Annapurna circuit trek is famous with its highest pass of the region called Thorong La pass. But while doing APC trek people often get confused to stop either at thorong la pass phedi or high camp. This Annapurna circuit trek blog is analytical report on these 2 destinations – high camp vs low camp (phedi).
Throgla pass introduction
Thorong La pass is 5416 meter or 17765 feet above the sea level and stands one of the highest easy trekking high pass in Nepal. Trekking of this high pass (Thorong La Pass) is really famous among solo travelers and stunning.
As this trekking starts from the altitude of 760 meters or 24493 feet to the top of Thorong la pass. If you are trekking with guide then he can suggest and book you accommodation for where to stay according to
But if you are trekking thorongla pass of Annapurna circuit independently, I have some suggestions here, regarding my experience in Annapurna circuit trekking over thorong la pass in Nepal Himalaya range.
High camp is easy access to the pass so most of the people aim for it but literally it is not what I suggest you to do.
Firstly, look at your stamina, fitness level or altitudes cope up. If everything looks perfect with no confusion, until yak kharka or Ledar village, then trek to the High camp of thorong la pass.
But for the easy access to the top of thorong la pass and greater view on the way to catch the sunrise and sunset, high camp is always recommended.
But High camp at the altitude of 5800 meters 19024 feet is not an easy night spend before passing thorong la top.
Secondly, if you are starting your day from yak Kharka, I would not suggest you to go to High camp, as it changes lots of height and this might be an issue of your unsuccessful attempt of Annapurna circuit trek via thorongla pass.
But if you start from ledthar 4200 meters or 13776 feet above the sea level, then you might be able to make it to High camp, to do Thorong La Pass of Annapurna circuit trek. Still, make sure you are perfect from all prospective, I mentioned above. Doing High camp is easier for the pass but attempt it, if you are starting from yak kharka with high fitness, with enough time and perfect health condition (majorly AMS).
Beyond The Base Camp
Talking about phedi it is common place for trekkers to spend a night before thorong la pass of Annapurna circuit. Here you will find 3 tea houses till 2020, which are pretty enough accommodation, and are basic.
If you have trouble at manang itself I would suggest you to stop at phedi just to be safe.
If one gets trouble during the night at phedi going back to ledar is not big deal as trail is not hard as the trail back from High camp to ledar. Also Phedi is lower in altitude than high camp.
But still if you have bad symptoms of high altitude sickness and is persistent headache, better get down in the daylight. If not wait till it get worse like blue marks on face & fingers, vomiting continuously, very bad headache, zero appetite, very bad diarrhea etc..
After phedi or base camp of thorong la pass at an altitude of 5545 meters or 181877 feet, way to High camp is not easy as it ascends straight uphill. So make sure your optimism is sound with perfect physique.
Even a single meter of altitude change effects by a lot in the mountains.
People having trouble adjusting with altitude at manang are not supposed to be in High camp until you are feeling great at phedi. This is because a night before thorong la pass will be horrible if you have persistent headaches and dizziness already at letdar or phedi, in this case stay at Phedi & don’t trek up to high camp.
But slight headache at phedi with normal health, you can make to High camp.
Yeah true! It’s easier to do pass from High camp and also the morning and evening views from high camp of Thorong la pass are nice.
But listen to your body and decide looking at your health. Health comes first, indeed!
There are many cases where one needs to be taken down in the middle of night from High camp. And these are few cases where people sleeping at High camp never wake up or get serious problems on the way to thorong la pass.
Guys, your life are something you are traveling this far for fun or accomplishments; so listen to your body and make a wise and safe turn.
So far to my experience I have returned back from very near to high camp and stayed at phedi; as this pretty pass is doable from phedi as well. Starting trek over thorongla pass from Phedi (base camp), just adds extra 2 hours.
Wait & see ?
Don’t wait till it gets bad with high altitude sickness symptoms if you are an independent trekker.
Trekking back in the dark for hours is dangerous as this place is known to see snow leopard. Getting lost would be a problem in this longer way back in the cold as independent trekker.
Negligence might lead to serious result. But if you are with guide phedi to ledar is doable during the nights as well, so wait and see till you can do it. You can wait and see as everyone want to make the pass after coming this far in these part of world with lots of expectations and thoughts.
Guide for Annapurna circuit trek
You guide must and will help you. Phedi has no phone signal but your guide might be able to contact your insurance company using any of options available. Options might be satellite phone, searching for signal on his/her phone, or running back to yak kharka to use the telephone service, if you need to be rescued at worse.
There is no option to trek over the thorong la passes from below phedi, so better don’t dare that.
If you are planning to stay at phedi before thorong la pass, it is better to stay at yak kharka the day before. As the distance in between the destinations will be symmetrical and will help you for optimum acclimatization.
Although phedi is just below High camp it is in the corner and scenery is nice, however. You can see the view of mountains like Gangapurna and Annapurna 2, 3 and the beautiful valley river valley. As you are staying at phedi just by the side of Thorong River, spectacular view of river valley with those stunning mountains is overwhelming beauty of Annapurna circuit trek before Thorong la pass.
In short I suggest one to spend night at phedi rather than at High camp. But if you want to split yak kharka to High camp into 2 days then; spend one night at phedi and next at High.
Never do High camp if you have trouble at manang itself. As manang is determining factor to make sure, either you can go to high camp or not. When you are with bad headache or with any of the altitude symptoms, stay at Phedi rather than high camp.
Stay at phedi is recommended because, it is the place which is okay to trek back even in the dark or late nigt but from the high camp descend will nearly be impossible for independent trekker.Steep descent from High camp to phedi during the night is not joke.
But still High camp is recommended when you are with Good physical fitness level.
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