TREKKING IN THE ANNAPURNA BASE CAMP (13 NIGHTS 14 DAYS)
TRIP AN OVERVIEW
Besides the Everest region, the area around the Annapurna massif is perhaps the best known trekking visitors it is certainly the most popular. As the title suggests, the centre piece of this part of Nepal is the range of mountains that includes Annapurna I, the first of the 8000 meter peaks to be climbed. Also included in this general area is another 8000 meter giant, Dhaulagiri, which is located to the west of Annapurna I. Between these two mountains runs the valley of the Kali Gandaki river, the deepest gorge on the earth. Combine this with lush, fertile farming land, stands of undisturbed natural forest and a mixture of different ethnic inhabitants and you have a diverse range of experiences that makes this area one of the most satisfying trekking destinations in Nepal. The fact that the main Himalayan range runs south of the border with Tibet means that the northern parts of the area are in the rain shadow and are considerably drier than the southern slopes of the mountains.
Tour Duration: 10 - 17 day(s)
Group Size: 2 + people
Destination(s): Eastern Nepal
Best Season: March - November
Airport : Pokhara
ACCAP Permit Fee: USD 30 PP .
TIMS Permit: USD 10
Trekking types: Tea House Lodge / Tented Camp both.
Minimum Altitude in Meters: 920 Pokhara
Max . Altitude in Meters: 4300 Base Camp.
Average walk each day: 5-7 Hrs
Trekking trial: Moderate
Starting/Ending Point: Pedi or Naya Pul
Health Post: Few
Telecommunication: Available till Base Camp
Water: Mineral Waters & Boiled water available.
PERMITS AND FEES
For most of the Annapurna trekking area, no trekking permits are required. The exception is Upper Mustang where a fee of US$ 500 per person is levied for a ten-day visit. Additional restrictions relating to Mustang will be outlined later.
Most of the area discussed in the trek descriptions is within the area controlled by Annapurna Conversation Area Project. Entry to this area controlled and an entry permit has to be purchased ( see attachment for current costs). The permit must be purchased before starting the trek and can be obtained in Kathmandu or Pokhara. (see useful address list for locations). The proceeds of these fees are largely used for local community development within the project area.
Regardless of the trek chosen it is most likely that Pokhara will be either the starting or ending point of your trek. Pokhara is located 200 km. west of Kathmandu and can be reached in road by five to six hours or by air in thirty minutes from the capital. For road travel there are a number of tourist buses available daily both from Kathmandu and Chitwan.
There is no shortage of tourist facilities to be found in around Pokhara. The main centre for tourists is at the side of the larghest of the three lakes in the area, Phewa Tal. The suburbs of Lakeside and Damside both provide a wide range of accommodation and restraints along with the usual variety of trekking and travel agencies and supplires, of souvenirs and trekking equipment. For those trekking in the eastern side of the Annapurna massif the most likely starting point will be Besishahar, the district headquarters of Lamjung district. Buses from Kathmandu, Pokhara and the Terai arrive a depart here on a regular daily basis. The bus trip from Kathmandu to Besishahar takes around four to five hours but, at this time , there are no tourist bus services available. Most treks starting or ending in Pokhara will require the use of buses or hired cars to reach the trailheads. Specific details appear in the trek descriptions.
FLORA AND FAUNA
As can be imagined, the range of geographical and climatic regions has led to a diverse variety of flora fauna within the Annapurna region. Both Pokhara and Besishahar are below 1000 meter elevation and their climate is quite tropical. These parts of the area are heavely cultivated and the landscape, therefore, largely consists of terraced paddy fields or most of the year. The area is also famous for the winter crops of oranges, which can be purchased fresh from the tree along the trails in the foothills. As you progress higher up into the hills the natural vegetation changes from the tropical species to more temperate stands of forest trees including oak, beech and rhododendron. Tiese finally give way to coniferous forests of pine and, ultimately juniper just below the tree line. In the rain shadow, to the north of the mountains, the landscape is quite barren being an extension south of the Tibetan Plateau. Here ther are only stunted bushes and shrubs except for close to the rivers where irrigated cropping is possible.
Native animals to be see include many birds the most obvious being the pika, blue sheep and Himalayan Tahr.
Most of the trekking routes in the Annapurna region are well serviced by teahouses fro most of their length. This is particularly true for the most of the treks, the Annapurna Base Camp treks. Trekkers should be aware, however, that there ia always the risk of being stranded by bad weather or injury/sickness between teahouses, particularly in the more remote parts of the trek itineraries. A good example is on the Annapurna Circuit where there is one very long day when the high pass of Thorong La has to be crossed. There is little or no shelter available for most of this day and some trekkers have been caught unprepared by bad weather and altitude problems.The trek in less developed areas, particularly the Dhaulagiri Circuit and the treks east of Lumung, definitely require trekkers to be self sufficient in food and shelter.
PEOPLE AND CULTURE
The most prominent ethnic groups in the Annapurna region are the Gurungs, the Thakali and the Manangba. The Gurungs are the most widely distributed being found from the hills of Gorkha district to as far west as Plpa. Their heartland, however, is centred on the hills and valleys between the Marshyangdi River and the Kali Gandaki. The Thakali come from the upper Kali Gandaki valley around Jomsom where their traditional farming has been supplemented by trade and, in particular, hotel and restaurant businesses. The Manangba are found in the upper reaches of the Marshyangdi River and are many ways similar to the Gurung to whom they are possible related. They are skilled traders and trace their roots back to Tibet. Religiously, the Manangba and the Gurungs of the upper hills are Buddhist with traces of their ancient, Shamanistic faith still apparent. The communities that live further south are predominatly Hindu. All of the communities, but particularly the Gurungs are famed for their cultural performances, which are easily seen while trekking in the region. Many villages along the trails will arrange performances for trekking during the main seasons.
WHEN TO VISIT?
As with most of the trekking areas in Nepal, the best time to visit are during spring and autumn. Spring is the time for rhododendrons while the clearest skies are found after the monsoon in October and November. At these times the weather is generally mild and there is little rainfall. Unlike other parts of Nepal, the monsoon, from June to September, is the ideal time to visit parts of the region that falls in the rain shadow. In particular Upper Mustang is the perfect destination during the rainy season. The winter months provide the good trekkings conditions throughout the foothills but some of the higher passes will be closed due to snow.
If you have not travelled from Kathmandu with your staff then you will able to make all of the necessary arrangements in Pokhara through one of the many trekking agencies that have offices in lakeside. This is generally the only place where such arrangements can be reliably made although porters will often be found at centres such as Besishahar at the start of the Annapurna Circuit.
LOOKING AFTER THE ENVIRONMENT
Follow the advice listed in conversation matters at the beginning of this booklet but in particular look for the ACAP sponsored safe drinking water depots that have been established in the project area.
Day 1: Land in Kathmandu Intrenational Airport (1345 meters).
One of our airport rep.is on duty in Kathmandu Int`l Airport who will display your name card just in front of Arrival Terminal. This airport has only one arrival terminal which is the only Exit Point So you will find our Rep. easily. If emergency, you may call us to our given Cell ( Mobile ) no to reach us as soon as you arrive here.
Day 2: Breakfast.( 7-10 AM )
Today, One of our administrative Staff will come to meet you in Breakfast time to collect your passport copies and PP size Pictures ( 2 or more as required) to apply necessary Permits. Secondly, we will assit you to arrange a day sightseeing trips according to your interest and time.
Overnight at hotel.
Day 3: Drive or Fly to Pokhara (900 meters) 7 hours by tourist Coach & 30 Minutes by Air. Overnight at hotel.
Day 4: Drive to Nayapul (1010 meters) & trek to Tikhedunga (1570 meters) 3 hours. We begin our trek at Nayapul after 1 hour driving by private vehicle from Pokhara. After 15 minutes short walk along the banks of the Modi Khola, we reach Birethanti (1015 meters) a large village that has many shops and teahouses. From there, the trail continues through the village followed by the north bank of the Bhurungdi Khola.Finally; We reach Tikhedhunga at 1570 meters.Overnight at guesthouse Lunch and Dinner is served with hot drinks.
Day 5: Breakfast
Trek to Ghorepani (2840 meters) 5 hours. Leaving Tikhedunga, we begin our journey with a steep climb to Ulleri is a large Magar village situated at an elevation of 2070 meters. The trail then continues to ascend more gently through fine forests of oak and rhododendrons towards Banthanti at 2250 meters. After an two hrs walk we arrive at Ghorepani at 2840 meters. Overnight at guesthouse, after having delicious Dinner. Lunch is served alongthe way of the trial in any nice restaurant as per the decision of the trekkers.
Day 6: Hike up to Poon Hill (3210 meters) by early morning to see sunrise and magnificent Himalayan views from east to west including Mt. Dhaulagiri and Annapurna etc. and return trek to Tadapani (2610 meters) via Ghorepani. Breakfast is served after returning back from Poonhill.
Before starting towards Tadapani, we make climb along ridges and through pine and rhododendron forests to Deurali (2960 meters). After that we descend to the Banthanti, then turning off to Tadapani. Overnight at Guest House or Hotel.
Day 7: Breakfast
Trek to Chommrong (2140 meters) 5 hours. The day starts with steep downhill through rhododendron forests. Leaving Tadapani, we descend steeply through forests and then the trail eases as we reach Gurjung which is the village of Gurung`s, with an easy walk to Chommrong at elevation of 2140 meters. Overnight at Guesthouse or Hotel as per availability.
Day 8: Breakfast
Trek to Dovan (2500 meters) 5.30 hours. Today the trail drops down to the Chhomrong Khola and again we continue climbing to Khuldighar at 2380 meters till Dovan. Overnight at Guesthouse or Hotel.
Day 9: Breakfast
Trek to Deurali (3200 meters) 4 hours. A short walking day today because of altitude and risk of snow avalanches in the area that we need to cross by the next morning. We walk through bamboo & rhododendron forests to Himalayan Hotel and to Hinko cave. We will spend one night at Deurali, on the ridge above Hinko is the stretch of trail that is most subject to avalanche. Overnight at Guesthouse or Hotel .
Day 10: Breakfast
Trek from Deurali to Annapurna Base Camp (4130 m.) via Machhapuchhare Base Camp (3700m.) takes about four hours. Here onward, the valley widens and becomes less steep and is the gateway of sanctuary. As the trail continues into the sanctuary, it crosses two avalanche tracks on a narrow trail that hurdles up against the cliffs. After short trek you will be at Bagar (3310m.), a meadow and some abandoned hotels. The normal trail follows the left side of the valley. Now the trail appears gently ascent until you reach Machhapuchhare Base Camp (3700m.). Here you find almost 6 to 7 lodges. This is one of the places, where you can enjoy the view of Mount Hiunchuli (6441m.), Annapurna South (7219m.), Annapurna I (8091m.), Annapurna III (7555m.), Gangapurna (7454m.) and Machhapuchhare or Fish Tail (6997m.). The path follows through alpine meadow and after some distance your trails go gently up. After a short trek, you begin to approach Annapurna Base Camp (4130m.). From here, you can see the views of numerous peaks at 360 degree..
Day 11: Breakfast.
Trek back to Bamboo (2345 meters) 6 hours. We follow the same trail down today by the bank of Modi Khola to Bamboo at 2345 meters where there are few teahouse/lodges available. Overnight at Guesthouse or Hotel.
Day 12: Breakfast.
Trek to Jhinu hot spring (1780 meters). As we have to follow the same trail till
Chommrong ,Khuldighar you will have a chance to see an experimental sheep Farm then continues through rhododendron and bamboo fields. From Chomrong the trail descends very steeply to the Jhinu hot spring, where you can take bath. Overnight at Guesthouse or Hotel as per availability.
Day 13: Breakfast
Trek to Nayapul (1010 meters) and drive to Pokhara. From Jhinu hot spring we walk at the right side of Modi Khola for approx 5 hrs to Birethanti which is considered as one of the relaxing part of walking during this trek. We reach Nayapul and then an hour drive to Pokhara. Overnight at Hotel at Lakeside.
Day 14: Drive or Fly back to Kathmandu (1345 meters). Overnight at the Hotel in Kathmandu.