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Posted February 26, 2013 in Adventure Journals by Jim Markel
Our good friend and longtime Red Oxx Adventure Journal poster child George Baboi loves taking his Red Oxx Roadster Mini Ruck Rucksack up in the mountains. Way up into mountains. Big mountains. This time he treks to the tall peaks of the Himalayas. Be sure to click the photos tab to see more of George’s great scenery shots! Thanks again for sharing your adventure journal with us.
Just a short update on the Mini Roadster Rucksack that I bought couple years back:
You may recall that I like adventures. I decided to take my Mini Ruck, the partner of choice when it comes to carrying daily necessities such as a few electronics, couple changes of clothes, documents and maps, snacks and drinks, on my trek along Nepal’s Annapurna range.
The summit pass
I just returned from a month long, 80 mile (128km) trek round Annapurna Conservation area located in Nepal’s Himalayan Range, going over the “World’s Biggest Pass” located at 17,769 ft (5416m). The journey exposed me to every type of whether condition imaginable; sunny days, rainy days, snow and days where the temperature dropped below zero. While under these conditions the only protection the Mini Ruck received was a pack cover (silicone impregnated cordura) to protect it from Monsoon like rains at the beginning of the trek. As always, the Mini did it’s job and did it well, regardless of the environmental conditions I was exposing it to.
Got any food?
I do recall that in one of my last adventure write-ups; i.e. trekking with the Mini to Mt. Everest Base Camp, you did mention that the Red Oxx Mini is “not a hard core mountaineering pack”, however if the pack can survive all the nature elements it was exposed to, and still look as good as it does today, then I have to say this rucksack is perfect for this type of adventure!
Red Oxx build’s an outstanding product, and I say that with confidence.
The journey started at Bhulbhule (2,756ft/840m) into the hills through the winding roads along the Trishuli River. From there I could see a first glimpse of the gorgeous Manaslu range. I then trekked through amphitheatre-shaped rice terraces, along a steep vertical cliff, lush forests and culturally intriguing villages to Bahundanda (4,025ft/1,227m) on my way to Chamje (4,626ft/1,410m). In Chamje you can see some beautiful steep forested ridges and some sensational views of Lamjung Himal, Annapurna IV (24,688ft/7,525m) and Annapurna II.
The trek went on as I entered the Manang region passing through fields of barley and potatoes and forests of bamboo and rhododendrons. On the way we passed through a village named Tal with a fine sand beach and a river at the base of it’s large waterfall. Currently in this town, there is heavy dynamiting of the opposite cliff for construction of a new road, adding just a little more danger to the adventure. I passed Dharapani (6,430ft/1.960m) and then overnight in Chame (8,891ft/2,710m).
Go this way
The next day, I was ready to trek to Lower Pisang (10,824ft/3,300m) where there is a dramatic curved rock face, rising 4,921ft/1,500m from the river. From here you can see the majestic Himalayan Peaks.
Reaching Manang (11,387ft/3,471m) the scenery starts to change with very little vegetation and a panoramic view of the mountain peaks, Pisang and Annapurna. The cold, dry climate creates a much harsher environment. I decided to use several days to acclimatize in Manang, because from here the trek becomes very challenging and tiring with the rapid gain in altitude. I took short trips to Gangapuma Glacier and Gangapuma lake where looking back to Manang provides a very spectacular view of this wild and harsh environment.
How about a taxi?
From Manang, the weather changed dramatically. Initially we had light snow, but the days that followed we had heavy snowfall all the way to Thorong Pedi (15,092ft/4,600m), the last stop prior to attempting to cross the “World’s Biggest Pass” located at 17,769 ft (5,416m). I have to say my Mini was impressive, as it proved its durability regardless of the environmental conditions it was exposed too.
Is for real!
The next day was the climax of my Annapurna Circuit trek. It was an unforgettable lifetime experience crossing the famous high altitude pass, Thorong La. I started trekking at 4:00 am because it was going to be a long day, walking over 9 hours. A 3mi/5km assent of 3,210ft/980m following by a decent of 6.2mi/10km and 5,630ft/1,718m over the pass to reach Muktinath (12,467ft/3,800m).
Out from Manang
Luckily, I had the best weather a trekker in the Himalaya’s could ask for, there wasn’t a single cloud present! The view of the Himalaya range was exceptional, even if I was being exposed to 1.4 Fahrenheit / – 17 Celsius temperatures, and 2 feet of snow and ice. I felt so proud at my accomplishment.
Tilicho Base Camp Hotel
Reaching Muktinath (12,467ft/3,800m), the scenery start to change again as it became more dry with less green and no snow. The only positive thing from here on is that all the trekking became easy each day as I start to descend to Pokhara (7,897ft/850m). Pokhara is a peaceful lakeside city harboring a unique setting of tropical climate and vegetation with the dramatic backdrop of the Himalayas.
And here is where the journey is over, but not before making some memories that will last a lifetime.
Thanks for your fantastic Red Oxx Mini Ruck Rucksack. Again it delivered stellar performance and practical usability. Now to see what adventure I have to take it to next…