Fall 2018: Nepal’s Annapurna Region

Namaste.  The Annapurna region of the Himalayas is home to two of the world’s ten tallest mountains. The Annapurna Circuit is a 100-200 mile route around the entire mountain range. Annapurna Base Camp is in the heart of the mountains. I decided to do both. Plus a few other side trips.

This page is currently just a preview of this amazing trip. Come back some time in November to see a larger and more organized site.

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Waterfalls were never very far away, but in the first few days, they seemed to be everywhere, The tall mountains and steep slopes seemed ideal for creating them. This was perhaps my favorite, loudly crashing into the noisy river below.
The strange, steep, curved, treeless slope of Paungi Danda is unforgetable.
The strange, steep, curved, treeless slope of Paungi Danda is unforgetable.
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Today was spent on the “upper trail” to Manang. With scenery like this, who cares about the “lower trail?” BTW, Can you find the chimpanzee?
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Remember the Paungi Danda? Here, from a distance in the background, it still impresses (as does everythig else in the scene for that matter, IMHO).
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I think the strange grey/brown “mini-mountains” would classify as badlands formations. I was very surprised to find them here in Nepal.
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This large Buddhist monastery (middle) and stupa (below) were built among the aforementioned badlands formations, perhaps to provoke unorthodox thought. 😉
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I was minding my own business, just walking down the trail when I turned a corner and beheld this scene. It stopped me dead in my tracks.
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With raging rivers, high bridges like these are a ncesssity. Despite some very strong winds, crossing them is a necessity for trekkers.
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Gangapurna Galcier (or icefall) flows from Mount Gangapurna, and the runoff creates Gangapurna Lake below.
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How many ways are there to combine a rushing glacial river with distant, snowy mountains and nearby tree-lined slopes? Beats me, but this seems to increase the total.
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Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We will control the horizontal. We will control the vertical. You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the inner mind to (what I termed) “The Land of Ghostly Forms.” Cue strange music.
There must be a yeti nearby.
There must be a yeti nearby.
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Gray can be a magnificent color at times. And a lack of color can highlight forms and shapes. This is not like the moon, but there is a distant resemblance.
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When closer to the clouds above than the landscape below, things get topsy-turvy.
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Surely not a mountain bike! What is it doing up here in the mountains above 15,000 feet?
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Tilicho Lake is protected by Buddha and the Hindu god Shiva. Among other facts proclaimed by the signboard is that no aquatic organisms are known to exist in the lake.
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The simplicity of the white background contrasts with the complexity of the brown/grey foreground.
Did you ever feel this small?
Did you ever feel this small?
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On a clear morning like this, yesterday’s “Land of Ghostly Forms” still doesn’t seem normal. BTW, make sure you don’t step too far to the right; it’s a nonstop trip the to river with no guarantee they’ll be able to recover your body.
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This Buddhist monastery is being restored (including a paint job). From this vantage point, the monks will undoubtedly be able to think high thoughts.
Quiet pastureland seems immediately adjacent to the ice and snow land above.
Quiet pastureland seems immediately adjacent to the ice and snow land above.
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Make way for the yaks! (What else would you expect in a place named Yak Kharka?)
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The trek to Thorung Phedi requires a trip up a valley with harsh, rocky walls. It is but another face on a landscape with so many faces.
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The vertical distance from the river below to the glacier-forming peaks above must be at least a mile. The vertical scale is hard to comprehend even when you are there.
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Here come the glaciers. In this shot, they seem to move from a land of eternal snow to a land of never snow.
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Thorung Pass sits on a saddle between two mountains. This view shows Yakawa Kang, to the north. I thought it was magnificent.
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The decent to Muktinath is long, steep and unrelenting. It was anything but easy.
Buddha watches over Muktinath and its environs.
Buddha watches over Muktinath and its environs.
A woman works at her loom, as did a number of others in Muktinath.
A woman works at her loom, as did a number of others in Muktinath.
A green oasis among barren mountains
A green oasis among barren mountains
Be sure to get a burger at Yac donalds
Be sure to get a burger at Yac donalds
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A crowd of 100 people gets up before dawn to see the glorious spectacle of sunrise on the Annapurna Range from Poon Hill
This is Nepal?  Sure, why not?
This is Nepal? Sure, why not?
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Annapurna Base Camp. I made big mistake here by arriving about an hour late. So you’ll just have to imagine how cool it would be if the clouds weren’t in the way.
Dances With Clouds
Dances With Clouds
I bet you didn't know that Superman really came from Nepal.
I bet you didn’t know that Superman really came from Nepal.
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I have no idea how many stairs I climbed, how many were this steep, or how many I descended, but I am thinking of stars in the universe.
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The “New Bridge” being used by over a dozen horses and half a dozen “cool as a cucumber” human drivers. (I’m sorry you can’t see the ends of the bridge; my camera’s wide angle lens was not wide enough. Oh yes, the bridge is twice as high above the river below as you can see from this vantage point.)

Total trip statistics: 25 days, approximately 250 miles

Remember, this page is just a preview. Come back some time in November to see a larger and more organized site.