Yagya Raj Adhikari is a young passionate Nepalese mountain guide who has been serving clients since the past 5 years. He has sound knowledge of Nepalese culture, history, politics, flora, and fauna and likes traveling, reading and keeps a travelogue of his adventures. As a Nepalese Mountain guide, he holds experience in the Annapurna region, Manaslu region, and other trekking regions of Nepal.
Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you are climbing it.- Andy Rooney
And the trek begins…
Our guests choice fell on the Annapurna Circuit Trek. The Annapurna circuit is the classic Himalayan trekking and is very popular among the hikers all around the world. Also, it has been voted as the best long-distance trek in the world. It remains nevertheless a test of strength and mental to reach the beautiful Tilicho Lake and cross the highest pass in the world: Thorong la Pass at 5,416 m. It offers a wide variety of landscapes, ie, from low hills to the world highest pass and arid of Manang and Mustang Valley.
Chame was our destination that day. We enjoyed a hot spring bath there. As it the headquarters of Manang district, there is a small market over there where the guest used to do their shopping for the trek. While heading towards Upper Pisang, we could taste the local apple at Bartang. There is one of country biggest apple farm.
We used to walk on the roads, but at that time we walked via Tal. The trail was encircled by the summits of Annapurna, and everyone tried to guess what were the famous peaks, Annapurna I, II, III or IV which crowned between 6000 and 8000 m.
We took the trekking path from Lower Pisang to the village of Ghyaru. The ascent was very hard for our guests because there were nearly 500 meters of unevenness on the only 1 km, but the spectacle arriving at the top left them speechless. That day we could even see a face drawn by the mountain. That was the most beautiful panorama so far! We continued to the village of Ngawal on a path on the mountainside at over 3,700 meters above sea level. Thank god, our guests did not have vertigo. That stage was very long because the altitude slowly decreases our oxygen and the hike seemed dull between the villages of Braka and Manang.
While heading towards Manang, we faced slight rainfall, which lasts only for a few minutes. We continued the trek and witnessed ancient houses, stupas, cultures, and lifestyles; and there was only DhikurPokhari where we could see the houses made up of wood. While passing, we had a strange feeling because local people were staring at us. Sometimes, small children stopped us, asked for chocolates, and when we gifted them, their faces glowed with a charming smile. We stayed at Manang to explore and acclimatization.
Traveling to Khangsar, we saw the group of Blue Sheep about 50 meters far. Again we were lucky enough to see Blue sheep and deers at a hill near to Manang while we were holding short hiking there. As we were at the start of winter, we saw a few Blue Sheep, sleeping in the sun while returning from Tilicho Base Camp. You could say that the route was the open zoo. On that route, we saw Yak, Eagles, vultures, chickens, domestic sheep, Himalayan goats, donkeys, horses, and many more.
The excitement began to rise, it was the last day, before the ascent of the neck of Thorong La Pass. The weather was not very lenient, and some snowflakes complete our ascent in the morning. Our destination was the High Camp, the last and highest refuge before the climb of the pass. At the early morning, when we all were preparing for Thorong La Pass, the hotel owner was also preparing something exciting for us. He played the guitar for our farewell before marching towards the pass. Although the afternoon was sunny, there was the heartbreaking wind in Thorong La Pass. But we passed it patiently.
As a Nepalese mountain guide, I have faced some challenges during this Annapurna Circuit trek.
Frequent changes in the weather is a big challenge for trekkers who are doing Tilicho Lake. Sometimes raining /snowing may cause the landslide/ avalanche on the way to Tilicho Base Camp.
Accommodation during the high season
Altitude sickness in the night time