Annapurna Sanctuary Private Journey

Trek into the Heart of the Himalaya

Trip Level

This trip is Level 5+, Strenuous, according to our trip rating system. We have 11 hiking days, with hikes of 6-8 hours a day on moderate to steep trails. Most of the hiking is between 5,000 and 13,000 feet, and our highest overnight is at about 13,000 feet. On trek, there are steep ascents and descents (often 2,000 to 3,000 feet in elevation gain or loss per day), including sections of steep, stone staircases.

There are dangers inherent in any expedition traveling to remote wilderness regions, especially when they involve travel to high altitude. These dangers include everything from rock falls to the possibility of a serious fall, accident, or sickness without access to means of rapid evacuation, availability of medical supplies, or adequate medical attention once provided. Our Trek Leaders and support crew are experienced veterans of the Nepal Himalaya, but it takes cooperation and flexibility from each participant to ensure a successful trek.

Getting in Shape
Every participant must understand that this trek is truly challenging—you should be in excellent physical condition. Even though trip members carry only a daypack (with camera, jacket, rain gear, water bottle, and other small necessities you may need during the day), we recommend you make a special effort to get in top physical shape for the trip by hiking, running, swimming, bicycling, or engaging in other forms of aerobic exercise well beyond your normal routine. Many activities get heart and lungs into shape, but the most effective way of getting fit for hiking is to hike! Walking up and down flights of stairs is also an effective way to train for the steep ascents and descents in the Himalaya. Bending your knees as you go down stairs will help strengthen your quad muscles. At least two months prior to your trek, we urge you to go on weekend day hikes that involve long uphill and downhill walking.

For this trek, we require your doctor sign the Wilderness Travel Medical Form. Once Wilderness Travel has confirmed your place on the trip roster, no refunds beyond our standard fees will be made if your physician refuses to sign the form. It is very important that you and your physician fully agree that you are physically capable of undertaking a strenuous trek, and equally important that you undertake proper conditioning prior to the trek.

The Trek Leader has the right to disqualify any member from the trip at any time if it is medically necessary, to avoid endangering the group, or if the participant in question is physically unfit for the rigors of the trip. Refunds are not given under such circumstances.

Trek Leader
Our trek is led by an experienced English-speaking Sirdar (leader), who is ably assisted by a team of assistants and a trail crew. He and his team have a deep connection with the Himalayas and are wonderful trailside companions, hiking with you throughout each day on the trail, providing good company, and making sure that you are comfortable and hiking at a pace that suits you.

A Typical Trekking Day
Hiking distances on trek are normally measured in hours, not miles, since maps aren’t really accurate enough to assess how far we walk up and down winding mountain trails. On a typical trek day, wake-up is around 7:00 am. After packing up our duffels and having breakfast, we set off on the trail while the porters or pack animals shoulder their loads. The crew usually passes us by midmorning to get ahead and prepare our lunch. We ask you not to hike ahead of the leader because trails are often not well-marked.

We typically walk for three to four hours in the morning, then stop for a leisurely lunch of an hour or more at a scenic spot on the trail. After lunch, we walk for another three hours or so until we reach our next night’s lodging. Upon arrival, we have late afternoon tea and a snack. On our exploration days we occasionally have more time in the morning or afternoon for rest or further individual exploration. Temperatures drop quickly as the sun falls behind the peaks, and it’s easy to get chilled after exerting yourself for several hours, so have an extra layer of clothing ready. Dinner is served to us in the lodge, and afterwards, we usually chat away the evening or read until bedtime.

Meals on Trek
Our own experienced cook crew is part of the Wilderness Travel  trekking staff, and all our meals will be prepared by them. Our cooks are trained and offer a good variety of hygienically prepared meals. Our drinking water is always boiled and treated washing water is put out before every meal so you can wash your hands before eating. Meals are a blend of Nepalese and Western dishes. Breakfast is normally a light meal of porridge or granola, with hot milk, tea, coffee, hot chocolate, biscuits, or cookies. Lunches may include potatoes, eggs, curried vegetables, cheese, local-style breads, fruit, tea, hot chocolate or a fruit drink. Dinner is typically soup and a main course such as a noodle dish, or meat or vegetable stew, depending on what is available in local villages. Dessert on trek is usually canned or fresh fruit.  If you are partial to special treats (licorice, candy bars, trail mix, and so on), please bring your own supply with you for the trek. A variety of sweets, nuts, and dried fruit can be purchased in Kathmandu.

Weather

The popular trekking seasons are fall and spring. Nepal lies at the same latitude as Florida, but altitude is the main factor governing temperatures. In the semitropical lowlands of Kathmandu (altitude 4,000 feet), daytime temperatures can be quite warm, in the 70Fs and 80Fs, with cool, misty nights. In the Annapurna foothills, temperatures tend to be quite cool in the mornings and evenings (50Fs-60Fs), but heat up at mid-day due to the strong direct sunlight at altitudes over 5,000 feet. It rarely snows below 7,000 feet.

At altitudes of 8,000 to 10,000 feet, daytime temperatures can be in the 50Fs and 60Fs for fall trips and 60Fs and 70Fs for spring trips. Nights are cool to cold, often in the 40Fs. Skies are generally clear, although the spring has more precipitation (but Nepal’s famous rhododendron forests are in full bloom in the spring). Clouds often form in the afternoons, disappearing at night to reveal brilliantly starry skies.

At altitudes over 10,000 feet, weather is unpredictable and the wind chill factor comes into play. Daytime temperatures at these heights can be in the 60Fs, but also as low as the 30s and 40s, especially if it is windy. Temperatures drop very quickly when the sun goes down, and evening/nighttime temperatures at high altitudes often drop to around 15F and sometimes lower. Snow is not uncommon at higher elevations.

Choosing the Right Trip

We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please contact us.

References

We are proud to have an exceptionally high rate of repeat travelers. For more information, we would be happy to put you in touch with a client who has traveled with us.

Other Trips You Might be Interested in: