Day 10 - Descent from Thorung La Pass     Boot skiing and sore knees

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.
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Peerless photo by Alistair Adams