We recently spotted this incredible image taken by Dan Patitucci on the web. Dan and Kim returned to Solukhumbhu in Nepal in 2023 after a previous experience in 2018. If you’ve ever wondered about what running at very high altitudes is like, or the Everest Three Passes region in particular. A synopsis to get you interested:
The article recounts the author’s ambitious trail running adventure in Nepal’s Three Passes, a 60km trail connecting Namche Bazar with Chukhung at the base of Lhotse South Face. The trail, an alternative to the crowded Everest Base Camp Trek, involves crossing three passes above 5000 meters, presenting unique challenges like high altitude fatigue and unpredictable Himalayan weather.
The runners, familiar with the route from a previous attempt, undertook a rigorous training and nutrition program to prepare for the challenging endeavor. Despite setbacks, including illness and unexpected snowfall, they persevered. The detailed account captures the physical and mental challenges of running at high altitudes and navigating treacherous terrains.
The story unfolds with vivid descriptions of the vast landscape, from the snow-covered passes to the mesmerizing descent under the moonlight. The runners encounter unexpected solitude, silence, and darkness, creating a memorable experience beyond the physical feat. The article highlights the resilience of the runners, particularly one overcoming breast cancer and the other acknowledging the passage of time.
As they approach the end of their journey in Namche, faced with fatigue and the prospect of lodges closing for the night, a chance encounter in Lungdhen brings unexpected warmth and hospitality. The article provides a captivating blend of adventure, personal challenges, and the camaraderie found in the Himalayan wilderness. The runners’ determination to reach their finish line in Namche encapsulates the spirit of the trail running experience in Nepal’s Three Passes.
Part one of their 2023 Nepal trail running adventure can be read here, and part two explains how you can trail run the Everest Three Passes by yourself.