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EBC / Gokyo in December. Advice needed.

by wibbledonkey Online Now Feb 10, 2013 at 6:50 AM

Hi

I was wondering if I could get some advice please.

Me & my wife are looking to trek to Everest Base Camp via Gokyo Lakes & Gokyo Ri in December and before I book flights i've got a few questions that I don't seem to be able to find the answer to anywhere.

I'm thinking that we should allow 21 days to trek from Lukla and back. Does this seem reasonable or too little too much time?

We are both reasonably fit, experienced walkers and walk a lot in the UK (Peak District & Lake District) although this will be our first high altitude trek.

I've read that you should allow additional days at the end of the trek to allow for possible bad weather, how many days extra do you think is reasonable?

Ideally i'm trying to get totally clear how long apart we should be booking the international flights.

We plan to use a Nepali travel agency and hire a porter/guide, do you think they'll be any issues regarding hiring someone in December as I guess its slightly out of season?

And finally....

How cold is it likely to be in the tea houses overnight? My wife really feels the cold and my fear is that if its too cold it could cause her real discomfort.

We've chosen December as it seems to give the best compromise of decent weather and hopefully not too crowded but the overnight temps do worry me a little.

She will have a down jacket and 4 season sleeping bag but if anyone has any other comments or suggestions i'd be keen to hear them.

Thanks in advance!

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4 Answers
  • into-thin-air's Profile Photo

    Re: EBC / Gokyo in December. Advice needed.

    by into-thin-air Online Now Feb 10, 2013 at 7:49 AM

    No Problem
    I have trekked EBC twice (Once including Gokyo)

    21 days Lukla to Lukla will be plenty of time, especially as in all probability you will planning to cross Cho La, and in December there is a reasonable chance of this pass being blocked because of snow, so having time to go around by Phortse is sensible, 21 days will cover this.

    How many buffer days to leave at the end of the trek for possible delays with Lukla Flights – Difficult question and the only answer is as many as you can, If you had to, it takes about 5 to 6 days to trek from Lukla to Shivalaya, the road head and a full day from there back to Kathmandu on the bus – So a 7 day gap in-between your planned finishing date and your flight home would cover all the eventualities.

    You won’t have problems in finding trekking staff in December, If you want a recommendation of an agent then drop me a line, I have been using the same one for 19 years and 9 trips to Nepal.

    One of my EBC treks was in January / February and temperatures dropped to about –20 c inside the teahouses – So go well prepared for very cold weather with your down jackets. Sleeping bags and plenty of good thermal underwear.

    You might find browsing the trek notes on my January / February EBC Trek on my Off the Beaten Path Tips as well as my most recent trek to EBC last March travelogue, both are on my Nepal page and both might give you a few good ideas
    Good Luck and Happy Safe Trekking
    Rob

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  • davidjo's Profile Photo

    Re: EBC / Gokyo in December. Advice needed.

    by davidjo Online Now Feb 10, 2013 at 11:20 AM

    I agree with Rob's reply. 21 days is easily enough days. First time i did the same trek in November starting from Jiri and flying out of Lukla. I strongly advise you to trek to Jiri or Shivalaya as the scenery is beautiful, the trail will be less crowded and you pass through several picturesque villages, especially Junbesi. After trekking to Gokyo you will be superfit so i believe that it is possible to walk from Namche to Shivalaya in 5 days, i did!!
    Be prepared for cold weather, thermals and a very good sleeping bag is essential.

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  • Re: EBC / Gokyo in December. Advice needed.

    by wibbledonkey Online Now Feb 11, 2013 at 11:42 PM

    Thanks for the replies, they are really appreciated.

    I must admit the overnight temperatures have come as a bit of a shock but after a brief bit of nervousness we've decided to press ahead and go for December. It really does strike me as being the best compromise between weather and the trails not being swamped with huge groups. Even if perhaps the overnight temps will be brutal.

    I'd love to start the trek to Jiri but we don't have the available time, also I really want to experience the landing at Lukla!

    I'm sure i'll have more questions as we prepare for the trip, thanks again.

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  • ghalegaun's Profile Photo

    Re: EBC / Gokyo in December. Advice needed.

    by ghalegaun Online Now Feb 12, 2013 at 8:27 AM

    21 days trek start at lukla and end at lukla is very comfortable time table for Gokyo lake to EBC,
    if both of you are doing some trek and physical training at back home there will not a such altitude problem while doing trek because you starting your trek from lukla the elevation is around 2800m/9200ft), then slowly day by day couple of hundred m climbing in a day then your body will be adopted the local atmosphere, no need to worried about the serious altitude matter and you have a very flexible time table, by mean time if you suffer by the Altitude sickness then have a some extra night in that places then continues your journey.
    No one can predict the weather condition about the lukla some time could stuck for week as well but if you walk 3 days further down at the Salleri/Phaplu then can fly to kathamndu or take nearly 18 hrs 4 wheel drive to Kathmandu.
    The temperature will be go in minus(-) better to have good equipment such as a very good down jacket, Sleeping back, warm thick socks, gloves, warm head etc and durong the evening time there will be warm in dinning hall they will on the chimney but not that long just for a couple of hour’s, the guesthouse owner give you blanket for over night.
    December is absolutely less crowed time then other season such as Autumn and so many travel company organized trip, my self also doing guide in here since long, if you interested drop me email then we will talk more about the trip.
    have a safe trip
    Ghalegaun

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