Kharta Khangsung Valley Trek

  • Trip Duration Trip Duration 19 Days
  • Trip Grade Trip Grade Moderate

About Kharta Khangsung Valley Trek

The Kharta–Khangsung Valley trek takes you to the eastern face of the Mt Everest (8,848 m) which is known as Khangsung face. Among the three faces of Mt Everest, the Khangsug face (the combined east face of Mt Everest & Mt Lhotse) is still the least explored area because of its extreme remoteness, difficult topography and harsh climate. This is the reason why, this Kharta trek with Khangsung face is taken as one of the most challenging treks in the world.


p>First of all, it is noteworthy that many people get confused with different names given to this trek like Kharta - Khangsung Valley Trek, Kharta Valley Trek, Khangsung Valley Trek, Khangsung Face Trek, Khangsung Glacier Trek, Khangsung Base Camp (BC) Trek, Tibet tour with Kharta trek and Trek to the Eastern Face of Mt Everest and so on. They are not different. All these treks are the one and the same. They all go to the same destination called the Khangsung BC which is the BC of the East Face of Mt Everest.

The other two faces of the Mt Everest are its north and south faces. The north face lies in the Tibetan side near Ronbuk and its base camp is easily accessible by motor vehicles. Likewise, the south face lies in the Nepal side and its base camp is also somehow relatively not so difficult in its access because of the increasing logistic facilities like flight, lodging, and so on.

The proposed Tibet tour with Kharta - Khangsung Valley trek takes you to the Khangsung face which is relatively still virgin, serene in scenery and pristine in habitation. The lovely alpine meadows, forests with various wildflowers, glaciated valleys, high mountain passes, traditional Tibetan villages, ancient monasteries, rich barley fields, picturesque nomadic pastures are the highlights of this trek. Your eyes are always busy in admiring so many other captivating sights along the miles of steep valleys, difficult high passes of Shao La (4,970 m) and Langma La (5,330 m). Above all, the innumerable gorgeous glacial lakes and massive glaciers add more ornaments to the trek.

Geologically, each face of the Mt Everest generates the major glacier of the world. The Ronbuk Glacier is generated by its north face, the Khumbu Glacier generated by its south face and the Khangsung Glacier by its east face. Respectively, the first one flows to the north of its face in Tibet, the second one flows in the Nepal side, while the third one flows down to the east side of the Everest and later turns into the Kama Chu Kama Chu (River) flowing through the Kama valley towards the east.

Finally, it drains into the upper Arun River and flows down to Nepal making a deep gorge from the height of 4,000 m to 1,000 m. In other words, the trek takes place in the bordering area of Nepal’s Arun Valley which is yet inaccessible from the Nepal side, while from Tibet side, you can drive up to Kharta village from where we can start the trek to the Kangsung Face (the east face of Mt Everest) supported of yaks carrying the logistics for the fully organized trek of about 10-13 days.

The Kharta – Khangsung Valley trek has been designed with about 13 days to make it an extraordinary trek with a couple of days cultural tour to the central Tibet with a visit to Lhasa, Shigatse and Gyantse exposing you to the lavishly decorated Tibetan monasteries and monuments, uniquely dressed men and women in their traditional costumes, most religious Tibetan people offering yak butter to the butter lamps in the monasteries and temples with pleasant smell of yak butter and juniper incense and many more. The trek is accepted as one of the challenging ones, but highly rewarding among all in the world. The early part of the tour we spend in Lhasa has been well planned to allow us to get fully acclimatized by the time you reach Kharta valley before the trek.

So, if you are looking for the virgin and naturally extraordinary area for trekking, the proposed 19-day Tibet tour including 13 days Kharta – Khangsung face trek leading to the eastern face of Mt Everest is highly recommendable.

Trip Highlights

  • Trans-Himalayan flight exposing you to the mighty Himalayan range including Mt Everest, the highest peak of the world
  • Opportunity to deeply immerse in the Tibetan culture and heritage with lovely monasteries and warm always smiling Tibetan people,
  • 13 days fully organized - one of the most adventurous and unforgettable treks
  • Khangsung valley with the rare view of the eastern face of Mt Everest in the pristine landscape of the Khangsung area.
  • The unforgettable lovely alpine meadows, green forests filled with wildflowers, glaciated valleys, high mountain passes, traditional Tibetan villages, ancient monasteries, rich barley fields, picturesque Tibetan nomadic yak pastures, and so many other captivating sights along the miles of steep valleys,
  • Colorful Prayer flags beautifully flapping every nook and corner, on the houses, on the trails, on the high passes and on the bridges,
  • Difficult high passes of Shao La (4,970 m) and Langma La (5,330 m), and gorgeous emerald green glacial lakes.
  • Half day visit to the majestic Potala Palace with 13 floors, 1,000 rooms and 10,000 steps where one can enjoy the photo session wearing the Tibetan costumes on its top floor with the impressive view of the Lhasa city on its back drop.
  • Half day visit to Jokhang Temple (central Buddhist cathedral) in the middle of the Lhasa city at Barkhor Bazaar
  • Evening private exploration of the Barkhor Bazaar (downtown bazaar) with the hustles and bustles featuring the locals and people from around Tibet in their ethnic costumes,
  • Scenic countryside drive from Lhasa to Kharta with high chances of encountering the Tibetan nomads with their migratory tents and animal herds en route.


  • 1
    Day 01: KATHMANDU (1,300 M) - LHASA (3,650 M)

    Morning transfer to airport - Fly to Lhasa by a trans-Himalayan flight (1 hr) with a high chance of enjoying the panoramic view of the mighty Himalaya with a close up view Mt Everest (8,848 m) and other adjoining peaks. Upon arrival, welcome and assistance by our Tibetan guide at the Gongaar airport - Transfer to Lhasa (45 min) through the new tunnel with a visit to Drolma Lakhang and check in to your hotel. Full rest for acclimatisation.

  • 2
    Day 02: IN LHASA

    AM: Visit Potala Palace.
    It is one of the most famous architectural works of Tibet and stands on the top of the Red Hill in Lhasa. The term Potala comes from Sanskrit. In the 7th century, it was built for the meditational purpose. It was the Dalai Lama’s winter palace. Its white part used to be for the administrative purpose and the red part for the religious purpose.

    PM: Visit Jokhang Temple & Barkhor Bazaar
    Jokhang Temple is situated at the centre of the old part of Lhasa called Barkhor. It was built in the mid-7th century and was later extended by the successive rulers. It is a four storied temple with splendid golden roofs. It has a combination of architecture of Tang Dynasty & Nepalese Buddhist temples.

    Barkhor Bazaar:
    It is a bazaar complex just outside and around Jokhang Temple. It is the main Tibetan bazaar which has been able to sustain Tibetan culture & heritage until today. This bazaar is good for shopping and eating out and also mixing with the local Tibetan people.

  • 3
    Day 03: IN LHASA

    AM: Visit Drepung Monastery.
    It is situated five km away to the western suburb of Lhasa city at the foot of Mt Ganpoi Uze. It was founded in 1416 by Jamyang Choje, a disciple of Tsongkhapa, the founder of Gelugpa sect in Tibet. The monastery occupying 250,000 square meter with a one time 7,700 monks is the biggest one in Tibet. It maintains plentiful of historical relics, Buddhist scriptures, arts and crafts.

    PM: Visit Sera Monastery.
    Sera is one of the Gelugpa’s six great monasteries in Tibet. It was founded in 1419. The complex today, a veritable monastic city, occupies a site of nearly 12 hectre. Sera Monastery, like Ganden & Drepung Monasterie, was a vital center of religious activity that drew students from the far corners of Tibet. In its heyday, it boasted over 5,000 monks and novices. In fact, Sera is one of the best preserved monasteries in Tibet. The debating monks are the worth seeing sight organized every afternoon in the garden of Sera Monastery.

  • 4
    Day 04: LHASA - GYANTSE (3,950 m) : 261 KM

    AM: Scenic drive to Gyantse via Yamadroke Lake (holy turquoise lake) over crossing two high passes Karo La (5,010 m) & Kamba La (4,794 m). The drive offers a memorable moment of touching the pretty fish in the fresh turquoise water of the lake with the lovely snowcapped peaks on its back drop.

    PM: Visit Kumbum Stupa and Phalkor Monastery.
    The famous Kumbum Stupa, a combination of pagoda and stupa arts, stands with nine floors with its 108 doors and 77 chapels containing clay sculptures and various murals. The pagoda is said to have 100,000 images of the Buddha either sculptured or painted.

    Phalkor Monastery is the next door monument to the Kumbum Stupa. It was founded in 1418. Its role is unique on the Buddhism in Tibet as it represents all the three sects of Tibetan Buddhism: Gelugpa, Sakkyapa and Bhuton.

    Late afternoon, scenic drive to Shigatse (3,900 m)(90 km: 1½ hrs) through the beautiful mustard farmland – Overnight at hotel.

  • 5
    Day 05: XIGATSE – NEW TINGRI (XEGAR) (4150 m): 245 KM

    AM: Visit the Panchen Lama’s Tashilhumpu Monastery. It is the most beautiful monastery in Tibet, it is believed. It was founded in 1417. The most amazing in this monastery is the giant statue of the Maitreya (the future Buddha)(26 metre in height and 275 Kg pure gold with many more invaluable jewels) erected by the 9th Panchen Lama in 1914 and took 4 years for its completion. Fourth Panchen Lama’s funeral stupa was also built inside the monastery in 1662 which is one of the major attractions in the monastery.
    PM: After lunch, picturesque drive to New Tingri via Lhatse by over crossing the high pass Gyatso La (5,220 m) through the typical Tibetan landscape encountering the Tibetan nomads with herds of yaks and sheep. O/n in hotel.

  • 6
    Day 06: NEW TINGRI - KHARTA (3690M): 90 KM

    Today, we first drive 10 km towards Old Tingri where we take a left turn off the Friendship Highway. Then, we drive to the high pass of Pang La (5,150 m) from where we can enjoy the first panoramic view of the wide Himalayan range including Mt Everest (8,848 m), Mt Cho Oyu (8,201 m), Mt Makalu (8,464 m) and many other (weather permitting). Then, our downhill drive will take us to Phadruchi. This is where the road divides. The road to the right heads towards to the Ronbuk valley (the north face side of Mt Everest) and the left hand side road leads to the Kharta valley. Our further drive will continue along the Dzakaa Chu and meet the confluence of Dzakka Chu and Phung Chu (known as Arun River in Nepal). As we follow the Phung Chu River, we finally reach the Kharta valley. It takes 4-5 hours. This is where our guide will arrange necessary yaks and yak men for carrying our complete logistic support for the upcoming trekking to the Khangsung valley. Overnight at camp

  • 7
    Day 07: TREK KHARTA - DAMBU (4,295 m): 4-5 hrs

    Today, we begin our trekking mission. First, we follow a jeep trail, passing by Yulbaa, a settlement of stone houses with rich barley fields. As we walk further, the trail divides. The right hand side trail leads to the high pass Langma La (5,330 m), but we take the right hand side trail leading to lower high pass of Shao La (4,790 m). Before climbing the Shao La, we may camp near a stream at 3,995 m, but our little further walk takes us to the greenery. That is Dambu where we camp.

  • 8
    Day 08: TREK DAMBU - SHAO TSO (4,650 m): 3-4 hrs

    Today, our walk is short as we are supposed to walk for 3-4 hours only following the sparkling stream and up on a mostly rocky trail. Then, a beautiful lake called Shao Tso appears before us at a height of 4,650 m where we can find the best location for camping nearby before we climb the Shao La (pass). It is all to enable us to have a good rest for acclimatization. Tonight, you are likely to feel the altitude sickness. Some drug for acclimatization is advisable, if your headache is unbearable. From our camp site by the lakeside, we can enjoy the amazing view of Mt Makalu to the south and Mt Chomo Lonzo (7,790 m), the north peak of Makalu, to the west (weather permitting). If you are feeling fine you can further explore some beautiful lakes around. Overnight at camp Shao Tso.

  • 9
    Day 09: TREK SHAO TSO - SHAO LA (4,900 m) - JOKSOM (3,980 m):

    Today, we are supposed to start early as we are going to cross the high pass of Shao La. While we reach the ending part of the lake, a look back is worth. We can see some other turquoise lakes and are forced to stop a while for photography. We reach the top of the pass. As usual, we find it always decorated with prayer flags and khadas. Right from the top, an awe inspiring view appears before us with Mt Everest (8,848 m), Mt Makalu (8,475 m) and Mt Lhotse (8501 m). The moment our descent ends, the trail passes by a small lake and green lush pasture land. Our further descent could be a bit confusing. However, passing through the dwarf rhododendron bushes, sparkling rivulets with juniper forest side by side and green carpeted meadows, Joksom (today’s campsite) turns up just near the Kama Tsangpo (originating from the Khangsung Glacier) which later joins the Arun River flowing down to Nepal side. Overnight at camp at Joksom

  • 10
    Day 10: TREK JOKSOM – THANGSUM (4,480 m): 3-4 hrs

    Our steep walk starts as we leave Joksom. We traverse through the forested area full of juniper, birch and dwarf rhododendron with beautiful vegetation of the Himalaya by taking a left turn towards the upward direction of Kama Chu (Tsangpo) on our way to Pethang. Our uphill walk through the alpine vegetation starts giving us a view of the Kama Chu and the Arun River flowing down to Nepal side. The view of the glacier coming down from the Makalu peak is so picturesque. An awesome view of Mt Everest and Mt Lhotse appears to your right. Traversing and climbing further we reach a doksa (seasonal herding settlement). After following a trail passing by a couple of beautiful lakes, we reach Thangsum completing a comparatively shorter walk. Overnight in the camp

  • 11
    Day 11: TREK THANGSUM - PETHANG (4,240 M): 3 HRS

    Today, we continue our short walk through the green meadow. The panoramic view of glaciers and high peaks around is truly awe-inspiring. We start sighting the view of Pethang, our next camping site at a distance. However, we have to walk downhill and uphill through the dwarf rhododendron forest and juniper shrub along the river. The Kangshung Valley glacier opens up on our right and reach the Tsechu Tsho, a holy lake where there is a Guru Rimpoche cave temple. Those interested can have a couple of hours walk and explore it. Overnight at Camp at Pethang.

  • 12

    Today, we follow a small trail climbing along the beautiful rim of the the Kangshung Valley glacier. Careful walk is advised so that nothing fall off the rim downhill. Our uphill walk is rewarding with the opening of the Kangsung Valley with mighty view of the Mt Lhotse & Mt Everest popping up quite hand in hand. Another awe inspiring moment is the close up view of the Mt Chomo Lonzo (7,790 m). To reach Pethang Ringmo, we are supposed to take uphill walk until we reach the open lush grassy meadow. It is Pethang Rigmo where we have our camping for tonight.

  • 13
    Day 13: IN PETHANG RINGMO (4,960M )

    Today is a rest day for acclimatization as our next camping is higher than that of Pethang Ringmo. In course of our rest, we can softly hike around exploring as per individual interest. Overnight in the camp with rest.

  • 14

    Today, our most adventurous trek starts. We continue our walk maintaining the rim of the Kahngsung Glacier via Hoppo. A couple of hours hard walk along the grassy rim will take us to the Khangsung BC. It is the base camp for the mountaineers to climb Mt Everest via its east face (Khangsung Face). The walk is so serene. It is like no-man’s land. We do not even encounter the herders here. The view of the Mt Makalu and Mt Lhotse and Mt Everest playing a hide and seek game with the flying thin cloud around. The view is so close to you that you are overwhelmed with excitement. It is your glorious day! Hardy landscape of this area with glaciers nearby and the green valley on the other offers a wondering moment on the incredible formation of the high Himalaya in this area. Camp at the base camp of Mt Everest’s east face.

  • 15

    Today, after the adventurous exploration of the Khansung Valley with its massive glacier, we start our return journey following the trail that leads to a valley via Pathang Ringmo and then the trail bends leftward to the northward direction to the Langma La pass. Being accompanied by the majestic view of the mighty Himalayan range all around yourself, we keep walking through yak pastures and soon we reach Shurimo (4,810 m) and pitch our camp as it works as the base camp for our next climb to Langma La.

  • 16
    Day 16: TREK LANGMA LA BC – LANGMA LA (5,390 m) - LUNDRUBLING (3,990M)

    Today, start our trek earlier possible so as to enable us easy ascent of about 2-3 hours over Langma La. To make our journey a memorable one, a combined view of Mt Everest, Mt Lhotse and Mt Makalu en route keeps on attracting us with a magical spull on each member of the group. Our downhill walk enters the Kharta valley taking you back to the world with beautifully landscaped villages where you will again start encountering yak herders from Kharta. At this moment, you are mesmerized by a romantic view of Mt Kanchenjunga massif popping up to your right from the ridges beyond Kharta on the Nepal – Sikkim border side. Our walk today ends at Lundrubling where you will set your overnight camp.

  • 17

    After breakfast, we continue our trek along the trail to Kharta from Lundrubling for about 3 hrs. We camp here for a full day rest after a hectic trek. Kharta is a typically Tibetan village worth exploration. Take your time to explore around. Enjoy the rest day. Overnight at camp.

  • 18
    Day 18: KHARTA – KERUNG (3,200 m): 350 KM

    After a nice breakfast and a nice good bye to the camping crew and yak men (they return with a separate support vehicle), we drive back to Shegar and continue our scenic drive to Kerung via Old Tingri (old Tibetan village). We can stop here for our lunch or tea break. Then, continue our journey to the Lalung La (5,050 m), although it is slight off the track to Kerung. Right from here we can enjoy a life time view of the Mt Cho Oyu (8,201 m) and Mt Shishapagma (8,012 m) to the south being dwarfed by the height of the pass itself. Then, we drive back and continue our journey to Kerung. Overnight at hotel/guest house in Kerung.

  • 19
    Day 19: KERUNG – KATHMANDU (1,300 m): 153 KM

    After breakfast and needful border formalities both at the Tibetan and Nepali sides, we meet our Nepali representative & vehicle, and continue our downhill journey to Kathmandu through the green lush Nepali scenic landscape. We may drive either via Tokha route or Galchi route to Kathmandu. It is about 7-8 hours drive. Transfer to your hotel.

Cost Includes

  • Twin sharing accommodation in the 3 star hotels in Lhasa ands and Tsedang on Bed and Breakfast basis,
  • English speaking Tibetan Guide throughout the tour,
  • Transportation as per itinerary and group size by a good A/C Van/Bus in Tibet and a good A/C jeep or non-A/C bus in Nepal,
  • Monastery entrance fees,
  • Tibet visa fee
  • Tibet Travel permit,
  • Yak and Yak man (1 yak for 2 men’s luggage)
  • Oxygen bottles (1 each)
  • Necessary airport/hotel/airport transfers
  • For the trek from Ganden to Samye, the trip will be on fully organized FULLBOARD basis and includes the following services and materials:
  • Good 2-men tents as per requirement for clients,
  • Kitchen tent and needful camping and kitchen equipments
  • All food
  • Camping crew like cook and assistants
  • Yaks for carrying all camping equipments and food load
  • Drop all camping materials at Ganden by a separate needful truck/mini-truck and pick up accordingly at Samye.

Cost Excludes:

  • AIRFARE KTM/LXA (US$ 427)(subject to change)
  • TIBET VISA FEE (US$ 69 for the nationals other than the US citizens & for the US citizens, it is US$ 145)

Useful info

There are better hotels in Lhasa like 5 star deluxe (St Regis Lhasa Resort or Hotel Shangri-la), 4 star deluxe (4 Point by Sheraton), 5 star Hotel Xing Ding or Brahmaputra)(normal). However, there are no better hotels other the 3 star hotels outside Lhasa, except in Tsedang, where there is a good 4 star hotel called