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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Coming up next, the final pass, Renjo La.
For details on the trek go to Everest 3 Passes Trek including Base Camp.
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