Annapurna

a view of the Annapurna range from the north-east with from left-right Annapurna II and IV (close together); a major col; Annapurna III and Gangapurna; Annapurna I.  Julian and I will hike to the south side of this range and so will not see this view.
The Annapurnas
Annapurna is the name of a 34 mile (55 kilometre) long chain of mountains in the centre of Nepal.  There are five mountains called Annapurna numbered from I to IV plus Annapurna South, of which Annapurna I is the highest at 8,091 metres (26,545 feet) and a bit lower than Mount Everest which is 8,848 metres (29,029 feet) high.
The Peaks
The Annapurna section of the Himalaya contains thirteen peaks over 7,000 metres (22.970 feet) and sixteen more over 6,000 metres (19,690 feet).  To call the place spectacular is to miss the opportunity of using the word awesome.
Expeditions 
Annapurna I is the 10th highest mountain in the world and was the first summit over 8,000 metres to be successful climbed.  This was achieved in June 1950 by a French team with the team leader Maurice Herzog and Louis Lachenal being the two climbers to reach the summit via the north face. 
 
In the spring of 1970 a British Army team led by Henry Day became the second expedition to successful climb Annapurna I again by the north face but their achievement was eclipsed a few days later by a team led by Chris Bonington which climbed Annapurna I by the south face.  Dougal Haston and Don Whillans were the successful climbers and at the time this was considered to be the most difficult climbing route in the Himalaya being almost unclimable.
Annapurna Base Camp
Julian and I will be hiking to the Annapurna Base Camp on the south side of the mountain range which is where Bonington’s expedition set up their large tents, supplies and equipment and relaxed while other members of their party pushed ahead up the mountain.  It is unlikely that there will be any climbers in November however because the main climbing season is in the spring before the monsoon.  So just to reiterate – for insurance purposes, we will be walking to the point where the climbers get out their helmets, ropes, ice axes, pitons and so on but no further!
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