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The Trip-Finder, January 1999
Trekking to Everest’s Kangshung Face

Outfitter Price Accommodations
Geographic Expeditions
800-777-8183, www.geo
$5,490 camping, tourist hotels
Snow Lion Expeditions
800-525-8735, www.snow
$4,500 camping, tourist hotels
Himalayan Treasures & Travel
800-223-1813, www.him
$4,500 camping, tourist hotels

The Route: A 23- to 30-day excursion to Everest’s rarely visited east side. From Lhasa, you’ll make the four-day drive to Kharta and then walk through three dwarf-rhododendron-carpeted valleys before crossing 17,000-foot Langma La and driving to Kathmandu.

When to go: May to June, September to October

Difficulty: Difficult

Travel advisory: The road from Zhangmu to Kathmandu is even more mudslide-prone than most Himalayan byways. If you travel in September, after the monsoon season, you’ll likely abandon your jeep at times to walk along washed-out sections.

High/low points:

  • Getting an up-close vista of Everest that’s fare more dramatic than the traditional peak-blocked north and south vantage points.
  • Enduring a vicious altitude headache as you acclimatize en route to the trailhead — a dusty, four-day drive that rarely drops below 13,000 feet.