Thin Air

After resting up in Manang we began hiking again, we spent two shorter days getting ourselves up to Throng Phedi, our last camp before our ascent over Thorong La. Thankfully with the help of some Diamox (AMS medication) our friend Ane was feeling better and we were all excited to make it over the pass.

To Yak Kharka

We had decided to stay at Throng Phedi, at 14,530', because we had heard that it was not good to sleep at the higher camp, which was only about a mile up the trail but almost another 1,500 additional feet in elevation. At this elevation the nights were bitterly cold and the scenery was rocky and sparse, but offered some great views back down the valley from which we came.

We made it an early night in Throng Phedi, as we planned to start hiking at about 6 a.m. the next morning. A lot of others were going much earlier, but we didn't want to hike in the dark or in the freezing cold so we set out at 6 a.m. and were happy with our decision when we later heard about the long strings of impassable hikers that went before us. The thing is at 14,000+ feet everyone is moving slowly, some nearly shuffling, your heart races at the slightest effort and you sometimes feel like you are walking through quicksand. Ross and I were very lucky to have acclimatized quickly, I think coming from CO helped a lot. We weren't having any trouble breathing, but all around us we heard people gasping for air and I even saw a lady vomiting on her way up to the high camp the day before. With the sun just rising and lighting up the surrounding peaks, we set off.

Ross and I kept up a steady pace, happy to be in the sunshine because it was really cold in the shade, and after several false summits we happily saw the prayer flags waving, we had made it to the top of Thorong La and the highest point of our lives! We celebrated on top with photos, hot tea, and Snickers bars and basked in the accomplishment and all the excitement from the previous 10 days.

Thorong La 360

The day was hardly over though as we had a very long, knee breaking descent to our next village, Muktinath. We celebrated everyone's success that night over a few Everest beers and happily slept in the next day, sore from our efforts, but thrilled to be on the other side.

Dhaulagiri Clouds

The trek continued on from there, but due to the development of a jeep road, the hiking changed quite a bit. We decided to descend down to another village, but after a dusty day of walking with the jeeps and very sore bodies we decided to grab a bus the next day down to the village of Tatopani. A day of terrifying local buses later, at points I was truly afraid our bus would topple over the cliff, we arrived. Not very rested, but very happy to rest up in Tatopani's ('hot water' in Nepali) riverside hot springs. The trek was slowly coming to a close, but we still had one big day of climbing ahead of us. We decided to start heading back up in elevation so that we could take in the awesome sunrise views from Poon Hill, which meant climbing a little over 5,000 ft in one day to get ourselves to the village of Ghorepani.

After about 2 weeks on the trail this was a very tough day, probably the hardest on the trek since we were hiking on very weary legs and we were disappointed to find on our arrival thick cloud cover preventing any views. Still hopeful that it might clear in the morning we set our alarms for the painful hour of 4:30 a.m. to make the 30 minute climb onto Poon Hill for a sunrise show, and we were really glad we did. Luckily for us the clouds moved off and we were afforded the famous Poon Hill panorama as the sun lit up the peaks. With Dhaulagiri, Annapurna I and the massive looking Annapurna South filling the sky we were happy to start our final day on the trek with such an impressive view.


Nepal Calm

Glassy Falls

Rising Sun


Annapurna South

From Poon Hill

Another painfully long descent later, including 3,421 stone steps that felt like they would never end, we were thrilled to arrive in Nayapul and catch a taxi to Pokhara for a few days of rest and recovery. Pokhara was just that, rest. We slept late, ate well, and got to catch up with a few fellow hikers we had met along the trail, it was a great way to wrap up the circuit.

Ross and I both loved this hike. The views were incredible, the local people were so friendly, and all of the fellow hikers we met along the way made it such a blast. Our trip really wouldn't have been the same without our Spanish amigos Ane & Gontzal, it is so awesome to meet people from completely different places, but to have so much in common. With some plan rearranging we really hope we get the chance to visit them in Spain!

Writing this leaves a smile on my face since it reminds me of why we are on this trip, it was an experience we will never forget.


  1. I'm so impressed, and amazed, and totally have this big sister sense of pride going on. Congrats on your amazing journey!!!

  2. Awesome work dudes. Pretty amazing stuff that you guys are doing...the highlight of my day today was that I did laundry for the first time in 2 weeks. You win.

  3. I'm not going to lie doing laundry is a pretty big deal for us too, i've only got 4 pairs of underwear! hope CO is treating you well

  4. This is so incredible. It looks so harsh and so beautiful at the same time. I'm proud of you both. Wondering how the knees are holding up though? I want to be blessed by a lama!!!
    Miss you both. Love, MOM

  5. Congrats guys, ridiculous pics! What an amazing experience. So happy that we can "tag along" via blog. Jesse, Ross says you're looking pretty bosa nova.

  6. Does bosa nova mean hairy in your vernacular, cause that's what I was thinking too?