AsiaNepalManang

Annapurna Circuit - Day 7 (Pisang - Manang)

Manang Travel Blog

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Annapurna II (7937m - 26040 ft) and Annapurna IV (7525m - 24688 ft)

Each evening after dinner we have a short discussion on the following day's route and then put in our breakfast order for the morning.  Last night we discussed the two options for trekking from Pisang to Manang.  One route would follow a gently ascending path from Pisang (3200m - 10500 ft) to Manang (3540m - 11615 ft) and take about 4.5 hours.  However being along the river in the valley we wouldn't have as many views.  The second route would take us up the north ridge of the valley up to about 3800m (12467 ft), along this line for a bit before descending back to the main route to Manang.  This upper route could offer amazing views of the Annapurna Himal on a clear day, although it would also take around 8 hours for the day.

Marsyangdi River looking back the way we've trekked the past two days.
  After some consultation we chose the upper route unless the weather was crappy in the morning.  Then everyone pretty much headed to bed even though it was only 8:30 in the evening.

The morning dawned to an average sky.  Some clear spots and some clouds.  We still decided to proceed with the upper route.  If nothing else it would be a decent day of acclimitization to walk high and sleep lower in Manang.  The first half hour of the walk was uneventful, a relatively flat walk along the river.  Then the fun began.  After passing a small mani wall we began a strenuous climb of nearly 2 hours to the village of Ghyaru (3670m - 12040 ft).  No respite, no relief, just constant switchbacking up the hill for almost 500m of elevation gain in less than 2 km of walking.

Taking a breather on the trail.

We did take several breaks for refreshment and photo taking.  And the walking was slow in the thinner mountain air.  Finally arrived at Ghyaru where we took a tea break for 30 minutes or so.  Lots of views of Annapurna II/IV and also Annapurna III.  Some great and others mixed with the clouds that were building once again.  I could also see down into the river valley below us and Pisang was visible below.

After the break we continued on the Ngawal for lunch.  We continued meandering in and out of small streams that spilled out from the mountains to our north (Pisang Peak and Chulu) and fell down to the Marsyangdi below.  All around us were small fields of crops and sheep and goats grazing on the sparse grass available at this altitude.

Trekking the Annapurna Circuit
  The walking was not as strenuous as earlier but it was still much up and down through the gulleys as we gained a bit more elevation before descending back to Ngawal (3660m - 12000 ft).  From Ngawal after lunch we began a descent back to the river and the main trail to Manang.  The clouds rolled in again in force in the afternoon obscuring almost all views.  It even began to snow a bit (just flurries), but still a sign of how cold things are here.

Manang is a pretty bustling place as far as Annapurna Circuit towns go.  The dinner menu is a bit more varied at the lodge and some bakeries in town make some cookies and pastries.  There's even a "cinema" in town which we might look in to tomorrow on our "rest day".  And of course the best and last place to stock up on any necessary gear for the pass crossing to come in a few days.  We had a good dinner and then an 11-person game of UNO.  Actually stayed up until 9:30 (it's actually close to 9:45 as I finish writing this in my journal).  Yes we are rebels here in Nepal (we were actually the last group to leave the dining room tonight so we really were the late night partiers).

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Annapurna II (7937m - 26040 ft) an…
Annapurna II (7937m - 26040 ft) a…
Marsyangdi River looking back the …
Marsyangdi River looking back the…
Taking a breather on the trail.
Taking a breather on the trail.
Trekking the Annapurna Circuit
Trekking the Annapurna Circuit
Annapurna II (7937m - 26040 ft)
Annapurna II (7937m - 26040 ft)
Annapurna II (7937m - 26040 ft) an…
Annapurna II (7937m - 26040 ft) a…
Annapurna III (?)
Annapurna III (?)
Annapurna II obscured by clouds
Annapurna II obscured by clouds
Looking back at the start of our c…
Looking back at the start of our …
Arriving in Ghyaru
Arriving in Ghyaru
Annapurna III (7555m - 24785 ft)
Annapurna III (7555m - 24785 ft)
A big cow wandering through Ghyaru
A big cow wandering through Ghyaru
Prayer Stones and Mani Wall
Prayer Stones and Mani Wall
Annapurna II lost in clouds
Annapurna II lost in clouds
Pisang seen from the top of our cl…
Pisang seen from the top of our c…
Pisang seen from the top of our cl…
Pisang seen from the top of our c…
The village of Ghyaru where we had…
The village of Ghyaru where we ha…
Clouds Rolling In
Clouds Rolling In
Ngawal (3660m - 12005ft)
Ngawal (3660m - 12005ft)
Back down in the valley approachin…
Back down in the valley approachi…
Manang
photo by: siri