Gokyo & The Renjo La

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$2,599/person

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A spectacular high altitude trek to the sublime Gokyo Lakes, with a crossing of the Renjo La into the Thame Valley offering unparalleled views of Mount Everest.

Details

Duration: 17 Days
Starts in: Nepal
Group Size: 4-16

Operated by:

World Expeditions

World Expeditions is an adventure travel and ecotourism company that offers guided small group trekking and adventure holidays.

Itinerary

Join Kathmandu

You will be met by a representative of World Expeditions and transferred to the Radisson hotel. Remainder of the afternoon at leisure. A pre-trek briefing will be given around 4.30-5pm where arrangements will be made for the distribution of your kit bag, sleeping bag and down/fibrefill jacket. Following the briefing, we will head out for dinner and this is a great opportunity to get acquainted with your fellow group members.Overnight: Radisson Hotel or similar

Free day in Kathmandu or drive to Ramechap (approx 5 hours)

Depending on the season, you will either have a free day to explore Kathmandu's bustling streets and significant landmarks or embark on a bus ride to Ramechap, a small town that operates flights to Lukla, the gate way trekking in the Everest region. Overnight: Radisson Hotel or Private eco-camp * NB: At time of writing, flights from 1 December 2019 to February 2020 remain operational from Kathmandu to Lukla. This situation is subject to change and your leader will brief you on flight arrangements locally.

Fly to Lukla (2800m). Trek to Ghat (2530m). Walk approx 2 hours

We have an early start with a short flight to STOL airstrip at Lukla. The Tenzing-Hillary Airport in Lukla was established by Sir Edmund Hillary to help access the Everest region and the Sherpa people. It is a picturesque flight with marvelous views of the Eastern Himalaya. Once at Lukla we are immediately presented with views of huge peaks surrounding the village, offering a glimpse of what is to come. Our crew assembles and we head downhill towards the Dudh Kosi, a raging river that flows from the highest peaks. The broad and well-marked trail meanders around fields of potatoes and buck-wheat, passing through small villages and rows of dahlia trees to our first overnight private eco campsite at Ghat.

To Monjo (2850m). Walk approx 4-5 hours

Today we cross and re-cross the thundering glacial river, named "Dudh" (milk) Kosi (river) because of it's colour. Sections of today's walk are through pine forest and cleared areas reveal terraced fields and a variety of crops. We pass small groups of donkeys, yaks and dzopko carrying trading goods and trek - gear along the trail. A dzopko is a yak-cow crossbreed while a yak is a full-blood long haired male, more commonly found at higher altitudes. We pass through a variety of small hamlets as we slowly gain altitude. Spectacular mountain peaks unfold above us and seem to hover above the tree-line as they rise above the deep river valley. Shortly after leaving camp we cross the Kusum Khola, a tributary stream to the Dudh Kosi, and the peak of Kusum Kangru (6369 m) can be seen to the East, at the head of the valley. Further along the trail, across the valley to the North-West, Nupla (5885 m) and Kongde Ri (6093 m) rise above the forested ridges. At a turn of the trail, Thamserku (6808 m) rises majestically, seemingly from the river floor. We will see our first Mani walls today. These stone structures are a compilation of many stone tablets, each with the inscription "Om Mani Padme Hum" which translates to "Hail to the jewel in the lotus" and is mantra (chant) venerated by Buddhists and Brahmans alike. Buddhists will walk to the left of these Mani Walls and chortens but you may notice that people of the lowlands who have no knowledge of Buddhism do not follow this ceremony. Today's walk is not a long one take your time, allow the body to acclimatise, and enjoy every step of the way. Overnight private eco camp.

To Namche (3440m). Walk approx 4-5 hours

This morning we cross the green/aqua waters of the Dudh Kosi and pass through the gates of the Sagamartha National Park. The establishment of this national park is a significant attempt to stem the use of fire-wood in the area. Self-contained trek groups must use only kerosene fuels for cooking, a philosophy we follow everywhere in Nepal, whether we are in a national park or not. Tea-houses and lodges are encouraged to use kerosene, yak dung or electricity but unfortunately continue to use mostly fire-wood for cooking, heating and for hot water for trekker's showers. This practice continues to deplete the forests. We follow the river course to the confluence of the Dudh Kosi and the Bhote Kosi and cross a spectacular high bridge before commencing our ascent to the village of Namche Bazaar, the Sherpa "capital" of Nepal. It is a tough climb as the trail passes through forest of pine to a vantage point that provides our first view of Mt Everest. The trail continues to climb and meander to Namche and the sight of this prosperous village spread within a horse-shoe shaped valley opposite the beautiful peak of Kongde Ri is worth every step. After lunch you may wish to peruse the Tibetan trader's stalls or the Sherpa shops in search of a bargain. Overnight: eco-lodge

To Kyangjuma (3610m) Walk approx 3-4 hours

Our trek will start with an incline to Syangboche airstrip and along the ridgeline towards Everest View Hotel. We are welcomed with magnificent views of the surrounding mountains including Everest, Lhotse, Thamserku, Khangtega, Ama Dablam and many more. After a quick break, we continue towards Khumjung and visit Sir Edmond Hillary’s famous “Schoolhouse in the clouds.”This school was the first in the entire Khumbu region being built in 1961 with the help of the Sir Edmund Hillary and the Himalayan Trust. The school originally opened with only two classrooms but has since expanded to cater for over 350 students. We descend and follow the trail for approx 25 minutes to our new exclusive campsite at Kyangjuma. For those who are feeling the early effects of altitude can opt for a shorter acclimatization walk of around 2 hours directly from Namche to Kyangjuma. Overnight: Private eco-campsite

To Phortse Tenga (3600m). Walk approx 6 hours

Heading North-East we initially follow the main trail to Thyangboche as it contours around the hills, before we branch off on a short climb on the flanks of the sacred peak of Khumblia (5761 m). We traverse for some time across yak pastures as the trail gradually ascends to Mon La. Below us is the confluence of the Dudh Kosi and Imja Khola and across the valley Thyangboche monastery is framed by Ama Dablam and Kantega. We reach a stupa draped with prayer flags atop a ridge at 3992 metres and then descend steeply through forest to the Dudh Kosi. After afternoon tea an optional walk up the ridge beyond camp will bring us to the village of Portse. Overnight private eco camp.

To Dole (4000m). Walk approx 3 hours

This morning we head north, still following the Dudh Kosi towards it's source, the magnificent Ngozumpa Glacier. An initial short climb gets us onto the trail for the steady climb towards Gokyo. Since leaving the main trail we have seen progressively fewer trekkers and locals and the relative isolation of the trail is a pleasure. Sections of red birch, fir and dwarf rhododendron forest are interspersed with areas of yak pasture as we gradually gain altitude. We pass pleasant waterfalls and sit to gaze at the glaciers that flow from Taweche and Cholatse on the opposite side of the valley. Behind us, spectacular ridges lead to the peak of Khumblia and the numerous unnamed peaks that reach almost 6,000 metre, ahead we can catch our first views of Cho Oyu in Tibet. In the distance Kantega and Thamserku rise above the foothills. It was at Dole that one of the more recent and "credible" yeti sightings took place. Ask your trek leader for details and draw your own conclusions. Overnight private eco campsite at Dole.

To Machhermo (4410m). Walk approx 3 hours

Continuing a steady but constant climb, we reach the "village" of Machhermo for lunch. Like the few small villages in this valley, Machhermo has only a few buildings and these are empty much of the year. Villagers in Khumjung and Khunde generally own land here high up the valley, where they graze yaks in the summer months. This is a valuable acclimatisation day as we prepare for our ascent of Gokyo Ri (5483m). We take things easy but this afternoon you may wish to stretch your legs and take a walk up the ridge behind Luza for a view of the Gokyo Valley. Overnight in stunning surrounds in our private eco camp.

To Gokyo (4759m). Walk approx 5-6 hours

Following the valley high above the river, we commence the ascent to Gokyo village. There are excellent views of Cholatse at the village of Pangka and we stop to enjoy them. We are now in high alpine country and as we approach the Ngozumpa Glacier we trek onto the moraine and rock that extends down from it. We enjoy excellent views of Kantega to the south and Cho Oyu to the north. Each mountain has it's individual character and presence and you can understand why the Nepalese give them such religious significance. Once we have ascended the snout of the glacier the path levels. We pass the first of the lakes, Longpongo, before reaching the second, Taoche Lake, a larger body of water and a place where ducks are often seen swimming in the freezing waters. As we walk up the valley our path parallels the Ngozumpa Glacier and separating us from the glacier is the massive lateral moraine. Overnight lodge.

Ascent of Gokyo Ri (5483m) or walk to Ngozumba Tsho. Walk approx 6-7 hours

An early start offers the best opportunities to really appreciate the magnitude and enormity of the surrounding Himalaya. Today there will be an option of either ascending Gokyo Ri (5483m) or walk alongside Nepal’s largest glacier, the Ngozumpa glacier to Ngozumba Tsho, known amongst locals as the 5th Lake. Both offer spectacular views with the latter considered as Nepal’s best as it looks towards the western cwm of Everest and other 8000m+ peaks. The 5th lake is a local favourite away from other tourists, a truly spectacular experience and viewpoint seen by not many. Gokyo Ri is the classic postcard view of snow capped mountains and vibrant turquoise waters of Gokyo Lake completing a picturesque scene. Just like the 5th lake, you will be surrounded by Cho Oyu (8153m), Gyangchung Kang (7922m), Lghotse (8501m), Makalu (8475m), Cholatse (6440m), Taweche (6542m), Kantega (6685m), Thamserku (6808m), Lobuche (6145m) and Mt Everest (8848m). Although further from Everest than Kala Pattar, the traditional viewing point, we are positioned to see more of the mountains and enjoy a more relaxed environment. It will be up to the group to unanimously decide between Gokyo Ri and the 5th lake for today's expeditions but we assure you that neither will be a compromise.Overnight: eco-lodge at Gokyo

Cross Renjo La (5400m) to Lungden. Walk approx. 7-8 hours

Crossing the Renjo La Pass will be exciting and challenging. We navigate through boulders with a zig zag incline to the top of the high pass at approx. 5360m. We descend steeply at first, into a remote northern valley where the landscape is progressively that of the Tibetan Valleys beyond the border. This is a ancient trading route used by Tibetan traders descending from the Nangpa La pass through the Himalayas from Tibet. The routes are still used today with their caravans of woolly yaks laden with goods. Overnight: eco-lodge

To Thame village. Walk approx 5 hours

We turn south and down valley towards Lukla for our return to Kathmandu. But there are Sherpa villages to be explored as we descend the gorge. We will spend the night at the village of Thame with its spectacular monastery. Overnight: eco-lodge.

To Monjo (2850m). Walk approx 5-6 hours.

We return to civilisation and no doubt there will be earnest celebration of a challenging but satisfying expedition, the likes of which has been enjoyed by very few people. We stop at Namche for lunch and there will be an opportunity to explore the markets further and pick up some last minute souvenirs. Overnight: eco-camp.

To Lukla (2800m). Walk approx 2-3 hrs

The trail takes us down the Dudh Kosi valley to Lukla airstrip for the flight back to Ramechap. This is a perfect time to reflect on the past days and the unforgettable journey we have undertaken into the high Himalaya. We savour our final mountain sunsets of the trek as we complete this exhilarating journey. Our last evening of the trek is a perfect time to celebrate a successful journey and say thanks to the team, especially the porters who will return to their villages from here. Overnight lodge.

Fly to Kathmandu or return via Ramechap

We start the day with a stunning morning flight over forests and villages to Kathmandu directly or to return via Ramechap. Upon arrival, you be will be transferred back to the Radisson Hotel and have the remainder of the afternoon free. There will be plenty of time to relax or do some last minute shopping/sightseeing. Overnight: Radisson Hotel or similar

Trip concludes Kathmandu.

After breakfast arrangements cease unless further arrangements have been made. Those people travelling by aircraft to further destinations will be transferred to the airport.

Additional Information

The perfect trek for those who wish to avoid the busier trails in the Everest region but still gain stunning views of Everest. Trekking slowly through Sherpa villages and yak pastures we emerge into the stunning Gokyo Valley with its beautiful lakes, and from where we ascend Gokyo Ri for one of the finest views of Everest and surrounding peaks including Cho Oyu in Tibet. From our remote high camp west of Gokyo we prepare for the highlight of the trek, the crossing of the Renjo La. The views of Everest are incredible as we weave our way to the top of the pass at 5400m, before our descent to Mirlung along a rarely trodden trail where we are unlikely to see other trekkers. Undeniably trekking at its best in the Everest region.

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Starting From

$2,599/person

Add your business today to reach The Outbound's audience of adventurous travelers.