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.
It may sound like a cliché but we don’t mind repeating it! Yes, Mount Everest is more than a mountain and the trip to Everest Base Camp is more than just a trek. Reaching to the base of this world’s highest mountain, Mount Everest (8848 m) is the dream of every adventurer. Many Himalayan adventure seekers have already ticked it off in their bucket list and many are yet to do so. As, this trip is one of the most talked about and sought after adventures, travelers and would-be travelers are well versed about the facts related to Everest Base Camp. However, many are not fully aware about all the routes and corresponding time required to reach the Base Camp.
There are actually two base camps on Mount Everest, on the South and North sides of the mountains. South Base Camp which is situated in Nepal at an altitude of 5364 m, while North Base Camp is situated in Tibet, China at an altitude of 5,150 m. Most of the Base Camp trekking or Everest expeditions are operated on the Nepal side, i.e the South face of the Everest. In fact, when people say Everest Base Camp Trek, they normally mean Base Camp trekking on the Nepal side of the mountain. However, there are many ways to reach the Base Camp from both sides.
Everest Base Camp from Nepal
Everest Base Camp from Nepal is a popular trekking trail and easier to access than other routes. This trail gives you a chance to challenge yourself, discover the majesty of mountains, walk among the Himalayan giants and explore the highland cultures.
Classic Everest Base Camp Trek : 8 days of trekking from Lukla to EBC
This is the most popular route to reach the Base Camp. It is a spectacular high altitude trek that starts at Lukla, the gateway of Everest region and winds through the floral and faunal richness of Sagarmatha National Park. You gradually hike through some of the beautiful places of Khumbu region such as Phakding, Namche Bazar, Tengboche, Dingboche, and Lobuche and return the same way.
Alternate treks: 13 – 22 days
As Everest Base Camp route from Lukla is popular and most favored one, the trail and accommodation gets crowded during the peak seasons i.e. spring and autumn. So, if you want to avoid the crowd, then you can consider alternative trekking routes.
The route from Jiri is also a well-known Everest Base Camp trekking route. This is the same route used by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa to reach Lukla for the Everest summit before airport was built in Lukla during 1960s. This trail adds several days in the itinerary as you have to trek around 6 days from Jiri to reach Lukla/Phakding from where you join the main Everest Base Camp trail.
You can reach Everest Base Camp through the trail of Three Passes Trek as well. One of the most challenging and thrilling trek in Everest region, Three Passes Trek offers an amazingly scenic circular route that includes crossing of challenging Renjo la, Cho la and Kongma la passes connecting to Lobuche to advance towards Everest Base Camp. The order of the Passes can be any depending on where you start from. The duration of this hard trek is quite lengthy (at least about 17/18 days) and only the trekkers who seek for more challenging adventure choose this trail.
Gokyo Lake trek can also be a better alternative to reach Everest Base Camp as this trek skirts the Base Camp and continues to the beautiful Gokyo Lake, one of the world’s highest freshwater systems. The views during this trek worth cherishing for the rest of your life.
Everest Heli Tour: Duration – Half a day
Heli Tour is the easiest way for the travelers who wish to reach the lap of this stunning mountain but have very limited time. It is also a luxurious way to reach the Kala Patthar (5545 m) and Everest Base Camp without trekking. The tour makes you marvel at the panoramic aerial views of astonishing mountains, tranquil valleys, quaint villages, glittering snow peaks, Khumbu glacier and many more. It not only gives you thrill and makes your adrenaline rush but also offers you the next level of experience. Everest Heli tour starts from Kathmandu or Lukla and stops midway for breakfast with wonderful view.
Everest Base Camp from Tibet
Everest Base Camp on the northern side of Everest lies in Tibet. An easier way to get to the Base Camp is by car or tour vehicle. You can travel from Lhasa to Base Camp along the highways having well paved roads. This is one of the fastest and luxurious ways to reach the Base Camp and visit the various attractions of Tibetan plateau. Some travelers also prefer trekking from Tingri over driving from Lhasa.
By car: Duration – 2 days from Lhasa
Many visitors who visit the Base Camp on north side usually get there by car. It is a two-day drive from Lhasa. However most travelers stop along the way in the locations such as Gyantse, Shigatse or Shekar (new Tingri) and Rongbuk that makes this tour longer and more exciting. There are very good roads which make the journey comfortable for almost everyone. The landscape that you can see is breath taking! If you wish, you can drive all the way up to Everest Base Camp but many of the travelers prefer to walk the last mile which is a bit off road. One needs to be acclimatized properly prior to this journey because of the timeframe. Remember Lhasa itself is at an altitude of 3,656 m! And you will gain about 2000m + altitude within 2 days.
By Trek from Tingri: Duration – 5 days
Trek from Tingri to Everest Base Camp gives you an amazing experience of Tibetan plateau, small village communities and nomadic herders. This trip takes you to Lungtang which takes around five hours from Tingri and heads due south, by crossing the Tingri plain and on to the Ra-chu valley and so on. This trail is not commonly used and only attempted by the experienced well-acclimatized trekkers.
If you are in search of more than just a scenic trek and daunting escapade among the stunning Himalayas, then climbing Island Peak is exactly what you are looking for. Island Peak, also known as Imja Tse, is situated in Nepal’s Everest region and stands at an elevation of 6189 meters above sea level. It stands somewhere between Mount Ama Dablam (6812 m) and Mount Lhotse (8516 m) and is considered one of the challenging yet achievable trekking peaks, possible even to novice climbers with proper acclimatization and trainings. From afar, this snow-capped mountain seems like an island rising tall in the center of the Chhukung Valley, surrounded by a sea of ice. Hence, the peak is known as Island Peak. Most people combine an expedition to Island Peak with the famous Everest Base Camp trek because of its ideal location and acclimatization purpose. If someone wants to stretch the adventure a bit, then they also choose to trek via Kongma La (5,535 m), one of the three popular passes of Everest Region. Opting the Kongma La route provides an opportunity to experience glacier walking prior to Island Peak climbing.
Why climb Island Peak? Simple answer is it is a Himalayan peak but an achievable one. However, climbing Island Peak is not limited to this only. Trip to Island Peak offers an awesome views of Himalayan ranges, forests, valleys, beautiful landscapes and amazing glaciers. Island Peak not only provides you a tremendous chance to experience all the aspects of Himalayan encounter that takes you through remote villages and rugged trails but also offers you the pleasure of climbing a Himalayan peak at the close quarter of the mighty Everest with an acclimatization trek to Everest Base Camp, which is a reward in itself. Another important thing is the peak is 6000 m +, an achievement you can really be proud of. Finally, the ultimate joy you get after the successful climb is beyond imagination. So, no doubt it’s worth it!
Is it difficult to climb Island Peak? Climbing a Himalayan mountain is a challenging sport due to altitude and extreme geographical condition. So, Island peak is also a technical climb. It has everything of a Himalayan mountaineering – altitude (at the height of 6819m, there is just about 47% oxygen of the sea level), steep ascent, rock shambles, glacier fields, and what’s more crevasses as well. So, the bottom line is it requires basic mountaineering skills and it definitely should not be your first Himalayan adventure. But the good news is anyone with little mountaineering experience or no experience can do it. The only thing required is proper acclimatization and training from experienced Sherpas. However, prior mountaineering experience is always an advantage.
Let’s have a look at the general overview of the climb. The beginning part of the ascent is strenuous as the terrain is rough and it’s over 5000m. As you climb higher, you reach the glacier field from where you need to use climbing equipment like rope and crampons. As there are also some crevasses en route, there is also the need to use ladders. The final 150 m stretch is a straight wall and is very strenuous. However, summit push won’t be very difficult as after you cross the wall, the summit ridge is short and comparatively easier.
What are the trainings required for Island Peak climbing? Now you know that Island Peak is bit demanding. For this adventure, you need to be in good shape with proper physical trainings of at least 3/4 months with prior trekking experience. Focus on strength and endurance training like hiking, running, cycling etc. Hitting gym is a good idea. Keeping positive frame of mind during your training is a must. The summit day is very strenuous as one has to walk approx. 12-14 hours for summit and back to base camp. You will also be carrying a backpack of 5-7 kg during the trip. So, while practicing simulation hiking in wilderness, do it with at least 10 kg pack. It is also necessary to train yourself with the hiking and mountaineering boots you are going to use in the trip. Remember, they should be well-worn! Regarding the mountaineering skills, you will get required trainings by your Guides once you reach the Base Camp. However, it is always an advantage if you are familiar with the skills prior to your trip.
What to eat and where to stay during the trip ? Good food and comfortable accommodation is very important in every trip. During the journey, you can remain in one of the many tea houses along the way. The majority of teahouse lodgings have shared rooms and good toilet facilities. You can get any of your calorie replenishment food choices such as potato dishes, noodle dishes, rice dishes, dal bhat, egg dishes etc. during your stay in teahouses. While you are in Base Camp or High Camp, you will stay in tented camps and your kitchen team will prepare your healthy and nutritious food for you.
Clothing and Gears Every trail and elevation needs different types of gear. Right clothing and gears are always the gateway to your success. So, it is mandatory to have good clothing and gear for your trip to Island Peak. Comfortable hiking and climbing boots, good gloves to keep your hands warm, a good fleece and down jacket, light weighted trekking pants and climbing gears such as Harness, axe, crampons etc are some of the important gears you need during the climb. And yes, make sure that you have a sleeping bag that can keep you warm in a -30-degree centigrade weather. All clothing gears and equipment are easily available in Kathmandu and surprising at Chhukung as well. It is not necessary to buy all the gears, you can hire them. At Chhukung, the approx. cost could be USD 100 for all set of gears for a period of 2 days. We recommend you to have your own jacket and boots because of the size problem (and boots are to be pre-worn). Your travel company will help with the full list of required clothing and gears.
What is the best season to climb Island Peak? The best season to climb Island peak can be considered in Spring (March-May) or Autumn (Mid-September-October). The weather in the Himalayan region and most places of Nepal stays stable throughout these seasons, which is ideal for adventure activities. The majority of the 8000+m expeditions in the Everest region takes place in the Spring, so expect crowds on the trails. However, once you arrive at your Island Peak camping spot, you can notice that the number of people on the trails has significantly decreased.
Winter climbing is still feasible, but we just recommend it to those who have a lot of mountaineering experience, nearly to the standard of pro athletes. The temperature is very cold, and the atmosphere is extremely harsh during winter.
What permits do you need to climb Island Peak? Climbing Island Peak requires a climbing permit. Permits are also required to access Sagarmatha National Park. Standard security checkpoints are located along the road. To get through them, you must display your permits.
Sagarmatha National Park Area Entry Permit: Nrs. 3,000 NPR + 13% VAT, totaling 3,390 NPR (Approx. US $34)
Island Peak climbing permit cost according to the seasons:
March, April, and May: US $250
September, October, and November: US $125
How to avoid altitude sickness? When you are trekking in high altitudes, you are likely to get altitude sickness. Headaches and a lack of appetite are common among trekkers, but severe AMS symptoms can be fatal. To avoid having to turn around, many trekkers may try to conceal their worsening condition from their Sherpas and guides. This, however, can be life threatening, and you must be aware of when your body is asking you to avoid climbing further. The best practice to avoid altitude sickness is having a good itinerary that allows proper acclimatization. Here are some of the tips to consider while you climb Island Peak.
Climb slowly: Always remember, climb slowly while you ascend Island Peak. Doing this can help you adjust the level of oxygen in your body and there is a less chance that you could gain altitude sickness.
Drink enough water: If you stay hydrated, it may prevent you from altitude sickness. But drinking too much water is also not good as it dilutes your body’s sodium level that may lead to weakness or nausea which is similar to AMS.
Be psychologically prepared: If you fear that you might get altitude sickness while trekking in high altitude then sometimes the psychological factor may guide you to get altitude sickness. Always stay positive and enjoy the great picturesque during the trip.
Acclimatization: You should consider rest for 1 or 2 days if you are trekking in high altitude areas. Acclimatization helps you to adapt to the high altitude environment and assist you to avoid altitude sickness.
Island Peak Trek Distance, Time and Elevation
Day 1: Fly to Lukla & Trek to Phakding [2652m]
Distance Flight Hours walking hours Elevation Gain
145 km 30 min 4 hours 1400m-2610m
Day 2: Phakding to Namche [3450m]
Distance walking hours Elevation Gain
7.4 km 3 hours 2610m-3440m
Day 3: Rest day in Namche
Distance walking hours Elevation Gain
3.8 km 2 hours 3440m – 3840m
Day 4: Namche to Tengboche [3867m]
Distance walking hours Elevation Gain
6 km 3 hours 3840m-3867m
Day 5: Tengboche to Dingboche [4350m]
Distance walking hours Elevation Gain
11 km 5 hours 3867m-4350m
Day 6: Rest day in Dingboche (Hike to Nangkartshang Peak)
If you are thinking of some great Himalayan adventure, Mera Peak climbing can be a wonderful start. Situated in the Makalu Barun Valley next to Khumbu Valley, Mera Peak (6476m) is the highest trekking peak of Nepal. You can see the awe-inspiring views of majestic mountains like Cho Oyu (8201m), Lhotse (8516m), Makalu (8463m), Kanchenjunga (8586m), and Mount Everest (8848m) from the top of Mera Peak. The adventure can be done in relatively shorter period of time and is less strenuous compared to serious mountain climbing as Mera Peak is not a technical mountain. Nevertheless, its 6000m+ Himalayan peak and it comes with some challenges. So, here is some information that will help you if you want to embark on this amazing adventure.
Why climb Mera Peak ?
Climbing Mera Peak doesn’t just come with a sense of achievement but also with the amazing experience of stunning mountain views, picturesque villages, wonderful forests, diverse culture, beautiful landscapes and many more. It’s a full package that offers all aspects of a Himalayan encounter. Although this trip is physically demanding, it requires relatively little climbing technique and can be climbed by beginner who is physically fit.
Is it difficult to climb Mera Peak?
Mera Peak (6476m) is the highest trekking peak of Nepal. But it doesn’t consist of steep technical climb like other expedition peaks. So, even if you are a beginner then climbing this peak isn’t that strenuous for you. But, due to altitude, snowy condition and geographical extremities, it’s not a piece of cake. You still need some basic alpine skills and be able to use gears such as climbing boots, crampons, climbing helmet, ice axe etc. You don’t need to worry about this as you will have enough time at the Base Camp to learn these skills. Just make sure that you hike gradually, hydrate well, and eat healthy food to reach the summit in best physical condition.
What are the trainings required for Mera Peak?
It all depends on how often do you hike and trek in the Himalaya or high altitude conditions. If you are a regular trekker, then climbing Mera Peak isn’t that strenuous for you. However, it doesn’t mean that it is all easy to reach the summit. In order to ascend Mera Peak, you need to build good core and length strength along with endurance power. You have to put in the right training schedule and follow it every day before the trip. Lunges, squats, step aerobics, cardio vascular trainings are some of the physical activity that you can include in your daily practice. It is also equally important to have prior experience of altitudes. And yes! Always remember mental preparation is a must which keeps you focused and confident to achieve whatever your goal is.
On the way to Mera Peak
What to eat and where to stay during the trip?
You need comfortable accommodation and healthy food to stay fit and energized during the trip. For that, you can find lodges or teahouses strewn along the trail. Camping can also be a good option for overnight stay if you want to unplug and enjoy the simplicity of nature. But, it is not preferred much nowadays due to the availability of teahouses. You can find many options of foods like potato dishes, noodle dishes, rice dishes, dal bhat, egg dishes that are perfect for the hungry trekkers who need calorie replenishment.
Clothing and Gears
It is mandatory that you have the required gear and equipment for the trip. You have to seek advice for climbing equipment, boots, harness etc. from the company that’s helping you for the trip. You can either buy or rent them. Not just climbing gears, you also need to have proper clothes for trekking and climbing. You need to have clothes and sleeping bag that can keep you warm in a -30-degree centigrade weather. A comfortable footwear is a must both for climbing and trekking. Make sure that you have worn them both prior to your trip.
Which is the best season to climb Mera Peak?
Well, each trekking season has its own excitement and atmosphere, but if you want to have some assurance about the weather conditions during the trek, be sure to stick to high seasons. Among the four seasons, Spring ( March – May ) and Autumn (Sep – Nov) can be considered as the best seasons to ascend Mera Peak as the skies are clear and temperature is favorable during these months. It is very difficult to climb in summer as the temperature is high and there is a high risk of falling of stones and melting glacier. And you can’t also be able to see the expansive views due to fog and rainfall in this season. In winter, temperature goes below -15 degree celsius which leads to the heavy snowfall and risk of avalanche in the trip.
What permits do you need to climb Mera Peak ?
If you want to trek in Nepal, permit is compulsory for you. Following permits are needed in order to climb Mera peak.
TIMS ( Trekking Information Management System ): Every trekker trekking in Nepal requires TIMS card. Tims card is for the safety and security of the trekkers.
Makalu Barun National Park entry fee: Since Mera peak lies in Makalu Barun National Park, you need to pay park entry fee before trekking in the area.
Mera Peak climbing permit: You need to pay certain amount in order to climb Mera Peak. Mera Peak permit is different in each season. Since Spring and Autumn are considered as high trekking seasons, the charge for climbing the peak during is about USD 250 and USD 125 respectively. Whereas in low Season i.e. Summer and Winter, the permit for climbing the peak is around USD 70. Nepal Mountaineering Association issues the permit to ascend Mera Peak.
How to avoid altitude sickness?
It doesn’t matter where you go in the Himalayas of Nepal, you are likely to encounter serious altitude. During Mera Peak climbing also, altitude sickness is a concerning matter due to thin air and less oxygen. So, in this condition if you don’t take the right precautions. it can ruin your trekking experience. Better be prepared than feel sorry! Here are some of the tips to avoid altitude sickness while you climb Mera Peak.
Climb slowly: Always remember, climb slowly while you ascend Mera Peak. Climbing slowly can help you adjust the level of oxygen in your body and there is a less chance that you gain altitude sickness.
Acclimatize properly: You should consider rest for 1 or 2 days if you are trekking in high altitude areas. Acclimatization helps you to adapt to the high altitude environment and assist you to avoid altitude sickness.
Drink enough water: If you stay hydrated, it may prevent you from altitude sickness. But don’t drink too much water as it dilutes your body’s sodium level that may lead to weakness or nausea which is similar to AMS.
Be psychologically prepared: If you are too worried that you might get altitude sickness while trekking in high altitude then sometimes the psychological factor may lead you to get altitude sickness. Always stay positive and enjoy the great views during the trip.
Trekking in Nepal is all about exploring the wilderness, clambering the hills, negotiating with the glaciers, and time and again being patient with the caravans of yaks, sighing at the soaring mountains, and sweating in the chills – sounds like a lot of actions, right? It is exactly true. But trekking in Nepal is not just about actions only, it’s also about rest, relaxation and resetting your button as elsewhere. While the whole day you be a super excited adventurer, the nights are all for hard-earned rest. So, accommodation while trekking in Nepal is a very concerning matter. Here, we have got some information on accommodation while trekking in Nepal. We hope you will find it helpful while planning your travel.
Tented Camps are outdoor tents. They are either double layered “A” shaped-Triangular Three or Five Poles Tent made with water proof fabrics. Inner layer will be cotton fabric to provide warmth whereas, the outer layer is water proof polyster fabric strong enough to sustain wind and water. You can also find expedition styled light weight dome tents which are easy to install and lighter in weight for the porters to carry. Normally each tent comes twin mattresses made of foam for sleeping where the day pack can be adjusted to work as the pillow to comfort your head. Sleeping Bags are also provided but on rental basis if requested. Most of the trekkers bring their own. It’s better to bring separate inner liner with the sleeping bag for extra warmth.
You can also get single tent accommodation but it may apply extra charge. There will be a separate dining tent with seats and table for you to have suppers and spend time chatting with fellow trekkers. Kitchen and toilet tents are also set near your sleeping tents. Tented camps are not as comfortable as the accommodation at teahouses, however it offers better exposure to nature. This type of accommodation is common in remote and off the beaten trails like Dhaulagiri and Dolpo region. In major trekking regions like Everest, Annapurna,Langtang etc, teahouses are used more than camps due to their widespread availability.
Teahouses are small mountain houses run by local families. They are modest and cheerful outlets providing basic accommodation facilities. The standard of Teahouses have improved a lot over time. Nowadays, Teahouses in regular trekking trails are well equipped with different facilities including hot shower, telephone, western toilets, small bar, and dining halls. Rooms are basic, and comes with two beds with cushions and blankets. If requested the owners can provide extra blanket but it can’t be ensured during peak time. So, it is better to bring your own sleeping bag.
Single rooms are also available in some teahouses but they are not easily available in peak time. Toilets are normally common. Rooms with attached bath are also available but in very limited number. Facilities like hot showers, electricity to charge mobiles and batteries, WIFI cost additional charges. Dorm rooms are also available and they cheaper than other rooms. This type of accommodation is the most popular one while trekking in Nepal and they are quite ideal for backpackers.
There are some local and chain hotels in popular trekking areas like Everest and Annapurna. They are expensive and provide deluxe facilities. They offer luxury rooms with services like en suite washrooms, comfortable beds with electric covers, hot water showers, exquisite furniture and free WiFi services. Hotel Everest View and Yeti Mountain Home in Everest region and Ker and Downey lodges in Annapurna region are the examples of such accommodation. If you seek for extra comfort in the middle of wilderness, they are the perfect choice.