PDF Getting High: The Annapurna Circuit in Nepal

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The trade-off is that snowstorms can strike at any time, temperatures can get quite cold, and there is a higher chance of avalanches closing the trail. Only the most experienced backpackers should hike in the Himalaya at this time of the year, as conditions can actually turn life-threatening. Hiking the classic Annapurna route through the Himalaya generally requires about 18 days to complete the walk end-to-end. Some trekkers are able to travel a bit faster, shaving a few days off of that time, while others will move at a slower pace or make side trips, extending the journey a bit longer.

The majority of guided treks will stick closely to the 18 day schedule however, which doesn't include travel time to and from Nepal. The Annapurna Circuit is a well marked and maintained trekking route that is easy to follow. It passes through numerous small villages along its length, giving hikers plenty of options to grab a bite to eat, relax with a drink, or find accommodations for the night.

Tea houses are plentiful and small restaurants and shops are not uncommon either. The trail itself features plenty of altitude gain and loss along the way, with starting at feet in Besisahar and reaching its highest point at Thorung Pass, which tops out at nearly 17, feet.

It is a slow, but steady climb up to that point, with some steep, but manageable ascents at various points throughout the hike. Go slowly and allow yourself to acclimate to the altitude, particularly in the early days of the trek. There are also quite a few river crossings along the route, most of which are accomplished with the help of a suspension bridge. This adds to the sense of adventure, as some of those bridges are built high above the water, making for some very scenic views and photos.

5 Reasons to Hike the Annapurna Circuit Trek (17-Day Itinerary)

But those who aren't particularly fond of heights will want to keep their eyes focused ahead while moving at a steady pace. While completely safe and well maintained, the bridges can be a bit unnerving on the first crossing or two. One of the reasons why the Annapurna Circuit is much-loved by trekkers is that it seems to only get better with each passing day.

The beautiful and dramatic scenery can be incredibly breathtaking, and just when you think it can't get any better, the views are completely surpassed by even better ones the following day. If you're looking for a hike that will provide plenty of sights to see, it's difficult to surpass this one.

Read this before hiking the Annapurna Circuit: 21 essential things to know

As mentioned, the traditional Annapurna Circuit begins in Besisahar and ends in Birethanti. In between, the trail wanders through Khudi, Jagat, Manang, Marpha, Tatopani, and numerous other villages and towns, providing a real sense of what it is like to live in the Himalaya. This is part of its appeal as well, giving trekkers a chance to immerse themselves in the mountain culture that has existed there for centuries.

There have been some travelers who have lamented the fact that a busy road now runs through much of the Annapurna region, with cynics saying that it has ruined the trekking route forever. While it is true that a road now exists there, much of the path still stays well away from it and some portions have been rerouted to avoid the traffic as well. At the end of the day, this is still one of the best hikes in the world and most adventure travelers don't come away disappointed.

Whether or not you hire a guide for your Annapurna Circuit excursion comes down to personal preference. If you are an experienced backpacker who enjoys going it alone, and are looking to save a bit of money, then a guide isn't really necessary. The trail is easy to follow, it's hard to get lost, and there are plenty of places to resupply along the way. For those that know what they are doing, it is a fairly straight forward trek.

On the other hand, if you're looking to get the full experience, a guide can come in very handy.

Best time for trekking Annapurna circuit

Not only will he or she ensure that you stay safe on the trail, they'll also be able to answer questions for you along the way. They can also help translate conversations with locals offer insights into the best places to stay or eat, and help you to avoid stick situations. From time to time trekkers can encounter less scrupulous individuals along the trail and a good guide can help smooth over those situations.

Unfortunately, this period is also when avalanches are most common. Because of the warming weather, April to May is the second most popular trekking season on the Annapurna Circuit. There is often a strange haze that can be seen from the lower altitudes during May. However, this soon passes and cannot be seen from higher up the trail. As the monsoon period builds towards the end of May, the days become hotter and more humid which makes trekking at lower altitude quite uncomfortable.


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This is the monsoon period. Although there are stories of torrential downpours, mudslides and hordes of leeches, this is rarely the case on the Annapurna Circuit, particular the northern section. The upside of trekking in the monsoon period is that many of the flora species flower during this period, making the trek exceptionally beautiful. This is also the time when the Tilicho Lake side trek is relatively easier. The Annapurna area was opened to foreign trekkers in after the disputes between CIA backed Khampa guerrillas operating from the area into Tibet, and the local populace and Nepal army were settled.

The original trek started from the market town of Dhumre situated at the Kathmandu - Pokhara highway and ended in Pokhara, and took about 23 days to complete. Road construction started in early s both from Dhumre to the north and from Pokhara to the west and then up the Kali Gandaki valley. The road has now reached Chamje on the Marsyangdi river valley and Muktinath on the Kali Gandaki side. Of the trek's original 23 days, only 5 walking days of the trek are now without a motor road.

In places new trails and routes have been marked so that the road can be partly avoided. The existence of the road has nevertheless changed the area, appearance, and atmosphere of the villages. The road facilitates transport, increasing the popularity of mountain biking in the area. Since , companies in Muktinath and Jomsom rent out mountain bikes to tourists.

Currently, trekking these areas is restricted and subject to extra permits, costs, and other limitations. In October , a sudden blizzard killed over 43 people, half of whom were Nepalese. Multiple locations of the trek circuit now have an Internet connection.

This multi-district circuit's trekkers can use wireless internet across different districts like in Kaski, Myagdi, Lamjung and Mustang. Cellular 3G is also available at some locations. Annapurna Circuit Trek Map. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. That includes taking Diamox if you wish , staying hydrated, fueling up and getting adequate rest. If you feel symptoms, let your guide know and take action. Check out our range of small group adventures there now. The Common Wanderer are made up of Mark and Mim. You can read their adventures at thecommonwanderer. Home Features What you need to know before hiking the Annapurna.

Features Guides. The scenery is incredible You know that feeling you get when you lock eyes with someone across the dancefloor for the first time? What you need to know before hiking the Annapurna was last modified: June 25th, by The Common Wanderer. One Week in Nepal.

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5 Reasons to Hike the Annapurna Circuit Trek (Day Itinerary) - Backpacker

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