The Everest Base Camp Trek via Gokyo Lakes trip takes adventurous trekkers to fabulous Gokyo Valley, source of grand Dudh Koshi River – the large Ngojumba Glacier, the famous Cho La pass, and the celebrated view points of Gokyo Ri and Kala Patthar along with Everest Base Camp. Obviously the trek further traverses through the landmarks of Everest region in the company of majestically soaring mountains, friendly Sherpas, colorful monasteries and prayer flags, the Namche Bazzar, the Sagarmatha National Park, and many more. Gokyo, a hidden valley with gorgeous blue lakes in the lap of Himalaya has its own reputation among the adventurous souls. Many trekkers yearn to visit the Gokyo valley as a side trip during their Everest Base Camp Trek and they feel their Everest trek incomplete if they happen to miss the trip to Gokyo Valley, Gokyo Peak, and the famous pass, Cho La. The entire area is blessed with abounding natural beauty of shimmering Lakes. Beyond peace of mind at the tranquil appearance of the glacial Lakes, we can enjoy 360 degree panoramic views of four above 8000 m massifs and other mountain ranges from the best view point of Everest Region, the Gokyo Ri – because panorama from here is more spectacular than that from Kala Patthar viewpoint.
DAY 01: Kathmandu (1300m)
Upon your arrival in the Kathmandu airport (KTM). After completing your custom formalities (Visa, etc) pick up your luggage and look for our representative with a Sherpa Holidays’ display board at the arrival gate and you will be picked up by one of our representative or your trip leader.You will be then transferred to hotel.After check in, you can either take a rest, wander around in the city,it all depends upon your interests and condition. In the evening we will organize a “Welcome Dinner” at an excellent traditional Nepalese Restaurant where you will enjoy a Nepalese cultural program followed by a set Nepali dish(Dal Bhat) for dinner.
DAY 02: Kathmandu : Sightseeing and Trek Preparation
Today after breakfast your trek leader will introduce you to rest of the members of the group and brief you about the trek . After the group briefing, you will be taken for a guided sightseeing tour to two of the most historical and spiritual attractions in Kathmandu. Both of these landmarks are considered World Heritage Sites; including the sacred Hindu temple of Pashupatinath and the famous Buddhists shrine (Bouddhanath) which is one of the largest Stupas in the world. After lunch you have an opportunity to prepare yourself for the entire trip and next day’s flight to Lukla.
DAY 03: Kathmandu – Lukla (2,860 m – Phakding (2,690m) 3 – 4 hours
After an earlybreakfast, you will be escorted to the domestic terminal of Kathmandu Airport for an early morning flight to Lukla (2,800m), a gateway destination from where our trek begins. After an adventurous 40 minute flight above the breathtaking green and white mountains, we reach the Tenzing-Hillary Airport at Lukla. This is one of the most beautiful air routes in the world culminating in a dramatic landing on a hillside surrounded by high mountains peaks. Upon arrival at Lukla, we meet our other crew members and after some packing and arrangements, we start our trek through the prosperous village of Lukla until we reach Phakding. To assist in acclimatization, we only have a short hike today. However, if interested in additional activities we can take a side trip to a nearby monastery. Overnight in Phakding.
DAY 04: Phakding – Namche Bazaar (3,440 m): 6- 7 hours
Today’s our trek starts in the morning after breakfast. The walk today is pleasant with few short uphill and downhill with multiple crossings over Dudh Koshi River and magnificent view of Mt. Thamserku (6,608m/21,675ft) from the Benkar village. We cross more bridges and reach entrance of Sagarmatha National Park at Monjo, where our trekking permits are checked in order to keep record of trekkers and local trekking staffs as well. A descend and a gradual walk brings us to Jorsale, the last village until Namche Bazaar. The walk is enjoyable through the river bed and we reach Hillary Suspension Bridge. Now, as we climb up hill towards Namche Bazzar, closer and magnificent sight of Kwangde Peak, its sister peaks, Kusum Kangaru, Mt. Everest, Lhotse, Tawache, and many other fabulous mountains will be viewed closely. We stop at Chautara to admire the view. Finally, we reach the colorful village of Namche Bazzar, the main gateway of Khumbu region. Overnight in Namche Bazaar.
DAY 05: Namche Bazaar: Acclimatization Day
This is the scheduled ‘acclimatization’ day for this trek. Health experts always recommend us to stay active and moving during the rest day too instead of being idle. We either spend the day taking a day hike or relaxing and exploring Namche Bazaar itself. Namche Bazzar is the main centre of the Everest (Khumbu) region and has government offices, ATMs, Internet cafes,Wi-Fi, shops, restaurants, a bakery and a colorful market each Friday evening and Saturday. If we trek a few hundred vertical feet during the day, it will help us to properly acclimatize.Sherpa Holidays’ guide take us to the Tourist Visitor Center near the headquarter of the Sagarmatha National Park where we can observe an assortment of things related to the first Everest ascenders, Sherpa culture and learn about the various plant and animal life of the Everest region. We also take an interesting side trip up to Khumjung. We further climb up to the famous airstrip at Syangboche and go further to one of the tea house for a tea break with great views of the highest mountains on Earth. The Khumjung valley is surrounded by the snowy peaks of Kongde and Thamserku and the sacred peak Khumbila, hosts a well known monastery that houses a yeti scalp. We also visit Hillary School which is loacted at the same site. After having lunch and spending some time in Khumjung, we walk back down to Namche Bazzar. Overnight in Namche Bazaar.
DAY 06: Namche Bazzar – Mong-La (3960m): 5 hours
Today at first, we climb steeply out of Namche Bazzar up to Kyangjuma Village. Kyangjuma, we can enjoy outstanding views of Thamserku, Katenga, and Ama Dablam.And then we start to climb up gradually until we get to Mong-La.We get there for lunch and then after lunch we will go for an acclimatization walk and back to the hotel in Mong-la.And then get ready for your supper.
DAY 07: Mong-La – Dole (4180m) 4 hours
After breakfast we start the walk to Dole to admire the grandest views of surrounding snow-capped mountains and valleys while having lunch. The most outstanding feature of the trail today is the abundance of plant and animal vegetation including wildflowers and Rhododendrons. While on the way it will not be unusual to spot wild lives like pheasants, mountain goats, and the elusive musk deer. Traversing through forests, some water falls and bridges, we reach at Dole, a small place with few teahouses. Overnight .
Day 08: Dole – Machherma-(4,450m) 4 hours
Firstly, we climb steadily up through a scenic ridge above Dole and the trail climbs via Lhabarma at 4220m to Luza at 4360m. The path is steep in most places as we pass through thorny bushes up to Lhafarma. Offering us good views of Cho Oyu, Kantega, and Thamserku the trail takes us through many summer settlements and a charming hamlet of Luza (4360 m). While ascending from Luza, the Dudh Koshi valley is deep like a canyon with its sheer sides. Walking along the hill side above thundering Dudkoshi passing through some small hamlets and through sandy spurs, we reach Machherma. Machherma is the last major settlement on the way up to Gokyo. The beautiful stream flowing down from the Kyajo Ri and Phari Lapche mountains runs through the middle of village before draining into the Dudh Koshi. It is the place where Khumbu people got first sighting of Yeti in 1974. At this juncture, we pay our visit to the Himalayan Rescue Hospital for a lecture regarding the altitude sickness, its precaution and primary treatment. Overnight at Machherma.
DAY 09: Machherma – Gokyo (4800m) 5 hours
Today, we climb through a ridge Chorten from where we can see fabulous view of both down the valley and of the Mt. Kangtega, Thamserku, and northern part to the Cho-Oyu (8153m). Beyond the ridge the valley widens as the trail passes through a Chorten and reaches Pangka (4480 m) after some gentle walk. Phangka is the palace where an avalanche in 1995 killed 40 people. We descend to the river bank before beginning to climb up to the terminal moraine of the Ngozamba Glacier. It is a steep climb on the moraine. After crossing an iron bridge over an stream the trial levels out as it follows the valley past the first lake, known as Longpongo at 4690m, where we get chance to observe the Lama footprints on a stone. At the sight of the second lake, Taboche Tsho we become mesmerized by the shimmering turquoise blue sheet of water sparkling in the sun. Little ahead of the second lake, we reach the third lake, the two linked by a surging stream. Gokyo village stands by the third lake and Cho-Oyu Mountain as a backdrop sets an amazing spectacular sight at this juncture. After lunch, we explore around the third Lakes, Dudh Pokhari. We spend night at a teahouse with comfortable bedrooms. Overnight at Gokyo.
DAY 10: Hike – Gokyo Ri (5360m) – Machhermo(4450 m) 7-8 hours
Early morning, we hike up to the Gokyo Ri (Gokyo Peak). Climbing to Gokyo Ri is obviously strenuous as it is steep up and takes about 3 to 4 hours to reach the top. But even from the trial scenery of Gokyo village on the edge of third lake overlooked by Cholatse and the broad Nogzumpa Glacier are mind blowing. We feel like we are surrounded by panoramic mountains like Kusum Kanguru, Thamserku, Kangtega, Taboche, Cholatse, Makalu, Lhotse, Nuptse, Everest, Changtse, and Pumori. Sight of sunrays kissing the Everest that towers over all surrounding peaks is unlike from Kala Patthar (from Kala Patthar Nuptse seems taller). Our Gokyo Ri visit will be unforgettable life time memories. We trek down to Gokyo. Upon breakfast we trek back to Machhermo. Overnight at Machhermo.
DAY 11: Machhermo – Phortse (3600m) 7 hours
After breakfast we slowly descend down to Dole and we are back again in the treeline.we walk through the foret after Dole and stop for lunch at Phortse thanga.after lunch we steadily climb up to the beautiful Sherpa village of Phortse.Overnight at Phortse.
DAY 12: Phortse – Dingboche (4360m) 7 hours
After breakfast we ascend gradually for half an hour to the top of the Phortse getting to observe the magnificent view of the village itself and many other mountains with the aireal view of Tyangboche Monastry.The trail leads gradually to upper Pangboche and then to Somare(4000m),where we make a stop for lunch.After lunch we are above the treelike and the walk is gradually up following the imja khola and khumbu khola.Then we get to Dingboche,which is the last big settlement in the region.Overnight at Dingboche.
DAY 13: Dingboche – Lobuche (4930m) 6 hours
We start the day with a climb to Duglha through the Khumbu Khola valley. The walk along the arid terrace is rewarding with awesome views of mountains on all sides. As we come to a yak herder’s place called Dusa, the valley begins to narrow and we continue through Phulung Karpo, the camp site of the first successful Everest Expedition in 1953. Above Phulung Karpo is Chola Lake. As we move on, the majestic view of Mt. Pumori (7138 m/ 23418 ft) comes into view. As the trail descends and curves, Mt. Pumori disappears from view and we come across a roaring stream. After crossing a small wooden bridge, we ascend to Duglha. We can see the tip of Mt Nuptse from here as well as Mt Cholatse, Mt Thamserku, and several other magnificent peaks.Beyond Duglha, we climb up the steep terminal moraine of the Khumbu Glacier. We pass through boulder-strewn slopes as we ascend Chupki Lhara, an eerie ridge top with dramatic mountain views. At the top of the ridge, we will find an array of stones with prayer flags used as memorials to Scott Fischer (American mountaineer) and 12 times Everest submitter Babu Chiri Sherpa (a Nepali mountain guide) who perished on a mission to climb Everest. As the trail drops to the Khumbu Glacier moraine, we find ourselves facing several great peaks – Khumbutse, Lingtren, Pumori and Mahalangur Himal. We are now in the vicinity of Everest but the great mountain still remains elusive. Mt Nuptse towers to the right as the trail crosses the Khumbu Glacier. As we pass along a murmuring stream leaving the Khumbu Glacier behind, we now begin to feel a little out of breath due to high altitude. Overnight at Lobuche.
DAY 14: Lobuche – Gorak Shep (5180m) 4hours Everest Base Camp (5365m) 3 hours – Gorak Shep: 2 hours
The trail to Gorak Shep goes ahead through the lateral moraine of the Khumbu Glacier. We pass through the pyramid sign post. Ahead on the trail we see crest of north ridge of Everest along with Mt. Pumori, Mt. Mahalangur, Mt. Lingtern, Mt. Khumbutse, Mt. Nuptse, etc. A small ascent would take us to Thangma Riju from where we perceive 360 degree vista of snowy mountains. Climbing steeply up to the top through the torrent of Changri Glacier, we catch our first glimpse of Kala Patthar, a grey-green knoll beneath the Mt. Pumori. As we reach Gorak Shep, we will find snow-capped mountains looming all around us including the top of the world – Mt. Everest. After a brief lunch and rest, we take the trail to Everest Base Camp through the once vast Gorak Shep Lake. Continuing straight ahead, we come through the Indian army mountaineers’ memorials. Only upon reaching the Everest Base Camp do we really appreciate the Everest climbers who brave the hazardous route through the Khumbu icefall. Mountaineer’s tents stand out in bright colors against the monotony of gray surroundings (especially in the Spring). Nuptse, Khumbuste and Pumori are the mountains we can view from the base camp. Everest actually is not visible from here. By now we have met the ultimate objective of our trip. Overnight at Gorak Shep.
DAY 15: Gorak Shep – Kala Patthar – Pheriche (42000) 8-9 hours
Today is the climax of our trip. We start early in the morning to catch the dramatic views from Kala Patthar witnessing the first light of day shining on Mount Everest. However, we need to get prepared for an early morning, dark and cold temperature (-10 to -14 C) departure beforehand. Further, there is always the potential for chilly wind which is quite common. Familiar peaks such as Lingtren, Khumbutse, Changtse tower to the east even as Everest begins to reveal itself emerging between the west shoulder crest and Nuptse. During the ascent to Kala Patthar, we can pause to catch our breath at several outstanding view points to snap pictures. After several hours of an ascent, we reach Kala Patthar. From this juncture, we scramble to climb the rocky outcrop near to the summit marked by cairns and prayer flags. As we reach the top, we sit on the Kala Patthar where rocks our eyes taking unbelievable Himalayan Panorama, wandering from one mighty massif to another. We take as many pictures as we can and take the in view with our mind’s eye to last lifetime. On being back to Gorak Shep, we have breakfast and then slowly descend down to Pheriche via lobuche.
DAY 16: Pheriche-Pangboche-Tengboche-Namche Bazzar (3,440 m): 5-6 hours
Today, we trek down through the hillside blanketed by rhododendron and juniper trees. If it is spring, pink and red rhododendron flowers ablaze our surroundings. Depending on our hunger and condition, we either have our lunch in Pangboche or wait until we reach Phunki Tenga for lunch. After crossing the prayer flag festooned bridge over the Dudh Koshi River trail then follows the Dudh Koshi gorge descending rapidly through the pine forests. The path eventually reaches Sansa which is the major trail junction in the region. We stop at Kyangjuma (3570 m) for a relaxed lunch. We unknowingly appreciate the gorgeous Ama Dablam, Thamserku and Nuptse with every bite. Following lunch, the trail to Namche Bazaar clings to the steep wooded slope beyond Kyangjuma, winding through several bends. We keep a lookout for wild life such as mountain goats, snow leopards, colorful pheasants, etc., while passing through the forest by the trail. After passing a Chorten, we reach the army camp at Namche Bazaar. At this point, we would like to take a long last look (and picture!) back to Lhotse, the tip of Everest and Tengboche. On reaching our lodge, we take a nice hot shower and have very relaxed sleep in our room in Namche Bazaar. Overnight in Namche Bazaar.
DAY 17: Namche Bazaar-Phakding (2690m)
The trail descends steeply downward so we need to walk slowly and under control as our shaky legs continuously battle the rocky terrain. After crossing the suspension bridges over the fast flowing Dudh Koshi and its tributaries the trail becomes more level and natural. By today we start to get warmed up by the light breeze. Any remaining sore throats and colds will be gone by today as we pass through this charming mountain air. Although we are travelling the same route down, we feel completely different views. We snap a mixture of open plains, rhododendron and pine forests, and in the distance snow covered peaks. We walk through the Sherpa villages’ noticing impressive faith in Buddhism and culture of prayer stones and prayers flag while we walk through the villages.we stretch those sore legs and recall the experiences of the last couple of weeks. We experience the culmination of a fantastic trek on a happy note with everyone back safe and sound with smile on faces! Overnight in Phakding.
DAY 18: Phakding – Lukla (2860m)
Today we enjoy the last walk at lower altitude in the Everest region. Most tracks today is flat although we will have some descends ascents in the end. As we walk through the Sherpa villages, we notice impressive display of faith in Buddhism and cultural practices associated with it as prayer stones dot the landscape and prayer flags flap in the wind. We cross the Dhud Koshi River three times through the prayer flags strewn suspension bridges and also cross one of its tributary, Thado Koshi once. The final ascent of about 45 minutes from Chheplung takes us to Lukla, where we stretch our fatigued legs and recall the experiences of the last couple of weeks. Our fantastic trek culminates on a happy note with everyone back safe and sound with faces that show happiness! This last evening in the mountains is the ideal opportunity to spend some relaxing moments with whole crew as the porters will not accompany with us to Kathmandu. Overnight at Lukla.
DAY 19: Fly Back to Kathmandu
Today, we fly back to Kathmandu after our long mountain journey. The early morning flight drops us in Kathmandu.You can rest and relax throughout the day at hotel. If you are interested to take some gifts home from Nepal for friends and relatives,you can visit to some nearby shops or vendors in Thamel for typical Nepalese goods.If you are still keen on exploring any other areas in Kathmandu,you can talk to your leader and he will organize it for you accordingly.
DAY 20: Final Departure
The journey within the mountains of Nepal comes to an end today!If you have more time then you can do some shopping or just wander around Thamel and relax before your flight. At last approximately 3 hours before our scheduled flight, your leader will escorts you to the airport.
Please note that often the Kathmandu-Lukla-Kathmandu flight gets delayed by a few hours or may even be canceled for one, two, or more days due to unfavorable weather conditions. Such conditions may arise even in the best seasons. Hence, in such cases, you must be prepared for long waits both at Kathmandu or Lukla airports, as this can happen either at the start or end of the trek or even both! We do our utmost to avoid such delays, and fix you on next flight. Still, we suggest you to be prepared for possible delays/cancellation, and if possible to come with some extra buffer days (1-2 days) at the end of the trip to accommodate such delays. We also organize heli rescue in such conditions, if it’s available and upon request by our clients. The helicopter charges around USD 350 per person and it allows 4-5 persons in a flight.
In case, the flight delay/cancellation happens at the start of trip and it goes so long that it disturbs your onward travel schedule, you are free to choose an alternative trip: such a trek in the Annapurna, Langtang, or any other regions. If you are not interested in the alternative trip and would rather wait for the trip, you are welcome to wait in Kathmandu for as many days as it takes to get a flight to Lukla. However,there will be no refund, if you lose your time waiting at the airport and do not take an alternative tour or you only do short trek later due to time limitation. If the cancellation happens before the trip, we will provide you accommodation and lunch in a guesthouse in Kathmandu. In case of the flight delay/cancelation after finishing of the trek, you will be responsible for all your expenses but your travel insurance may cover those expenses depending upon the insurance company you have and also note that you will not be entitled to any refund for the services (such as hotel, transport, flight, etc) included in the package that you would not use later.
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