Gokyo Chola Pass – Everest Base Camp – Kalapathar – Helicopter Return

Overview

Trekking is one of the most adventurous activities that you can do in Nepal. Having hundreds of trekking destinations within the country, Nepal boasts tourism prospects highly from trekking. Several destinations like Annapurna Base Camp, Everest Base Camp, and Manaslu Circuit attract thousands of visitors every year with their scenic beauty of the Himalayas and remote lifestyle and culture. If you want to explore the Everest Region, we have a special package: Gokyo Chola Pass - Everest Base Camp - Kalapather - Helicopter Return.

It blends two trekking campaigns; Gokyo Lake Trek and Everest Base Camp Trek. We have our customized itinerary of 11 days, where we start our journey from Lukla, reaching Namche Bazaar via Phakding village. From there, we will divert towards Gokyo Valley via Dole and Machhermo. Upon reaching Gokyo Valley, we will explore five Gokyo Lakes and a peak, Gokyo Ri.

After leaving Gokyo Valley, we will head towards Everest Base Camp across three high-altitude passes, Cho La Pass, Thokla Pass, and Lobuche Pass. We will reach Everest Base Camp on the tenth day and reach Kala Patthar early the next morning. From Kala Patthar, we will embark on a helicopter return journey to Kathmandu.

Highlights of Gokyo Chola Pass - Everest Base Camp - Kalapather - Helicopter Return

  • Panoramic views of Mount Everest, Ama Dablam, Cho Oyu, Nuptse, Lhotse, and others
  • Diverse cultures and landscapes
  • Explore Sagarmatha National Park and its flora and fauna.
  • Reach Kala Patthar, one of the most beautiful viewpoints of the Everest Region.
  • Pass through several high-altitude passes like Cho La Pass (5420 m), Thok La Pass (4830 m), and Lobuche Pass (5110 m).
  • Ancient Monasteries and Gompas
  • Views of Khumbu Glacier and Khumbu Icefall

Itinerary

Day 1
Fly to Lukla and trek to Phakding
Location: Lukla | Phakding

Lukla Altitude: 2860 Meters

Phakding Altitude: 2700 Meters

Elevation Gain: 40 Meters

Trek Duration: 6 Hours

On the first day of Gokyo Cho La Pass - Everest Base Camp and Kala Patthar Trek, we will start our journey from Kathmandu by flight from Tribhuvan International Airport. It takes around 45 minutes to reach Lukla Airport, also known as Tenzing Norgay Airport. It is the starting point of all treks launched in the Everest Region.

The flight takes us above the diverse landscapes, including forest areas, terraced fields, and several towns and cities. When we reach the Solukhumbu District in Lukla Airport, we can see the mighty Himalayas of the Mahalangur Mountain Range in the north.

Upon reaching Lukla Airport, we will rest and prepare for the trek to Phakding. We will hike from Lukla, making our way through several settlements at Chheplung and Nurning. The trail to Phakding runs alongside the Dudh Koshi River, which offers sightings of the lush green forests and wildlife around the region. We will accommodate you at a tea house in Phakding.
Day 2
Trek to Namche Bazaar (3440m)
Location: Namche Bazaar

Namche Altitude: 3440 Meters

Elevation Gain: 740 Meters

Trek Duration: 6 Hours

Today, we will start hiking from the northern side of the Namche Bazaar, following a trail through the Dudh Koshi River. We will begin our journey early in the morning and cross a suspension bridge named Hillary Bridge over the Dudh Koshi River.

As we hike uphill through the remote trail, we will reach Monjo, where we must show our documents and permits. If we do not have permits, we can purchase from the check post in Monjo.

A remote trail from Monjo leads us to Jorsalle and Larja Doban in a few hours. We can experience the pleasing vistas of Mount Everest, Ama Dablam, Nuptse, and Lhotse from the trail as we hike through over 3000 meters above sea level.

A short trek from Larja Doban takes us to the gate of Everest, Namche Bazaar. It is a perfect place to have cultural immersion and go through shopping which is essential for this beautiful trek.
Day 3
Acclimatization day at Namche
Location: Namche Bazaar

Activity: Acclimatization

The third day of our trek is for acclimatization. Since we will already be over 3000 meters above sea level, we must acclimatize to adjust our bodies. Similarly, the long walks through the rugged and remote trails are exhausting, and exposure to high altitude might pose a risk of altitude sickness.

Trekkers are urged to take their hike slowly and gradually. They should have adequate rest and sleep to retain enough energy to take the trek easily. Also, they must focus on hydrating their body sufficiently and eating nutritious food.

The most important thing to focus on is that trekkers must climb high and rest at a lower altitude, so their bodies can adjust to the changing altitude.
Day 4
Trek to Dole 4000m
Location: Dole

Dole Altitude: 4000 Meters

Elevation Gain: 560 Meters

Trekking Duration: 5-6 Hours

After acclimatization and rest, we will continue our journey to Gokyo Cho La Pass and Everest Base Camp. We will take a route from the left side of Namche Bazaar and head towards Khyangjuma, which lies near the Dudh Koshi River. From there, we catch an uphill trail to Phortse Thanga, which stretches up to Dole at 4000 meters.

We will pass across the Buddhist settlements around the place. The scenes of numerous chortens, mani walls, and prayer flags will give us insights into how rich this place is culturally. As we hike uphill from Phortse Thanga, enjoying the views of Mount Everest, Lhotse, and Ama Dablam, we will finally reach Dole at 4000 meters above sea level. We will stay at a tea house overnight.
Day 5
Trek to Machhermo (4450m)
Location: Machhermo

Machhermo Altitude: 4450 Meters

Elevation Gain: 50 Meters

Trekking Duration: 4 Hours

We will wake up early and prepare for a remote trek to Machhermo via the off-beaten trail from Dole. This phase of trekking takes us to over 4400 meters above sea level. So trekkers must be well-equipped with the essential gear at high altitudes. Since trekkers are likely to suffer from altitude sickness at these locations, they must prepare well and acclimatize before walking.

First, we will head towards Kele, which lies around the Dudh Koshi River. Though the place features sparse vegetation, the scenery around Kele is enjoyable and breathtaking. The whistling Dudh Koshi River and the incredible vistas of the peaks from the Mahalangur Mountain Range offer an awe-inspiring experience to trekkers. From Kele, it only takes around an hour and a half to reach Machhermo.
Day 6
Trek to Gokyo and hike to the fifth lake and back
Location: Gokyo Lake

Gokyo Lake Altitude: 4,700–5,000 Meters

Elevation Gain: 250-550 Meters

Trekking Duration: 6-7 Hours

On the sixth day of our trek, we will head towards Gokyo Valley and explore all five lakes of Gokyo. Gokyo Lakes comprise five beautiful lakes, and they are Gokyo Cho (Dudh Pokhari), Thonak Cho, Gyazumpa Cho, Tanjung Cho, Ngozumpa Cho, and Longbanga Cho. These lakes are very awe-inspiring to watch during the winter season as they go frozen, offering very dramatic views around the region.

We will start our trek from Machhermo and head toward the Buddhist settlement of Phangga. As we continue our trek from the settlement, we reach the frozen lake of Longpungu Tsho first. After exploring the alpine watershed, we will reach Taboche Tsho and Gokyo Tsho, which lie around the trail to Gokyo Valley.

Tonight, we will stay at a tented camp at Gokyo at 4790 meters above sea level. Remember to warm yourself at night, as the temperature can drop significantly around the region.
Day 7
Hike up to Gokyo Ri and trek to Dragnag(4600m)
Location: Dragnag

Dragnag Altitude: 4600 Meters

Elevation Loss: 190 Meters

Trek Time: 5-6 Hours

Today, we will descend from Gokyo Valley to Dragnag and set up our new camp there. The main motive is to reach Dragnag and be involved in the preparation to pass through Cho La pass for the next day. So we start our journey from Gokyo and scale up Gokyo Ri at 5357 meters above sea level. We will climb Gokyo Ri early in the morning and have magnificent views of sunrise from the viewpoint. It is also famous as the best point to have scenes of Mount Everest and other peaks.

After successfully hiking to the top of Gokyo Ri, we will descend toward Dragnag. Dragnag is a small settlement that lies at 4600 meters above sea level. Most people are Sherpa, and they follow Buddhist Culture, so be assured of experiencing hospitable and culturally rich experiences.
Day 8
Cross the Chola Pass and trek to Dzonghla (4830m)
Location: Dzonghla

Dzonghla Altitude: 4830 Meters

Elevation Gain: 130 Meters

Trek Duration: 6 Hours

Today, we will complete the first phase of our trek by reaching Dzonghla via Cho La Pass. The trek begins early in the morning after breakfast at Dragnag. We catch a trail from the right side of the village and then head toward Cho La Phedi.

Remember, the trail is rugged and rocky, so climbing uphill through these landscapes might be challenging. But with proper preparation and physical fitness, we can reach the destination without much hassles.

It takes around a couple of hours to reach Cho La Pass from Cho La Phedi. Cho La Pass is one of the high-altitude passes in Nepal, which is at 5,420 meters (17,782 ft) above sea level. The scenes of sunrise and sunset are very attractive from Cho La Pass, while the vistas of the Himalayas, including Mount Everest, are undeniably beautiful.

After crossing Cho La Pass, we will descend to Dzonghla at 4830 meters above sea level. It takes around a couple of hours to reach the destination, where we will stay overnight at a camp.
Day 9
Trek to Lobuche (4980m)
Location: Lobuche

Lobuche Altitude: 4980 Meters

Elevation Gain: 150 Meters

Trekking Duration: 5 Hours

The main motive of today’s trek is reaching Lobuche at 4980 meters from Dzonghla. We must descend from Dzonghla and then pass another high-altitude pass to reach the destination.

Starting our journey early in the morning, we will set our journey towards Chola. Along the way, we can visit the frozen lake Chola Tsho, which offers the pristine beauty of the Everest Region. From there, we will reach Dughla at 4620 meters above sea level - we can reach Dughla at around an hour and a half from Chola Tsho.

From Dughla, we will pass through Buddhist settlements while heading towards Lobuche. There are several chortens, mani walls, and a Tibetan Monastery around the region. The uphill trail from Dughla takes us through Thokla Pass at 4830 meters above sea level.

Enjoying the majestic views of the Himalayas and the green hills at farsight, we will head towards Lobuche and accommodate a tea house.
Day 10
Trek to Gorekshep and Everest Base camp (5360m) | Back to Gorakshep
Location: Everest Base Camp

Everest Base Camp Altitude: 5360 Meters

Elevation Gain: 380 Meters

Trekking Duration: 7-8 Hours

Today is one of the longest and most challenging parts of the trek in this package. First things first, this phase of the trek is mainly focused on high altitudes. First, we will leave Lobuche and head towards Lobuche Pass at 5110 meters above sea level. There is a Khumbu Glacier on the right side of the trail, which offers a pristine beauty to the hike.

After a short hike from Lobuche Pass, we will reach Gorakshep village after passing across Gorakshep Tsho Lake. Gorakshep is the last Sherpa settlement in Everest Region - you can find very minimal stone houses in this village.

From Gorakshep, we will continue our trek to Everest Base Camp, which takes around four hours to reach. Everest Base Camp is the lap of Mount Everest at 5360 meters above sea level. It is also the highest viewpoint in the Everest Region that offers the scenic vistas of the Mahalangur Mountain Range, Khumbu Glacier, and the alpine climate.

We will get involved in sightseeing activities around the Base Camp. For the night, we will set up a tent that is climate-friendly.
Day 11
Climb up to Kalapatthar and Fly to Kathmandu by Helicopter
Location: Kala Patthar

Kala Patthar Altitude: 5,644 Meters

Elevation Gain: 284 Meters

Trekking Duration: 2 Hours

To reach Kala Patthar at 5644 meters above sea level, we must return to Gorakshep village first. From there, we will hike to Kala Patthar, a naturally gifted place in Solukhumbu District. It only takes around a couple of hours to reach Kala Patthar.

Though the journey might be a little challenging, the scenery it offers is heavenly. Kala Patthar is the best viewpoint for a 360-degree view of Mount Everest, Ama Dablam, Cho Oyu, Nuptse, Lhotse, and Island Peak. Besides, the diverse landscapes around the region, including Khumbu Glacier, are very tempting.

After completing our sightseeing activities in Kala Patthar, we will return to Kathmandu via helicopter. Helicopter Return from Kala Patthar is another unique experience. It offers us unforgettable memory of the aerial views of the Himalayas, Sherpa Settlements, Tibetan Monasteries, Green Fields and Hills, Rivers, Lakes, and Remote Towns.

We will reach Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu at around 45 mins to 1 hour. Upon reaching Kala Patthar, we will move to our respective hotels, where we stay overnight.

What is Included

  • Three meals a day (breakfast, lunch & dinner) with a cup of hot drink (Tea/ Coffee) with each meal.
  • Fresh fruits every night after dinner.
  • Trekking lodge(Tea house)accommodations during the trek.
  • All necessary trekking permits, Sagarmatha National Park entrance fees and Khumbu Pashang Lhamu Rural Municipality fees
  • Flight (Kathmandu – Lukla low season) (High season Ramechhap-Lukla) including airport transfer.
  • Helicopter from Gorekshep- Kathmandu.
  • English speaking well trained, Government license holder guide with all his salary, food, drinks, accommodation, Transport and insurance.
  • A Strong, helpful porter with proper equipment including his meals,accommodation and insurance (one porter for two people).
  • Arrangement of Emergency Helicopter service (paid by your Travel insurance company).
  • Use of sleeping bag, down Jacket and walking Poles (if you don’t have your own, To be return after trip completed). Using these 3 items you pay $10 USD each as maintenance and washing charge
  • Nepal Eco Adventure T-shirt cap cap and duffel bag.
  • Government taxes, service charge and official expenses.
  • Oxymeter to check your pulse and oxygen saturation and heart rate twice daily (Very useful to check Altitude Mountain Sickness(AMS) symptoms) Which will ensure you trek is in the safest hands possible for all levels of trekker.
  • Assistant guide group size above 6+ person.

What is Excluded

  • Expenses for international flights and airport costs.
  • Airport pick-up and drop-off for international flights.
  • Cost of Nepali Tourist Visa (Approx. US$ 30 for 15 days).
  • Expenses for travel and medical insurance ( recommended that you should get it).
  • Personal expenses that are not included in the package cost.
  • Any additional food and beverage services that are not included in the itinerary (Both alcoholic and non-alcoholic).
  • Expenses of additional snacks, desserts, or sweets that trekkers purchase en route.
  • Cost of extra baggage (15kg weight limit for the baggage on Lukla flight).
  • Cost for charging phones and hot showers during trekking.
  • Tips for guides, porters, and drivers (Although it is expected).
  • Employment of extra crew members during the trek.

Departures

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December 22, 2024

- January 1, 2025

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December 24, 2024

- January 3, 2025

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December 25, 2024

- January 4, 2025

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December 27, 2024

- January 6, 2025

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December 29, 2024

- January 8, 2025

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December 31, 2024

- January 10, 2025

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How long does this trek usually take to complete?

The average duration of this trek is around two weeks and can be elongated to 18 days. However, we have a customized itinerary of only 11 days with a helicopter return.

Is prior trekking experience required for this journey?

Yes, prior trekking experience is highly recommended before embarking on this trekking. Since this trek takes us to several high-altitude destinations, trekking there might be challenging. So trekkers must have prior experience at high altitudes and remote destinations.

What is the difficulty level of this trek?

The difficulty level of this trek is challenging. As mentioned earlier, this trek takes us to several high-altitude locations such as Cho La Pass, Gokyo Lakes, Everest Base Camp, and Kala Patthar; trekkers must take safety precautions for it. The high altitude features less oxygen level and compressed air, which can create issues in breathing. And trekkers can suffer from altitude sicknesses like AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness), HACE (High Altitude Celebral Edema), and HAPE (High Altitude Pulmonary Edema).

Are permits required for the trek?

Yes, trekkers must obtain several permits, including the Sagarmatha National Park Entry Permit and the Khumbu Pasang Lhamu Rural Municipality Permit. They can be purchased in Tourism Board Office in Kathmandu, Lukla, or Monjo Checkpost.

What is the maximum altitude reached during this trek?

The maximum altitude trekkers can reach during this trek is 5644 meters above sea level. It is at Kala Patthar, one of the popular viewpoints of the Everest Region.

Is it possible to trek solo, or is a guide necessary?

It is possible to trek solo, but it has now been banned to go for treks alone in Nepal. We must hire a certified and experienced guide for this trekking package. Hiring guides have several benefits, from navigation to emergency support.

What are the accommodation options along the trekking route?

Teahouses are the most common accommodation services that prevail along the trekking route of the Everest Region. They come with a shared bedroom, bathroom, and possibly electricity and internet services.

Hotels and guest houses are only available at Namche Bazaar. They feature advanced services but can be costlier than tea houses. At high altitudes, trekkers must set up a tent to stay - remember, the tents must have a quality to withstand the sharp winds, low temperatures, and any other extreme climate conditions.

Is altitude sickness a concern during this trek?

Since we will be reaching 5500 meters above sea level, altitude sickness is a real concern during this trek. Air pressure is high with a thin oxygen level. It makes trekkers difficult to breathe, and they can eventually suffer from altitude sickness.

More Info

Best Time To Go For This Trek

The best times for the Gokyo Chola Pass - Everest Base Camp - Kalapathar - Helicopter Return trek are Spring and Autumn. These times are considered the peak-trekking season in Nepal as they come with a favorable environment and climate conditions. Here are some reasons to choose this package during the Spring and Autumn seasons.

Spring Season (March to May):

Spring season starts in March and comes with a huge warm-up for trekking culture in Nepal. The colorful scenery and the clear visibility are some of the major attractions of this season. The skies are usually clear, with minimal clouds offering great visibility of the Everest Region's mountains, hills, and other attractions.

Similarly, the temperature is medium, not too hot or cold. With a mild temperature, trekkers easily walk through uneven terrains. In addition, the chances of rainfall and snowfall are very less during Spring. The trails are usually dry and crisp, making it comfortable for trekkers to navigate the uphill section.

Autumn/Fall Season (September to November):

The Autumn season begins in September and ends in November in Nepal. Autumn season features fewer crowds than Spring, and it is a perfect time to have a soothing trekking experience.

The Autumn season also features Spring-like weather and climate condition. A stable climate and favorable/mild temperature boast the trekking experiences in Autumn. It also offers clear visibility of the surroundings, giving you a good prospect of sightseeing activities around the Everest Region.

Why Choose This Package? Is it worth booking?

Gokyo Chola Pass - Everest Base Camp - Kalapather - Helicopter Return Package is one of the most unique trekking packages in Nepal. It blends the itinerary of two different trekking routes of the Everest Region and offers an unforgettable experience to the trekkers.

Here are some reasons why you should take on this trekking package.

Breathtaking Scenery: All the destinations are located within Everest Region, and the scenery trekkers will experience is undeniably pristine. The Gokyo Lakes, Cho La Pass, Kala Patthar, Peaks including Mount Everest, Cho Oyu, Lhotse, Nuptse, Ama Dablam, and Khumbu Glacier provide immense scenery. Similarly, the lush green forests, rivers, traditional villages, and monasteries add spices to the package.

Off-the-Beaten-Path: The trail that leads us to the destination of this package is off-beaten. If you are an adventure enthusiast, you will surely love it. Since the uneven terrains and landscapes add to the surroundings' beauty, they are also one of the main reasons to book this package.

Moreover, if you are looking forward to a challenging adventure, it's the best option you have. This trek takes you to high-altitude destinations, where reaching is physically and mentally demanding.

Cultural Immersion: Most people around the Everest Region are Sherpa, and they follow Buddhism. They come with a distinctive culture, tradition, and language, which attracts foreign trekkers. They can learn about the remote lifestyle and culture.

Helicopter Return: This package includes a helicopter return from Kala Patthar, one of the most scenic journeys. From the helicopter, you can have an aerial 360-degree view of the surroundings, including Mount Everest and other peaks. Similarly, the diverse landscapes of the Everest Region is one of the best scenes you can get from a helicopter.

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This trip is fully customizable

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Trip Facts

  • Available
  • Everest Region
  • Moderate
  • 2-20 PAX
  • Spring and Autumn
  • 5,644 m
  • Private Vehicle/ Flight
  • 11 Days
  • Tea Houses / Lodges

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