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Shooting Hoops in the Mountain

Text: Astha Joshi/ Photo: Prajwal Maharjan

Chommorong (2,140 m) is a charming Gurung village on the Annapurna Circuit. It is the last stop where you can get proper hot showers and laundry, and the last point to refurbish your much needed supplies, such as batteries, as well as to buy sun glares at Chommorong’s only wholesale shop. After Chommorong, the guesthouses at Sinuwa, Bamboo, Dovan, Deurali, and Himalaya only offer basic necessities. Up ahead of Chommorong, with a dramatic increase in altitude, the oxygen level starts to thin out.

Besides being a quaint charming village on the trekking route, Chommorong also boasts of one of the most beautiful multipurpose courts on the Annapurna Circuit. The multipurpose court situated at the edge of the village slope, offers an undisturbed breathtaking view of Annapurna South, Himchuli, and Machhapuchhre (Fish Tail). Situated at a height of 2,140 m, the court probably has one of the highest basketball, volleyball, and lawn tennis courts in the country. The court is maintained by the Century Youth Club, a local club which includes young entrepreneurs and students at Chommorong. It was built with financial help of the club and members of the Gurung community living in the UK and Hong Kong. 

Chommorong’s playground is open from the early morning, but it’s during the evening when the court sees some serious action. With only steep uphill and downhill stony roads, the people at Chommorong are an exceptionally fit bunch. Local youths and entrepreneurs gather at the court during the evening for team sports to test out their skills and stamina. Anyone can join in the game. 

During the winter, the entire community at Chommorong comes together for Tamu Lhosar, New Year’s Day of the Gurung community, for the annual basketball and volleyball tournaments. The club has plans to organize lawn tennis tournaments in the future, once the sport gets some hype from the locals.

Trekking Shoes at Red Fox

Text:  Anuj d. adhikary

Many an unexpected time, whiteouts in the Himalaya deter the most dogged of trekkers from advancing up a steep ridge or crossing a high-altitude pass. Winters aside, this is not uncommon even in falls and summers, as we’ve witnessed in the past, arguably considered the best season for heading up to the mountains. Never mind a blizzard, even easy treks can be met with tough conditions that one should be prepared for. There’s not much that we can do about the weather, let alone predict it, but the least you can do is get the right equipment. Folks at Red Fox in Durbar Marg are always happy to help you select the right kind of shoes for your escapades.

“When you’re off on a light trek, it’s not so much the snow you should be concerned about, but the resulting slush of mud and snow,” explains store manager Kapil Thapa. “Even worse is when it becomes ice after getting trodden.” While Red Fox does not manufacture shoes, it exclusively sells several varieties of Italian-made Zamberlan mountain boots. If you’re a light adventurer, chances are you’ll do fine with a simple yet robust pair of trekking boots. “They come in several varieties, and are suited for the popular treks,” says Kapil. “They are made of Gore-Tex fabric, which makes it windproof and waterproof, yet breathable.” The shoe comes with Vibram rubber outsoles that are internationally recognized for quality, durability, and high performance. If you’re into more hardcore adventure like peak climbing or mountaineering, they do have gaiter Zamberlan boots as well. Those come in two varieties—Everest 8000 and Denali 6000—self-explanatory for the altitudes at which they’re recommended to be worn at.

Head over to Red Fox today and invest in a good pair of boots for your next trek. You’ll no longer have to worry about falling on your behind, and have a memorable time enjoying your nature and journey.