The Annapurna Circuit is where I first met the guys from Intrepid Road, Marty and Joel. They were filming their way around the circuit, with plans of creating a YouTube channel. Now it’s live with videos of their trekking adventures from around the world! They succeeded in making a beautifully cinematic, informative, and uninhibited assortment of videos. There’s something about videos that capture the essence of a place, that pictures can’t. With their permission, I’ve shared the links to all of their Annapurna Circuit videos below.
(There are videos on their channel before the Annapurna Circuit, including their trek on the Milford Track in New Zealand. That’s why their episodes are numbered differently than how I’ve organized it below)
Tilicho Lake Side Trek
They completed a side trek that, looking back, I wish I had trekked also: Tilicho Lake. Let them teach you about the treachery of this trail and the reward at the top!
All the text below comes from their Intrepid Road channel, unless otherwise stated. Enjoy 🙂
Ep 1. Getting Started: TIMS & Trekking Permits
We had every intention of starting the Annapurna Circuit within the first few days of arriving in Nepal. However, our foray through the streets of Delhi took it’s toll on our delicate Western stomachs. Additionally, Marty had incurred a fractured foot and a chest infection on arrival, so we thought it best to lay low in Kathmandu to recover from our ailments. It was great to catch up with our friend, Madi, from Australia, but 10 days in the dusty city left us somewhat stir crazy. Eventually, when the wounds were healed, we picked up our hiking permits & TIMS card, strapped on our packs and jumped on the bus bound for Besisahar to start our unguided adventure in the Himalayan highlands
Ep 2. Besisahar to Manang: Joel Almost Dies
We set off from Besisahar, the traditional starting point for the Annapurna Circuit, and followed the Marsyangdi River valley all the way to Manang. The scenery changes dramatically; from rustic rice terraces and dense woodlands to stunning mountain vistas. Joel got hit with heat stroke on Day 3 heat and decided to play it safe, taking the route through Lower Pisang. Marty took the high path through Ghyaru and Ngawal; a route highly recommended for acclimatization and a marvelous view of Annapurna II. The tiny village of Ghyaru is also a great snapshot into traditional Tibetan life, still in its original state. We rendezvous in the large settlement of Manang to celebrate Marty’s birthday and reflect on the first 90kms of our trek. We rested for 3 nights, acclimatizing to the higher altitude and preparing for the next leg of the hike, the 2-3 day side trek to Lake Tilicho.
Ep 3. Tilicho Lake: The Path of Death
The walking trail to Tilicho Lake is an ominous one; known for its landslides and precarious mountains of loose scree. Nonetheless, the hike to Tilicho Lake is a rewarding one, offering wonderful icy vistas and a view to one of the highest lakes in the world. Although the lake was frozen over when we were there, the walk up to Tilicho was simply stunning and offered some of the best views over the course of our trek. The best time to see a thawed out Tilicho is during the peak months of Sept-Oct-Nov. After the Tilicho Lake side trek, we headed north at Shree Kharka and took the picturesque path through Upper Khangsar. We reconvened with the circuit near Yak Kharka on our way to Thorong La Pass.
Ep 4. Tilicho Lake: Trekking Guide
(tips for trekking the Tilicho Lake side trail)
Ep 5. Thorong La Pass: Snow, Danger, & Disco
Ep 6. Kagbeni to Ghorepani: Most Underrated Section
Ep 7. Poon Hill: The Perfect Sunrise
The most appealing thing about the Poon Hill side trek is its accessibility; it can done independently of the Annapurna Circuit and takes only 3 days to complete. Most people start the trek from Nayapul or Birethanti and hike up to Ghorepani (45mins from Poon Hill) to catch the world famous sunrise. After Poon Hill we spent a week relaxing in the beautiful lakeside city of Pokhara, which has some of the best restaurants and cafes Nepal has to offer. In a week’s time we’ll be hiking through the Everest Region to attempt EBC and the grueling Three Passes.