Gokyo and Everest Base Camp Trek via Cho La Pass
Gokyo and Everest Base Camp trek is an unsurpassed two week trek that takes in all the highlights of ‘Gokyo Lakes’ trek and ‘Everest Base Camp’ as well as including a traverse of the Cho La Pass- the high pass linking Gokyo Lakes and the Everest Base Camp. 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 1 - Arrival in Kathmandu International Airport 1340m,
Day 2 - Fly from Kathmandu to Lukla 2800m and trek to Phakding 2600m/3 hours
Day 3 - Trek from Phakding to Namche Bazaar 3440m/5 hours
Day 4 - Acclimatization day at Namche Bazaar and hike to Everest View Hotel and Khumjung/Khunde village
Day 5 - Trek from Namche Bazaar to Dole 4000m/6 hours
Day 6 - Trek from Dole to Machhermo 4410m/5 hours
Day 7 - Trek from Machhermo to Gokyo 4759m/6 hours
Day 8 - Ascent of Gokyo Ri 5483m and trek to Thangnag 4700m/3 hours
Day 9 - Trek from Thangnag to Dzongla 4843m/6 hours traverse Cross Cho La 5420m
Day 10 - Trek from Dzongla to Lobuche 4930m/5 hours
Day 11 - Trek from Lobuche to Gorak Shep 5288m & explore to Everest Base Camp 5360m/8 hours
Day 12 - Hike to Kala Pathar 5545m & trek to Dingboche 4330m/6 hours
Day 13 - Trek from Dingboche to Tengboche 3860m/5 hours
Day 14 - Trek from Tengboche to Namche 3440m/5 hours
Day 15 - Trek from Namche to Lukla 2800m/6 hours
Day 16 - Fly from Lukla to Kathmandu 25 minutes and transfer to Hotel.
Day 17 - Final Departure from Kathmandu
You’ll be met at the Kathmandu International airport by our representative from the company, so look out for a office sign/logo with your name when you leave the airport. They will bring you back to the Hotel. Welcome drinks will provide by Hotel and short briefing about your treks and refreshment. Stay overnight in Hotel.
We transfer to the airport for the 45 minute flight to the airstrip at Lukla. This was the airstrip built by Sir Edmund Hillary and his friends to service the Everest Region when he began his work of building schools and hospitals for the Sherpa people. It is a memorable flight, with marvelous views of the Eastern Himalaya. At Lukla we are immediately impressed by the scale of the huge peaks that surround the village but this is only a foretaste of what is to come. Our guide and porters assembles and we head downhill towards the Dudh Kosi, a raging river that flows from the highest peaks. The broad and well-marked trail meanders around fields of potatoes and buck-wheat and passes through small villages. Stay overnight at Lodge.
We cross and re-cross the thundering glacial river, named ‘Dudh’ (milk) Kosi (river) because of its color. Sections of today’s walk are through pine forest and cleared areas reveal terraced fields and a variety of crops. We pass small groups of donkeys, yaks and dzopko carrying trading goods and trekking gear along the trail. A dzopko is a yak-cow crossbreed while a yak is a full-blood long haired male, more commonly found at higher altitudes. Spectacular mountain peaks unfold above us and seem to hover above the tree-line as they rise above the deep river valley. Shortly after leaving camp we cross the Kusum Khola, a tributary stream to the Dudh Kosi, and the peak of Kusum Kangru (6369 m) can be seen to the East, at the head of the valley. Further along the trail, across the valley to the North-West, Nupla (5885 m) and Kongde Ri (6093 m) rise above the forested ridges. At a turn of the trail, Thamserku (6808 m) rises majestically, seemingly from the river floor. We will see our first Mani walls today. These stone structures are a compilation of many stone tablets, each with the inscription ‘Om Mani Padme Hum’ which translates to ‘Hail to the jewel in the lotus’, and is mantra (chant) venerated by Buddhists and Brahmans alike. Buddhists will walk to the left of these Mani Walls and chortens, but you may notice that people of the lowlands who have no knowledge of Buddhism do not follow this practice. The allure of the mountains is hard to resist, but we must be patient, as it is very important to acclimatize slowly and thereby fully appreciate our time at higher altitude. We pass through the gates of the Sagamartha National Park. The establishment of this national park is a significant attempt to stem the use of fire-wood in the area and the few local people who have a permit to cut wood must gain approval from the authorities on the basis of it being primarily for their personal use. We follow the river course to the confluence of the Dudh Kosi and the Bhote Kosi, and cross a spectacular high bridge before commencing our ascent to the village of Namche Bazaar, the Sherpa ‘capital’ of Nepal. It is a tough climb as the trail passes through forest of pine to a vantage point that provides our first view of Mt Everest. The trail continues to climb and meander to Namche, and the sight of this prosperous village spread within a horse-shoe shaped valley opposite the beautiful peak of Kongde Ri is worth every step. After lunch you may wish to peruse the Tibetan trader’s stalls or the Sherpa shops in search of a bargain. Stay overnight at Lodge.
Sagarmartha National Park Headquarters just above the village offers a very interesting display of photographs, memorabilia and information on the park, and the hill above is a wonderful vantage point for the spectacular view up the Imja Khola Valley towards Everest. The change from the narrow lowland valleys to the broad glacial ones is immediately obvious. The steep-sided glacial valley before us gradually winds towards the base of Everest, broken only by the moraines left by retreating glaciers. Its more gradual rate of climb is a blessing for those trekking higher. Towering to over 4000 meters above the valley floor, spectacular peaks seem to engulf us. Around us are Taweche (6542 m), Thamserku (6808 m), Kantega (6685 m), Ama Dablam (6856 m), Nuptse (7896 m) and Lhotse (8511 m). The greatest of all, Mt Everest (8848 m), rises at the head of the valley. Those who are fit and acclimatizing well may wish to take the optional walk to the Everest View Hotel (4-5hrs) where spectacular views of Everest and Ama Dablam may be seen. For those feeling well acclimatized there is also the option of a day walk to the pretty village of Khumjung. Khumjung is where Sir Edmund Hillary built his “School house in the Clouds” and the famed Khunde hospital is close by. World Expeditions supports both of these famous community facilities, as well as the many other projects operated by the Himalayan Trust. There will generally be the opportunity for you to visit the hospital and school. We will also be able to visit the monastery at Khumjung where we may have the opportunity to see the “scalp of a yeti”. Stay overnight at Lodge.
Heading North-East we initially follow the main trail to Thyangboche as it contours around the hills, before we branch off on a climb on the flanks of the sacred peak of Khumbila (5761 m). We traverse for some time across yak pastures as the trail gradually ascends to Mon La. Below us is the confluence of the Dudh Kosi and Imja Khola and across the valley Tengboche monastery is framed by Ama Dablam and Kantega. We reach a stupa draped with prayer flags atop a ridge at 3992 meters and then descend steeply through forest to the Dudh Kosi. Crossing the river we pass a water-powered grain mill and eventually to our private permanent camp at Portse Tenga. We head north, still following the Dudh Kosi towards its source, the magnificent Ngozumpa Glacier. An initial short climb gets us onto the trail for the steady climb towards Gokyo. Since leaving the main trail we have seen progressively fewer trekkers and locals and the relative isolation of the trail is a pleasure. Sections of red birch, fir and dwarf rhododendron forest are interspersed with areas of yak pasture as we gradually gain altitude. We pass pleasant waterfalls and can rest and gaze at the glaciers that flow from Taweche and Cholatse on the opposite side of the valley. Behind us, spectacular ridges lead to the peak of Khumbila and the numerous unnamed peaks that reach almost 6,000 meters. Camp will be at Dole, in a field beside a pleasant stream. In the distance Kantega and Thamserku rise above the foothills. It was at Dole that one of the more recent and “credible” yeti sightings took place. Ask your trek leader for details and draw your own conclusions. Stay overnight at Lodge.
Continuing a steady but constant climb up to Machhermo. Like the few small villages in this valley, Machhermo has only a few buildings and these are empty much of the year. Villagers in Khumjung and Khunde generally own land here high up the valley, where they graze yaks in the summer months. Our camp sits in the valley amidst stunning surrounds and is one of our most popular stops on the circuit. This is a valuable acclimatization day as we prepare for the higher altitudes and our ascent of Gokyo Ri (5483m). This afternoon can be spent relaxing or you may wish to stretch your legs and take a walk up the ridge behind Luza for a view of the Gokyo Valley. Just a short walk from camp is the Machhermo Porter Shelter and Rescue Post which is well worth a visit, here you can learn more about altitude and the work of IPPG (International Porter Protection Group). Stay overnight at Lodge.
Following the valley high above the river, we commence the ascent to Gokyo village. There are excellent views of Cholatse at the village of Pangka and we stop to enjoy them. We are now in high alpine country and as we approach the Ngozumpa Glacier we trek onto the moraine and rock that extends down from it. We enjoy excellent views of Kantega to the south and Cho Oyu to the north. Each mountain has its individual character and presence, and you can understand why mountain people have such spiritual significance. Once we have ascended the snout of the glacier the path levels. We pass the first of the lakes, Longponga, before reaching, Taoche Lake, a larger body of water and a place where ducks are often seen swimming in the freezing waters on their annual migrations to and from Tibet. As we walk up the valley our path parallels the Ngozumpa Glacier while separating us from the glacier is the massive lateral moraine. Stay overnight at Lodge.
An early start is made to take advantage of the early morning views. The steady yet unrelenting ascent of Gokyo Ri will take two to three hours, depending on your level of fitness and acclimatization. It is not a race and times of up to six hours are cherished by those who thought they would not make it at all. If you find the climb hard work don’t hesitate to ask one of the guides to carry your day pack. You will be elated when you reach the summit with its spectacular view. Probably the most comprehensive view of 8,000 meter peaks in Nepal; many people consider it to be Nepal’s best. Surrounding us are Cho Oyu (8153 m), (a mountain that defeated a British Expedition of climbers, including Hillary, in their lead-up to their successful assault of Everest), Gyangchung Kang (7922 m), Lhotse (8501 m), Makalu (8475 m), Cholatse (6440 m), Taweche (6542 m), Kantega (6685 m), Thamserku (6808 m), Lobuche (6145 m) and Mt Everest (8848 m). Hundreds of other peaks fill the scene, whilst below us the Ngozumpa Glacier, the largest in Nepal, stretches through the valley. The striking color of the lakes below completes the picture. The only way to get a better view of the entire Everest region would be to climb an 8,000 meter peak! Although further from Everest than Kala Pattar, the traditional viewing point, here we see more of the mountain and enjoy a more relaxed environment to view the peak. We weave our way across the glacier to our stop at Thangna on a trail that meanders around the constantly changing obstacles. There are great views today of Cho Oyu and Cholatse. Stay overnight at Lodge.
We start early to take advantage of the stable early morning weather pattern that prevails in the Himalayas. A slow climb after lunch as we cross deserted yak pastures and climbs high into the mountains. Keep an eye open for Himalayan Thar on the rocky slopes. Depending on the snow conditions, it will take us approximately four hours to reach the saddle of the pass. There will be time on the crown of the pass to drink in the experience before the descent into the valley and the camp on the other side. This is a special day and for some the highlight of the trip. The views of the peaks are excellent all day and once at the saddle of the pass, the glaciers and immediate peaks seem to hover over us. Words fail to describe the beauty and the sense of achievement of this pass crossing. Finally as we descend to our camp beside the steep north face of Cholatse, the stunning peak Ama Dablam comes into view. Stay overnight at Lodge.
The early morning sun is welcome after a cold night and reveals a dramatic panorama of spectacular peaks. We traverse high on the flanks of Awi Peak, above the village of Chola and continue past Cholatse Lake. Beyond the lake, the Chola Glacier flows steeply from a saddle between the cliffs of Cholatse and Taweche in a rugged and beautiful display. We crest a small rise and before us unfolds the stunning form of Nuptse (7745 m), rising above the Khumbu Glacier. We continue our traverse until we join the busy trail from Thyangboche to Lobuche, where the volume of people and yaks may come as quite a shock. The successful 1953 British Expedition to Everest thought of this place as a warm and pleasant rest point.The hill above the settlement affords fine sunset views of Nuptse. Stay overnight at Lodge.
We trek alongside the Khumbu Glacier as the path winds over the rocky moraine towards the settlement of Gorak Shep. We are high, among the glaciers of the world’s highest peaks. Following our arrival at Gorak Shep we have an early lunch before we commence our trek to Everest Base Camp. In the pre monsoon season many expeditions can be seen at base camp and this excursion is one of the highlights of the trek. Stay overnight at Lodge.
Kala Pathar is not a Nepali name but a Hindi name and translates to “black rock”. From these black rocks atop the hill the views are spectacular. Most eyes are locked on the mass of Everest and its rocky buttresses immediately before us. Many of the famous ascent routes are quite clear. Below us the Khumbu Glacier snakes towards the icefall and Western Cwm. We can see the area where expeditions set their base camp but the original site was at Lake Camp, now known as Gorak Shep. Take a look in every direction and soak it in. The view south and our route out, is particularly beautiful. In the afternoon we make the return trek to Dingboche, soon after setting off we reach the site of a row of cairns to Sherpa climbers who died on Everest, before we continue to the small settlement at Tugla. Our path on an old lateral moraine takes us to the sheltered village of Dingboche. To the east at the head of the Imja Khola valley sits the pyramid peak of Imja Tse (6189 m). This afternoon we can walk up the ridge behind Dingboche for sunset views of Nuptse, Lhotse and Chhukung Peak. Stay overnight at Lodge.
There can be a tendency now to rush, particularly as we are walking downhill, but there is still much to see. We descend to Pangboche and visit its historic old monastery, thought to be the oldest in the Khumbu. Continue walk down to Tengboche through forest. Stay overnight at Lodge.
If the weather is clear, the mountain views from Thyangboche monastery as we pass through are outstanding – Everest, Lhotse and Nuptse are at the head of the valley, their line of sight flanked by Taweche on one side and Ama Dablam on the other. Almost directly above us are Kantega and Thamserku. Completing a 360 degree panorama of mountains are Khumblia and Kongde Ri which encircle us from across the valley. It’s a pleasant walk down to Namche, and as we near the village we pass through terraced fields that are home to a brightly colored pheasant, the Danphe Pheasant, the national bird of Nepal. Stay overnight at Lodge.
Leaving Namche we descend through the forest towards the Dudh Kosi, and continue our return journey crossing and re-crossing the river. It will seem like a long time since we ascended through the villages on our first days of the trek, as we have witnessed many stunning views on our trek into the highest mountain range in the world. Retracing our steps along the valley, we pass through a variety of settlements and forests before a gentle climb to Lukla. We savor our final mountain sunsets of the trek as we complete this exhilarating journey. Our last evening of the trek is a good time to have a small party for all the team, especially the porters who will return to their villages from here. There is usually lots of music, dancing and singing. Stay overnight at Lodge.
This morning we take the return flight to Kathmandu, a thrilling flight over forests, fields and villages, with the Himalaya in the background. On arrival, we transfer to the hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure, a good time for last minute shopping or sightseeing. Stay overnight at Hotel.
Your trip will come to an end today after breakfast in Hotel. Our office representative will be on hand to advise and assist with your onward travel arrangements and transfer to Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport by our private van around 3 hours before your flight schedule and flight back to your home/other travel destination.
Int’l/Dom Airport/Hotel/Airport picks up and transfers by private car/van on arrival and departure.
2 nights deluxe accommodations in twin bed sharing basis with breakfast at 3* Hotel in Kathmandu.
Round Trip domestic flight tickets cost from KTM-Lukla-KTM and airport tax.
Meals (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner) with tea or coffee are included during the lodge/tea-house trek.
Lodge-lodge accommodation during the lodge trek.
1 Experienced, helpful, friendly and well trained English speaking guide, necessary porters (1 porter for 2 peoples and carry 25kg) during the trek and their food, accommodation, equipment, salary and insurance.
All ground transportation by private vehicle according to group size.
Sagarmatha National Park Permit, local village tax and other necessary permits.
First Aid Medical Kit box and necessary medicines.
Office Service Charge and all government tax.
Any meals (Lunch and Dinner) in Kathmandu other than breakfast in hotel.
International Airfare to and from Nepal.
Nepal Tourist Visa Fees.
Items and expenses of personal nature.
All kind of alcoholic drinks (beer, wine, whisky), cold drink (mineral water, coke, fanta, sprite, juice), laundry service, postage, phone calls, internet, donations, museum entry fees etc during the trip.
Personal Trekking Equipment such as sleeping bags, walking poles, down jackets, walking boots. (It can be hired/bought in Kathmandu).
Emergency Evacuation (Medical Insurance and Helicopter Rescue in case of accident and can be paid either insurance company or clients themselves).
Any cost arises due to a change of the program/itinerary, because of landslides, political disturbance, strike and some accidental problems.
Horse/Pony renting and additional porters due to natural calamities during the trek.
Any other costs whatsoever, that is not mentioned in the cost inclusive.
Tipping Tips for guide, porters, drivers and horse man. Tipping is expected but it is not mandatory and can be treated end of the trip if satisfied.