Day 01 - Arrival in Kathmandu [1,350m/4,430ft]
Arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport, Nepal. Upon completing the visa formalities and collecting your luggages in the airport, kindly proceed to the exit of the arrival hall. Your trip leader will await you just outside the arrival hall and will escort you to your hotel in Kathmandu. Please look out for a placard of Highland Expeditions at the exit of arrival hall. Welcome drinks will be served and after you’ve refreshed, your trek leader will brief you about your trip in the lobby of your hotel in the evening. Get familiar with your surroundings by taking a walk down the street
Day 02 - Kathmandu exploration & trek orientation [1,350m/4,430ft]
Today we explore Kathmandu on an organized sightseeing tour. This will include a visit to the Bodhnath Stupa, one of the biggest Buddhist shrines in the world. We also visit Pashupatinath, located on the banks of the holy Bagmati River and home to the most famous Hindu temple in the country. Here we will see Hindu holy men (sadhus) and pilgrims performing ritual bathing, and occasionally, funeral pyres burning on the ghats. The cremation site here is used by the royal family and also for the simple man living next door. Your early afternoon will be free to relax in the hotel garden or visit Thamel for some curious shopping. You will be given your trek departure orientation in the afternoon by our senior guide.
Day 03 - Kathmandu - Lukla - Phakding [2,600m/8,531ft]
After an early morning b/fast, we take the flight from Kathmandu to Lukla at 2827m on STOL aircraft. Flight time is about 30 minutes to the airstrip built by Sir Edmund Hillary and the Sherpas in the mid-1960s. After landing we will have time to explore the village while the Sherpa crew sort out and load the trekking equipment. In the afternoon, we begin the trek by descending towards the Dudh Kosi River, where we join the main trail to Namche Bazaar, just above Chaurikharka at 2713m. The walking is easy and after passing through the small village of Ghat at 2550m, it’s a short walk to Phakding where we’ll stay overnight. Overall elevation gain tonight from previous night: 1,250m/4,100ft
Day 04 - Trek to Namche Bazar [3,450m/11,319ft]
From Phakding, we cross and re-cross the river on high suspension bridges. Beyond Monjo is the entrance to the Sagarmatha National Park which was set-up in order to protect and preserve the fragile mountain environment. We then take a steep hike to Namche. If the weather is clear, we get the first glimpse of Mt Everest. Namche is the main trading village in the Khumbu and has a busy Saturday market - a meeting place for the Hindu traders from the lowlands and the Tibetan yak caravans that have crossed the glaciated Nangpa La. We spend a night at a pretty comfy hotel in Namche. Overall elevation gain tonight from previous night: 850m/2,788ft
Day 05 - Acclimatization day & overnight at Namche [3,450m/11,319ft]
We remain at Namche for a second night to allow for proper acclimatization 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. After breakfast, there are a number of options: perhaps a walk towards Thame (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 is also a mountaineering display and details of the park’s flora and fauna. Your guides will be on hand to offer advice and escort you on your walks.
Day 06 - Trek to Thame [3,800m/12,468ft]
From Namche the route turns west and the trail is almost level as we head up the Bhote Kosi Valley, once a popular trading route into Tibet. Along the way we pass many prayer flags and Mani stones, all indicative of the Tibetan Buddhist culture of this area. After descending to the Bhote Kosi the trail climbs steeply to Thame. From here there are good views of the peaks of Teng Kangpoche and Kwangde. To the north is the Nangpa La, the pass leading to Tibet. Thame Gompa is situated above the village overlooking the valley and is the site for the spring celebrations of the Mani Rimdu festival. Overall elevation gain tonight from previous night: 350m/1,148ft
Day 07 - Trek to Lungde [4,500m/14,764ft]
The high valley beyond Thame sees few trekkers and remains the simple realm of yaks, farming and Sherpas. You walk through some really old, genuine Himalayan villages that mix together almost invisibly into the landscape before arriving at Lungde. We ascend all the way up to Lungde at (4500m). In the course of the hike, we can see great views of the vast Himalayan range up to Renjo la including the lovely views of Kyajo Ri as we arrive at Lungde. Overall elevation gain tonight from previous night: 700m/2,296ft
Day 08 - Rest and acclimatization day at Lungde [4,500m/14,764ft]
Climb high and sleep low!! This is a day to haul up and rest without being idle. Our acclimatizing gets a further boost with our hike today and as we climb nearby hills with gasping breath we soon realize the gritty climb was worth the go. Doing this acclimatization helps in adapting with the high altitude, afterwards retrace back to Lungde for a free afternoon to rest.
Day 09 - Traverse Renjo-La [5,340m/17,520ft] and trek to Gokyo [4,800m/15,750ft]
Today it’s an early start for the trek up and away from the Bhote Khosi towards the ‘twin lakes’ below the Renjo La. Cutting through the lakes, we continue our approach to the Renjo La, following a well-used trail, with stone steps leading almost all the way to the top. We reach the summit prayer flags fluttering in the wind (5340m) after a long morning's walk and take time to benefit from the views across the ranges to Mount Everest - simply incredible. Then, after an initially steep descent, which may be snow covered, the trail becomes well set out once more with stone steps which descend towards the lakes of Gokyo. The third lake is known as Dudh Pokhari and on its east shore is the summer settlement of Gokyo at (4790m). Overall elevation gain tonight from previous night: 300m/984ft
Day 10 - At Gokyo [4,800m/15,750ft]
After the long haul of crossing the Renjo La, there's the option today to chill out and go cool. Those who wish to make the most of this high and wild place can hike up to the 'Fifth Lake' for the ‘Scoundrel's View' of Everest. We spend a second night at our Gokyo lodge after exploring far and wide.
Day 11 - Hike to Gokyo ri [5,357m/17,575ft] and trek to Thangnak [4,750m/15,584ft]
After doing Gokyo, we next head up to Gokyo Ri which lies at the northern edge of Dudh Pokhari, a standard viewpoint for Everest and Cho Oyu and for the glorious panorama encompassing the lakes and across the Ngozumpa Glacier towards the Cho La. The ascent is pretty tough and takes approximately 3 hours for the round trip. Group members wishing to make this ascent will have a reasonably early start and will be guided by the trip leader or one of the Sherpa staff. Reverting to the lodge for an early lunch, we will then set off on the next phase of our journey. Descending to the ‘second’ lake, we then climb to the ridge of the moraine overlooking the Ngozumpa Glacier. The route across the glacier is well marked by cairns and takes around 40 minutes. We climb off the glacier at the place known as Thangnak at (4700m) and check into one of the teahouses available around. Overall elevation gain tonight from previous night: -50m/-164ft
Day 12 - Traverse Chola pass [5,420m/17,783ft] and trek to Dzongla [4820m/15,814ft]
We make it an early start for the tall day across the Cho La (5420m). Approaching the pass, we cross a large boulder field. Beyond this very old moraine, the climb to the pass is steep in places, involving some easy scrambling. The upper part of the route can be snow-covered, particularly after November. From the pass, there are excellent views including a completely different facet of Ama Dablam, now seen from the North West. The descent from the pass involves the crossing of a small glacier (often snow-covered) which is fairly straightforward. We descend to the grazing pastures below, the trail becoming more and clearer as we approach Dzongla (4830m) for a well-earned rest. Overall elevation gain tonight from previous night: 70m/230ft
Day 13 - Trek to Lobuche [4,910m/16,109ft]
After crossing by some of the teahouses of Dzongla, we plod higher onto the pretty risky moraine of the Khumbu glacier, passing a chain of stone monuments built in memory of Sherpas who have died on mountaineering expeditions to Mt Everest. From hereabouts, the trail lowers and goes by the west side of the valley to Lobuche. The sunset on Nuptse from this point is an amazing sight to behold. Overall elevation gain tonight from previous night: 90m/296ft
Day 14 - Trek to E.B.C [5,364m/17,559ft] and trek back to Gorekshep [5,140m/16,864ft]
A real early start is required to reach the Everest Base Camp. It takes several hours as the trail weaves its way through ice pinnacles and past the crevasses of the Khumbu Glacier. After a brief lunch and rest, we take the trail to Everest Base Camp through the once vast Gorak Shep Lake.Only upon reaching the Everest Base Camp do we really appreciate the Everest climbers who brave the risky route through the Khumbu icefall. Mountaineer's tents stand out in bright colors against the monotony of gray surroundings (especially in the spring). Nuptse, Khumbuste and Pumori are the mountains we can view from the base camp. On the return leg, we can take a higher route to get a grand view of the Khumbu icefall and the route to the South Col. We return to Gorakshep for a restful night. Overall elevation gain tonight from previous night: 230m/755ft
Day 15 - Hike up to Kalapatter [5,545m/18,193ft] and trek back to Lobuche [4,910m/16,109ft]
This morning after breakfast, we have the option to climb Kala Patar, one of the premium viewpoints for Everest and the Khumbu Valley. Aiming to make the most of the usually fine sunny morning climate, we have another early start at first light to make the short (2 hour) ascent of Kala Patar at (5545m). Returning to Gorak Shep, we have breakfast before back tracking our steps to Lobuche at (4930m) Overall elevation gain tonight from previous night: -230m/-755ft
Day 16 - Traverse Kongma la [5,535m/18,1260ft] and trek to Chukung (4,730m/15,518ft)
Not given the credit it truly deserves, the Kongma La is a gritty tough pass. The views from the Kongma La are really fabulous, especially towards Makalu in the east, of Ama Dablam's North Ridge and of Nuptse towering immediately over your head. The active village of Chukung is about 4 hours beyond the pass. Overall elevation gain tonight from previous night: -180m/-591ft
Day 17 - Trek to Tengboche [3,800m/12,468ft]
From Chukung, the trail contours on to the side of the valley, high above the Dudh Kosi. We get our first really good views of the great peaks of the Khumbu including Mt Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse and Ama Dablam. Passing by several villages and numerous tea shops where we can rest before making the steep climb to Tengboche. Although the hike up the zigzag path is tiring, it presents us with many beautiful sights of rhododendron bushes with beautiful birds and superb mountain scenery. Tengboche is famous for its legendary monastery, the largest in the Khumbu. A spectacular panorama of Everest, Lhotse and Ama Dablam rising in the horizon can be seen from our lodge.
Day 18 - Trek to Namche [3,450m/11,319ft]
We continue to follow the river and, after crossing it, climb back up through birch and rhododendron forest while enjoying views of Kwangde, Tawache, Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse, Ama Dablam, Kantega and Thamserku are just a few of the Himalayan giants that will be seen. From Tengboche we descend to the bridge over the Dudh Kosi. At Phunki Tenga, we get to see the water driven prayer wheels, before making our way back to proactive Namche for a happy chill out night and a good sleep in a good hotel
Day 19 - Trek to Lukla [2,800m/9187ft]
Our last day of trek following the Dudh Kosi River down to Lukla. It’s only a gradual walk along the Dudhkhosi river after our steep descent from Namche. We’ll have lunch on our way and we make the final climb up to the airstrip at Lukla. Rest of the day is free and you can relax under the warm sun & reflect on the emotional experiences we had while hiking through these massive mountains that have probably helped us re-discover ourselves in ways least expected. This is our final day on these fantastic mountains. Later we celebrate our successful completion of trek with our Sherpa guides and porters who we’ve got to know so well & are now good friends. It’s a pleasure to end this wonderful trip on a happy note. We then slumber into blissful sleep.
Day 20 - Fly back to Kathmandu [1,350m/4,430ft]
We get up early in the morning, enjoy our b/fast & get ready for the arrival of our aircraft for the flight back to Katmandu. On our touchdown at the Kathmandu airport, we will be met by our office reps and transferred to your hotel. Rest of your day is free to do your own things.
Day 21 - In Kathmandu [1,350m/4,430ft]
Free and easy day to spend, perhaps doing shopping or rest at hotel’s beautiful court-yard. At eventide, we will relish a farewell dinner to celebrate your successful completion of the ‘Three high passes trek.’ While enjoying our supper, we will also be entertained to a scintillating cultural dance performed by the local belles Please do not hesitate to let us know if you would like to extend your stay. Kindly email us for more details on extensions.
Day 22 - International departure
Thank you for joining us on this trek and it has been a pleasure getting to know you during this time. We hope this venture has enriched your experience with happy memories. Keep in touch and hope to hear from you soon. Bon voyage for a safe and pleasant trip home.
- All meals (B,L,D) on OPEN/CHOICE Menu whilst on trek with tea & coffee.
- Twin sharing accommodation at Kathmandu guest house or similar category for 4 nights with breakfast
- All required permits for trek
- Internal flights (KTM-LUA-KTM)
- Experienced local trek leader with 1:4 assistant guide to client ratio
- Full support crew with 1 porter for every 2 trekkers
- Sightseeing of Kathmandu including guide and entrance fees
- Kathmandu airport transfers and escorts on private vehicle
- Comprehensive first aid kit with high altitude medicines and oxygen
- Satellite phone for emergency purpose
- Duffel bag, Sleeping bag with liner and Down Jacket (Sleeping bag and down jacket must be returned after completion of trek)
- Staff insurances and allowances
- Trek completion certificate (Upon request)
- International airfare, Visa and travel insurance
- Meals at Kathmandu
- Extra night accommodation in Kathmandu or on trek for any reason (Early arrival or delay, Early arrival from trek due to any reason)
- Personal expenses
- Gratuities for staff