Come join us as we explore alternative trails that circle the Annapurna range. We travel through beautiful Himalayan landscapes in a part circumnavigation of the tenth biggest mountain in the world. We will move quick, light, and self-supported while following rarely used trails on the circuit, getting way off the beaten path at times. This event will also follow a unique format combining cultural running, small group fast packing, and self-supported (no porters or mules). It is the perfect introduction to high altitude mountain running in Nepal and will prepare you for a stage race and further adventures in the Himalaya.
- Metrics: 10.5 days on trail with two acclimatization days, Distance: 228k/142.6miles, Total Gain: 11,846m/38,863ft, Total Loss: 11,282m/37,013ft, Max Elevation: 5,405m/17,728ft.
- Participation limited to 10 people so we can keep the group size small and fun.
- Trips – co-led by Sudeep Kandel and Seth Wolpin.
- September 16th- Sept 30th, 2017 version 4.
- September 15th-September 30th, 2018 version 5.
Costs: $2,250 USD all inclusive for 2018 (2017 is sold out). Included: Airport pickup and drop off, lodging in Kathmandu for two nights prior and one night after, welcome dinner, transport to/from trail head, park permits, lodging and meals on the trail, access to group sat phone and med kit, entrance to cultural places along trail (temple donations etc). Not included: Booze, soda, snacks. 5% Discount provided for participants of Boldly Went, Rainshadow Running, Trail Running Nepal, Himalayan Adventure Labs, as well as healthcare professionals and first responders. 5% of any proceeds is donated to Wide Open Vistas.
- Online application
- See our website for more information: www.annapurnafastpack.com
Pictures from 2016 Event
What Annapurna participants in 2015 had to say
What gear did you bring that you wish you hadn’t brought? Conversely – what do you wish you had brought?
-I think I was good, other than not having the maps and book. I followed your packing list almost exactly. John Mackenzie, USA, Annapurna Fastpack 2015
– The water bladder was totally unnecessary. Your filtration system and the fact that so much water is available (with tablets) everywhere made it a waste of weight. I didn’t really need my coat either, although I probably would have brought it anyway…. just in case. Conversely – what do you wish you had brought? Can’t think of anything. -Karen Carrington, China, Annapurna Fastpack 2015
B) How much do you think you spent on the trail?
-Less than $300 USD (that was all I took and I think I spend almost all of it, but I started buying souvenirs after the pass) -John Mackenzie, USA, Annapurna Fastpack 2015
-I would think that I spent $5 a day???? -Karen Carrington, China, Annapurna Fastpack 2015
C) What was your favorite village? Favorite section of trail? Favorite aspect of the event?
-The one before Jomson was great to see, and the section of the trail there with the fossils. Then of course the pass! -John Mackenzie, USA, Annapurna Fastpack 2015
Very difficult. Each had their own appeal. Manang, Marpha, Tal, Yak Kharka, Muktinath, Ghasa, Tatopani, and Ghorepani particularly stand out in my memory …. but that is most of them so that probably doesn’t help! Favorite section of trail? I liked going up to the pass (hated the down part) since the surrounding mountains/view were so beautiful. I also liked all the greenery on the last few days of the trail. Favorite aspect of the event? Everything!
-Karen Carrington, China, 2015, Annapurna Fastpack 2015
D) What was your least favorite stopping point/trail/aspect?
-Hmm, I would say the first or second village we stayed at. As for the least favorite part of of the trail was Jomson itself and the trail leading out when we were on the road. -John Mackenzie, USA, Annapurna Fastpack 2015
-That I wasn’t any faster …. 🙂 Sorry, otherwise I really enjoyed it. Karen Carrington, China, Annapurna Fastpack 2015
E) What could we do different next year to make this better?
-I liked the stopping for lunch, but then we were not running hard through towns and stopping was convenient. I also felt the school was a highlight and I don’t think that Karen got to see that. -John Mackenzie, USA, Annapurna Fastpack 2015
-It was great like it was. Improvement depends on whom you want to attract. For people who had never really been to Nepal or participated in staged races, I think it was perfect. They couldn’t get lost – everybody was friendly and the time together was great – etc…… If you are looking for more experienced people, you probably want to start timing people and letting them go off more on their own. One person could just sweep up the stragglers and hopefully anyone who lost their way. It seemed fairly well marked though so I don’t know that you would have to actually mark things. Just be specific on the map briefings. I think even I could have gotten there with only a few blunders. -Karen Carrington, China, Annapurna Fastpack 2015
F) What would you say to someone considering the next fastpack?
-DO IT! I’ve already told a couple of people;) -John Mackenzie, USA, Annapurna Fastpack 2015
Do it! You won’t regret it for a moment. The trail, the people, the camaraderie are all 1st rate.
-Karen Carrington, China, Annapurna Fastpack 2015
-I highly recommend doing this race!! It’s such an amazing experience and the people putting it on make it that much better! The loving culture, food and people make Nepal that much more beautiful! Sign up!! Just do it! You won’t regret it!! Promise!
Amy Markovich, USA, Annapurna Fastpack 2015
-Do it!!!!! It’s an incredibly beautiful place and is sure to be a wonderful experience. -Trisha Steidl, USA, Annapurna Fastpack 2014
Annapurna Specific FAQs
I’ve heard the Annapurna Circuit has been ruined by road building. Why go there?
Because it is still an incredible place in the world and there are alternatives to the jeep track that many are upset about. We scouted the ‘New Annapurna Trekking Trails’ (NATT) as part of the fastpack in 2014 and found that we spent very little time on jeep track. The events in 2015 and 2016 were similar and we scouted even more trails off the beaten route. This is also a great time just before the peak of trekking season. We will have a lot of trails to ourselves and should still have some great views.
I don’t want to spend all of my time in the jungle, I want to be in the mountains. What is the Annapurna Circuit Like?
Most of the trip is in the high mountains. Once we get over Thorung Pass (roughly half way) the landscape because high desert. We are bordered by Mustang and Dolpo. We can say you would feel that you spent a lot of time in the mountainsand high desert at the end of the trip. Time in city: Very minimal – we only have an arrival day and a departure day in the itinerary. We hope people budget extra time so they can see some of the sites, but our itinerary is designed for getting out into the mountains fast. Time in jungle: Approximately 3 days during the ~10.5 days on trail we would call jungle but we are in a huge valley gorge surrounded by mountains so it isn’t like you are totally closed in – plus we are often walking alongside rice fields. It is more of a temperate jungle too, versus the Amazon. Two of these days are at the beginning as we move from 2,000m to above 3,000m.
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