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Distance

3.56 mi

Elevation gain

3,051 ft

Technical difficulty

Difficult

Elevation loss

272 ft

Max elevation

16,329 ft

Trailrank

51 5

Min elevation

13,399 ft

Trail type

One Way

Time

4 hours 16 minutes

Coordinates

971

Uploaded

November 26, 2014

Recorded

November 2014
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16,329 ft
13,399 ft
3.56 mi

Viewed 3313 times, downloaded 137 times

near Tilicho Base Camp, Western Region (Nepal)

Trek summary:

Day 1: Chame – Upper Pissang
Day 2: Upper Pissang – Manang
Day 3: Manang – Khangsar
Day 4.1: Khangsar
---> Day 4.2 Tilicho BC – Tilicho Lake
Day 5: Tilicho BC – Yak Kharka
Day 6: Yak Kharka - Thorong Pedi High Camp
Day 7: Thorong Pedi High Camp - Thorong La Pass - Muktinath

Highlights:
- Amazing landscape: one of the highest lakes in the world
- Constant ascend slope with elevation gain from 4100m till 4949m
- It is really important to reach the lake early in the morning to minimize the risk of storms
- Strong winds and possibility of snow and ice storm in the lake level
- The last step of the ascent is a snowy path, the use of crampons is not necessary

We reach tilicho BC at 8h30 in the morning, because we came from Khangsar, we left the backpack in a tea house; we took breakfast and began the ascent around 9h00. The beginning of this stage is less hard as the precedent walking days because you can leave the backpack, and you feel lighter. The weather was good at the early morning but while climbing some clouds appeared. There are some landslide areas in the half part of the ascent but there are not technical difficulties to over pass them. After the 4th km, the snow area started and the clouds filled the sky, we continued walking and just in the moment when we saw a small lake in the left side of the path the wind began to blow really hard. In that moment we were only two people together, Hitendra and me, two of our friends abandon the climbing and the other, Bhagawan, over pass us but we didn’t manage to see him, because a snow storm began to fall. The snow storm was really heavy and we didn't even manage to see the path. We were in the middle of the storm and if we look behind us the path was erased, then we were not able to return, it was better to continue walking until the tea house, we managed to see for some moments. While we were walking our colleague Bhagawan managed to reach the teahouse and ask the people blocked inside for help, but the storm was really heavy. One of the people inside tried to descend the mountain some minutes ago and after fell in the snow, they decided to come back to the tea house, with the hope the storm stops. Bhagawan decided to look for us and he entered again in the storm, he found us when we were really close to the tea house and finally, we managed to reach the tea house really exhausted and frightened. We were 8 people blocked in the tea house, counting with the tea house owner who was in sandals. Bhagawan had extra boots in his backpack and gave it to him; he had also several extra jackets and gave them to us (Bhagawan thank you so much for your help, you are great!). The tea house was full of snow, the snow entered by the windows and the door and all the kitchen tools were also full of snow. We planned what to do because if the storm don’t stop we have to protect us of the snow to pass the night there, then we decided to cover the windows and the door with some plastics and push them with the table. We managed to cover then and we felt more protected, seated all together covered by blankets. Suddenly a part of the roof fell down of snow, luckily nobody was hurt. We were really frightened then. I had even thought: Jaione, it might be your last day… But the miracle appeared, and after 2-3 hours the storm stopped and we decided to descend as quick as possible. In less than an hour later all of us were healthful and saved in Tilicho base camp, thanking the earth to permit us living one more day. The lesson learned was huge, nature are much powerful than you can even imagine and a human been against nature inclemencies is almost nothing.


Camping

tbc

Information point

landslide area

landslide area
Panorama

tilicho peack

tilicho peack
Intersection

to tilicho

cros
Lake

tilicho lake

tilicho lake

6 comments

  • Photo of Bhagawan Karki

    Bhagawan Karki Jan 25, 2015

    I have followed this trail  View more

    Annapurna Circuit Trekking described as "the best long distance trek in the world". It takes around three weeks to complete. Tilicho Lake, situated at the highest altitude in the the world, is the side trip trekking of a part of Annapurna Circuit Trekking.
    A Cyclone called Hudhud generated from India arrived Nepal on Oct 13 Monday, 2014 and caused unseasonable rain, heavy snowstorm and avalanches in Annapurna Region killing 39 and dozens of tourist, guide, porter and trekkers(Nepalese and foreigners) went missing. After at the same time, we were trekking on Annapurna Circuit. We were a team of five. Our team’s experience ranged from hard-core trekkers to first timers.
    When we resumed ascending from Tilicho Base Camp to Tilicho Lake, two of us, who were on their first trek, did not continue their trek.
    The Sky was clear, the Sun was shining and nature was alluring us. I was ahead of my remaining team mates crossing snow covered field and they ( Jaionline and Hitendra) were behind me.
    I was busy with taking photographs and suddenly I felt a strong wind with snow pellets hitting and pushing me out of track. I tried to look around but it was difficult to open my eyes and strong wind and snow made it difficult to breathe. I could not see anything except white storm surrounding me, condition worsened. I nearly blacked-out and I could not figure out which way was up and which way was down. My two friends following me did not know where they were. I realized they were in same condition. In search of a place of safety into an absolute position of fear and sheer terror, I saw a roof of a teahouse half covered with snow. By crouching and splitting the strong snowstorm I succeed to reach wobbly in front of the teahouse. The door was closed, I pushed and knocked the door several time but nobody responded. I couldn't make out whether there was anyone inside or not. A while later the door opened. As I entered the teahouse, everything was covered with snow and four people sitting under blankets trying to fight the intense cold weather. Snow pellets were entering violently from the cracks and openings of windows, door and roof. It was very cold inside.
    I urged them to help me to rescue my friends who were caught up in the storm but they didn't say a word. Then I asked the teahouse owner for help but he told me that he did not have a pair of boots. I offered my extra pair of boots but he denied saying it was too dangerous to go outside in that circumstance. I worried about my friends, I decided to rescue them ignoring the devastating weather, risk of hypothermia or even death. While trying to reach my friends I tried to remember the location of teahouse and the direction I was going on, shouting and calling their name even though it was impossible to hear my voice in the storm. I saw dim shadows of two people in the clouded snowstorm crawling and struggling to find their way out. I went to them and we struggled our way out of the storm into the teahouse and took a breath of relief.
    When the storm stopped and Tilicho Lake became clearly visible just below the teahouse. Hurriedly we made a withdrawal to Tilicho Base Camp.
    Later on I saw some clouds roaming on the Sky on my photograph, then I realized the cause of storm. One important lesson that I learnt from this trip is to keep careful watch for possible weather changes on high terrain. As always right decision on right time saves life.

    Bhagawan Karki
    NEPAL

  • Photo of jaionline

    jaionline Feb 1, 2015

    Thanks Bhagawan for write the experience at Tilicho, you are the most brave person I have ever met. I will always be grateful for your quest and brave heart.

  • Angel Montesinos Aug 17, 2015

    Wow that was such an awsome experience. I'll be in that path and that teahouse around 24-27 of September. I'll take into account your experience. As you said, nature cannot be managed by humans...

  • Photo of jaionline

    jaionline Aug 17, 2015

    Thanks for the comment Angel. I wish you good luck. Enjoy the trek! despite our incident, climbing Tilicho is an amazing, exating and unforgettable nice experience.

  • Photo of Stijn Verhoeven

    Stijn Verhoeven May 15, 2018

    I have followed this trail  verified  View more

    Good GPS trail.

  • Photo of toninadc

    toninadc Aug 4, 2019

    I just visited Tilicho Lake (early August). I was very worried when I read your review, but when I visited the lake the weather was fine. You should indicate in which part of the year you had this experience. I talked to the locals and they assured me that in July and August there is no snow and hence no danger of snow storms. Glad you made it safe and sound to BC.

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