Gokyo Lakes Trek
This is a 12 day trek which avoids the more crowded Everest Base Camp route. In addition, the view from Gokyo Ri is as spectacular as that from Kala Pattar but the village of Gokyo itself is so much more beautiful than Gorak Shep.
Dates: Sep 08-22, 2018
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Vacation Style Holiday Type
Activity Level Challenging
Group Size Medium Group
Ever since the days of early climbing expeditions, the highest point on Earth has had a lure of its own, drawing climbers and trekkers to it like a magnet. Naturally, the trail to the base of Everest has become one of the most popular trekking routes in the world, attracting more than 400 people on the trail per day during season.
The 15 day Gokyo Lakes trek gives great views of Mt Everest (8848 and Mt. Cho Oyu (8201m) without the bustling crowds of Kala Patthar and Everest Base Camp. The village of Gokyo, is much more beautiful than Gorak Shep. Gokyo, the lake is truly stunning with its emerald green lakes and herds of yaks wandering freely.
Check in, relax. Last minute shopping at Thamel, sleep and hydrate.
Fly from Kathmandu to Lukla. Short trek to Phakding
Your journey with begins with the exciting 30–40 minute flight from Kathmandu to Lukla. If you can, sit on the left side of the plane, which affords the best views of the Himalaya.
At Lukla you will be met by your guide and porters who are all local Sherpas and Buddhists, which will add to your insight of their customs and culture. Your trek begins, bizarrely, by walking downhill! This is a short day to Phakding, which is just as well after all the excitement of leaving Kathmandu, flying to Lukla and your first taste of being in the Solu Khumbu! All this should ensure you sleep well.
Phakding to Namche Bazaar - Acclimatization.
From Phakding it is a steep walk to the largest village in the area: Namche Bazaar. En route you get your first views of Mount Everest, if the weather is kind. Namche has a unique atmosphere which you will have plenty of time to enjoy as you will have an acclimatization day here. This does not necessarily mean no walking, as we will give you the option of a walk to Khunde and Khumjung on this day, which will help you acclimatize to the altitude.
Namche to Sansa and then Village of Phortse Thanga
From Namche the trail heads north towards Sanasa, but just before this there is a viewpoint which provides you with your first view of Ama Dablam, Lhotse Shar, Taboche Peak, Kangtega and Thamserku. At Sanasa a quiet side path leaves the main trekking route to Everest Base Camp and crosses the slopes of Khumbila. Sherpas worship this mountain as it is the home of the patron god of the Khumbu region and is never climbed out of respect. You will continue on this path to the village of Phortse Thanga where we spend the night
Machhermo via Dole
The walk to Machhermo via Dole is a steep one and so it is advisable to slow the pace and enjoy the breathtaking views of Cho Oyo, Thamserku and Kangtega.
Trek to Gokyo
As you trek towards Gokyo you can feel the excitement mount as you leave the foothills and enter the tundra of the high mountains. Gokyo has a magical setting with its beautiful lake and jagged peaks behind. You will feel a great sense of achievement having reached your highest village but tomorrow offers two amazing options.
Acclimatization day with options - Early Ascent to Gokyo Ri or The Sacred Lakes walk
Acclimatization day, but with options! As the clouds can roll in by late morning, the first option is an early ascent of Gokyo Ri (a 4 hour round trip). This has spectacular views of Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, Makalu, Cholatse and Taboche Peak, to name but a few! The second possibility is “The Sacred Lakes” walk (a 5 hour round trip) which gains very little altitude but the views to Cho Oyo are awesome! Scoundrel’s Peak is an easy walk off the main trail and the views of Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse and Makalu will live with you forever.
Trek to the east side of the Valley to Phortse
Rather than retrace our uphill route, out trek continues on the east side of the valley to Phortse which offers different views and warmer weather as the sun remains on this side till later in the day!
Phortse to Pangboche Village. Arrive at Tengboche
From Phortse it’s an easy stroll to the village of Pangboche, which has the oldest monastery in the Khumbu region. It was founded by Lama Sange Dorje in the 17th century. The trek then leads us through beautiful dense rhododendron forests with Spanish moss mixed with dwarf conifers where you can often see danphe pheasants and musk deer. Suddenly you emerge from this forest and you have arrived at Tengboche where you will stay the night. Of course you will receive a very warm welcome here as this is the home of our trekking agency. Apart from the sheer beauty of the surrounding area, a visit to the monastery is a must for most trekkers and is often one of the highlights for many visitors. You are invited to morning and afternoon prayers at the monastery. Some people have claimed that the bakery serves the best apple pie in the world!
Tengboche to Punke Tenga
From Tengboche it is a steep downhill start to the day but, before long, you arrive at Phunke Tenga, which is really just a collection of lodges but serves welcoming teas and coffees. Before long you reach the point where you turned off to Phortse Thanga and so it is an easy walk downhill to reach Namche with all it’s great variety of amenities. If you didn’t visit the Mount Everest viewpoint on your first visit, then you will have to do so now.
Final day of Walking. Return to Lukla
The final day’s walking returns you to Lukla for your early morning flight back to Kathmandu the next day
Fly to Kathmandu
Fly from Lukla back to Kathmandu.
Extra day for Weather delays
Spare day incase of weather delays
Fly to home destination
Fly to KTM and onwards to your destination!
We believe that along with the privilege of adventure in the Himalaya comes a serious responsibility, the responsibility to protect and contribute to its ecology, cultures and its tremendous beauty. The “Leave No Trace” philosophy is followed to the letter and we work to minimize the environmental impact of our trips. We are scrupulous in our camping, cooking and sanitation practices; we limit the number of trekkers we allow to join us on our trips and the number of trips we lead in a given area.
In wilderness, commercial agreements between service provider and client require a depth of understanding that is more than what is routinely attached to similar agreements elsewhere. In the outdoors, we have to balance pursuit of stated objective and risk. We try to overcome risk and deliver the objective promised in the agreement between client and service provider. But that does not mean that we ignore risk altogether to chase an objective. We wish you to be informed on what makes a trip safe for you and everyone else.
Please take a few minutes to read the following:
The nature of wilderness
By definition wilderness implies remoteness. It means that response to any accident or mishap takes time. Timely intervention is a life saver. Working back from this, it becomes imperative that any commercial adventure in wilderness be conservative in terms of the risk it courts. Yet adventure means there will be risk. The way out is to manage the risk involved in such a fashion that a safe experience is provided. There are a few things that the client can do.
Prepare in advance
Commercial expeditions entail strain even if others are carrying your load and doing the team’s work. Prior physical conditioning – particularly of the cardiovascular sort contributing to improved endurance – helps. Please invest time and effort for that before embarking on the trip. It will help you in the field.
Be honest, speak up
We encourage clients to be honest about how they are feeling on expedition days; voice any personal difficulties they may be experiencing. This helps the team make relevant decisions for clients’ well being, something crucial when venturing into altitude. Not all of us are meant for altitude. If your physiology rebels, there is nothing to be ashamed of it. Speak up. Make sure that your disclosures about self are not biased by an objective you are feverishly trying to achieve like getting to the summit of a peak or crossing a high pass at any cost. Don’t let summit fever and similar instances of extreme personal ambition, consume you. It puts you and your support team at risk. Stay with the team’s assessment of risk. Go with the resultant decisions. If you think you have a point to make by all means do so. We will hear you out. But risk assessment and decisions, will be by the team leaders as the onus of a safe expedition primarily rests with them.
Let the leaders work
You may be familiar with rivers, mountains and altitude. We don’t wish to question that. But there are reasons why many of us choose to go as clients. One of them is that our primary vocation is something else, while those working in the mountains as guides have chosen to make that their primary vocation or at the very least, dedicate time to it. More than us, they are in the mountains. They are alive to it. That’s why we entrust our passage to them. So, please let them work free of interference. Please don’t influence their judgement. Your expedition needs their best work and best judgement. In any expedition, leadership style will vary with the risk being tackled in a given situation. There will be times when we can travel easy in a very consultative fashion. There will be times when that is not advisable and a more directive style may be adopted by your guides. Please comply.
Be open to alternatives
We can set up the best safety systems possible, checking and double checking to make sure that nothing is left to chance. But we don’t control or totally overcome variables like weather and terrain / river conditions. They impact expedition’s progress. If team leaders review / alter plan citing concerns on any front, we request that it be respected and not viewed as money’s worth denied even if it dims prospects for achieving an expedition’s original goal. Such challenges are frequent in the outdoors. Seasoned trekkers and climbers, when they realize that a particular objective does not seem achievable on a given trip, learn to be happy with other pursuits to compensate – like staying camped and enjoying the mountain environment or attempting more doable hikes from wherever they are. We request you to stay aware of these possibilities. Be open to them. Decades ago when exploration and first ascents were happening in the Himalaya, the explorers / mountaineers / hikers devoted months to their work. Committed outdoorsmen still do. They wait out unfavourable circumstances by having a lot of time and patience. Time is what the modern world does not have even as the mountains remain the same, posing the same challenges; the same risk, the same unpredictable circumstances. An exceptionally lucky circumstance may deliver success. But luck isn’t commonplace. We should be mentally prepared for the above mentioned alternatives.
If you don’t achieve your objective it isn’t the end of the world. Be patient, another chance will emerge. There is a simple reminder, climbers often tell their colleagues leaving for a summit: “ the mountain will always be there; make sure you are there.’’
In other words – be safe.
Our expedition trips are designed for energetic and flexible people who have the spirit of adventure and a positive attitude. Previous experience in the outdoors and camping helps, though is not a must. These trips are participatory in nature, and everyone is expected to pitch in, set up and break down their own tent, clean their own dishes. Look up our trip grading before you sign up.
Grading of Trips
We have graded our trips in four different categories and you should choose one that suits you the most. Grading of each trip has been done keeping in mind a lot of factors like the trip duration, the altitude, the terrain, the no. of hours of activity everyday, temperatures and conditions encountered, and the level of fitness needed. Any kind of exercise which gets you fitter before this trip is advisable, as it will enable you to enjoy the region more.
- Easy : Most of our camp based trips, with easy activities, that are optional and involve fairly easy travel. Trips may include short hikes of two to three hours or optional walks at low elevations. Includes less demanding whitewater trips with easy support and myriad options.
- Moderate : Active trips involving hiking over reasonable terrain, within vehicular access, upto elevations less than 4000 meters, or trips with long walking days, multiple rafting days, wilderness camping. Includes more demanding whitewater trips with Class III rapids.
- Demanding : Hiking and trekking to elevations exceeding 4000-5000 meters, away from vehicular access, over multiple days. Encompasses demanding whitewater with Class IV rapids.
- Challenging : Our most demanding trips include climbing at high elevations in excess of 5000 meters, in remote and extreme conditions with no access to roads; trips to remote, extreme wilderness; mountaineering trips, and demanding whitewater trips with Class IV-V rapids.
The Next Step
Ready to go? Email us at email@example.com to book your place and we will guide you through the booking process. Please sign and scan/email us your booking form and inform us about the status of your payments at the time of confirming the trip (Booking form and Payment details below).
Why travel with Aquaterra Adventures?
We are a pioneer in active adventure travel, and run the most number of rivers in India, having opened them up over the past several years. We set the standard and have a strong reputation for excellence. We have a lot to live up to and we ensure we provide the safest, quality trips for our guests.
Should you wish to contact any of our past guests for a trip reference, write to us.
In remote regions, we often use local suppliers who provide services that may include vehicles for transportation, equipment, logistical support, hotels, guest houses etc. We do not own or operate these independent services or suppliers. We work with them as they share our commitment to service and quality.
All travel from KTM airport and back to KTM airport by road / air as applicable (by non ac car / coach), all arrangements for staying and camping while on the trip, accommodation on twin share basis in rest houses / hotels, all meals, professional guide fee, peak fee, sanctuary fee / royalty / permits where applicable, all trekking arrangements experienced Aquaterra leader.
Single / Forced Single Supplement: Rs. 28000 + 5% tax
Extra porter: Rs. 1500/day ; Porterage / Baggage Allowance : 12 kgs
Meals lunch and dinner at Kathmandu, sleeping bag, items of personal clothing, expenses of a personal nature like laundry, phone calls, alcohol, cigarettes, insurance, camera fee and any costs arising out of unforeseen circumstances such as bad weather, landslides, road conditions and any other circumstances beyond our control.
Excludes international flights to Kathmandu and back
- Please carry toilet paper for personal use
- We will give you a Lifestraw bottle to reduce plastic on trail.
- Bottled water, hot drinking water, WiFi and shower water is not included in the price. Please budget for these items separately.
- Tipping – please budget on min. INR 5000-6000/person for tips for porter and guides
- Ensuite toilets are not always available, expect some common baths and toilets You are travelling to one of the world’s most remote mountain regions, which have created the famous tea house concept that caters to basic shelter and food in the mountains. Expect nothing more.
Read up on what to do on the trek, at: http://www.magicalnepal.com/blog/28-things-to-doduring-everest-base-camp-trek-2
Trekking for up to 6 hours per day can take it out of you especially when increasing altitude.Snacks and fluids are the thing that gets you through, but they do have a habit of escalating in price with the altitude. A Mars Bar that cost 80 rupees in Kathmandu may cost 120 in Namche Bazaar, (3440m) and an outrageous 300 rupees in Gorak Shep! (5164m)It is a bit of a running joke with the Sherpas to how the snack prices go up, but it is worth buying extras before your trek at ‘Kathmandu prices’. Showering is about $5 per wash, and if the pipes are frozen it will be more like a warm bucket splash. Battery charging can be as high as $5-6 per charge, which adds up when trekking for 14 days.Keep your batteries warm to avoid losing charge, you wouldn’t be the first to miss out on photos of Base Camp (5364m) and Kalar Patthar (5550m) because your camera is flat….
Booking conditions: All bookings are subject to availability of space at Camp. We book space on a 100% advance. All payments by wire transfer, cash or cheque/draft in favor of “Aquaterra Adventures (I) Pvt. Ltd.”
Tips & Gratuities: Our recommendation is a minimum 5-10% of your trip cost for tips to be distributed amongst the team that makes your adventure safe and successful. This includes drivers, guides, cook, kitchen team, porters and horsemen. Of course, this remains a personal choice.
If it becomes necessary to cancel your tour, you must notify Aquaterra Adventures India Pvt. Ltd. immediately in writing. Once we receive your notice, cancellation will take effect. Please note that the following charges will apply on cancellation:
- if cancellation takes place more than 45 days prior to departure, your full deposit
- will be returned except a processing charge of Rs. 5000 or US$ 77 ; (60 days for Brahmaputra trip)
- if cancellation takes place between 45 and 30 days prior to departure, 50% of the
- tour price will be forfeited (between 60 and 30 days for Brahmaputra trip); and
- if cancellation takes place less than 30 days prior to departure, 100% of the tour price will be forfeited.
Some trips attract a minimum processing charge – please check.
The tour price is quoted as a package. No partial refunds or credit will be given for services not used. We recommend that you obtain travel insurance upon booking.