Everest base camp trekking is one of the famous trekking in the entire Nepal. But even inside the Everest base camp trail – there are around dozens of trekking routes which you can take for your trekking holiday in Nepal including Everest 3 passes & Gokyo lake trek.
Everest base camp trek is generally 12 days trek. Adding either one of the passes in the trekking makes Everest trekking 2 to 4 days long.
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Everest 3 high passes trek – an introduction
This trek by name itself is an Everest trek with 3 famous passes of the region. People doing Everest 3 high passes trek does both Everest base camp and Gokyo lakes. In this 3 passes trek people make a big circuit in the trail of Everest base camp trekking connecting at Namche Bazzar.
Everest has many high passes, but these 3 passes of Everest base camp are famous because none of these 3 high passes need any technical climbing skill. A normal trekking gear and average trekker can easily do these 3 high passes trek.
Everest 3 passes trek is difficult trekking than Everest base camp trek alone. But for sure – difficulty of 3 passes worth the beauty of the region.
Everest base camp Gokyo lake trek – – an introduction
EBC Gokyo lake trek is also famous as Everest chola pass trekking. After doing Everest base camp there are 2 ways to get to Gokyo Lake – one trail is up and over Chola pass whereas another is trekking all the way down to Portse village and trek to Gokyo.
EBC Gokyo Lake has only one pass. Chola pass connects ebc with gokyo lakes. Gokyo Lake is another famous destination in Everest region. In the view, popularity and stunning landscape – what comes next to Everest base camp and Kalapatthar? – It is none other than Gokyo RI and Gokyo lakes.
Gokyo side of Everest region has lakes in cascade pattern, beautiful glacier and famous viewpoint for Mt Everest and her neighboring mountains. The famous Viewpoint is Gokyo ri. Gokyo ri has better view than Kalapatthar.
However, the view from Kalapatthar is close to Mt Everest than of Gokyo Ri.
Comparing the routes
The starting point for both of these 2 trekking is none other than flying from Kathmandu to Lukla. However, one can take jeep to Tham danda and start trekking from there. The driving option to get to Lukla adds 3 days on top of the entire trekking itinerary for fly in fly out option.
But the road from Phaplu to Tham danda is rough and hence do not expect any easy riding for one day, around 8 hours.
For the trekking the trekking route till Namche is same for both of these trekking.
After trekking from Namche towards Everest base camp – there are couple of routes you can take for gokyo of EBC Gokyo trek and for 3 passes trek.
In general, 3 pass trek starts from the Everest base camp side and same for GOKYO EBC trek. But if you want to make this adventure more fun – you can start Everest 3 high passes trek from Thame village by doing the Renjo la pass as the first pass of the Everest 3 high passes trekking trip. This is not recommended.
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For EBC gokyo lake trek, you can visit to the Gokyo lake first and do Chola pass from anti clockwise direction so as to trek to Everest base camp before getting down to Namche bazzar. This is also not recommended.
What is the right route for these trekking? Why?
The best route for Everest base camp 3 high passes trek is to start from the highest pass – Kongma la pass and finish at the easy pass of Renjo la pass.
Similarly, for Gokyo EBC trek – start the trekking from Everest base camp and cross Chola pass to get to Gokyo lake.
In these both of these suggestion – factors like physical fitness, acclimatization, tea house accommodation, length of the trekking trail is taken into consideration. Also, the view and scenery of trail is appealing to keep up the trekking if followed as mentioned above.
As a trekking guide, I have led many trekking in such route preference and I have never regretted, instead I have felt safe in many cases.
Imagine – if you desperately want to get to Everest base camp during Everest base camp Gokyo lake trekking and you chose to trek first from Gokyo side and got sick while passing Chola pass at 5420 meters above the sea level – this will be sad moment for yourself and the guide of your team, right?
Also, for 3 passes as well – if you trek over the highest pass for the first time and then aim for the lower ones later – it is recommended you finish the higher first and that’s how your stamina will remain still for the lowers and beautiful ones later.
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