Overview

Annapurna foothill region is the focus of the article “Honey Hunters of Nepal”, written by Eric Valli and Diane Summers and another article “Annapurna Sanctuary for the Himalaya” written and photographed by Galen Rowell. Both articles were published in National Geography magazine. It has been subject of writers, photographers and climbers since Mourice Herzog first ascent to 8000 m peak Annapurna 1 back in 1950s

The glacial basin of Annapurna Sanctuary is formed by the circle of Annapurna Himalaya range, Gangapurna and Macchapucchre. We start our trek at Dhumpus and walk the beautiful trail that opens up the entire Machapuchere peak and the vista of Annapunra to Chumro as you travel from Chumro towards the Sanctuary the trail pass through narrow valley which is prone to avalanche in winter and early spring. You follow Modi Khola (river) through thick bamboo and rhododendron forests into the center of lateral moraine and base camp of Annapurna to view the spectacular Annapurna range all around. Stop at Ghorepani to see beautiful sunrise view over Dhaulagiri and Annapurna. The Gurung villages and frequent stops at tea-shop dotted along the way gives unique cultural experience. Like the Sherpa in Everest, Gurung are in Annapurna and Limbus in Kanchanjunga.

As a matter of fact the Macchapucchre and Annapurna base camp were summer pasture land of the Gurung ethnic community living in Armaula, Dhumpus and Ghandrung long before the Annapurna region was reconnaissance by the British around 1925. Despite the lower height Macchapucchre peak always attracted the attention of the visitors. The sanctuary is surrounded by the four highest peak in the Annapurna massif which are all above 7500 meter; the British survey team gave them the name Annapurna 1, 2, 3 and 4 - Annapurna 1 is the highest (8091m). It was climbed by the French expedition lead by Maurice Herzog in 1950. Instead of Dhaulagiri they climbed Annapurna 1 instead of the British who had set to climb the peak but went to the wrong place to set their camp. Ever since the route to the sanctuary was traced by Col. Robert around 1964 the trekkers have found their holy-land in the mystery that engulf them there. The land is also holy for the local Gurung who have been living there since human habitation started.

Highlights

The glacial basin of Annapurna Sanctuary is formed by the circle of Annapurna Himalaya range, Gangapurna and Macchapucchre. We start our trek at Dhumpus and walk the beautiful trail that opens up the entire Machapuchere peak and the vista of Annapunra to Chumro as you travel from Chumro towards the Sanctuary.

Inclusions

  • Airport transfers 
  • Lodge accommodation (double sharing in most places) on BB
  • Trek guide (sardar) and an assistant sherpa above 5 persons in a group 1:5
  • Porter for member baggage (10 kg each)
  • Local transport 
  • Accident insurance for staffs and porters, and ground transportation as required.

Price

COST- Fixed Departure

US$635 per person

Departure:Anytime upon request

*Government fees and airfares are subject to change

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Itinerary

Day 1: Fly to Pokhara Drive to Nayapul. Trek to Tirkhedhunga(2080m)
Transfer to airport. Fly to Pokhara. Flight departure time is 9 am. The flight duration is 35 minutes to Pokhara. Leave Pokhara at 10am. We drive the winding road that goes gradually up the hill to Kade, Lumle and descent to Nayapul (1100m); it is about an hour and half drive from Pokhara. Nayapul is situated on the bank of Modi River. After making loads for the porter we walk to Birenthati (1025 m) and climb gradually to Ramdali for lunch. After lunch we continue to climb the trail for one and half hour to Tirkhedunga (1540m).

Day 2:  Trek to Ghorepani (2860m)                                                                             
After breakfast climb the steep and long trail to Ulleri (1960m). It takes us about little more than and hour. After another 2 and half hour walk we stop for lunch at Banthati. We continue to climb the trail through wet temperate forests of Oak and rhododendron forests until Ghorepani (2860m) is reached in about 3 hour. If the weather is fine we suggest members to walk up about an hour to the summit of the Poon hill to see panoramic view of Annapurna himalayan range. Alternatively it can be done next day in the early morning.  Ghorepani is one of the best place to pass by on the foothill of Annapurna for a magnificent view of the panorama of the Himalayan peaks. Most of the habitants in this village are Magars.

Day 3:  Trek to Tadapani (2630m)
From the camp at Ghorepani we climb slightly up the ridge at Deorali and then descends steeply on a narrow trail through rhododendron forest. Some parts of the trail are slippery during December and January due to snow condition. As we come out of Ghorepani to the ridge at Deorali we can get beautiful view of Annapurna South in front of you. After ashort break at Banthati (3180m) we do a short climb around a spur and then a short steep descent, and again another steep climb to Tadapani for overnight camp. This is a short day. Tadapani  situated at the top of the ridge Trek.

Day 4: Trek Chomrong (2170m)                                                                                         
Next day we climb to Kimrong-danda (hill) and make gradual descent to Kyunri Khola (river). Then we again climb the trail to Taulung village. On the way you get excellent view of Annapurna South (7220m) and Putha Hiunchuli (6441m) and to the north east the view of Annaurna III (7555m) and Machapuchare appear fantastic. We descend to the river and follow the level path to Chumrong for an overnight camp.

Day 5: Trek to Himalaya Hotel (2870m)                                                           
From Chhomrong we descend and cross the Chhomro Khola and climb out of the side valley in which Chhomrong is situated. We pass through forest of rhododendron, oak and hemlock and reach at Kuldi (2540m) that would take us about 3 hour. We follow west bank of the river trail descend steep to the band of rocks. The trail then level off and pass through bamboo forests. The bamboos are used by locals to make dokos (wicker basket which are carried by the porters), mats for floors and other house hold  goods. In winter it is common to encounter snow anywhere from this point. When there is snow, this stretch of trail is particularly difficult as the bamboo laying hidden on the trail beneath the snow make downhill walk quite slippery. The trail beyond Baraha temple starts to widen. We climb further to Himalaya Hotel.

Day 6: Trek to Machhapuchre Base camp (3700m)
After a little steep climb to Hinko (3170m) known as  ‘Hinko cave’ because a huge overhanging rock provides some protection above the only spot flat enough for camping on this side of the valley. We cross a ravine just beyond Hinko, then climb through large boulders as the valley widens and becomes less steep. We continue to follow the trail on the west bank of Modi Khola (river) and gradually climb through wider valley and eventually enter the sanctuary. Straight ahead is the high lateral moraine of the Annapurna South glacier and the Modi river flows in a deep cleft on the right which is the site of Machhapuchare base camp expedition in 1957.

Day 7:  Annapurna Base Camp (4130m)
Walk to Annapurna Base camp (4130m) is about 2 hours. From a camp in the sanctuary visit the base camp of Annapurna South. A number of peaks accessible from this area are open to trekking groups. Tent Peak (5500m) offers a commanding 360-degree view of the entire sanctuary, Fluted Peak (6390m) demands some mountaineering experiences; Hiunchuli (6441m) – another challenging peak on the south is magnificent.

Day 8: Retrace trail back to Bamboo (2340m)

Day 9: Trek to Jhinu danda (1780m)    
There is a hot spring at Jhinu danda.

Day 10: Pothana (1650m)
We gradually climb up to Landrung (1640m). We then ascend very gradually through meadows to Tolka (1700m) – 3 hour walk. We stop for lunch at Tolka. After lunch we climb the trail up to a pass (2219m) and then descend very gradually to Pothana (1890m). Pothana has a vantage point to see a great view of the himalayan range at 180 degree from Dhaulagiri to Gangapurna.

Day 11: Dhumpus-Phedi. Drive to Pokhara
From Pothana it is about an hour easy walk down to Dhampus (1650m). From Dhampus there is a steep descent through the terraced rice field to the flat floor of the valley made by Ghobang and Yangdi Khola (river). In about 2 hours leisure walk we reach the road head at Phedi and take the waiting transport to Pokhara, the drive is about 45 minutes. Fly to Kathmandu.

Note: The schedule stops as shown above are a guideline only. It may change dues to logistic reason and other condition like weather, etc which are beyond our control. There are several flights throughout the day between Kathmandu and Pokhara. The flight may be delayed due to weather and technical condition specially in winter and monsoon time. In winter the thick fog in Kathmandu airport in the morning may delay subsequent flight. Trek to Annapurna is a popular trek. There are several good quality lodge accommodation on the trail. Many lodges provide hot shower by using solar panels.

Caution:In winter and early spring the section near Hinko can be dangerous due to avalanches from Hiunchuli and Annapurna South which are above but can not be seen from here. The avalanche, can come crashing into the valley with unbelieving speed. Extra precaution at this point can avert the possible danger.

 

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