Day 12: Thorong La

Thorong La Travel Blog

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Rod & I at the summit of Thorong La
The day of the pass started with Rod saying “CONNIE, GET UP!”.  

We slept through our alarm clock by over an hour on the day of our final ascent.  

This was not a good thing.  Actually this was a very bad thing.  With the two of us constantly needing to rest due to our AMS headaches, we estimated a total time of 12 hours to the next town of Muktinath on the other side of the pass.

Worst yet, we estimated 6 hours to make the ascent to the top.  We HAD to summit by 12 noon in order to leave the section of trail that was threatened by rock slides once the heat of the afternoon sun melted the snow.

We hoped to start our trek at 5am.  We woke up at 5:15.

Frantically we changed, packed our bags, shoveled down some breakfast and hit the trail by 6:15.  Eating breakfast was really important as we needed to carry our food and water for the day over the pass.  There weren’t exactly any restaurants or stores perched up at 5400m.

About two minutes onto the trail, we hit snow…..or rather, Rod hit ice, hard.  Being a Kiwi and not used to the ice and snow, he slipped on some black ice and landed stomach first against the side of the cliff.  He was literally hanging on to the ledge with one hand!  Being 6 foot 4 and carrying about 16kgs on his back, there was no way my small 5 foot 2 body was going to haul him up.

Luckily, a strong Nepali porter with only about 40kgs attached to his back was able to reach down and pull up Rod with his free hand.  Those Nepalis are strong little buggers.
Somewhat demoralized, we pushed onward because frankly, we weren’t turning back.  Worried that we’d miss our 12 noon deadline for the summit, we pushed hard and managed to make it to the top in four and a half hours, at about 10:45 in the morning. 

It took me the rest of the day to stop being mad at Rod for pushing me all that morning to move faster.

But nonetheless, we’re now all kinds of awesomeness.
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Rod & I at the summit of Thorong La
Rod & I at the summit of Thorong La
Thorong La
photo by: Connie