Sherpani Col Pass Trek

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Starts at: Tumlingtar Ends at: Lukla
Trek Region: Makalu & Everest Transport: Flight
Duration: 22 days Trip Grade: Extreme
Max Altitude: 6050 m / 19849 ft Accommodation: Camping

The Sherpani Col Pass Trek includes three passes, two of them over 6,000m. It traverses the mountain range between Makalu and Everest. This trek combines cross-country trekking with mountaineering (fixed ropes and possible ice axe) to scale the high passes of the “Three Cols” – namely Sherpani Col, West Col, and Amphu Labsta. Today this trek forms part of the Great Himalayan Trail, a newly opened up trail that crosses the country from east to west through some of the toughest and most beautiful landscapes.

This being one of the most challenging sections of the Great Himalaya Trail, an excellent level of fitness is required to complete the long weeks of trekking, the majority of days at altitudes over 4,000 and up to 6,000m.

The latter section of the trek follows the route to Everest Base Camp, from where mountaineering expeditions set off to scale Everest. The trek also visits Gorakshep and Kala Patthar, the viewpoint for Everest, from where the views of the world’s tallest mountain are simply stunning! The Makalu Barun region is one of the largest protected areas in Nepal, home to 3,000 species of flowering plants, including a variety of Himalayan orchids, 440 species of birds, and 75 species of mammals. Rare species such as the snow leopard, musk deer, and Himalayan Thar live in this pristine environment. This is one of the reasons it has been included in the Sacred Himalayan Landscape initiative of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

And not forgetting the once-in-a-lifetime views of the immense mountain vistas of Makalu (8,481m), Everest (8,848m), and Lhotse (8,516m) – which are towering granite cliffs capped with amazing glaciers, and high altitude lakes. This is a journey for those who have the stamina and fitness level to tackle one of the most rewarding and challenging treks in Nepal. The final days of this amazing trip are spent in Namche Bazaar and Lukla – and that’s just the icing on the cake (Or the snow on the glacier!).

Sherpani Col Pass Trek Outline Itinerary

Day 1: Kathmandu To Tumlingtar (Flight) Drive to Chichila

Chichila – 1980 m / 6496 ft – 4 hrs

Day 2: Chichila To Num

Num – 1040 m / 3412 ft – 6 hrs

Day 3: Num to Seduwa

Seduwa – 1500 m / 4921 ft – 6 hrs

Day 4: Seduwa To Tashi Gaon

Tashi Gaon- 2100 m / 6889 ft – 5 hrs

Day 5: Tashi Gaon To Khongma Danda

Khongma Dada – 3500 m / 11482 ft – 7 hrs

Day 6: Acclimatization Day

Khongma Dada- 3500 m / 11482 ft – 2 hrs

Day 7: Khongma Danda To Dobato

Dobato – 3500 m / 11482 ft – 6 hrs

Day 8: Dobato To Yangla Kharka

Yangla Kharka – 3557 m / 11669 ft – 7 hrs

Day 9: Yangla Kharka To Langmale Kharka

Langmale Kharka – 4410 m / 14468 ft – 6 hrs

Day 10:Langmale Kharka To Makalu Base Camp

Makalu Base Camp – 4870 m / 15977 ft – 6 hrs

Day 11: Makalu Base Camp to Swiss Base Camp

Swiss Base Camp – 5150 m / 16896 – 6 hrs

Day 12: Acclimatization Day

Swiss Base Camp – 5150 m / 16896 ft – 3 hrs

Day 13: Swiss Base Camp to Sherpani Col Base Camp

Sherpani Col Base Camp – 5688 m – 18661 ft / 5 hrs

Day 14: Sherpani Col Base Camp to Baruntse Camp

Baruntse Camp – 6050 m / 19849 ft – 8 hrs

Day 15: Baruntse Camp to Honku Basin

Honku Basin – 5500 m / 18044 – 5 hrs

Day 16: Honku Basin to Amu Lapcha Base Camp

Amu Lapcha Base Camp – 5527 m / 18133 ft – 5 hrs

Day 17: Acclimatization Day

Amu Lapcha Base Camp – 5527 m / 18133 ft – 5 hrs

Day 18: Amu Lapcha Base Camp to Chukung

Chukung – 4730 m / 15518 ft – 9 hrs

Day 19: Chukung to Tengboche

Tengboche – 3960 m / 12992 ft – 6 hrs

Day 20: Tengboche to Monjo

Monjo – 2700 m / 8858 ft – 6 hrs

Day 21: Monjo to Lukla

Lukla – 2840 m / 9317 ft – 5 hrs

Day 22: Lukla to Kathmandu (Flight)

Kathmandu – 1300 m / 4265 ft – 40 min

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Plan Your Trip


  • 21 nights accommodation in tents
  • Kathmandu Tumlingtar, Lukla Kathmandu flight
  • Tumlingtar Chichila local jeep
  • Guide for 22 days
  • Cook for 22 days
  • Guide for 22 days
  • Required number of porters for 22 days
  • Makalu Barun national park entry permit
  • Sagarmatha national park entry permit
  • Trekkers information management system card
  • 22 x set breakfast, 21 x set lunch and 21 x set dinner while on trek
  • Accommodation and meals in Kathmandu

Day 1: Kathmandu to Tumlingtar (Flight) to Chichila (Drive)

  • Flight time: 50 minutes
  • Drive time: 4 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

Your guide will collect you from your hotel and take you to catch your flight to Tumlingtar.  Naturally he is coming with you, 

If you didn’t have time for breakfast in your hotel, grab a coffee and snacks at the airport – maybe the last good coffee for a while!

The 50 minute flight takes you to the north east of the country into the Arun Valley.  Look out for the mountains as you approach your destination: Malaku 8,463m /  27,765, Ganesh Himal 7,422 m / 24,350.3 ft  and Mount Everest 8,848 m / 29,028.8 ft. You will also pass over the Kathmandu Valley and foothills.

At Tumlingtar board a public jeep to take you to Chichila, where you stay overnight.

You will meet your camping crew at Chichila.  Strangers now but fast friends by the end of your trek!

Overnight at Chichila – Camping.

Highlights and Challenges

  • Those views from the plane window!
  • Meeting  your camping crew.
  • A slightly uncomfortable jeep journey on a dusty and bumpy road to Chichila.

Day 2: Chichila to Num

  • Trek time: 6 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

It’s the first day of your trek!  Time to learn the rhythm of camping life also.  After breakfast, while the crew take down the camp, you head off through forests of rhododendron, which bloom red in the spring.

Today the hike is moderate and very pleasant as you descend down to the Arun River and cross over the first of many suspension bridges. 

Overnight at Num – camping.

Highlights and Challenges

  • Your first day on the trail.
  • Beautiful rhododendron forests – especially when blooming in the spring.
  • Cross a suspension bridge – hesitant at first perhaps, but you will get used to them.
  • Pass through culturally interesting local villages, most likely Rai communities at the lower altitudes. 

Day 3: Num to Seduwa

  • Trek time: 6 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

It’s a steep descent which greets you this morning.  Hike down through forestlands to the Barun River and cross the suspension bridge. 

As you are in the Makalu Barun National Park, you will have your permits checked after you ascend back up on the other side of the river.   For every down there is an up in the Himalayas.

Overnight at Seduwa – camping.

Highlights and Challenges

  • You are now in the Makalu Barun National Park.
  • The second suspension bridge – keep counting them!
  • It’s a tougher day than yesterday, getting you used to what is to come.

Day 4: Seduwa to Tashi Gaon

  • Trek time: 5 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

Rhododendron forests are definitely a feature on the lower elevations of this trek.  Did you know they are Nepal’s national flower?

Pass through the villages of Hindrungma and Rupisa and on to your overnight camp ground at Tashi Gaon.

Overnight at Tashi Gaon – camping.

Highlights and Challenges

  • Take in the cultivated fields near the settlements – you can ask the guide what is growing there.
  • Another river crossing, another suspension bridge… but it will never get old!

Day 5: Tashi Gaon to Khongma Danda

  • Trek time: 7 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

Now it’s getting interesting.  The challenge is on!  As you rise around 1,400 m / 4,593.1 ft the walking feels harder.  To put it into perspective, you increased your elevation today by the same elevation as Kathmandu!

As compensation, the mountain views are stunning.  You may stop for lunch at Dhara (which means tap), named after its natural spring water source.  After a short break, there is a final ascent to Khongma Danda. Khongma Danda is a ridge with more breathtaking views of Chamlang,  Peak 6, Makalu, and others.

Overnight at Khongma Danda – camping.

Highlights and Challenges

  • More incredible landscapes, scenery and mountain views.
  • Steep climbs, some over stone steps.
  • You may feel breathless today which such a great rise in altitude in a short space of time.

Day 6: Acclimatization Day – Khongma Dada

For the next two weeks you are going to be at high altitude, so we give you an acclimatization day at Khongma Danda to prepare you for what is to come.  Now is the time to really pay attention to your body, looking for any signs of altitude related illness.

There is time today to meet some of the Sherpas in this community, watch them in their daily lives, and know that not all Sherpas are mountaineers.

You will also by now be very familiar with the camping lifestyle you have adopted for this trek.  Enjoy the camp environment and perhaps lend a hand preparing lunch.  No pressure!

Overnight at Khongma Dada – camping.

Highlights and Challenges

  • Relax, hike around the area, do some light yoga or meditation.
  • Learn how to make dal bhat or other Nepali food to impress your friends at home.

Day 7: Khongma Danda to Dobato

  • Trek time: 6 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

Today you are going to cross two passes.  Start off by walking along a ridge to the Ghungru La Pass at 4,055 m / 13,303.8 ft. Then trek on  to another pass – Keke La Pass at 4,170 m / 13,681 ft.   Neither of the passes are particularly high or hard to cross.  Good practice for what is to come.

Beautiful mountain views from the top of the passes are a definite highlight.

Overnight at Dobato – camping.

Challenges and Highlights

  • You have crossed two Himalayan passes today  but there are more to come.
  • Awesome mountain views.

Day 8: Dobato to Yangla Kharka

  • Trek time: 7 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

Start the day with a hike through a rhododendron forest to the Barun River.  You will probably see yaks grazing in the pastures.  Actually, you will overnight on a meadow – one which has amazing mountain views.  Catch the stars and the mountains as the sun goes down.  Does it get better than this? 

Overnight at Yangla Kharka – camping.

Highlights and Challenges

  • Enjoy the environment of the Barun River.
  • Photograph the yaks, including one of you with the yaks.  But don’t get too close.

Day 9: Yangla Kharka to Langmale Kharka

  • Trek time: 6 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

This is another day when the altitude will rise by almost 1,000 m / 3,280.8 ft.  In order to mitigate any possible altitude related problems, go easy today, take lots of breaks and stay well hydrated.

It’s a steep trail ascending through alpine meadows, meadows, forests and rhododendron forests.

Your camp tonight is on a summer pasture for yak herds.  The mountains you can see there are Peak 3, Peak 4, Peak 5, Chamlang and Hongku Chuli. Quite astounding.

Overnight at Langmale Kharka – camping.

Highlights and Challenges

  • Fabulous mountain views as you lie back on the pastures.
  • There are steep trails today at high altitude, making the walking feel much longer.

Day 10: Langmale Kharka to Makalu Base Camp

  • Trek time: 6 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

Today you reach the first of four base camps on this trek!  This one is a bit of a challenge but with determination you can do it.

The trail crosses moraine deposits, rocky land, potential snow and ice patches. Crampons may be needed.  The rewards are, as always, stunning views, which are today of the Barun Glacier and snow-capped mountains.  

When you reach Base Camp,  Makalu, the 5th highest mountain in the world, is there in front of you.   Part of the Mahalangur Himalayas, Malaku is 8,485 m / 27,838 ft  in height and approximately 19 km / 12 miles southeast of Mount Everest. 

Another interesting fact is you will see the Kangshung Face of Mt Everest first scouted by George Mallory in 1921 but only summited in 1982 by a Japanese expedition.  This face is hardly ever seen by trekkers and is rarely scaled by mountaineers.

The statistics are mind-blowing!

Overnight at Makalu Base Camp – camping.

Highlights and Challenges

  • One base camp down, three to go!
    A feeling of success at crossing loose moraine and glacier ice.
  • See the Kangshung Face of Mt Everest, which we guarantee few of your friends will know about. 

Day 11: Makalu Base Camp to Swiss Base Camp

  • Trek time: 7 to 6 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

The trail follows the west side of the Barun Glacier until it meets lateral moraine.  The trail is rocky, and you have to hike over slopes.  There are fabulous views of Makalu’s ridges and Everest and Lhotse as you continue on this long day at high altitude.

Overnight at Swiss Base Camp – camping.

Highlights and Challenges

  • The mountains: there just isn’t enough adjectives to describe their beauty.
  • The trail will be of loose moraine in places, and care has to be taken.
  • It’s a very long day.

Day 12: Acclimatization Day

You need to allow your body to adjust to the ever increasing altitude so here at Swiss Base Camp we give you the opportunity to rest, relax, explore. 

Overnight at Swiss Base Camp – camping.

Highlights and Challenges

  • The second base camp on this amazing trek.
  • The stunning mountains surrounding you.
  • The altitude is high, and every step seems a bit of a challenge.

Day 13: Swiss Base Camp to Sherpani Col Base Camp

  • Trek time: 5 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

The trails are rugged, with loose scree today and care must be taken while hiking.  The initial ascent takes you to the top of a valley then down to where the next camp will be set up.

The mountain landscape is equally as rugged, with astounding peaks surrounding you.

Although not a long trek today, it is at high altitude so on arrival at the camp, rest and prepare for an even higher ascent tomorrow.

Overnight at Sherpani Col Base Camp – camping.

Highlights and Challenges

  • Mind-blowing mountain views.
  • Prepare mentally today for going over a high pass.

Day 14: Sherpani Col Base Camp to Baruntse Camp

  • Trek time: 8 to 9 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

This is the toughest day of the trek with not just one, but two mountain passes to cross: Sherpani Pass at  6,155 meters / 20,223 ft and  West Col Pass at 6,143 meters / 20,154 ft.

To achieve this challenging journey, you leave before dawn and in that way avoid the late morning weather which is likely to be high winds and strong sun.  The ascents are steep, and there will be snow and ice to negotiate. Crossing the Sherpani Pass there will be fixed ropes.

After crossing this pass, descend into the West Barun Glacier Valley and cross the West Col. From here descent to another glacier, the Hunku Glacier and on to Baruntse Camp.

Rehydrate, drink a hot drink and eat snacks with relish at your overnight camp! 

Overnight at Baruntse Camp – camping.

Highlights and Challenges

  • Crossing two high passes.
  • Whether you think it a challenge or a highlight – use crampons, fixed ropes and perhaps an ice axe.
  • Feeling like a mountaineer!

Day 15: Baruntse Camp to Honku Basin

  • Trek time: 7 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

After a good night’s sleep and a hearty breakfast, you are traveling down to a much lower altitude today, which will definitely help you breath more easily. 

You will see the high altitude Honku River today as well as glacial moraines and rocky trails.

Surrounded by the ever-present mountains, the camp site at Honku Basin is a wonderful location to spend the night.

Overnight Honku  Basin – camping.

Highlights and Challenges

  • The lower altitude is a welcome relief.
  • It’s fascinating to see a river at this height.
  • It’s a long trek today.

Day 16: Honku Basin to Amu Lapcha Base Camp

  • Trek time: 5 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

Today come to your third base camp – Amu Lapcha at 5,527 m / 18,133 ft.

Again, the trail is challenging with ice, rocks, boulders and scree.   If you concentrate on the beautiful mountains and glaciers you will see today  you can get through this day of testing your body to the limits.

Overnight at Amu Lapche Base Camp – camping.

Highlights and Challenges

  • Glaciers and mountain panoramas.
  • Feel very accomplished on completing this leg of the journey.
  • Challenging trail to traverse today.

Day 17: Acclimatization Day

Today is a day to rest and relax after the tough trekking you have been doing.  Conversely, you are also preparing your body for tomorrow’s final mountain pass challenge.

Do some gentle exercises and enjoy the surroundings. Perhaps see if there is anything you can do to help around the camp.

Overnight at Amu Lapche Base Camp – camping.

Highlights and Challenges

  • Enjoy a day of rest!
  • Prepare for a hard day to come.

Day 18: Amu Lapcha Base Camp to Chukung

  • Trek time: 9 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

After your relaxing time at base camp, it’s another tough hike and another pass to cross today to reach Chuking.  Once you have crossed over the Amu Lapcha Pass and entered the valley on the other side, you are in the Everest Region!

The views from the pass are of Ama Dablam, Lhotse Shar, Lhotse South Face and more. 

Now you will begin to see many more trekkers on the trails as the Everest Region is famous for trekking and climbing – as you know.

Overnight at Chukung  – camping.

Highlights and Challenges

  • The highlight has to be reaching the Everest Region and Sagarmatha National Park.
  • The challenge is the long day and tough terrain.

Day 19: Chukung to Tengboche

  • Trek time: 6 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

This is an exciting day as you will visit places whose names are famous among even non-climbers.

Dingboche and Pangboche are Sherpa villages with a long history of culture and a somewhat shorter one in the tourism industry.  Pangboche Monastery is the oldest monastery in the region.  Pay a short visit to the monastery and marvel at the architecture.

Moving on to Tengboche, here you find the highest located monastery in the region, in the country even – Tengboche.  From its grounds there are amazing panoramic views of Everest and other mountains in this region.  Spend time in this monastery and perhaps attend the evening puja (religious ceremony) or the early morning one.

Overnight at Tengboche – camping.

Highlights and Challenges

  • Hiking through the Everest Region.
  • Meeting Sherpas and passing through Sherpa villages.
  • Interacting with monks.
  • Enjoying Buddhist culture.
  • Seeing others on the trails – maybe a highlight, or maybe a ‘challenge’ after the peace of the Sherpani Col Pass Trek.

Day 20: Tengboche to Monjo

  • Trek time: 6 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

You will notice that the landscape is changing to become more green as you descend down through Sagarmatha National Park.  There are some river crossings to do – using the long suspension bridges. 

Today you will pass through Namche Bazaar and perhaps stop here for lunch and a great coffee (at last!).

You are almost at the end of your trek so do enjoy the stunning mountain views as you hike.  Take in every moment that’s left. 

Overnight at Monjo – camping.

Highlights and Challenges

  • Using those fabled suspension bridges.
  • Passing through Namche Bazaar – starting point of so many famous past expeditions.
  • Seeing green vegetation.
  • Nearing the end of your journey is bittersweet.

Day 21: Monjo to Lukla

  • Trek time: 5 hours
  • Accommodation: Tea House

After breakfast set out on the last day of your trek passing through greenery, over rivers and down to the airport town of Lukla where you will wait for your morning flight.

It’s a sad day as you say goodbye to your camping crew but there is the hustle and bustle of Kathmandu to look forward to.  And more good coffee! So, celebrate tonight with your guide and fellow trekkers.

Overnight at Lukla – teahouse.

Highlights and Challenges

  • Look what you have achieved!  Twenty days of hiking over high mountain passes, through dry and rocky landscapes and through the amazing Himalayan mountains!

Day 22: Lukla to Kathmandu (Flight)

  • Flight time: 40 minutes

Your flight today may be direct to Kathmandu, or it may be to the new airport for the Everest Region at Ramchhap in the Terai.  If you are flying to Ramchhap you will have a bus journey of 4-6 hours along the lowland areas of the country then up through the foothills into the Kathmandu Valley.

In Kathmandu your guide will escort you to your hotel and say his final goodbye.

Highlights and Challenges

  • The views from the plane.
  • If driving, the very different and flat countryside.
  • Feeling accomplished, yet sad at the same time. 

Sherpani Col Pass Trek Map

makalu region trek map

Location of the Sherpani Col Pass Trek

The Sherpani Col Pass Trek starts from Tumlingtar, situated in the eastern part of the country, near the Tibet border.

You will be trekking through the Makalu Barun National Park with its stunning river valleys and high mountains, not to mention unique wildlife and bird population. Then, icing on the cake, you will be trekking through Sagarmatha National Park in the Everest Region, passing through some of the iconic Sherpa villages on your way down to Lukla and flying out from there.

Trek Difficulty

This is a strenuous to extreme  camping trek. Not only will you be hiking for 20 days, sometimes more than 6 hours per day, you will be climbing over 4 mountain passes and hiking and sleeping at very high altitudes (over 5,000 m / 16,404 ft)

It is a camping trek.  Something people either  love or hate.  We assume if you are considering this trek, you love camping!

You should be very fit, with a high stamina level to successfully, and happily, complete this trek. Previous high altitude trekking experience will definitely stand you in good stead.  Do not use this trek as your first camping experience – definitely try for something less remote, and at times challenging, for your first camp out. 

How to Prepare for the Trek

 If you are seriously considering this fantastic trek through a remote area of Nepal, we are under the impression you must already by physically and mentally fit, with a great level of stamina and experience!  Most people, however, can improve on that fitness (unless you have just completed a similar trek or something more challenging in the past couple of months). 

·        Increasing your cardio capacity will stand you in good stead at high altitude. 

·        Increasing your leg muscles will be great on the ups and downs of the Himalayas.

·        Having a positive attitude when things go wrong – and there is always some minor upset – will keep your focussed and calm during your adventure.

Highlights of the Sherpani Col Pass Trek

Breathtaking Views: There are many stunning mountains to be seen on this trek.  The biggies are Makalu and Everest.
Diverse Landscapes: At lower altitudes, trekking  through the Makalu Barun National Park, this trek offers lush forests, exciting river crossings, green pastures, and alpine landscapes.  When you reach higher elevations the landscape becomes more dry and rocky, with moraine and scree to hike over as well as glaciers, snow and ice.  Once in Sagarmatha National Park, the landscape starts off similar to that rocky, snow and ice topography and then turns greener as you make your way down in altitude to Lukla.
People and Culture: You will meet Rai and Sherpa people on this trek.  Both ethnic communities on the Makalu side and then mainly Sherpa on the Everest side.   
Unique Wildlife: The Makalu Barun National Park is home to a wide variety of species of flora and fauna including the snow leopard and red panda. Similar flora and fauna exist in the Everest Region.  With perhaps the addition of the Yeti!

Makalu Barun National Park

The Makalu Barun  is home to 3,000 species of flowering plants, 440 species of birds and 75 species of mammals including the Snow Leopard, red panda, musk deer, wild boar, wild yak and the Himalayan Thar.

It was established in 1992 as the eastern extension of Sagarmatha National Park.  According to Wikipedia it is the only protected area in the world with an elevation gain of more than 8,000 m / 26,000 ft.  This means it has tropical forests and snow-capped mountains.  It shares a border with the Qomolangma National Nature Preserve in Tibet.

Sagarmatha National Park

Established in 1976, Sagarmatha National Park is 443 square miles in size and lies in the Solukhumbu District (Everest Region). In 1979 it became a World Heritage Site. It also borders with Qomolangma National Nature Preserve in Tibet and is part of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Sacred Himalayan Landscape.   

It is home to 208 bird species, and is designated as an Important Bird Area.  Mammals found there include the Himalayan Tahr, musk deer, Snow Leopard (at over 3,500 m / 11,500 ft) and the Indian leopard at lower elevations.

The Mountains

There is a long list of stunning mountains that can be seen on the Sherpani Col Pass Trek.  Some of them are:

·       Everest

·       Lhotse

·       Makalu

·       Cho Oyu

·       Kanchenjunga


What to Expect on the Sherpani Col Pass Trek

You will be flying across the country to Tumlingtar then driving along bumpy and dusty roads for a few hours to Chichila where you start the trekking part of the adventure. From here you follow the Makalu Base Camp Trek until you branch off to the Swiss Base Camp.

There are four base camps on the Sherpani Col Pass Trek, and several mountain passes.  This is partly what makes it a challenging trek.  From lush pastures, forests of rhododendrons and pine, through to glaciers, ice and snow this trek is as varied as it is exciting.  

You will trek through Makalu Barun National Park, crossing rivers, hiking through forests, valleys and pastures.  You will also be hiking over four mountain passes and once you cross Amu Lapcha Pass you will be in Sagarmatha National Park in the Everest Region.

The settlements on the ‘Makalu’ side of the trek are small, mainlyRai or Sherpa communities.  Once you cross to the ‘Everest’ side, they are mainly Sherpa and there are two great monasteries to visit.

This is a remote trek, the majority of which you will be alone on the mountain trails as there will be few other trekkers on this extreme trek.  This is why it is a camping trek – there are very few accommodation options in this area.  Once you cross over to Chukung it’s a very different story as you will be in the heart of the Everest trekking region. 

An Average Day on the Trek

At the camp sites your fabulous camp chef will prepare breakfast, afternoon snacks and dinner for you.  He will also prepare lunches which will be packed for eating on the trail.  He will also provide you with boiled water for drinking and hot water for bathing.

After breakfast you will head out on that day’s adventure, usually around 8am but there are some days when a dawn, or pre-dawn departure are necessary.

On average you will walk 6 to 7 hours per day.  With some longer days and a couple of acclimatization days to regain your strength.

On the trail there may be suspension bridges to cross, small settlements to hike through and yaks to watch grazing on green pastures. Or there may be crampons to wear, fixed ropes to hold on to and icy trails to clamber over.  It depends on the day!

Sleep time always comes early on a trek, so take another look at the dark mountains and stary sky and say goodnight.

Safety First Always

While your priority may be to see something very different from your daily life, our priority, apart from showing you our beautiful country, is to keep you safe!

You will be walking and sleeping at high altitude so we must consider the possibility of altitude related illness.  In order to reduce the possibility of encountering this, we recommend plenty of short breaks, drinking plenty of water and not walking too fast.  Please tell your guide even if you have a slight headache, slight dizziness or any other ailment. Our guides are trained in first aid and in recognising signs of altitude so do not hesitate to inform them if you are feeling unwell.

The use of the correct trekking gear will help keep you safe from falls.  Hiking poles are a must.  Crampons (when and if needed) should be on your packing list too. 

Exploring the mountains on your own is not a good idea.  It is too easy to get lost there.  This is a remote area.  No signpost, maybe few passers by and the possibility of falling on loose scree or ice.  If you want to explore, talk to the guide.

Tips for Safety on the Trek:

We know as experienced trekkers you know these tips; this is just a reminder.

  • Trekking poles for stabilizing yourself on risky trails.
  • Crampons when and if needed.
  • Do not go off on your own at the rest/ overnight stops. without telling your guide.
  • Drink at least 4 liters of water per day. While camping you will be provided with boiled drinking water.
  • It is important not to skip meals.
  • Do tell your guide if you feel unwell; even slightly unwell. 
  • Have the correct insurance.
  • Wear the correct gear. Bring waterproof gear in case of rain or snowfall even when it’s not forecast.
  • Bring your own regular medicines and a medical kit.
  • Pay attention to the guide in tricky or dangerous areas such as scree slopes.

When is the Best Time to go on the Sherpani Col Pass Trek

Spring: (March to May) Spring is of the best times to trek in Nepal,  pretty much everywhere. It is a good time for this trek as it will not be too cold at the higher altitudes. 

Autumn: (September to November)  Autumn is the other season quoted as the best for trekking in Nepal and it is good for the Sherpani Col Pass Trek.  September and October are probably best before the cold starts to settle in.  

Monsoon: (June – September) Monsoon can bring heavy rain, but even moderate rain can spoil your trek. Flights may be delayed or cancelled due to the weather.  Rivers may overflow making the trails hazardous and trails will become slippery and more dangerous. Camping on soggy ground is not great either.  Best not to try to trek at this time of year.

Winter: (December – February)  There will be snowfall at the higher altitudes, and we do not recommend winter for this trek.  

Permits Required for This Trek

Makalu Barun National Park and Conservation Area Permit:

Cost: SAARC citizens – Nrs1,500 per person, per entry.

Other nationalities – Nrs 3,000 per person, per entry.

Makalu Rural Municipality Permit:

Cost: Rs2,000 per person per entry.

Sagarmatha National Park Permit – Nrs 3,000 per person.

Khumbu Pasang Lhamu Rural Municipality Entrance Permit – Nrs2,000 per person.

**We will have these permits issued on your behalf.**

Why You Need These Permits

The fees from these permits go back into conservation and cultural preservation of the area to help keep the ecosystem for future generations.

 It is also a way to keep track as to where trekkers are in the area.  When you go through a checkpoint it is noted down, which is invaluable should you get lost between checkpoints. 

Experience a Camping Trek in a Remote Area

There are very few larger settlements which can provide accommodation for trekkers in these remote areas, which is why we chose to camp instead. 

At the campsite you will have a comfortable tent and sleeping mat.  There will be a toilet tent and dining tent.  The chef will have his kitchen tent from where he will prepare good, wholesome food and safe drinking water for you.

We will try to make your camping experience as comfortable as possible but it is the Himalayas and we cannot predict the weather!   

Food at the Camp Sites

Breakfast, lunch, afternoon snacks, and dinner are provided.

The food our chef will make is very good but we find it a good idea to bring some comfort food like dried fruits and nuts, chocolate bars, power bars etc from home.  Nothing beats a bar of chocolate with a cup of hot tea at 5,000 m  /  16,404 ft after an exhausting day. 

Possible Menu While Camping:

Breakfast may be porridge with bread (probably roti – a Nepali flat bread)

If available in nearby settlements, perhaps eggs are on the menu.

Lunch and dinner can be pasta, noodles, dal bhat (Nepali vegetable curry), pizza, etc.  

Afternoon snack may be fried potatoes and popcorn.

We will not buy meat on the trail but will bring some canned meat / tuna fish.  Please note there always vegetarian food available at every meal.  

Tea/ coffee/ hot water is unlimited, with  powdered milk and sugar. Unfortunately, the coffee will be instant; no espresso or cappuccino here.

We will not carry alcohol as we do not recommend its consumption at altitude. And its too heavy for our porters to carry.  Same goes for soft drinks – too heavy to carry.

Drinking Water While Camping

The kitchen tent will provide you with boiled water for drinking.  A Lifestraw is probably the best idea as it filters out some, not all, larger bacteria, and if you add sterilizing drops/ liquid to spring water it will be drinkable.

What to Bring for a Camping Trek

Take a look at our list of trekking equipment / gear  you need on any trek.  We suggest a few additional items for a camping trek, such as:

  • Clothing for the cold at high altitudes.

·       Portable solar panel (one which hooks onto your day pack) to recharge equipment.

  • Headtorch with batteries and extra batteries.
  • Medicines – any ones you take regularly plus items such as headache tablets, stomach tablets etc.  And a small first aid kit.
  • Four-season sleeping bag. This can be rented in Kathmandu.
  • Toiletries in small, travel sized containers, and some clothes washing soap.
  • Things for blisters and a few bandages in case of sprains.
  • Nepali rupees in case there is something you wish to buy on the trek.  There will be limited places to spend money on this trek but you will need money for donations at monasteries, and in the very few places that have a shop.
  • Your favorite snacks from home. 

Whose Carrying Your Gear?

Porters will be carrying the tents, kitchen equipment and food for this trek.  It is also possible for them to carry your gear.  Please be considerate and keep your gear down to a sensible weight of essentials! 

Before the Trek

Arriving in Kathmandu

If you wish, we can meet you at the Tribhuvan International Airport on your arrival, saving you time and effort.  Just let us know on the booking form but please note there is a charge for pick up. 

Hotels in Kathmandu

You will book your own hotel in Kathmandu (although we can advise you if you wish.) and will give you a selection of hotels in Kathmandu.  The area known as Thamel is geared up for tourists with lively cafes, restaurants, bars and shops, and is a great place to stay while visiting.  Our office is also in Thamel.

Explore Kathmandu:

There is so much to see in Kathmandu on a tour or simply exploring by yourself. Highlights of any tour will include Boudhanath (Tibetan area), Swayambhunath (also a Buddhist stupa) and Pashupatinath (Hindu temples and ghats). There are three Durbar Squares within the Kathmandu Valley, dating back to when there were three kingdoms in what is now Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur.  These are among the 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Kathmandu Valley. But there is so much more to see, from other heritage sites, to nightclubs and trendy hotel bars.

Visa for Nepal

Visa on arrival is available for people from most countries, via the Immigration Department of Nepal’s on-line site.   Complete the form, print it out and bring it with you.  Bring USD cash (exact money) to make payment on arrival at the airport. 

Visa on arrival is valid for 15 days, 30 days or 3 months and costs: 

  • 15 Days – 30 USD
  • 30 Days – 50 USD
  • 90 Days – 125 USD

What is Included and Not Included in the Cost of Your Trek

Transport: Two domestic flights and public road transport are included in the cost of your trek.

Accommodation: Tented accommodation is included in the cost. 

Food: Breakfast, dinner,  and afternoon snacks at the camp site. Lunch most likely made by the camp chef but eaten on the trail. 

Permits: The permits required for this trek are included in the cost of your trip.

Tips: Tips are not included in the cost of your trek.  Please calculate the tips for your guide and porters.  Tips can be in Nepali rupees or other currencies.

Before you come expenses:  .

  • Trekking / camping gear, good  trekking boots, crampons and trekking poles. 
  • Flight ticket, visa fee, and insurance.

Expenses You May Encounter

The cost of the trek, namely, food, accommodation, guide, chef and porters has already been covered, and because it is a remote camping trek, there really isn’t many places to spend your money.   

You will need money for donations at the monasteries you visit.  Around Nps150-500 for each is good, with some extra if you light butter lamps.

There is not likely to be any opportunity to buy souvenirs on this trek although when you reach the ‘Everest side’ you might be able to pick up a few gifts as you pass through Monjo, Namche and Lukla. 

We can suggest you bring around USD5-10 per day, in Nepali rupees,  just in case there is anything interesting to buy such as a soft drink, at any point.

Tipping the Guide, Chef and Porters

It is the norm to tip your guide and porters on treks.  For camping treks, you also have a camp chef who you should tip also. 

This is a long trek with challenging terrain even for locals (which most of our porters are) when carrying weight.  Your appreciation of these strong and amazing men is appreciated.  Your guide is also working hard to keep you safe, supported, and informed.  And you could not do this trek without the camp chef!

Please be aware,  100% of your tips go to the staff. 

We suggest the following:

  • Tip the guide 10% of your trip cost. 
  • For the porters  it is normal to tip around a total of USD150  for each porter.
  • Tip the chef USD200 as the norm.

The tips for the guide and crew members are divided by the number of trekkers on a trip The larger your group, the less you pay as an individual!

Your Personal Travel Insurance

Travel insurance should include trekking up to 6,000 m / 19,685 ft . It should cover helicopter evacuation, just in case.

Magical Nepal provides  insurance for our guides, porters and other staff.  Due to the rules of the Government of Nepal, we cannot cover the insurance of clients. Foreign tourists cannot buy insurance in Nepal. Please organise your insurance before coming to Nepal.

Group or  Private Trek –  What is the Difference?

A group trek is where you will be with a few other trekkers, not previously known to you, who wish to visit the same trek.  The group treks will no exceed xxxx people.

A private trek is where you know everyone on the trek because you brought them with you!  If you are traveling with family or friends, around 3 or 4 of them, this is the type of trek to choose.

If you are traveling solo it might be difficult to provide you with a guide for a private trek, but you can ask us, and we will see what we can do.

There is no difference in the price between a private and a group trek. 

Packing Tips

Download our packing list PDF here.

Bring clothes to layer:  It may be quite warm at the start and end of this trek, but it will be cold at the higher altitudes. Bring clothing that can be layered

Pack Smart: Keep your pack light for carrying over rough trails.  The porters are only human.  AI has not reached the Himalayas yet!

Toiletries: Bring what you need in travel sized containers.  Don’t bring too many – showering every day is not standard on a trek!

Why Book with Magical Nepal

Diversity – Equality – Inclusion: Keys to a Great Experience

We at Magical Nepal are a team of highly trained travel enthusiasts.  

We started Magical Nepal in 2017 and pride ourselves in growing a great team. From our climbing guides, trek guides, and liaison staff to our camp staff, porters and camp chef, we all love to explore and travel in the Nepal Himalayas. We also love to introduce our beautiful country to our clients.

We are committed to human dignity, security, and safety for all – for our clients and for the communities we visit. We are also committed to the environmental sustainability of the landscapes, flora, and fauna of the Himalayas.

We also pride ourselves on offering great value for money and a price guarantee – if you can find the same trek at a lower price, we will match it – guaranteed.

Please check the reviews from our past clients to see what they say about us.

FAQs For Sherpani Col Pass Trek:

General Information

What is the Sherpani Col Pass Trek?

The Sherpani Col Pass Trek is an adventurous and challenging trek in the eastern region of Nepal, known for its high mountain passes and stunning views of the Himalayas.

Where is the Sherpani Col Pass located?

The Sherpani Col Pass is located in the Makalu region of eastern Nepal, close to the border with Tibet.

How long is the Sherpani Col Pass Trek?

The trek typically lasts around 24-26 days, depending on the itinerary and pace of the group.

What are the main highlights of the Sherpani Col Pass Trek?

Key highlights include crossing high mountain passes like Sherpani Col, West Col, and Amphu Lapcha, as well as views of peaks such as Makalu, Everest, and Lhotse.

What is the best time to trek the Sherpani Col Pass?

The best times to trek are during the pre-monsoon (March to May) and post-monsoon (September to November) seasons.

How difficult is the Sherpani Col Pass Trek?

The trek is considered very challenging due to high altitude, remote terrain, and technical passes that require mountaineering skills.

What permits are required for the trek?

Trekkers need the Makalu Barun National Park permit and the TIMS (Trekkers’ Information Management System) card.

Is it necessary to have a guide for this trek?

Yes, due to the technical and remote nature of the trek, it is highly recommended to have an experienced guide.

What is the altitude of Sherpani Col Pass?

Sherpani Col Pass stands at an altitude of approximately 6,135 meters (20,127 feet).

Are there any acclimatization days included in the trek?

Yes, acclimatization days are included to help trekkers adjust to the high altitude and reduce the risk of altitude sickness.

Preparation and Packing

What physical preparation is needed for the Sherpani Col Pass Trek?

Trekkers should be in excellent physical condition, with prior experience in high-altitude trekking and mountaineering. Regular cardio and strength training are recommended.

What kind of clothing should I bring?

Essential clothing includes thermal base layers, insulated jackets, waterproof outer layers, and trekking pants. Warm gloves, hats, and scarves are also necessary.

What equipment is necessary for the trek?

Necessary equipment includes a good quality sleeping bag, trekking poles, crampons, harness, carabiners, and an ice axe.

Do I need special boots for this trek?

Yes, sturdy mountaineering boots with good ankle support and the ability to attach crampons are essential.

What kind of backpack should I use?

A durable and comfortable trekking backpack of around 60-70 liters is recommended to carry all your gear and supplies.

Are there any specific items I should not forget?

Don’t forget sunscreen, sunglasses, a first aid kit, water purification tablets, and personal hygiene items.

How much weight should I carry?

Try to keep your backpack as light as possible, ideally under 15-20 kg, depending on your strength and fitness.

Can I rent or buy equipment in Nepal?

Yes, Kathmandu has many shops where you can rent or purchase trekking and mountaineering gear.

What kind of food and snacks should I bring?

High-energy snacks like nuts, chocolate, energy bars, and dried fruits are great for quick energy boosts during the trek.

Is travel insurance necessary?

Yes, comprehensive travel insurance that covers high-altitude trekking and emergency evacuation is mandatory.

Health and Safety

How can I prevent altitude sickness on the trek?

Gradual acclimatization, staying hydrated, and following the guide’s advice on ascending slowly can help prevent altitude sickness.

What are the symptoms of altitude sickness?

Symptoms include headache, nausea, dizziness, shortness of breath, and difficulty sleeping. Severe symptoms may require descent.

Are there any health risks on the Sherpani Col Pass Trek?

Apart from altitude sickness, other risks include hypothermia, frostbite, dehydration, and physical injuries from falls.

What should I do in case of a medical emergency?

Inform your guide immediately. They are trained in first aid and emergency response. Evacuation by helicopter is an option in severe cases.

How do I stay hydrated during the trek?

Drink plenty of purified or boiled water. Avoid alcohol and caffeinated beverages as they can cause dehydration.

What kind of first aid kit should I bring?

A comprehensive kit including bandages, antiseptics, pain relievers, altitude sickness medication, and any personal prescription medicines.

Are vaccinations required for the trek?

While no specific vaccinations are required, it’s recommended to be up-to-date on routine vaccines and consider vaccines for typhoid, hepatitis A and B.

Can I find medical facilities along the trek?

Medical facilities are very limited in remote trekking areas. Basic medical care may be available in larger villages.

How can I ensure my food is safe to eat?

Stick to cooked food, avoid raw vegetables and unpeeled fruits, and always drink purified or boiled water.

What should I do if I feel unwell during the trek?

Inform your guide immediately. They will monitor your condition and decide the best course of action, which may include rest, medication, or descent.

Cultural and Environmental Considerations

What should I know about the local culture?

The region is home to Sherpa and other ethnic communities with rich traditions. Respect local customs, dress modestly, and seek permission before taking photos.

How can I be a responsible trekker?

Follow the Leave No Trace principles, dispose of waste properly, and respect wildlife and natural surroundings.

Are there any cultural practices I should be aware of?

Yes, avoid touching people on the head, use your right hand for giving and receiving items, and always ask for permission before entering someone’s home.

How can I contribute to the local economy?

Purchase goods from local shops, stay in locally-owned lodges, and hire local guides and porters.

What kind of souvenirs are appropriate to buy?

Handcrafted items like prayer flags, local textiles, and traditional art are great souvenirs that support local artisans.

Are there any environmental issues in the trekking region?

Yes, issues include deforestation, waste management, and the impact of increasing tourism on natural habitats.

How can I minimize my environmental footprint?

Use reusable water bottles, avoid plastic packaging, stay on designated trails, and minimize campfire use.

What wildlife might I encounter on the trek?

You may see yaks, blue sheep, Himalayan Tahr, and various bird species. Respect their habitat and observe from a distance.

Are there any religious sites on the trek?

Yes, you may encounter monasteries and chortens (stupas). Show respect by walking clockwise around chortens and avoiding loud noises near monasteries.

Can I participate in local festivals?

If your trek coincides with local festivals, you may have the opportunity to participate. Always ask for permission and follow local etiquette.

Itinerary and Logistics

What is the typical itinerary for the Sherpani Col Pass Trek?

The trek usually starts from Tumlingtar, passing through Num, Seduwa, Tashigaon, and several high camps before crossing the passes and ending in Lukla.

How do I get to the starting point of the trek?

Most treks start with a flight from Kathmandu to Tumlingtar, followed by a drive to the starting point of the trek.

What type of accommodation is available during the trek?

Accommodation ranges from teahouses and lodges in villages to camping in more remote areas.

Makalu Base Camp Trek | Lumba Sumba Pass Trek

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