Getting yourself in an absolute dilemma regarding what trek route to choose between in the Khumbu region is not a problem only you suffer with. What would choose between the famous destination ‘Everest Base Camp’ and the alluring gift of Nature: Gokyo lakes? It’s a tough choice, isn’t it? Don’t worry, we’re here to help. Trek to Three Passes route is the solution to your problem.
The Three Passes Trek route allows you to trail along the classical Everest Base Camp trek route and also will take you to Gokyo Ri and hence you won’t miss any of the admired destinations in the Khumbu region. This route will bless your eyes with the astonishing panoramic views of the snow-capped mountains and bless your soul with the warmth of the Sherpa culture and traditions.
As the name suggests, you will be hiking across three major passes in the region. All of them are located above 5,000 metres: Renjo La (5360m/17,585ft), Cho La (5420m/17,782ft) and Kongma La (5535m/18,159ft). The maximum altitude in the trail would be Kala Patthar situated at 5,545m/18,192ft. Kalapatthar will offer you the most startling view of the highest peak in the world, The Everest. And trust me the view you behold will be pretty much unmatched anywhere in the world.
Three Passes Trek is the optimum amount of time to complete this trek. This also includes a few acclimatization days on the way. The beginning itself is very adventurous as you need to fly into the famous Lukla airport. Not many people seem to have a cheerful expression on their faces while their aircraft descends to land in the 527metres short piece of land in the lap of the Himalayas. That’s crazy, isn’t it? However, you can add a few days to your trip if you choose to start your trek from two other points. You can fly to Phaplu airport (few miles south of Lukla) and start trekking from there or you can travel via road up to Jiri and start hiking. This will add 4 days and 7 days of trekking time respectively on your trip. Either we will fly to Lukla or Trek from Phaplu, Wherever you start, you will eventually meet the Three passes circuit at Namche.
At Namche, you would have two options to choose from. The counter-clockwise version of the trek is said to be comparatively less challenging as the clockwise version needs quick ascending through the trials which can cause problems to some hikers. However, the counter-clockwise version being more popular among the visitors will be discussed further below. If you choose you can also go to Everest Base Camp and it will add one more day on your trek but none if you are a quick trekker.
This trek route is a very challenging trail, probably the most challenging trail in the country. It is also more challenging compared to its sibling treks; Everest Base Camp Trek and Gokyo Trek. Therefore, it is very essential to be careful about choosing the seasons too. Spring (March-May) and Autumn (Oct-Nov) seem to be the perfect time to hit this trek. The monsoon that remains (June-early Sept.) tends to have the least predictable weather so it is not quite recommended to trek during this season.
However many tourists find this time better suited to their vacation schedule and trek during this season. But for whatever reasons, it is less promoted to trek this route during winter (Dec-Feb) because it gets very cold and snow may block the passes and makes the trail very slippery as well. Although winter offers you clear skies.
Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu
Day 2: Explore Kathmandu
Day 3: Flight to Lukla (2,886m) and trek to Phakding (26100m), 3 hrs.
Day 4: Trek to Namche (3,440m), 6 hrs.
Day 5: Acclimatization Day
Day 6: Trek to Thame (3,880m), 4hours.
Day 7: Trek to Lungden (4,370m), 4 hours.
Day 8: Acclimatization Day
Day 9: Trek to Gokyo (4,750m) via Renjola Pass (5360m.), 8-9 hours.
Day 10: Visit Gokyo Ri (5,357m.) for 4hours, and Trek to Thanga (4,700m) 2hrs.
Day 11: Trek to Zhongla (4,830m) through Chola pass (5,420m), 7-8 hours.
Day 12: Trek to Lobuche (4,910m), 4hours.
Day13: Trek to Gorak Shep (5,180m) and visit Everest Base Camp (5,365m)
Day 14: Climb Kalapathhar (5,545m) and Trek back to Lobuche, 7 hours.
Day15: Trek to Chukung (4,730m) by crossing the Kongma La (5,535m)
Day 16: Climb Chukung Ri 5550m. –Back to Chhukung Village, 6 hours.
Day 17: Trek down to Pangboche (3,930m), 5 hours.
Day 18: Trek back to Namche (3,340m)
Day 19: Trek back to Lukla (2,886m)
Day 20: Fly back to Kathmandu
Day 21: Trek Completion/Airport Transfers
- Hiking three above 5,000 metres passes
- Once in a lifetime experience flight to Lukla.
- Acquaint with the warming culture and tradition of Sherpas.
- Trek along Nepal-Tibet Border.
- Panoramic view of high snow capped mountain peaks all along the hike.
- Amazing local food and accommodation facilities.
- Includes a climb to Gokyo Ri and Everest Base Camp.
- Views of three of the world’s highest mountain peaks, many more peaks above 5,000 metres.