425.749.7421

Annapurna Sanctuary • Guided Trek

Poon Hill, Chhomrong Village, Annapurna Base Camp

Details

Length:

14 days in Nepal

Trekking Season:

Spring & Fall

Trekking Grade:

Cost

$2800 - $3800

Climbing Grade: Advanced

This climb requires a high level of climbing proficiency on steep, exposed and technical terrain above 8000 meters. Class 5.6 rock climbing is required. Excellent physical conditioning is requisite for this expedition. Climbers must provide climbing resume including high altitude experience.

Climbing Grade: Advanced Intermediate

This climb requires a high level of climbing proficiency on steep, exposed and technical terrain at high altitude. Class 4 ice or 5.8 rock climbing is required. Excellent physical conditioning is requisite for this expedition. Climbers must provide climbing resume including high altitude experience.

Climbing Grade: Intermediate

This climb requires snow and ice climbing skills with proficiency on steep and icy terrain. Strong backpacking and excellent physical conditioning is requisite for this expedition. Prior climbing experience is required. High altitude experience is beneficial.

Climbing Grade: Advanced Beginner

Prior climbing experience is beneficial. Basic snow and ice climbing skills are introduced during the program. Above average physical conditioning is requisite for this climb. No high altitude experience is required.

Climbing Grade: Beginner

No prior climbing experience is required. Strong hiking skills and good physical conditioning are requisite.

Trekking Grade: Easy

No experience required.

Trekking Grade: Moderate

This trek requires 4-6 hours of hiking per day with a small pack. Elevation gains of 1000-2000 feet per day. Strong hiking skills and good physical conditioning are requisite.

Trekking Grade: Strenuous

This trek requires 6-8 hours of hiking per day with a small pack. Elevation gains of 2000-3000 feet per day. Strong hiking skills and great physical conditioning are requisite.

If you have further questions about our climbing or trekking grades; or about your qualifications for a particular expedition, trek, climb or course, please contact us.

Trek Overview

This trek is an extraordinary journey that lead’s you into the very heart of the Annapurna Range. The Sanctuary is a vast mountain ringed amphitheater situated below the massive south face of Annapurna I. At 8091m, the peak is the 10th highest mountain in the world and was the first 8000m peak to be climbed by Herzog’s French party in 1950. Nepal a country known for its friendly faces, amazing Himalayan landscapes and fascinating cultural discoveries is sure to make for wonderful memories long beyond the journey. This classic trek allows you to experience some the most fascinating places within the Annapurna Region making it a great experience for new or advanced trekkers.

Annapurna Sanctuary and Base Camp • 14 day trek

Our trek takes us to Poon Hill (10,500ft) considered one of the finest viewpoints in all Nepal. At sunrise we gaze at the remarkable South Face of 8000 meter giant Dhaulagiri and the famous Kali Gandaki river valley recognized as the deepest gorge in the world. We explore farming villages steeped in traditional Nepalese culture and meet the Gurung people known for their outstanding bravery in the revered Gurkha Army. Our route continues to Chhomorong village and leads up through the breathtaking Modi Khola gorge. As we trek through bamboo and rhododendron forests we have superb views of the Annapurna range. We eventually pass between the sacred mountain of Machhapuchhare also known as “Fish Tail“ and Himalchuli which guard the entrance to the Sanctuary and Annapurna Base Camp. Once in the Sanctuary we explore this amazing and wild landscape enjoying the beauty and sheer scale of the Himalaya. We will also have the opportunity to discover the historic Nepalese city’s of Kathmandu, known for its ancient temples as well as serene Pokhara with the spectacular lake Phewa Tal.

Tent Peak “Tharpu Chuli” • 5 day extension

Situated just south of Annapurna Base Camp, Tharpu Chuli (5663m/18,575 ft) or Tent Peak’s summit offers magnificent panoramic views of the snow-capped mountains of the Annapurna region. Mountain Gurus offers a five day expedition extension during our Sanctuary trek. Tent Peak presents a challenging yet truly spectacular expedition experience.

Chitwan Jungle Safari • 3 day extension

Enjoy two nights at Tiger Tops Jungle Lodge and Tent Camp situated deep in the heart of the Chitwan National Park. Explore the jungles of Nepal’s Terai on elephant back and try your luck at spotting a rare tiger or rhinoceros.

Itinerary

Flight Schedule: USA – Bangkok (BKK) – Kathmandu (KTM)
Trek begins and ends in Kathmandu, Nepal

Day 1 • Arrive Kathmandu
Transfer airport to hotel. Our trek begins in the historic city of Kathmandu, known for its fascinating Nepalese culture and ancient temples. The hotel is located in the popular Thamel district jammed with restaurants and shops selling Nepali handicrafts.

Day 2 • Kathmandu
After breakfast we start our day with a walking tour of Kathmandu’s world heritage sites. Among them we visit Durbar Square a complex of palaces, courtyards, Hindu temples and home of the Living Goddess, Kumari Ghar. Next and always a favorite we visit the Monkey Temple known as Swayambunath, situated on a small hill that offers panoramic views of the city and very curious monkeys. During the afternoon we have a trek orientation and equipment check.

Day 3 • Pokhara • Nayapool • Ulleri
We transfer to Kathmandu’s domestic airport for our morning flight to Pokhara. The views from the twin-engine Otter are nothing less than remarkable, providing amazing scenes of the terraced Nepalese hillside and the remarkable Annapurna and Dhalagiri Ranges. Once in Pokhara we drive to the village of Nayapool and trek steep stairs to the village of Ulleri.

Day 4 • Ghorepani
The trek continues through Rhododendron forest, passing numerous villages along the way to Ghorepani meaning “Horse Water“.

Day 5 • Poon Hill • 10,500ft • Tadapani
Today we rise early to climb Poon Hill, this outlook is considered one of the best viewpoints in all of Nepal. We’ll watch the magnificent sunrise over the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri Himal. After brunch we cross Deorali Pass and trek through tropical forest to Tadapani meaning “Far Water“.

Day 6 • Chhomorong • 7,200ft
Today we descend through a jungle-like forest (notorious for leeches in the summer) where the tree branches are draped with hanging mosses and the air is filled with the scent of flowering trees. Eventually we emerge past a woodcutter’s saw-station and onto terraced fields on the side of a deep valley. From here we follow the valley down past cowsheds and small houses, stopping to watch local farmers working on the terraces. At the river we cross a sturdy bridge, before climbing up to the other side of the valley. Here we round the shoulder of the hill and join the much larger Modi Khola Valley. It’s only a short distance along the valley before we get to Chhomrong. The village of Chhomrong is relatively large, and spread out along a steep stone staircase down the side of the valley. There is a recently finished hydroelectric project at the base of the hill, which now provides most of the village with electricity. It is the last major inhabited settlement we encounter before returning from Base Camp.

Day 7 • Himalaya • 9,200ft
Following a well-worn trail, we rejoin the Modi Khola Valley. The route travels through rhododendron forest gently climbing uphill and past bamboo forests populated with monkeys. We eventually reach a divide in the trail and bear right to the lodges of Bamboo near the river and take a much welcomed break. Leaving the river, we again walk though wet rhododendron forest and begin climbing to the lodges at Doban. After some more steep sections of trail we arrive at the Himalaya Hotel.

Day 8 • Machhapuchhre BC • 12,100ft
Today we leave the tree line behind as we progress steeply upwards into open terrain. We traverse past Hinku Cave, a huge overhanging rock that can be used as a makeshift shelter if the weather turns bad, then cross two avalanche flows before we get to Deurali. Next we ascend the narrow entranceway into the Annapurna Sanctuary. Machhapuchhre is now clearly visible, towering high above and just across the valley. We travel across barren rocky terrain soon arriving at Machhapuchhre Base Camp, which at 4000 meters is perfectly positioned at the gateway to this inner Annapurna panorama. From here it’s less than two hours to the Annapurna Base Camp, and perfect views of some of the world’s highest mountains.

Day 9 • Annapurna BC • 13,400ft
Much of the day is spent enjoying the spectacular scenery that surrounds us. The huge south face of Annapurna I (8,090m) provides an impressive backdrop, while the closeness of 10 peaks over 6,000m, including Annapurna South, Annapurna 1, Annapurna 3 and Machhapuchhre, is simply awe inspiring. Sunrise is particularly special as the rising sun slowly illuminates the snow-capped Peaks. Walking through the Sanctuary, the views are spectacular as you feel almost completely surrounded by the nearby mountains. The silence is crushing and only occasionally broken by the distant roar of avalanches.

Day 10 • Dovan
Leaving the towering peaks behind, we make our descent back down the valley and through the rhododendron and bamboo forests again reaching Himalaya. We soon reach Dovan where we stay the night.

Day 11 • Landruk
After breakfast, we continue back along the Modi Khola Valley, leaving the bamboo and rhododendron jungle towards Chhomrong. From here it’s a short walk to Jhinnudanda, and a slight descent towards Landruk.

Day 12 • Phedi • Pokhara
This morning we trek to the roadside village of Phedi and return to Pokhara. After lunch we can explore the local shops and bazaars, visit the lakeshore of the Phewa Tal and gaze towards the remarkable 8,000 meter peaks of the Annapurna Range.

Day 13 • Kathmandu
After saying farewell to our staff we depart to Kathmandu on an early morning flight. The rest of the day remains flexible depending on the desires of the group. There are many opportunities to tour Kathmandu’s world heritage sites. Pashupatinath Temple one of the most famous Hindu temples in Nepal and the Buddhist temples of Boudhanath are recommended. Some in the group may simply want to relax and shop in Thamel.

Day 14 • Depart
Transport to Tribhuvan International Airport for flights home.


Chitwan Jungle Safari

Day 13 • Kathmandu
An optional day is scheduled for exploring Kathmandu. A day tour of Kathmadu’s historic World Heritage sites including Bhaktapur, Patan and Chagunarayan is recommended.

Day 14 • Chitwan National Park
We transfer to Kathmandu’s domestic airport for our morning flight to Bharatpur Airport. We check into our comfortable jungle lodge, shower and relax before our first elephant foray into the jungle.

Day 15 • Chitwan National Park
Enjoy a full day of wildlife viewing via elephant back, dugout canoe and nature walks with the park’s naturalists. This area is famous for its wildlife (it is elusive!) but a large part of the enjoyment here is being on an elephant and lumbering through the jungle. Keep your eyes open for the one-horned rhino, wild boar, langur monkeys and, of course, the very elusive Bengal tiger.

Day 16 • Kathmandu
We are up early for a final outing into the jungle before flying back to Kathmandu. The late afternoon and evening are free to explore on your own in Kathmandu.

Day 14 • Depart
Transport to Tribhuvan International Airport for flights home.


Kathmandu Tour

Day 13 • Kathmandu
An optional day is scheduled for exploring Kathmandu. A day tour of Kathmadu’s historic World Heritage sites including Bhaktapur, Patan and Chagunarayan is recommended.

Day 14 • Depart
Transport to Tribhuvan International Airport for flights home.


Itinerary Notes: Mountain Gurus makes every effort to uphold the scheduled itinerary, although our guides are given discretion to adapt the itinerary for reasons beyond our control or due to the particular needs of the group. Please request a detailed itinerary for a list of scheduled and non-scheduled meals.

Details

Land Cost

14-day Expedition Lodge trek: $3800 (Hotel Yak & Yeti while in Kathmandu)

14-day Sherpa Lodge trek: $2800 (Hotel Yak & Yeti while in Kathmandu)

Tent Peak Climb: $1900

Single Supplement: $500/$300


Deposit and Payments
$700 deposit includes reservation fee, due with application.
Balance due 90 days prior to departure


Services included
Annapurna Conservation Permit
Round Trip Domestic airfare – Kathmandu – Pokhara
All scheduled land transportation in Nepal
3 nights Hotel Yak and Yeti accommodations in Thamel, Kathmandu (5 star)
1 night Hotel accommodations in Pokhara
9 nights Tea House Lodge
Guided sightseeing tour in Kathmandu
Scheduled meals in Kathmandu and during the trek
Professional, English-speaking Sherpa guide or American guide on Hosted Treks
Porter service
Baggage transport (limited to 20kg – 44lbs)
All group equipment for the trek (including tents, stoves, group gear)


Services not included
International airfare – USA – Kathmandu
Non-scheduled meals
Snack food during the trek
Personal gear
Trip cancellation insurance
Medical and evacuation coverage
Staff gratuities

Gear List

Discovery Trek • Nepal

Head and Face:
• Warm Synthetic/ Wool hat: One that covers the ears.
• Sun Hat or Baseball cap
• Sunglasses: Essential eye protection at altitude.
• Sunscreen: SPF 40 or more.
• Lip Balm: SPF 20 or more.
• Bandanas: Tied around neck they give good sun protection.
• Headlamp: Bring plenty of batteries.

Upper Body:
• Upper Body Layers: We recommend you have three warm layers for the upper body.
Items must be made of synthetic or pile. Make sure all layers fit comfortably over each
other and supply good insulation. A good combination is a long underwear top, a
sweater, and a pile jacket. Cotton items do not provide adequate insulation and
are completely useless when damp.
• Synthetic Fleece Jacket and/or Pullover: Medium weight
• Shirts: Three synthetic shirts for trekking. Three cotton shirts for camp and lodges.
• Hard Shell Rain Jacket w/ hood: Rain and high wind can be common. GORE-TEX© or
waterproof nylon that has been “seam sealed”.
• Insulated Synthetic or Down Jacket: Medium weight
• Wind Shirt: A nylon wind shell (not waterproof)

Handwear:
• Heavyweight Synthetic gloves: One pair (WINDSTOPPER© is recommended)
• Lightweight Synthetic gloves: One pair, optional

Lower Body:
• Quick Dry Hiking Shorts: One pair. Good for hiking at lower elevations in the mountains.
• Long Underwear Bottoms: One pair. Synthetic, no cotton
• Pile/Fleece Pants: One pair that fit loosely and comfortable. These are
essential to be worn over the long underwear bottoms. (full side zips)
• Hard Shell Pants: Bring a good pair of rain/wind pants of GORE-TEX© or waterproof
nylon that has been “seam sealed”. (full side zips)
• Trekking Pants: Synthetic, comfortable to climb in and provide good warmth on
cool misty days, dry fast and prevent sunburn. Schoeller© fabric is recommended.
• Undergarments: Enough for the duration of the program.

Footwear:
• Lightweight Socks: Two pair of synthetic liner socks to wear under medium socks.
• Trekking Socks: Six pair synthetic medium weight
• Hiking Boots or Trekking Shoes: One pair medium weight hiking boots/shoes large enough
to be comfortable with one liner sock and one heavy synthetic sock.
• Sport Sandals or Camp Shoes: These are to wear in camp or lodges.

Sleeping:
• Sleeping Bag: Mountain temperatures can get below zero degrees Fahrenheit
so bring a warm bag(rated to 0 degrees Fahrenheit).
• Sleeping Pad: One closed-cell foam pad or an inflatable THERMA-REST© pad.

Packing and Backpack:
• Frameless backpack: One lightweight small size (2500-3000 cubic inches) comfortable pack
with some support, adequate to carry personal gear. The pack should fit properly and have
a good waist belt. Carry gear between 15 and 20 pounds.
• Duffle/zip Bag: One large size, transporting gear via yaks or porters.
• Duffle/zip Bag: One medium size, store non-mountain gear during the trek.
• Travel locks, nametags, and contact information written directly on the duffels.
• Bags: (2) large plastic bags (2) large Ziploc bags (2) stuff sacks
• Passport with two extra photos (photo for the Nepal Entry Visa)

Climbing Gear:
• Trekking poles: adjustable and collapsible

Drinking:
• Water Bottle: Two, one liter wide-mouth plastic bottles. NALGENE©
• Water Treatment: We recommend you bring two bottles of “Potable Aqua” or a “Polar Pure”,
crystal iodine in a bottle, to treat drinking water.
• Water Flavoring: Lemonade, Tang, Gatoraid, etc.

Personal Health and First Aid
• Small personal first-aid kit and medications
• Plastic bowl, insulated mug, and Lexan spoon
• Personal Items

Gear: A complete clothing and equipment list specific to your program will be sent to you in the pre-departure packet upon reservation. For your safety and comfort, it is extremely important that you adhere strictly to the equipment list.

Travel Information

International Programs • Nepal

Program start time & location: begins and ends in Kathmandu

Visa/Entry Information: A passport and visa are required. American citizens may obtain a visa prior to travel or purchase a 60-day single entry Tourist Visa: USD$40 upon arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu.

Health & Immunizations: Immunizations are not required for entry into Nepal.

Flight Travel Information: USA – Bangkok (BKK) – Kathmandu (KTM)

International Departures: Our itineraries reflect the date and time you’ll need to arrive in country for a particular program. Mountain Gurus programs begin and end in the countries, destination city. When booking your flight you’ll need to account for travel time and crossing the international dateline if needed. It’s easiest to give your booking agent the day and time you’ll need to arrive.

Meals and Food: All meals are provided as per meal schedule. (see itinerary for meal schedule)

Gear: A complete clothing and equipment list specific to your program will be sent to you in the pre-departure packet upon reservation. For your safety and comfort it is extremely important that you adhere strictly to the equipment list.

Frequently Asked Questions

Even the most experienced climbers have questions and if this is your first time on an Expedition, Trek or Northwest Climb you’re sure to have them. We provide information about such things as travel dates, itineraries and required equipment throughout our website. However, if you can’t find the answers you seek anywhere else, we try to provide them here!

Travel & Insurance

When do I need to arrive and depart?

International Departures: Our itineraries reflect the date and time you’ll need to arrive in country for a particular program. Mountain Gurus programs begin and end in the countries, destination city. When booking your flight you’ll need to account for travel time and crossing the international dateline if needed. It’s easiest to give your booking agent the day and time you’ll need to arrive.

Domestic Departures: Regarding Northwest programs our itineraries reflect the date and time the program begins at a particular start location (North Cascades NP, Olympic NP, etc.). When flying to Washington State you’ll likely need to arrive the day before the climb begins in order to meet the group at the program start location. In regards to your departure flight, our return time to the program start location is often unpredictable. We suggest a hotel reservation for the night of the last day and plan to return home the day after the end of the program.

What if I want to arrive early or depart later than the program? Mountain Gurus can assist in arranging accommodations before or after the program. Our Operations Director can recommend things to do if you desire.

Will a Mountain Gurus agent greet me at the airport? For International programs depending on your arrival time, we coordinate ground transportation. We either greet you at the airport or arrange transportation to your hotel. In most cases the program formally begins the morning after arrival day.

Do you recommend trip cancellation insurance? Mountain Gurus highly recommends purchasing of trip cancellation and travel insurance. This comprehensive travel insurance provides coverage for trip cancellation and interruption, travel delays, loss of baggage and travel documents, baggage delays, medical expenses and emergency assistance.

Do I need any other insurance? Make sure you provide yourself adequate traveler’s medical and evacuation insurance for coverage should you have a problem during the trip.

Should I have concerns when traveling internationally? We recommend registering with the United States Department of State when traveling anywhere internationally. Registration is voluntary and is your sole responsibility. Also, the United States Department of State maintains a travel Warning/Alerts list for most countries around the world. www.travel.state.gov

Experience and Fitness

What are climbing and trekking grades? Mountain Gurus provides climbing and trekking grades to help our client choose which programs are best suited for their experience level, knowledge of climbing and overall physical conditioning. Mountain travel can be extremely challenging yet profoundly rewarding. We offer programs of various skill levels and difficulty. Regardless which program you choose we expect our clients to be physically and mentally prepared for the demands of the journey.

Can anyone participate on your MG programs? We feel that anyone in reasonably good physical fitness should be able to join us on many of our programs. Mountain Gurus guides will introduce basic trekking and climbing skills needed during the course of the program. Remember your ability to participate in the program is largely dependent upon your overall health and fitness. An expedition, trek or climb shouldn’t be taken lightly and we encourage you to prepare for it by physically conditioning yourself for the strenuous aspects of the program. We strongly advise anyone who is considering a climb with Mountain Gurus, who may have a medical condition or medical history that may affect their performance, first consult with their physician. If you have further questions or concerns please contact us and our Operations Director can discuss which program is best suited for you.

Domestic & International Programs

How can I find out about necessary visas or entry requirements for the country I am visiting?Mountain Gurus will send you all necessary visa information contained within our pre-departure package. In most case American citizens can obtain a visa upon arrival. It is your responsibility to send in all pre-required visa applications and associated fees. In addition most countries maintain websites that provide all necessary information and application forms.

How can I find about necessary immunizations for the area where I am traveling? As part of your itinerary, we’ll provide you with current recommended/required immunizations for the country where you are traveling. You can always consult the Center for Disease Control at www.cdc.gov

Can I hire an additional porter? On International programs Mountain Gurus can arrange hire of a personal porter if desired for an additional cost. Please notify MG in advance if you’re considering a personal porter.

Can additional gear or clothing be stored during the program duration? In most cases additional items can be stored at the hotel or with our ground operator.

What type of accommodations can I expect?

Hotels: During our stay in international destination cities you can expect to stay in high quality hotels. When available we opt to stay in smaller boutique style hotels that provide a friendly atmosphere and high quality experience.

Camping or Lodges: When camping we provide our clients with high quality mountaineering tents. Depending on the expedition or climb clients participate in setting up tents and help in establishing camp as well as participate in cooking. On Treks and Tours, Mountain Gurus provides our clients with a fully supported experience, your tent will be set up and waiting when you arrive in camp and you’ll be greeted with hot water and a cup of tea. Destinations like Nepal we often opt to stay in high quality lodges (also known as Tea Houses) as an alternative to camping. Due to our local knowledge we choose from the finest lodges available which provide great food and a friendly warm environment.

Do you provide single accommodations? International programs that include hotels, a single room supplement is available for an additional cost if desired. For those traveling alone who do not wish to pay an additional cost for a single room, we will pair you in a room with another same-sex team member. In the event another team member of the same sex is not available for room pairings, you will be assigned a single room. During Northwest climbs single tent accommodations are not available.

How heavy a pack do I need to carry?

On Northwest programs you will be required to carry a portion of the group gear and food, in addition to your personal gear. This should be taken into consideration when deciding what you should bring. Be prepared to carry between 40-65 lbs. depending on the length of the program and group size.

For International programs pack weight varies greatly depending on the type of program. On our fully supported Treks and Tours you will only be expected to carry a small to medium sized day pack with each trekking day’s necessary clothing and essentials. 15-30 lbs. Expeditions will be required to carry a portion of the group gear and food in addition to your personal gear. 40-65 lbs. On fully supported Expeditions we utilize high altitude climbing porters which greatly minimizes the need to carry group gear. 35-50 lbs.

Private and Custom Programs

I have a group of family/friends/colleagues and we have specific dates we would like to climb. Can you customize a program for us? All of our programs can be run on a private basis. The beauty of a private program is you climb what you want, with who you want, when you want. We’ll take care of the entire program. We are also able to provide you with a custom itinerary depending on your interests. We may require a $100 non-refundable deposit for custom program planning which will be applied towards your program cost at the time of reservation.

Equipment

Does Mountain Gurus rent equipment? We do provide limited rental gear on our Northwest programs. All rental gear is limited and needs to be reserved and paid in advance. See Northwest Climbs and Courses for details. Currently we do not rent any equipment for international programs. Also, many local climbing and outdoors stores rent gear for reasonable rates.

Rental items include: Ice Axe, Crampons, Harness, Helmet

Where should I buy equipment? We can help you find a local climbing and outdoor shop where you can purchase the equipment you’ll need.

General

Is it customary to tip your support staff or mountain guide? On international programs where we utilize support staff (porters, cooks, kitchen staff, etc.); it is Mountain Gurus practice to take a group tip and divide it among the support staff. Tipping of Mountain Guides for a job well done is always appreciated.

How can my family get in contact with me when I’m on a on a Mountain Gurus program? After your application and deposit are accepted; you will be provided with a detailed itinerary which will include hotel and ground outfitter contact information for your program. Due to the nature of the wilderness areas we travel it is likely you will be out of contact during the duration of the program. Telephone and internet access is available in some destinations at you own expense.

What if my spouse, family or friends don’t climb; can they still join me on safari? We would be delighted to make arrangements for non-trekking family and friends to join you after the climb. We suggest you extend your safari a few days to take advantage of Tanzania’s remarkable wildlife parks and diverse landscape.

Can my son or daughter join me on the program? What’s the minimum age requirement?Possibly, we would prefer to talk with you about the program you’re interested in and see if it’s an appropriate choice for someone under the age of 18. We accept participants 16 years or older on our regularly scheduled trips, accompanied by a legal guardian.