To say I spent all summer anxiously waiting for this trip to start is a gross understatement. I was finally going to see Mt Everest after a certain pandemic kept me from doing so in 2020. The excitement was real! I’d ran, walked and hiked a lot in preparation and felt ready for whatever the Himalaya was going to throw my way. Nepal was the first stop on my Asia adventure, and was to be followed by equally exciting visits to Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines – my first time in the country.
Widely recognised as one of the most picturesque treks in the world, the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal is unlikely to leave anyone indifferent. I mean, it’s not every day that you get to be surrounded by some of the tallest peaks on the planet – some reaching heights of 8,000 metres or more! The classic trek starts in Besisahar (760 m) and progressively climbs to Manang (3,519 m) on the way to Thorung La Pass, which sits at 5,416 metres. It’s a strenuous endeavour, to put it mildly.
While I did have several favourite days on the trail, one the most special was definitely the acclimatisation trek to Ice Lake (4,620 m) from Manang. It’s a demanding hike that sees trekkers gain over 1,000 metres in altitude in just a few hours. The Ice Lake itself isn’t all that impressive (it’s a lake, after all) but the spectacular views on the way down make the effort absolutely worth it. The view you get of the Annapurna range is nothing short of breathtaking.