EVEREST BASE CAMP TREK DIARY DAY 7
GOKYO TO THANGNA
Starting Point: Gokyo (4,790m/15,700ft)
Finishing Point: Thangna (4,700m/15,420ft)
Trekking Time: 2 Hours
Accommodation: Chola Pass Resort
Day 7 of our trek to Everest Base Camp sees us make our way from Gokyo to Thangna. The sounds of trekking boots clunking around the Gokyo tea house hallways before sunrise meant one thing – people were making their way towards Gokyo Ri (5350m). This popular side trek takes about three hours to hike and offerS great sunrise panoramas of the surrounding mountains – including Mt. Everest. While originally in our itinerary, we opted out of this pre-breakfast trek. The previous day’s Renjo La Pass was tough and we know we would soon be heading to another demanding high pass. We opted to save our energy. Considering we were already treated to clear, picturesque Everest range views, we felt good about our decision.
I could see through the frosted tea house window that everything outside was white. I popped on my shoes, wrapped myself up in a few layers and made my way outside to check it out. It was almost as if we woke up in a different town – everything was blanketed in snow. As the line of trekkers made their way up the path to Gokyo Ri, I enjoyed sitting on the banks of Dudh Pokhari, the main lake in the Gokyo system, watching as the sun began to rise against Cho Oyu in the distance.
After breakfast, we set off for our next stop – the little village of Thangna (4,700m). We followed the snow-covered trail further along towards the Tanjung Pokhari. It’s at this point that the trail splits. The route that makes sense to take is the one continues down into the valley and makes it way to Nha and Machermo. This path eventually joins the route that takes trekkers to Tengboche or continues further along the Dudh Kosi towards Namche Bazaar. Of course, our planned route wasn’t this one. Ours happened to be the one that went up alongside the moraine to the top of the ridge and across the Ngozumpa Glacier to the Khumbu Valley. Have to keep things interesting, right?
The Ngozumpa Glacier starts at the base of the Cho Oyu, the sixth highest mountain in the world, and continues to wind its way down the valley. It’s not your pristine, blue-ice glacier that you see on TV, but layered in dirt and debris. It’s when you pass by the huge crevasses that you are quickly reminded that you are in fact walking on a glacier.
It is quite easy to get lost in the views and day dream as you walk along the trail. The sounds of falling rocks and boulders around us were a constant reminder to stay focused on our surroundings. This segment required a bit of attention. The fact that the there was fresh snow on the path means that it wasn’t clearly defined. Looking back at the Strava trail from Gokyo to Thanga, we missed the actual route by a long shot.
It took us about 45 minutes crossing the glacier before we scrambled back up the moraine wall on the western side of the glacier.
Continuing along the path we descended into the lower valley and could see the handful of buildings that made up Thangna (4700m). We checked into the Chola Pass Resort, a basic teahouse, and lazed about for the remainder of the day.
Having not showered for a few days, we took advantage of our free time to use the onsite shower at the tea house. The shower was less of a shower and more a pipe in the ceiling of a shack that allows water to pass through it. The manager of the tea house uses a hot water thermos to fill the tank above the pipe up with water and away it goes. Super simple, but man – it’s amazing what a hot shower can do for you after days and days of trekking.
Feeling squeaky clean, we decided to spend the rest of the day sun bathing on the terrace watching the clouds roll through over another stunning mountain panorama.
WATCH THE ADVENTURE UNFOLD
LOOKING FOR NITTY GRITTY DETAILS?
Check out the day as recorded by Stava. See the trails taken, overall elevation gains, trekking times and how fast (or slow) we made it from Gokyo to Thangna.