This is a more adventurous trek in the Annapurna range. Starting on the main Annapurna Circuit route, it quickly strikes off into the remote Narphu valley and over the 5306mts Kangla Bhanjyan pass. Then, crossing the Manang valley, the route  goes over the two high passes at Tilicho Lake  both over 5000mts and finishes in Jomsom. Taken together it is rarely trekked.

Trekking in the Annapurnas

Trekking in the Annapurnas

Starting by travelling west from Kathmandu to Besi Sharah, at the start of the classic Annapurna Circuit, we follow this for three days to Koto, then turn off the main trail into the remote Narphu Valley. Trekking for a further three days, we reach the village of Naar. On the way we’ll stop for a days acclimatisation.
There is an option here of extending your trek and going north to Phugaon on the route over to Mustang.

The ancient village of Braga.

The ancient village of Braga.

Returning to Naar, we trek for another thee days crossing the high Kangla Bhanjyan pass (5306mts) back into the main Manang Valley and getting fine views of the Annapurna range.
We join the Annapurna Circuit trek on the Upper Pisang route at Ngawal. From here, it is possible to walk on what amounts to little more than goat tracks across to the ancient town of Braga. Going this way we get a very good view of Braga from the same level. It’s interesting to see how all the flat roofed buildings are stacked up.

Continuing on to Manang and coffee and cake, we have planned in a rest day, during which you can walk up to a viewpoint overlooking the Gangapurna glacier and it’s startling blue lakes. There are several day walks in the vicinity. In Manang, you may be lucky enough to attend one of interesting talks by the doctors there about high altitude sickness.

Tilicho Lake trail

Tilicho Lake trail

Leaving Manang, we head west towards Tilicho Lake, which, at almost 5000mts, claims to be the highest lake in the world. The route crosses a landslide area and winds around and over rock pillars. The path is exposed and not for the faint hearted but anyone with some hill walking experience in the UK, or similar, will be at home.
We stay in a lodge at the end of the valley. Climbing up to the lake next day puts us up at 5000mts and from there we don’t drop below 5000mts until towards the end of the next day. During these two days we go over Tilicho Pass (5340mts) and depending on our exact route over the Mesokanto pass 5140mts. The second day is a long one.

From the passes, it’s just a stroll down to Jomsom and a flight to Pokhara and then by bus or plane back to Kathmandu.

This area is difficult trekking, it’s remote and experiences snow at any time of the year. In bad weather we’ll be going over the higher, but safer, option of the Thorung La. This all sounds dangerous and it does have a higher level of risk than the average trek but don’t let this all put you off as it’s a great trek. I can assure you it’s not very dangerous and is trekked on a regular basis. In fact there is a lodge near the lake.

Tilicho Lake in November

Tilicho Lake in November

The accommodation throughout is lodges but, as with all less trekked routes, we take a tent. Some lodges are very basic or get full very quickly so you can always camp outside and eat in the lodge.

Duration.

Nineteen days from Kathmandu to Kathmandu. After your international flight, you need a day in Katmandu sorting out permits and paperwork, checking and maybe buying kit and last minute chocolate bars. Then one day to Syange. The trek starts on the Day 3 in Nepal and is 16 days long, more if you extend the trek to go to Phugaon. Day 20 arrive back in Kathmandu. Next day you fly home.

If you have never been to Kathmandu you should spend a few days there as it’s a fascinating city. We can organise personal guided tours of specific locations such as Boudhanath, the holiest Buddhist site in Kathmandu.
As always, transport in Nepal is never guaranteed to happen on time so it’s a good idea to allow for a few extra days and also to have a flexible ticket.

Cost.

You pay a flat fee for guiding and portering. Then you pay for all your living expenses plus travel, etc. on top of that. We’ve estimated your living expenses at the upper end of the scale. Depending on your wishes you can either save money or  spend more by, lets say, drinking beer every night.

Based on two trekkers sharing a room with one guide and one porter the guiding only will cost £450 each. That includes the staff accommodation and food which they pay for.
On top of that, you have your costs as individuals, which is roughly £940 each, which includes your food and accommodation on trek, bus for you and your staff, 3 nights in an average hotel in Kathmandu, permits, taxis, etc. So it’s roughly £1390 each in total.

The way it works is: You pay the guide up front in full and pay the rest directly to the provider, eg lodge owner. The guide will organise the bill for lodges, etc. I find it best just to hand over a sum of money for the guide to pay the daily expenses and keep track of the running total. It makes life simpler that way.
This doesn’t includes staff tips. These are poor people, so please bear that in mind. I always give 12%.

This doesn’t include your international flight, extra days, etc.

More details from Steve Climpson via the contact form or phone 01256 895600.

trekker & porters
Machapuchare ' Fish Tail' mountain. Annapurna trek
Manang mules
Braga Gompa
Porter in Annapurna region
Many sheep come looking
Annapurna Sanctuary
Mani Wall
Mule train
Trekkers on suspension bridge
Annapurna dawn
Trekking the Annapurna Circuit

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