Everest/Gokyo Ri Trek, Khumbu Valley
Mysterious and Exotic, Nepal holds prime position in the imagination of every mountain lover and trekker in the world. It is home to the bulk of the Himalaya and of course Mt. Everest, planet Earth’s highest peak. In fact, of the world’s 14 highest peaks, 8 are in Nepal. It is also the birthplace of Buddha and home of the famed porters and mountain climbing Sherpa. This mixture of mountains and ancient culture make Nepal a magical land of superlatives and an absolute delight for trekkers..
Himalaya means Abode of the Snows and of course the main purpose of any self respecting pilgrimage to Nepal is to reach out to the Himalaya. To touch a piece of these wild and jagged abodes. To feel their power. And of course, to walk among the high peaks and deep valleys. To trek. And Nepal is perhaps one of best places in the world to do just that. Considering that 80% of the villages of Nepal are not connected to roads, walking is the way everybody and everything (carried by porters) gets around. So as a result trekking is just natural here.
The trek to Gokyo Ri is less travelled than the more traditional Everest Base Camp Trek, but offers similar views and more solitiude along the trail.
The first few days of the Gokyo Ri trek are the same as those of the Everest Base Camp Trek. Most trekkers fly into the Lukla airport where the trail winds through pine forests before a steep climb to Namche Bazaar and a more alpine type environment. Shortly after Namche, you veer off from the path to Tengboche and head through the villages of Dole, Machhermo, and eventually Gokyo.
The summit push from Gokyo is quiet pleasant when compared to the long day up Kala Patar. The views are equally stunning, although Mount Everest does take a little bit of a back seat to the expansive views of the valley as seen from Gokyo Ri.
Day to Day Account - Jeff Salvage - Revisiting Everest
Four years ago a friend invited me to join her on a trek to Everest Base Camp. It started a spree of trekking trips around the world. After returning home from my first trip, my neighbor enthusiastically expressed interest in visiting Everest as well. Since I was headed back to trek the classic Annapurna Circuit, I agreed to go two weeks early and trek Gokyo Ri, a lesser travelled route to classic views of Mount Everest. Here’s my story from Gokyo Ri.