Sunrise on the Annapurna range

With some time to spare after my Everest trek, Nara suggested a short hike in the Annapurna area. We would stay in the village of Ghorapani and get up before dawn, hike up Poon Hill in the dark and watch the sun rise over the Annapurna range from the top of the hill. But as as we hiked up the valley it was heavily overcast; it had been so for days and showed no sign of breaking up. Looked like mountain views were going to be out of the picture.

That evening we decided that we would get up and go through the motions anyways. Might as well, I'm only here once. I set the alarm for 5:00 am and went to bed. I got up a bit later to go to the toilet, and as I was groggily looking for the outhouse I looked up. Stars everywhere! A big grin came across my face...

Poon hill lookout tower.

At the top of poon hill stands an ugly viewing tower. It is only a few years old but it is already delapitated. But in silhouette it makes an interesting subject for photography.

Sunrise from Poon hill.

Sunrise happens in two stages. First, stars fade away and the mountains become visible in deep shade as indirect light ends the night. Then, direct rays of sunshine begin to strike the summits of the peaks, slowly working their way down toward the valley bottoms.


Sunlight strikes the summit of Dhaulagiri (8167 m). The elevation of Poon Hill where I'm standing is about 3150 m, and the bottom of the north face is lower than that. That makes the south face at least 5 km tall. Unbelievable.


On the left is Annapurna I (8091 m) and on the right is Annapurna south (7219 m), which looks taller because it is closer. Annapurna a big massif with a number of peaks above 7000 m.

Silhouette, Manaslu.

A silhouette of hills, looking toward Manaslu (8156 m), which I believe is the peak on the centre skyline.