May 21, 2018

Day 10: Yak Kharka to Thorung Phedi


I hiked the Annapurna Circuit with Michelle from Full Time Explorer. She did a great write-up of our trek which she kindly let me borrow, so what you see below is Michelle's text and my photos. You can find her original article at Annapurna Circuit Itinerary.

Yak Kharka literally means yak shed, so you’ll see a ton of yaks being herded to the fields beyond the town. On the way to Ledar we passed all the herders heading out in the morning in what felt like the most authentic part of the trek. The hike was easy and takes less than an hour with a gradual incline up 150m (492 feet). To the right is an incredible view of Chulu West.

After Ledar, the path evens out for a while. When it splits, stay to the left heading towards the river and again take the path to the left at the second fork towards the suspension bridge. We took the path to the right which goes all the way down to the river and back up a steep incline, making it a harder route even though it ends up in the same place. At the top is an adorable little tea house. The lady inside and her fat little dog are amazing. She advised us to be careful ahead because there was a landslide zone and blue sheep walk along the ridge knocking down loose stones.

Along the land slide, we do see blue sheep running along the ridge and grazing in the grass. I wait for them all to pass before proceeding to ensure that no rocks fall down. This area has a pretty wide path compared to other areas on the trail, so it’s not as scary as the Tilicho Lake side trek.

When we arrived at Yak Kharka, it started to snow. We had originally planned to try to make it to High Camp, but I had a small headache so we decided to stay lower to acclimate. I heard the one hour from Yak Kharka made going over the pass harder. Half of our group went to High Camp and half stayed behind. Friends told me High Camp was freezing cold, the facilities weren’t great, and they didn’t sleep at altitude.

On the other hand, we stayed at the Thorong Base Camp Lodge where we had people playing guitar, dancing, doing yoga, playing high altitude chess, and a Jenga competition that took hours to complete and got insanely intense. We had to walk further in the morning, but we had an incredible time staying in a warm lodge with fun games to keep us busy. It was one of my favorite nights of the trek, so I highly recommend stopping in Thorung Phedi.



Normally a software engineer, recently I've been spending a bit more time in nature.

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