An impressive circuit encompassing stunning Gokyo Lakes, demanding Cho La Pass and wonderful glacial walk to Everest Base Camp!
This ultimate challenge to Gokyo, Kala Patthar & Everest Base Camp Trek adds adventurous thrill of Gokyo trekand Chola Pass crossingto the regular Everest Base Camp Trek. Graded as difficult and challenging trek, it takes you to the base of Mt. Everest traversing across the high Cho La pass at an elevation of 5420m. 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. You also have the opportunities to trek to the summit of both GokyoRi (5483m) and Kala Patthar (5545m) for magnificent views of Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, Makalu and Cho Oyu. A visit to Everest Base Camp gives you the chance to have a closer look at the spectacular Khumbu Icefall. Beginners or inexperienced climbers can also do this Gokyo Valley trek, but it requires one to be fit as Cho La Pass (5420m) is bit challenging because of its steep western wall. Considering the snow conditions and precipitation over Cho La Pass, the trek is not advisable during winter (January & February) and the monsoon season (July & August).
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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 lands at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, our waiting support team will meet and greet you at the arrivals and escort you to 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 Boudhnath, the largest Buddhist stupa in Nepal and after that to Pashupatinath, the most popular Hindu shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva. You take a tour to Patan also called as Lalitpur (the City of Artisans), which is 5km away from Kathmandu. You 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..
A scenic flight of thirty minutes from Kathmandu brings us to Lukla airport, a cliff-hanging airport in Khumbu from where most of theEverest trekking begins. After meeting the crew, you head up the Dudh Koshi Valley on a well-marked trail and then stay overnight in Phakding. .
From Phakding, you cross and re-cross the river on high suspension bridges. Beyond Monjo is the entrance to Sagarmatha National Park which was set-up in order to protect and preserve the fragile mountain environment. You then take a steep hike to Namche, one of the most important stopovers while trekking in Nepal. If the weather is clear, you get the first glimpse of Mt Everest. Namche is the main trading center in the Khumbu and has a busy Saturday market - a meeting place for the locals and the people from neighboring vicinity..
Namche is tucked away between two ridges amidst the giant peaks of the Khumbu and has an abundance of lodges, tea shops and souvenir shops. It is an ideal place to spend a day, acclimatizing to the new altitude before heading off towards Tengboche. To acclimatize, you visit Khunde Hospital set-up by Sir Edmund Hillary, or take a one hour walk up to the Everest View Hotel above Namche for the sunset view of Ama Dablam, Nuptse, Lhotse and Everest. There are also good views from the National Park Centre and Museum just above the town.
Today is a spectacular day in terms of scenery as you follow the main trail north of Namche leaving the classic Everest Base Camp Trail. A short climb to a crest reveals a wonderful view towards Everest and Lhotse. You 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 you 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 you 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 during summer. Ahead of you 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 you will arrive at Machermo in time for lunch. .
Today is one of the most important days of Gokyo Valley trek. You head for the lakes at Gokyo. You 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. You climb a steep rocky incline into the valley by the side of the glacier, passing the first of the holy lakes. You 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. .
Another important moment of Gokyo trekis the ascent of Gokyo Ri. Gokyo Ri looms above the village on the northern edge of the lake and you leave just after first light, following a steep path up the hillside. As you 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 have in the Everest region - some say it is even better than that from Kala Patthar. For those who still have some energy, there are more good views to have 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 acclimatized, you leave Gokyo to cross the Ngozumpa Glacier. You 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. You climb off the glacier by a small dwelling known as Thagnak and follow a shallow valley to our hotel in the village..
An early start is necessary today as you have to cross Cho La (5420m) and make the long descent down the valley. Continuing up the valley, you cross a ridge and an old lateral moraine, before beginning the rocky scramble to the pass. From the pass there are excellent views, across the Rolwaling Valley to 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 you descend to the pastures below to reach Dzongla. .
The way to Lobuche contours the grassy slopes above a lake, the Chola Tsho, to join up with the main Everest Base Camptrail from Pheriche and Tengboche. The trail flattens out and follows the valley on the west side of the Khumbu Glacier to Lobuche. As you approach Lobuche, the trail makes a gradual climb to the reach the village. As today’s trek is short, you have enough time to relax and explore the surroundings. The evening view of Nuptse from Lobuche is worth remembering. .
A very early start is required to reach Gorak Shep. The trail offers superb views of the surrounding mountains, especially where the path is forced to rise to cross a tributary glacier. You stop for lunch at Gorak Shep. Later in the afternoon, you make your way to Everest Base Camp, the second significant highlight of Gokyo Valley and Everest Base Camp trekking. It takes several hours as the trail weaves its way through ice pinnacles and past the crevasses of the Khumbu Glacier. On the return leg, you can take a higher route to get a spectacular view of the Khumbu icefall and the route to the South Col. You return to Gorak Shep. .
ln the morning, you make your way to the top of one of the finest viewpoints in the Everest region, Kala Patthar [5554m] following the Khumbu Glacier. After Kala Patthar, you trek back to Pheriche for overnight. .
Today’s trek is mostly downhill. You continue to follow the river and, after crossing it, climb back up through birch and rhododendron forest to Tengboche. Kwangde, Tawache, Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse, Ama Dablam, Kantega and Thamserku are just a few of the Himalayan giants to be seen. From Tengboche you descend to the bridge over Imja river. At Phunki Tenga, you get to see the water driven prayer wheels, before making your way back to Namche..
Yourfinal day's trekking in Nepalfollows the Dudh Kosi back down to Lukla. This last evening in the mountains is an ideal opportunity for a farewell party with the Sherpa guides and porters, where you can sample some chang, try Sherpa dancing and look back on a memorable trekking experience..
You 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 some great pictures back home or even go down for a stroll at Thamel, an internationally known hub for tourists in Asia..
This is a contingency day in case of Lukla flight delays. If you have free time, you can let go the strains of trekking in the Himalaya. You can explore around the Heritage sites in the city, stroll down the streets of Thamel for local cultural experience, visit nearby monasteries, relax at a nearby spa centers or do some souvenir haunting in the local bazaar. .
Our Nepali support team takes 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). .
Overall we have thoroughly enjoyed our stay and experience with Explore Himalaya. The country and views have been incredible.
We work with the motto "Tourism for Development". Explore Himalaya Community Service Project was conceived to empower underprivileged segments of Nepal.