ABC Day 07 - Bamboo to Deurali

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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.

Deurali moss

Deurali plants

Leaf colouration; the rosette (basal leaves) of the panicled yellow poppy plant (Meconopsis paniculata)

Deurali lilies

Pitcher Cobra Lily (Arisaema nepenthoides)

The tip of Machapuchare (elevation : 6997m) was glimpsed every now and then through gaps in the dense foliage, and as the sun rose over the hills to the right, crepuscular rays were sent slanting down the valley to bathe everything in their soft light. I stopped at a viewpoint that lay just before Dobhan (elevation : 2600m), as I figured that there was not much that could beat a hot cup of coffee whilst overlooking such incredible views. I would make a short coffee stop like this on the trail in the first hour or so each and every day, and I was always particularly aware about the roaring sound that my Jetboil Zip made. As such, I would always take great measures to ensure that it was ignited only when there was no one around.

Next (Day 7) : Bamboo to Deurali (Part 2)
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Himalaya Hotel

I crossed a large waterfall that ran under a makeshift bridge, before making the climb up to a shrine that lay about 4 kilometres from Bamboo. The trail began a steep climb fairly soon after, before leveling off just before Himalaya Hotel (elevation : 2920m). I reached the village, which basically consisted of just two lodges, just over two hours after leaving Bamboo. The place looked quite cosy and was surrounded by greenery, and was nothing like what I had expected it to be. Himalayan primroses (Primula denticulata) were ubiquitous around here, as were its pollinators, and it seemed as though the bamboo had finally relinquished and had given way for the mossy forest to once again close in.

Butterflies along the way to Deurali

The Indian cabbage white butterfly (Pieris canidia) and the Indian tortoiseshell butterfly (Aglais caschmirensis) pollinating himalayan primroses

I then began the slow climb up to Deurali. Gorgeous views opened up to my right, and multiple waterfalls that drained the mountain tops could be seen as they fell vertically down the sheer valley face and down to the Modi Khola directly below. The cliffs were so high that the water seemed to fall agonisingly slowly, giving me the impression that either the law of gravity had been suspended, or that time was slowing down to a stand-still. I reached a huge overhang just after a short but fairly steep climb, which turned out to be Hinku Cave (elevation : 3170m). The entrance to the cave was blocked so I continued on towards Deurali.

Hinku Cave before Deurali

Cutting through the forest; the overhanging rock that marked the entrance of Hinku Cave

Next (Day 7) : Bamboo to Deurali (Part 3)
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Crossing the Tree Line

By now the foliage and terrain had changed from dense forest to sub-alpine boulder-fields. The treeline was also fairly evident as I looked across at the steep walls on the other side of the valley. It was perhaps a hundred metres or so higher than where I was, and was a stark delineation between the forest and the alpine shrubbery above. The trail continued to ascend, and crossed multiple waterfalls in the process. The strangely-shaped rosettes of the panicled poppy plant (Meconopsis paniculata) were ubiquitous here, and consisted of only the layered basal leaves, but would in the coming few months sprout a flowering central stalk that can at times reach 2 metres high.

Eventually, blue rooves were seen in the distance as the trail made its final approach to Deurali (elevation : 3200m).

Deurali seen in the distance. Hover the cursor over the image to pile on the snow!

I reached Deurali just before 13:00. All the private rooms had been completely booked out, but reaching that early gave me first pick of the beds in the dorm of the Shangri-La Guesthouse. The people around Deurali did not seem too friendly and just curtly shook their head or waved me away when they found out that I was alone and was in search for a room. As such, I didn't feel too inclined to spend more time around these people than I had to and was very tempted to just leave my backpack and to head up to Machapuchare Base Camp (elevation : 3700m) and Annapurna Base Camp (elevation : 4130m) with just a daypack. I estimated that it would take me about 3 hours to get to ABC and another two to return to Deurali, which would mean that I would be able to return before sunset. It had however been raining in the afternoons over the last few days, so I decided to just stay put and to just go along with the original plan.

Gandharba Chuli

Gandharba Chuli (elevation : 6248m)

I instead made my way out of the lodge to bask in the warm sunlight for a while, and to just admire the views and the sheer grandeur of the cliff faces that surrounded me. I was also left in awe of the powerful corrosive force of the river that raged below and marveled at how it had managed to carve out such a deep valley over time. Clouds loomed over and obscured mighty Machapuchare (elevation : 6997m), whilst Himalayan pikas (Ochotona roylei) bounded around below and crows (Corvus sp.) cawed as they circled around in the convection currents up above.

I have always found that there is something deeply spiritual about tranquil mountain views, and the hours that I spent just gazing out into the distance had left me incredibly content.

Modi Khola

The crashing rapids of the Modi Khola

The dormitory bed cost NPR180, and dhalbhat and hot lemon cost NPR590 and NPR90 respectively.

Route Playback

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Download file: Annapurna Base Camp - Day 7.gpx

Day 7 Expenditure

Next (Day 8) : Machapuchare Base Camp

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