Trekking in Nepal - Annapurna Base camp trek (Day 02)

25th Oct 2019
Photo of Trekking in Nepal - Annapurna Base camp trek (Day 02) by Creedaz

Starting point: Dovan (2505 m)

Ending point: Chhomorong (1950 m)

Date: 25th October 2019

Distance covered: 41 Km

Gross altitude gain: 3100 m

The day when I hiked for the longest distance in the Annapurna Conservation Area. I was so happy to cross the 40 Km mark on Strava. All thanks to Kal Campbell and Guy Noury.

Day 1

Mt. Machapuchare (6997 m) or the Fishtail mountain

Photo of Machhapuchhare, Machhapuchchhre, Nepal by Creedaz

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I had always started my day with the sunrise in the Annapurna circuit. It was for the first time that me and Kal (an avid trekker from London whom I met at the Tilicho base camp) started our trek at 05:10 am from Dovan (2505 m). The idea was to speed hike to the base camp as we were not carrying our rucksacks with us. We left almost everything in the dormitory room in Dovan. The starting trail was a gradual hike through the forest. We crossed the hamlet called Himalayan (2900 m) and Deurali (3200 m) by 07:00 am. The sun finally came up and we could see the whole region lit up gradually.

Guy Noury exploring the huge chunks of ice where the accident happened

Photo of Deurali, Nepal by Creedaz

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We met Guy Noury (the strongest guy on the Annapurna circuit in my opinion) who was about to start his trek from Deurali (3200 m). I felt really happy and excited seeing him and then all 3 of us starting walking together. After 1 km from Deurali we came across this point where there was a huge ice cave like structure. We were told by other people that a Nepali guy died near the cave. He was walking over the slope which just collapsed under his weight. We saw small pieces of bones and blood stains. I think it was pretty evident that the cave wasn't that strong, it even wasn't a cave, it was just a huge lump of ice that was falling from the top. I think it is really important that we learn more and more about our surroundings and should never let the carefree attitude dominate logic.

Mt. Annapurna South (7219 m)

Photo of Annapurna Base Camp, Ghandruk, Nepal by Creedaz

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We could hear choppers flying in and out of the gorge every 10 minutes. Since Guy Noury is a defence personnel in the Canadian army we came to know that these were NOT the rescue choppers. They were carrying people/clients to the Annapurna base camp from Pokhara. This last segment of the Annapurna base camp trek is the most exciting one, the moment you take the last left turn towards the base camp you see the mighty Annapurna South (7219 m) welcoming you. I was one huge mountain standing right in the centre of the valley.

Two mountain goats :D

Photo of Annapurna Base Camp, Ghandruk, Nepal by Creedaz

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The Annapurna base camp is situated at an altitude of 4100 m and there are 4-5 guest houses to stay there at night. This trek is one of the MOST POPULAR treks in Nepal. It is quite easy and shorter trek than other high altitude treks in Nepal. After hiking for around 2 hours it was Selfie time. We sat at the base camp for a while observing choppers flying in and out. A ride from Pokhara to ABC would cost around 300 USD. The chopper drops you at the Annapurna Base camp, you stay there for 45 minutes and then fly back in another chopper. In my personal opinion, the sound of the blades was just brutally killing the silence of the base camp. Guy offered me a cold drink and after sharing few stories we started back towards the Machapuchare base camp (3700 m).

Annapurna I (8091 m)

Photo of Annapurna Base Camp, Ghandruk, Nepal by Creedaz

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The Annapurna South (7219 m) and the tallest of all Annapurna I (8091 m) are both connected by a ridge. If you go 50 meters ahead of the base camp in the direction of the mountain then you could see small crevasses, icefall sections and if you stay quiet then you could hear the sound of loose rocks falling down the fragile scree slopes nearby. Don't forget to look back at the beautiful fishtail mountain (Mt. Machapuchare) from the ABC. It looks really beautiful.

The less celebrated Machapuchare base camp

Photo of Machhapuchhre Base Camp, Ghandruk, Nepal by Creedaz

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The Machapuchare Base camp (3700 m) is more or less just a signboard. In contrast to the famous ABC there are no prayer flags or flags around the board. I didn't even realize that we just crossed the MBC (Machapuchare Base camp) while going towards ABC (Annapurna base camp) until Guy and Kal told me about it. I think the Machapuchare is one of the most beautiful mountains in Nepal. I saw it for the first time from the window of a bus in Pokhara. I ust loved the steep, pointed profile, setting it apart and making it a striking peak, despite a lower elevation than some of its neighbors. Its double summit resembles the tail of a fish, hence the name meaning "fish's tail" in Nepalese. It is also nicknamed the "Matterhorn of Nepal".

I was NOT their Sherpa. But yes, I do look like one. #proud

Photo of Annapurna Base Camp, Ghandruk, Nepal by Creedaz

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One of my favourite memory from the trek. We don't know when are we going to see each other but we are definitely going to cherish the memories for a lifetime and the pictures will keep refreshing those memories from time to time. I am glad that I met these mountains goats (as Guy Noury describe speed hikers). :D

Longest suspension bridge ever

Photo of Chhomrong, Ghandruk, Nepal by Creedaz

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We checked in the ACAP check post in Chhomoorong at 06:00 pm in the evening and celebrated with cold drink and beer at our stay in Chhommorong. Kal and Guy left the very next day for Pokhara and I started hiking towards the last trek which I wanted to do in the Annapurna Conservation Area called as the 'Mardi Himal Base camp trek'.

The suspension bridge was a sharp memory for me as this is was the point from where we took different paths on the next morning (26th Oct 2019).


Photo of Chhomrong, Ghandruk, Nepal by Creedaz

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The Annapurna base camp gave me a bag full of memories. I have started loving the ideology of travelling and hiking alone as it kind of positively forces me to interact with other people. I think it is the biggest advantage since you get to meet and understand people from different walks of life. You miss them when they go and you stay connected in a kind of long-distance friendship.

Photo of Trekking in Nepal - Annapurna Base camp trek (Day 02) by Creedaz

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Strava data for the day. It was all very tiring, knee breaking but a day full of memories. I was really happy covering such a long distance on foot. The time mentioned is wrong again as we started at 05:00 am and ended at 06:30 pm. It was the longest time ever, almost 13 hours. However, the distance and the gross altitude gain is correct.

All three of us had a one mile smile on our faces when we saw the beds in the hotel and after eating lots of food we all slept like a baby.

I always say this thing that 'No trek is easy of difficult in itself, it is the way/style in which you choose to hike which makes the journey seem easy or difficult'. You should know yourself (mentally and physically) and the trail (altitude, weather, trekking profile, climatic conditions, season etc) well. If you are well acclimatized and you do speed hike then you can do the ABC in 2 days. However, if you are a beginner and your body needs time to acclimatize (which is absolutely normal) then keep around 5-6 days for the ABC. If you have any queries related to the trek then feel free to drop in the question in the comments section. I will try to share the learning from my experiences in the outdoors.

The Mardi Himal hike was all about hiking in one of the most beautiful forest segments in Nepal. Do read the travel story to know more about this hike which very few people do as compared to the Annapurna circuit and the Annapurna base camp.


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