Annapurna Luxury Lodge trek
Nepal

Annapurna Luxury Lodge with Ker and Downey trek in Nepal
  • TRIP TYPE: Trekking
  • TRIP GRADE: Gentle
  • TRIP STYLE: Luxury Lodge
  • TRIP LEADER: Local Leader
  • GROUP SIZE: 2 - 10 people
  • NEXT DEPARTURE: 25 Feb 2021

Details

Annapurna Luxury Lodge trek is a wonderful introduction to trekking in Nepal. You stay at the high quality Ker and Downey lodges in the Annapurna region.

This hike is a superb way of trekking in Nepal in style while enjoying Himalayan views. Ker and Downey lodges are at a standard far better than anything else available in the area. They provide a high level of service and facilities. The bedrooms have hot showers and western toilets. The lodges are traditional buildings made with local materials of stone and wood. There are comfortable communal areas and during the winter months there will be a fire pit in the bar area. Guests sit around the fire to warm up while have a drink during Happy Hour (from 6pm to 7pm).

The trail between the lodges takes you through beautiful Nepalese villages. There are spectacular views of the Annapurna region including Mount Machapuchare. This peak is also known as Fishtail mountain and the summit is at an altitude of 6.993m. This walk is in the low-lying hills fringing Pokhara. It is a cultural journey passing through Gurung villages. We trek for six days through the Annapurna foothills. Each day has between four and six hours walking.

  • Our Annapurna Luxury Lodges trek uses the Ker & Downey Nepal lodges. Their locations have scenic views of the Annapurna mountains. The accommodation is at a standard far better than anything else available in the area.
  • We are Himalayan trekking specialists having operated trips in Nepal for many years. Roland Hunter has designed the itinerary from his first-hand experience of this trek.
  • Our AITO Traveller Reviews for Annapurna Luxury Lodge have a holiday rating of 100%. Based on client feedback we won the 2018 Gold Award as AITO Tour Operator of the Year. Read more about our Testimonials and Awards.
  • We pay for private weather forecasts from EverestWeather.com. We also use in house forecasting throughout the duration of this trek.
  • We send a Thuraya satellite phone on our group treks in Nepal. Your leader will have reliable communications for logistics, planning and group safety.
  • We provide the porters with windproof jackets & trousers and shelter. We follow International Porter Protection Group (“IPPG”) guidelines.
  • We bring a comprehensive medical aid kit.
  • Our team with first hand knowledge of this trek provides pre trip support. During high season we have someone from our UK Operations team based in Kathmandu.

Route Map

Itinerary

Arrival in Kathmandu

No meals

Hotel Shangri La in Kathmandu

Flying into Kathmandu on a clear day is in itself an unforgettable experience. The Himalayan peaks are only a short distance north of the capital of Nepal as seen from the plane. After customs, you will pass into the passenger pick-up area outside the building. You will see a Mountain Company signboard. Our representative will be waiting to welcome you to Nepal.

After transferring to your hotel we will give you a full trek briefing. The rest of the day will be yours to explore Kathmandu and to make final preparations for the trek. You will hear the Nepalese word for hello ‘Namaste’, you will never forget that word after this holiday.

Sightseeing in Kathmandu

Breakfast

Hotel Shangri La in Kathmandu

This is a one day guided sightseeing tour of the Kathmandu Valley. We visit three out of the seven World Heritage Sites. You will start off by visiting Patan Durbar Square. Then we drive to the Buddhist stupa at Boudhanath. Our last stop of the day is at the Hindu shrine of Pashupatinath. The tour is likely to finish around 4pm and the rest of the day is free to further explore Kathmandu.

Three major towns in the valley, Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur. Each place has a great artistic and architectural traditions. Kathmandu is the capital and the largest city in the country. Patan, the second largest separated from Kathmandu by Bagmati river. Bhaktapur, the third largest, is towards the eastern end of the valley. Its relative isolation reflected in its slower pace and more medieval atmosphere. In Kathmandu there is a bustle of activity especially in the bazaars and markets. While the city has expanded over the last 10 years it is still possible to see traditional buildings.

Flight to Pokhara

Sightseeing in Pokhara

Breakfast

Temple Tree Resort in Pokhara

 

In the morning we will drive you from the hotel to Kathmandu domestic airport. On the flight to Pokhara you get superb views of the Annapurnas from the right hand side of the plane. After landing at Pokhara we drive you to the hotel and you have the rest of the day to explore the lakeside town. A good option is to take a boat trip across Phewa Lake then walk to Shanti Peace stupa. This is high above the lake and, on a clear day, the panoramic views are superb. The walk uphill from the lake to Shanti Peace stupa takes about 45 minutes.

Later in the afternoon your trekking guide will come to the hotel to meet you and give a briefing on the trek. You can pack your bags ready for the trek starting tomorrow. It is worth knowing that down jackets, wool gloves, hats and slippers are provided in each of the lodge rooms. It is worth leaving a bag of items not required for the trek in the store room of the hotel to collect on return.

 

Drive to Lumle (1 hour)

Walking 3.5km (4 hours)

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Ker & Downey Sanctuary Lodge

After breakfast you will drive for about an hour from Pokhara to the trek start point at Lumle. You start the drive by following the Seti River valley and later on you get views of Mount Machapuchare (6,993m). The slender lines of this mountain are beautiful and is also known as Fishtail mountain.

We start the hike following a path through forest in the lower foothills of the Annapurnas. There are fine views of the mountains and of Modi khola river below in the valley. The trail passes through Tomijung known as the bee village. This is due to the old style bee hives attached to the side of the traditional houses. There are fields nearby growing rice and maize as well as a variety of vegetables. Descending from Tomijung we cross the suspension bridge over Modi river. It is a short walk along the jeep track to Sanctuary Lodge a few miles from Birethanti village.

During the months of April, May, September and early October it will be very hot and humid. Temperatures are often more than 30 Degrees Celsius during these times. If you prefer cooler weather then it is best to choose March, November and December. It is important to bring plenty of water, wear a sun hat and apply sun cream.

Walking 8.5km (5 to 6 hours)

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Ker & Downey Himalaya Lodge

After breakfast we walk along the jeep track for a short while. We turn off near Shyauli Bazaar and follow local trails uphill away from the road. The path passes through fields and sections through bamboo, rhododendron and oak trees. You will observe daily life in the hills of Nepal as you pass through. There are traditional houses in hamlets and attractive villages such as Tikhyang. After 3 hours you pass through the village of Kimche (1,640m) where we may stop to eat our pack lunch.

There is a further two walk to Ghandruk contouring through terraced fields. We walk along a short section of jeep track then ascend the stone steps into the village. This has the headquarters of the Annapurna Conservation Area Project "(ACAP"). There are many retired Britsh and India Gurkhas living in and around Ghandruk. From the village there are fine views of the Himalayas. You can see Annapurna South, Hiunchuli and Hiunchuli. You can also see the impressive Mount Machhapuchhre, known as Fishtail, at an altitude of 6,993m.

Day walk around Ghandruk

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Ker & Downey Himalaya Lodge

The day starts by sitting on a rattan chair outside your room. You can enjoy the sunrise over the Annapurna range while drinking a cup of tea. After breakfast your guide will explain the options for exploring Ghandruk. In the morning, there is a lovely walk through forest to a temple with good views. In the afternoon you can explore the village itself. It is worth visiting the Old Gurung Museum and ACAP headquarters.

Walking 2.5km (4 hours)

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Ker & Downey Bee Lodge

After breakfast we follow the trail on stone steps descending a steep path. We cross the suspension bridge over Modi Khola. The cliffs overhanging the river is where the honey hunters climb ropes to collect honey. After the bridge you ascend a trail passing through fields and several teahouses. After an hour walking you reach Lhandruk at an altitude of 1,596m. This village is at lower altitude than Ghandruk located on the opposite side of the valley. From Bee Lodge there are good views up valley of Annapurna South and Huinchuli.

You arrive at Bee Lodge in time for lunch and then in the afternoon you can explore Lhandruk village. After lunch the now familiar timings of tea around 4pm, Happy Hour at 6pm followed by dinner at 7pm.

Walking 9km (4 to 5 hours)

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Ker & Downey Gurung Lodge

Today we start off following the main trail to Pothana. After an hour we turn off onto a smaller path through the forest. The trail contours above the Modi Khola river. We descend through fields and forest to reach Majgaun village.

Walking 6km (4 to 5 hours)

Drive to Pokhara (1 hour)

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Temple Tree Resort in Pokhara

After breakfast we walk through forests of oak, rhododendron and silver birch. There are lovely views of Annapurna South, Hiunchuli and Lamjung. The path soon levels out and joins the main trail near the lodges at Pothana. We descend through forest to Dhampus and the Basanta lodge where we have lunch.

Basanta Lodge is a traditional Gurung village house. From its garden there are superb views of the Fishtail peak and the Annapurna range. After lunch at Basanta lodge we leave Dhampus and descend to the Pokhara valley. We pass through more villages and terraced fields. We meet the vehicle at Phedi for the short drive to Pokhara.

Flight to Kathmandu

Breakfast

Hotel Shangri La in Kathmandu

Transfer to the airport for the flight to Kathmandu. We meet you at the airport and drive ypou back to the hotel. In the afternoon you can relax at Shangri La, go shopping or to do more sightseeing around the city.

Flight home

Breakfast

Transfer to Kathmandu airport for the flight back home.  End of trip.

Dates & Prices

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2021

Dates Trip Leader Price Single Supplement: Room/Tent Availability
Dates 25 Feb 2021 to 07 Mar 2021 Trip Leader Local Leader Price US$2,395pp Single Supplement:
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Dates 18 Mar 2021 to 28 Mar 2021 Trip Leader Local Leader Price US$2,395pp Single Supplement:
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2022

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Dates 24 Feb 2022 to 06 Mar 2022 Trip Leader Local Leader Price US$2,395pp Single Supplement:
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Dates 17 Mar 2022 to 27 Mar 2022 Trip Leader Local Leader Price US$2,395pp Single Supplement:
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Dates 14 Apr 2022 to 24 Apr 2022 Trip Leader Local Leader Price US$2,395pp Single Supplement:
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Dates 06 Oct 2022 to 16 Oct 2022 Trip Leader Local Leader Price US$2,395pp Single Supplement:
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Dates 13 Oct 2022 to 23 Oct 2022 Trip Leader Local Leader Price US$2,395pp Single Supplement:
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Dates 27 Oct 2022 to 06 Nov 2022 Trip Leader Local Leader Price US$2,395pp Single Supplement:
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Dates 24 Nov 2022 to 04 Dec 2022 Trip Leader Local Leader Price US$2,395pp Single Supplement:
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Dates 15 Dec 2022 to 25 Dec 2022 Trip Leader Local Leader Price US$2,395pp Single Supplement:
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What's Included

  • All internal transport and transfers including airport collections.
  • Internal flights. The flights are Kathmandu - Pokhara - Kathmandu. The weight allowance is 15kg for your main bag checked into the hold and 5kg for your day pack.
  • One day sightseeing in Kathmandu with Nepalese cultural guide and private vehicle.
  • Twin share room at Hotel Shangri La in Kathmandu and at Temple Tree in Pokhara. On trek there are five nights at Ker & Downey lodges. Breakfast only at hotels in Kathmandu and Pokhara. All meals and Happy Hour drinks included while on trek.
  • Complementary drinking water and electricity for charging batteries at Ker and Downey lodges.
  • Trekking arrangements. Including permits and fees, tents, Nepalese guides and porters. We provide one trekking guide for a group size of two people. We provide two guides for a group size of three people and three guides for group size of six people plus.
  • Porterage. The allowance for your main bag is 15kg.
  • Weather forecasts from EverestWeather.com.
  • Thuraya satellite phone for organising logistics and medical evacuations. It can also be also used for personal calls at extra cost.
  • Trekking map given to you on arrival to Kathmandu.
  • Rubberised luggage tag posted to you before departure
  • Full financial protection. Our Air Travel Organiser’s Licence (ATOL) number is 10921. Our Association of Bonded Travel Operators Trust (ABTOT) membership number is 5365).
  • Pre departure support and advice from The Mountain Company. We are available by email, phone or face to face meetings.

What's Not Included

  • International flight to/from Kathmandu.
  • Travel & trekking insurance.
  • Nepal visa for 30 days at US$40 (approx £25).
  • Lunch and evening meals in Kathmandu and Pokhara.
  • Personal clothing & equipment, please see the Appendix for suggested kit list.
  • Tips (guidance on amounts included in our “Nepal Pre Trip Information” notes).
  • Other items not listed in “What is included”.

Accommodation

Hotel Shangri La in Kathmandu

Shangri La is our hotel used for our Luxury trips in Nepal. Our clients enjoy staying in this property.

This property is in Lazimpat within 20 minute walking distance from Thamel. The hotel has good rooms, a lovely garden and swimming pool. It also has a restaurant and Lost Horizon bar.


Temple Tree Resort & Spa in Pokhara

Temple Tree Resort & Spa is located close to Lakeside. This resort is newly built in traditional style and the rooms are in cottages with a private veranda overlooking the inner courtyard and landscaped gardens.

There is an infinity pool with Jacuzzi and the Spa has a blend of treatments available.


Ker & Downey lodges in Annapurna

Our Annapurna Luxury Lodge trek stays at Ker and Downey lodges in Annapurna region of Nepal. By trekking this way you explore Nepal in style while staying in comfortable lodges. Ker and Downey Nepal provide a high level of service. They are set in locations with mountain views and landscaped gardens.

The lodges have bedrooms including hot showers and western toilets. The bedrooms are not heated but in winter months there will be a fire pit in the communal area. Complementary drinking water and electricity for charging batteries at Ker & Downey lodges. The following items are available in the rooms. Torch/ flashlight, candles, soap, towels and hair dryers. There are also down jackets, wool gloves, hats and slippers.

Practical Information

Typical day on a Luxury Lodge trek in Nepal

We provide a comfortable experience on our luxury lodge style treks. Our team works hard to support you so that you can relax and enjoy trekking in Nepal. The lodges provide your meals in a communal dining room. You will sleep in private rooms with an attached bathroom.

The day starts with getting up in your room with the convenience of washing in the en-suite bathroom. Before heading for breakfast you pack your overnight gear into your duffel bag. At the designated time the group will assemble in the dining room to eat breakfast. The menu has a range of items to choose from such as porridge, cereals, chapattis, and a choice of egg dishes. There is also the choice of tea or coffee plus other hot drinks like the popular ginger, lemon honey drink.

While the group is having breakfast the porters arrange their loads and set off in the cool of the morning. After breakfast, between 7am and 8am, we start walking. The pace of the trek is moderate as there is plenty of time in the itinerary to reach the lodge for tonight. There will be plenty of time to enjoy the scenery, take photos and explore the local villages. Lunch will be around midday at a teahouse lodge by the side of the trail.

After lunch we continue the walk and on most days we arrive at the lodge by mid afternoon. On arrival you will get a hot drink and biscuits or a slice of cake. For dinner you get a three course dinner. The menus vary depending on the lodge. There is a range of Nepalese, Indian and continental dishes. Nepalese food includes dal bhat, momos and the famous Sherpa stew. Dal bhat is the Nepalese dish of rice and lentils with vegetable curry. Continental dishes such as spaghetti and pasta; pizzas; vegetable burgers and chips are also available.

After supper the leaders will discuss the plan for the next day. Afterwards people might stay in the dining room chatting about the day’s events or playing cards. After a tiring day most people head to their rooms quite early for the night. Tomorrow is likely to be very similar as today!

We cater for a variety of dietary requirements. There are always meals that are suitable for vegetarians. During booking we find out if you have any dietary needs and agree upon meal plans before departure. If you have any questions about the food provided please get in touch with us to discuss further.

You can read more about Luxury Lodge Trekking in Nepal on our Blog. This article explains about the facilities available at a luxury lodge. It also describes the advantages and disadvantages versus teahouse style treks.

Kit List for Annapurna Luxury Lodge

This is the mandatory kit list for the safety of everyone in the group and to ensure a successful trek. You must have the following items tailored for Annapurna Luxury Lodge trek. The group leader will check your gear in Kathmandu before departure for the trek.

As a reminder, the weather on this trek will vary season to season and day to day as you ascend to higher elevations. At the start of the trek you will experience hot and humid conditions with temperatures up to 25 to 30 Celsius. The hottest months are in April, May, September and early October.

You should bring a rucsac or backpack for gear required during the day. Your pack should contain items such as warm clothes, jacket, camera, water bottles, personal first aid kit and snacks. The weight limit is 5kg. A porter will carry the rest of your personal equipment packed in a duffel or kit bag. The weight limit for your duffel bag is 15kg (although should be in practice be lower due to shortness of the trek). Please mark your bag on the outside for easy identification.

At Ker & Downey lodges the following items are available in the rooms. Torch/ flashlight, candles, soap, towels and hair dryers. There are also down jackets, wool gloves, hats and slippers. The bedrooms in the Ker and Downey lodges are not heated. In winter months there will be a fire pit in the bar area. The fire will be lit in the late afternoon and guests will sit around to warm up. Happy Hour drinks served in the bar from 6pm to 7pm.

Print the kit list and tick items off as you pack them then weigh your kit bag before you come on trek.

Footwear

  • Walking Boots. A pair of water repellent boots with ankle support. Boots must be in good condition, the best approach is to get new boots and break in before the trek.
  • Trail shoes. Used around lodge.
  • Walking socks.

Clothing

  • Waterproof and Windproof jacket (with hood) and trousers (goretex or similar). For use if it rains or snows during the trek and in windy conditions.
  • Trekking trousers. (eg. Mountain Hardwear Mesa V2 or The North Face Paramount Peak).
  • Long sleeve tops or shirts (not cotton).
  • Micro fleece.
  • Mid to heavyweight fleece or synthetic/ primaloft top.
  • Casual clothes for evenings at the lodges.

Head and Gloves

  • Fleece gloves. Only required for winter treks.
  • Wool or fleece hat.
  • Sun hat.
  • Bandana or scarf (eg. Buff Headwear).
  • Head torch. Bring extra batteries.
  • Sunglasses. The lenses need to be Category 4 rated. They should have side protection or wraparound design.

Personal equipment

  • Day pack. Recommended size is around 30 litres. You need to have enough space to carry water bottles, camera, snacks and extra clothing. The pack should have a good waist belt. It is also a good idea to bring a rain cover to keep the contents dry.
  • Trekking poles (Black Diamond with “Flick Lock” are best). Two poles are mandatory for your safety. These will be helpful on steep sections of the trail. Such as Day 7 for 2 hour+ descent down to the Modi Khola river.
  • Stuff sacks for keeping your gear dry and organised. Or even better are fold dry bags such as from Exped.
  • Two water bottles. Nalgene wide mouth bottles are the best. You may use a hydration pack lower down but the tube will freeze in the cold so ensure you still have two water bottles.
  • Sunscreen and lip salve with a high SPF.
  • Favourite snack food.
  • Books and cards etc.
  • Camera with spare batteries and memory cards.
  • Insurance certificate.
  • Earplugs (optional).
  • Baby wipes (optional).
  • Hand sanitizer. Keep this in your day pack for use after a toilet break during the trek or before eating any snacks. We provide sanitizer for use before meals.

Travelling

  • Duffel bag for your personal gear on the trek. Carried by a porter. Rugged and waterproof made of a plastic material. Size 80-100 litres. Eg. Mountain Equipment or Rab. Bring a small combination padlock to secure the bag.
  • Travel clothes. You will need casual clothing for air travel days and time spent in Kathmandu and Pokhara.
  • Toiletry bag with soap, travel towel, toilet paper, toothbrush etc.

We provide a comprehensive group first aid kit.  Please bring personal medications and other items you might use such as:

  • Any personal medications.
  • Blister treatment (Compeed patches are the best)
  • Rehydration powder (eg Dioralyte).
  • Analgesics (paracetamol, ibuprofen and aspirin).
  • Plasters and zinc oxide tape.
  • Throat lozenges.
  • Diamox (helps with acclimatisation).

Risk assessment for Annapurna Luxury Lodge trek

You should be aware trekking in a developing country involves a risk of personal injury or death. You must accept these risks and be responsible for your own actions and involvement. Adventure travel requires an open and flexible attitude. You may experience extreme conditions and unpredictable weather. There could be last minute changes to the itinerary beyond our control. The ability to work in a team is an important aspect of our trips.

We have performed a threat and risk assessment for our Annapurna Luxury Lodge trek staying at Ker and Downey Nepal lodges. Our trips have a degree of risk. This is part of the attraction of adventure travel and why so many people choose to join this type of holiday. By identifying the hazards we assess the level of risk. We have control measures in places to reduce this happening or to reduce the impact.

Our risk assessment is available to clients on request. We have listed below a summary of the significant risks and hazards identified by us:

  • Falls and trips resulting in physical injury eg. slipping on ice or falling off the path. There are stone steps to follow for several sections of this trek. On Day 7 there is a 2 hour+ descent on a steep trail down to the Modi Khola river.
  • Climatic injuries (dehydration, sunburn, heat exhaustion, hypothermia or heat stroke). Please note during the months of April and October it will be very hot and humid on this trek.
  • Crossing a river with no bridge resulting in drowning and/ or a fall.
  • Rock fall and landslides.
  • Lightning strike.
  • Wildlife, pack animals (e.g. donkeys or horses) or stray dogs. Pack animals can knock people off the path. Dogs can attack and bite. Discuss rabies vaccination with your doctor.
  • Earthquake.
  • Risk of fire in the hotel or lodge.
  • Endemic local diseases. Discuss vaccinations with your doctor before departure.
  • Physiological injury. Such as heart attack, appendicitis, hernia, toothache etc. in a remote area.
  • Road traffic or flight accidents. Read paragraph “Internal flight".
  • Contaminated food and/ or water.

This trip visits a remote area. You are away from the usual emergency services and medical facilities. Evacuation for a serious injury requiring hospitalisation could take up to several days. This delay could impede your ensuing recovery. Helicopters are the usual means of evacuation. They are not always available or hindered by poor weather and flying conditions.

Internal Flights in Nepal

Flights from Nepal’s Short Take-Off & Landing (“STOL”) airstrips are dependent on weather. Delays often happen if there is poor visibility or high winds.For our itineraries with flights to or from STOL we include one extra day in Kathmandu at the end of the trip. This is in case of delays flying back. If the delays are longer we will help reschedule your international flights. There is likely to be a fee charged by the airline for this. You also have to pay for costs incurred in Kathmandu as a result of the delay such as accommodation and meals.

You should read the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (“FCDO”) travel advice to Nepal. For their latest advice take a look at their Safety & Security section under Air TravelThere have been some recent air accidents in Nepal. The European Union has banned Nepalese airlines from flying to Europe. For more information on Nepal’s air safety profile take a look at Aviation Safety Network.

Weather and conditions for Annapurna Luxury Lodge

Annapurna Luxury Lodge trek has a range of temperatures. This depends on the season, altitude and time of day. In the mountains between 1,000m and 3,500m the nights will be cool around 5 Celsius. During the day temperatures sometimes rise to 30 Celsius.
 
The trekking season in Nepal is late September to May. October and November is generally recognised as having the best weather. Spring is a popular time of year with warmer weather than in Autumn. Also there is the advantage of seeing spring flowers and rhododendrons in bloom.
 
We have written a blog article When is the best time to go trekking in Nepal Himalaya? This has information about the weather and conditions in Spring and Autumn seasons. It also explains the differences between the trekking regions of Nepal.

Suggested reading and maps for Annapurna region

Maps

Annapurna Trekking Map by Himalayan Maphouse. Scale: 1:900,000. We include in your welcome pack when you arrive in Nepal. National Geographic Annapurna Trekking 1:135,000.

Books

Annapurna south face. By Chris Bonnington.

Himalayan Pilgrimmage. By David Snellgrove.

Annapurna. By Maurice Herzog.

True Summit: What Really Happened on the Legendary Ascent on Annapurna. By David Roberts.

The Ascent of Rum Doodle. By WE Bowman.

A Nepalese Journey: The Essence of the Annapurna Circuit (Mountain Photography). By Andrew Stevenson.

Nepali Phrasebook by Lonely Planet.

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