Three Passes Trek

A few years ago I decided to take a little break from working and I left to travel around the world. Five weeks turned into six months and I traveled through New Zealand, Australia, Nepal, England, London, Scotland and Ireland. I didn’t really have any agenda as far as what I was going to do, so I brought one bag and a few plane tickets and started my adventure. There were many highlights to my trip but the one that stands out the most was the “Three Passes Trek” in the Khumbu region of Nepal.

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This trek takes you through three different valley systems linked by high passes in Nepal’s Khumbu region on the doorstep to Mount Everest. My friend Dacre and I started by flying into Lukla which was probably the most exhilarating airport landings I have ever experienced.

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The trek goes through little villages every 10 miles or so that contain tea houses that you sleep in. The tea houses are very minimal with a few tables in the kitchen areas and single rooms with cots. The tea houses varied from village to village and as we got higher, not only did the temperature decline but so did the quality of the food and facilities. Let’s just say I had my fair share of dal bhat, rice and potatoes.

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After five days we reached our first pass Kongma La at 18,159ft. Every day was spectacular and crossing the first high point of Kongma La was breathtaking. After another few days hiking I took a side trip to Everest Base Camp and climbed Kala Patar (18,175ft). Being so close to the tallest mountain in the world was a moment I will never forget. I spend the majority of my free time exploring the mountains and I have never experienced mountains as remarkable as the Himalayas.

Not only were the views outstanding but the culture was something very unique to learn about and be apart of. We timed the trek perfectly and did it really early on in the season. The snow was a tad higher but for the most part we had the trail to ourselves.

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Cho La Pass (17,782ft) came around day 10 which marked about the halfway point of our first trek. Cho La drops you into Gokyo which still remains my favorite place in the world. We spent a couple extra days in Gokyo to climb Gokyo Ri (17,575ft) and explore more of that area. We sat high above to clouds on top of Gokyo Ri for hours taking everything in. It was crazy to now see Everest so far away and see how far we had come.

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Our final pass was Renjo La (17,930ft) our last high point before we started descending the remainder of the lollipop loop before we headed back to Lukla. Before the airport was built in 1964 by the Himalayan Trust (created by Sir Edmund Hilary) everyone had to deliver supplies by foot and mules all the way from Jiri. On our way back to Lukla we weren’t ready for this portion of the trek to be over. We then decided to add on another week to our trek and hike out rather than fly back to Kathmandu. It is incredible to see how far people would hike in supplies, and it is remarkable the amount of weight the Sherpas carry to make all of the trekking in this region possible.

If anyone ever gets the chance to experience the Khumba, I can guarantee it will be a period in your life that you will never ever forget. If you would like to find out more information about this trek, check out these sites!

New York Times: Everest Without the Crowds

Everest Base Camp / 3 Passes

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