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Old 28th June 2024, 20:45   #1
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Annapurna Circuit | Solo Trek

You wake up on a very cold morning after rain that had turned snow the previous day and are rewarded with this view.

Annapurna Circuit | Solo Trek-annapurna-4-24.jpeg

Annapurna II touching 8000m in all glory on a beautiful morning staring at you.

Annapurna circuit trek solo, that was my aim from the past 4-5 months and I did it in April 2024 on my own. I was physically fit from past one year and I felt I will be able to it solo.

Map and location of Annapurna circuit in Central Western Part of Nepal, the red line is the trek route I followed.
Annapurna Circuit | Solo Trek-screenshot-20240629-19.18.26.jpg

Altitude profile of the trek
Annapurna Circuit | Solo Trek-img_20240422_124110429.jpg

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Old 28th June 2024, 20:46   #2
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Index:
Day 0: Reach KTM

Day 1: Permits and travel to Besisahar Lamjung

Day 2: Reach Chame, the starting point of the trek

Day 3: Chame to Upper Pisang

Day 4: Upper Pisang to Manang

Day 5: Rest Day

Day 6: Acclimatisation walk

Day 7: Manang to Yak Kharka

Day 8: Yak Kharka to Thorang Phedi

Day 9: Thorang La pass crossover

Day 10: Muktinath to Pokhara

End Notes

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Old 28th June 2024, 20:48   #3
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Day 0:

After battling a swarm of mosquitoes that attacked us at Delhi airport around 0200h while standing on tarmac at T2, it seems these guys followed us inside T3, IGIA. It was an unpleasant experience sitting in the airport for a morning departure to Kathmandu. An old wheel chair bound Nepali lady stole my window seat as her wheel chair handler slotted her in window seat which was supposed to give me the view of the whole Annapurna range which I was going to trek in anti-clockwise direction. I was too tired to fight as she refused to move and gave up. I just wanted peace after a horrible night at T3. Itís not like I will fly every year to Nepal.

This day went in sorting cash for the trek, SIM card and some last minute shopping like trekking poles in Thamel, Kathmandu. Regretted buying a heavy fleece jacket at below place.

Annapurna Circuit | Solo Trek-img_20240420_184536766.jpg

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Old 28th June 2024, 20:50   #4
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All about permits and Day 1:

There was a circular from Nepal Tourism board that all treks now need a guide few months back. Well, they shot in their foot and no one follows that circular in Annapurna circuit or Everest base camp circuit. So yes, you can do these treks without guide.

Langtang trek is 50-50 whether you need guide or not, I didnít meet anyone who could give me reliable information about this trek in hostel in Kathmandu.

Manaslu circuit trek and Kanchenjunga circuit trek now require you to have a mandatory guide. Manaslu trek ends on one of the villages of Annapurna Circuit trek, Dharapani. Met a French couple who had finished Manaslu trek with a guide who charged that 25 USD per day. Then they started the Annapurna Circuit trek from Chame and I met them couple of times on the trail.

Annapurna circuit trek permit:

You get them at three places in Nepal: Kathmandu, Pokhara and just outside Besisahar Lamjung village. The last one is no where mentioned on any websites. Besisahar Lamjung issuing office is also the first checkpoint of the permit and also issues you the permit in case you forget them.

No TIMS card is required for these treks if youíre solo like me.

You have to fill a form and given them two passport photos along with passport. Itís 1000 NPR for SAARC citizens and 2000 NPR for other nationalities.

NTB office in Kathmandu is spacious and has different windows for each trek, so itís not crowded and you can get it done quickly. Itís open all 7 days, on Saturday where whole Nepal has holiday, itís open only till 1300h.

Annapurna Circuit | Solo Trek-img_20240421_100440434.jpg

The travel to Besisahar.

Went to Gongabu bus park, the direct buses to Besisahar all departed early morning. So, I had no choice but to break the journey, first to Dumre Bazaar and then to Besisahar Lamjung. I boarded a Toyota Hiace and inhaled lot of Nepalese Powder before arriving at Dumre Bazaar. The roads are absolutely terrible. There was an old board thanking India for construction of Prithvi highway in 1972. Even if they had maintained that 1972 road, it would have been better. Met a teacher on board the bus from Dumre Bazaar to Besishar, he was lamenting on the fact that there is huge population outflow from Nepal of young generation, it was repeated by many people I met during the trek.

Annapurna Circuit | Solo Trek-img_20240421_104226063.jpg

Thankfully road was better from Dumre Bazaar to Besishahar. Took 900 NPR (650+ 250) to reach Besisahar from Kathmandu.

Took a hotel and after a bath and dinner, settled for the night after having Dal-Bhaat for 250 NPR. This was the cheapest Dal-bhaat I had on the entire trek, partly because we were in big town.

Annapurna Circuit | Solo Trek-img_20240421_194140286.jpg

Little did I know that the bath will be undone after more Nepalese powder the next day.

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Old 28th June 2024, 20:51   #5
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Day 2:

Got up early morning and started finding a shared 4 by 4 Bolero to Chame. It was 2500 NPR to Chame, a bigger town en-route Manang. The distance was hardly 60 odd kms.

Annapurna Circuit | Solo Trek-screenshot-20240629-19.53.17.jpg

Early morning in Besisahar Lamjung
Annapurna Circuit | Solo Trek-img_20240422_072441716.jpg

You cross the first checkpoint where the ACAP is checked.
Annapurna Circuit | Solo Trek-img_20240422_093329614.jpg

And there the tarmac ends and Nepali powder starts greeting you again. The road is pure 4 by 4 territory though saw plenty of bikes on this route. The weather was warm and toasty but the weather app had shown us in the morning that Chame was going to having nearly single digit temperature dropping to zero degree celsius.

Stopped at Jagat for a small break, took pics near Chamyche waterfall before reaching Tal. Enroute, the chances of seeing Manaslu were zero due to hazy weather. After Tal, the weather started to get windy and cold. We crossed the second checkpoint at Dharapani and the wind had picked up. This was the first taste of the crazy wind that used to build up around 1000h and continue all way in evening.

Annapurna Circuit | Solo Trek-img_20240422_111555642.jpg

Reached Chame around 1400h, found a teahouse with 100 NPR as staying charges, quickly changed clothes as the weather had turned gloomy and small snow flakes started to fall in the evening. After lunch, rearranged something in bags, spoke with a French couple over dinner. That French couple just Manaslu with a guide and were now doing Annapurna circuit. The man in the French couple was doing Annapurna circuit the second time after 10 years.

Stayed at one of the tea house here:
Annapurna Circuit | Solo Trek-img_20240422_140729635.jpg

Last edited by rst89 : 29th June 2024 at 19:54.
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Old 28th June 2024, 20:54   #6
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Day 3:

Chame to Upper Pisang
Altitude gain: 2700m to 3300m
Distance: Approx. 14.5 kms


The climb profile
Annapurna Circuit | Solo Trek-screenshot-20240629-19.49.53.jpg

Some part of Lamjung Himal early morning from Chame
Annapurna Circuit | Solo Trek-img_20240423_072612689.jpg

This is the first real day of the trek. Started at 0900h, quite late by any standards but bag weight distribution is important. I didnít have any porter to lug around the bag of 10 Kg. Started slowly with a Korean group who were in 50s.

The start of the trail from Chame

Annapurna Circuit | Solo Trek-img_20240423_090407594.jpg

Annapurna Circuit | Solo Trek-img_20240423_090539998.jpg

Annapurna Circuit | Solo Trek-img_20240423_092250063.jpg

The trail hugging the Marsyandi river

Annapurna Circuit | Solo Trek-img_20240423_095615649.jpg

Annapurna Circuit | Solo Trek-img_20240423_100153422.jpg

Annapurna Circuit | Solo Trek-img_20240423_101029115.jpg

Close to the Marsyandi river

Annapurna Circuit | Solo Trek-img_20240423_101359105.jpg

Annapurna Circuit | Solo Trek-img_20240423_102039582.jpg

I got good company of a young trainee guide with the Korean group which was supported by three scorpio vehicles. The young Nepali guide was pretty disillusioned with the state of Nepal and was supporting his uncle with the trek. The Korean group broke off to drink which made the young guy more angry. Anyways reached Bhratang, the place where they brew wine using Apple. The trail till Bhratang nearly followed the Manang road.

Annapurna Circuit | Solo Trek-img_20240423_112905579.jpg

After a quick rest, picked up the bag and started walking the trail, here it merged with the Manang road.
Annapurna Circuit | Solo Trek-img_20240423_114608772.jpg

After a suspension bridge, the trail broke off from the road the trail managed by ACAP became beautiful. The polish flags are signs of New Annapurna Trekking trail
Annapurna Circuit | Solo Trek-img_20240423_122506664.jpg

Annapurna Circuit | Solo Trek-img_20240423_123031734.jpg

Annapurna Circuit | Solo Trek-img_20240423_125311440.jpg

After a short climb, the ominous sign of clouds gathering. It started to thunder and I picked up the pace and reached Dhukur Pokhari at 1400h. The small pitter patter of the rain turned into pouring rain as I reached Dhukur Pokhari, asked the lady at the first lodge whether they have lunch and she said yes. Entered the same, ate some warm noodle soup as the rain became more intense.

Sat besides the warm Bukhari till 1600h and knew it was snowing up in the high altitude as I looked from the window. Put on my fleece jacket and started the trek to Upper Pisang, it had become cold but at least the wind had died. Reached Upper Pisang in 1.5 hour and took a tea house that offered free stay, just the same deal, need to have food over there. Changed the clothes and it had become really cold. I should have slept besides the Bukhari at the night as that room became very cold. I had the dal bhaat standard meal and retired in the room. I knew tomorrow will be a glorious day.

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Old 28th June 2024, 20:56   #7
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Day 4:

Upper Pisang to Manang
Altitude gain: 3300m to 3540m
Distance: Approx. 15.5 kms


The climb profile from Lower Pisang after I descended from Upper Pisang
Annapurna Circuit | Solo Trek-screenshot-20240629-19.40.34.jpg

Morning 0500h.
Saw the first rays of sunlight hitting the Annapurna 2, the peak just shy of 8000m altitude. All that effort to stay in upper Pisang paid off in the morning. Glorious views!

Annapurna Circuit | Solo Trek-img_20240424_081309498.jpg

Took decisions to reach Manang the same day instead of taking the longer route through Ghyaru as it involved altitude gain to 3700m and then descent to Ngawal.

I walked to Lower Pisang and started in the direction of Manang. Thankfully, there were hardly any vehicles on the road. The wind had picked up and started to howl, thankfully it was from behind.

Stupa at lower Pisang

Annapurna Circuit | Solo Trek-img_20240424_094921644.jpg

Ghyaru lies somewhere on the slope which is not visible.
Annapurna Circuit | Solo Trek-img_20240424_110225703.jpg

Upper Pisang in distance as I look back.
Annapurna Circuit | Solo Trek-annapurna-5-24.jpeg

Stopped at place named Humde overlooking the runway for lunch, and 8 kms was still left from here.
Annapurna Circuit | Solo Trek-annapurna-6-24.jpeg

You get views like this as you walk the trail.
Annapurna Circuit | Solo Trek-annapurna-7-24.jpeg

Annapurna Circuit | Solo Trek-img_20240424_121440522.jpg

Rest Stops
Annapurna Circuit | Solo Trek-img_20240424_154026188.jpg

Trudged along with sun hitting from the front and cold air from the back. Reached Manang after stopping at Braka for some tea

The last 1 km to Manang were painful, reached the same and took a nice hotel named Yeti. Decided to acclimatise over here for two full days and explore Manang. So three nights were locked for 800 NPR per day with no condition to eat at the hotel.

Visited the Himalayan Rescue office and got oxygen measured for 100 NPR, it was 81%.

Another cold night with single digit temperature touching zero degrees.

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Old 28th June 2024, 20:57   #8
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Day 5:

Rest day, roamed the Manang town and ate some good food after finding an economical eatery. Also did some laundry here.

Annapurna Circuit | Solo Trek-img_20240425_120743873.jpg

Stone Stupa

Annapurna Circuit | Solo Trek-img_20240425_121640032.jpg

New age Stupa

Annapurna Circuit | Solo Trek-img_20240425_121654125.jpg

Gangapurna peak as I walk in Manang
Annapurna Circuit | Solo Trek-img_20240425_122248409.jpg

Annapurna Circuit | Solo Trek-img_20240425_123906334.jpg

Some medical consultation fees for non-Nepalis
Annapurna Circuit | Solo Trek-img_20240425_133702750.jpg

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Old 28th June 2024, 20:59   #9
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Day 6:

Manang to Gangapurna/Annapurna 3 view point.
Altitude gain: 3540m to 3850m
Distance: Approx. 2.72 kms of ascent and 2.72 of descent, total. Approx. 5.5kms


Acclimatisation walk day

Started at 0800h on a beautiful morning and aim of the walk was to go as high as possible after crossing the Gangapurna glacial lake. The lake was broken at one place for the water to flow out from the same. Started walking along the ridge with a local family herding yaks to small village near the end of the the trail.

Annapurna Circuit | Solo Trek-annapurna-8-24.jpeg

Gangapurna Glacial lake

Annapurna Circuit | Solo Trek-img_20240426_090927274.jpg

Annapurna Circuit | Solo Trek-img_20240426_102522489.jpg

I reached the teahouse at Chongkor view point and decided to continue further ahead to a small village of Yak herders of Manang at 3850m. This was the highest point i reached on the acclimatisation day. It gave view of Gangapurna lake up close.

Annapurna Circuit | Solo Trek-annapurna-9-24.jpeg

In this village of herders, only two people occupy it full time.
Annapurna Circuit | Solo Trek-annapurna-10-24.jpeg

Trekked back and reached Manang at 1100h just around the time the wind started howling.

At 1500h, the Himalayan rescue office conducts a talk about high altitude sickness. Attended the same. It was a good talk about HAPE and HACE and advices from the doctor. I had planned to visit Tilicho lake but the doctor and lot of people told me that lake is frozen. Having seen lot of frozen lakes, I decided to drop the plan to visit the same. I wanted to visit Tilicho lake as this was the same point Maurice Herzog visited as he was searching the route to Annapurna, the first 8k mountain climbed. Oxygen today was hovering at 88% which was good at such high altitude with no signs of any headache.

Annapurna Circuit | Solo Trek-img_20240426_114805380.jpg

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Old 28th June 2024, 21:01   #10
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Day 7:
Manang to Yak Kharka
Altitude gain: 3540m to 4033m
Distance: Approx. 11kms


The climb profile
Annapurna Circuit | Solo Trek-screenshot-20240629-19.55.43.jpg

Started at 0800h after a quick breakfast of Tsampa, a barley preparation and some milk tea. It was cold and cloudy in morning itself.

The trail to Tanki Manang was a little bit steep, all the layers had to be peeled off due to ascent and this happened with everyone on the trail. Then the ascent was gentle and I made it slowly through the trail. Now, there will be no vehicles on this trail, only mules and trekkers.

A cloudy day signalling ominous signs of rains or snow
Annapurna Circuit | Solo Trek-annapurna-13-24.jpeg

Annapurna Circuit | Solo Trek-img_20240427_114058860.jpg

Sometime later the trail from Tilicho lake merged with the main trail to Thorang la pass. Crossed one suspension bridge with Chulu group of peaks looking down at us and the serac of the peak shining amid the sunlight peering through the clouds.

Annapurna Circuit | Solo Trek-annapurna-12-24.jpeg

Chulu peaks up close

Annapurna Circuit | Solo Trek-img_20240427_115143367.jpg

By 1330h I had made it to Yak Kharkha, got myself a private room for 300 NPR with western toilet. I had lunch and the weather turned bad. By 1500h, it was snowing heavily while I decided not to leave the warmth of Bukhari. Time went very quickly chatting with fellow trekkers besides the Bukhari and the family of the place where I stayed. Saw a guide of Korean Russian couple blasting them for eating their own canned tuna and noodles instead of teahouse food as it was part deal with the teahouse owner.

Snowfall!
Annapurna Circuit | Solo Trek-img_20240427_174624309.jpg

After an early dinner and assurance from the owner that it will not get very cold in night, I slept after the snow had subsided.

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Old 28th June 2024, 21:02   #11
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Day 8:

Yak Kharka to Thorong Phedi
Altitude gain: 4033m to 4536m with max altitude reached of 4600m
Distance: Approx 7.5 kms


The climb profile, it's slightly incorrect as I took the right side of the trail.
Annapurna Circuit | Solo Trek-screenshot-20240629-19.57.45.jpg

Another cold and beautiful morning but it turned out to be toughest day of trekking. At least the weather was clear and yesterday afternoons snow was melting slowly.

A clear and sunny day
Annapurna Circuit | Solo Trek-img_20240428_073319228.jpg

Looking back towards Manang
Annapurna Circuit | Solo Trek-img_20240428_073441231.jpg

Looking ahead towards Thorang Phedi
Annapurna Circuit | Solo Trek-annapurna-14-24.jpeg

Annapurna Circuit | Solo Trek-img_20240428_095609759.jpg

Stopped for some ginger lemon tea at Ledar around 4200m altitude admiring Gangapurna peak at distance that I left behind.

Annapurna Circuit | Solo Trek-img_20240428_101052459.jpg

Ledar settlement
Annapurna Circuit | Solo Trek-annapurna-15-24.jpeg

On this day, I learned that Nepalese flat is a misnomer, itís just continuous ascent.

Annapurna Circuit | Solo Trek-annapurna-17-24.jpeg

After a gentle climb to Ledar, it started to get steep after a Y point on the trail. At the Y point, you can see the trail at the left goes through a landslide prone area where fine sand and rocks can trickle down pretty fast. The trail at the right side of valley was constructed by the government as itís much safer but is longer and climbs till 4600m before dropping down to 4500m and is steep at many places. I took the right side trail as I was solo and started climbing it slowly. The left side trail is much easier and gentle but more riskier.

Annapurna Circuit | Solo Trek-annapurna-18-24.jpeg

One steep ascent after another, I reached a tea shop where I had ginger tea sitting inside while the wind howled crazily outside. Lamenting at my slow pace, the guy at tea shop assured me, Ďwhat will you do reaching earlyí at next stop.

And then it was the end of the valley where the huge suspension bridge to reach from right side to left side to Thorong Phedi. A huge rock face stared at us signifying end of the valley.

Annapurna Circuit | Solo Trek-img_20240428_141330078.jpg

Amid that crazy winds, I crossed the bridge and reached the Thorang Phedi.

You can also stay at Thorang High camp some 300m above but with the higher risk of AMS hitting you. If you observe carefully, you can see the steep climb to Thorang High camp.

Annapurna Circuit | Solo Trek-img_20240428_143856604.jpg

Took one teahouse at Thorong Phedi where the owner seeing my speed told me to start at 0400h instead of 0600h I had originally planned. I had a late lunch, early dinner of Tibetan bread and then gave order for Breakfast and boiled eggs for the pass cross over snacks.

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Old 28th June 2024, 21:04   #12
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Day 9:

Thorang Phedi to Thorang La pass and then to Muktinath.
Altitude gain: 4536 with highest altitude attained at 5416m and then back to 3800m
Distance: Approx. 5.5 kms of ascent and 8kms of descent, total. Approx. 13.5kms, took 3kms of a bike taxi to Muktinath due to reasons mentioned later.


The climb profile
Annapurna Circuit | Solo Trek-screenshot-20240629-19.43.39.jpg

Woke up at 0300h

The D Day, the pass crossover and I will be breaching above 5000m high altitude for first time in my life. The excitement and fear was there is my mind at the same time.

Ate again the Tibetan bread with milk tea, cleared the bills which came around roughly 25 USD and took the two boiled eggs as parcel with me. They along with Chikkis were going to be my lunch.

Now itís only 5.5 kms of distance but this had the biggest ascent profiles in the whole trek. To reach Thorang high camp from Phedi, itís 300m of continuous ascent. One of the steepest I have ever done in my life. People generally take 1h to cross it while I took 1.5h to cross the 300m ascent.

The sunlight hitting the high peaks of the Greater Himalayas
Annapurna Circuit | Solo Trek-img_20240429_055832630.jpg

Annapurna Circuit | Solo Trek-img_20240429_062822814.jpg

The wind was not there that morning and the early sun shone on the peaks of Himalayas with the peaks changing the colour every 10 mins. After taking some rest at Thorang High camp at 4800m, I can count two very steep ascents on the trail where everyone was struggling to climb up. Slowly but surely I climbed them and at 0700h, it was the brightest sunshine I have ever seen at such high altitude. A horse herder was luring people during the ascent with rides to the top of the pass.

Annapurna Circuit | Solo Trek-img_20240429_065602199.jpg

You can see the trail and small bridge at the bottom of below pic followed by steep ascent.
Annapurna Circuit | Solo Trek-img_20240429_071014864.jpg

Annapurna Circuit | Solo Trek-img_20240429_073836665.jpg

At one place on the trail, there was snow and I just walked on foot marks created by other trekkers. Some black ice had got formed where I slightly slipped and fell, the only fall in the trek. Nothing major, one more ascent, and no signs of headache or AMS made me happy.

The trail as I look back
Annapurna Circuit | Solo Trek-img_20240429_081027822.jpg

Reached a tea house where I dropped my bag and took rest and I had crossed the 5000m altitude. Grateful that I was in good shape for the pass crossing day. At the same time, I saw some ultra marathon runners doing Muktinath to Manang in one day in opposite direction, I just had my jaw drop seeing their endurance.

Hoping that pass is somewhere over there.
Annapurna Circuit | Solo Trek-img_20240429_081032274.jpg

Annapurna Circuit | Solo Trek-img_20240429_091347642.jpg

There were quite few steep ascents remaining and spotted illusions of pass approaching but it was still far away.

Annapurna Circuit | Solo Trek-img_20240429_100139033.jpg

At 5300m, I started to feel the altitude, my pace became very slow but I was walking slowly till I saw the gap between two imposing peaks on the either side of the pass.

At 1015h, I was at Thorang La pass, 5416m baby!

Annapurna Circuit | Solo Trek-img_20240429_103421378.jpg

Dropped my bag at the tea house at the top, amid some good sunshine, asked a porter from some other group to click my pictures with the pass crossing board.

Removed my gloves and ate the boiled eggs and then suddenly the howling cold wind started at the pass blowing from Muktinath side going towards the other side of the pass. Determined to see some glacial ponds above the pass on the left side, I climbed few 50 meters more in altitude, lost my breath but I saw those ponds at such a great height.

That's the pass as I climb now even higher
Annapurna Circuit | Solo Trek-img_20240429_105059324.jpg

Glacial ponds
Annapurna Circuit | Solo Trek-annapurna-23-24.jpeg

Annapurna Circuit | Solo Trek-img_20240429_105226307.jpg

As the wind was howling and I was preparing for the brutal descent, I saw the dusty and desert like Mustang valley below me.

Annapurna Circuit | Solo Trek-img_20240429_113704139.jpg

The descent is equally steep and takes minimum 4 hours. I started at 1100h after spending 45 mins at the pass

I did many steep descents and then I realised I had run out of water when a cramp started to set in my right calf. It was so painful as I was not able to move my leg sideways, this decreased my pace even more exerting more pressure on my toes of my right leg.

Annapurna Circuit | Solo Trek-img_20240429_120819485.jpg

I saw an ultra marathon runner doing a mock run to and fro to Thorang pass from Muktinath and after asking him for water and explaining him my situation, that French guy carried my backpack of 10 odd kgs 2kms downhill till some camp that had tin sheds while I descended slowly.

I picked up again my bag and started the slow and painful descent with three other guys who were like when will the descent end.

The steep descent
Annapurna Circuit | Solo Trek-img_20240429_141420539.jpg

At 1630h, the descent ended, so you can see the route which takes 4h, I took 5.5h. Since my cramp condition was bad, I just asked the first tea house owner for water and milk tea and in the mean time asked him to book a bike taxi to Muktinath.

I sit and contemplate that I indeed achieved something that day.
Annapurna Circuit | Solo Trek-img_20240429_165815384.jpg

As I nursed my cramp, the bike taxi came from Muktinath to pick me up and drop me in the town. By 1730h, I was in Muktinath and wanted to descend to Jomson at 2700m but I was not able to get any shared taxi so late in the evening.

So decided to stay in Muktimath at 3800 meters. I found a newly opened hotel and I had the first hot shower bath in so many days. Threw away all my dusty clothes I wore from past three days in a plastic bag and felt fresh after the bath and new set of clothes. Little did I know that the new set of clothes will be coated with too much Nepalese powder the very next day.

And then I had a Chicken pizza at the Hotel Bob Marley as celebratory dinner alone and content that i did the Annapurna circuit! That night, the temperature dropped to -5 degree celsius but I had a good sleep. Though the hotel room was not heated, it was comfortable, I had paid 3000 NPR for the hotel in Muktinath which was on higher range but the rooms were really good.

Annapurna Circuit | Solo Trek-img_20240429_195234063.jpg

Last edited by rst89 : 29th June 2024 at 19:46.
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Old 28th June 2024, 21:06   #13
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Day 10:

Visited Muktinath temple in the morning in negative temperature to see Dhaulagiri in full glory. Dhaulagiri is 7th highest mountain in the world. The pyramid like structure was stunning. The morning feel like temperature was -7 degree celsius that day.

The left most one is Dhaulagiri

Annapurna Circuit | Solo Trek-img_20240430_075919322.jpg

Muktinath temple

Annapurna Circuit | Solo Trek-img_20240430_075236882.jpg

Annapurna Circuit | Solo Trek-img_20240430_080535951.jpg

The road to Mustang valley or Lo Manthang, 500 USD permit is required for 10 days

Annapurna Circuit | Solo Trek-img_20240430_103427252.jpg

After inhaling the infamous Nepal powder from Muktinath to Pokhara, stayed there for two nights to explore a little bit of Pokhara and crossed over to India through Sonauli land border.

Last edited by rst89 : 29th June 2024 at 19:15.
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Old 28th June 2024, 21:07   #14
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End note

Big positives:
  1. I felt this is the grand daddy of all treks, you will not find such DIY trek anywhere in the world that reaches such high altitude, higher than even EBC with no need to carry camping equipment.
  2. You are close to mountains which are consistently high as 7k to 8k meters from Day 2 of the trek.
  3. Gaia GPS is your best app on the trail
  4. Relatively less crowded given the fact everyone rushes to Everest base camp region.
  5. No Helicopters buzzing around like Everest region and also no uncertainty in reaching base villages to start the trek. I hardly saw two helicopters for the whole duration of the trek.
  6. Economical, it costs 15USD/day at lower altitudes, 20 USD/day at mid range altitudes and 25 USD per day at high altitudes.
  7. I wrapped up the trek in less than 30k INR including trekking gear I bought in Thamel area of Kathmandu. 30k INR excludes flights.
  8. You can also rent trekking or sell it as second hand in Nepal.
  9. You start from lush forest area region and end up in desert region, no one does this trek reverse except ultra marathon runners.
  10. Tea houses are decent enough but can get really cold at nights.
  11. You get no time to think about anything else on the trek, it’s all about your body fighting for you to help you survive the trek.
  12. I was able to find only two ACAP water filling stations on the trek, rest all have got closed or malfunctioned.

End points:
  1. Biggest mistake: Not starting from more lower altitude, caught cold in Chame or Upper Pisang which was prevented to be turned into a full blown chest infection by consuming medicines. I should have started in Tal.
  2. Not buying a lightweight fleece jacket and bought a knock off one which was heavy.
  3. I suggest to have some experience in Himalayan trekking before jumping in this trek
  4. I wish the roads of Nepal improve, you just inhale loads of dust that my N95 turned black while traveling from Muktinath to Pokhara, less said about Kathmandu - Pokhara section.
  5. Local taxis and food is expensive in Nepal compared to India.
  6. Best time to visit Tilicho lake is between September-October in my opinion.
  7. Never take AMS lightly, I saw quite a few people descending down on horses due to the same.
  8. Local Nepalese are not even logged by their government on this trail, I did see some Nepalese apart from Porters and tea house owners trekking on their own, government cares less about their own people.
  9. Medicinal facilities are available in Manang and in case you fall ill, the local dispensary has all kind of medicines.
  10. Buy Nepal telecom SIM instead of NCell.
  11. Pokhara had some burning season going on in April, no views from Pokhara of the grand peaks.
  12. Use loads of sunscreen, wear proper hats and clothing in the trek.

Last edited by rst89 : 29th June 2024 at 20:07.
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Old 30th June 2024, 01:36   #15
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re: Annapurna Circuit | Solo Trek

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!
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