Annapurna Trek Part 4 Annapurna Sanctuary-Day 6 MBC to Annapurna Base Camp (ABC)-Day 7 Moonrise & Sunrise on Annapurna trek to Dovan

Annapurna Sanctuary is a magnificent glacial basin at an elevation of 13,500ft (4,100m) surrounded by the mountains of the massive Annapurna Range with Annapurna itself standing over the sanctuary at 26,545ft (8,091m) the 10th highest peak in the world.

On 3 June 1950, Maurice Herzog and Louis Lachenal became the first climbers  to climb a peak over 8000m when they summited the Himalayan mountain Annapurna I, the 10th-highest mountain in the world. The ascent was all the more remarkable because the peak was explored, reconnoitred and climbed all within one season; and was climbed without the use of supplemental oxygen. It is also the only 8000 meter summit that was reached at the first attempt.

The south face of Annapurna was first climbed in 1970 by Don Whillans and Dougal Haston, members of a British expedition led by Chris Bonington which included the alpinist Ian Clough, who was killed by a falling serac during the descent. They were, however, beaten to the second ascent of Annapurna by a matter of days by a British Army expedition led by Henry Day.

Annapurna I has the greatest fatality rate of all the 14 eight-thousanders: as of March 2012, there have been 52 deaths during ascents, 191 successful ascents, and nine deaths upon descent, which means that for every three climbers that make it safely up and down Annapurna I, one dies trying.

Day 6 was to be a short climb of about two hours to Annapurna Base Camp but first there were some glorious sunrise photos to be captured.

Sunrise on Annapurna South from MBC
Sunrise on Annapurna South from MBC

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So off we trekked to ABC with magnificent views unfolding as we went. On arrival Tom and son Peter kindly agreed to sleep in a tent on mattresses so Sian and I were back to a room of our own. We were there mid morning so there was lots of time to explore and to take photos. Lots of photos. So sit back and enjoy them and I’ll shut up for a while.

Photo call on the way
Photo call on the way
The team are getting closer
The team are getting closer
We've made it Annapurna Base Camp at 13.500ft
We’ve made it Annapurna Base Camp at 13.500ft
Team photo. Left to right. Tony, his son Peter, myself, Sian, Tom and his father Kit, Clare and Rich. The lone hiker, 9th member of our team, was missing presumably bagging the best bed.
Team photo. Left to right. Tony, his son Peter, myself, Sian, Tom and his father Kit, Clare and Rich. The lone hiker, 9th member of our team, was missing presumably bagging the best bed. Click on image to open full size in Flickr
Annapurna  10th highest mountain in the world
Annapurna 10th highest mountain in the world The picture is taken at 13,500 ft and the summit is another 13,000ft
Annapurna South
Annapurna South
Phone pano approaching ABC. Annapurna is on the right Annapurna South on the left
Phone pano approaching ABC. Annapurna is on the right Annapurna South on the left
Phone pano looking the opposite way Fish Tail on the right
Phone pano looking the opposite way Fish Tail on the right
Phone pano from the other side of the camp showing ABC with Fish Tail in the distance
Phone pano from the other side of the camp showing ABC with Fish Tail in the distance
Views around ABC
Views around ABC. Click to open full size in Flickr
Views around ABC
Views around ABC

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Views around ABC
Views around ABC
Views around ABC
Views around ABC
Views around ABC
Views around ABC
Views around ABC
Views around ABC
Sian admiring the view
Sian admiring the view
Views around ABC
Views around ABC
Views around ABC
Views around ABC
ABC our hut is the one with the rust coloured roof on the right. Photo from Peter Bell
ABC our hut is the one with the rust coloured roof on the right. Photo from Peter Bell
Fish Tale photo from Peter Bell
Fish Tale photo from Peter Bell
After a cloudy afternoon Fish Tail made an appearance with the last rays of sunshine
After a cloudy afternoon Fish Tail made an appearance with the last rays of sunshine

Right I’m back again I hope you enjoyed the photo tour of Annapurna Base Camp. Views don’t get much better than this.

The afternoon was cloudy and as you would imagine at 13,500ft quite cold. Down jackets were put on and we passed the time reading. Because of the altitude this was our third night without even a beer. I cant rember the last time I had three nights on holiday without alcohol. Alarm clocks were set for 5.30am to catch the sunrise and it was really worth getting up for.

Moonlight on Annapurna South
Moonlight on Annapurna South click to open full size in Flickr
First Light on Annapurna
First Light on Annapurna Click to open full size in Flickr
First Light on Annapurna South
First Light on Annapurna South
Moonset over Annapurna South
Moonset over Annapurna South Click on image to see full size in Flickr

So after that excellent start to the day we had a hearty breakfast in the chaotic restaurant (see photo) to prepare us for the long descent to Dovan a drop in altitude of 5,000 ft. Just a few photos as we are retracing our steps.

Chaotic breakfast at ABC
Chaotic breakfast at ABC

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Sawer Mini Filter an essential bit of kit for the trek
Sawer Mini Filter an essential bit of kit for the trek
Tea Break at Deurali
Tea Break at Deurali
Rich chilling at Deurali
Rich chilling at Deurali
Busy again in Himalya
Busy again in Himalaya
Another tricky bridge
Another tricky bridge

When we got to Dovan Sian and I had a shock. In the Annapurna Conservation Zone tea houses are only allowed to have six rooms. We were in room 7. Which turned out to have an entrance off the porters dining room and separated from the kitchen by a corrugated iron wall. Note in the photo how the laminated floor had been continued to make a skirting board. As you can see it was a little on the small side. It was christened the “Prison Cell” The only consolation was the best shower on trek. We had not had a shower for several days.

The "Prison Cell" room 7
The “Prison Cell” room 7
The cell door
The cell door
The prison canteen at Dovan
The prison canteen at Dovan
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5 thoughts on “Annapurna Trek Part 4 Annapurna Sanctuary-Day 6 MBC to Annapurna Base Camp (ABC)-Day 7 Moonrise & Sunrise on Annapurna trek to Dovan”

  1. A brilliant read Paul and the photos are just breathtaking. It’s great to learn a little about guides, the culture and the history of the area too. Am really enjoying the posts. Many thanks for sharing.

    Like

  2. Great blog Paul – a really enjoyable read and insight into what to expect on this sort of trek. Sounds like you had a great time. The scenery looks incredible and you’ve done it justice with some cracking photos. Looking forward to part 5.

    Like

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