Gokyo Pond Trek & Trekking
Everest Base Camp and Gokyo Lake is also known as Everest Circuit trek, this is one of the most adventurous treks in the Everest Himalayas, it follows the route via high pass of Cho La at 5,330m into the Base Camp of Mount Everest. A unique trek that goes through Lukla, Namche Bazaar and all the way to Gokyo, Chola Pass, Kala Patthar and Everest Base Camp.
Leading you to the home of the legendary Sherpa people, based at the foothills of the highest peak in the world, Mt. Everest at 8,848m. This trek follows the highly praised trekking route through the Dudh Koshi to its source the Gokyo Lake which is to the west of the Everest Base Camp, giving you the benefit to summit Gokyo Peak (5,483m) offering a fantastic panoramic view of Ama Dablam , Makalu , Nuptse , Lhotse and the majestic Everest.
As we cross the Cho-La pass, and return back to Lukla following the route through Everest Base Camp, Kalapattar down to Tengboche monastery, Khumjung village, Namche Bazar and Lukla.
Enjoy the breathtaking views of Everest including several other similar peaks and explore the Buddhists monasteries located at the world’s highest elevation.
Arrival in Kathmandu
You’ll fly into Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan airport. Our staff will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel by private bus. Before we head out for dinner, your trip leader will meet you for a briefing and answer any questions. Dinner in a restaurant in the Thamel district.
The day is free to explore Kathmandu, take excursions into the Kathmandu valley, shop, visit the spa, have a massage or just read a book. Click on the link for more Details about Kathmandu.
Fly to Lukla (2,804m) – 35 mins. Trek to Phakding (2,610m)
An early morning start takes us to the Tribhuwan International Airport in Kathmandu for the 35-minute scenic flight to Tenzing and Hillary Airport at Lukla (2,804m). On arrival at the airport guide will brief you and introduce our porters before we begin our trek towards Phakding (2,610m).
After landing we have time to explore the village while our Sherpa crew sort and load our trekking equipment. Then we begin our trek by descending towards the Dudh Kosi River where we join the main trail to Namche Bazaar, located just above Chaunrikharka (2,713m). The walking is easy and after passing through the small village of Ghat (2,550m) it is a short walk to Phakding.
Trek to Namche Bazaar (3,441m)
We continue trekking along the banks of the Dudh Kosi, crossing the majestic river many times on exciting suspension bridges laden with prayer flags. After entering the Sagamartha National Park, the trail climbs steeply with breathtaking views. Namche Bazaar (considered the Gateway to Everest) is home to many quality restaurants, hotels, lodges, shops, money exchange services, internet cafes and bakeries. Namche is the biggest town along the Everest trail.
Namche Bazaar acclimatization day.
We spend a day in Namche Bazaar in order to acclimatize and adjust to the thinning air. We will trek a short distance to a museum that is celebrated for its exhibits of the traditional customs of the Sherpa people. We also hike up the Syangboche Airport near the Everest View Hotel. From this point, we can see rewarding views of the Himalayas with a stunning sunrise and sunset over the panorama of Khumbu peaks.
People are free to relax and explore the crowded main streets of Namche, the Sherpa Cultural Center (photographic museum, fantastic), the reconstructed traditional Sherpa house (next door), the National Park Headquarters Museum (where you’ll have easy views of Everest, Lhotse & Nuptse+), colorful Namche Gompa with its own new museum and the Tibetan market. The Tibetans are often encamped in the center of town in a muddy bazaar (potato fields in the summer) touting their goods from China. Indulge yourself at one of the many bakeries, shop for some yak bells or hand-woven Himalayan hats, chat with the sociable Sherpas in the village, or just relax in preparation for the trek. There are now new Mountain Hardwear and Sherpa Gear shops as well as Tsedam’s Gear Shop with a great variety of real trek gear if you find that you’re missing warm clothes. All often have gear on sale, bonus! Watch out for dzobkios and cows wandering the narrow streets …
For some peak-spotting at sunet, hike up ten minutes just past the National Park headquarters. For a higher viewpoint, climb steeply to any of several viewpoint an hour+ walk straight up the ridge (above the huge mani stone at the top of the steps). Continue just past Syangboche airstrip, worth the effort for the panoramic views of Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, Thamserku, Kantega, Kusum Khangkuru, Tarboche and Ama Dablam.
Trek to Phorste Thanga (3,680m) – 5 hrs
The trail climbs steeply out of valley through rhododendron forest, juniper and large conifers start to appear as the elevation increases making the trekking very pristine in spring. The trail passes through Yak Kharkas and summer settlements. The views of Khumbi La and Tawache are magnificent throughout the day.
Trek to Machherma (4,470m) – 5 hrs
We climb a ridge for an excellent view both down the valley to Kengtega and up towards Cho Oyu and descend to a river and again climbs steep to the terminal moraine of the Ngozumpz glacier. We will reach Machherma by early noon..
Trek to Gokyo (4,790m) – 5.5 hrs
The trek today takes us at one of our main destinations, Gokyo (4,790m). We will make this camp our base for 2 nights as we will have couple of sightseeing and hiking trips around Gokyo.
Another sublime trekking day heading to Gokyo and the Gokyo lakes at 4800 meters. Another climb to start the day; we hike up to the prayer flags and cairns on the ridge and then descent gently with Fanga, a single lodge across the river from the seasonal village of Nha, a half hour ahead of us. Past Fanga where the trail narrows, we descent and then climb on stone steps on an often icy trail, with frozen waterfalls to our left. We reach the confluence of the Dudh Kosi coming from the Gokyo valley and the stream coming from the Nzozumba Glacier and cross this river on a small metal bridge. We’ve reached the idyllic Gokyo valley, with the small first lake, now partially filled with algae, surrounded by sculptural cairns just ahead. Ruddy Shelducks float on the far end of this lake as well as the next two. In the Gokyo valley the character of the trekking changes abruptly. The opaque powder-blue lakes are often on the verge of freezing over, and sometimes perform a Himalayan symphony of expanding and retracting ice. We have entered the grassy ablation valley running beside the Ngozumpa Glacier; we continue trekking on a rocky, winding trail for half an hour to the second lake and soon after have our first sight of Gokyo, a seasonal village and grazing area built beside the third, and biggest lake. Gokyo has become something of a Himalayan resort without the crowd – at least in terms of the comfortable lodges with sunrooms, unbeatable views, excellent food and warm stoves. A more spectacular setting is difficult to imagine, and our guesthouse, the Cho Oyu Lodge, perfectly situated on the lake-side, is a little piece of heaven.
Lured into the wonderful sun-room, it is easy to spend the rest of the day chatting with fellow trekkers, watching shaggy yaks amble their way in and around Gokyo (sometimes casually sticking their heads inside the lodges) and admiring the lake-side views. Wander along the lateral moraine overlooking the Khumbu glacier for sunset, just a ten minute walk above Gokyo …
Trek to Gokyo Ri (5,483m) and back to Gokyo – 5 hrs
Early in the morning we have a steep climb up to the top of Gokyo Ri at an elevation of 5,483m. There are ample rewards for those who attempt this trip – you get stunning views of the super Gokyo valley, the massive Ngozumpa glacier and an incredible panoramic view of the whole Khumbu Himalayas, including the giants Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, Makalu, Cho-Oyu and Gychung Kang. This day we have for acclimatization and after noon back to the camp.
From the top, you are treated to a spectacular, 360 degree panorama of the Gokyo lakes, the glacial moraine and the surrounding Himalayan giants; Cho Oyu, Everest, Lhotse and Makalu among many others. To the west is the Renjo La (4515 meters) pass, the gateway to the Thame Valley and the Nangpa La, which the Tibetans cross with their yaks en route to Namche.
*** For those with extra energy, a nice afternoon excursion is a circumambulation of Gokyo lake; there is a beach at the other side, and then Buddhist and Hindu shrines just past that, a walk of 1 to 1 1/2 hours. And for sunset, don’t miss a quick hike up the moraine ridge in back of the village for glorious sunset colors on Cho Oyu, turning pinker down valley towards Cholatse, Tarboche and Thamserku.
Trek to Thangna (4,500m) – 4 hrs
Trek to the foot of Cho La pass. Accomodation in Thangna will be very basic and in a dormitory based room because of its remoteness.
Cross Cho La pass (5,300m) then trek to Dzongla (4,710m) – 7 hrs
We start before sunrise at 4 or 5am to reach the pass by 9 – 10am to dodge bad weather conditions of the noontime. We cross over at an altitude of 5,300m where we could be exposed to strong winds if we crossing too late. We start to climb steeply that is regularly used and easy to follow. However, the problem may arise due to the altitude and snow. It often causes terrible problems to cross the pass if it is covered by snow. As you reach the top, you are rewarded by the magnificent views, then we descend to the Dzongla at noon. Accomodation in Dzongla will be very basic and in dormitory style room because of its remoteness.
Trek to Lobuche (4,910m ) – 4 hrs
After breakfast, we’ll crest the chorten-topped ridge to the west of Dingboche and traverse the plateau for another three hours, looking down on the trail to the Cho La Pass and Dzongla. Walking along the flat, grassy grazing pastures, we pass the summer ‘doksa’, or yak-herding settlement, of Dusa before heading down to the stony river coming from the Khumbu Valley, and crossing it on a small bridge. A quick five minutes up the hill and we arrive at Thugla and Tsering Lhakpa’s Yak Lodge, probably the most genuine alpine lodge in the Khumbu. And it’s worth a trek up to Thugla just to meet Tsering, who often takes out his Tibetan ‘damnye’ to play some traditional Tibetan songs. We’ll have lunch at Thugla before continuing up.
From Thugla, it’s straight up the steep, yak-trodden trail to the memorials to the many climbers who have died attempting one of the many peaks in the area (including Babu Chiri and Scott Fischer’s). The Sherpas call this place Chukpi Lhare, meaning ‘wealthy persons’ kharka’. Check the mountain views behind you when you reach the memorial crest, they’re spectacular. Next, we head up-valley towards Lobuche, where we stay the night at the Eco Lodge. The views from the edge of the glacier down valley are superb, almost more so as the clouds move up the valley, so don’t miss an afternoon walk up to the ridge with your camera. At Lobuche, almost 5000 meters, it is especially important to take it easy, stay hydrated and get plenty of rest.
Trek to Gorak Shep 5180m (Kala Pattar)
We leave Lobuche early, trekking up a rocky yak trail on the right side of the Khumbu Glacier towards Gorak Shep, a walk of about three hours. The walk isn’t difficult, but there are a few hills to crest, more memorials along the way, and you should feel the altitude. The last stretch of the trail snakes up and down glacial scree, and just before Gorak Shep we get a view of Everest. Gorak Shep, with Kala Pattar just to the left, is a welcome sight. We have a chance to climb the 5645-meter Kala Pattar later in the morning, a steep, 2-hour climb from the lodge. From the rocky, prayer-flag strewn summit which is actually a spur from Pumori we are rewared with in-your-face views the 6, 7 & 8000 meter peaks as Everest, Lhotse (the tip), Nuptse, Amadablam & Kangtega to the south and Lhola Peak, Changtse, Khumbutse, Lingtren, Pumori & Chumbu. Changtse is fully in Tibet, and the others for the most part form the border of Nepal and Tibet.
Trek to Lobuche 4935m (daytrip to Everest Base Camp 5300m)
We have the morning hike to Everest Base Camp at 5365 meters, a 5-hour round-trip walk along the glacial ridge leading to the Khumbu icefall, descending right onto the glacier. At ‘Korean Base Camp’ there is a rock strung with 5-colored prayer flags which looks out at the Khumbu Ice Fall, a perfect spot for a group photo. If we have time, we can venture into the ice pinacles just a few minutes from the prayer flags, a sign of the melting glaciers and global warming …
Trek to Pangboche
Leaving Lobuche, we descend for an hour along the Khumbu glacier to the memorials above Thugla, and then switchback very steeply down the network of trails to Thugla that we climbed a few days ago. We’ll keep to our right and take the lower trail to Pheriche and then climb the small pass and descend back to the wide valley of yak trails and along the narrow trail to Pangboche.
Trek to Namche
Continuing back down the valley, we leave Pangboche by passing by the numerous trekking lodges and shops of Lower Pangboche and exiting the town through the open chorten (kane). We descend, on a beautiful and well-worn trail lined with ancient mani walls and whitewashed chortens with Bouddha eyes, down to the Imja Khola far below. After crossing the river on a new metal bridge (look below to see the old bridge), we hike on wide yak-trails through the hamlet of Devoche, passing ancient, moss-covered mani stones and the ani gompa (nunnery) of Devoche on the right. Stop for a peek into this old monastery, the equally ancient looking nuns often perform mid-day pujas. Soon after passing the nunnery we pass the few small lodges of Devoche and then ascend a relatively steep, switchbacking trail through a dense rhododendron forest for a good half an hour to reach Tengboche (4000 meters), backed by the massive wall of Kangtega and well-known for its large monastery, Tengboche Gompa. Tengboche is the largest monastic community in the Everest region and one of the Khumbu’s most important monasteries. We’ll take some time to visit Tengboche Gompa before the steep, hour-long descent on a dusty, hill-side trail to Phunki Tenga. From here, we cross the Dudh Koshi on a new bridge and heading back up steeply through pine forests. From here, it’s an easy hour and a half contour around many brushy hillsides to reach Namche, the Tibetan market, the lodges, hot showers, good food and a glass of wine or a cold beer will be waiting for you.
Trek to Lukla 2850m
Trekking down to the river, you’ll again cross on the bridge and start your hike uphill through Chharikharka. You will finish the trek back at beautiful lodge with new en-suite rooms. In the evening you will have yet another Sherpa feast (after hot showers) and perhaps try some famous Sherpa tongba, enjoy your last night dinner in Khumbu region with your sherpa friends, porter and guide. And have a good sleep.
Fly back to Kathmandu
Bags packed and ready to go before the sun rises as we fly out of Lukla to Kathmandu early; taking off from the Hillary Airstrip is just as exciting as landing! Flights our of Lukla are sometimes delayed by bad weather.
We take you to the airport for your international flight. Namaste!