Everest High Altitude Transverse – Two High Passes – 21 Days
This is the ultimate Everest Circuit Trek meant for only the truly adventurous as this trail takes us from Thame to Gokyo over Renjo La pass (5345m) and Gokyo to EBC over Cho La pass (5420m). The summit of Mt. Everest is the highest elevation above sea level on planet Earth, and its name has entered the language as a metaphor for the ultimate of anything. The Everest transverse trek travels to the remotest parts of the Khumbu and visits all the main valleys of the region. It is one of the best trekking routes in Nepal and is very challenging and famous trail with unforgettable memories of Himalayan experience. You can explore fascinating Sherpa villages and visit the Buddhist monasteries. The Everest high altitude transverse is an ultimate three weeks trekking experience for those who wish to visit Everest Base Camp. The route is longer and more challenging as it crosses two high passes, the Renjo la (5345m) and the Cho La (5420m) and takes to the Everest view point of Kala Patthar (5545m).
The trip begins with a flight from Kathmandu to Lukla, the trailhead for Everest trek in the Khumbu Valley. From here, we trek to Namche Bazar, the Sherpa capital, before breaking off the main Everest trail and heading west to Thame and onwards towards the remote Nangpa Valley, close to the border with Tibet. Crossing through 5345m Renjo La is a tough day, but at the end of the day we are rewarded with breathtaking views of Everest, as well and mountains to the east and Cho Oyu to the west. Through a leisurely walk downhill we reach the serene beauty of Gokyo Lakes, where we will have a rest day, before climbing the famous view point of Gokyo Ri (5360m/17586ft) from where the mountain panorama is stunning: from distant Kusum Kanguru, Thamserku, Kyashar and Kantega in the southeast to the prominent Taboche and Cholatse as you turn eastward, to Makalu, Lhotse, Nuptse, Everest, Changtse and Pumori. Our route continues over the colossal Ngozumpa Glacier then climbs to the foot of the next high pass, the Cho La. The crossing of the Cho La involves walking up steep screen, which is frequently icy, to reach a small glacier at the top, before zig zagging down the other side. We regain the main Everest trail the following day and continue up to Kala Patar and Everest Base Camp. From base camp, we complete our trekking circuit by returning to Lukla down the main Khumbu Valley passing by the many Sherpa villages of Khumbu Valley.
Day 1: Arrival KATHMANDU (1300m/4265ft)
Namaste and welcome to Nepal and the start of our adventure! We’ll be waiting with a warm greeting and transfer to your hotel. We’ll have a final briefing in the evening regarding our itinerary and overnight at hotel.
Day 2: Full day sightseeing in Kathmandu
Full day sightseeing in UNESCO listed historical sites such as Kathmandu Durbar Square, Boudhanath, Swayambhunath (Monkey temple), and Pashupathinath in Kathmandu valley with experienced Tour Guide by private car/van,
Stay overnight in hotel.
Day 3: Fly to LUKLA (2800m/9187ft); trek to PHAKDING (2610m/8563 ft) 2-3 hours trek; 200m descent, 50m ascent
Early morning flight from Kathmandu International Airport to Lukla Airport and trek to Phakding. Descending above farmlands we pass through Sherpa villages of Chheplung, Ghat and Sano and Thulo Gumela and shrines and monasteries of Drangdrak Gompa and Pema Choling Gompa with breathtaking views of sacred mountain Kumbila and sister summits Kusum Kanguru peaks.
Day 4: Trek to NAMCHE (3420m/11221ft) 5-6 hours/1000m ascent, 100m descent
Heading for the Namche Bazar, we cross through the hamlet of Zamphute and Tok Tok to see dazzling Thamserku glistening in the sun that stays all the way with us in most of our trek. Passing through the scenic Sherpa villages of Benkar, Chumoa and Monjo, we reach Utche Choling Gompa on a bluff abutting the Dudhkoshi river and further we make our way between the bluff to the entrance of Sagarmatha National Park, a UNESCO declared world heritage site. Completing halfway to Namche Bazar, we head for the second half of the march that would likely to take more time due to steep climb at the end. Crossing through the last village of Jorsale, a steep stepped path leads us to an amazing high bridge over the Dudhkoshi River gorge and just before this bridge, the Dudhkoshi is met by its tributary, the BhoteKoshi. Beginning the final steps uphill slowly we reach heights of Namche from where we can have first look at Mt. Everest, peering over the Lhotse-Nuptse ridge and finally after about 1.5km/0.9mile) we reach Namche Bazar.
Day 5: Trek KHUMJUNG (3780m/12402ft); back to NAMCHE
This day, we start the climb through the U shaped hillside above Namche from beside the Gompa. In the way we see several snowy peaks of Kwangde, Khumbila and Thamserku and Tagi Tau and Pharchamo, Tip of Ama Dablam and Taboche and we reach a sign posted intersection from where we move towards right hand for Khumjung. Walking past a large chorten and a long mani wall, we reach a viewpoint to Everest “THE EVEREST VIEW HOTEL” for lunch, Lhotse and Lhotse Shar ( East ) peak, besides Thamserku , Ama Dablam and Taboche and then path drops to Khumjung past the Hillary School. Khumjung is famous for its gompa that stands in a grove of cedar in the upper part of the village where there is an image of the Guru Padmasambhawa, who helped establish Buddhism in Tibet, flanked by his two consorts. Inside the gompa is preserved a skull that lamas believe is that of the yeti, but was disapproved by scientists in US. In the evening we return back to Namche for the night stay.
Day 6: Trek to THAME (3750m/12304ft)
We leave Namche Bazaar and head up the Thame valley which takes around 4-5 hours depending on the pace of walking. This valley is off route for most trekking groups and we are likely to find the paths relatively quiet. The village houses are very spread out. In the afternoon we can visit the small gompa situated on a rocky promontory above the village.
Day 7: Trek to LUNGDEN (4350m/14272ft)
From Thame we head north into the remote Nangpa Valley. Until 2005 this valley was off limits to trekkers because it was a main access route to the Nangpa La, a high pass linking Nepal with Tibet. For hundreds of years, many Tibetan traders have traveled this route, bringing a variety of Chinese goods on the backs of their yaks to sell in Namche Bazaar. Following this trail we reach Marulung on the east bank of Bhotekoshi River. From Marulung it is only about a one hour ascent to Lungden.
Day 8: Trek to GOKYO (4750m/15585ft)
Continuing our trek from Lungden, we reach the south bank of Angladumba Tsho, the small serene lake and crossing which we travel through Renjo La pass (5345m/17537ft), where an eye-popping vista awaits.
Day 9: Trek to GOKYO RI (5360m/17586ft); back to GOKYO
Early in the morning, we continue our journey towards the Gokyo Ri. In this trek we have the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful isolated Himalayan scenes by exploring around or climbing Gokyo Ri. We return to Gokyo for the night stay.
Day 10: Trek to THANGNAK (4700m/15421ft)
Descending down steeply crossing the lakes the trail brings us to the edge of Ngozumpa glacier that is among the longest in Nepal and covered with debris. At places beneath is exposed and large melt water ponds are formed. We reach a settlement of Thangnak crossing through the fabulous mountain views of Phari Lapche (6017m/19740 ft), more distant and higher peak of Kyajo Ri (6186m/20295ft) and great icy wall of Cho Oyu.
Day 11: Trek to DZONGLA(4830m/15847ft)
This is the trip when we come across to our 2nd pass Chola pass at 5330m (161 ft).From the top, we can enjoy excellent panoramic views of the surrounding mountains of Lhotse, Ama Dablam, Thamserku, and Mt. Everest.
Day 12: Trek to LOBUCHE (4930m/16175ft)
From Dzongla, the trail levels and then makes a gradual climb up and down to the small Sherpa settlement of Lobuche. This is a small village situated nearby the stream. The sunset on Nuptse is a memorable sight from here.
Day 13: Trek to GORAKSHEP (5160m/16930ft)
The first stage of the trek from Lobuche to Gorek Shep is mostly easy walking (other than the fact that we are approaching 5160m of elevation). We start below the lateral moraine of the Khumbu Glacier and gradually ascend. Now the Changri Shar and Changri Nup Glaciers descend from the two sides of Changri Mountain down to Khumbu Glacier. At first there is a steep section of switchbacks up onto the glacier and then a series of rocky and occasionally icy ups and downs. We finally pass across and then a short descent brings us to Gorak Shep. It is extremely cold here (night temperatures almost always well below freezing) and often windy but the place is very scenic with snow capped mountains looming all around.
Day 14: Trek to EBC (5340m/17521ft); back to GORAKSHEP
This day leads us to the Base Camp of Mount Everest walking through rocky and glacial trails where climbers gather for summiting Everest. We have a free afternoon at Everest Base Camp. This will provide an opportunity to trek to the foot of the Khumbu icefall or perhaps chat with some of the climbing teams here.
Day 15: Trek to KALA PATTHAR (5545m/18193ft); trek down to DINGBOCHE (4360m/14305ft)
Finally this is our date with Everest. Although Everest in first light is a dramatic sight, the mountain paranoma from Kalapatthar looks best when the sun is someway up in the sky. Crossing through the wide sandy bed of the dried up lake and steep zigzags we ascend about 100m to have the great view of Lingtren, Khumbutse and Changtse. As the climb begins again, we get a grand view of Khumbu glacier and Nuptse massif and finally we climb to the rocky viewpoint of Kala Patthar. It’s a slow tough climb but every meter ascended is rewarded by a bit more of Everest and finally we find ourselves sitting on the Kala Patthar rocks in middle of unbelievable Himalayan Panorama. We descend down to Dingboche for the night stay.
Day 16: Trek to CHHUKUNG (4730m/15519ft)
The hike to Chukhung from Dingboche takes us up the Imja khola valleyto a land driven by glacial moraines amidst towering formidable mountains. It is a 3-4 hour trek and we can return the same day, but once there, we will be tempted to stay back and climb Chhukung Ri (5546m/18196ft), the rocky hill behind the village. The hike to Chhukung Ri takes 2-3 hours. We return back to Chhukung for night stay.
Day 17: Trek to TENGBOCHE (3870m/12697ft)
The trail makes a gradual descent through scrub junipers and around Mani stones as it follows the hillside. The trail passes many Mani walls in deep rhododendron forests where crossing after the Imja khola, the trail climbs many carved Mani stones to Pangboche. Pangboche Gompa is the oldest in Khumbu; a visit will be well worth. Walk down to the valley from where the trail is shallower through alpine meadows. Followed by climb gradually up to Tengboche where the biggest monastery lies in the whole of Khumbu.
Day 18: Trek back NAMCHE
We walk down from the rear of monastery and continue down until we reach Phunki Tenga. Climb up gradually through a forest. Once we are out of the forest, we will be walking along a ridge from where we can see down on our left some of the deepest gorges of Nepal. In spring, the rhododendrons will look superb making the valley even more beautiful. We reach Namche Bazaar for overnight.
Day 19: Trek back LUKLA
Our final day’s trekking follows the Dudh Kosi down to Lukla retracing the way we came up.
Day 20: Fly back KATHMANDU
We fly back from Lukla to Kathmandu and are dropped to the hotel. This is a leisure day which can be utilized buying gifts and souvenirs for your friends and family. We’ll reunite in the evening for a farewell dinner at one of the best Nepalese restaurants in town, where we’ll be eager to hear your feedback on the trip. Overnight at the hotel in Kathmandu.
Day 21: Kathmandu: Departure Day
Our team will drop you to Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport for your departure.
Namaste & we hope see you again soon!
Cost, Includes and Excludes
- All airport/hotel pick up and drop in private car/van
- 3 Nights Hotel in Kathmandu including breakfast
- 12 Nights stay in Lodge/Guest House during trek.
- An experienced English speaking Trekking Guide and a Porter during trek.
- Salary, food, insurance and lodging cost for guide and porter
- Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and Tea/Coffee during trek.
- Welcome and Farewell Meals and Breakfasts while in Kathmandu.
- National Park Permit and TIMS for Everest.
- Air fare from Kathmandu to Lukla and return flight to Kathmandu and domestic flight departure taxes.
- Down Jacket and Sleeping Bag that needs to be returned to office after trek completion.
- Nepal entry visa fees.
- International airfare and departure tax.
- Bar bills, laundry and other expenses of personal nature.
- Travel insurance including evacuation.
- 1 Lunch in Kathmandu
- Tips for local staffs, guides and porters.