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  • Annapurna base camp expedition 2017

    Posted on January 5, 2017 by in blog

    Annapurna base camp expedition 2017

    Annapurna base camp expedition 2017

    Annapurna base camp expedition 2017

    I will be leading my first Annapurna base camp expedition in 2017. So this blog is going to be a bit of marketing (sorry!) As most of you probably know I have been sneaking off the Himalaya every other year for the last 20 years. My goal is to visit every region between Kabul and Kanchenjunga and to be honest I’m getting there, I only have Leh, Ladak, Dolpo, Panjshir and the Wakhun corridor left! So why am I going back to Annapurna you ask, well simply put it’s because I love it!

    Annapurna base camp expedition 2017Annapurna was where all my adventures started back in 1996. I spent a month just chilling by the lake in Pokhara and then another month wandering up and down the Kahli Gandaki river which separates Annapurna from Dhaulagiri. It was a very special time for me, I had almost nothing, but needed less than I could afford. Nepal was, as it still is, a super chilled paradise for the more hippy minded and when I got bored of loafing around I could stretch my legs in some of the most beautiful hills in the world.

    Annapurna base camp expedition 2017

    Annapurna base camp expedition 2017

    So for the first expedition I’m leading I thought I’d go back to Pokhara! The lake is fantastic, the views even better. As far as atmosphere goes this is what most tourists dream about when then think of Nepal, a small third world city nestling in a beautiful valley, beside a blue lake. Vast snow capped mountains tower over head turning pink in the sunset, I spent a month here just watching the sun move across the sky, doing yoga and waiting for a couple of pineapples to ripen in my garden. It’s a heavenly place.

    Annapurna base camp expedition 2017

    Annapurna base camp expedition 2017

    The Plan for this October is to visit Annapurna base camp. My Annapurna base camp expedition 2017 will start from Sofia, flying out on the 15th of October via Doha with Qatar air ( about 800 euros at the mo)  to Kathmandu. Normally most normal people spend their first couple of nights in Kathmandu in the mad house that is Thamel, the hippies go to freak street! Thamel is as close as I can get to hell, 4 long smokey, dusty, wriggly streets packed with traffic, hostels, bars and restaurants, tat shops, trekking shops and a thousand varieties of souvenirs. I prefer to stay in the lanes around Boudnath. This is the largest Buddhist temple in Kathmandu, a haven of peace. there are plenty of shops and restaurants and if anyone needs kit Thamel is close by but most importantly it is chilled. The chanting of monks dominates the distant traffic and the clouds of incense are more pronounced than the fumes of Thamel.

    Annapurna base camp expedition 2017

    Annapurna base camp expedition 2017

    It takes a day to sort all our documents for the national parks and trekking permits so we get two nights in Kathmandu to settle into Nepali mode. I’ll take the group around all the good bits, temples and shrines markets and gardens while Nabin sorts all the paper work for us. On the 18th we’ll go by bus to Pokhara, the road is good and Nabin’s busses are lovely. It’s a pretty road once you get out of the city, lunch along the way will be properly local and arrival in Pokhara a balm after the hustle and bustle of Kathmandu. Annapurna base camp expedition 2017

    On the 19th we’ll set off by bus from Pokhara to Phedi ( a short trip) where the trekking starts, its a tough first day with a 1000m of up and 370m of down but you’ll be rewarded with some great views. This is village Himalaya with lots of people still thriving in the forests, cutting fields out of the hillsides and generally doing what Nepalis do best, which is to live like kings in some pretty sketchy vertical country! It will be a long hard day but well worth the of 6 or 7 hours of gentle trekking. Tolka is up at 1790m which is still hill country in Nepal.

    Annapurna base camp expedition 2017

    Annapurna base camp expedition 2017

    Annapurna base camp expedition 2017From Tolka it is another longish day with only 500m of true climbing but because we’ll drop all the way down to the river it is 870m of climbing. Trying to understand the way Nepalis judge mountains can be confusing. Most westerners account for all the Ups and Downs in a day. e.g. Three climbs of 300m each with two descents of 300m each to a Brit means they have done 900m of up and 600m of down. To a Nepali this is just strange they see the same day as just 300m of up. The ups and downs cancel each other out so it is only the Net up that matters. This can lead to some pretty grumpy foreigners and some very confused guides!   Anyway From Tolka(1790m)  to Chhomrong(2210m) is another 6 or 7 hour day. In total we’ll only be doing 3 big days like this. On all the big days we’ll stop for lunch on the trail and have a proper rest.

    Annapurna base camp expedition 2017Chhomrong is the end of civilisation, from here on it will be herders villages and trekking lodges, the winters can be hard in Nepal and most people head south to lower villages once the summer grass has been munched back.  Chhomrong to Bamboo lodge is a more typical trekking day. We’ll set off after an early breakfast, trek for 3 or 4 hours and then have a late lunch in the same place that we will stay for the night.  With 600m of up and 500m of down it’s a fairly easy day through forests of bamboo, oak and rhododendron. There is a good chance we’ll see orchids in the Rhodi’s .

    Annapurna base camp expedition 2017

    Annapurna base camp expedition 2017

    From Bamboo to Himalayan Hotel is another  easy day, just 500m of up, maybe 3 hours. It’s a steep climb through dense bamboo forest and a little hairy if there has been fresh snow (unlikely)! We’ll spend the day traversing avalanche chutes and the remains of old landslides, it is a salutary reminder of how fragile the Himalaya are and how gnarly they can be when angry.

    Annapurna base camp expedition 2017From the Himalayan hotel we’ll be setting off into proper high country and by the end of the day ( 860m of up 4 hours) we will have got to Machhapuchhare base camp. the mountain views here are awesome, you are right in the circus of Annapurna, surrounded by 7000m peaks.  We’ll over night here and the next day do the little yomp up to Annapurna base camp. It is only 450m of ascent so we should be able to get up there in a couple of hours. The views of the south face of Annapurna are amazing from here !

    We retrace our steps from here and should be back in Pokhara within 4 days and Kathmandu in 5days . All in it is a pretty short trip but one of the easiest ways to get properly up close and personal with the High Himalaya, god willing the crowds that flock to Everest and around Annapurna will not be cluttering up the trail and we will get a taste of old school Nepali trekking!

    If you are interested in joining me here is some of the more boring logistical data:-

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    Duration              15 Days

    Grade                    Moderate to fairly challenging

    Max. Altitude    4130m

    Permits                ACAP & TIMS Card

    Trek Type            Teahouse

    Cost Group Size:-

    6 people $ 1595 each

    8 people $ 1525 each

    10 people $ 1395 each


    Day 01           Arrive Kathmandu; transfer to hotel

    Day 02           Leisure day/preparation

    Day 03           Bus Pokhara; transfer to hotel

    Day 04           Drive Phedi; trek Tolka 1790m

    Day 05           Tolka to Chhomrong 2210m

    Day 06           Chhomrong to Bamboo 2310m

    Day 07           Bamboo to Himalayan Hotel 2840m

    Day 08           Himalayan Hotel to Machhapuchhare Base Camp 3700m

    Day 09           Machhapuchhare Base Camp to Annapurna Base Camp 4130m

    Day 10           Annapurna Base Camp to Himalayan Hotel

    Day 11           Himalayan Hotel to Chhomrong

    Day 12           Chhomrong to Ghandruk

    Day 13           Ghandruk to Birenthanti; drive Pokhara

    Day 14           Bus Kathmandu

    Day 15           Depart Kathmandu

    Included in the Cost

    • Arrival & departure transfer from and to Tribhuvan International Airport, Nepal
    • Accommodation (as per itinerary)

                                    In Kathmandu (3* hotel); twin sharing on B & B basis

                                    In Pokhara (3* Hotel/Resort); twin sharing on B & B basis

                                    In tea houses during trek (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner)

    • Kathmandu-Pokhara-Kathmandu Bus fare
    • Surface transfers as per the itinerary
    • English speaking local guide/porter
    • Permit & fees
    • Staff insurance
    • Medical Kit Bag
    • All applicable taxes and service charges
    • Farewell dinner at an authentic Nepali restaurant

    Excluded in the Cost

    • International flights and Nepal Visa Fee
    • Lunch & Dinner in Kathmandu & Pokhara
    • Travel Insurance including emergency rescue evacuation
    • Personal medicines, medical tests and hospitalization expenses
    • Personal trekking gears
    • Additional trekking gears (available on hire)
    • Hot showers, Wi-Fi, battery charging while on a trek
    • Any extra expenses arising out of various/unforeseen situations like natural calamities, landslides, political disturbances, strikes, road blocks, changes in Government regulations etc.




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