Trekking in Nepal- The Annapurna Ciruit Trek in a few days
Trekking in Nepal is by far the most popular outdoor activity while in the country. Normally it takes at least 12-21 days to do the Annapurna circuit trek, so most people on a time limit tend to go for Annapura Base Camp ABC or Poonhill trek which are only 4-6 days. But if you are determined and want to cross the Thorang-La Pass, which is the highest mountain pass in the world, and you're on a tight schedule here is how you can do it in a week or 8 days.
Day 1: Arriving to Chame
Catch a bus from Pokhara to Besisahar (The bus leaves at 6.30am and takes 4 hours and costs 450 NR) and a 7 hour jeep to Chame (1500 NR). This is a long day of travelling. If time allows you can split the travelling on 2 days.
Day 2: Trek number one
This is the first day of trekking, from Chame at 2670 meters to Lower Pisang at 3200 meters. Make sure to pass through the Upper Pisang route for acclimatisation, where you can stop for a break then slowly go down a 100 meters to Lower Pisang. Total walking time (including breaks): 6 hours
Chame-Talekhu 30 minutes Talekhu-Bhratang 1 hour Bhratang-Dhikur Pokhari 1 hour 50 mins Dhikur Pokhari- upper pisang 1 hour Upper - lower pisang 20 minutes
Day 3: Trek number two
Today's lovely rek takes you from Lower Pisang to Braka. A very scenic trek which takes you to the steady steep 400 meter trek to Ghyaru. Pass the beautiful scenes through Ngawal to final destination of Braka at 3439 meters. Total walking time (including breaks): 8 hours
Lower pisang-Ghyaru 1 hr 55 mins Ghyaru-Ngawal 1 hr 50 mins Ngawal-Julu 1 hr 10 mins Julu-Munchi 1 hr 5 mins Munchi - Braka 25 mins
Day 4: Trek number three
This challenging trek to the ice lake, Kicho tal, which is at 4600 meters high, is is a good acclimatisation exercise as you are going up 1200 meters in a day. Trek High sleep low, the best prevention for mountain sickness therefore a trip to this lake is highly recommended if you are aiming for the pass. don't forget to enjoy the views once you are up there. Sleep another night in Braka or stay in Manang, a further 30 minute from here. Total time including breaks to ascend is 4 hours 25 minutes. Total time descending 1 hour 30 minutes.
Day 5: Trek number four
Today's trek takes you from Braka to Yak kharka, a total ascent of 611 meters. Total time including breaks 5 hours 30 minutes
Braka-Manang 30 minutes Manang-Tengi 25 minutes Tengi-gunsang 1 hour 10 minutes Gunsang-Ghyanchang 45 mins Ghyanchang-Yak kharka 1 hour
Day 6: Trek number five
Trek from Yak kharka to Thorung Phedi, a total ascent of 525 meters. From Ledar on the way to the tea house you need to cross the bridge, there are 2 options. Take the first left path to the bridge, the climb on the other side on Gundang mountain is easier and less steep than the second option. Total time including breaks 4 hours.
Yak kharka-Ledar 1 hour 30 minutes Ledar - to tea house 55 mins Tea house-Thorung Phedi 35 minutes
Day 7: Trek number six
Today is the day to cross the highest mountain pass in the world, the ultimate trek across the Thorang-La Pass. Be mentally prepared for this physically challenging day of 900 meter climb. Make sure you leave the hotel by at least 6am, you want to get to the pass before 11am, the wind blows so hard up at 5416 meters so make sure you climb early. Also ask for weather forecast before attempting to climb.
Total time including breaks: 9 hours 30 minutes
Thorung Phedi - Base Camp 1 hour 10 minutes this is the toughest part a 400 meter climb Base camp - Thorang-La Pass 2 hours 45 minutes Thorang-La Pass- Chambar Bhu 2.30 hours, 1236 meter steep descent Chambar Bhu-Muktinath 1 hour
It is the best feeling to feel on top of the world at this pass.
Day 8: Getting back
From Muktinath If you are pressed for time you can catch a 2 hour jeep ride to Jomson for 700 NR, and another 6 hour bus or jep ride to Pokhara for 1700 NR.
This is how you can cross the highest mountain pass in the world in a few days. Don't forget you need your permits to start the trek and here is how to get the permits for trekking. Also check out the tips for trekking in Nepal.