Dragnag to Dzonglha via the Cho La Pass

A truly classic Col crossing from the relative peace of the Gokyo region to the epic grandeur of the main Khumbu valley.

Hiking Difficult

Distance
8 km
Ascent
784 m
Descent
642 m
Duration
3-4 hrs
Low Point
4.7 km
High Point
5.4 km
Gradient
19˚
VIEW ON MAP
Dragnag to Dzonglha via the Cho La Pass Map

Description

Get an early start for the crossing of the Cho La, partly because there is a lot of distance to cover and also because the light is generally better in the mornings and there is less chance of afternoon clouds obscuring the view from the col.

From the farming village of Dragnag begin by gradually ascending north-east to reach a boulder field. Cross this (which is awkward in places but never difficult) and at the far side begin the fairly steep climb up to the Cho La itself. The trail up to the pass is rocky and involves some occasional easy scrambling but nothing that might require the use of a rope. At times the final climb to the col can be snow covered.

Once on the col the view across to Ama Dablam are truly spectacular and you will understand why the mountain is said to be the most beautiful peak in the World. Descend from the col on a small, snow covered glacier which you will not need to rope up for but which can be slippery in icy conditions. Trekking poles or even some lightweight crampons might be a good idea.

Once off the glacier the path becomes much more distinct and is well marked by cairns. The views to your right open up as you descend, with the north faces of Cholatse and Tawoche looking particularly impressive. The walk down is not long and soon after reaching flatter terrain you will arrive in the peaceful little village of Dzonghla which sits directly under the fluted north face of Cholatse.

Difficulty

Difficult

Hiking trails where obstacles such as rocks or roots are prevalent. Some obstacles can require care to step over or around. At times, the trail can be worn and eroded. The grade of the trail is generally quite steep, and can often lead to strenuous hiking.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.

Remoteness

3 out of 4

Little chance of being seen or helped in case of an accident.

Best time to visit

March, April, May, October, November, December

Features

  • Alpine
  • Picturesque

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area