April 15: to Thanak

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Getting up to Cho La wasn’t all that bad. Getting down the other side was a bit more troublesome. It was a mix of rock and scree with a little snow and ice thrown in to make it slick. We picked our way down carefully, and watched in awe as the porters and kitchen staff headed down with much heavier loads and at a much faster pace.

As we headed down we were treated to our first good look at Cho Oyu, 26,900 ft.  This is considered the easiest of the 8000-meter peaks, but the easy side is climbed from the Tibet side. The south side is seldom climbed, and it was easy for us to believe it once we saw it.

In the late afternoon, we reached the village of Thanak (called Thagna on some maps) at the relatively civilized elevation of 15,400. This ended up being one of the longest days of walking on the trip.

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