Gyatso La

An Unforgettable Drive to Gyatso La

Gyatso La is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 5.220m (17,125ft) above the sea level, located in Lhazê County, a county of the Xigazê Prefecture in the Tibet Autonomous Region, China. It's the highest point on the Friendship Highway (China-Nepal Highway).

Gyatso La (also known as Jia Tsuo La and Lhakpa La) is traversed by the Friendship Highway (G318), an asphalted 800 kilometres (500 mi) scenic route connecting the capital of Tibet Lhasa with the Chinese/Nepalese border. The pass is located about 240 Km west of Zhigatse on the way to Nepal and marks the entry into the Everest National Park. A couple of kilometres from the pass there are great views of Everest, a pointy snow capped mountain in the distance, distinctly higher than those mountains around it.

Tucked away within the Qomolangma National Nature Reserve, the newly paved road is already damaged. It has a well-deserved reputation for being dangerous because of unpredictable snowstorms and blizzards, and driving under these conditions, can be extremely challenging. The summit hosts prayer flags and monuments.
Pic: Dale Gray

 

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