Text Box: Xpedition 8000

Dispatch Eight: April 1st, 2010

Annapurna Expedition 2010

Day Eight: Trek from Muktinath to Thorung La (5,416m); Lete

Today, we woke up at 4:30am, had a quick breakfast and headed out into the darkness for the start of the trek to Thorung La. We were under a pretty tight deadline, having to be back at Muktinath by 12:00 noon if we were to catch the public jeep back to Jomosom and still have time to catch the last bus back to Lete. We went, instead of by the normal trekking route, via the village of Chyongkhar (we had no idea where the normal route went by) and were greeted with beautiful views of Dhaulagiri at first light (see photo). The morning was quite cold, as we were quite a bit higher then we had been just 24 hours ago (in Marpha at 2,670 meters). We started over flat rolling terrain and reached Chabaru (4200 meters) within an hour. Here, the way became steeper and we gained altitude quite quickly. We turned around at around 10:00am, allowing two hours for the descent, and reached Muktinath in plenty of time to catch the jeep (had the information we had been given the previous night been correct). After heading over to the jeep stand, we were told that the public jeep had already left at 11:00am, and that the next one wasn’t till 3pm. We weren’t convinced, so we waited around for an hour and a half and finally, after 14 people congregated around the jeep stand, they packed all of us into the back of the jeep and we were on our way to Jomosom. We arrived an hour later, and quickly bought our bus tickets to Lete. We headed into town to grab lunch (finally) and finished just as the bus rolled up and sounded the horn outside. We boarded, our tickets were checked at least a dozen time by a suspicious official, and we were on our way on the dusty road to Lete. After a number of arbitrary stops, we arrived, unloaded our bags, and breathed in the thick air all the way down here at 2,480 meters (we gained a total of 2936 meters in 24 hours!). We settled in for dinner and tea, then got some much needed sleep. Tomorrow, we will begin the trek to Annapurna North Base Camp and should arrive in base camp on the 5th of April.

Photos: Left: Muktinath with Dhaulagiri in the background; Right: Dhaulagiri at sunrise

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