The trail between Machhapuchhare and Annapurna Base Camp

Annapurna Base Camp trek: 5 highlights

What: Hike to Annapurna Base Camp. Independently, no guide, no porter.

Why: I initially planned to hike the Annapurna Circuit, but I arrived the day after the catastrophic snow-storm and the Annapurna Circuit above Chame was closed. So I decided on the Annapurna Base Camp instead.

When: October 2014

How: Independently, no guide, no porter. 7 kg backpack.

Annapurna Base Camp hike, close to Phedi
                 Annapurna Base Camp hike, close to Phedi

The Itinerary:
Kathmandu-Pokhara (flight)-Phedi (taxi).
Phedi-Deorali-Taglung-Bamboo-Deorali-Annapurna Base Camp-Doban-Chiule-Ghorepani-Poon Hill-Tatopani.

Guidebook: I used the Annapurna Section of the Lonely Planet Trekking in the Himalaya as en e-chapter on my iPhone.

Highlights:

  • The endless steps down from Chhomrong.
  • The occasional monkey spotted in the rain forest below Bamboo.
  • The walk between Machhapuchhare Base Camp and Annapurna Base Camp.
  • The view of the South Face and Glacier of Annapurna from Annapurna Base Camp.
  • The many villages on the way, the life and the teahouses.

    Annapurna Base Camp: Sheep
                                   Annapurna Base Camp: Sheep

I remember:

  • How I kept wearing my ultra-light Patagonia Down Jacket even when snow turned to rain and subsequently burned several holes in it trying to dry it in the Doban teahouse dining room.
  • Tea-houses were full-full all the way up from Ghandruk to Annapurna Basecamp – best scenario was getting a place in the dining room to sleep.
  • It was speculated that the disaster briefly closing the Annapurna Circuit led to an overflow of people on the Annapurna Base Camp Trek. I certainly was one of them.
  • How I met many ill-prepared people who panicked as it began to snow near Machhapuchhare Base Camp.
  • From watching the porters I learned the invaluable lesson of how to slow down and find the exact pace where I can go on for hours.
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