Rolling past Yamdrok Lake and passing through the Simila Mountain Pass, you will eventually come across Karola Glacier, sustained by the eastern part of Lyanchu River and perched on the southern slope of Naigen Kangsang Snow Mountain, on the boundary between Langkatse and Gyantse. The upper portion of the glacier is comprised of a gently sloping ice cap, while Karola’s lower section features an eastern glacier tongue which is approximately 3 kilometers long, as well as a western glacier tongue which is approximately 4.5 kilometers long; both sections are well over 5,000 meters tall. As the largest glacier within the Lagui Gangri Mountain Range, Karola Glacier is surprisingly accessible to travelers, resting conveniently between Lhasa and Shigatse and approximately 71 kilometers away from Gyantse’s town center.
The best times to visit Karola Glacier are during the spring and autumn months, and the glacier is viewable from the highway as well as a vantage point directly beneath the glaciers. Due to loose ice and year-round precipitation, the glacier has been fenced off, but the glacier’s magnificent presence can still be experienced relatively up close, and one of Karola’s enormous glacial columns stretches down the mountain, stopping just short of the road. Parts of the glacier have taken on a darker shade due to dust blowing through the range or flaring up from the nearby highway, giving Karola a uniquely multifaceted and mottled appearance and providing a once-in-a-lifetime experience for visitors who willing to make the pilgrimage.