Having a long day ahead of us, we woke up at 5am and was on the trail by 6ish. Hitting our first snag, we had to cross a small river but since it was so cold, the rocks used as steps now had a sheen of ice over it, causing a bit of annoyance as we wandered around trying to find another way across.
The trek up was tough, but wasn’t as bad as the pleasure of hiking up to the Ice Lake a couple days ago which we had to ascended 1200m. This trek was only a 700m ascent and the road was rather long, so it wasn’t as steep as before. The walk up was half the fun, as the views of the surrounding mountains continue to change with the sunlight and your point of perspective. After 2.5hrs, we managed to get up to the lake, with which we were greeted with a tea house with the view of the whole lake!! Sipping hot tea and snacking on cookies we bought a few days ago (Random note: We bought 4 packs of cookies, but at our hotel was a mouse who picked up the delicious scent and managed to chew through two layers of plastic and nibbled on quarter of a cookie. We promptly changed rooms and threw that bag away, leaving us with 25% less cookies!). The lake was amazing, as we’ve seen our fair share of high-altitude lakes in Tibet, but none seem to have this kind of closeness to the glossy white mountains as Tilicho has. Well worth the walk!
After lunch back at Base Camp, we had to head back out of the area and be back on the trail, as Tilicho Lake was more of a side-trail. One slight problem, we had to make it past through the Death Zone once again!!!! This time, for some strange reason, fear kicked in and some baaad thoughts strated circling through my head. Being tired from the morning’s tough trek, every step required extra effort and concentration. It didn’t help that the winds have picked up, but fortunately it was blowing towards the mountain and not away from it. A few times, the gusts were so strong it wobbled my footing and gave a massive scare! As I concentrated on walking past the Death Zone, in my mind I was observing myself from above, with the narrator to those “You Shouldn’t Be Alive” shows walking through step by step of the disaster about the happen, saying how the weather was windy and because of the snow from last night causing disruptions in the rock formations, and before you know it BOOM! Landslide/Lost footing and down into the abyss below.
I still shudder at the thought of that stupid thing. And on the trail, we met some Chinese people who rode their bike from Tibet into Nepal, and was going into Tilicho Base Camp. We told them about how dangerous this part of the trail was, and they calmly mention “Yeah, this is the most dangerous part of the whole Annapurna Circuit, a lot of people die here.” I’m soooo glad we heard that AFTER we got past the Death Zone…..
Glad we’re still here able to write about this shit. Never doing that again….