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OUR Himalayan Travel BLOG

Welcome to our blog and Social Media Page

 

As well as features about our Nepal & Bhutan tours, we'll also include articles of interest about Nepal& Bhutan too.

By Snow Cat Travel, Jul 25 2018 12:35PM

If you’re an experienced trekker, you don’t need to be put off by the thought of crowded trails that are often the case on the “standard” Everest Base Camp trek.



Everest Treks
Everest Treks

There are indeed other and arguably better ways to reach Everest and because they are even more challenging, by default they aren’t anything like as busy.


How you can trek to Everest and avoid the crowds


The simple explanation is that you take a detour from the “standard” Everest Base Camp trail, which is the one that by far most people follow.


Just like other bucket list treks (think Kilimanjaro and the Inca Trail), the “standard” Everest Base Camp trek does seem to attract more than it’s fair share of people who would never usually go trekking. Judging by some of the questions we get, without much of an idea as to the realities (or the pitfalls) either of what is still a challenging trek and at very high altitude too.



Gorak Shep Teahouses
Gorak Shep Teahouses

But, what is generally known as the “standard” Everest Base Camp trek is in fact mostly a linear route i.e. the way you go up, is the way you come down.


And yes….it does indeed get very busy at times.


The detour that we call “Everest The Hard Way


Well, you can of course be an “Everest purist” and begin the trek at Jiri instead of missing that bit out and flying up to Lukla. However, nowadays most people do indeed start and end their Everest trek at the mountain airstrip of Lukla.


So, the first two days of walking are from Lukla, down to Phakding and then up the Sherpa capital of Namche Bazaar, the same as the “standard route”.


But, after a compulsory acclimatisation day at Namche (it’s 3440m altitude after all), here’s where the detour starts. Instead of heading up the main valley that the “standard” route takes, you take a “left turn” up a side valley. Hey presto! In an instant you’ve lost “the crowds”.



Everest Base Camp on the Khumbu Glacier
Everest Base Camp on the Khumbu Glacier

You’re heading for the tiny settlement of Marulung (have you even heard of Marulung?) above the Bhote Khosi River, via Thame. As you’re now over 4,000m you really need a couple of days for acclimatisation along the way too.


Leaving Marulung, a tough, but very rewarding day lies ahead. Crossing the 5340m Renjo La to descend to the glittering, turquoise lakes of Gokyo. There’ll be a lot of huffing and puffing as you climb up to the Renjo La, but the views of the Himalayan peaks of the Everest region from the pass are outrageously stunning.


Views of Everest, Lhotse, Makalu and Gokyo Lake from the Renjo La
Views of Everest, Lhotse, Makalu and Gokyo Lake from the Renjo La

Here at Gokyo you can then take a hike for closer views of magnificent Cho Oyu and indeed the “scoundrels view” of Everest (around 5 hours return). There’s also one of the classic Everest view points, Gokyo Ri (5360m) to do too.


The following day is (thankfully) a bit more straightforward as you head across the Ngozumba Glacier to Dragnag (4700m), but there’s another “toughie” to follow the next day.



Everest panorama from Gokyo Ri
Everest panorama from Gokyo Ri

That would be the Cho La (5425m). This is a usually glaciated (or sometimes snow covered) pass that is quite steep in places and with some loose scree, old moraine and a boulder field to navigate. Enough to keep the inexperienced non-trekker away. As with the Renjo La, the views from the Cho La are equally stunning and well worth the scrambling up before the long descent to tiny Dzongla (4830m), which really is nothing more than a couple of teahouses



Ama Dablam
Ama Dablam

Now, to make the final approach to Everest Base Camp, you are gonna have to re-join the “standard” trail, so enjoy the last day of the detour as you hike to Gorak Shep (5140m).


Just like Dzongla, Gorak Shep is really just a handful of trekking lodges (possibly the highest in the world) and the stop over location for Base Camp.


But, with Pumori rising above Gorak Shep and the satellite ridge of Kala Pattar (THE classic Everest view point), it’s a pretty spectacular place and although you are re-joining the “standard route”, not everyone who sets out on that route makes it this far up anyway.



The classic Everest view from Kala Pattar
The classic Everest view from Kala Pattar

Still, you’ll surely want to make the 6 hour return hike up to Everest Base Camp.


For the descent you’d then follow the “standard” route via Pheriche, Phortse and Monjo to Lukla. But, you do now get the views of iconic Ama Dablam as compensation.


However, you can actually take another little detour and add in the Kongma La ( a couple of days more is all you need), thus making the “Three Passes Everest Trek”.



Pumori and Kala Pattar above Gorak Shep
Pumori and Kala Pattar above Gorak Shep

Now doesn’t that sound better than hiking up and down the same way with everyone else?


For more see our Everest The Hard Way trek.


Sopurced from our original Snow Cat Travel WordPress blog

By Snow Cat Travel, May 21 2018 10:00AM

Everest view from the Renjo La- Everest The Hard Way Trek
Everest view from the Renjo La- Everest The Hard Way Trek

A very challenging Himalayan trek and a quieter trek to Everest Base Camp. Instead of following the usual route to Everest Base Camp this trek goes even more off the beaten track and includes the tough ascent of the Renjo La to Gokyo, then across the Cho La and a backdoor route to EBC. Definitely the realm of the serious, commited and very strong trekker. Possibly the greatest Nepal walking holiday.


The altitudes involved in this trek up to EBC demand respect and thus the walking becomes more challenging as a result. There's the possibility to extend this trek and include the Kongma La on the return from Everest Base Camp to form what has become known as the Three Passes Everest Trek.


See our Everest The Hard Way trek page for more.

By Snow Cat Travel, Feb 14 2018 12:00PM

Everest, Lhotse and Ama Dablam from the Everest View Hotel
Everest, Lhotse and Ama Dablam from the Everest View Hotel

It's not called the Everest View Hotel for nothing.


Located at 3880m, the Everest View Hotel is a short walk up from Namche Bazaar, and if you're hiking to Everest Base Camp, it's a handy place to stop for refreshments and take in the views.


But, if you're also looking for a shorter Everest trek then it makes for a great objective as you can see the summit of Everest rising above the Nuptse Ridge, Lhotse and Ama Dablam too.

By Snow Cat Travel, Feb 6 2018 11:00AM

Everest from space
Everest from space

In this photo from NASA Mount Everest can be seen as the "dark" mountain just to the right of centre.


The other "dark" mountain to the left is Makalu.


So, what you're looking at here is a view of Everest (from up high) from Tibet. You should be able to make out the route to Everest Base Camp and the Rongbuk too.


Beyond the Himalayas at the top of the photo and in clouds is in Nepal.


Chances are that a space flight to see Everest isn't a realistic proposition in the near future.


But, maybe an Everest trek is!

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