AnneMarie and Andrew

Annemarie and Andrew – Trekking Asia

Altitude: 4,540m Climb: Ascent: 1040m Descent: 1620m Time: 7hr 15m + 1hr 30m lunch Daily Cost: 6,660 rupees ($70/£41) We woke at 5am and got dressed for the day. We’d spent a few days thinking about what to wear for the pass. The sun would only just be rising so it’ll be cold and the pass is at 5,400m. We’d read about strong and bitterly cold winds on the pass. Annemarie had been thinking about wearing her thermals for the day. I decided that based on the weather from previous days, where in the sun it’s very warm, I’d risk going up with no thermals, and in fact no more clothing than usual. My Berghaus trousers are wind proof and great for anything from 0°c – 35°c, so I’d be wearing them, along with a t-shirt, fleece and wind proof/waterproof coat. Annemarie agreed and wore pretty much the same. We went for breakfast at 5:30am and sat with Marco and Marc. The dining room was almost empty. Marc had gone up past High Camp the day before with his bike and left it at the first tea shop, which is about 45 minutes past High Camp. The lodge owner had suggested this to make the crossing of the pass a little easier. Marco and Marc’s breakfast arrived, but nothing for us. Finally, we asked where our breakfast was and we were told it was coming. I have no idea why any lodge asks people to write the time they’ll have breakfast on the order pad, everywhere we’ve been has made breakfast when we arrive. It’s never ready at that time we ask for nor waiting for us. Anyway, this made us late. By the time we’d eaten, finished packing, last minute preparations and a few photos it was 6:15am. The view of Annapurna III as the sun rose was excellent. We set off up the steep slope. Marco set off about 10minutes before us and so was ahead, Annemarie seemed to struggle a little but still caught up with Marco and Harry who had left a little earlier. I felt far worse than I had been the day before, much more out of breath. We still made good time to High Camp. We struggled up and thought we were going very slowly, but in just 45 minutes we had made it. I had to take off my fleece, I was already feeling very warm. We took a few photos to celebrate then continued. The section immediately after High Camp was terrifying. A long, steep slope down to the right and we had to make our way over a narrow...

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Altitude: 4,020m Climb: 520m Time: 2hr 10m Daily Cost: 4,960 rupees ($52/£31) This was going to be another short day. The altitude meant it would be a bad idea to go any further. High Camp is only 45 minutes after Thorong Phedi but it’s another 300m to climb, which would be a dangerous altitude gain. High Camp is only safe to sleep at if you’re coming from Letdar, which would have been dangerous to reach from Manang because that’s about an 800m gain. As far as I can tell the only people who do Manang – Letdar – High Camp are those who have been to Tilicho Lake or those who disregard the advice on altitude. Almost all the trekkers we met were in the second group. Altitude doesn’t affect everyone the same, so only a few people get ill, hence why people feel safe and ignore the advice! The night before the huge British group had received a prep talk from their guide. It was mostly the usual rubbish you get from guides, a list of figures of the mountains and heights (all guides do is set an itinerary and list mountain heights). But he’d announced the breakfast time. Armed with that information we made sure that we had breakfast after the group, giving them plenty of time to eat and get out. Why did I hate the group so much? Well, they were incredibly loud and because we could understand them it was harder to block out the words, every other word was LIKE, so nothing they said had any substance, just a bunch of likes strung out into a sentence, they said lots of stupid things, but mainly it was because groups (well the guide or leader) acts like the group owns the place! They tell people to move so the group can sit at the table, their food is the priority for the kitchen and all other trekkers have to wait, tables sometimes have reserved signs on them. This is why we either stay in lodges where there’s no groups or if we accidentally (or have no choice) end up on a lodge with a group we do our best to avoid them. They really are annoying! As we ate breakfast the group assembled outside and headed off up the path. The weather was in our favour yet again. Blue skies and the sun was shining, although the air temperature was pretty low. It had snowed late in the afternoon and well into the evening the day before, now in the morning sun it looked great. The path was a bit muddy from the melting...

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