April 6th 2019
Machhermo (14,663 ft) to Gokyo ( 15,744 ft)
It snowed overnight last night and it was still snowing really heavy when we woke up. We had a lazy start, had breakfast and decided to wait out for the snow to stop so we could start walking. We, along with other trekkers who stayed at our teahouse, waited for an hour or so, but it didn’t look like it was going to stop snowing today at all.
We debated on what to do, we did have an extra day in our itinerary just in case we couldn’t leave Machhermo that day. A group of hikers decided to start walking, soon after another group left, and so did we. It was going to be 4-5 hour walk, and we just thought of braving it out.
The snow was on the backside of us, which made it a bit easier to walk with as compared to it coming to our faces. The walk was gentle and pleasant. We reached the first lake in 2.5 hours or so. It was absolutely beautiful! It really felt like an achievement, we took celebratory photos, and enjoyed proud moments.
Another reward- the second lake – came after another hour or so. This one was frozen, there was no blue green water we were dreaming about, but snow and frozen lake had it’s own element, which we enjoyed!
It had started snowing again, it was going to be another two hours before we would reach the town of Gokyo. We kept on walking. Some of the team members started slowing down towards the end due to frigid cold weather and exhaustion – being at such high altitude with very little oxygen wasn’t helping.
After a steep climb over the last pass, we finally made it to Gokyo. What a relief! We regrouped at the lodge, took out our wet socks, and shoes, and sipped ginger lemon tea, to get warmed up. Babu and Yuvraj made us some hot popcorn, chai tea and served it with biscuits. I had to pop a few Ibuprofens to help with the headache that was starting up.
Clouds started clearing up later in the evening. We now could see unbelievably beautiful views right outside the window. What a picturesque setting, I am not exaggerating, but this was one of the most beautiful villages I have ever seen. Perfectly situated at the glacial lake, overlooking Gokyo Ri mountain right across and Cho Oyu on the right side. Most of the lake was frozen except for a small unfrozen section, where snow ducks were playing. The whole scene actually looked like a painting or a photo just coming out of National Geographic Magazine!
We thoroughly enjoyed the views that evening and had early dinner. We could see the steep and frozen trail to climb Gokyo Ri for tomorrow, we just weren’t sure how we were going to pull that off. The groups before us couldn’t climb the mountain or the Renjo La Pass due to the last three days of constant snow and we would fail as well if the weather wouldn’t cooperate. There was no way to climb Gokyo Ri while it was snowing. We prayed for good weather and prepared for early – 5 am – start so that we could see the sunrise from the Gokyo Ri Climb.