The Renjo La Pass lies at an altitude of 5,340 meters in the middle of the Gokyo trail – but is considered the final destination on this trail. At Renjo La, you get breathtaking views of the gigantic Himalayas, Ngozumpa glacier and Gokyo Lakes in the background.
Your journey starts with an early morning flight from Kathmandu Airport to Lukla Airport. Due to changing weather conditions and heavy air traffic, the flights may not always be on time. Furthermore, being inside the aircraft, you might be sharing your space with other essential items (like food, water, clothes etc) – which is why prices of goods in Lukla are considerably higher.
The quickest way to trekking the Everest region is through Lukla Airport and the flight itself is an adventure. The airport is considered one of the world’s most dangerous airports. Landing at the tiny airfield, passengers on board will be clapping thunderously – and you will be doing the same too.
At Lukla, you will immediately fall in love with the unique experiences and people. The chiming of the bells tied to the necks of the horses and yaks and the Buddhist chants are like music to your ears. The local attire of the friendly people is different from your usual shirts and pants – and they are so dressed because the weather in Lukla is colder than Kathmandu. You would need to pack down jackets, comfortable shoes, sticks, sunglasses, etc to keep warm. As the trek is a long journey, a good tip is to have protein bars, peanuts and other snacks to replenish your energy.
Namche Bazaar is your next destination after Lukla. It is a beautiful town filled with bakeries and coffee shops, pubs and bars, gear shops and internet cafes. It has a number of concrete buildings, which took a lot of time, effort and money to construct. Cement, iron rods, furniture, etc were transported via airplanes to Lukla Airport or via helicopters to Syangboche Airport.You will meet other trekkers at Namche Bazaar and there is always a celebration before they move ahead with their journeys. It is advisable to stay a while at Namche Bazaar to acclimatize your body with the local weather to avoid altitude sickness. But your stay is a pleasant one as you are literally in the lap of the Himalayas. Walking around, you will be greeted with the fantastic mountain views - which are selfie-worthy.
Namche Bazaar was our starting point of our 60 km trek as we had an ambition to scale even higher places. We had no idea of our limit. Upon reaching Namche, we extended our plan to trek up to Gokyo and then to Renjo La Pass.
Gokyo Village has a beautiful lake system which includes many interconnected lakes. Before reaching Gokyo, you have to stay in either Phortse Thanga or Dole. During our long upward climb, we were overtaken by dozens of yaks that were carrying heavy loads. It was almost 7 in the evening when we reached Gokyo. After a good night’s rest, we woke up early to the sights of the beautiful lakes. I ran close to the lake to feel and see it up-close. As we were at an altitude of 5,000 meters, we felt a little headache and had some difficulty breathing. Feeling this way is common among new trekkers – so take it as a warning that you should be careful with every step from here onwards.
Finally, we were close to our destination – Renjo La Pass. It was a little cloudy when we reached Renjo La – but achieving our goal was a source of immense pleasure. On a fine sunny day, you will see the beautiful landscapes and a number of world famous mountains like Everest, Lhotse and Makalu.Reaching Renjo La was only 34 km of the 62 km trekking route from Namche. The rest of the journey was trekking downhill towards Namche from Marlung and Thame, which is the hometown of the veteran mountaineer Apa Sherpa.
Walking along the Bhote Koshi River, you get to meet other trekkers and monks. This gives you time and atmosphere to self reflect. You may be walking constantly but the serene peace and tranquility of nature makes you feel like you are meditating! This will prove to be a lifetime opportunity that recharges you for several years.
At stopover points during the trek, meals consist of Dal-Bhat, pizza, momos, chow mein, pasta, apple pies, etc.
October is the best time to trek along these mountain trails. Besides the views, you will be trekking along Sherpa villages and will have a peek at their incredible lifestyle. The Khumbu region is the home of the Sherpas. Almost every Sherpa you meet would have climbed a mountain and it is wonderful to listen to their stories and experiences. Personally, I was fascinated and moved by how they overcame their struggles and is something I will cherish for the rest of my life.