Gorakshep – The Last Lodge on the Route of Everest Base Camp


Gorakshep – the last final lodge on route Everest Base Camp, is important and necessary information for trekkers and adventurers. Gorakshep at the height of 5,180 m and 16, 994 feet high. Located a mere distance of 6 k.m. ahead of the Expedition Everest Base Camp. 

At the bottom of Mt. Pumori Peak 7, 161 m / 23, 494 feet high and rocky hilltop Kalapathar. The black rocky hill is the name for Kala-Pathar one of the highest view-point for trekkers. Towers at 5,644 m and 18,519 feet offer breathtaking views of surrounding high peaks with Mt. Everest at close distance.

Kalapathar is one of the most famous and popular viewpoints for all trekkers who visit Everest base camp. Most trekker visits the first Everest base camp and climbs to Kalapathar in the next early morning. As the morning provides excellent views of Mt. Everest along with glorious sunrise, reflecting on giant snow-capped peaks.

A strenuous steep climb of a few hours from the lodge at Gorakshep, but worth the struggle. For stunning views as well a good exercise and perfect acclimatization for trekkers and mountaineers.

Gorakshep at one time was the original Everest Expedition Base Camp till the 1970s before it was shifted further east. Probably it will be moved back to its original position in near future.

As the present base camp is on the verge of destruction where glaciers and ice are receding. Due to the mass volume of mountaineering expeditions with hundreds of climbers camping, and the huge effect of global warming. Creating much damage to remorseless fields of ice, glaciers, and pristine environment. 

Everest base camp is the source of various streams and rivers and drinking water for many villages. Which is rapidly getting polluted every season due to the busy activities of mountaineers and trekkers.

Gorakshep is situated on a wide dry glacial field with the sandy ground and icy ponds. Could be an ideal spot for Everest base camp, as it was in the 1950s and 60’. As it were before when Tenzing and Hillary first ascent to Mt. Everest. On May 29th, 1953, the base camp was at Gorakshep, the original and classic base camp.

At present Gorakshep is just a resting spot for an overnight halt before or after visiting Everest Base Camp. As well as the base for Kalapathar rocky hill climb, Gorakshep at present with 3-4 simple good lodges. Provides cozy accommodation with comprehensive food menus with warm dining room, having a fireplace.

Gorakshep also has separate shelters for porters just above the lodges, which can be quite crowded in high seasons. Gorakshep is the stop with the only lodges on route Everest base camp trek. The name Gorakshep in the local Sherpa language means a place of a dead ravine.

Probably in the early days when there were no lodges or shelters, except at Lobuche. The local and trekkers might have encountered a dead crow or ravine at this place and named Gorakshep.      

From Lobuche, a 3-4 hours walk uphill through boulders of rocks and moraine following the trail above Khumbu glacier. To reach Gorakshep for lunch and overnight stop, before heading up to Kalapathar hilltop or towards Everest base camp.

Climate and Best Time to Visit Gorakshep

 Like any other various many treks around the Himalayas Everest base camp and Gorakshep, can be visited all-round the year. Except for monsoon wet times of mid-June to August, spring is the best time to visit Gorakshep on route base camp.

As well autumn/fall season, most days are crystal clear for views and pleasant walks to Everest base camp. The spring season with longer days and sunny most of the time can get overcast late afternoon. Getting cold in the evening, nights, and morning till the sun hits the areas, can get snowfall sometimes. The wind-chill factor adds extra cold to the day temperatures, which can be a much windy afternoon. Autumn/fall is another best time for Everest base camp via Gorakshep, most days are clear with fine weather. But shorter days due to sun-light hours, cold with freezing morning and late afternoon till night time. Can get snowed in sometimes but with a clear bright starry night sky, wind-chill can add extra cold.

For interest people can trek during winter time from December to February, most days are clear for views and walks. Shorter days and freezing temperatures in the morning, late afternoon, and nights. It can get snowfall sometimes, and some of the lodges might be closed for winter at Lobuche and Gorakshep. But enjoyable time with fewer trekkers to encounter during the low winter season.

Hotels, Lodges, and Guest-Houses

Gorakshep is just about a 3-4 hours walk from the last overnight stops at Lobuche, Gorakshep started building Tea-House / Lodge. From the 1990s onwards, at present 3-4 lodges and guest houses exist, the first Himalaya Lodge, Snow-Land, and Pumori Lodge. All these lodges offer nice simple rooms with a large dining hall with a fireplace having a common toilet and bathrooms. No attached toilets or bathrooms, as you can realize how harsh and tough the landscapes are?
Where plumbing and drainage systems can be frozen due to cold morning and night temperatures. It is far better to have a common toilet and bathe, the lodge dining does have electricity run by solar power.

Views and Scenery from Gorakshep

From Gorakshep, one can view a close look at Mt. Pumori, Nuptse, and Changtse with adjoining high peaks. A little higher above Gorakshep on route Kalapathar, with a level and hard grassy field. Where one can enjoy super views of Mt. Everest at close distance, as well as climbing up to Kalapathar top.

Most Helicopter flight lands above Gorakshep to allow passengers excellent views of Mt. Everest and surrounding Peaks.

The same spot where the world climate change conference was held on 4th December 2009. Which is at 5,250 m / 17, 192 feet high, the best ever closest views of Mt. Everest.

Hike from Gorakshep to Kalapathar and Everest Base Camp.

Hike to Kalapathar

Morning is the best time to climb on top of Kalapathar at 5,644 m and 18,519 feet high. There are two rocky hilltops of Kalapathar the lower is at 5,545 m and 18, 192.26 feet high. The main top is at 5,644 m, a steep climb for half-hour to a hard grassy field. Where views of Mt. Everest, Lhotse, and Nuptse can be seen, the climb continues with a steep haul. Total hours of about 2 hours of a steep climb on top Kalapathar, means black rock. Which is withered by snow, wind, and sun, and the afternoon can be very windy. The best and closest view around Khumbu is the Kalapathar Hilltop, as trekkers cannot see Mt. Everest from Base Camp.

View From Kalapathar
View From Kalapathar

Hike to Everest Base Camp

From Gorakshep walk leads east about 6 k.m. distance, starting with easy-moderate walks, past the glacial pond. Where there is a signpost showing the direction to Everest and Pumori base camps, walk leads over boulders above the Khumbu glacier.

The trail follows down and up, then reaches the moraine and glaciers of icy ponds and boulders of ice. Then reaching Everest base camp at the height of 5,364 m or 17, 598 feet high. A dramatic arctic landscape filled with ice and glaciers with close views of Khumbu Ice-Fall. Includes views of Nuptse, Changtse, Lingtrin, and Lola peaks at close distance, the views of Mt. Everest are hidden.

Enjoy the spectacular views at Everest Base Camp, during expedition time the area is flooded with tents. As well as busy activities of the climbers, staff, porters, and yaks loaded with expedition’s provisions and gears.

After 3-4 hours of walk from Gorakshep to Everest base camp, return on the same route to Gorakshep. Taking less than 3 hours to reach Gorakshep for an overnight halt, before heading down to Lukla.

Everest Base Camp
Everest Base Camp

FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I Get to Gorakshep?

After taking a short scenic flight from Kathmandu to Lukla, a town with a small airport named Tenzing & Hillary. Start the walk to Phakding and towards Namche Bazaar, and then to the beautiful Tengboche Monastery. As the walk continues staying overnights either in Dingboche or Pheriche, then reaching higher at Lobuche.
Finally, the next morning from Lobuche takes you to Gorakshep after 2-3 hours of a good walk for lunch and overnight.

2. Is there any vegetation in Gorakshep?

From Tengboche onwards tree lines fades for short juniper and rhododendron bushes till Pheriche and Dingboche. Walking up to Gorakshep from Thugla onwards, the vegetation disappears for barren, arid landscapes heading towards the mountainous wilderness. Filled with rocks, moraine of ice, and glaciers all the way to Gorakshep and Everest base camp.

3. Can we find luxury hotels in Gorakshep?

The luxury hotels and comfort found till Lobuche, at Gorakshep the accommodation are simple, having shared bath and toilets.

But provides a comprehensive food menu for your delight and satisfaction, the luxury does not exist. Due to cold and rough, barren terrain landscapes, however, the highlight is to complete your journey successfully.

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