Day 066 – Into thin air – Annapurna Circuit trek
2008/11/08 § 1 Comment
Day 1 – Jagat
Bus to Bhulbule
from 820 m to 1130 m height; 15 km, 5 h walk, start: Bhulbule
Day 2 – Tal
1700 m height; 12 km, 6 h walk
Day 3 – Timang
2400 m; 10 km, 7 h
Day 4 – Chame
2670 m; 9 km, 3 h
Day 5 – Upper Pisang
3200 m; 14.5 km, 4.5 h
Day 6 – Manang
3540 m; 20 km, 8 h
Day 7 – Manang
Acclimatization to height, to avoid AMS (Acute mountain sickness)
Day-hike to 4500 m height
Day 8 – Yak Kharka
4030 m; 9 km, 3 h
Day 9 – Thorung Phedi
4530 m; 5 km, 3 h
Day 10 – Muktinath
3800 m; 16 km, 7 h
Max height at Thorung-La Pass: 5416 m (+1.88 m)
Ascent 900 m, descent 1600 m in same day
Day 11- Lete
2535 m, 42 km, 9.5 h
Day 12 – Tatopani
1200 m, 21 km, 4.5 h
Bus back to Pokhara
This was one of the most amazing, at times most exhausting, most rewarding and most beautiful things I have ever done to myself in my life. Putting it in words is hard and would probably not do it justice, since it would require a greater poet than I am to paint the wonderful sceneries and the emotions into words.
The facts are easier: I have been standing higher than any mountain in Europe. I have walked about 200 km in 12 days, and up to 42 km (Marathon anyone?) in one single day, with changes in altitude as high as 2500 meters in one day all while carrying up to 20 kg on my back. I have been breathing the incredibly thin air of the high Himalayas, which sometimes makes you feeling like suffocating, despite breathing as heavily as if you were running, though you are actually standing still. I have seen some of the worlds most outstanding landscapes, mountains, waterfalls, Yaks and people.
Some tips for you who is going to do the Annapurna circuit trek:
- Guide is not needed. The trek is well trodden and many other travelers/locals will point you in the right direction. A map for some rupees will help and can be bought in Pokhara
- Porter is not necessary. Besides, many people feel restricted by a porter. Some have also reported trouble with guides/porters, like disagreements over activities (or timing etc), communication problems and porters who suddenly want you to pay their food, even though that was not part of the deal.
- You need not take any food or drinks with you. There are so called tea houses all along the way.
- Your clothing is subject to personal preference, however, there are two possibilities: wash daily and restrict yourself to 2 or 3 sets of underwear/socks or take 6 sets and wash once (or have it washed for about 30-40 rupees per piece) when you have to take a acclimatization day in Manang. The other items are: long sleeved cloth for high altitude suitable for down to -5 degrees (around September to December). Best you take 3 to 4 layers of cloth since you can adjust all along the trek to varying temperatures. One layer at least should be wind-/rain-proof jacket and pants.
- If you plan on cutting the trek short, there are jeeps running from Jomsom down to Tatopani. However, right now there is a section in between that you will have to walk (roughly 6 hours walk). Plan 2 days for a transport back to Pokhara by Jeep. Else, take the plane from Jomsom. In that case 2 days ahead booking is recommended. Price for Jeep is around 1000 Rupees for Jomsom to Tatopani and another 500-700 for the bus to Pokhara. Planes cost above 80 Dollars.
- Boots can be hired in Pokhara which I did, but good ones are hard to find. Buying boots in sizes above 43 is hard to impossible (hence I rented them). The quality of the boots is poor (copies) but they are inexpensive (do not pay more than 30 Euros for a “better of the bad ones” pair). Other equipment (jackets, rucksacks and sweaters) can be good quality and is cheap.However, sleeping bags can be of poor quality. You have to check carefully.
Ask me if you want to get more info on the trek.