Most of the descent was either snow, ice, or loose muddy skree.
That morning at 4:00 AM, we had left Thorung Phedi at 4450 meters. By mid-morning
we were crossing Thorung La at 5415 meters. The long descent ended in Muktinath
at 3800 meters, a total elevation change of 2580 meters (or 8465 feet).
The descent was steep enough for "skiing" in hiking boots, which gave the knees
a rest from the pounding of walking. Despite the physical demands, our slow entry
into the other side of the range felt like sneaking into a magic kingdom where the
atmosphere was glowing with light. In the lower center of the photo, a hiker
reveals the enormous scale of the landscape.