The Ultimate Everest Circuit (Most challenging high three passes traverse in Khumbu Valley)
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The Ultimate Everest Circuit (Most challenging high three passes traverse in Khumbu Valley)

Swiss Family Treks Blog Posting

One of the most popular trekking circuits in Nepal, the Everest Circuit quite literally a gateway to heaven combining magnificent mountains with surreal adventure. The circuit resides in the Khumbu region of Eastern Nepal and goes through three high passes; Renjo La Pass (5360m), Cho La Pass (5420m), and Kongma La Pass (5535m). The unforgettable experience of exploring the Everest Base Camp along with the beautiful Gokyo Lakes makes this circuit one of the best trekking routes in Nepal. The highlight of this trekking route is the panoramic view of the mountains in the Khumbu Valley. Mountains like the Mt. Everest (8848m), Cho Oyu (8201m), Makalu (8475m), Pumo Ri (7165m), Ama Dablam (6812m), Lhotse (8516m), Nuptse (7861m) and many other peaks decorate the views on the trip. 

The Route 
The trek kicks off from Kathmandu with a thrilling flight to Lukla going over the small and high hills and snowcapped mountains in eastern Nepal. From Lukla, the journey begins as you follow the Dudh Koshi River and passes numerous Sherpa villages on the way. Trekking past Monjo, you enter the Sagarmatha National Park and continue to head north to Namche Bazaar which is the biggest Sherpa village. From Namche, the trek heads northwest to Lumde and passes Thame on the way. 

The first pass you will first come across is Renjo La at the height of 5360m from where your path will lead to the glistening Gokyo Lakes and the largest glacier in the Khumbu Valley- Ngozumpa Glacier. The trek descends to Gokyo village where you can explore the Sherpa lifestyle and the mesmerizing Gokyo Lakes. The trail continues east and reaches Dragnag. The second pass you will come across is the Cho La Pass (5420m). From here, you will experience the thrill of the journey as you reach the Everest Base Camp. You will also get to visit Kalapatthar from where you can view the beautiful Khumbu Icefall along with the beauty of the Khumbu Mountains. 

The last of the Three Passes is Kongma La Pass standing at 5535m. The descent from Kongma La leads to Chhukung and begins the return trip to Lukla. The trek continues along the Imja River and passes villages like Orsho, Pangboche, and Tengboche. Continuing the gradual descent, the trek reaches Namche and heads south to Lukla.

Amazing view of mount Everest Himalayan range and Gokyo Lake from Renjo La Pass

Trip Highlights
•    The major highlight of the trip is the beautiful panoramic views of the tall and proud snow-clad mountains from your destination including Mt. Everest (8848m). 
•    You will also get to pass through the three magnificent high passes of Khumbu Valley i.e. Renjo La (5360m), Cho La (5420m), and Kongma La (5535m).
•    Experience a thrilling flight to one of the most dangerous airports in the world to/from at the Tenzing-Hillary Airport in Lukla.
•    The trek is filled with visits to numerous famous landmarks like the Gokyo Lakes and Ngozumpa Glacier.
•    Explore the Everest Base Camp and Kalapatthar viewpoint to witness the scenery of mountains like the Mt. Everest (8848m), Lhotse (8516m), Cho Oyu (8201m), Nuptse (7861m), and Ama Dablam (6856m) among others.
•    You will also get to experience the peaceful Sherpa villages, their rich culture, and traditions.

Key Features of this Trek
1. Rich Sherpa Culture and Tradition 
Sherpa people make for most of the population in the Khumbu region. Their lifestyle and daily practices tell a story of their rich culture and traditional ethos. Sherpa Museum is one of the highlights of the trip where you can see the skull of yeti preserved. As you stay in the small tea houses you will also get to taste their exotic cuisine that will follow you the rest of the trip. Similarly, the Sherpa people also showcase their traditional attire and customs in the villages spread across the Everest Three Passes trekking route.
2. Buddhism and More
The people in Khumbu Villages mostly follow Buddhism with a little influence of Tibetan Buddhism. Ancient Buddhist monasteries are littered along the Everest Circuit trekking route. These monasteries reflect the history of the region and have heavily influenced the lifestyle of the people. The small Chortens, Mani walls, and prayer flags all reflect the impact of Buddhism in the lives of the local Sherpas. The small markets in the villages give out small Tibetan Artifacts which tell the story of Buddhism. 
3. Scenic Mountain View
The view of the highest mountain in the world, the Mt. Everest (8848m) will be a memory from this trip that will last you a lifetime. Similarly, you can also enjoy the views of some of the highest mountains in the world including the Lhotse (8516m), Makalu (8475m), and Cho Oyu (8201m). Other notable mountains that one can observe on the trek are Pumo Ri (7165m), Ama Dablam (6856m), Thamserku (6623m), Kusum Khangkaru (6367m), Taboche (6367m), Cholatse (6335m), and Island Peak (6189m) among others.
4. High Altitude Three Passes
The very first high pass is Renjo La pass at the height of 5360m from where you come across the breathtaking Gokyo Lakes and the glistening Ngozumpa Glacier (the largest in Khumbu). Cho La pass is the second pass which is also at the highest altitude from the three. It resides at the height of 5420m and is the gateway to the highlight of the trip, the Everest Base Camp. From here, you come across the beautiful view of tall peaks in the Khumbu Himalayan range. The third of the three passes is the Kongma La Pass at 5535m which marks the start of descent back to the start.
5. Perfect Viewpoints
The circuit route is filled with the unobstructed view of tall snow-clad mountains. The three high passes Renjo La (5360m), Cho La (5420m), and Kongma La (5535m) are all excellent viewpoints to enjoy the glorious Himalayan scenery. Likewise, Gokyo Ri (5360m) and Tengboche are also two of the illustrious vantage points on the trek. However, the most magnificent views of them all are at Kalapatthar which is famous for its unobstructed view of Mt. Everest along with its surrounding peaks. Chhukung, Dingboche, Thame, and Khumjung are some other viewpoints spread across the trekking trail.

Physical Fitness Required
The Ultimate Everest Circuit via the Three Passes is one of the most difficult treks in the country; so, you need to be physically fit and active to complete this trip. The trek takes nearly three weeks to finish so, you will have to make sure that you are fit enough to continue the journey. It will help if you have prior climbing experience as the hike is especially difficult in higher altitudes. However, the trails in the lower altitudes are moderately difficult. 

The best view of Mount Everest from Kalapatthar

Best Season
The best season to indulge in the Everest Circuit Trek is in spring (March-May) or autumn (September-November). The weather is mostly stable in these seasons and there are fewer chances of avalanches. The temperature in higher altitudes is also bearable during spring and autumn. Because of this reason, most of the travelers prefer to travel in spring or autumn which is why the route is packed. You may not get proper accommodation so be sure to book one beforehand.

Winter in these regions is followed by harsh snowstorms and freezing temperatures which is why most travelers avoid it. However, this season is ideal for trekkers who love to travel in solitude. The view of mountains is beautiful in the winter because the mountains are completely covered in glistening snow.

It is better not to travel in Monsoon because of the slippery paths and leeches that will cause a nuisance. The view of the mountains will also be covered so it will not be overall good experience.

Average Cost
The cost of the Ultimate Everest Circuit varies according to the customizations that you choose to make on the trip itinerary. You can choose to contact us regarding the details of the trip. The Everest Circuit trek package covers the cost of a guides, porters, three meals a day (breakfast, lunch and dinner), domestic flight fares from/by Kathmandu to Lukla, other transportation like vehicle use, airport pick and drop, accommodation in hotel/lodges/teahouses and necessary entry permit.

Useful Information
•    Be careful not to rush in the climb or push yourself too much as the height you will be traveling to will be over 2400m. There is a danger of altitude sickness so, you will have to travel slowly while taking time for your body to get used to the lower oxygen levels and the increasing pressure. If at any moment you feel the symptoms of AMS, remember to climb down immediately because if not it can risk your life. 
•    Make sure to pack warm and comfortable clothes for the trek along with medicinal packs and first aid kits. Try not to have a heavy bag and keep the bag as light as possible. You might have to keep an emergency contact ready in case of medical emergencies.
•    Trekkers are required to obtain two permits in order to do the Ultimate Everest Circuit. The first one is the Sagarmatha National Park Entry Permit which costs NRs 3000 (approx. USD 30). Likewise, trekkers should also have the Khumbu Pasang Lhamu Rural Municipality Entrance Permit which costs NRs 2000 (approx. USD 20).

View of Mount Ama Dablam and Buddhist Stupa

The Ultimate Everest Circuit via the Three Passes is full of excitement and offers the opportunity to view the tallest mountains in the world. Filled with not only the breathtaking view of mountains but also the unique cultural practices of Sherpas, this trek is a dream for people seeking ultimate thrill and adventure.

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