Cholatse, Nepal

Altitude Junkies offer one of the most cost-effective full-service expeditions on Cholatse in the Khumbu region of the Nepalese Himalaya.

We don't advertise an expedition price and then ask for additional payments at the conclusion of the expedition such as Sherpa summit bonus and kitchen staff gratuities as some of the other operators do. The price you pay the Junkies is the final price.

Our expedition is limited to eight climbers and one expedition leader with four Sherpa to assist the expedition. Due to the technical nature of this climb we have a higher Sherpa to climber ratio than most other 6,000-meter plus peaks.

The single leader/expedition manager offers similar expertise as a fully guided climb with a 4:1 climber to guide ratio. Having a 1:2 climbing Sherpa to climber ratio allows a more flexible schedule to travel with the climbing Sherpa during acclimatization rotations.

Cholaste is a step up in technical difficulty over Ama Dablam, therefore there are less teams present. Unlike the Dablam, Cholatse is climbed prominently on snow and ice with a small section of rock lower down on the route.



Himalayan veteran expedition organizer Phil Crampton who has reached the summit of Cholatse several times and has multiple summits on 7,000 and 8,000-meter peaks in Nepal, Pakistan and Tibet will lead the 2020 expedition and this will be his sixtieth plus Himalayan expedition.

In addition to an experienced leader, the teams head climbing Sherpa Sirdar will be Pasang Ongcho Sherpa who holds the coveted UIAGM guide certification. Pasang has vast experience being a Sirdar on Everest, Lhotse Makalu, Manaslu and Cholatse and will be directing our climbing Sherpas who have all summitted 8,000-meter peaks before, some multiple times, and their knowledge of the mountains of Nepal is unrivaled.



We utilize helicopters from Kathmandu flying directly to Namche Bazar. The Lukla fixed-wing flights are very weather dependent and we believe helicopters are a safer option. Namche Bazar is a good elevation to start the trek to base camp from. At the conclusion of the expedition we will take helicopter flights directly from base camp back to Kathmandu.


The Trek to Base Camp

After arriving at Namche by helicopter we will start the three day trek to base camp. Each evening we will stay in the best teahouse lodges on route and our kitchen staff will supervise all food preparation in the lodge kitchens. We will take cautious acclimatization rest days at Namche Bazar.


Base Camp

Our base camp is as luxurious, if not more so than some of the other more expensive operators in the Khumbu and the food prepared by our highly experienced cooks is considered some of the best available in the Himalayas.

Each climber is provided with a personal Mountain Hardwear 3-person tent at base camp, which is insulated with a foam floor covering and complimented with an extra thick foam mattress.

We provide a carpeted, heated and solar-lit dining tent. We make it a policy at Altitude Junkies to remove all human waste from base camp and have porters carry our toilet drums to a lower village where it can be disposed of properly.


The Kitchen

The head and assistant cooks have all been trained by western chefs in food preparation and strict hygiene standards and produce a varied and nutritious western menu throughout the expedition. They prepare three delicious hot meals a day and use local fresh produce and meats and these are complimented by a huge selection of imported foods and snacks. Our cooks are especially proud of our propane ovens they use to bake us all sorts of treats.


Climb Strategy

Cholatse is a technical peak and the expedition will place fixed ropes where necessary for the safety of all the climbers and staff. We have allocated 14 days at base camp and above to allow ample time for rope fixing as well as contingency days in case we experience bad weather.

We follow a cautious acclimatization schedule at base camp spending several nights in residence before taking our first trip onto the mountain.

The route will see us navigate a small icefall that leads lead us to a possible small rock section, depending on snow coverage, that will have fixed rope in place. This will then lead us up a long snow and ice arete staying on the Southwest Ridge in its entire length to the summit. We will utilize only one camp on the mountain, camp one at 5,700 meters.



We provide medical oxygen, portable altitude chambers and comprehensive medical chests at base camp. We also ask that all climbers carry individual micro high altitude medical kits at all times above base camp as the Sherpas and leader does. All climbing members and climbing Sherpas wear a personal avalanche beacon above base camp.



For constant communication we have all climbing members, climbing Sherpas and guides have their own personal two-way radio at all times on the mountain. We also have base station radios base camp and have these active at all times when members and Sherpas are on the mountain.

Our satellite phones are available for our team members to use at base camp at actual cost price as we feel charging an outrageous amount to phone family is unfair during such an expedition.


Weather Forecasts

To ensure the safety of all our climbers we subscribe to a professional weather forecast service for the duration of the season and have access to this information at all the respective base and high camp and receive constant updates during our summit push.

Altitude Junkies does not allow any solo climbing above base camp on any of our expeditions.

Photo credits: Brad Jackson - Cholatse.

The expedition cost includes:
· Single accommodation with breakfast in Kathmandu as itinerary
· All transportation in Nepal as itinerary
· Porters for 30kg personal gear to base camp and return
· All meals at base camp
· Group Nepal climbing Sherpas
· Group Nepal cooks at base camp
· Expedition permit, peak fee and conservation fees
· Liaison Officer expenses
· Garbage Deposit
· Base camp and high camp tents
· Group climbing equipment, stoves and fuel
· Two-way radios
· Medical kits, portable altitude chamber and medical oxygen
· High altitude freeze-dried meals
· Climbing Sherpa summit bonus and carry bonus
· Kitchen Sherpa staff gratuities
· Kathmandu to Namche Bazar round trip helicopter flight
· Satellite phone use at cost price
The expedition cost does not include:
· Airfare to and from Nepal
· Meals and drinks in Kathmandu
· Alcoholic beverages in Kathmandu
· Bottled beverages, showers and snack food on trek
· Nepal visa costs
· Evacuation costs, medical and rescue insurance
· Personal climbing clothing and equipment
· Personal Puja contribution

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