The ultimate challenge to the ‘just-do-it’ ambitious trekker; Gokyo, Kalapattar & Everest Base Camp Trek adds adventurous thrill to normal Everest Base Camp Trek. This moderate to challenging graded trek takes to you to the foot of Mt. Everest traversing across the high Cho La pass at an elevation of 5420m. Also included is the opportunity to trek to the summit of both Gokyo Ri [5340m.] and Kala Pattar [5554m.] for magnificent views of Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, Makalu and Cho Oyu. A visit to Everest Base Camp will give you the chance to have a closer look at the spectacular Khumbu Icefall.
Cultural encounter in the frequent Sherpa hamlets and the breathtaking views of five highland turquoise lakes in Gokyo Valley just before entering Khumbu Valley via Cho La are the early rewards of the trek. Beginners or inexperienced climbers can take this trek, but this trek requires one to be moderately fit. Considering the snow conditions over Cho La Pass, the trek may not be advisable during winter [January & February] and the monsoon season [July & August].
It’s a panoramic thrill flying into Kathmandu on a clear day. The views of snow-capped mountain peaks sprawling down below you are almost ecstatic, beginning a whole chain of memorable experiences that stay with you for a long, long time. And as your plane hits the tarmac, our waiting support team will meet and greet you at the airport and escort you to your hotel. Welcome drinks will be served and over night at your hotel..
Kathmandu is the historical and cultural heart of Nepal and has been a popular destination for tourists ever since Nepal opened its doors to visitors. The city presents a wonderful mix of Hinduism, Tibetan Buddhism and Western influence. There will be a guided tour to the largest Buddhist stupa in Nepal Boudhanath and after that to the most popular Hindu shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva- Pashupatinath. We take a tour to Patan or Lalitpur (the City of Artisans), which is 5km away from Kathmandu. We walk through Patan Durbar Square, and delight in the architectural wonders of Malla era. Mahaboudha Temple, Kumbeshwor Temple, Krishna Temple and Golden Temple are the major attractions at the square..
We fly from Kathmandu to Lukla [2800m], a small airstrip high above the Dudh Kosi valley. After meeting our trekking crew and sorting out our gear, we begin the trek by descending to Chaunrikharka and heading up the Dudh Kosi valley to Phakding, .
From Phakding, we cross and re-cross the river on high suspension bridges. Beyond Monjo is the entrance to the Sagarmatha National Park which was set-up in order to protect and preserve this fragile mountain environment. We then ascend up to Namche and along the way, if the weather is clear, catch a first glimpse of Mt Everest in the distance. Namche is the main trading village in the Khumbu and has a busy Saturday market - a meeting place for the Hindu traders from the lowlands and the Tibetan yak caravans that have crossed the glaciated Nangpa La..
Namche is tucked away between two ridges amidst the giant peaks of the Khumbu. It has an abundance of lodges, tea shops and souvenir shops. It is an ideal place to spend a rest day, acclimatising to the new altitude before heading off towards Gokyo. Options for acclimatisation walks include a visit to Khunde Hospital, which was set-up by Sir Edmund Hillary, or a one hour walk up to the Everest View Hotel above Namche.From there you can watch the sunset over Ama Dablam, Nuptse, Lhotse and Everest. There are also good views from the National Park Centre and Museum just above the village..
We are now approaching 4500m, so we will stay at Machermo for an extra day .Today is a spectacular day in terms of scenery as we follow the main trail north out of Namche. A short climb to a crest reveals a wonderful view towards Everest and Lhotse. We follow this main trail for a while longer, passing many traders selling Tibetan handicrafts, to a crossroads high above the Dudh Kosi. The trail to Everest drops down the hill but we turn off here and climb to cross the Mon La before reaching Phortse Tenga. From Phortse Tenga, the trail climbs steeply to Dole, through rhododendron and birch forest festooned with hanging mosses and lichens..
From Dole we climb steadily along the side of the valley, where the rhododendron forests give way to scrub juniper as the altitude increases. The trail passes many summer settlements [yersa], which are used when yaks are taken to these pastures to graze in the summer months. Ahead of us are excellent views of Cho Oyu, while at the rear are the peaks of Kantega and Thamserku. Today’s trek is a short one and we will arrive at Machermo in time for lunch. .
We are now approaching 4500m, so we will stay at Machermo for an extra day to acclimatise. There are plenty of possibilities for exploration around the camp and just above the village there is an excellent view encompassing Cho Oyu [8210m] and the mountains which flank the Ngozumpa Glacier. .
Rested, we head for the lakes at Gokyo. We follow a very scenic path to Pangka and then descend slightly, following one of the rivers which flow down the west side of the Ngozumpa Glacier. We climb a steep rocky incline into the valley by the side of the glacier, passing the first of the holy lakes. We soon arrive at the second of the lakes, crossing the path which heads across the glacier to Cho La - our route to Lobuche and Everest, later in the trek. The third lake is known as Dudh Pokhari and on its eastern shore is the settlement of Gokyo. Walking by the side of the lake, the scenery is breathtaking with the summits of Cho Oyu and Gyachung Kang reflected in its emerald green waters. .
Gokyo Ri looms above the village on the northern edge of the lake and we leave camp just after first light, following a steep path up the hillside. As we climb, the summits of Everest, Lhotse and Makalu slowly come into sight and the view from the summit of Gokyo Ri itself, is one of the finest to be had in the Everest region - some say it is even better than that from Kala Pattar. For those who still have some energy, there are more good views to be had by dropping back down to the main path and following it north to the fourth and fifth of the Gokyo lakes, the latter being about three hours from Gokyo..
Fit and acclimatised, we leave Gokyo to cross the Ngozumpa Glacier. We descend to the second lake and drop down onto the glacier. The route across the glacier is marked by cairns and is generally quite well defined. We climb off the glacier by a small dwelling known as Tragnag and follow a shallow valley by a small kharka..
An early start is necessary today, as we have to cross Cho La and make the long descent to Lobuche. Continuing up the valley, we cross a ridge and an old lateral moraine, before beginning the rocky scramble to the pass. From the pass there are excellent views, across to the Rolwaling Valley in the west and Ama Dablam to the south east. The descent from the pass involves the crossing of a small glacier [often snow covered] which is fairly straightforward. There are more excellent views of Ama Dablam and the forbidding north face of Cholatse as we descend to the pastures below. The way to Lobuche contours the grassy slopes above a lake, the Tshola Tsho, to join up with the main Everest trail from Pheriche and Thyangboche. The trail flattens out and follows the valley on the west side of the Khumbu Glacier to Lobuche..
To reach our next objective, Kala Pattar, the trail continues to follow the valley beside the Khumbu Glacier, and offers superb views of the surrounding mountains, especially where the path is forced to rise to cross a tributary glacier. We stop for lunch at our camping place for the night, Gorak Shep. Later in the afternoon, when the sun begins to set over the Everest, we make our way to the top of one of the finest viewpoints in the Khumbu, Kala Pattar [5549m]. As the light begins to fade we stroll back to our camp at Gorak Shep and have an early night in preparation for our trek to Everest Base Camp the following day. .
For the trek to Everest Base Camp, a very early start is required. It takes several hours on a trail across the Khumbu Glacier which weaves its way along translucent ice pinnacles and past seemingly bottomless crevasses. At Base Camp, there will hopefully be an expedition 'in residence' and there are great views up into the Khumbu Icefall where there is often some climbing activity. On the return leg, we can take a higher route to get a spectacular view of the Khumbu icefall and the route to the south Col. We then return to Gorak Shep..
It is downhill most of the way today, past Lobuche to Duglha and Pheriche. The Himalayan Rescue Association has trekkers’ aid post here which is interesting to visit. After lunch we cross the Khumbu Khola on a wooden suspension bridge and follow the Imja Khola to the village of Pangboche..
We continue to follow the river and, after crossing it, climb up through birch and rhododendron forest to Thyangboche and its famous monastery. There are magnificent views from here and Kwangde, Tawache, Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse, Ama Dablam, Kantega and Thamserku are just a few of the Himalayan giants which can be seen. From Thyangboche we descend to the bridge over the Dudh Kosi at Phunki Tenga, where there are water driven prayer wheels, before making our way back to Namche. .
Our final day's trekking follows the Dudh Kosi back down to Lukla. This last evening in the mountains is the ideal opportunity for a farewell party with the sherpa guides and porters, where we can sample some chang, try Sherpa dancing and look back on a memorable trekking experience..
We pack up early and head for the airstrip to hop a flight back to Kathmandu. On touchdown, the rest of your day is free to do your own things. You could do some last minute shopping and packing, or send a few post cards home or even go down for a stroll to Thamel, an internationally known hub for tourists in Asia..
Our Nepalese support team will take you to the airport for your flight home. (Or stay longer for short tours such as game drive at National parks, do some wild-water rafting, a Tibet tour or even mountain biking, etc- please ask us). .
We work with the motto "Tourism for Development". Explore Himalaya Community Service Project was conceived to empower underprivileged segments of Nepal.