Hiking from Chahare to Muktinath via Manang and Thorang La Pass
Chahare – Dharapani
24th Oct 2009
Bimal Koirala, Kapil Pandey, Abishesh Joshi, Manoj Rokka, Rudra Pandey, Chris Kryder, Mohana Lohani, Hitesh Karki
This is the highest pass in the world a trekker could enjoy
I always wanted to do this one. This is the highest pass in the world a trekker could enjoy. It was not easy at all. My team had a few more days of acclimatization than I had and they were 10-20 years younger. I had a role to push these young guys to the limit and finish my trek from Manang to the Pass in three days. We left the beautiful village (of course with full of garlic smell) of Manang early Thursday morning and spend Thursday night at Yak Kharka. Friday night five of us spend few hours of the never ending torturous night at High Camp (approx 4900 M). I could not sleep at all and our team left for the pass 3:30 AM Saturday morning. We reached the Pass around 6:30 AM and I started my descend towards the base camp (Phedi at 4500M) after 15 minutes halt at the Pass. My team walked to the other side of the Pass targeting Jomsom as their next halt. I met Chris Kryder, Truman (Chris's friend), Mohana and Hitesh at the base camp and headed back to Manang village. Reached the old garlic village at around 7 PM. The 14 hours of walk made me very exhausted. But it was a BIG achievement. Loved it and suffered from a terrible headache almost constantly for three days. I am happy I could still do it. I like the number 5,416 and will never forget: 5 = team of five, 4 = those who were left at the base camp, 1 = the person who was left at Kathmandu, 6 = originally we had planned to be the team of six.
I had a few learning from the trek:
1. We all can do it if we try and it is always good to go through the stress test like this one!
2. Be careful of altitude sickness when you push yourself beyond 2500 M mark. I had the slight sickness and I was able to overcome as I have enough experience to know the early symptom of it.
3. Walk slowly; you can get there.
4. Never try horse ride during downhill - it may kill you.
As always, Pranayam helped me a lot. Particulalry, Anulom Bilom. I would not be able to overcome the massive constantly pounding headache without the Pranayam.
I loved my tam all the way and they were amazing.
Bimal dai (Bhurtel buda) Manoj (maite), Abishesh ( Halal buda) and Hitesh dai ( Karki dai)
For me the Thorang La trek was a dream come true. Never seen snow in my life, got an opportunity to touch the snow with bare hands, climb the Annapurna 3 up to some meters. How can I forget the everyday breakfast, Garlic soup and Milk porridge with honey, Playing cards at night, our own mandle jokes, yak ko sukuti and chicken at manang. Thanks to Bimal dai (Bhurtel buda) Manoj (maite), Abishesh ( Halal buda) and Hitesh dai ( Karki dai). Lastly, we all know Nepal is beautiful but the difference lies in knowing and exploring. Thanks D2 for all this.
"I don't have the words to explain about how i felt on my 10 days trekking to Thorong-La pass" but
I am trying to share some of my experiences that i had during my journey to the world's highest pass. "Thorong-la" which was 5414 meters above the sea level and the highest elevation is situated in Annapurna Trekking route. The journey began from Besisahar.
From Besisahar we took a jeep to Chahare and reached there at around 6:30 PM. Then the Trek began at night, ForeHeadlight that we had as our trekking gear helped us to show the trail, single slip could take us to Marsyangdi river but we must had to walk, there was no option. Around 9:30 PM, we reached Sange, and spend night there.
Our destination for the second day was Dharapani. We started our journey from the temporary man made bamboo bridge over Marsyangdi river, this bridge was 'one way bridge', only single person can pass at a time,but no one knows how much load that bridge would be able to bear. On the way we had encountered countless number of Waterfalls, among them one is at Chamje "Rainbow Waterfall" which was really breath taking, a clear view of rainbow always reflects this waterfall, feels like looking at natural painting. And then, after walking more than 11 hours we reached the place called Dharapani.
we are traveling, where people from across 7 oceans are dying to visit?
We were a bit tired but the excitement to be on the lap of a mountain always boosted us to move forward. That day our destination was to reach Bhartang, next stop after Chame. After half an hour of walking, Mt. Manasalu shown her face on our opposite side. Fellow trekkers are also started to seen on a way, most of them were foreigners, looking at them, a question came to my mind "Why most of the Nepalese are so interested to travel to foreign countries, when there exists place like theone we are traveling, where people from across 7 oceans are dying to visit?". After walking for 3 hours Mt. Annapurna II started to peep us hiding behind an unknown hill. We reached Chame at 2 PM. "Chame" the district headquarters of Manang is surrounded by Anapurna II, Manasalu and number of other snow-covered deserted hills. After Chame our next stop was Burtang, where we reached around 5:30 PM and decided to stay there for that night.
Our mission for that day was to reach Manang and catch Chris and his team. After walking for 2 hours, we reached on a place called "Dhukur Pohkari". We were all amazed with its beauty, "WOW!, what a combination of nature - a tiny pond on a middle, surrounded by jungle of pine trees along with himali flowers, above that a deserted giant hills with snow on a top and Mt. Annapurna II smiling on a morning sun light," - felt like we were in heaven. Leaving that wonder land behind, we continued our journey towards Pisang, a small village on the base of Mt. Pisang (6091M).
From Pisang after 2 hours ascent of a small hill, a view of Humde along with Manang's only one airport indicated us that we were reaching closer to Manang. Also new series of Mt. Annapurna Iv, Gangapurna and Tilicho were standing on a distance to welcome us. After having lunch at Humde we moved our feet towards our final destination of that day and reached Manang around 5:30 PM. Manang is a typically Tibetan village with numerous stupas, monasteries and oratories, which is situated at a height of 3500M. The altitude of the place we were traveling was increasing day by day, which made us a bit worried about altitude sickness. Even though we were taking lots of water and garlic soup as a precaution, there existed every possibility of getting Altitude Sickness at any time.
These beautiful scenery made us feel as if we were walking in our dream land
After a day's rest at Manang, we headed next towards Yak Kharka (4200M). On that day as we walked pass an old Manang village, we witnessed wonderful smile of little 'manange' kids, group of yaks, Himali Cow(Chauri) and sheep, Mount Annapurna, Gangapurna and Tolicho on left and huge dry hills . These beautiful scenery made us feel as if we were walking in our dream land.Finally,we reached Yak Kharka at around 4 pm.
Thorong-la high camp: Although the walking distance was relatively shorter than those of previous days, we quite tired even after walking few steps because of the high altitude. .However, the breathtaking view that surrounded us was a welcome exchange to our tiredness. Mount Chuli and thorong-la are new mountain that we can see on a way to Thorong high camp. After reaching Thorong phedi(4500M)at around 1 PM we had lunch there and then we started to ascend towards thorong-high camp(4800M). The distance between Thorong phedi and high camp was merely 300 meters but because of high altitude it took almost 1 and half hour to cover that distance. Around 4 pm we reached high camp. We all had minor headache, probably due to extreme cold wind or altitude. That day one question was roaming around my mind "Can we do it", to which I swiftly answered "Yes we can". We all gathered for dining at the hotel in base camp and decided to start our final mission at 3 am next morning. Because of high altitude, we couldn't sleep well that night.
We were the first team to be on the pass that day
The day to be on a top of Thorong-La pass, which is 5416 M and highest pass of Annapurna circuit. All of us woke up at 3 Am and got ready to ascend towards the pass. With the help of head lamp, we started our stride towards Thorong base camp. We had to walk on a small snow covered path. The temperature was probably between -3 to -5 degrees or less. The more we moved forward, the more we had breathing problem while the headach also became more sharper.Despite we were struggling with pain, this experience was nothing as compared to the experience of walking at the top of the mountain, with twinkling stars above on the dark sky, freezing temperature and pin drop silence. Gradually the stars on the sky started to fade away along with the blooming rays of light on the horizon, and clear signs of a new day and fresh air of Thorong-la pass was getting closer and closer. Finally we reached the pass at 6:15 Am. Luckily, we were the first team to be on the pass that day.
My thanks goes to my fellow trekkers and our travel friends Pasang, Rajendra and Bhim .Without their help, our journey from Kathmandu to Thorong-la pass may not have been possible.
"Thanks god for creating such a wonderland, and i know you are also amazed, like I am."
Kathmanu to Thorong-la Pass to Pokhara (Approx. Time to Travel)
Kathmandu to Beshisahar (7 Hrs) - Bus
Beshisahar to Chahare (2 Hrs) - Jeep
Chahare to Sange (3 Hrs) - hike
Sange to Jagar (2 Hrs) -hike
Jagar to Chamje (2 Hrs) -hike
Chamje to Taal (2 Hrs) -hike
Taal to Dharapani (4 Hrs) -hike
Dharapani to Temang (3 Hrs) -hike
Temang to Chame (3 Hrs) -hike
Chame to Bhurtang (3 Hrs) -hike
Bhurtang to Dhukur Pokhari (1 Hrs) -hike
Dhukur Pokhari to Pisang (2 Hrs) -hike
Pisang to Humde (3 Hrs) -hike
Humde to Manang (3 Hrs) -hike
Rest Day at Manang
Manang to Ice Lake (4 hrs) -hike
Manang to Gangapurna lake (20 Mins) -hike
Gangapurna lake to Annapurna IV base (2 Hrs) -hike
Manang to Gunsang (2:30 Hrs) -hike
Gunsang to Ghenojang Khola (1 Hrs) -hike
Ghenojang Khola to Yak Kharka (2 Hrs) -hike
Yak Kharka to Churi Leder (1 Hrs) -hike
Churi Leder to Thorong Phedi (2 Hrs) -hike
Thorong phedi to Thorong high camp(1 Hrs) -hike
Thorong High camp to Thorong Base camp (1 Hrs) -hike
Thorong Base camp to Thorong Pass(2 Hrs) -hike
Thorong Pass to Muktinaath (5 Hrs) -hike
Muktinaath to Jomsom(3 Hrs) - Jeep
Jomsom to Beni (7 Hrs) - Bus
Beni to Pokhara (4 hrs) -Bus
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