It includes many highlights from our classic Everest Base Camp & Gokyo Lakes trek such as Base Camp, Kala Pattar, Cho La and the Gokyo Valley but includes time for additional exploration in the Khumbu Valley, crossings of the 5535m Kongma La, the 5417m Renjo La plus a visit to the remote Bhote Kosi Valley; be prepared for a thrilling, high altitude experience.
This trek will suit experienced Nepal trekkers keen for an extreme adventure plus first time trekkers willing to test themselves in this most beautiful alpine environment.
Costs & dates
|TRIP DURATION||23 days from Kathmandu|
|2019 COST^ & DATE||Trek 1: 19 April – 11 May 2020
Trek 2: 8 – 30 November 2020
|TRIP HIGHLIGHTS||Beautiful high altitude lakes in the Gokyo Valley, superb views of Everest from Kala Pattar, visit to the legendary Everest Base Camp, cross the challenging passes of Kongma La, Cho La and Renjo La|
The pace of this trek is relaxed and enjoyable to allow trekkers to acclimatise in the high altitude and to absorb the stunning scenery of the area. You won’t be carrying a heavy pack either as our local crew carry your belongings. We stay in comfortable Sherpa lodges so there’s no camping on this trek. An awe inspiring and unforgettable trek and rightfully regarded as one of the top 10 treks in the world.
If you’re thinking about this Everest High Passes trek, or any of our other Nepal treks, have a look at our Adventure Add-ons and Independent Trekking options to extend your trip and help you make the most of your Nepal adventure holiday experience.
Back Track is one of only a few companies worldwide that operates its own fulltime office in Kathmandu, ensuring our trekkers a professional, well organised and safe holiday in the best trekking destination in the world.
^Though we are not expecting any price increases from our suppliers, airline prices and/or taxes could increase. These increases will be added to our quoted holiday costs.
DAY 1: KATHMANDU 1300m
Met on arrival and transferred to our hotel. Free time to explore Kathmandu. This evening dine out in the old city. (D)
DAY 2: KATHMANDU 1300m
Time to walk through the old city and visit the famous temple complex of Durbar Square, or hire a taxi and visit the other cities in the Kathmandu Valley, Patan and Bhaktapur. A pre-trek briefing will be held in our hotel at 4.00pm. (B)
DAY 3: PHAKDINGMA 2640m
(35mins flying time, 3hrs walking)
Begin the trek with a spectacular mountain flight to Lukla. After landing, we have two easy, leisurely days on a wide, level trail along the Dudh Kosi Valley. Our lodge is in the large Sherpa village of Phakdingma. (B)
DAY 4: MONDZO 2815m (3hrs)
A half day walk to assist in essential acclimatisation. We pass many porters and yaks carrying local trade goods and expedition equipment. The pine and rhododendron forests that surround the trail provide cooling shade. After lunch we do an acclimatisation walk from our lodge. (B)
DAY 5: NAMCHE BAZAAR 3440m (3hrs)
We reach the fascinating and legendary village of Namche Bazaar, the largest village in the Khumbu area. Our lodge is a short walk from the National Park headquarters and museum. (B)
DAY 6: REST & ACCLIMATISATION IN NAMCHE BAZAAR
We take a rest day in Namche to acclimatise to the higher altitudes. A number of impressive side treks are available. One favourite is to visit the Everest View Hotel, set high on a ridge, for stunning views of Everest, Lhotse, and Ama Dablam. (B)
DAY 7: DEBOCHE 3770m (5hrs)
The trail ascends steeply past the last houses of Namche then traverses high above the Dudh Kosi Valley. We get impressive mountain views along this section of trail before descending to a bridge that crosses the Dudh Kosi at the village of Phunki Tenga. A dusty trail winds up through alpine forest to a large clearing atop a ridge at 3860m. Here we find the most important Buddhist monastery in the Everest area, Tengboche. There is ample time to rest here and also visit the monastery.
The trail then descends through rhododendron and juniper forest to the lovely hamlet of Deboche where we stay overnight. (B)
DAY 8: REST & ACCLIMATISATION IN DEBOCHE
As part of our acclimatisation, we plan to ascend a ridge overlooking Tengboche Monastery. We expect to reach an altitude of 5,000m which will provide essential acclimatisation for the days to follow. The views from today’s walk are outstanding and include Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse plus dramatic views of Ama Dablam. We reach the highpoint late In the morning and return to Deboche for lunch. Following the morning’s exertions, the afternoon can be spent relaxing. (B)
DAY 9: DINGBOCHE 4350m (4hrs)
Descend on a gentle slope through a rhododendron forest passing numerous mani walls. Be alert for wildlife; you may see Nepal’s National Bird, the Danphe pheasant plus musk deer. The trail crosses over the deep, narrow gorge of the Imja Khola before commencing the long, gradual incline to the villages of Lower Pangboche and Upper Pangboche. To the right, on the other side of the valley, looms the distinct, towering shape of Ama Dablam (6860m). The gradient eases and the vegetation thins out as we approach Dingboche. (B)
DAY 10: CHUKHUNG 4730m (2hrs)
It’s a short, easy trail up the Imja Valley to Chukhung. Today’s walk Is notable for the outstanding mountain views, particularly Ama Dablam and the Imposing Lhotse/Nuptse wall. Following lunch there’s an optional side trek up a nearby ridge for more great views. (B)
DAY 11: LOBUCHE 4940m VIA KONGMA LA 5535m (7.5hrs)
This will be the toughest day on the trek so far but following our careful rate of ascent and preceding days getting ‘trail fit’, we’ll be up for the challenge. The trail climbs from Chukhung up a grass covered ridge then becomes increasingly steep as it approaches a high lake. Rock cairns and prayer flags mark the pass and the views from here are unforgettable. From the pass the trails descends steeply through boulders until you reach the Khumbu Glacier. Cross the glacier to reach the settlement of Lobuche. (B)
DAY 12: GORAK SHEP 5170m & EVEREST BASE CAMP 5360m (8hrs)
From Lobuche we trek for 2 hours on a rough, rock strewn trail to Gorak Shep. We’ll have lunch here and a short rest before crossing over the Khumbu Glacier on the 3 hour trek to Everest Base Camp (5360). There are no views of Everest’s summit from here but there are fine views of the Khumbu Ice Fall and the large seracs of ice on the glacier beside base camp. We retrace our steps to our lodge at Gorak Shep. (B)
DAY 13: DZONGLA 4850m (4hrs)
Our goal today is the highest point of the trek, Kala Pattar, 5554 meters. Kala Pattar is the ideal place to view the dark, menacing South Face of Everest. Surrounded by mountains and glaciers, the breathtaking scenery will truly make you feel “On Top of the World”. Making it to the top of Kala Pattar is a tremendous accomplishment, and for most, a once in a lifetime experience. We depart Gorak Shep well before dawn, walking by the beam of our headlamps. The return walk, plus rest times from Gorak Shep to the top of Kala Pattar is about 3 hours. After returning to Gorak Shep for breakfast, we then retrace our steps past Lobuje before ascending a ridge on the west side of the Khumbu Valley. We reach a high valley at the foot of the magnificent, sheer wall of the north face of Cholatse (6440m). The trail crosses a small stream before ascending gradually to our lodge at Dzongla. (B)
DAY 14: TAGNAG via CHO LA 5420m (6hrs)
Today we prepare to cross Cho La (pass). Depart early for a tough 4 hour climb to the top of Cho La. We pause for some fantastic photo opportunities, then it’s a long, slow descent on a rocky trail to a high valley. Well stop here for a snack then continue our descent to reach Tagnag (4700m).
Note: Crossing Cho La will only be attempted if weather and trail conditions are ideal. There is an alternative trail available if necessary. (B)
DAY 15: GOKYO 4790m (2.5hrs)
The trail heads north beside the Ngozumba Glacier then climbs up the moraine wall to overlook the rubble strewn, the longest glacier in Nepal. Descend to the glacier itself then follow a trail between ice walls and lakes, to reach the lodges at Gokyo. (B)
DAY 16: REST DAY IN GOKYO
We take an optional pre-breakfast trek up to Gokyo Ri (5360m), a small peak. The views from here rank with any that trekkers may encounter in Nepal. We get memorable views of four 8,000m peaks—Everest, Cho Oyu, Lhotse and Makalu plus the 3 sacred lakes to the south. We return to our lodge for lunch. Later in the day, there’s an option to trek further up the Gokyo Valley and enjoy magnificent high altitude lakes and enthralling mountain views. (B)
DAY 17: MARULUNG 4200M via RENJO LA 5417M (7.5hrs)
We’ll make another early start due to the long day ahead. The trail skirts the northern edge of Dudh Pokhari then ascends steeply over gullies and past rock cairns. It will take about 3 hours to reach Rejo La. The glorious views from the pass include Mt Everest. Descend on stone steps to a lake before coming to a wide trail that heads south down
the Bhote Kosi Valley. Pass yak grazing areas and small settlements to reach our lodge at Marulung. (B)
DAY 18: NAMCHE BAZAAR 3440m (6hrs)
The trail continues to descend the Bhote Kosi Valley. After spending the previous 8 days at altitudes exceeding 4000m, we’ll appreciate the warmer conditions and increased oxygen. After reaching Thame lodge for lunch, we can relax in the afternoon or visit the nearby Buddhist Monastery. Pass through small Sherpa settlements on a well-used trail. Reach Namche by mid-afternoon. (B)
DAY 19: SPARE DAY
A spare day is always in our Everest itineraries in case of delays. If the trek goes according to plan we take a rest day in Namche. If you have the energy, a side trek to the Sherpa Villages of Kunde and Khumjung is highly recommended. You’ll have the opportunity to visit the famous Kunde Hospital, built and funded by the Himalayan Trust, founded by Sir Edmund Hillary. In Namche itself there are numerous things to do – shopping, visiting the bakery for delicious cakes and pastries, visiting the Sherpa Museum and National Park HQ, watching a movie or playing pool. (B)
DAY 20: LUKLA (6.5hrs)
The going is easier and more relaxed as we enter the lower altitudes. From Namche the trail descends rapidly to the floor of the Dudh Kosi Valley. We stop for lunch at Phakding, then continue on an easy trail along the floor of the valley before a gradual climb to Lukla. In the evening there’s a special celebration dinner followed by a ceremony to farewell our Nepali trekking crew. (B)
DAY 21: KATHMANDU (35mins flying time)
Flying from Lukla to Kathmandu the mountain views are unequalled anywhere else in the world. Met on arrival in Kathmandu and transfer to our Hotel. (B)
DAY 22: KATHMANDU
Free day to explore Kathmandu. This exciting, vibrant city is a favourite destination for travellers from all over the world. Kathmandu is a giant, living museum of Hindu and Buddhist art with more shrines and temples than anywhere else in the world. Our hotel is located a short walk from the narrow, winding streets of the old city. (B)
You will be transferred to Kathmandu Airport for your onward flight. (B)
Meals included as indicated: B – Breakfast, L – Lunch, D – Dinner
|Trek Inclusions||Not Included|
|Australian trek leader||Visa and any passport costs|
|Trek crew consisting of local guides and porters||Personal clothing|
|All accommodation – 4 nights in comfortable hotel with breakfast daily plus 18 nights in Lodges on the trek||Medical expenses|
|All breakfasts whilst trekking||Travel insurance (compulsory)|
|All tips for trekking crew||All items of a personal nature.|
|Kathmandu Airport transfers||International flights|
|First night welcome & Last night farewell dinners||Group Size|
|All land and air transport for trek|
|Down sleeping bag and kit bag for use on trek||Minimum 6|
|All trek permit & National Park entrance fees||Maximum 14 people|
|Walking tour of Kathmandu||Plus trek leader|
|All flights in Nepal|
Thank you to our Back Track trekkers who have travelled with us in Nepal and shared their feedback:
I would just like to thank Ray (Australian Trek Leader) and his crew for the exceptional support and care given to all of the members of the trek group. Making decisions on a trek with such exceptional circumstances (Nepal Earthquake), is always going to be very difficult. But I was always confident that Ray and the crew had the safety of trek and crew members as the first priority.
Paul, Everest High Passes, April 2015
I cannot even begin to explain how eye-opening this trip has been. Back Track has been AMAZING in organising and preparing us all for this incredible experience. I also have to say a huge thank you to all of the thoughtful, caring crew we’ve spent the last 2 weeks with. Always happy to help even if it’s not needed. The situation that happened with the Earthquake was handled amazingly and positively! Ray kept us all so positive. I’ll be back to trek with Back Track again for sure.
Anna, Everest High Passes, April 2015
Kylie was the perfect trek leader. Her knowledge and obvious passion for Nepal and its people was infectious. She guided us through each day with confidence, humour, warmth and energy. We were lucky to have her in charge!
Carolyn, Everest & Gokyo Lakes November 2014
A fantastic experience!!!! Kylie was a fabulous leader. Her passion and enthusiasm for Nepal is highly contagious. Kylie took care of all our needs no matter what was asked of her. She is an asset to Back Track. Food was awesome! Accommodation was very comfortable. Mila and Ram our local guides were great to have on board.
Jo, Everest & Gokyo Lakes November 2014
Kylie was an awesome trek leader. I can’t sing her praises enough. She was the consummate caring professional. I would travel with her again anytime. Kylie was also good for a chat and a laugh, she really made the trip enjoyable for me. I loved Nepal, I’m so glad I have had the opportunity to experience the culture, weather, food and those magnificent mountains which I will miss gazing at constantly. Our local crew were lots of fun and generous with their time and knowledge too. Thanks again and you know I’ll be boring all my friends, family, staff and patients silly with my photos and stories.
Sharlene, Everest & Gokyo November 2014
OMG what a fantastic experience. Everyone was in great shape physically and mentally – great group. The local crew where exceptional Ram, JB, Biru and Mila what a great crew. Learnt a lot from Damian. Thanks to all the staff at Back Track Adventures – it’s great to travel with you!
Chris, Everest Base Camp & Gokyo Lakes, November 2013
Your Nepal trekking crew were sensational. Ram, Mila, JB and Biru were professional, fun and extremely supportive to al participants. Their efforts in getting everyone down the glacier were indeed outstanding. Lots of fun to be around.
Peter, Everest Base Camp & Gokyo Lakes, November 2013
Damian was a fantastic leader. made the journey a lot of fun. Would love to do another tour with him. Our local crew Ram, Mila, Biru & JB were fantastic also. Altogether a memorable trip that will be remembered forever. Thanks Back Track.
Jim, Everest Base Camp & Gokyo Lakes, November 2013
Our Trek leader Damian was sensational in all aspects of the track. Made our trek informative, safe and enjoyable.
Anon, Everest Base Camp & Gokyo Lakes, November 2013
As usual all guides and porters were fantastic. Damian’s advice, knowledge, help and support was very helpful/ A wonderful person to have shared this trip with. 10/10.
Allan, Everest Base Camp & Gokyo Lakes, November 2013
Thank you for a wonderful holiday. Damian’s knowledge of the Himalaya’s was amazing. The crew were fantastic – always looking out for us. Such a beautiful part of the world!
Lyn, Everest Base Camp & Gokyo Lakes, November 2013
Particularly impressed with the planning of the Itinerary which gave max. opportunity to achieve the goal of reaching Base Camp. All staff were sensational.
David, Everest Base Camp & Gokyo Lakes, November 2013
Greatly appreciated Damien’s Leadership! Herding us ‘cats’ is no easy feat but Damien did it with Humour, Grace and Patience. I also appreciated that the Itinerary gave everyone as much time/opponity as possible to acclimatise and as a consequence, achieve all 4 major goals. A Big Thank you for the Birthday Wishes – the effort and fuss was a delightful surprise.
Rosemary, Everest Base Camp & Gokyo Lakes, November 2013
An excellent well-run trek. The support crew were amazing and Damian was also excellent and knowledgeable. The training program before going was well created, but nothing really readys you for trekking at altitude. Challenging but rewarding – Thank you.
David, Everest Base Camp & Gokyo Lakes, November 2013
The trip was absolutely amazing. Damian was an amazing trek leader who managed the group incredibly well and also kept everyone laughing. The trek crew were amazing and provided fantastic support as well. Overall it was an incredible experience that I would recommend to anyone.
Sam, Everest Base Camp & Gokyo Lakes, November 2013
The trekkers, the guide, Ram and crew all combined to make a very enjoyable holiday – even it was ‘bloody hard’ work on quite a few days! Thanks for the experience – Again.
Warren, Everest Base Camp & Gokyo Lakes, November 2013
A very well organised trip – very professional (as usual!). Great bunch of people, everyones needs and desires met. Bhaktapur and Patan excursion was fantastic. Mind blown to see the real people and environs as the city stirred from its slumber. I rate the whole package AAA. Thank you Back Track.
Steve, Everest Base Camp & Gokyo Lakes, November 2013
Our Trek Leader Damian was exemplary in his performance. I love the trek and experience and will cherish it for a long time. I loved every second and would gladly travel with Back Track in the future.
Mathew, Everest Base Camp & Gokyo Lakes, November 2013
This Everest trip changed my life. Spencer was an amazing leader who was just there every step of the way! Words can’t describe the real experiences I’ve had in Nepal and I look forward to going back as soon as I can. Spencer was extremely knowledegeable, kind, uplifting and occasionally pushy – but that’s exactly what I needed!!! I want do so much more with Backtrack. Their service and knowledge is world class and so perfectly intimate! Thanks
Sheridan, Everest Base Camp & Gokyo Lakes, November 2012
Just a quick note to say loved the trip. Struggled with the altitude from Namche and probably the odd day of not drinking enough. Everyone I have spoken to is so impressed that everyone in our group who wanted to get to base camp made it, as we heard that on other companies, a fair number struggling with the altitude don’t get there. Heather was great with managing each of us and our trekking family. If it wasn’t for her I don’t know whether I would have made it and enjoyed my time away. Do feel a real sense of achievement. Your other staff in Nepal also all worked well together and made life on the trail easier. Have passed your details onto those who ask along with a high recommendation.
K.A., Everest Base Camp & Gokyo Lakes
For us at Back Track, trekking is our way of life. We always prepare well and are dedicated to ensuring that our trekkers have the holiday of a lifetime. Our trekking itineraries are arranged so we can meet each day’s objective in a leisurely fashion.
As well, a program for acclimatisation is built into each itinerary so everyone will have the maximum chance to acclimatise to the altitudes in which they are trekking. There is plenty of time to stop and take photographs, rest, or just have a cup of tea with the locals in a village tea house.
Our group size is limited to a maximum of 14 trekkers plus our Back Track trekking crew. Having only small groups ensures all trekkers are given maximum attention and assistance when required. Once booked, you will be issued with comprehensive Pre Departure Information detailing your gear and clothing requirements and everything you need to know to ensure you are professionally prepared. In addition, you have access to a trekking expert at any time by calling us on our ’1300′ Trekkers Assist line.
Sherpa Lodge Style
Our Everest Base Camp and Gokyo Lakes and Everest High Passes treks are conducted in Sherpa Lodge Style.
The Khumbu area of Nepal, home to the Sherpa people, is where these treks take place. The Sherpas have a long association with western trekkers providing guides and climbing crew for mountaineers way back to the early 1920’s. In their homelands they have built an infrastructure of clean, basic and comfortable lodges in all the major villages and trekking locations. Therefore there is no need to camp on these treks. Back Track utilises these lodges for accommodation. Rooms are usually twin share with comfortable beds.
Includes all meals on the trek plus tips for local trek crew.
To save you money, for the duration of the trek a Camp Kit is provided consisting of a warm sleeping bag, suitable for cold Himalayan nights, and a kit bag to hold your belongings on the trek. The kit bag is carried by your porter.
This trek is graded challenging, requiring participants to commit to a dedicated training program prior to departure. Depending on your current level of fitness, if you are not as fit as you would like to be, a minimum 3 month program is required to ensure that you are fit enough to enjoy the trek. Back Track willingly provides advice to all our trekkers on how to obtain the required fitness level. Your pre-departure information guide contains extensive fitness training information.
If you’re keen to do a remote area camping trek and wish to talk with an expert, contact Ray Baker.