Day 15 - Trek via Thorung La Pass (5416m) - 2.5hrs then trek to Muktinath (3710m) - 4hrs
Today we cross world’s highest pass! This is a long day, starting before sunrise at 4 or 5 am to cross the pass by 9 or 10 am before the strong wind comes up. These weather conditions may greatly affect our journey, particularly at Thorong La pass (5416m).
Steeply we climb on a regular route which is quite easy to follow. However, difficulties may arise due to altitude and snow. About four hours climb up to the pass, marked by chortens and prayer flags reward you with stunning views from the top of the pass. Then another 4 to 5 hours of walking takes you to the holy town of Muktinath.
Muktinath means ‘place of Nirvana’ and is home to the Muktinath temple as well as several monasteries. It is said that all sorrows you feel are relieved when you visit the temple which is a scared pilgrimage site for both Hindus and Buddhists. The Temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu.
A milestone is made. Today will be the highest I have ever walked to in Nepal. At 5,416m, Thorung La Pass sits higher than Everest Base Camp, which is only 5,364m.
Last night was the worse night sleep I’ve had on this trip so far. Between dad getting up to go pee every few hours, then coming back and making a commotion when he gets back into his sleeping bag, then he needs to read to fall asleep and then when his asleep he snores.
We woke at 3:15am to pack all our stuff up. Since the night was so cold I wore everything I was going to wear today saving time and getting cold changing.
We headed to breakfast for 4:00am. Dad and I elected to eat scrambled eggs. Simple and easy. Not to heavy as we will soon be doing a lot of up hill climbing.
We left High Camp at 4:30am. Well sort of. Dad’s water bladder had lost its mouth piece and was not stop leaking water all over his down jacket. Lucky he was still warm underneath.
Early morning start at sub zero temperatures
We started the long dark, windy and icy trek up hill to Thorung La Pass. It was slow and cold. I wore two pairs of gloves and still couldn’t feel my fingers, but that doesn’t stop me from pushing to the top.
The walk to the top is slow and steady
I made it to the top in about 2 hours and dad made it to the top at Peter Pace in 2.5 hours.
We made it!
Thorany-La Pass - 5416m
As the sun was rising over the pass we celebrate your achievement by taking a few photos. We celebrated for about 10mins before descend down the other side.
The view down the valley on the other side of the pass
The other side of the pass is completely different. It’s dry and barren.
Welcome to Mukinath
From beautiful small towns surrounded by trees to a large town covered in dust
Trekking down to Muktinath was dry and dusty. Not very picturesque.
It took about 4 hours of slow winding to get to the town at the bottom.
We arrived in time for lunch. Pasta and cheese. It took over an hour for us to get our meal, and it wasn’t really worth the wait.
We spent the rest of the afternoon sleeping as the morning was early and little sleep the night before. But first we enjoyed our first hot shower in about 1.5 weeks. The shower was so hot , almost boiling, and nice.
We woke for our nap at 5:45pm and headed straight to the restaurant for dinner, because judging from lunch dinner might be awhile. When dinner arrived my veggie burger was very below par, which is a shame.
After dinner dad and I headed back to the room to continue our sleeping.
Tomorrow will be spent on a bus and then 2 - 3 hours of walking to Marpha.