Everest Base Camp Via Gokyo Lakes and Cho-la Pass Trek
Everest Base Camp Trek via Gokyo Cho La Pass rewards you with everything that the Everest region has to offer. Everest Base Camp itself is one of the final destinations of our trekking journey. There, you can have a beautiful view of the Khumbu Icefall. However, you won’t get the grand view of Everest itself from the Base Camp. So, you hike to Kala Patthar to have the most spectacular view of Mt. Everest. The Gokyo Lakes are another major attraction of your Everest Gokyo Cho La Pass trekking package. Gokyo village lies on the eastern shore of the third lake. This bright blue color of the high-alpine lake makes it exceptionally beautiful. To acclimatize, you climb Gokyo Ri, a peak located on the west side of Ngozumpa Glacier. It is the vantage point for one of the most spectacular panoramic views of the Everest region, truly unforgettable. You will walk through the snow-covered trails of Cho La Pass, one of the more difficult stretches of the trek, during which you will get an adrenaline rush and a feeling of a great accomplishment.
Putting the joy of reaching the foot of Mt. Everest aside, you also get the chance to explore many of the wonderful places along the way. From the moment you start your journey with the thrilling flight to Lukla, you get a plethora of beautiful vistas of the Himalayas, landscapes, forests, and rivers. You will also get to explore the Sherpa culture and their lifestyle at its best on the 17-day journey.
Route to Everest Base Camp via Cho La Pass
The route of this trek is similar to the Everest Base Camp Trek up to Namche. After that, you will trek towards Dhole, Machhermo, Gokyo and then to Gokyo village and lakes. As a part of acclimatization, you will spend the 8th day in Gokyo village by climbing the Gokyo Ri. Then, you will proceed towards Thangnak and then to Dzongla via Cho La Pass. After that, you will again join the regular Everest Base Camp trek trail when you reach Lobuche. On the 12th day, you will reach Gorakshep, trek to Everest Base Camp and return to Gorak Shep. The next day, you will hike up to Kalapatthar and descend towards Pheriche. Then, you will trek to Namche and Lukla to finally take a flight back to Kathmandu.
Gokyo and Chola Pass Trek Difficulty
Everest Base Camp Trek via Gokyo Cho La Pass falls in strenuous grade. Strenuous treks demand a high level of strength and physical fitness. That being said, people of all ages and capabilities have managed to complete the Everest Base Camp Trek without issue. Among the 15 days of trekking, you will walk for an average of 5-6 hours a day. Some days require you to walk as little as 3 hours, while other days you need to walk for about 8 hours.
The terrain of the Everest Base Camp via the Gokyo Cho La Pass trekking trail varies from beginning until the end. Some routes are flat and even and you can cover up to 4 kilometers in an hour. However, some uphill climbing on the rocky stretches slow you down. The trail gets tough as you approach the Base Camp when you have to walk next to a glacier.
Altitude sickness is another thing to be careful about during this trek. Cardio exercises, hiking, kayaking, etc. one month prior to the trip can help you prepare for the trek.
Weather and Temperature
Weather in high altitude places in the Everest region is quite unpredictable. But, based on previous data, we can say that spring and autumn are best for trekking with low precipitation, comfortable temperatures, and less dramatic weather.
At lower places, days are warm with colder nights and early mornings. But, as you trek higher, it may start to get chilly even in the daytime. So warm clothes need to be packed with thermal insulations.
Usually, summer and winter are not that favorable for Cho La Pass Trek. That being said, it is still possible with additional preparation, though you may need to be ready to bear some rainfall, cold temperatures, and snowfall.
On your trekking journey to Everest Base Camp via Cho La Pass, you will be staying at tea houses run by Sherpas. They are small hotels which provide you with the best place to sleep and relax. They may lack in luxury but their hospitality is what makes you feel wonderful. Apart from that, you will get plenty of opportunities to get exposed to the tradition and culture of Sherpas while staying at tea houses. You will stay at a 3-star hotel while you are in Kathmandu.
Food and Water
Tea houses along the trail provide minimalistic food rich in nutrients. Three meals per day are included in the package and food like noodles, pasta, rice, vegetables, Dal Bhat, eggs, etc. are provided. There may be some fast food, bakery items and beverages available at early villages like Lukla and Namche. Some dry snacks that can’t be spoiled by heat can be brought like chocolates and energy bars. You can fill your bottles with boiled water in tea houses. If you want to use tap water, you have to use water purification pills. Mineral water and some basic snacks can be bought in tea houses and local shops.