Thursday, November 17, 2016

Pangboche to Gokyo | Everest Trek

Thamserku from the high route between upper Pangboche and Phortse

The High Route from Pangboche to Gokyo

The route between the Gokyo valley and the Khumbu valley is normally done through the high Cho La pass which connects Dzongla in the Khumbu to Thangnak in the Gokyo valley. However for those who do not want to cross this high pass there is a another alternative - using the high route from upper Pangboche to Gokyo. In October 2016 a South Col Expeditions team walked this route on our return from Kala Pattar and Everest Base Camp.

Upper Pangboche 3950m to Phortse 3880m
On returning from Kala Pattar/ EBC before Pangboche village there is a trail with a sign which leads up to Upper Pangboche. This is a beautiful village with a few lodges surrounding a monastery. After a cup of tea at one of the lodges near the monastery follow the trail to Phortse. The trail follows the side of the hill and climbs up and down often making steep ascents and descents on stone staircases some of which are quite steep. As you skirt the hill you can see below the lodges of Devoche which you would have passed on the way up to the EBC. Further south the monastery of Tengboche stands on top of a hill below the high route. This trail has brilliant views of Ama Dablam, Melangphulang, Kangtega, and Thamserku and to the north Everest and  Lhotse as well.
The trail finally climbs to a small chorten from where the village of Phortse lies below.
Upper Pangboche to Phortse 2 hrs 30 minutes to 3 hours

Phortse village

Phortse 3880m  to Na 4400m
The trail from Phortse  climbs  steeply out of the village and  reaches a big chorten on top of a hill at an altitude of 4270 metres. The trail then descends and ascends soon after skirting the hillside and reaches a deserted village Ghengo in around 20 minutes. From here the first lodge is the Kangtega View at Thore at a height of 4390 metres. This is good tea break. If you are walking from Upper Pangboche you could make  a night stop at Thore after lunch at Phortse.
From Thore the trail drops in around 30 minutes to reach the single Tashi Friendship Lodge in Thare. From Thare,  the trail drops gently first and then does a brief climb to an old mani stone whose inscriptions have all but vanished. There is a junction here please take the trail going down into the valley - it is also marked with a white arrow and you can see the single blue roof of the lodge at Na ahead in the valley. The narrow trail now meanders through rocks, scrub, and streams climbing gently up the valley. Towards the end of the walk it climb up through rocky sections and then descends to a small bridge below the single  lodge at Na.
Phortse to Big Chorten 1 hr 30 min to 2 hrs
big Chorten to village of Ghengo 20 minutes
Ghengo Village to Thore Kangtega View Lodge 40 to 50 minutes
Thore to Thare 30 Minutes
Thare to Junction 45 minutes
Junction to Na 1 hour

View from the Big Chorten abover Phortse looking towards Na and Gokyo

Lookinng down at the lodges of Dole on the walk from Phortse to Na
Na 4400m to Gokyo 4750m
From the lodge at Na a small and rocky trail leads down to the river and crosses a bridge in around 30 minutes. Across the river higher up you can see the lodge of Pangka and the peak of Machermo. The trail from the bridge leads up to the main trail to Gokyo. Then comes a number of steep ascents following staircases clinging to the side of the hillside. A sharp bend to the left crosses a small bridge over a foaming stream and the first lake of Gokyo appears. Behind this lake is Kangtega and Thamserku reflected in the still waters.  At the head of the valley, Cho Oyu  one of the 8000 metre giants appears. The trail then climbs  gently for another 30 minutes  to the 2nd lake and ahead the steep climb to the Gokyo Ri can be seen. Passing the second lake the trail follows the hill and in around 45 minutes the 3rd lake and the lodges of Gokyo are visible.
Na to 1st lake of Gokyo 75 to 90 minutes
1st lake to 2nd lake 30 minutes
2nd lake to 3rd lake 45 minutes to 60 minutes

The sole lodge at Na

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  1. This route is very deserted and most trekkers use Cho La.
    Thanks for the useful info.

    1. It is a very beautiful route and highly recommended



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