Annapurna

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The Annapurna region of the Nepalese Himalaya sees more trekkers each year than any part of the great Himalayan range. This is understandable because the region is extremely beautiful, well maintained, and accessible to foreign visitors. The area is controlled by the ‘Annapurna Conservation Area Project’ (ACAP), which regulates ‘tea-house’ accommodation, ensuring that food is safely prepared, prices are fair, menus are varied and comprehensive (offering not only Nepalese cuisine, but food that satisfies Western tastes as well), and that hygiene standards are high. They also ensure the safely of trekkers, and keep the trails open.  

     A great number of treks in the Annapurna region, to a huge variety of destinations, are possible. It’s up to the individual (or group) to say where they would like to go. The most popular routes are the Annapurna Circuit (+/- 20 days), the Jomsom / Muktinath / Kali Gandaki / Ghorepani areas, and the Annapurna Sanctuary. Some of these destinations can be combined to create a longer trek.

    Summit Ventures’ favourite route takes in the best of the region. We fly to Jomsom, trek to Kagbeni in the afternoon, walk up to Muktinath next day (the pilgrim site where a burning flame was discovered rising from the waters of a stream bed two thousand years ago - the four elements fire, water, earth and air all in one place lending spiritual significance to the site!), trek down through the Kali Gandaki canyon (the deepest gorge on earth) to the hot springs at Tatopani. Thereafter, we climb up to Ghorepani for an early morning ascent of Poon Hill to witness dawn breaking across the high Annapurna massif. Two days later we’re in Chomrong – the start of the climb up the Modi Khola to the Annapurna Sanctuary. We overnight at both Machhapuchhre and Annapurna I base camps, with plenty of time to enjoy the marvels of this remote enclave of ice and snow during the day.   

    The route takes us through four totally different types of scenery - four separate topographical regions: the barren desert terrain bordering Tibet; the deep gorge of the Kali Gandaki (with the two 8,000 meter giants, Dhaulagiri and Annapurna I, flanking its sides); the lush green forests of the south-facing slopes of the Himalaya (a riot of colour in spring when the rhododendrons are in full bloom!); and finally the Annapurna Sanctuary - a remote enclave of snow and ice peaks, rising three thousand feet above the floor of the Sanctuary.

    The important thing about this trek is that it can be handled by people who are doubtful about high altitude climbing. The Everest trail rises to 5,548 m (18,200 ft), whereas the highest point reached on this trek is only 4,130 m (13,548 ft).

    Dates are always carefully chosen to coincide with the flowering of the rhododendrons in the spring. Typically, we spend 16 days trekking, covering a distance of approximately 200 kilometers. The trek is long and challenging, but the pace is easy, with plenty of time for everyone to enjoy the experience to the full, and for photography.   

    The local people are extremely courteous and hospitable. (The guide books say that the lodges in the Annapurna region are the best in the Himalaya.) Also, for quality and variety, the food is unsurpassed. In 2007, for dessert we were treated to steamed chocolate pudding, brandy apple fritters, and delicacies such as Mars Bars wrapped in crispy pastry and baked in the oven until the chocolate melted and oozed out. Thereafter, this wonderful concoction was smothered in rich custard! Be warned: this is one trek on which you are not likely to loose weight!

    Finally, our support teams are always only the best – courteous and kind, considerate and caring, fun-filled and knowledgeable. Eco Trek International have been our business partners for 10 years and have assisted us with over 26 expeditions. In all that time, they have never put a foot wrong! Our warmest thanks and greetings to them - Namaste!

 

Eco Trel International

 

Click on address to access e-mailEnquiries: summitventures@mweb.co.za

 

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