The Annapurna Base Camp Trek – Epic, adventure, challenge, fruitful, new friendships, awe-inspiring, vast, grand, like nothing seen before! These are a few words to describe the three weeks I spent with the team as we trekked from 1000 meters (3510 feet) up to ABC (Annapurna Base Camp) at 4130 meters (13,549 feet).
Upon landing in Kathmandu, we headed out into the city for cultural orientation and exploration. We were blessed to stay at Apple Pie Expeditions’ guest house for a few days while we “acclimatized” to the new culture and then we set out for Pokhara, the starting point for the ABC trek.
While in Pokhara, we got to see all that this part of the Himalayas has to offer the outdoor adventure community. Paragliding, kayaking and rafting, trekking and the beautiful landscape draws thousands of people to this part of Nepal each year.
Pictures may best describe our 10 days on the trek so please be sure to look through the album on the right side of this post. The pics were taken with a trusty iPhone but we hope to update the blog with more shots once the team returns in November.
The best stories from the trek are the ones about other people. We were so blessed to meet so many different people from all over the world. English is the main language along the trek which made for quick community-building in the guest houses each night. Most of the conversations started off with highlights from the day, how many leeches each person found on their shins or in their socks, the tragedies of the day (someone getting injured or having to stay back at lower elevations) and of course, stories of the vistas and grandeur from base camp! But from there, the conversation naturally progressed to deeper, more personal things such as family, faith and challenges in life.
As we built relationships with fellow trekkers and travelers over those 10 days, we were blessed to hear their stories and honored that they would take a minute to hear about ours. We were encouraged in our pursuit to love and serve the outdoor industry and the people of Nepal by those that didn’t share the same values or beliefs and we were able to be ourselves and live out the kingdom community in a unique way. (By “ourselves” I mean that we are Jesus followers who love adventure and who care for adventurers in the industry and the people of Nepal alike!).
One highlight of the trek was meeting up with Ueli Steck’s expedition at ABC. Ueli is a world-famous Swiss climber that is also known as the “Swiss machine”. While we didn’t get to meet Ueli himself, we did have the chance to talk with his climbing partner and photography crew. Our Swiss students in particular enjoyed the opportunity to speak Swiss-German for a few hours! You can read about Ueli’s accomplishment here. More than talking, however, we were able to pray with Ueli’s crew and encourage them in their pursuits.
For some, 10 days of trekking felt like eternity, but for others we could have kept going over the next mountain pass, into the next valley and back up to the next base camp. Either way, after 10 days the whole team was exhausted and it was a blessing to rendezvous with friends and contacts in Pokhara for a day and two nights of R&R before heading out to the next location.