19 – 28 MARCH
Total 11 members represented by first Rover Petaling B of ’88 to the youngest of ’06 set off on a expedition to Annapurna Base Camp. Annapurna is the 10th highest mountain in the world located in the Himalayas, Nepal.
Expedition led Nex Adventures & Nepal Hiking Team
General Information about Annapurna :
Highest Point – Annapurna I (8,091 m / 26,545 ft)
Base Camp – 4,130m / 13,550 ft
Annapurna I was the first 8,000-metre (26,200 ft) peak to be climbed. Maurice Herzog and Louis Lachenal, of a French expedition led by Herzog (including Lionel Terray, Gaston Rébuffat, Marcel Ichac, Jean Couzy, Marcel Schatz, Jacques Oudot, Francis de Noyelle), reached the summit on 3 June 1950. Ichac made a documentary of the expedition, called Victoire sur l’Annapurna. Its summit was the highest summit attained for three years, until the first successful ascent of Mount Everest. (However, higher non-summit points—at least 8,500 metres (27,900 ft)—had already been attained on Everest in the 1920s.) However, there is an argument that the 1920s attempt of Everest was successful and if this is true the Annapurna ascent would have been the first time people had survived an ascent of an eight-thousander. (extracted from Wikipedia)
DAY 1 – KATMANDHU
Nepal hiking team greeted, pickup from Tribhuvan International Airport and drop off at Dream City Hotel, Katmandhu. Universal Charging points available with hot water. The last arrival of team members to hotel at 1030pm. All checked-in and got settled for the night.
DAY 2 – REST DAY
After breakfast, we went to Shona’s Alpine to buy/rent gear and window shopping around Thamel. Weather was great with sun out. Finally got news that the Annapurna Base Camp track is open today after a week being closed due to heavy snow fall and avalanche risk. Had hearty lunch at Restaurant Muktinath Thakali Kitchen with Special Thali Set for 710rp. After lunch, some visited Darbar Square and some continued shopping. While on the way back to hotel, it started raining. After some rest, we went out at 6.30pm out for light shopping and dinner with Live Nepali folk music. Lights out at 1130pm.
DAY 3 – JOURNEY TO POKHARA
Woke up at 0615. Had puri bhaji and masala omelette for breakfast at hotel. Left at 0800 by tourist bus with porters and guides to pohkara. Nice private bus for just our team led by our guide, Arun. We started journey at 0830 thru dangerous mountain roads. Experienced driver. Stopped by for lunch at Santa Restaurant River Side at 1240 with hearty buffett lunch with soft drinks & beer. 1340 hrs continued journey another 80km to pohkara. Reach lakestar hotel at 1600. Once settled in, 1700 went to Pokhara lake side for last minute shopping. Guide suggested to get crampons due to expected heavy snow on trek. 1930 dinner at pizza restaurant then went back to hotel for final packing and lights out at 2200.
DAY 4 – TIME TO TREK
Up at 0600 and breakfast at 0700. Organized all expedition gear and bags. Took our group photo in front of hotel and started bus journey at 0745. Today’s journey will take us to Nayapul (checkpoint) and trek to start at Siwai, lunch at New Bridge, pass Jhinu Danda and finally to rest at Chommrong. Reach at Birethati check point at 1000 and arrived at Siwai at 1120. Took another group picture and started trek at 1145 following the Modi Khola river. Arrived at New Bridge at 1345, which took us 2 hours to trek in. Everyone doing well with good pace. Had fried rice lunch. Start trek again at 1515 in anticipation of steep climb from Jhinnu resthouse. Reach Jhinnu at 1615 and rested 15mins. Light drizzle past 2 hours. Left Jhinnu at 1630hrs with steep climb to Chommrong. Still drizzling. Arrive Chommrong at 1815hrs. The last member arrived at 1855. We rested and took hot shower and had dinner at 8pm. Hot egg vegetable noodle soup was good.
DAY 5 – FIRST GLIMPSE
Woke up 0545for sunrise. Caught the beautiful clear view of Macchapucchre (Fishtail), Himchuili, Annapurna South moutains. Freshened up and had breakfast at 0700. Gurung bread (Tibetan bread) and black tea for breakfast. We left chommrong at 0815 but had to wait for 15mins at Chommrong TIMS check-in point as Suren and Suresh went down the wrong direction. We continue heading down the valley and then across the bridge and up towards upper sinwa at 1050. Stopped for a short tea break. We continued our trek at 1130hrs and reach Bamboo at 1250hrs for lunch. Was trekking thru bamboo forest and was a gradual trek. Had Dal Bhat for lunch. (they always say, DalBhat Power, 24 hour) We arrived at Dovan at 1505 and had tea and continued trek at 1530. Trek past a few rivers and waterfalls. While approaching Himalaya, we find high snow covering the entry to Himalaya. We had to cross the snow and arrived at 1745. Had dinner at 1930 and bed at 2100.
DAY 6 TIME FOR SNOW
Up at 0545 and breakfast at 0630. Today we prepare to trek in snow. Today’s expected push will take 7-8 hours to Annapurna Base Camp (ABC) passing Deurali, MBC and finally ABC. Everyone is excited and filled with wind ( due to DalBhat) while Mohan and Reza having some pain in knees and ankles. Starting trek at 0745 and arrive at Duerali at 0930. Much snow and slippery on trek. We continued our trek at 1000 to head to Macchapucchre Base Camp (MBC ) for lunch. The usual trek is closed due to avalanche and we can see some parts of it covered. This other route takes us on the right side of the river but has thick snow and by afternoon, some parts slush which makes it harder to walk. We only arrived MBC at 1430. 2.5 hours longer than expected. The last team member arrives at MBC at 1515. Given the timing, it was too late to push to ABC. We had lunch and MBC and heavy rain began to pour at MBC. Good decision to stay at MBC and team decides to push for ABC at 0500hrs tomorrow. Gonna be hard day pushing up to ABC, take pictures and long trek back down all the way to Sinuwa. Reza and Sally does not intend to go to ABC due to exhaustion and mild AMS. So as a team we decided while Arun & Prem (guides) lead main team to ABC, Adrian (2nd trip to ABC) will guide Reza and Sally from MBC to Sinuwa. Had dinner and slept 9pm.
DAY 7 – HITTING HIGH GEAR
Got up at 4.30am, got ready and started journey at 0525am toward ABC with head lamp in the dark. Weather was clear and good, while snow was hard and good for trek with the crampons. Arrive at Annapurna Base Camp sign board 0715 with last member arriving at 0730. We took pictures and continued to ABC guesthouse for breakfast. Reach base Camp around 0755 and went up to panoramic point and took pictures and videos. Sun was strong with clear skies. We had a beautiful view. Took pictures in crew mufti and flags and started decent at 0900. We reach MBC at 1000hrs while sliding down the snow at some parts. Good fun. Had a quick rest at MBC and headed down at 1020. Arrive at first river crossing at 1120. The snow has begun to melt and slush making trek a lot slower and slippery. Reach duerali at 1245 and continued on to Himalaya for lunch at 1340. After lunch continued trek to Dovan at 1420hrs. Arrived at Dovan at 1510 and after a short rest continued proceed to Bamboo and arrived at 1615. We continued our trek to Upper Sinuwa to finally arrive 1800. The last team members to arrive, Mohan and Tanaraj, at 1900hrs. Just about 45mins before arriving at Sinuwa, a hail storm and heavy rain ensued. Everyone made it, albeit wet but were all in good spirits. Dinner at 2030hrs and lights out at 2100.
DAY 8 – HEADING BACK
Got up 0530hrs , packed up and breakfast at 0645. Start our journey at 0715 and reach Chommrong TIMS check point at 0915. We stopped by to have chocolate cake and lemonade while waiting for the rest to arrive and clear checkpoint. We started trek again at 1015hrs with steep climbs at Chommrong. At the top, Reza took wrong turn towards Tadapani instead of Jhinnu. Realised he was missing we called him and Arun went to search for him. He trek down slowly with Arun due knee pain. The rest proceed all the way down to New Bridge for lunch arriving at 1315. We left new bridge at 1445hrs to trek straight to Siwai to catch our bus. Reached Siwai in jubilation at 1700hrs with celebration of coke, beer and chips. Reza and Arun arrived at 1745hrs. We took group picture and started bus journey at 1755hrs.
Arrived Lakestar Hotel, Pokhara at 2015, settled into rooms and when straight out for dinner. Came back and slept around 2330.
DAY 9 – RETURN TO CITY
Breakfast at hotel 8am while Jee Ho and Suresh took the bus back to Katmandhu. Rest of team flies out at 1400pm. We went out for sourvenier shopping and some went to sign up for zip line and bungee jump but unfortunately it was under maintenance. So we did shopping and had lunch. Checked out at 1pm and headed to airport taking Simrit air back to Katmandhu. Flight got delayed till 1630. Weather was hazy so couldnt see much on the plane. Usually able to see mountains from the plane window. Landed at 1700 and Ganga came with van to pick up to send us to our hotel. Encountered traffic jam as it was rush hour. Reached hotel around 6pm and went straight out for dinner and then drinks at Dalaila Boutique Hotel.Came back 0030hrs.
DAY 10 – GOODBYE!
Got up, final packing and breakfast at 0900. Some went shopping, some stayed at hotel, some went to temple. Said our goodbyes at hotel as some of us had different different departure time. It was truly a wonderful time of challenges, hardships, dancing, singing, laughter, magnificent beauty, friendships, awe and conversations – a true Himalayan adventure. Till next year.
Footnotes: Log extracted from Amarjit and photos credits to : Amarjit, Angie, Sally, Reza, Mohan,Tanaraj, Surendren, Suan Mei, Suresh, Jee Ho