My Annapurna Trek via Poon Hill

My experience trekking goes back to the late 90’s when I toured parts of South America. I trekked along the famous Inca Trail, Huayhuash region and Patagonia. Years later I decided to make the trek to Everest Base Camp and found Ian Taylor Trekking on You Tube. I was really impressed with the staff and service from start to finish. By the way their training advice is accurate and you need to be training for any of these adventures. The older I get the more training I need to do. I witnessed so many people struggling on their way to Everest, which tainted by experience in the region a little bit.

Leaving Annapurna Base Camp

Back in Kathmandu

It was good to be back in Kathmandu and the Yatri Suites Hotel. I enjoyed walking the back streets of Thamel in Kathmandu but really looking forward to a few relaxing days in Pokhara. The following morning, we were off with Dawa and Nima on the 30 minute flight to Pokhara.

I love the Annapurna region of Nepal! The flight from Kathmandu was spectacular all the way into Pokhara and when the plane door opened I could see big mountains. Machhapuchre mountain was right in front on me as I walking into collect my duffel bag. From that moment on I was excited to be back.

Chhromrung

Small Group Size

We had 10 people in our group and that is another reason I picked ITT. The groups were always a maximum on 10 people with 4 staff for every group. This really made things easy for us ordering food, getting around and needing assistance. Someone needed to fix their watch and get batteries so a staff member helped them. Some people wanted to wander and others wanted to go out on the lake.

The trail to Annapurna Base Camp

Pokhara is the Place to Visit

The air quality is much better than Kathmandu and we had two nights in Pokhara to relax before driving into the mountains. Pokhara feels like a small town. It has a nice walk around the lake, nice bars, restaurants and more peaceful than Kathmandu. We took a boat trip onto the lake and watched para sailors floating around above our heads before getting off and walking along the lake and back to the hotel.

Tikhedhunga

Pokhara is very different than Kathmandu and I loved my stay here. I will be back again. It was nice to relax in Pokhara but we wanted to get into the mountains and start walking. We had been training and preparing for months and ready to get away from it all.

After a nice evening in Pokhara we drive into the mountains and headed towards the Annapurna range. I liked Ian’s Itinerary that drives you up to Tikhedhunga for lunch and then hikes up the long staircase to Ulleri. This is a better launching point for the hike into Ghorepani and sets you up nicely for the early morning hike up to Poon Hill.

From Chhromrung looking North

Hiking up Poon Hill

The view from Poon Hill is nothing short of spectacular. I am go glad this add on was available. The serene view of 8,000m peaks, the peace and quiet made me want to stay all day. After a relaxing start to the day we had a beautiful hike Tadapani at 2,600m. It was so different than the Everest region. The scenery was different and the elevation was great we still hadn’t even stay at the elevation of Lukla yet. We had reached 3,210m but this was even the elevation of the lodge in Namche Bazaar.

Annapurna Base Camp trail

Moving Closer to Annapurna Base Camp

I really enjoyed the walk into Chhomrung and my stay here. There was a nice coffee shop and lots of decks for mountain viewing. The view into the valley that led to Annapurna Base Camp was magical and I was itching to get up into that high alpine valley I had seen so many pictures from.

Machhapuchhre Mountain

Prepare for the Stairs

There are a lot of stairs on this trail. They are well maintained but be ready for lot of stairs up and down. The walk from Chhomrung was down to the river over the suspension bridge was through some beautiful areas of farming and then back up more stairs on the other side of the valley. The walk through Dovan and Deurali is exciting as they valley rises on both sides and leads you to Machhapuchre Base Camp. This is small cluster of lodges but sitting in this amazing valley with big mountains all around.

Annapurna South

Staying at Machhapuchare Base Camp is much better than staying in Dovan or Deurali and because have acclimatization for the Poon hill portion of the trek the altitude really isn’t a problem, or it wasn’t for me or the rest of our group.

Annapurna I from Base Camp

The Famous Annapurna Sanctuary

Annapurna Base Camp is one of the most impressive mountain arena’s you will ever see. You have to get up at 5am and wait for the sunrise. The colors and mountain scenery are constantly changing as lights comes off the back to Machhapuchere mountain and hits the Annapurna range. I have to say the sunrise at Annapurna Base Camp that morning was one of the best sunrises I have ever seen.

Annapurna Base Camp sunirise

After an amazing evening and day at Annapurna Base Camp we all left with a big smile on! What an amazing experience that will stay with me for the rest of my life.

The Hot Springs

We had beautiful weather as we passed Machhapuchre base camp and retraced our way back down the trail to Bamboo and then the next day we walked back through Chhromrung and then downhill to Jhinu. We took a stroll in the afternoon down to the hot springs by the river and then had an evening of cards and a beer as the sun set in this amazing location.

Jhinu hot springds

The next morning we walked about an hour to the jeep pick up that brought us back to Pokhara. I really didn’t want to leave the mountains. I was so happy and relaxed but it was time to get back to Pokhara for dinner and a night of celebration. It was truly was a great mountain walking experience. Like all mountain trails there was a lot of up and down up this trail didn’t have the elevation or altitude of the Everest Trek. The scenery was different and both are amazing in their own right. Thanks to Ian and team for another amazing experience. It was well organised and amazing experience.

Ryan Bridges, Annapurna Base Camp Trek 2018

How difficult is it trekking to Annapurna base Camp
Elevation gains for your Annapurna Base Camp Trek
Daily distances on the Annapurna Base Camp Trek