Machhermo (4470) to Gokyo lakes (4790)

Gokyo Travel Blog

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Wake up: 6:00am
Breakfast: 7:00am
On the road: 7:35am
Steep climb out of Machermo, till: 8:00am
Nepali Flat walk till 9:30am
Climb up via some stairs till: 10:15am
Reached Gokyo: 11:50am

Today morning was sunny with no clouds at 6am. But that was about to change as around 7am I could see a few clouds coming up from the valley bellow and coming in very fast. The clouds were rising up from the valley and soon it started engulfing the whole village. Within a span of 10-15 min, the whole place was covered with clouds and the visibility dropped to a few feet. This meant that we would not get views of the snow peaked mountains around us and it would be a walk in the cold.

We started climbing out slowly and it started looking a bit promising with the wind picking up, which means it might blow the clouds away.

The clouds stayed with us for the first 2 hours of the walk over relatively flat surface till we reached the start of our climb. There are a few stone stairs with the river flowing on one side, not much water, but we could not get a good view of the valley due to the clouds. Just around the final climb before reaching the Gokyo lakes, the clouds started to clear a bit and we were getting our first glimpse of the mountain peaks all around us. The view was really surreal as the peaks were poking out of the clouds. We reached the lakes in just over 4 hours.

After crossing a bridge at the top, over the river, we reached the 1st lake and felt that the view was worth the climb of the past few days.

The water was calm and clear, slowly flowing out of the valley and we could see the weeds in the water clearly. We spent some time here taking some pictures and just hanging around. There were a pair of golden ducks in the lake; no one knows how they reached here and how they survive it the cold freezing waters, but it seemed they have been there for some time now. There are stone cairns all around and the walk from here is relatively flat, crossing the other lakes to reach Gokyo village.

The 2nd lake was partly frozen and the view was simply breathtaking, the photos looked black and white, the lake covered with snow, black land and mountains. This was the view for which I had trekked all these days and I was enjoying each of the moment. The 3rd lake, bigger than the first two,  is just in front of the Gokyo village and that too was frozen with thin ice.

From here you can see the Gokyo peak, behind it the Cho Oyu peak and the Renjo la pass on the left side. The weather had cleared by this time and the sunshine was falling on the snow making them shine brightly. We took frequent breaks while walking taking lots of pictures all the way till we reached Gokyo village. The first lodge we went in something named “Friendship lodge” had some doctors from Machermo running some medical camp. So there were a few more trekkers at this place. But they mentioned were not giving rooms to single trekkers and I was like WHAT!! That’s the first time I heard something like this on my Nepal trek and that too when it was not even the peak season. We stayed at the adjacent place which I found to be much nicer and the atmosphere inside much more welcoming.
I guess you get a better reception and service at the small lodges, compared to those who have been listed in guide books or have more travelers.

After lunch I retired to my room as it was a long walk at over 4500 meters altitude and needed some rest. Evening had some snacks and tea and could see the weather changing again. It was cloudy since late afternoon but now it started raining and snowing. Not a good sign as I needed to reach Gokyo peak and cross the Renjo la pass in the next few days, so was looking forward to the views from the top. Around 3pm, a group of Japanese came up slowly, most of them were elderly, walking in the falling snow in the straight file and made it till there lodges. I did not see any other trekker coming in after myself, other than these folks.

But later heard there were a few trekkers in Gokyo who made down from the Cho La pass and going back via Gokyo-Machermo-Dole. There were a few who were going to cross Cho La pass and onwards to Everest base camp. But I did not meet anyone today who had plans of crossing Renjo La, but got to hear from the locals that this time of the year, its easy to cross these passes, unless the weather has other plans. In rain and snow it gets a bit tricky and unpredictable.

We were gathered in the dinner room and dinner was around 6:30pm, had some garlic noodles with soup. Outside it was dark but still cloudy and so no stars and it was freezing cold. I had finished reading my book in the afternoon, so now there was nothing else to read, to pass the time, so ended up sitting idle, looking outside the window in the dark for some time before retiring for the day. But could not get sleep and kept going to the toilet frequently. It was a squat type toilet so had to struggle with the layers of clothes, not a good feeling when the temperature is below zero degrees. But cannot help it as if you gotta go, then you gotta go. Later at night the clouds cleared and the stars were out, shining brightly than ever.

mountaingirl says:
Great writeup and pictures!! :-)
Posted on: Jun 01, 2011
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Renjo La pass visible from Gokyo L…
Renjo La pass visible from Gokyo …
Finally reached Gokyo
Finally reached Gokyo
Lodges in Gokyo
Lodges in Gokyo
photo by: halilee