Annapurna Circuit: 12th - Thorong Phedi a 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 ChameNepal

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: 2th - Chame a 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 a 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.
Annapurna Circuit: 13th - High camp a Thorong La to Muktinath, Nepal

At the height of the Annapurnas Circuit

At 5416m of altitude, the Thorong La Gorge is the great challenge and the main cause of anxiety on the itinerary. After having killed 2014 climbers in October 29, crossing it safely generates a relief worthy of double celebration.
Annapurna Circuit 14th - Muktinath to Kagbeni, Nepal

On the Other Side of the Pass

After the demanding crossing of Thorong La, we recover in the cozy village of Muktinath. The next morning we proceed back to lower altitudes. On the way to the ancient kingdom of Upper Mustang and the village of Kagbeni that serves as its gateway.
Masai Mara Reservation, Masai Land Travel, Kenya, Masai Convivial
safari
Masai Mara, Kenya

A Journey Through the Masai Lands

The Mara savannah became famous for the confrontation between millions of herbivores and their predators. But, in a reckless communion with wildlife, it is the Masai humans who stand out there.
Thorong La, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal, photo for posterity
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 13th - High camp a Thorong La to Muktinath, Nepal

At the height of the Annapurnas Circuit

At 5416m of altitude, the Thorong La Gorge is the great challenge and the main cause of anxiety on the itinerary. After having killed 2014 climbers in October 29, crossing it safely generates a relief worthy of double celebration.
Bertie in jalopy, Napier, New Zealand
Architecture & Design
Napier, New Zealand

Back to the 30s

Devastated by an earthquake, Napier was rebuilt in an almost ground-floor Art Deco and lives pretending to stop in the Thirties. Its visitors surrender to the Great Gatsby atmosphere that the city enacts.
Salto Angel, Rio that falls from the sky, Angel Falls, PN Canaima, Venezuela
Adventure
PN Canaima, Venezuela

Kerepakupai, Salto Angel: The River that Falls from Heaven

In 1937, Jimmy Angel landed a light aircraft on a plateau lost in the Venezuelan jungle. The American adventurer did not find gold but he conquered the baptism of the longest waterfall on the face of the Earth
Correspondence verification
Ceremonies and Festivities
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.
, Mexico, city of silver and gold, homes over tunnels
Cities
Guanajuato, Mexico

The City that Shines in All Colors

During the XNUMXth century, it was the city that produced the most silver in the world and one of the most opulent in Mexico and colonial Spain. Several of its mines are still active, but the impressive wealth of Guanuajuato lies in the multicolored eccentricity of its history and secular heritage.
young saleswoman, nation, bread, uzbekistan
Meal
Fergana Valley, Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan, The Nation That Does Not Lack Bread

Few countries employ cereals like Uzbekistan. In this republic of Central Asia, bread plays a vital and social role. The Uzbeks produce it and consume it with devotion and in abundance.
Tabato, Guinea Bissau, Balafons
Culture
Tabato, Guinea Bissau

Tabatô: to the Rhythm of Balafom

During our visit to the tabanca, at a glance, the djidius (poet musicians)  mandingas are organized. Two of the village's prodigious balaphonists take the lead, flanked by children who imitate them. Megaphone singers at the ready, sing, dance and play guitar. There is a chora player and several djambes and drums. Its exhibition generates successive shivers.
Bungee jumping, Queenstown, New Zealand
Sport
Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown, the Queen of Extreme Sports

In the century. XVIII, the Kiwi government proclaimed a mining village on the South Island "fit for a queen".Today's extreme scenery and activities reinforce the majestic status of ever-challenging Queenstown.
Africa Princess, Canhambaque, Bijagós, Guinea Bissau,
Traveling
Africa Princess Cruise, 1º Bijagos, Guinea Bissau

Towards Canhambaque, through the History of Guinea Bissau

The Africa Princess departs from the port of Bissau, downstream the Geba estuary. We make a first stopover on the island of Bolama. From the old capital, we proceed to the heart of the Bijagós archipelago.
Women with long hair from Huang Luo, Guangxi, China
Ethnic
Longsheng, China

Huang Luo: the Chinese Village of the Longest Hairs

In a multi-ethnic region covered with terraced rice paddies, the women of Huang Luo have surrendered to the same hairy obsession. They let the longest hair in the world grow, years on end, to an average length of 170 to 200 cm. Oddly enough, to keep them beautiful and shiny, they only use water and rice.
View of Fa Island, Tonga, Last Polynesian Monarchy
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Got2Globe Portfolio

Exotic Signs of Life

Colored Nationalism
History
Cartagena de Indias, Colombia

The Desired City

Many treasures passed through Cartagena before being handed over to the Spanish Crown - more so than the pirates who tried to plunder them. Today, the walls protect a majestic city always ready to "rumbear".
Santa Maria, Mother Island of the Azores
Islands
Santa Maria, Azores

Santa Maria: the Azores Mother Island

It was the first in the archipelago to emerge from the bottom of the sea, the first to be discovered, the first and only to receive Cristovão Colombo and a Concorde. These are some of the attributes that make Santa Maria special. When we visit it, we find many more.
Era Susi towed by dog, Oulanka, Finland
Winter White
PN Oulanka, Finland

A Slightly Lonesome Wolf

Jukka “Era-Susi” Nordman has created one of the largest packs of sled dogs in the world. He became one of Finland's most iconic characters but remains faithful to his nickname: Wilderness Wolf.
Cove, Big Sur, California, United States
Literature
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.
Ponta de Sao Lourenco, Madeira, Portugal
Nature
Ponta de Sao Lourenco, Madeira, Portugal

The Eastern, Somehow Extraterrestrial Madeira Tip

Unusual, with ocher tones and raw earth, Ponta de São Lourenço is often the first sight of Madeira. When we walk through it, we are fascinated, above all, with what the most tropical of the Portuguese islands is not.
Mother Armenia Statue, Yerevan, Armenia
Autumn
Yerevan, Armenia

A Capital between East and West

Heiress of the Soviet civilization, aligned with the great Russia, Armenia allows itself to be seduced by the most democratic and sophisticated ways of Western Europe. In recent times, the two worlds have collided in the streets of your capital. From popular and political dispute, Yerevan will dictate the new course of the nation.
Serengeti, Great Savannah Migration, Tanzania, wildebeest on river
Natural Parks
Serengeti NP, Tanzania

The Great Migration of the Endless Savanna

In these prairies that the Masai people say syringet (run forever), millions of wildebeests and other herbivores chase the rains. For predators, their arrival and that of the monsoon are the same salvation.
Incandescent Mouth, Big Island Hawaii, Volcanoes National Park, Lava Rivers
UNESCO World Heritage
Big Island, Hawaii

Searching for Rivers of Lava

There are five volcanoes that make the big island of Hawaii grow day by day. Kilauea, the most active on Earth, is constantly releasing lava. Despite this, we live a kind of epic to envision it.
Ooty, Tamil Nadu, Bollywood Scenery, Heartthrob's Eye
Characters
Ooty, India

In Bollywood's Nearly Ideal Setting

The conflict with Pakistan and the threat of terrorism made filming in Kashmir and Uttar Pradesh a drama. In Ooty, we see how this former British colonial station took the lead.
Varela Guinea Bissau, Nhiquim beach
Beaches
Varela, Guinea Bissau

Dazzling, Deserted Coastline, all the way to Senegal

Somewhat remote, with challenging access, the peaceful fishing village of Varela compensates those who reach it with the friendliness of its people and one of the stunning, but at risk, coastlines in Guinea Bissau.
Engravings, Karnak Temple, Luxor, Egypt
Religion
luxor, Egypt

From Luxor to Thebes: Journey to Ancient Egypt

Thebes was raised as the new supreme capital of the Egyptian Empire, the seat of Amon, the God of Gods. Modern Luxor inherited the Temple of Karnak and its sumptuousness. Between one and the other flow the sacred Nile and millennia of dazzling history.
Train Kuranda train, Cairns, Queensland, Australia
On Rails
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.
Walter Peak, Queenstown, New Zealand
Society
New Zealand  

When Counting Sheep causes Sleep Loss

20 years ago, New Zealand had 18 sheep per inhabitant. For political and economic reasons, the average was halved. In the antipodes, many breeders are worried about their future.
the projectionist
Daily life
Sainte-Luce, Martinique

The Nostalgic Projectionist

From 1954 to 1983, Gérard Pierre screened many of the famous films arriving in Martinique. 30 years after the closing of the room in which he worked, it was still difficult for this nostalgic native to change his reel.
Pisteiro San in action at Torra Conservancy, Namibia
Wildlife
Palmwag, Namíbia

In Search of Rhinos

We set off from the heart of the oasis generated by the Uniab River, home to the largest number of black rhinos in southwest Africa. In the footsteps of a bushman tracker, we follow a stealthy specimen, dazzled by a setting with a Martian feel.
Napali Coast and Waimea Canyon, Kauai, Hawaii Wrinkles
Scenic Flights
napali coast, Hawaii

Hawaii's Dazzling Wrinkles

Kauai is the greenest and rainiest island in the Hawaiian archipelago. It is also the oldest. As we explore its Napalo Coast by land, sea and air, we are amazed to see how the passage of millennia has only favored it.