In the mountains for the first time in your life. High mountains to be precise. At eight o’clock in the morning we’ll take a taxi to Kande – the start our trek to the base camp on a mountain called Mardi Himal, towering to a height of 5,587 metres.
On the trek we are going to spend 8 nights in various ‘tea houses’ (small structures providing services for tourists in the mountains – accommodation, food and tips). Our trek began at an altitude of 1,680 metres, the next morning we saw the following scenery at 2,800:
After the first two days of climbing we felt fine. We were looking forward to reaching 3,300 metres, where rhododendron forests end and beautiful views of the highest mountains in the world open. This happened on the third day.
We reached the high camp, the last place with ‘tea houses’, at an altitude of 3,580 metres. As a result of oxygen depletion we feel inflated, and have a slight headache. We go to bed early because tomorrow morning we’ll go to the base camp.
Early in the morning we woke up in a similar house, already without feelings of discomfort and acclimatized. We take plenty of water (to prevent altitude sickness) and set out. Today we have to cover 920 metres of elevation – that’s a lot, at heights exceeding 3,500 metres it is recommended to climb about 200 vertical metres per day. After an hour of walking we have to slow down, the head wants to go faster but the body can’t. After four hours of slow walking we did it, Mardi Himal Base Camp!
Suddenly we heard a noisy cracking sound. The echoed sound was self-explanatory. From Annapurna I – the tenth highest mountain in the world – a huge avalanche rolled down. We saw it from a distance of 15 kilometres. Then again, the nicest silence fell upon the place.
On the way back we had two goals. One of them was a stop in the hot springs, the other was a night spent in the village of our guide. Unfortunately the hot springs were destroyed by recent floods. But we accomplished the other one. Our guide’s wife made delicious dinner, after which we spent the night in a house like this.
The last day we walked through small farmers’ villages, and we were surrounded by children everywhere.
We admired the scenery of the mountains with ripe rice and a glacier river. I can’t wait for the next trip to the mountains...