Compared to Everest Base Camp and Gokyo, Chhukung is a relatively less frequented area but the scenery certainly is no less impressive. It is surrounded by big glaciers and mighty peaks including Lhotse, Nuptse and Ama Dablam.
Trekkers usually visit Chhukung as part of the "Three Passes" trek or as a day trip from Dingboche / Pheriche for acclimatization. However, it's well worth a destination on its own.
Most trekkers take a flight from Kathmandu to Lukla and then walk to Chhukung in around 8 days (including acclimatization days). One possible itinerary is as follows:
Lukla - Phakding - Namche (2 nights) - Tengboche - Pangboche - Pheriche/Dingboche (2 nights) - Chhukung
You can also visit Everest Base Camp first and then cross the Kongma La (5535m) from Lobuche to Chhukung in 8-10 hours. There's no food available and water is scarce (lakes, waterfalls and streams are totally frozen even in late spring) so you have to be self sufficient.
Chhukung can also be reached by crossing the technical Amphu Lapcha La
from the Makalu-Barun National Park.
A TIMS card (T
ystem) is needed for trekking in the Sagarmatha National Park. You can obtain it easily in Kathmandu or at the park entrance in Monjo. The entrance fee to the Park is 1,000 Nepali Rupees.
Check the respective mountain pages for climbing permit requirements.
Peaks & ExcursionsChhukung Ri
A popular and straight forward trekking peak just north of the village.
Another trekking peak north of Chhukung Ri is Chhukung Tse (5833m, marked on most maps as just "Chhukung"). The route is briefly described in "Trekking in the Everest Region" (see the "Books & Maps" sections).
One of the most popular "trekking" peaks in Nepal (more info here
). Trekkers can visit the base camp (6-7 hour roundtrip)
Also known as Kongma Tse. Not to be confused with Mera Peak
More info here
For those who are less adventurous can simply climb the ridge just south of the village for some superb mountain vistas.
If you have camping equipment, the area around the Kongma La is worth exploring for a couple of days.
Books & MapsBooks
Lonely Planet's Trekking in the Nepal Himalaya
has some info on Chhukung and route description of crossing of the Kongma La (the "Three Passes" trek).
Trekking in the Everest Region
by Jamie Mcguiness. In addition to the major trekking routes there's lots of info on lesser known peaks and passes.
They are readily available in Kathmandu, though most Everest maps don't include the area east of Lhotse.
There are at least half dozen of lodges in Chhukung. Food is relatively expensive, even by Khumbu standard. Some sample prices (as of May 2012):
Room Rs 100-200 per person/day (assuming you also dine at your lodge...otherwise it's Rs 1000!)
Dal Bhat Rs 500-600
Spaghetti Rs 400
Egg x2 (boiled/fried/scrambled): Rs 200-300
Chapatti/Tibetan Bread: Rs 200-300
Tea: Rs 60-100 per cup
Battery charging: Rs 350 per hour
Hot shower: Rs 300-400 per bucket
As of May 2012, there's no internet access in Chhukung. The closest internet cafe is in Dingboche.
Many lodges in Chhukung have mountaineering equipment for rent.
None. The closest is the Himalayan Rescue Association
clinic in Pheriche where western doctors are available during spring and fall trekking seasons. It's USD $50 per consultation for foreigners and Rs 50 for local people. Medication is extra.