We didn’t get to ABC or even MBC. This was disappointing, but the whole group understood that our safety was more important than trying to reach the objective. Bad weather had caused a lot of new snow and resulted in many avalanches – we saw several in a few minutes and had to cross one debris fan. It was obviously too risky to continue. It’s a shame but as Prem said ‘that’s nature’. He arranged a slower exit from the mountains that took us to some pretty and interesting villages.
Having been to the Everest area a couple of times, there are some distinct differences between the Annapurna area and the Khumbu region. There are more terraced hillsides, more wildlife, and fewer monasteries and prayer flags in Annapurna, and the area is more geared for tourism – the lodges are all great, but for me a little too comfortable with standardised menus and some with plastic chairs and even umbrellas. I think it is a more popular trekking area and as a result has more home comforts on offer. Maybe that’s a good thing for some, but personally I prefer the charm and relative remoteness of the Khumbu where life is slightly more authentic and you have to fit in to the environment, rather than the environment being tamed for your convenience.