Our third annual fast pack around the Annapurna Circuit was a success thanks to great weather, great trails, and great people. We covered ~228k of the circuit in just over 10 days – getting off the beaten jeep track and following rarely used trails with a total elevation gain of 11,846m. We also stopped to visit monasteries, ate many bowls of noodle soup, tried to befriend goats, ran through holy water fountains, and donated blood to more than one leach. Our itinerary had two ‘rest days’ to help us acclimatize before we crossed our highest point – the 5,416m/17,769ft Thorung Pass. Another high point was the Children’s Race that we helped organize with Wide Open Vistas and the local school in Manang. We traveled quick, light, and self-supported on this adventure. Big thanks to prior participants who have helped shape this event over the years and our 2016 alumni for their participation and support, especially Lukas Rådgiver, Stephanie Gundel, Daniel Letzler, Pablo Cabrera, Sonam Shah, Sudeep Kandel, Sherpa Ngawang Dorjee, Richard Ball, and Seth Wolpin. . Also big thanks to Tshering from Hotel Mountain Lake & Restaurant Tales Beyond the Mountains and people of Manang for supporting and helping with the childrens race
The event is getting better every year, with new ideas evolving, discovering alternative trails, more organised operations and great participants who simply love outdoors! We are looking forward to next year!
-Sudeep and Seth
We like to write down the ups and downs each year so that we can keep on improving!
- Better briefing the night before we leave Kathmandu.
- Better heads up to people that the first 2 hours on the trail are not pleasant due to construction. Leaving the city at 10am actually works well as it misses the traffic congestion and still gets us to the trailhead around 3pm.
- Have people manage their own water treatment, but consider still carrying the group gravity water filter.
- Remind people that they may be asked to carry up to half a kilo of group gear (med kit etc).
- Acclimatization worked great, staying in Yak Karka for a second night (instead of going to Thorung Phedi) would be good if anyone has AMS symptoms.
- Need better accommodation in Marpha. The lodge we used in 2014 was the best.
- Better organization of cultural events/learnings every couple evenings (learn to cook dahl baht, sit-down with local shamen, visit with a community health worker, etc)