The Gokyo valley is an incredible valley at a really high altitude. The valley is popular for the “Gokyo Lakes” than for any other things. Gokyo lakes are the high altitude water system in the Khumbu region of Nepal. There are many trekkers worldwide who target Gokyo lakes for their next trek.
Searching the internet, you will find many articles and blogs on Gokyo lake trekking. Totally depending on them and deciding the trek difficulty level, I’d say isn’t a good thing. You should know how the trek is difficult and how difficult it is. For me, there are lots of factors that determine the difficulty of Gokyo lake trek.
So, before believing any random categorization of Gokyo lake trek difficulty, see this. I am focusing the spotlight into the top 10 factors that affect the difficulty level during Gokyo. Go through the list. Maybe now, it will be easier for you to decide by yourself how difficult the Gokyo valley trekking is.
Top 10 Parameters to Characterize Gokyo Lake Trek Difficulty
Gokyo Lake Trekking Trails
Have you ever been to the remote Himalayas in Nepal? If yes, you can already guess how the Gokyo trails will look like. But if not, you should know this. The trails leading to Gokyo lakes are remote. You will be walking along the rough trails through the tough hills, over splashing rivers, along the cascading waterfalls, and inside the lush jungles.
On the trail, you’ll see nothing but forests, small settlements with tiny houses, and some amazing views. So, if you are someone who is walking through these trials for the first time, you’ll be experiencing a completely new thing.
It depends on you, how you enjoy the trail. You should always cheer up and boost your energy even if there is a sharp and steep incline in front of your nose.
- Practice a few hikes before you go on the actual trek.
The Per-day Walking Hours
If you google Gokyo lakes trek blog, you will find many. Did you notice the number of per day trekking hours during Gokyo lake trek 10 days? On average, the number of trekking hours per day on Gokyo lake trek is 5 to 6 hours.
Do not be accurate about how long will it take you to trek. Everyone has their own level of strength, capacity, and walking pace. What’s yours? This will determine the average trekking hours per day for you.
But there is one thing, some days the trails are flat and easy with less altitude gain. These days are easy and even if you walk for long hours, there is nothing to feel stressed about. On the contrary, there are some days where the trekking distances are actually less, but the altitude gain is huge. So, it’s not just the trek duration, but a lot of other factors too.
- Practice walking for longer hours
The Total Trekking Distance on Gokyo Lake Trek
If I say that based on the total distance on Gokyo trek, Gokyo Lake trekking is easy, I am not wrong. The total distance that you’ll be covering during the Gokyo lake trek is 92 kilometres (53 miles). This isn’t a huge distance. But the interesting fact here is it will take you over 10 days to complete the trek.
Every day on the trek, you will do around six kilometres every day. If you are thinking of doing Everest Gokyo lake trek, total distance on the trek advances. And so does the difficulty level.
- Trek with a healthy and strong mindset.
The Temperature and Altitude have an inverse proportion. This means the temperature goes down as you go up. During Gokyo lake trek, you will be trekking from Lukla to Gokyo Ri. The temperature is definitely not going to stay the same on an altitude range of 2860 meters to 5357 meters.
Temperature is warm and moderate at the lower regions. But as you go up, the winds are chilly. Nights are so cold. You will get so close to the icy and frozen glaciers. Gokyo lake trekking is difficult for those who cannot adjust with cold. For example, someone who is allergic to cold and has diseases like asthma.
- Load your backpack with down jacket and clothing to resist the cold temperature.
- Trek during the months that are not too cold. Avoid going during December, January, and February. Other times have a moderate temperature.
Altitude and Altitude Sickness
The Gokyo Valley Trek begins from an elevation of 2860 meters in Lukla. From Lukla, you will ascend gradually through Phakding (3438 meters), Namche Bazaar (3438 meters), Dole (3680 meters), Macchermo (4470 meters), Gokyo valley (4800 meters), and finally to the Gokyo Ri (5357 meters).
The altitude in Gokyo Trek, 5357 meters is pretty high. When there is high altitude, there is a risk of altitude sickness. Altitude sickness is a major threat amongst the trekkers trekking to Gokyo lake.
On the basis of “altitude”, Gokyo lake is a difficult trek. You should be cautious while you go to high altitude. Note the fact that altitude sickness can even cause death if you tend to ignore the symptoms. Don’t try pushing yourself further once you get the symptoms. You must stop and should descend to the lower elevations right back.
- Choose the trek itinerary with sufficient acclimatization.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Walk slowly and steadily.
- Practice some aerobic and cardiovascular exercises. They’ll help a lot while you trek.
Weather During Different Seasons
You think the weather has something to do with the Gokyo lake trek difficulty? Common sense! If it wasn’t, why would I mention it on a highlighted topic? So now you know that the weather is a major difficulty factor during Gokyo Valley trekking.
Different seasons in Everest have their own features. It is important that you choose a good time when you want to trek in Everest. Gokyo valley trek difficulty is dependent on the different seasons.
If so, when Should you trek in Gokyo? The best time for Gokyo trek is same as of Everest base camp.
Autumn (October, October, and November) is the best time for trekking in Gokyo valley. Autumn means rare chances of rainfall, snow, and bad weather. Thus, you will be facing lesser problems while you trek to Gokyo valley in Autumn. And, you will get the most astonishing views of the surroundings.
Spring (March, April, and May) is a wonderful time to trek. This season offers the best fragrance of wildflowers blooming along the trails. Also, the weather and temperature remain fairly stable. You’ll have great visibility and will have beautiful experiences.
Winter (December, January, and February) and Summer ( June, July, and August) are the off-seasons to trek. Winter is the coldest time. ANd trekking in monsoon, it’s a hassle. Even so, you can still trek to Gokyo lake in any time of the year. Go with good plans and preparations.
- If you are a beginner, you should go in peak seasons (Autumn and Spring)
- If you dare to go during off-seasons, you should load yourself with adequate gear and backup plans.
Previous Trekking Experiences; Training and Exercise?
For an experienced trekker who has lots of high altitude experience, Gokyo Lake trek isn’t a new big thing. But for a beginner who hasn’t experienced high altitude, Gokyo lake trek is new. Trust me, this is going to be a wonderful first-hand experience to you.
Dealing with the altitude (that everyone says is scary), wild remote trails, amazing Sherpa settlements, and the variable weather and temperatures, you’ll be doing a lot of things. You might have difficulty dealing with everything.
- Boost your physical and mental endurance. You can practice some training and exercises starting a few months before you go on the trek.
What Are You Bringing on the Trek?
“Treks in Nepal are not difficult due to weather, it’s because you didn’t carry enough of trekking essentials with you.” This is what the experienced trekkers say. So, you must know now, what role does trekking gear play while you go to Gokyo lake trekking.
The choice of trekking gears differs with the seasons of trekking. If you don’t bring adequate trekking gears, you will have to face a really hard time. So,to conquer the Gokyo valley trek difficulty, bring adequate gears while you come.
If you are taking a porter, it is good for you. The porter will carry upto 15 kgs of your load. You will not have to stress about carrying them all and walking for long hours.
- Get good quality bag for backpacking your trekking gears.
- Don’t overload it with unnecessary items.
Gokyo Lake trek isn’t really suitable for you to take your children with you. Mostly when it’s their first time trekking. Think several times before you decide to take them on the trek with you. Also, this trek isn’t so suitable for someone of old age. (but you’ll meet with some brave oldies on the trekking trails who look more energetic and satisfied)
There’s one more thing that you should take into account. If you have any chronic illness and you’ve been on medications for long, you should consult your doc before you start making plans.
- If you have this confidence like I can do this, you should give it a try. Remember to do travel insurance that will include emergency helicopter evacuation over 5000 meters.
How fit do you think you are?
“I am absolutely fit for Gokyo Valley Trek”. Do you feel like this? Well, if you are going you should. The most important thing necessary for a successful trek is your physical endurance. Also, you should know how confident you are about yourself.
If you are a person of moderate physical fitness, get ready to go. You need not be a gym-person to go on the trek. If you want to improve your fitness, you can do some physical fitness training. You can do jogging, cycling, swimming, and other exercise starting a month or two before your trek.
- It is also necessary that you remain fit and healthy while you are trekking. Eat a healthy meal. Having a happy stomach is an absolute necessity. You should fuel your body with a balanced diet while you trek.
This isn’t all. There are many unpredictable factors that might add difficulty during Gokyo lake trek. Well, you cannot predict them but you can be aware of them. Some of them could be physical injuries, sudden worsening of health, or worse weather even during the best times.
There is no certainty in anything when you trek high. So, you should be really careful before you decide when and where do you want to go.
“Give your best and wait for the rest”. This is the best strategy. Plan and prepare the best for your Gokyo valley trekking. And, let it loose! You cannot change anything just by worrying about it.
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