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Annapurna Sanctuary Trek Nepal >>
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Trekking Annapurna Sanctuary
Duration - 16 Days
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 climed
when a french expidition 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.
15 Days Tour
Trekking Season :
October to early December and mid-March to
forty five minute drive going to the south west of Pokhara (2,800ft/853m),
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 .
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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
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.
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.
back to Dhoban or Bamboo camp via the route you came up. On Day 12, return to
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.
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.
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.
Important Travel Tips
Regular flights to Pokhara from Kahmandu, or asix-hour
bus drive. From Pokhara, forty-five minutes by car to the road head.
Trek starts at only 3,200ft/975m; highest campsite
is at Machapuchare base camp, 12,200ft/3,718m.
Highlights of the Trek
Spectacular views at President's camp on Day 2 and
from the Austrian camp on the last day; thick bamboo, pine, and rhododendron
forests in the upper reaches; hot water sulphur spring on the Modi Khola;
excellent bird-watching opportunities.
Trekking Supports Services
Porters available in Pokhara where they must be
pre-arranged. Good lodges and food available throughout except for the
first three days. Or start the trek from Lumle village
miss out on the first three days.
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