Cho La Pass Travel Guide
Cho La Pass is a high-altitude mountain pass located in the Himalayas of Nepal. It is situated between the valleys of the Gokyo and Dragnag regions and is a popular trekking destination for those visiting the area. The pass is situated at an altitude of approximately 5,420 meters (17,782 feet) and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains, including Mount Everest, Cho Oyu, and Lhotse. The trek to Cho La Pass typically takes several days and requires a good level of physical fitness and acclimatization, as the high altitude can present challenges for some trekkers. Despite the challenges, the trek is considered to be a rewarding experience, offering a chance to immerse oneself in the natural beauty of the region and to explore the unique culture and way of life of the local people.
Attractions of Cho La Pass
- Scenic Views of the surrounding mountain ranges and glaciers, make it a popular spot for photographers and nature enthusiasts.
- It is a traditional trade and pilgrimage route between the Tibet Autonomous Region and the Solu-Khumbu region of Nepal.
- High-Altitude Adventure to Cho La Pass with steep ascents, rocky terrain, and icy conditions in some areas.
- An ideal destination for wildlife watching. Hikers may spot rare species such as the Himalayan tahr and snow leopard.
- The past is a melting pot of cultures, with Sherpas, Tibetans, and other ethnic groups living in the surrounding villages. Visitors can immerse themselves in the local customs and traditions.
- A sacred site by Buddhists, who believe that the past holds spiritual energy and is a gateway to enlightenment.
- It is a unique and off-the-beaten-path experience, away from the more crowded tourist routes.
- The pass is surrounded by snow-capped peaks and glaciers, making it an ideal destination for those seeking a winter adventure.
The climate of Cho La Pass is cold and harsh due to its high elevation in the Himalayas. The temperature usually ranges from 0°C to -20°C in the winter and 10°C to 15°C in the summer. The past experiences heavy snowfall during the winter months, making it impassable at times. Strong winds and low temperatures are common throughout the year, making it an inhospitable environment for most of the year. Despite these harsh conditions, the Cho La Pass is a popular destination for trekkers and mountaineers looking for a challenging and rewarding experience.
Cho La Pass is on the Gokyo route in the Khumbu Everest region. The west side of Cho La Pass continues to the Gokyo Lakes, crossing through the Ngozumpa glacier on the way. The east side of the trial connects the Everest base camp trek.
The pass is very challenging and demands a lot of physical effort and also may require crampons on the to of slippery glaciers. It is a popular destination for trekkers and mountaineers, as it provides stunning views of the surrounding peaks, including Mount Everest, and a glimpse into the remote mountain culture of the region.
Food and Accommodation
Accommodation options in Cho La Pass are limited and basic, typically consisting of teahouses and guesthouses. these teahouses and guesthouses offer basic services so you have to be prepared for the basics. It is recommended to bring warm clothing, sleeping bags, and camping gear if planning on staying overnight in Cho La Pass, as temperatures can drop significantly at night. Likewise, the food items are basic during the trek to Cho La pass. They offer basic local foods like Dhal, Bhaat, and curry. Some of the tree houses also offer typically hearty and filling food, with ingredients like potatoes, carrots, and cheese being common. One popular dish is the Tibetan momo, which is a steamed dumpling filled with vegetables, chicken, or beef. Another favorite is the Sherpa stew, which is a spicy mixture of potatoes, carrots, and meat served with steaming hot rice. Another popular dish is the Thukpa, a noodle soup filled with veggies, chicken or beef, and a spicy broth. The food at Cho La Pass is a delicious combination of flavors and spices, offering travelers a hearty and satisfying meal to fuel them on their journey
Things to do in Cho La Pass
If you are staying in Cho La Pass, the following activities can be done while staying there.
Hike to Cho La Pass: This is the main attraction of the area and one of the most challenging and rewarding trekking experiences in the Himalayas. The hike offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and glaciers.
Explore Gokyo Lakes: A beautiful group of glacial lakes located at the foot of Cho La Pass. You can spend a day or two exploring the area, taking in the panoramic views, and interacting with local villagers.
Visit Ngozumpa Glacier: This is the largest glacier in the Nepalese Himalayas and is an incredible sight to behold. You can visit the glacier and learn about the impact of climate change on the area.
Climb Island Peak: This is a popular destination for mountaineers and trekkers and offers a challenging climb to the summit with breathtaking views of the surrounding peaks.
Visit local villages: Explore the surrounding villages and get a glimpse into the daily life of the local people. You can interact with the villagers, learn about their customs and traditions, and purchase locally-made products.
Go bird-watching: The Cho La Pass area is home to a diverse array of bird species and is a great destination for birdwatching enthusiasts.
Go on a yoga retreat: The peaceful and scenic surroundings of Cho La Pass are perfect for yoga and meditation. You can join a yoga retreat and spend some time in quiet contemplation and self-reflection.
Cho La Pass and Gokyo Lake Trek: This package offers a combination of Cho La Pass trek and Gokyo Lake trek, providing an opportunity to explore the stunning Himalayan views and the turquoise glacial lakes. Thai trek is also known as Gokyo Chola Pass trekking. The trek starts from Lukla and passes through the traditional Sherpa villages, high mountain passes, and stunning alpine landscapes.
Cho La Pass and Everest Base Camp Trek: This package offers a combination of Cho La Pass trek and Everest Base Camp trek, providing an opportunity to explore the highest mountain in the world and the stunning Himalayan views. This trek is also knowns as Everest Three Passes trek. The trek starts from Lukla and passes through the traditional Sherpa villages, high mountain passes, and stunning alpine landscapes. This trek also includes other passes that as Kongma la Pass and Renjo La Pass.