The Hidden Secrets of Annapurna

Annapurna Mountains
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Annapurna (8091 meters high; 26545 feet) is located on the Annapurna massif in North-central Nepal. This is the tenth highest mountain on the earth. This mountain was first climbed in 1950 by the French expedition Maurice Herzog and Louis Lachenal on June 3rd, 1950. The first 8000-meter peak climbed, today it is arguably the most feared. Literally, the word Annapurna is translated as “Goddess of the Harvests” or “the Provider”. Here, we discuss some loved but hidden secrets of the Annapurna Region.

The major peaks on the Annapurna range are Annapurna I (8091 meters high), Annapurna II (7937 meters), Annapurna III (7555 meters), Annapurna IV (7525 meters), Gangapurna (7455 meters) and Annapurna South (7219 meters).

Nepal is a country of extraordinary majesty. It is situated in the shadow of the Himalaya and bordered by the dense jungles of the Indian plains. The people who inhabit here – an ancient people – live at one with nature and enjoy a slow-paced life of peace in their isolated paradise.
Although the indigenous population lives a life of tranquility, there’s no reason that they are not enjoying the other wonders that the region has in its lap. Nepal is great for adventure, too. Therefore, one doesn’t be surprised to see people kayaking, paragliding, canyoning, white water rafting, and mountain climbing on their days off. In fact, there’s no better place if you like mountains, because this is the home of the greatest white peaks in the world.

The Mountains

Annapurna Base Camp Short Trek
Annapurna Base Camp Short Trek

The Annapurna mountains have lots of uniqueness among other mountain range of Himalayas. There are 30 popularly named mountains in this region that are over 6,000 meters in height which is tall by anyone’s standard. Annapurna I, the tallest of the mountains here, towers over the rest at 8091m. This simple fact puts it in the top 10 tallest mountains in all of the world. Therefore, this is a very good region to be familiar with mountains with 100 percent success rates. Besides this, Annapurna circuit trek is a great way to explore mountains in the Annapurna region with memorable trekking experiences in Nepal Himalayas.

Annapurna: Deadly Mountain

Annapurna is only the tenth tallest mountain in the world, but it ranks as one of the most dangerous mountain. The mountain is located in Nepal along a 55-kilometer (34-mile) ridge just east of the Gandaki River, which has carved one of the deepest river gorges in the world. The gorge separates Annapurna from Dhaulagiri, the seventh tallest mountain in the world.

On June 3, 1950, the French climbers Maurice Herzog and Louis Lachenal reached the summit of Annapurna, making it the first eight-thousand meter peak ever successfully climbed. There are 14 “eight-thousanders” in all, a number that pushes some climbers to the point of obsession.

First Attempt to Mt. Annapurna

Herzog and Lachenal first attempted Annapurna’s northwest face—they called it the cauliflower face (shown in shadow in the image above)—then switched over to the avalanche-prone north face when they realized the northwest face was too rugged for their porters. The extremely steep south face, a wall of rock that rises 3,000 meters (9,800 feet), is said to be one of the most difficult climbs in the world.

Annapurna is the only 8,000 meter-peak to be conquered on the first try—and Herzog and Lachenal did it without bottled oxygen. However, the feat came with a high price. Since they wore only thin, leather boots up to the summit, the expedition’s doctor had to amputate all of Herzog and Lachenal’s toes after extreme frostbite and then gangrene set in during the descent. Herzog lost all of his fingers as well. Lachenal had asked Herzog during the summit climb: “Do you think it is worth it?”

The rocks that make up Annapurna’s summit—limestone formed at the bottom of a warm ocean—are a reminder of the powerful tectonic forces that pushed up the world’s highest mountains. Other eight-thousanders with limestone near the summits include Everest and Dhaulagiri.

Only 191 people had successfully ascended Annapurna as of 2012, fewer than any other eight-thousanders. With a fatality rate of 32 percent, no other eight-thousander is deadlier.

Trekking: a popular secret of Annapurna

The Annapurna circuit is doubtlessly one of the best trekking circuits ever. In fact, it’s been repeatedly rated in the top 10 mountains in the world. It takes between 17 to 21 days to complete the trekking journey which also provides you a chance to observe four of Nepal’s most beautiful regions. Each of these regions has their own very distinct views and feels, so you’re constantly rewarded for the effort you put into walking.

A family hiking tour
A family hiking tour with Oriental Journeys, Annapurna region of Western Nepal

Make no mistake, you’ll need to prepare for it. 21 days of walking in any capacity would be enough to tire you out, so make sure you’re fit and ready with all the right equipment before setting off.
You’ll trek through isolated Buddhist villages, jutting mountain passes and the world’s deepest gorge. This isn’t the easiest trek there ever was but is certainly one of the most worthwhile.

The Mountains lend their might to the Annapurna conservation area. The conservation area was started in 1986, is home to around 100,000 people and covers an area that’s a whopping 7,629 sq. km in size.

The biodiversity of the conservation area is noteworthy. Especially for somewhere that seems like it would be difficult to live. The region is home to almost two thousand species of plants and animals, all of which are perfectly adapted to life on the slopes.

The area is staggeringly beautiful, too. It has the world’s largest Rhodedendron forest that when blooming, overcomes the senses. It’s also home to Lake Tilicho – the highest freshwater lake in the world.

Paragliding

If you thought it was beautiful from the ground, you should see it from the air. Paragliding is a favourite among not only the Work the World students, but anyone who visits Nepal for any length of time.

Paragliding
Paragliding in Pokhara – Adventure Sports in Nepal

The activity is not as tough as you’d think. The conditions in these mountains are perfect even for beginners who’ve never flown before. The sub-tropical thermals make for a smooth flight from start to finish.

Some paragliding experiences can last for days and take you on a complete tour of the skies. So take some time out to spend a few days flying the same routes as the Himalayan Griffon Vultures if you dare.

The Work the World Nepal experience puts you right where you need to be to see Annapurna in all it’s beauty. Live on the slopes in the company of the friendly Nepalese people and experience their spiritual way of life that has existed for centuries.

What’s more, working with the Nepalese people will offer you a unique insight into the effects on the body that living at such great altitude has.
To find out more about our Nepal programs and why you should sign up today for an utterly unforgettable experience,

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