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Gokyo Lakes–Cho La Pass–EBC Trek (18 Days)

Gokyo Lakes–Cho La Pass–EBC Trek (18 Days)
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This comprehensive trek thoroughly explores the central Khumbu region of Nepal Trek: it includes four high altitude climbs, two to view points. Fitness and stamina is required. Fly to Lukla and trek to Namche Bazaar for an acclimatisation day.

Follow the serene Dudh Koshi Valley; and the Ngozumpa Glacier, for three days to Gokyo. This seasonal grazing hamlet is perched on the glacial moraine, overlooking the blue-green Dudh Pokhari (lake) and is surrounded by high peaks. Climb Gokyo Ri for panoramic views over the glacier that include Cho Oyu, the Everest Group and Makalu.

Walk down to Tagnag, crossing the kilometre wide glacier. An early start allows time for the strenuous Cho La ascent, summit photo shoot and long descent to Dzonglha. A two day walk then leads to the last village of Gorak Shep before Everest Base Camp Trek (EBC).

Walk to Base Camp opposite the ice fall. Climb Kala Patthar above the village for close sunrise views of Everest and its satellites; in a sea of lesser peaks.

The easier three day downward trail explores scenic Sherpa country, including Tengboche with an important monastery, en route to Namche Bazaar. A final day is needed to trek to Lukla.

Day 01: Arrival   Kathmandu Tribhuvan Airport (1 300m/4 260ft). We will meet and transfer you to your hotel.

Day 02: In the City Kathmandu Valley Sightseeing Tour   OR   A day at leisure. Trek preparation.

Day 03: Kathmandu – Lukla (2 640m/8 660ft) – Phakding (2 610m/8 560ft), 35 min flight, 3-4 hrs trek 

Day 04: Phakding – Namche Bazaar (3 440m/11 290ft), 5-6 hrs

Day 05: Namche Bazaar: Rest, acclimatization and exploration day

Day 06: Namche Bazaar – Dole (4 100m/13 450ft), 5-6 hrs             

Day 07: Dole – Machhermo (4 410m/14 470ft), 4-5 hrs

Day 08: Machhermo – Gokyo (4 750m/15 580ft), 3-4 hrs

Day 09: Gokyo Valley: Acclimatization and exploration day

Day 10: Gokyo – Gokyo Ri (5 360m/17 590ft) – Tagnag, (4 700m/15 420ft), 5-6 hrs

Day 11: Tagnag – Cho-la Pass (5 420m/17 780ft) – Dzonglha (4 830m/15 850ft), 7-8 hrs 

Day 12: Dzonglha – Lobuche (4 940m/16 210ft), 2-3 hrs

Day 13: Lobuche – Gorak Shep (5 160m/16 930ft) – Base Camp (5 360m/17 590ft) – Gorak Shep, 7-8 hrs

Day 14: Gorak Shep – Kala Patthar (5 550m/18 210ft) – Pheriche (4 280m/14 040ft), 7-8 hrs

Day 15: Pheriche – Namche Bazaar (3 440m/11 290ft), 6-7 hrs

Day 16: Namche Bazaar – Lukla (2 640m/8 660ft), 6-7 hrs

Day 17: Lukla – Kathmandu (1 300m/4 260ft), 35 min flight. 

Day 18: Final Departure: Transfer to Tribhuvan International Airport for your flight to your onward destination.

NB: Cloud and turbulent weather along the mountain ranges is common and may lead to internal mountain flight delays or cancellations. We suggest you add at least one extra day after your trek before flying out of Nepal.

Day 01: Arrival  Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport (1 300m/4 260ft)                    

After completing passport, immigration and visa requirements, we will meet you outside the terminal building (look for your name board) and transfer you to your hotel: afternoon free.  Evening: a welcome dinner, introduction to your guide and a briefing on the trek with a check on necessities.  Overnight at hotel. 

Day 02: In the City Kathmandu Valley Sightseeing   OR   A Day at Leisure 

Take a day tour to five of the Kathmandu Valley’s cultural world heritage sites: Swayambhunath, the famed “monkey temple;” the city’s historical Durbar Square with ancient temples, unique art, architecture, and the chance to see the Kumari (living goddess); Patan’s Durbar Square; the Hindu temple Pashupatinath and Bouddhanath, the world’s largest stupa.
A car and driver will take you to each site-entrance and wait for you. (Entry tickets and lunch are not included.)

Day 03: Kathmandu – Lukla (2 640m/8 660ft) – Phakding (2 610m/8 560ft), 35 min flight, 3-4 hrs trek

After breakfast, drive to the Domestic Airport for the flight to Lukla in the Khumbu region – south of Everest. Meet your local porters and begin the discovery by trekking into the Dudh Koshi Valley: to Cheplung (2 700m) and Ghat (2 530m). Another hour’s walk takes you to Phakding. Overnight in Phakding.

Day 04: Phakding – Namche Bazaar (3 440m/11 290ft), 5-6 hrs

Walk through pine forests along the Dudh Koshi, crossing tributaries, to the Sherpa villages of Benkar (2 710m), Chumoa (2 820m), Monjo (2 840m) and Jorsale (2 830m). This is the gateway and permit checkpoint to the Sagarmatha National Park. Thamserku (6 618m) glistens east of the village. Follow the river to its confluence with the Bhote Koshi: the major rivers draining the Khumbu District. Climb steadily, crossing the high Tenzing- Hilary Bridge, to the first glimpses of Everest and the Nuptse-Lhotse ridge. A further 3hr forested climb leads to the region’s administrative and trade centre at Namche Bazaar. Overnight in Namche Bazaar.

Day 05: Namche Bazaar: Acclimatization and exploration day.

This is the first scheduled acclimatization day. Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) experts recommend at least a 24 hr rest period. Keep active: climb high and sleep low is the acclimatisation advice.

Only Namche offers ATMs, cyber cafés, restaurants and bakeries, plus a colourful market each Friday evening and Saturday morning. The Sagarmatha (Everest) National Park Visitor’s Centre has informative displays on Sherpa culture, local flora and fauna.

The village of Khumjung (3 780m) will present a more traditional view of Sherpa life than Namche. Spend a morning walking up to the village. A circular trail is possible. At very least visit the closer Everest View Hotel (3 880m).

A more adventurous five hour trek west to Thame (3 820m): below the impressive Kongde Ri Ridge (6 187m), offers panoramic Himalayan landscapes not visible from the Gokyo or Everest trails.

Day 06: Namche Bazaar – Dole (4 100m/13 450ft), 5-6 hrs             

From the top of Namche, the trail contours around a hill to Sanasa (3 600m); and a trail fork: NW to Gokyo, NE to Everest. Look for Himalayan tahrs on high ground, shy spotted deer, and birds – including the colourful (male) national bird: the Danphe pheasant. Turn NW along the slopes of Khumbila (5 761m) into the Dudh Khosi Valley and head up to Mong La (3 975m, with a central chorten). Descend to Phortse Thenga (3 680m) through pine and rhododendron forest before rising to Dole: and great snow-capped views. Overnight in Dole.        

Day 07: Dole – Machhermo (4 410m/14 470ft), 4-5 hrs

Scrub vegetation confirms the altitude; trek slowly to minimise AMS risks. Climb to scenic ridges overlooking the valley’s summer grazing kharkas: snowy Cho Oyu appears ahead; Kangtega and Thamserku stand south of the valley. Machhermo lies in a broad valley below the moraine. Dwellings are spaced within stone walled fields.  Overnight in Machhermo.

Day 08: Machhermo – Gokyo (5 360m/17 590ft), 3-4 hrs

Walk from the basin to a ridge; where the south face of the mighty Cho Oyu – Ghyachung Kang glacier field starts to come into view. Ahead is the snout of Nepal’s longest, Ngozumpa, glacier from those fields. The trail gradually descends to the river.  At Pangka (4 390m) a second path from the south joins the trail before it ascends the side of the moraine.

There are six small lakes on the western side of the moraine. A bridge crosses the edge of the first; the Longponga Tsho (4 690m). Next is the Taboche Tsho (4 710m, just after a trail onto the glacier – to Tagnag and the Cho La). A final 30 min strenuous walk leads to the Dudh Pokhari, set in a horseshoe of high peaks.
Gokyo village is perched above it on the side of the glacial moraine. The last three lakes lie further up the valley towards the huge ice wall: which is partially visible above ridges from the village. Overnight in Gokyo.

Day 09: Gokyo: Acclimatisation and exploration day.

Gokyo offers two exploration options. A lower 3km trail north of the village explores the route past the remaining lakes. They, together with melt water from the glacier are the source of the Dudh Koshi that was followed from Lukla. Aim for Thonak Tsho (4 870m), Ngozumpa Tsho (4 980m) and Scoundrel’s viewpoint (5 000m) on a low hill. From here there are tremendous close-up views of Cho-Oyu, the ice wall and Ghyachung Kang plus Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse and Makalu. Allow ~2h to return to Gokyo. The Cho-Oyu Base Camp at the northern end of the sixth, Gyazumba Tsho (4 990m), is too far for a day’s walk. Return to Gokyo for the night.

Day 10: Gokyo – Gokyo Ri (5 360m/17 590ft) – Tagnag (4 700m/15 420ft), 5-6 hrs

The trail to the Gokyo Ri viewpoint begins after a short walk around the lake. Set out early (to avoid mid-morning cloud) for the two hour climb to its summit. Below is the broad, rubble-covered Ngozumpa Glacier, Nepal’s longest, gouged out beneath the wall of towering peaks on its south-eastern flank. Above is the unforgettable vista of the Mahalangur Himal that includes Cho-Oyu (8 201m) the ice wall and Ghyachung Kang (7 952m), the north face of Everest (8 848m/29 028ft), Lhotse (8 516m), Nuptse (7 861m), and Makalu (8 463m), while to the south Cholatse, Taboche, Thamserku, Kangtega, Kusum Kangru (all over 6 300m) and many more, some unnamed, rear their peaks

After breakfast at the teahouse, take a leisurely stroll back down the trail to beyond the second lake, Taboche Tsho. Then climb the trail onto the moraine and cross the kilometre wide glacier to the tiny summer hamlet of Tagnag. Overnight at Tagnag.

Day 11: Tagnag – Cho La (5 420m/17 780ft) – Dzonglha (4 830m/15 850ft), 7-8 hrs              

This demanding but rewarding day calls for a dawn start to beat possible cloud at the summit. A steep trail from the hotel mounts a grassy hillock before dropping into a shallow valley. Ahead is a steep ill-defined trail ascending loose, scree slopes – higher up over hidden ice; to the flag bedecked narrow neck of the pass.

Summit views to the west include the Ngozumpa Glacier, with Pharilapche and Kyajo Ri standing out amidst other peaks. To the north the high border ridge of the Mahalangur Himal presents the vast white wall from Ghyachung Kang, west, across Ngozumpa II and I to Cho Oyu. These peaks are all above 7 600m. To the east are Cholatse, Baruntse, Lobuche West and East and Ama Dablam.

The descent is along the Cho La Glacier which curves downwards to a minor ice fall before a ridge, then a scramble down boulders. Below this rocky wall, the trail meanders down a boulder strewn valley to the seasonal grazing kharkas of Dzonglha. Overnight in Dzonglha.  

Day 12: Dzonglha – Lobuche (4 940m/16 210ft), 2-3 hrs                                  

After the rigours of the pass, a short rest day prepares for two long days and the high Base Camp altitudes.  Wander down the wide shallow valley, beneath Taboche and Cholatse and past the Cho La Tsho. The trail then swings north around Awi Peak (5 245m) to Duglha where it joins the main Dingboche – Base Camp trail. Wander up to Lobuche. Relax and overnight in Lobuche.

Day 13: Lobuche – Gorak Shep (5 160m/16 930ft) – Everest Base Camp (5 360m/17 590ft) – Gorak Shep, 7-8 hrs

A desolate trail along the moraine heads for the last, seasonal, village of Gorak Shep below Pumori. After an early lunch, trek to cold EBC: positioned on the Khumbu Glacier opposite the dreaded icefall – the most nerve wracking section of an Everest ascent.

During the April-May ascent season, porters scurry in and out with supplies like an army of ants and the site is a riot of colourful tents perched on the dirty ice. Out of season it is bleak and silent, bar birds wind and avalanches.  Everest and the Cwm are hidden behind the West Ridge. Walk back to Gorak Shep for the night.

Day 14: Gorak Shep – Kala Patthar (5 500m/18 210ft) – Pheriche (4 280m/14 040ft), 7-8 hrs

From the village, a pre-dawn climb (2-3 hrs) up Kala Patthar, offers sunrise over: Everest (8 848m/29 028ft), Lhotse (8 516m), Nuptse (7 861m) and Changtse (7 550m, north of the Rongbuk Glacier). Then Pumori (7 145m), Lingtren (6 697m) and Khumbutse (6 623m) amidst countless other peaks that crowd your horizon. Cho Oyu (8 201m) can be seen further to the west:

After breakfast: retrace your steps to Lobuche (4 940m), then continue down the trail to the landmark memorials to lost climbers on the glacier’s snout.  Descend the moraine and follow the western trail to lower and warmer Pheriche. Overnight in Pheriche.

Day 15: Pheriche – Namche Bazaar (3 440m/11 290ft), 6-7 hrs

Today’s trail gradually descends to Debuche (3 820m) before a mild rise through rhododendron forest to the hilltop village of Tengboche which has an important monastery and great views in all directions. A long descent, leads to Phunki Thenga (3 250m) on the Imja Khola: the trek’s lowest point north of Lukla. The path then climbs to Sanasa (where the trail forked to Gokyo) beyond which it broadens for the pleasant contour walk back to Namche Bazaar. Overnight in Namche Bazaar.

Day 16: Namche Bazaar to Lukla (2 640m/8 670ft), 7-8 hrs

From Namche, the long final trail descends to more comfortable altitudes, returning through the friendly farming villages of Jorsale, Monjo and Phakding. Then cross the suspension bridge at Thado Khosi before rising to Ghat and Cheplung. Round off the adventure with the final ascent to Lukla: where your porters will take their leave. Overnight in Lukla.

Day 17: Lukla – Kathmandu (1 300m/4 260ft), 35 min flight

After an early breakfast, take the return flight to Kathmandu. Transfer to your hotel. Rest of day free.

Day 18: Final Departure

Transfer to Tribhuvan International Airport for your flight to your next destination.

NB: Cloud and turbulent weather along the mountain ranges is common and may lead to internal mountain flight delays or cancellations. We suggest you allow at least one extra day after your trek before flying out of Nepal.

Cost Include

  •  All the airport/ Hotel transfers
  • Two Star Hotel in Kathmandu, Thamel for 3 night with the  bed and  breakfast
  • Well come and farewell dinner
  • Full day Kathmandu city tour on  private car/Van/ Bus
  • Professional govt. registered tour Guide
  • Domestic flight ( Kathmandu-Lukla-Kathmandu)
  • Full meals ( Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner) during the treks
  • All necessary paper work permit and TIMS ( National Park Permit and TIMS)
  • An English speaking professional govt. registered trekking Guide and porter ( 2 trekkers 1 Porter ) above the 4 trekkers 1 assistant Guide
  • Hot drinks ( tea and coffee)
  • Safe drinking water ( Chlorine/ Iodine water)
  • All the Mountain accommodations
  • 4 nights' accommodations with the independent bathroom/ hot shower which is very good after many days trekking
  • Rest of the night comfortable private room with sharing toilet and Bathroom
  • Guide and Porter salary, meals, accommodations, insurance, flight and equipment
  • All the government and local taxes
  • A comprehensive medical kit
  • Trekking equipment four season sleeping bag down jacket rain coat walking poll many more as per necessary

Cost Exclude

  • Kathmandu city tour monument fees
  • Lunch and dinner in Kathmandu except welcome and farewell dinner
  • All the soft and alcoholic drinks
  • Mineral water
  • Boiled water
  • Personal  expenses
  • Hot shower except 4 night
  • Travel insurance and evacuation
  • Tip ( not compulsory but expected)

Route Map:

Trip Facts

Trip Name: Gokyo Lake Chola Pass trek

Duration: 18 days

Trek Days: 15 days

Country: Nepal

Region: Everest Region

Altitude: 5360m (Gokyo RI) 5420m (Chola Pass) 5364m (EBC) 5545m (Kalapathar)

Difficulty: Medium/Hard

Highlights: Mountain Views of Mt. Everest and other Himalayas, Sherpa Culture

Activities: Trekking, Sightseeing,

Accommodation: Hotel/Guest House

Transportation: Private Car/ Van/ Bus in Kathmandu / Flight Kathmandu/Lukla/Kathmandu

Best month: February-May/ September- December

Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner

Cost:  Ask the Landmark Discovery Treks

Group Member Min: 2 Maximum -10


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