Travel to Nepal and you can explore eight of the ten highest mountains in the world – Mount Everest being the most famous. Thousands of people do, in fact, trek to Everest Base Camp each year.
Navit Ariel and Gary Wilson of EVOL.V.LOVE chose to do a Gokyo Ri trek instead – the “other Everest” for trekkers. Reading their short story and seeing their photos took our breath away. (Though we likely weren’t as breathless as they were on their amazing trek!)
If you’ve ever wanted to go trekking in Nepal – or simply admire those who do – you’ll be spellbound by this…
Navit and Gary’s story of their Gokyo Ri trek
“It’s not every day you get to experience a 360-degree view from the ceiling of the world.
Trekking in Nepal:
In December, 2017, we embarked upon a 21-day, self-guided trek through the Himalayan mountain range of north-eastern Nepal that would leave us breathless – not only from the elevation gain but even more so from the incredible views. Every corner we turned presented a unique jaw-dropping panorama, from lush green valleys and terraced farmland to epic snow-covered Himalayan peaks.
Most people who trek in the Khumbu valley of Nepal are on their way to Everest Base Camp to sleep in the shadow of the tallest mountain in the world.
Being the adventurers that we are, we decided to take a road less traveled – the Gokyo Ri trek.
Gokyo Lakes trek:
We made our way up to the small village of Gokyo at 4,570 meters (15,580 feet), nestled right between a sparkling turquoise Gokyo lake (the third of six sacred Gokyo Lakes in this valley) and the Ngozumpa Glacier, the longest glacier in the Himalayas at 36 kilometers (22 miles). Gokyo is one of the highest settlements in the world, and the surrounding terrain is barren and wind-blown but majestically beautiful.
We spent three days in this isolated little village exploring the landscape while trying our best to keep warm.
On one of these magical days in Gokyo, we climbed the local peak of Gokyo Ri which reaches 5,357 meters (17,575 feet). This climb is not, by any means, for the faint of heart – it shoots almost completely vertically up the steep rocky mountainside. The air became increasingly thin as we climbed higher.
But every time we stopped to catch our breath, we were gifted with a view that dazzled our senses.
Peak of Gokyo Ri:
When we finally stumbled onto the peak of the mountain, we found ourselves surrounded by brightly colored Tibetan prayer flags flapping ferociously in the brisk and unforgiving wind. Tibetans believe that mountaintops are sacred places. On our Gokyo Ri trek, many mountain peaks and passes were adorned with strings of prayer flags – releasing the prayers written upon them every time the wind blew the flags away from stillness.
On top of Gokyo Ri, it seemed as though we’d reached one of the holiest places in the world. Countless prayers were being released into the wind, while we took in the surrounding view of the tallest mountains in the world, including Mount Everest in her entirety.
The feeling of being here is impossible to describe – but it’s one neither of us will ever forget.”
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We’re Janice and George Mucalov, professional award-winning travel writers, sharing tales of luxury travel with a twist of adventure.