Let us forget about all those towering peaks and take a moment to admire all the small mountains which are equally alluring and glorious as the tallest ones.
Gokyo Ri, also known as Gokyo Peak is one of beautiful peaks in Nepal. It was once described as the best viewpoint in Everest. The peak rises at an elevation of 5,483 meters above gives the most stunning panoramic view of Everest region and Gokyo lakes.
About Gokyo Ri Trek
Gokyo Ri trek is the best and perfect alternative to classic Everest Base Camp trek to those who are looking to avoid heavy traffic of that route and want to feel the tallest mountain closely.
It is an exceptional trek in Everest region wherein clear day Everest, Lhotse, Makalu, Cho Oyu and several other named and unnamed peaks can be view. The trek is a very serene natural walk in much more isolated trail than Everest Base Camp. Along with the splendid view of mountains, the trails go along the rich section of Himalayan flora and fauna, quaint settlement of people of different ethnicity depicting the authentic and intact culture and lifestyle.
The trek is really an exceptional one, not just for the Gokyo Peak and closer view of Everest, there are Gokyo lakes which is also the major attraction of this trek. The beauty of lakes is truly captivating,and it is also the highest freshwater lake system.
About Gokyo Ri
Situated at 5,357 meters above sea level, Gokyo Ri is often known as the vantage point for viewing Everest. The peak is located on the west of largest glacier in Nepal, Ngozumpa glacier and is cited as the largest in the whole Himalayas.
Highlights of Gokyo Ri Trek
Gokyo Village lies at en route to Gokyo Ri at an elevation of 4,750 meters making it one of the highest settlement in Nepal and the world as well. It is a small Himalayan village at the foot of Gokyo Ri and located on the eastern shore of third Gokyo Lake, DudhPokhari.
This small settlement village is mostly engaged in tourism where most of the houses serve as guest-house for trekkers. Also, in winter the temperature drops so drastically,and living becomes unbearable that people living in Gokyo leave the village and moves to lower region village like Namche Bazaar.
Village at such an attitude is certainly a thing to look after for in this trek. It is quite amazing and astounding how people make their daily lifestyle in such an extreme environment.
Ngozumpa Glacier, the longest glacier of Nepal extends to more than 36 kilometers. The glacier snakes down from the sixth tallest mountain in the world, Cho Oyu. With such coverage, the glacier has a very high volume of water making it large persistent body of ice and the water flows slowly due to the stresses induced by its weight.
Although the glacier is mostly covered with debris, the picturesque view with Himalayas in background is quite a mesmerizing thing to witness.
Gokyo Ri is considered as the popular vantage point for viewing the Everest and other surrounding peak. It also shares about same elevation as Everest Base Camp from where four tallest mountains in earth – Everest (8,848 meters), Lhotse (8,516 meters), Makalu (8,485 meters) and Cho Oyu (8,188 meters) are visible.
Well, it is not everyday when you can have more than just glimpse and flickers of some of the tallest mountain in the world. So, the peak of Gokyo Ri, the vantage point is one of the highlights in trek.
There are lots of villages you will encounter once you embark in this remarkable trek, but Namche Bazaar is one of the exquisite and stunning Himalayan settlement,so it wins them all. Namche came into popularity as trekkers typically choose this place for acclimatization. The crowd in Everest region kept on increasing and so did the popularity of Namche establishing itself as a tourist hub,and now it is one of the prosperous towns in country.
Often referred as gateway to Everest, Namche Bazaar sits at 3,500-meter elevation on slope of arch-shaped mountain allowing you to observe the sights of glorious mountain peaks throughout the valley. Namche used to the capital of Khumbu, where Sherpas from neighboring villages and Tibet could come and trade goods and would display their traditional arts and craft and to this date, Namche hasn’t forgotten its ancient culture and royal hospitality.
Namche Bazaar has everything a trekkers and a traveler’s needs from climbing equipment to Tibetan artifacts to keep as a souvenir. Also, it is the best place to know more about lifestyle and culture of Sherpas.
Way to Gokyo Ri
Trek to Gokyo Ri will obviously be the incredible adventure of your life. The view from the summit goes across the Mount Everest which easily surpasses the scenes from Everest Base Camp. Well, the journey initiates from Lukla, the town known for its awesomely dangerous airport.
But, don’t confine your thoughts on this trek in just the final view from Gokyo Ri. After getting past Namche Bazaar and into Gokyo Valley, the settlement gradually disappears,and the journey gets more natural and tranquil.
The trails are very interesting which seems like an endless line of tea houses and lodges,and the villages are well spaced to assist trekkers with altitude acclimatization. Continuing the trek while spending nights in a tented camp at villages of Phortse Tenga (3,700 meters), Dole (4,200 meters), Machhermo (4,500 meters) and Gokyo (4,800) which takes a comfortable four-day approach from Namche Bazaar, we gradually ascend through the thinning air.
While getting along the village, you will see the slopes are covered in rhododendron and the peeling, papery trunks of silver birch trees, waterfalls that skid down from mountains and Dudh Koshi wriggling its way through inaccessible gorges. Also, the yak’s trains walking down from higher villages and porters along them with seemingly impossible weights on their head will leave you astonished.
As we leave Machhero, the final village before Gokyo, you will get feeling of entering the kingdom of mountains. Ahead of us lies Cho Oyu shaping the northern horizon and the trails climb beside the snout of Ngozumpa Glacier. At the edge of glacier lies Gokyo Lakes, a chain of six lakes spreading over more than 10 kilometers and it is here when Gokyo Ri first comes into view.
Getting further on the shore of third lake lies Gokyo village, a collection of weather-beaten trekking lodges peering out onto Gokyo Ri. From this point on we scale towards the peak and you can also see the trekkers conserving their strength and yet still burning energy just trying to breathe and function at such an altitude of 4,800 meters where oxygen level are only about 55% of those at sea level.
There is a very interesting fact on climbing the Gokyo Ri: in oldest of mountain traditions, the summit day on Gokyo Ri begins before dawn, strapping on a head torch and paving our way to darkness. After crossing the lake, the trail begins zigzagging up the cold slopes.
The summit is certainly not an easy task even though it is a kilometers walk which can take hours as we have to stop every few steps to catch our breath. That moment when you catch the breath can also be the moment to pause and soak in the marvelous view with lakes and Gokyo shrinking below and the distinctive arrow-shaped peak of Cholatse at 6,440 rising above.
Well, with every effort you make in conquering Gokyo Ri, you will get closer to the peak,and you will finally see prayer flags ahead on trail waving to trekkers. Now, it will be the final climb which takes an extra bit of effort. In favorable weather conditions, the scene from the summit is nothing but a dream-like view; Ngozumpa glacier gouging its way through the valley below, Cho Oyu standing nearby and endless lines of mountains stretching away to the horizon, where Makalu lies.
And, rising above all is the tallest and glorious one, the Everest and the view of which is totally sublime. The scene is so vast and way too admirable,and it is much wider than outlook near Base Camp. Delighted and satisfied with the trek, now we turn left and descend towards the way we came.