Everest Three Passes Trek – Overview
The Everest Three Passes Trek is a challenging circuit trek offering spectacular views of the highest mountains on earth. From our vantage points at the high passes and the summit of peaks, we will be able to take in spectacular mountain vistas. This is not possible on the standard Everest trek. The ascent to and descent from the passes can be challenging – some sections are icy and requiring navigating over loose rock. But no technical climbing skills are required for this trek. Trekking the Three Passes is similar to our Ultimate Everest Trek but also involves crossing the Kongma La pass, the most challenging of the three passes. The Everest Three Passes Trek is a comprehensive Everest region trek that allows you to see more of everything in the Khumbu: spectacular mountain vistas, Sherpa culture, high passes, and rustic villages.
The Everest Three Passes trek begins with a flight to the airstrip at Lukla. Trek up to the Imja Valley from where you face your first challenge: the crossing of the Kongma La pass (5,535m /18,159ft) to Lobuche. Continue to the Everest Base Camp and climb Kalapathar for an up-close view of the south face of Everest. Continue over the Cho La pass (5,420m/17,782ft) to the Gokyo valley near the Ngozumpa Glacier. At Gokyo, you will hike to the summit of Gokyo Ri – a vantage point to view four mountains over 8,000 meters: Everest, Lhotse, Cho Oyu and Makalu. From Gokyo, cross the Renjo La pass (5,465m /17,930ft) to reach Thame, home of several famous Sherpa mountaineers. Finally, descend to Lukla via Khumjung.
If you prefer a less strenuous trek, check out our Everest Base Camp Trek or the Ultimate Everest Trek. The latter involves crossing the Cho La pass (Everest Base Camp to Gokyo lake) and the Renjo La pass (Gokyo lake to Thame) but not the challenging Kongmala pass. We are also happy to customize the trek for you. Read about Jwalant’s Everest Three Passes trek experience here.
ACCOMMODATION AND MEALS
The Everest Three Passes Trek is a lodge trek. This means you will sleep and eat meals in local lodges along the trail. The quality of the lodges on this trek are the best among all trekking trails in Nepal. And several lodges on the trail have en suite rooms with hot showers. Meals are also quite varied with many options including rice with veggies, noodles, local breads etc. Read our article about food options on Everest treks.
Like most treks in Nepal, the best seasons for the Everest Three Passes Trek are Spring (March-May) and Autumn (October-November). Unlike other Everest treks, it is NOT possible to do this trek in Winter months of December, January and February. This is because the trek involves crossing three high Himalayan passes.
The Everest Three Passes trek is rated “CHALLENGING”. It is rated 5 on a rating scale from 1 (easy) to 5 (challenging). The highest altitude reached is at the summit of Kalapathar (5,545 m/19,195) and the highest overnight elevation is at Gorakshep (5,212m/17,100 feet). At the beginning of the trek, there are two acclimatization days and several short days to allow for proper acclimatization. Trekking the three passes involves average daily hiking of around 6 hours with a few long days of around 8-9 hours. These include the optional day hikea to the Amadablam Base Camp and the Everest Base Camp. But the pass crossing over the Kongma La, Cho La and the Renjo La are mandatory. Regardless of the rating, it is important to prepare for any trek in Nepal. Read our advice on training for treks.
WHY TREK WITH US?
All our Everest Three Passes trekking are private treks for a minimum of two participants. We do NOT nickel-and-dime on services – all inclusions and exclusions are clearly listed in cost details. Some companies will advertise trips for very low prices but they have a lot of exclusions that is usually not clear. With over 30 years of experience, most of our trekkers are either repeat clients or referrals. We employ the most professional and friendly staff.
We are also proud to give back to our community through 3 Summits For Nepal managed by Crystal Mountain Treks staff. Contact us to learn more…