Everest Chola Pass Trek

1, Dec 2019 | nepaltraveller.com

Trek to Gokyo Ri lake and the coldest saddle of the Everest region.

Adventurers seeking more of Nepal have another option to choose from apart from Everest Base Camp Trek, it is definitely Everest Chola Pass Trek. Chola Pass (5420 mt) is another adventure awaiting tourists that set foot in Nepal in search of an adventure. It is an ideal challenge for a memorable trekking experience.

Everest Chola Pass Trek

The raw and rugged glacier walk after passing through the pass is everyone’s favorite. Elongasted to 18-20 days of trek, Everest Chola Pass Trek offers one with a significant and impressive trekking experience that barewly any other region provides. Again, the natives to this trek are Sherpas, who are widespread across the region. Astonishing views of Everest, Cho Oyu, Lhotse and Makalu can be termed as pros of this trek.

Crossing through major stops of Lukla, Namche, Tengboche, this trek offers trekkers with an opportunity to cross through Gokyo Valley and Ngozumpa Glacier which has its own significance in the region. The raging Dudh Koshi river, tranquil monasteries along the way makes the trek even better.

To get to Gokyo Ri, one must cross through Chola Pass, this formidable climb gives a hint of what exact mountaineering thrill feels like. From the top of Chola pass astounding beauty of Gokyo Lake can be gazed at which is in itself feels like a acheivement. Gokyo lakes are sacred to both Hindus and Buddhist. This trek is a summation of religion, adventure, culture, hospitality and generosity of Sherpas as a whole.

Outlined Itinerary

 Day 01: Fly to Lukla and then trek to Phakding (2,652 mt) - 3 hrs walk

A thrilling scenic flight to Lukla and a landing on a steep mountain runway brings us to the start of our trek at the village of Lukla (2850 mt). After meeting the crew, we head up the Dudh Kosi Valley on a well-marked trail and then stay overnight in Phakding on full board meals.

Day 02: Phakding to Namche Bazaar (3,440 mt) - 6 hrs walk

After a good breakfast at Phakding, we set out for the mountain junction town of Namche; we cross and re-cross the river on high airy suspension bridges. Beyond Monjo is the entrance to the Sagarmatha National Park which was set-up to protect and preserve the fragile mountain environment. We then take a steep hike to Namche. If the weather is clear, we get the first glimpse of Mt Everest. Namche is the main trading village in the Khumbu and has a busy Saturday market - a meeting place for the Hindu traders from the lowlands and the Tibetan yak caravans that have crossed the glaciated Nangpa La. Namche is the gateway to the Khumbu. This is where we crash out for the night with all meals included.

Day 03: Acclimatization Day (3,440 mt)

Namche is tucked away between two ridges amidst the giant peaks of the Khumbu and has an abundance of lodges, tea shops, and souvenir shops. It is an ideal place to spend a day, acclimatizing to the new altitude before heading off towards Syangboche. To acclimatize, you visit Khunde Hospital set-up by Sir Edmund Hillary or take a one hour walk up to the Everest View Hotel above Namche for the sunset view of Ama Dablam, Nuptse, Lhotse, and Everest. We then go to Khumjung where we visit a school established by Hillary. We begin our hike after enjoying lunch; bypassing the route of Khimde. There are also good views from the National Park Centre and Museum just above the town. After going through our acclimatization drills, we head down to our lodge for some beers & good sleep. Overnight Namche with all meals included.

Day 04: Namche to Tyanboche (3,860 mt) - 5 hrs walk

After breakfast in Namche, we start our trek towards Tengboche enjoying the superb view of Mt. Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse, Ama Dablam and close up view of Thamserku. Our trek follows on the gradual trail with few ups and downs overlooking magnificent view of the great Himalaya. Along the way, we can spot wild lives like pheasant, musk deer, or a herd of Himalayan Thar. The trail goes gradually down up to Kyangjuma. The path eventually reaches Sanasa which is the major trail junction to Gokyo valley and Everest Base Camp. The track then follows through the pine forests and after we cross the prayer flags festooned bridge over Dudh Kosi River, we reach Phunki Tenga, a small settlement with a couple of teahouses and a small army post amidst the alpine woods. After having a relaxed lunch at Phunki Tenga we then have a little tough climb steep up through the pine forests while before we reach Tengboche. Tengboche is a great place for close up views of Ama-Dablam, Nuptse, and Everest and it has the biggest Buddhist Monastery all over in the Khumbu region. Overnight stay at lodge in Tengboche with all meals covered – breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Day 05: Tyangboche to Pheriche (4,410 mt) - 5 hrs walk

We descend downhill through a forest, cross the Imja Khola and climb steadily to the village of Pangboche. This village is directly opposite Ama Dablam [6,856 m], and has exceptional views of the mountain, with the gompa, mani walls and scattered pine trees in the foreground. A further two hours walk brings us to Pheriche where we bunk out for the night with all meals.

Day 06: Pheriche Rest Day (4,410 mt)

This is a day to rest, acclimatize and give our weary bones a breather. However, we don’t remain idle; we also get to wander up the valley to look at a lake, the Tshola Tsho and the perpendicular walls of Cholatse and Tawache. We can climb up onto the ridge overlooking Dingboche for the view of the Imja Valley and the incredible south face of Mt. Lhotse. The views here steal your breath away. We bunk out in the village of Pheriche for the night including all meals.

Day 07: Pheriche to Lobuche (4,910 mt) - 5 hrs walk

We continue up the wide valley beneath the impressive peaks of Cholatse and Tawache on the left. We then turn right and take a steep climb towards the foot of the Khumbu Glacier. The tea house at Duglha is a good spot to have lunch. The trail zigzags up through the boulders of the glacier's terminal moraine. At the top of this climb, there are many stone cairns, built as memorials to the many Sherpas who have died while climbing Mt Everest. The path then climbs gently along the glacier, to eventually reach the cluster of houses at Lobuche. We enjoy all our full board meals and get set for a good night’s sleep.

Day 08: Lobuche to Everest Base Camp (5,360 mt) then to Gorakshep (5,140 mt) - 8 hrs walk

Today it’s a long and gritty day. After a hot breakfast at our lodge, we climb through meadows and moraine stones steps to reach Gorakshep, by either climbing to Kala Patthar or continue heading to Everest base camp. We suggest that you make a beeline for the Everest base camp. By the way, from Everest base camp we do not see Mount Everest. However, from Kala Patthar, we get to see the entire south face of Mt. Everest and well-known peaks nearby; this also includes great sights of the skyline of the Tibet plateau. Overnight at the height of (5,364) in our lodge with all three meals included.

Day 09: Gorakshep to Dzongla (4,830 mt) - Early morning climb to Kalapathar (5,550 mt) - 7 hrs walk

To reach Kalapathar, a very early start is required. It takes several hours on the trail which weaves its way through ice pinnacles and past the crevasses of the Khumbu Glacier. During the ascent to Kala Patthar, we can pause to catch our breath at several outstanding viewpoints to snap pictures. After several hours of ascent, we reach Kalapathar. From here, we scramble to climb the rocky outcrop near to the summit marked by cairns and prayer flags. As we reach the top, we sit on the Kalapathar rocks and our eyes take in the unbelievable Himalayan Panorama, wandering from one mighty massif to another. We take as many pictures as we possibly can with our camera so they can last a lifetime. On the return leg, we can take a higher route to get a spectacular view of the Khumbu icefall and the route to the South Col. We return to Dzongla for the night including full board meals.

Day 10: Dzongla to Thangna (4,700 mt) by crossing Cho La pass(5,368 mt) - 7 hrs walk

Early morning as we get out of the lodge, we will be greeted by the mesmerizing sight of Cholatse looming over. Today is going to be one of the toughest days of our trip. The walk begins as we transverse through a spur extending westward from Dzongla. The path descends to a basin across which meanders a murmuring stream crusted with ice at places. In about an hour, we reach the top of the basin readying for the triumph on Cho La Pass. As we gain height, the view back gets increasingly more captivating; the Chola Lake begins to appear and the Ama Dablam in its pyramidal incarnation presides over a range of mountains on the south as Cholatse soars on the west. Climbing the incline is not easy; it is steep, but made worse by boulders over some of which we will have to scramble. We need to be alert as rocks can be glazed by ice. The final climb to the Chola can be a little tricky as the trail curves round the bergschrund. Upon reaching the top, we see prayer flags, strung across cairns, flapping in the strong wind. The scenery of majestic peaks in all directions is breathtaking. Although long, the path leading down to Thangnak can be easily made out from the pass because it is just decent but can be hazardous if rocks are glazed by ice, a bit of cautiousness is needed. We reach Thangnak, a rather more substantial hamlet with a small village where we bunk out for the night including full board meals.

Day 11: Thangna to Gokyo (4,750 mt) - 3 hrs walk

The trail brings us to the Ngozumpa glacier edge after a short walk, which is the longest glacier in Nepal. Reaching the other side of the glacier, we get views of the second of the Gokyo lakes on the series of six lakes. A short distance away is the third Gokyo Lake. On the edge of this lake stands the Gokyo Village where we finally give our tired bones a well-earned rest. We bunk out for the night at this lovely village of Gokyo including full board meals.

Day 12: Explore Gokyo Ri (5,360 mt)

Today we will take rest at Gokyo village and relish views of charming sites of Gokyo village. If the day is fine then we can climb Gokyo Ri and enjoy views of the lovely Everest Region. The Gokyo region not only provides you views of Gokyo peak but also gives you wonderful chances to contemplate at the series of six emerald lakes. You can also see Thonak Tsho Lake (forth lake) and Ngozuma Thso lake (fifth lake). The forth lake of this series has a high cliff and peaks rising above the lake just about 3 km north. We can savor the views of the turquoise-colored water of the lake. Moreover, we can climb on the hill and get amazing views of Mt. Cho-Oyu, Mt. Gyachung Kang, Mt. Everest, Mt. Lhotse, Mt. Nuptse, and Mt. Makalu. Cho-Oyu base camp is situated beyond the fifth lake, from where we can get closer views of Mt. Cho Oyu and Gyachung Kang. Cho-Oyu base camp and the biggest glacier of the world - the Ngazumpa Glacier is a view we can catch from the northern part of the fifth lake. If possible we may even head to the sixth lake too. We then return to Gokyo village and spend overnight at our lodge with all meals included.

Day 13: Gokyo to Dole (4,084 mt) - 6 hrs walk

Soon after leaving Gokyo the trail climbs to a large Chorten on top of a ridge. This ridge descends from Khumbila, a 5734 mt peak, said to be the abode of the patron God of the Khumbu region. The trail descends towards the Dudh Kosi where we stop for lunch near the bridge leading to the village of Phortse. We then pass through Phortse Tenga and from there; the trail climbs steeply to Dole, through rhododendron and birch forest festooned with hanging mosses and lichens. It’s a pleasant hike hereabouts.

Day 14: Dole to Namche (3,440 mt) - 6 hrs walk

We continue to follow the river and, after crossing it, climb back up through birch and rhododendron forest to the famous monastery at Thyangboche. The views from here are splendid and Kwangde, Tawache, Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse, Ama Dablam, Kantega and Thamserku are just a few of the Himalayan giants to be seen. From Thyangboche we descend to the bridge over the Dudh Kosi at Phunki Tenga, where there are water driven prayer wheels, before making our way back to the shining lights of hustling Namche for a great hot water bath. Overnight at Namche on full board meals.

Day 15: Namche to Lukla (2,800 mt) - 7 hrs walk

Our final day's trekking follows the Dudh Kosi back down to Lukla. This last evening in the mountains is the ideal opportunity for a farewell party with the Sherpa guides and porters, where we can sample some ‘Chhang’ (local mountain beer - a favorite drink on the mountains brewed from fermented rice), we do a jig to some Sherpa dancing, enjoy a special meal and reflect back on a memorable trekking experience before we crash out for the night includes all meals.

Day 16: Fly back to Kathmandu

Most flights from Lukla to Kathmandu are schedule early morning to avoid the strong winds. It’s a scenic flight from Lukla to Kathmandu for about forty-five minutes. But please note, sometimes the flight can be delayed or canceled in the mountain regions of this type due to inclement weather and other unpredictable reasons beyond our control. 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Cross Chola Pass (5420 mt) - one of the highest pass of the Everest region.

  • Superb views of eight thousand meter mountains

  • High passes & tranquil view of Lakes

  • Potential Altitude & flight hassle

  • Visit UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Kathmandu Valley.

  • Extraordinary view of the world's highest peak 'Mt. Everest

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