Toward the tail end of monsoon season in Nepal afternoon rains and low clouds bring a magical feel to the Himalaya. Here two mountain guides stand outside the tea house at Annapurna Base camp also known as Annapurna Sanctuary. This high glacial basin is surrounded by a cirque of iconic Himalayan peaks most of which are over 7,000m. Below these peaks a remarkable variety of ecosystems collide. The south-facing slopes are covered in dense tropical flora while the north-facing slopes have a drier colder alpine climate making for a captivating contrast.