Annapurna Circuit 12th: Thorong Phedi to high camp

The Prelude to the Supreme Crossing

spiritual antenna
lonely walker
Climber climbs the slope connecting Thorong Pedi to Thorong High Camp.
Tibetan Buddhist Flags
A clothesline lung ta blesses the ramp leading to Thorong High Camp.
From the Hotel to the Viewpoint
High Camp guest heads to the scenic end a few hundred meters above the hotel.
The charger
Don in a moment of recovery during the arduous ascent to High Camp.
Rescue Horses
Horses walk towards High Camp from the higher ground of Thorong La Gorge.
by the crest
Hikers walk along a ridge that leads to a spot near the High Camp.
Heli Rescue
Helicopter about to land next to High Camp to help a hiker suffering from Mountain Evil.
snowy peaks
Snow ridges of the Annapurnas at the entrance to Thorong La Gorge.
Brown Mountains
The white of the snow contrasts with the almost ocher of the Annapurna Mountains.
High Camp View Hotel
A fallen poster marks the providential shelter of Thorong High Camp.
Ascent to 2
Duo of hikers almost reaching the middle top of the High Camp.
High camp
The first view of the High Camp buildings.
the good way
Valley in Snowy V
Night snow sprinkled the slopes and ridges of the Annapurnas white.
This section of the Annapurna Circuit is only 1km away, but in less than two hours it takes you from 4450m to 4850m and to the entrance to the great canyon. Sleeping in High Camp is a test of resistance to Mountain Evil that not everyone passes.

Annoyed by some anxiety and the noise generated by walkers in rooms near the New Phedi, on departure, we woke up before three in the morning.

The entire hotel was snowy and icy. Large stalactites hung from the eaves, including inside the shared bathroom. In the time that had passed, the cauldron with water placed there, had generated a large block of ice, with the damage to hygiene that such solidification implied.

From the conversation of two groups of American students, led by professors, their schedule for the circuit was not flexible. We realized that, due to some previous mishap, they were forced to cross Thorong La Gorge, that same dawn.

When we left the room and examined the weather, more than displeasing us, the imminent and precipitous rise of the Americans worried us.

The mountains continued under a gray veil of low clouds and mist. We knocked on Sara and Manel's room. They were getting ready to leave.

We expose our doubts and concerns to them when it starts to snow heavily.

Stronger than we had ever seen since leaving Pokhara.

We told them what we knew of the history of Thorong La crossings and what we had planned to save ourselves from getting scared, which was to avoid going up to the canyon in the middle of a snowstorm, even if many other hikers did.

The 2014 tragedy, which we will talk about in the next section of the circuit, was more than a reason to be astute and to redouble our care.

Upon noticing the intensifying snowfall, without seeing a single star in the sky, Sara and Manel nod.

The four of us decided to go back to sleep and see how the weather was after dawn.

Sunny Morning, Time to Leave Thorong Phedi

We woke up around seven in the morning. With the early departure of the two American groups, the New Phedi hotel seemed deserted to us.

The snow had already stopped. The sky opened before our eyes. In such a way that the sun came in, radiant and, little by little, got rid of the persistent cloudiness.

This yes, it was a scenario that we considered favorable. A sunny post-storm with, it seemed, hours of clear skies ahead.

Let's wake up Manel and Sara. We went back to pack our backpacks.

Don, our porter, was ready for our instructions. Even before eight in the morning, we all left the Hotel New Phedi.

When we reach the beginning of the trail and the slope, we have a broader and more real vision of how the night snow had changed the scenario.

The valley of the Jharsong Kola River and the imposing ridges that jutted from the tight V to the west were now white, with slight streaks of earth where snow had missed surfaces that were too steep.

The Good Tibetan Auspices of the Flags sung ok

A long, multicolored clothesline of Buddhist-Tibetan flags ok, stretched horizontally, it stood out from the white immensity.

Tibetans know them as Wind Horse. They are shamanic symbols of the human soul, also representative of the horse, one of the animals that represent the four cardinal poles.

They are also good luck wishing icons.

Right there, outside Phedi, this wind horse shivering blessed the walkers' journeys in both directions, though our Thorong La's proved far more challenging than the opposite.

Slowly, slowly, we climbed the white slope, which the rapid melting of the snow turned white.

At first, we were just the five of us going up. Little by little, hikers leaving Phedi or already arriving from previous scales – Yak Kharka, by Ledar and others – and who had chosen not to stop at Phedi, appeared at the bottom of the ravine.

The Precious Support of Don the Carrier

This was, without a doubt, the most strenuous stretch since the zigzag trail that rose from the Marsyangdi River to the top of Ghyaru.

This time, thanks to Don's services, we were less loaded.

The option of having a charger between Manang and Muktinah, already on the other side of the canyon, we had taken it precisely because, due to the photographic equipment, we were walking with almost twice the expected weight and that the other hikers were carrying.

We wanted to prevent a sudden injury to the lower back or the like, not to mention the mountain sickness, left us unable to proceed.

Even so, to Don, it was just our excess. Shorter than Nepali shippers are used to.

We transported 9 or 10 kg each, over the recommended threshold.

In these more portable modes, in a mere hour of up-stop, recover-resume, we reach the top of High Camp, where we recover, contemplating the new scenery from the top and the immensity we had left behind.

New dropout caused by mountain sickness

We experience this wonder when, in the distance, we see what looked like a helicopter approaching. In a few minutes, it reached the top of the High Camp slope and landed on a flat ledge used as a helipad.

Two hikers appeared from a hotel. One of them was a young woman, we found out that she was an Israeli and that, to our surprise, she walked in jeans and had difficulties.

The other, well-groomed, in snow pants and a bulky feather coat, handed her over to the rescue team. The dropout would be in acceptable condition, otherwise I hadn't asked for her farewell photo.

The memory fulfilled, the helicopter took off. As we had accompanied him to set himself against the mountains and sky, so we saw him disappear above the bed of Jharsong Kola.

We turn to our own reality.

With the facilities of the High Camp right next door, the doubts of whether we wanted to go on, or spend a night there, come back to us.

The Unplanned Layover at High Camp

We remembered what we had been told at Base Camp in Phedi, that the High Camp facilities, the rooms in particular, were miserable for the cold that was there.

As if that wasn't enough, the entrance to the canyon was a few hundred paces away. We decided to continue.

We walked along the snowy trail for almost forty minutes.

Until, in an area where it leaned over a steep slope, we felt the wind intensifying to gusts and bringing dense clouds on the other side of the mountain range, over the massif of Damodar Himal.

With compromised visibility and growing difficulty in keeping ourselves balanced and avoiding toppling over the slope, we aborted the plan.

We reversed gear. We take refuge in the comfort of High Camp. Coincidence or not, there were already several hikers there.

Many more would appear.

At about ten in the morning, we were left with the last two double rooms available. We left our backpacks and found ourselves in the heated room, at this hour, far from the inevitable salamanders.

We had seriously expended energy on Thorong Phedi's ascension. We feel hungry much sooner than normal.

We had lunch around 11 in the morning. Aware that we had to keep our bodies used to the effort at altitude, we went out again.

Discovering High Camp's Elevated Scenarios

We conquer a headland with a monumental view over the Jharsong Kola valley and the surrounding snow-capped peaks.

Its end was crowned by a pile of stones, the support of a grilled antenna, a unkempt structure, even so, entitled to a religious blessing.

Neither the antenna nor the ok that decorated it arrived to bless the guests of telephone signal, let alone internet.

More hikers followed in our footsteps and appeared from the depths of the High Camp. The tight space around the antenna is no longer enough.

It forced us to exchange acrobatic positions that, if miscalculated, could result in a plunge into the abyss. Resigned, we headed back down to High Camp.

Last Night at the Gates of Thorong La Gorge

We found it by the pine cone. We got a table, once again, away from the salamanders.

Despite the cold and discomfort, we dozed off, almost until dinner time and 20:XNUMX after the dining room closed, which took us to the freezing and spartan rooms.

On that night of renewed anxiety, the plan was to wake up at 4:30 am, have a light breakfast at 5:5 am. And we leave at 30:XNUMX am, about sunrise.

We were lulled by the wish that the day would awaken forgiving.

Annapurna Circuit: 1th - Pokhara a Chame, Nepal

Finally, on the way

After several days of preparation in Pokhara, we left towards the Himalayas. The walking route only starts in Chame, at 2670 meters of altitude, with the snowy peaks of the Annapurna mountain range already in sight. Until then, we complete a painful but necessary road preamble to its subtropical base.
Annapurna Circuit: 2nd - Chame to Upper BananaNepal

(I) Eminent Annapurnas

We woke up in Chame, still below 3000m. There we saw, for the first time, the snowy and highest peaks of the Himalayas. From there, we set off for another walk along the Annapurna Circuit through the foothills and slopes of the great mountain range. towards Upper Banana.
Annapurna Circuit: 3rd- Upper Banana, Nepal

An Unexpected Snowy Aurora

At the first glimmers of light, the sight of the white mantle that had covered the village during the night dazzles us. With one of the toughest walks on the Annapurna Circuit ahead of us, we postponed the match as much as possible. Annoyed, we left Upper Pisang towards Escort when the last snow faded.
Annapurna Circuit: 4th – Upper Banana to Ngawal, Nepal

From Nightmare to Dazzle

Unbeknownst to us, we are faced with an ascent that leads us to despair. We pulled our strength as far as possible and reached Ghyaru where we felt closer than ever to the Annapurnas. The rest of the way to Ngawal felt like a kind of extension of the reward.
Annapurna Circuit: 5th- Ngawal-BragaNepal

Towards the Nepalese Braga

We spent another morning of glorious weather discovering Ngawal. There is a short journey towards Manang, the main town on the way to the zenith of the Annapurna circuit. We stayed for Braga (Braka). The hamlet would soon prove to be one of its most unforgettable places.
Annapurna Circuit: 6th – Braga, Nepal

The Ancient Nepal of Braga

Four days of walking later, we slept at 3.519 meters from Braga (Braka). Upon arrival, only the name is familiar to us. Faced with the mystical charm of the town, arranged around one of the oldest and most revered Buddhist monasteries on the Annapurna circuit, we continued our journey there. acclimatization with ascent to Ice Lake (4620m).
Annapurna Circuit: 7th - Braga - Ice Lake, Nepal

Annapurna Circuit - The Painful Acclimatization of Ice Lake

On the way up to the Ghyaru village, we had a first and unexpected show of how ecstatic the Annapurna Circuit can be tasted. Nine kilometers later, in Braga, due to the need to acclimatize, we climbed from 3.470m from Braga to 4.600m from Lake Kicho Tal. We only felt some expected tiredness and the increase in the wonder of the Annapurna Mountains.
Annapurna Circuit: 9th Manang to Milarepa Cave, Nepal

A Walk between Acclimatization and Pilgrimage

In full Annapurna Circuit, we finally arrived in Manang (3519m). we still need acclimatize to the higher stretches that followed, we inaugurated an equally spiritual journey to a Nepalese cave of Milarepa (4000m), the refuge of a siddha (sage) and Buddhist saint.
Annapurna Circuit: 8th Manang, Nepal

Manang: the Last Acclimatization in Civilization

Six days after leaving Besisahar we finally arrived in Manang (3519m). Located at the foot of the Annapurna III and Gangapurna Mountains, Manang is the civilization that pampers and prepares hikers for the ever-dreaded crossing of Thorong La Gorge (5416 m).
Annapurna 10th Circuit: Manang to Yak Kharka, Nepal

On the way to the Annapurnas Even Higher Lands

After an acclimatization break in the near-urban civilization of Manang (3519 m), we made progress again in the ascent to the zenith of Thorong La (5416 m). On that day, we reached the hamlet of Yak Kharka, at 4018 m, a good starting point for the camps at the base of the great canyon.
Annapurna Circuit 11th: yak karkha a Thorong Phedi, Nepal

Arrival to the Foot of the Canyon

In just over 6km, we climbed from 4018m to 4450m, at the base of Thorong La canyon. Along the way, we questioned if what we felt were the first problems of Altitude Evil. It was never more than a false alarm.
Bhaktapur, Nepal

The Nepalese Masks of Life

The Newar Indigenous People of the Kathmandu Valley attach great importance to the Hindu and Buddhist religiosity that unites them with each other and with the Earth. Accordingly, he blesses their rites of passage with newar dances of men masked as deities. Even if repeated long ago from birth to reincarnation, these ancestral dances do not elude modernity and begin to see an end.
Okavango Delta, Not all rivers reach the sea, Mokoros
Okavango Delta, Botswana

Not all rivers reach the sea

Third longest river in southern Africa, the Okavango rises in the Angolan Bié plateau and runs 1600km to the southeast. It gets lost in the Kalahari Desert where it irrigates a dazzling wetland teeming with wildlife.
Alaskan Lumberjack Show Competition, Ketchikan, Alaska, USA
Architecture & Design
Ketchikan, Alaska

Here begins Alaska

The reality goes unnoticed in most of the world, but there are two Alaskas. In urban terms, the state is inaugurated in the south of its hidden frying pan handle, a strip of land separated from the contiguous USA along the west coast of Canada. Ketchikan, is the southernmost of Alaskan cities, its Rain Capital and the Salmon Capital of the World.
Boat Trips

For Those Becoming Internet Sick

Hop on and let yourself go on unmissable boat trips like the Philippine archipelago of Bacuit and the frozen sea of ​​the Finnish Gulf of Bothnia.
Native Americans Parade, Pow Pow, Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States
Ceremonies and Festivities
Albuquerque, USA

When the Drums Sound, the Indians Resist

With more than 500 tribes present, the pow wow "Gathering of the Nations" celebrates the sacred remnants of Native American cultures. But it also reveals the damage inflicted by colonizing civilization.
Kronstadt Russia Autumn, owner of the Bouquet
Kronstadt, Russia

The Autumn of the Russian Island-City of All Crossroads

Founded by Peter the Great, it became the port and naval base protecting Saint Petersburg and northern Greater Russia. In March 1921, it rebelled against the Bolsheviks it had supported during the October Revolution. In this October we're going through, Kronstadt is once again covered by the same exuberant yellow of uncertainty.
Singapore Asian Capital Food, Basmati Bismi

The Asian Food Capital

There were 4 ethnic groups in Singapore, each with its own culinary tradition. Added to this was the influence of thousands of immigrants and expatriates on an island with half the area of ​​London. It was the nation with the greatest gastronomic diversity in the Orient.
shadow of success
Champoton, Mexico

Rodeo Under Sombreros

Champoton, in Campeche, hosts a fair honored by the Virgén de La Concepción. O rodeo Mexican under local sombreros reveals the elegance and skill of the region's cowboys.

Man: an Ever Tested Species

It's in our genes. For the pleasure of participating, for titles, honor or money, competitions give meaning to the world. Some are more eccentric than others.
Chiang Khong to Luang Prabang, Laos, Through the Mekong Below
Chiang Khong - Luang Prabang, , In stock

Slow Boat, Down the Mekong River

Laos' beauty and lower cost are good reasons to sail between Chiang Khong and Luang Prabang. But this long descent of the Mekong River can be as exhausting as it is picturesque.
Bathers in the middle of the End of the World-Cenote de Cuzamá, Mérida, Mexico
Yucatan, Mexico

The End of the End of the World

The announced day passed but the End of the World insisted on not arriving. In Central America, today's Mayans watched and put up with incredulity all the hysteria surrounding their calendar.
portfolio, Got2Globe, Travel photography, images, best photographs, travel photos, world, Earth
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Portfolio Got2globe

The Best in the World – Got2Globe Portfolio

Selfie, Hida from Ancient and Medieval Japan
Takayama, Japan

From the Ancient Japan to the Medieval Hida

In three of its streets, Takayama retains traditional wooden architecture and concentrates old shops and sake producers. Around it, it approaches 100.000 inhabitants and surrenders to modernity.
Roça Bombaim, Roça Monte Café, São Tomé island, flag
Center São Tomé, São Tomé and Principe

From Roça to Roça, Towards the Tropical Heart of São Tomé

On the way between Trindade and Santa Clara, we come across the terrifying colonial past of Batepá. Passing through the Bombaim and Monte Café roças, the island's history seems to have been diluted in time and in the chlorophyll atmosphere of the Santomean jungle.
Correspondence verification
Winter White
Rovaniemi, Finland

From the Finnish Lapland to the Arctic. A Visit to the Land of Santa

Fed up with waiting for the bearded old man to descend down the chimney, we reverse the story. We took advantage of a trip to Finnish Lapland and passed through its furtive home.
Cove, Big Sur, California, United States
Big Sur, USA

The Coast of All Refuges

Over 150km, the Californian coast is subjected to a vastness of mountains, ocean and fog. In this epic setting, hundreds of tormented souls follow in the footsteps of Jack Kerouac and Henri Miller.
Train Kuranda train, Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Cairns-Kuranda, Australia

Train to the Middle of the Jungle

Built out of Cairns to save miners isolated in the rainforest from starvation by flooding, the Kuranda Railway eventually became the livelihood of hundreds of alternative Aussies.
Sheki, Autumn in the Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Autumn Homes
Sheki, Azerbaijan

autumn in the caucasus

Lost among the snowy mountains that separate Europe from Asia, Sheki is one of Azerbaijan's most iconic towns. Its largely silky history includes periods of great harshness. When we visited it, autumn pastels added color to a peculiar post-Soviet and Muslim life.
Totem, Sitka, Alaska Travel Once Russia
Natural Parks
sitka, Alaska

Sitka: Journey through a once Russian Alaska

In 1867, Tsar Alexander II had to sell Russian Alaska to the United States. In the small town of Sitka, we find the Russian legacy but also the Tlingit natives who fought them.
San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Zapatismo, Mexico, San Nicolau Cathedral
UNESCO World Heritage
San Cristobal de Las Casas, Mexico

The Home Sweet Home of Mexican Social Conscience

Mayan, mestizo and Hispanic, Zapatista and tourist, country and cosmopolitan, San Cristobal has no hands to measure. In it, Mexican and expatriate backpacker visitors and political activists share a common ideological demand.
View from the top of Mount Vaea and the tomb, Vailima village, Robert Louis Stevenson, Upolu, Samoa
Upolu, Samoa

Stevenson's Treasure Island

At age 30, the Scottish writer began looking for a place to save him from his cursed body. In Upolu and the Samoans, he found a welcoming refuge to which he gave his heart and soul.
Cahuita, Costa Rica, Caribbean, beach
Cahuita, Costa Rica

An Adult Return to Cahuita

During a backpacking tour of Costa Rica in 2003, the Caribbean warmth of Cahuita delights us. In 2021, after 18 years, we return. In addition to an expected, but contained modernization and hispanization of the town, little else had changed.
Casario, uptown, Fianarantsoa, ​​Madagascar
Fianarantsoa, Madagascar

The Malagasy City of Good Education

Fianarantsoa was founded in 1831 by Ranavalona Iª, a queen of the then predominant Merina ethnic group. Ranavalona Iª was seen by European contemporaries as isolationist, tyrant and cruel. The monarch's reputation aside, when we enter it, its old southern capital remains as the academic, intellectual and religious center of Madagascar.
Chepe Express, Chihuahua Al Pacifico Railway
On Rails
Creel to Los Mochis, Mexico

The Barrancas del Cobre & the CHEPE Iron Horse

The Sierra Madre Occidental's relief turned the dream into a construction nightmare that lasted six decades. In 1961, at last, the prodigious Chihuahua al Pacifico Railroad was opened. Its 643km cross some of the most dramatic scenery in Mexico.
city ​​hall, capital, oslo, norway
Oslo, Norway

A Overcapitalized Capital

One of Norway's problems has been deciding how to invest the billions of euros from its record-breaking sovereign wealth fund. But even immoderate resources don't save Oslo from its social inconsistencies.
herd, foot-and-mouth disease, weak meat, colonia pellegrini, argentina
Daily life
Colónia Pellegrini, Argentina

When the Meat is Weak

The unmistakable flavor of Argentine beef is well known. But this wealth is more vulnerable than you think. The threat of foot-and-mouth disease, in particular, keeps authorities and growers afloat.
Ross Bridge, Tasmania, Australia
Discovering tassie, Part 3, Tasmania, Australia

Tasmania from Top to Bottom

The favorite victim of Australian anecdotes has long been the Tasmania never lost the pride in the way aussie ruder to be. Tassie remains shrouded in mystery and mysticism in a kind of hindquarters of the antipodes. In this article, we narrate the peculiar route from Hobart, the capital located in the unlikely south of the island to the north coast, the turn to the Australian continent.
Full Dog Mushing
Scenic Flights
Seward, Alaska

The Alaskan Dog Mushing Summer

It's almost 30 degrees and the glaciers are melting. In Alaska, entrepreneurs have little time to get rich. Until the end of August, dog mushing cannot stop.