21 days

Everest High Passes

Everest High Passes

Renjo La (5420m)

The lakes and 8000-metre peaks of Gokyo

Namche Bazaar – the gateway to the High Himalaya

Kathmandu’s hidden old town

Kala Patar (5643m) - the best vantage point to see Mount Everest

Everest Base Camp and the notorious Everest Ice Fall

17th Century Thyangboche Monastery

Bodhnath Stupa of Kathmandu - one of the biggest Buddhist shrines in the world

Trip rating
  • Cho La and Renjo La are rugged high passes that link the major valleys of the Everest region. Crossing them and climbing the peaks of Kala Patar and Gokyo provides for an unforgettable Himalayan experience. From Lukla we follow the classic Everest Trail to Dingboche, with dramatic views of Ama Dablam and the Lhotse-Nuptse face. We then ascend to Gorak Shep to visit Everest Base Camp and also climb Kala Patar for breathtaking close-up views of Mount Everest, before traversing the glaciated Cho La (Pass) to Gokyo. Here we explore the valley and climb Gokyo Ri for more astonishing mountain vistas, including another angle of Everest and the huge south face of Cho Oyo, before scrambling across Renjo La (Pass) to enter Bhote Kosi Valley. The trail then descends through yak-grazing pastures to Thami, where we begin our return journey to Kathmandu, accompanied by a thousand memories and a huge sense of achievement.

    Why we love it

    • Cho La and Renjo La are rugged high passes that link the major valleys of the Everest region. Crossing them and climbing the peaks of Kala Patar and Gokyo provides for an unforgettable Himalayan experience.
    • Following the classic Everest Trail to Dingboche offers dramatic views of Ama Dablam and the Lhotse-Nuptse face.
    • Ascending to Gorak Shep to visit the Everest Base Camp and also climbing Kala Patar for breathtaking close-up views of Mount Everest, before traversing the glaciated Cho La (Pass) to Gokyo, is incredible.
    • Exploring the valley and climbing Gokyo Ri for more astonishing mountain vistas, including another angle of Everest and the huge south face of Cho Oyo.
    • Scrambling across Renjo La (Pass) to enter Bhote Kosi Valley.

    Itinerary

    Day 1 - Kathmandu (1360m)

    • Upon arrival in Kathmandu, you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. Our airport representative will be waiting outside the airport terminal a few metres from the exit door. Look out for the Peregrine signboard. The drive from the airport to the hotel is around 20 minutes.
    • A briefing given by the group leader is scheduled for the late afternoon. He will discuss your trekking program and co-ordinate any last minute arrangements.
    • The evening is free, but your tour leader will usually organise an evening meal (optional) at one of Kathmandu’s fine Nepali restaurants. Alternatively you can enjoy dinner at the hotel.
    Shangri La Hotel or similar

    Day 2 - Kathmandu (1360m)

    • In the morning you will explore Kathmandu on an organised sightseeing tour. You will visit Bodhnath Stupa, one of the biggest Buddhist shrines in the world, where you can observe Buddhist monks in prayer in the monasteries surrounding the stupa.
    • You will also visit Pashupatinath, the most famous Hindu temple in the country, located on the banks of the holy Bagmati River. Here you will see Hindu holy men (sadhus) meditating, pilgrims bathing, and occasionally funeral pyres burning on the ghats.
    • The rest of your afternoon in Kathmandu is free for further sightseeing and exploration. In the late afternoon you will be issued with your Trek Pack and departure information for the next morning.
    • Tonight you will partake in a wonderful traditional Nepalese banquet with traditional dancing.
    Shangri La Hotel or similar
    Breakfast

    Day 3 - Phakding (2652m)

    • In the early morning you will take the spectacular flight from Kathmandu to Lukla (2827m), flying parallel to the giant Himalayan Mountains bordering Nepal and China (Tibet). The flight time is about 40 minutes and you will land at an airstrip built by Sir Edmund Hillary and the Sherpas in the mid-1960s.
    • After landing you will have time to explore the village while your Sherpa crew sort and load the trekking equipment.
    • In the afternoon you will begin your trek by descending towards the Dudh Kosi River where you will join the main trail to Namche Bazaar, located just above Chaunrikharka (2713m). The walking is easy and after passing through the small village of Ghat (2550m), it is only a short walk to Phakding. (Trekking: approximately 3 hours)
    Breakfast

    Day 4 - Namche Bazaar (3446m)

    • From Phakding you will cross the river and head up the valley, following porters from the south that are ferrying supplies to Namche Bazaar. The trail remains close to the river valley and is lined with beautiful blue pine and rhododendron forest that is especially spectacular in the spring months, when the flowers are in bloom.
    • You will cross the Dudh Kosi River at Benkar, where you will catch tantalising glimpses of the snow-capped peaks of Kusum Kanguru (6369m) and Thamserku (6623m).
    • From here it is only a short walk to Monjo (2835m), where you will arrive in time for lunch. In the afternoon the walking is a little tougher and includes the steep ascent to Namche Bazaar.
    • From Monjo it is a short walk to the entrance of the national park, before crossing the Dudh Kosi River to Jorsale (2805m).
    • The trek continues upstream on generally flat terrain, crossing back to the right bank to the confluence of the Bhote Kosi and Dudh Kosi Rivers, where you will start the steep climb to Namche Bazaar.
    • After crossing a large and stable suspension bridge high above the river, you will slowly ascend at a steady pace. There are some fantastic photographic opportunities as the peaks of Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse and Taweche (6542m) come into view for the first time. (Trekking: approximately 7 hours)

    Day 5 - Namche Bazaar (3446m)

    • (Acclimatisation Day) You will remain at Namche Bazaar for a second night to allow you to properly acclimatise to the altitude.
    • Namche is a prosperous village situated in a large protected hollow. It gained its importance during the period when Tibetan salt was traded for the lowland grains of Nepal. Today a limited amount of trade still exists at Namche and Tibetans are often seen in the village trading rugs and Chinese-made goods, clothing, salt and dried meat.
    • It is recommended that you take the opportunity to see both the sunrise and sunset views from the national park headquarters above the village. The stunning vista includes a superb panorama of the Khumbu peaks and great views of Everest.
    • After breakfast, a variety of options are on offer. Perhaps a walk towards Thami (3810m) above the beautiful Bhote Khola River Valley, or a visit to the national park headquarters to see the interesting displays of Sherpa lifestyle and culture. There are also mountaineering displays and information on the park’s flora and fauna. Your guides are on hand to offer advice and escort you on walks.

    Day 6 - Thyangboche (3875m)

    • From Namche Bazaar, you will climb towards the park headquarters and follow a contouring trail high above the Dudh Kosi River. Above Namche the route to Thyangboche becomes visible, the monastery can be seen nestling below the summit of Everest and surrounded by other Himalayan peaks.
    • On today’s walk there will be opportunities to spot local wildlife including the beautiful Danfe pheasant, often seen among the birch and silver fir forest between Shanasa and Trashinga, and Himalayan tahr, on the high ground above the trail.
    • After reaching the reforestation nursery at Trashinga, the trail drops steeply before crossing the Dudh Kosi River at Phunkitenga (3250m), where you will have lunch.
    • In the afternoon you will ascend, initially steeply, through pine, fir, black juniper and rhododendron forests towards Thyangboche. The monastery and the lodge are located in a beautiful meadow surrounded by towering Himalayan peaks in a truly peaceful and tranquil setting.
    • The most notable peaks seen from here are Kantega, Ama Dablam (perhaps the most beautiful peak in the region) and, of course, Mount Everest. (Trekking: approximately 6 hours.)

    Day 7 - Pangboche (4040m)

    • According to legend, Thyangboche Monastery was founded in the 17th century by Lama Sange Dorjee, who came from Tibet’s Rongphu Monastery. Thyangboche was destroyed by an earthquake in 1933, rebuilt and again badly damaged by fire in 1989. Construction of the present monastery was completed in 1992.
    • You will spend the first part of morning at Thyangboche visiting the monastery and the nearby museum. There is a small entrance fee for the museum and a small donation to the monastery is appreciated.
    • Later in the morning you will descend through alpine forests to the settlement of Deboche, where there is a convent. You will then walk through to Milingo to cross a bridge over Imja Khola.
    • From here the trail gradually climbs up, with great views of Ama Dablam, to the village of Pangboche where you will stop for the night.
    • In the afternoon you will visit the village of Upper Pangboche. You will then head off towards a ridge below Tawache, to aid in your acclimatisation before returning to the lodge for tea and biscuits. (Trekking: approximately 2 hours)

    Day 8 - Dingboche (4360m)

    • Today you will have a pleasant walk, ascending gradually high above the Imja Khola River and passing the tea houses at Orsho before crossing the river and old glacial moraines on your way to the lodge in the settlement of Dingboche.
    • The scenery is spectacular and although Everest here disappears behind the Lhotse-Nuptse ridge, the huge peaks that tower above the eastern end of the valley are ample compensation.
    • You will now be almost completely above the tree-line and, in clear conditions, can look out for spectacular sunsets here and on Ama Dablam.
    • Today’s walk will be quite tiring due to the altitude, so it is important to take notice of your trek leader’s advice and recommendations regarding rest and fluid intake. (Trekking: approximately 4 hours)

    Day 9 - Dingboche (4360m)

    • (Rest and Acclimatisation Day) Dingboche is a beautiful patchwork of small fields enclosed by stone walls. The walls protect crops of barley and potatoes from the cold winds. It is occupied mainly through the monsoon months, when large numbers of yaks are brought here to graze in the valley pastures.
    • Behind your lodge the huge rock faces of Taweche seem to soar to the heavens. The trek leader will advise you on activities for today, but the short excursion up the valley towards Chukkung is a worthwhile option.
    • The views are fantastic in this valley; the towering south face of Lhotse to the north, Island Peak in the centre of the valley and the fluted ice walls of unnamed peaks that line the southern end of the valley, all form a hauntingly beautiful sight.
    • In the afternoon an optional hike up the hill behind your lodge will enable you to view the world's fifth highest mountain, Makalu (8481m), which is not visible from the valley floor.

    Day 10 - Lobuje (4930m)

    • In the afternoon, there will be a solid and quite steep climb on a rocky trail to the top of the moraines. On the crest of the ridge, you will pass a line of memorial cairns, built in memory of Sherpas and other climbers who have died on the various Everest expeditions over the last 50 years.
    • From here the view is spectacular - Pumori (7145m), Lingtren (6697m), Khumbutse (6623m) and, across the border in Tibet, Changtse (7550m), are seen at the head of the valley whilst Everest remains hidden behind the towering walls of Nuptse and Lhotse.
    • You will then follow the valley stream to the lodge at Lobuje, arriving early in the afternoon. Today will be tiring, but the fantastic scenery makes it all very worthwhile.
    • If you still have some energy and conditions are clear, a walk, taken gradually, up on to the large ridge at the rear of the lodge will reward you with even more spectacular views. (Trekking: approximately 6½ hours)

    Day 11 - Gorak Shep (5160m) - Everest Base Camp

    • As the trek to Gorak Shep is relatively short, you will have the opportunity to enjoy a leisurely breakfast before beginning the day’s walk. From Lobuje you will follow the broad valley that runs parallel to Khumbu Glacier.
    • A gradual ascent enables you to build the slow, steady rhythm required when walking at high altitude. When you reach the moraines of Changri Nup Glacier, you will make a series of small ascents and descents over a rocky trail lined with cairns that eventually leads to the surprising glacial sands of Gorak Shep (5160m) - reached after about three hours of walking.
    • After a quick bite you will gear up appropriately and head off towards the Everest Base Camp. The trek to the base camp can be achieved in around three hours, and if trekking in the popular climbing period of March to May, you will almost certainly encounter yaks and porters supplying food and equipment to expeditions here.
    • From Everest Base Camp you will not get views of Mount Everest, but you will be able to see the notorious Everest Ice Fall that flows from the Western Cwm, which is regarded as technically the hardest and most dangerous section of the mountain. The return journey from the Base Camp to Gorak Shep takes the same amount of time. You will have an early dinner so that you’re be able to get up early the next day for awe-inspiring views of the Himalayan giants from Kala Patar. (Trekking: approximately 3 hours to Gorak Shep, 5 hours round trip to Everest Base Camp.)

    Day 12 - Kala Patar - Dzongla (4850m)

    • You will wake up early the next day for the trek to Kala Patar (5545m) to experience the sensational sunrise views from this amazing vantage point. From the lodge the ascent is quite steep, so you should start very slowly and try to ascend at a steady rhythmic pace.
    • Kala Patar is the rocky hilltop below Pumori. It is a tough walk because of the altitude, but the view from the top will surpass your wildest imagination. It will probably take a good hour and a half to reach the summit from Gorak Shep, although lower viewpoints can provide views that are almost as good.
    • Pumori, Nuptse, Changtse, Ama Dablam, Taweche, Kantega and Everest, the highest mountain in the world, will surround you. About three kilometres away and some 200 metres below, the area of the Everest Base Camp can be seen in a bowl at the bottom of the Khumbu Ice Fall.
    • For many trekkers, reaching Kala Patar is a very emotional experience and it is worthwhile spending as long as you wish in order to savour this special moment.
    • The descent back down to Gorak Shep will be easy and once back at the lodge you will have a quick drink and head off to the rooms to pack your kit bags whilst breakfast is being prepared. After breakfast you will set off to Lobuche, where you will stop for lunch.
    • You will then follow the Lobuche Khola downstream where, after a while, you will take a trail to the right heading off towards Dzongla. Upon arrival you will settle into your lodge and prepare for the crossing of the snowfields that lead to the top of Cho La (Pass). (Trekking: approximately 8 hours)

    Day 13 - Thangnak (4600m)

    • The day will begin very early in order to reach the top of the pass in the best possible conditions. From camp you will ascend steeply on a narrow trail passing large boulders and huge rock slabs, always keeping to the left of the main glacier.
    • There will be a number of cairns lining the route to the snowfield and, while the trail is well-defined, it does involve a little scrambling.
    • Once on the snowfield the angle eases off and you will soon reach the top of the pass (5420m). The views are spectacular and include Baruntse (7220m), and Ama Dablam, as well as a sea of lesser peaks.
    • Do not wander around the snowfield as there are crevasses and you may need to rope up for the pass crossing! The descent from the pass is steep and care should be taken as you follow the narrow rocky trail down to the Nymagawa Valley, where you will enjoy a packed lunch.
    • From the valley you will cross rocky scree and boulders and ascend the short distance to a small saddle that leads downhill on an easy trail to the huts and tea houses at Thangnak. (Trekking: approximately 6-7 hours)

    Day 14 - Gokyo (4720m)

    • You will head off towards the Ngozumba Glacier where you will do a touch of boulder hopping as you pass small glacial lakes. The views are astounding, you will enjoy different perspectives of the Gokyo Valley as Cho Oyu and the adjacent mountains bordering Tibet loom to the right.
    • The trail then reaches the second lake of Gokyo, where you can see Brahminy ducks swimming in pairs and feeding on algae. From the second lake it will take another 45 minutes to reach the settlement of Gokyo where you will spend the night.
    • You will have lunch at Gokyo and then have the afternoon off to relax and rest. If you are feeling well acclimatised, there is an option to head off to Gokyo Ri in the afternoon for spectacular sunset views.
    • It is a steady climb to the top of Gokyo Ri and takes about two and a half hours to reach the top. Though it is hard work, you will be rewarded with an unsurpassable 360-degree view of four 8000-metre peaks - Everest (8848m), Cho-Oyo (8153m), Lhotse (8511m) and Makalu (8481m). There are countless other towering snow-capped peaks and rock spires filling the horizon including Gyachung Kang (7922m) to the east of Cho-Oyo, Cholatse (6440m), Taweche (6542m) and Kangchung (6103m).
    • After spending time snapping breathtaking photos, you will head back down to the lodge at the bottom. With the fading light the descent can be tricky and your flashlights will come in handy. (Trekking: approximately 3-4 hours)

    Day 15 - Gokyo (4720m)

    • (Rest and Exploration Day) Those who have opted for the morning views at Gokyo Ri will have to rise early for an ascent of the Gokyo Peak (5360m), while the others can have a late breakfast and possibly take an optional walk up the Gokyo Valley to enjoy further magnificent scenery.

    Day 16 - Arya (4650m)

    • You will have an early start today as this is promises to be a long day. The trail skirts around north of Gokyo Lake and then climbs up though scree slope as you reach a highland pasture. Looking back, you will enjoy excellent views of Gokyo and the mountains in the background.
    • You will continue to climb on scree and also boulder hop towards Renjo La (Pass) (5420m). You will finally reach the top of the pass, which is marked by prayer flags. From here you can have a look into Nangpa Valley and, looking back, you will have views of Everest and Makalu.
    • You will stop at the pass to have your packed lunch and take a well-deserved rest.
    • The descent is tricky as you will have to walk on scree and loose rocks (ropes are fixed in icy conditions to facilitate the descent). After a while you will reach a glacial lake where the valley opens up.
    • You will continue to head down the valley through open pastures for sometime before bearing right to reach the small settlement of Arya, on the main trade route to Tibet coming from the Nangpa La (Pass). It is a long day and the lodge at Arya is a welcome sight. (Trekking: approximately 8 hours.)

    Day 17 - Thami (4289m)

    • You will have a late start and descend all the way down today, following the Bhote Kosi River downstream. You will walk down Nangpa Valley, passing through small settlements to finally reach the village of Marlung, where you will stop for lunch.
    • From Marlung the trail continues to descend and undulate passing through the village of Taranga to reach Thami Og and then Thami Teng, the birth place of Tenzing Sherpa.
    • Thami is quite a famous village with many Everest summiteers living here, including Appa Sherpa who has climbed Everest an incredible 18 times. (Trekking: approximately 4-5 hours)

    Day 18 - Phakding (2652m)

    • After breakfast you will leave Thami and descend to cross the Bhote Khola on a sturdy suspension bridge. There are some impressive Buddhist rock paintings in the area and, on the cliffs above and below, Himalayan tahrs can often be seen. Your route will continue through the village of Thamo and back to Namche Bazaar where you will take a welcome break for lunch.
    • In the afternoon you will descend steeply down to the large suspension bridge over the Dudh Kosi River. You will follow the trail through Jorsale and back to Monjo. It is then a short walk via Benkar through blue pine and rhododendron forest, with great views of Kusum Kangaru, back to the lodge in Phakding. (Trekking: approximately 6 hours)

    Day 19 - Lukla (2827m)

    • This will be your last day of trekking, it is only a short walk through the valley before making the final climb up to the airstrip at Lukla. You will then have lunch at your lodge and the afternoon is free to wander around, relax, or perhaps enjoy a hot shower! In the evening you will enjoy a farewell dinner, followed by a few celebratory drinks and dancing with your Sherpa companions. (Trekking: approximately 3½ hours)

    Day 20 - Kathmandu (1360m)

    • You will rise early in the morning to fly back to Kathmandu. On arrival in Kathmandu you will be met and transferred back to the starting hotel. The rest of the day is free to do souvenir shopping or further sightseeing. Located in the south of the city, Patan is also worth a visit with its own Durbar Square full of historic structures and statues of past kings. You will have the chance to go out on the town and enjoy a final dinner (optional) with your travelling companions and newfound friends to celebrate your final night in Kathmandu.
    Shangri La Hotel or similar

    Day 21 - Kathmandu (1360m)

    • Your trip will come to an end today after breakfast. Your leader will be on hand to advise and assist with your onward travel arrangements. A departure transfer to the airport is not included. Kathmandu has so much to offer and occasionally flights from Lukla can be delayed, so we recommend that you consider booking pre-tour or post-tour accommodation and a departure transfer before you commence your travels.
    Breakfast
  • What to Know

    What's Included

    • The services of Peregrine's expert English-speaking local trek leader throughout the tour, and local guides at some sites.
    • Porterage on trek.
    • Return local flights from Kathmandu to Lukla.
    • 17 day trek exploring five valleys in the Everest region, trekking 3-8 hours per day at altitudes ranging from 2650m to 5545m above sea level.
    • 17 nights comfortable trekking lodge accommodation, generally in twin-share rooms with beds with foam mattresses and pillows.
    • Ascents of Kala Patar (5545m) and Gokyo Ri (5360m).
    • Crossings of Cho La Pass (5420m) and Renjo La Pass (5420m).
    • Visit to Everest Base Camp.
    • Trek Pack valued at over US$500 – kitbag designed with porter comfort in mind; high quality sleeping bag designed for sub-zero temperatures; inner sheet; and a high-altitude jacket.
    • Instep crampons, ice axes, harnesses and ropes (if required).
    • Acclimatisation days in Namche Bazaar and Dingboche, with guides on hand to escort walks.
    • Sightseeing (including entrance fees where relevant): Kathmandu - Bodhnath Stupa, Pashupatinath and the holy Bagmati River; and Thyangboche Monastery.
    • Free time to explore Kathmandu and Lukla.
    • Arrival transfer.

    Not Included

    • International flights
    • Airport departure taxes
    • Airport departure transfer
    • Visas
    • Insurance
    • Meals not listed
    • Any optional tours and activities during free time,
    • Camera fees
    • Excess baggage charges
    • Showers on trek (if available)
    • Tips or gratuities
    • Items of a personal nature
    • Please allow US$725 for meals.
  • Map Itinerary

  • Past Travellers' Ratings & Comments

    At the end of each trip, we ask our travellers to provide feedback. We publish the positive, negative and neutral feedback on this page to give you an overall idea of what to expect on this trip.

    Everest High Passes

    Janet - Australia, 28 Apr, 2012
    4
    Overall Rating

    Everest High Passes

    Gus - Australia, 31 Mar, 2012
    5
    Overall Rating

    This trip was fantastic. At every turn Dorgee and the boys were there to offer assistance, wit, laughter and history lessons.

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Trip at a glance

Trip Code PHEP
Group size 6 - 14
Start City: Kathmandu
End City: Kathmandu

What to know

Physical preparation is essential. You will be trekking on hilly terrain, with plenty of ascents and descents, often on steep and narrow trails, walking anywhere between 2-8 hours per day, on average about 5 hours a day. Altitude may exceed 5545 metres.

 

 

 

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