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Everest Base Camp Trek via Gokyo Lake (Cho La pass)

Everest base Camp and Gokyo Lake Trekking

Trekking always offers a lot of experience and knowledge through exploration around the creation of nature. The nature has so much to offer for the one who seeks for its beauty. Likewise, I always like to wonder around the creation of nature and experience a lot of things by travelling. This time, I trekked the base camp of the world’s highest peak, Mt. Everest (8,848 meter). There are various routes to Everest Base Camp; the classic route via Jiri, the three pass route and via Gokyo lake. I chose the route via Gokyo Lake crossing the Cho La pass (5,420 m), one of the three passes to reach Everest Base Camp Trek. I researched in the internet and found this route suitable and interesting. The main reason to choose this route was that I would visit Gokyo Lake, cross the Cho La pass and also reach Everest Base Camp Trek in one trip. I was more excited because Everest is the highest region of world and offers views of various mountains including world’s highest peak, Mt. Everest (8,848 m), 4th highest peak Mt. Lhotse (8,516 m), 5th highest peak Mt. Makalu (8485 m), 6th highest peak Mt. Cho-Oyu (8,201 m) and many other appealing mountains peaks.

One can experience EBC helicopter tour as an alternative for the trekking. Trekkers who have already been to EBC can also experience this tour to have a top view of Everest Region.

Tour Features:

  1. View of 4 world’s highest peak.
  2. Highest peak of world, Everest (8,848 m)
  3. 4th highest peak of world, Lhotse (8,516 m)
  4. 5th highest peak of world, Makalu (8,485 m)
  5. 6th highest peak of world, Cho Oyu (8,201 m)
  6. Base Camp of the world’s highest peak; Everest Base Camp (EBC)
  7. World’s highest freshwater system, Gokyo Lake.
  8. Climb Gokyo RI to witness world’s highest peak with 360° mountains peaks.
  9. Kala Patthar (5,545 m)
  10. Everest regions mountain peaks; Mt. Nuptse, Mt. Pumori, Mt. Thamserku, Mt. Ama Dablam and many more.
  11. One of the world’s thrilling airports; Lukla Airport.
  12. Ngozumpa glacier, largest glacier of Nepal.
  13. Tengboche monastery; largest monastery of Everest Region.
  14. Namche bazar, the capital of Sherpa and gateway to Everest.
  15. Cross Cho La pass (5,420 m)
  16. Khumbu glaciers and icefalls.
  17. Dense colorful forest of Rhododendrons and pine trees.

My Trek Experience.

I did this Everest Base Camp Trek on April which falls on spring season and is the best season for trekking in Nepal. This season offer the best view of mountain peaks with clear visibility and blue sky.

The first day of my trek started with a domestic flight to Lukla. I went to Tribhuwan International Airport for the flight; the officers checked my documents and headed me towards the aircraft. It was a small plane with few passengers. It was the first flight of the day so it did not take much time as the weather was clear. The plane took off and flew over the valley of Kathmandu. The valley settlements looked like scattered bricks from the top. The Mountain View was more appealing and alluring from the flight. We witness various hills, peaks and terrace, and then finally landed to the most thrilling airport of Nepal, Lukla Airport. It was just 45 minutes flight which took me to a rural area of Nepal from the capital city. After the plane landed, I got off and explored the village. I entered a teahouse to drink tea. Then, I continued my day’s journey to Phakding. It was not a difficult walk as it was the first day of the trek. The weather was so nice and visibility was also clear. I passed various settlements and crossed suspension bridges over Dudh Koshi River. Finally after about 4 hours of walk, I reached the settlement of Phakding village. I went to a hotel and asked them for room. They assigned me a nice single room and then asked me about the dinner. I ordered Dal Bhat, went to my room and relaxed for some time. Then, I went to the dining where I met other trekkers and had fun with them. I had my dinner and then went to bed.

Everest Base Camp Trek Everest base Camp trek

The next day, I woke up at around 6 am and went outside to freshen myself up. It was the month of April, so the weather was mild. The morning was not so chilly but very cool and mesmerizing. I enjoyed a delicious breakfast with lovely scenery. Then, checked out from the hotel and started to trek. Today’s destination was Namche Bazar. I was very cherished by the rhododendrons that were blooming around the forest. There were various different colors of rhododendrons including red and pink. I walked through the dense rhododendron forest, crossed various suspension bridges that day. I walked along the trails to Dudh Koshi River. Majestic view of a mountain summit was seen through the trail which I found later was Mt. Everest peeping from the ridge of Nuptse and Lhotse. I had my lunch at Monjo, a settlement somewhere between Phakding and Namche. I could see various mountain ranges and their summits through the trails. After a walk of around 5 hours, I reached Namche Bazar. The trails were steep but I walked in a normal pace to sustain my energy for the whole trek. Reaching Namche, I checked in to a hotel.

Namche Bazar is the main trade center of Khumbu region. Namche was also known as the gateway of Everest because it offers a lot of trekking trails to the marvelous Everest region. A large number of hotels, coffee shops, fast food, government office and other banking institutions are available at Namche. This is the last point where there is the availability of ATM centers and banks. Most of the trekkers/climbers acclimatize at Namche to reduce the risk of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS).

It was a good sleep at Namche bazar with delicious dinner and warm hospitality. The next day, I headed towards Dole. I climbed the hill of Namche and crossed it. The view was alluring after crossing Namche. I witnessed the amazing panoramic view of the mountain peaks including Mt. Everest, Ama Dablam, Lhotse, Thamserku and other peaks of Everest region. The trail again led me to the rhododendron forest and bamboo bushes. I passed the beautiful settlements of Khumjung and Kyangjuma then traced the trail to Gokyo Lake. After walking for total about 5 hours, I reached Dole, searched a hotel and then checked in. The hotel owner was nice and honest. I talked with him during my dinner and asked many questions about the region. There were some tourists at the hotel with whom I talked for some time and knew that they were from Spain and were trekking up to Gokyo Lake and then return Kathmandu. They said they trekked Everest Base Camp 2 years before and were appealed by Nepal’s beauty; so they came Nepal again and did the trek. After the talks, I went to my room.

After spending a night at Dole village, I had an early breakfast at the hotel and then checked out. I walked along the Dudh Koshi River trails again. There were numbers of rhododendrons and other flowers blooming at their best. I passed various pine trees and human settlements. I saw the Ngozumpa glacier, the largest glacier of Nepal. Finally, after around 4 hours, I reached Machhermo. I went to a nearby teahouse and ask the owner if he have some vacant single room. He told me he had only double room but still can manage an overnight stay for me. I agreed to him and asked him to cook Dal Bhat for me. He showed me the double room and told me to spend the night there. I went to the room, kept my baggage and then walk outside to enjoy the ambience of the place. Machhermo is at an elevation of 4,470 m and is a beautiful Sherpa village of the region. After having dinner, I went to sleep.

I woke up with a knock on the door; it was the hotel owner calling me for the breakfast. I woke up, got freshen up and then went to the dining. The breakfast was tasty and delicious with hot coffee. After the breakfast, I went to my room and packed my stuff. I talked with the hotel owner about my charges and he told me to pay half of the double room as you are single and pay for the food. I liked his opinion and agreed to him. Then, I started my trek to Gokyo Lake. The trail from Machhermo to Gokyo Lake was not steep and difficult. It was a small trek of about 3.4 hours. I passed various Tibetan chortens and small Gumba throughout the trails. I saw a small Lake with clear blue water and thought I reached my destination. But I was wrong; there were two lakes. The 1st lake of Gokyo is known as Longponga Tsho and 2nd lake is known as Taboche Tsho. After passing those two lakes, I saw this beautiful human settlement at the eastern side of the 3rd lake.  That was the place I was going to stay and from where I admire the beauty of the lake. The 3rd lake was known as Dudh Pokhari. The water was so clear and blue. Some ducks were playing on and around the lake. I went up to the village and checked in to a hotel. Then, I went outside to enjoy the ambience of the place. I could enjoy close view of Mt. Cho-Oyu (8,201 m).

Gokyo Lake is declared as Ramsar site due to its international importance and Gokyo is the highest freshwater system of world consisting highest freshwater lake system of the world. The lakes are situated in different elevation from 4,700 m to 5,000 m. The Gokyo RI is the summit of Gokyo from where one can admire the beauty of Gokyo lakes along with the mountains and settlements.

The next day, I woke up and headed towards the Gokyo RI. It was total of 3 hours normal walk and it was a worthy walk as the view from the RI was one of the most mind blowing and appealing views of the journey. From Gokyo RI, I could see beautiful view of the settlement where I stayed the last night and the 3 Gokyo Lake which were adding more beauty to the place with its clear blue water. Top highest peaks like Mt. Everest (8,848 m), Mt. Lhotse (8516 m), Mt. Makalu (8,485 m), Mt. Cho Oyu (8,201 m) can be seen from the RI with various other mountain peaks and rocky hills. It was a magical moment up on Gokyo RI with the 360° mountains surrounding me. I stayed there for an hour and admire the beauty of the nature. Then, I descended down to the village where I stayed. I went to my room, packed my stuffs and asked the hotel owner if my lunch was ready or not. I had my lunch. Then, I checked out of the hotel and headed towards Thangnak which was the village I was going to stay for the night. I passed the Ngozumpa glacier on this day. After a long walk of around 5 hours, I reached Thangnak and went to a hotel. I checked in to the hotel, had my dinner and went to bed to take enough rest for the following day as I had to cross the Cho La pass the next day.

It was chilly at Thangnak until the sunrise. I enjoyed the beautiful view of the sunrise from the hotel’s room. I had my breakfast and then checked out of the hotel. The hotel owner gave a lot of information regarding my query about the trails and Cho La pass. After talking for some times, I waved him and continued my journey towards Cho La pass. The trails were so rocky and steep. It was not a difficult trail but the presence of so many rocks was a hindrance. I still managed to balance my walk pace and kept walking. After walking for certain hours, I reached the base of Cho La pass. I looked up at the top and thought to myself; the only difficulty is to get to that top, once I reach there descending will take less time and will be easier. Thinking this, I started ascending. The trail was not so easy as there were various size of rocks. Finally, after ascending for a long time, I reached the top of Cho La pass. It was one of the best moments of my life as I made it up to Cho La pass, one of the three passes of Everest region. Then, I descended from there to reach Dzonglha. After reaching Dzonglha, I checked in to a hotel and spend my overnight there. From Dzonglha, beautiful views of Mt. Ama Dablam, Pheriche, Lobuche and many other villages can be seen.

I had my breakfast at the hotel and then checked out from there. I was very happy as I crossed the Cho La pass the day before and now it is time to explore Everest Base Camp. This day, I was going to spend my night at Lobuche and then visit Everest Base Camp (EBC) the following day. Lobuche is not so far from Dzonglha, so I walked in a very normal pace admiring and enjoying the ambience of the nature. I reached Lobuche and then spend a night there.
From Lobuche, it was around 5 hours walk to Gorakshep. From Lobuche, I will be walking the normal or direct route to Everest Base Camp. I woke up early, had my breakfast and started my journey. I traced the normal route trail and met various other trekkers and climbers on my way. Many of them were returning from their treks and expedition while some of them including me were heading to Everest Base Camp. After walking for certain hours, I reached Gorakshep where I booked a room, left my baggage and then I continued to hike up to Everest Base Camp. The plan was to hike up to Everest Base Camp, spend some time there and then return to the hotel at Gorakhshep. I did everything according to the plan and reached Everest Base Camp Trek walking for like 1.5 hours. It was a very difficult walk to the Base Camp. The trails were rocky and difficult with a large number of climbers and trekkers along the trails. I stayed and explored around the Base Camp for about an hour and then returned to Gorakshep for the overnight.

The next day, I woke up early morning and then started to hike up to Kala Patthar. Kala Patthar is a view point of Everest Region from where one can admire the summit view of Everest, Lhotse and Nuptse with other various mountain peaks such as Ama Dablam, Pumori, etc. It took me around 2 hours to reach Kala Patthar. The view from Kala Patthar was mind blowing and I was surrounded by 360° snow covered mountain peaks. There were other few trekkers at Kala Patthar. I spend around an hour at Kala Patthar capturing some photos and admiring the place.
Then, I descended to Gorakshep and headed towards Pheriche. I retraced the trails up to Lobuche. From Lobuche, it took around 2 hours to descend Pheriche. I spend an overnight at Pheriche. Then, the next day I retraced the trails up to Namche bazar and spend an overnight at Namche. I headed towards Lukla on the other day, fixed my flight for the following day and spend an overnight at Lukla. Then, the next day early morning, I flew back to Kathmandu from Lukla admiring the mountain ranges and scenery.

This trek was a worthy trek. I had a lot of fun and experience on different situations and trails. I was much satisfied with the creation of the nature and also the route I chose because it took me to the world’s highest freshwater system, one of the three passes and then to the world’s highest mountain’s base camp. It was a challenging trek but a must to do one for all the trekkers and adventure seekers.

I have experience on most of the trekking regions of Nepal and love to travel around. I am a certified licensed guide in trekking field and currently working at Global Holidays Adventure Pvt. Ltd. Our company operates overland tour, treks and mountains flight to various destinations as per the client’s preference. Always remember us for the best and qualitative services. Feel free to contact for queries and information.

Story by SANTOSH BLON

Global Holidays Adventure Pvt.Ltd