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Three passes trek KANDOO | Three passes trek The ultimate Everest region trek
Kandoo Adventures: November 5th 2020

Plan your Three Passes trek

Kandoo's View

Cho Oyu from Gokyo RiThe Three Passes trek is the toughest Everest base camp trek there is. Taking 21 days in total it is also the longest trek we run in Nepal. So this is one for the really hardened trekker. If you are up to it, the Three Passes trek really offers all the best of the Khumbu region.

Endurance and keeping yourself fit and healthy are the most important things on a trek of this length. You have to make sure you are really fit before you arrive so lots of back to back long hikes. And on the trail you really need to look after yourself. This means keeping your temperature right, eating as much as you can and hydrating all the time.

Being at a high altitude for this long will really sap your strength so you must train hard before you arrive and make sure you are feeling really strong mentally.

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About the route

Starting from the far west in the Dhote Kosi valley it crosses Renjo La pass to get into the Gokyo valley. You have time here to visit the emerald lakes that give Gokyo its name.

The trail then goes over the Cho La pass into the Dudh Kosi valley. From here it heads up to Everest base camp. Finally it heads back down and crosses the Kongma La pass arriving in the Imja Khola valley. En route you will summit three great peaks: Gokyo Ri, Kala Patar and Chukhung Ri.

One for the really devoted trekker.

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Sleep at Everest Base Camp on a private trek

For all private trekkers we are able to arrange an overnight stay at Everest Base Camp during the main climbing season from March through May. This is a very unique experience for trekkers as they get to join the campsite of an Everest expedition team and can walk all the way up to the crampon point on the Khumbu icefall. For more details, just contact one of our team!

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Trip dossier, route maps and profile

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Three Passes Trek Animated Route Map
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21 Days Prices from £1499 Prices from $1945 Prices from
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Three Passes Trek Route Profile

Detailed itinerary

Day 1Arrive

Arrive in the capital of Kathmandu. Our Kandoo team meet we and take we way to your hotel where we can relax.  The rest of the day is free for we to explore some of this vibrant city.

Day 2Flight to Lukla, trek to Phakding

We will take an early morning flight to Lukla, the starting point of the trek. Despite being only 45 minutes, the flight is a memorable one! Try to sit on the right-hand side of the plane for the best views of Everest as we approach Lukla.

The trek starts with a fairly short descent to Phakding, where we will pass stone walls decorated with prayer inscriptions – called Mani in the local language. Make sure we always pass on the left. We will spend the night in Phakding.

  • Elevation: From 1300 metres to 2800 metres to 2656 metres
Day 3From Phakding to Namche Bazaar

From Phakding, the trek follows the raging Dudh Kosi river before climbing steeply up to Namche Bazaar at 3450m.  The village is the central trading post of the region and is always bustling with life.

  • Elevation: From 2656 metres to 3450 metres.
Day 4Acclimatisation day in Namche Bazaar

To help with acclimatisation we will climb up higher up to the Everest View Hotel at 3880m. This is a fantastic viewpoint and hopefully our first sighting of Mount Everest.  We will spend an hour or so enjoying the view before heading back to Namche where we will have time to explore the village, stock up on some snacks for the trek ahead and check out the local bakery. 

  • Elevation: 3450 metres
  • Highest point: 3880 metres
Day 5From Namche to Thame

The trail now splits from the popular base camp route and heads north-west to the village of Thame where the famous Tenzing Norgay grew up as a child. Take some time here to learn a bit about the local traditions and their intrinsic connection with the mountain on which we are standing.

  • Elevation: From 3450 metres to 3844 metres
Day 6From Thame to Lungden

Today we will start to climb back up to higher altitude heading up the valley to Lungden.   Make sure you have your camera at the ready as the higher we go the views across the snow-capped peaks in the region just get better and better.

  • Elevation: From 3844 metres to 4380 metres
Day 7From Lungeden via the Renjo La Pass to Gokyo

Today we will encounter your first of the Three Passes – Renjo La. The route starts off gently but will soon turn into a hard day of hiking as we near the end of the ascent to Renjo La. Try to think of the magnificent views we will get at the top to motivate you! After the pass, we will descend to the third of the beautiful turquoise Gokyo Lakes and then trek onto the village of Gokyo for the night. 

  • Elevation: From 4380 metres to 4750 metres
  • Highest point: 5388 metres (Renjo La Pass)
Day 8Climb Gokyo Ri

Today we climb your first peak, Gokyo Ri, for fabulous views of Cho Oyu. We start the climb early and then have the rest of the day to rest to help our acclimatisation.  If we still have energy, then later in the day we can hike up some of the surrounding moraine ridges and enjoy the views. As a treat for all our hard work we can then tuck into some delicious cake from the wonderful Gokyo bakery.

  • Elevation: 4750 metres
  • Highest point: 5483 metres (Gokyo Ri)
Day 9From Gokyo to Tragnag

Again we will start early today as we have to cross the Ngozumpa Glacier – the largest glacier in Nepal.   Once again, keep your camera close as we trek through this beautiful part of Nepal!  We will reach the remote village of Tragnag.

  • Elevation: From 4750 metres to 4690 metres
Day 10From Tragnag via Cho La Pass to Dzongla

Often considered the hardest day of the trek, today involves traversing the second pass of Cho La. At over 5,400m, reaching the top will require some effort. 

We will spot the famous prayer flags as we near the top of the pass, after which we descend over the other side of the pass and down onto the glacier to reach the remote settlement of Dhzongla.

  • Elevation: From 4690 metres to 4830 metres
  • Highest point: 5420 metres (Cho La Pass)
Day 11From Dzongla to Lobuche

The way to Lobuche contours the grassy slopes above a lake, the Tshola Tsho, to join up with the main Everest trail from Pheriche and Tengboche. The trail flattens out and follows the valley on the west side of the Khumbu Glacier to Lobuche.

  • Elevation: From 4830 metres to 4928 metres
Day 12Trek to Everest Base Camp, return to Gorak Shep

This morning we will follow the moraine ridge of the Khumbu Glacier to take us to the Everest Base Camp. Feel the buzz and excitement of the place, packed with potential future summiteers of Everest! Descend later that day down the same ridge back to Gorak Shep for some much-earned rest and sleep.

  • Elevation: From 4928 metres to 514 metres
  • Highest points: 5364 metres (Everest Base Camp) 
Day 13Climb Kala Pattar, trek to Lobuche

An early morning start is needed to summit the trekking peak of Kala Pattar – the iconic viewpoint of Everest. After snapping some pics, we head back to Gorak Shep for a quick meal before descending further to Lobuche for the night.

  • Elevation: From 5164 metres to 4928 metres
  • Highest point: 5554 metres (Kala Pattar)
Day 14From Lobuche via Kongma La Pass to Chukhung

We leave the classic base camp route today as we head east through the Khumbu Glacier to reach the third and final pass of the trip – Kongma La. At 5,535m the pass is the highest of the three.

After a tiring ascent to the top, we descend into the Imja Tse Valley and eventually to the village of Chukhung where we will stay in the lodge overnight.

  • Elevation: From 4928 metres to 4750 metres
  • Highest point: 5535 metres (Kongma La Pass)
Day 15Climb Chukhung Ri, trek to Dingboche

Today we will climb Chukhung Ri (5,550m) and trek to Dingboche.  This peak is the hardest of the three peaks on this trek and involves some easy scrambling near the summit. The views from the top down the Khumbu Valley are superb. We descend to Dingboche where we will stay in a lodge overnight.

  • Elevation: From 4750 metres to 4360 metres
  • Highest point: 5550 metres (Chukhung Ri)
Day 16From Dingboche to Kyangjuma

We now descend back to the main Everest trail through Pangboche before climbing to the monastery at Tengboche. From Tengboche we make a steep descent before climbing back up to Kyangjuma where we will stay overnight in a lodge.

  • Elevation: From 4360 metres to 3664 metres
Day 17From Kyangjuma to Phakding

We continue through Namche Bazaar, descend Namche Hill and cross the Dudh Koshi. We will trek back along familiar paths to Phakding where we will stay the night.

  • Elevation: From 3664 metres to 2656 metres
Day 18From Phakding to Lukla

The last day of trekking will take us through some lovely pine scented forests before reaching Lukla.

  • Elevation: 2656 metres to 2800 metres
Day 19Flight from Lukla to Kathmandu

Weather permitting, we will catch the morning flight back to Kathmandu to end off what is sure to be the trip of a lifetime.

Day 20Kathmandu

Free time to explore the vibrant, bustling city of Kathmandu and immerse yourself in its wonderful culture

Day 21Departure

We will transfer you to the airport for your onward flight home.

Availability and prices

Last Updated November 5 2020
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Arrival: March 30 2021
Days: 21
Price: £1549 $2015 €0
Comment: Minimum 2 people
Arrival: May 6 2021
Days: 21
Price: £1549 $2015 €0
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Arrival: October 14 2021
Days: 21
Price: £1549 $2015 €0
Comment: Spaces
Arrival: March 27 2022
Days: 21
Price: £1549 $2015 €0
Comment: Spaces
Arrival: April 10 2022
Days: 21
Price: £1549 $2015 €0
Comment: Spaces
Arrival: May 1 2022
Days: 21
Price: £1549 $2015 €0
Comment: Spaces
Arrival: September 18 2022
Days: 21
Price: £1499 $1945 €0
Comment: Spaces
Arrival: October 16 2022
Days: 21
Price: £1549 $2015 €0
Comment: Spaces
Arrival: November 6 2022
Days: 21
Price: £1549 $2015 €0
Comment: Spaces

Frequently asked questions

The questions and answers below are specific to the Three Passes trek. For more general questions about trekking in Nepal see here and for questions about the Everest region see here.

Q1Is it possible to do the Three Passes trek in a shorter time?

Although it is possible to complete the Three Passes trek in less days, our itinerary is designed to give you good time to acclimatise and some rest periods during what is a long and arduous journey. If you would like to attempt the trek in fewer days, contact us and we can discuss the options for a private trip. 

Q2Do I need any specialist kit for the Three Passes trek?

The only equipment we recommend additional to the standard kit for an Everest trek is a pair of Yaktrax or Microspikes. These are mini-crampons and might be needed if there is snow on the high passes.

Q3When is the best time to hike the Three Passes?

The Three Passes route can be hiked from October to May but in the Winter months there is likely to be a lot of snow on the route. We therefore do not operate open groups on this route from mid-November to early March.

Get in touch Start planning your next adventure by contacting one of our team
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