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Everest Base Camp and Gokyo Lake

  • Duration: 14 days
  • Group Size: 2+
  • Grade: difficult
  • Max Altitude: 0
  • Starting Point: Kathmandu
  • Ending Point: Kathmandu
  • Accommodation: Teahouses
  • Meals: Included
  • Traspotation: N/A

This trek in the Everest region takes you to the heart of the area in the shortest practical time. It is an exhilarating, but challenging trek that combines the Everest Base Camp route with the turquoise glacial lakes of Gokyo valley. We start with a classic, less visited route to Everest Base Camp on the Khumbu glacier. Kala Pathar (5,554m) is our first ascent which rewards us with a panorama of the majestic Everest and its neighbouring peaks of Ama Dablam, Makalu, Nuptse, and Lhotse. Throughout this trek the panorama is constantly changing but each and every one leaves you with an indelible memory of this mountain wilderness. The trail then crosses the glaciated Cho La Pass (5,330m) to the Goyko valley with its perfect turquoise glacial lakes. The 360º view from Gokyo Ri (5,360m) is breathtaking, and is one of the most impressive places in the world. You are surrounded by four of the fourteen eight-thousanders; Everest, Lhotse, Makalu and Cho Oyu. The descent back to Lukla takes on a different atmosphere as we walk through a valley passing through patches of birch and rhododendron forests where the elusive musk deer lurch at large.

Outline Itinerary

Day 01 – From Kathmandu fly to Lukla Airport (40 mins) & trek to Monjo Alt. 2,840m/9,315ft. (4 to 5 hrs)
Day 02 – Trek to Namche Bazaar Alt. 3,440m/11,283ft. (5 hrs)
Day 03 – Acclimatization day
Day 04 – Trek to Tyangboche (2 hrs exploring) – trek to Debuche Alt. 3,820m 12,529ft. (5 hrs)
Day 05 – Trek to Dingboche Alt. 4,410m/14,465ft. (4 to 5 hrs)
Day 06 – Acclimatization day
Day 07 – Trek to Labuche Alt. 4,910m/16,104ft. (5 hrs)
Day 08 – Trek to Everest Base camp (5,364m) & trek to Gorak Shep Alt. 5,140m /16,859ft. (8 hrs)
Day 09 – Ascend Kala Pathar (5,554m) & trek to Zongla Alt. 4,830m / 15,842ft. (8 hrs)
Day 10 – Trek over Cho La Pass (5,330m) & then trek to Thagnag Alt. 4,700m / 15,416ft. (5 hrs)
Day 11 – Trek to Gokyo Alt. 4,790m/15,711ft. (2 hrs)
Day 12 – Ascend Gokyo Ri (peak) (5,360m) & trek to Dole Alt. 4,200m/13,776ft. (7 hrs)
Day 13 – Trek to Khumjung Alt. 3,780m/12,398ft. (5 hrs)
Day 14 – Trek to Phakding Alt. 2,610m/8,560ft. (4 hrs)
Day 15 – Trek to Lukla Alt. 2,840m/9,315ft. (3 hrs)
Day 16 – Fly back to Kathmandu (40 mins)

Detail Itinerary

Day 01: 
Kathmandu to Lukla to Phakding (2,652m/8,700ft): 40 min flight and 3 to 4 hours trek 
After breakfast, we will be escorted to the domestic terminal of Kathmandu airport for an early morning flight to Lukla (2,800m/9,186ft), a gateway destination from where our trek begins. After an adventurous 40 minute flight above the breathtaking green and white mountains, we reach the Tenzing-Hillary Airport at Lukla. This is one of the most beautiful air routes in the world culminating in a dramatic landing on a hillside surrounded by high mountains peaks. Upon arrival at Lukla, we start our trek through the prosperous village of Lukla until we reach Phakding. To assist in acclimatization, we only have a short hike today. However, if interested in additional activities we can take a side trip to a nearby monastery. 
Overnight in Phakding.
Included meals: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Dinner (D)
Day 02: 
Phakding to Namche Bazaar (3,440m/11,280ft): 5 to 6 hrs trek
Walking through a beautiful pine forest, the track leads us along the Dudh Koshi River over many suspension bridges including the famous Hillary Suspension Bridge. First, we catch a view of the glistening Mt. Thamserku (6618m). Walking through the settlements of Benkar, Chumoa and Monjo we come to the check post and entrance to Sagarmatha National Park. We pass through the last village of Jorsale before reaching Namche Bazaar, where the trail climbs through the forests and bridges until we reach the confluence of the Dudh Koshi and Bhote Koshi rivers. After a final steep ascent of about two hours, we get first sight of Mt. Everest peering over the Lhotse-Nuptse ridge. Here we stop at Chautara to admire the view. We still need to hike about 1.5 hours to reach Namche Bazaar – the gateway to Mt. Everest and main trading centre of this region. 
Overnight in Namche Bazaar.
Included meals: B, L, D
Day 03: 
Namche Bazaar: Rest day
This is the first of the two days set aside for acclimatization. Health experts recommend us to stay active and moving during the rest to give our bodies the best chance of acclimatizing correctly. We either spend the day taking a day’s hike to Thame, visiting Khunde or relaxing and exploring Namche Bazaar itself. Namche Bazzar is the main centre of the Everest (Khumbu) region and has government offices, ATMs, Internet cafes, shops, restaurants, a bakery and a colorful market each Friday evening and Saturday. If we trek a few hundred vertical feet during the day, it will help us to properly acclimatize. We can go to the Tourist Visitor Center near the headquarters of the Sagarmatha National Park where we can observe an assortment of things related to the first Everest ascenders, Sherpa culture and learn about the various plants and animals of the Everest region.
Overnight in Namche Bazaar.
Included meals: B, L, D
Day 04: 
Namche Bazzar to Tengboche (3,870m/12,694ft): 5 to 6 hrs trek
After breakfast we set out towards Tengboche enjoying superb views of Mt. Everest, Mt. Nuptse, Mt. Lhotse, Mt. Ama Dablam and close up view of Thamserku. Our trek follows a reasonably level trail with a few undulations as the magnificent view of the Himalayas keeps our company all through the journey. Along the way, we can spot many species of native wildlife such as musk deer, Himalayan Thar and multicolored pheasants. The trail goes gradually to Kayangjuma and eventually reaches Sansa, which is the major trail junction to Gokyo valley and Everest Base Camp. The track continues through the pine forests and after we cross a prayer flag festooned bridge over the Dudh Koshi River, we reach Phunki Thenga, a small settlement with a couple of teahouses and a small army post amidst the alpine woods. After having a relaxed lunch at Phunki Thenga, we gear up for a slightly tougher climb through the pine forests before we reach Tengboche. Tengboche is a great place for close up views of Mt Ama Dablam, Mt Nuptse, and Mt Everest, and it has the biggest Buddhist Monastery of the Khumbu region. We pay our visit to the monastery the same day at around 3 pm to witness the ceremony in the principal and popular monastery of Everest region.
Overnight stay at Tengboche.
Included meals: B, L, D
Day 05: 
Tengboche to Dingboche (4,360 m/14,300ft):5 to 6 hrs trek
With mountains at its backdrop, the monastery at Tengboche looks more spectacular in the morning, there will be chances for photographs before we begin. Leaving Tengboche we choose the upper trail to enjoy the magnificent views along the way to Pangboche village. We pass through several Chortens, Mani walls and small villages. The place where we stop for lunch not only serves delicious food but also allows a fantastic close-up view of Mt Ama Dablam. In the afternoon, we walk north to Pheriche or take the eastward trail beneath the towering north face of Mt Ama Dablam. From here onwards, the walk is fairly moderate as we enter the Imja Valley. The valley gradually unfolds as we approach the confluence of the Lobuche River; we descend into the river and begin the last and steepest climb of the day up to Dingboche. On arrival at Dingboche, we will see beautiful array of fields enclosed by stone walls to protect barley, buckwheat and potatoes from the cold winds and grazing animals. 
Overnight at Dingboche.
Included meals: B, L, D
Day 06: 
Dingboche (4,360 m/14,300ft): Rest Day
We spend our second day of acclimatization at Dingboche. A refreshing breakfast while admiring a looming Ama Dablam (6856m/ 22493 ft) to the south really is fantastic. To better appreciate Mt Ama Dablam, Mt Lhotse and numerous other peaks visible from Dingboche, we climb the ridge on the north behind the village. This will be an ideal acclimatizing excursion. Upon reaching the ridge, we can see three of the world’s six highest peaks, Mt Lhotse, Mt Makalu and Mt Cho Yu. To the west, loom the towering peaks of Cholatse (6440 m/21,126 ft) and Taboche (6542m/ 21,463ft). As we look northwest, we see an array of peaks rising at the head of the Khumbu Khola valley. The Lobuche West and Lobuche East peaks are most dominant along with Lhotse which stands over 8500 meters (8501m/27, 890 ft). From our vantage point high on the ridge, we can scan the sweeping Imja Khola valley as well as the picturesque fields and pastures of Dingboche. 
Overnight at Dingboche.
Included meals: B, L, D
Day 07: 
Dingboche to Duglha (4,600m/15,090ft): 3 to 4 hrs trek
We start the day with a climb to Duglha through the Khumbu Khola valley and walk along the arid terrace which is rewarded with awesome views of mountains on all sides. As we come to a yak herder’s place called Dusa, the valley begins to narrow and we continue through Phulung Karpo, the camp site of the first successful Everest Expedition in 1953. Above Phulung Karpo is Chola Lake. As we move on, the majestic view of Mt. Pumori (7,138m/23,418ft) comes into sight. As the trail descends and curves, Mt. Pumori disappears from view and we come across a roaring stream. After crossing a small wooden bridge, we ascend to Duglha. From here we can see the tip of Mt Nuptse as well as Mt Cholatse, Mt Thamserku, and several other magnificent peaks. Spending a night in Duglha is ideal for acclimatization purposes. 
Overnight at Duglha.
Included meals: B, L, D
Day 08: 
Duglha to Lobuche (4940m/16,207ft): 2 to 4 hrs
We climb up the steep terminal moraine of the Khumbu Glacier and pass through boulder-strewn slopes as we ascend Chupki Lhara, an eerie ridge top with dramatic mountain views. At the top of the ridge, we will find an array of stones with prayer flags used as memorials to Scott Fischer (American mountaineer) and 10 times Everest submitter Babu Chiri Sherpa (a Nepali mountain guide) who perished on a mission to climb Everest. As the trail drops to the Khumbu Glacier moraine, we find ourselves facing several great peaks – Khumbutse, Lingtren, Pumori and Mahalangur Himal. We are now in the vicinity of Everest but the great mountain still remains elusive. Mt Nuptse towers to the right as the trail crosses the Khumbu Glacier. As we pass along a murmuring stream leaving the Khumbu Glacier behind, we start to enter the higher altitude, and may start to feel the effects. 
Overnight at Lobuche.
Included meals: B, L, D
Day 09: 
Lobuche to Gorak Shep (5,170m/16,961ft) to Everest Base Camp (5,364m/17,594ft) to Gorak Shep: 8 to 9 hrs trek
The trail to Gorak Shep goes ahead through the lateral moraine of the Khumbu Glacier. As we pass through the pyramid sign post, ahead on the trail we see crest of north ridge of Everest along with Mt. Pumori, Mt. Mahalangur, Mt. Lingtern, Mt. Khumbutse, Mt. Nuptse, etc. A small ascent would take us to Thangma Riju from where we perceive 360 degree vista of snowy mountains. Climbing steeply up to the top through the torrent of Changri Glacier, we catch our first glimpse of Kala Patthar, a grey-green knoll beneath the Mt. Pumori. As we reach Gorak Shep, we will find snow-capped mountains looming all around us including the top of the world – Mt. Everest. After a brief lunch and rest, we take the trail to Everest Base Camp through the once vast Gorak Shep Lake. Continuing straight ahead, we come through the Indian army mountaineers’ memorials. Only upon reaching the Everest Base Camp do we really appreciate the Everest climbers who brave the hazardous route through the Khumbu icefall. Mountaineer’s tents 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. Everest actually is not visible from here. 
Overnight at Gorek Shep.
Included meals: B, L, D
Day 10: 
Gorak Shep to Kala Patthar (5545m/18,192ft) to Pheriche (4280m/14,070ft): 8 to 9 hrs trek
Today is the climax of our trip so we start early in the morning to catch the dramatic views from Kala Patthar and witness the first light of day caress the peaks of the mountains, particularly Mt. Everest. We need to be prepared for an early morning departure in predawn darkness and cold temperature (-10C to -14 C). There is always the potential for chilly winds which are quite common. Familiar peaks such as Lingtren, Khumbutse, Changtse tower to the east even as Everest begins to reveal itself. During the ascent to Kala Patthar, we can pause to catch breath at several outstanding view points from where we can snap great pictures. After several hours of ascent, we reach Kala Patthar and from there we scramble up to the top of a rocky outcrop marked by cairns and prayer flags. Mind-blowing Himalayan panorama unfolds before our eyes as they wander from one mighty massif to another. We can take as many pictures as we want with our camera, but do not forget to imprint the vista into our mind’s eye so that it lasts a lifetime. On return to Gorak Shep, we have breakfast and wait other participants to return.
Those participants who wish to visit Everest Base Camp today will have early breakfast as the hike to base camp takes longer (4-5 hrs) than the Kala Patthar hike. The group will have lunch together at Gorek Shep then we descend in the afternoon and arrive at Pheriche in time for a good night’s rest.
Overnight at Pheriche.
Included meals: B, L, D
Day 11: 
Pheriche to Kyangjuma (3,570m/11,710ft): 5 to 6 hrs trek
Just after the start of our trek, we cross Khumbu Khola stream. Following the main Everest trail down the beautifully scenic valley, we pass through the villages of Tsuro Wog, Orsho, Shomare and reach Pangboche at the base of Ama Dablam. We cross the bridge over Imja Khola and pass through the Deboche village and reach Tengboche. We spend a brief time at Tengboche monastery, observe its many prayer wheels but unfortunately we cannot explore the altars inside as the monastery opens only at 3 pm. From Tengboche, a steep descent of about 1500ft/500m leads through rhododendron bushes and fir trees to the Dudh Koshi River. We cross the first bridge over Dudh Koshi on our return trip at Phunki Tenga. Further, we pass the village of Tashinga and Sansa before finally reaching beautiful village of Kyangjuma. Upon arrival at this juncture, we appreciate the gorgeous Ama-dablam, Thamserku, Nuptse, Lhotse and Everest! 
Overnight at Kyangjuma.
Included meals: B, L, D
Day 12: 
Kyangjuma to Monjo [2,840m/9,315ft]: 4 to 5 hrs trek
The trail to Namche Bazar clings to the steep wooded slope beyond Kyangjuma, winding through several bends. We lookout for wildlife such as mountain goats, snow leopards, and colourful pheasants while passing through the forest by the trail. We have enough time in Namche to shop and relax in a bakery that serves coffee and cakes, and provides Internet access. A steep descent from Namche Hill leads to the suspension bridge crossing the Dudh Kosi river near the confluence of the Dhudh Koshi and the Bhote Koshi Rivers. We cross the Dudh Koshi River twice at separate locations before reaching Monjo. We are out of the Sagarmatha National Park after exiting from its official entrance near Monjo and finally reach Monjo Village. Not only is Monjo a quieter place to stay than Namche, it also means our porters have a less strenuous walk back to Lukla tomorrow. 
Overnight in Monjo.
Included meals: B, L, D
Day 13: 
Monjo to Lukla: 4 to 5 hrs trek
Today we enjoy the last walk at lower altitude in the Everest region. Most of today’s track is flat although we will still have some undulating terrain. Today, we further enjoy a combination of open plains, rhododendron and pine forests, and in the distant background, Kwangde peak. As we walk through the Sherpa villages, you will notice an impressive display of faith in Buddhism and cultural practices associated with it as prayer stones dot the landscape and prayer flags flap in the wind. We cross the Dhud Koshi River three times through the prayer flags strewn suspension bridges and also cross one of its tributary, Thado Koshi once. The final ascent of about 45 minutes from Chheplung takes us to Lukla, where we stretch our fatigued legs and recall the experiences of the last couple of weeks. Our fantastic trek culminates on a happy note with everyone back safe and sound with faces that show happiness! This last evening in the mountains is the ideal opportunity to spend some relaxing moments with whole crew as some of our group may not be returning with us to Kathmandu. 
Overnight at Lukla.
Included meals: B, L, D
Day 14: 
Fly from Lukla to Kathmandu (40 min Flight)
We fly back to Kathmandu on an early morning flight as the weather late in the day can affect flight departure. On arrival in Kathmandu, we will be escorted to our hotel.
Included meals: Breakfast.

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