Annapurna High Passes Trek 18 days
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This is an exciting and demanding trek high into the heart of the mighty Annapurna region, exploring some of the wild glacial areas below Annapurna South where few trekkers have gone before. The trek is one of great contrast, encompassing all the features of the area from the terraced village lowlands, through the forests and agricultural areas of the middle hill country, to the glacial basins of the Annapurna mountains. The trek starts from the sub-tropical Pokhara Valley and passes through paddy fields before gradually ascending through terraced hillsides of wheat and barley. At each of the villages along the way we are warmly received by the local Gurung and Magar people. The walking is sensibly paced so we have ample opportunity to experience and absorb local lifestyles that have changed little over centuries.

From the start we enjoy ever-changing views of the stunning, snow-covered Annapurna mountains. Halfway through the trek we leave habitation behind and walk through rhododendron and oak forests, alive with exotic birds and beautiful flowers, to finally emerge above the tree line at Kopra Danda. Here we experience the stunning wilderness scenery beneath the towering peaks of Annapurna; to the west lies Dhaulagiri and far below lies the Kali Gandaki River Valley, which is the world’s deepest. As we climb higher above the tree line we enter a fantastic mountain wilderness visited only by local shepherds during the monsoon months. The truly spectacular vista is dominated by Annapurna I (8091m) and Dhaulagiri (8167m), the highest peaks in the region. However this unique trek concentrates on the unexplored wilderness around Annapurna South (7237m), a remote and magnificent area that is rarely visited. An exploration of the rugged area below Annapurna South is sure to be the highlight of our journey. This is an adventure for those truly looking for something exciting.

Fact of the Trek

AnnapurnaTrek Map

Place Covers

Pokhara/ Chainabatthi/Baili Kharka/Kopra Ridge/Hidden Lake/ Annapurna South Base Camp/ Syaulibazaar / Pokhara

Group Size

Min.1, Max. 9

Min. altitude

910m

Max. altitude

4300m

Best Season

February to June & September to November

Transportation

Flights from Kathmandu to Pokhara and Pokhara to Kathmandu

Trek Duration

18 Days

Age Limit

17 to 68

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Detailed Itinerary:

Day 01: Arrival at Kathmandu International Airport. Upon your arrival our representative transfers you to hotel. Stay overnight at hotel in Kathmandu.

Day 02: Fly from Kathmandu to Pokhara. Transfer from Pokhara to Lumla and further trek to Chainabatthi (1410m). An early departure from the hotel this morning as we are transferred to the domestic terminal at Kathmandu's Tribhuvan Airport. From here we fly to Pokhara, with a flight time of about 30 minutes and often spectacular views of the main Himalayan chain to the north. After arriving in Pokhara we are transferred by road (private bus) to the starting point of the trek at Lumle which we should reach in the early afternoon. Our first day’s walk is particularly easy, following sub-tropical terrain traversing through the villages of Lumle, Chandrakot and finally to our lodge at Chainabatthi located high above the Modi Khola Valley with super views of the fishtail peak, Machhapuchhare, and Annapurna South. Stay overnight at tea house. Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Day 03: Trek from Chainabatthi to Upper Ghandruk (1950m) and it takes about seven hours. In the morning we descend steeply through terraced hillsides to the Modi Khola and the very pretty village of Shyauli, where we cross the river. Here we continue to enjoy superb views of the great peaks of Annapurna South and Machhapuchhare, seen to the north standing guard over the entrance of the Annapurna Sanctuary. From Shyauli after a pleasant tea stop we start the climb to Ghandruk. The trail initially ascends a stone staircase high above the river valley where, to the north, there are again superb views of the Annapurna mountains. A short but steep section leads to Kimche (1630m), where we break for lunch and enjoy a well-deserved rest. We then continue on to Chane on a wide, well-defined, path of stone flags that contours its way through fields of wheat and millet to the largest village of the region, Ghandruk. This Gurung village is well known for the number of its menfolk who have served in the British Ghurkha regiments. Our lodge is located above the main village in a quiet location, where we enjoy fine mountain views, in particular Annapurna South (7237m), Machhapuchhare (6993m) and Gangapurna (7455m). Stay overnight at tea house. Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Day 04: Trek from Upper Ghandruk to Tadapani (2300m) which takes about four hours. Another day ascending, but an easier walk now that we have found our trekking legs! Leaving the terraced hillsides and the village of Ghandruk behind we enter oak and rhododendron forest. This is a particularly pretty part of the walk, the forest often alive with the sound of birds, the small tumbling waterfalls and if you visit in spring, (late March to April) the rhododendron in full bloom. There are no villages on today’s route, but there are a few teahouses at Baisi Kharkha providing welcome drinks and a place to rest. There are fine views of Annapurna II (7937m), Annapurna III (7555m), Annapurna IV (7525m), Annapurna South (7237m), Machhapuchhare (6993m) and Lamjung Himal (6931m) along the way. Our lodge at Tadapani is the perfect setting for sunset and sunrise views. Stay overnight at tea house. Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Day 05: Trek from Tadapani to Baili Kharka (2900m) and it takes about six hours. We leave the main trail that leads to Ghorepani and instead follow a rarely used trail initially through a thick rhododendron forest that leads to local water buffalo pastures. The climb is gradual and we soon emerge above the tree line to superb views of the Annapurna range. We take lunch by a small stream and, in the afternoon, continue to climb gradually though open countryside to reach a small pass, where our trail descends through rhododendron to an open clearing, know as Baili Kharka, and our lodge. From the lodge there are great views of Dhaulagiri Himal. Stay overnight at tea house. Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Day 06: Trek from Baili Kharka to Kopra Ridge (3870m) which takes about five hours. To reach the ridge at Kopra we have a steady contour then climb on a small trail that takes us above the tree line. This area is noted for wildlife and we should keep our eyes open for Himalayan tahr and Danfe pheasant. The best way to tackle the climb is to ascend steadily, take our time and rest as often as we wish. We reach the on Kopra Ridge in time for a late lunch and we will be greeted more fantastic views. This extraordinary panorama includes Annapurna South, towering directly above and only six kilometres away, and Fang and Nilgiri prominent to the north, whilst across the depths of the Kali Gandakhi Valley, the Dhaulagiri Himal dominates the entire western skyline. The Kopra Community Lodge is the highlight of our work in the region. Profits from this lodge have contributed to developing the secondary schools at Nangi and Swanta. Stay overnight at tea house. Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Day 07: Trek from Kopra Ridge to Kaire Khola (4200m) And it takes about four hours. From Kopra Ridge we ascend gradually to the stone huts built to shelter pilgrims who attend religious ceremonies at the holy lake. In the monsoon months shepherds move large flocks of sheep into this area to graze on the grassy hillsides. This is a hauntingly beautiful region with the huge peaks of Annapurna South and Fang towering above our campsite. We rest up in the afternoon, acclimatise ourselves to the altitude and get ready for the next day's excursion to the lake. Stay overnight at tea house. Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Day 08: Acclimatization day at Kaire Khola (4200m). To further help with acclimatisation we remain at Kaire Khola for another day and night. During the day we take packed lunches and follow a well-defined trail up a stone staircase to a lake known as Pautarko Kaire. This lake is the site of the Badau Purnima Festival, held annually in August and September. Villagers from the surrounding area converge here to pray to Lord Shiva, bathe in the icy-cold waters of the lake and offer sacrifices of sheep. Although not too distant from the camp, the walk to this glacial lake will be tiring due to the altitude. Ascending the hill behind the lake is also recommended, as it allows for superb views of Annapurna I. Stay overnight at tea house. Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Day 09: Trek from Kaire Khola to Celli Kharkha (3850m) which takes about five hours. From the campsite we trek into a region only occasionally visited by local shepherds. Apart from our own groups, as far as we know, no other trekkers will have visited this region. The climb out of Tiboche Basin looks virtually impossible from our camp; however, a well-defined trail, marked by stone cairns and prayer flags, winds its way implausibly to the top, where a majestic panorama greets us. This high altitude plateau affords great views of the fishtail peak of Machhapuchhare and Annapurna South. From the saddle we traverse across the hillside to camp near a small stream and stone huts at Celli Kharka. Stay overnight at tea house. Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Day 10: Trek from Celli Kharka to Hidden Lake (4250m) and it takes about five hours. Today will be a highlight of our trek, as we reach a rarely visited lake set among jagged, rocky spires. The scenery is truly awe-inspiring and is known only to a handful of shepherds and hunters. When researching this area, it took many days to locate the exact position of this lake. Some villagers knew off the area, but had never visited it and this led to many conflicting stories as to where we should look for this lake. We camp a short distance from the lake itself and enjoy a full day exploring this remote place where you will undoubtedly find some of the most magnificent scenery in all of Nepal. Stay overnight at tea house. Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Days 11-12: Annapurna South Base Camp (3400m). From the lake we gradually climb up to a small pass that leads to a steep descent to Annapurna South Base Camp. The scene is here breathtaking, with tumbling glaciers and huge moraine walls. The towering face of Annapurna may unleash its anger to send plummeting one of the many huge avalanches which crash off this awesome mountain. We will be safely out of harm's way from these avalanches that have so often caused tragedy for climbing expeditions in the past. We set up camp at Annapurna South Base Camp and may even meet an expedition, as our arrival usually coincides with the climbing season. We have allowed a full day of exploration at Base Camp, where we have a chance to head up to the main glacier of this magnificent peak. Stay overnight at tea house. Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Day 13: Trek from Annapurna South Base Camp to Chhomrong (3120m) which takes about seven hours. In the morning there is one last chance for spectacular photographs before we follow the Kymrong Khola down a narrow gorge and out of this small sanctuary. The climb out of the valley is fairly steep, but once we reach the rim our return route to Pokhara comes into view. A steep, but short, descent then leads us to Baisi Kharkha - our lunch stop. In the afternoon we bear east and follow a contouring trail that then gradually descends to Chhomrong. After spending nearly a week in the wilderness where we are unlikely to see any other trekkers, we now join the main trail to Annapurna Sanctuary and spend the night in one of the fine lodges in the village. Stay overnight at tea house. Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Day 14: Trek from Chhomrong to Shyauli (1220m) and it takes about six hours. In the morning we descend into Modi Khola Valley and to the hot springs at Jhinudanda. Our return route then follows the river past a small cluster of lodges at New Bridge before a very picturesque trail takes us to Kalchane and on to a suspension bridge that leads steeply up to the village of Ghandruk, which we passed through early on in the trek. Here we take lunch and in the afternoon continue to follow the river to Kilyu, where we regain the main trail for the short walk to our lodge at Shyauli Bazaar. We spend the night amidst the fields of rice and wheat and relax with perhaps a few beers, celebrating the completion of our brilliant off-the-beaten-track experience. Stay overnight at tea house. Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Day 15: Trek from Shyauli Bazaar to Birethanti which takes about two hours and further drive to Pokhara (850m) and it takes about one and half hours. In the morning it is a short walk to Birethanti, on the banks of the Modi Khola River, and from here we join the main road, where we are picked by our coach and transferred back to Pokhara. This drive takes just over an hour and a half. At Pokhara we stay at the Hotel Barahi, which is located close to the lakeside. This hotel has a swimming pool, so you may wish to bring your swimming costume. After a welcomed shower, we have the rest of the day free to relax or do some exploring. Stay overnight at lakeside hotel. Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Day 16: Fly from Pokhara to Kathmandu (1360m). After breakfast we are transferred back to the airport in the morning for our return flight to Kathmandu. On arrival in Kathmandu we are met and transferred back to our starting hotel. Stay overnight at hotel in Kathmandu.

Day 17: Rest day in Kathmandu. This day is free to do souvenir shopping or further sightseeing. Located in the south of the city, Patan is also worth a visit with its own Durbar Square full of historic structures and statues of past kings. Our final night in Kathmandu gives us a chance to go out on the town and enjoy a final dinner (optional) with our travelling companions and new-found friends. Stay overnight at hotel in Kathmandu.

Day 18: Departure from Kathmandu. Today is free or last minute shopping for souvenirs or gift to your family, friends or relatives for you until your departure flight/drive or to commence any extra trips or activities you may have booked with us. If departing, you'll be transferred to the International Airport for your departure flight to your onwards destination.

OUR TRIP PACKAGE INCLUDES:
  • Airport pick up and drop off services
  • 3 nights hotel accommodation in Kathmandu at 3 or 4 star category hotel on BB basis
  • Welcome dinner at Nepali cultural heritage restaurant in Kathmandu
  • Flight tickets from Kathmandu to Pokhara & Pokhara to Kathmandu
  • A trekking guide
  • Porter/s (1 porter can carry up to 25kgs of luggage)
  • All meals three times a day (breakfast, lunch and dinner)
  • Accommodation in teahouses (lodges) during the trek
  • Entry Permit for Annapurna Conservation Area
  • Trekkers' Information Management system (TIMS) card
  • All necessary transportation
  • Sleeping bag and down jacket if required
  • Rescue assistance
  • First aid kit
  • Insurance and equipment for the Nepali staff
  • 1 night hotel accommodation at hotel in Pokhara with all meals
OUR TRIP PACKAGE EXCLUDES:
  • Personal nature expenses such as drinks, beverages, hot shower, batter recharge etc.
  • Tips
  • Lunch and dinner in Kathmandu
  • Your travel insurance
  • International airfare and airport departure tax.
  • Nepal visa fee
Email us for more details, up to date pricing and the information about our group departures.