About the Expedition

Prayer flags on Gokyo Ri
Prayer flags on Gokyo Ri

The objective of the expedition is to ascend Gokyo Ri and Kala Pattar (5,545m) and visit Everest Base Camp which is at some 5,200m above sea level.

Along the way we will stay beside the azure blue glacial lake at Gokyo, cross the Ngozumpo Glacier and cross the Cho La Pass at 5,420m.

The expedition will set off from the rather  grand sounding Royal Singi Hotel in Kathmandu from where we will fly to Lukla (2800m) and then trek northwards following the route outlined below.

Particular highlights of the trip with be the ascent of Kala Pattar and Gokyo Ri for views of Everest and other Himalayan giants

Expedition Itinerary

Day 1

Arrive at Kathmandu and receive full trek briefing

Day 2

Fly to Lukla (2800m). Heading northwards up the valley of the Dudh Kosi; trek to the small settlement of Phakding make camp.

Day 3

Namche Bazaar
Market day at Namche Bazaar

Following the Dudh Kosi north we will head out of Phakding crossing to the west bank, climbing high above the river. After Jorsale (2,800m) we will follow the trail as it climbs over a spur to cross the Bhote Kosi, where we shall begin the steep climb to Namche Bazaar (3,445m).

At about 300m up this ascent we may get our first glimpse of the summit of Everest appearing behind the great ridge of Nuptse-Lhotse. Another 300m of climbing should brings us to Namche Bazaar, administrative centre of the Khumbu region, headquarters for the Mount Sagarmatha (Everest) National Park, a prosperous Sherpa village and an important trading centre.

Day 4

We spend today acclimatising to the altitude and walking up to the National Park Museum for our first good view of Everest, Nuptse and Lhotse.  We will then walk into the Thame Valley,  (on the way to Tibet). The trail climbs steeply out of Namche and then contours round the valley  through beautiful forest. We will then return to Namche for the night.

Day 5

Acclimatisation walk to Kunde and Khumjung; descend to Kyanjuma.

We will climb steeply out of Namche to the Everest View Hotel, we will then continue on to the villages of Kunde and Khumjung set below Khumbila, the rocky peak sacred to all Sherpas. Kunde is the location of the Edmund Hillary hospital, and in Khumjung the Edmund Hillary School. Descending to the main trail we will then spend the night at Kyanjuma (3,600m).

Day 6

On the morning of Day 6 we will leave Kyanjuma and turn off the main trail and begin climbing to the Mong La, marked by a chorten on the top of a ridge at 3,972m. This ridge descends from Khumbila, (the abode of the patron god of all sherpas.) From the ridge, our trail descends in a series of steep switchbacks towards the Dudh Kosi. At Phortse Tenga (3,600m) the trail starts to climb steeply again out of the valley. We pass through kharkas, summer settlements used by the Sherpas to graze their yaks, before coming to Dole (4,040m) where we have magnificent views of Kangtaiga and Tramserku.

Day 7

Everest ElevationWe begin day 7 in Dole, from here the trail is steep in places as it passes through Lhabarma and Luza along the side of the valley, high above the river through scrub junipers until we cross the sandy spurs to Machhermo (4,410m) with our aim to reach Machhermo by the afternoon.

Day 8

Today begins by climbing a ridge and up the valley towards Cho Oyu (8,201m). The valley widens as the trail passes through Pangkha then descends to the riverbank before beginning the steep climb on a narrow trail onto the terminal moraine of the Ngozumpo Glacier.

We then pass the first of the lakes at Gokyo, called Longpongo, following the almost level trail past the second lake and on to the third lake and the walled meadows and lodges of Gokyo at 4,750m.

Day 9

Descending from Gokyo Ri

Day 9 sees us making the steep ascent of Gokyo Ri (5,360m), a small peak above Gokyo village. From the top we should be able to see four of the seven highest peaks in the Nepalese Himalaya: Cho Oyu, Everest, Lhotse and Makalu. Stretching out for miles below us is the longest glacier in Nepal – the Ngozumpo Glacier, which tumbles down from the slopes of Cho Oyu.

We will then set off for Thangnak which climbs to the crest of the moraine overlooking the Ngozumpo Glacier. The route across the glacier is well marked with cairns but we will need to take care as the path is narrow and there is ice underfoot in parts. The trail then climbs up and down and will takes us to the eastern side of the Gokyo Valley where we will make camp at Tangnak (4,700m) at the foot of the Cho La Pass.

Day 10

An early start for the very long day across the Cho La (5,420m). We will climb up from Tangnak . We will descend to a large boulder field before tackling the final part of the climb to the pass. The latter part of this trail is very steep and rocky as we zig zag up to the top.

Finally we will reach the glaciated top, from there we will follow a trail across the snow and down a rocky gully to the ‘pastures’ below at Dzongla (4,830m), where we will spend the night.

Day 11

As we leave Dzongla we will  make for the foot of Awi Peak, finally descending to join the main trail again just below Lobuje (4,930m) where we will spend the night.

Day 12

Base_CampSurrounded by giant Himalayan peaks; Everest, Nuptse, Lingtren, Khumbutse and Pumori today will long and hard as we make for Everest Base Camp (5,364m). The trail from Lobuje climbs steadily by the side of the Khumbu Glacier. It should take us about 3 hours to reach Gorak Shep (5,180m), a collection of lodges situated at the foot of Kala Pattar.

After a short beak will we then set off for Base Camp. The trail heads along the crest of the moraine at first with plenty of undulations, some of them quite steep. We then drop steeply down onto the Khumbu Glacier itself retracing our steps to Gorak Shep for the night.

Day 13

Another long day as we will ascend the small peak of Kala Pattar (‘black rock’) at 5,545m. It is a steep two-hour climb to the summit, but the effort are well worth it, with the most magnificent view of the Khumbu glacier and above all a close-up sight of the world’s highest mountain which the Nepalese call Sagarmatha – Head of the Waters and the Sherpas Chomolungma – Mother of the World. We return to Gorak Shep and descend past Lobuje to Pheriche (4,243m).

Day 14

Descending the Pheriche Valley we will join the main Imja Khola Valley, which we will follow down to Pangboche . Dropping down to the rushing Imja Khola we will then walk through rhododendron forests to Thyangboche at 3,867m where we will stay for the night.

Day 15

Continuing our descent through the forest to the river at Phunki Tenga we will then climb up to Kyanjuma . From here the trail contours round the hillsides back to Namche Bazaar, from where we descend to the river and retrace our steps to Monzo (2,815m).

Day 16

On day 16 we will continue to retrace our steps southwards with a final climb to the airstrip at Lukla.

Day 17

We fly back to Kathmandu

Expedition Updates