📸 — Day 11 & 12 (Summit day): Annapurna Circuit, Nepal

Probably the hardest thing we’ve had to do in our life. We started at 4:00 am at an altitude of 4,500 meters. We had no appetite and a 10-hour journey ahead of us. We used our headlamps to lead the way but the millions of stars above us were a short-term treat. It has snowed the day prior covering the pass (which is normally green and clear this time of year), and we used crampons to maintain our grip on the ice for the early morning that later turned to slippery slush when the sun appeared.

After 5 hours of hiking through the snow and up multiple mini “false” summits, we made it 5,416 m half-way through the day. It was the most incredible feeling to experience.

Maeghan jokes that not even 20 min into the hike, she vowed to Oli she would never do this ever again…her body took the smallest steps trying to function with little oxygen and overcome the mental struggle of giving up (which wasn’t an option). But after reaching the top we shared some mars chocolate bars, took some pictures and made our way down to safety — we even got to slide down the mountainside with our rain pants and the snow that had been nicely packed down.

Day Eleven Summary:

Start time: 7:45am 
Total distance: 10.5 km 
Letdar → Thorong Phedi

Day Twelve (SUMMIT DAY!) Summary:

Start time: 4:15am 
Total distance: 19.1 km 
Thorong Phedi → Thorong La Pass →Muktinath

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Sterilizing some water with our UV light system.

Further down the trail, we had to cross this valley to our final village before reaching the summit. There were goats grazing on the bushes above and a boulder the size of Maeghan’s body started to tumble.

A man ahead yelled, “WATCH OUT!!” — she saw nothing but turned her body to the right. That boulder came less than a foot from hitting her in the face — she felt it fly by.

That man saved Maeghan’s life.

Both of us were very rattled and scared to move on, we even debated ending the trip there. But after stopping in a safe space and talking it through — if we live our lives in fear for the worst things to happen… we would be missing out on a fulfilling life — so we trekked on.

The dumb ass goats grazing ahead.
The stress puppy of the day saved Maeghan’s mood and followed us to our final destination before the big summit.

Summit Day:

At first, you start walking and there is a long line up of people.. then slowly it breaks up to everyone’s walking pace and earlier and later risers. It was a bit stressful with that many people, but for the most part, the first hour was the worst.
Some people opted to have Yaks carry them up the pass, for a steep $250 USD.
Maeghan on a break — she was pretty quiet, focused and grumpy most of the uphill ascent.
Walking with the giants.
The oxygen is so limited this high that you often feel like stopping every few steps. We did our best to keep moving to avoid losing all our body heat.
A crazy hostile environment — there was no place to really rest that was welcoming and calm.. you had to keep walking.
MADE IT! We celebrated with chocolate bars and took a few photos. We highfived some familiar faces and then made our way down.
Maeghan already in a much better mood. She is a pro when it comes to downhill trekking… and like a jetpack suddenly strapped to her, we lost her for a while… Sonam and Prem kept making jokes at how fast she was down and slow she was up.
After the pass, you approach these beauties. These mountains are the frontier with Tibet.
We found a faster way to get down thanks to our rain pants and the mushy snow.
This is the area that the 2014 avalanche went through and killed many people.
Muktinath, a holy pilgrimage site.
See more on our website www.alittledetour.ca🌏✈️👫