Slip Sliding Away

Ghorepani Travel Blog

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Poon Hill

We start for Poon Hill at 5:45am Khim leading and me following with a torch.  Kamal has mislaid his head torch and stays with Pete who looks sick and quickly falls behind. Khim and I overtake a couple of other groups and reach the summit by 6:30.  At the top there are women selling hot drinks which are welcome in the pre-dawn cold. 

Sunrise is at about 7am and though there are a few clouds it is worth the wait.  It is Chinese New Year are we are expecting a large number of Chinese, but there are only about 20 or 30, much less than other days so we hear.

Annapurna South from Poon Hill
  Pete makes it up just in time for sunrise but is struggling; I offer him some chocolate which he happily accepts.

Poon Hill is at 3200m and is named after the caste in this area.  From here we can see Machhapuchhre as well as Annapurna.  By walking the path in this direction we will acclimatise better, as for the next 2 days we drop down to a lower altitude before starting the climb up to MBC.

We rush back to Ghorepani for breakfast and are on the move again by 9am.  This is meant to be an easy day, but we must first climb Gurung Hill, also 3200m, before working our way slowly down to the guest house at Tatapani.  The path is on the north side of the ridge and is treacherous with ice, making the going slow.

Machhapuchhre from Poon Hill
  Just before lunch we meet 3 porters carrying huge load of pots and pans on their way to Ghorepani.  There are no mules on this path as it is steep, but we meet many trekkers as we are still on the popular short trek route that goes to Ghandruk.

At lunch the 3 charity workers from the guest house at Ghorepani catch up with us.  Though we are stopping at Tadapani, they are heading for Ghandruk 3 hours further on which will be another 9 hour day for them. 

After lunch we reach the head of the gorge we saw on the 1st day and have a view back down to Ulleri in the far distance.  From here there is a steep descent to the river and a short climb up to Tadapani which we reach by 3pm. 

Tadapani lies at 2600m at the top of the pass and commands great views down to the Modi Khola valley that leads up to ABC.

Sunrise from Poon Hill
  At the guest house there are a group of young Canadians drinking beer after a short day walking from Ghandruk. At the guest house they do not have a wood heater but put hot charcoal in tins under the dining table which has a blanket round the edge to keep the hot air in. 

One of the girls from the guest house has a new mobile phone but is unsure of how to use it, so Kamal offers to walk with her to where there is mobile reception (a hill 30 minutes away) and show her how to use the phone.

For dinner I try the local Tibetan bread with my soup. It is crispy and I surprise Kamal by dipping it in my soup.  After dinner Pete and I play cards.  He looks much better now, perhaps it was the altitude or maybe the water that was making him ill.  When the under-table heating loses its warmth we opt to retire and are not kept awake by the Canadians next door watching movies on their laptop.

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Poon Hill
Poon Hill
Annapurna South from Poon Hill
Annapurna South from Poon Hill
Machhapuchhre from Poon Hill
Machhapuchhre from Poon Hill
Sunrise from Poon Hill
Sunrise from Poon Hill
Poon Hill from Gurung Hill
Poon Hill from Gurung Hill
Annapurna South
Annapurna South
Porters carrying pots and pans
Porters carrying pots and pans
The view back down to Ulleri
The view back down to Ulleri
Me at Poon Hill for sunrise
Me at Poon Hill for sunrise
Ghorepani
photo by: stefmuts