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thesilvertops
24th March 2008, 04:55 PM
I've made a little collection of maps of side trips on the Annapurna circuit and they can be viewed here:

http://www.pbase.com/thesilvertops/side_trip_maps

They include 2 short walks into Upper Mustang which are now permitted by the authorities in Nepal.

Per
26th March 2008, 03:08 PM
That is really useful info. By the way I did some of them. We hiked up to the ‘ice lake’ from Manang in late July or early August it was free from ice. It is know locally as Kang Tso. There was kharka and a friendly local invited us for some lovely salt tea.

http://www.lowdin.nu/Treks/Tilicho97/Annapurnas0018.jpghttp://www.lowdin.nu/Treks/Tilicho97/Annapurnas0016.jpghttp://www.lowdin.nu/Treks/Tilicho97/Annapurnas0017.jpg

Back in 1981 I hiked north of Muktinath, to the nex watershed, on the other side of Chhengar and Jhong, and had a view into the desolate desserts northwards. At the time you were not really supposed to do that. On the other hand I was just day hiking, without luggage or gear, getting acclimatized for Thorung La, so I donīt think any one would have minded.

Per
26th March 2008, 03:10 PM
A couple of other day hikes I can strongly recommend are the valleys above Jomosom and Marpha, Yamkim Khola and Pyongkyu Khola respectively. When one leaves the main valley it is all forest, meadows and bumbling brooks. One can also make the beginning on the hike to the Hidden Valley as a day trip, either from Jomsom or Marpha. From Marpha one passes Alu Bari.

http://www.lowdin.nu/Treks/Hiddenvalley/Dhampus0022.jpg

Alu Bari

http://www.lowdin.nu/Treks/Hiddenvalley/Dhampus0033.jpg

Higher up are seasonal Yak Kharkas

http://www.lowdin.nu/Treks/Hiddenvalley/Dhampus0027.jpg

and stunning views. If one goes light, i.e., without luggage, something warm in case the weather turns and a chocolate bar or two, one can get really high on a day hike. If one is fit from Thorung La one can easily ascend 300 meters per hour. Then, run down in hardly any time at all.

Unfortunately, Dhampus pass is too far, would be next to impossible to reach from Marpha and return the same day.

Another interesting side trip is above Jomoson. On the west side, in a side valley there is a Kharka. We set out for it once when we had flown into Jomosom, but lack of acclimatization got the better of us, so we did not make it all the way. But for someone well acclimatized it should be a nice day hike.

thesilvertops
28th September 2008, 11:21 PM
I have added another map - Map_9.jpg - to my Annapurna side trip maps on PBase. This map shows the approximate route of the new track which rises steeply behind Kagbeni to a viewpoint on the ridge high above Kagbeni. There was a photo on the forum recently which clearly showed the track but I can't trace it now.

Side trip maps here (http://www.pbase.com/thesilvertops/side_trip_maps)

peteris
9th April 2009, 12:35 AM
Hello all,

I’m going AC in June (starting late May). Would like to ask how far it is allowed to go north from Muktinath? I would like to go 7-10 km to north from Muktinath for night in tent and then to Kagbeni next day.

What about prices for food/accommodation now in AC if compared to 2005? I suppose it’s pricier today, but how much?

Also which type of gas is available in Kathmandu? – I have Campingaz type portable stove and don’t know is it worth to take it.

Peteris

Per
9th April 2009, 07:18 PM
Hello all,

I’m going AC in June (starting late May). Would like to ask how far it is allowed to go north from Muktinath? I would like to go 7-10 km to north from Muktinath for night in tent and then to Kagbeni next day.

You can easily cross the valley below Muktinath and hike up to a saddle on the other side of the valley should be around 7 km. I did that years ago. I donīt think anyone would stop you if you wanted to hike beyond the saddle, though the views will be pretty much the same as from the saddle, and endless waste of brown ridges, pretty barren.

As for hiking down to Kaghbeni I think it would be better to go the normal way so the police donīt think you have hiked in a restricted area.

By the way another detour is to hike through the Lubra valley. Take the first saddle to the south of Muktinath. Just be aware that the khola at the bottom can be difficult to ford, very fast.

peteris
16th April 2009, 11:10 PM
Thanks very much, Per! I thought about the south from Muktinath also and still don't know which alternative would be better for views. In map I have (Schneider) there is Lupra village in Panda Khola valley - I suppose it's the same you mentioned as Nubra.

Per
17th April 2009, 02:13 PM
Thanks very much, Per! I thought about the south from Muktinath also and still don't know which alternative would be better for views. In map I have (Schneider) there is Lupra village in Panda Khola valley - I suppose it's the same you mentioned as Nubra.

Lubra of course, Nubra is in Ladakh.

You can easily go north to the saddle on the other side of the valley in a couple of hours. Think it is a half day hike. If it is clear you will have nice views of Dhaulagiri, though pretty much the same as from Muktinath.

Going through the Panda Khola valley is an intersting detour. Lubra is a very special village as the inhabitants practice Bonpo,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B%C3%B6n Took us a day to Jomosom.

A hike with splendid views, in clear weather, is up along the ridge east of Jomosom. There is a large trail starting from Thini traversing the ridgeīs southern slopes. Ultimately, it leads to Meso Kantu La. One can also cut up to the crest after Thini and try to follow the very ridge.

un-j
17th April 2009, 06:05 PM
My few shots from the descent from Muktinath through Panda Khola valley and Lupra:

http://www.pbase.com/unjay/image/106906067.jpg

http://www.pbase.com/unjay/image/106906069.jpg

Both above taken from the saddle, mentioned by Per.

http://www.pbase.com/unjay/image/106906071.jpg

You walk along the ridge, and then descenting gently (the path well seen on the left)

http://www.pbase.com/unjay/image/106906072.jpg

Approaching the valley the trail becomes more steep.

un-j
17th April 2009, 06:09 PM
Continuing:

http://www.pbase.com/unjay/image/106906073.jpg

In the valley you walk on the gravel. And you have to cross the river, so choose the proper place to do it.

http://www.pbase.com/unjay/image/106906219.jpg

The village of Lupra

http://www.pbase.com/unjay/image/106906125.jpg

Finally you reach the Kali Gandaki valley.

peteris
17th April 2009, 09:49 PM
Very nice and interesting post, un-j!

Per
17th April 2009, 11:04 PM
Continuing:

http://www.pbase.com/unjay/image/106906073.jpg

In the valley you walk on the gravel. And you have to cross the river, so choose the proper place to do it.

http://www.pbase.com/unjay/image/106906219.jpg

The village of Lupra

http://www.pbase.com/unjay/image/106906125.jpg

Finally you reach the Kali Gandaki valley.

Lovely pictures, so incredibly beautiful, made me want to go back.

Did you follow the river? When we did it we crossed the stream and then we sort of scrambled on the southerns slopes for hours. It was mostly wood cutters trails before Lubra. Did we miss a good trail?

rich
18th April 2009, 03:51 AM
There is an easy trail to Lupra which crosses a plateau above Ekliobhaati. The trail departs the Muktinath-Kagbeni route shortly above Kagbeni and contours to the left across this plateau to a large chorten above the Lupra valley then down to the riverbed and across the small river directly. There might be another route more directly from near Jharkot. Otherwise its back down the river to meet the main valley between Jomsom and Ekliobhaati.

un-j
18th April 2009, 06:39 PM
Thanks Peteris and Per. More shots here (http://www.pbase.com/unjay).

>>Did you follow the river? When we did it we crossed the stream and then we sort of scrambled on the southerns slopes for hours. It was mostly wood cutters trails before Lubra. Did we miss a good trail?

Or maybe we have missed? I'm not quite sure if we went along the trail marked on a map (around Annapurna by Nepa Maps).

When we approached the river, in some point we were in doubt which way to go. But we spotted some other group by the river, so we came down and followed the river.

thesilvertops
19th April 2009, 10:34 PM
I've put this information on a map and posted it on my Pbase side trip maps page. Please let me know if I've made any mistakes and I will correct them asap.

Here is a copy:
http://www.pbase.com/image/111494708.jpg

I haven't walked the route but here is a picture of the start of the route if you're heading to Muktinath from Jomosom.

Panda Khola:
http://www.pbase.com/thesilvertops/image/61045165.jpg

Per
20th April 2009, 12:44 AM
http://www.pbase.com/image/111494708.jpg

I haven't walked the route but here is a picture of the start of the route if you're heading to Muktinath from Jomosom.

It is long since, 1981, but I have a distinct memory that we did not lose any altitude, at least not much, when we left Muktinath, there was a trail across the first "logical" saddle, and then we crossed the Panda Khola much further upstream than you indicate on the map. It was not really a river there, more like a fast bumbling brook, not a long ford just a few metres but really fast and scary. Then, we traversed the slopes on the other side on really faint trails down to Lubra.

rich
20th April 2009, 03:02 AM
Thats right of course S'tops.

Per
20th April 2009, 03:51 AM
I wonder if one could follow the Panda Khola upstream? It turns south and then at the end of the valley is a watershed towards the Tilicho Basin. We have looked down into it from the ranges north of Tilicho. Looks like a nice high valley. It could be another way to Tilicho. We looked at it but thought what if there is a narrow gorge or something that would force us to back track.

Now, with a road to Jomosom, it could be interesting.

un-j
20th April 2009, 03:01 PM
[QUOTE=thesilvertops]I've put this information on a map and posted it on my Pbase side trip maps page. Please let me know if I've made any mistakes and I will correct them asap.

Here is a copy:
http://www.pbase.com/image/111494708.jpg

Trying to remind - I didn't realise it could be so important, so I regret I didn't take more photos.
OK. First thing first. We left Muktinath along the detour trail (definitely we didn't go through Jharkot).
On this picture you can see where we left the trail - we turned right and traversing the slope we ascented to a saddle between two hills (one abt. 40-50 m, the second abt. 15-20m), and now I know it's not the saddle mentioned by Per.

http://www.pbase.com/unjay/image/106906068.jpg

I think we didn't cross any stream (I know this could be season streams) so I guess we came down to the Panda Khola valley little bit farther up. And finally - we didn't came up the other side of the valley, though we've seen the trail. We followed the river (too much said - just abt. 1 m wide stream).

thesilvertops
20th April 2009, 03:43 PM
I've found another map which shows a route from Muktinath and reaches the Panda Khola much higher up the valley. It then follows the river(stream) much more as it heads for Lupra. I'll update my map and let you guys have another look at it. I'd like to get it right so all the help you can give me is a bonus. I'm also looking at that possible route from Tilico.

I'd like to add some more maps to the collection so any other side trip tips are welcomed. Especially if they take you away from roads!

peteris
20th April 2009, 10:29 PM
interesting information from all of you.
Pass from Tilicho to Panda Khola would be aprox. 5500 m. Panda Khola gorge looks quite narrow and steep in some places in map, I suppose you need to go higher on slopes and not to follow riverbed. It looks tempting to go to this pass from Tilicho side. If we will feel ok for staying night (or nights) near Tilicho it's an option. And, as we will have a tent, it's an option to go higher by ridge from Muktinath too (although not to this pass).

Per, thanks for advice about valley east from Jomsom. It's definitely interesting. What you would like better - go by this ridge east from Jomsom or go to AluBari from Marpha? (I suppose we will not go to Dhampus Pass)

Per
21st April 2009, 01:10 AM
I suppose you need to go higher on slopes and not to follow riverbed. It looks tempting to go to this pass from Tilicho side.

As long as one has sufficient food and fuel to turn back in case the gorge is difficult. I donīt know if there are any trails at all up there. Suppose some one would use it for summer pasture for some kind of animal.


It's definitely interesting. What you would like better - go by this ridge east from Jomsom or go to AluBari from Marpha? (I suppose we will not go to Dhampus Pass)

Hard to say. I would do both. Alu bari (lit., non irrigated potato land) is just a few hours from Marpha. One can easily ascend much higher, to a yak kharka, and the ridge that comes down from Dhampus. Good views of Nilgiri and Tilicho Himal. From the ridge above Jomosom you might have good views of Dhaulagiri.

un-j
21st April 2009, 03:21 PM
I made a scan from a part of "Around Annapurna" by Nepa Maps and marked in light green the approximate route we took. The rest is a black dotted line down to Panda Khola and then along the river. Hope this would be helpful, especially for The Silvertops (you can copy this if you want).

http://www.pbase.com/unjay/image/111587203/original.jpg

Per
21st April 2009, 10:43 PM
Good work ;) I think we went approximately along the red-dotted line or possibly the black-dotted a little bit further east. The underlying map is not too reliable.

We passed Lubra at a distance, did not see a soul, and cut over the ridge southwards.

thesilvertops
27th April 2009, 03:27 PM
I've had another go at the map and posted a new version with the following notes. Please let me know if there are any mistakes. Thank you!

http://www.pbase.com/image/111822372.jpg

"If you are heading to Jomosom from Muktinath(or vice-versa) you can hike the main trail which is easy but busy and is now used by motor vehicles (motor bikes) or you can choose one of these alternative routes visiting the Bonpo village of Lupra. The green trail follows the usual track down until you are above Eklebhatti. Take the trail on the left contouring round the mountain, then dropping down to the Panda Khola and into Lupra. Follow the stream down to the Kali Gandaki to finish your walk into Jomosom.The red trail takes you from Jharkot gently up to a ridge before dropping down to the Panda Khola. The blue route starts from the western end of Muktinath and is fairly flat at first, rising to a ridge before dropping down to the Panda Khola. The map then shows the trail contouring around the hillside to reach Lupra but it may be possible to follow the river bed. The pink trail shows a route starting in Muktinath as before (blue route) but joining the red route from Jharkot. On a clear day you should have good views of Dhaulagiri, Tukuche and Nilgiri as you cross the ridge on the red or blue trails. Be aware that crossing the Panda Khola may be difficult when it is in spate."

Per
28th April 2009, 03:53 AM
If I remember correctly, the trail from Muktinath does not head straight down to the Panda Khola but rather bends eastwards as it descends to the bottom. Not a problem as long as people take it for and indication of where to expect a trail.

rich
5th May 2009, 04:42 PM
The trail(s) are just barely discernible on Googleearth if you care to have a look.

Any route up to Tilicho would be tough going if not impossible. Certainly not a nice day out.

Per
6th May 2009, 04:17 AM
Any route up to Tilicho would be tough going if not impossible. Certainly not a nice day out.

There may be a lot of shrubs. We tried to go to the lake above "Tilicho Base Camp" and stumbled through shrubs for hours until we gave up. On the other hand it could be nice way to or from Tilicho.

peteris
6th May 2009, 07:55 PM
hm, which lake you mean? I wasn't in Tilicho so I have only map to think about. Is this a lake approx. 4900-5000 m, east from Tilicho lake (between Tilicho lake and Letdar)?


There may be a lot of shrubs. We tried to go to the lake above "Tilicho Base Camp" and stumbled through shrubs for hours until we gave up. On the other hand it could be nice way to or from Tilicho.

Per
7th May 2009, 03:23 AM
hm, which lake you mean? I wasn't in Tilicho so I have only map to think about. Is this a lake approx. 4900-5000 m, east from Tilicho lake (between Tilicho lake and Letdar)?

Yes, it is east, at the very end of the valley that drains down to the houses known as Tilicho Base Camp. The lake is right at the foot of a 6000 m mountain.

peteris
7th May 2009, 09:58 PM
ok, I understand. It's not lake I meant - it's little bit North-West from other one, aprox. 5100 m.


Yes, it is east, at the very end of the valley that drains down to the houses known as Tilicho Base Camp. The lake is right at the foot of a 6000 m mountain.

peteris
7th May 2009, 10:06 PM
Google Earth is amazing thing. Here are two views of Tilicho-Lupra pass

view from pass to Lupra side
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3662/3510750416_777c815f89_o.jpg


and view to pass from north

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3364/3510750420_ab40204b42_o.jpg

Per
8th May 2009, 03:05 PM
and view to pass from north


Absolutely, brilliant :) From the look of it I would bet on scaling the little knoll that is to right to get into the Tilicho basin.

andrees
29th October 2011, 05:33 PM
There are now many alternative trails avoiding the roads. I made a description which you can download
http://www.nepal-dia.de/int__England/EV_Annapurna/ev_annapurna.html

on_the_ground
12th February 2013, 01:19 AM
We trekked the AC Nov/Dec 2012 and heavily used the new trail info provided by Andrees and Prem Rai. One can also buy the NA503 (Around Annapurna with new Annapurna trekking trails updated to avoid the road) from the bookshops in Kathmandu and Pokhara.

We did the following side trips worth noting, some appearing in the map, some pointed to by our porter-guide:

* Pisang Peak day trip route from Lower/Upper Pisang, up to 3850m, but one can go as high as Pisang Peak base camp (4380m), or even higher - I believe there is another camp above 5000m. If you go high enough (say above 4000), you may get into the "special permit" areas, but nobody is there to enforce it. We did a day trip for acclimatization (went to around 3850m), and went back to Lower Pisang. Steep trek, but very good views, similar to the upper route via Ngawal.

* Side trip from Letdar up the hills - I believe the route goes eventually to the base camp for Chulu West. The paths were not marked, but were very easy to follow, and the Letdar tea houses were visible pretty much all the time, so it is very difficult to get lost. We went up to 4600m (around 2hrs return from Letdar), excellent views from there on sunset, and lots of yaks grazing.

* Larjung-Kalopani via Sirkung, Nupsang Kharka, and Titi Lake (NATT route) - this is a variation of the NATT route via Titi Lake. The path via Sirkung is not marked, but there was a sign "Nupsang Kharka", and the locals know it - our porter-guide found it from the locals. The other way to go to Nupsang Kharka is via Titi Lake/Titi village - at Titi Lake if you look up the hill towards Nilgiri, you'll see the path zigzagging up the hill. Nupsang Kharka is on approx 3200m altitude, so it is a fairly steep 1.5-2 hrs walk from Sirkung. Sirking is across the river from Larjung, there were no issues crossing Kali Gandaki. There are excellent views from Nupsang Kharka towards Dhaulagiri, Annapirna 1, and the Titi lake/Titi Village below.

mtnbiker
17th February 2013, 05:18 PM
on the trail from Ngawal towards the Kang La, are you required to have a permit to enter? Is there a checkpoint? my map shows a gompa and a viewpoint about 1/3 of the way to the pass. Anybody been up that way before?

roger_ray
28th July 2014, 08:35 AM
regarding the orig posting with the maps...can you update the Muktinath map showing it is possible to hike down the road from Jhong/Dzong direct to just N or Manang...that road is far less used than the reg road that descends thru Jharkot...we saw one jeep...just as you reach the Manang area you can descend to the next village up for a look then finish at Manang. I have walked both from Jhong/Dzong to "Kagbeni" and from Muktinath via Jharkot to "Kagbeni" and much prefer the former....you can do a day hike around the Muktinath area the morning after you get there seeing some small villages and looping thru Jharkot and returning to Muktinath for hotel checkout food then depart to Dzong.....see NAAT trail info...then when leaving Dzong just take that road to just N or Manang.

Roger

oops, used Manang for some reason when meant Kagbeni; Kagbeni changes in " now.

Petrus
30th July 2014, 12:44 AM
on the trail from Ngawal towards the Kang La, are you required to have a permit to enter? Is there a checkpoint? my map shows a gompa and a viewpoint about 1/3 of the way to the pass. Anybody been up that way before?

In theory you should not go up the trail form Ngawal towards Kang La without a permit, but in practice nobody is there to check. Also if caught with a daypack you can certainly claim innocence with no intent to cross into the Naar valley anyway.

I have come down from Kang La to Ngawal once after a 9 day trek into Naar-Pho. I do not remember a Gompa that high up there, but there is one lower down and higher trails to Braga which are seldom used by trekkers.

outfaced
22nd August 2014, 11:52 PM
There is an easy trail to Lupra which crosses a plateau above Ekliobhaati. The trail departs the Muktinath-Kagbeni route shortly above Kagbeni and contours to the left across this plateau to a large chorten above the Lupra valley then down to the riverbed and across the small river directly. There might be another route more directly from near Jharkot. Otherwise its back down the river to meet the main valley between Jomsom and Ekliobhaati.



If i understand right the few post about this route ...
http://alfa.kachi-snimka.info/images-2013/viu1408730699l.jpg
the green one is pretty much fine
the red one ... after crossing the river there is no path on GE .. how is the terrain there? Seems like bushes.

anyone did the blue one ?

rich
23rd August 2014, 01:51 PM
Hi
Just to clarify...
The path I was referring to is towards the bottom left of your image, around the hillside, crosses plateau then drops to Lupra in centre of picture.
Havn't done the coloured paths on your fine image, but yeah have seen those trails up the hill from Muktinath side. They look interesting.

outfaced
23rd August 2014, 04:45 PM
The Trekking the Annapurna Circuit including new NATT-trails which avoid the road (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Trekking-Annapurna-Circuit-including-NATT-trails/dp/3844800360) says:

41. Trek Ranipauwa to Lubra (Lupra) and Jomsom:
Marked with blue/white signs, 5-6 hours.
Go to the jeep parking lot and follow the road for about 150 m. Turn left at the sign post indicating Lubra. You can already see the trail going up the hill in the direction of Lubra. The trail climbs gently through large pastures and is easy to follow. On the higher section it offers splendid views of the valley and the villages. Reaching the ridge,the trail continues just a little below it. Soon you will reach a point,where you have a superb view towards Lupra village and the mountains, including Dhaulagiri. Lubra Pass to Lubra: On the pass, there is a stone pile and nice views of the Muktinath valley can be had. You can also climb up to a viewpoint marked with a stone pile and prayers flags but it does not really offer a much better view than from the pass itself. Once, on continuing on the ridge, I had hoped I would have a panoramic view of the whole Kali Gandaki valley but returned unsuccessfully after an hour. From the pass turn left to the wide visible trail going down south to Lubra. The trail will turn right after passing a big apple orchard and descend to the river. When you reach the river, you can already see the trees and fields of Lubra on the other side. There is actually no big bridge over the river, so it might be impossible to cross it during monsoon season. Cross the river and you will see a beautiful red chorten in the attractive village of Lubra.


so far i understand is a mix from the beginning of the red route and then the green

mario1990
10th February 2016, 08:53 PM
Thank you for the routes mate, im newbie and this forum is awesome! ;) (http://todotailandia.com/) ;)

trucker
26th February 2016, 07:19 PM
Something wrong with this directions . I tried it from Muktinath and got completely lost . The signs are more confusing than helpful .Quite dangerous as the hill became very steep and i wandered around there for ages going down then found I couldnt get back up again . No one around for hours . Never did find the way to Lupra .
Take care when going off the beaten track in Nepal .Before you know it you can be in deep shit .

trucker
26th February 2016, 07:24 PM
The Trekking the Annapurna Circuit including new NATT-trails which avoid the road (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Trekking-Annapurna-Circuit-including-NATT-trails/dp/3844800360) says:


so far i understand is a mix from the beginning of the red route and then the green


This route is very confusing and dangerous . Maybe ACAP have sorted the signs out by now but a couple of years ago it was madness .Take great care .

anders1976
28th March 2017, 02:06 AM
Thanks for sharing that route... Is one of my future projects to travel there :):) (http://tailandiaviaje.com):)

desireadventures
25th May 2017, 03:58 PM
awesome post