Informative tips for your Everest basecamp three passes trek in Nepal
3 passes Everest trek is not an easy trekking in Everest region but surely is not the hardest one as well. In comparison with trekking like tasi lapcha pass trek, ebc 3 high pass trek is way easier trekking in the khumbu region. 3 major hilltops; which help you to cover most of the Everest basecamp trekking region – three passes trek makes a beautiful walk in the Himalayas. Moderate adventure to know your limits, 3 high passes will not disappoint you.
Picture: INES & RALPH at the top – posing with smile after success of reaching the second of three high pass-chola pass 5420 meters.
It takes your 2 to 3 weeks of adventure holiday in Nepal, which covers all of the stunning part of Everest loop, it does worth your time.
Either take longer days to take an easy hike or soak in the pristine beauty in adventure trip to places like; Chhukung village (before kongmala pass), Gokyo lakes (before Renjo la pass) and Thame village (where the isolated Buddhist monastery is located in a hilltop).
Not any technical climbing but surely few uphill and downhill hikes are mandatory in Everest basecamp three high passes trek.
Picture: POTTER WALKING UPHILL with his duty on his back – uphill of chola pass while trekking Everest three passes trek from Gokyo side first.
Gokyo lakes (all 6 lakes are accessible), Namche bazzar and Everest basecamp itself is included in Everest three high passes trek. That is why I am saying, this can be a complete Everest basecamp trek for those who have longer holidays in Nepal and like to travel for adventure gateway in Nepali mountains.
Few ideas for your travel to Everest three high passes trail are listed in the “informational” sub topics you might be looking for. Please let us know if we can be of any help to you as a local trekking agency in Nepal.
Best time for Everest three high passes trekking
The climatic condition for Everest 3 high passes doesn’t remain constant as it is variable from season to season. Nepal has 4 main seasons.
During the winter season (late November to Mid-February) trail of everest 3 high passes like Kong ma la & chola pass are frequently closed due to heavy snowfall. Chunk of snow traped along the narrow route in between mountains, makes nearly impossible, to cross these high pass without proper guidance and precise orientation of the route.
Picture: ICE OF CHOLA PASS seen while we were crossing right after light snowfall the previous night in around starting of winter.
Rainy season (June to August) is also not suitable for three high passes trek. Everest 3 high passes trail do not get heavy rainfall but monsoon trek in Nepal will be mostly under the clouds. Trekkers will rarely get the view of the mountains.
Among all four season in Nepal, the spring (March to May) and autumn season (September to November) are mostly preferred trekking season. For three high passes trek as well, this time of the year can be ideal choice. In spring and autumn season the temperature and weather are suitable for trekking and climatic condition also remains at its best.
Comparatively in between autumn and spring, spring has mild temperature whereas in the autumn; temperature is colder than spring season. If cold temperatures is not an issue, autumn is better than spring. Cold temperatures means negative 10 degree Celsius in the morning and now nights. However, day temperature with sun crosses positive 20 degree Celsius.
How long does it take for Everest three high passes trek??
Everest Three Passes trek can be done within 2 to 3 weeks (21 days) or maximum 23 days.
Longer itinerary for Everest three high passes trek makes the trek easier and will give plenty of time if instant modification in trip plan is preferred. Modification in three passes trek itinerary is common in the winters, as unavoidable snowfall might drain the pre planned itinerary.
Short itinerary for Everest 3 high passes trek will involve small risk of skipping any of the passes. But in longer itinerary climbing all the passes is highly possible.
16 days or more for Everest three high passes trek will have enough time for acclimatization and rest. If you want to spend more time in beautiful destinations like Gokyo, Chhukung, Thame; it’s always better to take 2 to 3 days of spare days in your Everest three high passes trek itinerary. Longer days itinerary also helps for wait and see in unavoidable weather change and snow storms which might block any of the high passes.
Picture: Gokyo lake and the Gokyo village seen right after sunrise – this is 3rd lake among 6 lakes in Gokyo valley
If you are looking for 100 percent success of all three passes of Everest with average fitness – longer trekking itinerary is recommended. Longer trek itinerary means less than 20 days trip. For Example, heavy snowfall blocks the high pass route and trek itinerary is tight with days, change in plan will be applicable.
Wth Nepalgram, you can always ask us spare days with few extra cost on per day basis. Doing this your Everest Basecamp with 3 passes dream will come true and we will be accomplished to be your travel partner.
How to get to Everest 3 passes trek start point ?
Picture: PLANE AT LUKLA AIRPORT – mountain seen in the picture is, Mt Karyolong which is stunning and a main barrier of Lukla airport for easy landing airstrips on its mountain airport Runway
The starting point for Everest Three Passes trekking route is to take flight from Kathmandu to Lukla. The scenic flight from Kathmandu to Lukla will take around 35 minutes.
If you want to add 5 more trekking days then airport of Phaplu will give access to the Everest three high passes starting with lower altitude and comparatively safer airport landing. This could be starting point of Everest three high passes trek for those who want to avoid landing at Tenzing Hillary airport of Lukla.
With recent road development we can drive all the way to Kharikhola and start trek to three high passes.
Some people also take helicopter to fly to lukla so as to skip plane to Lukla or to get best view of the mountains.
VIEW OF EVEREST SEEN FROM THE COCKPIT OF HELICOPTER – picture near Lukla airport on air
Very few takes helicopter to Namche itself and cut the number of days skipping the repeatable trail of Namche to Lukla section of Everest three passes trek route.
Picture: INES WALKING NEAR LOBUCHE – Trekking trail is wide near the villages and gets narrower near any of three passes
- Thermal Cap
Thermal camp is compulsory during these kind of high passes trek. The thermal camp will not only protects you from the cold, wind, snow fall and rain but also helps you avoid high altitude sickness.
It helps you to protect your eyes from UVs’ and strong refection of sunlight from after striking on snow surface. You cannot directly see the snow-capped mountains with your naked eyes while the sun too bright. Without sunglass it may be a big risk to your sight.
- Sun scream
The Sunscream helps you to protect your face/body from the sun burn.
- Head lamp
Sometimes you need to wake up early during kick off of the Everest three high passes trek (pass days). At the early morning, it can be dark outside and you may not see the trail. So, headlamp is necessary during the dark time for the clear vision of the trail. And surely it is very handy for movement while walking during the stay in the guest houses with very limited electricity.
- Down Jacket
Down jacket is strongly recommended during Everest three high passes trek. As we all know – just fancy jackets cannot protect the cold in high altitude areas. So, to protect from the cold the trekkers needs to wear down jacket. Nepalgram provides Dawn Jackets as many of our clients’ just need for one time use.
The gloves are essential equipment that is required for trekking to Everest three high passes. Due to the coldness of high altitude area, the hand may sometimes get freeze. So, it is necessary to wear gloves during the trek. Specifically early start for passes or Everest basecamp must need a pair of Gloves.
Unfortunately, sometimes the weather is unpredictable. There is a saying that prevention is better than cure. So, it is necessary to carry raincoat in order to be safe from rainfall or snowfall.
- Hiking boots
Hiking boots is mandatory for this trek. The others shoes such as converse, vans and other sports shoe are uncomfortable and cannot complete the trek. The trail can be so slippery that you can’t imagine of wearing other shoes rather than hiking boots.
- Hiking socks
Walking 7-8 hours a day is normally with shoes on all the time and you also have to wear shoes while staying indoors as indoor heating is very bad in trekking regions. During the day, the sweat will surely ruin the shocks in a day or 4. Thin socks may bring trouble during the trek. So, it is necessary to wear hiking socks during the trek for Everest three high pass trek adventure.
- Hiking pant/trouser
Wearing the jeans pants or heavy pants during the trek is never recommended. You can walk very easily while wearing hiking pants/trouser in comparison to heavy pants. Although your ski pant or dawn trousers are very good to keep you warm while staying in the tea houses.
- Trekking bag
Trekking bag is required to put necessary staff you required during your trek. Even though we provide duffel bags for your luggage; day pack of at least 5 ltrs is recommended.
Muffler is also important for the trekkers as it protect your neck/throat from the extreme coldness that can be felt during the most of the days in Everest three high passes trek.
- Trekking poles
Trekking poles will help the trekkers to walk easily in comparison to walking without it. You didn’t need trekking poles for an hour. But, it will help you or will support during the time of tiredness or at least while walking downhill. Nepalgram provides walking poles in our service.
- Water bottle/pack
Water bottle is one of the most important equipment during this trek. While walking 7-8 hours a day will surely need more than 4 liters of water. A sip of water widely recharges your hiking pace.
- First-aid kit
First-aid kit is the most essential equipment for unseen difficulties. No one knows what comes next. So, it is always necessary to have kit during the trek. Our trekking guides will have one for group use.
- Sleeping bag
Sleeping bag can help you to protect from the extreme coldness of Everest region where indoor heating is not available. Sleeping above the height of 5000 meters is not easy; the trekkers definitely find the climate extreme cold and sick with altitude. With saying that; sleeping in warm bed and sleeping bag is mandatory for better night. So, in order to protect from the cold which may lead to suffer your three passes trek plan, you need to bring a very warm and comfy sleeping bag. Nepalgram provides sleeping bag to our clients for free use.
- Duffel bag
Trekking around 23 days means that you cannot put all your stuff inside the trekking bag. You need more space to put your stuffs. Without the duffel bag you cannot put all your stuff that may be required for the Everest three high passes trek. So, the duffel bag is also important gear for Everest three high passes trek. We provide large size Duffel bag.
Altitude of Everest 3 Passes Trek
Talking about three high passes individually; Kongma La pass is the highest among all the three passes. Kongma La pass lies at an altitude of 5555 meters above the sea level.
Picture: View near Kongma la Pass
Cho la pass is the second highest which lies at an altitude of 5420 meters.
Picture: Near the top of Chola pass
And last and the lowest is Renjo la pass, which is situated at an altitude of 5360 meters. These three passes are also known for the challenging part of Everest three high passes trek.
Apart from these high point in three high passes trek in Everest; Everest basecamp itself is at 5364 meters. Kalapatthar is a famous hilltop situated at 5545 meters and Gokyo ri is another famous hill station in Everest region at 5360 meters above the sea level.
Everest Three Passes trek solo
Solo trek to three passes can be a best isolation if you like the idea of self-realizing. Single person with Nepali staff to show you the new destination will surely entertain the best part of your mountain trekking in three passes trek.
Picture: ARUN AND INES NEAR FIRST UPHILL POINT OF CHOLA PASS
As for independent trek to Everest 3 passes; the government of Nepal doesn’t give permission for the Independent trek for few of the trekking routes in Nepal. But Independent trekkers are allowed to trek to Everest three passes trek route.
First of all, the individual should make all the arrangement themselves such as flight ticket, permit, equipment’s used for trekking, food and accommodations etc. all by themselves. We hope this article should help in many of these factors of independent trekking to Everest three passes.
We recommend/suggest the independent trekkers to choose the right and suitable itinerary according to their physical fitness. If you can’t choose the right and suitable itinerary then you may face difficulties during the trek. Everest three passes trek is considered as one of the most difficult trek with Everest basecamp. So, don’t make a mistake to choose suitable itinerary so that you can complete your trek easily.
Trekking solo may cost high in comparison to the group treks. But it is recommended over independent trekking.
HELP IN THE MIDDLE OF THE PASS – sharing is caring – giving away the spikes to porters after the Icey part of the pass and all of the passes get done.
We recommend the trekkers to not try Everest three high passes trek who have not experience of high passes trekking in Nepal independently. Because trekking around these three passes which are all above 5000 meters will not be easy as well as physical hardship is much required.
Note: Feel free to contact us for detailed information. We are your friends for Nepal travels.
Permits for the Trek
GUIDE SHOWING PAPERS AT THE CHECK POST – there are multiple check points like this along the Everest three high passes trekking route
If you are decided for Everest Three Passes trek through a trekking agency in Nepal (or international) then that trekking agency will arranges all the necessary permits required for the trek. But, if you are trekking independent then you have to arrange permits by yourself.
First of all, you have to take sagarmatha national park permit from Kathmandu or can buy in the site to enter inside Sagarmatha National Park (you can take permit from Monjo village) where you can reach at the first day of your Everest basecamp Three Passes Trek. You can buy sagarmatha national park permit in Kathmandu at Nepal tourism board.
For local entry permit – you can buy this at Lukla.
The permit will cost as follows;
- $20 USD for Local entry permit
- $30 USD for Sagarmatha National Park entry Permit
Accommodation and Meals
The Everest Three passes trek has plenty of hotels and restaurants to offer you the good accommodation and meals facilities. You can find the facilitated lodges (teahouses) for accommodation as well as food in one place (very commonly). And talking about the meal, you will get a menu where you may find out all the dishes you want to eat/drink.
Picture: 1st NIGHT ACCOMODATION IN OUR EVEREST THREE PASSES TREK
You can find out the best accommodation and meals especially in Namche Bazzar (tourist hub of Everest region). But as you get above 5000 meters – accommodation as well as food will not be that great.
How much does it cost for Everest Three Passes Trek??
Her the broken down of all the possible cost that is required while trekking to Everest three passes trek will ease your calculation:
- Experienced guide fluent in English – $25-40 USD per day
- Porter – $20-25 USD per day
- Flight from Kathmandu to Lukla – $176 USD one way, $352 USD (Round-Trip) – as of year spring 2020
- Flight cost for the guide if hired from Kathmandu- $80 USD one way, $160 USD (Round-Trip) – most of the trekking agencies in Nepal sends guide from Kathmandu as it avoids hassle in uncertain flight to Lukla or Phaplu.
- Local entrance fee and Sagarmatha national Park entry fee – $50 USD per person
- Food (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) – $30-50 USD per day
- Accommodation – $ 5-65 USD per night
Do and Don’ts to be follow during Everest Three High Passes Trek
- You are not allowed to enter inside Sagarmatha National Park without permit. If you are found inside without permit then you will be charged as per the legal procedure.
- If you use drone inside the Sagarmatha national park you have to take a special permission. You have to pay additional charge for using drone.
- Flora and fauna located inside Sagarmatha National Park should not be harmed or disturbed.
- The garbage should be put on an appropriate place.
- Cultural and religious sites should be respected.
- Camping is not allowed everywhere. It is allowed only in the designated areas.
Ines SPINNING THE PRAYER WHEELS – respecting others culture is more than just being fancy.
Three passes trek difficulty
Trekking over the high passes has always been a big adventure – both psychologically and physically. Regarding Everest basecamp three passes trek; trail is fine but the unavoidable change on weather might make it tougher. Three high passes are easy to navigate with sign posts – but the weather change or foggy days will ruin the beauty and trekkers might lose their trail very easily.
Some of the trails near the summit of passes or after the top of passes might have new born glacial lakes, if not identified the right trail – risk is to the life.
Stone on top glacial ice chunk at the Everest base camp
Are these high passes involves lots of uphill or downhill walking? Yes, they do have steep uphill and steep downhills. But these ascend worth the beauty of the mountains from every top you get to after a steep uphill. Downhills are opener of beauty of hidden side as always.
Summit of most of these three passes trek is not the attraction (except renjo la & Kongmala pass which are magnificent) but the beauty of the Himalayas can be captured a little bit before or after the passes where all the difficulty ends and top is in very near distance.
As called high passes of Everest basecamp trekking trail – all are equally difficult as per the altitude prospect. But among all; Chola pass is bit technical & Renjo la pass is easiest. Whereas; Kongmala pass is long as well as beautiful.
All of these high passes do have glacial lakes which get exposes in the summer and frozen half a year.
Gokyo lake SEEN FROM HALF WAY TOWARDS THE LAST PASS renjo la pass in EVEREST THREE HIGH PASSES TREKKING