Tuesday 15 December 2009

Nepal, October 2009, Annapurna Circuit Trek, Dharapani to Upper Pisang

The first picture in this post is taken from our lunch stop on day 4 at Timang 2270M. Having left Dharapani that morning, we soon had a fairly stiff climb to this point and in doing so it brought the Manaslu Himal into view (background). Manaslu, visible left, is 8163M.

Dharapani marks the point where one can depart NE on the Manaslu trek and also the point where trekkers on the Annapurna Circuit cease to head north and commence heading north-west towards Manang.

Shortly after the last photograph was taken, we rounded a bend and got our first view of the Annapurna Himal.

The peaks left of centre comprise Lamjung Himal 6983M and these are the eastern end of the glaciated range.

The prominent peak right of centre is Annapurna II 7937M and this mountain would dominate our view for the next few days.

At this point we had climbed to 2400M and the trees were becoming predominantly coniferous as opposed to sub tropical broadleaved trees such as those found at the start of the trek at Besi Shahar.

This picture was taken during day 5 at the point where we entered the upper Marsyangdi Valley near Lower Pisang 3200M. Here the valley becomes noticably arid.

To the south you now have the impressive north wall of Annapurna II 7937M, IV 7525m & III 7555M and to the north trekking peaks such as Pisang Peak 6091M and Chulu East 6429M. Chulu East is visible just right of centre in this picture.

The Annapurna Himal has the effect of capturing most of the monsoon moisture as it moves north - hence little precipitation reaches beyond to the mountains to the north. At this point the Marsyangdi Valley is clearly in a rain shadow region and this climatic influence is evident for the remainder of the trek to Jomsom.

This is a view of Annapurna II from near Lower Pisang. The lower shoulder in sunlight to the right is Annapurna IV

Buddhism is the predominant form of religion in the Marsayangdi Valley being as it is - very close to the border with Tibet.

All along the way we passed many walls of Buddhist prayer wheels and Mani walls bearing stones bearing prayer inscriptions. Some stones are beautifully carved and painted such as this one.

Many trekkers must be tempted to remove these stones to take home as souveniers - be warned, it is said that to do this will bring you bad luck!

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