Day 11: Hidden valley – Yak Kharka

Technical details of the day

Hiking duration: 8 h 45 min
Cumulative Ascend Value: 345 m
Cumulative Descend Value: 1222 m

Map of the day

Curve of difference in heights

Curve of difference in heights of day 11 of the around Dhaulagiri trek: Hidden Valley - Yak Kharka

Curve of difference in heights of day 11 of the around Dhaulagiri trek: Hidden Valley - Yak Kharka

Details of the day

5am​​: Ouch, -12 ° C into the tent so we assumed that the temperature had dropped below -15 ° C during the night. We really did not want to leave our sleeping bags in which we were warm. Unwillingly we came out to face the extreme cold. We had rarely been so cold in our life. It was just a nightmare to put our walking shoes. We needed 5 minutes to put each shoe.

The first thing we did was to heat water to make a good breakfast and fill our water bottles. And during the water heats we had plenty of time to pack our belongings. In fact, the snow was extremely long time to melt at an altitude of 5100m. The breakfast was a real joy and warms our body. During our breakfast, we took time to identify where was the Thapa Peak to deduce the Thapa Pass. This is difficult because there are a lot of mountains that surround us.

When we look into the direction of the path (north-east-east), there is a hill (visible on satellite images of the map of the step). We hesitated between going through the top or bottom. We chose to go up because the Thapa peak is higher. We realized that this was not the best path. Indeed, it would be better to go below the hill because it is the shortest and easiest route. Too bad for us 🙂

We followed the cairns, but it was not so easy. As we were too high we followed without knowing the cairn for the ascent of Tukuche peak. We saw some cairns down of the path and we finally found the right path. in front of us, the path was completely covered with snow and no cairns far away. We therefore decided to get out our secret weapon!

The map is not correct, so we could not rely on the GPS coordinates to walk on the good way. The day before we had made ​​some extrapolations between map coordinates and some GPS points. From these and the identification of different mountains made ​​before our trip in Nepal, we were able to ensure that we followed the correct pass. After several hours of walking in the snow, we arrived at the top of the Thapa Pass. As the French Pass, there are flags. This ascent was done not without difficulty. Indeed, we got tired very quickly because we did not left 5000m. We did not know yet but we will not leave them for a while!

The view from the Thapa Peak was beautiful. Indeed, we saw the Hidden Valley and the Annapurna montains. we could see some hikers on the Thapa Peak. So we guessed we will not be alone on the way back to Marfa.

We suffered of a hard blow. Indeed, our water bags were frozen. We managed during the way to melt snow, but unfortunately we still suffered from thirst.

The path was well marked. The descent was rather flat. We passed next to two base camps, where we met some tourists who have climbed the Thapa Peak. The progress was very slow and exhausting. Indeed, we walked in the snow at 5000m and regularly we plunged deeply as the snow began to melt. We do not see the end of the day. The map told us that the path must go down but it was again wrong. We will stay between 5100 and 5000 m for more than 4 hours. Fortunately we had an extraordinary view of the Annapurna.

Finally the path goes down and how!

The road was not clearly visible but we knew we should go down. Indeed, we were in a maze of paths carved by the Yaks. It started to get late and we just had time to reach Yak Kharka and setting up the tent before nightfall. The sunset inflamed the Annapurna.

We were not alone. We met the people we saw on the Thapa Peak in the morning. Their guide offered us coffee and tea which we enjoyed. This day had been exhausting. We go to bed without eating. We will take a huge breakfast the next day.

Pictures of the day

GPS data


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