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Picture of Nicolas at Thorung La Pass

The Annapurna Tour

··1144 words·6 mins
Nicolas Lorin
Nicolas Lorin
Table of Contents

I’ve just returned from the famous Annapurna tour trek.

We did the tour without porters or guides, all without a hitch.

You’ll find below the schedule we followed (inspired by Terre d’aventure’s), and I’ll be adding a cost estimate shortly.

Day 1 (30/03): Flight for Dubaï

Day 2 (31/03): Arrival at Katmandou (1350m)

  1. Obtain trekking permit (TIMS + ACAP Annapurna Conservation Area Project) from the Nepal Tourism Board (Pradarshani Marg, Kathmandu 44617, 10am to 5pm).
  2. Withdraw cash for the rest of the trip (550€/70k NPR)
  3. Visit Thamel district

Day 3 (01/04): Katmandou - Jagat (1300m)

Domestic flights to Pokhara. Then 4x4 to Besi Sahar (790m) then Jagat (1314m).

Day 4 (02/04): Jagat - Dharapani (1964m)

In half an hour’s walk we reach the banks of the Marsyangdi. The path weaves its way through boulders, then gradually rises with a few steep sections. The valley becomes very steep, with forest gradually replacing the terraced fields. Stopover at Dharapani.

  • HOURS OF WALKING: between 6h30 and 7h
  • VERTICAL DROP + : 1050 m
  • VERTICAL DROP - : 450 m

Day 5 (03/04): Dharapani - Chame (2697m)

After a 45-minute walk, we reach the village of Bagarchap (“river bank”), where the course of the Marsyangdi curves east-west. Bagarchap marks the boundary between the wet valleys to the south, which we have just crossed, and the dry areas of the Upper Marsyangdi, less affected by the monsoon rains. The change in vegetation is obvious: after the subtropical forest, we discover beautiful stretches of blue pine, spruce and oak. Overnight in the village of Chame, capital of the Manang district.

  • HOURS OF WALKING: between 6h and 6h30
  • VERTICAL DROP + : 980 m
  • VERTICAL DROP - : 250 m

Day 6 (04/04): Chame - Upper Pisang (3208m)

The architecture becomes Tibetan with flat roofs: we have bypassed the Annapurnas and are now in Manangi country. Stopover at the beautiful village of Pisang.

  • HOURS OF WALKING: between 5h and 5h30
  • VERTICAL DROP + : 630 m
  • VERTICAL DROP - : 120 m

Day 7 (05/04): Pisang - Manang (3540m)

Discovery of the Manangi country, with its Tibetan culture, facing the magnificent barrier of Annapurna II (7937m), III (7555 m), IV (7525m), and Gangapurna (7455m). Overnight at Manang (3540m). Walk by the “upper” route via Ghyaru (3673m) and Ngawal (3650m).

  • HOURS OF WALKING: between 6h and 6h30
  • VERTICAL DROP + : 940 m
  • VERTICAL DROP - : 605 m

Day 8 (06/04): Manang

Rest day to perfect our acclimatization. Participation in the presentation on the dangers of altitude. Movie.

Day 9 (07/04): Manang

Rest day to perfect our acclimatization. Visit to Bhraga monastery.

Day 10 (08/04): Manang - Ledar (4030m)

Ascent to the beautiful hamlet of Yak Kharka then Ledar (4030m). This Himalayan alpine region is the kingdom of the yak, a bovid of Tibetan origin, bred for its meat, milk and carrying capacity. It is also the domain of the “thar”, a wild goat that lives in herds, of which there are many in the region.

  • HOURS OF WALKING: between 4h and 4h30
  • VERTICAL DROP + : 625 m
  • VERTICAL DROP - : 135 m

Day 11 (09/04): Ledar - Thorong Phedi (4542m) - High Camp (4850m)

Walk to the foot of the Thorong pass, named Thorong Phedi (phedi means “the bottom”), through superb high-altitude scenery.

  • HOURS OF WALKING: between 4h30 and 5h
  • VERTICAL DROP + : 849 m
  • VERTICAL DROP - : 140 m

Day 12 (10/04): High Camp - Thorong Pass (5416m) - Muktinath (3800m)

We set off early in the morning for a long ascent over paths and moraines to reach the transition point between the Marsyangdi and Kali Gandaki valleys, the famous Thorong Pass, framed to the south by Khatung kang (6484m) and to the north by Thorungse (6481m). The wind often blows hard from 9am onwards, so we quickly descend to the magnificent complex of Hindu and Buddhist shrines, a major pilgrimage site.

  • HOURS OF WALKING: between 6h30 and 7h
  • VERTICAL DROP + : 621 m
  • VERTICAL DROP - : 1610 m

Day 13 (11/04): Muktinath - Lupra (2790m) - Jomson (2720m)

Overlooked by Nilgiri and Dhaulagiri, we climb steadily to a pass at 4000m, then descend to the village of Lupra, Mustang’s only traditional Bön (pre-Buddhist) village, hidden in the Panda Khola gorge off the main, well-trodden Annapurna trail. After lunch and a visit to the monastery, long descent to the starting point of our trek: Jomsom (2720m).

  • HOURS OF WALKING: between 4h and 4h30
  • VERTICAL DROP + : 255 m
  • VERTICAL DROP - : 948 m

Day 14 (12/04): Jomson - Marpha (2690m)

Walk along the river to the small village of Marpha. Visit the monastery.

  • VERTICAL DROP + : 45 m
  • VERTICAL DROP - : 102 m

Day 15 (13/04): Marpha - Kalopani (2540m) - Tatopani (1190m)

From Marpha, we take the track by bus through Thakali country and its beautiful villages, including Tukuche, whose houses bear witness to the wealth of this trans-Himalayan trading center. View of the Dhaulagiri icefall. Passage to Kalopani. We continue down the Kali Gandaki to Ghasa, the last remaining Thakali Buddhist village. The valley narrows into gorges, and thick forests cover its flanks. Overnight at Tatopani (1200m), meaning “hot water” in Nepali.

Day 16 (14/04): Tatopani - Chitre (2316m)

After crossing the Kali Gandaki and then the Ghar Khola, we climb a fairly steep ridgeline for an hour. About 30 minutes later, we reach the village of Ghara (1768m), then an hour later the village of Sikha (1920m), where we have lunch. We continue climbing for two hours, through terraced fields, to Chitre (2316m).

  • VERTICAL DROP + : 1211 m

Day 17 (15/04): Chitre - Ghorepani (2875m) - Poon Hill (3200m) - Tikhedhunga (1480m) - Sudame (1330m) - Pokhara (880m)

Ascent to Ghorepani (2875m) through a rhododendron forest. Ascent to Poon Hill (3200m). On a clear day, this viewpoint offers a magnificent panorama: a multitude of peaks, including Dhaulagiri (8167m) and the entire Annapurna range. Back to Ghorepani for breakfast, then a long and sometimes steep descent to Tikhedhunga (1480m). We continue downhill to the Bhurung Khola river, which we follow through a series of villages. We stop at Sudame and take a 4x4 to Pokhara.

  • VERTICAL DROP + : 907 m
  • VERTICAL DROP - : 2044 m

Day 18 (16/04): Pokhara

Visit Pokhara, walk along the lake.

Day 19 (17/04): Pokhara - Katmandou (1350m)

We head for Pokhara airport before catching a flight to Kathmandu.

Day 20 (18/04): Katmandou

Visit the Monkey Temple (Swayambunath) and Darbar Square.

Day 21 (19/04): Flight for Dubaï

Visit to the Pashupatinath temple where mortuary rites are performed. Departure by plane.

Day 22 (20/04): Arrival at Paris


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