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旧帖 2008-05-12 16:18:01
Post #1
Annapurna--Trekking Map and Complete Guide
阿古顿巴 离线 阿古顿巴

Annapurna--Trekking Map and Complete Guide


The Annapurnas rise in the heart of the Himalayas. They may not be the tallest, but they form the central core of the great Himalayan arc,. towering in the very middle of the 2,550 km/1,550 mile chain that is the planet's highest mountain range. And being there, they encapsulate the Himalayas, their ridges and prominences, their slopes and foothills typifying the Himalayan median. The people of the Annapurnas exemplify that median too, they are your average Himalayan
native, their Mongoloid features tinged with Indo-Aryan traits, their religion a mix of Buddhism, Hinduism and animism.
    If the Annapurna region is a Himalayan microcosm, it is one that is eminently accessible. Unlike many other Himalayan ranges, the 55 km/35 mile Annapurna Himal is entirely within Nepal and with a relatively easy trail that goes all around it. Called Annapurna Circuit, it is a trail that is among the most fascinating and popular trekking routes in the world, taking one through an amazing diversity of terrain and culture: from lush green foothills with pretty terraces and picturesque Gurkha villages to barren, Tibet-like landscape; through deep forested gorges and the high ThorungLa pass, through Buddhist villages with ancient cliff-top lamaseries to settlements that were once great marts of the trans-Himalayan barter trade. Four of the planet's 16 tallest peaks come your way on the trek besides a great many other snowy mountains, glaciers and surging rivers. Though you pass two airports, there are no metalled roads anywhere along the route, no vehicles. For close to three weeks, you walk in a mountainous wilderness, reaching an altitude considerably higher than Mt. Blanc, moving from subtropical forests to sub-zero temperatures: no other trek can possibly offer so much. And if the Annapurna Circuit trek seems too long, there are other exciting shorter options, most notably the Sanctuary trek that takes you to the very midst of the Annapurna mountains..

   The Annapurna range is named after the Hindu goddess of food and harvests. It is not known why it came to be so called: perhaps the ancients believed they owed their harvests to the mountain, the clouds that it trapped, the rivers that flowed off it. Two rivers essentially circumscribe this long and complex range: the Marsyangdi on the east and north, the Kali Gandaki to its west. The gorges that the rivers cut are incredibly deep at places: the Kali Gandaki gorge is in fact the world's deepest. The river originates in the bleak Mustang hills bordering Tibet and as it flows south through the breach in the Great Himalayas, it separates the Annapurnas from the mighty Dhaulagiri range. On the east, the Marsyangdi comes between the Annapurnas and the great Manaslu mountains.

   Each of these three mountains boasts an eight-thousander, a peak that is over 8,000m (26,246 if) tall. Dhaulagiri I, at 8167m/26,794 ft, is the world's seventh highest summit; Manaslu (8163m/26,781 ft) the eighth highest andAnnapurna I (8091m/26,544 ft) the tenth. Apart from its eight-thousander, the Annapurna Himal, as the range is properly called (himal is Nepalese for snowy range), counts five other major peaks - Annapurna II, III, IV, South and Gangapurna, all exceeding 7200m (23,620 if).

   While Annapurna II and IV lie far to the east, the other peaks, along with Annapurna I and several lesser crests (most notably Machhapuchhre, the pinnacle that dominates the Pokhara panorama) crown a circle of mountains that forms an amazing Himalayan amphjtheatre. Guarded by the great peaks, this vast, frigid basin, reached by a trekking trail and called the Annapurna Sanctuary, is a unique alpine expanse where the proximity of the soaring snowy
mountains leaves visitors overwhelmed.

  The Sanctuary was "discovered" and named by Maj. J.O.M (Jimmy) Roberts, mountaineer and trekking pioneer who was the first outsider to set foot there. He was exploring the route to Machhapuchhre in 1956; the peak was climbed the next year by an expedition he led. A British Gurkha regiment officer, Roberts had earlier been on several Himalayan expeditions, most notably Masherbrum (7821m/25,659 ft; in Karakoram, Pakistan-adminstered Kashmir) in 1938 and with H.W. Tilman in his 195o exploration of the Annapurna region.

  Tilman, a legendary British mountaineer, led one of the two first exploratory missions in the Annapurnas, the other being the French expedition that put Louis Lachenal and team leader Maurice Herzog on the summit of Annapurna I: it was the first ever ascent of an eight-thousander, preceding Hillary and Tenzing's conquest of Everest.

  The Annapurna region had so long remained unexplored because up until 1948, the isolationist Nepalese government had kept the country largely out of bounds to foreigners Only a limited number of outsiders were allowed in and no one was permitted to venture out of the Kathmandu valley. (The pre-1950 attempts on Mt. Everest which straddles the Nepal-Tibet
border were, for instance, all made from the Tibet side).

  The Japanese monk Ekai Kawaguchi was probably the first outsider ever to set foot in the Annapurna region, but he did so without revealing his true identity. He was on a clandestine mission to enter forbidden Lhasa and stayed in Tukuche and Marpha in the upper Kali Gandaki valley in 1899-19oo. The first white man in the Annapurnas was the Austrian mountaineer Hans Kopp who in 1944 had escaped from a British prisoner-of-war camp in India with Heinrich Harrer of Seven Years in Tibet fame. Later in Tibet he parted company from Harrer and his companion Peter Aufschnaiter, travelling down the ancient Salt Trade route from Mustang through the Kali Gandaki valley into Kathmandu. But his travel was an obviously hurried affair and it wasn't before Tilman and Herzog's expeditions in 195o that the world learnt of the Annapurna region in any detail.
Herzog's French team spent more than two months in the Kali Gandaki region, setting up camp in Tukuche and reconnoitring first the Dhaulagiri peak and later Annapurna I before successfully summiting it in what was one of the greatest mountaineering achievements of all time. Handicappedbythe inaccurate maps then available, they actually had to find their wayto the peak, venturing once into the Manang region in the upper Marsyangdi valley before approaching it through the Miristi Khola gorge to the south. Their descent from Annapurna was harrowing - Herzog and Lachenal suffered severe frostbites - but it was thanks in part to their exploration that the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges came to be properly mapped in later years.

  Tilman's expedition explored the eastern Annapurna region around Manang. He and his men, including Jimmy Roberts, even made an attempt on the Annapurna IV peak before moving on to remote Naar-Phu valley and Mustang. For Roberts, the expedition afforded a great opportunity to collect birds for the British Museum but it was his discovery of Pokhara, then an unknown though large village, that came as a "special reward" at the end of his wanderings. "I walked across to Pokhara with one Sherpa (hired as high-altitude porter) and entered what was to become my private Mecca," he later wrote. "Poor Pokhara has taken a bit of hammering in the five decades which have passed since, but I have not changed the opinion I formed on that day: that no other mountain view in the world is equal to Machhapuchhre, with Annapurna hanging there in the sky above the green Pokhara plain."

  As Pokhara developed into a tourist destination, the Annapurna region attracted the first trekkers. And that was mainly thanks to Roberts, again. After retiring from the army, he set up Nepal's first trekking agency, Mountain Travel Nepal, in 1964. Taking time off from mountaineering (he led several major expeditions in the 196os and 7os -- to Everest and the Dhaulagiri and Annapurna ranges), he pioneered organized trekking in the Himalayas. He is today regarded as the "father oftrekking" in Nepal; his first clients were three elderly American ladies who hiked in the Everest region.
  Trekking in Nepal has of course come a long way since. The Annapurna Circuit was opened to tourists in 1977 though some trekking did begin even earlier in the region. The first trekkers mostly came in agency-managed camping groups but over the years, independent "teahouse trekking" by budget tourists became more popular as simple trailside bhattis (teahouses) grew into basic lodges with private rooms. In 1981, around 18,ooo trekkers hiked in the Annapurna region; by 1991 the figure almost touched 40,000. Growing consistently in the 199os, it peaked at over 75,000 in 2000 before 9/11 and the Maoist insurgency in Nepal caused a drop. Today,  with political unrest ebbing in Nepal, the Annapurna Circuit trails are busy again, proving as ever that they are the most popular of all Himalayan walking routes.

阿古顿巴 于 2008-05-13 15:01:03 编辑


旧帖 2008-05-12 17:15:23
Post #2
Re: Annapurna--Trekking Map and Complete Guide

Around Annapurna. In the heart of Annapurna. In the foothills of Annapurna.
  These, in essence, are the three basic trekking options in the Annapurna region, with the possibility of combining each with another. The Annapurna Circuit, taking you around the vast, extended range, is completed in about three weeks and is an experience of a lifetime. The Annapurna Sanctuary trek (8-9 days) takes you to the heart ofthe mountain range, to an alpine basin surrounded by the highest peaks; many trekkers combine it with the Circuit trekwalking around the range, then into it, as it were. The Annapurna Short Treks (typically 5-6 days) are walks in the southern foothills inhabited by Gurung and Magar peoples, past maize and rice terraces and picturesque villages, through forests that range from subtropical to temperate. The snowy Annapurna peaks, particularly Annapurna South and MachhapUchhre are usually always in sight but it is from the viewpoints of Ghorepani and Ghandruk that the panorama is best appreciated.

Annapurna Circuit
  The trek, if done anticlockwise, begins at Khudi, 7 km/4.4 miles from BesiSahar, a town approachable from both Kathmandu (142 km/89 miles) and Pokhara 0o7km/67 miles). There are buses to BesiSahar from both the cities, with local buses running onward to Khudi on a rather bumpy road.

   The trek ends at Nayapul, 41km/25 miles from Pokhara. A slightly shorter route, eliminating the viewpoint Ghorepani, finishes at Begkhola, from where there is a motorable road to Beni and on to Pokhara (73km/46 miles).

   The trek can also be done in the less popular clockwise direction, in which case, of course, the starting point becomes Nayapul/Begkhola and the endpoint Khudi.

   On the anticlockwise route, the trail follows the Masryangdi river upstream (see map next page), gaining altitude gradually as you travel north through Lamjung district populated mainly by Gurungs. After Ghermu (altitude 116om/38o5 ft), the trail crosses over to the left bank and ascends through a narrow gorge that extends for 25 km/15.5 miles up to Bagarchap (a16om/7o85 ft) in lower Manang district (also called Gyasumdo). The Marsyangdi bends westward (left) here and so does the trail, gradually entering a drier, rugged terrain. After  crossing Chame (a67om/876o ft), the headquarters of Manang district (and up to where a rough road is now being built), the landscape gets even more arid as you enter upper Manang, also called Nyeshang.

    At Humde (328om/lo,76o ft), there is an airfield with flights to Pokhara. At Manang village  (354om/11,61o ft), which you eventually reach, a day's rest for acclimatisation is in order,  before the onward trek to the ThorungLa pass (5416m/17,768 ft), the highest point on the trail. From Thorung Phedi (443om/14,53o ft), a bleak, chilly place at the base of the pass, it is a rather steep climb to ThorungLa and a very long descent to Muktinath (38oom/12,46o ft); this
is the most strenuous part of the entire trek and snow is not unusual here.

Multinath, with a cluster of temples, is a place of pilgrimage for Hindus and Buddhists; descending from here to Kagbeni (28oom/918o ft), the trail turns south, following the broad fiver bed of the Kali Gandaki downstream. Jomsom (272om/892o ft), a day's walk away, is a large village with an airport served every morning by several flights to Pokhara. As the trail descends to Marpha, you leave the rain-shadow zone and the hills turn green again. The descent is mostly gradual as you follow the Kali Gandaki, passing villages like Tukuche (2590m/8495 ft) and Dana that were once great centres of the Tibetan salt trade; between Ghasa (2010/6590 ft) and Dana (144om/4720 ft), the trail works its way through a narrow gorge and past a great waterfall.

   Reaching Tatopani (1190m/3900 if), you have the option of carrying on to Begkhola and then to Beni and Pokhara by vehicle, or climbing to Ghorepani. It is a stiff climb but Ghorepani (2750m/9020 ft) and the Poon Hill viewpoint above it commands excellent views of the Dhaulagiri and Annapurna peaks. The descent from here to Nayapul can be completed in a day. The Pilgrim Trail: Indian and Nepalese pilgrims, particularly Hindus but also Buddhists, have long trekked along the Kali Gandaki to the holy temples of Muktinath. Many trekkers today follow in their footsteps, ascending from Nayapul or Beni to Jomsom, and then on to Muktinath. This is an Annapurna "half" Circuit, ifyou like, an option ifyou are short on time; it can be completed in a week ifyou elect to flyback from (or fly in to) Jomsom.

   You can also do an Annapurna "two-third" Circuit, joining the trail in upper Manang by flying in to Humde. But remember the flights to Humde are infrequent and prone to cancellation.

Annapurna Sanctuary

  The shortest route to the Sanctuary is the trail upstream along the left bank ofthe Modi Khola river from Nayapul (l070m/3510 ft). Running north, it leaves the river after Syauli Bazar (n70m/3840 ft), climbing towards Ghandruk. But at Kliu, halfway to Ghandruk, a path branches out and runs back towards the Modi Khola, following it to New Bridge (1340m/4395 ft), after which there is a steep ascent to Chomrong (2170m/7120 ft), the gateway to the Sanctuary.

   An alternative approach to Chomrong could be via Ghandruk: continue beyond Kliu on the straight path to Ghandruk: it is large village with splendid mountain views. From Ghandruk, there is a path to Chomrong; it involves a steep descent followed by an ascent. A second alternative could be by way of Landruk: alighting at Phedi (20 km/12 miles from Pokhara), climb to Dhampus (1700m/5580 ft), and then on to Bhichok Deurali (2130m/6990 ft); both places command superb mountain views. The trail now descends to Landruk, and crossing the river, meets the New Bridge route to Chomrong. This is a longer but more scenic route.

   To enter the Sanctuary after completing the Annapurna Circuit, head east from Ghorepani through a forested path to Tadapani; the path descends and continues to Chomrong.

   Beyond Chomrong, you enter the deep forested gorge of the Modi Khola; there is no habitation here except for the clusters of trailside lodges. After 9-3 days, you reach Machhapuchhre Base Camp (3700m/12,135 ft), just insidethe Sanctuary. Annapurna Base Camp (4130m/13,550 ft),the final destination, is just 4 km/a.5 miles away.
  When descending you have the option, beyond Chomrong, to retrace your steps or choose one of the two alternative routes, or even go on to Ghorepani via Tadapani, and head down to Nayapul after enjoying the views from Poon Hill there. Annapurna Short Treks

  This is usually a loop around Ghandruk and Ghorepani. If you start from Phedi (see Sanctuary section above,third paragraph), you trek to Landruk, then cross the Modi Khola river, reaching a place called Kyumi. A steep path leads up from here to Ghandruk (1940m/6360ft).

  Ghandruk can also be approached directly from Nayapul through Syauli Bazar and Kliu: the path follows the Modi Khola river, then, after Syauli Bazar, turns away from the river and begins ascending.

   After spending a day perhaps at Ghandruk - it is a large, beautiful village with fabulous views of the Annapurna South peak - take the forested path to Tadapani, then head west to Ghorepani. The panorama of the Dhaulagiri and Annapurna peaks from the Poon Hill viewpoint (319om/lo,46o ft) above Ghorepani is breathtaking. From Ghorepani, a traildescends steeply to Nayapul.

A good introduction to the Annapurna Treks is the slide show presented by veteran British trekker Chris Beal at the Kathmandu Guest House in Thamel (normally twice a week; Rs 350). And when in Pokhara, don't forget to visit the  International Mountain Museum with its superb display of breathtaking Himalayan blow-ups (Rs 300).


旧帖 2008-05-13 13:04:18
Post #3
Re: Annapurna--Trekking Map and Complete Guide

Few first time trekkers in the Annapurnas are prepared for the visual feast on offer in this Himalayan heartland. Wrote the French mountaineer Maurice Herzog, Annapurna I conqueror and one of the first Western visitors to the region, in 1950, "We had all read a great many books on the Himalaya...(but)the sight which awaitedus ...exceeded anything we had imagined."

   Imagination first gets defied at Pokhara, of course; the Annapurna panorama from beside the lake there, rising amidst a seemingly tropical landscape, is simply too stunning to believe. The snow-capped summits become even more spectacular, of course, as you close in on them in the trek, but it is not just the soaring peaks that are striking. The lower slopes, green in the south, rugged and brown in the rain-shadow Manang and Mustang regions, are amazing in their diverse beauty. Around villages, the terraced fields, multilayered mosaics of green and yellow patches cut in often steep hillsides, charm every visitor. Away from villages, the slopes are often forested, dark and deep, as trails thread through cavernous gorges. Waterfalls cascade down the hillsides, the roaring river snakes far below. In the higher mountains, pine and fir replace tropical vegetation but bamboo thickets continue to sprout. Lichens and mosses plaster tree trunks or hang in wispy straggles from branches. Soon rhododendron trees appear; in spring and summer, their flowers set the forest ablaze. Higher up, above 3500m/11,500 if, birches and juniper take over, before finally giving way to alpine scrub.

   In the rain-shadow belt, the mountains are bare and brown, and craggy cliffs with jagged edges and wrinkled sides are revealed. Without the green cover, the slopes show their many hues, from ash-brown to yellow and purple. The stone-built flat-roofed village houses blend with the harsh terrain. It is a landscape that is entirely Tibetan, and so indeed is the culture here. Women dress in the fashion of Tibet, lamas pray in gompas, yaks graze in high pastures. In the lower hills on the south, there are no yaks; most villagers own buffaloes, cows and goats, and hens and ducks that range flee. The houses here are mostly roofed with slate and have sundrenched front courtyards. Corn cobs hang out from balconies to dry. In the terraced fields, ploughs are driven by oxen and harvesting is done by hand. Mules and donkeys serve as pack animals, and on the trails, you often have to stand aside for the caravans as they rush past,driven by whistling muleteers.

    It is indeed an amazing amalgam of Himalayan sights and sounds that you experience on the Annapurna treks; given below is a briefguide to the most striking views from the trails. Annapurna Circuit: The first of the high mountains you see as you begin the trek are not the Annapurna peaks but summits of the Manaslu range to the east. Himalchuli, one of Manaslu Himal's (himal is Nepalese for snowy range) most prominent peaks and the world's 18th highest, becomes visible from the bus/taxi as you approach the town of Chambas on the way to BesiSahar. Starting the trek from Khudi (see map on page 4), you are greeted by superb views ofthe mountain again from Bhulbule, as also Peak 29, also called Nagdi Chuli, the planet's 20th tallest summit.

    The snow-peaks disappear before Bahundada, the village on the crest of a ridge, and as you leave the lower valley of Marsyangdi with its picturesque villages and rice terraces, entering the 25km/15.5 mile gorge beyond Syange, you see nothing but the steep, forested slopes with the river flowing down below. There are some spectacular waterfalls on the way, notably at Syange and Dharapani. The gorge broadens near Tal, a beautifully located hamlet beside the wide river bed, then narrows again.

It is only when you are out of the gorge, at Bagarchap, that the snowy mountains reappear and you get your first view of the eastern Annapurna peaks" Annapurna IV, II and Lamjung Himal. From Danagyu, just ahead, Manaslu, the earth's eight highest peak, becomes visible, peering above the hills on the eastern horizon. The peaks are viewed again from Koto Qupar, a village with a Wild West feel. You are nowin a harsh, rugged terrain where rainfall is scarce; the houses are built in Tibetan style with flat roofs, the people are mostly Buddhists.

   Chame, the headquarters of Manang district, has a small gompa (Buddhist shrine) and an impressive chorten (Buddhist reliquary monument; see page 156) gateway; Lamjung Himal is best viewed from this village.

Beyond Bhratang, the trail passes through a steep rocky gorge. An amazing geological formation comes next, a vast barren concave slope, rising up from the riverbed; it is called Paungi Danda.

Perched on a hillside, Old Pisang is a throwback to ancient Tibet with its closely-clustered stone-built houses. A new gompa has come up here. But the most famous gompa of the region is in Braga, before Manang; it is an ancient place of worship in an antique village, with houses clustered against a precipitous cliff.

Between Pisang and Manang, the Annapurnas rivet your eyes: the peaks II, III and IV dazzle above the southern hills, with Gangapurna peak and glacier to the west. This is a playground for mountain lovers" up on the north and west, Pisang, Tilicho and Chulu peaks tower above the barren slopes, while Manaslu can still be seen in the east. You truly feel you are in the midst of the Himalayas here.

That feeling is doubly enhanced as you ascend the 5416m/17,768 ft ThorungLa pass. From its heights, you almost feel as though you are level with some of the surrounding mountains, viewing not just their pinnacles but also the icefalls, cornices and couloirs, the ridges and  terraces. Chulu West peak dominates the view to the east while the Annapurna peaks, particularly Annapurna III and Gangapurna, tower on the south. There are snow mountains every which way you look. Up ahead, Thorung Peak, Yakwakang and Khatung Kang, mountains that guard the pass, loom large.

The mountain views diminish beyond the pass but soon you get your first glimpse of the  Dhaulagiri range, far ahead to the west. As you descend, the Dhaulagiri massif, a behemoth of a mountain, gets ever more impressive; it is the seventh highest peak in the world. At Muktinath, where you eventually reach, there are some beautiful Hindu and Buddhist temples around a grove in a walled enclosure. Apart from Dhaulagiri, you can also appreciate the Nilgiri peaks fromhere.

     The villages of Jharkot and Jhong have large gompas and ruined fortresses; as you descend  to Kagbeni through a terrain that is stark and craggy, you find another large gompa and the  remains of a citadel there.
     Kagbeni is on the Kali Gandaki and the river here winds through a very wide gravel bed lined with weathered cliffs and raked by gale-force winds after around llam every day. Jomsom, ahead, has superb views of the Niligiri peaks to the south, and as you head down now towards Marpha, you leave the dry rain-shadow zone. Marpha is a tidy, spotlessly clean village with white-washed stone buildings and a hilltop gompa; Tukuche, the main centre of the ancient Tibetan Salt Trade, boasts grand edifices with carved wooden balconies. Dhaulagiri and Nilgiri peaks tower over the Kali Gandaki riverbed, which is very wide again here; the slopes lining the bed are clothed in deep forests. Now, as you approach Kalopani, you get your first glimpse at last of Annapurna I, the highest point of the Annapurna Himal and the tenth highest peak on the planet - and the first ofthe eight-thousanders to be climbed.

   The Dhaulagiri and Tukuche peaks with the icefall in between look very impressive from Kalopani as does Annapurna I, Fang and Nilgiri South. The view of Nilgiri South stays almost as far down as Tatopani with Annapurna I showing itself once again near Guithe. On the way you pass a magnificent waterfall at Rupse Chhahara.

   Tatopani has hot springs bythe river; the steep path to Ghorepani from here climbs through a dense forest that, towards the end, is thick with rhododendron trees. Ghorepani has the best panoramic view of the Dhaulagiri and Annapurna mountains; from the Poon Hill, 450m/ 1,475 ft further up, the vista extends from Dhaulagiri, Tukuche and Nilgiri South to Annapurna I, Annapurna South, Hinuchuli and Machhapuchhre. Annapurna South really dominates the panorama and as you descend from Ghorepani to Nayapul, the mountain remains in view as far as Ulleri.

Annapurna Sanctuary: The first day's trek is mainly through the charming mid-hill countryside, passing by pretty villages and terraced farms, with occasional glimpses of Machhapuchhre up the Modi Khola canyon. As the steep climb to Chomrong begins, the snowcapped peaks gradually show up: Machhapuchhre, Annapurna South, Hiunchuli and even the tip of Ganagpurna far away.

   Chomrong affords a grandstand view of those peaks; closer at hand, you can see the deep forested canyon of the Modi Khola, dark and dense. Leaving Chomrong, as you climb through the forest of pines, ferns, rhododendrons and bamboo thickets, you snatch glimpses of Machhapuchhre between the trees. There is a small shrine to a local deity at one place; opposite, on the other side of the canyon, a waterfall cascades down the slope.

Crossing the tree-line, the trail winds into the Sanctuary through boulderstrewn alpine terrain, with the Machhapuchhre peak towering to the left. The view of the mountain from Machhapu chhre Base Camp is stupendous. Annapurna South can be seen on the west, and it is towards this maj estic mountain that you trek as you head for Annapurna Base Camp (ABC), with Hiunchuli looming on your left. The vista from ABC is mind-blowing:  Hiunchuli, the colossal Anna purna South, with its snow-clad north ridge extending to Annapurna I. Peering above a moraine wall, the Tent and Fluted Peaks, and beyond them, Gangapurna, Annapurna III and Gandharba Chuli. And directly east, Machhapuchhre, its enormous rocky massif reaching for the sky.

Annapurna Short Trek: The snow-capped peaks appear within hours of the start of this trek. At Dhampus, a stiff climb away from Phedi, where the trek begins, you are a greeted by a panorama that is much like Pokhara's, only closer: Dhaulagiri and the Annapurna South with Machhapuchhre in the middle. The view remains as the trail works its way through the pastoral landscape, getting better at Bhichok Deurali high on a forested ridge.

At Ghandruk, the mountains get much nearer; Annapurna South with Hiunchuli dominates the view here. Ghandruk is a large but beautiful village; the path ahead to Ghorepani via Tadapani is through dense temperate forests; it is a lovely walk with superb views of Annapurna South and Machhapuchhre from Bhaisi Kharka and Tadapani. A crest beyond Deurali, before Ghorepani, affords a stunning panorama of the Annapurnas and Dhaulagiri that equals the magnificent vista from Poon Hill. For Poon Hill and Ghorepani, see the Annapurna Circuit section above (last paragraph).
阿古顿巴 于 2008-05-13 15:01:29 编辑


旧帖 2008-05-13 14:45:31
Post #4
Re: Annapurna--Trekking Map and Complete Guide

The best seasons for trekking in the Annapurna Region are spring and autumn, much as in most Himalayan regions. The Indian monsoon brings incessant, sometimes torrential, rain to the southern Annapurna slopes between June and September while winters can be severe in the higher reaches during the months of January and February, with heavy snowfall blocking trails.

   That leaves the periods March-May and October-December as most suitable for trekking. In particular, April, October and November - more so November -- are the best trekking months with mostly fine weather, clear mountain views and mild temperatures.

   The downside: these are also the months with the heaviest tourist traffic. So finding beds in lodges can sometimes be difficult.

   Indeed, many people consider December to be the ideal month: it may be a little cold then but there is less crowding and very clear weather.

   Clear weather is obviously a vital prerequisite for treks in the Annapurna region, especially if it your first venture here. The beauty of mountains anywhere is best appreciated when the sun is not obscured; it is only then, with the play of light and shade, that the many hues and eolours ofthe hills come alive.

   There is, of course, no absolute guarantee of clear skies even in December, but by and large, clouds are usually scarce in the post and pre-monsoon months, more so in the former. In the dry belt of Manang and upper Mustang, to the north of the Annapurna range, rainfall is of course far less frequent and you are mostly favoured with fine weather. The Annapurna region, in fact, records a wide variation in rainfall, as is evident from the table below. Precipitation in Jomsom, for instance, is typically l0-15 times lower than in places in the south like Ghandruk or Ghorepani. It is also, of course, much colder in the upper Mustang and Manang region. The ThorungLa pass gets snowed over in January and February; in December, night temperatures at ThorungPhedi or Chabarbu, settlements at the foot of the pass on either side, normally fall below-10~C/14~F, plunging much further some days. With wind chill, the cold can seem arctic.

   The graphic next page charts temperature highs and lows for Marpha, a village that, thanks to its location just outside the rain-shadow zone and its middling altitude of 267om/876o ft, has what could be called an average Annapurna Circuit climate.

Trekking in Spring: Early March is normally perfect for the Annapurna Short Treks; there is still a nip in the air and the rhododendrons have begun to bloom, particularly around Ghorepani. But it is usually very cold in the higher altitudes at this time, colder than in December with night temperatures dipping below-15~C/5~F. Itmay not be advisable to cross ThorungLa pass or enter the Annapurna Sanctuary because of snowstorms or avalanche risk at this time; spring is the worst season for avalanches near the Annapurna Sanctuary. By mid-March, however, temperatures become more comfortable, the snow begins melting and the mornings are clear, with a small chance of light rain in the afternoon. Conditions are normally best for trekking between late March through April all over the Annapurna region.

    By mid-April, afternoon clouds and the occasional light drizzle become more probable
though conditions usually remain fine in the morning.

    In May, it gets rather warm and humid in the lower altitudes. You need to start very early to avoid the afternoon heat; carry only a light rucksack and plenty ofwater for you will sweat a lot. The atmosphere is sometimes hazy at this time. By midday, peaks are likely to be obscured by clouds and it may even rain. In the higher altitudes, however, the nights are now not so bitterly cold and the skies are usually clear until at least midday.

Trekking in Autumn: The monsoon rains begin to abate by mid-September but in the lower hills, sporadic heavy showers are not uncommon, and it is still very hot and humid. The weather in the upper reaches is also relatively warm; the air is usually calm and the mornings normally clear.

   By October, when the tourist high season begins, the clouds get scarcer and the vegetation in the middle altitudes shed their lush green hues and assume the yellow and rust shades of autumn. The usually fine weather is only occasionally interrupted by clouds sweeping up the valleys but rainfall (or snow) is rare. Between Manang and Mutinath, night temperatures are now usually below freezing
    In November, the peak season, conditions are ideal. It is mostly clear even in the afternoons and while it is cold in the high altitudes, conditions are very pleasant in the lower hills.

    Early to mid-December, when the sky is usually always cloudless, is perhaps the best trekking period in the Annapurna region if you are prepared for the freezing temperatures on the ThorungLa or in the Sanctuary. Temperatures at night can fall to -15~C/5~F in these places but during the day, it is sunny and relatively warm.

Off Season trekking: The monsoon and winter are typically off-season in the Himalayas but given the Annapurna region's varied climate, you can trek comfortably in some parts even during these periods. For the Annapurna Short Treks, the early part ofwinter is close to perfect, just as the rainy season is for upper Mustang and Manang, thanks to the scarce rainfall there. Indeed, monsoon is probably the best season to trek in some of these regions, particularly the side-trip to Tilicho Lake from Manang. But accessing the rain-shadow belt then is very difficult because of the heavy rains lower down. You could of course fly to Jomsom weather permitting (flights to Humde are normally suspended during the monsoon). Remember that most lodges are closed at this time.

   Though the experience may not be pleasant, a monsoon trek in the foothills has its own charm. It is when the forests are suffused with a new life and flowers bloom in profusion. But the trails become muddy and slimy leeches creep up your legs (these incidentally drop off your skin if a pinch of salt is applied). The streams turn into surging rivers and some small bridges collapse. It is usually always cloudy so the mountain slopes look dull and the peaks are obscured. Frequent rains disrupt schedules; if there is a landslide, a trail can be blocked for several days.
   In winter, late-December through February, apart from the intense cold in the higher altitudes (night temperatures sometimes plunge -to -30~C/ -22~F ), there is frequent bad weather with snowstorms and high winds. Avalanches often occur near Deurali, just outside the Annapurna Sanctuary and also sometimes around the ThorungLa. Snowfall is often very heavy, and trails become impassable. The ThorungLa pass is often blocked by snow for days. Most lodges close and Jomsom flights operate infrequently. But the beauty of the snow-clad valleys, glaciers and mountains in winter, especially on clear days, is awesome; there is also a greater chance of spotting wildlife during this period.


旧帖 2008-05-13 14:54:57
Post #5
Re: Annapurna--Trekking Map and Complete Guide
阿古顿巴 离线 阿古顿巴 Why are mornings usually clear in the mountains but afternoons cloudy?

The best time to see the peaks is early morning. Sometimes, especially in May, clouds obscure the snowy summits as early as 7 or 8 am. Why does that happen?

   At night, air in the upper reaches of valleys cools by radiation and consequently, becoming heavier, flows down the slopes to the bottom, filling the valley floors. If there is sufficient moisture, fog forms. But as the sun rises in the morning, the air warms and begins rising, carrying the moisture upwards that quickly forms clouds. You will often see these clouds rushing up from the valley floor, obscuring the higher mountains in a matter of minutes. By evening, the clouds mostly melt away; the nights are clear, and the air begins to cool again, restarting the cycle.

Why does temperature fail with height?

Why is it colder up in the mountains? Essentially because atmospheric pressure falls with altitude. The atmospheric pressure is simply the weight of the column of air above you. The column extends upward to about l0 km/6.3 miles from sea level. Obviously, then, at an altitude of, say, 3 km (or 3,000m/about l0,000 ft), the column of air above you will be only 7 km tall, and so considerably lighter. Hence the lower atmospheric pressure there.

   Again, atmospheric pressure, seen on a molecular level, is basically the result of the random collisions of air molecules. When there are more collisions, the pressure is higher. More collisions occur when the molecules are more agitated (that is their random motion speed is higher), which can happen at higher temperatures. Thus atmospheric pressure is proportional to temperature and when it falls, as it does with height, so does the temperature. Scientists call this temperature fall the 'environmental lapse rate': it is approximately 6.5~C for every 1,ooom or 3.5~F per 1,000 ft. Of course, this is a mean rate of fall and other local factors like weather also influence temperatures. It often happens, for instance, that at a certain point of time, the temperature in a mountain village is lower than in another village, even though the latter is located at a higher altitude.


旧帖 2008-05-13 15:00:16
Post #6
Re: Annapurna--Trekking Map and Complete Guide
阿古顿巴 离线 阿古顿巴 The Monsoon and Himalayan Weather

The term monsoon, originating from the Arab word mausam meaning season, essentially refers to sea winds that blow from June to September, bringing life-giving rains to the parched lands ofthe Indian subcontinent.

  By the month of May, the vast mostly barren belt west and north of the Arabian Sea from Somalia to the Arabian peninsula to Iran, Pakistan and northwest India get so heated that, as the overlying air warms and rises, a vast low pressure zone develops. The low pressure does not, however, extend into the Arabian Sea since water does not heat as rapidly as soil.

  This differential heating causes the monsoon. Air overlying the relatively cooler Indian Ocean is drawn to the warm low-pressure zone over land; thus are born the southwesterly monsoon winds that, picking up moisture from the sea, strike the Indian peninsula by early June, bringing torrential rain.

  While one branch of the monsoon bursts on the Indian west coast, another curves round the peninsula across the Bay of Bengal and strikes the eastern coast. Shedding rain as it moves inland, these moisture-laden winds soon reach the eastern Himalayas. Forced to rise by the steep slopes, the winds cool and disgorge all their remaining moisture before dispersing into rain-shadow Tibet. Some winds are deflected westward by the mountains and by July, the monsoon extends over the western Himalayas. Without the Himalayan barrier, the monsoon may well have crept into Tibet and not shed all its moisture on the subcontinent.

  It doesn't always rain during the monsoon, even in the Himalayas. There are spells of dry weather as also spells of incessant rain; mostly, though, the showers come and go. The spells of continuous rain, often running into three or four days, usually occur when what meteorologists call the "monsoon trough", an elongated low-pressure belt that normally stretches along the Gangetic plain, shifts northward towards the Himalayas. While this results in heavy rain in the mountains, the Indian plains turn dry, experiencing what is called a "break monsoon".

  Heavy rains in the eastern Himalayas (and in the plains) are also caused by"depressions" or low-pressure cells that periodically develop during monsoon in the Bay of Bengal and move inland into eastern India and Bangladesh. Some scientists believe they are remnants of eastern Pacific cyclones.

    By September, the monsoon abates as the winds reverse direction. With autumn approaching, the Asian landmass cools and a high-pressure zone develops. The seas do not cool as fast, and winds now flow out from the subcontinent towards the Indian Ocean.

   In winter, the Himalayas and northern India often get bad weather from what are called western dist urbances,low pressure cells that percolate through the Himalayan barrier from the north-west and flow down its southern fringe. These bring heavy rain during January and February and are responsible for much of the snowfall in the Himalayas.
What has been outlined above is, of course, the general climatic pattern in the Himalayas. But mountain weather can be notoriously unpredictable. And incredibly localized. It could be raining in one valley and there could be fine weather in the next. It could be freezing on one slope and sunny on another. Forecasting Himalayan weather is a meteorologist's nightmare. As they say in the Indian hills, "Mountain weather is like Bombay (Bollywood) fashion: impossible to predict."


旧帖 2008-05-13 16:15:00
Post #7
Re: Annapurna--Trekking Map and Complete Guide

Most treks in the Himalayas, certainly the popular ones in Nepal, are not exactly wilderness adventures. The trails wind through mountain villages, past meadows with herdsmen's huts: rarely does one enter entirely uninhabited, uncharted areas. While that robs you of the romance of a wild wandering, the conveniences that come as a result make trekking so much easier (and enjoyable) in Nepal.

   The most important convenience is, of course, the so-called teahouse or bhatti. Or that's what it originally was when adventurous tourists first began venturing into the Nepal Himalayas in the 197os. Today, the teahouses have graduated into lodges with basic amenities and with Western, Chinese and local dishes on the restaurant menu.

   So, you can trek really light in Nepal: just clothes, jackets and basic necessities in your backpack. In fact, you can trek even lighter: hire a porter who will normally carry two rucksacks. You just carry your camera, light jacket, and other basic necessities in a daypack and walk hassle-flee, stopping at a teahouse (they are usually strategically located) whenever you are thirsty, hungry or tired. It is called teahouse trekking, as opposed to organized camping trek.

Organized camping trek

In an organized camping trek, where trekking agencies arrange everything, you are given the works: sumptuous meals in the dining tent complete with chairs and table, warm sleeping bags and foam mattresses, large cozy tents for each person (or twin sharing) and a common toilet tent, and English-speaking guides. Typically, for a party of 5-6 trekkers, a crew of 8-10 people is deployed by the better agencies. Headed by the sirdar, the experienced guide (who may well have summitted Mt Everest or some other major peak), and with the cook as second-in- command, the team ensures that you are least inconvenienced and that you fully enjoy your trek.

    The guide will tell you the names of the peaks and villages, explain local customs (don't expect history or culture lectures, though), will lead you to the best viewpoints and give you that extra encouragement ifyou lose heart before a tough stretch (the climb to Kala Patthar, for instance).

   And the cook, supervising his kitchen-hands with their big kerosene stoves, will serve surprisingly good food, rarely repeating a dish. You could well be sampling yak steak for dinner in the rarefied heights of Yak Kharka, or relishing spaghetti bolog-naise in the slightly more comfortable climes of Manang or Jomsom.

    Your day starts early: at 6am, you will be woken up by one ofthe boys with a mug ofhot tea and a bowl ofwarm "washing water". Breakfast is served within the next hour or so, and bythe 7:30, you are off, led by the guide. The rest of the crew stay back to dismantle the tents, roll up the sleeping bags, and pack the utensils and crockery, loading it all in their huge conical backpack wicker baskets (called doko) with straps that they put around the forehead in the usual Nepalese fashion. Led by the cook, they soon overtake you and choose a convenient, scenic spot for lunch. Your walking ends by around 4pm; your tent is already pitched by the time you reach the campsite. You refresh with juice, tea or coffee; dinner is served by 7:30 or 8pm.

    All this, of course, comes at a price. Rates depend on the trekking agency's reputation and services, and the size of your group - bigger the group, lower the rate. Expect to pay between US$4o/day per person; some companies could well charge double that price or higher. If you book with agencies in Europe, America or Australia before arriving in Nepal, you pay more, of course (typically between US$1oo/day/person, going up to $250; cost includes accommodation and sightseeing in Kathmandu and airport transfer ). Remember however that the foreign agencies ultimately pass you on to their Nepalese handlers, the same Kathmandu agencies that charge much less if approached directly.

Teahouse Trekking

Teahouse trekking, where you stay and eat in lodges, is of course much cheaper. And not inconvenient. Lodges on the Annapurna (and other main Nepal) trails have now so improved that many trekking agencies today use them instead of camping, if their groups are small. Lodges are more comfortable than tents, certainly if it snows or rains; in addition, there is the large dining room-cum-lounge, warmed by the bukhara stove (an iron cylinder, fitted with a chimney duct, in which a log fire is lighted) where trekkers can while away the long evenings, making friends and chatting with fellow trekkers from around the world until dinner is served.

   Most lodges are very basic (though there are some luxury hotels in Jomsom, Ghandruk, Birethanti, Tukuche, Kagbeni and a few other places) with small rooms, mostly double- bedded, but some with three or more beds. The rooms are spare: two (or more) beds, no additional furniture, no attached bath, and with wooden walls (usually not soundproof). Blankets are generally provided, sheets are reasonably clean. There is normally no electric lighting in the rooms unless the village has hydroelectric power. The dining rooms however usually have solar light. The toilets are mostly the Indian squat type with no flush; a bucket of water is provided. (The newer lodges now have Western- style toilets).

Food in Lodges: The basic double-bedded rooms normally cost just Rs l00 ($1.40), going up to Ks 200 for those withy attached bath, but food is relatively expensive. In the lower hills, a normal Nepalese meal (dal-bhaat) comprising boiled rice, lentil (dal) soup and a vegetable curry could cost around Ks l00. Most other dishes like pizza or chowmein or fried potatoes are normally KS 150 or more. Prices go up at the higher stations; in Thorung Phedi, you could be paying KS l00 for a noodle soup and Ks 30 for a cup oftea.

   The wide choice of dishes on the restaurant menus is surprising given the remoteness of the area. You have pasta, spaghetti, apple pie, rosti, moussaka and much else. They may not taste as good as at your hometown diner, but the fact that the dishes are prepared by unlettered Gurung women who may never have been to a city, let alone eaten in a city restaurant serving Western food, calls for some appreciation.

   Most dishes on the teahouse menus are vegetarian, though chicken or goat meat curry is available on rare occasions for Ks 50 (never listed in the menu). You can order it with your dalbhaat. In dal-bhaat meals, you normally get a second helping of rice, dal and vegetable curry. You can spice up your meals with tinned meat or fish, readily available in Kathmandu and Pokhara supermarkets. Try Tibetan bread for breakfast.

   You are expected to eat in the lodge you are staying in. Lodge owners, in fact, make most of their money from the restaurant. Sometimes, if there are fewer tourists, they even let you stay for free, hoping that you order substantial meals. All lodges have nearly typed menu cards prepared by the ACAP-initiated local owners' union. The choice of dishes and prices are thus mostly the same in all the lodges of any village.

   Independent teahouse trekking is obviously very economical. You could comfortably get by spending less than KS 1,000 (about US $15) a day, even with a beer in the evening. It also allows you to alter your walking schedule, instead of being tied down to the set itinerary of the trekking agency. And you make more friends on the trail; on an organized camping trek, you get little chance to interact with trekkers outside your group.

Porters and Guides: Some teahouse trekkers hire porters and sometimes even a guide. Though they are not really necessary if you are strong and fit~, having porters is often not a bad idea. Apart from relieving you of your backpack load, they are sometimes good company and help you interact with villagers and learn a little of the local culture. Most speak some English. During peak season, you could ask them, as you approach your destination, to hurry ahead and book your hotel room in advance. It is important, however, that your porter is a friendly sort (they usually are) and not the type who grumbles and is uncooperative; such people can well ruin your trek. It is essential, therefore, that you get to know him a little (maybe have a tea with him) before hiring.

    Many Westerners feel uneasy about hiring a porter who is like a servant doing your heavy work for a small wage. They think it is immoral and exploitative. But the porters themselves do not think so. Nepalese villagers are used to carrying heavy loads from childhood; there are no roads in most parts of the country. And the money tourists pay is crucial to their livelihood.

    Porters normally charge Rs 300-Rs 400/day though rates are negotiable. The rate includes his food; he eats and sleeps in the same lodge as you. His dal-bhaat, of course, comes much cheaper and most lodges have a special dormitory for porters where they usually sleep for free. One porter suffices for two trekkers.

   Guides speak better English but do not normally carry loads. Unlike porters, they always walk with you, giving a hand where the trail is treacherous, pepping you up when things get difficult. They usually charge between Rs 600 and Rs 800/day. Since the Annapurna trails are so well marked (and since you are using this guidebook), guides are not really necessary to show you the way (porters, in any case, know the trails well). But for trekkers who are not so young and who could do with some help on the trail, a guide is recommended. Guides also come in useful for big groups hiring several porters but not going through an agency. The guide then becomes the sirdar, supervising and keeping track of the porters and even helping you hire them. It is possible (but more expensive) to find guides who speak French, German, Spanish, Sapanese or other foreign languages: check with the trekking agencies.

   Porters can be hired directly or through trekking agencies in Kathmandu's Thamel area. Agencies, of course, take hefty commissions and so you end up paying a higher rate (around Rs 600/day) and the porter gets less. Agency porters are however normally insured and reliable; the agency is accountable if things go wrong. If you prefer to hire directly, approach any of the expedition equipment shops. You may even askyour hotel desk. It is possible to hire porters at trailheads like Nayapul or BesiSahar; you save on their bus fare. And if you plan to begin trekking from Jomsom or Humde, you save on their airfare which incidentally is considerably lower for Nepalese citizens. But getting porters in these places, particularly Humde, is not always easy; also, they charge more than those in Pokhara or Kathmandu.

Packing for the Trek: What to take

Since it is best to trek light, one should pack judiciously. Carry only items that are essential; most Kathmandu and Pokhara hotels have left-luggage facilities. Given below is a checklist of equipment, clothing and other items that are absolute musts for the trek. If you have not brought them along, you can buy or rent them from shops in Kathmandu's Thamel area; there are some shops too in Pokhara's Lakeside area. Some items in the shops may have fake labels like North Face or Lowe Pro, but they will at least last you the trek.


To do full justice to the Annapurna region's scenic splendour, you need a more versatile camera than the cheap point-and-shoot variety. Digital cameras should at least have 4 megapixel resolution and 4x zoom lens, with manual programming mode to let you work in low light conditions. In case you have not brought a camera along, check the camera stores in Kathmandu's New Road where you can get photo equipment at very good prices. A 4-5 megapixel camera should cost no more than Rs 18,000 (about US $a50), while professional SLR digital cameras (like Nikon D200) are available for around Rs 130,000 (though there are cheaper models for half that price). The minimum price for a good film SLR camera is Rs 25,000. Camera dealers in New Road however rarely give receipts, making it difficult to claim warranty.

Films, memory sticks, batteries: If you are using a digital camera, take at least two 500 mb memory sticks, and two or three pairs oflithium batteries. (Alkaline batteries, available on the trail, run out very fast in the cold). While film rolls are sold in some trailside shops and lodges, it is best to buy them all in Kathmandu or Pokhara (preferably the former), where they are cheaper (transparency films are, in any case, very difficult to get outside Kathmandu). Take at least a 15 rolls for a 20- day trek. Fast 400 ASA films give you more flexibility in differing lighting conditions but if you want to really blow up your picture, 100 ASA would be a better bet. If you are using an SLR camera, be sure to carry at least a wide-angle lens (24mm, if not 19ram; at least 17mm for digital SLRs) in addition to a tele-zoom (70/80o-200/300mm) lens to catch those panoramic views from Ghorepani, Manang and ThorungLa. A polarizing filter helps to accentuate the blue ofthe sky and throw the snow-peaks in greater relief. A lightweight tripod is essential for dawn shots ofthe mountains when the sun's first pink and orange rays fall on the snows. Cameras can sometimes malfunction (and batteries run out) in freezing conditions; remember to keep your camera warm on chilly nights in places between Manang and Jomsom, wrap them with a sweater or jacket ifyour room/tent is very cold.

   *In September 2006, hiring at least one porter or guide through an agency was made compulsory under a new regulation introduced on the recommendation of the Trekking Agents Association of Nepal (TAAN). Following widespread protests from independent trekkers and a signature campaign run on a trekking website, the regulation was withdrawn in December, but could well be reintroduced.


旧帖 2008-05-13 16:26:40
Post #8
Re: Annapurna--Trekking Map and Complete Guide
阿古顿巴 离线 阿古顿巴 Rucksack: You can't begin to pack without it. Go for medium-sized backpacks with padded shoulder and waist bands and light internal frame. Should have external waterproof hood. Easily available in the Thamel/Lakeside shops for around Rs 1500 or less. Ensure the zippers are smooth.

     Daypack: If you are hiring a porter or doing an organized trek, then the porter carries your rucksack while you sling a light backpack (called daypack) over your shoulders to carry essentials like a light jacket, medicines, toilet roll, guidebook, camera etc. You could get a good one for between Rs 600 and Rs 1,000 in Kathmandu or Pokhara.

    Down jacket: Essential above Pisang and in the Sanctuary. Good quality down/feather jackets could cost between Rs 3,000 and Rs 5,000 in Kathmandu. You could also hire them, from Kathmandu or Pokhara, for around Rs 30/day and a hefty deposit. The slightly heavier but cheaper fibre-filled jackets could be good substitutes.

     Fleece jacket or sweater: Reasonably good quality fleece with fake North Face labels cost only Rs 300 in Thamel, Rs 600 if it is double-layered. Take two of these.

     Loose cotton pants, shorts or skirts, shirts or tops: Pack at least two pairs of each. You will mostly trek in them in the lower hills. Readily available in Kathmandu or Pokhara. Look for pants with zip-off legs so you can switch to shorts when it gets hot. In the higher altitudes, wearing jeans is not often a bad idea. Long johns/leggings (cotton, or better still polyester) come in useful above Manang. A long-sleeved shirt/blouse is preferable to T-shirts because it protects your arms from the often blistering sun and can be rolled up if it is too humid and hot.

     Socks, gloves, hats: Three pairs of thick cotton socks, with an additional woollen pair for the higher altitudes should suffice. Some Thamel shops stock expensive synthetic trekking socks that absorb moisture and prevent blisters. Unless you are trekking in winter, the inexpensive fleece gloves available in Kathmandu should be sufficient. A wide brimmed sun hat is a must; ensure it has a chin strap. Also essential is a woollen cap or balaclava; you will need it in the high altitudes.

Footwear: Your footwear is crucial for the trek. In Kathmandu's Thamel area and also in Pokhara, it is possible to get reasonably good sturdy lightweight trekking shoes with thick soles. When trying, check if the shoe has enough toe room so you don't have problems when descending. Shoes with ankle support are often preferred though some feel they are too constricting. If you are trekking in winter, you will need waterproof mountain boots to walk on snow. Carry a flip-flop (thongs), called chappal in Nepal, to wear in the lodge/camp in the lower altitudes.

Torch(flashlight): Chinese-made torches, available in Kathmandu, cost just Rs 50 and work with AA batteries. Headlamps (very useful) cost any thing between Rs 200 (Chinese) and Rs 3,000 (Petzl).

Sunscreen lotion: Available in Kathmandu and Pokhara supermarkets. SPF 50 should be appropriate.

Medicines/First-aid kit: See next chapter.

  Sunglasses: Even the cheap ones protect against UV. Absolutely essentially if you are trekking in winter.

Toilet rolls: Available on the trail. Pack two rolls before starting.

Sanitary napkins: Not always available on the trail. Pack full requirement.

Toiletries: Soap, toothbrush and sma toothpaste, small towel, deodorant.

Water bottle: One-litre plastic mineral water bottle should be fine.

Optional Items

Sleeping bag: Since trekking agencies usually supply them if you are on a camping trek, and since lodges provide blankets, not really necessary. But you can hire or buy them in Kathmandu/Pokhara.

Water Purification kit: Not a must if you are on organized camping trek since good agencies serve only boiled drinking water. You can't however be so sure about the lodge kitchens. Lugol's iodine solution is a good purifier and available in Kathmandu pharmacies and supermarkets. (Add 4-8 drops/litre, wait 30 minutes, then add 50mg Vitamin C tablet to remove the iodine taste). If you prefer mechanical purifiers, some Thamel expedition gear stores stock MSR or other high quality purifier (Rs 3,000-4,000).

Walking stick: You could get a reasonably good anti-shock pair of trekking poles for around Rs 1,500 in the Thamel shops or in Lakeside.

Camera film rolls/  Extra memory stick/ Lithium batteries: See under Photography below

Shortwave Transistor radio: To keep up with the news. BBC and other international radio broadcasts available in Nepal.


旧帖 2008-05-15 14:51:17
Post #9
Re: Annapurna--Trekking Map and Complete Guide

Falling sick on a Himalayan trek, so far away from proper medical care, is not a happy thought. Luckily, on the Annapurna trails, there are health centres at a couple of places - Manang (run by Himalayan Rescue Association) and hospitals at Chame, Jomsom, BesiSahar and Baglung besides, of course, Pokhara - and the possibility ofhelicopter rescue in an emergency. Even so, it is vital for trekkers to be aware of probable health threats so that they can recognize symptoms and take appropriate medicines until medical help (if still required) is reached. Altitude sickness (AMS), diarrhoea and respiratory infections besides injury from accidental fall are major medical concerns when trekking in the Himalayas. These and other diseases are discussed below and medicines suggested.

Altitude Sickness

This, of course, is the Himalayan trekker's occupational (or shall we say, recreational) hazard. If your body fails to adjust to the thin air and low oxygen content of high altitudes, you are struck with what in medical parlance is called acute mountain sickness or AMS, a potentially fatal disease. Everyyear a few trekkers die in the Himalayas from AMS.

AMS, however, is totally preventable if you acclimatise properly, that is give your body sufficient time to adjust to the low oxygen content of the thinning air as you ascend. It is important to note that some people acclimatise slower than most and need more time to adapt.    Altitude sickness is not normally a concern below 28oom/c. 9,000 ft. If you have suddenly reached this altitude (as one does by flying to Jomsom or Humde), you should not climb any higher for a day or two.

   Once above 2,8oom, it is advisable not to ascend more than 3oom or about 1,ooo ft each day. Climbing at this pace, one should take a day's rest (that is, sleep two nights) every 1,ooom/c.3ooo ft. If this golden rule is followed, chances of getting AMS are minimal.

  AMS essentially causes fluid to accumulate in tissues of the lungs or around the brain as the body is deprived of adequate oxygen. When the fluid build-up happens in the lung tissues, the disease is more specifically referred to as high altitude pulmonary oedema, or HAPE. When it occurs in the brain, it is called high altitude cerebral oedema, or HACE.

   In HAPE, the first symptoms are breathlessness and a dry cough. The cough gets worse, bringing up phlegm that is frothy and pink. Breathing becomes increasingly difficult, until impossible as the accumulating fluid virtually drowns the lungs. Death follows.

   In HACE, the first symptoms are severe headache, fatigue, nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite. As more fluid collects in the brain, its functions are impaired and it becomes difficult for the patient to walk in a straight line; he or she begins to stumble like a drunk. The syndrome is called ataxia. Mental confusion and hallucination occur, and the person tends to lose consciousness, ultimately slipping into a coma and death.

   TREATMENT: If AMS is suspected, do not ascend further. If it gets morse, descend.

   AMS does not happen if you ascend, say, 6oom in one day (climbing a minor peak, for instance) and then descend 3oom. It occurs only when you pass several hours, or the night, at that height after the sudden ascent.

   Hence it is usually (though not always) in the morning that the symptoms of AMS show up. So ifyou wake up with a splitting headache, nausea and a bad, dry cough, ifyou feel breathless on exertion and very tired and if on the previous day, you have ascended more than 300m/c.l,000ft, assume you have AMS and do not proceed further that day. Take half a tablet of 25omg Diamox (acetazolamide), every 12 hours.

    If the symptoms go away the next morning, you could continue your trek. But if they persist or get worse, you must descend. The deciding factors for immediate descent are: ataxia, or inability to walk in a straight line (for HACE) and breathlessness even when at rest (HAPE). Descend even if it is night. Any delay may prove fatal. Descend until you reach an altitude at which you feel better.

   For severe HACE, the preferred drug is the steroid Decadron (dexamethasone) (4mg), every six hours, while for HAPE, doctors recommend Nifedipine (lomg) thrice a day. These medicines, however, do not obviate the need to descend rapidly, because that is the most important treatment. Deeadron might make a HACE patient suddenly feel better, but if he does not descend, his condition would worsen again when the drug's effects wear off. In severe HAPE, there is the added complication that any exertion can worsen conditions so even descent entails risks.

   The Himalayan Rescue Associations's clinic at Manang has portable pressure chambers (Gamow bags) to aid recovery from AMS. These resemble sleeping bags in which descent is simulated by gradually increasing air pressure with a pump. Some trekking agencies keep pressure chambers handy on organized treks, just in ease. They cost around US $1,000.

Diarrhoea (bacterial)

As we all know, it strikes with little notice. Suddenly, you have to rush to the toilet. And again. And again. The stool is watery and you get stomach cramps. You may even have fever, you could throw up, but that is initially (and not in all eases). After about 12 hours, you are still having frequent loose motions, but the nausea and fever are gone.

   You have contracted bacterial diarrhoea, from contaminated food or drink. It is the most common illness that hits tourists in the Indian subcontinent. Even after taking all precautions - consuming only boiled or filtered water, eating in good restaurants - you could be struck by diarrhoea because of poor general hygienic conditions in the subcontinent and the Westerners' lack of adequate immunity against bugs that thrive in these parts.

   TREATMENT: Norfloxaein(4oomg) or Ciprofloxaein (5oomg) antibiotic tablets, twice daily for two days. Both drugs are sold without prescription in Kathmandu pharmacies. You could pop in a Lomotil pill to freeze bowel movement in case of an emergency, like a long bus ride. But it doesn't kill the germs. Drink plenty of water, avoid spicy and oily food.

Ifthere is a lot ofvomiting initially but ifthe diarrhoea subsides quickly, in about 12 hours or less, then it is probably food poisoning. No medication is required; just drink plenty of water. Since it is sometimes difficult to tell initially whether you have food poisoning or bacterial diarrhoea, pop in the first dose of antibiotics anyway ifyou are on a tight itinerary.

Diarrhoea (protozoal)

If the diarrhoea does not strike suddenly, it is probably protozoal: giardia, or in rare cases, amoebiasis, caused by contaminated water, and often manifesting a week or so after infection. You have on-and-offloose motions (sometimes with cramp), increased gas (rotten egg smell), nausea (but no vomiting), intestinal churning and rumbling. The disease does not immobilize you, you rarely have to rush to the toilet, and there could be a phases when you feel well (and have no lose motion), but overall the condition worsens steadily.

  TREATMENT: Four Tinidazole (5oomg) tablets, taken all at once, for two consecutive days. After-effects: nausea and a bitter metallic taste in the mouth. Avoid alcohol when on the drug. Alternative medicine: Flagyl/Metronidazole (a5omg) thrice a day for five days. Again, avoid alcohol.

Common Cold and Fever

Common cold, the excessive generation of mucous when the upper respiratory tract is inflamed by viral infection, cannot of course be cured by antibiotics, which kill only bacteria. (Antihistamine decongestants like Lemolate and paracetamol or aspirin can give some relief, though).

  However, a secondary bacterial infection often follows a cold, caused by the lowering of the body's resistance to invading bacteria. This has antibiotic cures.

The secondary bacterial infection could cause sinusitis or bronchitis. In sinusitis, the sinuses - cavities in the bones of the face and skull - fill up with mucous as their walls are inflamed. Symptoms include headache, temperature, tenderness and pain between and behind the eyes and other areas of the face, loss of sense of smell. The face may swell and the mucous running from the nose would be thick greenish-yellow.

  Symptoms for bronchitis - in which the walls ofthe wind pipe (trachea) and its two branches (bronchi) leading to the lungs are inflamed and secrete excessive mucous - include cough, fever, shortness of breath and discharge of greenish-yellow phlegm. At high altitudes, where the air is thin, bronchitis can become particularly debilitating because of the congestion in the respiratory tract.

  TREATMENT for both sinusitis and bronchitis: Azithromycin (250mg), two tablets on the first day, followed by one each morning for 3-4 days. When trekking in the mountains, begin antibiotic treatment even when you just have a cold so that the usually inevitable bacterial infection is checked.

Enteric Fevers: Typhoid and Paratyphoid

There is a chance of catching these debilitating fevers in Nepal even ifyou have been vaccinated against them in your home country. They are contracted through contaminated food and drink, especially water, milk or shellfish. The first symptoms appear only a week or two after infection: headache, fatigue, aching limbs, mild fever. After three or four days, the fever suddenly gets worse, with the thermometer recording perhaps lo4~F/4o~C. The temperature falls after three or four days, only to rise again. The patient may have constipation during this intervening period and diarrhoea subsequently. The abdomen could be distended, red spots may appear on the chest and below, bronchitis could follow. There could be mental confusion, vomiting, loss of appetite, and of course extreme fatigue.

    TREATMENT: While blood and stool examination can confirm diagnosis, a course of Ciprofloxacin (5oomg) twice daily for lO days could be started if the disease is suspected. The result will not be immediate but the fever will subside gradually.


This is a concern if you are trekking in the winter months or if there is a freak spell of snowy weather, not totally uncommon even in October and April in the high altitudes.

  Frostbite is the freezing of your fingers and toes. The first phase is numbness with the skin turning blue, and if you take action then, the tissues won't freeze to death. This is important because frostbite is irreversible and your fingers and toes may ultimately have to be amputated.

  So, as soon as you detect numbness in your toes or fingers from extreme cold, stop walking, take shelter from the cold and try to re-warm your digits by pressing them against someone else's body. If the re-warming is painful, it means you have had the beginnings of frostbite. Blisters could form as you re-warm.

  Ifyour fingers and toes have turned whitish and wooden, it is bad news. It means the freezing is not just superficial; the damage is deeper. Evacuation to Manang or Jomsom, preferably by horse or yak, or to Kathmandu by helicopter, should be considered. Walking should be kept to the minimum. If possible, the affected parts could be rapidly re-warmed by dipping them in water heated to about 4o~C/lo4~F. This can be extremely painful and the person should be administered painkillers like Ibuprofen before the procedure. Blisters will of course form; the affected part should be dried and wrapped in antiseptic gauge. It is important to bear in mind that once re-warmed, the affected parts should not be allowed to become cold again. If this cannot be ensured, do not carry out the procedure; concentrate instead on evacuation.

Accidental Injury

A trekker sustaining serious injuries from an accidental fall will normally need to be evacuated but here are some first-aid procedures that his or her companion may follow before help arrives.

  The companion must of course first assess the injury. Ifthe casualty is in an unsafe place like a rock fall area or steep slope, he or she must first be moved to a secure place. When pulling an injured person to safety, move the body lengthwise (not sideways) and headfirst, with head and neck carefully supported. If the person must be lifted, do not pull him up by holding his heels and shoulders; support other parts so that the body stays level.

   Once in a safe place, assess the injury. If there is severe bleeding, place a sterile gauze dressing (or any clean cloth) over the wound and press firmly with the palm of your hand. If blood soaks the dressing, lay a fresh one over it (don't remove the first) and continue pressing with your palm for at least five minutes. If the bleeding continues, raise the affected part (but only if you are sure there is no fracture) to lessen the blood flow and continue applying pressure. Never apply a tourniquet or rubber bandage to restrict blood supply. Caution: If the wound is on the scalp, do not apply pressure; try to staunch bleeding by only using gauze dressing.

  Once the bleeding stops, try carefully cleaning the edges of the wound (to prevent infection) before bandaging it. When cleaning, ensure that the clot being formed is not disturbed. Do not use cotton wool or adhesive dressing directly on the wound. Ensure that the casualty remains as immobile as possible for a few hours.

  If the wound has a large foreign body stuck in it, do not try to remove it yourself; bandage the wound so that the foreign body is under least pressure.

  Ifthe injury is a case ofbone fracture (intense pain or deformed limb), the most important thing is to immobilise the affected part. This is best done by securing it to an undamaged part of the body with a piece of cloth or bandage. If the lower arm is fractured, it is placed over the chest and secured by a triangular piece of cloth that is slung around the back of the neck. The cloth cradles the injured forearm. The forearm should be wrapped in a soft padding before being slung. Caution: Ifthe elbow is also damaged, do not bend the arm over the chest; instead, secure the hand to the side of the body by using three pieces of cloth or bandage, one piece strapping the upper arm with the chest, the second tying the forearm with the waist and the third the wrist with the thigh. Put a padding between the arm and the side of the body before strapping.

  If there is a fracture in a leg, it must be strapped to the one that is not damaged by three or more bandages, one across the thighs, another over the knees, a third making a figure of eight around the ankles. Do not bandage over the fracture site, and put a padding between the knees and ankles. If a splint can be improvised (broad stick, small wooden plank), strap it to the injured leg for further support. Ifboth legs or the pelvis are injured, splints have to be used, of course.

In the case of a major fracture with the severed bone ends thrown out of alignment, there is the additional danger of damage to nerves and blood vessels. It is very important in this case to carefully splint the injured area. If the fracture is severe enough to have deformed a limb, try to gently straighten the latter out by traction before tying it to the splint.

The most serious fractures are those in which the damaged bone has broken through the skin leading to laceration and bleeding; there is then a great risk of subsequent infection. Dress the wound with bandaged soaked in a disinfectant like betadine, immobilise the area by using a splint and begin a course of antibiotics.

  Once you have administered first aid as outlined above, you will have to make arrangements to move the patient to the nearest hospital. Improvise a stretcher, hire help from the nearest village and try to reach the hospital as soon as possible. If the casualty is in a position to go on horseback, medical help could of course be availed faster.

  There are several injuries that one can do nothing about in the field. These include spinal, head and internal injuries. If the casualty has suffered a broken neck or back, paralysis will result: he or she will not be able to move one or all of the limbs and feel no sensation in areas below the point of injury. In the case of a serious head injury, casualty will not respond to spoken commands, may make involuntary movements, lose consciousness and may even slip into a coma. In the case of internal injury, when organs inside the body (liver, for instance) bleed, the casualty goes into a shock, turning pale and cold with shallow breathing and rapid pulse.

  In all such cases, the best you can do is try to move the patient as quickly as possible to the
nearest medical centre. Improvise a stretcher, hire help or call for helicopter rescue and hope
for the best.

First-aid Kit: Checklist

Suggested below are medicines (available without prescription in Nepal) and other items that may be taken on the trek as a first-aid kit. If you are allergic to any of the medicines listed, consult a doctor for alternatives


  Azithromycin 25omg for respiratory infections; 6-8 tablets

  Norfloxacin 4oomg or Ciprofloxacin for diarrhoea; 10 tablets

  Tinidazole 500mg for giardiasis / amoebiasis; 12 tablets

  Ibuprofen 4oomg for aches, pains; 12 tablets

Calpol (paracetamol) 5oomg for fevers, colds; 16 tablets

Lemolate or Actifed for colds; 12 tablets

Ranitidine 150mg, for acidity; 12 tablets

Miconazole 2% or Clotrimazole 1% for fungal infections; one tube.

Other items

Band-Aid sticking plasters; 15

Gauze pads, for bandaging wounds; 6 pieces

Stretch bandage

Helicopter Rescue

In a medical emergency, helicopter rescue could save your life. But it is expensive: typically, US $9,500-3000 if you are stranded in the Annapurna region. Only if someone in Kathmandu (embassy or travel agency official, for instance) guarantees payment will the chopper take off. If your travel insurance policy covers helicopter rescue and mountaineer- ing (even though you are only trekking), you should be able to summon a chopper if very sick or badly injured. The Nepal Army's Rotary Wing Command normally operates evacuation flights but nowadays private airline companies, like Karnali Air (tel: 4488553, 618) also arrange rescues.

  To summon, use the nearest satellite telephone (most of the larger villages have one) to call your embassy in Kathmandu (it helps ifyou have registered with the embassy before the trek; the registration forms are usually available at the Himalayan Rescue Association or HRA office). Explain your condition briefly and your location (you must find a level ground where the helicopter can land). The embassy will normally contact the helicopter company and guarantee payment, which you may reimburse later by claiming insurance. (If you are trekking with an agency, the agency will normally arrange everything, and there may be no need to seek embassy help.)

  If you or your companion cannot reach the nearest sat phone, write out your message in block letters, clearly and briefly, and have your porter or guide rush to the telephone. The helicopter may take a day or more to arrive, depending on the weather and availability of chopper. So you must wait at the spot for at least two days. Wave when you spot the chopper so that the pilot sees you.

  Rescue helicopters in Nepal do not usually take off unless assured of payment in writing. Rescue insurance can sometimes be bought in Kathmandu from certain agencies; check with Himalayan Rescue Association (HRA) for details. The HRA office in Kathmandu is located in Dhobichaur, Lazimpat (tel: 4440299, 93).


旧帖 2012-01-20 12:06:28
Post #10
Re: Annapurna--Trekking Map and Complete Guide
假设 离线 假设 Good guide to An. MT


旧帖 2013-06-05 15:04:33
Post #11
Re: Annapurna--Trekking Map and Complete Guide
深圳浪子 离线 深圳浪子 thanks for sharing!


旧帖 2016-04-05 19:20:31
Post #14
Re: Annapurna--Trekking Map and Complete Guide
Aliraza 离线 Aliraza And if the Annapurna Circuit trek seems too long, there are other exciting shorter options, most notably the Sanctuary trek that takes you to the very midst of the Annapurna mountains..?????

旧帖 2016-04-12 20:04:14
Post #15
Re: Annapurna--Trekking Map and Complete Guide
Aliraza 离线 Aliraza And if the Annapurna Circuit trek seems too long, there are other exciting shorter options, most notably the Sanctuary trek that takes you to the very midst of the Annapurna mountains..?????

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