Breath taking view of Tilicho Lake
The week after semester-end we were all geared up for trek to Tilicho Lake organized by our college. Located at an altitude of 4919 M and being one of the highest lakes in the world, it was definitely at the top of everyone’s bucket list to conquer the difficult trails.
With over 60 students, teachers and guides available, we began our journey late evening on May 18. The excitement was surging through very seat in the bus, and hardly any of us could sleep, but the blaring music could also be blamed for the sleepless drive with several twists and turns along the way, and by the time we reached Besisahar, it was almost 4:30 AM in the morning. After a tiring nap of two hours in the bus itself, we had breakfast in a hotel nearby, and left for Manang right away.
The guide had mentioned prior that the road was really rocky, but the level of rockiness we experienced was on a whole another level. It was a seven hours drive from Besisahar to Manang, and even with jeeps that were supposed to driven on such roads, we were bouncing and jumping from left to right every minute. But the scenery more than made up for how disoriented and rocky the drive was.
One moment, we were driving alongside small alleys with smaller houses right beside the road, and another moment, we were back on a wide rocky road with waterfalls and green pastures surrounding us. After the long tedious drive, we finally reached Manang with dust and fatigue all over our faces, but the cold crisp air was invigorating. The following day, we hiked up a hill, a few hours above Gangapurna Lake, just to be acclimatized to the higher altitude we would be going on the next day. It was a dry rocky track and the view from the top of the hill was amazing, with the wind blowing and mountains surrounding us from all sides.
The nest day, we woke up early, had our breakfast and started our seven hours hike. It wasn’t that much of a difficult trail, at least at the beginning. It was a slow uphill, with dust and rocks and gravels everywhere. But as the hours passed by, the slow up hills started getting steeper, and our breaths became heavier. But we all knew this was the easy part of the route, as we were all writing as well as dreading for the landslide area.
The landslide area to reach the Tilicho Base Camp was indeed one of the main highlights of the trip. The trail was a narrow one, with barley enough space to put both your feet together at the same time. There were stones and gravels everywhere, and to top it off, the wind was blowing which cause the stones to slide down, making it even more difficult to walk. One wrong step would lead you straight down to the river and we were relieved when we finally reached the base camp. The rest of the day was spent talking about our experiences at the landslide area.
Finally the big day was here to Tilicho Lake. The walk up was extremely steep and trails zigzagged every two minutes. I could see some of the y friends panting and walking slowly, and all I could do was enjoy the view and steadily make my way up. There were yaks and blue sheep grazing around, eagles soaring high, and the beautiful snow-clad mountains reminded me of the wall in Game of thrones. We finally reached a signpost that read “Tilicho Lake 35 minutes” and all our exhaustion disappeared upon seeing snow and the frozen puddles.
The view was unreal! The Lake was completely frozen and right beside a mountain stood, Lofty and tall. We took pictures from every spot and, we just sat there, trying to process all the majestic beauty before us. It feels like heaven, and every little struggles we encountered on the way seemed worth it.
It was an amazing experience, one that I will never forget in this lifetime. From the rocky roads, the hours we spent climbing uphill, and finally reaching the highest lake in the world, it will all be etched in my memories forever.
Bajracharya, S. (2018). Breath Taking View of Tilicho. Travel & Leisure (p. 2). Kathmandu: The Himalaya