Thorung La


Oct 4 and 5

We arose at 4,breakfasted and we’re off by a little after 5 in the dark. It was cool but not the bitter cold we expected at this elevation. Bridget and I had hooked up our bikes upside down on our backpacks for the climb, James followed suit. Most ended up pushing and carrying. We faced a very steep climb coming out of camp, then a series of false summits followed at long last by the top. I was really happy with my backpack setup. It also freed up my hands for using trekking poles. It was quite a slog. If you go too fast you quickly lose your breath so it’s important to stay within yourself. Several times I found rocks to rest my bike on and relieve my shoulders. We walked past a small group of mountain goats early on and later a large Nepalese bird like a type of grouse. The series of false passes seemed to go on forever. Bridget mentioned that it seemed to be difficult to draw water out of her hydro pack. She would discover afterwards that the nozzle was partially clogged and that she had actually drank very little water. Amazing she did so well and and avoided real dehydration. Everyone really did great on a very tough climb with bike which was by far the highest elevation ever for most of them. After a few photos at the top (5416m) we screamed down the other side on an amazing descent. The late monsoon here had kept the weather warmer and the pass snow free so all of our concerns were for naught. Wow, what a success for our group.
Only a short distance from our day’s destination, Muktinath, my buddy Rien took a fall. Over the handlebars and onto the rocky path he landed hard on his shoulder. Something was either broken or very much out of place. It was tough. Bridget and I were riding with him and fixed his flat tire. Kami, our trekking Sherpa, pushed his bike and Rien walked the last 2K. A really bad ending to a great day. We have arranged a Jeep ride for Rien to Jomsom where there is a hospital and he can be X-rayed. He may hook up with JR in Pokhara.

I will badly miss my two good friends and feel badly for them. There will be other adventures.

My previous blog post is on my IPad and not yet sent. I will do so as soon as I can. So this post is out of order.

10 thoughts on “Thorung La

  1. Reliving my love/hate relationship with declines via your comment “screaming down the other side on an amazing decent”!!. The false summits also paint a grueling picture, it just keeps going and going and going. Happy you had smooth riding without the interruption of snow on your way down. What an adventure so far. Can’t wait to hear more.

    1. Great to hear from you two. Bridget sends her love. It’s been a real challenge but so incredibly beautiful. 8000 m peaks all around us. Hope you’re still getting out too.

  2. can’t wait to see your pictures, as this place sounds so exotic, so tough to live in, and yet it is the beloved home to these people. I cannot imagine hiking that hike, and with a bike on your back!!

  3. Hey Buck:

    You are describing an “over the top” bike trip that is quite a contrast to the trip being described in the blog by our Cook County friends, the “Prague pedalers”. Keep on truckin’ my friend, and be careful.


  4. Happy Birthday Buck! Gotta be a high point bday! 200 m peaks around here but beautiful Fall colors. Sounds crazy there–bummer for JR but glad you talked with that doctor. Miss you here but enjoy!!!

    1. Good to hear from you, Nance. Finally Wi-Fi after many days. Good luck with those 200m peaks. Am now in Jomsom after returning from Lo Manthang. It was incredible.

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