drink at least 3-4 litres of water each day to stay hydrated at higher altitudes. Keeping your body hydrated helps you to keep away the symptoms altitude sickness.
No, the company won’t provide drinking water or any extra drinks or beverages other than the ones that are specified in the trip cost.
If you want to add extra activities and sites to your itinerary it can be done. Our Travel Consultant will help you customize your trip. Just let us know which places you want to visit and what you want to do and we will add these in your itinerary.
While tipping is not mandatory it is a nice way of showing your appreciation to the people who have helped you enrich your holiday experience. It all depends on how far you are pleased and satisfied with their services. There is no fixed amount, but many of our clients offer 8-10 percent of the total tour price as tips.
You need to be in good shape and have an ability to walk 6 – 7 hours uphill and downhill per day. This trek is suitable for passionate trekkers. Positive attitude, excellent health, and strong determination are required for successful finish. Past hiking experience would be an asset but no technical skill is required for this trip. Besides, it is advisable to trek with a highly reputed trek operator like us, with experienced guides who can help you with significant mental preparation with a personal touch.
Regarding the difficulty, the only challenging factor is the altitude. Our Everest Base Camp trek itinerary provides ample time for acclimatization. Neither ropes nor ice picks are needed for this trip and no vertical climbs are involved. Novice travelers in a good physical shape, who exercise regularly, has positive attitude and has healthy heart and lungs can easily complete this adventurous trip.
As Everest Base Camp is situated at a high altitude of 5,364 metres, you spend only 1 to 2 hours at the base camp. Since the base camp lies at the foot of the world’s tallest mountain Mount Everest, the hike to EBC is probably the highlight of your trek. Though one cannot view the summit of Mount Everest from the base camp (as the mountain is too huge) you can get close up views of the massive walls of Everest, Khumbutse, Lingtren and Nuptse. The Khumbu Icefall appears spectacular. Though the icefall lies close to the Base Camp, it is not possible explore it as you need proper climbing gear to walk on it. But you get to explore the actual base camp of the Everest expedition groups. During climbing season, it is like a mini city of tents and you get to meet mountaineers (sometimes celebrities too!) from different countries attempting to summit Mount Everest. After taking pictures and soaking in the magnificent views you descend down to Gorak Shep again. Please do note the visibility of mountains depends on the weather. If it’s foggy you may not get good views of the mountains.
No, we do not spend the night at Everest Base Camp as there are no teahouses or lodges there. Moreover it is advisable and more comfortable to spend the night at a lower elevation. After enjoying the views we trek down to Gorak Shep and stay overnight at a local teahouse.
No, the summit of Mount Everest is not visible from Everest Base Camp. Rising above 8000 metres, the mountain is just too gigantic to be viewed in its entirety from its base. The summit of Everest can be viewed from Kala Patthar and from places en route to EBC. If you want to view Mount Everest without having to trek to Everest region, you can do it by driving to Nagarkot, taking an Everest Mountain Flight and an Everest Base Camp Helicopter Tour. The best view you get of Mount Everest is from Kala Patthar.
Each day you can expect 5 to 7 hours of walking, covering around 10 to 14 km. However when you reach 3500m, you will be walking around 5 to 7 hours but the distance covered will be less as you will be walking slowly at higher altitudes. We want you to know that all our itineraries are flexible and can be altered by weather, geographical and physical condition of the individual participants.
In all our Everest Treks the teahouses that we use have western toilets. In luxury lodges and teahouses in the lower elevations the rooms come with attached bathrooms and hot showers. At higher elevations the facilities may be a bit basic and you may have to share the bathroom with other travellers. Please do note that in case of extreme cold, the water in the toilet basin may freeze and you may have to use an Asian (also known as ‘squat’) style of toilet that is located outside. Please do carry toilet paper rolls with you at all times. It is important that you carry enough rolls of toilet paper and hand sanitizer while trekking.
We provide sleeping bag and down jacket but you need to bring your own personal gear. We can recommend some good stores where you can hire or buy new ones.
Teahouse trekking is one of the most popular ways of trekking in Nepal. Teahouse trekking has almost replaced old style camping treks in Nepal along the popular trekking routes of Annapurna and Everest regions. Teahouse Trek involves resting or stopping at teahouses or lodges scattered along the trail for the night. The teahouses are locally owned and they provide accommodation and food. While the standard of teahouses varies, most of these establishments usually offer basic services - small rooms (usually on a twin sharing basis with comfortable beds), shared washroom, a heated communal dining area and a menu with a range of dishes. Some may offer wi-fi and hot shower. As these teahouses are located in remote locations, one should not expect the service of a city hotel while staying in one. But in popular trails like Everest Base Camp trail and Annapurna Base Camp trail one can expect luxury standard accommodations too.
You need to have local currency to purchase items on the trail. While Lukla and Namche in the Everest Region may have lodges that would accept payment with cards, we strongly advise to carry enough local cash with you to buy essential items en route. You can exchange your currency at any of the money exchange centres in Kathmandu or use your credit or debit card at the local ATMs to get local currency.
You can store it at your hotel (most hotels in Kathmandu have storage facilities) or you can leave it at our office.
Yes, single supplement will be available in the cities and at lower elevations while trekking. At higher elevations there are very few teahouses. During peak season when there is high demand for rooms, it will be difficult to book single rooms. However if you are travelling during off season a single room can be arranged at all places.
Yes, wifi hotspots are available on the Everest Base Camp trail. But please do keep in mind, due to the mountainous terrain the network maybe erratic. Often times the signal gets lost or the strength is poor.
We carry a first-aid box with us while trekking. But if you want you can carry along some essential medicines like ibuprofen, codeine, paracetamol, lozenges, anti-diarrhea tablets and diamox for AMS.
Please do note, all our trekking itineraries incorporate adequate number of acclimatization days. You will get an extra day’s rest at a lower elevation to prepare your body for a walk up in the higher reaches.
AMS or Acute Mountain Sickness usually occurs due to the lack of oxygen in the atmosphere in high altitudes. Our body is not used to walking in high altitude and it requires a lot of time to adapt to thin air in the mountains. Technically there is no way of stopping AMS but you can surely prevent it by following the given tips:
We would recommend all our clients to purchase travel insurance before booking any of our treks. Trust us you will have a pleasant holiday knowing that you have a good insurance cover. In the event of any sickness or injury while trekking in the mountains, the cost of emergency treatment and evacuation will be considerable. Therefore, traveling with an insurance cover is strongly recommended for everyone who signs up for any of our trips. But be careful while choosing a policy as some policies make special exceptions for adventure travel.
Do read the fine print. Before buying insurance make sure your insurance company is aware of your travel itinerary and is agreeable to cover all activities being undertaken during the trip. Such as if you are planning to trek or climb (mountaineering expedition) in the Himalayas, your insurance must cover emergency air ambulance/helicopter rescue including medical expenses. For a group tour in an urban area, insurance cover of air ambulance or helicopter rescue is not mandatory. While booking a trip with us you need to send us a copy of your insurance policy (e.g. your insurance certificate) or carry it with you while you come for the trip.
No, you cannot get insurance in Nepal. Please also note that Third Rock Adventures does not arrange or sell insurance.
Most of our tour guides speak English, which is a common communication medium. They are also trained, experienced and know the areas very well.
If you have to leave the expedition due to ill-health or injury, an emergency air rescue will be arranged whereby an air ambulance/helicopter will fly you out of the mountains to Kathmandu for medical attention. Make sure your insurance covers high altitude mountain rescue. If you are able to walk down, one of the assistant guides will guide you down to a lower elevation where you can wait for the rest of the team or fly out to Kathmandu ahead of the group. Whether for health or personal reasons, please do note refunds for the unused days of your trip will not be given. Even if you leave the expedition beforehand, we are committed to pay the porters, and guides for the duration of the trip for which they are hired.