Popular/Everest Khumbu-Gokyo Trekking
Khumbu is the country of mountains par excellence including Mount Everest, the world's highest summit. It is also the home of Sherpas, famous for their alpine exploits. There are two approaches to Khumbu : one by air to Lukla (2,834m) and another by road to Jiri, farther west. The latter route provides some days of acclimatization through lovely hill country. There are numerous villages and Buddhist shrines along the way including at Junbensi and Ringmo.
From Lukla to Namche (3,440m), the route is along Dudh Koshi, with a steep climb at the final stretch. Then one enters Imja Valley towards north-west to Tengboche (3,867m) with its famous monastery. Everest comes into view all along the way, with Thamserku (6,608 m) dominating the south horizon. The trek continues through Pangboche (3,900m) and Pheriche (4,243 m). A side trip can be made to Imja Glacier to the east via Chukhung (4,730m).
The Everest Base Camp lies due north of Pheriche, another two days walk along the Khumbu Glacier. Lobuje (4,930m) and Gorakshep (5,150m) provide ideal camping sites. The entire panorama is full of snow peaks and world of snow. Base Camp is reached fron Gorakshep by traversing the moraines of Khumbu Glacier. The view of the Khumbu Icefall as frozen waterfall is indeed impressive. Near Gorakshep is the black humpof Kala Pathar (5,557) and a short climb on it will provide superb views of Everest, Lhotse, and Nuptse.
The trip is not only for spectacular mountain views. Every Sherpa village has a Buddhis shrine and along the path are rock faces carved with Lamaistic mantra "Om mani padma hum." Of all, entrance to a Sherpa home will reveal warm hospitality and a vibrant mountain culture.
Gokyo lake (4,750m) is snuggled beside Ngojumba Glacier which is the longest glacier in Khumbu area. It originates from Cho Oyu and Gyachung Kang range on the Tibetan border. The Gokyo trek provides good views of alpine forests and pastures, extensive glaciers and glacial lakes, and numerous snow peaks. It is less crowded than the Everest Base Camp route.
The trek starts at Lukla (2,834m) that can be reached by air from Kathmandu. It is a pleasant trek from Lukla along the Dudh Koshi Valley of pine forests interspersed with Sherpa settlements. After the confluence of Bhote Koshi and Imja Khola, there is a steep climb to Namche (3,440m)
From Namche, Gokyo can be reached in three days. The preferred route is via Shyangboche airstrip and Khumjung (3,790m). The former provides good mountain views and the latter is one of the largest Sherpa villages. The first day's trek passes east of Khumjung to Phortse Tenga. The second day is through forest below Tongba and pastures of Lhabarma and then to the valley of Machermo (4,410m). The ascent above Machermo provides the first views of mountains to the north. The dominant ones are Cho Oyu (8,153m) and Gyachung Kang (7,922m). Walking along the right side of Ngojumba Glacier, one comes across two small lakes. There are some alpine huts of summer yak graziers at places and also mani stone walls. Machermo to Gokyo is about four hours walk. It is worth while to climb Gokyo peak (3,600m), just north of the lake. The view from the peak is all snow around the horizon. The Everest group of peaks loom large to the east. Equally impressive is the vast expanse of Ngojumba glacier towards the north enclosed by the wall of Cho Oyu and Gyachung Kang. The return to Namche by a more easterly alternative route can be interesting. This leads across Renjo pass (5,345m) and Thame village with its gompa.
This trek is one of the highly adventurous treks in...Read More