From Sera the steep, relentless climb to the yellow-walled Sera Ütse retreat takes at least an hour (look up and see it high on the cliff above Sera; if that doesn’t put you off, you’ll be fine!). At 4140m, Sera Ütse was a retreat used by Tsongkhapa – his drub-puk (meditation cave) can be visited – and is currently home to two monks.
Take the path towards the Chöding hermitage and branch off to the left before you get there, climbing the ridge via a switchback path until you reach the yellow building perched high above the valley. You can also reach the retreat directly from Pabonka’s Tashi Chöling hermitage, which makes for a stunning day-long hike. From Sera Ütse you can continue along a new road to the Dode Valley.