Nepal

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Leaving Nepal

With two weeks left on our Nepali visa we considered our options. We had to return Kathmandu to get our Indian visas but what would we due while we waited for them? We said goodbye to wonderful Pokhara and returned to the chaotic street of Thamel, Kathmandu’s tourist district. We found a cheap hotel with…

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Annapurna Base Camp

Annapurna is the deadliest of the world’s big mountains. One climber dies for every two that make it to the summit. Avalanches scour the entire standard route. Ed Viesturs, America’s premier high altitude climber and six time Everest summiter, spent 18 hours in the death zone climbing across a nearly flat ridge to avoid this…

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Annapurna Circuit – Part 2

  A road has overtaken the second half of the Annapurna circuit.* A small section, near the trail’s end, remains blissfully free of traffic.  Tate, Jo, Val and I jeeped, walked, and bussed as fast as we could to get there. After two weeks of brown Himalayan desert the sudden green was striking. Flowers adorned…

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Annapurna Circuit – Part 1

After 31 wonderful days in the Everest region we found ourselves back in Thamel, the tourist district of Kathmandu. It is not a relaxing place. Motorbikes weave through pedestrians with horns blaring. An endless stream of touts offer drugs, guides, bus tickets, girls – you name it. Litter is strewn everywhere and stray dogs rule…

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The Three Passes

Having recuperated from the week long trek from Jiri to Namche Bazaar we bid steak dinners and apple pie farewell and continued our ascent into the Everest region. We listened to the peaceful chants of Buddhist monks at the Tengboche monastery. We enjoyed our own private guest house, for lack of other guests, in Orsho…

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Into the Khumbu

Most people fly from Kathmandu to Lukla to get into the Khumbu (region around Mt. Everest). Flights aren’t exactly cheap and the Lukla airstrip’s safety record is pretty spotty. We decided to take a bus to the town of Jiri (a 9 hour journey as death defying as the flight) and walk from there, making…

Destination Nepal

I’ve dreamed of going to Nepal since I was a little boy. By the time I started climbing mountains my teens but I had already read dozens of books about epic ascents in the Himalaya. Their pages had told of incredible suffering, tragedy, triumph and heroism. The Himalayas offer some of the harshest and most…

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