11/14/09: Annapurna Circuit, Nepal
Here are the facts:
- We met a guy last night – let’s call him Sam because that’s what I keep calling him in my head even though that’s not his name. Sam is trekking the circuit on his own.
- It is highly discouraged that you trek the circuit on your own.
- Sam asked us if we would do the Pass with him, since the single he met and trekked with for the first week left him the day before.
- We said yes. We agreed to eat breakfast at 5am then leave.
- We finished our breakfast, and still no sign of Sam. As we were putting on our packs to leave at 5:15 (and after leaving him a note on his hotel bill), he walked through the door. His alarm didn’t work.
- There was another group going to eat breakfast at 6am, but all others in the hotel had already left.
- Given the dark, the ice and the potential for snow, it is dangerous to trek the Pass on your own.
Without reading on any further, would you wait for him?
Now that you have made your own opinion, you can judge us based on what we did. (Isn’t it fun to judge people?) Sam’s breakfast arrived promptly and he began eating, only it appeared he was in no particular hurry. He said he felt bad for making us wait for him though. After eating, he went back to his room and began packing his things. At this point Zhou and I discussed what to do. I am the mean one, and I said we should just go. We hardly even know the guy and since he made the decision to do the trek by himself, he should be able to handle it. Zhou said ok, but only if I went to his room and told him we were leaving. I did just that, telling him we were going to get a head start since we were a bit slow up the hills. At 5:45 we left.
Sam caught up with us after 45 minutes or so, about the time where it started snowing very hard. We hiked together for a while, but it was clear that he had drained his energy trying to catch us. Rather than slow down and keep together as a group, we kept our pace as we liked it, and he slowly trailed off. We didn’t see him again until our 2pm lunch on the other side of the mountain.
I’m not sure if there is a trekker’s code, but if there is I’m sure we broke it. On the other hand, there turned out to be quite a few people behind us, and we saw that as we pulled away from Sam. If he really needed, he could trek with any of those people.
Still, I’m not sure we did the right thing… Are we bad people?
Picture of the Day: I like looking at and taking pictures of myself, especially with my 12 day old facial hair growth. Can you see it yet?