Auckland Baptist Tramping Club

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About 32 people showed up at Remuera Baptist Church to take a journey to the Annapurna mountains in Nepal following the footsteps of Phillip, Roger and Heather Donnell. Before we took off Phillip shared a short devotions about the mountains, and the spiritual mountains in our Christian lives.

First of all we did the Annapurna Circuit, which their party of 9 did in 17-29 October last year. This 230km trip including side trips took 90 hours walking visiting 73 villages and 540 teahouses. Luggage was carted in jeeps. There was splendid mountain scenery. The trail was generally wide and well graded, and some of the roads precariously hung to gorges in places. 21 October was their acclimatisation day with a side trip to Mt Ganggapurna. The next three days were a side trip to Lake Tilicho, the highest lake in the world. One of the group succumbed to altitude sickness, and this was a graphic warning - a signboard at Manang said donít go higher, rest and take drinks if symptoms such as headache, loss of appetite, dizziness and fatigue appear; if there is severe headache, vomiting, walking like a drunk, and tiredness of breath at rest, descend with someone else, not alone. The group made it to Thorung La Pass, the highest navigable trekking pass in the world at 5416m, much higher than Mt Cook at 3724m. After the group finished the trail, they went by bus from Jomsom down to Tatopani, taking a whole 5 hours to do the 43km journey, followed by a much welcome soak in the Tatopani Hot Springs.

The second part of the armchair trip was the Annapurna Conservation Area. The group set out in the dark to climb Poon Hill at 3210m to see the sunrise and views of many mountain peaks including Annapurna 1. They went on to Machhapuchare Base Camp and Annapurna Base Camp then down to Himalaya on 5 November. From there they went on to Chomrong, climbing through a bamboo forest to a village named Bamboo, then on to Gandruck and finishing at Naya Pul. The trip finished with a flight from Pokhara to Kathmandu on 9 November.

A yummy potluck supper followed. Phillip did an excellent job in making up the slide shows, including a selection of classical music including Karelia Suite, Ladies In Lavender and Molly Maguires, and he and Roger did a great job in giving the presentation.
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