Day 8: Gokyo Ri

Today we rested in the morning in preparation of climbing Gokyo Ri in the afternoon. I woke early, grabbed a hot lemon, and waited for Anne to wake up.

After breakfast, we took the cameras down to the prayer flags marking the “entrance” to the town of Gokyo and took some pictures. There was an especially photogenic yak that moved about, giving us the opportunity to try and capture it against the mountains in the background. All up, it was a pretty restful morning and a nice change from the now daily routine of waking up, packing up, and moving villages.

The previous night, we’d made friends with an Israeli family. They’d taken a year off to travel with their kids, ages 5, 8, and 10, and had trekked up to Gokyo after having completed the Annapurna circuit. The 5 year old had actually walked all the way from Lukla herself, helping reinforce the frequently forgotten notion that kids are actually far more resilient than we give them credit for. Just the day before, the 8 and 10 year olds had “summited” Gokyo Ri. As we returned from our little photo outing, we found the family packing up and making their way back towards Namche.

After lunch, we packed out bags and started the trek to the summit of Gokyo Ri. The trail was really steep, honestly we’d probably call sections of it a goat trail in the Cascades. As such, it took a lot longer than I think either Anne or I had expected. At a couple points, you would think the trail was just about to crest at the summit. However each time the trail would open up before you in a seemingly never ending slog uphill.

We reached the summit of Gokyo Ri around 4pm, in time for some awesome evening light. There were expansive views across a range of famous mountains: Everest, Makalu, Lhotse, Nuptse, Pumori, Cho Oyu, Ama Dablam… It was pretty awesome. As with nearly everything in Nepal, the summit of Gokyo Ri was draped in prayer flags, making the scene that much more interesting. We left the summit before sunset proper, wanting to get back to the lodge before dark and avoid any trouble we might have making our way down the trail.

Needless to say, it was tiring and we both grabbed dinner and went to bed early (around 7:30).

Stats for the day:
Ascent: 718m
Descent: 718m
Total Time: 4:40