Annapurna in December
Replies: 5 - Last Post: Aug 16, 2012 8:11 PM Last Post By: lvjacobs
Aug 9, 2012 3:47 AM
Annapurna in DecemberHi All,
I am planning to do the Annapurna Circuit in early December, with a possible side trip to Tilicho lake.
I would be grateful for any advice on a few questions I have.
Firstly, I intend either buying or hiring a sleeping bag and down jacket and wonder if it is better to do this in Kathmandu or Pokhara? (...I will probably be leaving for the trek from Pokhara).
Secondly, I would like to hire a porter, or ideally even a guide/porter and was wondering if anyone could recommend how to go about this? Is it better to arrange this through guest houses or through agencies, and are there any you could recommend?
Finally, at this time of year are there many other trekkers? I understand it is not peak season but I am hoping there are still enough people around to find some trekking partners.
Aug 9, 2012 4:35 AM
Sleeping bags can be bought or hired in Pokhara; hire charges are about $1 per day each for a sleeping bag and down jacket. Sometimes there is a deposit and cleaning charge. If you choose to buy, KTM has a better choice and is slightly cheaper. If you rent and are starting from and finishing in Pokhara then it makes sense to rent there. However, many people get the bus to the start of the trek from KTM which avoids backtracking from Pokhara, if you do that and are returning to KTM it might be better to hire in KTM.
Guides can be organised in either KTM or Pokhara and, as above, will depend on the starting point. I suggest hiring directly from an agency to avoid the hotel's commission. If hiring in KTM I recommend Himalayan Magic Adventure who I used for my last trek in March/April; excellent organisation and support and very good porters and a p/g. The price was competitive especially for jeep hire which was about $200 less than the next best - the staff were more of a standard rate so they get a decent salary (the p/g was $20 per day). if you want more info please ask.
You are right that December is not peak season and it's still a popular trek but it is probably best finding buddies before you go. Start a thread on here, trekinfo.com and trekkingpartners.com to increase your chances. It's still possible to meet people in KTM or Pokhara and on the trail but if you definitely want somebody to trek the whole route then organising iot beforehand gives you the best chance.
Aug 9, 2012 3:48 PM
2Thanks Ivjacobs and Scoodly for the advice.
I will probably leave from Pokhara simply as I plan to spend some time there after, but sounds like KTM may be the way to go if I decide to buy rather than rent.
It is always nice to get a personal recommendation and I will keep Sanjib in mind, but I also like the idea of going through an established agency. I might yet consider getting both a Porter and a Guide although I was thinking it might be easier to go with the combined option.
Anyway once again thanks for your responses and Scoodly thanks for the excellent Map! ....can't wait!
Aug 9, 2012 3:53 PM
Aug 11, 2012 5:50 PM
Aug 16, 2012 8:11 PM
You are right! I messed-up the phone number for Sanjib is 977 9841613822. I contacted via email at email@example.com. Also, I think the suggestions above are wonderful. Oh, also, I think Sanjib can guide you in hiring/renting equipment depending on your budget. I too, bought a sleeping bag there and it was Nepali made and it was a very good bag. I can say it was good because it kept me warm at EBC. I had reservations about it, but thought-Nepali made, the Nepali know the weather and it was plenty warm for me. I cannot tell you where I bought my sleeping bag in Thamel because Sanjib took me there. I found, I paid 10-15% less at any hotel, or store (from their published prices) because my guide works with some of the places. I also liked the idea that this way the middle man is out the picture, so more money goes into Nepali hands as supposed to reservation people and people who have to manage websites etc.... I am from a developing nation (long removed), but feel very strongly about trying to get the most "bang for your buck" if you will; either way, it is a win for the Nepali economy and for you. I am biased. Sanjib did nurse me back to health when I fell ill for ten days. I cannot imagine how I would have taken care of myself (I suppose I could have managed, or ended-up in a hospital for a few days) alone, but it was great to have an ally who would bring water an made sure I ete and got fresh air every day. I was happy this all happened in Pokhara too and not Kathmandu, but I think I ate something in Kathmandu and got sick on the day I was flying to Pokhara. Long story short, saving me from my oxygen deprived, attention challenged-self+the upper and lower respiratory infections does make me biased to the personal attention thing. I wish you the best trip and travel experience. Thanks Shan06 for catching my error and sccodly for sage advice.
(3 star Hotel)
From US$71.94 per night
(1 star Hotel)
From US$10.36 per night
(0 star Hotel)
From US$6.00 per night