Thorong La, one of the highest navigable passes in the world, is the climax of the Annapurna Circuit. The Circuit has been on many top ten lists of trekking trails of the world and is Nepal’s most popular trek. Here there are views of ravishing mountains with geological and cultural diversity.
Crossing Thorong-La is not as grueling as climbing Everest, yet It is the biggest challenge of the Annapurna Circuit trek. The pass tops out at 5,416 m. For most trekkers this will be their first time over 5000 metres, where avoiding altitude sickness requires proper preparation.
Even the donkeys can get short of breath here in the thin air. Oxygen is in low concentration, which causes each step to be labored. High winds, avalanches and blizzards are additional potential hazards. Every trekker must come equipped to deal with this menacing environment.
No wonder crossing Thorong-la and completing the Annapurna Circuit trek is both an immense challenge and a dream come true. The breathtaking natural features contribute to the popularity of the Annapurna Circuit and its companion trek into the Annapurna Base Camp (ABC).
You will be treated to stunning Himalayan views including Manaslu 8163m, Dhaulagiri 8167m, Annapurna I 8091m, Nilgiri 7041m, Fishtail/Machhapuchhare 6998m, Annapurna II 7939m , Annapurna III 7555m, Annapurna IV 7525m, Annapurna South 7219m, Gangapurna 6485m, Hiunchuli 6441m, Lamjung Himal 6986m, Pisang Peak 6091m, Chulu West Peak 6419m, Tilicho Peak 7134m, Tukuche Peak 6920m and other huge mountains. Where else in the world can you find so many awe-inspiring mountains in such high concentration?
Though your gaze will be directed up most of the trek, there are many wondrous sights when you lower you eyes: Tilicho Lake at 4919 m is thought to be the highest lake in the world. The Kali Gandaki Gorge rises 5571 m from the river to the top of Annapurna I making it one of the deepest canyons in the world.
Then there is the Ruptse Waterfall, Rhododendron forests, natural hot springs, the best apple garden in the Marpha region, black fossils, the temple in Muktinath and Tibetan Monasteries. In fact, the cultural diversity of the many Nepalese (mainly Hindu) and Tibetan (Buddhist) groups are for many trekkers the principle draw to this spectacular trip.
So what do you think? Would the challenges scare you or would you rise above your fears and have one of the most extraordinary experiences of your life? The choice is yours!