Detail Itinerary Gokyo Valley and Chola Pass Trek
Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu and transfer to hotel
Day 02: Kathmandu City Tour (Optional)
Full or half day exploring some of the sights of Kathmandu, such as the Pashupatinath Temple, Boudhanath, Swayambhu, and Kathmandu durbar square).
Day 03: Flight to Lukla - Trek to Phakding (2,610m)
The short flight (30 min) is awe-inspiring as we fly parallel to the Himalayan giants bordering Nepal and Tibetan China. Upon arrival in Lukla, we will be met by our local guides and porters. There will be time to explore the village whilst the Sherpa crew sort and load equipment. Once ready, we start a short trek descending on a wide trail northwest to the village of Choblung in the Dudh Kosi Valley. The valley contains beautiful pine and rhododendron forest. The walking is easy and we follow the river's course, passing through the village of Ghat. After 3 hours we reach the village of Phakding.
Day 04: Phakding to Namche Bazaar (3,535m)
From Phakding we head up valley on a busy trail, with porters from the lower Solu district in the south carrying supplies to Namche, and Sherpa's with their half yak,half cow beasts "Zopkio" taking trekking and climbing expedition equipment to the higher valleys. We continue along beside the Dudh Kosi through beautiful alpine scenery - fragrant blue pine and fir forest, glimpsing spectacular views of Kusum Kangru (6,369m) and Thanserku (6,608m) along the way. Crossing the Dudh Kosi again to the western bank at Jorsale, we make our way to the entrance to the Sagamartha (Everest) National Park. Continuing upstream along the banks to the meeting of the Bhote Kosi and Dudh Kosi, it is here we begin our first sustained ascent to Namche Bazar after crossing the large suspension bridge. Walking at a slow pace, we have a fantastic photographic opportunities as the peaks of Everest (8,848m), Lhotse (8,511m), Nuptse (7,879m), Arna Dablam (6,856m) and Taweche (6,542m) come into view for the first time. Climbing again, the path takes us through pine trees to reach the village of Namche Bazar.
Day 05: Acclimatisation day in Namche Bazaar
Today is an all important full day to rest and acclimatise. Namche is famous for its local market,as each week Sherpa's from the surrounding villages come to buy food and to socialise. Any food not grown locally, such as rice, corn and some vegetables is brought in from the lowland villages, which can be up to a 6-10 day walk from Namche Bazar. Rising early, those who climb to the ridge above Namche will be rewarded with the stunning dawn and sunrise over the panorama of the Khumbu peaks. In the afternoon you can walk along the Thami Valley, or visit the National Park Headquarters to see the interesting displays of Sherpa lifestyle and culture, mountaineering in the park, flora and fauna.
Day 06: Namche Bazaar to Khunjung
From Namche we trek out of the village and follow a small trail high above the Dudh Kosi River, where the views are incredible - behind to the west, the ridge of Nupla and Kwangde Himal (6,194m); across the valley to the south, the towering ice walls of Thamserku (6,623m), and to the east at the head of the valley, the Lhotse and Nuptse wall, towering a full 3,500m above the valley at Dingboche. Everest looms above the ridge, a black, triangular rock. Sagarmatha, "Goddess Mother of Earth", is a truly magnificent sight. On a small ridge across the valley, the monastery of Thyangboche can be seen, a small speck against the gigantic mountain background. We descend to Khunjung a small Sherpa village. Here tourism has hardly changed the life of the Sherpa's. Maybe you will take the opportunity to sample the Sherpa speciality, Riki Kur - a type of potato fritter enriched with yak butter. The afternoon is left free to assist with further acclimatization.
Day 07: Khunjung to Phorste Drengka (3675m)
After breakfast, we descend to the west of the village down the broad valley leading to the Dudh Kosi River. We take the Gokyo route turning north, climbing above the more frequented route to Tengboche and Everest Base Camp. There's choice of routes in the beginning: the yak trails which climbs gently or the steep staircase-like trail made of rocks embedded in a narrow cleft in a large bounder, but the two trails soon join and continue towards a large Chorten on the top of the ridge at 3973 m This ridge descends from Khumbila 5716m), abode the patron god of the Khumbu. From the ridge, the trails descends along a series of steep switchbacks down a sandy slope to the Dudh Koshi and we'll be spend the night in Phortse Drengka.
Day 08: Phortse Drengka to Dole
Breakfast approx 7:00 am in the morning. After breakfast we start our journey to Dole. The trails climbs steeply out of the valley through rhododendron forests which give way to fragrant stands of juniper and large conifers as the elevation increases. This trek is especially beautiful in spring when the rhododendron are blooming. The trails pass many kharkas - summer settlements used when sherpa's bring herds of yaks to graze in these high pastures. The route passes through the settlement s of Tongba (3950m) and Gyele (3960m) to Dole where there're few Hotels. The views of Khumbila and Twachee (6542m) are tremendous throughout the day, and it is possible to climb a ridge behind Dole for an even broader view up and down the valley. O/N in Dole.
Day 09: Trek to Machherma (4470m)
From Dole the trail climbs to Lambara at 4220m and Luza at 4360m. The tails is steep in most places as it climbs through scrub junipers. There're kharkas whenever there is a flat spot and the slightest hint of water. People from Khumjung own all the kharkas on this side of valley. The trails continue to climb along the side of the valley, high above the river, crossing sandy spurs to Machherma.
Day 10: Trek to Gokyo (4790m)
The trail climbs a ridge for an excellent view both down the valley to Kantega and up towards Cho Oyu (8153m). Beyond the ridge the valley widens as the trail passes through Pangka at 4390m then descends to the river bank before beginning the climb on to the terminal moraine of the Ngozumpa Glacier. It's a steep climb up the moraine, switch backing alongside the stream to the first small lake at 4650m, where a family of green Braminy ducks resides. The trail now becomes almost level at 4690m and finally reaches Gokyo at 4750m.
Day 11: Gokyo
After breakfast, we have steep climb up to the top of Gokyo Ri (5483m) - the small peak above the lake., as the views of the Gokyo region are tremendous. It's a 2 hour climb to the top of the peak, providing a panoramic view of Cho Oyu, Gyachung Kang, Everest, Lhotse, Makalu, Cholatse and Twachee. Those with more time and energy can make a trip up the valley to another lake marked with the name Ngozumpa on the maps or even beyond to a fifth lake. There're several small peaks in this region that offer vantage points for the surrounding peaks. O/N in Gokyo.
Day 12: Trek to Chola Pass and Dzongla (5,400m)
The trail descending from Gokyo, the route passes the second lake. About halfway between the fist and second lakes a trail leads of across the moraine of the east. We've to pass Cho La (or Chhugyuma) 5420 meters. The pass is not difficult but it is steep and involves a glacier crossing on the eastern side. Allow three day from Fokyo to Lobuche on this high altitude route. An ice axe, crampons and a rope are often necessary for negotiating the small icefall at the foot of glacier on the other side of the pass, although in ideal condition there're no technical problems and there is a trail of sorts in the rocks beside the icefall. The western approach to the pass varies in difficulty depending on the amount of snow. The pass is not possible for yaks and usually not suitable for heavily laden porters. We stay overnight at Dzongla on other side.
Day 13: Dzongla to Lobuche (4,930m)
Continue along the moraine of the glacier, with views of Kalar Pattar and Pumori to reach Lobuche at 4930m for your evening stay. This will be your last stop before your climb to the base camp tomorrow. Take time to rest and acclimatise for this unforgettable day. O/N in Lobuche.
Day 14: Lobuchee to Ghorakshep (5,160m) to Kala Pattar (5,630m)
This day early in the morning, our trekking begins that can prove to be both mentally and physically demanding. We pass above Lobuche, and follow the path running through a trough alongside the Khumbu Glacier. Continuing on over rough ground we reach Ghorakshep for a short break and to take on fluids. We will stay overnight here, so we can leave some bags, and take the path onwards for an hour and a half to Kala Pattar, a small, rocky peak on the southwest ridge of Pumori - a slow, steady pace, once again being the best attack. We have no need to rush as we have built in plenty of time to ensure that our trek is successful. Stop and turn around: the scenery is fantastic. It is a hard climb, but the view from the top surpasses the wildest imagination. Huge creaking glaciers surround us and classic views of Everest are available.
The views from the summit of Kala Pattar (5,630m) are truly outstanding. Here you are directly below Pumo Ri's light granite, slanted snow channel. The surroundings have an awesome and unnatural brilliance. To the south, the Khumbu Glacier sweeps below you; northwards rise several border peaks including the vertical Lho La, reached from the Tibetan side in 1921, the first time foreigners saw the Khumbu Glacier. Everest rises above them all.
We descend in the afternoon back to Ghorakshep (5,160m).
Day 15: Trek to Everest Base Camp (5,400m)
After leaving Ghorakshep in the morning, today we finally reach Everest Base Camp. We will have plenty of time to explore and wonder in this place - hope to so many famous expeditions and mountaineers from around the world. We descend again to Ghorakshep in the afternoon.
Day 16: Trek down to Pheriche (4,240m)
Today is an easier walk to the lower altitudes. Following the same route back to the terminal moraines at Dughla, we then take a different return trail. We follow the wide alpine valley covered in scrub juniper through the temporary settlement of Phulung Karpo (4,343m), then on to Pheriche. A small settlement, Pheriche has a number of welcome tea house that often have "left overs" for sale from various climbing expeditions. It may be possible to find imported chocolate, tinned salmon, even vegemite!
Day 17: Pheriche to Namche Bazaar
This morning we continue down to Orsho, then on through Lower Pangboche and down to Deboche. Following a similar trail through a forest of juniper, rhododendron and fir to Phunkitenga, we continue on to cross the Dudh Kosi for a steep descent to Trashinga. After lunch at Shanasa we make our way back to Namche Bazar.
Day 18: Namche Bazaar to Lukla
Following a steep descent passing the Bhote Kosi, we cross the river and follow the bank to Jorsale, then on to Monjo. In the afternoon we depart Monjo and continue our descent along the Dudh Kosi, before making a final ascent to reach the Lukla plateau. On arrival in Lukla we will have time to relax and celebrate the completion of our trek.
Day 19: Flight from Lukla to Kathmandu
In the morning we transfer to the small airfield for the return flight back to Kathmandu. We will transfer you to your hotel, arriving before lunch, and have the rest of the day at leisure.
Day 20: Departure Day - Transfer to the airport for you onward flight