I’ve been to Nepal 6 or 7 times and have written about some of those treks in past posts on here.
However, the last time I was there, we made a video, or documentary if you will, of that trip.
We not only did the Annapurna circuit, but we also deviated from that trek near the end and went off to the west to climb, 6,000 meter Dhampus peak.
Since it’s been 10 years, I have decided to post it, in it’s entirety on youtube.
I had to compress it quite a bit, for them to accept it, but it is still available in high quality for $15 on my website here.
It was an excellent trip.
We all met in ’96 on the PCT and have plans for a 20 year reunion of THAT hike in 2 years with a trip to New Zealand.
Maybe another video after that??? We’ll see.
A few notes about the video:
I’ve learned a lot trekking in different parts of the world and, you can see how other cultures carry heavy loads in the video.
In Nepal, they tend to put all the weight on the forehead and neck.
They start when they are young as you can see kids around 10 years old, carrying their baby brothers around, with the weight on there.
Then, if you pause the video at the 18:30, you can see a simply ingenious way of cooking over a fire.
3 rocks to hold the pot, spaced so that there’s room to load the fuel and control the fire’s heat.
I use this method to this day.
Around the 26:30 mark, we go off of the popular Annapurna circuit and leave it in the town of Marpha, heading west up the ridge to our destination of climbing Dhampus peak which is a 6,000 meter peak (20,000′) basically between Dhalaguiri and Annapurna I & II. (3-8,000 meter peaks)
So, the views are the best I’ve ever seen and the day we summited was the clearest day of the whole trek.
Near the end, you’ll see some ice ax use. Unfortunately, I broke my ice ax and had to use this really short one (the Sherpa’s ice ax)
Although I didn’t slip or need to self arrest, notice how I try to sink it deep on the uphill side, just in case.
I still did the whole trek, including the summit, in trail runners, although I had good socks and 2 dry pair always in the pack.
At 27:50 you’ll see us triangulating a point on the map.
We also had a GPS but the scale of the maps was something like 33,000 to 1 so, no template could be found for that scale and this was back in the day when GPS’ would only give you latitude and longitude, so, you had to figure out the point on the map with a template. We made one ourselves but found the triangulation to be more accurate. Of course, the Sherpas knew the names of the peaks to help and we had clear weather.
At 28:10 you’ll see some Yaks. They only can live above 12,000 feet.
This was from our camp where we stayed 2 nights at 15,000′ in order to acclimate better for the climb.
Final camp was at 17,500 where we awoke at 4:30 AM and summited around 11AM.
After descending that day all the way to 9,000′, my roommate, Rainman, said it was the only time of the whole trip that I snored!