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 trek to Gokyo Ri 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 climbing Gokyo Ri
“It’s not every day you get to experience a 360-degree view from the ceiling of the world.
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.
We made our way up to the small village of Gokyo at 4,570 meters (15,580 feet), nestled right between a sparkling turquoise lake (the third of six sacred 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.
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. As we trekked through Nepal, 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 the 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.”
Double the pleasure
Because when there’s more than one photo to share, why not?
Read more about trekking to Gokyo Ri
About Navit Ariel and Gary Wilson
Navit Zukerman and Gary Wilson are two traveling chiropractors who currently have all their belongings stowed away in a storage space in the San Francisco Bay Area, California, while they tote their portable chiropractic tables around Southeast Asia, adjusting people along the way and documenting their experiences and photos on their blog, EVOL.V.LOVE.
Nomadic and adventurous at heart, Navit and Gary have lived in and traveled to various places across the planet, including South America, Central America, North America, Europe, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, Nepal and India. They’re both passionate about exploring, backpacking, cooking, dancing and gardening.
Like the phrase, “A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words,” they’ve always felt inspired by the way a photograph complements a piece of writing, and vice versa. Their best tip on taking photos is to be curious and spontaneous, stay visually inspired and, when the right opportunity arises, snap the photo without thinking! With their blog, they hope to educate, entertain and most importantly inspire their readers to follow their passions and live vibrant lives.
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