Gokyo Chola pass with Everest Base Camp Trek 18 days
With eight of the worlds ten highest peaks, Nepal is loaded with spectacular mountains vistas. Everest trek is not only famous for its proximity to the world’s highest mountain (8848m.) but also for its friendly Sherpa people, picturesque villages, great variety of cultures and traditions, colorful festivals and monasteries. The flora and fauna are other ornaments of the Sagarmatha National Park. The story of the yeti is still a mystery in the world from the Khumbu region.
This trek gives you the grand tour of the famous Khumbu valley. This is a strenuous trek leading to Gokyo Lake and over the Cho La at 5,430m making a circuit of Tawache (6,367m.) and Cholatse (6,440m). Emerging into the Khumbu valley above Lobuje the trail continues up to Kalapatthar and then back to Lukla via Tengboche and Namche Bazaar. The small herding settlement of Gokyo (4750m) lies on the banks of the third lake in a series of small turquoise mountain lakes and on the ridge above Gokyo, the four peaks above 8000m of Cho You, Everest, Lhotse and Makalu expose themselves. In addition to this you can have a look at the tremendous ice ridge between Cho You and Gyachung (7922m), considered one of the most dramatic panoramas in the Khumbu region. There are many options for additional exploration and high-altitude walking, including the crossing of Cho La, a 5420m-high pass into Khumbu and a hike to Gokyo Ri.
Strenuous trekking is continuously rewarded with dramatic Himalayan scenes, including four of the world’s highest peaks: Cho Oyu (8,201m.), Makalu (8,463m.), Lhotse (8,516m.) and Everest (8,848m.). Breathtaking mountain vistas are complemented by visits to Sherpa villages, homes and monasteries offering you an insight into the quiet but, culturally vibrant Sherpa way of life.
Fly from Kathmandu to Lukla (2886m.) and it takes about 30 minutes. Trek from Lukla to Phakding (2640 m.) which takes approximately three hours. You transfer to the domestic airport for your flight to Lukla. Lukla is a small town with an airport. There are few tea shops, lodges, hotels and general stores. You begin today’s trek from Lukla following a gentle climb up the mountainside on the left bank of the Dudh Koshi river. Nupla (5885m) can be seen in the distance on the opposite bank, is a peak atop the Kongde Ridge. You descend a mountainside path that merges into your route to Everest, with views to a valley to your right; and at its far end, Kusum Kang (6367m.) The Dudh Kosi approaches as you pass a Mani wall and arrive at Ghat teahouse. You continue along a small path with many climbs and descents following the left bank of Dudh Koshi to Phakding.
Trek from Phakding to Namche Bazaar (3440 m.) which takes about 5 to 5 and half hours. This day you trek and cross the river on high suspension bridges. Beyond Monjo(2800m.) is the entrance to the Sagarmatha National Park which was set-up in order to protect and preserve this fragile mountain environment. You then ascend quite steeply to Namche and along the way, if the weather is clear, catch a first glimpse of Mt Everest in the distance. You can also enjoy the view of Mt. Kusum Kangaru, Thamserku, Konde-Ri and Tawache peak. You can also visit some of the village monasteries on the way of trekking to Namche Bazaar(3440 m.). Namche is the main trading village in the Khumbu region and holds a busy Saturday market. There is set a meeting place for the Hindu traders from the lowlands and the Tibetan yak caravans that have reached there by crossing the glaciated Nangpa La.
Rest at Namche Bazar for acclimatization and excursion around the places. Namche is tucked away between two ridges amidst the giant peaks of the Khumbu and has an abundance of lodges, teashops and souvenir shops as well as a magnificent outlook. It is an ideal place to spend a rest day for acclimatization to the high altitude before heading off towards Tyangboche. For the acclimatization you walk upto Khunde Hospital which was set-up by Sir Edmund Hillary, or a one hour walk up to the Syangboche (3800m.) where Everest View Hotel is situated above Namche for the outstanding view of Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse,Ama Dablam, Thamserku and Kusum Kangaru. There are also good views from the National Park Centre and Museum just above the town.
Trek from Namche Bazaar to Thame (3739m) and it takes about 4 hours. From Namche the route turns west and the trail is almost level as you head up the Bhote Koshi Valley, once a popular trading route into Tibet. Along the way you pass many prayer flags, mani walls and carved stones, all indicative of the Tibetan Buddhist culture of this area. After descending to the Bhote Kosi the trail climbs steeply to Thame. From here there are good views of the peaks of Teng Kangpoche and Kwangde and to the north is the Nangpa La, the pass leading to Tibet. Thame Gompa is situated above the village overlooking the valley and is the site for the spring celebrations of the Mani Rimdu festival.
Trek from Thame to Khumjung [3790m] and it takes about 5 hours. You retrace your route down the Bhote Kosi Valley towards Namche and branch off to follow a quiet trail to Khumjung. It is a picturesque village which also has its own Gompa at the top end of town. Here you can have excellent views of Thamserku, Kantega and Ama Dablam.
Trek from Khumjung to Dole (4040m) which takes about 5 hours. Soon after leaving Khumjung the trail climbs to a large chorten on top of a ridge. This ridge descends from Khumbila, a 5734m peak, said to be the abode of the patron God of the Khumbu region. The trail descends slightly towards the Sanasa and then trail ascends up to Mongla(4000m.). From here, you can see panoramic views of various mountains. You trek steeply descend passing through Phortse Tenga and from there, the trail climbs steeply to Dole, through rhododendron and birch forest festooned with hanging mosses and lichens. You can enjoy delicious meal at Phortse Tenga (3650m.).
Trek from Dole to Machhermo (4410m) and it takes about 3 hours. From Dole you climb steadily along the side of the valley, where the small and thorny bushes give way to scrub juniper as the altitude increases. The trail passes many summer settlements, which are used when yaks are taken to these pastures to graze in the summer months. Ahead of you are excellent views of Cho Oyu, while back down the valley are the peaks of Kantega and Thamserku. This is a short day and you will arrive at Machhermo in time for lunch.
Trek from Machhermo to Gokyo (4750m) which takes about 4 hours. Today you head for the lakes at Gokyo. You follow a very scenic path to Pangka and then descend slightly, following one of the melt-water Rivers which flow down the west side of the Ngozumpa Glacier. You climb a steep rocky path inclined 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 (5420m.) - your 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 magnificent with the summits of Cho Oyu and Gyachung Kang reflected in its emerald green waters.
Rest day at Gokyo and excursion in and around Gokyo valley. Gokyo is a trade centre where the Sherpa people run lodges to provide the best services to the trekkers.Gokyo is situated by the side of Ngozumba glacier, the biggest glacier of Nepal. This day you can make a side trip to Firth Lake via Forth Lake.
Trek/climb from Gokyo to Gokyo Ri (5340m) and trek back to Thangna (4650m) via Gokyo village and it takes about four and half hours. Gokyo RI looms above the village on the northern edge of the lake and you leave camp 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 be had in the Everest region - some say it is even better than that from Kala Patthar. After lunch it is a short walk to the village of Thangna, situated at the shore of the Ngozumpa Glacier.
Trek from Thangna to Dzongla (4843m.) via Chola pass (5420m.) and it takes about 5 and half hours. Now you ascend slightly along the valley towards Chola pass. The pass you pass through is covered with rocks. The Chola pass is most of the time covered with blue ice giving you a chill feeling. Here you can also enjoy the panoramic view of various mountains. From here, the trail descends steeply down for an hour and then slightly descends all the way to Dzongla.
Trek from Dzonglo to Gorakshep (5180m.) via Lobuche which takes about 5 hours. From Dzongla the trail descends and ascends gently and contours around the west side of the Lobuche Khola, providing excellent views of Ama Dablam, the Nuptse-Lhotse wall and Everest. The trail coming from Pheriche meets at the Lobuche Khola (Lobuche Stream).
Trek from Gorakshep to Everest Base Camp (5337m.) and back to Gorakshep which takes about 4 and half hours. While trekking to Everest Base Camp you pass through a trail, which weaves its way through ice pinnacles and past the crevasses of the Khumbu Glacier. During the spring season, you can meet some expedition team on the Everest Base Camp. The number of team is less in the autumn season. On the return leg, you can take a higher route to get a spectacular view of the Khumbu icefall and numerous mountains. You return to Gorak Shep to stay overnight.
Trek from Gorakshep to Kala Patthar (5545m.) and trek to Pheriche (4250m.) and it takes about 6 and half hours. Early morning climb to Kala Patthar (5545m.) and enjoy the view of sunrise. From Kala Patthar you can have a panoramic view of Mt. Everest and many other mountain peaks like Mt. Pumori, Mt. Lingtren, Mt. Khumbetse, Mt. Nuptse, Mt. Lhotse, Mt. Ama Dablam, Mt. Thamserku and many more. Pheriche is the place where one can make phone calls to any part of the world. You can see the mountain Yaks in Pheriche. Yaks are normally regarded as the porters in this area. The town of Pheriche is known as windy town. There you can see the perpendicular walls of Cholatse and Tawache. There is located Himalayan Rescue Association Aid Post and foreign volunteer doctors are to provide medical treatment to trekkers as well as local people.
Trek from Pheriche to Tyangboche (3850m.) and it takes about 4 hours. To reach Tyangboche you pass through Pangboche village, which is known to have highest permanent settlement throughout the year in Khumbu region. The trail ascends and descends at a slow speed. Upon your arrival at Tyangboche village you come across the famous legendary monastery, the largest in the Khumbu region. There is a trekker's visiting centre where local Sherpas make an exhibition of different goods to be sold to interested trekkers. They also show a slide presentation about Sherpa people, culture, Buddhist religion and environmental development programs.
Trek from Tyangboche to Namche Bazaar (3440m.) which takes about 4 hours. From Tyangboche, the trail descends steeply and slightly towards Phunki Tenga (3250m.) crossing the Dudh Koshi. Now you have a glimpse of panoramic views of the great peaks of the Khumbu including Mt Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse, Ama Dablam, Thamserku and Kusum Kangaru. Passing by several villages and numerous teashops, the trail ascends steeply to Sanasa where local Sherpa people sell the Tibetan goods. The way from Sanasa to Namche has small ups and downs with view of forests, scenery and mountains.
Trek from Namche Bazaar to Lukla (2886 m.) and it takes about six hours. The last day of your trek leads from Namche Bazaar via Monjo to Lukla. The trek is pleasant, except for few short uphill climbs and then down to the Bhote- Koshi River crossing it three times. The last uphill climb of 45 minutes will bring you to Lukla for your overnight stay.
Fly from Lukla to Kathmandu. You take an early morning flight back to Kathmandu which takes about 35 minutes.