64 switchbacks to the top of Pang La
Pang La is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 5.205m (17,076ft) above the sea level, located in Tingri County, under the administration of the prefecture-level city of Xigazê in the Tibet Autonomous Region of China.
Set high in the Himalayan Range, the road to the summit, also known as Gawu La and Geu La, is totally paved. It’s called Zhufeng Road. The climb has more than 1000m of vertical climbing and it’s famous because there are 64 switchbacks from the south and 41 from the north, towards Friendship Highway, never too steep. The road ends at the Everest Base Camp.
The pass is 48.9 km (30.38 miles) long, running north-south from G318 road to Zhaxizongxiang. The summit is one of the best spots in the world to enjoy the panoramic view of the Himalayan mountain range. From the summit there is approximately 90km to the Rongbuk monastery, final viewpoint area of Mount Everest.
Running along endless switchbacks, the road to the summit is pretty steep, hitting a 5.8% of maximum gradient through some of the ramps. The top of the pass is marked by a cairn with a pole stuck in its center from which hang strings of prayer flags. The base of the cairn is piled with offerings of stones and bones. Crossing the pass is one of the great trips that you can experience in Tibet.
Pic: Happy Tony