Gokyo Lakes Trek is a perfect alternative to Everest Base Camp Trek that leads you to the remote sections of the Khumbu region. The trail takes you via some rugged landscapes and off the beaten paths through Namche, Dole, Machhermo, and eventually onto the Gokyo valley with some fascinating views. Trekkers can observe greenish-blue Gokyo Lakes and numerous snow-capped peaks in this fabulous journey.
The uppermost point of the trek is Gokyo Ri (5,360m) which is an eminent trekking peak. From Gokyo Ri, trekkers can witness an implausible all-encompassing view of the entire Mahalangur Himalayan range including Mt. Everest itself. The miraculous first and the last rays of the sun overlooking the gleaming lake may fascinate you in this trek.
What’s more, the adventure lovers can also witness Cho Oyu, Makalu, Lhotse, Tabouche, and their neighboring peaks from diverse vantage points along the trek. An unpolished landscape, magnificent rhododendron woodlands gives you a new perspective of the region.
It is paramount to have prior knowledge regarding the challenges and complexity of the trek before choosing the journey. It is crucial to learn how to tackle those circumstances. Gokyo Lakes trek is a moderately difficult trek that requires walking 5-7 hours per day.
Trekkers need to be in sound physical shape and stamina for this journey. Except in the acclimatization days, trekkers should pass some of the rugged trails, steep terrains, and high passes that prove to be more arduous when the altitude increases.
Gokyo Lakes trek can be shortened or extended according to the trek package you choose. Amid several options, Gokyo Lakes Trek - 15 Days, Everest Base Camp and Gokyo Lakes Trek - 19 Days, Everest High Pass Trek - 20 Days are most popular.
Trekkers require walking 5 to 6-hours covering a distance of 10 km a day on average. Trekking hours and duration can cause a bit of challenge on your journey to Gokyo Lakes if you lack prior experience or fitness level. However, you will have an acclimatization and resting period to cope with exhaustion and altitude sickness.
Trekking packages with plenty of acclimatization make the trek more comfortable as the trekkers get more rest. Trekking packages with less acclimatization are shorter, there will be long walks, and that can be quite hectic.
An overall trekking distance for Gokyo Lakes Trek is 92 km (53 miles) and it takes at least 15 days to complete including a couple of acclimatization days. Regular hikers will not have many difficulties as they should cover 7-9 kilometers per day. Combining this trek with Everest Base Camp Trek will be a lengthier and maybe more challenging one.
Altitude and its influences are the major difficulties in the Gokyo Lakes Trek. The highest elevation to step is Gokyo Ri 5,357 above sea level. If you want to explore Everest Base Camp and Kalapatthar, you need to ascend to 5,545m which can be strenuous.
The journey to Gokyo Lakes begins from Lukla 2,860m. For some trekkers, this is sufficient enough to cause altitude sickness to some trekkers. Continuing the trek, you need to pass through to Namche Bazaar (3,438 m) – Dole (3,680 m), Macchermo (4,470 m), Gokyo valley (4,800 m), and finally to the Gokyo Ri (5,357 m).
Gaining altitude should be taken carefully. If ignored, it can be life-threatening due to elevation-related problems. Anyone can be a victim of altitude sickness due to the less air pressure and the low oxygen content in the air at higher altitudes. There is no age limit, physical fitness, or gender preferences for Altitude sickness can happen to anyone.
If any symptoms are seen, should immediately stop the trek and should rest or should trek downward if the condition worsens.
Then how can I prevent altitude sickness? Yes, you can maintain your own pace for walking, no rush, no competition, have plenty of acclimatization days in different stops, stay hydrated, remain stress-free, and avoid alcoholic drinks or smoking to prevent yourself from high elevation sickness.
The journey to Gokyo lakes commences from the relatively lower elevations such as Lukla where the temperature is moderately warm, but as you climb higher, the winds turn icy and frozen. In addition to this, in such extreme cold weather, there are greater possibilities of being victimized by frostbite.
Walking above 4000m, trekkers need to be well prepared. Wearing down jackets and other cold-blocking clothing will assist in preserving your body’s temperature.
Trekkers’ having previous experiences is not a big problem to trek Gokyo Lakes. But for a beginner who hasn’t experienced high altitude, the Gokyo lake trek is new. This shall offer you first-hand experiences.
While trekking, you should encounter wild remote, and rugged trails, diverse landscapes, and changeable weather and temperature which may create hazardous situations.
One of the major challenges for Gokyo Lakes Trek is your burden with heavy luggage. The trails are long, rugged, and somewhere steep and are difficult too. You can hardly imagine having a good time trekking carrying a heavy load on your back. These may be distracting factors during the trek.
As Gokyo Lakes Trek is a long and high elevated journey, do not try to overload your luggage with unnecessary and bulky items. Even if some items are lightweight and aren’t as important, you should avoid taking them.
I personally suggest you hire a porter to avoid this problem. Taking a porter will reduce the trek difficulty due to heavy luggage to a great extent and you no more have to worry about how heavy your luggage is. You can simply concentrate on your trek and enjoy it to the fullest.
Otherwise, you can carry yourself keeping only some crucial items. Some of them are thermal underwear, appropriate clothing, good quality trekking shoes, warm hat/cap, gloves, polarized sunglasses, water bottle with filter, and extra batteries for your electronic gadgets, medicines, first aid, and toiletries. DO NOT make your luggage more than 15 kg.
In any trek, food and accommodation services play a crucial role. Proper food and a good night’s sleep are essential in keeping your body fit for the next day’s trek. In the peak months, the teahouses may get crowded because of the trekkers, porters, and climbers of other staff. Sometimes it is difficult to find the rooms in the lodges.
However, your Gokyo Lakes Trek difficulty can be minimal if you have a guide along; Guides usually have good relations with the locals and can pre-book the rooms for you. Concerning the food items, you shall have a plethora of choices in the lower elevations where you can choose both local and international menus.
With the increase of the elevations, you have fewer choices. However, Nepali Dal Bhat (a set of rice lentil vegetable pickles), egg items, tea or coffee, Tibetan bread, noodles, and soup are widely available throughout the journey. For drink always remember to carry a water bottle, possibly with water filters. You can fill the water from any clean stream and use some filter and you are good to go.
Not having the right equipment and supplies for any trek can be troublesome. Packing can be a challenge in itself. You will not find everything you need for the trek on the trails. Hence, packing all the required gears and supplies is essential. So make sure to pack well for Gokyo Lakes Trek.
Wearing the right and comfortable shoes is the key factor. A good pair of shoes can make or break your trek. Make sure you break into your shoes before your actual trek. A newly bought or uncomfortable pair of shoes may create blisters, discomfort, slips, and injuries.
Likewise, the appropriate gear helps to make the trek more comfortable, enjoyable, and easy. Supplies as trekking poles can also be great to reduce Gokyo Lakes Trek's difficulty. They provide the right support and necessary balance.
It can be great for steep upward and downward hikes. They even help to reduce the stress on your knees. That’s why; superior homework makes Gokyo Lakes Trek a lot easier and enjoyable.
Gokyo Lakes Trek one of the less explored destinations and is the perfect alternative to Everest Base Camp Trek. It gives you a glimpse into the rich diversity of culture, the lifestyle of Nepal. Along with this, it offers majestic views of some of the tallest peaks in the world.
Many unpredictable factors might add difficulty during the Gokyo lake trek. Well, you cannot predict them but you can be aware of them. Some of them could be physical injuries, sudden worsening of health, or worse weather even during the best times.
There is no certainty in anything when you trek high. So, you should be really careful before you decide when and where do you want to go. With your choice of the many factors, you can personally determine the difficulty level of your trek.