This part of Himalaya is one of the most popular trekking destinations in Nepal. The highest peak, Annapurna 1, was the first 8000-metre peak to be climbed and there are several other summits above 7500 metres in this accessible and magnificent Himalayan range. The circuit of the Annapurnas via the Thorong La is long-established as one of the world’s great mountain walks, whilst the trek into the spectacularly enclosed Annapurna Sanctuary provides exposure to the very best of Nepalese culture and landscape. In Nepal Himalayan Memories Trek is probably the only company offering a combination of these 2 treks within a single, brilliant 3-week holiday.
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- Great views of Annapurna,Manaslu,Daulagiri & Many More Unnamed Peaks
- Cross Thorang La (5416m)
Transfers from Kathmandu Airport are provided. Depending on your arrival time, you may have the opportunity to explore the immediate vicinity of the hotel and get acclimatised to this bustling city. Alternatively, you may prefer to recover from your journey by relaxing beside the hotel pool. Himalayan Memories Trek package services begin with the evening meal and Nepali cultural show, Your guide will take dinner with you and will provide an informal briefing about the days ahead.
We set off after an early breakfast for the drive westwards to the start of the trek, accompanied by our trek crew. After 3 hours or so, we arrive at the town of Mugling and stop for an early lunch at a roadside restaurant. Soon after leaving Mugling, we reach the small town of Dumre, beside the Marsyangdi River. Here, we turn north on a smaller road which follows the river. We cross the river on a long suspension bridge at Syange before climbing to Jagat (1300m) where we spend overnight.
Today we begin our trek around the Annapurna massif. Although the road continues up valley, its condition is very rough and it is much more pleasurable to walk from here. Where we can, we take the old trekking trail away from the road. From Jagat we start with a steady climb to Chayame, before descending to cross the river on a suspension bridge. Climbing once more, we enter the Buddhist region of Manang at the village of Taal. Here the terrain levels for a short section and the raging river slows to a lake-like appearance. Beyond Tal, the trail crosses the river again and continues for 4 km to Dharapani (1860m).
The valley now turns towards the west, as we pass through the interesting Buddhist village of Bagar Chap. Manaslu is visible behind us and Annapurna ll comes occasionally into view to the south. Even during today’s walk we will be obliged to follow sections of the new road, as we pass through forested areas and stop off to check out several small settlements en route to our overnight stopping place at Chyame (2713m). This is the administrative centre of this region, with shops, a bank and a school, as well as great views of the Annapurnas.
We cross the Marsyangdi several times today, in a steep gorge section of the river. The path is sometimes built into the cliffside on wooden piers. Climbing through a forested ridge beyond Buradhan, we reach a more open valley with some pasture, where we cross the river to its north bank, to reach the terraced fields of Pisang (3300m). We have great views of the north side of Annapurna ll.
Today’s walk will take us even further away from the valley floor and up onto its northern slopes, via the interesting villages of Ghyaru (3720m) and Ngawal (3680m). The main Annapurna Circuit trail follows the river in the valley floor but the views of the Annapurnas from this high level trail are simply stunning and this, together with the fascinating houses and gompas of the isolated settlements that we will see, makes the extra effort involved in walking this trail very worthwhile. Plus, it’s great for our acclimatisation. From Ngawal we descend to the valley and rejoin the main Annapurna Circuit trail at Braga, from where we have a mainly level walk for approximately 4km to reach Manang (3540m).
Manang is a large village inhabited by Tibetan people. We spend a day here, to help with our acclimatisation, prior to crossing the Thorong La. There is plenty to see and do around Manang, which is the last sizeable village on this side of the pass. As a part of our acclimatisation, we will want to get up as high as possible during the course of a short walk. One option is to hike up to the Chongkor viewpoint above Gangapurna Lake and to carry on to a prayer-flagged ridge and deserted village, with great views northwards across the valley and towards the route leading to the Thorong La.
In accordance with our programme of careful acclimatisation, we must ascend very slowly and this gives us a relatively short day as we continue toward the Thorong La. Climbing out of the Marsyangdi Valley, there are great views of Manaslu, the Annapurnas and Tilicho Peak as we head northwest up the Jarsang Khola, through scrubby juniper and across alpine meadows up to the settlement of Letdar (4250m).
We continue on the east bank of the Jarsang stream to a covered bridge, beyond which a steep trail climbs across scree to reach the tea-houses at Thorong Phedi (4450m) (a name which means ‘base of the Thorong La’). To make the crossing of the pass easier tomorrow, we will hike up for a further hour and a half to the single lodge at Thorong High Camp (4750m). Arriving at around midday, we will have lunch and then take it easy and make sure we are well fed and well acclimatised ahead of the pass crossing tomorrow.
After breakfast at around 6 am, we set off on the steep ascent to the Thorong La. The trail is well defined, though potentially icy in places. After the steep start, it eases off, passing a number of glacial lakes on the slow climb to the cairns and prayer flags at the pass (5416m). At this altitude, this is a tough 2 to 3-hour climb. There are tremendous views in both directions. In addition to the mountains that have been with us for the last few days, we can see the brown and red hills of Mustang to the north-west and the valley of the Kali Gandaki below us. Descending from the pass is quite straightforward, but hard on the knees. It is three hours (and 1500 metres) down to the sacred village of Muktinath, with excellent views of Dhaulagiri 1, Tukuche Peak and Nilgiri.
The road that for many years has been slowly extended up the Kali Gandaki Valley has now reached Muktinath. rather than walk along this dusty jeep road we now board our transport for the spectacular journey through the Worl’d deepest gorge between the Himalayan giants of Dhaulagiri and Annapurna. This road through the mountains is subject to blockage and landslip so we may have to walk short sections of it as we make our way down through the airstrip town of Jomsom to Marpha with its whitewashed houses, paved streets and numerous well-kept lodges and Tibetan craft shops and then on into the wooded part of the valley and down to Tatopani, where it will feel particularly warm, having descended more than 2500 metres since setting out this morning. Tatopani means ‘hot water’ in the Nepalese language and there are hot Spring here which can provide a relaxing end to a long day of driving.
Leaving the Kali Gandaki behind, we follow a steep trail which climbs the valley of the Gahr Khola. After a couple of hours the scenery opens out and there are fine views back towards the Kali Gandaki and Dhaulagiri, whilst ahead of us lies a steep terraced hillside, dotted with farms and villages. We take lunch in the village of Chitre approximately two-thirds of the way up the 1700 metre climb to Ghorepani. The going is easier after lunch and before long the trail enters an unusual (and cool) forest of moss-hung oak and rhododendrons for the last 45 minutes or so to Ghorepani (2855m).
It is a must for those who stay at Ghorepani to make the walk up to the celebrated viewpoint of Poon Hill (3195m), which is a continuation of the ridge to the west of the village. Dawn is the best time to go – so, we arrange a wake up call at 5 a.m. and those who wish can head up the well-marked track by the light of our head-lamps. The first light of dawn illuminates Dhaulagiri and Tukuche Peak with a surreal pink glow. You may be able to buy coffee and breakfast from some enterprising Nepali who has carried his wares up to Poon Hill to take advantage of the morning trade. Descending to Ghorepani, we make time for breakfast, before setting off on our trek towards the south side of the Annapurnas and the fabled Annapurna Sanctuary. Our trek today takes us eastwards, through rhododendron forest and along a pleasant ridge-top trail to Chuile (2300m).
After breakfast we head steeply down to the river, crossing via another suspension bridge. The next couple of hours see us contour and undulate though the landscape before reaching the steep section of steps that take us up to Chhomrong (2170m) where we take lunch. From here, the true grandeur of the mountains can be seen, with unimpeded views of Machhapuchhre, Himchuli and Annapurna South. From Chhomrong it is a steep descent, largely on steps, to the valley bottom and then back up again to our overnight stop at Bhanuwa (2110m).
From Bhanuwa the trail climbs through terraced fields and then through forest of bamboo and rhododendron to the ridge crest at Sinuwa. We continue through the forest, looking out for troops of monkeys, whilst generally contouring along the valley side, before making a short descent to the collection of lodges known as Bamboo (2310m). From Bamboo we climb again, passing through Dobhan and then the place known as Himalaya (2920m) to reach our overnight stop at Deorali (3230m).
Beyond Deorali the valley narrows to a steep sided gorge as we head towards the ‘gateway’ to the Annapurna Sanctuary. Depending on the trail conditions, there are options to walk on either side of the river as far as Machhapuchhre Basecamp, a level and grassy moraine platform at 3700 metres, with several lodges. At this point we have passed through the narrow ‘entrance’ to the Sanctuary and find ourselves in more open country which is dominated by giant snow covered peaks. It will take around 2 hours to reach Machhapuchhre Basecamp where the trail turns towards the west. From here, it is a straightforward walk of just 3 kilometres to our overnight lodge at Annapurna South Basecamp (4130m). There are increasingly impressive views and jaw-dropping mountain moments as we climb the last steep section before reaching the basecamp area. At this point, the entire south face of Annapurna is revealed. A cirque of stupendous peaks surround us and the feeling of being inside a hidden valley – a sanctuary in fact – is overwhelming. After we check into our lodge we can relax and admire one of the most stunning mountain amphitheatres in the Himalaya.
For those who wish, a pre-dawn wake-up is worth the extra discomfort to catch the sunrise on this unique mountain scene. After breakfast we leave all this behind and retrace our steps first to Machhapuchhre Basecamp then on to Deorali where we take lunch after 3.5 hours of trekking. In the afternoon we continue our descent of the Modi Khola to reach the forest once again and warmer temperatures at Bamboo (2310m).
The first kilometre of the day is gently uphill as far as the ridge-top at Sinuwa, then it’s downhill for an hour and a half through terraced farmland to a bridge over the Chhomrong Khola. A stepped trail then leads up to Chhomrong overlooking the Modi Khola and with great views back up towards Fish Tail Peak. We can have a quick tea break in Chhomrong and admire the view, before finishing this relatively short day’s walk with a steep descent to Jhinu Danda (1780m).
Dropping down to cross the Modi Khola this excellent final day of trekking leads through the Gurung village of Landruk (1565m) and then traverses above the east side of the Modi Khola, passing several more villages and some section of stone-flagged trail. As the trail climbs again to the ridge at Deurali, there are great views back towards Annapurna South and Hiunchuli. At this point, we gain a ridge top trail with more fine views of the Annapurnas including Machhapuchhre and there’s a gradual descent for the last couple of kilometres to Pothana (1890m).
It’s just a short walk down to the roadhead at Phedi. The trail descends through pleasant farmland with colourful farms and orderly terraced fields. On our left-hand side we can look across and back to the Annapurna Massif. We are likely to see trekkers heading the other way, ascending the trail that we are descending. At Phedi, we meet up with our transport for the 45 minute ride back to Pokhara where we check in to our comfortable hotel close to Phewa Tal. After a shower and clean-up we will have some free time to wander by the lake – or sit in the garden of one of the excellent lakeside restaurants and admire the view of the Annapurnas. Compared to Kathmandu, Pokhara is a very laid-back town and is the perfect place to relax at the end of our trek. Pokhara also has a reputation for great restaurants and this evening we will go out for a celebratory meal.
We take the morning flight to Kathmandu. One of the attractions of any visit to Nepal is the chance to walk the streets of Kathmandu, which presents a fascinating mosaic of shops, cafes and restaurants, food markets and street vendors, as well as a bewildering array of colourful temples and shrines. This evening we will have a dinner in one of Thamel’s excellent restaurants.
It’s your last day in Nepal! Grab some breakfast, and then take in some last-minute shopping in Kathmandu. We’ll make sure you arrive at Kathmandu International Airport with plenty of time before your flight home. At this time, we’ll say our goodbyes and bid you farewell, armed with warm memories and gorgeous photos to show your loved ones.
- * 1. All DOMESTIC FLIGHTS AND GROUND TRANSPORTATIONS TOURIST BUS OR PRIVATE VEHICLES.
- * 2. ACCOMMODATION IN 3 STAR CATEGORIZED HOTEL IN KATHMANDU.
- * 3. HIMALAYAN MEMORIES TREK DUFFEL BAG,
- * 4. WELCOME DINNER WITH NEPALI CULTURAL SHOW.
- * 5. A PROFESSIONAL AND QUALIFIED TREKKING GUIDE
- * 6. ALL MEAL BREAKFAST, LUNCH, DINNER, AND TEA, COFFEE, ON THE TREK.
- * 7. ALL STAFF EXPENSES
- * 8. PORTER WAGES
- * 9. NATIONAL PARK ENTRY FEE.
- * 10. MUNICIPALITY CHARGE.
- * 11. ALL GOVERNMENT TAXES.
- * 1. LUNCH AND DINNER IN KATHMANDU EXCEPT WELCOME AND FAREWELL DINNER.
- * 2. BOTH WAY INTERNATIONAL AIRFARE.
- * 3. PERSONAL TRAVEL INSURANCE AND EMERGENCY RESCUE INSURANCE.
- * 4. NEPAL ENTRY VISA FEE
- * 5. ALCOHOLIC STUFFS.
- * 6. FILMING PERMIT OF DRONE AND CAMERA
- * 7. EXTRA NIGHT ACCODAMATION IN KATHMANDU IF LATE DEPARTURE.
- * 8. PERSONAL EXPENSES, LAUNDRY, WIFI CHARGE, SOO ON.
- * 9. STAFF TIPS (MINIMUM OF 5% OF YOUR TOTAL TRIP COST)
On your trek, every morning, you are awoken early by a Himalayan Memories Trek staff with a first cup of native tea or coffee, along with a bowl of warm water to freshen up. Next, you are served a full breakfast of local fare. Such as fresh fruit and vegetables where it is available. We mainly serve freshly made porridge, eggs, camp made breads etc.
While you have breakfast the Sherpa’s use this time to disassemble the tents, so make sure you pack all bags before sitting for breakfast. while some porters set off on the daily walk in order to make setups in advance of our arrival at the next stop/camp, so that when we get there, all you have to do is relax and enjoy the area.
Typically, our walks start soon after breakfast. After a couple of hours walk, we will stop for lunches. In general, the afternoon walk is shorter than the morning one, to give people time to visit neighbouring villages, to rest and to chat while the chefs prepare the supper.
As soon as you book your trip with Himalayan Memories Trek you should purchase a policy which covers trekking to 5500m this will cover you any unexpected events force you to cancel.
Your policy should also cover helicopter rescue in the event of an emergency evacuation.
The only two methods of travel mostly are on foot or by helicopter once in the mountains. Obviously certain medical conditions are either so debilitating or urgent that the first option is not practicable as an evacuation method. Helicopter evacuation is very expensive and is also dependent on favourable weather conditions. Many of the helicopters are working at the limit of their operating altitude in the higher parts of the valley. Himalayan memories trek will be well placed to coordinate an efficient rescue but we must stress that there is no single definitive cost for a helicopter rescue, much depends on what else the pilot is doing in the area, how far the helicopter has to fly, where it started from and so on. The maximum is about $10,000 from Everest base camp (for example) Itself, so your travel insurance should cover up to this figure specifically for rescue costs. The helicopter company will require a payment guarantee before they fly, this will be done by your insurance provider, opening a case number and arranging the relevant exchanges of information and certification. For this purpose, it is essential that you have the right policy and provide us with all the policy details. Our staff have got mobile phones and generally, there is somewhere near with a phone signal, or else one of the staff will go to the nearest place. The safety and stability of the injured person is the job of the group and the staff and anyone nearby who can assist because sometimes it can take hours for a helicopter to arrive. Thankfully many of the trails have first aid posts along the way, but every group should be prepared to help deal with an injured person and in this case, it goes without saying that the needs of that person are more important than the trek itinerary.
It will be a matter of the helicopter company ascertaining that it is safe to fly to the relevant location and then flying the casualty to a nominated location, almost certainly a hospital in Kathmandu. The helicopter will then be met by Himalayan Memories trek who will help to coordinate any further stages in the process. The helicopter will also fly into Kathmandu airport and our staff will arrange for a car or ambulance to take the person to the hospital. If for any reason the helicopter is unable to fly we will use our many local staff and contacts to coordinate an alternative rescue and treatment regime. Normally this means using horses or simply stretchering a person off the mountain to the nearest safe place or safe helicopter landing area. Again, this is something that will generally involve everyone.
Our treks allow a good time to acclimatise and as a mountain guiding outfit we always want to ensure the trek is safe. Reducing the number of days may make the price cheaper but the chances of safely reaching base camp also greatly reduce. We follow established mountaineering principles of height gain on all treks to altitude.
“Himalayan Memories Trek advisory Equipment list”
The basic idea of the trekking gear for the Himalayas. This Himalaya trekking kit list aims to keep you warm, dry, protected from the sun, able to move comfortably in the mountains and able to be comfortable in the evenings and night.
You will be given a detailed kit list after booking, but the main points to cover are as follows:-
BAGS – Rucksack or duffle bag for a porter to carry plus a day pack to be carried by you. Your daypack should be comfortable and capable of carrying everything you need for the day, plus any valuable items such as a camera and passport.
SHELL – Top and bottom waterproofs to keep off wind/rain.
PUFFY LAYER – A puffy jacket, filled with either down or synthetic, designed to be worn while doing physical activity in the outdoors is essential for your kit. This layer will not only keep you warm on the trail should it be cold, but also help you stay cozy in lodges and teahouses. Often times, these places do not have heat outside of the common area, so a warm puffy jacket will come in handy.
Neck gaiters/shemaghs are mandatory. (torso, neck and head wear are ESSENTIAL to avoiding illness like a cold or worse),
LAYERS – Shirts, trousers, shorts, T-shirts, jumpers and jackets, hats and gloves. We advise that you do not wear cotton while trekking. Cotton can actually make you colder, and in certain cases, give you hypothermia. Look for synthetic or merino wool material for your layering system.
BASE LAYER – Thin layers to wick away any sweat and to wear for cold mornings. Both top and bottom. At least two sets.
UNDERWEAR – We recommend non-cotton. 5-7 pairs.
FEET – Comfortable Lighter footwear to change into in the evenings. Always be sure that footwear is well-broken in prior to arriving in Nepal. For socks we advise using non-cotton socks with plenty of cushion. If you are prone to blisters, consider getting silk sock liners. 3-5 pairs.
SLEEPING – Warm sleeping bag (3-4 season) to get a good night’s sleep at the lodges (they also have blankets)
DRINKING – Water bottles should be hard plastic (Nalgene), not throwaway bottles. We also advise that you do not bring a water bladder. Hose lines can freeze, and if you use boiled water, the hot water will melt your water bladder. For purification methods, we encourage you to bring a UV Filter (SteriPEN), iodine tablets, or a backcountry water filter. Please bring spare batteries if you have a UV filter and at least one other method for sterilizing water.
WASHING & MEDICAL quick-dry travel towel, first aid kit, blister kit, extra toilet paper, hand sanitizer, lotion (the air is quite dry), lip balm,
SUN CARE – sunglasses, sunhat, sunscreen (SPF 50, applied often to exposed areas)
TREKKING – trekking poles, umbrella, dry bags, waterproof cover for your rucksack
PERSONAL ITEMS – cameras, books, headlamp, music, journal, etc.
OPTIONAL ITEMS – down booties (for warmth in the teahouse), ear plugs, camping pillow, trekking crampons (like Kathoola Microspikes) if you are traveling during a snowy season, silk sock liners for extra warmth or blister prevention, she-wee or other female urinary device, dry shampoo, and snacks. You can buy snacks along the trail, purchase them in Kathmandu, or bring your favourite treat from home. Bringing a treat from home is a fun way to share some of your culture on the trail. It’s also helpful for those days in which nothing looks tasty. Remember, no cow products. Cows are sacred in Nepal.
ELECTRONICS – Charging your electronics will cost money while on a trek in Nepal. If you would like to avoid this cost, consider bringing your own portable Solar charger. Electronics do not like the cold. Sleep with your phone and any batteries in order to avoid bad battery life due to cold weather.
REPAIR KIT – (mandatory and learn how to use it before leave for Nepal – potentially very useful for trekking peaks,) gaffer tape, super glue, cable ties, needle + thread,4mm accessory cord ~2m, multi-tool
EATING/DRINKING – Drinks bottles (preferably Nalgene) and insulated bottle covers, snacks eg chocolate, energy drink powder, energy gels, jelly cubes etc, ‘P’ optional Thermos flask (metal, 1 litre)
OTHER – ‘P’ pee bottle, toilet roll, passport & copies, visa, insurance details, money, credit cards, plane ticket, books, cards, games.
1) Go slowly and take a full day for the hike rather than get there as fast as possible.
2) Drink lots of liquid.
3) Always give way to yaks right of way and when you meet one on a path with a drop to one side, always stand on the uphill side.
4) Don’t get caught out with inadequate clothing to cope with a rapid change in weather This is the high Himalaya and a clear bright morning does not mean the same in the afternoon.
5) Do not wander off by yourself and always make sure people know where you are. Anything can happen and a slip on scree or moraine can mean getting cold very quickly while waiting for someone to come and help.
6) Part of the trek is on lateral moraine and some places are slippery. There is no need for crampons but simple care where you are walking is important.
7) Remember that the best approach to safety is to prevent an accident happening in the first place.
(Personal first aid kit contents)
Water Purification Tablets
Personal Medication as required:
eg. Anti-Malarial, Asthma Inhalers, Insulin, Epi-Pen etc
Prochlorperazine tablets (for sickness/nausea)
Ciprofloxacin tablets (general antibiotic; prescription required)
Acetazolamide tablets also known as Diamox (altitude prophylactic; prescription required)
Your main item of luggage should be a sturdy kit bag, duffel bag or similar. This will be carried during the trek by porters or pack animals and must weigh no more than 15kg. You should also bring on your holiday a day-pack of approximately 30 litres capacity. It is possible to leave items not required on trek at the hotel in Kathmandu. For your international flights, please check the baggage allowance with your airline.
Approximately $350 (or equivalent in pound Sterling, Euros) changed into local currency, should be allowed for miscellaneous expenses including porter and trek crew tips, drinks etc. It is not necessary to obtain local currency prior to departure. Pound Sterling, US Dollars and Euros are equally acceptable for exchange in Nepal. We recommend that you carry your travel money in the form of cash, since you will exchange the majority of this on the day of your arrival in Kathmandu. If you prefer not to carry all of your spending money in cash, it is possible to withdraw money from ATM’s in Kathmandu using your debit or credit cards. (Fee applies) During the trek it is possible to buy snacks, chocolate, soft drinks and beer on most days. Please be aware that since everything has to be carried up by porters or animals, these items become more expensive as you gain altitude.
Tipping is the accepted way of saying thank you for good service. Normally the porters and any other trek staff are given their tips at the end of the trek and this is best done as a group. Your Guide will advise the group on an appropriate level of tipping. Most groups will hand out the tips with a bit of ceremony (or sometimes a party) on the last evening, to mark the end of the holiday. As a guide, we recommend that each group member contributes around $100 (or, approximately 12,000 Nepali Rupees) to these tips. At the end of their trek many people also like to donate various items of equipment to the porters and trek staff who work so hard to make the trip a success. Boots, gloves, hats, scarves and even socks are always warmly received by the porters. Your guide will make arrangements for a fair distribution (possibly by raffle) amongst the trek crew. Please note that you will have the opportunity to tip your guide separately during dinner on the final evening of the holiday. If you felt your guide was especially helpful, please consider an appropriate bonus to him or her of 20% of group tips.
Our prices are competitive and good value, and we offer quality, service, security and an ethical stance on tourism in a developing country. We don’t want to be so expensive to run fewer trips and have our staff idle, but on the other hand we believe that running cheap trips that promote the practice of skimming budgets would result in the porters getting next to nothing, which is something we cannot consider. Your porters work extremely hard to carry your gear, advance set ups and keep your journey safe and enjoyable, sometimes at their own risk and peril. We could not complete our journey without them. They have families, too, and we all want to have an enjoyable, rewarding expedition full of great memories! Tashi Delek!