Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Annapurna Sanctuary Trek, Part 2

Nepal is one of those countries that continually amazes me. It is such a small country, relatively speaking, and yet, there is so much vastness here. Vast differences in language groups, people groups, weather extremes, the highest mountains in the world and yet such low valleys and jungles, vast amounts of wealth and yet it is hidden in all despair and poverty that is visible everywhere. And this is why our family loves to explore it while we have the opportunity to do so.

On this trek, there were some pretty spectacular and jaw-dropping moments. We hiked through some very rough terrain and had a lot of "ups and downs" (quite literally) every day. Our legs felt like they were going to fall off some days and waking up and taking that first step each morning about killed me. However, it was all worth it! We saw more of that "vastness" that Nepal has to offer. On our way up, we came across a little bit of snow, not much. However, as we reached the top, it began to snow and by the time we started hiking back down, 2 days later, we had to trek through about a foot and a half of the stuff. We heard and even saw several smaller avalanches...it was enough to scare us but it was also very exciting!

I am just going to post pictures here and let you enjoy a bit of what we saw and experienced. Please enjoy!Hiun Chuli Mtn. This lies just about straight west from Machapuchhre Mtn (or better known as Fishtail Mtn.). We trekked through the valley that lies between these two mountains.

This is a good old fashioned water mill that was set up on one of the rivers we crossed. They are grinding corn here.


Jhinu - one of the villages we stayed at on our way up. You can see the valley below where we just climbed up out of.Nathan and friend, Matthew. This was taken during a break after a very steep climb that took quite a bit of time.
Here is Ben showing you how steep the climb was for us. The boys did amazing on this trek!

Fishtail Mtn...we're getting closer!

Stan found a "friend" at one of our rest stops.

This was no joke! On our way up, there was hardly any snow. Two days later, though, it was a very different story.


We made it! We are now at Machapuchhre Base Camp. Not a lot of snow when I took this picture of our group. However, just a mere 2 hours later, we were wondering if it would stop.

Compare this picture with the picture below...

The weather sure changes fast up here!

This is the table everyone was sitting at just a few hours earlier. The boys loved it!!

The next morning, we had plans to hike up this "saddle" to Annapurna Base Camp but the weather wasn't looking too good. I was beginning to feel the feeling that "real" mountain climbers have when they finally realize they may not summit afterall. What looks like the sky in this picture should be full of mountains!

Here is a picture looking back at the valley we climbed through the day before.

Looking down the wall from our lodging...there is a small stone cabin down there. Can you see it?

Later in the morning, the weather seemed to be good enough for us to make an attempt at ABC. This is us hiking up the saddle and beyond...if you look closely, you can see MBC, the place where we were staying.

We made it!!! It took quite a bit of effort on my part, but I did it. Because of the altitude I kept getting dizzy and had to stop frequently to find my eyeballs (it seemed). I also now know how easy it could be to get snow-blindness. We only stayed up there briefly because the weather was turning bad again and we didn't want to get stuck up there.

It snowed the rest of the day (after summiting) and by morning time, this is what we woke up to. A stunning view of Fishtail Mtn. and crystal clear skies! It dropped well below freezing that night!

Now look at the saddle heading towards ABC...I told you there were mountains up there. Some of our group "ran" back up to the saddle to take some pictures while the rest of us packed up camp and began the trip back down.

David and I heading back down the mountains. I really had mixed feelings about that but we really didn't have enough cold-weather gear to stay up there any longer either.

Ben, David, and I

A rest stop on the way down. How'd you like to wake up to that view every morning?

Stan and Ben

We arrived in the village of Chhomrong early in the day and spent the rest of the day doing laundry and sitting outside just staring at this gorgeous view. We trekked through all of that...wow!

Easter morning!!! I woke early and watched the sun rise over the mountains and it was worth it. God sure was rejoicing in the day too.

Another rest stop, much further down now. This is a local farm...you can see how they store their corn and in the forefront, what looks like grass, is all garlic growing.


A very ancient (almost medieval looking) Gurung village, Gandruk. We stayed here one night.

A Gurung child in front of her house.

A field outside of Gandruk.

This newborn goat was very curious!

And here we all are!! I am in the backrow, blue shirt. Stan is next to me. Ben is in the red shirt in the back. Nathan is on the very bottom left-hand side, and David in the yellow shirt. We were a very international group; Swiss, English, Australian, and Americans.

4 comments:

Spike said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chris & Debbie Klynstra said...

Dear Stan and Ronda,
Sure is different than Kelansam. The pictures are amazing ! We'll have to get in shape before we visit.

Chandelle Cotter said...

I am looking at all your amazing pictures and reading your awesome stories and all i can think is oh my goodness look how big their boys are!! Looks like you had some more amazing adventures:) God Bless!

A.D said...

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Happy weekend,

Ana~