04-18 Poon Hill

our group in front of Dhaulagiri
  1. Ghorepani – Poon Hill – Hille

This was to be our longest day, starting at 4.45am in order to reach the summit of Poon Hill 3193m by dawn. This seemed optimistic to me but we plodded up the obligatory steps in the dark with the aid of head-torches. We just made it arriving at the already well populated summit just in time. I was able to secure a spot on the corner of a look-out point, together with another photographer, where we commanded a full view of the stupendous panorama from Dhaulagiri to Annapurna. He was from Canada, very tall and using a substantial monopod, so I set-up one of my walking-poles which, together with a ball-head, can be used as a monopod. Our group guide found me and kindly brought me a hot drink.

We then went over to the others and took group photos in front of some prayer flags and the Dhaulagiri, after which it was time to return to the lodge in Ghorepani.

We had the usual breakfast with porridge and omelette and changed into less warm clothing before commencing our long descent back to roads and civilization. It had not however been very cold on Poon Hill. Often it is much colder in April.

At first the scenery was similar to the previous days with some rhododendrons and a few magnolia with very large flowers but no leaves, but gradually there were a few settlements with small cultivated areas to be seen. Again there were thousands of steps and also a gorge with a huge deep pool where some young men were swimming. It looked though dark and uninviting. Finally we reached our lodge at Hille just in time to avoid torrential rain as had happened several times before.

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