|This was a ten day trek from Pokhara (Pedhi) to Annapurna Base Camp. On the way back I detoured to Ghorapani and Poon Hill, before finishing at Naya Pul.
These are - so I have read, have been told and can now verify - some of the most magnificent mountain views anywhere in the world. Annapurna is only the 10th highest mountain in the world, but it is one of the most difficult - the fatality rate is 40%, three times that of Everest. It was the first 8,000 meter mountain ever climbed, in 1950, by the French men Maurice Herzog and Louis Lachenal, who after a desperate descent subsequently had a large number of their toes and fingers amputated due to frostbite.
The South Face of Annapurna - as shown in the pictures - was first climbed by Dougal Haston and Don Whillans as late as 1970, in a British expedition led by Chris Bonington. It still stands as one of the classic Himalayan climbs, with high altitude technical climbing that had nver been attempted before this date.
Just walking to and around the Annapurna base camp evoked fantastic memories of the above and other stories that I have read about this great mountain. When you stand at base camp at sunrise and sunset you can feel what attracts people to want to climb these great peaks. You can also sense the intense lurking power of the mountains - and why many of the people who attempt to climb them lose their lives doing so.