Annapurna IV expedition in Nepal

annapurna-expeditionThis is one of the classic and most rewarding treks in Nepal and probably the worlds’ favorites trekking destination which offers panoramic views of the three giant and the highest 8000m mountain range Mt.Annapurna, Mt.Dhaulagiri and Mt.Manaslu including arrays of over 6000m snow capped peaks. The trail follows the river Marsyangdi all the way to its source, the glacial lake in Manang, through the rural farm villages and terraced farm fields from the sub-tropic climate to the arctic landscape and through the rain forest to the alpine woodlands and then reaching at the base of Annapurna IV for the climb.

Annapurna IV situated on the lower west ridge of Annapurna II can be seen clearly with the whole Annapurna range from Pokhara, the normal climb is approached from the Manang area from its north side from Hongde and it is considered a relatively easier mountain to climb among all the Annapurnas. This expedition starts from Beshishar on the Annapurna circuit trek trail all the way to Pisang and then to near Hongde from here the trail is towards absolute wilderness near by the way of Nepal Mountaineering School.  It requires two hours walking from the base camp to reach the bottom of the mountain.

It requires approximately 65 – 70 degrees of steep climbing with fixed ropes approximately 500 meters to reach camp I. To reach camp II, approximately 1000 meters of fixed ropes will be required along the ridge and some stretches of steep climbing. From camp II to camp III it is relatively easy with zigzag crossing and gradually climbing up. However, it will require approximately 1300 – 1500 meters fixed rope. From camp III to the summit, generally fixed rope is not required and the main rope is used. There are possibilities of avalanches between Camp I and Camp II.

Trip Profile:

Mode of expeditions:            On Lodge and camping after Hongde.
Trekking Grade:                       Moderate to Adventurous
Climbing Grade:                       Mountaineering Expeditions.
Expedition’s duration:         33-34 days.
Total Trip:                                  38 / 39 Days Kathmandu-Kathmandu.
Best Season:                              April-May-September to November.

Expedition outline Itinerary: 

Day 01: Arrive at Kathmandu. Transfer to Hotel.
Day 02: In Kathmandu half day guided tour.
Day 03: Drive to Syange 1,140m via Beshishar 823m. 6-7 hrs journey.
Day 04: Drive to Dharapani 1,860m Approx 3-4 6hrs.
Day 05: Trek to Chame 2,715m. Approx. 5-6 hrs.
Day 06: Trek to Pisang 3,185m. Approx. 6 hrs.
Day 07: Trek to Hongde 3,280m 3-4 hrs.
Day 08: Rest day at Hongde for acclamatsation.
Day 09: Trek towards Annapurna IV base camp overnight camp at Yak
Kharka approx. 3,800m 4-5 hrs.
Day 10: Trek to Annapurna Base Camp at approx. 4,889m 4-5 hrs.
Day 11: Rest day and preparation for the climb.
Day 12: Trek and climb to High Camp at approx 5,218m. 4-5 hrs.
Day 13-28: 16 days to reach the summit at 7,525m with camp II & III full
preparation, rest and proper acclamatsation.
Day 29: Return to Base Camp.
Day 30: At base camp for clean up and packing.
Day 31: Trek to Manang 3,350m.Approx. 4-5 hrs.
Day 32: Trek to Yak Kharka 3-4 hrs. 4,100m.
Day 33: Trek to Thorung high camp 4,600m approx  6 hrs walks.
Day 34: Trek to Muktinath 3,800m via Thorang-la 5,416m. Approx. 6-8 hrs.
Day 35:  Trek to Jomsom 2,730m. 4-5 hrs walks.
Day 36:  Fly to Pokhara afternoon free at leisure.
Day 37:  Drive back to Kathmandu.
Day 38: In Kathmandu at leisure and to submit Expeditions reports.
Day 39: International Departure.

Details Itinerary

Day 01:     Arrive at Kathmandu and transfer to Hotel.
On arrival in Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport you will be received by our staff and will escort you to the Hotel, our guide will give you a brief orientation of the Hotel, Kathmandu, Trekking, do’s and don’t and other related information that you might require while in Nepal.

Day 02:     In Kathmandu a half day sightseeing tour.
After your first night in Kathmandu, you will be well informed on arrival about the time for your half day guided sightseeing tour in Kathmandu at places of interest.

Day 03:     Drive to Syange 1,140m via Beshishar 823m. 6-7 hrs journeys.
After early breakfast a scenic drive leads towards the scenic Pokhara highway. This is an interesting drive through the foothills of the Himalaya. The road has been greatly improved in recent years. Just few hours before the road that leads to Pokhara, route diverts from Dumre town towards north to Beshishar.
On reaching Beshishar for the overnight stop this is a large town and it’s the district headquarter of Lamjung region.

Day 04:     Drive to Dharapani 1,860m   3-4 hrs.
The drive continues on the high road with fascinating scenery of the gorge, high hills, waterfalls and snow capped peaks the dirt jeep road for two to three hours, the drive continues through winding path from Syange and Jagat village, trail follows to a steep climb for half an hour, on arriving the lush farm terraces field once on the top of the ridge a magnificent view of the raging waterfalls can be seen on route to Jagat. From this village journey leads through the terraced farms coming to Chamje village, crossing the bridge it’s another steep climb for another hour till Tal is reached, the village is situated on the gorge-valley by the side of the river Marsyangdi. On leaving Tal the drive gets easier on the gentle path till to a large bridge, after the bridge brings to the village of Dharapani for the overnight stop where the driving adventure ends here.

Day 05: Trek to Chame. 2,715m.  5-6 hrs.
From Dharapani the vegetation, people and the landscapes changes and the air gets cooler, the trail then climb through forests to Bagarchhap, and the first village on the trek with typical Tibetan architecture. After a pleasant cool morning walk altitude gains slowly reaching the apple country at Dhanaqi and the alpine region passing through farm area, orchards and beautiful pine forest with views of  Lamjung and Annapurna II peaks, the trail follows the river Marsyangdi upstream passing by the villages of Ratamanang and Koto before Chame. From Koto, half hour of easy walk brings to the village town of Chame for the overnight stop. Chame an important place of Manang region, and the district headquarters.

Day 06: Trek to Pisang 3,185m.  6 hrs.
The walk from here follows the other side of the river on the northern bank, after leaving Chame, the path passes through pine woods and small villages with few ups and downs till you reach Bratang. From here trek continues on the gradual path up to a bridge, from the bridge a short steep climb through the pine forest brings you at the top of the ridge of Pisang village. After walking past the tree lines a great view can be seen of Pisang peak and the Chulu peak with Pisang village below, from this ridge a gentle descent for an hour brings to the windswept village of Pisang.

Day 07: Trek to Hongde 3,280m 3-4 hrs.
From Pisang onwards the walks leads with the constant view of the high snow capped peaks. The walk climbs steeply up for half an hour, after a short gradual walk from the Pisang village then reaching the top of a small hill.  This grand spot offers a dramatic views of the valleys, Hongdre village with it’s short air-strip and the great peaks of Gangapurna, Annapurna II, III, Tilocho, and on the right Chuli east, on the back Pisang peak. The walk from here is on the downhill and gradual path all the way to Hongde.

Day 08:  Rest day at Hongde for acclamatsation.

A necessary rest day for acclamatsation and for a short hike around Hongde has   one and only small airstrip which fly’s in and out from Pokhara only few airline operates here 3-4 flights in a week.

Day 09:  Trek towards Annapurna IV base camp overnight camp at Yak
Kharka approx. 3,800m 4-5 hrs.

The walk from hereleads near towards the Mountaineering School of Nepal Mountaineering Association after passing this school building into the pine forest for a while with slight uphill and then on the gradual level ground till Yak Kharka (Shepard Shades) is reached for the overnight stop.

Day 10:  Trek to Annapurna Base Camp at approx. 4,889m 4-5 hrs.

The walkfrom here heads more towards south east leaving the tree lines behind after few hours of good walk, then reaching towards the rocks and moraines and finding a nice clearing to establish the Base Camp for more than 2 weeks of climb.

Day 11:  Rest day and preparation for the climb.
An important free day so that one can prepare for this hard climb to the top of Annapurna IV which has technical section in several areas to the summit and to scout the route of the climb as well.

Day 12:  Trek and climb to High Camp at approx 5,218m. 4-5 hrs.
After a good rest, walk leads to a climb on the rocks and ice section ascending slowly on this rocky moraine with fantastic views of the surrounding snow capped mountains and finding a suitable spot for the Advance or High Camp for this remarkable adventurous climb.

Day 13-28: 16 days to reach the summit at 7,525m with camp II & III full
preparation, rest and proper acclamatsation.     

A full 16 days is required for this hard strenuous climb as one needs to fix at least 2-3 camps before the summit bid, these day you will be engrossed shifting the climbing gear, tents and food supply up and down the designated camps for the final day climb to the summit top.

Day 29:  Return to Base Camp.

After a hard wonderful adventurous climb descend back the same route back to the Base Camp for the onward journey back via Thorang-la and Jomsom.

Day 30:  At base camp for clean up and packing.

A full rest day to pull back the strength and to prepare evacuate the camp and clean up of the rubbish, before leaving this wonderful spot..

Day 31: Trek to Manang 3,350m.Approx. 4-5 hrs.

From Hongde the trek is more or less flat on the wide trail most of the way to Manang, adding a slight touch of altitude as you near to the village of Braga and Manang, here with time to spend the morning visiting Braga Monastery. The largest in the district, it has an outstanding display of statues, thangkas and the religious manuscripts.  From here it is only an hour walk to Manang for the overnight stop.

Day 32: Trek to Yak Kharka.approx 4,130m. 3-4 hrs trek.
After a wonderful time at Manang, the trail from here leads to a slow climb for an hour, after the last village of Manang, the track gently winds up offering inspiring views of the Annapurna II, Gangapurna, Tiloche and the close up views of Chuli’s peaks from mid and west as the trail heads up in the barren windswept terrain’s with juniper bushes as the only surviving vegetation around this region, coming to a small settlements of Yak-Kharka for the overnight with time for a short hike around.

Day 33: Trek to Thorung Phedi. 4,400m. 3-4 hrs walks.  .
The trail from here leads to a slow climb up, after the last settlement of Ledar, the track gently winds up offering grand views of the Annapurna II, Gangapurna, Tiloche and the close up view of Chuli peaks as the trail heads up in the barren windswept terrain’s, then slowly reaching at Thorang Phedi for the overnight.
Depending upon your fitness if all is well here at lunch time continue the climb on the zig-zag track towards Upper Phedi or High Camp where there are few teahouses or lodge reaching here makes the walk easier start for the next day and shortens the hour of walking towards the pass.

Day 34: Trek to Muktinath 3,800m via Thorang-la 5,416m.  6-8 hrs.
Starting early after breakfast, so that you can reach the top of the pass on time before the cold wind starts and to catch the best of the magnificent views of the northern Annapurna, Damudhar,Bhirkuti and Dhaulagiri range of mountains.
The trail from Phedi follows on the winding gravel path in the beginning can be quite strenuous on the steep zig-zag path for an hour, on reaching the first ridge walk continues on the narrow gradual track for half hour or more till a small glacial pond is reached where there is a small teahouse. From here another hour and half leads to the top of the pass. Though the crossing of the Pass is not technically difficult, one’s got to take it slowly in account the complications of altitude and possible snow, after 3-4 hours of struggle from the bottom, then finally reaching at the height of 5,416 meter at Thorang-la, an impressive view of the stunning high Himalayan scenery can be seen from the top of this pass.
The descent is steep and rough, but one can have excellent views of the Dhaulagiri 8,167 m. A long descend to the village of Muktinath, on reaching at the bottom there’s about two or three teahouses for refreshment, after a break here continue for another hour to Muktinath the holiest of all holy places, during auspicious time according to Hindu & Buddhist calendar this place is full and busy with pilgrims from Nepal and India.

Day 35: Trek to Jomsom 2,713m. 4-5 hrs walks.
After Muktinath, journey carries on with a 1,200m of descent to the Kaligandaki river valley floor, with a brief stop at Ekale bhatti meaning a lonely teahouse, at present it’s a small settlement with 3-4 teahouses. From here onwards the valley gets very windy in the afternoon time, the walk from here follows the gentle trail for another two hours till the large town of Jomsom is reached.
Jomsom, headquarter of the Mustang region with a small airstrip just above the Kaligandaki River.

Day 36: Fly from Jomsom to Pokhara.
Early morning flight to Pokhara, on arrival our staff will pick you up for the short
drive back to respective Hotel, afternoon sightseeing of Pokhara and boat ride.

Day 37: Drive back to Kathmandu.
After a memorable time in Jomsom and Muktinath and the scenic Pokhara,
morning drive on the busy highway to Kathmandu following the river Trisuli for
few hours, and then reaching Kathmandu by mid or late afternoon, on arrival
check in at the respective Hotel.

Day 38: In Kathmandu.
A free day to submit the expeditions report to respective Government department,
and a leisure day, please inform our staff if you would like to go on a short tour in
and around Kathmandu.

Day 39: Transfer to Airport for the International departure.
Depending upon your flight time, our staff will transfer you to the International airport for the flight back home or to your respective destination.

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