After a long afternoon of trekking, we finally reached our destination: the settlement of Suile.
To call Suile a “village” would be a little misleading, as it seemed to be no more than a number of farms perched on a hill, with, as far as I could tell, only a singular trekking lodge. Most people, Anker said, either stopped earlier in the day, or stretched on to the major village of Chhomrong.
After 11 hours of trekking, I was happy Anker wasn’t making us stretch on. If he’d told me stopping a few hours earlier was an option, I might have lost the will to keep on. The final steps into Suile had been pure torture. In the end though, I’m glad Anker hadn’t suggested either option, because Suile ended up being a place I will remember for the rest of my life.
It was a beautiful day when we departed Ghorepani. Most of the clouds from the sunrise had cleared, and we were treated to awesome blue skies and miles-long views as we resumed our trekking.
A long day lay ahead of us, as we hoped to stretch from Ghorepani all the way through to the village of Suile—perched on the hills above the main route to Annapurna Base Camp. From our 4:45 a.m. start to when we finally reached Suile at 3:30, we trekked for 11 hours.
Despite the length, the day was not exhausting. My legs were beginning to grow used to the constant changes in elevation: the up-downs, and the long stretches of flat. My back felt stronger from carrying my heavy pack, and my lungs were beginning to grasp the intricacies of Anker’s command: “slowly, slowly.”
With the sun fully risen, people began departing from Poon Hill. The clouds were intensifying over the peaks; it didn’t look like sticking around any longer was going to yield rewards. I wandered around and took a few more photos. Sol took a few pictures of me in front of the mountains. I asked Sol if we could take a picture together, and we snapped a selfie. I look tired and scruffy, but very happy.
Tempted by the prospect of breakfast waiting for us back at the lodge, Anker, Saffron and I waved goodbye to the mountains, and began our descent.
As it happened, the daylight never really came.
The morning was cloudy and subtle—no glorious beams of first light, no alpenglow or similar. Just a gradual lightening of the sky. Revelation is for the movies. That’s rarely how real life works.
Still, even on a cloudy day the Himalaya are a sight to be seen. Dhalaguiri was largely shrouded in clouds, but the Annapurna Massif revealed itself several times—although never long enough for me to snap a great picture. Hundreds of people swarmed the hill, taking selfies and shooting videos. It almost felt obscene.
Still, I took my photos.
Pictures from the Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek and sunrise over the Annapurna Range.
I’m not going to try and name the peaks because I know I’ll just mangle them. Take the trek yourself; it’s much better in person anyways.