Our last day in Thagnak has been the best day of our trip (so far).
We woke to beautiful clear skies (although the sun doesn’t hit the valley and warm it until around 9:00 am), did some laundry in the nearby stream, and headed out on a long, steep acclima-colada hike. 3 hours later, we were at 16,400 feet, a new record for Mike, and exactly the same elevation as tomorrow’s destination, Khare. We are all feeling very strong, which is very encouraging.
The weather was spectacular, as was the scenery -the surrounding mountains towered over us (most are 21,000 feet plus), and we were lucky enough to see some avalanches come off some of the rock faces.
We all agreed this is why we traveled here...
After a 1.5 hour descent and another lunch of noodles, I pulled out my secret weapon - a Callaway 5 iron, which has been hiding in my climbing duffle since we left.
I am proud to be the title sponsor of the Inaugural Thagnak Open golf tournament. We had six contestants play on a 7 hole golf course winding through the hamlet of Thagnak and the river that bisects it.
The proprietor of our lodge saw what we were doing and fashioned a cup out of a plastic water bottle and we were off!
After about 5 minutes we had a gallery of about 10-15 watching us play, dodging the river and piles of yak dung.
After all was said and done, Jimmy Collier, the Texas Tornado, was victorious, and hoisted the Thagnak Cup. A great time was had by all.
Tomorrow we head to Khare, where we will spend two days preparing for our time on the glacier - the final countdown.
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”
- Mark Twain