Kalapatthar trek is alike the Everest base camp trek, but its main focus is to summit Kalapatthar peak instead of Everest base camp since the latter does not display the high summit of Mt. Everest. This trek follows the same trekking route that is followed by EBC trekkers till to Gorakshep and goes down by other pathways that not everyone follows because we believe in making your trip unique and refreshing.
Why to summit the Kalapatthar Peak instead of Everest Base Camp?
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What is Kala Pathar?
Kalapatthar means black rock in English. It is a vantage point, located above Gorakshep in the Everest region of Nepal. Similarly, it is a kind of small trekking peak that shows the panoramic views of Mt. Everest Massif and other neighboring mountain views. Though it is the highest hill on the mountain, it does not need any technical climbing skills and gears. The Kalapatthar altitude is 5644m above sea level.
Kalapathar Trekking Trail
The Kalapatthar trek begins from Lukla after having a short and scenic flight from Kathmandu. The trail goes through the beautiful Sherpa villages like Phakding, Namche, Tengboche, Dingboche, Lobuche, and finally to Gorakshep. Gorakshep is a last destined village. From there, you can have a Kalapatthar hike and there is also a way to EBC. After summiting the Kalapatthar peak, your trail follows the same trail till to Pangboche and turns towards another alternative route in order to go back. The trail goes ahead to Pheriche to Phorse to Khumjung to Thame, to Monjo and it adjoins again in Lukla. Then by retracing the previous airways, you go to Kathmandu.
Kalapatthar Trekking Itinerary
Kalapatthar trekking itinerary is created uniquely in order to not repeat the same route. This trek follows the EBC trek trail till to the final destination and joins another route for going down. This Everest Kalapatthar trek itinerary is a bit longer but can be cut off. The itineraries are as follows:
Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu (1350m)
Day 02: Kathmandu Sightseeing
Day 03: Fly to Lukla (2800m), almost 30mins flight and trek to Phakding (2640m)
Day 04: Trek to Namche Bazaar (3430m)
Day 05: Acclimatization Day
Day 06: Trek to Tengboche (3867m)
Day 07: Trek to Dingboche (4410m)
Day 08: Acclimatization Day
Day 09: Trek to Lobuche (4910m)
Day 10: Trek to Gorakshep (5140m)
Day 11: Hike to Kalapatthar and trek back Gorakshep to Pheriche (4240m)
Day 12: Trek to Phortse (3810m)
Day 13: Trek to Khumjung (3790m)
Day 14: Trek to Thame (3820m)
Day 15: Trek to Monjo (2835m)
Day 16: Trek to Lukla (2800m)
Day 17: Fly back to Kathmandu (1350m), 30mins flight
Day 18: Departure
Major attractions during Kalapatthar Trek
During Everest Kalapatthar trekking, the trail takes you through the heart of the Nepalese Himalayas along the river banks. You can experience farther to nearer views of mountains as you got closer to closest to your final destination. The views of Everest Massif, Lhotse, Nuptse, Changtse, Khumbu Icefall, Glacier lakes, and other natural beauties seem outstanding. The Kalapatthar trekking trail reaches many Sherpa villages and introduces their unique culture. You have to walk on the ancient suspension bridges over the raging rivers that may create a little sense of fun and thrill in the mind of every trekker. It is really the craziest moment throughout your lifetime. Similarly, this Kalapatthar EBC trek goes ahead through the Sagarmatha National Park. This park preserves the rare floras and faunas of Nepal. For example, you can see the floras like pine and hemlock in lower elevations whereas fir, juniper, rhododendron, alpine plant, and scrub in the higher elevation. In the same way, Himalayan goats, Musk deer, Peacocks, snow leopards and other can be seen while walking inside the Sagarmatha National Park.
Highlights of Kalapatthar Trek
- Glorious Mt. Everest Massif views from Kalapatthar
- Views of other giants of peaks like Lhotse, Nuptse, and Changtse
- Beautiful Sherpa Villages and their unique culture
- Rare flora and Fauna
- Century-old Buddhist Monastery
- Chortens and Maniwalls
- Grazing yaks
- Sagarmatha National Park
- A glimpse of Himalayan goat, Musk deer, peacocks, and others during walking along the National Park
- Suspension bridges over the raging rivers
Can you see Everest from the base camp? Or can you see Everest from Kala Patthar?
Due to the structure of Mt. Everest, its summit is blocked by Nuptse Mountain. As a result, the Everest base camp is unable to display its own physical formation. Therefore, Kalapatthar is taken as an alternative viewpoint for looking at those spectacular sceneries and now, it is a popular destination. Most trekkers love to visit this Kalapatthar hill rather than Everest base camp. You can see lots of visitors on the summit during the high trekking seasons in Nepal.
The mountain vistas from Kalapatthar can be seen as more beautiful in the afternoon, but mostly the cloud covers the sky in the daytime. So, it would be better to go for a hike to Kalapatthar in the morning before the wind blows strongly. You can enjoy the sunrise views at this time and also have enough time to go back.
How hard is Kalapatthar?
Kalapatthar trek difficulty depends on acclimatization. It is neither harder nor easier. It is a moderate, but completely an uphill trek. If you are well acclimatized, it will not harder to the summit. If not well acclimatized, then you may find it difficult and wheezing as well as breathless equally. It takes almost 2.5 hours to reach on top of the Kalapatthar Hill from Gorakshep.
The path rises steeply and will test you mentally and physically. So, do not push yourself too hard as the thin air will blow strongly. So, take a break as much as you need during walking. More importantly, you must drink plenty of water. The Kalapatthar temperature is seriously very cold please, wear warm clothes like a jacket, gloves, trousers, hat, etc.
We recommend you calculate the two extra days for acclimatization because only the well-acclimatized trekkers can pass the entire Everest base camp trekking without any altitude sickness. You can spend these days in your own way or by roaming around. Our suggestion is to go for a hike to Nangkhar Shyang Peak. It lies above Dingboche where you have the second rest day. This place offers beautiful mountain views above 8000m like Mt. Lhotse, Mt, Makalu, and Mt. Cho yu. They are 8749m, 8463m, and 8201m above sea level respectively. The mind-blowing views of Imja Valley can also be seen from there.
At last, you do not need to be worried because everything will be guided properly.
How long does it take to hike Kala Patthar?
It takes two to three hours to hike to Kalapatthar. Once you make it up top, there are spectacular views of the Everest ranges. This is the best view of Everest, you will see from this Kalapatthar point. Everest is particularly foreboding early in the morning as the sun rises from behind. You need to depart Gorakshep by 5:00 am to be up in time. Do not attempt the hike if you are not feeling well or are already suffering from altitude sickness. You can also do the hike in the later morning or early afternoon when it will be a little warmer, but you miss the sunrise views.
Everest Base Camp Helicopter Tour/ Kalapatthar Helicopter Tour
A helicopter tour to Everest base camp is one of the most famous packages in Nepal. The Helicopter lands on top of the Kalapatthar in order to see the Mt. Everest views and other giant peaks of Lhotse, Nuptse, and Changtse. It adds another popularity to the Kalapatthar trek.
The Kalapatthar Helicopter tour begins from Kathmandu. It takes almost three hours to come back. It goes directly from Kathmandu to Lukla where it will be landed for fueling. Then, it takes up towards Kalapatthar Hill. During flying, you can see very close-up views of the white Himalayas. It would be like a paradise, your dream world where you ever want to visit. After reaching on top of the summit, it will be stopped for 10 to 15 minutes because of the blows of wind. You can have some snapshots in front of the world’s highest mountain and other snowcapped peaks. Then, the helicopter takes up again and off to the domestic airport of Kathmandu.