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Cholatse (via Lobuche East)


This trip is a rather special one for someone looking for an adventure to climb a lesser climbed peak with a good technical challenge over 6,000m and in a reasonable timeframe. Cholatse is beginning to become more popular as its magic is discovered. Cholatse is quietly located between the hugely popular Khumbu (Everest) valley and the more quiet Gokyo valley, and is tucked in behind Taboche peak. It has one of the best base camps in the region, and the mountain envelops you with its presence as you look directly up at it from base camp and are able to see most of the route that you will climb.

This trip takes you from Kathmandu to Lukla, and up the Khumbu (Everest) valley to Namche, and Gorak Shep, with wonderful views of Mt Everest from Kala Patar. We then venture off down the valley to Lobuche East Base Camp for a short but valuable climb of Lobuche East to give us good acclimatisation for Cholatse. Lobuche East has some spectacular views of the Khumbu valley, Mt Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse... to name a few.

Then we head up and over one of the most beautiful high passes - Cho La, after which we will divert off the trail to Gokyo and take a sharp left down into a serene valley towards Cholatse Base Camp, with stunning terrain to entertain our senses along the way. We then stand above our base camp before dropping down grassy slopes to our home for the remaining climb.

Cholatse provides us with some glacial moraine, some gentle slopes from our crampon point, with steeper slopes and a steep head wall to camp 1. We then have some steep pitches up to our Camp 2 perched nicely for more spectacular views. Whilst some climbers attempt the summit from Camp 1, we elect to make a Camp 2 to allow for a more enjoyable climb and why make the effort to get here if you do not have time to take in the views? After a sleep at Camp 2, we then have a short summit day traversing and then climbing some more steep snow, before traversing a ridge and a short climb to the summit. You won't want to miss this one!

 
 
 
 

Trip Facts

  • Price Starts From: USD 7,900

  • Duration: 32 Days, 31 Nights

  • Difficulty Level: Intermediate Mountaineering

  • Type: Trekking Peaks

  • Activity: Expedition

  • Max. Altitude: 6,440m

  • Destination: Nepal

Trip Highlights

Inclusions

Internal fixed wing flights, climbing permit fees, 4 nights in Kathmandu hotel equivalent to Hotel Tibet or Radisson (Lazimpat or similar) based on twin share accommodation, experienced climbing guides at high guide : client ratio, team transport in Nepal, extensive high altitude wilderness first aid kit, fully serviced base camp with quality personal tent, dining, kitchen and shower tents, serviced higher camps, all meals outside Kathmandu plus breakfast in Kathmandu, porters to carry personal/group equipment to on treks and up to base camps, climbing Sherpas to set up camps and carry group food, and expedition duffel. (All accommodation is on a twin share basis - single share can be arranged on request at an additional cost).

Exclusions

International flights to and from Kathmandu, lunch and dinners in Kathmandu (allow USD $10-15 per meal), aerated and alcoholic beverages, personal items (e.g. phone calls, internet, laundry), tips and Cholatse summit bonus, travel insurance (incl. early departure, mountain rescue) and personal trekking/climbing gear.
 
 
 
 

Trip Map

Short Itinerary

Day 1:   Arrive Kathmandu
Day 2:   In Kathmandu
Day 3:   Fly Kathmandu to Lukla (2,840m), trek to Monjo (2,840m) ~5 hrs
Day 4:   Trek Monjo (2,840m) to Namche Bazaar (3,440m) ~5 hrs
Day 5:   Acclimatisation day in Namche ~ 5 hrs
Day 6:   Namche Bazaar to Tengboche (3,800m)
Day 7:   Tengboche to Dingboche (4,100m)
Day 8:   In Dingboche, acclimatisation walk ~5 hr
Day 9:   Dingboche to Lobuche (4,900m)
Day 10:   Lobuche to Gorak Shep (5,140m) ~ 3 hrs
Day 11:   Gorak Shep, Kala Patar (5,500m), back to Lobuche East Base Camp ~ 5-6 hrs
Day 12:   Rest Lobuche East Base Camp
Day 13:   Lobuche East Base Camp (4,830m) to Lakeside Camp (5,250m)
Day 14:   Lakeside Camp to High Camp (5,500m)
Day 15:   High Camp, summit (6,119m), back to Dzong La (4,860m) ~5-7 hrs
Day 16:   Dzong La, across ChoLa to Dragnag (4,700m) ~8 hrs
Day 17:   Dragnag to Cholatse Base Camp ~2.5 hrs
Day 18:   Rest at Cholatse Base Camp
Day 19:   Base Camp to Camp 1 (5,750m) ~5-6 hrs
Day 20:   Camp 1 to Camp 2 (6,000m) ~2 hrs
Day 21:   Camp 2 to Base Camp 2.5 hrs
Day 22:   Rest in Base Camp
Day 23:   Rest in Base Camp
Day 24:   Base Camp to Camp 1 ~5-6 hrs
Day 25:   Camp 1 to Camp 2 ~2 hrs
Day 26:   Camp 2, summit (6,440m), back to Camp 1 ~ 10-12 hrs
Day 27:   Camp 1 to Base Camp ~1.5 hrs
Day 28:   Cholatse Base Camp to Namche Bazaar ~6-7 hrs
Day 29:   Namche Bazaar to Lukla ~6-7 hrs
Day 30:   Fly Lukla to Kathmandu
Day 31:   In Kathmandu
Day 32:   Depart Kathmandu
 
 
 
 

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1

Arrive Kathmandu

An Expedition Base representative will collect you from Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan Airport. It’s a free day to recover from your international flight. Later in the day, there will be a team briefing, gear check and welcome team dinner.

Day 2

In Kathmandu

This is a free day for you to explore Kathmandu, home to 5 World Heritage sites, Kathmandu is a stunning landscape of handcrafted wooden palaces (Durbar or palace squares of Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur) and glorious Buddhist stupas (Swayambu and Boudhanath).

Day 3

Fly Kathmandu to Lukla (2,840m), trek to Monjo (2,840m) ~5 hrs

Our day begins with an early morning 40 min flight to Lukla. Once in Lukla, we have a short break to organize porters and gear before starting our day’s walk, descending and ascending to Monjo. This region is Buddhist so remember to walk clockwise or to the left of mani walls and prayer flag poles (keeping them on your right).

Day 4

Trek Monjo (2,840m) to Namche Bazaar (3,440m) ~5 hrs

Before leaving Monjo, we’ll check into the Sagarmatha National Park Information Centre. On a clear day, you can catch your first view of Mt Everest from a lookout about mid-way up the hill to Namche. Once in Namche, you have the afternoon to rest, and explore.

Day 5

Acclimatisation day in Namche ~ 5 hrs

We spend an extra day in Namche before trekking higher to allow our bodies to adjust to the increased altitude. In the morning, we will walk up to the Everest View Hotel to enjoy panoramic views and you can explore the villages of Khunde and/or Khumjung. The afternoon is free for exploring Namche, or relaxing, as you wish.

Day 6

Namche Bazaar to Tengboche (3,800m)

We head out of our beloved Namche, to Kyanjuma and then down the hill to Phunki Tenga for a refreshment, then up a hill we go to the famed Tengboche Monastery. And, don’t forget to visit the bakery, and the coffee in one of the lodges is barista gooood!

Day 7

Tengboche to Dingboche (4,100m)

Today, we gradually gain in altitude on relatively easy terrain, and our lush surrounds become more alpine like as the trees start to disappear and a more alpine environment envelops up. We really feel like we are in the mountains now. Dingboche is famous for potato growing so be sure to try potatoes here.

Day 8

In Dingboche, acclimatisation walk ~5 hr

It’s a rest day in Dingboche to acclimatise to our increased altitude gain. In the morning, we’ll walk up to a lookout to touch the 5,000m mark. It’s a steep climb but on a clear day expect views of giants Makalu (8,463m), Lhotse (8,501m), Nuptse (7,861m) and on clear days, Cho Oyu (8,201m) and Shishapangma (8,013m).

Day 9

Dingboche to Lobuche (4,900m)

Just above Dingboche and along a plateau of yak herder shelters, we enter a serene sanctuary of panoramic mountains. You will pass Dughla, and it’s a 1 hr hike up to Thukla (4,830m) then onto Lobuche for the night.

Day 10

Lobuche to Gorak Shep (5,140m) ~ 3 hrs

Gorak Shep is the last settlement before reaching Everest Base Camp. From Lobuche, it’s a short trek of a couple of hours across a glacier moraine to reach Gorak Shep around mid morning.

Day 11

Gorak Shep, Kala Patar (5,500m), back to Lobuche East Base Camp ~ 5-6 hrs

The summit of Kala Patar or ‘Black Rock’ offers us our first real look at Mt Everest, an unobstructed view of the highest mountain in the world. Then, we’ll trek to Lobuche East Base Camp, an easy traverse contouring around Lobuche on the south side of the mountain. The camp provides uplooking views of neighbouring peaks of Taboche (6367m), Cholatse (the second climb on your list for this trip) and Arakam Tse (6423m).

Day 12

Rest Lobuche East Base Camp

Today is a training day in base camp to practice climbing on fixed lines (up on a jumar and descending on a belay device). It’s also a contingency day to allow for poor weather conditions that may delay a summit attempt.

Day 13

Lobuche East Base Camp (4,830m) to Lakeside Camp (5,250m)

After crossing a grassy meadow to the foot of Lobuche peak, we ascend steeply on a rocky trail to a col for lunch. From here, we can appreciate magnificent 360o views of Everest, Lhotse and Nuptse.

Day 14

Lakeside Camp to High Camp (5,500m)

To reach high camp along the start of the summit ridge, it’s another 1.5-2 hr rock scramble or snow climb depending on conditions. Do not miss the stunning sunset view from high camp!

Day 15

High Camp, summit (6,119m), back to Dzong La (4,860m) ~5-7 hrs

Summit day begins with an alpine start at 4-5am for a quick breakfast and dressing for a summit climb. We leave camp by 5-6am and walk up the ridge for 50m to a face. Climbing on fixed lines up the 45 degrees snow wall, we then reach the ridge proper. We follow the ridge around seracs (snow/ice climb) to the 1st or false summit. Be prepared for exposure along the way as we walk on the ridge. It’s a quick rappel down from the 1st summit, then finally up another 60m to the real summit by mid morning*. We return by the same route to high camp for a break and pack up camp, and head to base camp for final pack up and then the short 45 min – 1 hr trek to Dzong La. (*real summit, conditions permitting)

Day 16

Dzong La, across ChoLa to Dragnag (4,700m) ~8 hrs

Depending on the snow conditions on the day, it will take us approximately 5-7 hours to cross ChoLa. At the top of the pass you can soak in the view, take photos, play in the snow, and then we descend toward Dragnag.

Day 17

Dragnag to Cholatse Base Camp ~2.5 hrs

An easy day as we make our way to Cholatse Base Camp, sitting at the base of our next amazing climb!

Day 18

Rest at Cholatse Base Camp

Today is a rest day. It’s also a contingency day to allow for poor weather conditions that may delay a summit attempt. We will keep this day up our sleeves.

Day 19

Base Camp to Camp 1 (5,750m) ~5-6 hrs

We leave base camp and trek toward the glacier before heading up an ice fall onto a steeper snow slope before reaching Camp 1, where we sleep for the night.

Day 20

Camp 1 to Camp 2 (6,000m) ~2 hrs

A short climb to load up Camp 2 with tents and stores. If there is little snow, we will find ourselves on rock. There is some steep terrain this day.

Day 21

Camp 2 to Base Camp 2.5 hrs

A quick descent back to Base Camp, as our higher camps are now stocked with tents and stores, and our acclimatization is completed.

Day 22

Rest in Base Camp

Time to rest, relax and enjoy our time with our team members, a good book and / or a movie.

Day 23

Rest in Base Camp

More time to rest and relax, and to prepare our gear and ourselves for our summit push.

Day 24

Base Camp to Camp 1 ~5-6 hrs

Base Camp to Camp 1 ~5-6 hrs

Day 25

Camp 1 to Camp 2 ~2 hrs

Camp 1 to Camp 2 ~2 hrs

Day 26

Camp 2, summit (6,440m), back to Camp 1 ~ 10-12 hrs

Expect some undulating snowy terrain as we cross through a couloir, and with some ridge climbing today. It’s a pretty spectacular climb today with views like you will not believe.

Day 27

Camp 1 to Base Camp ~1.5 hrs

You know the way. And, it is back to Base Camp for a hearty meal and a well-deserved rest.

Day 28

Cholatse Base Camp to Namche Bazaar ~6-7 hrs

You will get a whole lot more oxygen back into your body today as we descend back down the valley, to Macchermo, Dole, Phortse Tenga, MongLa and down into Namche Bazaar.

Day 29

Namche Bazaar to Lukla ~6-7 hrs

Last chance to enjoy the most enigmatic village in the Khumbu. Then, trek down the hill to Monjo and beyond, and enjoy the sights of the mani walls around Ghat and other villages, as we make our way back to Lukla.

Day 30

Fly Lukla to Kathmandu

Another early morning flight out of Lukla back to Kathmandu. The rest of the day is yours to relax and enjoy a rest, shower or a massage!

Day 31

In Kathmandu

Your last day to take in some sightseeing, shop, relax – as you wish - and prepare for departure. If you didn’t make it to Bhaktapur or the other durbar squares in Patan/Kathmandu, maybe add to your adventures for today.

Day 32

Depart Kathmandu

Goodbye Kathmandu and Nepal... until next time. You will leave with some pretty special memories of a rich culture, spectacular scenery and awe inspiring climbing experiences, and a whole bunch of new friends.
   
 
 
 
 

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