Nepal – Annapurna Circuit with Thorung La Pass
Annapurna region in the north central of Nepal covers a series of thirteen 8000m peaks and sixteen 7000m peaks, including the 10th highest peak in the world Annapurna I (8091m). The entire Annapurna region, the first and largest conversation area of Nepal, is protected by the Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP). Its snow-capped peaks and tourist-friendly tea houses' facilities has attracted many trekkers and climbers every year.
The Annapurna Circuit Trek is one of the classic, most diverse and stunning tea house trek in the Himalaya. The entire circuit can take more than 20 days to complete. We have specially designed a shorter Annapurna Circuit Trek to avoid the walk on recently build roads, as much as possible, yet keeps all the main highlights of the classic Around Annapurna Trek intact. The itinerary includes climbing over the challenging Thorung La Pass (5416m). Crossing the pass, while no doubt is tough, but rewarding. The view from the pass is spectacular. It spreads from the northwest wind eroded “Once Forbidden Kingdom” of Mustang valley to incredible mountain ranges of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri to the southwest. Thorung La Pass was originally used as a trade route by the people of Mustang and Tibet, herding agricultural products on yaks and donkeys.
About The Trek
Our Annapurna Circuit Trek starts from Bulbule (840m) after a drive from Kathmandu and ends at Jomsom (1400m) with a flight to Pokhara. This trekking itinerary keeps all the main highlights of the classic Around Annapurna Trek intact. It includes the Great Himalayan Trail from Dharapani to Kagbeni (Tibetan Buddhist dominated settlements), Chame Town (Administrative Center of Manang District), Braga Monastery (the oldest in the region at Manang) and the shrine of Muktinath (a famous pilgrimage site worshiped by both Hindu and Buddhist devotees). Along the trek, many of the Annapurna famous snow capped peaks come into view too - Annapurna II and IV (7525m), Chulu West (6630m) and East (6200m), Pisang Peak (6092m), Dhaulagiri (8167m) and Tukche peak (6920m), just to name a few.
The circuit trek start low, at Bulbule (840m), following the classic route along the Marchyangdi River, passing several waterfalls and suspension bridges. It then enters the higher parts, on a gradual ascend, through forest, fields of barley and buckwheat, apple orchards, many traditional Tibetan villages and valley to Chame Town (Administrative Center of Manang District) and Manang (3535m), before going further up, through yak pastures and meadows, to Thorung La High Camp (4700m) to cross the challenging Thorung La Pass (5416m). After crossing the pass, it is a steep descend to Muktinath (3700m), the first village on the other side of the pass. From Muktinath, the descend continues through Kagbeni (gateway to upper Mustang) and down the Kali Gandaki riverbed to Jomsom, where we take a flight to Pokhara to end our trek.
There are four main seasons in Nepal. The best seasons to visit Nepal are spring, autumn and winter. Trekkers can trek from March to early June in spring. The next trekking season starts in mid-September and goes up till March. During this period, the visibility is good and it does not rain usually. You can get excellent views of landscapes and mountain ranges in this season. After November the temperature in higher altitudes becomes very low and snowfall starts
Autumn (September to November): Autumn season is considered the best time for trekking in Nepal. It offers excellent weather and tantalizing mountain views. Moderate temperatures, clear sky with outstanding views, making it a great time to do any of our trek. Occasional short storms may dump snow at high altitudes.
Winter (December - February): Winter is when snowfall at higher elevations in the Himalayas is a common occurrence. Though it gets colder in night, it offers the clear day / blue sky and relatively less trekkers on the trail. However, not all treks are suitable to be done in winter especially those involving climbing and crossing high passes.
Spring (March - May): Different varieties of wild flowers, specially the rhododendrons make the hillside a wild flowers paradise during the spring season. The temperature is warmer as compared to autumn and winter.
You should have above 4000m trekking experience. You will be trekking from 840m to above 5000m in undulating mountain terrain with a personal backpack load of 5-6kg for 12 days. Days are filled with long hours of walking, going up and down the mountain route through villages. There will be suspension bridges crossings and a challenging Thorung La Pass (5416m) crossing, including spending a night at Thorung High Camp (47000m.) At altitude above 4000m, the air is thin and weather is more hash.
Equipment and Gear
You will need thermal base layers, a fleece jacket and an outer shell jacket. When at the teahouse and after sundown, a down jacket will help keep you warm. A down sleeping bag is also needed and provided.
A packing list will be provided to all our participants. Please refer to our Resource Centre page to learn about the layering system and choose the right gear/equipment for your trek.
- Dates listed are for open international group
- You can also form a private group. For enquiry, send an email to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
|Day||Itinerary||Meals||Altitude At Rest Point|
|Day 1||Arrive Kathmandu.||-/-/-||1330m|
|Day 2||Half day city tour. Trek briefing & preparation. Welcome dinner.||B/-/D||1330m|
|Day 3||Drive to Besishahar (760m) and trek to Bulbule.||B/L/D||860m|
|Day 4-5||Trek along the Marsayandi River||B/L/D||Jagat - 1341m
Tal Village - 1700m
|Day 6-7||Trek through alpine terrain of Chame and Pisang||B/L/D||Chame Town - 2685m
Pisang Village - 3300m
|Day 8-9||Trek to Manang and spend day 9 acclimatizing and exploring Manang||B/L/D||3535m|
|Day 10-11||Trek to Phedi through Throng La Base Camp (4100m) and High Camp||B/L/D||Ledar - 4200m
Thorong La High Camp - 4700m
|Day 12||Cross over Thorong La Pass (5416m) and trek to Muktinath||B/L/D||3700m|
|Day 13-14||Trek to Jomsom via Kagbeni, the gate of Upper Mustang||B/L/D||Kagbeni - 2804m
Jomsom - 2743m
|Day 15||Fly to Pokhara||B/-/-||1400m|
|Day 16||Drive to Kathmandu||B/-/-||1330m|
|Day 17||Depart Kathmandu||B/-/-|
- Return airport transfer in Kathmandu
- 1 way domestic flight ticket Jomsom- Pohkara airfare (max 15kg check in baggage)
- All land transfer as indicated in itinerary
- Half day city tour in Kathmandu
- Meals as indicated in itinerary
- Twin/Trip sharing accommodation in Kathmandu and in teahouse during trek
- Trek gear: Sleeping mats, sleeping bags, down jacket and duffel bags
- Trek support: Climbing guide, assistant climbing guide and porters (1 porter to 1 trekker for open international group)
- Boiled drinking water, tea and coffee during meals on trek
- Permits & fees: Annapurna Circuit Trekking permit, Annapurna conservation entry fees
- Portable oxygen cylinder and comprehensive first aid kit.
- International air tickets, airline taxes and fuel surcharge
- Visa Fee
- Single Supplement
- Meals not indicated in itinerary
- All tipping (Budget around 10-15% of the package fee per trekker for the tip for the trekking crew)
- Personal porters
- Personal travel insurance (mandatory to cover travel agent insolvency and trekking up to 6000m)
- Personal expenses like shopping, laundry etc
- Personal services during trek like hot shower, WIFI usage and charging of electronic appliances etc
- Personal travel & trekking gear – warm clothing, shoes, backpacks etc
- Emergency evacuation and medical expenses
- Compensation for damaged or lost of personal items (eg: climbing/trekking gear and equipment, cameras and any valuable items etc)
- Any expenses including accommodation, meals & transfer outside the stipulated trek/climb itinerary – i.e. any person leaving the group for personal travel, illness/injury or any form of extension of stay
Support from Ace Adventure Expeditions
We provide pre-trip support to prepare you for the trek:
1. Trip briefing and information kit
2. Gear list and gear discount from selected Singapore outdoor outfitters
3. Training guideline kit
4. Rope skill workshop (For climbs that require rope up and/or fixed rope skill)
We carefully select and establish strong working relationship with our local trek operator to ensure safe participation by everyone. Our local partner is the top 10 companies out of around 2000 trekking companies in Nepal, awarded by the Nepal Mountaineering Association.
Our local climbing guides have extensive experience in guiding treks in all regions in Nepal, possess intimate knowledge of the local surroundings, conditions and culture and are trained in wilderness 1st aid and emergency rescue. They carry a portable oxygen cylinder, pulse oximeter and comprehensive first aid kit for emergency purpose.
Fair Treatment to Porters
Our porter to trekker ratio is 1:1. This is to ensure fair treatment to the porters that each porter does not carry an excessive heavy load for the duration of the trek. The 1:1 ration also helps to create more jobs for the locals who work as porters for a living.
Training: Regardless of your level of fitness and physical conditions, it is advisable to train prior to embarking on a trekking or mountain climbing trip.
Pure cardiovascular fitness is NOT enough.
Focus your training effort in the following areas, assuming that you are in good health and injury-free:
- Climbing conditioning – stairs and load training.
- Cardio training - Jogging/running and interval training like CrossFit or HIIT.
- Strength training for the lower body, shoulder, back and core
- Flexibility training - eg: Yoga and stretching exercises
A good four months of training would be a good preparation for this trek.
A recommended training guide specific to the trek or climb will be given to you upon signing up.
Refer to our Grading chart for an overview on the technical difficulty and fitness required for this trek.
Refer to our Training Guide for tips on trekking and mountain climbing training.