Come join us as we explore alternative trails around the Annapurna Circuit, with Thorung Pass (5,405m/17,728ft) as our literal and figurative high point on the pass. 2018 will mark the fifth time we have led a trip around the circuit. Each year we explore more and more side trails going places that few locals even go…
And in 2019, we are excited to offer a spring version – the ‘Pass Me the Honey’ variation. See below for more details!
We will 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.
- Annapurna Circuit ‘Thorung La’ Variation (version 5). (Sept 15-30th, 2018). Our classic route where we get way off the beaten trail and cross Thorung la (5,405m/17,728ft), run down the other side and party in Muktinath. Cost: $2,250 USD all inclusive. Status: SOLD OUT – ADD TO WAITLIST
- Annapurna Circuit ‘Pass the Honey’ Variation (version 1) . (April 26-May 11th, 2019). Join us on our first organized trip around the circuit in the Spring. We are also going to try to visit a remote village where they collect hallucinogenic honey. There will be some more trekkers on the circuit at this time of year, but they peak mid-April and we are really good at getting off the beaten track. Plus – spring time in the Himalayas is amazing! Status: ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS
- Annapurna Circuit Tilicho Lake’ Variation (Version 1). (Sept 21-Oct 5th) Join us as we reach Tilicho Lake – considered one of the highest, most beautiful lakes in the world. With this route variation we will also use a different pass to reach western Nepal! Early Bird price $2,250 all inclusive. Status: ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS
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 Circuit 2015
- 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.
- All trips
- Include: Airport pickup and drop off, lodging in Kathmandu for three nights (two nights prior and one night after, double occupancy in a nice hotel), 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).
- Do not include: Booze, soda, snacks, desert, trail snacks including during six days on the trail when we don’t stop for a hot lunch (approx $5 per day).
- 5% Discount provided for participants of our friends at: Boldly Went, Rainshadow Running, Trail Running Nepal, Team Run Run, Team 7 Hills, as well as healthcare professionals and Wilderness First Responders+.
- Additional discounts may be provided for participants who fund raise for Wide Open Vistas.
- We donate 10% of all proceeds is to Wide Open Vistas.
- Detailed day-by-day itinerary for 2018
- Trip Reports/Photos: 2016 | 2017
- Recommended Gear
- Frequently Asked Questions
Sound good? This event has sold out the past four years, please sign up using our online application form
What would you say to someone considering this fastpack?
-Do it! – 2017 participant
-Don’t hesitate, you will not regret it at all – 2017 participant
-Don’t even stop to think – DO IT – 2017 participant
-Do it! Absolutely worth it for the camaraderie, local knowledge, full (challenging/motivating) intinerary. The scenery is stunning and the local cultures are warm and friendly. – 2017 participant
-Beware, it is easy to leave your heart and soul in Nepal! Nothing really compares. – 2017 participant
-Sign up! If you are a trail runner (back-of-the-pack to front-of-the-pack) you will have a blast. Truly excellent guides, breathtaking trails, and beautiful people and villages. I got a lot out of this experience. I went on my own and made some great friends. – 2017 participant
-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
How was the trip different than you expected?
-It was awsome – 2017 participant
-Harder – 2017 participant
-I did not have any preconceived ideas, I was not sure what to expect other than the pics that I had seen.It was even more mind blowing than I thought it might be. – 2017 participant
-More supplies available on the trail than I had thought – 2017 participant
-More humid – 2017 participant
-The varied landscape and terrain was unexpected and blew me away. For half a day you could be running through a forest of aspen trees looking like a North American Autumn postcard , then in the afternoon you are surrounded by snow capped 6000m+ mountains and rugged plains. Just spectacular – 2017 participant
-It was both tougher and better than I expected (and I had high expectations). It pushed me out of my comfort zone, but I never felt unsafe. I really loved this trip! – 2017 participant
What gear did you bring that you wish you hadn’t brought? Conversely – what do you wish you had brought?
-I felt pretty happy with what I brought. I used everything I had (camping stuff notwithstanding) except a t shirt and my Helium jacket, but still glad I had them as options. I brought too much money and not enough hand gel. I would have considered bringing a battery pack if I had known that charging would be more difficult (charged off Seth’s battery once) – but I think if I had known about the scarcity I could have paid more attention to conserving and been ok without one (but I only kept my phone charged, had no other accessories and gave up keeping my watch charged on day 2). – 2017 participant
water filter- 2017 participant
-bladder – 2017 participant
-I would have sourced lighter gear not left anything at home. The gear that I had was good but if I could have had smaller and lighter gear I would have had more room in my pack to carry rocks for Adam!! – 2017 participant
-Electrolytes – 2017 participant
-An extra t shirt, extra shorts, camera if I was concerned about weight. – 2017 participant
-There was some extra clothing items that I didn’t use all trip, but if the weather turned bad then it would of probably come in handy. I followed the recommended list provided and had no complaints. – 2017 participant
-Nothing. I stuck with the packing list provided on Himalayan Adventure Labs and was happy. – 2017 participant
-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. -Karen Carrington, China, Annapurna Fastpack 2015
What pack did you use?
-A Kelty, but I don’t remember the model. I think it’s 40L? I loved it, light & comfortable with lots of pockets. – 2017 participant
-osprey 20 l fastpack – 2017 participant
-I used an Osprey. It was a good pack but I think that I would have used another pack that I have trekked with. It is a bigger pack but more comfortable around my waist. I would not have to fill it but it I handled the pack that I had , you tend to blend with a pack when you wear it daily. – 2017 participant
-Osprey 35l – and happy with it – 2017 participant
-S/lab peak 22L. Absolutely. Light and fast. Very comfortable. A bigger packs means more unnecessary crap. – 2017 participant
-I used the osprey 30L. It was great for hiking and walking, but bounced around a lot when running which was difficult. There are some specific fast packs on the market from ultimate direction and Salomon that I would investigate next time. – 2017 participant
-Ultimate Direction 30L fastback. Yep, would use it again in a heartbeat. It did feel overloaded at first (pack ended up being about 20lbs once I added little things I forgot I needed like hand sanitizer), but got used to it pretty quick. I removed the frame to drop a little weight and it was still comfortable. – 2017 participant
What shoes did you use?
-Merrell All Out Peak. Loved them, but they’re discontinued, so doesn’t matter anyway. – 2017 participant
-Trail runners – 2017 participant
-Brooks Cascadias – 2017 participant
-I had Hoka Speed Goats and loved them, I had thongs around the camps and then I had a pair of woolly boots that Tony bought for me when the weather was colder. – 2017 participant
-Hoka Speedgoats, camp boots for night – 2017 participant
-Trail was the Salomon sense ride. Can’t say enough about the traction, protection, and cushion. – 2017 participant
-I used Hoka Challenger ATR 3 on the trail, plain sandels or bare feet in camp. – 2017 participant
-Running shoes and flip flops. I bought slippers when we got to higher/colder elevations. They sell them in all the villages. – 2017 participant
How much do you think you spent on the trail?
-Maybe $5-10? $5 for a “normal” day, more if I bought beer or bakery stuff or yak cheese – 2017 participant
-100- yes it was ok. – 2017 participant
-I think it was about $4-5 hundred AUD …more than enough. – 2017 participant
-$200 – yes sufficient. – 2017 participant
-Had $250. Used $60. Not drinking saves me a lot. Mostly spent on souvenirs and cheese. – 2017 participant
-I took $200 USD with me and had plenty left over when I returned to Kathmandu. – 2017 participant
-I only spent $150 on the trail and bought everything I wanted. – 2017 participant
-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
What was your favorite village? Favorite section of trail? Favorite aspect of the event?
-Kyanjin Gumba was my favorite village – 2 great days of hiking starting from there, the nice sunlit dining room, the bakery for some variety of food. Favorite section was the climb up to Tserkori. I loved all of it – no favorite aspect. It’s kind of a little thing – but my least favorite aspect was probably not being comfortable ordering anything to drink a lot of the time when everyone else was because I knew it caused stress… – 2017 participant
-marpha – 2017 participant
-That is a tough one. I liked all of the villages for different reasons, I loved coming into the village with the Bob Marley lodge, I am easy to please, I loved it all. I even loved that muther futher day up to Gorepani ( not sure about the spelling but you know where I mean ) – 2017 participant
-Mukhtinath favourite village, strangely liked the climb to Gorepani the best – 2017 participant
-Chame, manang, shree karka, yak karka, thorang phedi. All the mountain towns before the pass. Just awesome! – 2017 participant
-I really enjoyed staying the night at Thorong Phedi, just before making the pass. Jamaican music, good food and lots of travellers to swap stories with while hanging out at 4500m! – 2017 participant
-Going over the pass and into Muktinath was amazing! I loved it all. Eagle Nest guest house was a favorite. – 2017 participant
-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
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
What could we do different next year to make this better?
-Just got a cold – no emergency response required.
-nope – 2017 participant
-nothing – 2017 participant
-Ask me along! – 2017 participant
-I did not want it to stop! – 2017 participant
-Hmmm was pretty damn awesome… have a fast person plan. I did wait at some locations 1.5 hours during the day. I wasn’t in a rush. Just the speed I move. Sometimes it’d be cool to keep the momentum though. – 2017 participant.
-Keep doing what your doing, if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it. – 2017 participant
-You really did an outstanding job. I can’t think of anything. Will let you know if I do. – 2017 participant
-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
Any recommendations for places to visit in Kathmandu?
-monkey temple – 2017 participant
-I would recommend Thamel, the temples, the cremation place was really worthwhile and Tony and I both had two of the most amazing massages in Thamel. That is two each on different days. I think it is called Heaven Massage, it across the road from the supermarket and up the stairs. It was all legit and really great prices for a massage….no happy endings! – 2017 participant
-Buddinath, Pathan, Pashupatinath – 2017 participant
-Meh. Rishi took us to a climbing gym that was cool to chill at. – 2017 participant
-Bodhnath and it’s beautiful stupa was my favourite place, I went back twice! It’s a peaceful place amidst the chaos of Kathmandu. – 2017 participant
-Mandala Street has lots of great calm places to escape the chaos of Thamel. Google maps actually does a great job of navigating the narrow streets, so walking from the hotel all around the city turned out to be a highlight (something that really intimidated me at first). – 2017 participant