Thorung La pass is 5,416 meters or about 17,900 feet
above sea level. We struggled out of our sleeping bags at 4 a.m. and were
climbing by 5 a.m., kicking steps in the snow and marvelling at the
starry sky. Usually, starlight was enough, but in the trickiest slippery
spots, we used our flashlights. In this photo, taken at about 6:30 a.m.
we are leaving a small lodge, the last emergency shelter between Thorung
Phedi and Thorung La pass.