Everest Three High Passes
Far away from the busy Everest Base Camp route, the three high mountain passes of Renjo La, Cho La, and Kongma La lie in and wild and isolated area of the Khumbu Region. These three high passes offer a challenging crossing that few brave hearts can complete. Lying off-the-beaten-path, a trek across the three high passes is probably the most demanding walking adventure in Nepal.
Extreme cold, altitude sickness, rough terrain, steep ascents and descents over boulder-strewn paths and shifting glacier are some of the challenges that trekkers face while crossing the Everest Three High Passes. It is a tough long walk across an untamed and secluded trail. But the astounding views and natural scenery are pretty much unmatched.
Kongma La Pass
Kongma La at 5,535 meters is the highest of the three passes. The pass lies close to Everest Base Camp and Kala Patthar and connects the high-altitude settlements of Lobuche and Chukkung.
While crossing Kongma La you walk through the dangerous Khumbu Glacier. It is a tough walk to the top of the pass. From the top of Kongma La, one is greeted with spectacular views of Lhotse, Makalu, Baruntse, Ama Dablam, and high-altitude lakes.
Chol La Pass
Cho La (5,420m), the second-highest pass lies between Kongma La and Renjo La. The settlements of Thagnak and Dzongla lie on either side of the pass. The ice on the glacier and loose rocks make the crossing of this pass difficult. Though technical climbing is not needed, one has to use one’s hands to scramble up the steep path.
The view of the mountains from a snowfield while crossing the pass is awe-inspiring. From the top one can enjoy marvelous views of Ama Dablam, Cholatse, Kantega, Baruntse, Thamserku, and other peaks.
To the west of Cho La pass lies the beautiful but seldom visited Gokyo Valley. The walk to Gokyo from Cho La pass involves crossing the spectacular Ngozumpa glacier, the longest glacier in Nepal Himalaya.
Renjo La Pass
Renjo La at 5,360 meters, sits at the lowest elevation. It lies between the Gokyo Valley and Lumde. One can explore the spellbinding Gokyo Lakes and catch a sunrise over Cho Oyu and Mount Everest from Gokyo Ri before or after crossing Renjo La. Like at the other two passes, traversing the Renjo La also involves climbing and descending a steep and rocky path.
A trek across the Everest Three Passes offers an unforgettable experience. You get to visit one of the least explored areas in the Everest Region close to the Tibetan border. Though physically draining, the incredible views and Sherpa cultural experience make this a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Depending on your fitness level and length of your vacation, you can choose a crossing of any one of the three passes, two passes, or all three passes. Learn more about the routes leading to the Everest Three Passes by checking out the itineraries listed below.