I understand not all of us would like a guided tour, not just the money factors but being away from busy life is what more important for the people. How about trekking in the Himalayas? Can you be alone? Without a guide or without being tripped with too many tourists. Greetings to my readers and my name is Raj. I’m the team leader at NEST (Kathmandu based local company). What I’m just about to share is my experience as a mountain guide for over ten years in the Himalayas. In this article, you will get exact information on how to plan three passes trek solo without a guide or without being trapped in a big group.
In some parts of the trekking route in Nepal, independent hikers are not allowed. However, three passes trek in the Everest region independent hikers can hike without a guide or joining a company. In this article, I will share some of the challenging issues and considerations you may need to be prepared as a solo hiker in the high pass.
If you are planning to experience high passes trek in the Khumbu region independently, keep on mind you may need to self arrange some of the basic things in advance, and here is the list.
Arrange your flight ticket in advance. Especially during a busy season, you might not get an earlier flight. Check online availability on Tara Air, Sita Air, and Summit Air. Sometimes you don’t find tickets online because the local company stocks them. You may need to check with a local company as well.
You need two types of permit one from the Khumbu Pasanglhamu Rural Municipality (2,000 NPR / USD 20), which you can buy in Lukla and Sagarmatha National Park entry fees (3,400 NPR / USD 34) at Jorsalle national park entry point. (No trouble you can pick up the permit as you start the hike)
Bring enough local currency NPR (Nepalese rupee ) at least 2,500-3,000 per day. International currency is almost invalid in Mountain. Having said that, you may be able to use USD someplace but the exchange rate would be way lower compear that with Kathmandu city.
Choose the right itinerary that is suitable for your fitness. Have some extra days for acclimatization in case you need it. I have seen many experienced hikers being airlifted in Kathmandu because of the altitude sickness. Remember Everest region is one in the list where a lot of people would get sick. Mostly because the first-day flight from Kathmandu to Lukla brings you stright up to 2,850m/9,339 ft. This means you need time to adapt with altitude before heading to a high altitude regardless of how fit you are.
The right gear is the ultimate reason for your success. Have proper hiking backpacks, high ankle boots and shocks, warm layer windproof down jacket, warm hat, windproof inner layer gloves, sunglass, scarf are necessary. If you don’t have all the list you can either rent or buy hiking gear in Kathmandu as well, We can send you a complete list. Please leave us a comment below.
This should definitely be on a higher priority. The higher you trek, the heaver your backpacks become. You should be able to enjoy nature, not suffer from the load on your shoulder. So do not overpack but bring just what you need. Laundry facilities are available in some camp you may want to consider re-washing instead of carrying an extra pair. Do not overpack means bring one complete warm layer top to bottoms and a few pairs of additional changes plus your personal things. In my personal opinion, it shouldn’t be more than 10kg.
Be aware of the challenges
Difficulty wise three pass trek is one of the challenging but most rewarding trekking routes in Nepal. Three of the high passes are well over 5,000m. When you are at this level, remember you are breathing only half of the oxygen when you are at sea level. Frequently changing weather and an unpredictable snowstorm is probably the most challenging in three passes. Here are some tips you may want to keep in your mind before embarking on this journey.
- There is no lunch camp in any of the high passes, pack some dry food/water for the day. It takes well over 8/9 hours to complete the pass.
- The chance of snowfall at the high pass is always high, especially during monsoon and winter months. Do not proceed to the high pass alone if there is heavy snowfall. Some of the passes are prone to an avalanche, or you may not be able to track the trail.
- Since three passes trek is off the beaten path even during the busy season, there are not many hikers. You may want to consider hiking during the best season of October to December and March until May.
- Some parts of the trail, it is required to hike on a moving glacier (During Chola pass and Khongmala Pass). The trail on this area likely wiped out by overnight snow shower, meaning very few signs of a path will be left. If possible, stick with another group or someone with a local guide, who could navigate the trail in any weather condition.
- After mid-day weather above 5,000m becomes unsteady—possible snow blizzard, strong windspeed, fuggy, and poor visibility. Make sure you start hiking as early as possible. Before the sun gets warmer, the chances are the mountains remain calm. You may want to reach the high pass before the weather gets worse and descend as soon as possible without lingering.
- Do not forget to bring a Map for the Three Passes Trek. Or an offline GPS If you prefer that way.
Do I need a guide or a porter?
Like, in the beginning, I said this article was aimed to provide tips for a solo hiker. In fact, you may find some bloggers/vloggers sharing some content online. Every person is different and I want you to decide what is best for you whether it is best with a guide or a without. The good news is, trekking in Nepal with a guide is not as expensive as one would think. For many of you per day guide renting cost is just equivalent of what you would normally make in one hour. For your safety reason, I personally suggest all of you reading this article to hike three pass trek with a guide. As a matter of fact, you might see independent hikers along the Everest Classical route, but not many independent hikers in three passes trek mainly because;
- There are very few people on the trail, so the local guide might be a trail finder.
- Due to very uncertain weather conditions in the high pass and some part requires walking in moving glaciers, and it is easy to get lost. A local guide may help you navigates the trail in the right direction.
- Due to the weather window, most hikers embark on this trail around the same time means limited local tea houses might quickly be occupied. So a local guide will help you book in advance.
- As they know the history and culture of the people it’s a bonus you can have it from them. And trust me, this area has so many tales If you haven’t read the book name “Into Thin Air.”
- Hiring a local guide or a porter for this region is not expensive. Their per day salary might just be as low as the amount you might earn in one hour. Hiring a guide and a porter means also helping an economy by creating job opportunities for mountain people.
I hope you enjoy reading my writings. If you are indeed one of those who would like to explore the Everest region differently, compear to a regular tourist. This solo Three Passes trek tip is for you. I want you to learn everything before you embark on this trail. So you can enjoy the hike up to the limit. This part of the information is just a fragment of what you should know. There are still so many other things you should be aware such as the difficulty, Best time weather and season, etc. I’ve so many different readings in my blogs about Three Pass Trek. Please don’t forget to read my blogs here.
At the end of this article, if you are one of those looking for some guidance to arrange the basic needs, we are here for you. We are happy to organize this trek with one of our most trusted guides who has explored this route over 20 times. NEST Adventure has a well-established record when it comes to client satisfaction. Our team has earned 5/5 star ratings on TripAdvisor from our recent clients. So the chances are incredibly high; you will receive the same experience with us. They said NEST is the BEST. If you believe NEST could be a travel arranging partner to plan your trip to Nepal, please do not hesitate to email one of our office representatives.