Trekkers heading to Everest Base Camp.The region of Mt. Everest still remains the most popular place to visit in the Himalayas. The world’s highest mountain is still an incredible draw to people around the globe. But a new trend has set in, according to Nabaraj Thapa, director of Himalayan Planet Adventures of Kathmandu, Nepal. People are choosing the less popular places to trek in the region.
Right now, adventure travel has become extremely popular in tourism today. Travelers don’t want to do what everyone else is doing. Instead, they prefer to take “the route less traveled.” One of those places is the Everest Three High Passes Trek.
The 21 days Everest Three High Pass Trek is a challenging trek that sees very few visitors. Unlike the usual trek in and out of Everest Base Camp (EBC), this one gives outstanding views of the mighty peaks of the Eastern Himalayas.
The Everest Three High Pass Trek will take you to EBC and Namche Bazaar, two of the most popular places in the Everest region. The difference here is that you will see many mountains, plus probably the finest views of Mt. Everest anywhere on the planet.
The Everest Three High Pass Trek has become popular for the following reasons:
• It is the route that sees less foreign visitors, thereby allowing those who choose this route the opportunity to really see the daily lives of the Sherpa people up close. There are amazingly picturesque mountain villages with colorful homes and barns.
• The Everest Three High Pass Trek takes you into the impressive Gokyo Valley with its seven sacred lakes. The turquoise blue waters reflect the magnificent snowcapped peaks in its mirror-like surface.
• Three high passes trek takes you above the 5000-meter mark for incredible views of the mountains. Each mountain pass offers breath-taking panoramic views of the High Himalayas. From here you will see a third of the 14 highest peaks in the world, all over 8000 meters.
• This trek takes you past rarely visited Buddhist monasteries in some of the most remote places on the planet. In these places, you will witness the authentic religious practices of the Sherpa people who have called this place home for centuries.
• Stand on the top of rocky crags and look down at incredible green valleys that are intersected with fast flowing mountain streams which water the local vegetation and farms.
• An opportunity to visit EBC, but approaching from a less traveled trail that allows visitors to chance to feel the remoteness of these amazing mountains.
The Everest Three High Passes Trek is a challenging trek, considered moderate to difficult in some places. There will be some glaciers to cross and well as some narrow foot bridges over fast flowing mountain streams. Still, these are just minor obstacles to challenge trekkers as they make their way over the Khumbu region.
On this trek, there are two trekking peaks that trekkers can climb to get better views of the region. One of them is Mt. Gokyo Ri at 5330 meters which offer the most impressive views of Mt. Everest. This mountain stands guard over the village of Gokyo and the surrounding valley with its beautifully green terraced farms that cling to the sides of the mountain.
The second mountain is the ever-popular Mt. Kalapathar at 5,550 meters. This mountain is popular with Everest trekkers because of its close proximity to EBC. It is from here that trekkers have the finest close-up view of the world’s highest peak.
The Everest Three Pass Trek, according to Thapa, combines the ever-popular places of the Everest region with those that rarely see visitors. Accommodations in the less traveled areas are pretty basic but do provide for a good place to sleep each night.
While the Everest Three Pass Trek is not for everyone, it is ideal for those who are looking for a challenge. The Three High Passes will challenge anyone willing to try. Yet to conquer these passes will be an achievement of a lifetime as the view from on top of each pass will more than a makeup for the work to reach these destinations.
- By Dr. Jan L. Beaderstadt – U.S.A.