7:30am: There is still a foot deep snow blanketing the ground. It is absolutely frigid and I lost my insulated cap somewhere on the trail yesterday. We set off into the fresh powder, through the perilous avalanche zone and pave our trail along the freezing river further into the Annapurnas. After a difficult morning facing the biting cold, low oxygen and rigorous hiking we stop for a delicious Dahl Baht in the shadow of the impressive mountains that never cease to defy imagination.
The 2 remaining hours were the most trying, but I power through to the top, anxious to soak up the kerosene heat inside the base camp lodge. After five full days of rigorous mountain trekking, I am now in the Annapurna Sanctuary; a valley of rock surrounded by some of the world’s tallest peaks. Fresh snow still glazes the valley and its summits. A perfect blue sky sharply contrasts the awe-inspiring terrain.
There is complex texture and enormous depth everywhere, from the tiniest speck of frost to the largest mountain; sterile ice vs. vibrant sky, solid rock vs. delicate brush, soaring peaks vs. deep valleys! In the bright white snow, rays of sun refract into a rotating kaleidoscope of rainbow light. Black stone vs. frozen water match their counterparts in colorful sky and sun-down light. Such power in visuals that mere words will always fail to respect!
The sun lowers achingly behind the grandiose eight kilometer towers, casting the entire sanctuary in a contrast of rust and frost colored hues. More depth emerges as the shadows grow long and sights that could never be imagined bless the eyes. Everything in nature has conspired to make this very evening a perfect spectacle that stimulates all senses. The power of being here is overwhelming.
The last colors fade to grey and a blanket of dark night takes over. The deep blackness encompasses the valley as stars begin to poke through the veil. Sometime in the middle of the night, a sliver of moon rises behind Macchapuchhre and rests behind a thin cloud,. The entire valley is illuminated in an eerie gray luminescence.
Tags: - Photography, - Transport & Travel, Annapurna, Asia, Himalaya, Nepal, Nepal: ABC Trek, Trek