For four weeks commencing 5th December, 2017, my hiking partner and I trekked the '3 High Passes' (3HPs) route, in Nepal's Sagarmatha National Park, beginning from the traditional trail-head of Jiri. Whilst the page title implies a return to Jiri, we actually exited at Shivalaya, 3-hours east of Jiri - Jiri is a toilet we didn't want to see a second time.

This page is a dump of some of the things we learnt on our travels, and is a follow-up to my Nepal Trip Planning page. View the photos here.

Quick Tips

Bus To Jiri (Ratna Park, Kathmandu)

In December, 2017, the bus to Jiri departed from Ratna Park, Kathmandu's 'old' bus park. The entrance to the bus park is on the eastern side of the park. Bus tickets are purchased from the small sheds on the northern side of the park. Each shed specialises in a set of destinations, and the Jiri buses can be booked from the western-most shed (see photo). We purchased our tickets the evening before, and returned to the same shed the following morning to be directed to our bus. The lockable luggage compartment in the rear of the bus appears to be reserved for tourist luggage. This compartment is not well isolated from road dirt - put your pack in a sack, or be prepared for an absolutely filthy pack at your destination.

Jiri Bus, Ratna Park, Kathmandu

Gear List Evaluation

Selected gear list items, plus some notes.

Item Comment
Backpack - Osprey Exos 51L Link. Perfect. If travelling on the buses, use a lightweight sack to wrap your pack.
Bottom - Verso XT Trousers, Grey Link. These were heavier-duty than I'd normally use and were perfect for high Nepal.
First Aid Kits (group 'serious' kit + personal 'consumables' kit) Having split kits was a great idea. I went through a truckload of throat lozenges. One item missing from our 'serious' kit was any kind of sponge-type item for cleaning up messy blood injuries (a head wound, in our case) - a few sanitary towels would've been good to carry for this purpose.
Footwear - Down Slippers Nice, but of limited value. In stark contrast to most lodge bed- and common-rooms, toilet/bathroom facilities were generally pretty foul - I usually had to put my boots back on to go to the bathroom. Some waterproof/washable apres footwear would have been better.
Gloves The heavy gloves I brought were not up to the job - not breathable, and cold once sweat-soaked. Invest in some decent ski gloves.
Hat - Snood/Buff A useful piece of kit, but my merino one was too porous for adequate dust filtration. Most people used a polyester one.
Hat - Ultra-Adventure Link. Unfaultable.
Jacket - Goosedown, Marmot Link. This mid-weight, 700-fill-power down jacket was totally up to the job.
Jacket - RAB Sleeveless Link. A great complement to the Marmot.
Jacket - Raincoat Not used once.
Jacket - Waterproof Over-Trousers Only used once (when my hiking trousers were in the laundry).
Laundry Kit Laundry powder was not required. Washing line was used a good deal.
Padlock Lodge-supplied versions were invariably pretty rubbish.
Sleeping Bag - Xt Anakiwa Link = rated -3°C / -9°C / -28°C - was totally satisfactory.
Sleeping Mat - Foam Not required. Almost all lodge mattresses were poor, but almost all lodges supplied a thick duvet which fixed the issue.
Snow / Ice Gear - Snow Zzang Instep Spikes Mandatory for Cho La.
Solar USB Charger Our 21W one kept us self-sufficient despite the short, December days. Usually used to charge a pair of 6000mAh USB battery packs, rather than direct-to-device.
Towel The tiny towel I brought was just miserable in the cold. Bring something big enough to at least go around your waist.
'Keep Warm' Pouch A soft case that could fit everything that had a battery. Kept in the foot of my sleeping bag overnight.
Walking Poles Invaluable.
Water - Aquamira Simple, chemical-based water treatment. Most people seemed to regret bringing filter-based products (which can freeze - and thus break - overnight), or ones that require batteries (which don't like the cold either). Don't forget to use treated water to brush your teeth!