Australian Geographic’s Outdoor Photographer Mark Wattson was in Nepal to trek to the Annapurna region this spring.
With the spring approaching, the skies clear up and the thermostat inches higher making the months between February and May a perfect time to go for a spot of trekking. Rhododendron blooms covered forests make the steep inclines up the never ending trails slightly more bearable. As Wattson and his group find out at their expense though, nothing is guaranteed in the Himalayas, despite latest weather apps or even your experienced guide telling you different. And most importantly, nothing good can come of naming a dog “Old Yeller”.
Wattson recounts his Annapurna adventure in vivid details for an article for Australiangeographic.com.au.
A few excerpts below:
“… we soon begin to meander through glades of vibrant Rhododendron forests where brilliant common green magpies flash between branches. Spring has arrived early in the mountains and the famed national flower of Nepal is beginning its annual painting of the foothills. Reds and pinks dot the landscape, revealing a medley of variants within the 30 species on offer in this mountainous environment.”
“In front of me the massive imposing southern faces of Annapurna South and Annapurna One dominate the skyline; great ice cliffs and seracs hang from the glaciers tumbling down their flanks. Further west, Nilgiri rears up and then, as the eyes pan further west, majestic Dhaulagiri One commands the surrounding peaks from high above. The clouds roll up from Kali Gandaki Gorge, the deepest gorge in the world, and just as the peaks begin to change colour we are rewarded with a final glimpse of a glowing orange Dhaulagiri before all is enveloped in cloud.”