hiking/biking Annapurna day 1

by site editor Rick McCharles

I was up early for breakfast. And to say goodbye to the friends I’d spent the past 10 days with … hiking the Manaslu Circuit. Our 3 guides departed with them, dashing down the Annapurna Circuit. Back to civilization.


I enjoyed a bit of solitude for the fist time in 2 weeks. Drank coffee. Read.

view from my room
view from my room

Finally I had to psych-up to start climbing again. Alone this time.

I was in Dharapani, where the Manaslu Circuit and the Annapurna Circuit intersect.


Already acclimatized from 10 days trekking up and over a 5000m Pass, my thinking was:

  • I’m here.
  • I’ve got time.
  • I’ve got the required permits.
  • Why NOT continue on the Annapurna Circuit? 🙂

I recalled famed mountaineer Anatoli Boukreev after the brutal 1996 Everest disaster (where no client of his expedition died). He soloed  8,516 metres (27,940 ft) Lhotse the next day.

He was acclimatized. The weather was good.

Why not?

… On the other hand, Boukreev was killed in an avalanche on Annapurna Christmas day 1997.

I started up towards Manang.


My plan was to flag down a passing jeep or bus. None passed. So I walked 7hrs without a major break.


My stomach was still bad from Manaslu, so I didn’t eat much.

To boost my energy level I listened to Game of Thrones on an iPod.


It was a relaxed and pretty day. My most mellow in weeks in Nepal


So far Annapurna felt less crowded than Manaslu.

Chame was the end of the road for 4 wheel vehicles. Only motor bikes could get past this construction.


Chame is the headquarters of Manang District in the Gandaki Zone of northern Nepal. At the time of the 2001 Nepal census it had a population of 1204 people … Manang District is the lowest populated district in Nepal …

There was some excitement in town, however. People had to register for the upcoming National election.

Alone for the first time, I got to know some new hikers in my guesthouse. A young guy from Barcelona — his first day hiking in the Himalaya — was quite worried about whether or not he would freeze on the Thorung Pass. 🙂

I went to sleep early.

see high resolution photos from this day on flickr

day 1 | day 2 | day 3 | day 4 | day 5 | day 6 | day 7 | info

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