TNS - Annapurna Sanctuary

Linda and I are going on the trek to Annapurna sanctuary, our second trip to the Himalayas.
Anyone else going?


It's my first trip with Exodus as well as my first trip to Nepal so would be grateful for any advice - really looking forward to it!



Hello.  It's my second trip to Nepal and am looking forwrd to my return.  Am travelling on the Group flight from Heathrow on the 9th so may meet some of you in the departure lounge or gate? 


Hello Giselle and Andrew et al,
We are on the group flight, evening of 9th Nov from Heathrow 4. We have done umpteen exodus trips; all very varied, all very good. The previous Nepal trip, a mere 3 yrs ago, was the "luxury" trek up to Namche - Tengboche - Mende, with wonderful views of the high mountains. Looking foward to Nepali hospitality!
... advice about.....? ..... eateries/what to do or see in or around Kathmandu?
..... any anxieties about the trekking?  etc?
Regards, Rob & Linda

Hi Rob, Linda & Andrew

Any advice would be appreciated on what I need to take as being my very first trek I am a complete novice!  Obviously there are the standard packing lists but from your previous experience of Nepal, any tips on things to pack that you have found useful would be much appreciated.  I am also going to give the guys & girls at Exodus a call also as I've heard their advice is really good.

I guess the big unknown for me is whether I will be affected by the altitude - did any of you have any problems on your previous trips?

Really looking forward to meeting you all & the trip itself - can't believe how quickly it is approaching now. See you all at Heathrow!





He there.  Giselle - I think the kit list in the Trip Notes is pretty comprehensive.  But when I get round to gathering stuff I'll let you know if I think of anything else.  A head-torch is invaluable!  As to altitude, I went to Everest Base Camp and no-one really suffered any problems until we were over 4000m, and no significant problems until over 4500m.  So, apart from finding you need to breathe harder, I'll be surprised if anyone has problems with this trek, provided they are sensible and don't try to sprint around at 4200m!

We will all have been a bit unnerved by the Nepalese plane crash this week, and the attendant publicity about the poor state of Nepal's aeroplanes and air traffic regulation.  I am going to ask Exodus if they will give me the option of taking the train (or bus) back from Pokhara to Kathmandu at the end of the trek, as I and my wife will sleep easier if I can!  You may wish to do the same - let me know as numbers may sway them.


Hi, looking forward to the trip too.  My first trip with Exodus and to Nepal.  I am making my own way there so see you at the trek briefing.  Cheers Jonathan


Hi All,
I am also on the group flight and really looking forward to the trip.
I have done a few trips with Exodus but this will be my first trip to Nepal.
I have heard such great reports about it from many friends!
Is anyone else taking chlorine dioxide for treating cold water? Or are you relying on getting boiled water?
If there is an option of taking a train back from Pokhara to Kathmandu I would consider taking it.


I'm definitely intested in skipping the internal fight from Pokhara & was going to ring Exodus myself to see if there is an option - if only just to give family & friends something less to worry about (and I am a bit of a nrevous flyer - especially in small planes!) - you've reminded me to ring! And also always a good experience to travel by train in other countries...


Had a chat with Chris at Exodus - he's said it would be possible to organise a road transfer & that it would probably be best to do that ahead of the trip.  He did say though it's the difference between a 30 min flight and a 6-8 hour road journey (no train option).  He advised they do a safety audit every year - they did switch airlines a couple of years as as a result of an audit...and the previous airline they used was the one that crashed last week!


Exodus advised me that there are companies - like Greenline who have a website- who provide intercity-style coaches, but that Exodus could not take responsibility for the security of our bags etc so would need us to sign a disclaimer if we wanted to use them.  The bus which Exodus provide for our trip to Pokhara is contracted directly by Exodus from a known firm with a known driver.  If, as is provided in the trip notes, the flying conditions are not good enough, Exodus use the same firm for the return journey.  Their advice is to stick with their arrangements.  Apparently the roads are pretty awful, as are other drivers on them, which is why they allow 6-8 hours for a 100 mile journey!  They say there is no evidence that travelling by road is any safer than flying.  So it is an adventure either way!

Having done this Annapurna trip a couple of years ago and the Lukla flight the year before, I was intrigued to read your comments about alternatives to flying. You will see on the outward route to Pokhara by road why it takes so long and although on any bus journey you trust yourself to the driver, the rules of the road out there do not compare to our over regulated driving experience at home. I would have thought the risks are far greater on the roads than in the air. Not wishing to cause further panic. I would say that the standard of Exodus drivers is excellent (having done 10 trips) and although it may seem crazy, there is a lot of mutual understanding and sharing of the roads so in spite of the way it appears it works very well... people give way to other drivers and make allowances for the quality of the roads. The flight from Pokhara to Kathmandu is on a full sized commercial airline not a 20 seater propellor craft. Historically planes crash all over the world and the M6 is littered with car debris, so maybe take a more pragmatic view and relax into the trip. It's amazing. Those flights to Lukla are happening all day every day throughout the main season and I supect every small airline has had its casualties over the years. Does that mean you'll never go to Everest... that would be a's the only way to get there. Getting back to basics I'd spend my time practising walking up and down steps, you'll be doing a lot of that. It was also very hot in the daytime which made climbing difficult and very cold at night so my advice would be to have the right clothing and ENJOY IT... It's one of the most spectacular places on earth. :-)

Thanks PG - that's really helpful advice. Can't wait now!

Hi All, Soz about tardy response. Gettin excited? only a couple of wks or so to go!
Travel. Agree with above comments re plane vs bus. Nothing in life is completely safe, thats partly what adventure is all about. Saw a placard in the modern art gallery in Prague - "Life is not about having fun, life is about suffering, being enthralled and being amazed." Happy to share our thrilling experience of Lukla a couple of years ago! Timewise I would have rather 'v had the plane both ways. Suggest focus on the positive. The flight gives an opportunity to see the mountains (at a distance) from the air; the road will give us chance to see something more of the country. Statistics are well in our favour.
Altitude: there is only one day when we do a big haul uphill that might could result in a bit of a headache (which will go with for a couple of hours rest), but we should be moderately acclimatised by then. Should be very very very very low risk of HAPE or HACE.  Do expect on the high altitude nights to wake up a couple of times at night feeling you have to sit up and take a few deep breaths - do just that and settle back down to sleep again, its normal.
Packing : thinking in layers and misc.
Misc : head torch (preferably windup); chlorine tabs OR if you can get them iodine tabs are better; or better tasting but more expensive are Aquapure bottles (£35 each but they give you something like 2000 litres of purified water). If you do use Aquapure make sure you do NOT pour hot water into them - the plastic seems to deform and you may loose the seal. Mosquito nets if you are doing the safari extension?  If we do encounter morning ice when high up (unlikley) Yaktrax for feet might be useful. Sun protection in small bottles (Nivea do 50ml size - ok in hand luggage plastic bag). Sunscreen stick e.g. Soltan for centre of face (esp for under nose - in unlikley event we encounter snow high up, lest you go for the bad crack-cocaine habit look !). A small bar of Solid shampoo with tin from Lush.
Layers - as suggested in the excellent trip notes  e.g.
Head - beanie. broad rim sunhat
Body - usual layered system that works for you. I prefer a high wick base T, then long sleeve base, then soft shell, then fleece, & waterproof outer; lightweight trousers with Deluge outertrousers.
Evening - warm e.g. fleece lined trousers. Down Gillet (Tog24 do a midweight gillet that stuffs compactly into its own pocket!). Night - merino base layer. High rate thermal socks.
Sleeping bag: we have 3 nearly 4 season so will taking layers e.g a silk liner + fleece liner as well. Nowt worse than having a cold night to make you feel c**p the following day. Now lets get all that into a single 10Kg kit bag!!!
Pack the exodus kit bags into wheeled luggage - you can leave the wheeled luggage (nad soem fesh clothes) at the Royal Singi in Katmandhu.
Bumped into a French guy on the top of the zermatt Breithorn a few weeks ago, he said he was acclimatising for the volcanos in Ecuador, and that he had done that Sanctuary last year, and that "it was tres beautiful"!
Regards.  Rob

In agree pretty much entirely with pgillet's post.  I have flown a couple of times to/from Pokhara as well as flown to Lukla.  I have also travelled to/from Pokhara by road - it is a fairly dull journey, you get a much better view of the himalayas on the flight.  Road journeys are certainly more dangerous generally though the route to Pokhara is the best road in Nepal.  Anyway, enjoy your trip - I am back in the Annapurnas next year - and will be using the plane at least one way


Thanks for all the comments on the flight v road issue.  The info that the aeroplane is a commercial airliner and notlike the 20 seater propellor aircraft which goes to Lukla helpful.

On kit, Rob's blog is great advice.  He mentions a 10kg limit.  Have I missed that? Thought it was 15kg on the internal flight?

Also Rob can you offer a view on boots.  Most of the trek seems to be on steps or good paths, so would lightweight summer boots do?  Or do we really need heavier 3 or 4 season boots, do you think? Anyone else have views?


Can't believe it's nearly here!  Rob - thanks for all that advice - REALLY helpful for a first timer like me.  Thanks everyone for the flight advice - feeling happier knowing it's a bigger plane...but someone may still have to give me some drugged milk like BA Baracus! 

Having a practice run on packing today - sure it's going to be a struggle...

Looking forward to meeting everyone!

10Kg was a guess. Not aware that exodus have specified a weight limit for this trip. Many other companies appear to ask not to expect the porters to carry uneccesary weight!  Lukla flights restrict to 10Kg, but agree Pokhara should be more generous. We are aiming to keep c.15Kg per person + allowance of 7Kg for rucksack on JetAir. Will be leaving some clothes in Kathmandhu (i intially omitted the "some" - don't want to get arrested!).
Boots - lightweight would be more comfortable for trekking; need to be well tested out to check comfy and /or worn in. Earlier today I spotted a blog like entry on Wikipedia re the Sanctuary - shows lower base camp in snow in Oct - really glorious! So warm boots / adequate & breathing socks / warm central layers essential. Yaktrax or Spikeys might be handy.
Packing - nb  don't forget passport photos for visa &  trek pass.

Hello All,

Good to read all your posts about the trip. This will be my second visit to Nepal, absolutely loved it the first time so very excited to be going back. 

I'll also be on the group flight from Heathrow. Just wondering if anyone fancies meeting for a drink while we're waiting for the flight? I have no idea what bars / cafes are there so as I type this I'm beginning to realise I've not thought this plan through... Unless someone can suggest a specific place, what about meeting at the first bar in there once through security checks? I suppose saying I'll be carrying a rucksack doesn't actually help identify me much, perhaps I'll wear a big hat :-) 

Giselle, is it just small planes that make you nervous or are you going to have a Mr T style "I aint getting on no plane" meltdown in the departure lounge!? Anyway, hopefully we'll all meet up with each other somehow.

See you all soon. Nicola 



Hi Nicola (and everyone else)

Will try to avoid a meltdown haha! Very excited now - just checked in - 51C - towards the back (I saw the airplane crash documentary & took note!)

Be nice to meet for a drink (maybe calm my pre-flight nerves)  I don't really know Heathrow at all so my mobile is 07775 631346 so let me know if any of you find a good spot

One more sleep!


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