Occasional Climber

Annapurna Circuit – Letdar to Thorong La to Muktinath

Another dawn start and back on the main trekking trail above Letdar (4,250m)
Approaching Thorung Phedi (4,366m). The trail beyond Thorung Phedi traverses from bottom right up towards the snow peak at top left
Heading off from Thorung Phedi after a good breakfast
Passing a frozen stream just before reaching High Camp (4,775m)
From a vantage point above High Camp, this view looks back to High Camp and the initial section of the snow-bound trail to Thorung La
From above High Camp, a stupendous panorama back towards the Annapurnas and Manang stretches out. Somewhere below, a Himalayan Condor glides on wind currents deflected upwards by the mountain walls
From High Camp to Thorung La an early start in a full moon dawn is required to enjoy firm snow and a tour-group free trail
Making progress along the snow-bound trail from High Camp to Thorung La. The feeling at that time of day in the mountains repays a hundred-fold the discomforts of leaving a warm sleeping bag in the freezing cold before dawn
Onwards and upwards on the snow-bound trail from High Camp to Thorung La
Approaching the highest teahouse in the Himalaya – Thorung La (5,416m)
No Himalayan pass would be complete without its compliment of weather beaten prayer flags – such a wonderful contrast to the shades of blue and gray of the natural surroundings. Thorung La
Weather beaten prayer flags chatter in the alpine breeze on Thorung La
Inside the teahouse at Thorung La the Tea-man does a roaring trade
The trail on the western side of Thorung La was initially a gradual descent through snow
The descent soon steepens until a snow basin is reached. Western side of Thorung La
Beyond Thorung La on the Western side, the valley narrows and steepens further. It also presents a dramatic environmental transition as the desolate landscape of the Kali Gandaki comes into view
Prayer wheels outside of Muktinath
A weaver in the main street of Muktinath (3,798m)
From Muktinath the trail becomes a dirt road. This leads to Jharkot, an ancient village perched on a knife-edge ridge at 3,500m  > Muktinath to Marpha

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