Trek from Dhzonglha (4830m) to Tarnak (4730m) crossing Cho La pass

29 December 2005 - Departure time : 07:30 - Arrival time: 14:40 

Crossing the funny and spectacular Chola pass at 5420 meters on the Himalaya in Nepal, offers the opportunity to trek from Lobuche to Gokyo saving one day if compared to the traditional route. The Cho La pas doesn't require climbing techniques, but it must be done only in good weather and without snow on the ground.

Dhzonglha, Nepal Dhzonglha, Nepal
After an early morning wake up and a weather check, we start our trek to Cho La pass, bound for Tarnak. The Chola pass lets trekkers to reach Gokyo from Lobuche (or vice-versa), saving about one trekking day if compared to the longer route via Phortse. It offers also spectacular views onto the Himalaya and a very funny glacier crossing. Although crossing Chola pass doesn't require climbing techniques, but it's just a normal trekking, some passage is quite steep and is made over naked rocks which may get slippery under several circumstances. On top of Cho La pass, a glacier crossing with crampons is required (but there are no cracks, the ice is relatively safe). For these reasons, the Cho La pass is to be crossed only in good weather, with sufficient visibility and strictly no snow on the rocks. If the conditions are not right, it's much safer to re-route the trek via Phortse.
Chola pass
Starting the climb to Chola pass along Dhzonglha (Lobuche) side.
Cho La pass, Nepal Chola pass, Nepal
Cho La pass Photos of Cho La pass. Climbing to the pass, on Dhzonglha side. On the top-right picture, the trail si well visible, as a diagonal line on the rocks. Crossing the Cho La doesn't require mountaineering techniques (it is still "normal" trekking), however the rocks are quite smooth and very exposed: for this reason DO NOT cross this pass if there is snow on the ground or if the weather is not good.
Looking back towards Lobuche.
Chola pass, Himalaya Cho La pass, Himalaya
Glacier on the Himalaya Glacier on the Himalaya
Cho La pass pictures. Trekking on top of the Chola pass, before approaching the glacier.

Looking down after the climb.
Glacier on top of Chola pass Glacier on top of Chola pass
Glacier on top of Cho La pass Glacier on top of Cho La pass
Approaching the glacier on top of Cho La pass. The surface is quite slippery and I had to wear the crampons. Sherpa porters and guides normally cross the glacier by fixing small ropes around the shoes.
Chola pass, Himalaya, Nepal
Photo of Cho La pass. The spectacular Chola pass on the Himalayas in Nepal.
Glacier crossing Glacier crossing
Glacier crossing, Nepal
Panoramic picture of Cho La pass taken while crossing the glacier on the top.
Cho La pass, Himalaya, Nepal
The views from Cho La pass, Himalaya, Nepal, are just superb.
Cho La pass, Himalaya, Nepal
A one meter tall stair at the end of the glacier, very difficult to descend.
Chola pass Cho La pass
Descending the Chola pass on Tarnak (Gokyo) side. Here the rocks are smaller, but much more unstable if compared to the Dhzonglha (Lobuche) side.
Searching for Tarnak on the valley below... indeed the village is still not visible from here.
Himalaya, Nepal
Cho La pass, Tarnak (Gokyo) side
The descend from Chola pass is now finished. About one hour ago, I was at the base of the big V on the top of the picture.

Continuing trekking to Tarnak along a frozen river.
Tarnak, Nepal
Tarnak, my final destination of today, is finally visible in the valley below.

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