I saw the first glimpse of them from the plane window – the rigid, snowy Himalayan peaks. They were practically at eye level with our cruising altitude; you could reach out and touch them as if they were the pages of a book. They looked beautiful and scary at the same time. They were so cold, hard, and barren; as if they were saying “leave us alone, you don’t belong here.”
I was in Nepal to accomplish a long time goal - hiking the Annapurna Circuit. This 18 to 21 day circuit hike is full of ups and downs and eventually reaches the highest point in the middle of the trek - Thorung La Pass at 17,770 ft. The air is thin and the day I crossed over the pass I sucked up every ounce of air I could find.
The peaks look different when you are eye level with them. They are more welcoming and less barren - maybe because you had to work so hard to get there to the pass - the peak finally said..."ok - I accept you."
If you have an extended period of time the Annapurna circuit is a great adventure that you give you a thorough understanding of the Himalayas and the various village cultures that dot the trail. Your life is simplified for a month and you learn to appreciate the necessities - food, water, friends - and air.
Get a great account of what to expect from the circuit in this free ebook about a father-daughter Annapurna trek.