Everest High Passes

Everest High Passes must be the ultimate Everest trek. Beginning from the famous Khumbu Valley, home of the Sherpas, we acclimatise before following the trail taken by many of the great Everest climbers to Dingboche. Here we will embark upon our first summit, Nangkartshang Peak. Further up the valley we climb Chukkung Ri for magnificent views of some of the biggest mountains in the world. Our first pass is the Kongma La, with amazing close up views of Nuptse, which takes us to Lobuje, from where we have a chance to ascend Kala Pattar for the classic view of the south face of Everest. From here we cross the Cho La pass and enter the quieter Gokyo Valley. Here, we are surrounded by incredible glacial lakes and an ascent of Gokyo Ri offers unbeatable panoramic views. Our last pass is the Renzo La which takes us into the Thame Valley and the final leg of this circular trek back to Lukla. With most of the walking above 3600m this is definitely not recommended for novices, but will appeal to those who are fit and have previously trekked at altitude.

Detailed Itinerary

  • DAY 1:Arrive Kathmandu and transfer to the hotel.
    Drive approx  25 minutes depending on the traffic. After the check in formalities at the hotel lobby there will be short briefing of the following day's program by your Tour Leader. After the briefing you have a choice to go for group dinner  to a Nepalese restaurant and experience the culture through our food and dance.


    DAY 2: Free day in Kathmandu 1350m
    There will be a full trek briefing today. After briefing its  free for individual exploration and you may like to visit some of the most important temples in the valley – Pashupatinath is one of the most important Hindu temples in Nepal, Boudhanath the largest Buddhist stupa and Swayambhunath from where you get a good view of the whole of Kathmandu. Kathmandu is a busy city full of contrasts and extremes. Temples, religious shrines and a way of life centuries old all mingle with the hustle and bustle of 21st century. (B&B)


    DAY 3: Fly to Lukla (2850m), trek to Phakding (or Monzo)
    We take the spectacular flight to Lukla, where we meet our guides. We set off downhill from Lukla to the village of Phakding (2656m) or Monjo (2815m).
    Approximately 4-5 hours walking. Lodge (B)


    DAY 4: Namche Bazaar 3445m
    We climb steadily on a winding path on the banks of the Dudh Kosi River, through villages and forests dwarfed by gigantic rock walls until a final steep climb that brings us to Namche Bazaar. Namche is in a unique position surrounded by mountain ranges with colourful houses scattered in an amphitheatre of rock. Approximately 5-6 hours walking. Lodge (B)


    DAY5: Namche Bazaar 3445m
    This morning we get up early to walk to the top of Namche for stunning sunrise views of the summit of Everest (8,848m) peeping out from behind the rock curtain of Nuptse. Today we spend the day around Namche acclimatizing to the rarified air. We will trek to the villages of Khumjung and Khunde. At Kunde is the hospital built by Sir Edmund Hillary and in Khumjung we can visit the Hillary School and the ancient monastery which houses the only remaining skull of a Yeti. Approximately 5-6 hours walking. Lodge (B)


    DAY 6:Tengboche (3867m)
    Trek to Tengboche.


    DAY 7: Dingboche 4350m
    A dramatic walk on a narrow traversing path to the quiet village of Pangboche (3900m), one of the highest inhabited villages on earth. A gradual climb leads us past Shomore, where we stop for lunch and then further climbing takes us above the tree line to the to the remote Sherpa village of Dingboche (4350m) at the entrance to the Khumbu valley. A slow and steady pace as we gain altitude will reap benefits. Approximately 5 hours walking. Lodge (B)


    DAY 8: Dingboche; trek to Nangkartshang Peak
    We stay here for another night for acclimatization and today head towards Nangkartshang Peak (5100m) for amazing views of an array of peaks including Makalu and Ama Dablam. The trail is very steep and we go as far as we can today. We return to Dingboche for a late lunch and have the afternoon to explore the village. Approximately 5 hourswalking. Lodge (B)


    DAY 9: Chukkung Ri 5417m
    We follow an easy trail up the valley following the Imja Khola towards the village of
    Chukkung, with Island Peak looming directly ahead. From here we climb to Chukkung Ri (5417m) for  stunning panorama dominated by Makalu. Approximately 5 hours walking. Lodge (B)


    DAY10: Lobuje 4950m
    If the weather is good and we’re feeling fit, we will head for Lobuje via the Kongma
    La (5535m). It’s a very long day so we leave early taking  packed lunch from the lodge or plenty of snacks. The route climbs all morning and follows grassy slopes towards the pass past a series of beautiful lakes. A final steep rocky section brings us to the top where we are rewarded by some of the best views of the trek. Nuptse rises right above us and we can see Makalu in the distance and a whole host of other 7000m peaks. The descent is very steep and rocky at first so we need to be careful on the descent. A long descent brings us to the edge of the Khumbu glacier and the final sting in the tail today is a walk across the glacier. The trail goes up and down across this amazing mass of ice and rock to the small collection of lodges at Lobuje. This is a long and challenging day, and only to be attempted by those who are feeling strong and have acclimatised well. If in doubt it will be better to join the porters on the shorter route to Lobuche via Dingboche and Duglha. Approximately 10hrs.(B)


    DAY11: Gorak Shep (5180m), visit Everest Base Camp
    An early start again as we have a long walk today. We follow the main trail over the rocky moraine beside the Khumbu Glacier and climb up and down for almost 3 hours to the few lodges at Gorak Shep. After a light lunch and  rest, there is an option to continue on to Everest Base Camp (5300m), which will take another 3 hours. Take snacks, water and warm clothes as there are no lodges at Everest Base Camp. The trail climbs up and down at the side of the Khumbu glacier finally dropping onto the glacier itself for the last half an hour. From Base Camp we can see the Khumbu Icefall tumbling down from Everest and in spring we can see the colourful tents of the expeditions attempting the peak. A quick photo stops and we retrace our steps to our lodge at Gorak Shep arriving late afternoon. Approximately  7/8 hours walking.Lodge(B)


    DAY12: Lobuje 4930m- Kala Patar (5545m)
    Early morning often gives clear weather on Kala Patar (5545m), a steep 2.5/3 hour climb above Gorak Shep. A must for the classic view of Everest’s magnificent south face and the Khumbu Icefall. We return to Gorak Shep and descend to Lobuje. Approximately 5-6 hours walking. Lodge (B)


    DAY13 : Dzongla 4843m
    We head for Dzongla, which is an easy 4 hrs walk from Lobuje on a wonderful trail contouring the hillsides with magnificent views. Lodge (B)


    DAY14: Cross the Cho La to Thangnak 4700m
    A long day as we cross the glaciated Cho La Pass. We head up a quiet valley below the dramatic north face of Cholatse (6440m) towards Cho La (5368m). The route gets steeper with some rocky scrambling. After crossing the glacier at the top we descend, at first on a very steep rocky tail and then crossing a couple of ridges to drop down to our next lodge at Thangnak (4700m). Approximately 6-7 hours walking. Lodge (B)


    DAY15: Gokyo 4750m
    We cross the massive Ngozumpa Glacier, the largest in Nepal, to reach  Gokyo. Set in a spectacular location by the lake we can either relax this afternoon.Approximately 3 hours walking. Lodge (B)


    DAY16: Climb Gokyo Ri (5360m)
    This morning we climb Gokyo Ri for another spectacular 360° view including Everest,
    Nupte, Lhotse and the mighty Cho Oyu. The climb is steep and will take 2.5/3 hours.
    We return to Gokyo for lunch and the afternoon is free for more exploration.
    Approximately 4 hours walking. Lodge (B)


    DAY17: Cross the Renzo La (5360m) to Lungden 4300m
    From Gokyo we skirt the lake and head up on a rocky path then across slabs to reach Renjo La (5360m) in about 4 hours. It’s quite similar to the view from Gokyo Ri and on this, our final pass crossing, we can take time to enjoy the grand array of vast Himalayan giants all around us including magnificent views of Everest. All too soon it will be time to drop down, steeply at first, to our next lodge at Lungden. Approximately 8 hours walking. Lodge (B)


    DAY18 :Thame 3820m
    An easy walk down the valley to Thame where we spend the night. We have now joined the trading route between Nepal and Tibet . In the afternoon there will be time to visit Thame’s beautiful Gompa which is over 300 years old and to have a walk around the village to see the way of life which is more traditional here than in the popular trekking areas Approximately 4 hours walking. Lodge (B)


    DAY19: Monzo 2815m
    Heading back down the trail we’ll have a stop in Namche then retrace our steps back down the Dudh Kosi River to  Monzo. Approximately 6 hours walking. Lodge (B)


    DAY20: Lukla 2850m
    We continue down the valley but there is also a fair amount of climbing today to reach Lukla - however by now we are fit and acclimatised, and it’s so much easier than on the way up. It’s time to say goodbye to the porters who have enabled us to make this amazing journey Approximately 5 hours walking. Lodge (B)


    DAY21: Kathmandu
    We Fly from Lukla to Kathmandu and transfer to our hotel and rest of the day is free. (B)


    DAY22: Kathmandu Free day.
    Free day – perhaps visit Swayambhunath – ‘The Monkey Temple, or do some last minute shopping. (B & B)


    DAY23: Depart Kathmandu
    Final Departure . Transfer to Airport or continue with your own arrangements.(B)

Date & Price

Includes & Excludes

  • Profile
    18 days walking with full porterage. Altitude maximum 5546m, average 3900m.
    4 nights hotels, 18 nights teahouses

    Breakfast in Kathmandu only.

    What to Expect
    The High Passes of Everest is a tough trek. It is grade D with 18 days walking. The maximum altitude we reach is 5546m and the average is 3900m.
    It is recommended for those who have previously walked at high altitude, are physically fit and have plenty of stamina. The rewards make the toil well worth it: the best views possible of the world's highest mountains. Acclimatisation time is built in to maximise the chances of everyone completing the circuit. This trek is mostly at high altitude and will involve strenuous conditions in remote areas. Most of the trails are good, but some scrambling and walking on rock, screed, ice and snow should be expected. There are also some steep ascents and descents and long days when crossing the passes. The nights will be cold, often below freezing.
    Crossing the passes, although not technical, will involve some scrambling on rock and screed at the top plus some exposed ascents and descents. The Cho La crosses a glacier so this will always be on ice and snow. It should be noted that in very bad conditions, for example when there has been heavy snowfall, it might not be possible to cross a pass, in which case a lower route will be taken. Your comfort and safety are of paramount importance on our treks, particularly at high altitude. Our leaders have first aid training, and also carry a Portable Altitude Chamber to treat altitude sickness, if required. This means added peace of mind for those choosing this hugely rewarding trek to see the Roof of the World.

    Group size and age
    Min. 2, max. 16, plus leader and appropriate local staff. Minimum age 18.
    Walking & Trekking
    Trips are wholly trekking-focused or simply include a significant number of walking days during the itinerary.

Trip Notes


Duration: 23 Days
Trip Grade: Challenging
Best Season: Spring, Autumn
Accommodation: Hotel, Tea House
Meals: B&B
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