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Archive for March 2018

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ABC Day 10 - Chomrong to Nayapul

ABC Index

Final Descent


My pace was slow as I left Chomrong (elevation : 2170m) that morning down the zig-zagging stairwell. I had begun to feel the first aches of the trip, as the rapid 2000 metres descent the day before had proved to be a bit of an ordeal for my knees. It was a gorgeous morning however--the skies were perfectly clear, the light of the early morning was still soft, and it was neither too hot nor too cold. Birds were twittering whilst flitting from tree to tree, and the magnificent mountain views of Annapurna South (elevation : 7219m) and Hiunchuli (elevation : 6441m) topped it all off both literally and figuratively. It was my last day on the range so I tried to soak in as much as I could, so speed was the last thing on my mind. Read more
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ABC Day 09 - Annapurna Base Camp

ABC Index

Annapurna Base Camp


I awoke with a start in the pitch darkness of the empty dorm room to the sound of the alarm on my Suunto Spartan Ultra. It took me a few seconds to get my bearings, which was unusual, and to recall why exactly I had set the alarm that early. The watch had told me when exactly sunrise was and I had given myself just enough time based on my pace the day before, but had not, for some reason, had the foresight to factor in more time for all the snow. In my pre-dawn grogginess, I also made the beginner mistake of not packing another pair of dry socks. Read more
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ABC Day 08 - Machapuchare Base Camp

ABC Index

Machapuchare Base Camp


I took my sweet time that morning, as the views that greeted me overlooked the magnificent valley. The cliffs that ran down the sides of the mighty mountains were still shrouded in the dark tapestry of the mountain's shadow, but as I watched, that tapestry was once again pulled away by the light from the rising sun. Once I had my fill, I made my way up the stairwell past the final lodge and down into the valley. Read more
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ABC Day 07 - Bamboo to Deurali

ABC Index

Back in the Forest


I left Bamboo (elevation : 2310m) a little later than usual since it was going to be a short day, and climbed up past the other lodges and over a stream to the boulder-lined path. The trail crossed several rivers, and passed a waterfall that was festooned with prayer flags. I was then thrown back into the forest, and found myself surrounded by little brown birds that were flitting from bamboo shoot to bamboo shoot. They were twittering away, but at times their sounds could only barely be made out over the rushing Modi Khola. It had rained a lot the day before and all the little streams, rivulets, and tiny waterfalls washed down the hillside and over the path to ultimately join the river way down below. Read more
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ABC Day 06 - Chomrong to Bamboo

ABC Index

Leaving Chomrong


That morning, I awoke to some marvelous views of Annapurna South (elevation : 7219m) and Hiunchuli (elevation : 6441m). The soft morning light cast crepuscular rays skimming over the mountains to the east, before they lit up Annapurna South in their golden glow. The mountains seemed so incredibly close, so much so that I felt that all I had to do to touch them was to just reach out my hand. The valley to the north that led up to the Annapurna Sanctuary could also clearly be seen. The valley had been carved by the mighty Modi Khola over the eons and the thought of walking along it in the days to come left me feeling somewhat exhilarated. Read more
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ABC Day 05 - Banthanti to Chomrong

ABC Index

Tadapani


The trail just after Banthanti (elevation : 2210m) dropped steeply down the hill in very wide steps. It was just before 08:00 and the early morning light was still flattering, and we would catch the mountain views in a soft glow each and every time we would happen upon a clearing in the dense foliage. The descent down the slopes towards Bhurundi Khola went on for 600 metres or so, yet our descent took about 30 minutes as it was slowed down dramatically by all the foot traffic coming up. The trail climbed back up once again just under a kilometre in, before it followed a contour. Read more
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