The Makalu Sherpani Col Pass Trek is one of the most challenging treks in the Great Himalayas Trail (GHT), taking you to a remote and desolate region in eastern Nepal. Col Pass Trekking is also called Ice Pass Trek, Makalu Three Pass Trek, and Makalu to Everest via three Pass Trek that climbs via the three Highest Mountain Passes of Sherpani Col Pass (6,135 m), West Col (6,143 m), and Amphu Laptsa Pass (5850 m).
The Makalu Sherpani Pass Trek also takes you to the Makalu Base Camp at 4870 meters giving you a close-up view of the fifth highest mountain, Makalu (8,481m), and high arctic vistas of a lonely alpine forest. The trip also offers you a great opportunity to experience Makalu's off-the-beaten paths, which combine a rich cultural legacy, unrivaled natural beauty, and ecological diversity. As you will walking through the abundant Makalu-Barun National Park, you could encounter endangered creatures such as the Red Panda and the Snow Leopard.
This three-week-long journey not only offers you an excellent trekking experience, nature, and panoramic vistas but also delights you with the firsthand experience of the culture and folklore of tribal hill and mountain peoples, as well as the beauty and fauna of remote Eastern Nepal.
The journey begins with a flight from Kathmandu to Tumlingtar with the beautiful Himalayan backbone sliding beneath our plane. The trek starting point of this Col Pass Trek is reached after a short scenic drive to Num from Tumlingtar. Then the journey emerges from the calm grasslands and ascends the hidden Arun River valley with gradual ascents and descents to the Kongma Danda. The trail climbs all the way to Langmale Kharka, passing through Makalu and crossing the Barun Khola.
The climb to Sherpani Col (6,135m) and West Col (6143m) requires a long period at altitude and some steep slopes, but it is rewarded with spectacular views of Mt. Makalu (8,463m) to the north and Island Peak (6,189m) to the west.
The final phase of the journey takes you over the Amphu Labtsa Pass at 5,850 meters and into the picturesque Imjatse valley in Everest Khumbu Region. We enter through the tranquil valleys and rhododendron trees and make our way to Lukla to fly back to Kathmandu.
Highlights of Makalu Sherpani Col Pass Trek
- Three high mountain passes; Sherpani Col (6135m), West Col (6143m), and Amphu Lapcha Pass (5850m)
- Explore a distant and wild Himalayan Environment
- Close-up views of the many snow-capped Himalayas including the Everest, Lhotse, and Makalu
- Get a glimpse of amazing and diverse cultures, each with its own traditions
- Traverse through the isolated valleys of the Makalu Barun National Park & Sagarmatha National Park
Makalu Sherpani Col Pass Trek Difficulty Levels/Factors
The Makalu Sherpani Col Pass trek is, without a doubt, Nepal's one of the most difficult and technical treks. It is a long journey that often lasts more than 20 days traversing three high passes that are above 5000 meters. The trail runs through isolation, shifting terrain, and high-altitude passes with limited hiking amenities.
Altitude sickness is a serious issue that can be fatal during this journey if not addressed properly. If you encounter any early warning symptoms of altitude sickness, seek aid from your journey companions and guide as soon as possible. In addition, to remain safe, purchase travel insurance that includes high-altitude experiences. It will help a lot when you need to be rescued from the mountain.
Unlike major trekking trails, the services available along the route are extremely rudimentary, with only a few lodges and tea shops. Following Tashigaon, there is no tea house or settlement where one can stay or eat. As a result, you should bring enough food and drink for the trail.
While trekking to Makalu Base Camp is challenging, it is not as demanding as climbing to the peak of Makalu. You only need to plan ahead of time to conquer the trail, follow our well-crafted Makalu Base Camp Trek program and receive competent coaching.
As to participate in the trek, you must be physically fit and mentally strong, we advise you to go for a jog, go to the gym, swim laps in the pool, or perform some local hikes. You should be able to walk for up to 7-8 hours per day. At the end of the day, you will be rewarded with a once-in-a-lifetime adventure and natural beauty after completing the hike.
Best time to do Makalu Sherpani Col Pass Trek
Spring and autumn are the shoulder seasons to do Sherpani Col Trekking, like with any other trekking route in Nepal. Both seasons feature plenty of bright skies and pleasant temperatures, allowing you to enjoy the breathtaking vistas of the highest mountains, diverse terrains, and nature of the region’s surroundings.
The autumn months of October and November are regarded as the best time for trekking on the Sherpani Col Pass route. The skies are clear, the weather is lovely and sunny during the day and there is little rain. The nights are cool but depending on the height, the temperature may drop below freezing. The trekking trails during these months are at their most stable state.
April and May of the spring season are the second-best time to do Makalu Sherpani Col Pass Trekking. The season of bright and sunny weather does see snowfall at high altitudes on occasion/early spring months so trekkers might have to trample snow and ice on the high passes. On the other hand, the sky is mainly clear, providing breathtaking vistas of the mountains. The entire mountainside blooms with wildflowers and Rhododendron, and the surroundings are lush with greenery and a rainbow of colors.
Not only in the peak seasons but also in the off-seasons, i.e., during monsoon and winter, the Makalu region has magnificent and outstanding vistas. But these seasons are called off-seasons and are not recommended for the Makalu Sherpani Col Pass Trek because of many reasons.
The first hurdle during the monsoon is the delayed or canceled flights between Kathmandu and Tumlingtar due to rain, fog, and clouds. Other challenges would be the wet, slippery trails, landslides, mudslides, obstructed views, pouring days, leeches, etc.
In the winter, the cold temperature surely is a disadvantage. Then heavy snowfall blocks trekking routes, especially the high mountain passes making the trek hard to impossible to accomplish.
Permits to do Makalu Sherpani Col Pass Trekking
Trekkers need to obtain the following permits to do the Sherpani Col Trekking:
1.Trekkers’ Information Management System (TIMS)
2. Makalu Barun National Park Entry Permit
3. Sagarmatha National Park Entry Permit
4. Pasang Lhamu Municipality Entrance Fee
Note:The permit costs are included in the package and the Himalayan Trekkers will obtain them on your behalf.