Down and round

Today we dropped down from Gokyo to Phortse – a rarely visited village on the ‘other’ side of the Gokyo valley. It’s reasonably inaccessible unless you make the effort – and we made the effort and have been dutifully rewarded. We saw only 4 other trekkers all day and this is the start of the high season!

The route drops down towards Machermo passing the 2nd and the 1st lakes which are in a stupendously brilliant setting. Just before the hike up towards the village of Machermo we hung a left and crossed a make shift bridge to be on the eastern side of the valley.

I haven’t been along this trail for about 14 or 15 years and I had forgotten what a brilliant trail it is. It is much narrower than the more oft trodden trails in The Khumbu and Gokyo valleys and has precipitous drop offs for a lot of the way. It is quite an undulating path and follows around ridges and in to valleys quite a bit, so is generally furhter than you think, but generally the vistas that you are rewarded with are spectacular.

So we have dropped around 900m and are spending the night here before following the trail around to Pangboche – again a rarely trodden path by the multitude of trekkers (and thankfully so).

It’s only a couple of hours to Pangboche so we’ll be having a chance to catch up on some washing and laundry before mooching up to Dingboche.

 
A porter sparking up on the top of the Renjo La (around 5,350m)
 
Mani stones and the view across the 3rd lake to the Renjo La from Gokyo
 
Looking back towards Cho Oyu (8,201m) the 6th highest mountain in the world
 
Our team of porters on the trail.
 
The magnificent path to Phortse
 
Great trekking
 
A random Yak
 
Drying yak pattes on the walls in Thare

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Tim Mosedale

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