Everest 3 Passes Trek, Part 2

Trekking in the Everest Khumbu region offers spectacular scenery of high elevation peaks. We did the Everest 3 Passes trek. The first few days took us through small villages and up the Dudh Kosi Valley to the first pass, Kongma La (for part 1 click here).

After coming down from Kongma La, we were back on the busy Everest Base Camp Trek headed for the final group of guesthouses at Gorak Shep. From Gorak Shep there are two special places to visit. Everest Base Camp (5360m) is set on scree-filled moraine at the base of the Khumbu Icefield. Basecamp is filled with sleeping, dining, kitchen and bathroom tents as well a medical tent and 2 helipads. Underneath the scree is the slick ice of the moving Khumbu glacier, making walking around the camp difficult.

Everest Base Camp
Everest Base Camp
Yaks at Everest Base Camp
Yaks at Everest Base Camp

There's more than one way to get to Everest Base Camp, but[ that poor horse!
There’s more than one way to get to Everest Base Camp, but[ that poor horse!
Each climbing company has a Puja (ceremony) where a lama blesses all of the climbing equipment and an offering of food is made. A Puja must occur before any Sherpa, and therefore client, will climb higher.

Puja at Everest Base Camp
Puja at Everest Base Camp
Stupa for Puja at Everest Base Camp
Stupa for Puja at Everest Base Camp

The Khumbu Icefield is a formidable looking maze. The deep crevasses are networked in a web eliminating any possible ‘route’. The massive seracs and avalanche chutes with hanging glaciers above, take it from formidable to impossible. When we were there the ‘ice doctors’ had not yet secured the fixed ladders and ropes that allow climbers a way through.

Khumbu Icefield at Base Camp
Khumbu Icefield at Base Camp
Khumbu Icefield at Base Camp
Khumbu Icefield at Base Camp
Khumbu Icefield at Base Camp
Khumbu Icefield at Base Camp

The other ‘must do’ from Gorak Shep is to hike to the top of Kala Pattar (5550 m) for views of Everest. It’s a steep, windy hike, but offers fantastic views of Everest’s majestic peak including the Summit, South Col, South Summit and the Tibetan side’s North Ridge. It’s an awe-inspiring view. Seeing Everest’s Khumbu Icefield and peak in person made me appreciate Richard’s successful summit 10 years ago even more. It looks like an impossible feat.

Everest, Nuptse and Lhotse from Kala Pattar
Everest, Nuptse and Lhotse from Kala Pattar
Everest: Summit, South Summit, South Col
Everest: Summit, South Summit, South Col
Everest's South Col (location of Camp 4)
Everest’s South Col (location of Camp 4)
Everest Summit including South Summit (right) and North Ridge (left)
Everest Summit including South Summit (right) and North Ridge (left)

Our next stop was the Everest climbers’ memorial which is set on a pass with amazing views. It was very overwhelming to walk between and pay homage to the dozens of memorials for climbers who died on Everest.

Everest Climbers' Memorial
Everest Climbers’ Memorial
Everest Climbers' Memorial
Everest Climbers’ Memorial
Everest Climbers' Memorial
Everest Climbers’ Memorial
Ama Dablam at sunset
Ama Dablam at sunset

Turning off the main trail again, we went through the villages of Duglha and Dzlonglha to do the 2nd pass, Cho La (5330 m). It begins as an easy trek up a long, dry, river valley, but quickly became very steep up scree filled gullies that end in a beautiful viewpoint where we saw the peaks of Lobuche, Everest and Ama Dhablam. From there we crossed a small glacier to the boulder-filled Cho La with amazing views of the surrounding high peaks. We had a long, step, snowy descent and then a very long walk down the valley to reach the small village of Dragnag.

Towards Cho La (Pass)
Towards Cho La (Pass)
Towards Cho La (Pass)
Towards Cho La (Pass)
Ama Dablam from below Cho La (Pass)
Ama Dablam from below Cho La (Pass)
Below Cho La (Pass)
Below Cho La (Pass)
Arakam Tse from below Cho La (Pass)
Arakam Tse from below Cho La (Pass)
Below Cho La (Pass)
Below Cho La (Pass)
Everest (left), Ama Dablam (centre) from below Cho La
Everest (left), Ama Dablam (centre) from below Cho La
Cho La (Pass)
Cho La (Pass)
View of Cho La from below
View of Cho La from below

Coming up next, the final pass, Renjo La.

For details on the trek go to Everest 3 Passes Trek including Base Camp.

To see our pictures from Annapurna click https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGL5XQNaWm8  

For pictures from Richard’s Everest Summit click  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFmsecd6yN0 

For extra pics from this trip go to Gallery/Nepal. For extra pictures from other blogs go to Gallery at monkeystale.ca Click on a picture to view it as a slide show.

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