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Joan Blank
11th April 2009, 08:44 AM
Hello,

We are interested in possibly trekking the Annapurna Circuit route, but I am a bit nervous about steep drop-offs, etc.
We have hiked at most of the National Parks out West - so elevation, and steepness is not a concern.
I don't like narrow trails with loose scree, and long drop-offs.
I would really appreciate some descriptions of the route. I've looked at lots of pictures on Flickr, etc, and it looks beautiful.
Any feedback will be much appreciated. Thanks.

Per
13th April 2009, 10:38 PM
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I would really appreciate some descriptions of the route.

The main circuit trail is a mule track, nothing dramatic.

Michael Sunkist
14th April 2009, 03:12 AM
:p Nameste, very little skree patches except the downside towards Muktinach coming from Throng La for the 3000 ft. elevation drop. Yikes, what a knee buster! Trail is good all along the entire circuit as villagers maintain it thruout the year. It is their main highway. A few high cliff hangars nothing to be concerned about. Great views, hope the skies stay open for you to enjoy rather than cloud up with monsoon rains so you miss the gorgeous peaks. Happy trails

Escher
14th April 2009, 08:50 PM
The main circuit trail is a mule track, nothing dramatic.


very little skree patches except the downside towards Muktinach coming from Throng La for the 3000 ft. elevation drop.

Not strictly true. Not sure when you both did it last but there are a couple of slightly dicey sections. In 2002 the trail to Thorung Phedi went on the right side of the river and was quite simple. There have been significant landslides since then. A year ago the trail went along the left hand bank across steep scree and the trail in places was less than 1 foot across. These were very short and although slightly hairy they were quite ok to negotiate. I don't want to put you off going as these sections are very short and soon passed but they do exist! I have some video somewhere of this section. However there is a little trouble elsewhere on the circuit save for another short section after Syanje where they were building the road. I expect that the road may be finished there now so won't present a problem.

Don't be put off though. A short section like this shouldn't put you off doing the AC. You will have been walking for several days before you get to it so you will have your mountain "head" on and it will be passed in seconds.

Good luck!

Per
16th April 2009, 05:25 PM
I should add that "mule track" is the official designation. It is correct that the trail is exposed in some sections, and landslides can force one into detours that are more difficult. But, generally speaking, it is an easy trail, with few objective dangers, as for subjective, well they are in your mind.

marcy
4th May 2009, 05:05 AM
I havent done the circuit since 1990. In 1990, there were some short exposed sections that were rather scary, and a few dodgy bridges that have since been replaced (I understand) with much better ones). The high pass itself, however, didnt have narrow ledges with steep scary drop offs... it was a nice safe feeling path.

Per
5th May 2009, 12:37 PM
In 1990, there were some short exposed sections that were rather scary,

Yes, in the past the Marsyangdhi gorge was not used by the locals during the monsoon, as there were landslides, swollen tributaries that had to be forded, and really exposed sections. Instead, the locals going in and out of Nyeshang (Manang &c) used to go over a double pass (Namun Bhanyang), through the eastern spurs of Lamjung Himal. The new trail, designated "mule track" was constructed in the late seventies.

kegarne
6th May 2009, 08:46 AM
And what a beautiful pass Namun is !

rich
6th May 2009, 04:20 PM
Yes, in the past the Marsyangdhi gorge was not used by the locals during the monsoon, as there were landslides, swollen tributaries that had to be forded, and really exposed sections. Instead, the locals going in and out of Nyeshang (Manang &c) used to go over a double pass (Namun Bhanyang), through the eastern spurs of Lamjung Himal. The new trail, designated "mule track" was constructed in the late seventies.

Out of interest, in May 1950 Tilman, Roberts and party accessed the trek using more or less the current route up the Marsyangdi. They returned in September the same way after a failed atempt on Annapurna II. The route around Manaslu was considered far too difficult. The description in Nepal Himalaya talks of using rickety timber galleries hanging of the cliffside, which i believe existed at the time on the exposed stretch just before reaching Jagat. The current path there having been dynamited out of the cliff side. Perhaps the route over Namun Bhanyang was faster for the hardy Manangis.

Joan Blank
17th June 2009, 06:44 AM
Thank you for your replies. We don't leave until mid-Nov. So if anyone else has any advice/description/etc. I would really appreciate it . Thank you.

Per
18th June 2009, 12:19 AM
Perhaps the route over Namun Bhanyang was faster for the hardy Manangis.

And, safer I think.