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Everest High Passes Trek


Everest High Passes Trek is a challenging, 'best of the Everest region' trek through some of the most spectacular landscapes in the Himalaya with guides who spend all their time in the Himalaya. Our Everest trek is a window into traditional Sherpa villages and 'gompas' (monasteries), their mountain Buddhist culture and their sacred peaks and valley. Not only peaks, the Everest region is an incredibly spiritual place, and we have the chance to visit its many colorful gompas, and have tea with their monks; Tengboche, Pangboche, Namche, Khumjung, Khunde, Thame and Lawudo Gompa. Some of the highlights of the trek: the Chhukhung Valley, climbing Chhukhung Ri, trekking to Ama Dablam Base Camp, Everest Base Camp and ice pinnacles and climbing Kala Pattar, the Gokyo lakes, the prayer flags fluttering at the top of Gokyo Ri and the Himalayan peaks from Renjo La, where we emerge into the traditional Thame valley. Throughout, we are surrounded by spectacular 8000 meter peak panoramas and hosted by welcoming Sherpas in their cozy lodges. All around the year is the perfect times to trek in the Everest region, the Himalayan peaks accentuated by clear, blue skies. Wildlife such as the Himalayan thar, musk deer, danphe (Nepal's national bird), blood pheasant, Himalayan snow-cock, snow-pigeon and chukkar roam the mountain-sides.

The Route;
The trek starts at the Hillary Airport in Lukla and the Tibetan trading center of Namche bazaar and continues up to the remote Chhukhung valley, with an optional crossing of the Kongma La pass to reach Kala Pattar and Everest Base Camp in the snow-capped Khumbu Valley, with the Khumbu glacier along side us. From here, we climb up and over the glaciated Cho La pass to reach the turquoise Gokyo lakes, Gokyo Ri (peak) and the surrounding 8000m peaks of the Gokyo valley. We finish this epic trek by crossing the stunning Renjo La to the traditional grazing region of the Thame valley, which leads up to the Nangpa La and Tibet.

Fact of the Trek
Highest Elevation: 5555m
Best Season: Autumn (Oct-Nov) and Spring (March-April)  
Mode of Trek: Lodge to Lodge
Trek Start/End: Lukla/Lukla
Grade: Strenuous
Culture: Majority of Sherpas
Himalayan Sights: Mt. Everest, Mt. Cho Oyu, Mt. Lhotse, Mt. Nuptse, Mt. Amadablam, Mt. Pumori and other 6000m snowy peaks.
High Lights of the Trek: Stunning view of high Himalayan Range, unobstructed Sunrise & Sunset view, typical lifestyle and culture of Sherpas, scenic and picturesque villages, ancient Monasteries, wildlife,  dense rhododendron forest, high glacial lakes and biggest glacier.

Detail Itinerary
Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu 1340m,

You'll be met at the airport by our representative from the company, so look out for a office sign/logo with your name when you leave the airport. They will bring you back to the Hotel. Welcome drinks will provide by Hotel and short briefing about your treks and refreshment. Stay overnight in Hotel.

Day 2: Full day sightseeing tour in Kathmandu Valley,
A free day to explore in the Kathmandu Valley. Our tour guide introduces as following Options: Climb the many steps to Swayambhunath (the monkey temple), with its commanding views of Kathmandu (1420m), its whitewashed Stupas and its unique synthesis of Buddhism and Hinduism. The striking Buddha eyes of Boudhanath Stupa watch over a lively and colorful Tibetan community and attract pilgrims from all over the Himalayan Buddhist realm. In the midst of traditional Gompas, and hung with long strings of multi-colored prayer flags, Boudhanath attracts Sherpas, Tibetans and tourists alike for daily circumambulations (Koras) of the Stupa. Durbar Square, one of the old capitals of the Kathmandu valley, is a synthesis of Hindu and Buddhist temples, stupas and statues, and is often the site of festivals, marriages and other ceremonies. Hindu Pashupatinath and its sacred temple complex on the banks of the holy Bagmati River. Here, monkeys run up and down the steps of the burning ghats, and trident-bearing saddhus draped in burnt-orange and saffron sit serenely meditating - when they’re not posing for photos-for-rupees. Stay overnight in Hotel.

Day 3: Fly from Kathmandu to Lukla 2850m and trek to Monjo 2835m

A little after sunrise, we are indulged with a spectacular 25-minute flight over the Kathmandu valley and along the snow-capped Himalayan ranges to the airport at Lukla. After sorting out our loads with the porters, we start trekking. The quaint village of Chaunrikharka lies below us; the trail takes us above a rhododendron-choked forest, over the school and gompa and past the checkered fields of barley, spinach and potatoes of the village. Ahead of us is Karylung peak, covered in snow. We are trekking along the Dudh Kosi (river) along a centuries-old trading trail from Nepal to Tibet. It is well traveled by stout, heavily loaded Nepali porters and Tibetan traders (Khampas, most distinguishable by the length of red or black tassel wrapped around their heads) conducting business between the weekly markets of Lukla and Namche with Chinese and Tibetan goods brought over the 5700m Nangpa La (pass) from Tibet. From the small hamlet of Thado Kosi, while crossing a small, shaky bridge, we view the three sister peaks of Kusum Kanagaru to the east. More beautiful walking over cobbled trails takes us through Ghat and the best-maintained cluster of mani stones and prayer flags in the Khumbu. The local lama, owner of the Lama Lodge in Ghat, is responsible for this magical setting. At Phakding, a lively village a half hour's walk away from Ghat. Passing by the small tea-houses servicing the locals and workers in Phakding, we cross a long suspension bridge over the Dudh Kosi and trek above the river, climbing a bit to reach the first lodge of Benkar on the left. Continuing over a small bridge, we continue through the rest of Benkar, the first village to attend the Monjo School. Another suspension bridge, another climb, and we reach Chumoa. One more small bridge and larger climb on uneven stone steps, and we finally reach Monjo. Stay overnight at Lodge.

Day 4: Trek from Monjo to Namche 3450m
After a short walk past the school we enter the gateway to the Sagarmatha National Park. Descending to the river, we cross a long suspension bridge to reach the hamlet of Jorsale and then and cross another long suspension bridge, continuing along the sandy riverside trail, the shores peppered with large, rounded rocks. Hike carefully as some of the ascents and descents on steep, stone staircases are a bit treacherous. Bring your five-colored Tibetan prayer flags to hang on the long suspension bridge over the confluence of the Dudh Kosi (Milk River) and the Bhote Kosi (river from Tibet) and send prayers out into the Everest region! The steep hour and a half climb to Namche is broken half-way up the hill by our first view of Everest, Lhotse & Nuptse, and will prime you for the bakery once we arrive at this old trading village. Namche Bazaar, now the most prosperous trading village on the old trade route with Tibet, sits in an amphitheater surrounded by mountains. From here, we have perfect views of Kongde Ri in front of us, Kantega, Thamserku and Kusum Kanguru to the east and Khumbila behind us. Down-valley, the hills and valleys of the route from Solu to Khumbu from Jiri sit shrouded in hazy shades of grey. Stay overnight at Lodge.

Day 5: Acclimatization Day
Our guide will lead whoever wants on a loop through the Khunde and Khumjung valley. Taking advantage of the crisp morning light we'll hike up the steep hill in back of Namche towards the lively, old Sherpa villages of Khunde and Khumjung, passing through the old airstrip at Syangboche, still used for cargo, en route. On the ridge above the airstrip we climb to a large, whitewashed chorten at the yak-breeding center. From there, we have are fabulous views of Taboche, Ama Dablam, Thamserku, Kantega, Kusum Kanguru, Everest, Lhotse and Nuptse. We may see some Himalayan Tahr grazing on the hillsides, and possibly Danphe and Chukkars. We will visit the Khumjung Gompa, home to the only existing Yeti scalp on the planet. The adjoining villages of Khumjung and Khunde are some of the original villages in the Khumbu region, both about 600 years old, and are wonderful examples of local Sherpa architecture with their winding stone walls, yak paddocks and wood and slate houses. Both villages sit below Khumbila, the sacred Sherpa peak, and near a famous rock-mural of Guru Rimpoche. The views of Ama Dablam from this valley are breathtaking. Heading up the valley just a bit, we will visit Khunde's hospital. Satiated, we'll hike through Khunde's entrance kane and back up the small ridge, where more Himalayan vistas await. Way down below us is Namche. Stay overnight at Lodge.

Day 6: Trek from Namche to Phortse 3780m
We have an easy two hour's walk from Namche, contouring around several hillsides high above the Dudh Kosi below; continue to Kyangjuma, Continuing along the main trail, we veer sharply left at the intersection to Gokyo and take the steep trail up to the bridge which intersects with the old trail from Khumjung, and climb gradually for another hour or so to Mong La, where we will have a well-deserved lunch (with fantastic views) at a small lodge perched spectacularly on this 4000 meter pass. It's a steep descent on a slightly exposed trail to Phortse Tenga where we cross the river on a small bridge and start the short but steep climb to Phortse, one of the first villages of the Khumbu region, at 3800 meters. On the way up, keep your eyes open and cameras out as there are many musk deer, danphe and blood pheasants hiding in the rhododendron forests bordering the trail and the village. The danphe dig for potatoes in the lower fields of the village in the mornings and evenings. Stay overnight at Lodge.

Day 7: Trek from Phortse to Pangboche 3975m

We have a breath-taking hike ahead of us this morning, leaving Phortse on the northeastern side heading towards Tengboche Gompa across the deep river gorge below. Our trail skirts the high ridges of Taboche Peak, often precipitous but always safe, and offering fantastic views around every corner. Everest, Nuptse and Lhotse dominate the northern skyline, while Ama Dablam is close enough to touch to the east and our old friends Kantega and Thamserku grace the valley below us. We climb a small pass, and eventually reach Upper Pangboche, where we'll wander the old alleys and take a peek inside one of the four oldest gompas (monasteries), approximately 500 years old, in the Khumbu. Contouring high above the newer (Lower) Pangboche, we pass a high mani wall, some memorial chortens and the school before dropping down to our lodge in Lower Pangboche. It's a lovely village to stop in for the evening, with views across the river to the trail to Ama Dablam Base Camp and the old airstrip at Mingbo. We will be treated to a sunset over Ama Dablam, Everest, Lhotse and Nuptse. Stay overnight at Lodge.

Day 8: Day trip to Ama Dablam Base Camp
We've scheduled an extra acclimatization day in Pangboche, and a day for a fantastic hike to Ama Dablam Base Camp (4450m). It takes two and a half hours of beautiful hiking towards the base of Ama Dablam to reach the base camp, where we will visit the higher base camp, before dropping a bit to the lodge for lunch. The views throughout the day are sublime, especially of Pumori and Taboche, so enjoy this extra day, and feel better for it later in the trek. Stay overnight at Lodge.

Day 9: Trek from Pangboche to Chhukhung 4750m
A day since we are gaining altitude, so we enjoy the beautiful walk. Leaving Pangboche on the left side of the mani wall, we trek along a rocky trail to tiny Somare and then along wide yak trails past the intersection to Pheriche (the HRA health post is there) and down to the river, where we cross on a small, wooden stream to reach the screed hillside leading to Dingboche, another old Sherpa village and the upper limits of the permanently settled villages. The lower half of Dingboche is a line of trekking lodges, while the upper half is still local Sherpa dwellings, fields, rock walls and yak enclosures, reminiscent of what all Sherpa villages were like years ago. Above us, an old Buddhist hermitage called Nangar Dzong, the summer meditation place of Lama Sangwa Dorje, sits nestled in the hillside, and there is a ridge on a high peak called Dolma Ri, topped with prayer flags. We will trek the few hours up along the Imja Kola to Chhukhung, a seasonal herding village nestled under Ama Dablam, Lhotse, the Nuptse wall, Peak 38 and Island peak, to name just a few of the peaks that make this such a superb setting. After lunch, we have the option to climb Chhukhung Ri, a climbing peak with two summits, the higher at about 5530m. From the summit, the views of Makalu in particular are awesome. Stay overnight at Lodge.

Day 10: Trek from Chhukung to Lobuche 4935m via Khongma-La Pass
To reach the Kongma La, we head directly west out of Chhukhung on a small, rocky trail and contour around many hillsides, usually not very steeply, until we reach the Pokalden Base Camp. After a few other hills, steeper, we will reach another Base Camp for Pokalden and a clear blue lake which sits just below the pass. We climb the last half hour on a trail which is good but looks impossibly built into the cliff-side, and about 4 hours later we have reached the Kongma La, highest pass at 5540 meters. Then we descend to Lobuche with rocky trail passing Khumbhu glacier after 2 hours. Stay overnight at Lodge.

Day 11: Trek from Lobuche to Gorak Shep 5175m
We leave Lobuche early, trekking up a rocky yak trail on the right side of the Khumbu Glacier towards Gorak Shep, a walk of two or three hours. The walk isn't difficult, but there are a few hills to crest, and we'll feel the altitude. The last stretch of the trail snakes up and down glacial screed, and just before Gorak Shep we get a view of Everest. To the east of Gorak Shep, Nuptse looms magnificently above us, now a triangular rock face which turns pink with the evening light. Those who are interested can hike to Everest Base Camp at 5365 meters, a five hour round-trip walk along a glacial ridge, and then right onto the creaking glacier itself. A reminder of the fragility of life amongst these high peaks. From here, we can explore inside the spires of the actual icefall, a sublime experience. Stay overnight at Lodge.

Day 12: Trek from Gorak Shep to Dzongla 4830m
Early in the morning we will climb Kala Pattar 5640m in the good weather, a steep, windy and switch backing climb of two (or more) hours. From the Tibetan prayer-flag adorned summit, we are treated to in-your-face views of the 7000 & 8000 meter giants Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse and Pumori as well as many other peaks on the Nepal Tibet border. After enjoy with a great views then walk back to Lodge. Today is a five to six hour walk, first heading down the well-worn trail past Lobuche and up an alternative, winding trail to Dzongla, a small 'kharka' of two lodges which sits a few hours below the Cho La pass. The walk to Dzongla past the Cho La Lake is a lovely one, contour after contour around scenic hillsides, and the panoramic mountain views are wonderful so we'll take time to enjoy it. Turning right at the corner where we look left towards Pheriche and straight ahead at Cho La Lake, we have a short but steep climb followed by a descent before crossing the valley where the Taboche Peak Base Camp is set. One river crossing on a very small stone-slab bridge and one steeper climb waits. Stay overnight at Lodge.

Day 13: Trek over the Cho La Pass to Tangnak 4700m
An early start for the crossing of the scenic Cho La pass (5370m), a steep and somewhat difficult ascent of a rocky ridge a few hours walk from Dzongla kharka. We start by ascending gently around the ridge above the lodge, continuing for half an hour along a relatively flat plateau and then crossing a small glacial stream on rock steps, often icy. We begin the real climb from here, first switch backing gently to a massive rock wall which blocks the entrance to the pass ahead of us. Stopping for a rest, we'll soon turn sharply right and start climbing a rock staircase, often with hands to steady us. It's a fun ascent, and soon we've reached a small plateau where we gaze down on the Ama Dablam valley far below us. Again we start climbing towards the pass, first right under a rock outcropping afterwards on rocks and snow, often icy and slippery and finally on the Cho La glacier itself. Once up on top of the glaciated pass, we trek across the snow, with Lobuche West looming above us, to the summit and hang some Buddhist prayer flags to send prayers out across the Himalaya. Have your crampons or Yak tracks ready if you have them. From the Cho La pass, we'll marvel at views of Ama Dablam, Kantega, Thamserku, Taboche, Cholatse and Baruntse, and to Nangpai Gosain, Pasang Lhamo, Numbur and on the Gokyo side. After a snack, it's a scramble back down the very steep pass followed by a rocky, hilly trail across the valley, and another long, steep descent to the yak kharka of Tangnak. Stay overnight at Lodge.

Day 14: Trek from Tangnak to Gokyo 4790m
We start the morning by crossing the Ngozumpa Glacier on a sandy, shifting trail, the frozen lakes creaking below and beside us as we snake our way to the other side. Once back on the main trail to Gokyo, we have an hour's hike past the second lake to the lodge at Gokyo. In the Gokyo valley, the character of the trekking changes abruptly. The opaque powder-blue lakes are often on the verge of freezing over, and sometimes perform a Himalayan symphony of expanding and retracting ice. We have entered the grassy ablation valley running beside the Ngozumpa Glacier, and have our first sight of Gokyo, a seasonal village and grazing area built beside the third and biggest lake. Gokyo has become something of a Himalayan resort without the crowd – at least in terms of the comfortable lodges with sunrooms, unbeatable views, excellent food and warm stoves. It is a great base to explore from, and we have plenty of time for it. A more spectacular setting is difficult to imagine. You have an incredible day hike up the Gokyo valley, past two or three more glacial lakes, towards Cho Oyu. There are several trails that snake up this gorgeous valley, one emerging on the ridge overlooking the creaking glacier, another passing the eerily deserted fourth lake with it’s white, stony beach, and all with unforgettable views of Everest and the Himalayan range. The unobstructed view of Everest from Scoundrel's Point (4995m) is a decent reward for the walk. Stay overnight at Lodge.

Day 15: Today, it must is an excursion up Gokyo Ri (5360m) for some Everest spotting and all-around spectacular views of the lakes, the glacial moraine, the Khumbu icefall and the Himalayan peaks surrounding us on all sides (including Makalu, this time). It is fantastic in the morning, the middle of the day or for sunset, but don't forget to bring a torch if you opt for a 'sunset on Everest' views, which is better than the sunrise. Stay overnight at Lodge.

Day 16: Trek from Gokyo to Lungden 4375m via Renjo-La Pass
Another early Himalayan starts as we head west of Gokyo Lake (taking the upper trail) towards the Renjo La pass (5415m). The trail switchbacks very steeply up a sandy ridge, crosses an often-frozen stream, and continues along finally skirting the dramatic rock face below the pass to the top, a climb of about four hours with Makalu looming ever larger on the horizon. The trail has recently been improved to accommodate yaks, and the views from the top are some of the best in all of the Himalayas, with a long and impressive panorama of 7000 and 8000 meter peaks all around, and prayer flags to mark the pass. After a snack and photos, we will begin the even steeper descent (trekking poles are really good to have for today), again down new stone steps, to the lake below, past several yak kharkas, past the twin Renjo Lakes and again steeply down to the Thame valley. Stay overnight at Lodge.

Day 17: Trek from Lungden to Thame 3805m
Today's three hour walk is a step back in time as we pass by many old, walled Sherpa villages, seasonal settlements of the Thame and Thamo villagers. We will probably also share the trail with Tibetan yak caravans, Khampas, trading en route to and from Namche and Tibet with the villagers. We follow the Bhote Kosi all day, and when we reach Thame Thang we hike right through the old village. We'll make a short detour to Kerok Gompa, still small and Sherpa in style. Back down from the gompa, we have a small ridge to climb before we look down on Thame and our lodge for the night. Thame is an old village of snaking rock walls, yak paddocks and traditional slate-roofed Sherpa houses. Thame Gompa, perched up to the north of the village, is one of the oldest in the Khumbu, and one of the gompas that celebrates the Dunche festival in the summertime. Take the afternoon to climb to the gompa and wander around the walled village. Stay overnight at Lodge.

Day 18: Trek from Thame to Namche via Lawudo Gompa
First a side-trip to Lawudo Gompa (3790m), affiliated with the renowned Kopan Gompa in Kathmandu, tucked away above Thamo and Mende villages. After a steep descent to the Bhote Kosi, which we cross on a high bridge over a narrow canyon, we take an alternative (and rarely used by trekkers) trail which climb steeply to the small gompa where Guru Rimpoche meditated in a small cave en route to Tibet. The monk or ani (nun) staying this magical retreat will inevitably treat us to tea while we take in the spectacular views from the gompa steps. Khumbila, the sacred Sherpa peak, looms overhead, prayer flags from the gompa providing the perfect Himalayan foreground. The cave the famous Rimpoche used has been turned into a tiny cave chapel, and there is an eclectic in-house library. We drop steeply to the trail and trek for an hour and a half, contouring high above the river, to Namche. Stay overnight at Lodge.

Day 19: Trek from Namche to Lukla 2850m
We have a long hike ahead of us today, so we'll head off early from Namche. The descent of that long hill that we plodded up less then a fortnight ago seems amazingly short and easy on the way down. Jorsale, just before the bridge to Monjo. After one last steep hill to the National Park gate, we reach the welcome sight of Monjo and the National Park entrance. From here we have only an hour and a half back to Phakding along the same trails that we trekked up a few weeks ago. We continue back to Lukla along the same trail, although it always looks different coming from the opposite direction. Stay overnight at Lodge.

Day 20: Fly from Lukla to Kathmandu and transfer to Hotel.
This morning we take the return flight to Kathmandu, a thrilling flight over forests, fields and villages, with the Himalaya in the background. On arrival, we transfer to the hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure, a good time for last minute shopping or sightseeing. Stay overnight at Hotel.

Day 21: Buffer day for flight cancellation due to bad weather and stay overnight at Hotel.

Day 22: Final departure from Kathmandu
After breakfast, transfer to international airport as per your flight schedule.
 
Our  Package Inclusive
# Int’l/Dom Airport/Hotel/Airport picks up and transfers by private car/van on arrival and departure.
# 4 nights accommodations in twin bed sharing basis with breakfast at Standard Hotel in Kathmandu.
# Sightseeing Tour as per above mentioned itinerary and all kind of entry fees.
# Round Trip domestic flight tickets cost and airport tax.
# Meals (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner) with tea or coffee are included during the lodge/tea-house trek.
# Lodge-lodge accommodation during the lodge trek.
# 1 Experienced, helpful, friendly and well trained English speaking guide, necessary porters (1 porter for 2 peoples) during the trek and their food, accommodation, equipments, salary and insurance.
# All ground transportation by private vehicle.
# Sagarmatha National Park Permit.
# All necessary permits.
# Tourist Service Charge.
# Office Service Charge.
# All government tax.
# First Aid Medical Kit box.
 
Our Package Exclusive
# Any  meals (Lunch and Dinner) in Kathmandu other than breakfast.
# International Airfare to and from Nepal.
# Travel Insurance.
# Nepal Tourist Visa Fees.
# Items and expenses of personal nature.
# All kind of alcoholic drinks (beer, wine, whisky), cold drink (mineral water, coke, fanta, sprite, juice), laundry service, postage, phone calls, internet, donations, museum entry fees etc during the trip.
# Personal Trekking Equipments such as sleeping bags, walking poles, down jackets, walking boots. (It can be hired/bought in Kathmandu).
# Emergency Evacuation (Medical Insurance and Helicopter Rescue in case of accident and can be paid either insurance company or clients themselves).
# Any cost arises due to a change of the program/itinerary, because of landslides, political disturbance, strike and some accidental problems.
# Horse/Pony renting and additional porters due to natural calamities during the trek.
# Any other costs whatsoever, that is not mentioned in the cost inclusive.
# Tipping Tips for guide, porters, drivers and horse man.
 
Tipping is expected but it is not mandatory and can be treated end of the trip if satisfied.
N. B. This is a general itinerary, which can always individually be “tailor-made”. The package itinerary can be redesigned or changed due to trekker’s fitness and time frame of holiday. Similarly hotel can be upgraded or downgraded depend on your budget. Please email to us at  mystiquenepaltreks@yahoo.com for more details and discussions for suitably programs.

P.S. In case of Emergency Evacuation during the trip, Helicopter Rescue will be arranged by Mystique Nepal Himalayan Trekking & Expedition (P) Ltd within 1-2 hours in first call. The cost of the rescue must be paid by the clients themselves or insurance company.
 
TREKKING/TOUR CANCELLATION PROCEDURES:
There will be a cancellation fee of 30% for any cancellation unforeseen problems shown one month prior to Trekking/Tour departure date, a cancellation fee of 50% two weeks prior to Trekking/Tour departure date and no refund thereafter. No refund for no shows & delay arrivals whatsoever reason. 
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Email : mystiquenepaltreks@yahoo.com

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