Lacs du Gosaikund - From Karanitar to Gosaikund
It is a new itinerary that reaches the sacred lake of Gosaikund (4380m). This trek was done for the first time in November 2017 by a member of the organization Solidarité Kalche Nepal. This organization tries with the support of Petzl Foundation to develop trekking itineraries around the village of Kalche, which was heavily destroyed during 2015 earthquake.
Day 1 : Katmandu – Karanitar, 4 hours by bus Then Karanitar (800m) – Kalche (1650m), 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 hours walking D+ : 900m D- : 100m From Karanitar, go up on the path through the houses and plantations. If necessary ask for the way to Tutung. You go up to 1200m where you reach a dirt road that you follow to the left (NW). This road leads to Tutung (1280m, 2 hours from Karanitar). At the end of Tutung village (end of the road), you find a Tea House. The path continues hillside to the NE. You ford Darkhu Khola River around 1250 m (no bridge). The path continues on the right bank, follows the river and then goes straight up to Kalche (1650m). Homestay is possible in Kalche if you are less than 4 people : ask for Nirmala house (she’s a teacher, speaking English). Otherwise ask for a place to camp.
Day 2 : Kalche to Gairikharka (2300m) 2 to 3 hours walking D+ : 650m Go up through the terraces, and then go to the NE (1750m). You cross Rapdul Khola (bridge, 1870m) to reach the ridge between Baghkhor village and Gairikharka. Go up on the ridge through the terraces again until you reach Gairikharka (2300m). Homestay is possible in Gairikharka : ask for Kargyarbu Sherpa house. Otherwise ask for a place to camp.
Day 3 : Gairikharka to Kutup (3100m) 3 to 4 hours walking D+ : 800m Take the path up in the forest above Gairikharka. Go through a grazing area around 2400m, follow the path that continues above it (cairn). Go up in the forest until you reach 2700m (cairn every 15 minutes). Then you go horizontally to the left (S) and reach the ridge and a sheepfold (Dhab, 2800m, 1h30 from Gairikharka, tea is possible). If the sky is clear, you have here the first view on snowy mountains. Here is a connection with a wider path. Follow this path on the ridge northwards up to the sheepfold of Larchiang Danda (3130m). Continue up to 3200m, where you will go left, the path goes down a bit and reaches Kutup, on a pass (3100m). Some flat areas will allow you to camp here. It is also possible to sleep under the shelter. You can find water walking down the path that leaves the pass to the NE (100 meters).
Day 4 : Kutup to Chauche Karkha (3700m) 5 to 6 hours walking D+ : 900m D- : 300m Follow the good path on the ridge to the E. After 15 minutes, take the path on the right that stays on the ridge. At 3300m, you reach a sheepfold (white Tibetan flag), do not follow the path that goes left (N). Continue straigt up on the ridge, even if the path is not good. You pass another sheepfold around 3450m, the path continues on the ridge and become wider again. At 3800m, you reach a flat area just below Raochuli (3857m, Tibetan flags, 2 hours 30 minutes from Kutup). You connect here with a wider path that is used by pilgrims going up to Gosaikunda during summer Hinduist festival. From this point and the following days, you will walk on this wide path, sometime paved. Follow this path up to Raochuli, then go down a few tens of meters before going up again through a small SW face. The path goes up to 3950m (ups and downs), before going slowly down to Chauche Kharka pasture (3700m). There are few real flat areas to camp here. If you want more space, go to the sheepfold you will see easily 100m below. You can reach it following narrow footpath through the rhododendrons. Water : There is no water during Day 4. To find water in Chauche, 3 options : - under the bridge you will find continuing 3 minutes the path to the N (a priori only from June to September) - melting some snow if there is - if none of the 2 first options are available, follow the path to the N 20 minutes (3830m).
Day 5 : Chauche Kharka to Gosaikund (4380m) 6 to 8 hours walking D+ : 950m D- : 250m Follow the path to the N up to 3900m. You will reach a couloir where there were steps before the earthquake. Go up in this couloir (called Hororo), paying attention not to drop stones on your followers. Then follow the path up to Ekle Kunda (4200m, 2 hours from Chauche). The path goes up to a small pass before going down to the small lake of Chhera Kunda. Go through the lakes of Nau Kunda on the left and Raja Kunda on the right, and continue between Lamu Kunda and Rani Kunda (4330m, 1 hour 30 minutes from Ekle Kunda). After the lakes, the path continues horizontally, before going down until 4180m, just above Saraswati Kunda. Go straight up on a steep path to reach Bhairav lake (4310m). Round this lake via the N and reach Gosaikund (4380m, 2 hours 30 minutes from Rani Kunda). You can sleep here in one of the 3 lodges.
Nota : Day 2 and Day 3 can be done in one day Day 5 can be split in 2 days of 3 to 4 hours, sleeping around one of the lakes (4200m to 4300m) Walking times include breaks (half hour break every 2 hours) Warning : there is no water during Day 4
This trek can be done in different ways : - On your own, with or without tent (shelters in Kutup and lower Chauche) - With porters and guide. During the exploration in November 2017, we were with porters from Kalche Village who know the way.
From Day 3, you will have a continuous view on Manaslu, Anapurna and Ganesh Himal.
Above 3500m, there can be snow or ice on the path. We suggest to go there in October (clear sky most of the time) or April (more cloudy but you will see flowery rhododendrons).
This itinerary is not yet marked on Nepali trekking maps. It will be drawn on next edition of Nepamaps map NL502 Gosaikund (1/50 000).
From Gosaikund, you can continue N and reach Dunche within 2 days or go to Langtang Valley for a longer trek. You can also go S, cross Gosaikunda Pass (4610m) and finish with the Helambu trek.
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