Gokyo/Cho La Pass and Everest Base Camp Trek

Lakes, glaciers, some of the world’s highest mountain peaks, an adventurous trek through the Solukhumbu region (the land of the famous Sherpas), sacred monasteries, pristine panoramic landscapes– a trek to Gokyo Cho La Pass and Everest Base Camp is an experience like no other. Also known as the Everest Circuit trekking route, the Gokyo Cho La pass trek followed by a trip to the Everest Base Camp is an alternate for the regular EBC – but packed with extra experiences.

We head north from Lukla, the gateway to the Everest Region and begin our circuit a little ahead of Namche Bazar. Passing through scenic villages and picturesque landscapes of Gokyo Valley we walk beside the moraines of Nzogumpa Glacier to reach the pure turquoise lakes high amidst the Himalayas. The blue lakes amidst the high Himalayas and a small village is often described as ‘heaven on earth’ – only entitled to the eyes of the bold travelers who reach there. After summiting the Gokyo Ri (5,360) and taking in the mesmerizing views, we head towards Khumbu Valley to reach EBC via Cho La Pass (5420m). Watch Everest up close and several other Himalayan peaks from Kala Patthar before heading back down to complete the circuit at Namche Bazar.

This route takes us through the heart of the Himalayas – we will be surrounded by monumental peaks – Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse, Makalu, Cho Oyu, Ama Dablam to name a few.

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Description

Day 01:      Kathmandu Arrival.

Day 02:      Half Day Sightseeing tour in Kathmandu.                 

Day 03:      Fly Lukla (2,880m) & trek to Phakding (2,652m) 

Day 04:      Namche Bazaar (3,447m) 

Day 05:      Rest and acclimatization at Namche Bazaar 

Day 06:      Phortse Thenga (3,675m) 

Day 07:      Dole (4,040 m) 

Day 08:      Machermo (4,400 m) 

Day 09:      Gokyo (4,795 m) 

Day 10:      Excursion to Gokyo RI (5,483 m) and back 

Day 11:      Gokyo to Thagnak (4750m) 

Day 12:      Dzongla (4,843 m) via Cho-La Pass (5,350 m) 

Day 13:      Lobuche (4,931 m).

Day 14:      Gorak Shep (5,160m) / to Everest Base Camp (5,360 m) & back

Day 15:      Trip Kala Patthar (5,545 m) & back to Pheriche 

Day 16:      Thyangboche (3867 m) 

Day 17:      Descend to Namche Bazaar. (3447 m)

Day 18:      Namche / Trek to Lukla

Day 19:      Lukla / Kathmandu by Flight

Day 20:      Free day in Kathmandu to shop, rest or go for sightseeing 

Day 21:      Final departure

Trip Facts

Best Period:                  Feb to May – Oct to Dec

Time Period:                  20 Nights / 21 Days.

Trek Period:                  16 Night / 17 Days

In Kathmandu:               04 Nights

Flights:                          2 Ways. (Kathmandu/Lukla/Kathmandu)

Trek Type:                     Strenuous

Highest Altitude:           5545 meters

Warning:                        Altitude Sickness

Trek Start Point:            Lukla

Trek End Point:             Lukla

Accommodations:        Hotels in Kathmandu / Lodges on trek

Features

National Park:     Sagarmatha National Park (1148 sq. kms)

Mountains:         Everest, Lhotse, Tamserku, Ama Dablam, Nuptse, Tawatse, Kantega, Pumo-ri, etc.

Rivers:                 Bhote Kosi, Dudh Kosi and Imjatse Khola.

Villages:              Lukla, Namche, Thyangboche, Lobuche, etc

Tribes:                 Mostly Sherpas & Tibetans

Passes:               Cho La Pass (5,350 m)

Forests:               Of Rhododendron and Pine.

Landscapes:       Varying from temperate valleys to snow clad mountains.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 01: Arrival: Kathmandu

Arrive at Tribhuvan International Airport, be met by representatives and transferred to hotel.

Free for the rest of the day with a small brief about the trek in the evening.

Overnight: Hotel

 

Day 02: A.M. Sightseeing;            P.M. Trek Preparation

A.M.: In the morning, travel through time as you explore Kathmandu Valley. Visit the ancient Durbar Square and glance a peek into Nepal’s rich history. A visit to Swayambhu Stupa, another UNESCO World Heritage Site is a must – observe the city from the hill.

P.M.: The rest of the day is purposely left free to pack and purchase any last minute essentials for the trek.

Overnight: Hotel

 

Day 03: Flight: Lukla       Trek: Phakding (2652m)

Early morning flight to Lukla – a spectacular flight; steal glimpses of the Himalayas as the plane maneuvers through the valleys and hills making your way to Lukla – the gateway to the Everest Region.

Upon arrival, meet the porters. We follow the trail towards the north-east. We cross a suspension bridge to leave Lukla behind. Cross small picturesque villages of Chaunrikharka and Ghat and descend to reach Phakding just by the raging Dudh Koshi River.

Overnight: Phakding                     Trek Duration: 3 hours.

                                             

Day 04: Namche Bazaar (3447m)

Purse the trail with the gushing Dudh Kosi on your right – a pleasant walk as we pass through agricultural fields, small villages and a beautiful monastery. Cross Dudh Kosi at Benkar and be greeted with tantalizing glimpses of snow-capped peaks Kusum Kanguru(6369m) and Thamserku (6623m). Steep climb for 20 mins to reach Monjo – our lunch stop.

Enter Sagarmatha National Park after having our permits cleared. A busy trail with several interests – small villages, pine forests. After crossing the river again, we are met with a steady climb, halfway

 

through the climb catch your first glimpse of the mighty three ahead of you – Everest (8848m), Mt. Nuptse (7879m), and Lhotse (8383m).

Reach Namche Bazaar – a bustling little prosperous town in the Khumbu region surrounded by beautiful mountain peaks.

Overnight: Namche                       Trek Duration: 5 – 5 ½ hours.

 

Day 05: Rest/Acclimatization Day at Namche Bazaar

A day of rest is essential before we make our way towards Gokyo Ri. Plenty of things to do in Namche, in the morning we take a short hike up the ridge above Namche to catch stunning views of Everest looming behind other majestic Himalayan peaks.

In the afternoon we explore the famous Bazaar, the hub of Khumbu region.

Overnight: Namche                       Trek Duration: 3 ½ hours.

 

Day 06: Phortse Thenga (3675m) via Mon La (3973m)

After a 15 minutes climb to the top of a ridge, we are met with gentle and winding trail with beautiful views of Ama Dablam (6812m), Thamserku (6623m) and Kang Taiga as we make our way to Phortse Drengka. Very soon, the view is joined by Everest in the distance along with Nuptse and Lhotse.

En-route we pass a chorten (shrine) which is a memorial for Tenzing Norgay (Sherpa). The chorten lies in a magnificent spot with the Himalayas in the backdrop – a perfect resting place for one of the first two Everest summiteers.

Continue enjoying panoramic views of the looming mountain peaks and reach Sanasa. Trek through pine forests and a steep climb brings us to Mong La pass. Lunch with splendid surrounding views of the Himalayas.

After lunch, a steady downhill walk through a pine and rhododendron forest brings us to Phortse Thenga. Be aware of Yak traffic and keep to the right to avoid being pushed off the hillside.

Overnight: Phortse Thenga                        Trek duration: 5 – 5 ½ hours.

 

Day 07: Dole (4040m)

Catch the main trail after breakfast and head towards Gokyo Valley. A gentle climb as we catch our very first sight of Cho Oyu (The Turquoise Mountain). Observe the change in vegetation as the landscape

 

features more of alpine shrubs. The waterfalls along the trail make the landscape look like postcards. We reach Dole for lunch.

Today’s trek is short and after lunch we walk up a surrounding hill to help our bodies acclimatize – the hill top offers stunning views.

Overnight: Dole               Trek Duration: 4 hours.

 

Day 08: Machermo (4400m)

A steady climb before the trail contours to Luza, a small grazing spot with potato fields. We walk slowly to reduce the probability of altitude sickness as we are above 4,000 metres above sea level. Take in the surrounding views of the perfect landscape around us. Cho Oyu in the distance encourages our onward journey. Reach Machermo just in time for lunch.

After lunch, hike up the hill above the village and pay a visit to the IPPG (International Porters Progress Group) and receive tips upon the prevention and consequences of altitude sickness.

Note: The Porter Shelter was built by Can (Community Action Nepal – Doug Scott’s Charity)

Again, a short day trek to allow acclimatization.

Overnight: Machermo                  Trek Duration: 4 ½ hours

 

Day 09: Gokyo (4795m) (Via the Turquoise Lakes)           

We are greeted with a broader trail as we pass through Lapharma – a small settlement with green pastures for Yaks and Dzopkios. Approach the end of the valley, and after a short  climb we arrive at the snout of the Ngozungpa Glacier – the glacial source of Dudh Koshi. We reach the first of the Gokyo Lakes. The trail becomes gentle as we walk along the moraines, we reach a second lake, so blue and pristine, and then the third along whose banks lies Gokyo – a spellbinding place with the majestic Cho Oyu in the background.

After lunch, head towards the Ngozungpa Glacier – the longest glacier in the Himalayas. (36kms) Advised to carry head lamps and warm clothes due to the ice cold winds.

Overnight: Gokyo                          Trek Duration: 5 – 5 ½ hours.

 

Day 10: Excursion to Gokyo Ri (5843m) and back

Today we summit a peak in the Himalayas – the Gokyo Ri to watch unparalleled views of three of the world’s top ten mountains – the world’s tallest, Everest, the elusive Makalu, and the pristine Cho Oyu.

 

We start early, and halfway through as we get our first glimpses of Everest, the sun begins to rise – the beauty of the view is no less than paradise.

Atop the Gokyo Ri, we are surrounded by the Himalayas – for we are in the heart of it. The turquoise lakes shimmer below us and words do not do justice to the view atop the Gokyo Ri.

After basking in the glory and taking in all of the view, we make our way back to Gokyo. In the afternoon, we could visit the 5th lake.

Overnight: Gokyo                          Trek Duration: 4 – 4 ½ hours.

 

Day 11: Thagnak (4750m)

Heading away from Gokyo village, we weave our way away from Thagnak. The trail meanders through a section of Nzogungpa Glacier. Magnificent views of the Cho Oyu and Cholatse en route as we make our way towards Cho La. We also sight the Himalayan Thar along the way on the rocky slopes.

Overnight: Thagnak                      Trek Duration: 3 – 3 ½ hours.

 

Day 12: Dzong La (4843m) via Cho La Pass (5420m)

One of the major highlights of the trek – we start early. Depending on the amount of snowfall, we steadily make our way to the Cho La Pass. We will be walking across a wide expanse of snow instilling in us an idea of how massive and remote the Himalayas are – and this just a small part of it. Soak in the views atop the pass before heading down to Dzong La. Crossing the pass insinuates a huge sense of accomplishment in trekkers. Ama Dablam comes back into view as we reach Dzong La.

Overnight: Dzong La                     Trek Duration: 7 – 8 hours.

 

Day 13: Lobuche (4931m)

Above the village of Chola, we traverse high on the flanks of Awi Peak. Past the Cholatse Lake, the Chola Glacier flows steeply from a saddle between the cliffs of Cholatse and Taweche. A stunning view of Nuptse towering above the Khumbu Glacier unfolds before us. Continuing our trail, we join the main route to EBC between Thyangboche and Lobuche. An increased amount of human and yak traffic can be sensed. Watch beautiful sunset views.

Overnight: Lobuche                       Trek Duration: 3 ½ hours. 

 

 

 

 

Day 14: Gorakshep (5160m) – Everest Base Camp (5360m) – Gorakshep

Travel along the Khumbu Glacier through jumbled moraines and scattered rocks – on a clear day Everest can be seen looming behind Nuptse. Approach the ridge above Gorakshep and tread down to reach it.

Gorakshep was used as EBC during the 1950s expeditions and has several monuments dedicated to Everest expeditioners who lost their lives during their attempts to scale Everest. After a short rest, we head up to the EBC – just below the infamous Khumbu Icefall.

The EBC is not a specific location, more of a scattered region, where each expedition team sets camp before heading on towards the summit. Watch the towering mountain ranges surrounding us and be in awe of the treacherous Khumbu Icefall as we trek alongside it. Return to Gorakshep.

Overnight: Gorakshep                  Trek Duration: 7 ½ – 8 ½ hours.

 

Day 15: Kala Patthar (5545m) – back to Pheriche (4371m)

Early breakfast and an arduous trek uphill for about 2 hours, reach Kala Patthar to catch stunning, panoramic, awe-inspiring views of the Himalayas – Everest included. The trip to Kala Pathhar although difficult is rewarding – find yourself deeply immersed in the majestic Himalayas. Catch sights of some of the tallest peaks of the world – Everest (8848m), Nuptse (7855m), Lhotse (8516m), Pumori (7145m), and more.

Take some time to fully take in the spectacular view ahead of us before heading back down. From Gorakshep, we collect our belongings and head down the jumbled moraines to reach Lobuche. WE cross through a Sherpa Memorial – a tribute to the lives of the brave souls lost during their Everest Expeditions.

Overnight: Pheriche                       Trek Duration: 6 ½ – 7 ½ hours.

 

Day 16: Thyangboche (3867m)

After spending days above 4200 metres, most trekkers welcome the thought of returning to warmer weather, and the body yearns for softer climbs. Keeping that in mind, the walk today is a delight.

We start our journey along the walled paths of Dingboche, a slight gradual ascent before we descend towards the gushing Dudh Koshi. Cross Pangboche, and walk to the meadows of Devouche – a lovely fir and rhododendron forest. A short climb during our last leg brings us to Thyangboche.

Overnight: Thyangboche                            Trek Duration: 4 ½ – 5 hours.

 

 

Day 17: Namche Bazaar (3447m)

Retrace our steps through the forests of juniper, rhododendrons and fir to Phunk Tanga. Cross Dudh Kosi, ascend to Trashinga. Stop for a short break and Shanasa – a small town where Tibetan traders have traditional artifacts and souvenirs for sale. Indulge yourself.  An easy walk brings us to Namche Bazaar.

Overnight: Namche                       Trek Duration: 4 ½ – 5 hours.

 

Day 18: Lukla

We exit the Sagarmatha National Park at the same point we had entered a few days ago. Follow the same footsteps, take in the views of the mountains – our abode for the past few days and make way to Lukla – where we officially finish our trek.

In the evening, a farewell dinner, and may be followed by a few celebratory drinks and dance with our Sherpa companions.

Overnight: Lukla              Trek Duration: 5 ½ – 6 ½ hours.

 

Day 19: Flight: Lukla to Kathmandu

A hearty breakfast – our last meal in the lap of the Himalayas. We take a short flight back to Kathmandu.

Upon arrival, be met by a representative and transferred to hotel.

The remainder of the day is free.

Overnight: Hotel, Kathmandu.

 

Day 20: Free day in Kathmandu

Take the day to explore Kathmandu – a city where the modern meets the traditional.
Note: If you wish to go sightseeing, please contact our representative for tour options.

Overnight: Hotel

 

 

 

 

Day 21: Departure

Last minute shopping of souvenirs and transfer to TIA, Kathmandu for onward journey.
Watch the Himalayas pass by as you relive the memories spent only days ago in the heart of the mountains. Relish on the achievement of a lifetime experience.

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