Everest Base Camp and Gokyo lakes trek in Nepal
Description of Everest Base Camp and Gokyo lakes trek in Nepal
This circular trek explores the heart of the Sherpa homeland, passing through the important trading village of Namche Bazaar, into the Gokyo Valley with its beautiful azure blue lakes and across the glaciated Cho La Pass. It then picks up the famous route to Everest Base Camp, trekked by the great climbing parties, before descending to Lukla via Thyangboche, with its beautiful monastery.
This is a chance to explore the high mountain wilderness, taking in the quieter Gokyo Valley as well as the main Everest trails. Our goal is Everest Base Camp on the Khumbu Glacier, with the chance to climb iconic Kala Pattar (5545m), which offers fabulous close-up views of Mount Everest.
The entire holiday is 20 days, and you’ll be trekking point-to-point for 15 days, so a good level of stamina and fitness are necessary. Paced to allow plenty of time for acclimatisation, this trek is fully supported, with porters, a trek leader and local staff accompanying each small group. The maximum altitude on this trek is 5,545m, the average is 4,100m, and staff carry oxygen and a first aid kit.
All you have to do is lace up your hiking boots each day and enjoy putting one foot in front of the other, as you trek through extraordinary scenery. The going over the Cho La Pass may be rough and rocky and the six-to-nine hours of walking per day are certainly challenging, but the rewards are huge. Watching the sunset on Nuptse from the ridge above Lobuje is not to be missed, while seeing Everest for the first time takes your breath away. You’ll trek through rhododendron forests, up into juniper and conifer woods, and stay next to the glittering blue lake at Gokyo. Soak up the rich history of this remote area as you trek, meeting locals in teahouses and listening to stories from your guide about Everest attempts and yeti attacks! You’ll also have time to visit the Sherpa Cultural Centre in Namche Bazaar and the Edmund Hillary School at Khumjung.
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Few holidays have as little detrimental impact on the environment and local residents as a trekking trip. It is a low impact activity requiring comparatively little resources to support. Erosion on and adjacent to popular paths is a growing problem and our trip leaders encourage clients not to stray from paths to minimise this. We work with a strict ‘leave no trace’ policy, meaning we have respect for wildlife and the landscape, separate rubbish and take all burnable waste back to Kathmandu. We also ask that clients consider using biodegradable toiletries and shower at lodges where electricity or solar power is used for hot water.
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK Offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.
PeopleAccommodation and Meals:
We spend 3 nights in standard hotels and 15 nights in locally owned teahouses throughout the trek. Most of the teahouses are owned by families who are from the Khumbu region. This is an easy way to make sure a decent portion of the trip cost and the money you spend on meals in the teahouses goes directly back to the community. Breakfasts are included and will usually consist of something simple, locally sourced and carb-heavy for energy, like porridge and toast. Where meals aren’t included, clients can support local lodges by trying some authentic cuisine, rather than imported meals. Try Nepalese dumplings (Momos), or lentils and spicy curry (Dal Bhat).
Local Craft and Culture:
Although we spend much of this tour is spent on trekking routes, in the teahouses and along the trail there are many opportunities to engage with locals, learn about regional customs In Kathmandu there is time to do some sightseeing. Whilst trekking, we stop at Namche, the administrative centre of the Khumbu region with a weekly market selling fresh produce and in Namche and along the trails there are souvenirs to purchase. In Kathmandu there are also be traditional and handcrafted souvenirs available for purchase. Buying handmade jewellery, painted masks and puppets, prayer wheels, handwoven bags and tapestries all helps to support small vendors and their craft. In terms of cultural sights, we can visit World heritage Sites in and around Kathmandu. On trek we visit the Everest National Park Museum, a Sherpa Cultural Centre and the monasteries in Khumjumg and Thyangboche.
After organising tours to the Himalayas for over 40 years, we have developed many long lasting partnerships with our operators and leaders as well as some of the local communities we visit. We seek ways to give something back and we usually help with small-scale practical projects that can help local communities and their environment, whilst giving the maximum possible long-term economic benefit. Together with our local leaders we manage all our own projects and over the years we have helped build schools and a children’s home. We have built water tanks and provide water pipe for villages and have helped with hydro electric projects. We have sponsored and installed more than 130 smokeless stoves and 50 solar cookers.
This small group tour has a maximum of 16 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes.
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