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Kalapatthar is one of the major highlights of Everest Base Camp Trek, which provides an up-close view of Mt Everest. The term Kalapatthar translates into “black rock.” It sits at 5643 meters and is a famous landmark of the Everest region. 

It is unclear who named it Kalapatthar, as the landmark did not have a name until the 1950s. Tilman’s 1953 book did not mention this landmark. However, Harka Gurung’s 1980 book Vignettes of Nepal mentioned the viewpoint of Kalapatthar. You can also write it as Kala Patthar or Kalapathar.

Kalapatthar
Kalapatthar 5634 Meters in Elevation: Best Viewpoint of Mount Everest 5

The Kalapatthar viewpoint offers a mesmerizing 360-degree view of the mountain vistas, gorgeous sunrises, and sunsets. Kalapatthar is not a mountain but is the highest point of the Everest trek. Along with the view of Mount Everest, you can also see Mt Nuptse, Ama Dablam, Lhotse, Changtse, Pumori, and many more

Similarly, the views of the Khumbu Glacier and the landscape are equally breathtaking. This post will provide you with all the information about the stunning Kalapatthar. So make sure you stay with us until the end. Let’s dive more into the topic!

Facts about Kalapatthar

Take a look at these quick facts about Kalapatthar:

Elevation5643 meters/ 18514 feet
RegionEverest Region or Khumbu Region of Nepal
Latitude27.995833
Longitude86.828417
DifficultyModerate to challenging 
Trek Duration12 to 14 Days
Nearest AirportLukla
Best Time Spring (Mar, Apr, May) & Autumn (Sep, Oct, Nov)
Hike From Gorakshep
Hike Distance1.9 km (1.2 miles) 
Hike Duration1.5 to 2 hours

Geographic Features of Kalapatthar

Kalapatthar is 5634 meters in elevation. It is 1.9 km (1.2 miles) from Gorakshep and takes around two hours to reach. It sits at Mount Pulmori’s southern ridge of the Mahalnangur Himalayan Range. The viewpoint is close to Everest Base Camp and offers fantastic panoramic mountain views and surroundings.  

Similarly, Kalapatthar is 9.3 km from the base camp. Its exact GPS coordinates are 27° 59′ 45″ N and 86° 49′ 42.3″ E. Most trekkers prefer to ascend to the landmark from Gorakshep village early in the morning to view the sunrise and the surrounding mountains. 

The Kala Patthar trek from Gorakshep requires ascending on steep rocky terrain. The trekking trail begins with a walk on an ancient lake bed with a small lake and a helipad. You must also pass by a part of Khumbu Glacier’s lateral moraines. So, be ready to walk on rugged and debris trails. It is a physcially strenuous climb that pushes your physical strength, and descending is not easy either. 

From the summit of Kala Patthar, you get a view of Everest, but Mount Nuptse blocks the summit of Everest. You can get the best view of Mount Everest from Everest Base Camp. However, you can get a stunning panoramic view of the Mahalangur mountain ranges. The most classic EBC Trek also includes trekking to Kalapatthar’s viewpoint.

Best time to go to Kalapatthar

Nepal experiences spring, summer, autumn, and winter seasons annually. It also has a rainy and pre-winter season. Trekking to Kalapatthar is doable in all seasons with proper preparation, but the best time to visit is during spring and autumn.

Kalapatthar
Kalapatthar 5634 Meters in Elevation: Best Viewpoint of Mount Everest 6

The summer and rainy seasons coincide with the monsoon. Heavy rainfall all across Nepal makes traveling challenging. Likewise, the harsh weather conditions in the pre-winter and winter seasons make trekking to high altitudes like Kalapatthar difficult. 

Take a look at a brief of the two best times to go to Kalapatthar: 

Spring (Mar, Apr, May)

The spring season has ideal weather and climatic conditions for trekking to Kalapatthar. The weather is mild and pleasant. Similarly, the clear sky offers a clear mountain view without any obstruction. Since there is a low precipitation level, there is no need to worry about heavy rainfall during the trek.  

Another great thing about trekking to Kalapatthar in spring is the scenic trails. Rhododendron trees adorn the lower region route, which is in full bloom now. Similarly, the flora and fauna are the most active in spring. The daytime temperature is around 10 to -5 degrees Celsius. It gets colder at nighttime as temperatures range between -10 to -20 degrees Celsius. 

Autumn (Sep, Oct, Nov)

The crisp autumn air and stable, mild weather make it another excellent time for the Kalapatthar trek. The rainy season ends in September, which is precisely when autumn begins. Thus, the rain from the previous month cleanses the vegetation and atmosphere, resulting in excellent views and scenery

There is also a low chance of rainfall at this time of year, so you do not have to worry about rain or view obstruction. The daytime temperature ranges from 10 to -5 degrees Celsius. There is a significant drop in the nighttime temperature, ranging between -10 and -20 degrees Celsius.

How to Get to Kalapatthar

There are several ways to get to Kalapatthar from Kathmandu. You can fly to Lukla or take a helicopter tour of Kalapatthar. Another way is to take a jeep drive from Kathmandu to Jiri and begin your trek to Kala Pathhar. 

Fly from Kathmandu to Lukla

Most trekkers fly to Lukla from Kathmandu and then trek to Kalapatthar. The scenic flight takes 30 to 40 minutes. Likewise, domestic flights offer a weight limit of 15 kg for luggage and 10 kg for hand luggage. The flight tickets range between USD 120 and USD 300, depending on the season and demand. 

You can get the first glimpse of the stunning mountains and landscapes from the flight. Then, you will land at the Tenzing-Hillary Airport, Lukla, at 2845 meters. From here onwards, you will start your trek to Kalapatthar. You will traverse popular stops like Phakding, Namche Bazaar, Tengboche, Dingboche, Gorakshep, and more. 

Take a Helicopter Tour

You can also reach Kalapatthar by helicopter. You can take a helicopter ride from Kathmandu to Lukla, skip the domestic flight, and then fly to Kalapatthar. These tours are perfect for travelers who have little time or are physically unable to trek to the landmark.  

There is an option for sharing a helicopter ride for an individual or small group of travelers. You can also take a private heli tour with many friends and family. Regular tours can range from USD 1500 to USD 2500 per person. However, private tours and additional service customization can start at USD 5000 and go up to USD 10000.

Drive from Kathmandu to Jiri

If you want to skip taking a flight and take a more adventurous route to Kalapatthar, you can opt for roadway travel. You can take a jeep from Kathmandu through the Araniko Highway to Jiri. Trekkers, mountaineers, and expeditions previously used this route to access the Khumbu region. It is a popular alternative to accessing the Everest Trek, the Everest Three Passes Trek, the Gokyo Ri Trek, and others.

However, it takes 8 to 9 hours to reach Jiri from Kathmandu. The road is also not paved all the way, and you have to be ready for off-road and bumpy rides. But it is a scenic ride past charming countryside, hills, and valleys. It is cheaper than a flight to Lukla, but getting to Kalapatthar takes longer. This method of getting to Kalapatthar is for those with enough time and who want to travel like locals.

Major Attractions of Kalapatthar

Mesmerizing Mountain Vistas

The main attraction of Kalapatthar is the 360-degree panoramic mountain views. Close by, you can get an astonishing view of the Mahalangur Himalayan range. You can see Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, Changtse, Ama Dablam, Pumori, Lingtren, and others. Witnessing the gigantic snow-peaked Everest and the surrounding mountains is a surreal experience. The sunrise and sunset views amidst the mountain range are simply breathtaking. 

Stunning landscapes

In addition to the mesmerizing mountain vistas and Everest views, the stunning landscapes are another Kalapatthar attraction. En route to the viewpoint from Gorakshep, you will traverse the ancient lake bed, the beautiful Khumbu Icefall, Glacier Marine, Glacier Lake, and the picturesque Khumbu Glacier. Similarly, the trail leading to Kalapatthar is famous for its scenic routes. You will travel through dense woodlands, alpine high pastures, rivers, suspension bridges, ancient monasteries, charming settlements, glaciers, and moraines. 

Diverse Himalayan Flora And Fauna

The Khumbu region is home to diverse flora and fauna. The trails of Kalapatthar go right through the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Sagarmatha National Park. So, trekkers get to trek in a tranquil environment while savoring the raw and authentic nature. You will trek from subtropical verdant to alpine meadows. So, you will witness the diverse flora, such as rhododendrons, oaks, firs, conifers, orchids, wildflowers, etc, along the trekking route. Likewise, you can get an opportunity to witness wildlife like red pandas, Himalayan tahrs, musk deer, etc. 

Rich Cultural Experience

The trek to Kalapatthar is also a cultural experience. During the trek, you will pass and stop by several Sherpa settlements, the most famous of which is the Namche Bazaar. Locals run the accommodations and shops along the route. Hence, you will witness the rich Sherpa culture, traditions, and warm hospitality. As you move to the higher elevations, you will pass by several Tibetan settlements where you can see the enormous influence of Tibetan Buddhism. Therefore, the rich and unique cultural experience is also a highlight of Kalapatthar.

Trekking Experience to Kalapatthar

The trekking experience in Kalapatthar is an extraordinary and enriching adventure. It is physically challenging but also worth the effort. You will trek through picturesque villages, deep gorges, and valleys into the laps of the Himalayas. Similarly, you will visit ancient monasteries like the Tengboche Monastery, Khumjung, Nangkartshang, and more. It offers a unique spiritual experience. 

Additionally, the Kalapatthar trek offers views of some of the highest mountain peaks in the world. The stunning sunrise and sunset are also breathtakingly beautiful. The steep ascends and descends, rugged terrains and long hours of daily hikes will physically challenge you. But it is precisely what attracts thousands of adventurers and adrenaline seekers to Kalapatthar every year. It is one of the most adventurous and fulfilling trek journeys.

Accommodation and Facilities

Along the trails to Kalapatthar, you will mostly find teahouses, lodges, and guesthouses. The locals operate these accommodations and usually provide basic fasciitis. Since the route also lies in remote and rural areas, there is little infrastructure. 

Most accommodations have twin-sharing rooms with communal bathrooms and dining spaces. The rooms are usually small and have little furniture. These accommodations provide beds, blankets, pillows, and bedsheets. Additional services such as WiFi/internet, charging electronic devices, hot water and shower, heating facilities, etc., cost extra. 

At Namche Bazaar, you can find luxurious accommodations. It is the Khumbu region’s trading hub, so there are various accommodations and facilities here. These accommodations also provide various food options, mainly Nepalese, Indian, and Western cuisines.

Weather and Climate

The season hugely influences the weather and climate of Nepal, including the Khumbu region. As mentioned above, the best time to visit Kalapatthar is in the spring and autumn seasons, with the best weather conditions and pleasant temperatures.

view from kalapatthar of mount everest
Kalapatthar 5634 Meters in Elevation: Best Viewpoint of Mount Everest 7

However, despite the season, the weather at higher altitudes is unpredictable and prone to change rapidly. While autumn and spring are popular seasons for trekking to Kalapatthar, summer and winter also have their charms. 

During the summertime, the lower region primarily receives heavy rainfall, which makes the trails wet and slippery. However, the higher altitudes receive little rain and are mostly dry. The temperature can reach 22 degrees Celsius and fall to -5 degrees Celsius at night. 

Meanwhile, there can be heavy snowfall and blizzards in higher altitudes in winter. The temperature can drop to -17 degrees Celsius during February, the coldest time of the year. The harsh weather makes winter the most challenging time to trek to Kalapatthar. It requires thorough preparation and is only suitable for experienced and adventurous trekkers.

Safety Tips and Considerations

Here are a few safety tips and considerations to make your trek to Kalapatthar more comfortable and enjoyable: 

  • Prepare yourself physically for the trek by undertaking exercises and training a few months prior.
  • Research about the trek and its difficulty in mentally preparing for the trek. 
  • Prepare proper clothing, equipment, and rain gear to tackle unpredictable weather changes. 
  • Ascend to higher elevations gradually to avoid altitude sickness or acute mountain sickness.
  • Take proper acclimatization and rest days to allow your body to adjust to the growing altitudes.
  • Stay well-hydrated. Drink plenty of water and avoid excessive intake of alcoholic, caffeine, and chocolate beverages. 
  • In case of discomfort or symptoms of altitude sickness, immediately convey it to your guide. 
  • Respect the local culture and traditions. Follow eco-tourism and do not litter during the trek. 

Cultural and Environmental Conservations

While trekking, being mindful of the local culture and environment is crucial. The Everest region is rich in cultural heritage and biodiversity. Nepalese society is still conservative and protective of its heritage. With the recent surge of tourism in the region, locals and the government have set up several programs and conservation efforts to protect nature and heritage. They are promoting sustainable tourism and the “Leave No Trace” principles

Travel agencies, their guides, and porters are essential to conservation efforts. They guide the trekkers to follow eco-tourism to minimize the impact of trekking on the natural environment. There have been efforts to implement effective waste management to avoid littering the region’s pure nature. Preserving the culture and nature of the route is everyone’s responsibility. So, ensure you follow and promote sustainable tourism so that the region’s beauty remains pure for generations.

Conclusion

If you are a trekking enthusiast, naturalist, or adventurer, Kalapatthar is the perfect destination. You can take the Everest Base Camp Trek, which has an excursion to Kalapatthar. The trek may be challenging, but the sense of achievement and fulfillment will quench your thirst for adventure. 

Similarly, you will witness some of the highest mountains on earth, captivating landscapes, and diverse biodiversity. The trek will provide an enriching experience that will remain with you for the rest of your life!

Tej Bahadur Gurung

With an experience of almost two decades, founder Mr. Tej Bahadur Gurung has established Nepal Alternative Treks as a widely recognized and reliable tourism operator. His degree in Tourism Studies and devotion to the sector has given him in-depth knowledge about trekking, climbing, cultural, and geological aspects of the country. He is a pioneer in introducing the concept of ‘off-beaten tracks’ and ‘alternative routes’ as well as treks and tour packages surrounding it.

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