Three Passes Trek Nepal / About
The trek from the road end at Jiri to the Everest area was the classic way into the region. It took about 2 weeks and the gentle ascent was perfect for acclimating to the altitude. Then about 40 years ago the airport at Lukla was developed and this now became the preferred route to the Everest region. The old trail from Jiri to Lukla was bypassed by the majority of the trekkers. Only a handful of hardy backpackers and connoisseurs use the route from Jiri to Lukla now and then on to Everest despite it being a classic and also well catered for with teahouses.
Instead of starting at what was once the road end at Jiri I hope to walk a slight variation and start from the road at a place called Dhap. Then from here walk up Pikey Peak, 4068m, over the next 2 days. It is said Pikey Peak has one of the best views in the Himalayas and the view over the ranges around Everest are unrivalled. From Pikey Peak I hope to walk north to Jumbesi to pick up the Classic Jiri to Everest Trail and follow this all the way to Namche Bazaar. The route from Dhap and Salleri is also a classic and was well used by expeditions before Lukla airport made it redundant also. Both these classic routes Take about 8 days to get to Namche Bazaar.
At Namche Bazaar there is an arduous, but increasingly popular trek, called the Three Passes. It is a circuit and it is generally followed clockwise which I hope to do. The passes are Renjo La, Cho La and Kongma La and they are all about 5500 metres. between these passes there are magnificent day trips to both the 6th lake in the Gokyo valley and Everest Base Camp/Kalar Pattar. This circular Three Passes Trail takes about 9 days from Namche Bazaar. For scenery it must be one of the best treks in the world.
The is another seldom used trail from the Everest region to a town called Tumlingtar. It is used by locals but seldom by tourists. It takes about 7 days to hike from Namche Bazaar to Tumlingtar and is much more rustic with very simple teahouses. This route goes over a number of 4000m passes with each one being progressively lower until the last which is Salpa Pass, 3352m. It is very rural and a great way to finish off the Three Passes Trek and gracefully withdraw from the mountains. I intend to do this trek also and by combining all 3 treks mentioned above I hope to have a continuous trek into the mountains, through the mountains and then back down to the lowlands, all over the course of 25 days.
The landscape changes tremendously on this trek from the farmed hillsides and foothills, called the pahar, the highest mountains on earth before returning to the pahar again. As the landscape changes so do the farming practices and the ethnic groups. The Nepali peoples on this route include the Chetri, Sherpa, Rai and Limbu. Each ethnic group occupies a different niche in the landscape. So while the trip might have stunning landscapes it is also a very rich cultural journey.
I intend to do the whole tour on my own without the trappings of porters or guides. It is possible to do this because the entire route is served by teahouses. Sometimes they are a good half day apart but with a small light rucksack under 10kg it will be possible to move fast and freely. There are also no restricted areas and their plague of regulations, one of which is the necessity to take a guide. So all that paperwork and organisation can be dispensed with.
In the winter months of November and December the weather is usually at its best. It is cold and crystal clear with far reaching views untainted by haze, smoke from burning stubble or the monsoon clouds. The price to pay is cold temperatures and in some of the teahouses the water bottles often get a film of ice inside them. For that reason it is essential to take a good sleeping bag and a down jacket for the evenings around the fire stove. However the next morning the rising sun soon chases the frost away.
Here is a link to the spreadsheet for the planned Trek. Click Here