15-day Everest Base Camp & Gokyo Lakes Trek with Chola Pass.
Let me start off by saying... DO IT!!!.
It was the most amazing and memorable experience I have ever had.
If I could give a 100 stars, I would!!!!
Where can I start? We booked this trip on very short notice. The 15-day trek of Everest Base camp and Gokyo lakes with Cholo pass.
Our guide was the amazing Bikram Khadka or as we called him BK Daai (Dai meaning older brother).
We met Kumar, Santosh & BK Dai in Thamel, Kathmandu, a couple of days before. Spoke over the plan and what to expect on the trek, including potential altitude sickness, and paid the rest of what we owed, (paying the deposit while we were still in the UK). BK dai also helped us get little bits and bobs from Kathmandu for our trek, like renting sleeping bags, etc., which was helpful.
We knew we were in the monsoon season, so we knew what to expect. In Kathmandu, our flight to Lukla was delayed, with BK Dai worrying we might have to get it. Luckily, after about a 2-hour wait, we were lucky, and our flight went through, luck being the keyword for our whole trip.
On our trek, BK Dai had us put in the best available room, where available and made sure we were extremely comfortable (it being off-season helped with this as more availability).
The hike from Lukla to Phakding was hard, in the heat, but we made it in 3 hours. Had a sleep at a really nice hotel. The next day we left around 7 am (the usual time we started hiking throughout the whole trip) and made our way to Namche Bazaar. He made sure we were okay all the way through, explained interesting facts and points throughout the trip, and most importantly thing, made us laugh all the way through this trip. In Namche, we stayed at the Footrest Lodge, where he introduced us to his friend Gopal, an amazing and hard-working person. We stayed there 2 nights to acclimatize. After the first night, we had a clear morning, and BK Dai woke us up at around 5:30 am to take us to our first and only sighting of Everest, which was amazing. Due to the clouds, throughout the trip it was difficult. That was BK Dai, he always woke up early to see how the weather was and made sure we got the best things to see.
Our initial plan was to go to Gokyo first and then to Everest Base Camp, but BK dai recommended, we should do the Everest Base Camp first, as Gokyo Lake/Cholo pass is extremely difficult, which it was (not for the faint-hearted, but amazingly rewarding).
We agreed and went on the route to Everest.
We made our way up the trek staying over in a couple of towns, stopping in Pheriche to acclimatise then Lobuche one night before we made it to Gorakshep. On the day we arrived at Gorakshep, we dropped our bags and went straight to Everest Base Camp, which was a tad bit treacherous, with land/rock slides and loose rocks being the path and nothing else. But, BK Dai knew exactly what and where he was going, which was comforting.
The next day it was far too cloudy for Kalapatthar, so we headed back down to make our way to Gokyo Lakes. We stayed in Dzongla for the night and early next morning made our way to Gokyo Lakes through Chola Pass, and it was probably the hardest thing, way harder than the Everest Base Camp Trek. It was amazing, exciting, dangerous, and adrenaline-pumping. There were moments when we had to climb using ropes, walk over glaciers, encounter heavy snow, and the last 1 hour or so, vertically climb a cliff face. It was exhausting, but my god it was rewarding. Gokyo Lake was beautiful, but again, heavy clouds prevented us from going to Gokyo Ri.
We were lucky many times throughout this trip, we never got altitude sickness, and as BK Dai always said, if you are hungry it's a good sign, which I was, all the time. We were also very lucky with the weather on some days, the views, the flight to Lukla & back. There were others we met going down, who didn't even see Everest or missed their flight and had to trek for 3 days and then get a jeep.
Throughout this trip, we made many friends, clients from abroad, and guides and porters.
BK dai to use was more than a guide, he was more than a friend, he was like our brother. I am not sure what this trip would have been like without him, he made it perfect and went beyond his work. From the bottom of my heart, I have nothing but love from him for making this amazing.
It's incredible how much I miss him, all his stories, his jokes, his energetic personality.
I can't wait to see him already.
Thank you, I will never forget this in my lifetime.
With a heartfelt love,