Everest, Gokyo & The Cho La Pass

Everest, Gokyo & The Cho La Pass

A trek of epic proportions, this trip takes you up the Everest Base Camp trail and deep into the Himalayas, before crossing the renowned Cho La pass into the Gokyo region. From soaring 8000m peaks to shining glacial lakes this trek covers an incredible diversity of landscapes.

Because of the altitude and the terrain this is no walk in the park, the pass itself involves crossing the top of the Cho La glacier over hundreds of metres of ice. It’s a real mountaineering experience requiring technical equipment and experienced guides. If you want to get stuck in and take on a challenge this trek will reward you will some of the most impressive scenery on the planet.

See image gallery

Testimonials:

“What an amazing trip! The scenery, the atmosphere and the sense of achievement is something I will never forget. It was tough but with such an amazing leader and local support crew I was determined to reach Everest Base Camp – I honestly don’t think I would have made it with any other leader!”

Price:
$2,660 (USD)
Days:
19 (15 days of trekking)
Daily walking time:
3 to 10 hours
Altitude:
5545m
Grade:
Hard
Max team size:
10
Available dates: 
23 Nov – 11 Dec 2019

Experience required:

You’ll need to be reasonably fit to take this trip on, the trek involves walking at high altitude for several days, so you’ll need to be prepared for some tough physical & mental challenges.


Itinerary

Day 1

Arriving in Kathmandu
Kathmandu is the vibrant capital of Nepal, jam packed with temples, taxis and tea-stalls. See our city guide for more info:  See Kathmandu Guide >

Day 2

Fly to Lukla
A short but spectacular flight over the mountains takes us to Lukla (2840m). Where we set off to Phakding

Day 3

Phakding to Namche Bazaar
Namche Bazaar is a Nepalese trading town and the capital of the Sherpa people. Here you will have a final opportunity to buy any missing items. On this journey you will enjoy your first view of Mt Everest.

Day 4

Namche Bazaar to Khumjung
A steep morning climb with the most incredible views of Mt Everest and surrounding peaks.

Day 5

Khumjung to Dole
Our trail climbs steeply out of a valley to Dole where you can relax with magnificent views of Mt Khumbila and Mt Tawoche to keep you company

Day 6

Dole to Machherma
A steep climb and a traverse along the mountain-side takes us towards Mt Machhermo. The Dudh Koshi river roars below and mountains tower over the trail.

Day 7

Machherma to Gokyo
A winding path leads over the Ngozumba Glacier past mounds of rubble and creaking pools of ice to the opposite side and onto Gokyo.

Day 8

Visit 5th Lake
A stunning trek up the Gokyo valley towards the 8,000m giant Cho Oyu

Day 9

Gokyo Ri (5360) then trek to Dragnag
Next to Gokyo lies Gokyo Ri hill, well worth climbing for a jaw-dropping panorama of Everest, Lhotse, Makalu and Cho Oyu. Leaving Gokyo, we’ll cross the Ngozumba Glacier and climb to the village of Dragnag.

Day 10

Dragnag to Dzonglha
Arguably the toughest day of the trek but equally memorable. Scrambling past a sheer wall of mountains we reach the end of the Cho La Glacier. This immense mass of glacial ice stretches across the entire pass, so with crampons we’ll cross the glistening sea of ice.

Day 11

Dzonglha to Lobuche
A steady walk takes us to Lobuche in the Khumbu valley.

Day 12

Lobuche to Gorak Shep with evening hike to Kalapatar
The optional trek up Kala Patthar hill provides a fabulous view point of Mount Everest.

Day 13

Gorak Shep to EBC to Loubuche
Prepare yourselves for a long day!! The morning will be spent taking a steady walk to Everest Base Camp at 5367m and after celebrations and photos we’ll be heading back to Lobuche for a well deserved rest.

Incredible views of Mt Tawache and Mt Cholatse. En route to the summer village of Lobuche (4910m), you will have the sobering experience of walking through Chukpilhara, with memorials to sherpas and climbers who lost their lives on Mount Everest.

Day 14

Loubuche to Pangboche
Our journey will take us through Tengboche (3860m); the religious centre for the whole of the Sherpa lands and home of the largest Buddhist monastery in Nepal. On this day, you will have great views of Island Peak (6189m).

Day 15

Pangboche to Namche Bazar

Day 16

Namche Bazar to Lukla
We’ll be retracing our steps back down to Lukla, where hot showers and good food await!

Day 17

Lukla to Kathmandu
After flying back to the hustle and bustle of Kathmandu, you’ll be free for the rest of the day to rest and recuperate or explore the city.

Day 18

½ day guided tour of Kathmandu
We’ll be offering an included half-day tour of Kathmandu, led by a local English speaking guide – don’t forget your camera!

Day 19

Fly home

What’s Included?

The Fitways Adventures goal is to provide you with a stress & hassle free trip a cut above the rest. We go the extra mile to organize everything using quality sources so you can sit back and enjoy the trip. We don’t want to be one of the companies guiding trains of people up the mountain, so we limit our group size to 10, giving you a more personal service. We also include hidden trip costs in our prices so there aren’t any nasty surprises. Feedback from clients going on other trips concluded that they were frustrated at having to continually pay out additional money. Many companies don’t provide meals for example, and these can prove expensive at altitude. We have supplied an inclusive price so nothing can spoil your trip.

The only additional costs to you are your international flights, travel insurance and the visa required for entering Nepal (£25 for a 30 day visa – processed on entry)


We Include:

  • Local guides with good English and a good knowledge of local flora & fauna.
  • International Mountain Leader (most trekking companies don’t provide this)
  • Porters to carry equipment – each person will have a 10kg weight allowance – our porters are professionally kitted out and fully insured.
  • Pick-up from Kathmandu airport
  • 3 nights’ B&B accommodation in a smart, modern hotel in Kathmandu
  • 15 nights’ food & accommodation in teahouses – these are basic but clean and you will usually be sharing a twin room
  • All meals (breakfast, lunch & dinner) during the trek
  • Morning tea with breakfast, along with one or two tea breaks and snacks during the day.
  • Flights from Kathmandu to Lukla, including domestic taxes
  • All Permits on the mountain
  • Water (due to environmental considerations, we don’t buy bottled water on the hill, we purify our own)
  • A half-day guided tour to see the spectacular sights of Kathmandu when you return from the trek.
  • Up to 3 hot showers while on the mountain – subject to availability

What’s Not Included:

  • International flights
  • Arrival Visa in Nepal
  • Travel Insurance – please ensure you have comprehensive travel insurance, including cover for delays, repatriation and emergency rescue.
  • Equipment – although we will assist you if you need buy/hire any items prior to the start of your trek (See our Kit List)
  • Laundry
  • Lunch and dinner in Kathmandu
  • Any additional meals and drinks you may decide to purchase
  • Tips for local guides and porters
  • There is a single room supplement of £105 if you want your own room whilst in Kathmandu, as opposed to a twin/double.

Main Bag

This will be used to carry all your belongings in the plane’s hold and used to store any items you don’t need while trekking. This can be left behind at the hotel in Kathmandu at no extra cost. Standard airline allowance is normally between 20kg and 30kg – you may also want to leave some space for souvenirs.

Trekking Bag

This will be used to carry all the items you won’t be carrying on the trip itself – this will be given to the porters. Ideally, this is a rugged duffel bag that you don’t mind being bashed around a bit. The allowance on the trek itself is 10kg.

Daysack / Rucksack

Recommended 30-35 litres – this will be used to carry personal effects during the trek. You’ll be reunited with your duffel bag at the end of each day when we arrive at the accommodation. Your Group Leader will give you a briefing on what you need to carry, but to give you a rough idea, it will include waterproofs, warm hat & gloves, sun cream, water, first aid kit, reading material, notepad, camera, snacks.

Visa On Entry

Nepal is one of the few countries which offer the amazing convenience of being able to obtain a visa on arrival. All you need to do is:

  • Complete a form: download here
  • Bring 2 passport sized photographs
  • Have your fee in hard currency cash (USD, Euro, GBP) – equivalent to £16, £25 or £63 (for 15, 30 and 90 day multiple-entry respectively)
  • Stand in queue
  • Visitors may extend their visa by paying £1.25 per day
  • Further information is available at: Nepal Advisory Site
Mountain Permits

Nepal’s mountains & national parks are protected to conserve their beauty and environment, to enter the national park we will arrange & pay for your mountain permits, you just need to provide us with the following:

  • Email us a scanned copy of your passport in advance
  • Email us a digital passport photo
Money
  • The unit of currency is the Nepali Rupee
  • See www.moneyconverter.com for latest exchange rates
  • The recommended currency for exchange USD or GBP
ATM availability

There are a number of ATM machines in Kathmandu and Pokhara, but these are notoriously unreliable and therefore we recommend that you don’t rely solely on plastic.

Credit cards

Some places in Kathmandu, Pokhara and Lukla take credit cards, but these will be of little use once you are on the mountain.

Travellers’ cheques

Can be change in KTM, but not generally in other areas of Nepal

Safety First

Valid travel insurance is essential in order for you to take part in a Fitways trek.

You will need cover for medical expenses and emergency repatriation in the event of illness or injury, including cover in the event that you need to be evacuated from the mountain by helicopter. Fitways also recommend that your policy includes cancellation protection as deposits paid cannot be refunded.

Before you leave the UK

As with all foreign travel, it is advisable that you check the latest information and advice on your destination. For UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office advice, see www.gov.uk/fco

Delays

Although much less likely than flight delays, landslides may delay our return to Kathmandu from Pokhara by road. To avoid problems book a flexi return flight from Kathmandu or ensure your travel insurance covers delays.

Booking

For booking international flights we recommend www.skyscanner.net as an easy and comprehensive flight searching site.

Vaccination & Health

In order to get the most from a trip, it is important that you stay fit and healthy while you’re abroad. This can be greatly helped by a little advanced preparation and knowledge

Although there are no mandatory vaccinations for this trip, we do recommend the following:

  • Polio,
  • Tetanus,
  • Typhoid – high risk
  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B – low risk

The risk of malaria on this trip is slight, but you may wish to consult your GP or travel health clinic for further advice.

Dengue fever is a known risk in some places visited as part of this trip. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. At present, there is no vaccine or prophylaxis available for Dengue, and so the best protection against it is to avoid being bitten. We recommend that you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

We always recommend that you consult your GP or a Travel Health Clinic well in advance of your departure for the latest information

Climate

Daytime temperature will vary from about 28°C/80°F to 35°C/95°F at lower altitudes to about 10°C/50°F at higher altitudes. During the evening, night and early morning, the temperature will be considerably lower, and may drop to freezing or a few degrees below. Snow may be encountered at any time of year.

Clothing

In Nepalese culture, it is considered inappropriate to wear tight, skimpy or revealing clothing. Whilst long shorts are acceptable, it’s a simple matter of applying common sense and being sensitive to the culture.

Electric Supply & Plugs

The electricity supply in Kathmandu is 240V. Adaptors will be needed and can be purchased very cheaply in Kathmandu. Your Group Leader will also bring spare adaptors. On the trek itself, most tea houses offer a reasonably priced charging service.

Clothing & footwear
  • 3 pairs of warm walking socks (suggest wool – no nylon)
  • 3 pairs of lighter weight socks (ideal for use with trainers around camp)
  • Lightweight shoes (trainers/trail shoes are ideal) for evenings or lower on the trail as well as in towns & cities
  • Walking boots (Reasonably sturdy & worn in) – we don’t recommend hiring or buying boots in
  • Nepal & it’s advisable to wear them on the ’plane so that in the event that your baggage goes astray, you’ll have them with you
  • 4 pairs of underwear
  • Base layer trousers or thermals (useful for sleeping and when walking in the higher regions)
  • Walking Trousers (medium weight – no jeans; heavier weight for treks in December due to colder conditions)
  • Waterproof trousers (ideally lightweight – it’s not essential that these are made of a breathable material)
  • 2 x base layer (ideally long-sleeved)
  • 2 T-shirts (not cotton)
  • Lightweight fleece
  • Heavyweight fleece (or soft-shell)
  • Down jacket (medium weight)
  • Waterproof jacket (breathable e.g. Gore-Tex)*
  • Liner gloves
  • Warm gloves or mitts
  • Buff (great when the trails get dusty)
  • Warm hat (something that will cover your ears)
  • Sun hat (ideally a light colour)
  • Walking shorts (optional)

(*These can be hired inexpensively or bought in Nepal)

Equipment
  • Sunglasses (must be Category 4 rated)
  • Rucksack (daypack 30 – 35 Litres)
  • Water bottle (1– 1.5Litres; for environmental reasons, we do not recommend buying bottled water on the mountains)
  • Snow goggles (optional but recommended for Cho La Pass)
  • Walking poles (optional) *
  • Ice axe (Required for Cho La Pass only) *
  • Crampons (Required for Cho La Pass only) *
  • Head torch and spare batteries

(*These can be hired inexpensively or bought in Nepal)

Sleeping
  • Sleeping bag liner *
  • Sleeping Bag (Rated -10°C to -18°C) Please note, you will also be given blankets in the tea houses. *
Miscellaneous
  • Compeed or equivalent
  • Gaiters (for keeping snow out of boots)
  • Sun cream (minimum Factor 30)
  • Lipsalve (high factor)
  • Water purification tablets or solution (n.b.– this will be provided to you on arrival)
  • Nail clippers
  • Foot powder or cream (antifungal)
  • Camera and spare batteries/charger
  • Passport photos (x4)
  • Notepad and pen
  • Contact lenses (& glasses as a back-up) – the dust in Kathmandu and on the treks can be very irritating.
  • All the contact lens solution you will need for the trip
  • Plastic bags or dry bags – perfect for keeping your kit organised & dry
Personal Items
  • Toilet paper
  • Wash kit (including  biodegradable soap & shampoo) – please keep any heavy items, including cosmetics, to a minimum
Optional Items (recommended)
  • Multivitamins (your diet will be a little light on fruit and veg in the higher regions)
  • Ear plugs (great for ensuring a good night’s sleep)
  • Eye mask (Very useful if your room mate wants to read)
  • Books or e-reader  (there will be plenty of free time most afternoons/evenings)
  • iPod
  • Travel towel (The tea houses don’t usually provide towels, so this is a great piece of kit)
  • Wet wipes (often there will be no hot water for showers so you can use these to freshen up)
  • Antibacterial hand gel (excellent for preventing the spread of bugs/illness)
First Aid Kit

General supplies

  • Antiseptic – a good choice is povidone-iodine (Betadine).
  • 10cm elastic bandage (for sprains and to hold dressings)
  • Four 10cm by 10cm gauze pads (for bandaging wounds or burns)
  • Compeed – for foot blisters – apply early (as soon as you can feel a ‘hot spot’)
  • Scissors
  • 10 Assorted sticking plasters
  • Roll of 2.5cm tape (micropore)
  • Tweezers
  • Triangular bandage (slings and splints)

Medications

  • Anti-inflammatory drugs (Ibuprofen, 400mg, 20 tablets)
  • Decongestant (eg pseudoephedrine; 10 tablets)
  • Loperamide (e.g. Imodium; 20 tablets).
  • Paracetamol, (500mg; 20 tablets)
  • Promethazine (eg Phenergan, 25mg, five tablets) – for severe relief of nausea
  • Motion sickness tablets for long bus rides
  • Laxative, such as dulcolax tablets or suppositories
  • Diamox (Acetazolamide) (250mg; 20 tablets), 125mg or 250mg every 12 hrs
  • Rehydration tablets
  • Throat lozenges

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