Saturday, 3 May 2014

Nepal and those Big Mountains

I've been back a week or so since the wonders of Nepal. It's been a long time in the back of my mind, that one day I'd have to go and see what the Himalayas are really like. So now I can't believe that it's actually all happened and I'm back home.
It's a bit of a contrast is Nepal: two weeks trekking up into the thin air and and the thick atmosphere of the mountains with the wondrous peaks, precipitous scenery, snow, forests and village life. Then back to Pokhara and Kathmandu and the turmoil and bustle of streets which mix cars, cows, motorbikes, pushbikes, dogs, pedestrians and rickshaws in an apparently orderless chaos. Quite how they all miss each other can only be described as a virtuoso demonstration of human spatial awareness.
But for the mountains, trekking up steps for what seemed like perpetuity, surviving downtime in freezing temperatures, and putting up with medieval facilities are the hardships, made worth putting up with for the scenery.
But we only reached Base Camp of Annapurna and 4200m - it's beyond comprehension to imagine that's just the start if you're there to climb the world's highest mountains, with another 4000m of ice, snow and vertical rock to contend with. It's perhaps no wonder our highpoint was christened the "Annapurna Sanctuary" in 1956 by the British climber Jimmy Roberts - it's only as you arrive that the view opens out with half a dozen huge peaks surrounding you, and the immense Annapurna South glacier creaking past. Photography - well I tried, but weather, the need for light luggage and time constraints, are constant pressures which make it all the more tricky. But there are few now up on the website under Recent or Nepal.

View up to Annapurna from the Sanctuary and across the vast South Annapurna Glacier

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