Nepal trekking EBC & Gokyo
Replies: 4 - Last Post: Jan 24, 2013 3:04 AM Last Post By: rdccomments
Jan 22, 2013 5:35 PM
Nepal trekking EBC & GokyoHello all
I've become de facto Nepal trek consultant for a super busy friend but alas, I've only done one Nepal trek in recent times (ABC in Oct 2012) and so I turn now to all ye experts out there who have helped me and many others in this forum. I hope to benefit from this too!!
The trek plan is for EBC and then Gokyo over the Chola pass with a porter-guide as it is for a single woman trekker (trekking experience but not in Nepal). This woman travels really light so no problem of a heavy pack. Plan to trek mid or end Oct 2013.
(1) If she starts in Gorak Shep(GS) in the morning is it possible to get to Dzongla in one day? How long will this take?
(2) from the map I've got, there is a trail GS - Lobuche - Dzongla and looks like there is no need to go through Dughla. Am I correct? Is the GS - Lobuche - Dzongla a safe trail?
(3) I read here and elsewhere that it seems the difficult part of the Cho La crossing is the walking across the Ngozumpa glacier as path finding is tricky and is generally difficult as the glacier shifts about. From the map I see a trail on the eastern side of the glacier from Dragnag to a village called Chhamtyan where it is connected to Nha. Is this a feasible alternative to reach Gokyo? May take longer I know but at least it takes the stress of the Ngozumpa glacier crossing, or does it?
Many thanks for all replies and suggestion.
Jan 22, 2013 9:50 PM
11) Half day at the most. Downhill and acclimatized, few hours.
2) Easy trail along the contours.
3) I crossed the opposite direction a long time ago from Na when there were less traffic and no crosstrails upstream of Na. There is no need to cross the glacier if she goes to Na, as it is at the terminus of the glacier. Safer and easier to navigate, but a bit longer way.
Jan 23, 2013 10:53 PM
2I have walked the trail from Na to Dragnak (Thagnak-depending on your map) in a raging snowstorm and on my own. Other than the weather, it was a relatively easy trail and you're right access to the main Gokyo trail is easy from Na. However, it is a long way out of the way and I don't think it would be a good idea to think of trying to walk from Dhugla via Na to Gokyo in one day. Therefore, if you have to stay overnight in Thagnak, I would say it would be better to leave in daylight, next morning and cross the glacial morraine. It is rough and the route is not straightforward as you are constantly going around melt pools and loose, morraine ridges but other than the rough footing, you are not going to get lost. It's only about 2 1/2 hours to Gokyo at 3rd Lake. First time I crossed this, the light was diminishing and by the time we got to the main trail it was dark. Since then, I have opted to spend the night at Thagnak and happier for it. There are several good lodges there now (only one when I first did this in 1995).
As for the walk from Gorak Shep to Dhugla in one day, it is possible. The trail breaks off from the main trail below Lobuche.. You don't go as far as the memorial cairns (at Thokla pass) above Dughla. The trail goes off to the right before the trail crosses the braided stream and starts the climb to the small pass where you look down on Dughla. It contours around the mountainside climbing gradually making a high traverse above a beautiful turquoise lake at the foot of Cholatse. It's a good trail with spectacualar views. By the time you reach Dzongla you are already at over 4800m.
Jan 23, 2013 10:55 PM
Jan 24, 2013 3:04 AM
4Good info above.
Some brief points:
Cho La: there has been a recent posting about this pass - this should be findable via the search facility. This is not an easy pass, as there is thick ice at the top of the pass and the west side in particular is very steep, and there is no shelter anywhere on ths pass, unlike say Thorung La. There should be quite a few people crossing it in October.
Crossing from Tagnag to Gokyo: the current route across the Ngozumpa glacier is much more complicated than the old route (which is no longer usable, unless things have changed again since January 2011, when I last crossed it). For this reason I would strongly advise people to make sure that the weather is clear before setting out, as should visibility deteriorate (say due to low cloud or snow), this glacier would be a terrible, in fact lethal, place to risk getting lost. Otherwise it takes about 1.5 to 2.5 hours to cross from Tagnag to Gokyo. This would be simpler and quicker than going via Na and the south morraine. Most people stop at Tagnag after crossing Cho La, then continue to Gokyo the next morning.
Regarding times and distances, these very much depend on the trekkers and weather conditions. One time I went from Lobuche to Gokyo in one day, as Tagnag appeared to be closed (it wasn't closed, the lodge owners were away at a local village for the afternoon). We got to Gokyo with about 15 minutes of daylight left, which was cutting it very fine, but we (my guide and I) were both very (trekking) fit.
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