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reveries of an amateur long-distance hiker

April 4

April 7th, 2016

April 4

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1000 meters– it is a good rule of thumb for acclimating to altitude. I tried to follow it in Nepal on the Annapurna Circuit, and here it is built into the trail. On this approach, there are clusters of huts set apart not by distance, but height. The first huts (Mandara) were at 2720m (after leaving Marangu gates at 1800m), and Horombo huts are at 3720m. Today rather than push on the Kibo huts, we took a day hike to zebra rocks– a formation that really does look like zebra stripes. Then after a quick scramble up to a ridge which gave us the requisite 1000m gain, we turned back and descended again to Horombo for a quiet afternoon before the big push of the next two days which will take us back up to 4700m and then to the peak around 5800m. So far I’m acclimating well, maybe some carryover from last month’s 5400m over Thorung La (looking forward to some lesser European heights next month). Was happy not to hike distance today as the rain has been hard and constant. The last thing I want is ascend the peak in sub-zero weather wearing wet clothes (nothing dries out here as we are up in the clouds). Not much to report on the walk except for these large bushes that were covered with a flower that looked like a yellow daisy. They had thick, evergreen leaves, but from a distance looked like a huge “coreopsis moonbeam.” Wanted to get a picture but it as raining too hard to stop. There were also strange thick trees that must be related to the palm or some sort of tree fern. Heavy green leaves at the top that seem to die and become part of the trunk, definitely the inspiration for a Dr. Seuss book. Very much a cold damp day, most of it spent reading Whitehead’s Process and Reality.

 

T. Hugh Crawford

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