Annapurna Circuit - Day 11 Part 2 (Descent to Muktinath)

Muktinath Travel Blog

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Arid landscape on the west side of the pass.

It was a quad-splitting, toe-busting, knee-knocking, occasionally slippery and snow-covered descent of more than a mile (1600m).  We walked through a changed landscape on this side of the pass.  Even though it had gotten more barren up past Manag, this side of the pass was even more arid (almost desert-like in fact).  My legs were screaming as we descended, even as my lungs and the rest of my body graciously approved of the extra oxygen that it was finally receiving.  In 2+ hours we descended 1200+ meters (3937 feet).  And finally reached the first set of habitation where we could eat lunch and rest our weary legs.  My quadricep muscles were continually firing even after sitting down it was such a crazy feeling (like after running a marathon).

Down, down, down from the pass - over 1600m (5250 ft) descent from the top of the pass.
  After lunch we finished the rest of the descent into Muktinath, past the temple complex (more about that in tomorrow's entry) and down to the residential area of Ranipauwa at 3700m (12140 ft) where all the lodging is located.

All told from start to finish it took us 9:15 to cross the pass.  Of course that meant it was only 2:30 in the afternoon when we arrived.  Plenty of time for a nap before dinner in a quite nice lodge.  Lots of food consumed at dinner tonight (yea!! stomach problems were over).  And even though it was just shy of 8:00 PM the whole group stumbled to bed after what was an exhausting and crazy ass day of crossing Thorung La.

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Muktinath
photo by: wanderingluster