Annapurna Circuit Trek Stage 2

Stage 2 – Manang to Mukinath

Distance – 16.7 Miles
Total Elevation – 2716 Metres
Duration – 3 Days

This was both our favourite and the most challenging part of the trek.  Almost in line with the increasing altitude and increasingly amazing views; the challenge also become tougher.  We both suffered from some mild effects of altitude during this stage, with some quite persistent headaches, mild nausea and generalised breathlessness and fatigue (which I must admit effects me on most short walks – so no different there!)  Fortunately, we had read a fair bit about altitude sickness and all these symptoms were quite normal and not serious – phew!  The closer we got to the pass the higher our levels of anticipation and also anxiety – there are limited choices at that stage, walk over, trek all the way back or if you are poorly enough await helicopter rescue.  We did see a rescue helicopter overhead about two days before we got to the pass, which did not set our minds at rest!

Day 8 Manang to Upper Yak Kharka

We both decided this was our favourite day – breathtaking views, great trekking trail, interesting villages and Ryan finally got to see some Yaks!!

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We started by walking through beautiful old Manang

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The path soon forked with us off to Thorong La and others we had met heading to Tilicho Lake (the world’s highest lake).

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Harvest was still going on around us.

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Looking back down towards Manang and where we have come from.

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A reassuring sign!

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Beautiful views along the way

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First Yak sightings!! Shame they were blocking the path forcing us to scramble down for a diversion.

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Probably the most stunning tea stop in the world!

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Amazing mountain views!

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Another well placed tea house along the trail.

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Top of the world…almost, still 2000m to go!

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Interesting flowers en-route.

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This guesthouse wasn’t called Himalayan View for nothing!

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Gangapurna in all it’s glory

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Annapurna II

Day 9 Upper Yak Kharka to Thorong Phedi

Today started off similarly to yesterday and we had high hopes, however quickly there was a very steep and precarious valley crossing, followed by an extended trek along an exposed landslide section all while suffering the worst effects of altitude so far and avoiding mule trains (and Yaks!)

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Wild ponies blocking the trail this time!

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Maybe the ponies are now also admiring the views?

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YAK!

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One of the less fun descents!

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A welcome rest stop

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Uh oh!

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Phew, we made it! Ready to spend our highest night at 4500m.

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Good company up in the clouds

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Especially this chap!

Day 10 Throng Phedi to Muktinath (via Throng La pass)

Finally, the day was upon us.  We woke at around 4am and all we could focus on was the 1000m we had to ascend before reaching the pass – and that our final altitude would be around 5400m.  We were certainly both more than a little apprehensive, which reflected the general feeling in the camp.  All the advice is to go slowly and steadily and we fully intended to do that!  The approximate time for getting to Muktinath is 6-12 hours and we were sure we would be at the latter end of that!  Safe to say that when we arrived at Muktinath and checked into the weird and wonderful ‘Bob Marley Guesthouse’ we were exhausted, relieved and celebrated with our first alcoholic drinks in Nepal with our fellow trekkers!

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The ascent begins

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Don’t forget to look back for the Himalayan sunrise

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Can you spot the Blue Sheep?

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Past Thorong high camp and the ascent continues.

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Some of the highest peaks in all their glory

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Intense sun at this altitude.

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Surely we’re almost there!?!

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Starting to flag!

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Approaching the pass, tear in eye (literally!)

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MADE IT!!!

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Feeling quite pleased with ourselves.

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Panoramic view with Thorong peak, the tea house at the top and the pass itself.

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Admiring some turquoise glacial lakes at the top.

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The start of the long descent down to Muktinath.

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A whole new valley opening up to us.

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After 5-6 hours of steep descent, finally, Muktinath is in sight!

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Success!!

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The Bob Marley Guesthouse

Stage 3 – Muktinath to Birethanti coming soon

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8 thoughts on “Annapurna Circuit Trek Stage 2

  1. Pingback: Annapurna Circuit Trek Stage 1 | Where are Ryan and Anna?

    • Yak attacks more like!! They almost pushed us off the mountain! You wanna hear them moo(!??) it’s like a demon cow roaring! Hope you’re enjoying married life 🙂

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