Annapurna Circuit – day 9 – trying to reach Tilicho Lake.

Source: WikipediaAnnapurna Circuit – day 9 – trying to reach Tilicho Lake.

I read about Tilicho Lake a lot before deciding I want to go there. Most guide books claim it to be a little dangerous. Also it's off the beaten track of most travelers which is the reason I go trekking – feeling adventurous! But even going to those places one should be smart enough and not do stupid things. I'm a very responsible traveler.

The Tilicho Lake is a side trip at the Annapurna Circuit trek. It leaves from Manang, and takes 3-4 days to complete and coming back to Manang. This was my plan….

Leaving Manang in the morning walking through kangsar to Tilicho Base camp. On the next day climbing up to the lake at dawn and sleeping again at the Tilicho base camp an additional night. The last day would be walking back the same way we walked the 1st day.

We left Manang at 7:45 towards kangsar. Our , Sonam, said it would take 3 to 3.5 hours reaching the village. We were very glad to discover after one hour and 20 minutes that we have reached our 1st destination – kangsar village.

We wanted to continue walking to the Base camp. On the way Sonam fell twice and twisted his leg. We saw he started to limp and it hurts for him. We kept walking anyway….

My friend Eli, which joined this side trip, and I were for fear of the trail going there. There are 2 ways reaching the base camp. One is long and hard & takes 4 hours. It goes up a mountain and then all the way down. The 2nd trail is the lower trail it's an easier relatively straight trail which takes around 2-2.5 hours to complete. The problem is that the latter one is a very narrow trail, with a land slide to the side of it at some part, defiantly not a great experience…

In addition at the afternoon the wind start to blow there and Blue Sheep start to walk on the mountains which causes rocks to fall down on the trail. It was pretty early but we had to make a decision on which trail to walk.

We asked each person passing us on the opposite way if the lower trail is appropriate for waking. Everyone said its fine and we shouldn't worry. My main fear was the landslide. It's a narrow trail for one foot while the other foot must be put on the landslide, this causes the sand to go down a bit….fortunately it stops and you don't find yourself falling down the mountain…but still very scary in my opinion.

After Sonam asked a few people we met a bunch of tourists which came down from the lake. They said the road down is fine and no need to be afraid of that landslide. The Problem is, they told us, was falling rocks (!!!) when climbing up from the base camp to the lake. They said there were strong winds therefore a big rock almost hit them when rolling down!

I didn't want to take ANY risks I don't have to take. I agreed to walk a few more hours on the longer and more difficult trail (Although everybody said the lower one is just fine). I was managing my risks…..

In addition I decided that there would be strong wind we won't going to climb up to the lake from the base camp…another risk is solved. One risk I couldn't solve was Sonams' leg. He claimed to be fine…

I was afraid to walk on the lower trail and too lazy to walk the upper harder one. I solved this by saying to myself that because of Sonams leg we should just return and walk back to Manang.

That's what we did eventually….

I was very disappointed on the way back for not coping with my fear of the way (which everybody said it's just fine and walkable). On the other hand I choose the more human option and took care of my porter. What would have happened if something happened to him on the mountain?! Then would have been to deeper trouble. We then had needed to rescue him somehow and would have got stuck without a porter for the next few days.

If someone of my readers who walked this lower trail from Kangsar to Tilicho Base Camp can comment on this trail situation? Is there a way to do this way without risking yourself?

I'm thinking when will be my next chance of visiting there. That place is amazing from the pictures I saw!

I have a plan of taking a flight to Jomson on my next trip to that area then walk through Tilicho Lake and Tilicho pass, going again through Kangsahar, Manang and finally Homde. Homde, as I mentioned on previous post has an airport. So flying back to Pokhara is certainly an option.

This trip suppose to take 5-6 days and requires camping gear, since at the 1st 3-4 days of the trek, there are no guest houses to stay in,.

What do you suggest? How do you cope with these kinds of fears? When I came back I was angry at myself that I'm a just cowered.

After arriving back at Manang, I knew we made the right decision. I went with Sonam to the HRA (Himalayan rescue association) clinic. The doctor gave him some pills and put a bandage on his leg. He told him to rest as much a he can. On the other hand he said: "I know it's your job and you don't have any other choice, so if you are back to work then just don't push it too much or else it will get worse.

On the next few days we took short and easy walks. Sonam's leg was just fine afterwards…

"There are some things in life that are frightening and you just have to try them, but sometimes it's hard to find some courage for that deep down inside you…."

אולי תרצו לקרוא גם את זה:

  1. Annapurna Circuit – Day 6 – Chame to Ghyaru
  2. Annapurna circuit – day 8 – Manang, heights Acclimatization day
  3. Annapurna Circuit – Day 7 – Ghyaru to Manang
  4. Annapurna circuit – Day 1 – Kathmandu to Bhulbhule
  5. Annapurna circuit – Day 4 – Danaqyu to Chame

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