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ricky
26th July 2010, 04:20 PM
Hi All,

Further to my previous post when my trekking partner could only get 10 days holiday from work.
He has now managed to get 15 work days off and including the weekends gives us 21 days. But taking away flights and transfers and flying into Phaplu we have 17 available trekking days and my Itinerary looks like this..

I would really appreciate any advice or comments and also I would like to include a visit to Tangboche... would this be possible on the way up or down..

Thanks in advance...

Day 1 - Kathmandu to Phaplu then onwards to Ringmo.
Day 2 - Ringmo to Kharikhola
Day 3 - Kharikhola to Surke
Day 4 - Surke to Phakding
Day 5 - Phakding to Namche Bazar
Day 6 - Rest and acclimatisation in Namche
Day 7 - Namche to Phortse Tenga...??? (unsure about this at the moment)
Day 8 - Phortse Tenga to Dole
Day 9 -Dole to Machermo
Day 10 -Rest and acclimatisation in Machermo
Day 11 - Machermo to Gokyo
Day 12 - Gokyo Ri and back down
Day 13 - To the 5th Lake and back down to Machermo
Day 14 - Machermo to Dole
Day 15 - Dole to Namche Bazar
Day 16 - Namche Bazar to Lukla
Day 17 - Lukla to Kathmandu.

Is there a better way to do this trek in the time we have available..??

Rick..
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Lars
27th July 2010, 03:45 PM
You can easily go from Machermo straight to Namche!

Going up, I have once gone straight from Surkhe to Namche. Long day but
doable if you are in good shape.

If you want to include Tengboche on this trek you should definitely do it on the
way up. Going straight to Gokyo it is a bit of a problem that one has to cut
walking days short not to ascend to rapidly. On the way down you obviously
have no such need to stop early.

Petrus
27th July 2010, 05:07 PM
Day 1 - Kathmandu to Phaplu then onwards to Ringmo. --> If the flight lands before noon, you can make it to Nuntala the same day
Day 2 - Ringmo to Kharikhola --> rather to Bupsa, better views
Day 3 - Kharikhola to Surke
Day 4 - Surke to Phakding --> You should be able to make it to Namche. I have hiked to Namche from a morning flight to Lukla (6 hours). One day saved
Day 5 - Phakding to Namche Bazar
Day 6 - Rest and acclimatisation in Namche
Day 7 - Namche to Phortse Tenga...??? (unsure about this at the moment) --> Phortse Tenga is low in a valley, better stop 30 minutes earlier and stay higher at Mong ridge, awsome views. You could maybe skip the Namche acclim day if you stay here.
Day 8 - Phortse Tenga to Dole --> Mong to Dole...
Day 9 -Dole to Machermo
Day 10 -Rest and acclimatisation in Machermo --> or you could sneak to Na, just a bit further, for a change in scenery.
Day 11 - Machermo to Gokyo
Day 12 - Gokyo Ri and back down
Day 13 - To the 5th Lake and back down to Machermo
Day 14 - Machermo to Dole --> this would be maybe 1.5 hours... possible to get to Namche the same day. Second day saved.
Day 15 - Dole to Namche Bazar
Day 16 - Namche Bazar to Lukla
Day 17 - Lukla to Kathmandu.

This way you could stay in Gokyo for at least one day longer, or have a cushion day for possible Lukla flight delays.

ricky
27th July 2010, 08:14 PM
Thanks guys I really appreciate your advice as it's been nearly 4 years since I did my last trek in Nepal..

However, I am having a bit of a re-think as my trekking partner is keen to try and get to EBC as this is a once in a lifetime oportunity for him so I have re-jigged the itierary a little bit but I'm not sure if I am being a little ambitious...

Any advice or comments are greatly appreciated.

Day 1 - Kathmandu to Phaplu then onwards to Nuntala.
Day 2 - Nuntala to Surke
Day 3 - Surke to Phakding
Day 4 - Phakding to Namche Bazar
Day 5 - Rest and acclimatisation in Namche
Day 6 - Namche to Mong
Day 7 - Mong to Machermo
Day 8 - Rest and acclimatisation in Machermo
Day 9 - Machermo to Gokyo and upto Gokyo Ri
Day 10 - To the 5th Lake and back down to Dragnak
Day 11 - Dragnak over Cho La to Dzongla
Day 12 - Dzongla to Gorak Shep
Day 13 - Gorak Shep to EBC and Icefall and back down to Labouche
Day 14 - Labouche to Tengboche
Day 15 - Tengboche to Phakding
Day 16 - Phakding to Lukla
Day 17 - Lukla to Kathmandu

Do you think this is a little too ambitious or possible to do..??
Thanks again.

Ricky..
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Lars
28th July 2010, 04:10 AM
Nuntala to Surkhe will be a long day.

Going Dzongla to Gorakshep in one day will make for a late arrival. And with the
shortness of rooms at Gorakshep means you may end up sleeping with the
porters.

Otherwise I think it is all doable. But the whole thing could fall apart if it is
snowing the day you plan to go across Cho La, or if visibility is poor the day
you plan to fly back from Lukla. You have almost no margins.

ricky
28th July 2010, 10:26 AM
Thanks for your input Lars.

In your opinion, how many days 'could' we make it down to Lukla in if we was in a hurry...??

I'm wondering if it's possible to shave an extra day off this to give us a buffer in case of bad weather at Lukla.

Cheers,

Ricky..
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Lars
28th July 2010, 03:05 PM
In your opinion, how many days 'could' we make it down to Lukla in if we was in a hurry...??
I have only been once to Lukla. I made friends with an American woman up
high and she was flying out while I trekked through the Arun Valley. We
walked Namche-Lukla in one day that I rememeber as very long.

Once I met some young Canadian guys in Junbesi, on their way out. They
had walked Gorakshep-Junbesi in three days (yes 3). They started at
daybreak, pushed hard and only arrived after dark, came in to Junbesi at
around 0730 PM.
If you have the stamina and determintion you can sure go long distances in
one day. Not how I like to trek but it is possible. I have met people, one of
them a young woman, who trekked from Jomsom to Pokhara in three days.
Domestic flights were cancelled and they absolutely needed to leave Nepal.

If I may change tack here; if you are determined to cross Cho La I really
think you should go the other way! Tengboche and EBC first, then Cho La
and Gokyo. That way you will be able to really gain some time by extending
days going out. Or if necessary even cut out some at Gokyo.
Btw you can go all the way Dzongla-Cho La-Gokyo in one day, I did.

ricky
28th July 2010, 04:54 PM
Food for thought...
Very helpful, many thanks Lars...

Ricky.
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Petrus
28th July 2010, 09:35 PM
Day 2 - Nuntala to Surke --> 2-day hike for mere mortals (eh, we actually did hike this in the opposite direction last year, so it is possible for us mortals also... It was fairly long but we did git there well before dark. We had been trekking for 48 days already; 4 days KTM-Lukla-EBC with preacclim... )
Day 3 - Surke to Phakding --> this is a 1/2-day hike!! You need good rest after racing the whole day #2 I guess...
Day 4 - Phakding to Namche Bazar --> 1/2-day again...

Day 13 - Gorak Shep to EBC and Icefall and back down to Labouche --> I have walked several times to Periche on this day.
Day 14 - Labouche to Tengboche --> Periche to Namche is not hard, actually only 4 hours at steady pace (have done it once).
Day 15 - Tengboche to Phakding --> Namche to Lukla
Day 16 - Phakding to Lukla --> one day saved.

I would also go EBC first, bigger bragging factor. If the Cho La is not passable, you at least have bagged EBC.

DonEsteban
29th July 2010, 02:23 AM
Several good points already mentioned - if you go for EBC and Gokyo, do it in that order.

The schedule depends very much on how you feel at altitude - Gorak Shep is one acclimatization day higher then Gokyo, but that stretches your schedule thin.

Here is what I would do in your place:

1. Kathmandu -> Phaplu -> Nunthala (might be a bit long unless you fly early).
2. Nunthala -> Bupse (Surkhe is way too far, we were in rather good shape and did Jubing->Surkhe but wished we finished at Puyan). You might make Puyan, but you probably won't enjoy it.
3. Bupse -> Phakding (or wherever you finish when the day is over or you are too tired)
4. to Namche
5. Rest/acclimatization trip (highly recommending the ridge above Namche separating it from Khunde/Khumjung, if you have juice left, perhaps even the ridge W of Khunde - but then it is acclimatization day, not a rest)
6. Namche -> Pangboche (just a bit past Tengboche, and more relaxed and cheaper).
7. Pangboche -> Dingboche (very short day, go for an acclimatization trip to the hill N of Dingboche)

Now the hard part comes: Do you spend one more day acclimatizing at a very nice village of Dingboche (and possibly visiting Chukhung/Chukhung Ri), or proceed directly to Lobuche? The first options is wiser, but leaves you with harder following days (or one less day at Gokyo).

Option A:
8. Acclimatize at Dingboche
9. Dingboche to Lobuche
10. Lobuche - Gorak Shep - EBC - Lobuche (hardish day, but you rest better in Lobuche than in Gorak Shep - lower altitude, so it is not as much harder as you might think, compared to starting from Gorak Shep)
11. Lobuche - Dzongla - Cho La - Tragnag: this might be tough, as you arrive to Cho La later and more tired, and follows an already tough day

Option B
8. Dingboche to Lobuche
9. Lobuche to Gorak Shep, might as well go to Kala Pattar for sunset on Everest, if feeling strong
10. Gorak Shep to EBC, then to Lobuche, if feeling strong all the way to Dzong La (better start early)
11 Dzongla (or Lobuche) - Cho La - Tragnag

12. Tragnag to Gokyo, up Gokyo Ri for sunset
13. Up to 5th lake and to a hill N of it if energy left (tough day)
14. Gokyo to Mong La
15. Mong La to Benkar or thereabouts
16. Benkar to Lukla
17. Lukla to Kathmandu

If Cho La is not passable, don't despair, you can get there around through Pangboche and Phortse - you lose one day (or maybe just half a day if you are strong and already acclimatized) and get to see Gokyo and Gokyo Ri, just not the 5th lake.

Hm, another option is to acclimatize at Pangboche by going to Ama Dablam base camp (daytrip with light backpacks). If you have energy left, you might then move to Dingboche the same day.

ricky
29th July 2010, 03:40 PM
Petrus and DonEsteban, thanks for your input...

More food for thought, my trekking buddy and I need to chat about which side we are most keen to see...

For me it's easy as Gokyo is stunning, but for my friend, this is a once in a lifetime oportunity and like you say, EBC has more bragging power but I dont believe it's the best trek for many reasons...

Another option I am toying with is Gokyo, Cho La and then Chukhung and back to Lukla...

Thanks again guys, really appreciate your comments...

Watch this space...

Ricky..
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DonEsteban
29th July 2010, 05:25 PM
Well, one thing: Is it really 'Once in a lifetime?'. Once you go to Nepal, you are likely to return. :-)

I also agree that Gokyo is nicer, but to me the short acclimatization days up the Gokyo valley are a waste of valuable time. Much better to see Tengboche, Dingboche and Chukhung and then go to Gokyo, either via Cho La or via Phortse.

Something like:

Day 8: Day trip from Dingboche to Chukhung (and if you feel like to Chukhung Ri).
Day 9: Dingboche Dzongla
Day 10: Dzongla to Tragnag, if you feel like, then all the way to Gokyo

Lots of time at Gokyo for nice daytrips there...

ricky
29th July 2010, 05:50 PM
I like this idea...

And I agree, he says 'now' it's a once in a life time oportunity, and I thought the same on my first visit in 1995, this will be my 9th visit since then..!!

We will see...
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