Thorong Pedi (14,501 ft) to Thorong La Pass (17,770 ft) to Muktinath (13,747 ft) – 12 hours
Destination: Eureka Inn, Muktinath.
Today was the day of the grand finale of our trekking journey! Today we would gain over 3200 ft of elevation over a very steep hike to the top of Thorong La Pass.
We woke up at 3am, packed our duffels for the porters to take. We gathered at a main dining hall. This was too early to eat, none of us felt like eating but Dol made sure we ate. I gulped some porridge, got my water bottles filled. We snuck some hand and toe warmers in our gloves and shoes and got ready with backpacks and walking sticks.
We left at 4am, making our way with the faint light of our headlamps. We started walking up this slope, it felt very steep. We made a slow progress.
We tried to stay together as a group, we were letting some of the faster trekkers pass us. Everyone was doing well.
About an hour in, day started breaking in and we started seeing faint shadow of high Himalayan peaks all around us. It looked mystical mixed with morning fog and low clouds.
we reached high camp in little less than 2 hours. We were doing well with our pace according to Dol. We took short break there and moved on.
There were multiple steep hills we kept climbing all morning before we reached final lesser steep part. Two in our group started having intense headache, a classic symptom of altitude sickness. They took some ibuprofen and slowed down a bit. It would be another hour or so before we would reach the highest point.
Finally after a long walk, Dharmesh I made it to the highest point on Thorong La Pass around 9.30 am. This was a moment of accomplishment! Mitul made it right behind us and everyone else made it within next 40 minutes!
This was a moment of immense joy for some of the teammates who had never done any high-altitude, or Himalayan treks before, this was their first experience.
To our surprise, there was a teashop at the top, it provided some shelter for us while we were waiting for others to show up. There were horses who came up to this altitude, bringing supplies. They were also available for some of the travelers who would have hard time climbing the pass.
We stayed up here almost till 11am before we started walking down. We still had a long walk to Muktinath. Now we were bale to see the other side of the pass and completely new scenery. It was breathtaking. It was pretty cloudy throughout the day but the weather was considerably warmer (35-40F) for that altitude.
Light rain showers started in the afternoon. We all were very tired by 2pm, the last hour of walk to the town was the most difficult one.
We finally made it to Muktinath at 4pm, exactly after 12 hours since we had started in the morning. I had a bad headache started in the afternoon, I took a short nap after hot shower, which helped.
Tonight was the night we all gathered had nice dinner danced and tipped generously. Our team of guides and porters for Extollo Adventures were the reason behind our success. There were no words to describe the attentiveness of these amazing folks, they deserve all the respect and love!