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Thread: EBC Trek via Gokyo and Chola Pass

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2016

    Default EBC Trek via Gokyo and Chola Pass

    Hello everyone,

    I am planning for a trek to EBC in a loop route including crossing Chola Pass and Gokyo. Am planning for this trek in Oct-Nov 2016. Total no. of days required: 17-18 days (KTM-KTM, considering spare days for Lukla flight).

    This is an unconventional route where we take a LOOP ROUTE to reach EBC and come back in a different way (not coming back following the same way as going up).

    In 2015 April, I attempted the same. However I reached KTM on the very day when the EQ took place. It made us cancel every plan and after 5 days struggling in KTM, we were able to return finally. However I came across few good resources by which I can arrange for porters easily and now sort of very familiar with entire Thamel.

    PLAN IN ANTI-CLOCKWISE DIRECTION (Namche - Thyang boche – EBC – Chola Pass – Gokyo – Namche):

    Day 01 --> Reach KTM. Arrange items for trek. (can reach earlier also as per convenience)
    Day 02 --> Fly, Kathmandu - Lukla (a 45 minute mountain flight) – trek to Phakding (2610 m.) [7 KM]
    Day 03 --> Phakding – Monzo – Joresalle - Namche Bazaar (3446 m.) [11 KM]
    Day 04 --> Namche Bazar Rest Day [walk to see the yeti skull or take complete rest]
    Day 05 --> Namche Bazaar – Teng Boche [10 KM]
    Day 06 --> Teng Boche – Ding Boche [11 KM]
    Day 07 --> Ding Boche Rest Day
    Day 08 --> Ding Boche – Lobuche [7.5 KM]
    Day 09 --> Lobuche – Gorak Shep – Kalapatthar – Gorak Shep [11 KM]
    Day 10 --> Gorak Shep – EBC – Lobuche
    Day 11 --> Lobuche – Dzongla
    Day 12 --> Dzongla – Chola Pass – Thagnak Kharka
    Day 13 --> Thagnak Kharka – Gokyo
    Day 14 --> Gokyo Ri trek – lakes trek – Gokyo – Rest Day
    Day 15 --> Gokyo – Machhermo – Dole
    Day 16 --> Dole – Namche bazaar
    Day 17 --> Namche – Phakding – Lukla
    Day 18 --> Fly back to Kathmandu

    Few other points to note:

    1) Gokyo Ri hike and Kalapatthar hike is optional, depending on trekker’s health.

    2) Traversing Ngozumpa glacier (LONGEST Himalayan glacier) is involved.

    3) KTM – Lukla mountain flight gets cancelled frequently due to bad weather in Lukla. Usually the morning flights (1st one at 6.30 AM) is not cancelled. So we will aim for that. But we MUST keep at least 2 buffer days in hand for this flight. It’s quite regular to see this flight getting cancelled again & again for bad weather.

    4) The conventional EBC trek route does not require a guide actually. More experienced porters are enough since the route is mostly well-marked. However, since this loop route involves Chola pass (5.3K M.) and crossing Ngozumpa glacier, I guess having a porter will help for sure. Depending on no. of trekkers, we can look into that.

    1 porter usually costs NPR 1000/head/day. Guides are usually more costly. Porters can be easily availed at Lukla and in other locations too in the trek. Last time while in KTM, I got familiar with a localite in Lukla who owns one of the biggest lodge in Lukla. He assured to arrange good porter for the trek.

    Please let me know if any one is interested to join the trek. As for as I am concerned, I am a regular trekker in the Himalayas.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2016

    Default Re: EBC Trek via Gokyo and Chola Pass

    Hi Apo,
    I've been thinking of doing the same trekk, but unfortunately not at the same time =S

    I have the impression that your itinerary may be a bit rushed and risky in terms of acclimatization. What I've heard regarding altitude sickeness is that as a rule of thumb, one should not sleep more than 300m higher than the previous night. From Teng Boche – Ding Boche, you have a difference of 550m and from Ding Boche – Lobuche 500m (values based on https://frankiefootprints.files.word...khumbu-map.jpg). The second may be ok due to the second night acclimatizing, but Im unsure about the first.

    I was wondering what others here would suggest, as Im also struggling to find a route where the overnights are not too much more the 300m each.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    British Columbia, Canada

    Exclamation Re: EBC Trek via Gokyo and Chola Pass

    Everybody acclimatizes differently.

    Back in 1990 (my very first trek!), we did the schedule (to Kala Pathar) as proposed. It was tough. Some (20%) of our group had to turn back. One trekker in another group had to be carried down in a doko, passed out.

    Those were the old days... (well, not really, as one can still see this regularly in Everest and Annapurna).

    Current/modern schedules now recommend at least one additional day before Lobuche.

    For us, we now always add 1-2 days to the recommended schedules. Makes it so much more pleasant (or much less unpleasant, depending upon your perspective). Never understand people's rush.

    As for "Apootrek" -- this seems (to me) to be a commercial for an agency trek.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2016

    Default Re: EBC Trek via Gokyo and Chola Pass

    Thank you Thomas, for your post!

    First and foremost, I would like to clarify that I am an individual trekker from India and trekked moderately in the Himalayas regularly. This is my passion. No "commercial" purpose is involved here. You might have noticed a sentence in my post that I attempted this same trek in 2015 but unfortunately the huge EQ struck on the very same day (Apr. 25) I landed in KTM! Had faced lot of difficulties for the next 4 days before I could return to my country.

    Since I always arrange my own treks, routes, guides, porters etc. (last two if only needed) and never fancy on going with "agencies", I look for like-minded trekking partners who might be able to trek with me in same dates. That's the purpose of posting this thread.

    Every one has own pattern of acclimatizing. I also know the thumb rule, however maintaining it (300 m. elevation per day) is somewhat difficult unless you have large no. of days in hand. And frankly speaking, I did not face any problem so far even though I trekked in more difficult routes in the Indian Himalayas. Every thing depends on the situation and every team mate's health condition. Staying 2N in Namche is pretty standard and the usually people go up with some groups taking another 2N break in Dingboche... Similarly a lot of people starts from Lobuche in the morning, reached Gorakshep (GS) before lunch, and treks to KP after lunch to catch the awesome sunset (bunch of my friends did that also). But again many stays back for the day in GS or goes till EBC and returns to GS to spend the night. And next day they trek to KP for sunrise and leaves GS same day. I think the sunset from KP is sublime because in the morning the sun rises from behind the Everest and usually there is no view as such during sunrise.

    For me, getting too many office leaves is a challenge, hence created this plan. I also long for a very relaxing vacation in the Himalayas however try to extract maximum amount of fun & enthusiasm from every trek and tour.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2016

    Default Re: EBC Trek via Gokyo and Chola Pass

    By the way, Thomas.. I do have another rest day in Dingboche... So, it's 2N in Namche and 2N in Ding Boche. Therefore taking again 2 N in Lobuche might not be required which is the very next place to DingBoche. And staying 2N in GS is probably not good thinking about the altitude. May be can add one more day around Gokyo. Since all accommodations will be chosen on spot, can always decide en route where to spend the night / extra night.
    Last edited by ApooTrek; 27th April 2016 at 12:00 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2016

    Default Re: EBC Trek via Gokyo and Chola Pass

    Hey Appo,
    sorry for the delay. My concern was more about your stretch from Tengboche (3860m) directly to Dingboche (4410m) without an overnight stop in between as it would cummulate more then 500m difference between sleeping places. Though you can more less quickly retreat to Pherich about 200m lower in case you have signs of AMS.

    From my side I am actually thinking of just Gokyo and EBC (and possibly both Renjo and Cho La passes) where I have been thinking of starting with Gokyo.

    Some people seem to do Namche (3440) or Photse Thanga (3680) directly go Dole (4200) but that looks like a big sleep denivelation. Therefore, i have been thinking of Thame (3800), Marlung (4210) and Gokyo (4790). This way has a smoother sleep denivelation on the 2 fist nights and a steep one towards Gokyo (not to mention that actually the denivelation during the day for the Renjo Pass would be of more than 1000m!)

    Anyone has some thoughts to share about those options?


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2016

    Default Re: EBC Trek via Gokyo and Chola Pass

    Hi Thomas,

    Apologies for late reply. Somehow I am not receiving any mail notification from this thread.

    If Thame has recovered from the devastation it faced last year from EQ, then that route would be nice, considering the beauty it has to offer!

    I think Dingbochen is better than Pheriche because -- 1) Cold is less at Dingboche compared to Pheriche ; 2) 2nd day for acclimatization at Dingboche can be utilized to walk to Chukung Ri - Bibre route (just a walk - how-much-ever we can, just to adjust with higher alti.) ; 3) Dingboche's height is nearer to Lobuche's, so better for adjusting the next night stay. And like you said, if at all sickness develops, Pheriche and its famed medicine clinic is not far (certainly not thinking on that, just considering the fact)

    I recently came back from Chadar Trek over frozen Zanskar river in Ladakh, India, and the cold was much more than what's faced in EBC. All throughout we faced an average of -15 to -25 deg. C. Hope can cope EBC route's chill better.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Netherlands (55%), Nepal (40%) and France(5%) of the year

    Lightbulb Re: EBC Trek via Gokyo and Chola Pass

    Hello Apoo,

    I read your message/plan and also your comments. Indeed you can rent a porter from Lukla but I think at the moment you will pay a little bit more than the 1000 Nrs since most companies already pay a salary of around 1250/1500 Nrs. per day.
    About your plan. I have been in Everest many times during the past 10 years and done all high passes but never been to Gorak Shep or BC. I only stayed one time in Lobuje and did not like it. I hate overcrowded places for that reason I never went to Kala Pathar or Gorakshep. Can I make some suggestions to make your plan work out well. I would not suggest to stay a night in Gorakshep 5040 mtrs!. Many of the clients of my Sherpa friends became sick staying overnight there and some even had to be evacuated by helicopter. At EBC there is not so much to see so I think it is another day at altitude which makes you more tired and takes away the energy which you need for the rest of you plan.

    Day 01 --> Reach KTM. Arrange items for trek. (can reach earlier also as per convenience)
    Day 02 --> Fly, Kathmandu - Lukla (a 45 minute mountain flight) – trek to Phakding (2610 m.) [7 KM] Or continue to the nice village of Benkar, only takes one hour more and away of the crowd and too expense lodges in Phakding
    Day 03 --> Phakding – Monzo – Joresalle - Namche Bazaar (3446 m.) [11 KM] Recommend Norsang lodge at the other side of town under the monestery
    Day 04 --> Namche Bazar Rest Day [walk to see the yeti skull or take complete rest] Nice to do a sidewalk in the direction of Teng Boche. It will take you one way approx 2 hrs to a place near to where the trail comes down from Khumjung. From there you will have a nice view on Ama Dablam. The trek is more or less (Nepali) flat and helps to acclamitize in a relaxed way
    Day 05 --> Namche Bazaar – Teng Boche [10 KM] It is a nice side walk to go to Thame and visit the monestery at 3900 mtr 4-5 hrs, lodge at Thame 3750 mtr
    Day 06 --> Teng Boche – Ding Boche [11 KM] From Thame to Phurte and from there by Syangboch airport to Khumhung 4½ hrs sleep at 3750 mtr
    Day 07 --> Ding Boche Rest Day Walk down for about one hour to Punki Tenga and climb up to Tengboche in abt 1½ hrs. From here you continue to Upper Pangboche in about 2½- 3 hrs and stay at a lodge above the old Monestery 4010 mtr
    Day 08 --> Ding Boche – Lobuche [7.5 KM] Short day to Dingboche 3 hrs and side walk to the chorten from where you might catch a glimpse of Makalu
    Day 09 --> Lobuche – Gorak Shep – Kalapatthar – Gorak Shep [11 KM] Visit to Chuckung 4750 mtr or Ama Dablam lakes 4900 mtr, both approx 4½ hrs up and down
    Day 10 --> Gorak Shep – EBC – Lobuche To Lobuche 4½ hrs
    Day 11 --> Lobuche – Dzongla Early start to Kala Pathar and back to Lobuche 7-9 hrs
    Day 12 --> Dzongla – Chola Pass – Thagnak Kharka To Dzongla 3½-4 hrs
    Day 13 --> Thagnak Kharka – Gokyo Dzongla to Tagnac 6½-7½ hrs. It will take around 2 hours to reach the gully from where you climb up to the glacier. From there it is less than 1 hr to the pass. Depending on snow it will take you about 1 hr to come at the base. Crossing the boulders and climbing up to the big rock at the slope will take another 1½ hr. From the big rock it's only down along the right side of the river and you will reach Tagnac in 1½ hrs
    Day 14 --> Gokyo Ri trek – lakes trek – Gokyo – Rest Day Crossing the glacier with many photo shots will take you abt. 3-3½ hrs to Gokyo. If you have still energy you can go around third lake which gives you a total different view from the surrounding mountains
    Day 15 --> Gokyo – Machhermo – Dole Renjo La takes about 3-3½ hrs. From the pass you will reach Lungdeng in 3-3½ hours. There are no lodges or teahouses on the way Renjo La gives you the best view on Everest, Makalu, Cho Oyo, Lhotse and all the other great peaks. Leave Gokyo Ri for the crowd!
    Day 16 --> Dole – Namche bazaar Lungdeng to Namche Bazaar. Lunch at Thame which you will reach within 3½ hrs. From there you need around 3 hrs to reach Namche
    Day 17 --> Namche – Phakding – Lukla
    Day 18 --> Fly back to Kathmandu

    I've done this before. Last two days are long but do able if you leave in time in the morning

    Have a nice trek!
    Last edited by Harry; 30th June 2016 at 05:56 AM.

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