Everest Base Camp & Three Passes Trek #2

everest-3-passes-map

I am busy getting ready for this (and trying to finish some jobs around the farm) so posts have been rather light of late. I am a guest on this trip, so this is mostly Steve Hutcheson’s itinerary for the trip. I will be editing/adding to it over time, so come back and check. I am posting it now so you can check where I am if I happen to eg post a photo on Facebook or etc. If the going gets too rough for me and I have to drop the passes (I am more than twice Steve’s age), I will just go up (and down) from Lobuche to Gorek Shep – but I have been training for this (and I suspect it is relatively much easier than much of what I have done in my life), so I’m hoping for the best. We will carry all our own stuff but we might hire a porter/guide for the passes as the way can be harder to find there and you can’t afford to be wasting time on such long days. Keep you posted:

See also:

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/my-life-was-wide-and-wild-and-who-can-know-my-heart/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/adding-down-to-a-sleeping-bag/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/cold-weather-face-masks/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/?s=bivy

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/montbell/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/powerfilm-usb-aa-solar-charger/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/fifteen-gram-blue-foam-flip-flop/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/11-gram-rechargeable-head-torch/

 

 

Day Minus 1: Fly to Kathmandu

Options for Kathmandu (stay relatively close to airport – Thamel):

Elbrus Home – LINK (#2 of 101 specialty lodging) – $14 per night, 1 room (2 adults) **

Hotel Osho Home – LINK (#6 of 175 hotels in Kathmandu) – $29 per night, 1 room (2 adults)

Backyard Hotel – LINK (#14 of 175 hotels in Kathmandu) – $15 per night, 1 room (2 adults)

** Pilgrim’s Guest House – LINK (#10 of 424 B&Bs in Kathmandu) – $12 per night, 1 rm (2 adults)

Recommended by this guy on Backpacking Light.

Himalayan Travellers Inn. Good Reviews $11 per night.

Day 0 – Flight to Lukla: Acclimatisation day Lukla

Stay at Lama Lodge and restaurant A$13/night twin room with ensuite.

A bag can be left here. Booked for return trip.

Better to get on first flight in morning due to fog.

Get a window seat on the LEFT (port) side for views of Everest.

Airport sits at 9,300 feet, 12% grade and drops over a 2,000 foot valley.

Labeled the most dangerous airport in the world.

FLIGHT: BOOK FLIGHT FROM KATHMANDU TO LUKLA TARA AIR:

Depart Kathmandu at 6:15 AM

Arrive Lukla at 6:45 AM

Simrik (Andrei flew this), Tara Air

The reason why Tara Air isn’t as popular (crash in 2016).

Tara Air – (10 kg permitted, $147 USD, refundable)

Kathmandu (6:15 AM) to Lukla (6:45 AM)**

Kathmandu (8:30 AM) to Lukla (9:00 AM)

Kathmandu (7:45 AM) to Lukla (8:15 AM)

Simrik Air – Oct 30 (10 kg permitted, $160.22 USD, refundable)

Kathmandu (8:45 AM) to Lukla (9:10 AM)**

Kathmandu (10:00 AM) to Lukla (10:25 AM)

Day 1: Lukla (2800 meters, 9186 feet) to Monjo (2835 meters, 9301 feet)

Time: 4 hours

STAY: Monjo Guesthouse (Stingy Nomads recommendation)

Freshly squeezed juices, hot shower (200 NPR, $2), TEMS permit (NPR 3000, $30).

LONELY PLANET TIMES:

Lukla to Cheplung (1:15 hours)

Cheplung to Phakding (1:45 hours)

Phakding to Benkar (1:30 hours)

Benkar to Monjo (1:00 hour)

TOTAL: 5 hours, 30 minutes

Day 2 – Monjo (2835 meters, 9301 feet) to Namche Bazaar (3440 meters, 11286 feet)

Time: 2 hours, 40 min.  Short, hard, steep climb.

Bakery: Everest Bakery (chocolate cake)

STAY: Thamsecko Lodge (pay permit on way – NPR 2000 ($20 USD).

LONELY PLANET TIMES:

Monjo to Namche Bazaar (3:00 hours)

TOTAL: 3 hours

Day 3 – Namche (3440 meters, 11286 feet) to Khunde/Khumjung (3970 meters, 13025 feet) to Namche. Acclimatisation day.

DAY HIKE: Acclimatization Day

LONELY PLANET TIMES:

Namche Bazaar to Khumjung (1:00 hour)

TOTAL: 3 hours

Day 4 – Namche (3440 meters, 11286 feet) to Pangboche (3985 meters, 13074 feet)

LONG DAY

Time: 10 hours

STAY: Buddha Lodge (water now $2 for 1.5L).

En route to Pangboche, stop at Tengboche to see famed Buddhist monastery.

Just in case, Pheriche: Stay at Shangri La Lodge (owner is Tashi Dunder Sherpa); very helpful and knowledgeable.

LONELY PLANET TIMES:

Namche Bazaar to Sanasa (1:00 hour)

Sanasa to Phunki Thenga (1:30 hours)

Phunki Thenga to Tengboche (1:30 hours)

Tengboche to Pangboche (1:15 hours)

TOTAL: 5 hours, 15 minutes

Day 5 – Pangboche (3985 meters, 13074 feet) to Dingboche (4410 meters, 14470 feet)

Time: 3 hours

LONELY PLANET TIMES:

Pangboche to Orsho (1:15 hours)

Orsho to Dingboche (1:00 hour)

TOTAL: 2 hours, 15 minutes

Day 6 – Dingboche (4410 meters, 14470 feet) to Nangartschang Hill (5085 meters, 16700 feet) to Dingboche. Acclimatisation Day.

DAY HIKE: Nangartschang Hill is close to Dingboche and has great views of Ama Dablam

LONELY PLANET TIMES:

Dingboche to Nangartschang Hill (one-way, 1:30 hours)

TOTAL: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Day 7 – Dingboche (4410 meters, 14470 feet) to Chhukung (4700 meters, 15420 feet)

Time: 5 hours, 4730 meters.

Head to Chhukung Ri.  Good to acclimatize.  “Climb high, sleep low”.

Details: Can be difficult finding trail at times, especially in a little bit of snow.

There are two peaks at the top.  The saddle b/t them is filled with many cairns.

Smaller summit is 17,700 feet.

LONELY PLANET TIMES:

Dingboche to Chhukung (2:30 hours)

Chhukung to Chukkung Ri (one-way, 3 hours)

TOTAL: 7 hours

Day 8 – Chhukung (4700 meters, 15420 feet) to Kongma La (5535 meters, 18160 feet) to Lobuche (4940 meters, 16210 feet)

LONELY PLANET TIMES:

Chhukung to Kongma La (3:30 hours)

Kongma La to Lobuche (3:00 hours)

TOTAL: 6 hours, 30 minutes

Note: Lobuche is known to have the worst accommodation.

PASS AND LONG DAY: Kongma La Pass

Time: 9 hours

Start at 4-5 am.

If recent snow, it may be too difficult to go over pass.  Go around to Lobuche.

Details: Lots of climbing and then flat sections.  Pass waterfalls and lakes en route.

Final climb is rather steep.

Best view of the three passes.

The way down can be difficult.  Many huge boulders.

At bottom of pass, large moraine.

Follow meandering path on the glacier (marked by cairns).

Head down moraine on opposite side to Lobuche.

Day 9 – Lobuche (4940 meters, 16210 feet) to Gorak Shep (5164 meters, 16942 feet)

Time: 3 hours

Details: Short trek.

LONELY PLANET TIMES:

Lobuche to Gorak Shep (2:30 hours)

Gorak Shep to Kala Pattar (one-way, 2:00 hours; return, 3:00 hours)

(for sunset if it is clear, unlikely)

TOTAL: 5 hours, 30 minutes

Day 10 – Gorak Shep (5164 meters, 16942 feet) to Everest Base Camp (5364 meters, 17598 feet)

LONELY PLANET TIMES:

Gorak Shep to EBC (one-way, 2:30 hours; return 5:00 hours)

Gorak Shep to Kala Pattar (one-way, 2:00 hours, return, 3:00 hours)

** Do Kala Pattar in the EARLY morning.

TOTAL: 8 hours

DAY HIKE: EBC.

Time: 3 hours up, 1.5 hours back (4.5 hours total)

Tip: Start at 6 am to avoid hiking with HUGE groups!

EXTRA DAY HIKE: Kala Pattar (5643 meters, 18513 feet) for sunset

Time: 1.5-2 hours up. Take it slow.

These are the best views of Everest that you can get from anywhere (as a trekker).

Make sure that it is a beautiful day.

However, in the evenings, you risk low clouds/no view.

The entire base camp is located on the Khumbu Glacier.

Day 11 – Gorak Shep (5164 meters, 16942 feet) to Dzongla (4800 meters, 15748 feet)

Time: 5-6 hours

Suluk: Stay at Himalayan Lodge.

360-degree view of Himalayan Mountains

** Most beautiful mountain town on the hike (right next to large lake).

LONELY PLANET TIMES:

Gorak Shep to Lobuche (2:00 hours)

Lobuche to Dzonglha (3:00 hours)

TOTAL: 5 hours

Day 12 – Dzongla (4800 meters, 15748 feet) to Cho La Pass (5420 meters, 17782 feet) to Gokyo (4750 meters, 15584 feet)

LONELY PLANET TIMES:

Dzonglha to Cho La (3:00 hours)

Cho La to Gokyo (5:00 hours)

TOTAL: 8 hours

PASS DAY: Cho La Pass

Time: 5.5 hours + 1.5 hours for lunch

Suluk: Stay at Namaste Lodge (ALSO RECOMMENDED BY ‘LIVING IF’ blog).

Favorite place.

**NOTE: Most lodges can arrange porters, guides, or porter-guides for the relevant day. **

CROSSING CHO LA PASS:

Crossing the Cho-La Pass

Details: Favorite pass (in terms of climb, not review).

There is a huge boulder field en route to pass.

Near the top of pass, there is a glacier, which can be very slippery.  Trekking poles are essential for this section, and microspikes are recommended (need to do a cost-benefit analysis to see if the micropsikes are worth carrying).

For the last 20 feet, there is a big scramble where you have to use your hands.

Descent: Cross another glacier (Ngozumba Glacier), but it is just a wasteland of rocks.

The path across the glacier is further north than the map shows.

Head north out of Dragnag and you’ll find the path.

There is green paint on many rocks indicating the way.

Day 13 – Gokyo (4750 meters, 15584 feet) to Gokyo Ri (5357 meters, 17575 feet) to Gokyo (4750 meters, 15584 feet)

LONELY PLANET TIMES:

Gokyo to Gokyo Ri (one-way, 2:30 hours)

TOTAL: 4 hours

Gokyo to Gokyo Ri (1.5 hours up, confirmed)

BEST VIEWS OF EVEREST.

2000 feet straight up.

Stunning view of Cho Oyu (6th highest mtn in world) and Ngozumba Glacier

Ask Andrei if he went up for sunrise or sunset?

DAY HIKE/CLIMB: Gokyo Ri has great views of the mountain range.

Back in Gokyo, should have great views of Cho Oyu.

Sunrise or sunrise.

Sacred Lakes of Gokyo!

Beautiful lake (Gokyo Lake)

Details: Gokyo is a big village in the Khumbu.

Has several teahouses (a few on higher end), a bakery, and small shops.

Gokyo Lake shines brilliantly blue.

Day 14 – Gokyo (4750 meters, 15584 feet) to Renjo La Pass (5360 meters, 17585 feet) to Lungdhen (4300 meters, 14107 feet)

LONELY PLANET TIMES:

Gokyo to Renjo La (3:00 hours)

Renjo La to Lumde (Lungdhen) (3:00 hours)

TOTAL: 6 hours

PASS DAY: Renjo La Pass

Time: 7 hours

Details: First hour is pretty gradual and easy.

Many snowcocks across path (hilarious Himalayan birds).

Second hour is very steep until it opens up near the top of pass into a huge bowl.

Difficult to find path this day.  Wind is ferocious and kept changing directions (b/c of being in a bowl).

The pass has gorgeous views of Everest and Lohtse.

The descent has a long set of rock steps.  Easiest descent.  Wind dies down once down below.

Ends up in a grassy valley with huge mountains on one end.

That valley joins up with another valley that is full of sand (frozen lakes, boulders, mountains).

Tons of potato farms.

Made it to Thame (town hit very badly by earthquake).

If fit, consider going to Thame (longer day, but lower elevation).

Day 15 – Lungdhen (4300 meters, 14107 feet) to Namche Bazar (3440 meters, 11286 feet)

LONELY PLANET TIMES:

Lumde (Lungdhen) to Thame (2:00-3:00 hours)

Thame to Namche Bazaar (3:00 hours)

TOTAL: 6 hours

LONG DAY: Long day in terms of distance, but all downhill

Time: 7-8 hours

Day 16 – Namche (3440 meters, 11286 feet) to Lukla (2800 meters, 9186 feet)

LONG DAY: Another long day in terms of distance, but all downhill.

Time: 8 hours

Stay: North Face Resort

LONELY PLANET TIMES:

Namche Bazaar to Monjo (3:00 hours)

Monjo to Benkar (1:00 hour)

Benkar to Phakding (1:30 hours)

Phakding to Cheplung (1:15 hours)

Cheplung to Lukla (1:15 hours)

TOTAL: 8 hours

Day 17 – Return to Kathmandu/Buffer Day #1.

Rest day in Lukla (if too foggy)

Simrik Airlines – (10 kg permitted, $160.22 USD, refundable)

Lukla (6:50 AM) to Kathmandu (8:10 AM)

Lukla (8:10 AM) to Kathmandu (8:35 AM)

Lukla (9:20 AM) to Kathmandu (9:45 AM)

Lukla (10:35 AM) to Kathmandu (11:00 AM)

Tara Airlines – (10 kg permitted, $147 USD, refundable)

Lukla (8:30 AM) to Kathmandu (9:00 AM)

Lukla (7:00 AM) to Kathmandu (7:30 AM)

Day 18 – Buffer Day #2

*** FLIGHT: BOOK FLIGHT BACK FROM LUKLA TO KATHMANDU

Simrik Airlines

Depart Lukla at 6:50 AM.

Arrive Kathmandu at 7:15 AM.

Lukla to Kathmandu

Fly earlier.

Book an open ticket.  Talk with representatives.  Contact them in Lukla.

Get a seat on the RIGHT (starboard) side for views of Everest.

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