Gokyo Lakes Trek In The Everest Himalayas, Nepal | Adventure Alternative

Overview

This is one of the more adventurous treks in the Everest Himalayas, following the high route pass of Cho La (5330m) into the Base Camp of Mount Everest. This ascent follows the Dudh Koshi and Khumbu valleys from the homeland of the Sherpa people to the Gokyo valley, which provides breath-taking views of four 8,000m peaks; Everest, Cho Oyu, Makalu and the largest glacier in Nepal, the Ngozumpa glacier. We visit the turquoise Gokyo lakes before following the high route pass of Cho La (5330m) into the Base Camp of Mount Everest. 

Following the Dudh Koshi river valley brings you towards the bustling market town of Namche Bazaar which has a great atmosphere, perfect for soaking up the magnificent mountain scenery.  Awe-inspiring views of some of the biggest mountains in the world provide a dramatic backdrop as you venture further into the Khumbu valley. After trekking to Gokyo, the return follows the route through Everest Base Camp, an ascent of Kalar Pattar for close-up views of Everest, down to the stunning Tengboche Monastery, Khumjung village, Namche Bazaar and finally back to Lukla.

 

Kathmandu is at an approximate altitude of 1400m and the flight to Lukla will take you up to a height of 2866m.  With Gokyo Ri standing at 5483m, Everest Base Camp standing at 5360m and Kala Patthar at 5545m, the Gokyo Lakes trek gains a total of 2679 metres from Lukla and 4145 metres from Kathmandu.

The Gokyo Lakes trek is a 17 day journey in total. From Kathmandu there is a short flight to Lukla, but you can choose to walk in from a lower altitude which will add a further 5 days. 

You can trek to Gokyo Lakes from March to June, and September to November. 

Private trips are welcomed and available for groups like schools or charities. We have our own office and guesthouse ready and waiting for any dates you may prefer.

What to Pack for Gokyo Lakes Trek

The basic idea of the kit we will take is to keep you warm, dry, protected from the sun, able to move comfortably in the mountains and able to be comfortable in the evenings and night.

You will be given a detailed kit list after booking, but the main points to cover are as follows:-

  • BAGS - Rucksack or duffle bag for a porter to carry plus a day pack to be carried by you
  • SHELL - Top and bottom waterproofs to keep off wind/rain
  • LAYERS - Shirts, trousers, shorts, Tshirts, jumpers and jackets, hats and gloves
  • BASELAYER - Thin layers to wick away any sweat and to wear for cold mornings
  • FEET - Comfortable boots with a good sole and ankle support. Lighter footwear to change into in the evenings.
  • SLEEPING - Warm sleeping bag (3 or 4 season) to get a good nights sleep at the lodges (they also have blankets)
  • DRINKING - Water bottles should be hard plastic (Nalgene), not throwaway bottles.
  • WASHING & MEDICAL - wash kit, towel, first aid kit
  • SUN CARE - sunglasses, sunhat
  • TREKKING - trekking poles, umbrella, dry bags
  • PERSONAL ITEMS - cameras, books, music

Kathmandu has an area called Thamel which is full of hundreds of equipment shops, each one an emporium of new, used, quality and fake equipment all very reasonably priced for rental and buying. You can buy almost anything needed for any trek.

Luggage Allowance on Internal Flights

Please note that standard luggage limits on internal flights are 10kg in the hold and 5kg as hand luggage. You can pay for extra luggage allowance at 120 rupees(~0.75GBP)/kg. However, note that the amount that the plane can carry also has a limit! You can of course wear your trekking boots and jacket to help cut down on the weight of your bag. You will also have left any city clothes or extra travel kit in Kathmandu.

We have compiled a comprehensive packing list for trekking in Nepal. Get an idea of the items you'll need for your Himalayan adventure.

Gokyo Lakes Trek Altitude Profile

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Note: You can also copy and paste the following plot into a word processor or image manipulation programme to view or print it

 

Gokyo Lakes Trek - fitness and terrain

 The trek is on a well trodden path all the way though this can be rocky and uneven in parts. It is not precipitous and there is no rock climbing or ‘mountaineering’ which requires equipment. It is a walk all the way, although some of the hills can be steep and never-ending!

You will meet many people along the way, and also yaks. There is only one rule of the road when meeting an oncoming yak, and that is to always ensure you step to one side, towards the inside of the trail.

Poles are useful but not necessary, depending on whether you have problems with knees and if you have a personal preference for using them. Higher up, the open slopes and moraine may give you added reassurance with a pole, but again the path is quite easy to follow.

The treks highest ascent to Gokyo Ri, is not difficult but occasionally slippery underfoot.

Lightweight hiking boots with a high ankle are recommended for the Gokyo Lakes trek, to protect you against possibly going over on an ankle, but heavy boots will be hot and heavy and cumbersome. Cross trainers are popular, but cold in the morning up high.

Height gains

Kathmandu is at an approximate altitude of 1400m and the flight to Lukla will take you up to a height of 2866m.  With Gokyo Ri standing at 5483m, Everest Base Camp standing at 5360m and Kala Patthar at 5545m, the Gokyo Lakes trek gains a total of 2679 metres from Lukla and 4145 metres from Kathmandu.

Experience needed

The trek is not a forced march and the pace is always slow, the days generally being shorter than a day hike at home.

We do recommend that you embark on a good fitness programme at least 6 weeks prior to your trip though, and one that builds up general stamina and specific leg muscle groups. There is nothing like hiking with a rucksack to train, so the best advice is to get out into the hills as often as you can. You are likely to carry about 5 kilos in your day sack so this is a good weight to work with.

If you are going to be using the gym then concentrate on step machines which work on the thigh and calf muscles, and try to build your heart rate up to 50% above resting rate. Any cardiovascular activity is good, but remember that swimming will not train the correct muscle groups so it must be added to other exercises to be effective. Exercise groups like bodypump, Pilates and aerobic are all excellent preparation for a trek like this, especially those which work on core strength, balance and stability.

Trek Support

The porters will carry your main bag up to a maximum weight of 15 kgs and cater for all the group needs, including assisting you if you need to go back down the valley. Unless specifically tenting, all accommodation is in lodges or teahouses which are very well equipped, warm and sociable.

  • All our guides are personally trained by Gavin Bate, Company Director and high altitude climber 
  • We don't ask for land payments. We include all of your meals on the trek, accommodation for the entire itinerary, flight transfers and plenty of time to safely acclimatise, enjoy and explore your surroundings.
  • We support the local economy in the solu Khumbu with our charity Moving Mountains. 
  • We employ full time staff, offering job security and good benefits
  • All the staff in our UK office have been to Nepal so you can chat to experienced people 
  • We are passionate about responsible tourism and our company supports sustainable development in Nepal 
  • We are bonded for financial security 

Dates & Bookings

Bespoke Dates
Fixed Itineraries
Start Date
12/07/2017
End Date
14/07/2017
Days
2
Price
£1bn dollars
£1bn dollars
Start Date
17/10/2018
End Date
05/11/2018
Days
20
Price
£1595
Start Date
06/04/2019
End Date
25/04/2019
Days
20
Price
£1595
Start Date
19/10/2019
End Date
07/11/2019
Days
20
Price
£1595
Private Itineraries
Start Date
12/07/2017
End Date
14/07/2017
Days
2
Group Name
2
£1bn dollars
Start Date
15/04/2019
End Date
04/05/2019
Days
20
Group Name
Eugene's Team

Itinerary

Gokyo Lakes Trek itinerary

DayElevationTravel TimeInfo
1 1400m   Arrive in Kathmandu and transfer to Hotel or Adventure Alternative guesthouse.
2 1400m   Rest day and acclimatisation to jetlag. There is also the possibilty of Kathmandu city sightseeing. Trek briefing will follow.
3 2460m 2 hours walking Flight* from Kathmandu into the mountains and the town of Lukla. From there a gentle downhill walk to Phakding or Jorsale along the edge of the Dudh Kosi River. Easy, well-used, busy path of porters and yaks, surrounded by forest on the sides of the valley.
4-5 3440m 6 hours walking Uphill to the Sherpa capital in the heart of the Khumbu region, Namche Bazaar. Initially follow the valley to Monjo where you enter the National Park, then criss-cross the river a few times and start a long unrelenting path uphill, with spectacular bridges spanning deep gorges. Leave the coniferous forest behind, and arrive at a huge natural amphitheatre with the blue-roofed houses spread around the sides. Namche is the major trading centre of the Khumbu, with Tibetans crossing the high Nangpa La Pass to reach the bustling Saturday morning market. Nowadays there are also many equipment shops, internet, bank, post office, cafes, bars, lodges and hire shops. Rest here for a day and take the chance to visit the Everest Museum.
6 4210m 5 hours walking Walk to Dole (4210m), via an easy path to Sangnasha. Climb uphill until Mong La, where we have lunch. After lunch it is downhill to Phorche Tanga. A pleasant walk through some forest then brings us to Dole, where we stop for the night.
7 4470m 3-4 hours walking Today we head to Machermo, following a quite easy grassy path. You are provided with views of Cho Oyu (8200m) as we climb gradually moving up the river valley passing Lhabarma and Luza to reach our destination of Macherma (4470m).
8-9 5483m 3 hours walking There is quite a steep climb to kick us off, and due to the increase in altitude we spend two nights at the lakes to enjoy the views. On day 9 it is an early start, around 3am to climb Gokyo Ri (5483m) for sunrise. It takes around 2 ½ hrs to reach the summit, and you are rewarded with spectacular views of Everest, Lhotse, Ama dablam, Pumori, Thambersku, Khangteka, Tensum Khang Gunnel and Cho La Che before returning to Gokyo Lakes for the remainder of the day.
10 4355m 3-4 hours walking Cross the Gokyo glacier and stay in Thangna at the foot of the Cho-La Pass for the night.
11 5330m 7-8 hours walking Today is another early start, around 3am for a 2 hour climb towards the Chola La Pass (5330m). From here there is a 2 hour descent to ZongLa, with stunning views to accompany you.
12 4920m 3hours walking An easy day with about 3hrs walking on relatively flat terrain, to Labouche, which is alongside the huge Khumbu Glacier. There are many stupas erected in memory of Sherpas who have died on expeditions. Few plants live up here and it will be much colder in the evenings. It is important to walk slowly and listen to your body. Fatigue from lack of oxygen to your muscles is common, but some people may feel nauseous and suffer from headaches. Drink lots of liquid and keep warm, give your body maximum opportunity to recover.
13 5164m 3hours walking From Labouche hike on the glacial moraine to the final settlement of Gorak Shep. The views here are spectacular. Nuptse dominates the other side of the valley, behind which the black triangular peak of Everest is just visible. The giant wall of ice ahead is the border with Tibet. Gorak Shep is the last outpost, a small collection of huts just below a hill called Kala Patthar which is traditionally the finest viewing point for Everest itself.
14 5540m 5 hours walking Trek to Everest Base Camp along the lateral moraine and finally on the glacier itself. Sometimes this route is impassable. Arriving at the small tented city where climbers congregate to climb the mountain is a surreal experience. There is a network of ‘roads’ between the camps, a bakery, and a chance to have a chat with people. Visit the Himalayan Rescue Association, which does an amazing job of looking after climbers.
15 4920m   Early morning climb to the summit of Kala Patthar to see sun rise behind the peak of Everest. The climbing route through the Khumbu Icefall, into the Western Cwm and up the Lhotse Face to the South Col is clearly visible, with the SE ridge to the top on the right hand skyline side of the summit block. This is a tough walk in the cold and not to be underestimated. Take warm clothing. Back at the lodge for breakfast and a walk back to Lobuje and further if the team wishes.
16,17 & 18 2460m   Over three days a descent via Namche Bazaar all the way to Lukla with various options for accommodation. It is possible to stay in different villages, for example Pheriche, Khumjung, Monjo, but the route is the same as the way up.
19   2 hrs Lukla flight* to arrive in Kathmandu in the morning and transfer to hotel. Day rest and sightseeing.
20 1400m   Depart Kathmandu. If you leave in the morning it is possible to arrive in London the same day.

 

*These flights ‘fly by sight’ so if there is cloud cover or bad weather there can be delays. If necessary we can be flexible and adapt the itinerary to catch up on lost days, but if the planes can’t fly then there is little that we can do except wait. Occasionally the planes can’t fly but helicopters can, if you prefer this option we can organise it but there would be a supplemental charge. This doesn’t happen very often but if your trek is very early, very late, or out of the main season you should consider possible impacts.

Cost

Gokyo Lakes trek cost £1,595.00

We offer an inclusive package. We don't ask for land payments. We include ALL of your meals on the trek, and accommodation for the entire itinerary, and a full itinerary allowing you plenty of time to safely acclimatise, enjoy and explore your surroundings.

INCLUDES

  • Airport transfers
  • Accommodation in lodges/tea houses (twin rooms with beds and mattresses)
  • Three meals per day during the trek with a hot drink (e.g tea, coffee, juices)
  • Sagamartha National Park Fees
  • Sherpa guides (English speaking, trained in first aid)
  • Porters (carries about 15kgs)
  • Staff food, insurance and equipment

EXCLUDES

  • International flight to Kathmandu
  • Accommodation in Kathmandu (~ £15 - £25pp/n) - we can book this for you. Click here for details
  • Meals and drinks in Kathmandu
  • Personal costs like drinks, laundry, hot showers, bottled water
  • Trip Insurance
  • Vis
  • Tips
  • Sightseeing Tours

Payments

A deposit of £100 is required on booking to secure your place and we ask that the remaining balance (trip price minus the deposit) is paid in full 6 weeks prior to your departure.  

Our prices are competitive and good value, and we offer quality, service, security and an ethical stance on tourism in a developing country. Additionally we plan treks with sufficient rest days and with achievable daily altitude increases which gives good time to acclimatise. Reducing the number of days may make the price cheaper but the chances of successfully completing the trek also greatly reduce.

We include professional staff and a porter for each member. We do not operate kitties and we use an excellent hotel in Kathmandu with which we have built up a strong relationship over the years.

We have our own licensed company in Kathmandu, Adventure Alternative Nepal and full time staff to operate all our treks, climbs and tours in Nepal.

INSURANCE

You must have an insurance policy which covers trekking at high altitude and helicopter rescue in the event of an evacuation.

Photos

Extras

£1,595pp

You can book your Adventure Alternative holiday for as little as £100.00 and pay the balance in as many instalments as you like. Choose a scheduled date or contact us for private dates, a bespoke itinerary or more trip details. 

Tours from only 1,595pp Dates & Bookings
Staff Review

A longer and exciting addition to the Everest base camp trek, visiting the spectacular Gokyo lakes for classic views of Everest and many other peaks, and an amazing crossing of the Cho La.

Key Information
  • Duration 21 days
  • Numbers 5 - 15
  • Altitude 5483
  • Distance 100km
  • Challenge Moderate
  • Comfort Lodges
  • Max altitude 5357m