Gokyo Trek in Everest region
Exploring the Khumbu region of Nepal, including Everest Base Camp, is a dream to many. The wondrous soul looking for more than base camp gets deeper into the Valley towards the Gokyo Lakes. And if you are one of those travel freaks, make sure you have Gokyo Trek at the top of your Bucket list.
Gokyo Valley offers the most memorable sights of the entire region- some claim that this view is better than the famous Kala Patthar’s vintage glimpse. The collection of the four highest freshwater lake systems in the world makes your heart sore. At around 5,000 meters, this crystal blue makes the most prodigious scene. Four peaks above 8,000m peaks, namely Mt. Everest, Lhotse, Cho Oyu, and Makalu, are clearly visible from Gokyo. Not to mention the thrill of trekking in remote villages with the colorful mountain landscape.
Have you ever dreamt of the standing of the sparkling, pristine blue, and green waters with the view of the Himalayas in the background? You must have.
Sounds amazing? Then you must learn more about Gokyo Valley Trek.
Where is The Gokyo Lakes Trek?
The Gokyo Lakes Trek is an excellent alternative or an extension to the Everest Base Camp Trek. The trek leads up west of Everest towards the village of Gokyo on the moraine next to the Ngozumpa glacier. This spectacular climb of two-week, almost as high as the Everest Base Camp Trek, offers a quiet and calm trail.
You will pass traditional Sherpa villages where you will be served local food. The trail follows the Dudhkoshi River to its source – a series of emerald green lakes. Gokyo is a Sherpa village located next to the largest of these lakes. From Gokyo, we ascend to Gokyo Ri (5360m), from where we have a magnificent view of Everest, Lhotse, Cho Oyu and Makalu, Cholatse, and Taboche.
Namche Bazzar to Gokyo
Like all the other treks in the Khumbu region, the Gokyo trek commences at Lukla after an exciting flight from Kathmandu.
First, you get to Namche from the Lukla in 2 days. Goyko is about 3 hours of walk from Namche Bazzar, the total distance being 16.4 km. It is only five days of the continuous trek from Kathmandu if you skip the Everest Base Camp.
After a rest day here at Namche, you can walk to Dole ( 4200m) in about 5 hours. Then, you shall hike to Machherma, which is another 4hr of the walk, and finally up to Gokyo Village. From Gokyo Valley, one needs to climb Gokyo Ri for the excellent view. The way downwards is only two days of walk.
Alternatively, you can first get to the Gokyo and walk down to Machherma, Phortse, Dingboche, and Lobuche before getting into the Everest Base Camp. After that, you will get to Namche via the classic route to Everest Base Camp.
How hard is Gokyo Trek?
The Everest Gokyo Ri trek has been marked as a moderately complex trek. Although the Gokyo trek does not demand any technical climbing, it gets tricky because of the day-long expeditions.
You will walk for at least 5 to 6 hours every day- covering more than 10km. Walking for more than two weeks at such an altitude can be very hectic. So, it’s a fact that Gokyo Ri Trek can be challenging, especially for beginner trekkers.
However, the Everest Gokyo Ri trek is an idea for travel enthusiasts who wish to walk in the Everest region without any physical stress. With some experience of high-altitude trekking and good physical fitness, the Gokyo trek can be a terrific and accomplishable experience.
The difficulty of Gokyo Trek and its solution:
Altitude Sickness during the Trek
As with most high-altitude treks, Gokyo Trek also bears the risk of altitude sickness. The sudden change of altitude from Kathmandu to Lukla ( 1400m to 3420m) can be troublesome for anyone to get quickly accustomed to. As you climb to Gokyo Ri, you will be staying at 5360m above sea level. This chance is bound to take a toll on the human body.
Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) shows symptoms such as nausea, insomnia, loss of appetite, and diarrhoea. And these symptoms can be moderate for some; they can get fatal for others. In severe cases, you need to walk back to a lower altitude and even require airlifting due to extreme conditions.
Therefore, you should avoid triggering altitude sickness by following measures.
- Try to travel less than 1,000 feet each day, and plan an acclimatization day for every 3,000 feet of ascent.
- Keep your body hydrated with mild warm water and fully avoid alcoholic drinks.
- Eat plenty of carbs with healthy snacks, including lots of whole grains.
- Consult with your physician prior to your treks to get the medications in case of severe symptoms
Best Season for Gokyo Ri Trek
The climatic condition determines how easy your trek will be. In Nepal, February to May is less preferred due to evening rain and the slippery trail, whereas winter (December to February) in Gokyo can be harsh. September to November, after the monsoon, offers a clear sky and warm climate- an ideal condition for the trek. And Spring has its own perks with colorful wildflowers all around.
Trekking in Spring and Autumn can minimize your risk. That doesn’t mean you cannot trek in winter, but you will need to revise your Gokyo packing list to sustain at temperatures below -15 Celsius.
Like elsewhere in the Khumbu region, Gokyo Ri Trek has relatively comfortable and well-developed tea houses. Although you might not get a luxurious stay, you will get a pretty comfortable one. But if you are trekking in Autumn and Spring’s peak season, it’s necessary to pre-book your visit. Your guide or agency helps you to find suitable accommodation. You can also use the Wi-Fi, charging facilities, and a hot shower for some extra charge.
The teahouses serve both Nepali and western cuisines on their menu. Although the food choices are limited, you are never out of the basic options.
How many days for the Gokyo trek?
The total distance covered during the Everest Gokyo Ri trek is about 92 km, almost 52 miles. Walking for 5 hours per day, this trek demands about 10 to 11 days, and adding Everest Base Camp to the trip will add 2-3 days.
Though the time it takes to complete the trek, depends on your schedule and flexibility, you can estimate around two days.
So, is there anything you want to know about this trek?
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