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Landslides and Avalanches

When nature scares the crap out of two weary wanderers (Candace)

Annapurna Circuit: Day 8

Letdar to Thorang High Camp

Distance: 7 Kilometers

Elevation climbed: 650 meters

Ending altitude: 4,850 meters above sea level

Calories burned: 1,200

Today was a treacherous day for me. Since we are trekking during monsoon season, we expect to see water flowing over the roads and a landslide here and there, but I don’t think I could have prepared myself for what we saw today. As we were walking along our path to Thorang Base Camp this morning, we came to points where we saw a “Caution: Landslide Area” sign, followed by a complete slope of falling rock. We didn’t have a path to walk any longer. We had to feel our way through the rocks and rubble to get to safe path again.

At one point, our friend and porter, Sontosh, was walking the path across the river from us, and we watched as he effortlessly climbed over the debris to safe land again, with awe. When we asked him if he was scared by the slide, he said he didn’t even notice it.

Later, as we approached the Thorang Base Camp, we saw huge boulders that fallen 10 days before, one so big that it crashed through one of the tea house buildings and completely destroyed it.

Then we began the long hike up a mountain to Thorang High Camp, where we’d be staying for the night.  And as we labored our way up the 300 meter climb, we could hear glaciers cracking and watched an avalanche nearby.

Those of you who know me know that this is not an every day thing for me.  Many trekkers and guides weren’t even phased, but I was scared shi*tless.