Annapurna Base Camp

The first part of our trekking adventure in the Annapurna region was to Mardi Himal Base Camp.  We returned to Forest Camp from Mardi Himal, where we all became bright eyed and bushy tailed with a return to a decent  level of oxygen and warmer temperatures.

The group ready to leave Forest Camp for Chomrong.

The group ready to leave Forest Camp for Chomrong.

From Forest Camp we descended into the Mardikhola valley. We had spectacular views of Annapurna South.

View of Annapurna South

View of Annapurna South


We walked along the Modi Khola for a couple of miles and then we had to cross the river on a very wobbly bridge.

A long wobbly bridge over the Modi Khola

A long wobbly bridge over the Modi Khola

I was very pleased to make it across ‘New Bridge’ although it was not without moments of hesitation!

Tentatively crossing on the wobbly bridge

Trying to look nonchalant on the wobbly bridge

As we progressed up the other side of the valley we got a good view of the onward route to Annapurna Base Camp.

Prayer flags with our destination beyond

Prayer flags with our destination beyond

We spent the night at Chomrong. This is the last permanent settlement in the valley.  The village is spread over the hillside with stunning views of the Annapurnas and Machupachare.

View from Chomrong

View from Chomrong

After Chomrong we had a long descent down hundreds of steps to the crossing of Chomrong  Khola.

The long steep descent from Chomrong

The long steep descent from Chomrong

It occurred to me that in a couple of days we would be climbing up all these steps on our return.  The bridge over the river was very long, but built by the Ghurkas out of steel so it wasn’t very wobbly.

A much more substantial bridge over the Chomrong Khola

A much more substantial bridge over the Chomrong Khola

As we ascended the valley the terrain became rockier and the path at times indistinct due to recent landslips. Now we were back over 3000m breathing became more difficult and progress up the hill was slower and more laboured.

Tricky footing as we ascended

Tricky footing as we ascended

The wonderful scenery was a constant distraction and eventually we had a well earned sit down and a cup of lemon tea at Machhapuchre base camp.

Refreshment at Machhapuchre Base Camp

Refreshment at Machhapuchre Base Camp

Annapurna South was now really close but as we made our way up the last stage to Annapurna Sanctuary the clouds came down and we could have been anywhere.

 A welcome cairn to mark the way up to the Annapurna Sanctuary. We could have been anywhere!

A welcome cairn to mark the way up to the Annapurna Sanctuary. We could have been anywhere!

At last we made it to the Base Camp.  It was extremely cold, around -10C and at 4130m by preference I would have liked more oxygen. Sleeping wasn’t great.  It reminded me of my childhood in the north east of England in the days before central heating.  A thick layer of ice grew on the inside of the windows overnight.

Dawn breaks at Paradise Lodge at Annapurna Base Camp.

Dawn breaks at Paradise Lodge at Annapurna Base Camp.

Quite a chilly start to the day

Quite a chilly start to the day

The next day we were rewarded with a fantastic dawn.

Annapurna dawn

Annapurna dawn

We took some time to explore the area around the Annapurna Sanctuary before scurrying back down the mountain at speed in search of oxygen and warmth.

Exploring Annapurna Base Camp

Exploring Annapurna Base Camp

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Annapurna Base Camp

  1. Stuart Ritchie

    No-one can say that you don’t like a challenge! That altitude “training” will help your red blood cell development which means that the next time you are out on the bike you will have the strength of a lion. Scenery looks fantastic.

    Reply
    1. Barbara

      The altitude left my lungs feeling quite sore and my left one ‘bubbly’ at the bottom. All better now though and gradually getting back up to a decent level of riding and running. We are having a brief trip back to the mountains next week – rather more civilised though – skiing in the Swiss Alps.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s