ANNAPURNA SANCTUARY –
10 Days. Max. Altitude 4,130m.
Tea-House Trekking with guides and porters.
Pre-trek Briefing: HE Base Camp (Pokhara) 5pm on day prior to Day 1.
‘The Sanctuary’ - the name must surely first have been used by an exploring poet! It describes the untouched beauty of the natural mountain amphitheatre cradled among the giant peaks of the Annapurna range. This Sanctuary Trek offers one of the premium trekking experiences available and the simple joy of walking in a world still untouched by modern ways into the beauty and splendour of the high Himalayas. (NB Some lesser poets have now called it ABC, Annapurna Base Camp.)
The trek starts in Pokhara and gradually ascends the Annapurna foothills. The trail then leads us past the colorful Gurung villages of Landruk and Chomrrong, crossing terraced fields and rising to dense forest of pine and rhododendron. More altitude is then gained by following the narrowing gorge of the Modi Khola, before emerging through the ‘gates’ of The Sanctuary.
DAY TO DAY PLAN –
Day 1: Pokhara-Nayapul and trek to Ulleri
(O/night Altitude 1,960m/5 hrs. approx.) Early morning (0800) rendezvous at Himalayan Encounters’ Pokhara Base Camp. After breakfast, drive to Nayapul. Meet the trailhead and proceed down the hill from the road and follow a river to Birethanti (1,025m). We will walk gently uphill for a couple of hours to Hille (1,475m). The many streams, waterfalls, tropical vegetation, and green fields give this area a lush feeling. We pass a suspension bridge in Tikedhunga and walk uphill for about 40 mins to our overnight stop at Ulleri (1,960m).
Day 2: To Ghorepani
(O/nt Altitude 2,750m/5hrs approx.) Initially our hike is uneven; following a path that finds its way up and down hills, then a staircase leads upwards, passing many homes and tea-houses as it climbs. Part way up, we get our first view of Annapurna South. Higher up, we enter a wooded area filled with trees often in bloom and large bamboo plants. Beyond Banthanti (2,300m) the vegetation thickens and trees are hung with moss. Then, onwards and up a narrow valley with more stairs to climb until we emerge from the jungle at Nangathanti (2,520m). From here on, another hour’s climb takes us to Ghorepani.
Day 3: To Tadapani
(O/nt Altitude 2,590m/6hrs approx.)
Rising early, a pre-dawn hike (45 mins) has us on Poon Hill in time for sunrise over Dhaulagiri and the Annapurna Range. Returning to our tea-house for breakfast, we then rejoin the trail that wends its way north along the ridge line with magnificent views of the Annapurnas stretching out from east to west. Following a forested ridge for a while, with views to both sides, we then descend steeply down a muddy slope to a small settlement before entering a heavily forested gorge. Eventually, the gorge widens and the trail enters an open area and descend again before our final upward climb, through dense forest, to Tadapani.
Day 4: To Chomrong
(O/nt Altitude 2,170m/6hrs approx.) The trail continues down a steep hill, again through the jungle, to Chomrong. Emerging out and into terraced fields on the side of a deep valley we continue, keeping to the contours of the terraces. Climbing steeply up the opposite side of the valley, we soon enter the larger Modi Khola valley which leads up to the Annapurna Sanctuary. A short distance further on up the Modi Khola valley, we arrive at Chhomrong .
Day 5: To Himalayan (O/nt Altitude 2,920m/7hrs approx.) The next day the trail descends to cross the Chommro Khola, then climbs around into the Modi Khola valley and up on to the main ridge high above the river. Stands of rhododendron, oak and hemlock line the gorge, and the area is a delight for bird lovers. After another two hours of walking, mostly up steep hills, we reach the village of Sinuwa (2,340m), the last town before Bamboo. We follow the valley climbing steadily uphill to Doban (2505m). Approximately two hours later we reach our overnight destination, Himalayan.