Makalu, West Col & Sherpani Col Trek- 26 Days
3 Cols Trek is an absolute classic adventure right into the heart of the wildest Himalayas where only a few people dare to venture into. The trip makes a high mountain traverse across Barun Glacier from Makalu base camp emerging into Hinku valley and finally into the high alpine valley of Khumbu across the most challenging East Col (6100 m) and West Col (6135m).
A very high and demanding yet truly spectacular route where you are treated with the best views of the 8000-ers Cho Oyo (8153m) Lhotse (8501m), Everest (8848m), Makalu (8475m) and Kangchenjunga (8586m). This is an extremely challenging trek involving a sustained period at high altitude with some very steep slopes that is only intended for people with alpine experience and good stamina.
Trip duration : 26 Days
Grade : Strenuous
Srarts in : Kathmandu
Ends in : Kathmandu
Accommodation : Tea House / Tented Camp
Trek typle : Tea House & Camping
Transportation : Flight and private vehicle
Max Altitude : 5700m
Activity : Trekking
Welcome to Himalayan country of Nepal. Upon your arrival at the Tribhuvan intl. airport our representative welcomes you and assists to transfer in your hotel in Kathmandu. Overnight at Hotel.
Today, we prepare for the trekking and necessary arrangements and evening briefing about your trip, what is your responsibility, what to do and doesn’t in the trek? Introduce with our fellow trekking staff and chances to ask remaining question and remaining time explore the surrounding areas or simply relax at the hotel.
This morning you’ll be transferred to domestic airport to fly to Tumlingtar overlooking range of snow capped peaks from Langtang all the way to Mt. Everest, Makalu & Mt. Kanchenjunga, on arrival at Tumlingtar airport which is a village town located on a shelf above the Arun River, we’ll walk besides the airstrip and walk to the camp for overnight and meet up our crews for the trekking. Rest of the time explores the town and overnight at tented camp.
We starts our adventurous journey from Tumlingtar with pleasant walk for an hour through the farm fields and villages the trail climbs up gradually towards Khadbari in the midst of the sub-tropical forest of Sal tree (Sorea-Robusta) and more farm fields along the way, as we come to a town of Khadbari a major town of the Makalu region and from Khadbari with up and down walk lead to the camp at Mani Bhanjyang.
Today, we start our adventure with ascending 3-4 hrs to the ridge on a wide and well-used trail, reaching our lunch stop at Bhotebas. After lunch we walk passing through fertile land and forested path brings you to the top of the small ridge at Chichila village for the overnight after few hours walk which is settled few local houses with superb scenic mountains of Mt. Makalu and Khumbakarna range.
Our journey further to Num leads us through the cool and serene forest of rhododendron, oaks and hemlocks as we climb to the top of the ridge, from the top it is almost downhill for two hours to the overnight camp at Num, which is a small village with about fifteen houses and a primary school on the large flat ground, from where we have good view of our route for the next couple of days.
Today, we descend incredibly steep and terraced slopes towards the Arun River, nearly 800 meters below. The lower slopes of this narrow valley are densely forested and the paths are quite slippery, after reaching the bottom, cross the suspension bridge across the torrential Arun River, and climb back out of the rain forest, reaching our lunch place at Runruma. Further walk steep climb takes us up to Seduwa a village with a small health post and a primary school nearby we will camp for the night.
We have easy and pleasant short walk takes you to rural farm villages, on the gradual trail through the farm fields and terraces, as we come near to Tashi Gaon, it’s an uphill climb for an hour through the millet and rice fields. We’ll overnight at camp and rest of the time walk around the village.
This is the last village up to the Makalu and after this village the walk is refreshing for an hour and a half in the beautiful shade of the rhododendron and oaks forest, after leaving the dense forest coming to a summer pastures with traces of temporary made shepherd huts. From here onwards to Kahuma ridge is strenuous uphill climb, as the tree lines declines for the bushes of rhododendron and juniper. We’ll stay here and can be seen scenic mountain ranges.
After the superb mountains view and the surrounding landscapes and snow capped peaks, our trek follows a gradual trail with few ups and down as we pass through the Thulo Pokhari (big pond) and Sano Pokhari (small pond). In the heavy snow, the path from here can be quite misleading and it will be arduous to find the trail sometime and further walk cross the pass of Tutu-la at 4,075m. We onwards our journey, it is all downhill back to vegetation, a small clearing place for camping in the middle of the woods of pines, hemlock, birch and rhododendrons to reach at Mumbuk for the overnight.
Our camp settled in the shade of the tree, the view of the Kumbakarna can be seen through the vegetation of the tree lines, the walk from here is downhill to the enclosed and concealed Barun Valley, one of the least explored area in the eastern Himalayan region of Nepal. This unique landscapes within the Makalu-Barun National Park are some 3,000 species of flowering plants, 440 bird species and 75 species of mammals, including the endangers clouded leopard, red panda and musk deer. As we reach the lush alpine area of Barun Valley the walk is very pleasant with gradual uphill slopes, following the Barun River upstream on the valley gorge towards our camp at Nehe-Kharka, one of the summer pastures for the local folks of Tashi and Navagaun.
Our trek onwards crossing the wooden bridge on the Barun River and walk on the boulders, where is a large prayer wall at Ramara, after 2-3 hours walk the vegetation gets sparse, although the rhododendron, barberries, cotoneaster and juniper bushes persist for some time. With a pleasant walk we come nearer to Sherson in sight of the lower Barun glacier and the towering majestic Mt. Makalu. Sherson is also the lower base camp of Mt. Makalu. There are number of stone enclosures at this high grazing ground with outstanding view of host of peaks, including the upper part of Makalu south face, and Mt. Baruntse 7,220m and at Sherson we make camp for the night.
Today you have full day rest at the camp or for acclimatization visit around some interesting hike and view points to explore, the most scenic walk would be taking a hike on the right side of the camp above for the closer view of Mt. Makalu, Barun Pokhari and the view of the rare face of Everest the Kanshung face with Lhotse. A one hour steep up brings you to the large meadow you can walk farther up to have a greater view of the mentioned peaks and more other peaks of this area and beyond. After exploring the area stroll back to the camp.
From Sherson, we continue to more isolated area towards the higher base camp, which is less than three hour trek above Sherson, at the snout of the Barun glacier, near its glacial pond. On arriving at the camp afternoon free for short hike above this camp, a climb on the moraine ridge, for more spectacular views of Mt.Makalu, and of the usual hidden east sides of Lhotse and Everest, which looms above the Barun glacier to the North West. We will spend rest of the afternoon at leisure and preparing for the next big adventure. Some of the porters will set off back with equipment which we do not need to take with us making the load as light as possible to overcome the traverse over Sherpani Col and beyond.
Our journey from here heads westwards to camp just below Makalu west piller, as the altitude gains slowly, we take our time with enough breaks in this high terrain our walk follows a path which climbs an ablation valley on the west side of the Barun glacier. Following this valley onto the glacier we make our way over the boulder-strewn caves and ice to a camp known as Puja Camp below the towering Mt. Makalau’s West Pillar. Our strenuous trek on the glacier is rewarded with unique views of Lhotse and the rare Kangshung face of Everest. Overnight camp on the clearing of the moraine.
Leaving our camp the path follows to a steep climb up the rocky slopes of the Barun’s west bank, until a line of cairns leads us into the valley where two small glaciers are fed by the slopes of the Sherpani Col. We will make our camp beneath the ice cliffs at the terminus of these two glaciers after 4-5 hours of vigorous climb.
An important rest day for acclimatisation before the hard high climb and steep descend. At this altitude offers superb views of the giant West Face and West Pillar of Makalu. Here our expert guides will check the route and make the pass accessible by fixing ropes en route pass.
The big day! Leaving the camp before dawn, we climb on the icy snout of the Sherpani Glacier, three separate Col’s give access to the cirque, we will choose the most appropriate of these routes, according to the prevailing conditions, our climb follows on steep snow covered slopes, with the back-up of the fixed ropes which we had set up on the previous day. From the Col we will rope up to cross the glacier to the rocky crest of the West Col. This stunning cirque is framed by the sweep of Baruntse’s icy ridges to the north, the vast cliffs of Makalu, the wall of Chamlang to the south and the shpely spire of Ama Dablam ahead of us to the west. We will be having our packed lunch on the world’s highest picnic spots, in the meantime our guides will scout the safe route down the West Col. After a break a descent from the Col on fixed lines leads us to the Hongu Glacier, and end our long hard day with a gradual walk over snow slopes down to our camp on the moraine.
Our journey leads to our next adventure over the Amphu Laptsa before we head towards the main busy trail of Lukla, Namche Bazaar and Thyangboche. Walk follows across the wide reaches of the upper Hongu Basin towards Kang Leyamura a 6,430 m peak to the west.
Following the rocky glacier in the beginning, then towrds old and more recent moraine deposits, we reach the beautiful Panch Pokhari meaning ‘five ponds’ and make our camp near to the largest pond at the foot of our final pass Amphu Labtsa 5,780m.
Today we start our trek after breakfast to the Amphu Labtsa Base Camp. Here our guides will go up to the Amphu Labtsa and will fix ropes on some difficult section for the safe descent towards Imjatse Valley.
Another big day, an early start from the camp for 2-3 hrs treks leads us to the top of the pass and overlooking stunning views of the impressive south face of Lhotse and Lhotse shar and the summit of Island or Imajatse Peaks which looks as if it could almost be even lower than our vantage point. As soon the kitchen staffs and porters arrive at the pass, they will be lowered the 150 meters to the relatively less steep ground below the pass. Similarly, loads have to be carefully lowered, after checking every member in the group we slowly and carefully descend with the help of ropes and ice axe if required, then reaching the safe side from the pass by early afternoon everybody should be off the snow. Once in the safe ground away from the snow and ice area, an hour or more walk will take us to the ablation valley by the side of the Imja Glacier, now being within the Imja-tse valley walking will be more or less easier most of the way to the trekkers civilization at Chhukung a temporary settlement with 5-6 teahouse and lodges. Overnight Camp at Chhukung after 8-9 hrs of hard adventurous trek.
After the hard couple of days over the two high hidden pass in between the massif peaks, our route from here leads to a pleasant walk on the downhill slope to Dingboche and Pangboche village before Tyangboche. After two hours of easy walk brings us at Dingboche village.
Dingboche is a beautiful patchwork of field enclosed by stone walls, protecting the crops of barley, buckwheat and potatoes from the cold winds and grazing animals. Dingboche has about more than ten teahouses and it is also the gateway to Chhukung and farther beyond for the most challenging traverses towards Makalu area and Hinko Valley. From Dingboche a gentle walk leads towards the Imjatse River with excellent views of Ama Dablam, Kangtenga and Tawoche peaks the trail leads to a small wooden bridge, from the bridge an easy walk to Pangboche village. From here the route diverts into two ways, the upper one going to the upper Pangboche village, where the old Monastery is located, the gradual low route is the straight forward main trail onwards Thyangboche and beyond. It will be better to go the upper trail, for more view and to visit the upper Pangboche village 3,900m and its Monastery, which had a Yeti scalp, and a skeleton believed to be Yeti’s hand, it was stolen in the early ’90’s, and has never recovered back again, like the monastery in Khumjung this Monastery is believed to be older, after the visit to the Monastery a gradual walk downhill brings you back to the main trail, with a short climb after the bridge over the gorge of Imjatse River, the walk follows Mani wall through the beautiful forest of silver fur, birch and rhododendron all the way to Tyangboche Monastery a magnificent place surround by the impressive view of the snow capped mountains.
After a visit to the newly built monastery after the old one was burned to the ground in the late 80’s, our trek begins with a descend for an hour to Phungi Tenka, here we cross the long suspension bridge over the Imjatse River by now the trail is more busier with trekkers, porters and pack animals than the previous days. From the bridge an hour and half climb brings us to
a small place of Shana-sa offering grand view of Ama Dablam and Thamserku. Perhaps we might stop for lunch in this village. After a break here, if people are interested to visit the upper sleepy village of Khumjung and Khunde they may do so, as the walk to Namche from here is just 2 hrs away on the easy winding trail with constant view of the snow capped peaks of Kwangde, Thamserku, Ama Dablam, Nuptse, Lhotse and Everest. Splitting the trail from here to Namche and Khumjung the later village will take about an hour uphill walk and then about 2-3 hrs to reach Namche for the overnight halt. On reaching Namche Bazaar it will be more or less back to civilization with excellent restaurant, shops, lodges and even Cyber cafe.
Being on the main trail to Everest, the walk from Namche onwards will be an easier all the way to Lukla, the path leads downhill all the way to the confluence of Bhotekoshi and Imjatse which makes the Dudh Koshi. From here we cross the long suspension bridge with a short climb into the pine woods, reaching again back to the river bed, the gentle trail follows the river downstream passing through many farm fields and villages then coming at the entrance of Sagarmatha National Park in Monjo village. After Monjo another 2 hours of good walk leads to Phakding near the river Dudh Koshi. Final leg of this great trek will be another good walk to Lukla, you can walk at your own leisurely pace, enjoying the lush green scenery around.
Apart from few short uphill the only long climb will be just before Lukla which will take approximately 45 minutes from a place called Cheplung or from the old big oak tree. On reaching Lukla, prepare for the last day great dinner and celebration with the fellow Sherpa crew, porters and trekking members.
The flight time to Kathmandu, are schedule for morning normally, because of the wind in the afternoon, sometime the flight time can be delayed due to bad weather and other reason beyond our command. Anyway we will fly back to Kathmandu and your guide will transfer to hotel. You may have time to relax after long journey and take back your breath and rest at your hotel.
Today is free or last minute shopping for souvenirs or gift to your family, friends or relatives for you until your departure flight/drive or to commence any extra trips or activities you may have booked with us. If departing, you’ll be transferred to the International Airport for your departure flight to your onwards destination.