Annapurna Circuit _Day 9_Thorong LA

Thorong Phedi to Muktinath
Going through Thorong La (5416 m/17,769 ft)

We started the hike at around 4am. It was 5F/-15 C when we started and reached a low of -4F/-20 C some time during the morning. I am not sure if that included wind chill or not. It was WINDY the whole morning.  We hiked about 5 hours to the pass, spent about 20 minutes and then hiked about 4-5 hours to Muktinath.  We gained about 1,000m/3,169 ft on the uphill and after the pass we went down about 1,600m/5,302 feet.

At 17,800 ft , there is 50% less oxygen than at sea level.  When I hike in high altitude, I walk very slow and consistently and keep reciting a mantra. In the past and on this hike, I continual said “one step, just take one step.” I also added “Om Mani Padme Hum”. I also make sure to continually drink water as it is easy to get dehydrated and usually eat a piece or two of hard candy to make sure my brain gets enough sugar, otherwise it starts to tell me that I am weak and tired.

The hike both before and after the pass was some of the most challenging time I have ever lived through; made my marathon seem like a prep day.

I am very grateful for my co-trekkers and guides as everyone was constantly supporting each other and we made sure each person was okay. It was a great celebration at the pass and later in Muktinath.

I didn’t take many photos that day during the hike or the hike down, but so many at the pass. I’ve borrowed a few photos from my co-trekkers: Julie, Catherine, Allen and Dominique.

Hike up to the Pass


We encountered a few ice patches; a little scary as one side was a steep drop down. Our guides were super helpful and made sure everyone got through the ice safely.  This is one of the risk of hiking in December that the trail would be too icy or that big snowstorm would blow in and block the pass. We were blessed with perfect weather.

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After the pass

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Entering Muktinath


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