Added by Rachel Davidson
Unparalleled views of Mt. Everest, Nuptse, and Lhotse from the top of Nepal’s most popular trekking peak, Kala Patthar (18,514 ft.).
Kala Patthar (also spelled Kala Pataar, Kala Pattar), is one of the best ways for ordinary hikers to reach extraordinary heights in the heart of the Nepal Himalayas. The trek to the base of the mountain, at Gorakshep or Lobuche, will have already taken you well over a week and acclimatized your body to high altitude – so by the time you reach the “Black Rock” mountain, summiting it should be a walk in the park.
The small village of Gorakshep (5,164 m / 16,942 ft.) sits at the base of Kala Patthar, and there is a clear path leading all the way up to its summit. Don’t let the elevation gain fool you – it will take you much longer, and much more effort, to climb at this altitude than it would were this hike at sea level. Allow yourself plenty of time, leave your pack light with bare essentials, and be sure to stop and enjoy the views the entire way up. The most popular time to climb the mountain is in the early hours of the morning, for a photogenic sunrise opportunity on top. Avoid starting your hike too late in the day as winds pick up and unpredictable storms move in later in the afternoon.
Many people summit Kala Patthar along with a 2-week long Everest Base Camp Trek, this climb occurring on day 8 or 9. Folks embarking on the longer and more challenging 3 Passes Trek should expect to complete this climb on days 10, 11, or 12.
The best time to climb Kala Patthar, and to trek in Nepal in general, is during the fall between September and December. Spring is also a popular time to trek, but the sky will be more hazy, so most people wait until after the summer monsoon season to enjoy crystal-clear Himalayan views.
Since you can’t actually see Mt. Everest from Everest Base Camp, Kala Patthar is the literal and figurative highpoint of trekking the Everest region in Nepal. For anyone who wants to see the tallest mountain in the world up close and personal without donning crampons, this climb was meant for you.
- TIMS (Trekkers’ Information Management System) Card
- Sagarmatha National Park Permit
- Light daypack – leave as much as possible behind
- Sturdy hiking boots
- Trekking poles
- 2+ liters of water
- Iodine or other water treatment
- Sun + wind protection
- Face buff, ear warmers, wool hat (or all three)
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