Everest Base Camp
If there is one thing we all deserve after the COVID-19 crisis and lockdown, its a travel break or an actual gateway. 2020 and 2021 have been, for the majority of people of this generation, the first time we have ever lived through a major pandemic of any kind all over the world. The pandemic has changed our daily routines, lifestyles and transformed the way we live into the NEW NORMAL. The past two years have been extremely difficult as most of us spent our time locked at our home backing our government by following COVID-19 health protocols. Many people also lost their jobs and had to deal with the financial crisis. The most painful part is some of us lost our loved ones because of the virus and as we all know “there is a light at the end of the tunnel”, life goes on and we are on the verge of defeating this virus. Although the vaccine is already out, the fear of COVID-19 is still living among us, every country wants to go back to pre-COVID-19 days and is looking forward to living a normal life once again. The concept of social distancing, quarantine, and isolation is now not a new thing for us and as everything starts to re-open, obviously it’s human nature, our minds turn into travel breaks and holidays. Travelling can be intimidating and scary, especially right now. But there are many ways we can work to stay safe and keep others safe during the time of the pandemic, Everest Region trekking, for example!
Since March 2020, Nepal was under a travel ban and complete nationwide lockdowns. International flights, mountaineering, trekking, and domestic travel have been shut down for a long time. However, when the lockdown has been lifted and domestic travel has resumed. Most of the international flights have also been started following strict rules of health protocol and personal hygiene.
Everest Region trekking was always on my bucket list. After doing several major trekking regions of Nepal, and a short trip up to Salleri, Phaplu Airport (one of the gateways to Everest) just before lockdown, where I had the first sight of Mount Everest, I couldn’t get that view out of my head. I knew I was bound to be back on the trail to Everest at some point. When the nationwide lockdown was lifted, we finally made a plan in July 2021 to trek the base of the world’s highest mountain and Gokyo lake, keeping in mind that Coronavirus is still with us and the whole country is fighting to stop the spread of the virus.
Trekking the Everest Base Camp and Gokyo Lake is one of the marvelously beautiful and life-changing experiences we’ve ever had. Everest region trekking is one of the major bucket list destinations for many travelers which offers staggering scenery of some of the tallest Himalayan range, Sherpa culture, wildlife, and diverse climatic zones of Nepal. Seeing Mount Everest with your own eyes in a stone-throwing distance away is beyond any doubt once in a lifetime experience. You will enjoy the scenic beauty and warm hospitality of the Sherpa community and their gorgeous mountain villages. The 14 to 15 days you’ll spend in this region walking approximately about 120km from tropical to cold alpine zones are some of the most challenging and inspiring adventures you’ll ever encounter. From what gear to take, where to stay, itinerary, altitude, and climatic conditions, and more importantly the COVID-19 health protocols you need to follow, here are the hiking essentials you need for your ultimate trekking to the base of the world’s tallest mountain.
CAN I DO THE EVEREST BASE CAMP TREK DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC??
ANSWER is “Definitely!”
Everest region trekking during the COVID-19 pandemic is not a big deal following safety and major health protocols listed by WHO and the Government of Nepal. It’s your right to know the situation of COVID-19 in Nepal, as per date 11/08/2021 the number of active corona cases in Nepal is 7,713 (source: Ministry of Health and Population, Nepal). The cases have been decreasing day by day in the recent weeks. All tourists entering Nepal for mountaineering and trekking purposes must obtain the required visa and permit. Travelers must carry a negative PCR report conducted not more than 72 hours prior to entering Nepal and must have 7 days of extra hotel booking details for self-quarantine before starting your trip inside Nepal. Travelers must do a PCR test at their own expense on the 5th day of being quarantined and if the result is negative you are good to go for trekking and mountaineering. Nepal is now open for travelers of every nation for all activities.
(Coordinate with your travel agencies for more information about the situation of COVID-19 and health protocols issued by the Ministry of Health and Population).
EMPTY TRAIL OF EVEREST REGION.
Everest region trekking is very popular among adventure travelers so it is hardly possible to avoid the crowd of trekkers. We did this trek in early November last year and as expected the weather was crystal clear, day time was warm but a bit windy after 12 pm when you go higher towards base camp. Nights and early morning hours were chilling cold to almost -8 degrees Celsius.
Amid all the chaos and fear of COVID-19, we actually considered ourselves very lucky because the trail was quiet like a ghost town. There were only a few domestic trekkers and only 2 or 3 groups of foreigners throughout the trip. Trails were not how they should be during the peak season of Nov – Oct, tea houses and lodges were operating but almost every one of them was empty. We didn’t make any booking of Tea-houses although we did book our flight to Lukla Airport and conduct a PCR test prior to 72 hours before starting our journey. Trekking Everest base camp without doing any bookings of Tea-houses during peak season is almost unworkable.
OUR EVEREST BASE CAMP & GOKYO LAKE ITINERARY looked like this:
Day 1: Kathmandu to Lukla to Namche Bazaar.
Trek time: 7hrs
We stayed at Family Lodge (Namche Bazaar)
SUPER EXCITED!! We woke up early and head to the airport to catch the early flight of Tara Air at 6:15 am to Lukla. There were 2 flights to Lukla at that time and both planes were almost full. The waiting game begins and NEPALI TIME strikes again, our flight got delayed and we fly at around 8 am. Since the short 25min of flight to Lukla is done in the morning, you’ll have enough time to start your trek towards Phakding or Monjo. The first day, the trail was relatively easy and simple with gradual uphill and mostly downhills. Lukla sits at an altitude of 2,860 meters whereas Phakding is at 2,610 meters. The trail started with a gradual descent along with the Dudhkoishi river and few suspension bridges. It took us only 2 hrs. to reach Phakding. The actual plan was to stay at Phakding or Monjo on the first day but we were way ahead of our schedule and after having a quick lunch bites we decided to trek to Namche which was a 4hrs walk away from Phakding on the same day which turned out to be a poor decision. The trail was beautiful and easy until we reached Tenzing Hillary bridge (Larche Dovan), the altitude starts to beat us. We got drained quickly. Burned out, tired and fatigued we arrived at Namche bazaar long after the sun had settled down. It was a rough and long day, we thought it was much better if we’d stayed at Monjo. But it is what it is, we reached Namche safely and saved an extra day.
RECOMMENDATION: Don’t hike to Namche on your first day, staying the night at Monjo is highly recommended.
DAY 2: ACCLIMATIZATION DAY AT NAMCHE BAZAAR.
After reaching 3,440m, it’s better to acclimatize your body for upcoming days and to get used to high altitude. Acclimatization day at Namche is a must for every trekker. Get proper rest, go out and explore this beautiful mountain town. Namche will take your breath away. It is a major stop-off point for trekkers and climbers heading for Mt. Everest. It is the last stop where you can buy all the gears and hiking essentials you need for your long journey. This place used to be very lively during peak season but the whole town was empty with only 40 percent of lodges operating.
Start your day after breakfast and hike towards Khumjung or Everest View Hotel, this is the first place where you will have your first sight of Mt. Everest along with lovely Amadablam, Nuptse, Lhoste, Taboche, Thamserku, and many other iconic peaks. After the hike, return to Namche bazaar anticlockwise and visit Khunde Monastery, watch the panoramic view of Namche, and make sure you are equipped with everything you need for your adventure.
NOTE: Namche is the last place to buy gears and to use ATMs. Last chance to get your cash out.
DAY 3: NAMCHE TO DEBUCHE.
Trek time: 5hrs
We stayed at Rivendell lodge (Debuche)
From this day, Mt. Everest will not leave your side until the last day. Don’t worry if you didn’t see Everest on your acclimatization day at Namche, today is the day you’ll see Everest in its full glory. We started our day in no rush after breakfast, we didn’t have to worry about beating the crowds as the whole trail was empty.
After the steep uphill climb of Namche, the trail leads us downhill to Phunki Thanga, where we had our lunch, and it’s straight uphill for 2 hours till we reached Tengboche monastery. Tengboche monastery is the biggest in the Khumbu region and its most common halt after Namche. We were scheduled to stay at Tengboche but unfortunately, the lodges and tea-houses in that area were closed so we kept walking towards Debuche which is only 20 min away, our home for that night.
Day 4: DEBUCHE TO DINGBOCHE
Trek time: 5 hours
We stayed at Hotel Bright Star (Dingboche)
The morning at Debuche was one of the coldest mornings I’ve experienced throughout the trek. Our fourth day of the trek is one of the easiest, and the scenic trail starts from Debuche village to Somare and then gradually uphill for 2 hours to Dingboche. Dingboche is situated at a height of 4,410m. The air is getting thinner and altitude is starting to punch us, Dingboche will be our home for an extra day.
NOTE: Try the Pizza at Hotel Bright Star, super delicious. Almost every dish we tried at Hotel Bright Star was amazingly good.
Day 5: ACCLIMATIZATION DAY AT DINGBOCHE
Dingboche is another popular stop for trekkers to acclimatize. Dingboche has everything.
Café, restaurants, bakery, snooker house, and few shops to buy hiking essentials. You’ll be spending your day in the village which sits in the lap of beautiful Amadablam. Sleep as much as you like, you are going to need it for the next few days. BUT YOU CAN’T SLEEP THE WHOLE DAY. CAN YOU?? “certainly not”.
Go out for a short hike, it’s better if you can gain an altitude of 4,800m-4,900m on your hike. Exploring Dingboche offers a great view of Lhotse, Island Peak, Pumori, Amadablam, and Baruntse peak. After a short hike of 2 hours to Chukung, we came back to our hotel, had lunch, and relaxed. WIFI is available and daytime at Dingboche is warm enough to stay outside. Grab a big pot of tea and enjoy the view of Amadablam from the hotel window and update your social media. You won’t be getting enough rest hours from the next day.
NOTE: Staying at Dingboche over Pheriche on day 5 will be the better decision for many reasons. Pheriche sits at 4,370m which is lower than Dingboche and at the bank of Tsola river which means more wind and cold morning & evening.
Day 6: Dingboche to Lobuche
Trek time: 4 hours
We stayed at Eco Lodge (Lobuche)
Our day 6 starts with a short ascent to the hill and then followed by plain grassland filled with Yaks gazing around. The trail from Dingboche to Lobuche isn’t that hard but you’ll get tired quickly because of the altitude. Only 4-5 hours of walk and you’ll reach the village of Lobuche gaining almost 600m of altitude which is maximum for that day. Acclimatization day at Dingboche comes in handy this time. The trail leads us to the place called Thukla, where many trekkers used to stop for light brunch but due to Covid-19 and small numbers of trekkers, few Tea-houses of Thukla were closed.
Jaw-dropingly beautiful view of Cholatse and Taboche peak took our breath away. We spend some minutes at the small hill of Thukla, took pictures, and had some candy bars and snacks. Then after a steep climb out of Thukla, we arrived at high and fairly flat land where we saw numerous shrines which were dedicated to those who died in mountains. It was definitely a thrilling moment. About 35 min of the walk will take you to the junction where the trail towards Dzongla and Gokyo lake meets where you have to fall back in the next couple of days on your way to Gokyo. That’s the exact point where we realized we are among the giants of the world. We were literally walking inside the big windy bowl surrounded by some of the tallest mountains in the world. An easy walk of 40 min and you’ll arrive at Lobuche, home for that night.
YES, YOU ARE AT 5,000METERS! QUITE AN ACHIEVEMENT!
NOTE: Always cover your head and neck with a woolen cap or neck buff. You don’t want to suffer from a headache at this altitude, do you??
Day 7: Lobuche to Gorakshep to Everest Base Camp back to Gorakshep.
Trek time: 6 hours
We stayed at Buddha Lodge (Gorakshep)
Yesss!!! Finally, that day arrives, you’ll be stepping in the base of the world’s tallest mountain.
The night at Lobuche was below freezing and morning was chilling cold. But who cares!!
We woke up early steamed up because today is the day we have been waiting for, the day we will step in at EVEREST BASE CAMP.
We left our bags at Lobuche Eco Lodge and took only what we need most for the next day in one bag.
The trail from Lobuche to Gorakshep was comparatively easy. It should take you no more than 2 hours to reach Gorakshep. You are really among the GIANTS now surrounded by 4 eight-thousanders along with other iconic mountains like Pumori, Nuptse, Lobuche peak, etc. Treat yourself, have some brunch, and start the second part of today’s hike towards base camp. The trail from Gorakshep follows the famous Khumbu Glacier to EBC. The gravel and rocky trail we walked through was the glacier itself, it keeps changing thus, the way was very confusing. We followed the stone trail markers which was very helpful, and obviously, we were the only group on the trail towards base camp. After one and half hours of walk, we finally had a sight of a big rock with prayer flags and EVEREST BASE CAMP (5,364m) painted on it.
FINALLY!! JUMP FOR JOY!! Pleased as punch, we were very pleased when we reached the base of the highest mountain of earth. It’s time to celebrate, you deserved it. Spend some time, live the moment. It will take you another 1 ½ hour to come back to Gorakshep. Gorakshep is a small settlement and the last point of human civilization of this region.
NOTE: ACCLIMATISE PROPERLY. ALTITUDE SICKNESS IS REAL. YOU’RE NOT HERE FOR MARATHON, WALK SLOWLY like Nepalese people say “BISTARAI BISTARAI JAM”.
DAY 8: GORAKSHEP TO KALAPATTHAR TO DZONGLA.
Trek time: 8 hours
We stayed at Green Valley lodge (Dzongla)
Day 8 already, time really flies quickly.
The long day and tough hike start from today to Gokyo Lake but first, we have to complete Kalapatthar, the highest point you’ll reach in your trek (5,634m).
“IT’s ALWAYS FURTHER AND HARDER THAN IT LOOKS”
Kalapatthar sits just above Gorakshep, only 1.45 hours away from where you spend your night. But it is one of the intense hikes of this whole trek. We started very early at around 4:30 am which turned out to be a small mistake. The morning was dark and the temperature was below freezing. We felt the altitude and personally, I got tired quickly and felt slight difficulty in breathing while going upwards to the top. But it was nothing serious, it’s normal when you are above 5,300m. I was literally taking not more than 15 steps and rest for 2 minutes; thus, it took me nearly 2 hours to reach the top of Kalapatthar while my friends reached there 15 minutes before me. Still, we were too early for the sunrise. Spending the cold chilling mornings at 5,600m is no joke. The view was stunning, Everest was more clearly visible up from here than from base camp. I have to agree that Kalapatthar is more beautiful than base camp. After spending some moment at the top, I decided to go down, my fingers and toes were frozen like ice; although I was wearing 2 pairs of woolen socks.
Steep downhill towards Gorakshep takes 40 min. Eat your breakfast and start hiking back to Dzongla via Lobuche. After 2 hours of walk, we reached Lobuche, had Thukpa for our lunch, collect our bag packs and head back towards the intersection we left a few days earlier. Remember the high and fairly flat junction between Thukla and Lobuche?? That is the spot where the trail towards Gokyo lake separates from the base camp. Dzongla is situated on another side of the mountain. The 2 hours of walk from that intersection point was one of the beautiful trails we’ve walked with Mount Cholatse and Cho la lake on our side, there are not enough words to describe that trail. Dzongla sits perfectly at the foot of Cholatse peak and the famous Cho La Pass, our home for the night.
Cho La Pass tomorrow…… BRING IT ON!!
RECOMMENDATION: I would recommend you to start your morning hike to Kalapatthar at around 5:30 am. Or you can check the time for sunrise on your mobile phone and plan accordingly. It takes only 1.45 hr. to reach the top of Kalapatthar. Remember it’s cold as hell in the top so wear proper and warm gears, woolen gloves and few pairs of socks would do no harm. Drink Plenty.
Day 9: DZONGLA TO GOKYO LAKE VIA CHOLA PASS
Trek time: 10 hours
We stayed at Himalayan Chain Resorts (Gokyo Lake)
“It’s Long, Tiring and Tough”
Day 9 will be the longest, challenging, and tiring days of all. An icy glacier of Cho La Pass and Ngozumpa glacier, the largest glacier of Nepal is waiting for us. Most of the trekkers usually start their day early in order to avoid the crowds and they want to cross the icy glacier before 9 am because the more sun gets warmer the ice will start melting and it becomes more slippery and challenging. But we were the only group on that trail so we didn’t need to avoid crowds. Local guides and the owner of the lodge advise us to start at around 7:30 am because in the month of November the temperature at night will be below freezing and day time is not too hot, hence the chance of melting icy glacier is less and you get the mild warmth of sun if you start at around 7 am which is much better then early wintry morning. But it is not favorable for every season. Cho La pass (5,420m) connects the village of Dzongla and Thagnak of Everest region towards Gokyo lake.
We start our walk from Dzongla, the first half of the hike was relatively easy in a flat plain grassland along with a river on our side. After walking about 45min through plain land you will hit the other side of the mountain, that’s where the challenging part starts. The difficult rocky steep ascent will lead you for more than 1 hour.
“GO SLOW” remember that Nepali phrase? “Bistarai Bistarai Jam” ………
After climbing through huge gravel for more than an hour you should reach the plain land, take your breath…… massive icy glacier approximately of 1km is the next thing you’ll be walking on. There are poles that will come in handy while walking on an icy glacier, it will show you a way to the top. It can be crossed without a guide and crampons but do your research before. It should take you no more than 45 min to cross the icy part. Just after crossing the tricky glacier, we hit another steep rocky uphill, don’t worry, with the help of rope you can climb it in no time. The rope is already hooked there, big THANK YOU to those who fixed the ropes at top of Cho la Pass. Now you almost complete 80 per of the entire trek, which calls for a small celebration. TREAT YOURSELF, YOU DESERVE IT. We had our packed snacks and the owner of the lodge gave us some Khapse (famous Tibetan pastry). Fancy having a dry picnic at an altitude of 5,420m?? You know that feeling when you are at top of a mountain, the cold wind passing through your hair and you‘re exposing to a panoramic view of mountain ranges, valleys, and treating yourself. These are the kinds of stuff I love about trekking in the Himalayas.
The second and intense half of the trek starts, you have to descend steep rock now. Trust me it’s not easy like it sounds. THANK YOU to ropes again, it’s already hooked here too, with the help of rope you can carefully descend down. But be cautious, going down is much harder than walking up. Keep on descending through flat grassland until you reach the village of Thagnak. We have already walked for 7 hours by the time we reached Thagnak. Gokyo is another 2 hours of walk away from here. But you have to cross Ngozumpa glacier, the largest glacier in the country and I have to say that, this glacier is like a Maze. Walk for 30 min and you will reach the starting point of the glacier. Ngozumpa glacier never remains the same, that’s why there is no clear way from start to finish. We just followed the stones with a blue mark on them, it helped us a lot. Walking through the glacier was more challenging, we were getting behind our schedule. Unfortunately, I hurt my knee while descending down Cho la Pass, so I was totally off my pace and slowing down my friends too. The sun was going down and getting dark quickly. We really had to push ourselves. It was physically demanding. With uncountable ups and downs for nearly 2 hours, the trail leads us out of the glacier. By the time we reached a plateau, it was already dark. Gokyo is only 15 min away from that plateau. It was nearly 6:30 in the evening by the time we reached Gokyo so we couldn’t see the beauty of the lake.
RECOMMENDATION: Trek to EBC first followed by Gokyo. Go to Everest while you have enough strength to push yourself. We crossed the Cho La pass from the EBC side (Dzongla to Thagnak). Make the crossing before mid-day before the weather turns bad and windy.
Gokyo side (Gokyo lake to Dzongla) is comparatively harder, the glacier will be on the downhill side and it is very steep, the terrain is made of ice and lose rocks. Even the ascent towards Cho la from Gokyo is a hell of a walk. It’s definitely not easy.
The EBC side or Dzongla to Thagnak/Gokyo is relatively easy. The glacier will be on your uphill side, walking on a glacier uphill is definitely easier than going downhill.
The pass can be physically demanding but the view from the top is fascinating.
We felt relief that we descend Cho La from the EBC side, not from the Gokyo side.
Day 10: Gokyo Lake to Gokyo Ri and back
Trek time: 3 hours
“WELCOME TO GOKYO” we made it… …yeahhh!!!
We’ve made it to Gokyo safely, our final piece on a jigsaw, an ultimate destination. After I hurt my left knee while descending down Cho la Pass, I had a doubt that I won’t be fit enough to climb Gokyo Ri the next morning. Very unfortunate for me, I wouldn’t be able to walk all the way to Gokyo Ri, although my knee wasn’t hurting badly enough, I have to be very cautious and it was more appropriate to give my knee a proper rest for the time being. Your body doesn’t recover much at high altitudes. It was a tough walk for us the day before and we thought we would sleep early but we ended up talking to Tashi Dai, owner of the lodge till 11 pm. He is such a cool guy. My friends woke up early and start their hike to Gokyo Ri, but thinking of the fatigue and pain I decided not to hike Gokyo Ri for sunrise and stayed back at the hotel.
I woke up to the marvelous view of Gokyo lake and all those tiredness and pain faded away. I was not lucky enough to feel the beauty and watch the sunrise over mountains including Everest from Gokyo Ri, but what I’ve heard from my friend is it’s worth every penny. Basically, the view from Kalapatthar is better than the Base camp and the panoramic view from Gokyo Ri is better than Kalapatthar. The Best of all.
Gokyo Ri > Kalapatthar > Everest Base camp, in that order.
It will take you 2 hours to reach the top and another hour to come back down and the view it offers is beyond imagination.
Gokyo is STUNNING, MARVELLOUS, FASCINATING, definitely the best and most beautiful place I’ve ever been in Nepal. “I will come back for you Gokyo Ri”.
We were scheduled to stay at Gokyo on that day and trek back to Dole the next day and all the way down to Namche, where it all started, but our plan was hit by my injured knee. It would only take 5hrs of walk from Gokyo to Dole but it was all down from there and obviously, my leg won’t stand a chance against steep downhill. The best and only available option was to call Heli and go back straight down to Lukla. We did the same, we used a helicopter to go down to Lukla. We waved goodbye to the most amazing place Gokyo and left for Lukla. Since we arrived at Lukla early, there is plenty of daylight remaining to explore Lukla. But first and foremost, we needed a hot shower and delicious lunch to hit the ground running for the last time. We booked our flight back to Kathmandu and walked through the streets of Lukla exploring its beauty.
Day 10: LUKLA to KATHMANDU
Flight time: 30 min
WE ARE COMING HOME.
Guess what?? Nepali time strikes again, our flight got delayed by 3 hours.
Who wouldn’t crave for momo’s when trekking?? We hed back to the streets of Lukla and had momo’s and satisfied our craving.
YES! WE DID IT!! An ultimate trekking destination, once in a lifetime. We have trekked Everest Base Camp, Kalapatthar including Gokyo, the most popular trekking destination in the world. It’s obviously an achievement.
Our experience of trekking during a pandemic and some tricks & tips:
Everest Base camp trek is one of the most popular, hard, and beautiful treks in the world. It was not how it supposed to be when we trek the region because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Everest region during the peak tourist season is always full of trekkers from all around the globe. Especially the main hub like Lukla and Namche will get lively during peak season. Many shops, tea houses, and lodges were closed because of the pandemic.
Despite all the chaos and fear caused by a coronavirus, one positive impact I saw in the Everest region is that locals have started touring their own area. Some with their family and some with friends were traveling to Amadablam Base camp, Gokyo lake and so on. We meet four ladies at Gokyo who are teachers in a local school, they set out to explore their own region, their home. The ladies in their 40’s had completed Renjo La pass and en route to Cho La Pass and Kongma La pass. Very impressive. Their strength and resilience inspired us.
NOTE: Book your room 1 month prior to your journey (if possible) and try not to travel solo. Travel with the group, it will help you to get twin rooms in tea houses. Most of the tea-houses are generally twin share.
Bring your own treats, the cost of one snicker is equaled to three plates of Chicken momo in a local place in Kathmandu. Now do your math.
If you are doing Everest base camp trek, don’t miss out on Gokyo Lake. It will only cost you a couple of extra days but it’s worth every step.
Try to stick with vegetarian food. Most tea houses will have basic amenities but still, carry your own power bank. Buy an internet data package at Namche. Everest Link data packages of 1GB and 10GB are available, you can access it only during day time, it won’t work at night due to solar energy and many reasons. We saw a few NCELL network towers in different areas but it was not working during that time.
Everest base camp difficulty rate is moderate to hard, the trail is easily navigable. You don’t need mountaineering gears, it’s not technical except if you are doing three passes trek. Be careful about altitude sickness, it is real. Even strong athletes and mountaineers can suffer from altitude sickness. Don’t try to continue if you feel any symptoms of it and try getting help and head down immediately. The Himalayas to Nepalese people are not only snowy peaks, they’re religious and cultural sites too. Treat and respect them well.
Recommendation: The main season for trekking Everest base camp is post-monsoon September to November and pre-monsoon period March to May. The chances of rain in these seasons are less and weather will be in full-swing, clear and sunny days. You are not going to risk crossing the tricky Cho La Pass glacier and hike up to Kalapatthar if you trek during these seasons.