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Annapurna Seven Passes Trek

  • Annapurna Seven Passes Trek

  •   Accommodation : Basic Hotel
  •   Duration : 20 Days
  •   Altitude: 3540 meters
  •  Trip Style : Adventurous
  •   Difficulty Level: B- Moderate
  •   Activities : Adventure Sports

Description

Good time to go: Late Spring (Late April/ May) to Autumn (October) Entry: Tal / Bus from Kathmandu to Besishahar, Jeep from Besishahar. Exit: Jomsom / Flight to Pokhara; Bus to Pokhara/Kathmandu.

Trail Condition: The trails are not marked for a long section of the trail and an expert guide who has been there before is necessary. Expect Snow and Scree. Crampons/Microspikes are highly recommended.

Accommodation: Lodges are available for most of the trek. However, from Day 4 to Day 7 of the trek, trekkers have to carry their own camping gear and food. Most of the lodges on this route, however, are pretty basic. Homestays are available in Nache and Tachai.

Risks: Unmarked trails, high passes, and lack of human habitation (for 4 days) make this trek a challenging one. Hence, it is very important to be super-prepared for this trek. Specifically, a guide who has been there before, a good tent, previous exposure to strenuous treks, and a steady mind will be very important for this trek.

Route Variation: It is possible to skip the crowded trails leading to Thorung La and exit the trek in Ngawal. It is also possible to skip the Thorung La and take the Mesokanto Pass close to Tilicho Lake to Mustang.

Detailed itinerary

Places Visited: Kathmandu

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Accomodation: Basic Hotel []

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TAL TO SIRAN TAL
Past the last lodge on Tal, it is an easy half an hour to Siran Tal. After Siran Tal, the trail hugs the cliff faces for about half an hour, upon which the trail crosses over to the other side past the suspension bridges to join the motor road. While work was underway to connect Karte with Siran Tal through a trekking trail and ACAP was blasting a trail on the eastern bank, we aren't sure if the project is complete yet. Unless you hear otherwise, assume that the trail hasn't been completed and cross over to the other side and walk on the motor road for about 45 minutes to again cross another suspension bridge to enter Karte.

SIRAN TAL TO KARTE
Past the last lodge on Tal, it is an easy half an hour to Siran Tal. After Siran Tal, the trail hugs the cliff faces for about half an hour, upon which the trail crosses over to the other side past the suspension bridges to join the motor road. While work was underway to connect Karte with Siran Tal through a trekking trail and ACAP was blasting a trail on the eastern bank, we aren't sure if the project is complete yet. Unless you hear otherwise, assume that the trail hasn't been completed and cross over to the other side and walk on the motor road for about 45 minutes to again cross another suspension bridge to enter Karte.

KARTE TO NACHE
Our first day of the trek begins from the sleepy village of Taal along the river bank. About an hour from Taal we come to the village of Khotro (2200m) from where the trail turns east and a steep 2.5-hour long climb up the hill brings us to Naache, a small Gurung village with a few homestays. Although the village does not have restaurants offering western cuisine the local potatoes can be a hearty treat for a hungry trekker. [Two days walk east from Naache can bring you to the glacial lake called Dona on the western base of Mt. Manaslu.]

NACHE TO TILCHE
From Naache the trail starts descending for about 30 min before reaching a very newly established 130 m long suspension bridge across a 200m deep gorge. In fact this bridge is the highlight of the day with views of the villages of Bagarchaap, Dharapani and Timang far off the western banks of the Marshyangdi below the Annapurna massif can be clearly seen from here. The trail continues along the pine forest from here. There is a very old small Bon/Buddhist monastery here for those interested in pre-Buddhist faiths of the region. A little further on the trail meets a gravel road until we come to a small suspension bridge across the Dudhkhola river to arrive to the village of Tilche, where one can meet trekkers arriving from the Manaslu trekking circuit

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TILCHE TO TACHE
Immediately after leaving the village of Tilche the trail can be a little confusing as one has to walk through corn and potato fields. Further on there are some narrow bushy sections on steep slopes. Less than an hour after leaving the village, there is a small cave, a few minutes below the trail. The cave has stalactites and used to host meditating monks in the past. After the short detour, we continue walking through the pine forests and corn fields to arrive at a suspension bridge. A short walk of 10 minutes brings us to a resting spot. We continue walking through the woods for another one hr to arrive at Tachai, a small Gurung village at the top of a hill. It has around 28 homestays where we can enjoy Gurung hospitality. It also has a natural hot spring 20 minutes' walk from the village.

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TACHE TO SHONGLE
Leaving the serene little village of Tachai the trail immediately starts climbing up the slopes of the hills on the east where local goat and cattle herders take their animals to graze. A two and half hour walk brings us to ridge of Chong Danda from where we can see the village of Ghalinchowk in the far south. It is also not uncommon to see Langoor monkeys jumping from branch to branch, magnificent mountain goats posing from behind the bush, while gangs of Yellow Billed Coughs chase Flying Squirrels from tree to tree. The trail then starts heading down to the Chong river before heading higher up the valley where the tall pine trees give way to smaller birch trees and white, blue and purple rhododendron bushes. After having lunch on the banks of the river we head towards the Shongle Kharka, our camping spot for the night, located in the valley between two large rocky ranges. This is also the grazing ground for yaks and we come across lonely herders who welcome you with curiosity and a big smile. The yak herders can be a great source of information on the condition of the trail further up.

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SHONGLE TO KUCHUMRO PHEDI
Starting from Shongle- the trail disappears into the rugged mountain in the north east. As we clamber up the rocks towards the first of our passes, you can see the Annapurna (?) range in the distant west while the valley below comes to life with the bells of the yaks and the barking of their shepherd dogs. About 45 minutes on we come to a small shepherd hut. We continue our climb towards Kuchumro Phedi at an altitude of 4525 m where we spend our camp for the big climb the next day.

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KUCHUMRO PHEDI TO KUCHUMRO PASS
We have now entered into the domain of the yak herders and Yarchagumba (Cordyceps Sinensis) harvesters. In late spring people from near and far come to the grassy slopes from all over the Himalayan range to spend a few weeks collecting the precious caterpillar fungus (Cordyceps Sinensis) or Yarsagumba. We gear up for a long uphill until we cross the Yarcha Pass. The day starts with views of Mt. Manaslu towards the east and Lamjung and Annapurna towards the west. A walk of about 2.5 kilometers brings us to the top to be rewarded with fantastic views of Manaslu and Lamjung range as we make a pass of Kuchumro. The snowy pass requires proper equipment like gaiters, crampons.

KUCHUMRO PASS TO YARCHA PASS
Once we pass the Kuchumro pass (54900 m), we walk down about 30 minutes to start uphill to cross the Yarcha pass (4860 m). As we cross Yarcha pass, we are rewarded by the views of Kangaru Himal (6941 m) and Annapurna II. We continue walking downhill to arrive at Namakyu (4595 m) where we spend the night after a long walk. We will camp by the river side directly facing Lamjung and Kangaru Himal.

YARCHA PASS TO NAMAKYU
Once we pass the Kuchumro pass (54900 m), we walk down about 30 minutes to start uphill to cross the Yarcha pass (4860 m). As we cross Yarcha pass, we are rewarded by the views of Kangaru Himal (6941 m) and Annapurna II. We continue walking downhill to arrive at Namakyu (4595 m) where we spend the night after a long walk. We will camp by the river side directly facing Lamjung and Kangaru Himal.

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NAMAKYU TO META PASS
Wake up early for the morning views of Lamjung Himal, Annapurna II and Gangapurna towards the south west and Kangaru Himal facing us towards the north. The clear sky with the views of mountains makes it a perfect ambience to start your day. After breakfast, we walk for about 10 minutes uphill and then descend for another 15 minutes to cross a small glacial river. We cross the river to start the gradual uphill facing Annapurna II and keeping Kangaru Himal at the back. As we ascend for 2 hrs we are greeted by the views of Pisang peak standing majestically above the Pisang monastery from where we take a gradual walk facing Pisang to arrive at the Meta pass (4800 m). Pack lunch is recommended today as there is shortage of water before the pass.

META PASS TO META
After lunch at the pass, we start to descend towards Meta. It takes about 4 hours to reach Meta from the pass. We arrive at a river with a small bridge from where we start to ascend for another 1 hour to reach Meta, a small village with a few lodges.

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META TO CHYAKHU
Today is a moderate but long walk. We get the early morning sunrise view of Lamjung Himal on the south and Pisang peak towards the west. After breakfast we start with a gradual easy walk with views of Pisang monastery in the west. As we walk higher north we enter into the trans-Himalayan region which is much drier. About an hours walk from Meta we come across the first of the former settlement of the Khampa people in a place called Jhunum which is now used as a winter home by residents of Naar village. The trails continue across a glacial river to arrive at another Khampa settlement at Chyakhu. The ruins of the former settlement of the Khampa is testimony to their ability to adapt to life in the high Himalaya as can be seen by the canals they had built to irrigate their fields.

CHYAKHU TO KYANG
We walk further with gradual uphill and then descend to arrive at a small bridge to cross the river from where we start ascending for about 20 minutes to arrive at Kyang, another Khampa settlement, located safely between two large rocky outcrops. Kyang is a good lunch stop for the day.

KYANG TO PHU
After lunch at Kyang the trail starts being carved out of the cliff and we continue on this trail with Phu River on the left side for another 3 hrs to meet a wooden bridge. Cross the bridge and continue walking. During the monsoon, if the river is high we continue walking on the same side instead of crossing the bridge. As we approach the final ascent for Phu, we arrive at a big canyon from where a straight uphill of 15 minutes brings us to the old gate. As you walk along the river, on the left are remains of an old fort that would have served as a lookout point in the days past. A little further ahead is a long mani wall while glimpse of Phu in the distant cliffs come into view. A little ahead is a suspension bridge leading across the river and into Phu village.

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PHU TO PHU PASS
As we leave Phu village and start climbing we are served with the views of Himlung Himal and Kangaru Himal. the trail climbs up towards Phu Pass for 3 hours from where we can get splendid views of Mt. Himlung with the glacier in the north east as well as Mt. Khangru in the south.

PHU PASS TO LOANG
From the top of the pass the trail descends down to the river for about 3 hours until we reach a bridge from where we start walking for approximately an hour to reach the yak herders camping area known as Loang.

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LOANG TO NAAR PASS
We wake up in the morning to the views of Himlung and Kangaru peaks to start the trek with an ascent of the Naar Pass. The view of Himlung and Kangaru Himal stays with us until we reach the top of the pass which takes about 3 hours. As we approach the pass, the scree fields makes it rather challenging to reach the top. However, once we are there a 360* view of the mountains including Bhrikuti, Himlung, Kangaru towards the east and Chulu and Annapurna range towards the south west greets us.

NAAR PASS TO CHEKCHU
From the Naar Pass, we descend from here to lose about 1400 m through the scree field to arrive at Checkchu, which has a few enclosures for yak herders. We camp here for the night.

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CHEKCHU TO NAAR
After breakfast, we start to descend for about 1 hour until we reach a suspension bridge. Another two hours of slow ascent along the river brings us to a small valley surrounded by tall cliffs with natural caves in it. A steep uphill here for another 3 hrs will bring us to the beautiful Naar village. Overnight at a local lodge.

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NAAR TO KANGLA PHEDI
As this is a not a very long day we spend the morning visiting the Naar village, and its beautiful monasteries. Like elsewhere in Manang, most of the houses here are also built with rocks and timber, plastered with a local mix of mud and other ingredients. Behind Naar we see the 7000m + Khangaru peak. We leave Naar after lunch, taking an easy walk, with the Pisang peak range on the right. We arrive at the Khang La Phedi (4530 m) after 3 hrs walk and camp here for the day.

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KANGLA PHEDI TO KANGLA PASS
The top of the Kangla Pass at 5413M probably offers some of the best 360* views of the entire trek early in the morning. On a clear day we can see the smaller peaks of the Chulu range in the northeast, Manaslu (8000+) in the south east, Pisang peak in the south and the Annapurna range in the west. From the base of the pass we first cross a small glacial stream before starting our 3 hour ascent to the top, near which is a small glacial lake.

KANGLA PASS TO NGAWAL
As we walk down from Kang La, first through a scree field, and then the grassy slopes where herders bring their animals to graze, the Marshyangdi Valley and the Annapurna range looms large in front of us. We can even make out the runway in the airport in the town of Humde down in the valley. The walk to Ngawal from the top of the pass takes about 3 hours.

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NGAWAL TO JULU
There are two ways to exit Ngawal: the first one will take you to Mugje faster while the second one will take at least an hour extra. The first one affords little view, misses monasteries and it generally speaking boring. Here is the longer and more interesting one. In order to avoid the first trail which exits the settlement right where the lodges are clustered and goes steeply down to follow the slope of the little stream, make your way to the north of the settlement towards the monastery. But rather than taking a right to the monastery, take a left. The trail will first go towards the northwest and will gradually turn west as it comes to a 'plateau' in about half an hour. You will pass some abandoned monastic settlement along the way. The reason why the settlement was abandoned will be clear in about fifteen minutes as you see a large Lophelling monastery with a school where all the students and Lamas have moved. Past the gompa, the trail dips rather steeply, falling about 230 meters to Julu. It is along stretches like these that you have to remind yourself to love your knees. Trekking poles will come in very handy along this stretch. Once that it taken care of, it is a rather pleasant walk through coniferous forests.

JULU TO MUGJE
At Julu you turn left to the Marsyangdi River. The trail is a gentle downhill with some amazing views of the Annapurna massif to the south. In about 20 minutes out of Julu you will come to a gateway chorten and in about another 20 you will come to a tea shop where the lower trail from Ngawal meets your trail. If you meet someone who came from this trail, do not forget to let them know about the monastery and the view they missed! Past the junction, keep to the well-marked trail and in about forty-five minutes you should be at Mugje.

MUGJE TO BHRAKA
Mugje to Bhraka is a mere 30 minutes walk that is if you don't fool around. Immediately after the sparse settlement of Mugje comes a cluster of signboards showing you the way for a couple of side trips. Ice lake and Milarepa cave being the most popular ones. Walk past the chorten and prayer wheels that you see right after the signboard. You should be seeing two suspension bridges to your left (leads you to Milarepa cave) after some 15 minutes; walk past them as well. Bhraka is just about 5 minutes from here on.

BHRAKA TO MANANG
There is no way you are going to lose your track from Bhraka to Manang. While you are on the track you should be seeing Manang on a large, slightly elevated sedimentary bed. You will walk past some cultivation lands. After 20 minutes of walk, you will be crossing the Ghatte Khola. Just before the crossing is Bodzo Gompa to your right (to the north) perched on top of a rocky hill. Cross the Ghatte Khola and with a short climb you will reach Manang.

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Places Visited: Manang

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MANANG TO GHUSANG
Immediately after Manang, there is a crossroad to Khangsar and then onto Tilicho lake if you so wish to. Walk straight to Tenki Manang; just 20 minutes further up from the large settlement of Manang is Tenki Manang. A new white chorten will be visible at Tenki Manang. After leaving behind Tenki Manang you will be walking on the trekking trail alongside the views of buckwheat farms to your left. It is safe to say that it is now that you are entering into the himalayan wilderness proper. Manang was the last big settlement before the pass. It's only going to get higher and colder from here on so buckle up. Look around and you will find no more forests around, only small bushes and buckwheat farms. After around 30 minutes of leaving Tenki Manang, the trail will take a sharp right turn towards the north. After taking the turn you will reach Ghusang in 30 minutes or so i.e. if you take the trail to your left and avoid the one to your right that will take you to the very sparse and old settlement of Ghusang. The one to your left (the one you should follow) will take you to the lodge settlement of Ghusang (further down south to the lodges are some more houses)

GHUSANG TO YAK KHARKA
Ghusang to Yak Kharka, although a long stretch, will be enjoyable for the beautiful mountain views will constantly rejuvenate your spirits. After about 10 minutes of leaving Ghusang, you should come across a small tea shop. The wide land is littered with shrubs and bushes. Some 20 minutes into the trail after leaving Ghusang a turn towards the north will reveal the beautiful Chulu range. Walk past the small lodge and a camping site and cross the Ghyanchan river via a suspension bridge. 40 minutes after crossing the bridge you will come across another small restaurant by the name of Raju restaurant. Just a little further up from here is a small concrete bridge. Follow the golden rule of not veering off the track and you should reach Yak Kharka. By the way, you might want to be careful about the yaks on the trail.

YAK KHARKA TO LEDAR
15 minutes after leaving the lodge settlement of Yak Kharka there is another hotel by the name of Himalayan view. After walking past this lodge you will walk alongside sparse bushes and beautiful Himalayan daisies. Some 30 minutes after walking past Himalayan view hotel there is a long suspension bridge. Immediately after crossing the bridge Hotel Dhading Laxmi is the first lodge you will see at Ledar. Welcome to Ledar!

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LEDAR TO THORUNG PHEDI
The trail to Thorung Phedi runs along hilly slopes. You might want to be careful about your steps in this part of the trail. Some 20 minutes into the trail after leaving Ledar a very small pond can be seen to the left of the sloppy trail. 30 minutes after you see the small green pond you will have the option of crossing the slim Marshyangdi through either a suspension bridge or a wooden bridge some 10 minutes further down below. If you choose the suspension bridge you will come across two tea shops. If you opt for the wooden bridge you will come across just one of those. After getting past the last tea shop some 30 minutes stretch will be a landslide prone area. This is the trail section where you will have to be careful of rockfalls. No loitering around in this stretch, walk continuously- carefully of course. After this stretch is over Thorung Phedi should be pretty near now.

THORUNG PHEDI TO THORUNG HIGH CAMP
It is a 1-hour climb to Thorung High camp. Just follow the zig zag trail all the way up to Thorung high camp.

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THORUNG HIGH CAMP TO THORONGLA

THORUNG HIGH CAMP TO RANIPAUWA

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RANIPAUWA TO JHARKOT
Getting to Jharkot from Ranipauwa is tough and disorienting only if you are under the influence of some really potent drink. For all others, either simply follow the road or for a few smart ones find the little shortcuts between the dirt road turnings to get to Jharkot in about half an hour.

JHARKOT TO KHINGAR
Say your goodbyes to Jharkot. Get past a hotel named "No name". The trail will now move down. Slip down the stone-walled road and get past the 3 colored chortens; black, white and red. You will come across ACAP map of Jharkot and a sign pointing towards the way to Khingar. Much of the stretch from Jharkot to Khingar is open lands. Follow the trail and you should reach Khingar. It's not a confusing trail at all, you should do fine.

KHINGAR TO KAGBENI
Walk right through the buckwheat and barley cultivation lands of Khingar. After Khingar the trail will slowly bend towards the right (North) and then will bend towards the west. The trails run straight towards the west to Kagbeni. At around 45 minutes mark the trail starts towards the west. At this trail stretch, you will see caves on the other side of Jhong Khola in the rocky cliffs. After walking for about 50 minutes from Khingar there comes a crossroad. The trail to the left will take you to Eklebhatti (Old Kagbeni). The right trail is the right one. Catch the right trail. After some 15 minutes, you will start descending to the majestic Kagbeni. Just be wary of the crossroad, else is all easy.

KAGBENI TO OLD KAGBENI
Leave as early as possible. Strong winds blow up the Kali Gandaki valley everyday from around 10-11 am. As the day progresses the winds only get stronger. Bad news for people with dust allergy; walk well prepared. Start from the southernmost part of Kagbeni. Immediately after leaving the settlement of Kagbeni a big concrete building will be visible with the blue roof. After some 15 minutes of leaving Kagbeni, the cultivation lands will start thinning away and you will meet a crossroad. Take the trail to the right and descent down to the riverbed of Kali Gandaki. You will walk alongside the nerve structured river of Kali Gandaki and beautiful views of Nilgiri. Some 10 minutes after descending down to Kali Gandaki you will come across the lesser known petroglyph site of Kak Nyingba. Big sandstones with Tibetan inscriptions characterizes this site. 5 minutes more and Eklebhatti will show up with 4 lodges. The motor road which you avoided passes by the east, just above of Eklebhatti.

OLD KAGBENI TO JOMSOM
Right after leaving Old Kagbeni there will come a big turn to the right. Here is where the suspension bridge to Dagarjong and Phallyak is. Resist the temptation to visit these beautiful villages to go to Jomsom. Past the bridge, the trail takes a curvy left turn. After getting past the bridge you will see a blue and white marker pointing to Lubra to the east. Jomsom is where your destination is, so avoid the wide valley of Lubra, walk straight and cross Panda Khola. Once you see the white, red and black chortens climb up to the motorhead. 30 minutes after climbing up there comes a crossroad. There will be roads to your left and right. Take the rightmost trail. Stick to the road and the massive town of Jomsom will be visible just under 30 minutes.

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Total Duration

20  Days

Note:

Pre-booking of Hotels and Food is recommended


Trip Ratings: 5
       

Having Trouble?

If you are having any trouble regarding the packages,feel free to contact us.

Kunchok Tenzin Lama

Vice Chairman

Narpa Bhumi Rural Municipality

Manang, Nepal

Contact: +977-445689252

E-mail: [email protected]