Trekking in the Khumbu region is one of the most sought out trekking in the world. Trekking in Everest base camp is one of the most popular trekking in the Everest region. As iconic is the Everest base camp trekking route but you can’t see Mt. Everest from the base camp. But one does see other mountains like Pumori and Nuptse from the base camp. Besides Mt. Everest and the other world’s tallest mountains, there are several amazing locations in Khumbu that are worth a visit. These detours not only offer some spectacular Himalayan panorama but it is to visit some incredible locations in the Everest region. These places certainly desire a visit during any treks in Khumbu like Everest Base Camp Trekking, Gokyo Lake Trekking, Everest Three passes trek. It can be done on the rest/acclimatization days during these treks or initially plan a separate trek day before the trek starts. It will also help you to better acclimatize as well as visit some exotic locations in Khumbu. Below are the top detours on the Everest trek.
Thame is the home of all the legendry mountaineers like Tenzing Norgay, Apa Sherpa and Kami Rita Sherpa. This Sherpa village is located beneath Kongde Peak. It is about six hours’ walk from Namche Bazaar and is a true and authentic Sherpa village. The trail to Thame is always nice and quiet all through the year. The prime landmark in Thame village is to visit the Thame Monastery and must-visit site. Another highlight of Thame is Sandar Peak offering a great panorama of the surrounding region. If you wish to be more adventurous then the trail from Thame departs to the west to Tesi Lapcha pass (5,755 m) and onto the Rolwaling valley.
The beautiful village of Kongde is in fact the most underrated place in the Everest region. Kongde village at 4,200 meters offers views of almost all the peaks in the region. Trek to Kongde is not easy where there exist two paths to Kongde. The trail from Thame to Kongde, Thame to Kongde trek, is recommended as it is more practical and you will be acclimatized by then. Must visit location in Kongde is Farak Ri which provides a bird’s eye view of the Khumbu valley and a view of 8,000m peaks like Everest, Lhotse Makalu and Cho Oyu. Another great place is a beautiful turquoise lake, Kongde Ri trek, if you further climb from Kongde. Another attraction of Kongde is the luxury high-end lodge at Kongde ‘Yeti Mountain Home’ if you have the funds.
In spite of being on the trail to Everest Base Camp people seldom go to the Phortse village. Phortse is another quiet Sherpa village in Khumbu. It’s another village of lots of mountaineers. Namche Bazaar to Phortse is a pleasant trail and not so strenuous. Whilst on a trek to Everest Base Camp it’s a recommended trail as not crowded. Visit Luri Peak (5,200 m) while in Phortse which is quite a climb from the village but you will be rewarded with spectacular views. However, getting to the top is a bit tough so taking along some locals will be a good idea. Another attraction of Phortse is Khumbu Climbing Center which has Jon Johnston Mountaineering Library so will be interesting for climbers. Phortse to Pangboche trail is also stunning with a narrow path winding up and down with Tengboche and Thamserku to your right. It’s probably the best walking section on the Everest trek.
AmaDablam Base Camp
Hike to AmaDablam Base Camp is also less popular and trekkers hardly visit. It’s a day or two walk from Tengboche take will take you to the base camp of AmaDablam. Though no lodges are available at the base camp so you need to take tents and food. Trek to AmaDablam base camp is past the conifer forest watching different species of Himalayan birds en-route. The first section of the hike is quite a climb but gradually, the trail leads you above the tree line to yak pastures and curve around the ridgelines of Kantega.
Chola-Tsho is a spectacular alpine lake located underneath the Cholatse peak. This lake can be seen on the way to Gokyo via Cho-la pass. To really savor this lake one has to get down to this lake which is bigger than Gokyo lake. The hike to Chola-Tsho is the same as Cho-la pass but as you see the lake from a distance you will have to go downhill. Upon arriving at the lake you won’t regret that you have been there.
Gokyo is, in fact, the main feature of the Khumbu region and don’t believe it if anyone doesn’t think so. If one is trekking the Everest region you have to visit Gokyo lake which is a breathtaking freshwater lake. The major lake in Gokyo is Gokyo-Cho and there are other five lakes namely Thonak Cho, Gyazumpa Cho, Tanjung Cho, Ngojumba Cho, and Kyajumba Cho which are also quite admirable. If you doing only Gokyo lake trek you can hike further to visit the other lakes around. As per locals there exist 20 high-altitude lakes in the Gokyo area along the Ngozumpa glacier, the largest glacier in Nepal.