Everest Base Camp – Gokyo-Ri Via Cho La Pass Trek
This is the ideal trek for fit and experienced trekkers who want to experience both Everest Base Camp and the challenge of crossing one of the most spectacular high mountain passes in the Himalayas – the fabled Cho La. You will also enjoy the relative solitude on the trails leading up from Namche to Gokyo, and the breathtaking views from Gokyo-ri which many say are even more spectacular than those above Everest base camp.
After exploring Kathmandu, you fly to Lukla where your trek to Everest begins. The trail follows the course of the Dudh Kosi, the ‘River of Milk’, gradually climbing through forests of rhododendron and magnolia. There are rest days at Namche Bazaar (the delightful Sherpa capital) at the foot of the world’s highest peak.
Soon you will reach Gokyo village where you can enjoy the views from the nearby peak (Gokyo-ri) and the sight of the sacred Gokyo Lakes. The crossing of the Cho Las pass is very challenging, especially if there is ice along the trails, but in just two days we will be approaching Everest Base Camp. The next day brings you to the final highlight – Kala Patar (5545m) with stunning views of Everest and the Khumbu Glacier cascading below.
Arrival in Kathmandu
Upon arrival at Kathmandu International Airport you will be greeted by an ITrekNepal representative who will escort you to your hotel. You can take time to rest and recover from your flight.
Optional morning walk in Gundu Valley to stretch your legs and experience local village life. Guided tour of World Heritage sites in Bhaktapur while we complete your trek permits and other preparations. In the evening we will have a detailed trek briefing and traditional Nepali welcome dinner with your trek guide.
Kathmandu to Phakding (2610m)
Early morning you will be picked up by your guide to go to the Kathmandu airport, from where we will take the flight to Lukla, which will take us about 30 minutes. At Lukla we will meet our porters and then head north from the airstrip to Chablung (2700m). Here we will cross the Tharo Kosi river on a local-style suspension bridge. Just past the bridge we can see the peak of Kusum Kangru (6367m), which is the most difficult of the so-called “trekking peaks”. Beyond the Tharo Kosi the trail climbs a bit towards Ghat (2590m), we will cross a ridge marked with painted mani stones and trek on to Phakding where we will stay overnight (3 hrs).
Phakding to Namche Bazaar (3420m)
From Phakding we follow the valley of the Dudh Kosi river, staying on the west bank of the river. We climb steeply over a rocky ridge towards Benkar (2710m). From here the trail continues alongside the river. All along this part of the trail, villages are interspersed with magnificent forests of rhododendron, magnolia and giant firs. In both the early autumn and late spring, the flowers on this portion of the trek make it a beautiful walk. We cross the Kyashar Khola river and climb out of the valley to Monjo (2840m). Just beyond Monjo the trek enters the Sagarmatha (Everest) National Park, which was established in 1976 to protect a 1148 sq km area surrounding Mt.Everest. Beyond the national park entrance station, the trail makes a steep rocky descent and crosses the Dhud Kosi river on a 120m-long suspension bridge towards Jorsale (2830m). After crossing this river a few times while climbing our way up the valley we will reach Namche Bazaar (3420m). Namche Bazaar is the main trading centre in this region and features numerous shops, lodges and restaurants (6 hrs).
Namche Bazaar / Acclimatization (3440m)
The Himalayan Rescue Association doctors have determined that you must acclimatize before we begin our trek to Gokyo. It is easy to get to high too fast and succumb to altitude sickness. Today we will do the hike to Thame and back. Thame lies at an elevation of 3750m, near the foot of a large valley west of Namche Bazaar. The route passes the settlements of Phurte (3390m), Thamo (3440m) and Somde (3580m) before arriving in the Sherpa village of Thami (3750m). We will have good views of the snow peaks of Teng Kangpoche (6500m) and Kwangde (6187m) to the south. After our lunch we will return to Namche Bazaar for the night (6 hrs).
Namche Bazar to Dole (4090m)
The trail first climbs steeply out Namche, and then through rhododendron forests that give way to fragrant stands of juniper and large conifers. This part of the trek is especially beautiful in spring when the rhododendrons are blooming. We pass a herders’ hut at Tongba (3950m) and then climb gently to Dole. From here the views of Khumbila and Tawachee are tremendous throughout the day, and it is possible to climb a ridge behind Dole for an even broader view up and down the valley (2 hrs).
Dole to Machhermo (4410m)
The trail starts today by climbing steeply through scrub junipers to a single lodge at Lhabarma (4330m). We pass the small settlement of Luza (4340m) and continue to climb along the side of the valley, high above the river to Machhermo. It was here that a yeti supposedly killed three yaks and attacked a Sherpa woman. This is the most credible yeti incident ever reported, so be watchful as we visit this region (2 hrs).
Machhermo to Gokyo (4750m)
Beyond Machhermo the trail climbs a ridge for an excellent view both down the valley to Kantega and upwards to Cho Oyu. Beyond the ridge the valley widens as the trail reaches the small village of Pangka (4390m). After passing Pangka the trail drops briefly, then climbs to a large cave known as Nilibuk. After Nilibuk we climb steeply along a narrow, newly crafted staircase trail. At the top the trail crosses a simple wooden bridge to the first small lake, Longponga, at 4650m. The trail then becomes almost level as it follows the valley past a second lake, known as Taujun, at 4710m and finally up a boulder strewn path to Gokyo. Gokyo is a collection of stone houses and walled pastures on the shores of a large lake known as Dudh Pokhari (4 hrs).
The views around Gokyo are tremendous. For the best views we will climb Gokyo Ri (5357m) today. From here we will have a panoramic view of Cho Oyu, Gyanchung Kang, Everest, Lothse, Makalu, Cholatse and Tawachee. After we enjoyed the view we will return to Gokyo village for the night (4hrs).
Gokyo to Thangna (4700 m)
Today we will cross a glacier and will see several small ice lakes. Although it will be a short day it can be tricky to stay on the undulating trail that can change throughout the season based on the seasons and conditions (3 hrs).
Thangna to Chola pass (5350 m.) and to Zhongla (4800 m)
We will start trekking at dawn today because it will be long day and we want to cross the high pass before the winds come up later in the day. There are spectacular views of the peaks on both the Gokyo and EBC side of the Cho La pass, as we near the high point of the climb (8 hrs).
From Phakding we follow the valley of the Dudh Kosi river, staying on the west bank of the river. We climb steeply over a rocky ridge towards Benkar (2710m). From here the trail continues alongside the river. All along this part of the trail, villages are interspersed with magnificent forests of rhododendron, magnolia and giant firs. In both the early autumn and late spring, the flowers on this portion of the trek make it a beautiful walk. We cross the Kyashar Khola river and climb out of the valley to Monjo (2840m). Just beyond Monjo the trek enters the Sagarmatha (Everest) National Park, which was established in 1976 to protect a 1148 sq km area surrounding Mt Everest. Beyond the national park entrance station, the trail makes a steep rocky descent and crosses the Dhud Kosi river on a 120m-long suspension bridge towards Jorsale (2830m). After crossing this river a few times while climbing our way up the valley we will reach Namche Bazaar (3420m). Namche Bazaar is the main trading centre in this region and features numerous shops, hotels and restaurants (6 hrs).
We will be able to start later today and walk at a more leisurely pace, reaching Lobuche in time for lunch. You’ll enjoy resting at Lobuche after the challenging crossing of Cho La, and to get prepared for the trek up to Kala Pattar and EBC the next day (3 hrs).
Lobuche to Gorak Shep (5160m)
The first section of today’s trail follows the western side of the broad Khumbu valley and ascends gently through meadows beside the glacial moraine. The ascent becomes steeper and rougher as it crosses several side moraines. After rounding a bend in the trail, the conical peak of Pumori comes into view. On the lower slopes of this mountain a ridge extending to the south terminates in a small peak, known as Kala Pattar (5545m),meaning ’black rock’. The trail then makes a short descent onto the sandy, flat expanse of Gorak Shep. From here we will continue to the current Everest base camp, which is about a 4 hours walk from Gorak Shep. We will return to this small settlement after our visit to the base camp (6 hrs).
Gorak Shep to Lobuche (4930m)
After an early morning rise we will start our day by climbing the Kala Pattar (5545m). This is a steep ascent up the grassy slopes west of Gorak Shep. From Kala Pattar the entire Everest south face is visible as well as Lho La (the pass between Nepal and Tibet, also named the Western Cwm), Changtse (the northern peak of Everest) and most of the West-Ridge route. We return to Gorak Shep and continue to descent to Lobuche (6 hrs).
Lobuche to Tengboche (4360m)
To go to Dingboche we retrace our steps back to Dughla, and then go straight up the hill from the bridge to reach an upper trail, staying high above the valley floor. The views from here are great. You can easily recognize Island Peak and the top of Makalu is visible in the distance over the pass to the right of Island Peak. After passing a chorten we will descend to Dingboche. The route from Dingboche descents the Imja valley, then crosses the Khumbu Khola on a wooden bridge and climbs to rejoin the upward trail at some stone huts. Following the trail downhill from here we will arrive at Tengboche where we will be able to visit the famous sherpa Buddhist monastery (7 hrs).
Tengboche to Monjo
We will have a steep descent from Tengboche, down to the Dudh Kosi river, before making a gentle ascent back up to Namche. From Namche we descend steeply again down the narrow valley, crossing several suspension bridges along our route to Monjo (5 hrs).
Monjo to Lukla
It is a fairly easy walk from Monjo to Lukla that is mostly downhill along the Dudh Kosi river, with a final climb to Lukla. In Lukla we will have time to reconfirm our flight tickets for the next day and explore the town where we will spend the night (4 hrs).
Lukla to Kathmandu
The 35 minute flight will leave early in the morning from Lukla and bring us back to Kathmandu. There should be plenty of time for any final shopping, sightseeing or just relaxing after your trek. Overnight stay at hotel.
Transfer to airport for departure flight from Kathmandu. Note: The trek program is – because of weather or unforeseen events – subject to change.
Whats Includes & Not Included
- Airport pick-up and drop-off
- Four nights hotel accommodations with breakfast in Kathmandu and Pokhara
- Licensed and trained trekking guides
- Porters for carrying goods and supplies
- All accommodation during trek
- All meals and hot beverages whilst trekking
- Transportation to and from trail head
- All necessary documents and permits for trekking (where applicable)
- National Park/Conservation Area entry permit
- Equipment such as sleeping bag, tents, mattresses
- Cooking equipment (if required)
- Camp-site charges (if required)
- Insurance, medication, and equipment for staff
- Coordination of Quick Rescue service (costs covered by your insurance plan)
- International airfares
- Travel/trekking insurance
- Excess baggage charges more than 16kg and hand bag more than 5kg in domestic flights
- Visa fees
- Airport departure tax
- Rescue charge
- Drinks (cold and alcoholic)
- Expenses of personal nature
- Permit and liaison officer fee (where applicable)
- Lunches and dinners whilst not trekking
Read our FAQ that answers general questions