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Everest Base Camp Trek via Gokyo Lakes, recognized for the series of beautiful turquoise lakes in the Gokyo valley and the famous Cho La Pass, takes us through the landmarks of the Khumbu region in the company of majestically soaring mountains, friendly Sherpas, colorful monasteries, the Namche Bazaar, the Sagarmatha National Park, and, of course, to the base of the mighty Everest. The trek in advancing to the base of the world’s tallest mountain maps out spectacular vistas from such celebrated viewpoints like Gokyo Ri and Kala Patthar. The trek also awards us with great views of the Khumbu Icefall. Trekking to the Everest Base Camp through Gokyo Lakes, in a nutshell, will be a lifetime experience with the enthralling sights of Mt. Cho Oyu, Everest, Lhotse, Makalu, Nuptse, Amadablam, Pumori, and Tengboche Monastery – the largest monastery in the Khumbu region of Nepal.
The Everest Base Camp Trek via Gokyo Lakes’ itinerary is ideal for hikers who wish to take up more challenge and “stay off the beaten path” while treading upon remote Nepalese trails. However if you are a novice trekker who is in good health and average physical fitness then Everest Base Camp Trek – 16 Days might be right for you. Additionally, if you are an experienced trekker who wants to trek to the Everest Base Camp but has limited amount of time in your hands then you can sign up for Everest Base Camp Short Trek – 14 Days instead.
|Day 01 Arrival in Kathmandu||1,350m/4,429ft|
|Day 02 Kathmandu: Sightseeing and trek Preparation||1,350m/4,429ft|
|Day 03 Fly to Lukla, trek to Phakding||2,800m/9,187ft||3-4 hrs|
|Day 04 Phakding to Namche Bazaar||3,438m/11,280ft||5-6 hrs|
|Day 05 Acclimatization Day - Namche Bazaar||3,438m/11,280ft|
|Day 06 Namche Bazaar to Phortse Thanga||3,680m/12,074ft||5-6 hrs|
|Day 07 Phortse Thanga to Machhermo||4,470m/14,666ft||4-5 hrs|
|Day 08 Machhermo to Gokyo||4,800m/15,749ft||4-5 hrs|
|Day 09 Gokyo Valley: Acclimatization Day - Optional Hike to Gokyo Ri||5,357m/17,576ft||3-4 hrs|
|Day 10 Gokyo to Thagnak||4,750m/15,585ft||4-5 hrs|
|Day 11 Thagnak to Cho La pass to Dzongla||5,420m/17,783ft||7-8 hrs|
|Day 12 Dzongla to Lobuche||4,940m/16,208ft||2-3 hrs|
|Day 13 Lobuche to Gorak Shep , visit Everest Base Camp||5,364m/17,599ft||6-7 hrs|
|Day 14 Gorak Shep to Kala Patthar to Pheriche||5,545m/18,193ft||7-8 hrs|
|Day 15 Pheriche to Namche Bazaar||3,438m/11,280ft||6-7 hrs|
|Day 16 Namche Bazaar to Lukla||2,800m/9,187ft||6-7 hrs|
|Day 17 Fly to Kathmandu||1,350m/4,429ft|
|Day 18 Final departure||-|
Upon our arrival at the Tribhuwan International Airport (TIA) in Kathmandu, we will be greeted by a representative from Himalayan Glacier who will take us to our hotel. After checking in, we may take a rest or visit Himalayan Glacier’s office. In the evening there will be a welcome dinner in a traditional Nepali Restaurant where we will be able to enjoy authentic Nepali cuisine with a brief cultural program.Overnight in Kathmandu.
Today after breakfast we start a guided tour to several of the most historical and spiritual attractions in Kathmandu which are also listed as UNESCO World Heritage sites. We visit the historic Durbar Square, the sacred Hindu temple of Pashupatinath, the famous ‘Monkey Temple’ (Swayambhunath) and Buddhist shrine (Bouddhanath), which is also one of the largest stupas in the world. At noon, we get our equipment checked by our climbing leader, get introduced to fellow participants, and discuss our trip at Himalayan Glacier’s office. Overnight in Kathmandu.
During the 40-minute flight from Kathmandu to Lukla (9,186ft), we enjoy one of the most beautiful air routes in the world culminating on a hillside surrounded by high mountainous peaks. At Lukla, a gateway destination from where our trek begins, we meet our other crew members and begin packing and arranging with them. From Lukla, we start trekking. At one hour’s gradual descent, we will be at a Cheplung village from where we have a glimpse of Mt. Khumbila (18900 ft), a sacred mountain which has never been climbed. From Cheplung, we then gradually descend until we reach Phakding and spend the night.
Walking through a beautiful pine forest, we follow the trail north up the valley of Benkar. We then cross Dudh Koshi River and go on passing Chumoa to Monjo, the entrance to Everest National Park. Then after crossing a suspension bridge, we pass Jorsale village and walk alongside of the Dudh Koshi and Bhote Koshi rivers. A steep ascent brings us to the prime heartland of Sherpa village – Namche Bazaar. At one hour’s distance to reaching Namche Bazaar, if the weather permits, we can view the sights of Mt. Everest and Mt. Lhotse. Overnight in Namche Bazaar.
There are plenty of things to do around Namche Bazaar, and we can spend a day here acclimatizing. Namche Bazaar is the main centre of the Khumbu region and has government offices, ATMs, Internet cafes, shops, restaurants, and a colorful market. Our guides can take us to explore the real charm of Namche Bazaar. Hiking to Sagarmatha National Park rewards trekkers with a sunrise view and the views of Mount Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, Ama Dablam, Thamserku, Kongde and so on. If we are interested in a day hike, we trek to Khumjung village (12401 ft)-a beautiful village with a Sherpa settlement. In exploring Namche Bazar, we observe traditional Sherpa life, Khumjung Hillary School, and enjoy flora and fauna found at such altitude. Overnight in Namche Bazaar.
We climb the Khumjung hill and descend to the east of the village down the broad valley leading to the Dudh Koshi from where the route turns north. There are two trails and our guide will choose the best option for us to follow. There is a chorten on the ridge top at 3973 m which descends from Mt. Khumbila (5761 m). We visit Mohang, the birthplace of the re-incarnated Lama of Rongbuk Monastery of Tibet who is believed to have introduced Buddhism in the Khumbu region of Nepal. The trail descends in a series of steep switchbacks down a sandy slope to the Dush Koshi. We stay overnight in Phortse Tanga, near the river.
From Phortse Thanga it is an uphill climb to Machhermo. We walk on a trail alongside a rhododendron forest and pass through a waterfall before reaching Tongba Village. We continue our uphill trek and pass through Dole, Labarma and Luza villages before reaching Machhermo. There is a Chhorten right before the Luza village. Throughout today’s journey we will be walking alongside the Dudh Koshi River. Overnight in Machhermo.
We begin today by climbing a ridge for an excellent view down the valley to Kangtaiga and also up towards Cho Oyu (8153 m). The valley now widens as the trail passes through Phangkha, where an avalanche in 1995 killed 40 people. We then descend to the riverbank before climbing onto the terminal moraine of the Ngazumpa Glacier on a steep trail. Upon crossing an iron bridge over a stream, the trail levels out as it follows the valley past the first lake, known as Longpongo, at 4690 m. At this juncture, we get a chance to observe lama footprints on a stone. At the sight of the second lake, Taboche Tsho, we become mesmerized by the shimmering turquoise blue sheet of water sparkling in the sun. Little ahead of the second lake, we reach the third lake, the two linked by a surging stream. Gokyo village stands by the third lake and Cho-Oyu Mountain as a backdrop sets an amazing spectacular sight here. After lunch, we explore around the third lake, Dudh Pokhari. Overnight in Gokyo.
We will hike to Gokyo Ri, a small peak above Gokyo village, in the morning and savor the fantastic views of the entire Khumbu region. As we ascend, the views become even more fantastic and we can see four of the seven highest peaks of Nepal, Cho Oyu, Everest, Lhotse and Makalu. Reaching the fourth lake, Thonak Tsho we take pleasure in the lake’s serene beauty after which we trek back along the retracing trail to the third lake. We may take an additional hike up to the fifth lake, Ngozumba Tsho if time permits and depending on our physical conditions. From here, the view of Ngozumba glacier, the longest glacier of the Himalayas, is so fascinating. Overnight in Gokyo.
If we did not climb the Gokyo Ri the previous day, we can do that today. Climbing to the top of Gokyo Ri is demanding as it is steep and takes about 3 to 4 hours to reach the top. But the scenery of Gokyo village, on the edge of third lake overlooked by Cholatse and the broad Nogzumpa Glacier, is magnificent. We are surrounded by panoramic mountains like Kusum Kanguru, Thamserku, Kangtega, Taboche, Cholatse, Makalu, Lhotse, Nuptse, Everest, Changtse, and Pumori. The sight of sunrays kissing Everest which towers over all the surrounding peaks is astounding. We trek through the Ngazumpa Glacier to the mountain on the other side. Next, traverse along the edge of that mountain and then meander into Thagnak. It will be a short hike today with an afternoon of rest which will prepare us for long hiking days and elevation gain to come.
Today is going to be one of the toughest days of the trip. The Cho La pass is not itself difficult, but it is steep and involves a glacier traverse on the eastern side. We need to be careful as the trail is vertical and the rocks glazed by ice may cause trouble by making the trail slippery. The trail from Phedi climbs through a ravine and a rocky trail. While trekking through the side of a frozen lake, we reach at the top of the pass decorated with prayer flags. The pyramidal Ama Dablam presides over a range of mountains on the south even as Cholatse soars to the west and Lobuche East and Baruntse rises sharply to our right. We need to pass through some crevasses before we reach Dzongla Village. The village provides great views of Cholatse, Ama Dablam, Lobuche mountains along with the Pheriche Village far below.
This will be a very short trek so we have a lot time to relax and enjoy the beauty that surrounds us. We climb down from Dzongla and walk through a grassy trail while enjoying the view of Lobuche Peak. The trail curves through the wide river bed before reaching Lobuche. We can spend the rest of day taking a rest which will help us prepare for the next day’s long trek. Overnight in Lobuche.
We take the trail to Everest Base Camp through the once vast Gorak Shep Lake. Continuing straight ahead, we come across the Indian army mountaineers’ memorials. The path from here can be misleading; hence, it is important that we follow our lead Sherpa diligently. The walk is strenuous due to thin air in the high altitude. We pass through rocky dunes, moraine and streams before reaching the Everest Base Camp. Upon reaching the Everest Base Camp, we see tents of mountaineers that stand out in bright colors against the monotony of gray surroundings (especially in the spring). Nuptse, Khumbuste and Pumori are the mountains we can view from the base camp. We get back to Gorak Shep for a good night’s rest. Overnight in Gorak Shep.
However, the sunset view from Kala Patthar is more admirable than the sunrise view, so it is recommended that we visit Kala Patthar today during sunset. As the setting sun’s rays strike the snow-capped mountains, the resulting scenery is incredible. Therefore, for those trekkers who wish to continue to Kala Patthar today instead of the next day please inform your guide and he/she will coordinate accordingly.
We prepare for an early morning departure, amid pre-dawn darkness and cold temperatures (-10 to -14 C). Plus, there is always the potential for chilly winds which are quite common. Familiar peaks such as Lingtren, Khumbutse, and Changtse tower to the east even as Everest begins to reveal itself. But, it is upon reaching Kala Patthar that we get to see 360 degree up-close and formidable views of Mt. Everest. We take pictures, enjoy the magnificent mountain panorama, and then return back to Lobuche for a good night’s rest. Overnight in Lobuche.
Those participants who will visit Everest Base Camp today will have an early breakfast to start early as Everest base camp hike takes longer than the hike at Kala Patthar. After returning to Gorak Shep, both the groups will have lunch together; the afternoon is taken to descend down to Pheriche for a good night’s rest.
We trek down through the hillside blanketed by rhododendron and juniper trees. After crossing the prayer-flag festooned bridge over the Dudh Koshi River, our trail follows the Dudh Koshi gorge descending rapidly through pine forests. In the forest, we may come across colorful pheasants and mountain goats. The path eventually reaches Sansa from where we can enjoy views of Ama Dablam, Thamserku and Nuptse mountains. We also pass winding trails then through a forest before reaching Namche Bazaar. Overnight in Namche Bazaar.
The trail descends steeply downward so we need to walk cautiously as our shaky legs continuously battle the rocky terrain. After crossing the suspension bridges over the fast flowing Dudh Koshi and its tributaries, the trail becomes more level and natural. After our arrival in Lukla, we stretch those sore legs and recall the experiences of the last couple of days. Overnight in Lukla.
We catch an early morning flight to Kathmandu after our long mountain journey. After reaching Kathmandu, we can take a rest or do some souvenir shopping. If we want to explore any other areas of Kathmandu, we may do that today. Our guides can help you with both souvenir shopping or sightseeing. There will be a farewell dinner in the evening to celebrate the successful completion of our journey. Overnight in Kathmandu.
Your adventure in Nepal comes to an end today! There is nothing to do but trade emails with your travel companions and organize your photos. A representative from Himalayan Glacier Trekking will take you to the airport, approximately 3 hours before your scheduled flight. On your way home you’ll have plenty of time to plan your next adventure in the wonderful country of Nepal.
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Significant Information: The unpredictable weather conditions in the Everest region may lead to cancellation of Lukla flights. So, what do you do if your flight is cancelled at the last minute? We have several alternative options for Lukla flight cancellations for you, in case you have limited time in Nepal. Make sure that you are well-informed about this critical issue well ahead of time!
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