Everest Base Camp Cho La Pass Difficulty

Everest Base Camp Cho La Pass Difficulty

Everest Base Camp Chola Pass trek is one of the most adventurous trekking routes in Nepal. The various factors like the trek itinerary, walking hours, weather and temperatures during the trek, altitudes, and so on that determine the Everest Base Camp Cho la Pass difficulty.

The trek follows the route via high pass called the Cho La Pass at 5330m to the Everest Base Camp. The pass is physically demanding during the winter season and requires special foot gears.

The best time to take this trek is autumn and spring. However, if you choose to trek in other seasons you need to prepare well. Because crossing the Chola pass is the most difficult part of the trek esp due to snow and strong wind.

During your Everest Base Camp trek via Chola Pass, you will make your way through Gokyo valley. Explore turquoise lakes with an awesome glacier, lake and Himalayan views from the top of Gokyo Ri.

Also, you will cross the high altitude pass of Cho La Pass. And finally, you will step at the base camp of the top of the world along with Kala Pattar hike with further exciting challenges.

Overall the trek rates as adventurous trekking route that requires a good level of physical fitness. And one should have a positive attitude towards hiking at altitude.

The various factors that determine the EBC Chola Pass trek difficulty are as follows:

Everest Base Camp Chola Pass Trek in December

Walking Hours and Trek Duration

The Everest Base Camp Cho la pass trek duration depends on the package you choose. It can be anywhere from 15 to 20 days.

You can add or reduce the number of days according to your preference and suitable schedule.

The route is full of dramatic landscapes, snowy Himalayan peaks including the majestic Everest itself. Besides the Cho La pass, visiting two main viewpoints Gokyo Ri and Kala Patthar is equally demanding.

You can do the trek two ways- clockwise or anticlockwise. This means that if you choose clockwise you will need to do the Cho La pass first and then explore the EBC. While doing the trek anticlockwise, you will first explore the Everest Base Camp, summit Kala Patthar. And then you will pass the Cho La and down to Lukla.

However, it is better to do the trek anticlockwise because sometimes the Cho La pass trial remains closed due to the snow. In that case, at least you can explore the Everest base Camp and others.

Now during this trek, you will walk for approx 5 to 7 hours daily excluding the rest days. If you are someone who is not used to walking a lot, this can be quite hard on your body.

So for that, it is important that you train yourself before the trek by hiking for 3 or 4 hours daily. The important thing you need to focus mainly is on building stamina and preparing yourself for the higher altitude.

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Weather and Temperature During Everest Base Camp Cho La Pass Trek

The weather plays a huge role in determining the difficulty of Everest Base Camp Cho la pass trek.

One of the most unpredictable elements of this trek is the weather. And you might find yourself in an uncomfortable situation. So you need to prepare yourselves well for the twists, turns, and fluctuations of the weather conditions that can occur during the trek.

Generally speaking, the nights are much colder than the daytime hours. While there’s no way to know exactly what each day in the mountains will bring. The weather and temperature tend to be somewhat predictable depending on the season.

Everest Base Camp Cho La Pass Difficulty in Different Seasons

Taking Everest Base Camp Cho la pass trek is most difficult during winter. Due to heavy snowfall, crossing the Cho La pass becomes almost impossible. In fact, the pass remains closed due to various risk factors. The temperature drops easily to a -20 during the night and early morning.

Spring happens to be one of the best time to take this trek. During springtime, the maximum temperature is 25 degrees C during sunny days. And the minimum temperature is -15 degrees C in the morning and at night.

This is a suitable temperature to do trekking making your treks a lot less difficulty. During this time you will witness the view of clear blue sky and many different species of flower in the lower altitude. Also due to peak season, there are many trekkers on the trials.

Summer from June to August coincides with the monsoon season. Hence it is not the best time to trek due to rain at a lower altitude. The trail is difficult and risky due to slippery and muddy trails.

Even in areas above 4000 meters, it rains sometimes and although it is also sometimes dry. The maximum temperature during this time averages 25 degrees C during sunny days with a minimum -15 degrees C in the morning and night.

Autumn is also a good season to take the Everest Base Camp Cho La pass trek. While it lacks the beauty of flowers, you will get the view of the clear blue sky with incredible mountain views.

The maximum temp during this time is of 20 degrees C during sunny days and a minimum of -10 degrees C in the morning and at night

Hence, planning your trek during Spring and Autumn can reduce the trek difficulty caused by weather.

Altitude Sickness in Everest Base Camp Cho La Pass

One of the major factor at play while trekking into the mountains is the altitude. Acute mountain sickness (AMS) is ever present in any high altitude trekking.

Everest Base Camp Cho La pass trek is an adventurous trek due to its great variation. Thus, one of the major difficulty during the trek is your ability to adjust to high altitude.

The trek starts from the lower altitude of 2652m i.e Phakding and reaches to a higher altitude of 5545m, the Kala Patthar. During this trek, you will cross above 5000m multiple times. And hence you are also more likely to suffer from the risk of altitude sickness.

Everyone is at risk of altitude sickness. Thus, it is very important to educate yourself about altitude sickness that can ease your trekking difficulty.

Resting and acclimatization are very important that will allow you to adjust while trekking at higher altitude. It is never a good idea to speed up your trek or continue your trek while having symptoms of AMS.

Doing so can worsen your health and can lead you to a more severe condition. If you find yourself having symptoms of AMS and if resting doesn’t help then descending is the only option.

Thus walking slowly, taking regular breaks and drinking plenty of water are some of the ways that can help you stay away from Altitude sickness.

Also, say no to alcohol while trekking. It boosts the risk of altitude sickness. And always seek help from the guide if you have any symptoms of AMS.

This way you can take the necessary precautions to overcome it before it becomes life-threatening.

Difficulty for Accommodation During Everest Base Camp Cho La Pass Trek

Everest Cho La pass trek has number lodges for your meals and accommodation purpose. The lodges provide you rooms with blankets. Yet it is important that you carry your own sleeping bag for the cold nights and mornings.

These lodges have small rooms that provide basic lodging experience during your trek. And the lodges are normal, standard rooms.

However, if you are seeking a luxury type of accommodation then you can consider Everest Luxury trekking. This involves luxury accommodation during the whole trek.

Hiring Guide or Porter for Everest Base Camp Cho La Pass Trek

Everest Base Camp Cho la pass is a long duration trek that requires an experienced guide and a porter and guide because trekking into the mountains is often tricky. Having a guide provides you a safety of not getting lost.

Since these guides are often on the trials, they know what to expect and is able to take necessary precaution in times of crisis.

Also, you will get a better experience because he will inform you with all the necessary knowledge about the places you will pass by.

Now having a porter is equally important because Everest Cho la pass trek is a challenging trek. With a porter, you will not have to worry about carrying the heavy burden.

Having a porter will make your trekking experience a lot easier. This way you can focus on your own safety and also enjoy walking freely.

The cost of hiring a guide or porter is almost the same except for a couple of dollars. It ranges from 20-30 USD per day.

Physical Training to Overcome Everest Base Camp Cho La Pass Difficulty

Chola Pass Trekking is one of the difficult treks of its category. Many trekkers take this trek during the main season Spring and autumn.

While there are many who succeed to complete the trek with little or no pain. There are many of them who fail as well.

During this trek, you will spend most of your days above 3500m. High altitude will make you difficult to breathe in some cases. Altitude is the main reason for the trek being difficult.

For a trekker who has experience in high altitude will find the trek easy to moderate level. But if you are new in trekking then we recommend you to have some training at home. You can practice walking around the hills that might be available around your place.

Training will make your trek a lot easier compared to the ones coming without any training. Since the Chola Pass Trekking is demanding, hence prepare your mind as well accordingly.

The route is mostly uphill climbing towards Gokyo and Everest Base Camp. And later mostly descending while returning back to Namche and Lukla.

For people with knee problems, it is important that you bring proper knee support else you may suffer a lot. Nothing can guarantee your success in this extreme altitude except the slow and steady walk.

You can prepare with regular cardiovascular training at home i.e. cycling, swimming and lots of walking. Seek out hills or find a tall building and walk up and down the stairs repeatedly. It may help you a lot during the trek.

everest base camp trek packing list for may

Packing for EBC Cho La Pass Trek

Packing wisely plays an important role in making your trip smooth, convenient or less difficult. This can vary according to the season that you choose to trek.

So before you pack, it is wise to check the climatic condition, weather, and the temperature of the region.

Also, we recommend you to pack not more than 20 kg. This can be for both reasons whether you choose to carry your own luggage or hire a porter. Packing wisely adds into making your trips a lot comfortable one.

To take the EBC Cho la Pass trek you need a very good and comfortable pair of trekking boots. Be sure to check on the trekking poles, crampons, sleeping bag, a sturdy backpack. Personal first-aid kit, toiletries and insect repellant for monsoon season.

However, irrespective of the season we advise you to dress in layers because this trek has great variation. The temperature increases and decreases as you ascend or descend.

Hence dressing in layers allows you to take on and off according to the situation. Also be sure to choose moisture wicking material for base layers of your clothing.

Tips to Avoid Difficulties for EBC Cho La Pass Trek

  • Check the weather and temperature and pack accordingly
  • Choose peak season for moderate weather with lesser difficulty.
  • Pre-book for the accommodation during peak season. This will help you to get the room that you desire without having to compromise on the facility.
  • Always stay hydrated. Carry water bottles and water purifiers.
  • Maintain your own pace and do not rush.
  • If you want a peaceful trekking experience, opt for offseason.
  • Keep buffer days in case of any delays or unplanned situation.


Everest Base Camp Chola Pass Trek is an absolute adventure into the Everest region.

It is a challenging trek. Yet with a little bit of preparation and choosing the right time, you can overcome the Everest Base Camp Cho La Pass Difficulty.

Taking this trek will allow you to discover your inner strength and capabilities. Moreover, there is no doubt that this trek will serve as an experience for the lifetime.

For further question and queries, please feel free to contact us. We are happy to guide and assist you with the best of our knowledge.

Want more information? Send us your query, and our experts will get back to you within 24 hrs.

About Author

Madhav started working as a porter in 2001 and then went on to work as a trekking guide. After working in the trekking and tourism industry for 8 years, he co-founded Mosaic Adventure in 2009.

Madhav has trekked to most of the treks in Nepal including Everest Base Camp Trek, Annapurna Base Camp, Annapurna Circuit Trek, Poon Hill Trek, Jomsom Muktinath Trek, Indigenous Peoples Trek, Langtang Valley Trek, Mardi Himal Trek and all of the day hikes around Kathmandu.

He has also extensively traveled to other countries like USA, UK, France, Hong Kong, Japan, China, Philippines, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Behrain, Thailand, Turkey and India. Madhav is the one who answers most of your questions about trekking and tours and helps to plan your trip by giving a personal touch.

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