Friday, November 9, 2012

The Annapurna Circuit, Down

I found going down Thorung Pass a little more difficult than going up. It's more than a mile of vertical drop to get the town of Muktinath. It was all down hill for the next three days after that. I soon decided that I liked uphill a lot better. 

Almost  down to Muktinath.
Hotel room view in Muktinath. 
Looking back up at Muktinath
A little oasis of green in the high dessert rocks
The braided glacier river felt out of place to me in the desert. It looked like an Alaskan river was dropped suddenly in a New Mexico valley. 
The view in Jomson. A lot of people fly out or take the bus from here now so the trail is much less crowed below Jomson.
Looking up at Nilgi leaving Jomson.
At the time his was the sketchiest bridge I had crossed in Nepal. I guess that's what happens when you follow the local trail.
Much longer but less sketchy bridge. 

The view in Tatopani. Also there are nice hot springs in town. 
New winner for sketchy bridge. This one scared me as every other step the boards would flex noticeably under my weight. 
Leaving Tatopani I was happy to be climbing again. It is a 6500 foot climb to the top of poon hill but the views were totally worth it.

The following photos were from the final climb to the to of Poon Hill for sunset. Once again I ignored the normal plan of going up for sunrise and won my gamble on the weather being good. The sunset was really amazing and there were very few people on the hill. 

Tony and David in Ghodedani. It was really nice to keep running into the same friends over the trek. That's probably the best reason for going at the standard pace. They climbed poon hill in the morning and said the view was nice but there was no color without any clouds.

The Annapurna took long enough and had such a variety that I was beginning to forget the start by the end. It really is amazing to walk through so many different kinds of terrain in only two weeks. I think I could come back and do the whole thing again some time. Well I might skip walking on the road between Jomson and Tatopani and use the time to explore more in the Manang area.

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