October 11, 2013
The Dolpo trekkers descended out of the mountains today to Kagbeni on the floor of the Kali Gandaki river valley at about 9500 feet, where they are now enjoying the thick air! The Kali Gandaki is one of the most famous rivers in Nepal and among just a few that actually cross the Himalayas (the river kept cutting down as the mountains rose) resulting in a very deep valley (with Annapurna on the east side and Dhaulagiri on the west side). Kagbeni is an ancient trading town on this north/south trade route across the Himalayas and is at the crossroads of a number of important Himalayan trails including the route to Dolpo (west), Mustang (north), Muktinath and the Annapurna circuit (east), and Jomsom and Nepal to the south. Tomorrow the team will hike about 4 hours down the valley to Jomsom, from where they are scheduled to fly to Pohkara the following day. So far so good!