Annapurna Day 5
Today I felt like Walter Mitty or even Alexander Supertramp. I had the nicest day so far on the trek even though we trudged through snow, up/down/around cliffs, over dodgy snow capped suspension bridges and along never ending roads.
The night before when we had reached Tamchowk, we had noticed the first of the snow and we were at 2600ms or so, but today was our first day finally feeling like we are in the Himalayas. The scenery was outstanding and so surreal. Sometimes I had to pinch myself and say out loud where I was. It was strange to be right up beside those enormous mountains and the more we trekked the more into the heart of the Annapurna Range we would go.
Yesterday we had so much ascent which killed me but today as if my body was used to this routine it just did it. Music and thoughts kept me occupied and instead blocked my mind from taking over to tell me I can't do it. Ascents didn't seem too incredibly hard and walking through feet of snow and icy roads just became a rhythm after a few hours of it.
At this rate, I was speeding ahead of Dave, up and down cliff, through foot trails from people in the snow. We stopped at Bhratang when we both decided to stop and eat, unfortunately nowhere was open or functioning and so we would have to carry on 1.5hr to the next town Dhukurpokhary. Along the way I could tell Dave was dying haven not eaten in a few hours. The sooner we got to Dhukurpokhary the better. Unfortunately it took ages of hiking through snow trails and two meetings with people along the way to discuss trail conditions. We realised that it would take us a while to get there. As we slowly made it up the mountain and remembered the French guy saying 'Flat, Straight, Down, Flat (or something like that) we knew we were getting closer. Finally we made it to Dhukurpokhary and we ordered a quick late lunch before another 2hr stint to Upper Pisang, where we would stay that night at 3350m. I sped along and followed the trail to Upper Pisang and after a few hours I got there. I waited a bit for any sign of Dave and after an while i saw him peak in the distance. After about ten minutes of slipping up and down the slopes of Upper Pisang looking for Dave or The Annapurna Hotel. Finally two kids came and told me he was in the Annapurna Hotel. The evening ended with some dinner around the camp fire where everyone's boots were drying. We all mingled and discussed days ahead with some of us heading to the same places. I was looking forward to getting higher in altitude and closer to the Thorong La pass. We had met a few more people along the way who had to turn back because there was too much snow. They all assured us we would be fine in the next few days it would melt. Nervous as I am to cross the pass, I would be so disappointed if I couldn't cross it and make the full circuit. Only rime will tell. Oh and we didn't quite make it to Ghyaru tonight but from Thomchouk to Upper Pisang in the snow it was a good 8/9hrs hike which even the locals at the hotel couldn't believe.
Anyway shall blog again from 3650ms if I make it up there!