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Memories from Gokyo trek

Jerusalem, Israel
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Memories from Gokyo trek

My wife and I recently completed a wonderful 13 day trek in the Everest region, I thought I would jot down some points. The motivation is two fold -

First, to encourage those of you are hesitating to go ahead with a trek in Nepal. The repercussions from the earthquake are less than I feared, at least in the areas of Everest, Kathmandu and Annapurna. Also if a 54 year old sedentary and not particularly fit person like myself can manage the trek comfortably, then there's hope for most people out there.

Second, after utilizing the forum for preparing the trek, and the very generous contributors (special thanks to Scoodly and IntoThinAir), I wanted to give something back.

So to the trek itself - we did the Gokyo trek with a slight diversion in that we walked along the EBC route until Tengboche and then cut across on a little used trail that goes across to Phortse and makes a wonderful day walking up and down the valley. It also spreads out the altitude gain, giving an extra day around 3800m

Full Itinerary:

Day 1 Fly to Lukla. Walk to Phakding

Day 2 Phakding to Namche

Day 3 Namche acclimitization

Day 4 Namche to Tengboche

Day 5 Tengboche to Dole (via Phortse)

Day 6 Dole to Machermo

Day 7 Machermo to Gokyo

Day 8 climb Gokyo Ri and then descend till Machermo

Day 9 Machermo to Mongla

Day 10Mongla to Namche (via Khumjung)

Day 11 Namche to Phakding

Day 12 Phakding to Lukla

Day 13 Fly back to Kathmandu

Some insights

1. We were lucky with our flights - but we came across a group that waited 3 days in Kathmandu airport and in the end ended up hiring a helicopter. Take this into account when scheduling your international flight.

2. In retrospect, probably should have done the three day walk in from Phaplu as would have given a more varied trek in terms of scenery and more acclimitization

3. Best guesthouse - Rivendell House in Debuche, just below Tengboche

4. Don't forget your antibiotics - I got ill in Machermo and they saved me. By the way, there were doctors in Machermo.

5. Be flexible - and allow sufficient time to make changes to the itinerary

6. The view at the top of Gokyo ri is out of this world. But my wife had a rough night at Gokyo so we opted to go straight down to Machermo rather than staying another night in Gokyo.

7. We hired a porter and a guide. There is no need for a guide in terms of route finding, but he definitely added to our experience by chatting to him about life in Nepal.

8. There are definitely less people visiting Nepal so this is probably the ideal time to go, especially on the busier routes and the country really needs the business

9. Kathmandu is painful - because of the pollution, which has got worse from the last time we were there . Think about staying outside, at least on the way back

Cumbria
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1. Re: Memories from Gokyo trek

Hi Andrew

Thanks so much for posting your trek report and Pleased to hear that I was of help when you were planning your trek.

I am sure that the info you have posted will be really useful for other trekkers who are heading to Nepal – The only thing that I don’t understand with your route selection was why you didn’t trek up the eastern side of the Gokyo Valley from Phortse (As Phortse is on the eastern side of the valley) and then return down the western side as this would have both varied your route and saved the steep crossing of the river at Phortse Tenga ??

Anyway – You had a good trek and were lucky with your flights, so all’s well that ends well and I am Happy for you

Best Regards

Rob

Jerusalem, Israel
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2. Re: Memories from Gokyo trek

We heard that the lodged in the eastern side are very basic and perhaps some damaged. Plus virtually no one was trekking on that side so preferred to stay in places where we would have company in the evening. Also the climb down from Phortse wasn't too bad

Sheffield, United...
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3. Re: Memories from Gokyo trek

Thanks for the report Andrew. Glad you enjouyed it and haoy to hve helped a little with the planning.

scoodly

Settle, United...
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4. Re: Memories from Gokyo trek

Thanks - a very useful and up-to-date report

Sheffield, United...
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5. Re: Memories from Gokyo trek

Hi again Andrew

I have trekked the east side of the Gokyo valley and a very fine trail it was. The lodges were fairly standard but small: in Thare the lodge had rooms with two beds and blankets provided, the dining room had a stove, there was no shower but the toilet was OK. No problems with it at all. I think you would be right about the lack of company because we did not see anybody else on that side of the valley in early April so it was high season and this was in contrast to the busy west side which we descended.

There seems to be a reluctance by guides to trek this route but lodge owners in Upper Pangboche and Upper Phortse laughed when a guide said it was not safe. Of course, I do not know how things are post-earthquake, did you get any information about the state of the trail?

Thanks.

scoodly

Jerusalem, Israel
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6. Re: Memories from Gokyo trek

I don't know about the state of the trail on the eastern side and our guide was also reluctant to go on that side. But it did look

pretty deserted so I'm Not sure all the lodges would be open. Even in Phortse quite a few of the lodges were closed. Also In Mongla, one guesthouse was in ruins (along with the stupa) and we were the only people staying in the two other guesthouses. This was at the end of March/early April and in general the numbers of trekkers was down on normal years.

Sheffield, United...
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7. Re: Memories from Gokyo trek

Thanks Andrew. That's a shame about the lodge and Stupa at Mong La.

scoodly

8. Re: Memories from Gokyo trek

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