10/3/2007 to 10/9/2007 | Nepal

Trekking in the Annapurnas I: Besisahar to Manang

For the longest time, I had wanted to come to Nepal and hike the famed Annapurna circuit.  When planning my journey I had tried to time my arrival in Nepal for the best possible time to do the trek, just after the monsoon when the air is clear and the temperatures are still moderate.  Although the late ending monsoon had delayed my start, the unseasonably stormy weather late in the year had the benefit of lowering the snowline making for even more dramatic Himalayan views.  I had hoped to find someone to trek with before I left for the trail but being the high season I figured I meet someone else along the trail.  My assumption proved correct when I met a Canadian snow boarding enthusiast named Tom, from Alberta shortly into the trek who was also trekking solo.  That night we met Dave, a British expat living in Thailand at the tea house we stayed at, completing our trio that would hike together for the next 20 days.  Starting from a mere 840 m (2700 ft) the trail rises through a narrow valley terraced with rice fields and strewn with waterfalls.  For the fist couple days we just got a few tantalizing glimpses of the snow capped mountains hidden by the steep valley walls.  It wasn’t until the forth day of the trek as we walked along side the massive snow clad white face of Annapurna II at 7937 m (26,192 ft) that the jaw dropping Himalayan views the Annapurna circuit is famous for really started.  It took us five days to reach Manang and its stunning location in a valley overlooked by a couple of 7500 m (24,000+ ft) peaks of Annapurna III and Gangapurna.

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