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In November of 2004, my father and I hiked the Annapurna circuit for his 60th birthday. It was the fulfillment of a lifelong dream of his—as a climber, he had always wanted to visit the Himalayas.
Our trek coincided with the Maoist uprising and the increasing isolation of the King. Our resourceful Sherpa guide, Pasang Dendi, helped us to avoid paying fees to the Maoists, succumbing to altitude sickness or dysintery, falling off cliffs, and any number of other catastrophes.