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Annapurna Circuit Trek Day 5 Tilicho Base Camp

Annapurna Circuit Trek Day 5 Tilicho Base Camp

Thorang La Pass
Thorang La Pass sign


If you missed the previous day, you can read about that here.

The trail to Tilicho Base Camp is dangerous.  It is dangerous because of land slides.  You have to cross 3 very sketchy areas to reach Tilicho Lake base camp.  Fortunately, there is a second way to reach Tilicho Lake but it is a lot longer.  Despite the danger, I sallied forth.  I met a rather unusual British group, and saw a couple more herds of blue sheep.  Please join me on this daring escapade.  Kick back, relax, and enjoy the entertaining adventure of how I risked my life trekking from Khangsar to Tilicho Base Camp.

Tea house talks and landscape

I woke up at 7:00 and packed my gear.  I was excited to visit Tilicho Lake.  however, despite my excitement, I lumbered from my room to the dining hall.  It is good to move slowly in the morning.    I sat down at a booth next to a window.  I pictured myself drinking tea and reading a book.  Instead, I just looked out the window.  After a few minutes I ordered a bowl of porridge.  Porridge is one of the foods most Nepali chefs can cook well.  A couple of other guests came into the dining hall and joined me.

We talked while their food was being made.  We mostly talked about trekking and the things we missed from our countries.  I finished eating and joined my guide.  Most of the people I talked to couldn’t believe I hired a guide.  They understood after I explained that it was for safety and insurance.  Finally my guide and I started trekking.  We trekked through the small village then came to an open landscape.  Dried grasses and small shrubs populated the hilly landscape.  We passed a small heard of blue sheep, which I was overjoyed to see.

It was shaping up to be an auspicious day.  You could see forever because the skies were so clear.  We continued walking and came to a group of British girls acting weird.  I thought to myself, “maybe this is how they normally act.”  I decided to investigate and walked closer.

Rams rutting in Nepal
Rams rutting

The conversation

Me: Hello

Girls 1 and 2: Hi, Hello

Me: Why are you guys acting strange?

Girl 1: What are those things up there?  They’re so weird looking.

Me: I turn around and saw a second heard of blue sheep and say “oh cool, blue sheep.”

Girl 1: That’s weird, they look like goats! and why are they called blue?

Me: They are goats, and they are sad they don’t have wool.

Girl 1: Oh. I’m from England.

Me: Good luck with that. Safe travels

I started laughing because it was too funny.   I was all smiles the rest of the day as a result of the conversation.  We saw a lot of animals, which made me smile too.  The animals were not scared away by the trekkers, which was curious.

Tilicho Lake Base Camp

As we continued trekking, Ganga Purna mountain faded away while Tilicho Peak grew in dominance.  I could see Om Myurpa, Tare Kang (Glacier Dome), and Khangsar Kang (Roc Noir).  They were beautifuly aligned and stacked gracefully like dominoes waiting to be knocked over.  I kind of wanted them to be knocked over because they block the view of Annapurna 1.  But, I was still glad to see them.  We also caught a glimpse of Chulu Far East.  We descended down into the first landslide zone.  I could hardly walk because the trail narrowed.  In addition, it was completely covered by debris in a few areas too.  Even so, I made it to the other side of the landslide zone.

We walked around a bend and came to a second landslide zone.   A small stone hit me as I was trying to pass.  Coupled with my extreme fear of dying in an avalanche, and the stone hitting me, I ran.  I was looking up the gravely slope from then on.  We crossed another landslide zone before reaching Tilicho Base Camp.  Just after the third avalanche area, a small boy called me ‘little sisters little daughter’, which was not the worst insult somebody has ever called me.  My guide overheard and told the kid to shut up and apologize, which he did.

We reached Tilicho Base Camp (13,665 ft) at 12:00.  I chose Hotel Khangsar Kang and Restaurant for its friendly staff and free room.  I ate lunch with my guide and afterward we hiked around the area.  You can get some pretty great views of the mountains from the hill above base camp.  You can see Om Myurpa and Khangsar Kang very well.

You can continue and read about day 6 here.

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