Start: Gorak Shep (5,171 m), Goal: Kala Patthar (5,545 m)
Distance: 10 km, Duration: 5 hours
From Gorak Shep, one can climb the 5,545 meter high Kala Patthar or “Black Stone”. Kala Patthar is not officially recognized as a mountain in Nepal, thanks to its relatively low elevation and its position as a smaller peak on the ridge to neighboring Pumori (7,167 m). Even still, the route is one of the most popular peaks for many visitors and various trekking companies. The full climb from Gorak Shep should take about 2 hours.
Along the way, a number of landings allow for rest but the climb consists predominantly of steep inclines. Although the hike traverses through a mere 400 meters of altitude, you should also expect to feel a sobering reminder of your position above 5,000 meters with every step you take. Once you arrive at Khala Patthar’s peak, you will be rewarded with an excellent view of the west side of Mount Everest, the north wall and the west ridge.