West to the Annapurnas

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The Annapurna Range as seen from a rift in the earth near the Fulbari Resort, Pokhara The Annapurna Range as seen from a rift in the earth near the Fulbari Resort, Pokhara Sun glimmering on the Annapurna iceblocks ~ no trek in the region is complete without a post-trek layover in the resort town of Pokhara Sun glimmering on the Annapurna iceblocks ~ no trek in the region is complete without a post-trek layover in the resort town of Pokhara The first few days of the Annapurna Circuit follow the gorge of the Marsyangdi Valley ~ Jerry and his then girlfriend, Mary Ellen The first few days of the Annapurna Circuit follow the gorge of the Marsyangdi Valley ~ Jerry and his then girlfriend, Mary Ellen The village of Pisang and it's 4,000 ft high slab of ramped rock behind, covered in snow The village of Pisang and it's 4,000 ft high slab of ramped rock behind, covered in snow Inside a rather garish, but not unusually so, monastery along the trail Inside a rather garish, but not unusually so, monastery along the trail A series of switchbacks on the trail to Ghyaru keeps the hill from becoming too steep A series of switchbacks on the trail to Ghyaru keeps the hill from becoming too steep Mary Ellen & Jerry standing on a rooftop in Ghyaru with what's believed to be Annapurna IV in the background Mary Ellen & Jerry standing on a rooftop in Ghyaru with what's believed to be Annapurna IV in the background Ghyaru Ghyaru Mary Ellen with the kids of Ghyaru and a wall of Annapurna ice in the background Mary Ellen with the kids of Ghyaru and a wall of Annapurna ice in the background When you live at 12,000 ft, you can never have enough firewood ~ notice the "ladders" hewn out of logs When you live at 12,000 ft, you can never have enough firewood ~ notice the "ladders" hewn out of logs Think it's windy up there??? Think it's windy up there??? Somewhere in the Annapurnas . . . Somewhere in the Annapurnas . . . The approach to Thorung Phedi looks a bit slippery on this day . . . reasonable enough for February in the High Himalaya The approach to Thorung Phedi looks a bit slippery on this day . . . reasonable enough for February in the High Himalaya Jerry w/ Bzzz on right and Thorung Phedi (14,500 ft), the cold base camp used as a springboard for crossing Thorung La, the high point of the Circuit Jerry w/ Bzzz on right and Thorung Phedi (14,500 ft), the cold base camp used as a springboard for crossing Thorung La, the high point of the Circuit The Thorung La pass is stingy about giving up height . . . she always throws in a few downhill sections, an obvious attempt at discouraging anyone who dares to try and conquer The Thorung La pass is stingy about giving up height . . . she always throws in a few downhill sections, an obvious attempt at discouraging anyone who dares to try and conquer This is possibly High Camp on Thorung La; possibly not This is possibly High Camp on Thorung La; possibly not The beautiful, winding trail to the summit of Thorung La is steep for the first 20 or 30 minutes ~ above that, the trail is fairly reasonable most of the way, although most people are feeling the altitude at this point The beautiful, winding trail to the summit of Thorung La is steep for the first 20 or 30 minutes ~ above that, the trail is fairly reasonable most of the way, although most people are feeling the altitude at this point Bzzz, Mary Ellen, and Jerry at the top of Thorung La . . . 17,800 ft . . . ascending the pass in reverse, from the west is generally thought to be foolhardy, because it's a steep vertical mile or more from the last village of Muktinath to the summit Bzzz, Mary Ellen, and Jerry at the top of Thorung La . . . 17,800 ft . . . ascending the pass in reverse, from the west is generally thought to be foolhardy, because it's a steep vertical mile or more from the last village of Muktinath to the summit There are plenty of sheep and goats in the Kali Gandaki Valley There are plenty of sheep and goats in the Kali Gandaki Valley Yes, babies do enjoy trekking as long as you don't make them walk ~ Mary Ellen & Jerry, along w/ the Bonetti and Gibson clans Yes, babies do enjoy trekking as long as you don't make them walk ~ Mary Ellen & Jerry, along w/ the Bonetti and Gibson clans Jerry and his buddy Giacomo Jerry and his buddy Giacomo The Kali Gandaki Valley is very windy and dry most of the year The Kali Gandaki Valley is very windy and dry most of the year Taking a side trip to Marpha to sample some apple brandy was easier and faster on these lightweight ponies . The Kali Gandaki Valley is considered by many to be the deepest valley in the world . . . the monster massifs, Annapurna I and Daulaghiri, tower 3.5 vertical miles above the the valley floor. Taking a side trip to Marpha to sample some apple brandy was easier and faster on these lightweight ponies .  The Kali Gandaki Valley is considered by many to be the deepest valley in the world . . . the monster massifs, Annapurna I and Daulaghiri, tower 3.5 vertical miles above the the valley floor. The trail leading into the village of Jomosom with Dhaulagiri lurking behind ~ Jomosom boasts an airport and luxury hotel The trail leading into the village of Jomosom with Dhaulagiri lurking behind ~ Jomosom boasts an airport and luxury hotel Despite the short stature of many Nepalis, volleyball is a very popular sport . . . and, they can spike quite well Despite the short stature of many Nepalis, volleyball is a very popular sport . . . and, they can spike quite well The little guy on the left apparently takes UV protection quite seriously The little guy on the left apparently takes UV protection quite seriously The famous 22,943 ft peak of Machhapuchare, or Mt. Fishtail, is sacred to the people of Nepal and forbidden to be climbed ~ from this angle, the fishtail appears to be a simple and beautiful pyramid . . . however, when viewed from the east or west, the mountain has two prominent peaks connect by a high saddle The famous 22,943 ft peak of Machhapuchare, or Mt. Fishtail, is sacred to the people of Nepal and forbidden to be climbed ~ from this angle, the fishtail appears to be a simple  and beautiful pyramid . . . however, when viewed from the east or west, the mountain has two prominent peaks connect by a high saddle Think the Himalayas aren't steep? The Annapurnas dominate the Pokhara Valley, astoundingly rising up more than four miles in a span of 22 miles Think the Himalayas aren't steep?  The Annapurnas dominate the Pokhara Valley, astoundingly rising up more than four miles in a span of 22 miles