Days from

Cholatse is a fluted snow peak with a summit plateau on which it can be difficult to find the summit. The North side of the mountain has some futuristic-looking lines. It is called Jobo Lhaptshan on RGS maps. This peak is connected to Taweche. The steep North face was first climbed in 1984.

Elevation :  6,440m Range/Region :  Khumbu
Latitude :  27°55′05″N Longitude :  86°46′00″E
Royalty Group :  Trip duration :  24 days
Trip Grade :  Demanding Starts :  Kathmandu

Cholatse is a stunning peak with narrow snow and ice ridges and steep faces. It is on the ridge separating the Gokyo and Khumbu valleys, just north of Taboche and just south of a 5420 meter pass used by Sherpas and trekkers alike to go between the Gokyo and Khumbu valleys. Interestingly, there is a lake just below this pass to the east. In Tibetan 'cho' is lake, 'la' is pass, and 'tse' is peak so Cholatse literally means "lake pass peak". Unlike many mountains, there is no easy way to reach or descend from its summit, so any climb of the mountain is a serious mountaineering undertaking.

Through the 1950's 60's and 70's, Everest, Ama Dablam and the other named peaks of the Khumbu were climbed one by one but no permits were granted for Cholatse, so it remained unclimbed until 1982 when it was in fact the last named but unclimbed peak in the Khumbu. In April of that year, Vern Clevenger, John Roskelley, Galen Rowell and Bill O'Connor reached the summit via the South West Ridge. The climb was described as some twenty pitches of difficult ice climbing.

Later that same year, a Swiss expedition with Heidi Ludi, Niklause Alpiger and the Nepelese climber Kancha Tamang reached the summit after fixing ropes on much of the South East Ridge. The following year, the startling North East face was climbed by Todd Bibler, Catherine Freer, Penny Jackson and Sandy Stewart. At a slide show, Bibler, who had waltzed up the Eiger's North Face on an earlier European trip implied that the climb was quite scary (VI AI5 5.9 A2).

It wasn't until many years later that Tomaz Humar, Aleš Koželj and Janko Oprešnik made the 2nd ascent of the NE face of Cholatse with a new variation on 23 April 2005. Several additional lines have been climbed including the prominent Western Rib of the West Face and the long corniced North West Ridge. During 2005 a number of variations of the North-East and North Face climbs were achieved including the first Winter Ascent of the North Face by the Koreans Park Jung-hun and Choi Kang-sik who were unfortunately both significantly injured by frostbite following an accident on the descent from the summit. Ueli Steck made a solo ascent of the north face including a direct finish in a 37 hour push from base camp with a single bivouac on the face. He reports the difficulty as "rock to F5, ice to 90 degrees, and M6 terrain noting the climb was similar in difficulty to the north face of the Eiger. He was named as one of Europe's three best alpinists by "Climb!" magazine as a result of this climb and that of neighboring Tawoche.

The mountain has not been climbed by commercial companies and none of the routes to the summit have been ascended more than a few times. The South West Ridge, perhaps the easiest on the peak was only repeated in 1993 than in 2005.

Trip highlights

  • Introduction to equipment, crevasse rescue, ice climbing skills, rope work and comprehensive mountaineering safety techniques
  • Rock climbing training in Kathmandu if required and on request
  • Experiencing Khumbu (Sherpa) culture
  • Rare opportunity to actually stepping into  the foot of the great Himalayas
  • Acclimatization hike to  Everest Base Camp &  Kala Patthar
  • Close up views of most of the highest  Himalayan peaks  including  Mt. Everest
  • Highly experienced instructor and local Sherpa team
  • Revision of climbing skill (training) prior to the actual climb

The Trip
Upon your arrival in Kathmandu, you will be met by our representative at the airport and transferred to one of the luxury hotels - Thamel Eco Resort ( Own and run by ourselves (Makalu Adventure) the resort is a 42 room eco friendly boutique hotel located in a tranquil setting amidst the hustle and bustle of Nepal’s tourist hub- Thamel.  Depending on your arrival time, you are free to take a stroll around the bustling city of Kathmandu, if you feel up to it, or else  just lie back comfortably at your hotel recovering from the jet lag. The next day, you will initially have a full day to explore this exotic and ancient city (Kathmandu/ Patan / Bhaktapur) with its hundreds of fascinating historical monuments, temples, stupas and pagodas, while we sort out rest of the logistic and administrative work related to the trip.

The following day we will then fly into the remote mountain town of Lukla (2800m) from where we actually begin our adventure into the scenic Khumbu region of Nepal. If the weather is clear, the views from the plane of the Eastern range of Himalayas, (during the Kathmandu – Lukla flight) are breathtaking. As we start our journey towards the heartland of the Himalayas, we will have the opportunity of experiencing the unique mountain culture of the Khumbu valley and of its people.  As we venture deep into the Khumbu valley the scenery becomes more dramatic and we are rewarded with the spectacular views of some of the world’s tallest mountains.

The Trek
As the Khumbu region remains Nepal’s one of the most popular trekking destinations, the trekking trails are usually well marked presenting moderate walking conditions. During our trek, we mostly follow ancient route and pass through beautiful villages across high mountain passes.  After taking off from Kathmandu and landing at Lukla airport we have a short walk before finally arriving to Phakding for an overnight. As it is the first day of the trek we keep it rather short, keeping in mind the need for proper acclimatization. From Phakding, we begin the real trek into the Khumbu through the Dudh Koshi valley and towards the Sherpa capital of Namche Bazaar- the gateway to the Khumbu region, the following day.

As the ascent continuous, we are constantly surrounded by magnificent peaks including Thamserku (6623m) and Kusum Kanguru (6367m). The hike to Namche Bazaar is quite steep and can at some stretch become quite demanding; however, the effort is rewarded by mesmerizing Himalayan scenery and the gradual fitness we acquire over the time. With proper acclimatization and rest we will be able to complete the trip successfully.

Popularly known as the capital of the Sherpa people, Namche is also the home for a lively weekly market where traders from lowlands are seen trading with highland Sherpa. Here we spend a day for acclimatization and for adjusting to the thinning of the air.
For those interested in sidewalks, there are interesting optional day hikes to nearby Sherpa village of either Khumjung or to Kunde or to the Everest view Hotel. Form this point there are rewarding views of the Himalayas with stunning sunrise and sunset over the panorama of Khumbu peaks.   Alternately, we could hike up to the Sagarmatha National Park Visitor’s Centre or pay a visit to Syangboche and the Everest view hotel.  Namche is a good place to experience the heart of the Khumbu valley and the culture of the Sherpa people of this region.

After leaving Namche, we follow the trail to Mt. Everest arriving near the town of Khumjung from where we take the trail climbing steeply up and over a 3973 meter shoulder of Khumbui Yul Lha then descend to the small hamlet of Phortse Drangka. There are spectacular views of Ama Dablam this day if the weather is clear. On our trek up the famous Khumbu valley we will try and avoid the busy direct trekking route to Everest base camp by staying on the western side of the valley after Namche Bazar.   After arriving at Lobuche Base Camp we will rest and prepare loads and meals for the mountain, plus revise some rope fixing and fixed rope safety. We will then move up to a high camp on Lobuche East on a small expanse of grass and rock above a deep blue lake. Then it’s early to bed for an alpine start the following morning.  

The Climb
Our early start (around 3.30am) sees us climbing the South East Ridge which is a mixture of snow and ice. Where necessary, we fix ropes along the route. Steady climbing will bring us to the far eastern summit.  From the top we are well rewarded with superb views across to Ama Dablam, Makalu, Lhotse, Everest, Nuptse, Changtse (in Tibet) Pumori, Gyachung Kang, Cho Oyu and of course Cholatse. Then it’s time for our descent, all the way back to our Base Camp. After the ascent of Lobuche East we program a rest day, then climb up and over the Cho La (pass) and descend to Cholatse Base Camp. One of the guides and two Sherpas will have come direct to here and set things up for our arrival. They will have also climbed to Camp 1 to get established on the route.  After a rest day (if needed), members will carry loads up to Camp 1, and assist with establishing Camp 2. The climbing will be steep mixed climbing. Once Camp 2 is established we’ll have a rest day at either Camp 1 or Camp 2. We will work as a team (Members, Guides and Sherpas) to establish fixed ropes above Camp 2 to the start of the summit ridge.

Summit day will start very early, arriving at the top of the fixed ropes at dawn. We will then pitch and fix the low angled, but incredibly exposed summit ridge. This will be difficult terrain that is known to have sometimes variable conditions. The summit day will require maximum fortitude and the entire team will be contributing to the outcome with commensurate rewards! We will retrieve our ropes on the descent, arriving back at Camp 2 late in the evening. The next day we’ll return to Base Camp, removing all our equipment from the mountain.  After Cholatse the expedition returns down-valley to Namche Bazaar, where we languish in the comfort of the lodges and the next day it’s onwards to Lukla for the flight back to Kathmandu.

Route Description
From the base camp at the beautiful meadow, we walk up the pleasant lateral moraine rising directly behind the camp until it merges with the steeper hillside behind.  We stay to the left of the newer, looser and larger moraine dominating the foreground view above base camp. N valley until crevasses and ice walls may make it necessary to cut back left under Cholatse's West Face. As the glacier continues to shrink in size, it is likely that the lower portion of this route will become a rock climb. From the head of the glacial valley, we climb the spectacular fluted snow wall which might involve considerable groveling. The wall is about 200 meters in height and brings us to a beautiful saddle between Pt. 5706 and the peak of Cholatse. This makes an outstanding campsite. We turn left (northeast) and climb the tower before us. Once at the top of the tower, it is a scramble along the ridge for a bit, then a drop down into a small notch.

The next 3-400 meters from this notch to the summit plateau constitute the snow/ice climbing crux of the route. The climb generally follows the right side of the steep ridge and involves steep ice and snow climbing with a constant trending to the right. This slope picks up a lot of sun and the snow tends to get quite rotten. For this reason, it has twice been climbed during the night to take advantage of firmer conditions. The final headwall before the summit plateau approaches 70 degrees or so and can be ascended by a rising traverse to the right, then a cut back left to gentler ground. A couple more pitches up less steep terrain bring us to a level spot that was used as a high camp in 1993. It is an incredibly spectacular spot, but does have some vertical ice walls above that could provide some risk. From the level spot climb up steeply then right to a gentler slope. Follow this up to the final summit ridge of the mountain. As the summit is approached, there are large towers of ice that have to be weaved through, some with short steep walls to climb. The final summit ridge grows increasingly steep until the summit is a small pedestal surrounded by huge drops. It is the fairytale summit that we all dream about. In this last section of the climb, the view opens up with Cho Oyu, Gyachung Kang, Pumori, Everest, Lotse, Makalu, Ama Dablam and many other peaks surrounding us.

The Descent is made by the route of ascent. There are several short walls within the summit plateau area that may need to be rappelled. The ridge itself involves at least ten rappels many of which will be from bollards, deadman pickets, etc. Further rappels are needed back down onto the glacier and through the final section of the icefall.

Comming Soon

While we do our utmost to stick to the originally outlined itinerary, it may be possible at times to slightly deviate from it under circumstance beyond our control, such as the unfavorable weather condition for the flights to take off from Kathmandu to Lukla or vice versa.

Whilst there will be no fundamental changes in the originality of our plan and every efforts shall be made on our part, to ensure that the trip runs without any major alternations and according to the originally proposed travel plan, it may however be necessary to adjust some minor details to cover the time lost in such eventualities. For example if we had initially proposed you a walk for 4 hours for the first two days of our trip, then you may be required to walk for 6-8 hours for that period to make up the losses or to start the trip a day earlier or postpone it till the following day.

Day 01: Kathmandu (1310m):
Upon arrival in Kathmandu, you will be met by our representative at the airport and transferred to the hotel. Your hotel will be conveniently located in the city centre with easy access to great restaurant, shopping malls, temple- shrines, pagodas, Durbar squares and colorful markets of all kinds.  Your are free to explore the city on your own or with friends before joining in a welcome dinner in the evening, hosted by us at a typical Nepalese restaurant featuring live Nepali culture show. Overnight at hotel.

Day 02: Rock Climbing training or sightseeing
We have two options today, either we can go sightseeing (more) of Kathmandu city (including Bhaktapur and Patan) or depending upon the experience and ease of the members, it will be discussed and decided if the group is better off going for the Rock climbing course instead. Situated 3 kilometers north of Kathmandu, the Balaju natural climbing spot offers valuable experience to equip ourselves with skills necessary to successfully climb the peak later. Alternatively, the group can also be split into two if necessary; those wishing to go for a guided sightseeing program and those preferring the training instead.  Overnight at Thamel Eco Resort.
Learn more about the Rock climbing course we offer……………………….

Day 03: Kathmandu – Lukla (2,840m) – Phakding (2,610m)
Following an early morning take off from Kathmandu airport, a 45 minutes twin –engine Otter flight will land us at Lukla airport.  Many people find the flight to Lukla itself to be quite sensational as it flutters over the north - eastern frontier providing majestic panorama of the Nepal Himalayas.  Upon landing at Lukla we are joined by rest of the crew members who will accompany us for the rest of our trip as guides, instructors, cooks and porters (and not to forget the good old Yaks of, course).  After a brief period of orientation at Lukla, we then begin our first leg of journey toward Nepal’s Khumbu valley and arrive at Phakding after 2-3 hours walk for an overnight.  Today’s hike is kept short for us to acclimatize properly.

Day 04: Phakding – Namche (3440m) 5-6 hrs
After an early breakfast in Phakding, we begin the real leg of our journey form today by continuing north along the banks of Dudh Koshi River by crossing this thundering river many times on suspension bridge and arriving at Jorsale.  Jorsale actually marks the beginning of Sagarmatha National Park (SNP), where our permits are checked and national park fees collected at the entrance of the Park office.  From Jorsale the trail climbs steeply with dramatic changes in the scenery before finally arriving to Namche Bazaar- the gateway to the Khumbu region of Nepal and literally the hub of the Sherpa society.

Day 05:  Namche – Acclimatization day
Today we have a full day rest in Namche Bazaar, mainly for acclimatization purpose. An acclimatization day in Namche has its own advantage, for it is actually the place in the whole of Khumbu region boosting almost every sort of modern amenity any trekkers or mountaineers can wish for after leaving Kathmandu. They range from luxurious accommodations (with hot shower) to internet cafés, bakeries, top quality climbing / trekking gears shops, banks and running electricity.  There are also the options of going for a short day hikes to Khunjung, Khunde or Thame villages during which we get not only to take in the scenery but also to observe the local Sherpa culture.  Some would also prefer hiking up to Everest view hotel (3800m / 12467 ft) for a close up view of Mt. Everest and many other peaks. As there varied options to avail upon each of us is free to decide our own options with local Sherpa guides if necessary.

Day 06:  Namche – Phortse Thanga (3,500m):  Leave Namche along the direction of the gompa and turn right afater the large rocks engraved with Buddhist images.The trek climbs the hill to Khumjung and descends to the valley of Dudhkoshi and arrives at Phortse Thanga which offers superb views of Thamserku(6,608m), Kangtewa]

Day 07: Phortse Thanga- Machermo (4,410m):  This will be another short day trek to aid acclimatization to the altitude. The path goes through the middle of forest and offers the first view of Cho you peak (8,153m), walking through rhododendron forest and juniper and large conifers appear as the elevation increases making the trekking beautiful in spring. The trail passes through kharkas and summer settlements to Dole after that we will work across a rocky terrain scattered with a few dwarf rhododendrons. Staying overnight at Machermo.

Day 08: Machermo - Gokyo Lake (4700–5000 m (15400–16000 ft) :
Gokyo Lakes are oligotrophic lakes in Nepal's Sagarmatha National Park, located at an altitude of 4,700–5,000 m (15,400–16,000 ft) above sea level. These lakes are the world’s highest freshwater lake system comprising six main lakes, of which Thonak Lake is the largest. In September 2007, Gokyo and associated wetlands of 7,770 ha (30.0 sq mi) have been designated a Ramsar site. Overnight at hotel.

Day 09: Gokyo Lake: Explore around: The excursion to the Gokyo peak usually starts early in the morning. The climb is quite steep first 30 minutes; it will take us an hour to reach the top with its traditional prayer flags. From where we will have a magnificent view of some of the highest peaks that surrounds the region. Laying from the west to east are Cho you (8,153m), Gyachung Kang (7,922m), Everest ( 8848m), Lhotse (8,501m) and further way Makalu, On the way to descent we can enjoy, superb view of Gokyo Lake.

Day 10: Gokyo lake to Chola Phedi

Day 11: Cho La Phedi - Chola La pass to Jungla (Dzongla)

Day 12: Dzongla to Cholatse Base camp: The base camp on the Western (Gokyo) side of the mountain is in a beautiful, flat alpine field with fresh water and spectacular scenery. There is abundant terrain for tents. This site is at about 4750 meters in the valley immediately west of the peak. This is reached by going up the Gokyo Valley on the west side of the river.

Day 13- 22: Climbing period for Cholatse:

Day 23: Base Camp - Pangboche

Day 24: Pangboche - Namche

Day 25: Namche - Lukla

Day 25: Flight from Lukla - KTM, transfer to hotel.

Day 26: Kathmandu free day,

Day 27: Final departure

Should you prefer a different route or itinerary for this program, just let us know your interests and we will be more than happy to craft a tailor made trip for you in line with your specific preference.

10 other mountain peaks closest to Cholatse:

1.    Taboche (6542 m) - 2.6km
2.    Nirekha (6069 m)  - 5.0km
3.    Lobuche East (6119 m) - 5.3km
4.    Pokalde (5806 m)        6.6km
5.    Pokhalde (5794 m) - 6.8km
6.    Kala Pattar (5545 m) - 8.9km
7.    Gokyo Ri (5340 m) - 9.7km
8.    Mount Khumbila (5761 m) - 9.8km
9.    Pharilapcha (6017 m) - 9.8km
10.    Kala Patthar (5545 m) - 10.7km

Trip Cost Includes
  • All ground transfers by private vehicle as per our itinerary.
  • Three star Hotel Thamel Eco Resort in Kathmandu (twin sharing, including breakfast and taxes)
  • Welcome Dinner with Live Nepalese Cultural Program that we host.
  • Kathmandu sightseeing (including all entrance fees).
  • Airfares: Kathmandu - Lukla - Kathmandu.
  • Trekking arrangement.

For Camping Trek:

  • Including all high quality camping equipments and tents such as Two Men Tent, Kitchen Tent, Dinning Tent, Toilet Tent, Tables, Chairs, Mattresses, Hot Water Bags, Pillows, Inner Sheet and etc
  • Everyday three times meals per day while trekking, which will be prepared by our very professional kitchen crew


For Lodge-to-Lodge Trek:

Accommodation and foods as available on the local lodges on the way while trekking.

  • National Park Permit Fee.
  • Cholatse Peak climbing permit fee.
  • Guide, porters and their daily wages, insurance with all necessary lodging - fooding arrangements.
Trip Cost Excludes
  • Airport taxes.
  • Visa fees/ International airfare to & from Kathmandu
  • Expenses of personal nature such as bottled drinks, mineral water, laundry and etc.
  • Meals while staying on the hotels in Kathmandu (only breakfast is included along with accommodation).
  • Rescue and evacuation - if needed.
  • Personal medical and travel insurance.
  • Tips and Gratitude

Comming Soon
Comming Soon