Annapurna Seven Passes Trek

 Annapurna Seven Passes Trek
(Written by Prem Rai)

Annapurna Seven Passes Trek is one of the most extremely adventurous; a place where you can immerse yourself in authentic cultures, purely lush and untouched natures and be inspired by the tremendously spectacular mountain scenery on the planet.
It begins at Tal village and Karte Manang and ends at old Jomsom the lower Mustang. Total distance of this strenuous trail is 225 kilometers. Asal and I; each of us lost minimum of 10 kg weight and gained well resilience!
Most part of this trail is very confusing (no trail signs!). Do not try to walk it without an expert guide, which is totally unsafe! And beware of some guides and agencies in Nepal; they might try to offer this trek to their clients without a field experienced guide, which is even dangerous!
We got lost about 4 hrs at Namge Kharka a huge meadow! People of Meta and Nar told us that very often the local herders also miss the location while they return to shelter, especially in monsoon season.
Last time Asal and I did visit there in July, we were covered by so thick fog, even it was very difficult to see 5 meters distance. But at the same moment those people said; October – November and April – May, you will have the best opportunities to view the mind blowing scenery.
Best time to trek it; whole October/ November and the last week of March to mid. May. You can do it, 70% camping and 30% basic tea house. And if you don’t get a plenty of time for it then can be broken into sections.
The Annapurna Seven Passes trek is designed with the combination of old and new trails throughout the Donalake valley including Tripple (Ghoa) pass – Tache and Kuchumro pass – Phu and Nar valley – Manang and Mustang valley via Tilicholake and Mesokanto pass.
The Terila Pass trail to upper Mustang also connected with this trek. You also need to take care of the special permit for Phu and Nar. And compulsorily bring crampons and necessary climbing rope with you. 

Note: Time duration I have mentioned here below is only Walking-Time an extra break time, count yourself.

Kathmandu/Pokhara to Tal village 1700m (9 -10 hrs approx)
Drive with jeep (at least from Besishahar), if you ride a bus may not reach there in one day. Tal itself is one of the nicest places on this trip. It surrounded by the greenery high hills, waterfall and it situated at the left Marsyandi river bank. There are many good lodges and restaurants available.
Well, setting this itinerary to fit the distance better is; driving directly to Karte, but there are few basic lodges and almost no space for camping, so as a first night stay at Tal is good idea.

Tal village to Karte (Khotro) 1837m (2 hrs appox)
Firstly, almost half way to the suspension bridge is need to follow the old trail and after bridge you walk on the dirt road till the bridge of Karte. But no problem, there are less traffic yet and in total will take about 2 hrs walk. It makes sense to hike shorter the first couple of days to adjust better the altitude.
The little village of Karte is the beginning point for the Annapurna Seven Passes trek. You just get off the vehicle at the right river bank of Marsyangdi and enter the village by crossing a high suspension bridge over it. Karte is located at the base massive green rock-hill.

Karte to Nache village 2260m (1.8 hrs approx)
At the center of Karte, there is a trail junction shows Dharapani or Nache, you follow the right hand side and in 1 min, you will see another sign post pointing Nache and start here to climb the steep trail through the huge green cliff.
In 40 min, you come at a little chautati (resting place), continue 50 min. further, reach at second chautari and now you will see the village of Nache. Still walk for 15 min, and come near the chortens the entrance point of the village and within few min, you are at the center of the village.
At Nache; there is basic homestay named Donalake with two narrow rooms and four beds. We saw other couple of private houses with bigger rooms and beds, all were closed. In peak season, probably they offer it to you. In dry season, you will get to set tents on the open fields.
Nabin Gurung the owner of Donalake Homestay; on request he will prepare dal-bhat, boiled potatoes, noodle soup etc. In case of his mobile nr; +977 9746011681 or 9861027638.
At Nache, there are 40 Gurung households. From here, you may able to trek to Thoche, Tilche and Dharapani via Tamrang nunnery gompa.

Nache to Aalubari (Potato field) 3080m and Thulo Kharka 3132m (4.2 hrs approx)
For Aalubari, your hike begins just before the Donalake Homestay, take a right and descent for 10 min, at the potato or barley field. Now, you climb through this field entering the forest in 10 min, come at trail junction, go left another 15 min, reach a cool chautari with nice view of whole Nache.
Continue 5 min, on gradual up, another trail junction, take right, in 20 min, other trail junction again follow the right for 20 min, to get the rock – chautari. This is a good place to see Nache, Dharapani, Odar and Tachai. Another 2 hrs strenuous climbed to Aalubari.
25 min, an easy climbed to trail junction, take a lower trail 5 min, to descend at the side stream, after crossing it to come at trail junction 5 min, take a left in 10 min, you come at Thulo Kharka a newly built apple orchard.
Now if you continue further take a right and go along the fence. But if you going to camp over here then follow the left hand side of it and in few min, you will come at a little temporary shelter for cow herders. Around here you can set your tents; water is available nearby the small well (in case it is dried, bring it from the stream 10/15 min, back).
You better stop at Aalubari with plenty of space for camping. Water you need to find somewhere I heard.You can view Annapurna and other beautiful mountains.

Aalubari (potato field) and Thulo Kharka to Dharmashala 3660m (7.5 hrs approx)
At Thulo Kharka, we began on Nepali flat and continue it for 1 hour in the sloppy damp forest of pine and rhododendron. And next 30 min, to descend at the Chojo khola 2820m, without a bridge, normally you can step one rock to another, be careful with the wet stones!
In couple of min, you come just at the left bank of Dona Khola and continue climbing for 15 min, and cross a metal bridge 2812m. About 40/45 min, a tough climbed 2991m and 1 hour hike a narrow and rather danger trail, soon you reach at Odar Camp with a cave, where you can set tents and water is available.
Continue 50 min, further getting so close at the Dona Khola, still go ahead 45 min, and steep climb far above the river for 15 min, 3382m.
The wider valley is starts from now with thousands of dead standing pine trees. Gentle climb for 8 min, little descent to the stream, climb for 15 min, reach at Kharka and go through it, in 10 min, to cross the Chilibu side river 3453m without a bridge, step rock to rock, normally there is wooden plank has put by local herders.
10/15 min, easy climb to a trail junction shows Wabu at the left and Donalake the right you follow and in 1:20 hours you cross a wooden bridge over Ongre Khola 3640m, next 5 min to Dharmashala 3660m.
Dharmashala is a large pasture with many temporary shelters belonging to the herders. They stay over here from mid-May to October. There is a newly built Inn, where minimum 20 people can sleep at once and inside the shelter is good fire place. Water is available and you can set hundreds of tents at this place.
There are few herdsmen from Nache and they breed Joppa (cow and yak cross), yak and hundreds of goats. Asal and I both inspired with a young man from Dharapani; who had never try to go abroad for working but he decided to be a herder in the Donalake valley and he has currently 45 yaks and 65 cows. Each year those cows give birth at least 45/50 new Joppa. Each Joppa (8 -12 months old) costs: minimum of USD 392 x 50 = 19,600 per year and he sales at least 5 adult yaks x USD 1000 = 5,000 .So this guy per year earns USD 24,600. Plus he collects some Himalayan herbs and sale some goats as well.

Dharmashala to Donalake 4039m (2.2 hrs approx)
You gently climb behind the Inn and entering the forest, cross a side river and go over another river in 15 min. After here walk couple of min, you slidely climb to the left, in 10 min, you reach at a huge rock cave in the middle of pasture, even a shelter also attached with it 3786m. You can set tents here and water is available near the stream. Continue hike for 52 min, and 90 meters steep ascent in the forest of rhododendron getting the ridge in 15/20 min, and descent on the open grassy slope to cross the Dona khola for 6 min, and come at a temporary herders’ shelter, where we were offered the best Himalayan herb’s tea and fresh yak milkJ
Still climb steep to the ridge above takes 10/16 min, from where you will see the lake, but to enjoy more you have to go down to the lake another 11 min. This lake is nice (for me not really breath taking). Well, surely it’s calm and peaceful being totally in nature.
It’s situated at the altitude of 4039m. While weather is good, you see the part of Manaslus and the valley. You can camp at the lake shore and hear so loud sound of rock falling on other side of it.

Donalake to Wabu Odar (cave) 3661m (2.1 hrs approx)
An easy descent down to Dharmashala takes about 1 hour and 30 min, just after here you cross a little wooden bridge over the Ongre khola and there is trail junction leading left is Nache you came up, but you should take right entering the forest for 10 min, on flat, gently descent for some time and easy ascent to Wabu Odar in 25 min.
Wabu is a small forest surrounding pasture. You can set tents and piping water is available (if the pipe is not broken somewhere). There is cave; the local herders store everything they need during the stay in this valley.

Wabu Odar to Kapribai Cave 3846m (52 min, approx)
Steady climb along the ridge for 45 min, and turn left to continue 7 min, to Kapribai Cave. It’s a huge dry cave, where you can just put mattresses also no problem. 15/20 people can easily sleep in. Water is not available nearby. You can bring it from the side river on the way direction you are heading for and it may take 20/30 min, round trip. Or each of you 2/3 liter can bring it already from Wabu.  
About this Cave; I have collected an interesting story from the locals and Triple Gurung’s an article,
In the olden days, it is said; a father and son from the village of Nache had gone hunting and decided to spend the night at this cave. Overnight, it snowed so heavily that the cave was buried, trapping the hunters inside. They soon ran out of food, at which point the son said to his father “Kill me and eat my flesh.” His father replied, “No, I’m already an old, kill me instead.” After a long debate the father agreed to kill his son, and did so. Heavy with remorse, the father hit the walls of the cave with his bloodied hands, leaving red marks. To this day, visitors to the cave can discern unusual red spots high up on the rock face.

Kapribai Cave to Triple Base Camp (Bijay Phedi) 3912m (3 hrs approx)
Firstly walk 11 min, on Nepali flat then turn right and climb up to Kharka an open grassy land 3900m for 30 min. Now, turn left and 5 min, descent on steep to the side river to cross without a bridge, carefully step one rock to another, but the water goes lower in dry season.
Come other side and climb up 8/10 min, on the grassy steeply slope and slidely descent to Qupadanda 3839m in 45 min.
At the entrance, on the rock you see a blue arrow pointing to right, from here you directly climb up to the ridge behind a huge and sharp standing rock, will take 10/15 min, 3893m (while weather is good, you see a breath taking scenery) and continue it along the ridge about 3/4 min, you will see another blue arrow on the rock, just before it you turn to left and climb on grassy steep reaching another ridge. After here, you bend left to descend on grassy steep and difficult part till the little stream in 45 min. Come other side of it and 15 min, easy climb up to Triple Base Camp (Bijay Phedi) 3912m. It is located at the base of the hugely massive rocky mountains!  There are places for setting tents and water is available from the side river nearby.

Triple Base Camp (Bijay Phedi) to Triple (Goa) Pass 4466m (3.4 hrs approx)
The trail condition long the narrow and deep gorge is extremely challenging! There is no clear trail. Rocky and steep. You will have to follow the left river bank more than half way to the top. After it you have to come on right bank and continue a head. Most of time you have to step one rock to another, even sometime the area you stepping is moving or sliding, so be careful to each of your step, and do not break your leg. Finally you reach on the pass with a little pile of rock and other side of it is very steep and deep. On the left side is a big landslide area.
While you are at the top; you will feel like, you are somewhere on other planet! If weather is clear, the scenery is incomparable! The Annapurnas, Lamjung, Tilicho, Kangaru, the deep valley of Marsyangdi and Donalake on other side. And while we were climbing up from Bijay Phedi, we saw dozens of Himalayan pheasant danphe (Lhophophorus). For in case you also can set few tents on the top. Water is not available, you should bring from the way you came up (Asal and I did so).  But one thing I’m not sure, if always remained water at the little pond we saw behind the rock in the right corner.

Triple (Goa) Pass to Khaindi Kopa 3900m (3 hrs approx)
From the pile of rocks at the top, you turn to right and walk along the ridge (if there is fresh snow or ice, take care do not fall down on the left side) for 3/4 min, then turn left to search the safest path to descend on the grassy steep a big challenging! There is no trail, you just have to find the location to place your feet and after 30/40 min, descent you have to bend your direction toward right-hand-side targeting onto lower end of sloppy meadow. It’s very difficult to step on buki mush and sunpati bush, your legs get so tired and you reach at Khaindi Kopa in 2 hrs and 16 min. At Khaindi Kopa you can set some tents at the same place where locals set temporary shelters. You get water from the stream nearby.
This place is very famous for Himalayan garlic (Fritillaria cirrhosa D. Don), local people sale it for high price. Asal and I met many people from Tilche and Goa came up to collect them.

Khaindi Kopa to Goa village 2544m (4.7 hrs approx)
Just from the Khaindi, we had to descend along the right bank of the little stream for 30 min, 3721m, then turn left to cross it entering the forest of bamboo and rhododendron. Soon cross two little streams, again cross bigger side river 3553m. Now follow the left bank of it, trail condition is very confusing and dangerous even, took 35 min. Few min, later come at a side stream with landslide area and follow left side for 25 min, and enter the forest 3404m.
After 5 min, cross a stream at landslide area, continue along the left in the dense forest for 30/40 min, 3173m, and cross it to come right bank for 10 min, and again cross it to come left side and go ahead, in couple of min, you reach at only a dry little Cave! 3121m.
Another 15 min, get down to cross the river and come at the right bank entering the dense bamboo and pine forest. After 1:30 hrs constantly descent, you reach at a Kharka 2600m.
Now, gently go down for 10 min, to cross a side river, easy walk another 10 min, cross a suspension bridge over Dudh Khola 2544m. Where, the trail connects with Manaslu round trek. In 5 min, you will arrive at Goa village. It’s situated at the right bank of Dudhkhola. There are some big lodges.

Goa village to Tache village 2355m (6 hrs approx)
You start at middle Goa, in 10 min, cross a suspension bridge, another 25/30 min, and reach at Sumle (high above the river) 2458m, exactly here to start walking on the dirt road for 45 min, to Tilche 2268m. It is a big village with many lodges, but I rather prefer to stop at Goa is much nicer.
From Tilche the road continues till Thoche and Dharapani, where it connects with Manang Road. Now, the Manaslu trail section between Tilche and Thoche and Dharapani is destroyed by this road construction! So it’s not nice anymore to trek this part. But Asal and I found a beautiful trail between Tilche and Tache.
The trail sets apart at the center of Tilche; you turn right (while coming from Manaslu direction) and continue further in 15 min, cross a metal bridge. 10 min, later come at a little chautari 2296m. If you are interested to see a cave, exactly from here you have to turn back to the left-hand-side and entering the forest walk for 3 min, there is an interesting Pakya Ney (Milarepa Cave) 2289m.
As locals strongly believe, in this cave, Pakya (Milarepa) spent a long time to meditate. Inside the wall of it, you see many interesting marks and shapes of rock.
From the chautari; 4 min, easy descent to the Ney field, instead of entering it, you should follow the trail through just right above it. Climb up it for 10 min, soon you come at the beginning of Ragu another farming field. If Tilche people clear the old trail, just it follows above the fields, but at the time we visit was too much bush, so we walked through it by focusing more right sides (upper part) and you come at the end part of it, where you need to find the exit point is rather confusing as we been here in monsoon. About 150 meters below the last big rock above the field, we found the exit point entering the thick bushy trail 2344m, of Chhipla Bhir. Walking through the beginning to end point of Ragu field took us 25 min.
At Chhipla Bhir; the beautiful old trail is well existing, except no one maintained it! 38 min, took us to reach the middle part of Chhipla 2356m, too much bush, but as always Asal is very strong and he was able to clear it.  Another 45 min, walk and reach the end point of it (Chhipla Bhir). Wow, the scenery is breathe taking, you as a high above the deep valley of Marsyangdi and Dudh Khola; can view Dharapani, Nache, Odar, Thoche, Bagarchhap and Mountains while the weather is good.
During our hike at Chhipla Bhir; we saw numbers of Ghorals (wild goat) as this place is their most suitable habitat, also many foot print and shit of black bear are found.
Couple of min, before reaching the last point of Chhipla Bhir (coming from Manaslu direction): There is an interesting story regarding the signs we saw on the rocks and the local people explained us. Once upon a time, there was a hunter and one day he tried to hunt a ghoral at this place, unfortunately he missed hunting it! At that point the ghoral scaped away and it left only a foot print on the rock and his arrow went to hit on another rock, both signs can see until this day.
Right from the ridge; you turn left to descend for 5 min, and then turn right to continue getting just below the huge cliff, climb up near the big pine trees, go further and you will find clearer trail. After 1:30 hrs easy climb, you come to pass the ridge 2522m. Now 10 min, descent to cross a wooden bridge over the Toja khola 2470m, at the same time you see the rock honey high above you. Last hike for 15/20 min, and you enter the village of Tache through its farming field 2355m.
Tache is a huge hidden village of 63 households, majority of Gurung and few dalit families as well. Most of the houses made of stone with clay roof. Tache is located on the sunny side, the best fertile soil in whole Manang and they grow; corn, wheat, barley, potato, buckwheat, beans, vegetable, peach, plum, honey etc. Those stuffs supply to Manang, Nar and Phu. As well as they have yaks, cows and goats. They also collect himlayan herbs like; ban lasun (Fritillaria cirrhosa D. Don), satuwa (paris-polyphylla) and yarsagumba (cordyceps sinensis) and kutki (gentian) etc…
There are 20 home stays. 3 to 5 guest can sleep in each. They cook for you a delicious local food including dal-bhat. You can try raksi (home-made alcohol).
These people celebrate a unique festival in May is called “Ton-pooja.” At this occasion whole villagers trap few ghorals (wild goat) with a huge net at Chhipla Bhir. They bring it live and sacrifice at this ceremony. Any interested tourist can join it and enjoy with these people. Even though catching any wild animal is illegal in Nepal but it’s culturally being existed for hundreds of years. As well as they perform cultural dance and programs on this occasion.

Tache to Khorokyu Odar (cave) 3498m (4.8 hrs approx)
At Tache you start walking, go behind the public school and just before the chorten turn to left and descent to cross a little stream in few min. Soon you come at the field, walk through it about 20 min, and reach to Tatopani chautari 2329m. Few min, after you cross a bridge over Tatopani khola, just from here you turn to right and continue steep climb for 25 min, to another farming field 2471m. Exactly at the entrance of this field you turn right, go ahead and in few min, you will begin the big steep climbing!
Almost 1:30 hrs climbed, you will still continue higher along the ridge for another 1 hour 3179m. Now, turn left and walk some flat, then climb about 20 min, trail junction 3248m, go straight up. In next 40 min, you will enter the massively fired, all dead and yet standing huge pine forest 3395m! After 25 min, gentle climbed you arrive at the wonderful Khorokyu Odar (cave) 3498m.
Easily 15/20 people can sleep in it. There is a perfect place to make fire as well. I’m not sure about getting water all seasons, as we were here in monsoon time and brought it from the little stream nearby. So you need to search it while you are there. In case you don’t find it, then continue another 1 hour to Majeseu Odar (cave).

Khorokyu Odar (cave) to Majeseu Odar (cave) 3579m (1 hour approx)
Walk a Nepali flat in the remaining pine forest for 50 min, and 10 min, gentle descent at Majeseu Odar 3579 m. In the cave 2 people can sleep but more than two tents can set near it. Water is available. Khorokyu Odar is much better place to stay overnight if you found water to drink.

Majeseu Odar (cave) to Kuchumro Base Camp 4089m (5.4 hrs approx)
After Majeseu Odar, 7 min, walk to another cave 5/6 people can sleep in it. Continue hiking in the beautiful pine forest for 8 min, and turn right to climb steep for a while and follow your way about 15 min, little ascent and descent on the grassy steep with mind blowing views of massive mountains and deep valley of Marsyangdi below you while weather is good.
5 min, descent in the pine forest and start climbing a steep to get the ridge in 15 min, 3608m. Descent to the little stream 3538m for 5 min, again few min, climbs the steep, little descent and a huge climb on another steep! After 1.10 hrs ascent it, we found few frogs at the altitude of 3752m, continued the remaining part for 1 hour more and we reached at the Pass of 3964m (don’t know the name!). Now, you descent in the rhododendron forest about 20 min, and cross a little stream (it probably a rainy stream), go further 6 min, along the wet cave, and climb steep for 30 min, reaching the another Pass 3959m with many huge black rocks around and right in front you see a great wall of black rock hill!
Go along the gorge of those hugely massive rock hills and come over the Pass of 4095m, took us 45 min. Now, some descent and ascent on grassy slope for 35 min, reaching the Kuchumro Base Camp a wide meadow 4089m. You can set many tents here and water can bring from the side river.

Kuchumro Base Camp to Kuchumro High Camp 4371m (1.4 hrs approx)
After camp site; in a couple of min, you cross the little side river and climb steep for 5 min, turn right and continue on the grassy slope reaching at a spot to set temporary shelters by local herders (Kharka) 4231m, took us 35 min, where you can set many tents and water to bring from the stream nearby. Or you continue to the high camp of Kuchumro 4371m, will take another 40 min, walk directly above the ridge and you are there. You can set many tent, water is available at near the stream. While the weather is clear the scenery along the deep valley is exceptional!

Kuchumro Hihg Camp to Kuchumro Pass 4879m to Namge Kharka (a huge meadow) 4452m (4.2 hrs approx)
You directly climb along the grassy ridge above and come at the large ground 4500m, takes 30 min. You continue through it and come at a little landslide area and walk along it, need to watch out of any rock may fall down! Another 45 min, you will come at the ridge 4705m far above the ground. Go ahead on grassy steep and in 40 min, you will reach at the Deurali (piles of rocks), yet the pass is 10 min, further, turn right and go along the ridge, soon you are at the Pass of Kuchumro 4879m with many piles of rock and a big slate is standing, someone written Om on it. I can’t imagine about the view that how beautiful is it while weather is good, unfortunately we were here in July and all covered!
Now, turn left and gently descent on the open slope for 15 min, come to a little ridge and turn left descend 5 min, along this ridge and turn right with a little descent to continue on Nepali flat for 10/15 min. Come to the ridge and turn right on other side to descend some and soon reach at the beginning point of the huge meadow of Namge Kharka, took us 15 min. Straightly go onward entering to wider part of it 4670m.
Oh! There is no trail sign! Very confusing and even 5 meters distance to see is really difficult! Asal and I, both of us lost 4 hrs! We could not able to see around! We were told that very often the local herders also miss the location while they return to shelter, especially in monsoon season.
Asal is good for finding the trail, finally came through the site river, reaching the little ridge in 5 min, 4609m. You bit descent on other side and continue for 12 min, cross another side river 4568m and climb more to the right up to the ridge takes 5 min, 4593m, another 5 min, ascends to ruin 4601m. From here, you walk on flat and clear trail, in 15 min, cross another side river 4572m with wet feet. Again hike the confusing trail for 20 min, and cross a little stream near the cave 4495m. This place is called Namge Phedi either 10/15 min, easy descent at Naya Bazaar 4452m with a herders’ shelter. Both spots are suitable setting tents on open and calm meadow and easily can bring water from the stream. As locals say; the scenery is awesome while weather is good.
And this place (Namge Kharka) is the best spot of Nar people to collect Himalayan herbs like; Yarsagumba (Cordyseps sinensis) and ban lasun (Fritillaria cirrhosa D. Don) and the largest graziery for their livestock.

Namge Kharka to Meta 3610m (4.9 hrs approx)
It’s not necessary to climb again to Yarsa Pass, many Nepalese think all tourists intend going to any lake in the remote or high passes, in fact is not, why you do climb unnecessary extra height! While there is better alternate going to same place with same view! So we skipped it and continued on easier trail to Meta.
At Naya bazaar you walk on flat for 20 min, you come to a salt feeding spot for the cattle. Go right through here for a while and turn left, some meters descent and you will find the clear trail, now turn right and continue further in 15 min, you will reach another herders’ shelter 4327m.
Exactly from here; you must take a right-hand-side (upper) trail, after 30 min, climbed up you will come at a spot with many black rocks around the trail 4463m. Keep climbing for 15 min, come to cross a little pass 4517m. Another 30 min, hike on the large meadow and come at the old stone-walled and just near it is Yagang Pass 4626m with a big pile of rocks and some flags.
Right from here; you descent some min, and continue Nepali flat on the grassy steep, takes 30 min, reaching the little stream 4460m, go ahead for 15 min, and come to the ridge 4400m. Now, you turn left to start a long and steep descent! Come at next ridge 4208m in 25 min, descent on other side of it and a cross a narrow and scary wooden cantilever bridge at the huge cliff 4022m! Go forward on other side of the ridge, now you can see the gompa of Nar phedi with red metal roof, continue descent about 15 min, cross another stairs 3897m, come to other side for 5 min, couple of min, go up the ridge 3875m, from here you able to see Meta.
Little descent and entering the flat and green forest for 10 min, again descent 15 min, at the waterfall 3740m. Here we prepared lunch in cool temperature with the mind refreshing views!
Now, 4 min, steep climb and turn left entering the lush forest, some flat and gentle climb up for 10 min, some descent and flat hike for15 min, come at a landslide area 3686m, continue to next landslide area in 18 min, 3607m. Climb up to the side river takes 7 min, another 7 min, ascent and you reach at the chorten 3641m and soon you enter the Meta village 3610m.
At Meta, there are four running lodges, anything you want to buy can ask at the lodge where you stay. And those lodges have camping spots. Not to forget checking your permit as the police check post is just below the village.
Meta is nice place with the ruined former Khampa settlement, surrounded by the huge rocky mountains and you clearly see the gompa of Nar phedi. Meta itself is a landmark leading to Phu and Nar, Koto and Kuchumro pass.

Meta to Chyaku 3780m (2.5 hrs approx)
Flat hikes to chorten at the ridge for 10 min, and will come at a trail junction 3601m in 20 min, leading left is Nar and right is to Phu valley. 17 min, later come at the trail junction of Chyam 3578m, leading to Nar and Meta while coming from Phu direction.
50 min, an easy climb to Jhunum 3702m. It’s a beautiful spot for camping, setting your tents underneath the juniper trees just near the ruined of Khampa settlement with viewing the sky touching and massive brown rocky mountains in the north-west, Pisang peak in the west, Himlung in north and Kangaru in the east! Water is available with the public piping system (if not broken).
Now, 10 min, descent right above the Mringung khola, turn left and go ahead for some min, to cross the suspension bridge 3647m. In couple of min, come at a metal roof shelter (Inn), from here 30 min, climb up to chortens and in 8 min, and reach at Chyaku 3780m, just near the former Khampa settlements.
Currently two basic lodges are there, can sleep about 10 to 15 people at once. Chyaku itself is a large empty field as well as a beautiful camping spot. Water is available with piping system. While weather is clear can view the Annapurna II including the surrounding rocky mountains.

Chyaku to Kyang 3889m (1.3 hrs approx)
Continue up to the ridge (an end of the field) just above the chortens 3871m in 19 min, turn left with little descent again left and climb on other side of the ridge for 18 min, 3931m. Descent on the beautiful forest trail about 5 min, to cross the metal bridge over Mriju khola 3887m. We saw a flock of blue sheep just near it.
Now, strenuous climb up to the ridge 3988m, takes 20 min, another 6 min, descent and ascent to cross the little Pass 3964m. It’s good place to see the views including Kyang settlement, 10 min, later you are at Kyang. It’s good camping site and there are two new lodges are under construction (in July), probably they will be ready by the autumn of 2017. Water is available. You have a clear view of Annapurna II and surrounding massive rocky brown hills.
Walking Meta to Phu in one day is very long, so while these new lodges are open, can stop at Kyang or Chyaku. Next day you will arrive at Phu an earlier means time to explore the village.

Kyang to Phu Village 4053m (3.8 hrs approx)
Right after Kyang, you walk through the carved cliff entering the narrow gorge, high above the Phu khola, and descent at the left bank of it in 20 min, just before the wooden bridge 3797m. But you should not cross it, instead go forward along the left bank and 1 hour later will reach at the metal roofed Inn 3853m. More than 30 people can sleep in it. Just after this shelter; there is wooden bridge, you have to look the current situation if you can cross it and walk on other side or in my experienced the safer option is to follow the left bank as you are. Because the next wooden bridge is may be destroyed (can’t see it from here), so we followed for 33 min, along left bank and came to join the trail junction near the bridge I mentioned 3894m.
In next 4 min, you will cross a little stream, 10 min, later come at old chortens, couple of min, hike to cross another side river; soon go through the next chorten. Now, 26 min, walking along the river, you will come to an amazing and naturally made a huge Rock-Gateway to Phu 3952m. From here, steep climb up for 13 min, to man-made gate-way to Phu 4013m.
Go onward for 7 min, on flat, come to another chorten near the large and impressive ruined fort (across the Phu khola) of an old ruler of this valley. Continue your hike 6 min, more to come at blue painted mani-wall and another fort, you will see beautiful old chortens on other side of the river (if you want to visit them, will worth to descend a min, at the bridge 3994m).
Keep moving yourself for 10/12 min, reaching another blue painted mani-wall and camping ground near the suspension bridge 4023m, turn left to cross it, climb 5 min, entering the Phu village 4053m.
According to the locals say that the dry-stone walled village of Phu has been here for 800 years. This is easy to believe when you start exploring throughout it. The main drink of these people is; tsu chiyaa (salt-butter tea) and chhyang (an alcoholic drink made from yeast fermented barley or rice) and eat champa (roasted and grinded barley flour). There are more than 5 basic lodges with restaurants.

Visiting Tashilakang gompa 4184m (1 hour and 30 min, approx round trip)
It’s a good idea to visit, as you will have chance to view the valley of Phu and the colorful painted area of gompa, surrounding landscapes and the sharply shaped white peak of Chyaku himal and more…
Going there; turn right from the public water station near the Tashi Hotel, come to cross the wooden/suspension bridge in 5 min, now turn left and continue steep climbing for 15/20 min, reaching the gate-way of the gompa. Just you entered it, take a left and continue, in few min, you will come at the gompa 4144m. Normally there is someone to open the door, otherwise make sure it at your lodge before leaving. Still going up to the top of this area takes 5 min, 4184m, and it will worth having a gorgeous view as I mentioned above. It takes 1.30 hrs approx as round trip.

Phu village to Tashikang Kharka (Loang) 4659m (6.2 hrs approx)
At the public water station near the Tashi Hotel, you turn left passing through the village, in 5 min, you come at trail junction with a sign post shows way to gompa and you follow it for 20 min, getting just near the Shamduling gompa 4155m above the village. Turn left and continue your path on steep, will reach at the herders’ shelters in 15 min, another hikes for 12 min, you come above the chortens 4265m. Keep going in 5 min, come at other chortens just below the empty field, right from here you will able to see another chorten at the left corner, so you will have to get there soon, walking through this field, 15 min, later you  come at the ruins 4339m (at the middle part of this field). On the wall you see a white arrow as well, go behind it and turn left targeting to get the chorten you have seen already and 7 min, more to reach there 4382 m.
Continue easy going for 15 min, come to a trail junction, take a lower one (left) and follow the old irrigation channel to cross a little stream 4415m in 5 min. And climb steep for couple of min, reaching the little ridge and constantly hike up on the grassy slope, 30 min, later you come at a little ruin 4617m. Turn right from here and go 6 min, to reach another ruin. Now, you go straightly up about 8/10 min, and then turn left reaching over the ridge in 20 min, 4789m and go along it another 15 min, to come at the top of it 4872m.
After here; turn left and go an easy climb, soon you will see a flag, exactly you will have to reach there in 40 min, and you are there 5010m. Turn right to continue for 10 min, reaching the Pass of Phu 5061m!
It’s one of the best choices we did, instead of going back all the way-down to Chyap and Nar phedi and climb up to Nar village. Phu pass is easy climbing similar to Thorong La. While weather is good will see the marvelous views of mountains, magical landscapes including valley of Loang and Phu itself.
After the pass; steep descent about 1 hour, few hundred meters above the yellow rock on the meadow, you have to turn right and continue some min, to come at the ridge 4573m. Again turn right to hike some min, and 10 min, descent at the wooden bridge of Lame khola 4448m. Just before crossing this khola, you should look 150 meters in the right corner is a dry large cave 4465m. In case of emergency you can stay there, and water is available at the khola just below it.
Well, after crossing this bridge, walk for 7 min, and reach at the yak herders’ shelters 4475m, where you can set 5 – 6 tents in minimum. Water can bring from the little stream nearby or the khola. As we were here in July, I collected the best Himalayan saag (vegetable!).
Now, turn left and cross the little stream and climb steep for 15 min, come to a little place (a kind of chautari) 4435m. Just above this chautari you see a white arrow; pointing to the left but it’s too early to bend your way! Still you will have to climb it at least 15 min, only then you have to turn left 4621m. Another 15/20 min, reaching the chorten at the ridge 4688m, and you go behind it through the landslide, finally come at Tashikang Kharka 4659m, took 6 min, more.
It’s a nice place for camping, you can set at least 5 – 8 tents. Water need to bring from the stream you are heading, may take 20 min, round trip.
In monsoon time, the herders from Phu bring their livestock, during the time they stay here, collect lots of herbs like yarsagumba (cordyseps sinensis), product homemade yak churpi (a kind of cheese), pure butter and wool. And you see the beautiful snow Mountain View including the surrounding landscaps.

Tashikang Kharka (Loang) to Choungkhas Kharka 4369m (6.8 hrs approx)
From the campsite; 4 min, climb up the ridge, turns left and go other side of it for 10/15 min, reaching the twin cave 4678m, about 15 people can sleep in, for water stream is near. After crossing it, come at the ridge and you turn right to straightly climb along the grassy steep (do not take left as you see many confusing trails) for 40 min, 4803m (I found a cordyceps sinensis at this place! brough it for Maina my lovely wife!). Now, slidely bend your way toward left direction, targeting the flag over the ridge you see and 45 min, later you reach the flag 4948m.
From here; you slidely turn right and continue climbing along the ridge, come to a little pile of rock in 15 min, 5012m. Yet go forward for 40 min, you will come at the place where one and half feet erect stone as a trail signal 5108m, come to another little rock pile in 20 min, 5174m, other rock pile in 15 min, 5216m, 7 min, later trail signal 5246m, next trail signal just above the brown cliff 5272m in 5 min. Now, you bit turn left and walk for few min, and then turn right and straightly climb steep for 35 min, and you are on the top of Nar Pass 5391m!
Just before the pass at the altitude of 5385m, Asal and I found an amazing flower! Its colors depend on where is it, looking exactly same as the ground or rocks around it, and it can even bloom at this height!
We were totally covered with the thick fog! As locals say the views from here are wonderful while weather is good.
From the pass; you straightly have to descend, there is not any trail sign! No single foot print! After descending 15/20 min, you will have to bend your hike toward the left direction on the gravely steep and continue 20/25 min, found a tiny pile of rocks 5104m, turn left and directly come to the ridge 5078m in 5 min. Right, from here you will see a red metal roof at the far distance of the left corner; exactly you will have to go there but yet far way to go…
Now, you again descent behind this ridge, it’s sliding gravely steep, took us 45 min, to finish the difficult part to enter the grassy land 4786m. As we already have been hiking for 20 days, so our muscles are strong enough. You go ahead at the left direction with slidely descent through this grassy slope and come to the ridge just above the pile of rock 4706m, takes 15/20 min. Continue at the similar elevation for 12/15 min, reaching the landslide area 4610m, just before it, you have to turn right and couple of min, descent alongside, turn left to cross it and come to another ridge in few min, 4568m, and see the valley below you a wide meadow with few herders’ shelters.
Now, you turn right a bit and descent for few min, again turn left and keep descending until you don’t reach at Chaungkhas Kharka 4369m, takes minimum 25 min. You can set many tents here. We saw an empty plastic pipe, Nar people told us, and soon they will supply the water. Going from Tashikang to Nar in one day is too long! So you better to camp at Chaungkhas Kharka and for water to drink, each of you can carry 2 liters extra from Tashikang, in case of it is not available with this pipe then will be a problem.

Chaungkhas Kharka to Nar village 4200m (3.2 hrs approx)
Now, you descent right through these shelters and come behind them, from here the trail is clear and nearly 30/40 min, later you will connect with the trail leading to Terila Pass and come above the left bank of Lapche Khola, continue 20/25 min, to cross the suspension bridge over it 3782m, and walk flat for 10 min, climb up to the ridge in 15 min, 3867m. Descent 6 min, entering the Ningbu Thanka the Holland flat walks for 7 min, 3850m. Oh! the final climb on steep for 1 hour and 20 min, come at the chorten 4202m. Turn left and continue for 10 min, come near the Karma Hotel. Nar is a beautiful place, as you arrived an earlier today, take a room and lunch then explore the village, gompa etc.

Nar Village to Ngawal 3660m (8.7 hrs approx)
At the center of this village; you turn right (while you come from Phu direction) 5 min, later come at the chorten 4194m and go 15 meters onward, take the upper trail along the irrigation channel. It brings you to a short cut trail and will have better view of the village, in 6 min, cross a little stream 4223m. Now, constantly an easy climb to Kangla Phedi 4619m, takes 2 hrs and 30 min. At Kangla Phedi, there are two shelters, where more than 20 people can sleep and enough space for tenting. Water can bring from the stream.
You continue climbing for 30 min, and cross the metal bridge 4692m, 20 min, strenuous hike up to the ridge 4758m, turn left and 25 min, easy climb reaching the 1st blue/white painted metal pole put by ACAP 4843m. Next 7 min, hike up to 2nd pole, 10 min, walk to cross the side river and come at the 5th pole 4927m. Steep and zigzag climb to 6th pole takes 10 min, an easy climb for 3 min, to 7th pole, now turn left and 8 min, zigzag hike to 8th pole 5042m. Turn right for a while and turn left to continue pole 9th 5086m, 6 min, easy ascent to 10th pole, turn left and 2 min, walk to 11th pole 5117m. 6 min, to 12th pole, 8 min, zigzag up to 13th pole 5189m. 5 min, to pole 14th and a min, to pole 15th 5216m, its right above the lake, from here you will able to see the pass while weather is good. 5 min, easy walk to pole 16th. Now, you turn left and hike for 8 min, to the 17th pole 5376m and turn right in 5 min, will reach at the 18th pole 5295m. Then final climb for 3 min, and come at the top of Kangla Pass 5313m! While weather is clear, you see stunning views of the Annapurna-I, even the summit of Machhapuchhre (Fishtail) and the whole range of Annapurna including the valley of Manang and more…
Now, descent on the gravely/sandy steep to the beginning of the grassy slopes takes 1 hour 4844m. And follow the ridge for 20/25 min, 4613m, and then turn left to descend 5 min, crossing a water station 4523m for animals including the numbers of the blue sheep you see here as always. Continue 15 min, come at a camping spot with piping water supply 4405m. Another 25 min, descent to reach the herders’ shelter 4231m, in 10 min, come at a trail junction 4147m, you take a left or upper trail. And 10 min, later you will come at an interesting cave of Ney Guru Sangbo 4027m. About 20/25 min, you descent to a chorten 3855m, right above the village of Ngawal. Next 18 min, you come at a water reserve tank 3767m, and in 8 min, you are at the village 3695m.

There is a “Tale” about the Ney Guru Sangbo cave 330 meters right above the village of Ngawal
According to the locals’ belief; in the olden time, there were some flocks of goats belonging to the people of Ghyaru and Ngawal. Among that flock, there was a white milch goat as well. Once upon a time that goat disappeared and the shepherds went to search it through this cave, finally they found it in, was milking by the Guru Sangbo (Guru Rimpoche), after that moment, this cave is called Ney (cave) Guru Sangbo. Once my friend Andrees and I did visit it was an interesting.
Ngawal is a beautiful place to stop at least a night or two, visit the cave and gompas if you interested in and it worth to acclimatize for Thorong la. There are many lodges including a resort of Ngawal Mountain Home.

Ngawal to Braka 3494m (3.5 hrs approx)
You turn right from the Tibet Guest House (I heard many people get confused here, do not take the left, if you asked locals, they will show you to left on the road, most of Nepalese don’t understand the importance of the trekking trail, they prefer walking on the flat road!) and walk for 2/3 min, to the chorten and gompa on the right side, exactly from here turn left and follow the NATT-signs as red/white. Keep continue on flat for 20 min, through the school, field and some climb up to the white stupa 3719m. Another 5 min, to come at the ruins of Portoche village and behind them; is Portoche gompa with blue metal roof is worth visiting. And above this gompa; you see many little houses being used as caverns by monks.
About this village, there is an interesting story: According to a monk Chundi Gurung of Braka says, many years ago, while the Gyalpo Rimpoche of Braka was a child. After his father died and mother married with other man and he became an orphan!
One day, Lama Thinle of Chumchet Gorkha did a visit at Braka and he saw this kid Gyalpo and he decided to take him to Chumchet gompa and gave an education. After years study, he became so highly educated Rimpoche and returned at Braka his own village. Few years later, between the Guru of Braka gompa and him, created some debate and he (Gyalpo Rimpoche) had to move at Portoche village. He was a Guru and a wise leader of this area, until this day people of Braka, Portoche, Ngawal and Ghyaru remember him as their best Ruler and Guru.
In couple of min, you walk through the stupas and mani-walls; soon you reach at Karma Samten Chhokhor Ling Monastery and school for student monks 3729m. After here, you come down couple of min, and cross an old chorten, now you directly descent in the blue pine forest, in 25/30 min, you will come above the side river, turn right and come to a ruin 3562m, go behind it and soon to cross the wooden bridge, as soon as you crossed it, turn right a bit and left to continue couple of min, further passing through the stupa and in another min, come at a trail junction of Julu a small village. Where you see an ACAP sign post 3556m.
2 years ago my friend Andrees and I put the clear signs on the rock here showing as both trails lower and upper. Unfortunately, one of the lodge owners of Mungji destroyed everything, what we painted along the upper trail to Braka! We did work two whole days putting red/white signals and arrows on the rocks, tree barks etc…
You exactly from the ACAP sign post, turn right with a little backwards and climb up entering the bushy pine forest, directly climb 196 meters along the ridge in 40/45 min, reach at the beginning point of Tanke Phant 3752m. Now, turn left and go straightly on flat, trail seems not so clear, but no problem. 20/25 min, later you will come at the trail junction (take a right if you coming from Braka direction) 3794m. Continue your path another 20/25 min, come at the ruins and chorten the end part of Tanke Phant 3803m.
This trail itself is a naturally made balcony with the mind ravishing scenery of Mountains including the landscapes throughout the valley. Keep continue your hike with slidely descent in 20 min, you come at a trail junction 3727m, and it leads to Ice-lake, Braka and Julu. You go onward through a chautari and come to a place where the water-reserve tank is, 3649m, takes 8 min.
Right here, you have to consider the current trail condition; if there is a trail in use on the left side leading through the grassy field you continue it, most of time people take this and you see better view of Braka, especially in monsoon time while flowers are in bloom throughout the field! In case it is closed then take a right trail coming just above the village to enter. We hiked lower one through this field with full of yellow and white flowers, reaching the chorten just below the old Braka, took us 20 min, and next 3 min, descent to connect with the road 3494m.
I always love to stay at Braka, because it’s a uniquely man-made village at the cliff has been here in minimum of 500 years old with the beautiful views. Other reason in peak season Manang will be crowded. Most of guides and agencies intend to go there. Few trekkers realize to stay at Braka is more peaceful and they already attracted with this village. Going Ice lake and Milarepa cave is much easier from here. You also should know one of the best gompa is here and it definitely worth visiting, make sure the key at your lodge, someone will open it. You are allowed to make pictures inside it; some donations are expected to drop in the box provided and some tip to the person who opens the door.

Braka to Manang 3538m (30 min)
You walk a real flat till the second stupa and mani-walls takes 15 min, 3492m. And come to cross a wooden bridge, soon reach at the gateway to Manang, in 10 min, and final climb for 5 min, to arrive at center Manang.
Manang is a big town and in peak season it will be crowded. There are two main villages Manang and Tanki Manang. There are several hotels, restaurants, bakeries and English mini-movie hall, HRA (Himalayan Rescue Association) and ACAP check post.  
You can visit Gangapurna Ice-fall lake and Chhonkur view point and Praken gompa (100 Rs. Lama) far above the town. The main Lama died one year ago, and to continue the service his daughter lives at this cave.  Going Ice lake from Manang is not easy trail, if you are well experienced about it then may be fine.

Manang to Tilicho Base Camp (TBC) 4136m (6.6 hrs approx)
3 min, after the white stupa of center Manang, you come through an old stupa and houses reaching the end of the village in 5 min, and then you come at maniwall and chorten 3538m, there is a sign post pointing to Tilicho Lake, exactly here you have to turn left and go ahead through the huge farming field, soon cross a little stream to connect with the dirt road, continue on it for 30 min, skip it and take a right to follow the NATT-trail 3572m. 7 min, walk and cross a suspension bridge and climb for 10 min, up to the ruin 3619m. 20 min, after you will connect again the road and continue your hike on it for 25 min, reaching the concreted gateway to Khangshar. In 4 min, you will skip this road taking the right (upper) trail; two years ago my friend Andrees and I put many blue/white signals on the rocks, unfortunately someone removed it with black enamel paint! But no problem to find the trail for 6 min, with much better views. And come to the first lodge of the village 3735m, follow the blue/white signs through this village in 7 min, come at the trail junction near the gompa and stupa 3763m, leading Yak kharka to the right and Srikharka and Tilicho lake to the left, you continue it on the dirt road for 1 hour and 5 min, to Tare gompa 3952m.
Now, 15 min, strenuous climb coming at the trail junction 4037m, leads to Tilicho lake to the left and Yak kharka the opposite direction of it.  Will take 8 min, to Srikharka 4072m. There two bigger lodges and restaurant, geyser shower is available. If you continue for 25 min, will come at Blue Sheep lodge 4175m.
In 12 min, you come to cross a suspension bridge 4212m, and climb on steeply difficult part for 8 min, getting the ridge 4245m. It’s much improved than before by widening and putting metal railings on it! After here, flat hike for 25 min, come to a trail junction 4250m, take a lower trail (do not try upper one, no trail), 5 min, descent at a little stream and trail junction 4211m, (take a left or upper trail, while you come from Tilicho lake direction). Go forward in 7 min, you come at a little Kharka, 20 meters above it, there is a cave. Soon to start walking the first part of the landslide area (the altitude of beginning point is 4221m and the ending point is 4122m) took us 30 min, to cross it. Now, 10 min, an easy climb on the grassy slope and come at the second landslide area 4154m, and continue it for 35 min, reaching the Tilicho Base Camp (TBC) 4136m.
It’s good news to tell you that the both landslide area trails are well maintained! As it’s widen and even supposed to put the metal railings at some narrow paths. This year, Tilicho trail got a budget of 25 thousand dollars from the local government.
There are three big lodges and restaurants, hot shower on demand and very slow Wi-Fi is available.

Tilicho Base Camp (TBC) to Tilicho Lake (TL) 4922m (4.7 hrs approx)
Couple of min, after the first lodge you cross the side river, and 8 min, easy climb to cross another stream. Now, 20/25 min, strenuous climbing up to the ridge 4284m, and continue other side on the grassy steep. In 1 hour and 30 min, you come at landslide area 4584m. Takes 4 min, to cross it, and grassy slope for 3 min, again landslide zone to cross in 20 min, 4741m. Now, you have to climb up a grassy steep for 30 min, 4855m. From here, turn left and gentle ascent with the fascinating mountain views to finish the landslide or difficult part in 20/25 min, 4939m.
Now, an easy hike begins to Tilicho Lake view point with a tea shop 5020m, took us an exactly 35 min. This tea shop is seasonally open and they provide food and beds for some people. From here you see a trail going far above the lake on the right side, continue it for 25 min, and come at a chorten and trail junction 5026m. It leads to the right is regular trail to Mesokanto Pass but we took a left to descend just at the Lake of Tilicho in 15 min, 4922m.
We did set our tent just at Lake-shore (by the distance of 3 meters far from the water level). Camping near the lake is always beautiful experience to me. In interval of each 5 min, we heard a loud avalanche sound and in colder time you hear the lake sound too. If you want to see real blue lake then can visit it from June to end of December.

Tilicho Lake (TL) to Namkhu Kharka 4189m (8.2 hrs approx)
From the middle shore of the lake, we straightly walked up on the grassy land by focusing the small gorge between the huge rock hill at the left and brown sandy ridge on the right side. Continue 15 min, to cross a little stream follows down to the lake 4946m. 2 hrs strenuous climbed along the gorge to connect with the Mesokanto Pass trail over the ridge 5216m, there is sign post as well. Now, turn left and walk along it for 45 min, to come at the Eastern Pass of Tilicho with a sign post 5369m.
Follow one pole to another, but if there is a thick fog you don’t see them. After the pass we followed couple of poles and we took hike more toward the right side on the rocky slope and kept continue without any trail signal for 45 min, and then came to a pile of rocks 5275m, couple of min, descent another pile of rocks. From here, turn right and continue about 25 min, reaching at the ridge with a sign post and few erect rocks as trail signal, 5248m. Again, turn left and 7 min, decent at the side stream 5184m. You can set couple tents near it. Come on other side of it to hike steeply gravely slope. You normally can see pretty clear trail sign on it while no fresh snow and in 1 hour come at the ridge with piles of rocks 5281m. It rather looks like a pass, yet minimum of 30 min, to reach the real pass is! In 12 min, min, you will come to another ridge, now you see a huge black or white (while snowed) rock sharply shaped of pyramid, exactly the pass is on the right side of it. Go ahead 18 min, more and finally you are on the top of Mesokanto Pass 5253m. While weather is good; you see the gorgeous scenery of Tilicho Lake from western direction, Tilicho peak including its glacier and Mustang valley.
After top of Mesokanto Pass; a difficult descent on steep for 40/50 min, and you come at easy part 4894m, exactly till this point from Thini the ACAP made a beautiful NATT-trail with red/white signs evenJ Asal and I really astonished! So turn left and go 20 min, along the grassy ridge with a great view of the valley while weather is clear. Turn right from the pole to descend at the kharka 4662m, takes 8 min. You can set some tents if water is still there at the little stream. Now, you follow down on the grassy ridge for 30/35 min, and come at a sign post 4257m. Turn right and go 10 min, on flat walk to Kharka and 6 min, an easy descent to the Namkhu khola 4171m, as soon you crossed it 10/15 min, gentle ascent to the large meadow of Namkhu Kharka 4189m.
You can set many tents here and there is a yak herders’ shelter, while it’s empty you can use to stay in and cook as well. There is other newly built shelter for the purpose of tea house, which is belonging to the youth club of Thini (it wasn’t ready till this book was written). Water is supplied with piping system normally, in case it does not work, can easily bring it from the khola.

Namkhu Kharka to Thini 2876m and Old Jomsom 2756m (3.9 hrs approx)
30/35 min, an easy descent after Namkhu Kharka, cross a little stream 4062m, again in 5 min, to cross a side river and come on other side, 15/20 min, later you reach at a kharka 4027m, continue through it. 8 min, walk on flat, come to a chorten 4006m, go directly on other side of it reaching the Tipso Kharka 3958m, and took us 25 min. Now, 20 min, walk with slide descent to a little chorten 3864m, turn left to get downhill for some min, to come above the kharka with many shelters and the trail junction 3626m, (take a left while come from Thini direction).
Again, 15/20 min, gentle descent at the chortens (piles of rock) 3512m, now you see a clear view of Dhumba lake and the valley along. You keep continue in 15/20 min, go through the trail junction 3350m, (take a left while you come from Thini direction), 5 min, later again the trail junction 3328m, with many shelter for yak herders (take a right trail while you come from Thini direction). There is a sign post and trail leads to Yharuzho tower view point. After few min, descent take a left or lower trail and soon to join the meaningless motor-road! 3266m, the government of road department is spending millions of rupees in vanity! 4 min, walk on it and rejoin the trekking trail, and you just continue it 5 meters above the road for 15 min, reconnected with this road 3095m (take a left while you come from Thini side), also you see a ACAP sign post here. Few min, walk on this road and get separated toward left to come at the ridge with little chorten and flags 3056m. This place is the best point to view the whole valley including Thini and its green field, Jomsom, upper and lower Syang, lake of Dhumba, Mt. Dhaulagiri, Tukuche peak and Nilgiries etc… 
5 min, more descent, cross road and continue for 12 min, and you just come above the village of Thini, where you see the ACAP sign post pointing to Mesokanto La, as soon as you cross the road entering to center point of this village 2876m. Now, to the left can follow the regular NATT-trail via Marpha and Tatopani (if you coming from Mesokanto La direction) and to the right hand side trail brings you to Jomsom, Muktinath and upper Mustang.  
Thini is nice and a huge village of Thakali people. There are few lodges and homestays. They grow a lot of apple, vegetable, buckwheat, barley and potatoes and many herdsman especially yaks and goats. Of course Thakali people are one of the best traders in Nepal.
We continued to Jomsom, after 10 min, hiked from the center Thini, connect with the road above the large farming field and go on it for 12 min, and then you set apart to the left trail entering the old Jomsom and descent at the wooden bridge over the Kaligandaki river 2756m, it takes 8 min. Just near the bridge, there are sign posts showing to Thini-Dhumba, we just coming from and to Muktinath – Kagbeni on other direction. Now, upper and lower Mustang is well connected by the road, because near this wooden bridge, there is a newly built motor able bridge as well.

Day 01: Kathmandu or Pokhara to Tal village 1700m (9 – 10 hrs approx)
Drive with jeep is better idea to reach in-time, at least from Besishahar and spend overnight at lodge.
Day 02: Tal village to Nache 2260m (3.8 hrs approx)
You can have lunch at Karte (Khotro), at Nache one basic homestay with 2 rooms and 4 beds, may be other empty houses may offer you to sleep in. If you have bigger group do camp.
Day 03: Nache to Aalubari (potato field) 3080m and Thulo Kharka 3132m (4.2 hrs approx)
Bring a packed lunch and drinking water along with you. It’s a tenting camp. For the first few days you should not hurry up, go rather slow to adjust the altitude.
Day 04: Aalubari (potato field) and Thulo Kharka to Dharmashala 3660m (7.5 hrs approx)
Bring a packed lunch and drinking water along with you. It’s a tenting camp and a long way going along the khola of Dana.
Day 05: Dharmashala Day Excursion;
Bring a packed lunch and drinking water along with you. In the day you do a visit to Donalake. It will be an extra support for Triple (Goa) pass and of course it’s beautiful. It may take 5 – 6 hrs approx a round trip including break time.
Day 06: Dharmashala to Triple Base Camp 3912m (4.45 hrs approx)
Bring a packed lunch and drinking water along with you. It’s a tenting camp. You feel been walking on very isolated territory and it’s indeed!
Day 07: Triple Base Camp to Triple (Goa) Pass 4466m to Khaindi Kopa 3900m (6.4 hrs approx)
Bring a packed lunch and drinking water along with you. It’s a tenting camp. And it’s extremely challenging hikes today with the delightfully enchanting scenery!
Day 08: Khaindi Kopa to Goa village 2544m (4.7 hrs approx)
Bring a packed lunch and drinking water along with you. It’s difficult dense forest hikes passing through huge cliffs, landslide areas, streams and waterfalls etc. Overnight stay at lodge.
Day 09: Rest day at Goa, you need some recoveries as well. You get a fresh nettle leaf soup on request.
Day 10: Goa village to Tache village 2355m (6 hrs approx)
Bring a packed lunch and drinking water along with you. This is the best option instead of going on the road to/from Thoche or Dharapani. Definitely the views are stunning from high above the valley. (Just you need to make sure it before going toward Chhipa Bhir trail section has maintained or not, because we had to walk on too bushy trail). And you will stay at homestays.
Day 11: Tache village to Khorokyu Odar (cave) 3498m or Majeseu Odar (cave) 3579m (5.8 hrs approx)
Bring a packed lunch and drinking water along with you. It’s very tough hikes with mind blowing scenery. You sleep in the cave or put some tents.
Day 12: Khorokyu Odar or Majeseu Odar to Kuchumro Base Camp (KBC) 4089m (5.4 – 6.4 hrs approx).
Bring a packed lunch and drinking water along with you. It’s very strenuous climbs with the mind-blowing sceneries. It’s tenting camp.
Day 13: Kuchumro Base Camp (KBC) to Kuchumro Pass 4879m to Namge Kharka 4452m (5.6 hrs approx)
Bring a packed lunch and drinking water along with you. It’s a tenting camp a really tough ascent up to the pass and descent at the Namge Kharka with superbly incomparable sceneries.
Day 14: Namge Kharka to Meta 3610m (4.9 hrs approx)
Bring a packed lunch and drinking water along with you. Stay at lodge overnight. Very deep descent passing through the high cliff! Views are just beyond imaginations.
Day 15: Meta to Chyaku 3780m (2.5 hrs approx)
Lunch camp; bring some drinking water with you. Until this book was written there were two very basic kind of lodge or you may sleep in tent is even nicer.
Day 16: Chyaku to Phu village 4053m (5.1 hrs approx)
Bring a packed lunch and drinking water along with you. Stay at basic lodges overnight. Deep and narrow gorge hikes along the left bank of Phu khola.
Day 17: Day Excursion:
Visiting Tashilakang gompa and exploring the village of Phu.
Day 18: Phu village to Phu Pass 5061m to Tashikang Kharka (Loang) 4659m (6.2 hrs approx).
Bring a packed lunch and drinking water along with you. Long ascent and descent on the grassy slopes with the magical views! It’s tenting camp.
Day 19: Tashikang Kharka (Loang) to Nar Pass 5391m to Chaungkhas Kharka 4369m (6.8 hrs approx)
Bring a packed lunch and drinking water along with you. It’s tenting camp. An extremely strenuous ascent up to the Pass and descent to campsite with the splendid views. Don’t forget to bring extra 2 liters water each of you in case.
Day 20: Chaungkhas Kharka to Nar village 4200m (3.2 hrs approx)
Lunch camp to Nar, bring some drinking water, and stay at lodge overnight.
Day 21: Nar to Kangla Pass 5313m to Ngawal village 3660m (8.7 hrs approx)
Bring a packed lunch and drinking water along with you. Long ascent and descent with a taking unawares an array of Mountain views! Stay at lodge overnight.
Day 22: Ngawal village to Braka 3494m (3.5 hrs approx)
Lunch camp at Braka, as always bring some cookies with you. Today is one of the most joyous hikes via Julu and upper trail of Tanke Phant a naturally made balconyJ and overnight stay at lodge.
Day 23: Braka to Tilicho Base Camp (TBC) 4136m (7.1 hrs approx)
Lunch break at Srikharka. You will walk through the landslide areas, be careful about the rocks fall that more chances after 11 am, while sun heated them, and each of you need to hike in the distance of 10 to 15 meters, that’s why if someone hit with a rock others can be saved and rescue the injured person. Stay overnight at lodge.
Day 24: Tilicho Bace Camp (TBC) to Tilicho Lake (TL) 4922m (4.7 hrs approx)
Bring a packed lunch and drinking water along with you. Walking through the landslide areas and the grassy slopes with an excellent views. Camp at the Lake-shoreJ .
Day 25: Tilicho Lake (TL) to Mesokanto Pass to Namkhu Kharka 4189m (8.2 hrs approx).
Bring a packed lunch and drinking water along with you. You have to cross two high passes of Tilicho Eastern Pass 5369m and Mesokanto Pass 5253m. It’s long walk with the exceptional views! Camp overnight at Namkhu Kharka. 
Day 26: Namkhu Kharka to Thini 2876m and old Jomsom 2756m (3.9 hrs approx).
Oh! This is a “Day of Finale, achieving the Dream you had!”…
Many Congratulations!!

Prem Rai
Lakeside - 6, Pokhara, Nepal.

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About Prem

Prem Rai was born at a beautiful little hamlet called Sintup 7, Tamku of Sankhuwasabha. It is located in the area of Makalu Barun National Park the most remote north part of East Nepal. He is self employed Trekking guide since 1999. He has over decade of experienced about trekking and tour organizing in Nepal through the Himalaya. On 26 Feb, 2004, he had received an “A” grade Trekking Guide License by His Majesty’s Government of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation of Nepal.
“Feel open to contact him, whether you have any interest about Nepal and all related activities in tourism and adventures. He can help you arrange any treks and tours or itineraries in Nepal. You can make any of these trips longer or shorter to fit your stay in Nepal.".”
With warm regards – namaste!


Prem Rai
Lakeside - 6, Khahare Chowk, Pokhara, Nepal.

New e-mail:

Old e-mails:

Cell Phones:
+977 9846306028
+977 9804115956
+977 9807380590


Special Note: All these services are provide only through the Government legalized company.

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Guidebook Trekking in the Annapurna area

Guidebook Trekking in the Annapurna area
On this page you will find information about the guidebook : Trekking in the Annapurnaarea along the new NATT-trails which avoid the road The second Ebook edition is published in September 2013. i decribes the Annapurna Circuit AC, Tilicho lake, The Annapurna panorama & poon hill trek. The Annapurna Base Camp trek and the new Khopra Dhanda and Mardi Himal trek. For that click this image