Sho’La, The pass of Two Faces - Gyalthang, Tibet

Sho’La, The pass of Two Faces

Thanks Jeff Fuchs for this favorite place.

Mountain passes have long held me, not only for their ‘gateway’ rolls within the Himalayas, but for their having been witness to so much movement through some of the most stunning – and daunting terrain – on the planet.

Sho’la Pass for as long as anyone can remember, has ushered caravans and pilgrims to and from northwestern Yunnan into – and onto – the eastern flanks of the Himalayas, often taking a terrible toll on life and limb. At close to 5,000 meters it has long been known for its ‘two faces’: one a pristine protector and guide for travelers, and the other, a pass of raging blizzards and pummeling winds. Every year pilgrims and travelers who become disoriented are found in Spring, having perished upon its grand white slopes.

I’ve seen both sides of Sho’La’s moods having crossed its great back many times, and it remains fixed in my mind and heart as a space of unimaginable power and grace; it remains for me a kind of beacon of what mountain travel was (and still is) all about.

This favorite place is closest to Gyalthang. The following responsible travel operators can help you organise an itinerary for you:

Comments are closed.

More favorite places

Overland Lhasa to Kathmandu via Kyriong
Kailash Kora
Jokhang in Lhasa
Home visits
Canyons of Guge Kingdom
Ghar Monastery, Kham Nangchen, Yushu Prefecture
Nangchen the ancient kingdom
Classic Amdo, A cultural adventure through Eastern Tibet
Riding across the Tibetan Plateau
Zhiduo the home land of wild animals, and the source of the Yellow and Yangzi rive
Sho’La, The pass of Two Faces
Tibetan Medicinal Herb Journey
Nomad Adventure Tour on Gangya and Sogdzong (Henan) Grasslands
Phenpo, an incredible valley
The road Eastwards
Lhasa to Kathmandu Overland
Beautiful Yunnan Meili
Nyenqentanglha Mountains, The Silent Guardian
Best of Everest Basecamp
Walking around Barkhor Square
Lakes and Mountains
Mount Kailash
Trola Range
Genyen Mountain Trek
Cooking, cycling, trekking and meditation in Central Tibet
Ghar Monastery, Kham Nangchen, Yushu Prefecture
Lhasa ancient pilgrimage circuit
Horse races and nomads
Sacred Mountain Amnye Machen
Holy lake Yilung Latsho
Wildlife adventure in East Tibet
Yaks and butter tea trek
Village tour with meditation course
Rawuk Tso alpine lake
Village life
The Drigung Valley
Famous printing press
Favorite bird watching tour
Chomolangma (Mt. Everest) National Park
Three sacred mountains
Just driving through Tibet
The holy mountain Khawa Karpo
The grasslands of Amdo
Meru Nyingma temple
Favorite Flower Tour
Kora of Ganden Monastery
Pabongkha Temple
Revel in the tranquility of Dorphu valley
Beautiful cave murals in West Tibet
Mt. Nyenpo Yurtse Trek

related listings

Road to Tibet

Woeser: "Our company is different from other companies because we offer homestays in Kham and Amdo...


Kham Utpala

The region of Kham in Eastern Tibet is known for its verdant grasslands, craggy mountains, and pure...


Tibetan Guide Travel

Dhondup: "We run our business with the idea of  “Think Local , Act Global”. All our staff are...