Highly popular for tallest mountains, breath taking landscapes, unique highland culture, beautiful forests and endangered species, Everest region is home to many incredible trekking routes from soft trekking in lower altitudes to longer treks along the high mountain passes. For travelers seeking more challenges, less crowd and journey of a lifetime with unparalleled views and fascinating culture, Everest Three Passes Trek is an ideal adventure that takes you to the off beaten path with some of the most astonishing sights Nepal has to offer. Even the experienced hikers find this trail a true challenge. So, if you are up to take the challenge, this trek has the best of Khumbu in reserve.
Three Passes Trek offers an amazing scenic trails and adventurous crossing of Renjo La (5340 m), Cho La (5420 m) and Kongma La (5535 m) passes that join the four valleys of Imja, Khumbu, Gokyo and Bhote Koshi. Besides the panoramic views of some of the world’s highest mountains such as Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, Cho Oyu, Makalu, Ama Dablam and captivating valleys, you can also experience the rich cultural heritage of Sherpa people of the region during the trek.
Considered as a longer trek, Three Passes Trek takes about 18 days to complete. This adventurous trek commences from Lukla towards the Dudh Koshi valley on a well-marked trail and crosses the green dense forest, scattered rhododendron bushes, beautiful flora and fauna, ever flowing mountain gorges and culturally rich villages like Phakding, Namche Bazaar to reach Tengboche, a hilltop settlement with its iconic monastery standing sentinel overlooking the valley. From Tengboche, the trail contours on the side of the valley which offers the stunning views of beautiful mountains of Khumbu including Mt. Everest (8848 m), Lhotse (8516 m), Nuptse (7861 m), and Ama Dablam (6812 m). The path descends downhill and crosses Imja Khola to reach the beautiful village of Dingboche and gradually hikes to the last village of Imja valley; Chhukung, which is famous for a marvelous view of Lhotse’s massive south wall.
Continuing from Chhukung, the trail passes through one of the three Everest High Passes, Kongma la (5535 m) and descends to the section of scree and boulder fields towards Lobuche. The trail then proceeds towards Cho La (5420 m) along the ridge curving towards west with amazing views of Arakam Tse (6423m), Cholatse (6335m), Taboche (6367m) and reaches Dzongla. Out of Dzongla, the trail heads northwest and descends to Dragnag and continues through the treacherous glacial walk across Ngozumpa glacier to a beautiful village of Gokyo, by the side of an enormous turquoise Gokyo Lake. Furthermore, path leads to Gokyo Ri, a perfect viewpoint of remarkable views of Gokyo Lake, Everest, Cho Oyu, Makalu and Cho-Oyu Base Camp.
After the rewarding climb, the trail traverses through the northern shore and slowly ascends towards Renjo La (5340 m) which offers the astonishing views of Makalu and Rolwaling range. The last section of the trail, then, gradually descends on a flat trail marked with cairns and stony steps to the quiet village, Thame and passes through a steady trail strewn with prayer flags and mani stones to Namche Baazar, which then retraces back to Lukla completing the exciting Everest Three Passes Trek.
Are you fond of beautiful landscapes of stunning highest mountains of the world? Do you like to experience highland culture of Sherpas, the brave mountaineers? If yes, trekking in the land of Everest is just for you. The region offers you one of the most life changing experiences and once in a lifetime memory you will never forget. Everest region has world’s famous trekking routes where you will get to witness the world’s highest peak, Everest (8,848m) which is locally known as ‘Sagarmatha’ and several other mountains over 8000m, like- Lhotse, Cho Oyu and Makalu. Apart from the gigantic snow-white mountains, you can experience the culture of local Sherpa community, mountain ecosystem, highest glaciers, and observe wide varieties of plants and animal life in the region. Some of the major attractions of Everest Treks are Namche Bazar and its Sherpa Museum, monasteries at Tengboche, Khumjung and Pangboche, Everest Base Camp, Kalapatthar, Gokyo Lake, three passes that include Cho-La (5300m), Kongma-La (5500m), and Renjo-La (5400m) and many more.
Not just the natural and cultural wonders, the region also has well-developed trails, comfortable teahouses and lodges, and other necessary amenities. So, anyone visiting the region should not have to worry about comfort despite its remoteness. If you ever wish to visit this amazing place, here is a list of some of the popular Everest treks you can pick from.
Everest Base Camp Trek:
Everest is more than a mountain and the journey to its base camp is more than just a trek. Considered as “The Steps To Heaven”, Everest Base Camp Trek, is a spectacular high altitude trek in the mountains of Nepal. One of the most popular Everest Treks in the world where one can experience the jaw-dropping scenery and unique cultural experience, the trek takes us through challenging routes towards the base of the highest mountain. The picturesque views of the world’s highest mountain such as Mt. Everest (8848 m), Mt. Lhotse (8516 m), Mt Makalu (8485 m), Mt. Amadablam (6812 m), Mt Cho Oyu (8201 m) etc. can be experienced during this trek.
You can begin the trek from Lukla at an elevation of 2840 m. Over the course of the first 8 days, you will slowly make your way further into Sagarmatha National Park as you hike during the day and sleep in local teahouses at night. During the trek, teahouses provide modest selection of foods from typical Nepali dal-bhat, soups, snacks, momos, fried rice to Chinese and continental dishes like noodles, spaghetti, and spring rolls etc.
EBC Trek Overview:
Difficulty: Moderate to hard
Trek duration: 12 days+
Max. elevation: 5,545m
Accommodation: Trekking lodges or tea houses
Starting point: Lukla
EBC Trek Itinerary Overview :
Day 1: Kathmandu – Lukla – Phakding
Day 2: Phakding – Namche bazaar
Day 3: Namche (acclimatization)
Day 4: Namche – Tengboche
Day 5: Tengboche – Dingboche
Day 6: Dingboche (acclimatization)
Day 7: Dingboche – Lobuche
Day 8: Lobuche – Gorak Shep – Everest Base Camp – Gorak Shep
Day 9: Gorakshep – Kalapatthar – Pheriche
Day 10: Pheriche – Namche
Day 11: Namche – Lukla
Day 13: Lukla – Kathmandu
Gokyo Trek, one of the adventurous trek in Nepal is trip in which one traverses through delightful valleys, crystal clear turquoise lakes and world’s biggest ice glacier called Ngozumpa glacier dominated by the nearest mountain of Everest Himalayan range. The main attraction of this trek is Gokyo lake. The glacial Gokyo Lake is a holy pilgrimage place for both Hindu and Buddhist. Gokyo Ri is nearby Gokyo Lake. From the top, you can have one of the most stunning views of Everest, Lhotse, Amadablam and Cho Oyu. The majestic Gokyo region is inhabited by Sherpa people following Tibetan- Buddhism. They still practice ancient way of life dating back to centuries old time. This trek is less travelled and has peaceful route.
Gokyo Trek Overview:
Difficulty: Moderate to hard
Trek duration: 12-14 days
Max. elevation: 5360m
Accommodation: Trekking lodges or tea houses
Starting point: Lukla
Gokyo Itinerary Overview:
Day 1: Kathmandu – Lukla – Phakding
Day 2 : Phakding – Namche
Day 3 : Namche (acclimatization)
Day 4 : Namche – Khumjung via Syangboche
Day 6 : Khumjung – Dole
Day 7 : Dole – Machermo
Day 8 : Machermo – Gokyo Lake
Day 9 : Gokyo Lake and Glacier Excursion
Day 10 : Gokyo Lake – Machermo
Day 11: Machermo – Namche
Day 12 : Namche – Lukla
Day 13 : Lukla – Kathmandu
Three Passes Trek
One of the most challenging and thrilling trek, Three Passes Trek offers an amazingly scenic circular route with crossing challenging passes Renjo La, Cho La and Kongma La. This trek route not only proffers the stunning view of mountains and glaciers but also encourages you to experience the local Sherpa culture in the region. If you are planning to do this trek and other treks in Everest region, March – May and October – November can be the best months as weather is clear during this time and beautiful landscapes can be seen in these months. There are adequate number of lodges and teahouses serving good meals and accommodation during the trek.
Everest Skydive is fast becoming a ‘mecca’ for skydiving enthusiasts. According to those who have done it, nothing beats the thrill of freefalling from above Mt. Everest amidst the magnificent Himalayan environment. Bill Booth, veteran skydiver(6100 jumps (including 6 at North Pole) under his belt) from Florida and a participant of Everest Skydive 2011, has led skydiving expeditions to some of the world’s remote corners (Table Top mountain in South America, North Pole etc). According to him, “skydiving in the North Pole and Everest Skydive are the two greatest skydiving experiences in the world.”
Sharing an uncanny resemblance to famous American guitarist Billy Gibbons (of American rock band ZZ Top), warm, affable, and articulate William Ross Booth, aka Bill graciously took time out to share his experience with us.
Bill Booth (Pic: Explore Himalaya)
Excerpts from the interview: EH:How does it feel having skydived at the World’s Highest drop zone? Bill: It is overwhelming. I have got 6100 jumps. I have been to the North Pole 6 times, I have jumped on the mountain tops in South America but the beauty of this is beyond belief. After I landed I thought I was looking at the world on television. It was an amazing feeling. At that certain time your mind is trying to take in so much stuff, that you feel overwhelmed. …you call it sensory overwhelming. It’s so beautiful and the terrain is just so amazing …I have been to the Alps, the Rockies but there’s nothing quite like being near Everest. It’s gorgeous and I would say it’s an absolutely overwhelming experience and pretty much tops anything I have done…and I have done a lot!
EH: Trekking high up in the mountains on your first visit to Nepal. How did it feel?
Will: The trekking was good. It’s really hard coming from Florida after just two days. But you feel like you earned it and you deserved it. I feel you have got to earn the right to get up there. You can’t just fly in a helicopter… it wouldn’t be the same. When you trek you earn the right to get there, you work hard especially the last ascent into Namche. The trek was gorgeous. It’s the best trek I have done so far. I have trekked in Milford Sound in New Zealand, I have walked over the Rockies and the highest mountains in the US, but this experience was on a different scale. It’s very far and exotic and there’s a magic in Everest. For some reason you know, you get a tear in your eye when you see it (Mount Everest) finally ….
Bill’s solo jump from about 30,000 feet (Pic courtesy: Bill Booth), photograph taken by ESD Photographer
EH: What thoughts crossed your mind while you were freefalling? Bill: I made a solo jump from about 30,000 feet. I saw Everest while I made my exit but then I turned my back to it and paid attention to the photographers, so that they may get my pictures right ha ha ha… It was slightly nerve racking because of the terrain. Everywhere you look there are mountains. But I had three guys who had jumped there many times and I saw the way they were heading and turned my parachute the same way. Within 15 seconds I saw the drop zone. I was scheduled to make two jumps, but unfortunately we had to cancel the second jump as we ran out of time.
EH: Will you do this again? Bill: Yeah, of course. I would love to. There are a lot of places I want to go but this has been an unbeatable experience. When I first heard about it, I was like “no way, you can’t do it at that altitude… you are gonna break your limb.” But after I looked at the videos of the first year (ESD 2008), I thought I wanna do that and I finally got it on my schedule.
I recommend everybody to do it (Everest Skydive)because there’s no skydive like this. I have skydived in all the great places that you can skydive in but this experience is unbeatable! Even someone who has never made a jump can easily do it. To see that tandem works here is gratifying!!
Everest Heli Trek (6 Days) An elite adventure, this trip takes you to Khumbu Himal, the homeland of Nepal’s tough mountain tribe, the Sherpas. Trek to Sherpa villages that lie under the shadows of some of the tallest peaks in the world including Mount Everest and take an exciting heli tour to Kala Patthar (5242m), at the base of Mount Everest….
After arriving in Kathmandu we fly to Lukla, the ‘Gateway of Everest’. We trek for two days taking in the wonderful mountain scenery and Sherpa culture, with stopovers at Sherpa villages of Phakding & Namche ,finally arriving at Shyangboche – the site of the World’s Highest Skydiving Adventure ‘Everest Skydive’.
At Shyangboche we board the waiting Fishtail Air’s helicopter for our heli tour and fly over the towering Himalayan giants : Ama Dablam [6856m], Thamserku [6608m], Kantega [6685m] , Lhotse [8501m], Nuptse [7879m]and enter Mount Everest’s Western Cwm – a broad, flat, gently undulating glacial valley basin terminating at the foot of the Lhotse Face.
We fly close to these Himalayan giants and enter the Western Cwm. The Western Cwm, also known as the ‘Valley of Silence,’ is traversed by climbers using the southeast route to the summit of Everest. The view of the mesmerizing Gokyo Lake from aboard the helicopter is just amazing.
We stop briefly at Kala Patthar (5,545m) – one of the finest viewpoints to view Mount Everest up close and the site of the World’s Highest Cabinet Meeting (held on December 4, 2009).
After exploring and taking pictures, we leave Kalapatthar and fly towards Kongde Ri (4200m) which has the world’s highest full service luxury resort – Yeti Mountain Home, Kongde. At the resort, we sit out enjoying the panoramic views of Himalayan mountains and celebrate the completion of our Everest adventure over champagne and a sumptuous breakfast- a fitting finale to a wonderful and memorable trip.
After our meal we take the return flight to Kathmandu. Throughout your trek you will be accommodated at Yeti Mountain Homes, a chain of high end luxury resorts. At Kathmandu your address is the serene and tranquil Gokarna Forest Resort.
(Note: At high altitude , Oxygen system will always be at hand to help you deal with mountain sickness.)