Monday, August 1, 2011

The Gokyo Trek in the Everest Region: April 2012

The trek to the view point of Gokyo Lakes and Gokyo Ri  is the "dream trip" for most trekkers and rivals the trek to Kala Pattar. 
The fourteen day trip from Kathmandu run by South Col Expeditions has been carefully designed to provide proper acclimatization so as to ensure the least discomfort for the trekker. On many days we walk only 3-4 hours and rest in the afternoon to ensure that we do not gain altitude too quickly. The cost of this trek is Indian Rs 30,000 for SAARC country residents and USD $ 850 for others (Exclusions apply). For further details please do visit 

The day wise itinerary from Namche Bazar is given below. From Lukla to Namche Bazar is 2 days with first night halt at Phakding and one acclimatization rest day at Namche so we begin walking from Day 4.
nDay 04 Namche Bazar to Khumjung (3790m) (2-3 hours) 
We climb up to the Shyanboche airstrip and then descend to Khumjung. The twin Sherpa villages of Khumjung and Khunde, are home to some of the most famous Everest climbers.
nDay 05 Khumjung to Dole (4040m)  (5 to 6 hours)
  As we follow the path, we will get our first really good views of the great peaks of the Khumbu: Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse and Ama Dablam.  Come down to the junction with Kyanjuma and Sanasa and then take the west trail to Gokyo. The trail climbs to the pass of Mong la with it’s stupendous views. It then goes down to Phortse Tenga where we stop for lunch. Post lunch the trail climbs to the National park HQ and then enters Dole,climbing most of the way. 
nDay 06 Dole to Machhermo (4410m)
The trail starts today by climbing steeply through scrub junipers to a single lodge at Lhabarma (4330m). We pass the small settlement of Luza (4340m) and continue to climb along the side of the valley, high above the river to Machhermo. It was here that a yeti supposedly killed three yaks and attacked a Sherpa woman. This is the most credible yeti incident ever reported, so be watchful as we visit this region (3 hrs to 4 hours)
nDay 7  Acclimatisation day at Macchermo
nWe make the customary acclimatization day stop at Macchermo as we need two nights at 4410 metres. The stop at  Macchermo will give us good acclimatization to attempt Gokyo Ri and also cross Lhenjo La pass back to Namche Bazar.

nDay 08 Machhermo to Gokyo (4750m)
Beyond Machhermo the trail climbs a ridge for an excellent view both down the valley to Kangtega and upwards to Cho Oyu. Beyond the ridge the valley widens as the trail reaches the small village of Pangka (4390m). After passing Pangka the trail drops briefly, then climbs to a large cave known as Nilibuk. After Nilibuk we climb steeply along a narrow, newly crafted staircase trail. Atop the staircase the trail crosses a simple wooden bridge to the first small lake, Longponga, at 4650m. The trail now becomes almost level as it follows the valley past a second lake, known as Taujun, at 4710m and finally up a boulder strewn path to Gokyo. Gokyo is a collection of stone houses and walled pastures on the shores of a large lake known as Dudh Pokhari  with a handful of lodges some offering very good facilities.(4 to 5 hrs).
nDay 09  Day in and around Gokyo
nThe views around Gokyo are tremendous. For the best views we will climb Gokyo Ri (5357m) today. From here we will have a panoramic view of Cho Oyu, Gyachung Kang, Everest, Lhotse,  Makalu, Cholatse and Tawache. After we enjoy the view we will return to Gokyo village for the night (4 hrs). If we have time we may also walk up to the 5th Lake in the afternoon if we are able to do Gokyo Ri the previous day at sunset.
nDay 10 to Day 12 Gokyo to Namche Bazar across Lhenjo La ( Renjo La) pass
n We will attempt the crossing of Lhenjo La pass (5417 m)  provided the weather is good and there is no snow. If the conditions are not favorable we will return to Namche Bazar the same way. This decision will be taken in Gokyo. The timings for this part of the trail is given below:
Gokyo to the top of the pass: 3 to 4 hrs on boulders and scree.
Top of Lhenjo La down  to Lungde (4375m) : 3 to 4 hours ( Day 10)
Lungde to Thami (3800m) : 3 to 4 hours (day 11)
Thami to Namche Bazar : 3 hours. (day 12)
 Day 13 Namche Bazar to Lukla (5554m)   7 to 8 hours
nThis is a long day but  is mostly downhill. We will stop for lunch at Phakding Sunrise Lodge before reaching Lukla by evening.   
nDay 14 Lukla to Kathmandu - by morning flight

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