Nepal – Everest Base Camp with Three Passes (Renjo La, Cho La and Kongma La)
The Everest Base Camp Trek in Nepal is one of the most popular trekking routes in the Himalayas and is visited by thousands of trekkers each year. The trek has become a trekking destination goal for people from all walks of life who want a glimpse of the world’s highest peak.
For those with more time and stamina to spare, the Everest Base Camp with Three Passes Trek links the four distinct valleys of Bhotekoshi, Gokyo, Khumbu and Imja Tse into one trek. It is an extended version of the 21 days Everest Circuit Trek, which covers all the significant places in the Everest region, to create the ultimate and complete trekking experience in the Everest region. Aside from a visit to Everest Base Camp, the trek crosses the rugged high passes of Renjo La (5388m), Cho La (5380m) and Kongma La (5535 m) with climbing of the three peaks of Gokyo Ri (5483m), Kalapathar (5545m) and Chukung (5550m).
Renjo La is less crowded and visited compared to Cho La. It is said to be a small pass and the easiest to cross of the 3 passes. Crossing the pass involves trekking up to Thame Valley, close to the border with Tibet, before descending to the Gokyo Valley. Thame Valley historically has been part of the so called "salt route" from Tibet.
Cho La is the "bridge" between Gokyo Valley and Khumbu Valley. It connects the village of Dzongla (4830m) to the east and the village of Thagnak (4700m) to the west. Crossing the pass is a highlight, at the same time, the most physically demanding of the 3 passes. Depending on the weather and season, it may involve icy glacier crossing.
Like Renjo La, Kongma La is also less crowded and visited compared to Cho La. It is located above the Khumbu Glacier, with several small summits, like Pokalde (5806m), that make up the lengthy South West ridge of Nuptse between the Khumbu and Nuptse Glaciers. The climb up the pass is long and demanding. The pass links Chukung (4730m) to Lobuche (4930m), before Gorek Shep (5180m), which is the last village from Everest Base Camp.
About The Trek
Same like all the treks in the Everest region, the Everest Base Camp with Three Passes Trek starts with a flight to Lukla. You will slowly trek up to Namche Bazaar, the unofficial Sherpa capital in the Everest region. Namche Bazzar with its diverse and colorful mix of people, Sherpa museum, monastery and busy market stalls full of local products and Tibetan artifacts is a bustling town at 3500m. After spending 2 nights at Namche for proper acclimatazation, you will head to the less trodden trail towards Thame Valley and Lungden Valley, close the Tibet boarder to cross the first of the three passes - Renjo La. Be rewarded with stunning view of the Himalayan giants including Mt Everest and arrive at the pristine Gokyo Lakes. Spend a day at the Gokyo Lake area to climb Gokyo Ri - the first of the three peaks. After Gokyo Ri, continue to trek to the large Ngonumpa glacier and cross Cho La - the second pass. The pass connects and bring you to the popular Khumbu Valley trekking route to Kala Pathar (the second of the three peaks) and Everest Base Camp. The final part of the trek will bring you to Chukung from Lobuche, crossing the Kongma La - the last pass. From Chukung you will climb Chukung Ri - the third peak - which has stunning view of Amadablam, Lhotse, Nuptse, Makalu at the top. Start the descent to Lukla from Chukung via Thyangboche monastery to make a complete circuit to end the trek.
There are four main seasons in Nepal. The best seasons to visit Nepal are spring, autumn and winter. Trekkers can trek from March to early June in spring. The next trekking season starts in mid-September and goes up till March. During this period, the visibility is good and it does not rain usually. You can get excellent views of landscapes and mountain ranges in this season. After November the temperature in higher altitudes becomes very low and snowfall starts
Autumn (September to November): Autumn season is considered the best time for trekking in Nepal. It offers excellent weather and tantalizing mountain views. Moderate temperatures, clear sky with outstanding views, making it a great time to do any of our trek. Occasional short storms may dump snow at high altitudes.
Winter (December - February): Winter is when snowfall at higher elevations in the Himalayas is a common occurrence. Though it gets colder in night, it offers the clear day / blue sky and relatively less trekkers on the trail. However, not all treks are suitable to be done in winter especially those involving climbing and crossing high passes.
Spring (March - May): Different varieties of wild flowers, specially the rhododendrons make the hillside a wild flowers paradise during the spring season. The temperature is warmer as compared to autumn and winter.
You should have above 4000m high altitude trekking experiences. The Everest Base Camp with Three Passes Trek is highly demanding on fitness and endurance. You will be trekking at above 4000m for long hours for most of the days, crossing 3 high passes and climbing 3 peaks all above 5000m.
Equipment and Gear
You will need thermal base layers, a fleece jacket and an outer shell jacket. When at the teahouse and after sundown, a down jacket will help keep you warm. A down sleeping bag is also needed and provided.
A packing list will be provided to all our participants. Please refer to our Resource Centre page to learn about the layering system and choose the right gear/equipment for your trek.
- Dates listed are for open international group
- Group size: 4 - 12 people
- You can also form a private group. For enquiry, send an email to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
|Day||Itinerary||Meals||Altitude At Rest Point|
|Day 1||Arrive Kathmandu.||-/-/-||1330m|
|Day 2||Half day city tour. Trek briefing & preparation. Welcome dinner.||B/-/D||1330m|
|Day 3||Flight to Lukla. Trek to Phakding.||B/L/D||2600m|
|Day 4-5||Trek to Namche Bazaar. Acclimatisation & rest day in Namche Bazaar||B/L/D||3440m|
|Day 6-8||Trek to Thame and Lungden with a rest and exploration day in Lungden.||B/L/D||Thame-3800m
|Day 9||Cross Renjo La and trek to Gokyo Valley.||B/L/D||4790m|
|Day 10||Climb to the top of Gokyo Ri. Descend to Gokyo Valley for another night rest.||B/L/D||4790m|
|Day 11||Trek to Thangna||B/L/D||4700m|
|Day 12-13||Cross the challenging Chola Pass and trek to Lobuche.||B/L/D||Dzonglha-4830m
|Day 14||Trek to Gorak Shep and have an excursions to Everest Base Camp||B/L/D||5140m|
|Day 15||Climb Kala Pathar and trek to Lobuche.||B/L/D||4940m|
|Day 16||Cross Kongma La and trek to Chukung.||B/L/D||5546m|
|Day 17||Chukung Ri and Descend to Chukung for another night rest.||B/L/D||5546m|
|Day 18-20||Descend to Lukla via Pangboche and Namche.||B/L/D||Pangboche-3985m
|Day 21||Lukla to Kathmandu.||B/-/-||1330m|
|Day 22||Contingency day. Free & easy in Kathmandu if not used.||B/L/D. (Only breakfast in hotel is included in Kathmandu if contingency day is not used on trek)||1330m|
|Day 23||Depart Kathmandu. (Programme ends here. Next day arrival on flight, if any, not reflected in itinerary )||B/-/-|
Training: Regardless of your level of fitness and physical conditions, it is advisable to train prior to embarking on a trekking or mountain climbing trip.
Pure cardiovascular fitness is NOT enough.
Focus your training effort in the following areas, assuming that you are in good health and injury-free:
- Climbing conditioning – stairs and load training.
- Cardio training - Jogging/running and interval training like CrossFit or HIIT.
- Strength training for the lower body, shoulder, back and core
- Flexibility training - eg: Yoga and stretching exercises
A good five to six months of training would be a good preparation for this trek.
A recommended training guide specific to the trek or climb will be given to you upon signing up.
Refer to our Grading chart for an overview on the technical difficulty and fitness required for this trek.
Refer to our Training Guide for tips on trekking and mountain climbing training.