Saturday, July 9, 2011

Actually, Not. There's No Resting on a Rest Day. (Annapurna Circuit Day Six)

Three supertrekking musketeers.
Charles, Dave, and Ted crossing the (not so) mighty Marshyangdi.
Date: April 27, 2011
Start: Manang
Finish: Manang
Distance: 5 km (loop)
Elevation: 3550 m

Today was a day off.  Since beginning the trek at sea level we had climbed nearly 550 vertical meters (1800 ft) per day and were hiking at over 3500 meters (11,500 ft).  To help acclimatize we would spend an additional day and night in Manang, and with its pastries, coffees, and other city amenities, no one objected.*

A day off also meant laundry!
Oh man, we can't wash our clothes in the toilet!?!
And to think that was exactly where we were going to wash them 
Jesse's panty garden.
Did Jesse break the rules and wash them in the toilet?
Did she find a washing machine?  You'll never know.

Despite this Annapurna Sabbath we were actually denied a full day of rest.  Shiba woke us up at dawn to see the sunrise and then marched us up to glacial point (3850 M) so we could further acclimatize.  My arguments that the hike-high, sleep-low acclimatization strategy were not scientifically tested and were speculative were roundly rejected.  So we hiked.  The hike ended up being fun, after we walked through what appeared to be Manang's waste management area: basically a stream full of trash and waste-water.  Gross.  Afterwards we spent the rest of the day shuffling between the town’s three coffee shops and eating pastries.  Bern would be proud.
Crossing the Marshyangdi
Manang, Nepal
Trudge trudge trudge
(Yep, we're in the back)

Still pulling up the rear.  Bet you can't guess who the roadblock was?

A much needed rest (it was our rest day, after all) at the top

The view Jesse ignored while she slept
The afternoon held much promise as we headed to one of the town’s two movie theaters.  We interestingly opted for Jon Krakauer's Into Thin Air, a story about a disastrous Everest summit resulting in the death of many climbers.  The book was fantastic.  The movie was terrible.**  But, our admission included popcorn (yum), herbal tea, and most importantly, the promise that the proprietor of the movie house would light a fire, which he did.  Cozy and warm, we watched the characters slowly freeze to death on the exposed faces of Everest.  The next day we were heading higher into the mountains, where hopefully none of us would come anywhere near that type of fate.  UPDATE (SPOILER): We all successfully made it.

Inside the futbol-themed Manag movie theater.
Despite the fire, it was clearly still freezing!
Only three of us were permitted to enjoy this delectable movie snack
We were glad that the movie was not BYOFW (Bring Your Own Fire Wood)
* There was some objection to choice of our hotel.  Throughout the entire trek Shiba chose our routes, restaurants  and hotels, and without fail chose the best the Annapurna Circuit had to offer.  In Manang, however, over Shiba's slight objection I pushed for the Hotel Yeti, based on its recommendation in the Lonely Planet.  After checking out the other properties in Manang, we (I) realized Shiba was a far better guide than the Lonely Planet and we never doubted his judgment again.  Thankfully I only sulked about my choice and failing the group for a few hours.
The exposed brick here really added a little je ne sais qua
Huddling for warmth around the hotel's only stove

Nice view though
** It was hard to take the movie seriously for a number of reasons, but that most difficult was that Jon Krakauer's role was played by none other than Shooter McGaven.  All I could think about was what he ate for breakfast at Everest Base Camp.

1 comment:

  1. I was just in Manang. The trail I see you all ascending up to the Gangapurna glacier overlook has since been rerouted lower down the slope. I guess wind gusts have blown people over the ridge. My guide was telling me that route was rather unsafe.

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