The sunglasses worked well and I had no eye discomfort at night. But some of the other participants in yesterday’s race to the lake reddened their eyes, especially among the Nepalese running without glasses. Guys don’t take care of themselves!
We got up early. I woke up before dawn. I didn’t have to run for water anywhere, since everything had been prepared since the evening. The breakfast was sumptuous, overlooking the beautiful snow-capped peaks. I ran out of dried coconuts and had to switch to a more monotonous cookie diet.
From the camp under the lake, the path lay back, along yesterday’s powder. This time it was much easier and faster to walk, at least because I didn’t stop to take a photo or a video.
On this day, I came across a lot of tourists. Somewhere there was a queue for the observation point, and somewhere the seats at the loggias were occupied. Once again I imagined how uncomfortable it is to go in the season, when there are tens of times more tourists here.
Groups of loaded Sherpas ply from Manang towards the Mustang Kingdom. They carry tens of kilograms on their backs, but these passes are hard work and no career growth. The salary is enough to support myself and send a little to the family. It’s terrible, but there is no other job to be found here.
Rarely, but still hefty yaks come across. In the villages you can buy cheese made from yak milk, and the prices do not say that it is expensive. I did not risk my digestion here, especially since there is the highest pass in front of the entire route.
My Hong Kong comrade Kim never got to the meeting. It looked as though he never came out to the lake or the pass. Perhaps he caught the miner and arranged additional acclimatization in the village, or maybe he just slept for a long time. During this trip he never caught up with me.
But there were many cyclists along the way. They managed to move down the hill very cheerfully, and upwards they had to drag the transport on themselves. But in general they did it much faster than me. However, this does not take into account that under the very pass they will spend the night and the assault will take them all day, and then again for the night.
The climb to the lower camp under the Torong La pass is, in principle, small, several times you need to cross the river over bridges. If you walk at a calm pace, then no adventure at all. The adventure begins with the storming of the final 500 climb section for me on this day – to the upper camp of the Torong La Pass.
In fact, I did not plan to storm to the upper camp, but I reached the lower one faster than planned. It turned out that I had time to rest and set up camp early for the night.
The event turned out to be a little risky, I might not have time to get up before dark, and it is recommended to spend the night lower than the altitude passed during the day, and I got the very peak. It’s easier to risk my health than the health of the group, so I decided to give it a try.
I rested on the rise very often and therefore walked slowly. There would be a backpack of 20 kg less, but there was no choice, we had to storm!
Closer to the upper camp, the trail was flooded with a stream, which froze in some places and turned the trail into a skating rink. It would be a shame to screw up here, and even at such a time. Most likely I was the last one that day who decided to move between the camps. There would be nowhere to wait for help.
It was not easy to reach the upper camp, but I did it! I even made it before sunset. Literally a couple of minutes I caught my breath, left my backpack in the camp and ran another 100 meters higher, to the observation point. I didn’t want to miss the chance to look around before dark. Alternatively, you can stay a day or longer in such places, especially if you are a photographer with good technique. I am always in a hurry somewhere and keep the pace. Maybe just a habit already.
The day turned out to be so intense with this ascent, and there was still an overnight stay. The upper camp is at an altitude of 4900, roughly the same as Lake Tilicho. Spending the night here promised to be harsh, especially in a tent. I prepared all the warm things that I had with me and tied the tent with stones so that it would not be demolished by a hurricane. Here, again, it is better to overdo it than to freeze at night.
I was the only one who decided to spend the night in a tent. The Upper Camp was full of people. There were 20 people hanging out in the café-bar. By the way, it is a good way to while away the evening here, making acquaintances, in warmth and in a cheerful company. Few believed that I would sleep well, even I doubted. In the end, everything went smoothly and I didn’t even have to warm myself at night.
Everyone left the camp very early in order to have time to descend before dark and find transport for themselves. There is a village under the pass with a road to it. Those who do not have much time shorten the route here, but many go on foot to Jomsom.
The views are amazing! The kingdom of light and snow! Everest itself can be seen from here! You just need to know which way to look. And you need to look under your feet, because the path is frozen and you need to be very careful, especially if you go without cats.
On the way I probably overtook about 10 teams. I don’t know why, but many people walk very slowly. Perhaps these are beginners who are at such altitudes for the first time and their body begs for mercy. Maybe they just stretch out the moment to enjoy his majesty even more fully.
I also often stopped to add frames to my piggy bank. The panoramas turned out to be divine. It’s a pity that I didn’t have at least a simple DSLR with me to indulge myself in photography.
In fact, the ascent to the upper camp was much more serious than this small trek to the pass. There was a very solid climb. Here you walk almost along the plateau. Dial a little, throw a little. It seemed to me very comfortable. Maybe I just got into some right rhythm.
Here is the pass! 5416 meters! Not a record for me, but still close. It’s full of people here! All are photographed, get nishtyaki. One young lady tried to open a can of beer, but it was completely frozen. It was a shame to raise it to such a height, but it turned into ice.
I would call it the highest point of the route, but I wanted to climb higher and photograph the pass from above.
From above, the view is definitely even better, it’s a pity the good trail is not trodden. Had a little bit of twisting and shaking, but it’s worth it. I had a carriage in reserve, and in front there was only a descent down from the pass.
Once again I regretted the lack of a DSLR, but it’s just a bomb, how beautiful! This time I was already in my sunglasses, without them you can go blind from this snowy beauty!
After a light, victorious snack from a snickers with hot tea, I still went on. It was hard to leave such beauties, but I still had a lot ahead of me! I was waiting for the transition to the vicinity of the famous last kingdom of Nepal, Mustang.