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A trek considered by many to offer all aspects of trekking in Nepal. Green forests, tremendous mountain scenery and a mosaic of cultures not too mention a good work out ! 7300m. Altitude, The trail leads northwards initially, crossing fields of paddy before dissecting the Marshyangdi river gorge, it passes through various interesting villages on route.

Annapurna (the Goddess of Abundance) has beckoned explorers since the time Nepal opened its frontier in 1949. In fact, Annapurna was the first 26,248 ft / 8,000 m peak to be clamed when a French expedition led by Maurice Herzong reached the summit in 1950.  There are various approaches to the Annapurna Sanctuary Trek.  Ours came into prominence when former American President Jimmy Carter wanted to spend time away from his busy schedule on a trip to Nepal.

:  I t i n e r a r y :

Arrive Delhi and fly from Delhi to Kathmandu-Paro (Bhutan)

DAY-1

A forty five minute drive going to the south west of Pokhara (2,800 ft / 853 m), on the bhairawa road leads to the Thale Khola stream, often dry in spring.  Having climbed barely 400 ft on the road, begin the trek at a comfortable 3,200 ft. / 975 .

DAY-2

A dream walk through a dense deciduous forest.  There is a profusion of flowers and plant life.  It's an ideal place for bird-watching.  in the evening, camp in a clearing in a rhododendron forest, a five minute walk above the trail.

DAY-3

Immediately after traversing the mountainside, the trail reaches a saddle where many trails join it.  After a steep switch baking trail through thick vegetation, you reach the top of Panchase Lekh and a great view.

DAY-4

The trail meets the conventional entry point to the sanctuary trek. Leaving the camp, ascend a short while and then go through a long traverse of the mountain on a well used trail.

DAY-5,6

The route crosses over to the right bank of meet a trail coming up from Birethanti village.  It also serves as an approach to the Annapurna Sanctuary Trek.  Winding your way through buckwheat fields in spring, around busy little Gurung villages, you reach the prosperous village of Ghandrung high above the Modi Khola.  These are hallowed gounds of the Gurung warriors, one of the proud races that make up the Gorkha regiments.  It's not at all surpising to see a Victoria Cross hanging gingerly next to a window!

DAY-7

Leave Ghandrung to reach the small Kyumnu Danda pass (7,400 ft / 2,255 m). It's great for a breif stop-over with sheer drops on both sides and a great mountain view. Now descending to the Kyumnu Khola, go past lodges and tea shops to the river bank to cross over to the other side.  Climbing up a steep gradient to the top of the ridge, you traverse the hill side to descend gently towards Chomrong, the last permanent settlement in the valley.

DAY-8

The trail enters the Sanctuary proper. Closer to the Annapurna wall, the sheer expanses of ice, rock, and snow and the quirky way in which sudden blizzards start blowing are mesmerising.  Chris Bonnington, the mountaineering legend of our times, led a British expedition up the South Face of Annapurna in 1970.

DAY-9

The trail climbs through a thick bamboo forest to reach the pastures of Tomo above the timberline.  There you get the first view of the Gangpurna and Annapurna III peaks. A little ahead is Panchenin Barha, the narrowest point in the canyon marked by a trail-side shrine.

DAY-10

Leaving early, you walk westward up between the moraine of the Annapurna South glacier and Hiunchuli.  Then going up a moraine ridgeyou go past a few lodges to reach the Annapurna Base Camp. Try to be there early to spend at least three hours in clear weather. By afternoon, the clouds will restrict your view.  The panorama there is stupendous - on your east is the west face of Machapuchare which turns crimson with the setting sun (a treat worth waiting for;) the north-east is dominated by Annapurna III and Gangpurna, and up ahead is Tent Peak. The gigantic wall of Annapurna I is on the norh-west, and the south -west is adorned by Annapurna South and Hiunchuli.

DAY-11,12

Go back to Dhoban or Bamboo camp via the route you came up.  On Day 12, return to Chomorong.

DAY-13

Take a half-hour detour beyond the village by going down the stone steps to the Modi Khola river. Just short of where the trail levels out, there is a diversion to hot water springs near the river bank. A dip in the sulphur water can be therapeutic. After a stopover, climb up the main trail and reach the Kyumnu Khola river.

DAY-14

The penultimate day on the trek is eight hours long, so it's advisable to start early.  In an hour and a half, you reach Landrung village.  A walk of these hours followed by an hour's steep climb brings you to the Beri Khaka Pass.  After descending to Pothana village, leave the main trail to climb through a thick rhododendron forest on to a ridge top descending from Machapuchare.  A walk through grassy meadows leads to the campsite, the Austrian camp, used by mountaineers from that country in the '60s.

DAY-15

Join the main trail at Dhampus to descend to the road head at Suikhet on the Baglung-Pokhara road.  A forty-minute drive brings you back to Pokhara.

 

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