The ultimate challenge to the ‘just-do-it’ ambitious trekker. This moderate to challenging graded trek takes to you to the foot of Mt. Everest traversing across the high Cho La pass at an elevation of 5420 m. Also included is the opportunity to trek to the summit of both Gokyo Ri [5340m.] and Kala Pattar [5554m.] for magnificent views of Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, Makalu and Cho Oyu. A visit to Everest Base Camp will give you the chance to have a closer look at the spectacular Khumbu Icefall. Beginners or inexperienced climbers can take this trek, but this trek requires one to be moderately fit. Considering the snow conditions over Cho La Pass, the trek may not be advisable during winter [January & February] and the monsoon season [July & August].
Day 1 Arrive Kathmandu Day 2 Sightseeing in Kathmandu Day 3 Flight to Lukla & trek to Phakding (2656m) Day 4 Trek to Namche (3450m) Day 5 Rest day in Namche Day 6 Trek to Dole (4084m) Day 7 Trek to Machermo (4410m) Day 8 Rest day in Machermo Day 9 Trek to (4750m) Day 10 Ascent of Gokyo Ri (5483m) Day 11 Trek to Tragnag (4690m) Day 12 Across Cho La 5420 m. to Lobuche (4928m) Day 13 Trek to Gorak Shep (5184m) Day 14 Trek to Everest Base Camp (5357m) & return to Gorak Shep Day 15 Trek to Pangboche (3985m) Day 16 Trek to Namche(3450m); Day 17 Trek to Lukla (2800m) Day 18 Fly to Kathmandu Day 19 Depart Kathmandu Detail Itinerery – Gokyo, Kala Pattar & Everest Base Camp Trek
DAY 01 ARRIVAL IN KATHMANDU Flying to Kathmandu along the northern border of Nepal on a clear day is in itself an exciting and memorable experience as exotic panoramic view of snow-capped Annapurna mountain range peaks sprawls before you. The Nepali support team will meet you at the airport and escort you to your hotel.
Day 2 – Sightseeing of Kathmandu Valley Kathmandu, being a historical and cultural heart of Nepal, is a popular destination for tourists, trekkers and adventure seekers. The city presents a wonderful mixture of Hinduism, Tibetan Buddhism and Western influence in the Valley. Patan and Bhaktapur are its two major neighboring cities which bear immense historical, cultural and religious significance. There will be a half day guided tour to the famous & biggest Hindu shrine Pasupathinath, the largest Buddhist stupa in town Boudhanath, the 15th century palace of 55 windows and Soyambhunath. In the evening, a trip orientation meeting will be organized.
Day 3 – Fly to Lukla & Trek to Phakding [2652m] A spectacular flight and hair raising landing on a steep mountain runway brings us to the start of our trek at the village of Lukla [2850m]. After meeting the crew, we head up the Dudh Kosi Valley on a well-marked trail to Phakding.
Dudh Kosi – bridge in Phakding.
Day 4 – Trek to Namche [3450m] From Phakding, we cross and re-cross the river on high suspension bridges. Beyond Monjo is the entrance to the Sagarmatha National Park which was set-up in order to protect and preserve this fragile mountain environment. We 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. Namche is the main trading village in the Khumbu and has a busy Saturday market – a meeting place for the Hindu traders from the lowlands and the Tibetan yak caravans that have crossed the glaciated Nangpa La Pass.
Day 5 – Rest day in Namche 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 as well as a magnificent outlook. It is an ideal place to spend a rest day, acclimatizing to the new altitude before heading off towards Tengboche. Options for acclimatization walks include a visit to Khunde hospital which was set-up by Sir Edmund Hillary, or 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.
Day 6 Trek to Dole [4084m] We are now approaching 4500m, so we will stay at Machermo for an extra day .Today is a spectacular day in terms of scenery as we follow the main trail north out of Namche. A short climb to a crest reveals a wonderful view towards Everest and Lhotse. We 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 we 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.
Day 7 Trek to Machermo [4410m] From Dole we 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 in the summer months. Ahead of us 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 we will arrive at Machermo in time for lunch.
Day 8 Rest day in Machermo We are now approaching 4500m, so we will stay at Machermo for an extra day to acclimatise. There are plenty of possibilities for exploration around the camp and just above the village there is an excellent view encompassing Cho Oyu [8210m] and the mountains which flank the Ngozumpa Glacier.
Day 9 Trek to Gokyo [4750m] Rested, we head for the lakes at Gokyo. We 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. We climb a steep rocky incline into the valley by the side of the glacier, passing the first of the holy lakes. We 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.
View of Gokyo
Day 10 Rest day – Ascent of Gokyo Ri [5483m] Gokyo Ri looms above the village on the northern edge of the lake and we leave camp just after first light, following a steep path up the hillside. As we 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 Pattar. For those who still have some energy, there are more good views to be had 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
Everest and Lhotse from Gokyo Ri.
Day 11 Trek to Tragnag [4690m] Fit and acclimatised, we leave Gokyo to cross the Ngozumpa Glacier. We 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. We climb off the glacier by a small dwelling known as Tragnag and follow a shallow valley to our camp by a small kharka.
Day 12 Trek to Lobuche [4928m] An early start is necessary today, as we have to cross Cho La and make the long descent to Lobuche. Continuing up the valley, we cross a ridge and an old lateral moraine, before beginning the rocky scramble to the pass. From the pass there are excellent views, across to the Rolwaling Valley in 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 we descend to the pastures below. The way to Lobuche contours the grassy slopes above a lake, the Tshola Tsho, to join up with the main Everest trail from Pheriche and Thyangboche. The trail flattens out and follows the valley on the west side of the Khumbu Glacier to Lobuche.
Day 13 Trek to Gorak Shep [5184m] To reach our next objective, Kala Pattar, the trail continues to follow the valley beside the Khumbu Glacier, and offers superb views of the surrounding mountains, especially where the path is forced to rise to cross a tributary glacier. We stop for lunch at our camping place for the night, Gorak Shep. Later in the afternoon, when the sun begins to set over the Everest, we make our way to the top of one of the finest viewpoints in the Khumbu, Kala Pattar [5549m]. As the light begins to fade we stroll back to our camp at Gorak Shep and have an early night in preparation for our trek to Everest Base Camp the following day.
Day 14 Trek to Everest Base Camp [5357m] & return to Gorak Shep. For the trek to Everest Base Camp, a very early start is required. It takes several hours on a trail across the Khumbu Glacier which weaves its way along translucent ice pinnacles and past seemingly bottomless crevasses. At Base Camp, there will hopefully be an expedition ‘in residence’ and there are great views up into the Khumbu Icefall where there is often some climbing activity. On the return leg, we can take a higher route to get a spectacular view of the Khumbu icefall and the route to the south Col. We then return to Gorak Shep.
Day 15 Trek to Pangboche [3985m] It is downhill most of the way today, past Lobuche to Duglha and Pheriche. The Himalayan Rescue Association has trekkers’ aid post here which is interesting to visit. After lunch we cross the Khumbu Khola on a wooden suspension bridge and follow the Imja Khola to the village of Pangboche.
Day 16 Trek to Namche [3450m] We continue to follow the river and, after crossing it, climb up through birch and rhododendron forest to Thyangboche and its famous monastery. There are magnificent views from here and Kwangde, Tawache, Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse, Ama Dablam, Kantega and Thamserku are just a few of the Himalayan giants which can be seen. From Thyangboche we descend to the bridge over the Dudh Kosi at Phunki Tenga, where there are water driven prayer wheels, before making our way back to Namche.
Day 17 Trek to Lukla [2800m] Our final day’s trekking follows the Dudh Kosi back down to Lukla. This last evening in the mountains is the ideal opportunity for a farewell party with the sherpa guides and porters, where we can sample some chang, try Sherpa dancing and look back on a memorable trekking experience.
Day 18 Fly to Kathmandu We take an early morning flight back to Kathmandu.
Day 19 Depart Kathmandu Our Nepalese support team will take you to the airport for your flight home.If you prefer to stay longer, you can go for short tours such as game drive at National parks, rafting, Tibet tours, mountain biking etc).
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Filed under: Himalayas, Travel, trekking | Tagged: Ama Dablam, Cho La, Cho Oyu, Everest Base Camp, Gokyo Ri, Gorak Shep, Island Peak., Kantega, Khumjung, Kunde, Lhotse, Lobuche, Mera Peak, Mt Everest, Mt.Lhotse, Namche Bazaar, Ngozumpa Glacier, Nuptse, Pangboche, Pheriche, Pumori, Sagarmatha National Park, Solu-Khumbu, Tawache, Tengboche., Thami, Thamserku |