ADVENTURE-PULSE
(The Adventure Management Consultants)

Nepal
Gokyo Ri Trek

Overview

The Everest Gokyo Trek is a beautiful journey to the high altitude lakes located in the Everest Valley as well as Gokyo Ri peak which is one of the most amazing viewpoints for incredible views of Everest and the surrounding mountains. The trek takes us to the turquoise waters of Gokyo Lakes which are one of the highest freshwater lakes located at a height of 5100 mtrs. This incredible trek takes you through the Everest Valley, but branches off on the second day from Namche Bazaar. This obscure trail is less frequented by the bulk of the trekkers heading up to Everest Base Camp and so truly gives you the feel of exploring the wilderness of the Greater Himalayas.  This trek is perfect for a traveller who wish to try something new in the Everest region as well as giving you the option of doing the Everest Base Camp trek.

This trek features the unbelievable scenery of the remote Gokyo Valley and its turquoise lakes, moonscape-like glaciers and stunning mountain vistas that include Everest, Lhotse, Makalu and Cho Oyu - four of the eight highest peaks on earth! The 360-degree view from Gokyo Ridge is the best in the Khumbu region.

Quick Facts

Best Time : March to May (Pre-monsoon season); September to November (Post-monsoon season)

Duration : 15 Days (11 Days of Trekking)

Max. Altitude : 5360 m

Commences At : Kathmandu

Ends At : Kathmandu

  • Arrival in Kathmandu (1300m)
  • Fly to Lukla and trek to Phakding (2810m)
  • Trek to Namche (3440m)
  • Namche acclimatization - Hike to Khumjung back to Namche (3440m)
  • Trek to Phortse Village (3810m)
  • Trek to Machharmo (4470m)
  • Trek to Gokyo (4800m)
  • Climb Gokyo Ri (5360m)
  • Explore Gokyo Valley and Rest
  • Gokyo to Dole (4000m)
  • Trek back to Namche (3440m)
  • Trek back to Lukla (2800m)
  • Fly back to Kathmandu (1300m)
  • Buffer day in case of Bad weather.
  • Departure from Kathmandu

Contact

Our team will be at the airport to receive you when you land in Kathmandu. Look out for beaming faces, frantic hands waving at you, and of course, signboards bearing our logo. We will personally escort you to your hotel, located in Thamel, which we dare-say is Kathmandu's most exciting district! Lined (in every conceivable direction) with pubs, restaurants and shops offering everything from expedition gear to local souvenirs, Thamel's musical, aromatic and bustling streets will keep you entertained and will leave you wanting to come back for more every single time! We've done this trek 39 times and still can't quite get enough of this place! Once the entire group arrives and checks into their rooms, a short but comprehensive briefing is done in order to prepare everyone for the journey to come and to resolve any queries that you might have before the commencement of the trek. Our team will check your equipment to ensure that you are sufficiently prepared for the trek and will assist you with any last minute shopping that needs to be done before we set off. After that, the day is entirely yours. The flight to Lukla is usually an early morning affair and while it's important to get an adequate amount of rest on your first night, it's also true that a little party never hurt anyone.
The 30 minute flight to Lukla will definitely occupy a prominent position on your list of top ten experiences during the course of this trek. The Tenzing-Hillary Airport here is one of the most challenging airstrips in the world. Built on a cliff-top 9334m in the air, this little runway is just 30 meters wide and 527 meters long (less than a tenth of the usual dimensions for a regular runway) with an 11.7% gradient which is significant enough to make it one of the steepest approach pathways in the world! There is no prospect of a successful go-around on-short final due to the terrain which is high (a jagged, unforgiving mountain face) immediately beyond the northern end of the runway and a steeply angled drop at the southern end of the runway into the valley below! Are you scared yet? Well, don't be! Only the most skilled and experienced pilots operate the flights that go to and from this area and they've practiced it to perfection. The planes that land here aren't the regular Airbus and Boeings that we're used to either. The airport's paved asphalt runway is accessible only to helicopters and small, fixed-wing, short-take-off-and-landing aircraft such as the DHC-6 Twin Otter, Dornier 228 and Pilatus PC-6 Turbo Porter. The views of the Solo khumbu’s forested valleys and its panoramic snow-capped mountain ranges are absolutely surreal. What's more, for a plane that seats only 20 people, there's still an incredibly charming air-hostess and everyone gets a window seat!!! Once you land, we stop for breakfast during which time you will be introduced to the real muscle behind this climb – our team of intrepid Sherpas and their Yaks who will be entrusted with your luggage for the duration of the trek, following which, we will begin our short walk down to our very first destination, the riverside village of Phakding.
Arguably the longest day of the climb during the course of this expedition, our ascent to Namche Bazaar will see us intimately acquainted with the beautiful DudhKosi River. As she meanders through the Everest Valley, we enjoy her clever little game of hide-and-seek, at times as a raging torrent under the many suspension bridges that we cross in our attempt to catch up with her, and, at others, a delightfully effervescent companion as we hop over rocks and through pretty tree-lined mountain trails inching closer and closer to the true heart of the Khumbu Valley - Namche Bazaar. Huge, beautifully carved Mani stones adorn the trail that cuts through the Sagarmatha National Park, accentuated by the colorful Buddhist prayer flags that flutter in the breeze seeking blessings from the clear-skied heavens above. As for the village itself, Namche Bazaar is teeming with life! The terraced approach with its quaint potato-kale-and-spinach farms, antiquated little shops (that sell everything you could possibly need), purposeful yak caravans, playfully curious local children, and its warm, welcoming people will leave your delighted heart spoilt for choice at every stair and on every level!
At 3340m above mean sea level, after our first official night at high altitude, our fourth day sees us waking up to a well-deserved and much needed acclimatization day. The lofty snow-capped peaks of Thamserku and Kongde Ri stand guard right outside your window. With dreamy scenery now merging into everyday reality, even the most persistent dreamers find it impossible to delay their excitement at seeing these amazing peaks in favour for a few extra winks of sleep as they scramble out of bed to get a closer look at them. Grumbling stomachs (and calf muscles alike) are in for a treat today too. A relatively relaxed start with a hot, wholesome breakfast - simple pleasures truly are the order of acclimatization days, which come along every time we gain roughly one vertical kilometer in height during this particular trail. Acclimatization days are used to get your body accustomed to the lower levels of oxygen in the air. The universally accepted way of doing this is to "Climb high and sleep low". Once everyone has had their fill of the various manifestations of gourmet menus that Namche's tea houses are known to produce, we visit the Sherpa Cultural Museum which has many artefacts of historical significance and some detailed information on the local flora, fauna, topography and prevailing conditions of the region. The plateau that the museum sits on offers some great panoramic views of the Himalayas and marks the beginning of the trail for our hike to the Syangboche airstrip (you have to see this one to believe it) and the Everest View Hotel. It's a day full of exciting firsts for the Adventure Pulse teams including, but not limited to, your very first view of Mount Everest (weather permitting)!!!
Today we will leave behind the comparative metropolis that is Namche and head to a beautiful farming village Phortse located at 3810m above sea level in Khumbu valley of Nepal. Phortse is a very quiet Sherpa village nestled in the foothills of the mountains. It’s an easy trail from Namche bazaar to Phortse village. It offers spectacular view of Ama Dablam rising 22,493 ft from the valley below. The trek passes through Mong la and after crossing Dudh koshi River an uphill walk will lead us to the Phortse village. Enjoy the natural surroundings of the Phortse village and its rich Sherpa culture.
Post breakfast we start the trek to Machhermo village. The Machhermo village is very pretty, decorated with superb surrounding mountain views. It lies towards the south of Gokyo and north of Dole and at an altitude of 4470 meters / 14665 feet above sea level. The altitude gain is almost 600m hence it is necessary to set a constant pace and keep your body hydrated. Phortse to Machhermo trail passes alongside Dudh koshi valley and through forests and waterfalls. It will take 5 to 6 hours depending on walking speed and physical strength. The hills are definitely steep in the Phortse region, but trekking along this route is very exciting. The panoramic view from the village of Machhermo is breathtaking. We witness the views of Cho Oyu, Kantega, and Thamserku as well as many summer settlements of the Sherpa community.
It’s Day Seven of our trek to Gokyo Ri and Everest Base Camp. Today we’ll head from Machhermo to Gokyo. It’s an altitude gain of 330 meters today to get to Gokyo at 4800 meters. We’ll head up over the ridge – and then it’s a steady ascent. We leave behind the trees and green landscape as the terrain now shows more shades of brown and grey., spotted with snow. Wel climb up the moraines of the Ngozumpa glacier which originates below the sixth highest mountain in the world mount Cho Oyu. The route head upwards and after crossing a small iron bridge, we enter to the Gokyo Lake Valley. The noteworthy characteristics of trekking in this valley are that it provides an incredible view of the ice ridge between Gyachung and Cho Oyu. The place Gokyo valley has an incredible surrounding and you feel an immense sense of success on reaching the highest village.
So, it’s the 8th and the most exciting day of our trek as we approach the major highlight of our trek to Gokyo Ri (5357m). The Gokyo Ri climb is the ascent of this magnificent hill, from where you can see some of the most spectacular mountain views. The climb to Gokyo Ri is very strenuous and takes about 3 to 4 hours to reach the top. As we ascend up the shoulder of the hill, the views of the Gokyo village on the edge of third lake overlooked by Cholatse and the broad Nogzumpa Glacier, under the night sky and moonlight are exquisite. We are surrounded by panoramic mountains like Kusum Kanguru, Thamserku, K 43, Kangtega, Taboche, Cholatse, Makalu, Lhotse, Nuptse, Everest, Changtse, and Pumori. From the summit, the sight of the first sun rays hitting the top of Everest truly make the long arduous walk through the night, truly worth it. This experience on Gokyo Ri will be an unforgettable life time memory. We trek down to Gokyo and spend the rest of the day at leisure.
Today is full day of rest or an acclimatization day. If the weather is good, we can go visit the other lakes nearby. The Gokyo trek is not only popular for its grand view from Gokyo Peak but also for the six lakes which it hosts. This extra day allows us to plan a small day hike to the fourth lake (Thonak Tsho) and fifth lake (Ngozuma Tsho). About 3 km north of Gokyo is the fourth lake with its high cliffs and peaks rising above it, with the trail continuing to the fifth lake. If time permits, we can climb on a hill at the edge of the lakes to get outstanding views of Cho-Oyu, Gyachung Kang, Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, and Makulu.
After the previous day spent at rest and restoring our energy we will start our hike towards Dole via Macchermo. It is an easy 4 hours descend on a defined trail. The way down to Machhermo is quite steep and has many man-made steps. We reach Machhermo and after lunch, we continue our way down towards Dole.
We start our trek from Namche towards the Phortse village mostly through the rhododendron forest and on easy trails. After reaching Phortse it is the last big climb crossing Mong la to finally reach Namche.
Today begins what will be the last day of our Himalayan trekking adventure. Though we trek downhill, there are steep parts and some uphill climbs at the end. The worse part about coming down from the high altitude to Lukla is the fact that you're leaving one of the most spectacular places in the world. The 6-8 hours trail descends steeply downward so we need to walk slowly and under control 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. We pass a mixture of open plains, rhododendron and pine forests, and in the distance snow covered peaks. On arrival in Lukla, we are overwhelmed with euphoria, celebrating the successful completion of an epic journey as well as rejoicing at the fact that, the next day does not involve any more trekking. We experience the culmination of a fantastic trek on a happy note with everyone back safe and sound, hopefully with a smile on their face! Lukla is our last stop in the trekking itinerary.
Flights to Kathmandu are usually scheduled for morning but sometime the flight time can be delayed due to bad weather and other reason that are beyond our command. We fly back to Kathmandu after our long mountain journey. The early morning flight drops us at Kathmandu. You can rest and relax throughout the day in your hotel or travel around the city for shopping.

Package Details

TRIP COST INCLUDES

  • 03 night’s hotel stays in Kathmandu (01 night before and 02 nights after) on bed & breakfast plan.
  • International Airport transfers in private car.
  • Experienced & Qualified Guide for the trek.
  • Trekking permit.
  • National Park Permit.
  • Return commercial Flight fare from Kathmandu – Lukla for members with 11 kg check in baggage allowance + 02 Kg handbag.
  • Domestic airport departure taxes.
  • Full board tea house trekking cost with breakfast, lunch, dinner with accommodation.
  • 03 times tea/coffee/hot drink while on the trek.
  • Personal Porters for carrying bags during the trek. 
  • Ground Transportation & Airport transfers for Kathmandu – Lukla flights.

TRIP COST EXCLUDES

  • International Flights to Nepal and back.
  • Lunch & Dinner while in Kathmandu.
  • Beverages and alcoholic drinks
  • Mineral or Boiled Drinking water on the trek.
  • Tea/coffee ordered more than 03 times a day.
  • Extra snacks ordered by clients outside regular meals.
  • Emergency medical evacuation by Helicopter.
  • Excess baggage on Lukla flights.
  • Tips for staffs (Recommended $100 per head).
  • Personal expenses and extra services beyond itinerary like WiFi/hot shower.
  • Helicopter cost/charter plane cost in case of flight cancellation or evacuation.
  • Any personal clothing or equipment

1. What kind of physical shape do I need to be in to trek to Gokyo Ri?

This trek into the Everest region is strenuous but does not require that you have any previous trekking or mountaineering experience. It does not require any technical experience; only that you be in good physical conditioning and be able to hike for 4-6 hours over hilly terrain with a light day pack. Good cardio-vascular conditioning and exercises for muscles that are used to hiking will make your trip much more enjoyable. Our goal is to climb Gokyo Ri at 17,585 feet and walk on broken glacial moraine all the way into Gokyo Village 16,000 feet. You will spend 12 days in a land where life is simple, trails are steep and the air is thin. Begin training today if you want to get the most from this trip.

2. What are the Entry & Exit Points for the trek?

Your itinerary starts from Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal. We receive you at the Kathmandu internatioanl Airport and transfer you to your hotel located in Thamel, the tourist district of the city. You spend this day in the city and the next morning take a small aircraft from Kathmandu to Lukla (Duration 30 mins) from where we start trekking. On reaching our destination, we take the downward trail back surrounded by breathtaking views of Nepal from river banks and pine forests to snow caped peaks. We fly back from Lukla to Katmandu, trying to keep an additional day as buffer in case of delays due to bad weather. After a day spent in Kathmandu, we transfer you to the International Airport, which marks the end of your itinerary.

3. What are the accommodations like in Kathmandu and while trekking?

In Kathmandu we will be staying in a 3/4 star Hotel or Guest House in the Thamel often referred to as a trekker’s paradise. On the trek we will be staying in a combination of clean and friendly Sherpa Lodges / Tea Houses.

4. Do I need any special equipment or climbing gear during this trek?

No, as the trek does not involve any technical climbs, no special climbing equipment is required. A rucksack (60-70 L), good pair of trekking shoes / boots, a warm jacket and a pair of thermals are good enough. Also you can refer to the comprehensive list of Items to be carried which will help you pack rucksack better.

5. What is the communication system available on the way?

There are different ways to be in touch with your Family. You can purchase a local Prepaid SIM Card at the International airport. If you have a Mobile with International Roaming on it, your Phone will work till Day 3 of the trek so you can easily be in touch with your Family. Post which, most of the tea houses we stay in have the facility of an ISD Phone and the Internet. You can call your family every day or E-mail them during the course of the trek. Although the prices for these facilities may vary from a minimum of 100 Nepali rupees to 500 Nepali rupees per minute.

6. What about High Altitude Acclimatization?

You will notice in the Itinerary that there are 02 exclusive days for acclimatization at Namche & Gokyo. These are rest days to allow our bodies to adapt to the High Altitude.

7. Can you give an example of a typical Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner on the way?

The Meals are freshly prepared in the Tea Houses that we stay in. Typical Days Meals – • Breakfast – Porridge, Two eggs, toast with jam or Butter and Hot tea/coffee/ Chocolate. • Lunch – Rice with Lentils & Vegetables commonly known as Dal Bhat Tarkari, Choice of Fried Rice or Noodles. • Dinner – Choice of Soup, Mashed potatoes, Choice of Noodles/fried Rice and Hot Drinks.

8. Will I be able to take showers/bath on the course of the trek?

Yes, there are hot water showers available on most of these tea houses that we would be staying in. You can avail of these facilities at an average rate of 300 Nepali rupees for a 10 minute shower. But usually after the 3rd/4th day, you yourself would want to avoid it because of dropping temperatures and biting cold outside.

9. What is the medical/emergency precautions taken en-route?

Adventure-Pulse requires each of its clients to provide a medical fitness document before joining the group. Our crew is well qualified for any First-Aid procedures if required on the way. In addition a comprehensive Medical & first Aid kit is carried at all times. There are Medical stations available en-route in case of an emergency and also Helicopter evacuation procedures are available on actuals. When we ascend above 2500 meters our bodies have to acclimatise to the decreasing amount of the oxygen available. To allow our bodies to adjust and to avoid any such situations, we have added acclimatization and rest days in the itinerary. Personal Adventure Travel Insurance can also be purchased, which includes helicopter evacuation in case of a medical emergency.

10. What would be a typical day like?

You will be woken in the morning by 5:45 to 6:00 am. Breakfast and hot beverage would usually be served in the dining room of the tea house by 6:30 am. Before breakfast you pack your gear into your duffel bags or rucksacks which are then taken by the porters and will not usually be available to you until the next teahouse that afternoon. We are usually on the trail between 7.00 am and 7.30 am to avoid the heat of the noon and to reach our destination by lunch time. Following a good morning's walk, we stop for tea at around 11 am. This is usually a 30 – 60 minute break to allow for the trekkers to relax and catch their breath. The subsequent walk is generally a little shorter and next destination is usually reached by around 2 pm to 3 pm. Once we have our next destination, tea is served. Washing water is available to wash at the end of the trek day, but it will be cold. Until dinner, there is time to rest, explore the surrounding area and villages or sit and chat with the crew and local people. Dinner is usually served around 6 pm to 7 pm. Trekking evenings afford some of the best memories of your trek, whether it is talking, playing cards, chatting with the crew or joining in some singing and dancing with the local people, it is always a special time.

11. What happens in terms of flight cancellations due to bad weather?

Weather is very un-predictable, especially in high-altitude and can change within minutes. In case we encounter bad weather, we have kept 2 buffer days in the itinerary which would help us complete the trek. In case the weather remains unfavourable and the Kathmandu – Lukla – Kathmandu flights are delayed beyond two days, a helicopter can be chartered, at an extra cost to be borne by the trekkers, in order to reach the destination. Please note – this is optional and if exercised will have to be paid for by the clients.

Extreme temperature variations, high altitude, snow glare & proximity to sun are certain factors which necessitate the need to for proper mountaineering equipment. In order to enjoy your experience in the mountains, we have recommended that you carry the following with you.

Apparels

  1. Trekking Boots / Shoes (preferably up to ankle length & water resistant)
  2. Multiple pairs of cotton and woolen socks (at least 5-6 pairs of each)
  3. Track Pants for comfortable trekking, Denims to be avoided. (At least 3-4)
  4. Thermal inners and sweater / warm sweat shirt (1 each)
  5. Cotton T-shirts (5 to 6 minimum)
  6. Water proof jacket/windcheater
  7. Warm thermal jacket
  8. 01 Peak Cap + at least 01 Woolen Cap
  9. 02 pair of warm gloves (Liners and outer)
  10. One pair floaters

Accessories

  1. Air bag / Duffel bag / Rucksack (No Suitcases during the trek)
  2. Day Back Pack + Drinking Water Bottle 1 Litre
  3. Torch + Batteries
  4. Sleeping Bag
  5. Knee / Ankle / Wrist Guards (if required)
  6. Nail Cutter / Pocket / Pen Knife
  7. Cold cream
  8. Hand sanitizer
  9. Chap-stick / Vaseline
  10. Personal toiletries (Tooth Paste / Toilet Paper / Wet Wipes or Baby Wipes etc.)
  11. Medical kit (With basic medicines for headache, upset stomach, sour throat, water purification tablets/drops, band aids, painkillers & Moov/ Iodex, Vics Vaporub, D-Cold etc.)
  12. Any personal medication (Individual specific)
  13. High energy snacks like Dry fruits, Bars of chocolate, Tang, glucose etc.
  14. Good quality Sun shades.
  15. Sun block (SPF40+)
The Trek to the Gokyo Lakes and Gokyo Ri peak is one of the highest and most beautiful treks in the world and requires participants to be in good physical shape to be able to do the trek comfortably. Even though the trek into the Everest region can be steep & strenuous at some places, it does not require that you have any previous trekking or mountaineering experience neither does it require any technical experience; only that you be in good physical conditioning and be able to hike at a comfortable pace for 4-6 hours over hilly terrain with a light day pack. Good cardio-vascular conditioning and exercises for muscles that are used to hiking will make your trip much more enjoyable. Our goal is to climb Gokyo Ri at 17,585 feet and walk on broken glacial moraine all the way into Gokyo Village 16,000 feet. You will spend 12 days in a land where life is simple, trails are steep and the air is thin.
We recommend the following schedule to the participants
  1. WEEK ONE: Participants should develop a habit of being able to get up in the morning and run / brisk walk for a minimum of 3-4 Km at least 3-4 days a week. This would represent at least 20-25 minutes of cardio exercise. Though difficult at first, keep at it. You can stop and take breaks as well. During the day, you should get into the habit of avoiding elevators and taking the steps. You should be able to climb at least 4/5 flights of steps daily. (Avoid going down steps too fast as this could result in some knee injuries). If you don’t enjoy running and are into some other sport like cycling or swimming, spend about 45 mins cycling or about 600 – 800 mts of swimming for at least 4 days a week.
  2. WEEK TWO: Assuming you have successfully survived week one and are consistent with your exercise, you can take up the pace a notch. Increase your distance to 5/6 kms per day and 5 times a week, you can additionally go to a gym. Avoid heavy weight training. Focus more on a core workout. These are your muscle groups that run along the length of your body and helps maintain your posture and sustains you during your long hours of working.
  3. WEEK THREE: In addition to the week Two exercise, one additional feature you should add in Week Three is walking for half an hour during the evenings with a backpack on carrying 3-4 kgs. This could be 2lts of water, some snacks, a jacket etc. This will help strengthen your back and shoulders thus preparing you for the long hours of trekking. If you don’t want to just simply walk, also try increasing your time on climbing flight of steps. As compared to week One, you should aim to be able to climb 10-12 flight of stairs comfortably.
  4. WEEK FOUR: Sustenance. Keep up the tempo, sustain the workout. Try avoiding doing anything very rigorous but be consistent with morning and evening walks/runs and climbing flight of stairs.
  5. WEEK FIVE: Sustain the workout. Increase only if you feel comfortable. Start doing an additional 10-15 mins of climbing stairs in the morning / evening with a daypack of 2-3 kg; about 20-25 floors once a day should help increase the stamina and Endurance considerably.

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