Jay and Lisa-Marie BushSwitch System’s Jay Bush, and his wife Lisa-Marie took up the challenge of the Nepalese Annapurna Circuit trek just before christmas 2012. We donated £500 to the CLAPA charity, this is their trek:

“Two chest infections, a sinus infection, and a bout of altitude sickness (forcing a backtrack down the mountain), and 12 days of walking with loaded packs saw us to Thorong La, the highest trekking pass in the world at 5,416m (17,769ft), and the highlight of Nepal’s Annapurna Circuit. Raising money for the UK’s Cleft Lip and Palate Association (www.clapa.com) to help affected children and their families; it would be three weeks of trekking to cover the full 360 kilometres of mountain trails, followed by bus journey down the precipitous Kali Gandaki valley (which we were happy just to survive) to the official end at the town of Beni.”

The Annapurna Circuit

Annapurna Conservation Area, Nepal (Google Maps)

“Switch Systems not only provided some extended leave to make the trek possible, but also sponsored a massive £500 to the cause, so a big thank you from ourselves and the guys at CLAPA.”

Some Highlights

Day 1 – 8

Bridge to Khudi

Lisa on the first bridge across to the village of Khudi, the first mountain village of the trek.

Terraced fields of Barley in the foothills beyond Bahundanda.

The tiny village of Syange, hanging precariously from the cliff edge.

The ever present sheer drops on the way to Tal.

Narrowing Marsyangdi river valley.

The traditional Tibetan village of Koto, a porters load resting on the right.

The impressive Paungda Danda – 1000 meter bowl of smooth rock, which, according to local tradition, the dead must climb to enter heaven.

Wild West scenery near Pisang in the Manang Valley.

Buddhist stupa marking the first gateway to Manang village.

Day 9 – 12

The lake and glacier of Gangapurna (7454m) above the Tibetan village of Manang. This village marks the first acclimatisation stop before venturing higher.

The path beyond Manang – Tilicho peak in the distance.

Yaks on the path. An animal best described as “woolly and grumpy”.

One of the shorter drops from the many suspension bridges, this one between the villages of Yak Karka and Ledhar at around 4200m. Chulu (6250m) rises on the right.

Landslide warning on the path to Thorong Phedi, just before the climb to the pass.

Day 13 – 20

The path to Thorong La, 7:30am and around -20C.

At the top, 5400m Thorong La, with the t-shirt supplied by CLAPA – somehow we’d managed to keep it white.

The desert landscape directly after the pass. Lisa is glad of some downhill walking for a change.

Walking out along the river bed through the Gandaki valley; the 8167m peak of Dhaulagiri in the distance.

“Currently our total is £1,041.76, but we can still raise money until the 31st January 2013.
If you’d like to help out Donations can be made here.”