Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Asian Adventure: Day 12 Day of Rest

Annapurna Circuit Day 7
Manang Acclimatization Day

Today was our "acclimatization day" in Manang which meant it was the first morning in a week that we did not have to pack our bags - simple pleasures I know! After breakfast we headed across the valley towards the viewpoint above Gangapurna Lake to see the Gangapurna Icefall. We reached the viewpoint at 3800 m rather quickly so we decided to continue up the hillside to see if we could get better views of the icefalls below Annapurna IV.

We climbed up past shepherd camps abandoned for the winter, wide meadows and countless strings of prayer flags until we reached 4300 m at which point there was getting to be too much snow on the ground so we turned around. Our climb did not go completely unrewarded as we were treated to stunning views of the Manang  valley, spotted a herd of about 20 blue sheep and spied footprints of the elusive snow leopard in the snow.

Gangapurna Icefall
Gangapurna Lake
4300 m
Gangapurna Lake

After the long climb back down to Manang, we headed for lunch at the Yak Hotel which had been recommended to us for its yak mono. Dave was determined that our acclimatization day was not going to be a rest day so immediately after lunch we headed back out, up the opposite side of the valley, towards the Praken Gompa.

We climbed back up to 4100 m, past a series of chortens and through yak pastures, to the monastery. The monastery is built right into a cave in the side of the mountain with a small garden in front of it. It is home to Tashi Llama, his wife and daughter. Tashi Llama is 95 years old and for 100 rupees donation ($1.30) he will provide you with a blessing for your up coming journey over Thorong La Pass.

Praken Gompa
Tashi Llama blessing Dave
Tashi Llama and his wife
Tashi Llama
View of Annapurna II from Praken Gompa

We left Praken Gompa just in time to witness the evening aplenglow on the Annapurna range. We raced back down the hill to Manang just before daylight disappeared completely. 

Annapurna II and IV

So in case you have lost count - we went from 3540 m to 4300 m to 3540 m to 4100 m to 3540 m. That is  1320 m of up and 1320 m of down. Definitely an acclimatization day and not a rest day. The elevation of the summit of Mount Robson is 3954 m. So we have now climbed higher than the tallest peak in the Canadian Rockies and the mountains peaks still tower 3000 m above us. It is impossible to appreciate the scale of the Himalayans.

Back in Manang, we found our guides inside a local tea shop drinking raksi around the fire so we joined them for a drink before returning to the hotel for the night.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...