Everest Three Passes Trek, an ultimate trekking adventure

Posted Jul 13th, 2021 under Blog, Travel Guide, Trekking & Hiking,

Everest Three Passes Trek

Highly popular for tallest mountains, breath taking landscapes, unique highland culture, beautiful forests and endangered species, Everest region is home to many incredible trekking routes from soft trekking in lower altitudes to longer treks along the high mountain passes. For travelers seeking more challenges, less crowd and journey of a lifetime with unparalleled views and fascinating culture, Everest Three Passes Trek is an ideal adventure that takes you to the off beaten path with some of the most astonishing sights Nepal has to offer. Even the experienced hikers find this trail a true challenge. So, if you are up to take the challenge, this trek has the best of Khumbu in reserve.

Three Passes Trek offers an amazing scenic trails and adventurous crossing of Renjo La (5340 m), Cho La (5420 m) and Kongma La (5535 m) passes that join the four valleys of Imja, Khumbu, Gokyo and Bhote Koshi. Besides the panoramic views of some of the world’s highest mountains such as Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, Cho Oyu, Makalu, Ama Dablam and captivating valleys, you can also experience the rich cultural heritage of Sherpa people of the region during the trek.

Gokyo Lake

Considered as a longer trek, Three Passes Trek takes about 18 days to complete. This adventurous trek commences from Lukla towards the Dudh Koshi valley on a well-marked trail and crosses the green dense forest, scattered rhododendron bushes, beautiful flora and fauna, ever flowing mountain gorges and culturally rich villages like Phakding, Namche Bazaar to reach Tengboche, a hilltop settlement with its iconic monastery standing sentinel overlooking the valley. From Tengboche, the trail contours on the side of the valley which offers the stunning views of beautiful mountains of Khumbu including Mt. Everest (8848 m), Lhotse (8516 m), Nuptse (7861 m), and Ama Dablam (6812 m). The path descends downhill and crosses Imja Khola to reach the beautiful village of Dingboche and gradually hikes to the last village of Imja valley; Chhukung, which is famous for a marvelous view of Lhotse’s massive south wall.

Continuing from Chhukung, the trail passes through one of the three Everest High Passes, Kongma la (5535 m) and descends to the section of scree and boulder fields towards Lobuche. The trail then proceeds towards Cho La (5420 m) along the ridge curving towards west with amazing views of Arakam Tse (6423m), Cholatse (6335m), Taboche (6367m) and reaches Dzongla. Out of Dzongla, the trail heads northwest and descends to Dragnag and continues through the treacherous glacial walk across Ngozumpa glacier to a beautiful village of Gokyo, by the side of an enormous turquoise Gokyo Lake. Furthermore, path leads to Gokyo Ri, a perfect viewpoint of remarkable views of Gokyo Lake, Everest, Cho Oyu, Makalu and Cho-Oyu Base Camp.

Everest High Valley Trek

After the rewarding climb, the trail traverses through the northern shore and slowly ascends towards Renjo La (5340 m) which offers the astonishing views of Makalu and Rolwaling range. The last section of the trail, then, gradually descends on a flat trail marked with cairns and stony steps to the quiet village, Thame and passes through a steady trail strewn with prayer flags and mani stones to Namche Baazar, which then retraces back to Lukla completing the exciting Everest Three Passes Trek.  

 

 

 

Manaslu Trekking, an authentic Himalayan adventure  

Posted Jun 25th, 2021 under Blog, Photo Essay, Travel Guide, Trekking & Hiking,

Manaslu Trek
Nepal, a highly diverse country rich in beautiful destinations and multitudinous gift of nature, is a dream of any trekking and mountain lovers. While most of the tourist destinations of Nepal get busy during the peak seasons, it’s always a good idea to travel to the places that are less explored if you love solitude and want to have more relaxed holidays. There are numerous unique trekking destinations in Nepal that are quieter, yet equally beautiful. Manaslu region is one of them.

Tucked away from civilization, Manaslu region, the home of Mt. Manaslu (8163 m) – the eighth highest mountain in the world, is extremely beautiful snuggled amid snowcapped mountains where you can find beautiful landscapes and feel at home with the typical culture of Tsum and Nubri people. Trekking in Manaslu region takes you through the diverse and impressive sceneries, snowcapped mountains, pristine glacier lakes and rich flora and faunas. Starting right from the green paddy fields and subtropical forests, the trail slowly meanders through higher landscape to reach mountain passes and arid cliffs surrounded by breathtaking views of Mt. Manaslu (8163 m), Mt. Himlung (7126 m), Mt. Kanguru (6981 m), Mt. Annapurna South (7937 m), Himlung Himal (7126 m) and Cheo Himal (6820 m). Not just nature, you can also get insightful cultural experiences that include Tibetan Buddhist traditions, exquisite Buddhist art, monasteries and festivals of different ethnic groups.

Manaslu Trek

Manaslu Circuit Trek is one of the popular treks in this region. This trek encircles Mt. Manaslu. The trek normally begins through the rugged path across the hilltop of Dhading towards the green terraces, lush hillsides and heads up to Budi Gandaki Valley. The trail passes through several small villages, widened valleys, terraced cultivated fields, steamy lowlands, and amazing waterfalls. At Lokpa, you also have the option to go towards Tsum Valley, one of the remotest Himalayan Valleys. The Valley is especially known for its rugged inner terrain and authentic trans-Himalayan culture. Some travelers combine this trek with Manaslu Circuit trek. After completing Tsum Valley trek, they join the Manaslu main trail again, from where the path  descends down across the wide sandy river bed and go after steep, craggy valley side and eventually crosses the Tharo khola to reach the beautiful settlement at Namrung. Furthermore, you pass through lovely monasteries, beautiful chortens, manis and get the opportunity to enjoy the stunning landscapes of many mountains such as Himlung Himal (7126 m), Cheo Himal (6820 m) and Annapurna II (7937 m) as soon as you reach Samagaon. The trail then circumvents gigantic Manaslu peak (8163m) and crosses Larkya-La pass at 5106m which follows the narrow path that finally emerges into Marshyangdi Valley along the main trail of Annapurna circuit. The trek traces towards Tilche along the pasture of Sangure Kharka through rhododendron, oak and pine forest and finally concludes at Jagat. So, trekking in Manaslu region is a complete Himalayan adventure that offers not just a regular trekking but also a life changing experience infused with diverse natural and cultural insights.

Manaslu Trek

 

All you need to know about Island Peak climbing

Posted Jun 17th, 2021 under Blog, Climbing & Expeditions, Travel Guide, Trekking & Hiking,

Island Peak Climbing
If you are in search of more than just a scenic trek and daunting escapade among the stunning Himalayas, then climbing Island Peak is exactly what you are looking for. Island Peak, also known as Imja Tse, is situated in Nepal’s Everest region and stands at an elevation of 6189 meters above sea level. It stands somewhere between Mount Ama Dablam (6812 m) and Mount Lhotse (8516 m) and is considered one of the challenging yet achievable trekking peaks, possible even to novice climbers with proper acclimatization and trainings. From afar, this snow-capped mountain seems like an island rising tall in the center of the Chhukung Valley, surrounded by a sea of ice. Hence, the peak is known as Island Peak. Most people combine an expedition to Island Peak with the famous Everest Base Camp trek because of its ideal location and acclimatization purpose. If someone wants to stretch the adventure a bit, then they also choose to trek via Kongma La (5,535 m), one of the three popular passes of Everest Region. Opting the Kongma La route provides an opportunity to experience glacier walking prior to Island Peak climbing.

Why climb Island Peak?
Simple answer is it is a Himalayan peak but an achievable one. However, climbing Island Peak is not limited to this only. Trip to Island Peak offers an awesome views of Himalayan ranges, forests, valleys, beautiful landscapes and amazing glaciers. Island Peak not only provides you a tremendous chance to experience all the aspects of Himalayan encounter that takes you through remote villages and rugged trails but also offers you the pleasure of climbing a Himalayan peak at the close quarter of the mighty Everest with an acclimatization trek to Everest Base Camp, which is a reward in itself. Another important thing is the peak is 6000 m +, an achievement you can really be proud of.  Finally, the ultimate joy you get after the successful climb is beyond imagination. So, no doubt it’s worth it!

Is it difficult to climb Island Peak?
Climbing a Himalayan mountain is a challenging sport due to altitude and extreme geographical condition. So, Island peak is also a technical climb. It has everything of a Himalayan mountaineering – altitude (at the height of 6819m, there is just about 47% oxygen of the sea level), steep ascent, rock shambles, glacier fields, and what’s more crevasses as well. So, the bottom line is it requires basic mountaineering skills and it definitely should not be your first Himalayan adventure. But the good news is anyone with little mountaineering experience or no experience can do it. The only thing required is proper acclimatization and training from experienced Sherpas. However, prior mountaineering experience is always an advantage.

Let’s have a look at the general overview of the climb. The beginning part of the ascent is strenuous as the terrain is rough and it’s over 5000m. As you climb higher, you reach the glacier field from where you need to use climbing equipment like rope and crampons. As there are also some crevasses en route, there is also the need to use ladders. The final 150 m stretch is a straight wall and is very strenuous. However, summit push won’t be very difficult as after you cross the wall, the summit ridge is short and comparatively easier.

What are the trainings required for Island Peak climbing?
Now you know that Island Peak is bit demanding. For this adventure, you need to be in good shape with proper physical trainings of at least 3/4 months with prior trekking experience. Focus on strength and endurance training like hiking, running, cycling etc. Hitting gym is a good idea. Keeping positive frame of mind during your training is a must. The summit day is very strenuous as one has to walk approx. 12-14 hours for summit and back to base camp. You will also be carrying a backpack of 5-7 kg during the trip. So, while practicing simulation hiking in wilderness, do it with at least 10 kg pack. It is also necessary to train yourself with the hiking and mountaineering boots you are going to use in the trip. Remember, they should be well-worn! Regarding the mountaineering skills, you will get required trainings by your Guides once you reach the Base Camp. However, it is always an advantage if you are familiar with the skills prior to your trip.

Island Peak Climbing
What to eat and where to stay during the trip ?
Good food and comfortable accommodation is very important in every trip. During the journey, you can remain in one of the many tea houses along the way. The majority of teahouse lodgings have shared rooms and good toilet facilities. You can get any of your calorie replenishment food choices such as potato dishes, noodle dishes, rice dishes, dal bhat, egg dishes etc. during your stay in teahouses. While you are in Base Camp or High Camp, you will stay in tented camps and your kitchen team will prepare your healthy and nutritious food for you.

Clothing and Gears
Every trail and elevation needs different types of gear. Right clothing and gears are always the gateway to your success.  So, it is mandatory to have good clothing and gear for your trip to Island Peak. Comfortable hiking and climbing boots, good gloves to keep your hands warm, a good fleece and down jacket, light weighted trekking pants and climbing gears such as Harness, axe, crampons etc are some of the important gears you need during the climb. And yes, make sure that you have a sleeping bag that can keep you warm in a -30-degree centigrade weather. All clothing gears and equipment are easily available in Kathmandu and surprising at Chhukung as well. It is not necessary to buy all the gears, you can hire them. At Chhukung, the approx. cost could be USD 100 for all set of gears for a period of 2 days. We recommend you to have your own jacket and boots because of the size problem (and boots are to be pre-worn). Your travel company will help with the full list of required clothing and gears.

What is the best season to climb Island Peak?
The best season to climb Island peak can be considered in Spring (March-May) or Autumn (Mid-September-October). The weather in the Himalayan region and most places of Nepal stays stable throughout these seasons, which is ideal for adventure activities. The majority of the 8000+m expeditions in the Everest region takes place in the Spring, so expect crowds on the trails. However, once you arrive at your Island Peak camping spot, you can notice that the number of people on the trails has significantly decreased.

Winter climbing is still feasible, but we just recommend it to those who have a lot of mountaineering experience, nearly to the standard of pro athletes. The temperature is very cold, and the atmosphere is extremely harsh during winter.

What permits do you need to climb Island Peak?
Climbing Island Peak requires a climbing permit. Permits are also required to access Sagarmatha National Park. Standard security checkpoints are located along the road. To get through them, you must display your permits.

  • Sagarmatha National Park Area Entry Permit: Nrs. 3,000 NPR + 13% VAT, totaling 3,390 NPR (Approx. US $34)
  • Pasang Lhamu Rural Municipality (Local Government) entrance fee / Khumbu VDC entry fees: Nrs. 2,000 (approximately $20)
  • Island Peak climbing permit cost according to the seasons:
  • March, April, and May: US $250
  • September, October, and November: US $125

Island Peak ClimbingHow to avoid altitude sickness?
When you are trekking in high altitudes, you are likely to get altitude sickness. Headaches and a lack of appetite are common among trekkers, but severe AMS symptoms can be fatal. To avoid having to turn around, many trekkers may try to conceal their worsening condition from their Sherpas and guides. This, however, can be life threatening, and you must be aware of when your body is asking you to avoid climbing further. The best practice to avoid altitude sickness is having a good itinerary that allows proper acclimatization. Here are some of the tips to consider while you climb Island Peak.

  • Climb slowly: Always remember, climb slowly while you ascend Island Peak. Doing this can help you adjust the level of oxygen in your body and there is a less chance that you could gain altitude sickness.
  • Drink enough water: If you stay hydrated, it may prevent you from altitude sickness. But drinking too much water is also not good as it dilutes your body’s sodium level that may lead to weakness or nausea which is similar to AMS.
  • Be psychologically prepared: If you fear that you might get altitude sickness while trekking in high altitude then sometimes the psychological factor may guide you to get altitude sickness. Always stay positive and enjoy the great picturesque during the trip.
  • Acclimatization: You should consider rest for 1 or 2 days if you are trekking in high altitude areas. Acclimatization helps you to adapt to the high altitude environment and assist you to avoid altitude sickness.


Island Peak Trek Distance, Time and Elevation

Day 1: Fly to Lukla & Trek to Phakding [2652m]

Distance       Flight Hours    walking hours     Elevation Gain

145 km       30 min                   4 hours            1400m-2610m

Day 2: Phakding to Namche [3450m]

Distance       walking hours      Elevation Gain

7.4 km               3 hours           2610m-3440m

Day 3: Rest day in Namche

Distance       walking hours     Elevation Gain

3.8 km         2 hours         3440m – 3840m

Day 4: Namche to Tengboche [3867m]

Distance       walking hours     Elevation Gain

6 km                  3 hours          3840m-3867m

Day 5: Tengboche to Dingboche [4350m]

Distance       walking hours    Elevation Gain

11 km         5 hours           3867m-4350m

Day 6: Rest day in Dingboche (Hike to Nangkartshang Peak)

Distance       walking hours    Elevation Gain

1.5 km               2 hours               4252m-5050m approximately

Day 7: Dingboche to Lobuche

Distance      walking hours        Elevation Gain

6.2 km                5 hours             4252m-4930m

Day 8: Lobuche to Gorak Shep

Distance       walking hours    Elevation Gain

4.3 km            3 hours         4930m-5184m

Day 9: Gorak Shep to Everest Base Camp

Distance       walking hours      Elevation Gain

3.4 km            2 hours            5184m-5357m

Day 10: Everest Base Camp to Dingboche

Distance       walking hours      Elevation lost

5.3 km         6 hours            5357m-4350m

Day 11: Dingboche to Chhukung

Distance       walking hours    Elevation Gain

4.1 km           4 hours          4350m-4710m

Day 12: Chhukung to Island Peak Base Camp

Distance       walking hours     Elevation Gain

4 km               3 hours         4710m-5150m

Day 13: Ascent of Island Peak

Distance       walking hours    Elevation Gain

7 km                 11 hours          5500m-6189m

Day 14: Contingency Day

Day 15: Trek to Pangboche

Distance       walking hours    Elevation Gain

12 km             5 hours             6189m-3950m

Day 16: Pangboche to Namche

Distance       walking hours    Elevation Gain

13 km              4 hours          3950-3450m

Day 17: Namche to Lukla

Distance       walking hours    Elevation lost

13.5 km             6 hours          3450m-2800m

Day 18: Fly to Kathmandu

Distance      flight hours       Elevation lost

145km        30 minutes       2610m-1400m

Island Peak Climbing

 

 

All you need to know about Mera Peak climbing

Posted May 9th, 2021 under Blog, Photo Essay, Travel Guide, Trekking & Hiking,

Mera Peak Climbing
If you are thinking of some great Himalayan adventure, Mera Peak climbing can be a wonderful start. Situated in the Makalu Barun Valley next to Khumbu Valley, Mera Peak (6476m) is the highest trekking peak of Nepal. You can see the awe-inspiring views of majestic mountains like Cho Oyu (8201m), Lhotse (8516m), Makalu (8463m), Kanchenjunga (8586m), and Mount Everest (8848m) from the top of Mera Peak. The adventure can be done in relatively shorter period of time and is less strenuous compared to serious mountain climbing as Mera Peak is not a technical mountain. Nevertheless, its 6000m+ Himalayan peak and it comes with some challenges. So, here is some information that will help you if you want to embark on this amazing adventure.

Why climb Mera Peak ?

Climbing Mera Peak doesn’t just come with a sense of achievement but also with the amazing experience of stunning mountain views, picturesque villages, wonderful forests, diverse culture, beautiful landscapes and many more. It’s a full package that offers all aspects of a Himalayan encounter. Although this trip is physically demanding, it requires relatively little climbing technique and can be climbed by beginner who is physically fit.

Is it difficult to climb Mera Peak?

Mera Peak (6476m) is the highest trekking peak of Nepal. But it doesn’t consist of steep technical climb like other expedition peaks. So, even if you are a beginner then climbing this peak isn’t that strenuous for you. But, due to altitude, snowy condition and geographical extremities, it’s not a piece of cake. You still need some basic alpine skills and be able to use gears such as climbing boots, crampons, climbing helmet, ice axe etc. You don’t need to worry about this as you will have enough time at the Base Camp to learn these skills. Just make sure that you hike gradually, hydrate well, and eat healthy food to reach the summit in best physical condition.

What are the trainings required for Mera Peak?

It all depends on how often do you hike and trek in the Himalaya or high altitude conditions. If you are a regular trekker, then climbing Mera Peak isn’t that strenuous for you. However, it doesn’t mean that it is all easy to reach the summit. In order to ascend Mera Peak, you need to build good core and length strength along with endurance power. You have to put in the right training schedule and follow it every day before the trip. Lunges, squats, step aerobics, cardio vascular trainings are some of the physical activity that you can include in your daily practice. It is also equally important to have prior experience of altitudes. And yes! Always remember mental preparation is a must which keeps you focused and confident to achieve whatever your goal is.

Mera Peak Climbing

On the way to Mera Peak

What to eat and where to stay during the trip?

You need comfortable accommodation and healthy food to stay fit and energized during the trip. For that, you can find lodges or teahouses strewn along the trail. Camping can also be a good option for overnight stay if you want to unplug and enjoy the simplicity of nature. But, it is not preferred much nowadays due to the availability of teahouses. You can find many options of  foods like potato dishes, noodle dishes, rice dishes, dal bhat, egg dishes that are perfect for the hungry trekkers who need calorie replenishment.

Clothing and Gears

It is mandatory that you have the required gear and equipment for the trip. You have to seek advice for climbing equipment, boots, harness etc. from the company that’s helping you for the trip. You can either buy or rent them. Not just climbing gears, you also need to have proper clothes for trekking and climbing. You need to have clothes and sleeping bag that can keep you warm in a -30-degree centigrade weather. A comfortable footwear is a must both for climbing and trekking. Make sure that you have worn them both prior to your trip.

Which is the best season to climb Mera Peak?

Well, each trekking season has its own excitement and atmosphere, but if you want to have some assurance about the weather conditions during the trek, be sure to stick to high seasons. Among the four seasons, Spring ( March – May ) and Autumn (Sep – Nov) can be considered as the best seasons to ascend Mera Peak as the skies are clear and temperature is favorable during these months. It is very difficult to climb in summer as the temperature is high and there is a high risk of falling of stones and melting glacier. And you can’t also be able to see the expansive views due to fog and rainfall in this season.  In winter, temperature goes below -15 degree celsius which leads to the heavy snowfall and risk of avalanche in the trip.

 What permits do you need to climb Mera Peak ?

If you want to trek in Nepal, permit is compulsory for you. Following permits are needed in order to climb Mera peak.

  • TIMS ( Trekking Information Management System ): Every trekker trekking in Nepal requires TIMS card. Tims card is for the safety and security of the trekkers.
  • Makalu Barun National Park entry fee: Since Mera peak lies in Makalu Barun National Park, you need to pay park entry fee before trekking in the area.
  • Mera Peak climbing permit: You need to pay certain amount in order to climb Mera Peak. Mera Peak permit is different in each season. Since Spring and Autumn are considered as high trekking seasons, the charge for climbing the peak during is about USD 250 and USD 125 respectively. Whereas in low Season i.e. Summer and Winter, the permit for climbing the peak is around USD 70. Nepal Mountaineering Association issues the permit to ascend Mera Peak.

How to avoid altitude sickness?

It doesn’t matter where you go in the Himalayas of Nepal, you are likely to encounter serious altitude. During Mera Peak climbing also, altitude sickness is a concerning matter due to thin air and less oxygen. So, in this condition if you don’t take the right precautions. it can ruin your trekking experience. Better be prepared than feel sorry! Here are some of the tips to avoid altitude sickness while you climb Mera Peak.

  • Climb slowly: Always remember, climb slowly while you ascend Mera Peak. Climbing slowly can help you adjust the level of oxygen in your body and there is a less chance that you gain altitude sickness.
  • Acclimatize properly: You should consider rest for 1 or 2 days if you are trekking in high altitude areas. Acclimatization helps you to adapt to the high altitude environment and assist you to avoid altitude sickness.
  • Drink enough water: If you stay hydrated, it may prevent you from altitude sickness. But don’t drink too much water as it dilutes your body’s sodium level that may lead to weakness or nausea which is similar to AMS.
  • Be psychologically prepared: If you are too worried that you might get altitude sickness while trekking in high altitude then sometimes the psychological factor may lead you to get altitude sickness. Always stay positive and enjoy the great views during the trip.

Mera Peak Climbing

Mera Peak Trek Distance, Time and Elevation

Day 01: Kathmandu to Lukla

Distance       Flight Hours Elevation Gain

138 km         30 mins      1400m – 2860m

Day 02 : Lukla to Chutanga

Distance    Walking Hours    Elevation Gain

4.5 km             4 hours             2860m – 3050m

Day 03: Chutanga (Rest Day)

Distance    Walking hours    Elevation Gain

4 km                2-3 hours         3050m – 4000m

Day 04: Chutanga to Thuli Kharka

Distance                Walking Hours    Elevation Gain

8 km – 10.5 km         7 hours           3050m – 4300m

Day 05: Thuli Kharka to Mosum Kharka

Distance    Walking Hours    Elevation Loss

6 km         5-6 hours              4300m – 3700m

Day 06: Mosum Kharka to Tangnag

Distance    Walking Hours    Elevation Gain

5 km              4-6 hours           3700m – 4350m

Day 07: Tangnag (Rest Day)

Distance    Walking Hours    Elevation Gain

2 km                2 hours          4350m – 4500m

Day 08: Tangnag to Khare

Distance    Walking Hours    Elevation Gain

5.3 Km             4 hours          4500m – 5000m

Day 09: Khare to Upper Khare end

Distance    Walking Hours    Elevation Gain

2.5 Km         3 hours                5000m – 5350m

Day 10: Upper Khare end to Campsite

Distance    Walking Hours    Elevation Gain

4.6 Km          3  hours         5350m – 5400m

Day 11: Campsite (Rest Day)

Distance    Walking Hours    Elevation Gain

3 Km           3 hours               5400m – 5800m

Day 12: The Ascent

Distance    Walking Hours    Elevation Gain

6 km                6 hours               5800m – 6476m

Day 13: Contingency Day

Day 14: Campsite – Kothe

Distance    Walking Hours    Elevation Loss

5 km            5 hours                5800 m – 3619m

Day 15: Kothe – Thuli Kharka

Distance    Walking Hours    Elevation Gain

4 km                6 hours              3619 m – 4300 m

Day 16: Thuli Kharka – Lukla

Distance    Walking Hours    Elevation Loss

5 km           6 hours            4300 m – 2860 m

Day 17: Lukla – Kathmandu

Distance   Flight Hours     Elevation loss

138 km         30 mins        2860m – 1400m

Mera Peak Climbing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Annapurna Circuit Trek – The oldest and the best trek in Nepal

Posted Apr 30th, 2021 under Blog, Photo Essay, Travel Guide, Trekking & Hiking, Trip Report,
Ghayru Village Annapurna Circuit Trek

Ghayru Village

As our operations were closed this Spring, a small team of office staffs decided to do Annapurna Circuit Trek crossing Thorong La at 5416 meters in April. The motive of the trek was to assess the route, check the services, make pictures & videos and also to break the monotony of being shut down for so long.

Annapurna Circuit Trek was one of the most popular treks in Nepal and is still among the favorites of many international trekkers visiting Nepal. It is a beautiful trek that passes through the Marshyangdi Valley and offers great scenery and cultural diversity. The hike up is very scenic with amazing mountain views of Himalayan giants like Annapurna, Gangapurna, Tilicho Peak, Pisang Peak and the Chulu range. Besides the natural beauty, the area is also very culturally rich with ancient traditions of the Gurungs and the Manange people, beautiful and old monasteries and quaint settlements of the locals. For the wildlife, Himalayan Thars, Monals, Musk Deer and even the elusive Snow leopard can be spotted while on the trek.

Lower Pisang Village

Lower Pisang Village

In terms of difficulty, the trek is a fairly challenging trek and the major highlight of this trek is crossing the Thorong La Pass at an altitude of 5416 meters and arriving in Muktinath, a religious town following the Kali Gandaki Valley. Overall, Annapurna Circuit trek is a classic trek and one of the most diverse treks in Nepal. The extensions of the roads have cut the trek short but the trek is without doubt one of the most fantastic trekking experiences in the world. If you are planning to embark on this beautiful journey, the following tips might come in handy to you.

Annapurna Circuit Trek Itinerary:

The main logic behind a standard itinerary for a Himalayan trek is not to miss a single highlight and yet get well acclimatized at the same time for a successful trip. The development in Nepal has resulted in road construction even in the remotest parts of the country and affected many treks in Nepal. Similar is the case in Annapurna Circuit trek as well. The trek which used to take 22 days in the past can now be done in half the time with an extension to Tilicho lake, one of the highest glacial lakes in the world.  To skip the roads, not miss any major highlights and get well acclimatized while trekking up, we suggest you the below itinerary and tips:

Day 1: Drive to Chame (Approx. 2650m) via Besisahar

Drive time: 10 – 11 hours (4 -5 hrs black topped road and 5 hrs off road)

Lunch: Besisahar

Lodge: Hotel New Shangrila

Tip: It is always good if you leave Kathmandu early after breakfast. Though local transportation is available, it is good to hire a private vehicle, especially for the off-road section.

Day 2: Trek to Upper Pisang (Approx. 3300m)

Walk time: 5-6 hours

Lunch: Dhikur Pokhari

Lodge: Hotel Manang Marshyangdi

Day 3: Trek to Ngawal (Approx. 3650m)

Walk time: 5-6 hours

Lunch: Ghyaru

Lodge: Hotel Mountain View

Tip: Ghyaru and Ngawal are both beautiful old settlements of the local people. To enjoy these villages, take the upper trail via Ghyaru and get inside the village to explore more.

Day 4: Trek to Manang (Approx. 3519m)

Walk time: 5 hours

Lunch: Bhraka

Hotel: Hotel Tilcho

 Tip: After your lunch, take a visit to one of the oldest and the most beautiful monasteries in the region. The monastery is more than 600 years old with large number of Buddha statues and offers a great view from the top.

 Day 4: Acclimatization day at Manang (Approx. 3519m)

Walk time: 4 hours

Lunch: Manang

Hotel: Hotel Tilcho

Tip: Go for walk to the Gangapurna Lake and follow the trial up to the top of the hill at 4300 meters, a perfect acclimatization day. If you want a longer day, one can also go for an excursion to the Ice Lake.

 Day 5: Trek to Tilicho Base Camp (Approx. 4200m)

Walk time: 4 hours

Lunch: Sri Kharka

Hotel: Hotel New Himalaya

Tip: Watch out for landslide and rockfall sections after Sri Kharka and hour before reaching the Base Camp.

 Day 6: Trek to Tilicho Lake and back to Sri Kharka (Approx. 4080m)

Walk time: 8 hours

Lunch: Tilicho Base Camp

Lodge: Himalayan Hotel

Tip: Start the day pretty early before sunrise with a light meal. After getting back from Tilicho Lake, rest at the Base Camp while enjoying your breakfast.

Tilicho Lake

Tilicho Lake (4919m)

Day 7: Trek to Yak Kharka (Approx. 4018m)

Walk time: 5 hours

Lunch: Yak Kharka

Lodge: Hotel Dream Home

Day 8: Trek to Thorong Phedi (Approx. 4533m)

Walk time: 5 hours

Lunch: Thorong Phedi

Hotel: Thorong Basecamp Lodge

Tip: Watch out for rock fall section about 30 mins before reaching Thorong Phedi.

Day 9: Cross Thorong La (5416 m) and trek to Muktinath and drive to Jomsom (Approx. 2743m)

Walk time: 9 hours, drive 1 hr

Lunch: Packed Lunch

Lodge: Tilicho Lodge

Tip: Make an early start so that you are at the top of the Pass before noon. Get yourself a packed lunch from the hotel to enjoy at the top of the Pass. Keep you crampons ready and trekking poles handy for the descent.

 Also, coordinate with your Agent/Guide to have a vehicle standby at Muktinath to drive to Jomsom.

On the way to the top of Thorong La Pas

On the way to the top of Thorong La Pass

Thorong La Pass (5416m)

Thorong La Pass (5416m)

Day 10: Fly to Pokhara (Approx. 822m)

Tip: If you have a day or two to spare, spend it in Pokhara basking in the beauty of this amazing lakeside city – you won’t regret!

Day 12: Fly to Kathmandu (Approx. 1400m)

Things to Know

 Accommodation

As Annapurna Circuit Trek is one of the oldest and well-connected trekking areas of Nepal, finding accommodations is not a problem during this trek. There are abundant lodges in all the stops with price ranging from USD 10 to USD 120 depending on the level and standard of the services provided. It is only in Thorong Phedi and Thorong High Camp, the two small settlements before the Thorong La pass, accommodations might get a bit tight due to limited availability and the high number of trekkers visiting the area. Just make sure you carry a sleeping bag (-20 Celsius) for a cozy sleep and double check with your agent if they have confirmed the rooms for you.

Fooding

Like accommodation in the Annapurna Circuit Trek, the food availability during the trek is also not a problem. All the lodges will have full menu with food ranging from Nepali, Indian, Italian and continental. We suggest you to be an eggetarian during the trek though meat is available through out. Talk to your guide for the best food to eat as he will have access to the Kitchen. As the popular trekking saying goes, “Dal Bhat Power 24 hour, noodle power only half an hour”, go for local foods especially Dal Bhat, a good mix of carb and protein.

Water

Water can be refilled pretty easily in all the lodges and there are water sources/taps along the trail. We discourage the purchase of bottled water (as it contributes to plastic waste) and therefore suggest to use purification tablets or water filtration systems. One can also buy hot water in the lodges from USD 5-10 depending on how high you are.

Electricity and Charging

Compared to other trekking areas in Nepal, electricity is not a problem in the area. There are good charging facilities in all the lodges and the charges for it is also nominal. It is only at Tilicho Base Camp, Thorong Phedi and Thorong High Camp, there might be some issues with charging as the settlements are on solar back up. Make sure you have a good power bank especially for the nights in these places.

Communication

Annapurna area is well connected in terms of telecommunications and internet facility. You can find mobile network easily to Khangsar and internet connection throughout the trek.  There will be a charge for the usage of internet, which will also be higher as you trek higher.

Equipment

One needs regular trekking gears like boots, hiking pants, good base layers, Dri Fit t shirts, down jackets, Poncho and wind cheater. Sunscreen, sunglass and hats are also very important for the trek. On the technical side, it will be a safe bet to carry ins step crampons and trekking poles which come in very handy for snowy trail and descent after Thorong la pass.

Permits

You will need two governmental permits to complete the trek – Annapurna Area Conservation Project fees (ACAP) and Trekkers Information System Management System ( TIMS).  Your Travel Agent will easily sort both these permits for you.

Getting there

You can hire a jeep straight to Chame from Kathmandu. Options of local transport to Besishar is available and you have to change another vehicle for Chame.

For Muktinath-Jomsom section , local jeep options, both sharing and private hire are available. You can also take a 20 minutes’ flight to Pokhara or take local transport to Pokhara, both available on full hire or individual basis.

Best Time to Travel

Spring season from March till May and the Autumn season from September till December is the best time to visit the region.  During Spring, the sky is clear, days are warm and the views open up really good. Autumn season also has clearer days, good views but is slightly drier and colder compared to Spring.

Winters are also okay to trek if you can cope with the cold.  Just make sure you have enough warm clothes.

The area receives slightly lesser rain compared to other areas due to its topography, especially Manang and upper areas. Hence, once can also trek the area during monsoon.

Khangsar Village Annapurna Circuit Trek

Khangsar Village

(This is a personal account of Anuj Pandey, General Manager of Explore Himalaya Travel and Adventure. For more details on this trek, please go to https://www.explorehimalaya.com/packages/annapurna-circuit-trekking/ .  For any enquiries, contact us at sales@explorehimalaya.com)

 

 

Happy Explorers

Your company provides a high degree of expertise and service. Your staff are very reliable and service-minded and your Tibetan agent match your level well.

- Dr. J.P.Ulhoei, Denmark Read Testimonials | Submit Your Testimonial

Community Service

Community Service

We work with the motto "Tourism for Development". Explore Himalaya Community Service Project was conceived to empower underprivileged segments of Nepal.

Join our community services