Nepal – Everest Base Camp Trek – Gokyo Lakes & Cho-La Pass

Onwards and upwards.

Departing Machhermo

Departing Machhermo

Today we would trek past the world’s highest freshwater lakes system comprising six main lakes. Due to our direction of travel, each lake we passed would be progressively larger and more picturesque than the last, until finally reaching Gokyo village, at the foot of Gokyo Ri.

Passing the Gokyo Lakes system

Passing the Gokyo Lakes system

The main Gokyo Lake

The main Gokyo Lake

Day 7 was “acclimatisation day number two”. Behind the crest opposite Gokyo Lake is the massive Gokyo Glacier. It wasn’t much trouble climbing up to see this incredible sight.
Don’t miss it! The glacier stretches far, far into the distance on a scale that must be seen to be believed. You can even hear the faint cracks and crashes from unseen collapses.

Gokyo Glacier

Gokyo Glacier

Gokyo Ri is a particularly larger peak than it looks from the village below. We discovered this during an early 4:30am hike to the summit to see the sunrise.
It was FREEZING COLD.Frame 5

What to see at the summit of Gokyo Ri

What to see at the summit of Gokyo Ri

Being still dark outside, is seems to gradually climb forever, while our fingers stayed numb inside our gloves. Being surrounded by the tallest mountain range in the world means the sun is quick to appear from behind a peak and the scenery changes colours very quickly. The view from the summit (5360m) is SPECTACULAR and highly recommended at sunrise (if you can drag yourself out of bed at 4:30am and withstand the bitter cold!).

At Gokyo Ri summit

At Gokyo Ri summit

View from Gokyo Ri

View from Gokyo Ri

It's a long way up AND down.

It’s a long way up AND down.

Crossing Gokyo Glacier on the way to Thangnak can be fairly dangerous due to steep, narrow trails across the snow, ice and rocks that litter the glacier.

DANGER: Treacherous trekking ahead

DANGER: Treacherous trekking ahead

Yep. That's us down there.

Yep. That’s us down there.

The next day was the infamous Cho-La Pass. We set out much earlier today as our guide informed us it was imperative to cross the pass as early as possible. The afternoon sun can melt the snow and ice within the pass’s slopes, causing it to fall in and make it treacherous for hikers. After a few hours reaching the pass, it was a tiring, steep ascent to the mouth of the pass. After chowing down on a packed lunch, we headed quickly through the main pass and down the other side. It was a BIG day!

Ultra-marathon runners passing us on the ascent to Cho-La Pass

Ultra-marathon runners passing us on the ascent to Cho-La Pass

Looking back on the steep ascent to the mouth of Cho-La Pass

Looking back on the steep ascent to the mouth of Cho-La Pass

Trekking through the deep snow in Cho-La Pass

Trekking through the deep snow in Cho-La Pass

The view coming out of Cho-La Pass

The view coming out of Cho-La Pass

TREK SO FAR:
Day 6: Machhermo to Gokyo Lakes (4790m)
Day 7: Acclimatisation Day at Gokyo Lakes
Day 8: Gokyo Lakes to Thangnak (4700m) via Gokyo Glacier
Day 9: Thangnak to Dzongla (4843m) via Cho-La Pass

The immense scale of Cho-La Pass

The immense scale of Cho-La Pass

Visited 12th to 14th November 2013.

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About starksepicadventure

We are Andrew and Lakshi Starks, young married couple from Melbourne, Australia. We are travelling around the world on our Starks Epic Adventure!
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