Updated 1999-03: Captions have been added. My journal-taking abilities on this trip were lacking and now that it is many years later, trying to pinpoint the exact location of many of these photos is proving to be difficult. These photos are arranged chronologically, according to my negatives.
Technical Notes: The photos were taken using my Pentax ME Super 35mm camera. The prints were scanned more than five years later, but they had already started to turn brown in color. I've attempted to run these through some color correction to restore the blues and greens.
This is just one of the many spectacular views on this trek from Pokhara to Jomsom. This was self-guided, self-supported tour that I did along with CRL's own Leslie Davies. This trip has the unique distinction of being the best vacation I have ever taken. And to think that I never would have done this trek if it wasn't for Leslie twisting my arm enough for me to eventually cave in (I'm a wimp anyway).
Our route was unplanned at the time of departure. In fact, there was no destination in mind. This was unfortunate because Leslie and I determined afterwards that we could have done the entire counterclockwise loop around the Annapurnas in the period of time we were on the trek. It would have, however, left no rest days. As it turned out, we started our trip clockwise which would have made the pass through Thorung La (upper right on the enlarged map, 17700 ft./4793 m) quite deadly due to the fast alititude gain. Not only that, but I had a little incident near Jomsom which made things a little miserable for several days. It resulted in my foot turning almost completely black. No need to get into details, but it had to do with stepping on a loose rock. Our highest point on the trip was a day hike to Poon (Pun) Hill (10478 ft./3194 m), a short day hike from Ghorepani (9250 ft./2819 m).
Our day-to-day decisions and events produced the trek route indicated by the numbers above. The numbers indicate the day of the trip, and here's what they are. Arrival dates and times are in parentheses.
1. Pokhara (11/12, noon)
2. Birethanti (11/12, 6pm, getting very dark)
3. Ulleri (11/13, 5pm)
4. Ghorepani (11/14, 2pm)
5. Tatopani (11/15, 4pm)
6. Kabre (11/16, 5:30pm)
7. Kalopani (11/17, 4pm)
8. Marpha (11/18, 5pm)
9. Ghasa (11/19, 4:30pm)
10. Tatopani (11/20, 4pm)
11. Deorali (11/21, 6pm)
12. Ghandruk (11/22, 5:45pm)
The letters indicate mountain peaks. You can see some of them in the photos coming up.
B. Annapurna I
C. Annapurna III
D. Annapurna IV
Wow, what a journey so far. But it's time to take a break and have something to eat. What's this? There's Buff on the menu?
This is an actual menu from a restaurant in Kathmandu. I've taken all the "Buff" items and consolidated them into this buff-colored menu. Prices are in rupees. One rupee at the time I was there was about a nickel. So, for less than a dollar, you could get a bowl of hot Buff Noodle Soup.
For those who are curious and don't have the time to Ask Jeeves "What the heck is Buff", I'll just tell you that Buff is short for water buffalo, not Buffington. I was petting one earlier on this trip and I wasn't about to eat one now. If you ever get a chance to walk around Kathmandu, you might find other good reasons not to eat any meat there.
And now, back to the adventure...