Nangkartshang Peak

Nangkartshang Peak

Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 27.90400°N / 86.83370°E
Activities Activities: Hiking, Mountaineering, Trad Climbing, Bouldering, Scrambling
Seasons Season: Spring, Fall, Winter
Additional Information Elevation: 16676 ft / 5083 m
Sign the Climber's Log


Nangkartshang Peak is a spectacular viewpoint in the Khumbu. The only guidebooks I know of mentioning the peak as well as some trekking groups refer to this peak as Nangkartshang Peak, while some maps label it as Nangkart Tshang. Locals seem to call it Nangar-JOONG. Whatever the name of the peak is, it is a very worthwhile destination and a great place to soak in the views of the numerous fang-like peaks in the Khumbu region.

The peak is above Dingboche in the Khumbu and like almost all the other “walkable” peaks in the region, this one is more a sub-peak of a higher ridge than it is an independent mountain. The views are among the best of any walkable peak in the region as well. Kangtega, Ama Dablam, Nuptse, Lhotse, Makalu, Cho Oyu, Taboche, etc. are all visible in their full glory from the summit.

Since most people spend a few rest days acclimatizing in Dingboche before going to higher places such as Kala Pattar, Everest Basecamp, or Island Peak, climbing Nangkartshang is one way to kill one of the “rest” days and one of the most worthwhile as well.

Nangkartshang Peak has some minor scrambling, but for the most part is a walk up and other than the altitude, an easy ascent. It is much easier than some of the other walk up peaks in the area such as Hamugon. It’s a great half day excursion. The peak is climbed frequently, but not nearly as frequently as other similar peaks in the region such as Gokyo Ri and Kala Pattar.

Just beyond what is known as Nangkartshang Peak, the ridge immediately turns into a razor sharp knife edge. To continue one to higher peaks on the ridge without some serious technical climbing, you must descend Nangkartshang and skirt the cliffs to the north. You may reach the next peak without technical gear, but anything beyond that would be a mini expedition. The rock does seen fairly solid though and experienced climbers may be interested in pushing a difficult route between Nangkartshang and Pokalde (peak).

CairnA cairn on the southwest ridge of Nangkartshang Peak.

Getting There

The climb of Nangkartshang Peak begins at Dingboche. Dingboche can be reached on foot from several directions. The two most popular routes to Dingboche are from the trail from Lukla Airport or the walking route from Jiri and Bhandar.

As of December 2012, only Sita Air and Yeti Air (which are basically the same company) fly to Lukla. Tengboche is three days on foot from Lukla, but most people spend one, two, or more days acclimatizing in Namche Bazaar, which is a very wise move.

Be aware that flights to Lukla can only fly in good weather and that sometimes planes are grounded for days.

The walking route from Bhandar to Namche Bazaar (two days plus acclimatization time below Tengboche) takes 8-9 days plus a long day’s bus ride from Kathmandu. Twelve buses a day leave from Kathmandu and from Jiri usually transport can be found to Bhandar.

Because of the high elevation of Dingboche and Nangkartshang Peak, it is recommended that no less than six days be spent acclimatizing before climbing Nangartshang on the seventh day. There is plenty to do while acclimatizing, such as hiking to Thame Gompa from Namche Bazaar, visiting the villages and peaks north of Namche Bazaar, climbing Hamugon from Tengboche, Ama Dablam Lakes, Ama Dablam Basecamp, etc.

CholatseThe spectacular Cholatse Peak as seen from the summit of Nangkartshang Peak.

Routes Overview

Southwest Ridge Route

The Southwest Ridge Route is the only commonly used route used to climb the peak. It is a straightforward hike and scramble, never exceeding class 2 in difficulty. As mentioned, there are many rock climbing possibilities on the ridge beyond Nangkartshang Peak.

Elevation gain above Dingboche is about 700 meters/2300 feet and the climb can be done in half a day from Dingboche. Pheriche is an alternate route.

Near the summitNear the summit of Nangkartshang Peak from the Southwest Ridge.

Red Tape

A Sagarmatha National Park permit is required - 1000RS (US $11.50)

Bring a Passport and Passport size Photograph.

A Trekkers’ management system (TIMS) is also required and cost $ 20.

Most guesthouses and hotels in Kathmandu frequented by Westerners can help you obtain a permit, especially in Thamel.

KangtegaThe magnificent Kangtega as seen from Nangkartshang Peak. Make sure to get your permit in order to climb and trek in the beautiful region.

Camping and Where to Stay

You could camp along the trails, though I don’t know why anyone would want to since it wouldn't save much money and would isolate you from the friendly locals. Every village has several lodges for only a few dollars a night. Most (every one we saw) are clean and pleasant. All lodges serve food and snacks; so don’t bother with carrying any food along the trails.

Typical LodgeThis is a typical lodge in Dingboche along the approach trek.

When To Climb

Mid September through mid May is the best time to trek and climb this peak. The monsoon is from June through mid-September, and this is not an ideal time to go because the trails are very wet and the lower forest are full of leaches, plus it rains every day and clouds usually obscure mountain views.

October, November, March, and April are the most popular months, and the trail and lodges can be very crowded. In my opinion, December is the very best month. The weather is cooler than the most popular months, but it is less crowded and prices in Kathmandu are a bit lower. December is also a very dry month.

On our first trip we had 47 days in the region during late November and mid-January with only one bad weather day. On the second trip we had two days of snow in a four week period early December to early January.

The winter season (late December through February) is also a good time to go with few crowds and usually good, but cold weather, but you can expect to have some snow and ice on the trails. Remember that there are villages along all the trails, so if you had to sit out some bad weather, it’s not that bad.

Nangkartshang PeakNangkartshang Peak from the south as seen on a beautiful December day.

Mountain Conditions

CLICK HERE for the weather forecast for Namche Bazaar, which is southwest of Nangkartshang Peak and at 3440 meters/11,290 feet elevation.

Averages for Tengboche at 3860 meters/12,669 feet elevation are below:

Month High (° F ) High (° C) Low (° F ) Low (° C) in. Rain mm Rain
Jan 39 4 16 -9 0.51 13
Feb 41 5 16 -9 0.94 24
Mar 48 9 21 -6 0.91 23
Apr 54 12 25 -4 0.98 25
May 57 14 30 -1 1.14 29
Jun 57 14 37 3 3.74 95
Jul 57 14 41 5 11.02 280
Aug 57 14 39 4 10.43 265
Sep 55 13 36 2 5.51 140
Oct 54 12 28 -2 2.83 72
Nov 46 8 19 -7 0.35 9
Dec 43 6 17 -8 0.08 2

SummitThe wind battered summit.



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