Annapurna Circuit Trek Day 6 Tilciho Lake Trekking
If you missed day 5 you can click here.
Trekking to Tilicho Lake was one of the most rewarding experiences on the Annapurna Circuit Trek. The hike was a little difficult, but rewarding. We had beautiful landscape views while Tilicho Lake Trekking. The landscapes were decorated by snow covered peaks such as Tilicho Peak, Khangsar Kang, Tare Kang, and Om Myurpa. We could also see Tilicho Lake Base Camp! When I made it to the highest lake in the world (16,138 ft), I thought I reached the edge of the world. Come trek to Tilicho Lake with me in this blog post.
Tilicho Lake trekking from Tilicho Base Camp
I woke up at 5:30 and started getting ready. Sun had not risen, but was casting enough light to start trekking without head lamps. I grabbed my trekking poles and my guide and we were on the Tilicho Lake Trekking trail. The sunrise came just after 6:00. Golden arrows shot through the mountain tops and landed as glistening light on the snow. Om Myurpa was the dominant mountain at the trail head.
The trail became steeper as we walked further. We eventually came to an area that reminded me of the 99 switchbacks on Mt. Whitney. At this point on the trail we met a heard of blue sheep and a flock of Tibetan Snowcocks. It was enjoyable to see the wildlife. I felt like I belonged up there. At the top of the switchbacks the view opened up significantly. We could see Roc Noir and Glacier Dome. They were covered in blinding white snow. The snow level was also much deeper at the top of the switchbacks.
We came to a rocky outcrop that presented itself as a viewing platform. Tilicho Valley was to the north west of us, while the Annapurna ridge line was to the south. Base Camp was hidden by the hills we crossed over. As I looked north the only things I could see were Tilicho Peak and a small ridge on my left, a moraine on my right, and the most beautiful sky in front of me. It looked like the world stopped. I found the edge of the world! It was amazing. I felt like I could jump off and fly off into space.
Fortunately the earth is round and gravity maintains balance. When I came to the edge, I saw a magnificent Lake covered in snow. I could see some peaks in the Muktinath mountain range in the distance. To the right of the lake is Idam Phra, which is nice. The Tilicho Lake trail continues past the lake, between the mountains and through the Mandala Pass. An optional route takes you through the Mesokanto La pass. If you are into trail running, you might want to consider Mandala Pass.
Tilicho Lake stats and information
Tilicho Lake is at an elevation of 16,138 ft. It is considered the highest lake in the world for its size. It has a surface area of 1.9 sq miles and holds about 125 acre feet of water, which is about equal to 41,000,000 gallons. The average depth of the lake is 279 feet. Tilicho Lake does not have any native fish associated with the lake, but that might change due to an increased interest in stocking the lake as a commercial fishery. The establishment of a commercial fishery in Tilicho Lake is highly unlikely though.
Tilicho Lake to Shree Kharka
I decided to turn back after 30 minutes of staring at the lake and the surroundings. The snow was stating to get soft and more and more people were starting to crowd the view point. We started hiking back down before the snow turned into slush. I came to an avalanche area that worried me. We passed it swiftly, but you could see where the snow melt was causing some sloughing. We made it down to the base camp and had breakfast.
After breakfast we started hiking to Shree Kharka, which is about 3.5 hours from base camp. We hiked the same trail back, passing the other avalanche areas. The trail evened out as we got closer to Khangsar. We came to Hotel Tilicho Peak, which is just before Khangsar. The rooms were a little below average compared to the other tea houses, but they were nice. The rooms had exposed electrical wires, but at least they had indoor electricity.
You can continue and read about day 7 of the trek here.
This article as some good information for continued reading