Hiking Travel Tips and Routes of the Eastern Slope of Mount Everest in Tibet
About the hiking guide of Everest’s Eastern Face Ever(珠峰东坡), all information needed like equipment, routes, transportation, sceneries and weather is listed here. Just go ahead to reveal the east slope of the Mount Everest with this guide.
Eastern Slope of Mount Everest
Located in the Shigatse of Tibet, the Everest’s eastern face consists of Orchid Valley(兰花谷), Kaamo Tsangpo Valley(嘎玛沟) and Kangshung Valley(卓穷谷), of which Kaamo Tsangpo Valley is the most splendid one.
Kaamo Tsangpo Valley(嘎玛沟) is a beautiful valley with an altitude of 2,000 meters to 5,000 meters from Chentang(陈塘) in the east to the Everest’s eastern Face in the west. The almost inaccessible Kaamo Tsangpo Valley(嘎玛沟) is 55 kilometers long from east to west. The huge gap makes the place rich in species, developing one largest primeval forest in the Everest area.
Here you can view the spectacular Himalayan snowy mountains and the 8,000-meter-high Mount Everest closer, and mountains at the altitudes of 6,000 to 7,000 meters like Lhotse (洛子峰), Makalu (马卡鲁) and the beautiful Gamagangri(嘎玛岗日).
This is one top-level hiking route in China for snowy mountain exploration and photographing of the world’s highest peak. You can view 4 peaks above 8,000 meters in the Himalayan core heartlands and many snowy mountains around 6,000-7,000 meters in close range. Entering this mysterious holy land and wandering in the snowy mountains, no doubt that you will enjoy the best ever experience of snowy mountains!
Three hiking routes are recommended here for you to cross the Kaamo Tsangpo Valley in Everest’s eastern face- the large circular route, the small circular route, and Chengtang routes(陈塘线).
The Big Circular Route
Karta County(曲当乡)- Yuba(优帕村)- Shao Lake(晓乌措)- Shao La(晓乌拉垭口)- Joksam(卓湘)- Sharlung(夏浓)- Tangsum(汤湘)- Pethang(巴当)- Ega(俄嘎)- Pethang Ringmo(白当)- Everest Base Camp– Ega(俄嘎)- Raga(热嘎)-Tangsum(汤湘)- Tsoshutrima(措学仁玛)- Langma La Mountain Pass(朗玛拉垭口)- Laze(拉则)- Lhundrubling(伦珠林村)- Karta County(曲当乡)
Small Circular Route
Karta County(曲当乡)- Yuba(优帕村)- Shao Lake(晓乌措)- Shao La(晓乌拉垭口)- Jaksam(卓湘)- Tangsum(汤湘)- Tsoshutrima(措学仁玛)- Langma La(朗玛垭口)- Lhundrubling(伦珠林村)- Karta County(曲当乡)
Note: The small circular route is concluded in the large circular route already.
Chentang Route 1
Karta County(曲当乡)- Lhundrubling(伦珠林村)- Laze(拉则)- Tsoshutrima(措学仁玛)- Tangsum(汤湘)- Ega(俄嘎)- Badang(巴当)- Pethang Ringmo(白当)- Everest’s Eastern Face(珠峰东坡BC)- Pethang Ringmo(白当)- Raga(热嘎)- Badang(巴当)- Tangsum(汤湘)- Joksam(卓湘)- Shajitang(沙基塘)- Xiaowumi(晓乌米)- Chentang(陈塘)
Chentang Route 2
Karta County(曲当乡)- Youpa Village(优帕村)- Yanque Village(延确村)- Xiaowucuo(晓乌措)- Xiaowula Pass(晓乌拉垭口)- Jaksam(卓湘)- Xianong(夏农)- Tangsum(汤湘)- Raga(热嘎)- Badang(巴当)- Ega(俄嘎)- Pethang Ringmo(白当)- Everest’s Eastern Face(珠峰东坡BC)- Ega(俄嘎)- Badang(巴当)- Rega(热嘎)- Tangsum(汤湘)- Jaksam(卓湘)- Shajitang(沙基塘)- Xiaowumi(晓乌米)- Chentang(陈塘)
Most of the tourists choose the first two routes, and a few tourists will choose the Chentang(陈塘) route. There are many snowy mountains in the Kaamo Tsangpo Valley(嘎玛沟). Besides these four comparatively traditional and mature routes, there should be more routes that can be explored. The Everest’s eastern face is a highly recommended route for those who like snow mountains.
Sceneries On Route
Amazing sceneries along should never be missed for viewing and shooting the snowy mountains.
Gangdong Pass(岗东村垭口)- Three-star Rated Viewing Attraction (三星观景地)
This is the last pass before entering Karta county(曲当乡), and it is also one of the best places for shooting Makalu(马卡鲁), the fifth highest peak in the world.
Overlooking from afar, Pengqu(朋曲) winds southward from the foot of the mountain. Villages near the river bank are dotted with clouds floating in the mountains.
Lower Xiaowucuo (下晓乌措)- Three-star Rated Viewing Attraction (三星观景地)
Xiaowucuo(晓乌措) is divided into upper Xiaowucuo(上晓乌措) and lower Xiaowucuo(下晓乌措). Here I recommend the lower one, with an altitude of 4,650 meters. On the south bank of the lower Xiaowucuo, the reflection of sunshine on the world’s fifth-highest peak, Makalu (马卡鲁) of Sunshine can be photographed.
Although Xiaowula Pass blocks some parts of Makalu, it is still a good shooting spot. Upper Xiaowucuo was much closer to the pass so it blocks more of the sight. So for shooting pictures, lower Xiaowula Pass is much better.
Joksam(卓湘)- Three-star Rated Viewing Attraction
Lower Joksam(下卓湘) is the starting point of Kaamo Tsangpo Valley(嘎玛沟), also known as Orchid Valley(兰花谷). The name and scenery of the camp are very beautiful. The lush vegetation, gurgling streams, and distant snowy mountains form beautiful landscapes. The shadow of the stream gate and snow mountain can be photographed around the camp.
Tangsum(汤湘)- Five-star Rated Viewing Attraction
The camp is surrounded by mountains. From the 360-degree viewing platform, you can see Mount Everest (8844.43 meters) and Lhotse (8516 meters above sea level/洛子峰) and the nearby Chomo Lonzo(珠穆郎卓). You can enjoy the golden clouds in the morning and the fantasy mountains enveloped by clouds.
Rega(热嘎)- Four-star Rated Viewing Attraction
Starting from Tangsum(汤湘) Camp, climb over a small mountain ridge to go down the mountain. When you see a flat meadow near the river. This is Raga(热嘎). This is a good camp with convenient water intake and beautiful scenery. In the morning, you can shoot pictures of Chomo Lonzo(珠穆郎卓) of Sunshine.
Badang(巴当)- Five-star Rated Viewing Attraction
The camp is also surrounded by mountains. Its altitude is lower than that of Tangsum. The horizon here is not as wide as Tangsum’s. Few people paid attention to this place before. However, it is closer to Chomo Lonzo, and the reflection of Lhotse(洛子峰) and Chomo Lonzo(珠穆郎卓) can be captured from another angle.
Ega- Five-star Rated Viewing Attraction
Ega(俄嘎) Camp is the closest camp for shooting Everest. The peaks on both sides of Everest are nearly symmetrical. Here, Everest looks more like a soaring eagle with invincible momentum.
Pethang Ringmo(白当)- Five-star Rated Viewing Attraction
This is the last camp where the general hiking team is closest to Mount Everest and Lhotse(洛子峰). Yak workers will not go any further. There is no shade from Everest, Lhotse and Chomo Lonzo(珠穆郎卓).
Mount Chomo Lonzo’s(珠穆郎卓) mountain body rises to the ground with great momentum, which is even more shocking than Everest and Lhotse, which are a little farther away.
Everest Base Camp- Seven-star Rated Viewing Attraction
The base camp on Everest’s eastern face(珠峰东坡大本营) is a great place for viewing. Surrounded by world-class snowy mountains, it is not only possible to photograph Everest and Lhotse more closely, but also can be accessible to photograph Makalu(马卡鲁) and Chomo Lonzo(珠穆郎卓) and the famous PETHANGTSE Peak from another angle.
The camp is located at the foot of a 7,200-meter peak. Lying in a tent, you can see numerous mountains. It is the most stunning and beautiful camp on the whole journey, and it can be rated as seven stars.
Tsoshutrima(措学仁玛)- Seven-star Rated Viewing Attraction
This is the only place that you can shoot the picture of Everest, Lhotse and Makalu(Over 8000 meters above the sea level), and the reflection of snowy mountains, starry night and milky way at the same time.
Best Travel Seasons
From December to the middle of May of the following year, the mountain will be blocked by heavy snow and it is not suitable to go there. The best season is September and October when there are more sunshine and less fog. In May and June, there is heavy snow on the pass sometimes.
July and August are rainy seasons, and snowy mountains are often surrounded by cloud and mist, but the spectacular sights of the sea of clouds and snow mountain of sunrise(日照金山) usually occur in February. In July and August, there are many leeches in the lower reaches of the Kaamo Tsangpo Valley, thus protection measures should be taken.
- Take the bus from Lhasa to Zhangmu(樟木) and get off at Baiba(白坝). Departure at 9:00 a.m. and arrive at 6:00 p.m. Then take the bus from Tingri(定日) to Qudang(曲当) (Departure time depends on the number of people).
- Take the Lhasa-Shigatse bus to Shigatse, then change to the Shigatse-Dingri bus, then change to the Dingri-Qudang bus to Qudang. Then hitch a ride or package a truck to Youpa Village(优帕村), the starting point for hiking. It is about 250 kilometers from Lhasa to Shigatse, with good road conditions and many shuttle buses. It takes about 5 hours and the fare is 80 yuan.
- Take the earliest bus in the morning to catch the bus from Shigatse to Xingdingri(新定日) that departures in the afternoon. There are two buses to Dingri from Shigatse every day. The departure time is 8 a.m. and 1: 30 p.m. The bus also needs to drive on G318 and it takes about 4 hours with good road conditions. Fare of the shuttle buses from Dingri to Qudang is 75 yuan.
- Self-service charter. Road conditions and time cost can refer to the shuttle bus. From Tingri(定日) to Qudang(曲当), it will pass through the frontier inspection station and the entrance of Mount Everest Reserve (180 yuan per person and 400 yuan per car).
About Yaks and Yak Workers
- The money of yaks and yak workers are calculated separately on the Everest’s eastern face. If the crossing fails, even if you return on the first day, the rental will be calculated based on days of the whole trip. Each yak can carry three large bales, but in some seasons, there is no grass among the yaks, and they have to bring some hay with them. If the load is too heavy, the yaks will sometimes be in a bad mood and go on strike as they please. At this time, even the yaks have no choice but to wait and unload the load.
- You should make an appointment with the yak workers as early as possible. Leader of Qudang Town: Pubu Zhaxi(普布扎西), 13518929783; Danjie(旦杰): 13659579948
- In order to solve the worries, it is best to arrange yak workers and yaks through Qudang town government, which is the safest way. In case of unhappiness during the trip, the government will help to coordinate and solve it in a better way.
- Friends who like self-help hiking should pay attention: Yaks walk faster, so communicate well with yak workers as much as possible, and pay attention to mastering the speed of travel. Before leaving every morning, ask about the road conditions and fork-in roads on that day. It is better to let yak workers wait at the fork in the road or ask them to mark it.
Boarder Pass Permits
- Take the household register to the local police station or district public security bureau.
- Fill in the Border Defense Certificate: Shigatse Area includes Nyalam county(聂拉木县), Kangma County(康马县), Yadong County(亚东县), Gangba County(岗巴县), Jilong County(吉隆县), Dingjie County(定结县) (including Chentang(陈塘)), Tingri County(定日县) (Everest Base Camp(珠峰大本营), Qudang Town(曲当乡), Youpa Village(优帕村), Kaamo Tsangpo Valley(嘎玛沟), etc.). It is better to fill in places such as Qudang Town(曲当乡), Youpa Village(优帕村), Kaamo Tsangpo Valley(嘎玛沟) and Chentang Town(陈塘镇) to avoid unnecessary troubles.
- You need to register for 4 times at the police station during the trip from Dingri county town to Lhasa.
- Border pass required prefectures: Nyingchi(林芝), Shannan(山南), Shigatse, and Ngari prefectures.
|Bag||Mountaineering Bag/Backpack, Mountaineering Camera Bag/Outdoor Camera Bag, Backpack Rain Cover|
|Clothing||Outdoor Jacket and WaterProof Pants, Quick-dry Clothes, Fleece Coat, Down Jacket, Rain Gear/Umbrella, Mountaineering Socks, Mountaineering Shoes|
|Wear||Gaiters, Kneecap, Wide-brimmed Sun Hat, Sunglasses, Magic Headband, Gloves|
|Necessity||Sleeping Bag, Moisture-proof Pad, Trekking Pole, Heat Preservation Pot, Waterproof Bag|
|Other Items||Sun Cream, Lip Protector, Personal Medicine, Camera, Charger and Battery|
Risk Assessment and Response
- Snowstorm: snowstorm is a common phenomenon in the Pass. When encountering such bad weather, please fully evaluate the situation. Complete the task of the day without endangering safety. If there is any uncertainty, set up camp in a safe place immediately and wait for the good weather to pass.
- Altitude sickness: Before going on a trip, you should take adaptive exercise and go to Lhasa in advance to adapt to the environment. If you encounter altitude sickness during hiking, you should observe and evaluate it carefully. If you have severe altitude sickness symptoms such as pulmonary edema, you should immediately go back to low altitude areas.
- Slippage and Sprain: There are some dangerous sections of the hiking routes on the east slope of Mount Everest. Better to explore the road first and pass it only when all conditions are safe to avoid slippage. Generally, joint sprain is the most common injury. Prepare an alpenstock during hiking. After fully warming up, a sprain can be effectively prevented. A slight sprain can be treated with Yunnan Baiyao and fixed with a bandage. If the sprain is serious and you cannot catch up with the team, you should turn to the team members to accompany you to the village with the most convenient transportation.
- Leeches and Mosquitoes: In summer, when passing through the primeval forest at the foot of the Kaamo Tsangpo Valley(嘎玛沟), you will find it easy to encounter the leeches. Make sure your trouser legs and sleeves are sealed with tape, leaving no space for leeches to enter. Check it every half an hour. Remember to take some iodized salt in your pocket and be ready to rub it to the body at any time.
Chinese Version: http://www.sohu.com/a/118232536_374702