18th-19th March, 2015
In the morning my foot was still a little painful but I could walk again, so it seemed that it was luckily just a sprain. Not wanting to shirk my good fortune, I left Ghopte straight away.
Within an hour and a half I reached Therapati Pass; a village where the Gorsainkunda tail ended. I was on the Helambu trail now, heading south, towards Kathmandu, steadily reaching lower altitudes. The snow gradually faded. Trees became abundant. White-coated mountains became steadily replaced by farms, forests, and rice paddies.
I crossed paths with many people along the way. “Did you go through The Pass?” they all asked me. “Is there still snow?”
I told them that there was deep snow but, as long as they get there before it snows again, there were footprints they could follow. The Pass was open again.
I walked for nine hours that day, but it was generally more downhill than uphill so it wasn’t too exhausting. My body was acclimatised to much higher altitudes, so this new kind of terrain felt like a breeze.
I reached Chipling at around 4pm and had a quick wash before I sat down to eat. Clouds appeared and it began to rain heavily, and thunder. I thought about all those people I met that day who were attempting The Pass, and hoped they had made it safely.
At this point I was looking forward to getting back to a nice hotel in Kathmandu so I got up early and left.
I crossed a valley and a few villages that morning, and by the time I reached Chisapani I had acquired an entourage of dogs, who escorted me to the entrance of Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park – the last stretch of my journey.
It was a gradual uphill climb for the first hour, through a wonderful forest. When I reached the top there were some spectacular views of the Himalayas – where I had just come from.
And then it was all downhill for a couple of hours until I reached Sundarijal, where my trek ended. Tired, weary, smelly, and carrying a sweaty bag full of dirty clothes, I climbed onto a bus to Kathmandu.
For more photos from Helambu, click here.