The Annapurna base camp trek is one of the most popular treks in the world. It literally brings you face to face with an eight thousander – for a moderate-difficult trek, this is incredible! The fascinating Annapurna massif includes the world’s tenth highest peak. Annapurna I (8,091 m) holds an almost fatal attraction for mountaineers. It has the highest fatality ratio among the eight thousanders. This formidable aura apart, the ABC trek holds several treasures for the mountain lover. The Annapurna range whets your appetite for mountain views right from Pokhara. This is even before you start the trek. At Ghandruk, you get distinct views of Machapuchare, Annapurna South and Hiunchuli. Views of different peaks of the Annapurna massif and Machapuchare stay with you all the way till Sinuwa. The tip of Machapuchare teases you at Dovan. As you burst out of the forest past Himalaya and Deurali, Machapuchare appears before you in its full glory.
Pokhara is the gateway to the Annapurna region. You drive from Pokhara to lower Ghandruk and trek for about an hour to reach Lower Ghandruk. Ghandruk is the biggest village you will find on the trek. You will see old stone and slate roofed houses lining the slope. You will also find a lot of tea houses spread through the entire village. This is your first introduction to the tea house culture of trekking. You will experience this throughout the trek. Reach Pokhara on your own. We will pick you up from near the lake at 7.00 am. The exact location will be communicated to you prior to the trek.
Komrong is located on top of a ridge. From Komrong, you can see Chomrung on the other side of the mountain, separated by Kimrong Khola. Descend from Komrong towards Kimrong. In half an hour you will cross a small stream. The trail ascends from here to reach Kimrong Khola in half an hour. Once you cross Kimrong Khola, keep to your right. You will be following Kimrong Khola along the mountainside. The muddy trail ascends gradually. You will see Komrong on the other side now. Snow capped mountains such as Machapuchare, Annapurna South, Hiunchuli and the tip of Gangapurna gradually begin to appear. After about an hour, you will reach the first few lodges of Chomrung, at the edge of the mountain. The trail splits here – take the ascending stone steps to reach Chomrung at the top. From the top you can again see Annapurna South, much closer now. Also visible is the entire Chomrung village, which lies on the other side of the mountain. On the opposite side you will see Sinuwa village, which you will trek through on Day 3. Chomrung is known as the gateway to the Annapurna Sanctuary. From here, you get a grandstand view of the peaks that were visible on the trail. Do not miss the sunset view on Annapurna South from here Chomrung, like Ghandruk, is lined with tea houses. There are also several shops that sell essentials like batteries, memory cards and toilet paper. Rest here for the day. There is a checkpost here where you need to register yourself again. Visit the office and show your TIMS card.
The trek today begins with a descent on the stone steps towards Chomrung village. Along Chomrung, for about 500 metres, you will find tea houses on either side. In 20 minutes you will reach Chomrung Khola. The last guest house before the bridge on Chomrung Khola is place-marked as Sinuwa – ignore this since Sinuwa is at least an hour away.The trail climbs steeply on stone steps after the bridge. 15 minutes of climbing brings you to the hamlet of Tilche, which has a few houses. Another 10 minutes of trek from Tilche brings you to Lower Sinuwa. From here, the trail again climbs steeply on stone steps to reach Upper Sinuwa. This takes around 20 minutes – you can see the place as you start climbing. You will get good views of Machapuchare and Annapurna III from the viewpoint. Both Lower and Upper Sinuwa have a few lodges. The trail to Sinuwa is lined with fields and thin forests. Beyond Upper Sinuwa (7,675 ft), you will be entering the Annapurna Sanctuary area. This is marked by dense forests and clustered tea houses. Cutting trees for firewood is prohibited. The tea houses are all powered by hydroelectric power plants. You can spot some of the small scale power plants along the trail.The mud trail from Sinuwa to Bamboo climbs up gradually for the first 30 minutes, till you reach a clearing. You will see an abandoned ACAP checkpost here (8,100 ft). From here, it’s a steep descent to Bamboo on stone steps for about 30 minutes. All this while you are walking through dense forest. The Modi Khola flows alongside but you can only hear it. As you approach Bamboo you feel yourself getting closer to the source of the sound of this running river. Have lunch at one of the lodges in Bamboo. The ascent to Dovan begins immediately where the lodges of Bamboo end. Cross the wooden bridge that you will reach in 10 minutes. Climb further up for about 40 minutes till you get another wooden bridge. Dovan is 10 minutes from here, up the same trail. This stretch is one of the most beautiful walks of the trek. The forest is dense and the climb is not too strenuous. You can stay in any of the 5 lodges in Dovan – they’re all in a single lane. Only the tip of Machapuchare is visible from Dovan.
The trail winds slowly up from Dovan towards Himalaya. In about 10 minutes, you’ll reach a fork in the trail – take the one to the left. Cross the wooden bridge that you get in about 15 minutes and continue ascending. The path is a mix of short stretches of steep and gradual ascents. Walk past the shrine that you get on your left till you reach another fork in the trail (about an hour from Dovan). Both routes lead to Himalaya but the mud route to the right is shorter and steeper and joins the other one 5-10 minutes later. Another 10 minutes of climbing brings you to a point where the trail opens up to the Modi Khola. Machapuchare becomes visible again here. You will also see Himalaya from here. Fifteen minutes on an undulating trail brings you to Himalaya. There are a few lodges in Himalaya in case you wish to take a break. The trail that goes to the right from the first fork that you hit earlier today goes to a small hut. This is one of the small hydroelectric power plants which supplies electricity to surrounding villages. You are likely to find signs of past landslides and avalanches on the trail today. Climb up steadily from Himalaya for about an hour to reach an overhanging rock called Hinku cave. The entrance to the cave is blocked. From here, the trail slowly descends for 10-15 minutes till you reach two big snow patches. Cross the snow patches and one stream. Climb up for for about 20 minutes to reach Deurali. Have lunch at Deurali. After Himalaya, the terrain starts to shift from dense forest to alpine boulder. The only vegetation you find are Bamboo, Ferns and grass. You will be climbing up and down small boulders on a large part of the trail. It’ll take you 10 minutes of climbing through boulders to cross the last lodge at Deurali. From here, the trail opens up to the valley with Modi Khola thundering past next to you. You will see Machapuchare and Gangapurna in the distance. Keep walking ahead till you reach descending stone steps leading to Bagar in about 40 minutes. Continue past the abandoned lodges here and climb steadily up from for about 1 hour. You will reach a bridge and cross Modi Khola. MBC is 20-30 minutes from here, up steep steps. Soak in the magnificent views of Machapuchare (22,955 ft) in front and Annapurna to your left. The terrain on this stretch is marked with small snow bridges that need to be crossed. You are also entering grasslands, marked with few Daphne trees. Small flowering plants adorn the trail with their colours. The mountains on either side are rocky. Small waterfalls flow from either side into Modi Khola. This is also marked as an avalanche prone area. You will be ascending close to 4,000 ft. Watch out for signs of AMS. Make sure you don’t rush through the trail – walk slowly to help your body acclimatise.
Start early from Machapuchare Base Camp. The peaks glowing with the golden and orange tints of sunrise are a must watch. ABC is about 90 degrees to the left of the direction you came in to Machapuchare Base Camp. The initial 1 km is a steep ascent. Then the trail ascends gradually. As you walk, you will see sunrise hit Annapurna I and slowly extend towards Annapurna South. The last stretch to ABC is a walk on moraines. If you are lucky, you can spot some Marmut on the way to ABC. You gare surrounded by mountains at ABC. Annapurna I, Annapurna III, Annapurna South, Gangapurna, Gandharvachuli and Machapuchare are right there in front of you. Pick a spot at the edge of the Annapurna glacier and soak in the views.
This is perhaps the longest day of the trek. You will be tracing back the same route you took to reach ABC all the way to Bamboo – crossing MBC, Deurali, Himalaya and Dovan. Today’s trek includes long stretches of steep descent interspersed with short ascents. Himalaya is good place to stop for lunch.
Take the trail to Sinuwa and begin climbing up steep steps till you reach the abandoned check post. This should take you around 45 minutes. Descend from here till Sinuwa fo about 45 minutes. From Sinuwa, it’s a hard descent to Chomrung Khola for about an hour followed by a steep ascent to Chomrung for about 45 minutes. Checkout from the ACAP office at Chomrung before you leave. Take the ascending trail from Chomrung up to the fork with the signpost for Juini. This should take you about 5 minutes. Descend on the steep steps to reach Jhinu in 1.5-2 hours. The view of the sub tropical forests from Jhinu is one of the best. Jhinu faces Modi Khola and is famous for hot springs. Enjoy a nice bath here.
Take the steeply descending trail from Jhinu to reach the bridge at Kimrong Khola in about 30 minutes. After crossing the bridge, take the trail to the left. The ascending trail to the right goes to Somrong. Keep walking along the houses on the trail straight ahead. You will reach New Bridge in about an hour. This stretch of the trail is a mix of gradual and steep ascents. Many different kinds of butterflies thrive in this region, below 5,000 ft. So, you will have a colourful display of these as you reach lower from Jhinu. Continue on the trail from New bridge. Within 5 minutes you see a fork to Landruk on the left and to Kyumi on the right. Take the trail to Kyumi. After about 20 minutes on this undulating trail, you will reach a small village, Uppu Dandu. Take the descending stone steps from here to reach Kalchane in another 20 minutes. You will find a couple of tea houses here. The trail from Kalchane forks again in about 10 minutes. Take the route to Kyumi – to the left and descending. Keep to the right on this trail. You will reach Kyumi in about 20 minutes. Kyumi is a small, quaint village with 5 tea houses. Have lunch here. From Kyumi, take the ascending trail towards Ghandruk. You will hit a fork within 5 minutes – take the trail to Birethanti and reach the roadhead in about 45 minutes. This is Syauli Bazaar. This is where the trek ends. If you’re traveling on your own, regular buses and jeeps to Pokhara can be boarded here.
Do not hesitage to give us a call. We are happy to talk to you.
0120 456 3407