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FATMAP difficulty grade
Leave the busy Sherpa capital Namche Bazaar behind by climbing north of out the village and getting on to the much-photographed traverse path that swings around to a famous lodge at Kyangjuma.
Ama Dablam dominates the view from Kyangjuma and the lodge has an excellent bakery, all of which adds up to make it an excellent spot for a rest and a bite to eat. From Kyangjuma begin climbing up to a spectacularly positioned chorten (a small Buddhist shrine) at a spot called the Mon La.
In Nepalese “La" means col but the Mon La is not really a col, more a notch on a ridge.
From the chorten descend about 300 vertical metres to a little village called Phortse Tenga, next to the Dude Kosi river. From Phortse Tenga the trail up to Dole passes through a series of gorgeous rhododendron forest for about an hour, at which point the trees begin to thin out and you reach a small rise which enjoys an excellent view of Cho Oyu’s spectacular south face.
You will be walking towards this face for the next few days and the sensation of approaching it only adds to the ambience. From the Cho Oyu viewpoint a final short walk leads to Dole, a tiny village tucked into the huge hills.
Coming to Dole straight from Namche involves a significant increase in sleeping altitude so before doing this day it’s recommended to have first had an acclimatisation day in Namche.
Even if you’ve had an acclimatisation day it will still feel like a leap to now to be sleeping above 4000 metres so respect the altitude and drink plenty of fluids.