Lobuche to Dingboche via the Kongma La

Himalayan trekking at its best over a wild col.

Hiking Difficult

Distance
14 km
Ascent
710 m
Descent
1.3 km
Duration
4-5 hrs
Low Point
4.3 km
High Point
5.5 km
Gradient
19˚
VIEW ON MAP
Lobuche to Dingboche via the Kongma La Map

Description

Despite its proximity to the main Everest Base Camp trail, the Kongma La is often surprisingly quiet, and is crossed less frequently than the Cho La. It breaches some seemingly impossible terrain and is possibly the finest of the 3 classic Khumbu cols (the others being the Cho La and Renjo La).

Leave Lobuche and cross over the moraine of the Khumbu Glacier. The exact route differs year by year but it is usually well trodden within a few weeks of trekking season beginning, and cairns dot the route too so route finding is unlikely to be an issue.

Upon reaching the far side of the glacier the path climbs a grassy slope and then zig zags up scree to a point where you can see across to the Kongma La. A further 45 minutes of rocky traversing leads to the col which is adorned with thousands of prayer flags.

From the top Everest’s summit pyramid is just visible but it’s the Lhotse/Nuptse ridge that dominates the immediate view. Slightly further away is Makalu and in the distance is Cho Oyu, as well as many smaller peaks such as Pumori, which you will have seen close up if you visited Everest Base Camp.

The descent down the far side of the col is one of the most scenic sections of hiking in the Khumbu, which is a big claim but you will understand when you reach this point. Not long after leaving the col you pass a stunning lake (which is often frozen) and then some yak pastures. The final section of the descent down to Dingboche is down steeper grassy slopes which soon give way to the terraced fields that mark the edge of the village.

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