Sunday, July 3, 2011

Actually, Yes. The Return of the Super Trek.

View our Annapurna Circuit Trek in a larger map.  Blue Pins are where we slept; Green Pins are places of interest; Forks & Knifes are where we ate, and the Blue Line is where we drove.  Each pin has some information and a link to the post about that day.

The Annapurnas.  The majestic mountain range stretching across much of Nepal conjures images of soaring peaks, snowbound passes and hardy, weathered people.  Trekking the Annapurna Circuit - a hike that can take anywhere from one to three weeks - had always been on our list of things we'd like to accomplish but are slightly nervous about.  So when Ted and Sarah, the Boulderites with whom we had conquered the 40 km El Chalten Supertrek, mentioned that they would be doing the Annapurna Circuit with some friends in April, we invited ourselves along.
"Leaving Manang"
A stunning view on the Annapurna Circuit

The full Annapurna Circuit takes 20 days to circumnavigate, but (ongoing) construction of a new road means that you can do it in as little as 10 days or so.  It's called a "teahouse" trek; you hike between villages accessible only by foot, and sleep and eat in small guesthouses.  The word "teahouse" conjures images of quaint, charming inns, but as you will see, you very much get (extremely basic) what you pay for ($3).

On April 21, the Supertrekkers convened in Pokhara - Dave and Jesse, Ted and Sarah, and Kate and Charles.  We quickly assembled a crack team - our amazing guide, Shiba (you can reach him at and his merry band of porters, Mila, Krishna and Shandar - and then got down to the important business of outfitting ourselves with the counterfeit gear and dozens of Snickers that would get us over the pass.  For the next few days, enjoy Dave's day-by-day (by day) account and photos of the Annapurna Circuit.

The Supertrekers.  From left to right:
Back row - Dave, Shiva; middle row - Ted, Charles; front row: Jesse, Sarah, Kate.

Each post has the date, our starting and finish location, the distance walked, and elevation climbed (or descended).  It'll look like this:

Date:  April 21, 2011
Start:  Pokhara
Finish:  Pokhara
Distance:  0 KM
Elevation:  820 M

Before we could trek, we needed to gear up.  Naturally, this meant spending our first full day in Pokhara cruising the identical shops selling identical counterfeit goods.  After some tough negotiations we ended up with hats, gloves, gators, tops & bottoms, and other “high-performance” gear in a dazzling array of many colors.  In fact, I'd say that the new gear gave us a handsome and smart look; more than one Nepali person confused us with a walking piece of art.*

Having properly geared up we had some celebratory pop and beers, watched the sun set, and toasted to a great trek.

The supertrekers
Not pictured: Ted Martens
An appropriately named beer to start the trek
Sunset over Phewa Tal in Pohkara, Nepal

* We were red and yellow and green and brown, scarlet and black and ochre and peach, ruby and olive and violet and faun, lilac and gold and chocolate and mauve, and cream and crimson and silver and rose, etc.


  1. And azure and lemon and russet and grey
    And purple and white and pink and orange
    And BLUE!


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