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Tilicho lakes Annapurna cycle

Cycling Tilicho lakes Annapurna

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Tilicho Lakes

  • Annapurna Tilicho Lakes Mountain Biking Tour

    Annapurna is literally translated to mean, "full of food" but is often translated to refer to the Goddess of the Harvests. The trek to base camp is often regarded as one of the most popular areas in the Himalayas. The scenery is spectacular, taking you through the foothills of Mt Annapurna through farmlands, groves of rhododendron, small villages and endless mountain vistas.

    The route passes through a diverse geographical area with cultural variation with incredible flora and fauna in between.

    The highest lake in the world, Tilicho is at 5,200m. The lake lies on the north side of the Annapurna Himal, just below Tilicho Peak (7,134m). Biking in this region is not for the faint hearted as the area combines a mix of high altitude, high mountain passes, snow, narrow single track with steep drop off's. The days are long and the cycling hard and given the terrain, there are several sections were you will have to carry your bike. For this reason our days are classified with rideability ratings, e.g. 50% means you will ride 96% of the rime and carry your bike the remaining 4% of the trip.

    Although porters assist with carrying tents and equipment, they do not carry the bikes. As such, a high level of fitness and experience in mountain biking at altitude on rough terrain is essential.

    Tilicho Lakes Cycle

  • Annapurna Tilicho Lakes Mountain Bike Tour

    Day-1: Arrival: Arrive Kathmandu

    Day-2: Guided sightseeing around of the Kathmandu valley.

    Day-3: Drive: Kathmandu / Besishar (760m) / Khundi (790m)After breakfast, we drive via Besisahar to Khundi by our private vehicle. This can take up to seven hours. Your adventure vacation truly starts the moment you reach Khundi. We stay overnight in local Lodge. (BLD)

    Day-4: Khudi / Bhaunadanda (1310m) Total Cycle: 19km, 4 hrs The changes in the valley's ecosystem and its physical characteristics quickly become evident. The incredible Himalchuli summit rises to the the east. After crossing the river, we head to the east bank and pass through the village of Bhulbhule and then head north to Ngadi at 930m asl. We then continue to the ridge top settlement of Bahundanda  at 1311m.  The name of this village literally means "Brahmin Hill".  Lodge. (BLD)

    Day-5: Bhaunadanda / Tal (1700m)Total Cycle: 12km, 600hm, Rideable 45%, Time: 6 hrs  We descend to the valley floor and then, after crossing the river, we climb steeply up a ridge to follow a trail which has been carved out of the rock wall of the valley.  We pass through Khani Gaoon and Ghermu until we reach Sangye. From here, we continue along the West Bank of the Marsyangdi River through the village of Jagat to Chamje where we will cross the river to its eastern bank to enter the Manang District at the village of Tal.  As we head up river, we will begin to notice the changes in the people as well as the land, architecture and culture.  You will  notice that there is a concentration of people of Tibetan origin, their houses are built of rock, the vegetation is less tropical and the culture is predominantly Tibetan.  Lodge. (BLD)

    Day-5: Bhaunadanda / Tal (1700m)Total Cycle: 21.8km, 985hm, Rideable 60%, Time: 7 hrs The trail from Tal crosses the Marsyangdi Khola to its West Bank after the village of Karte and continues towards the village of Dharapani.  From Dharapani we continue up the river valley past the Gurung village of Thonje to the village of Bagarchap. Bagarchap means "Butcher's place". Continuing along the left bank, we climb up the heavily wooded Manang Valley past small settlements with excellent views of Manaslu and the peaks above Larkya La. We stay at the village of Chame, administrative headquarters of the region and the last major market before Jomsom.  Chame also has a police check post and bank.  Lodge. (BLD)

    Day-7: Chame / Pisang (3300m) Total Cycle: 16.4km, 600hm, Rideable 48%, Time: 6 hrs  From Chame the trail condition changes, somewhat. The ccontinuing trail is not as well maintained as the one up to Chame.  We pass through pine forests, over fairly level ground, through the village of Taleku to Bhratang.  Like all villages since Dharapani these predominantly Buddhist villages have an entrance chorten and an exit chorten.  Annapurna II can be seen to the south and you are now behind the main Himalaya peaks in their rainshadow area.  After crossing a series of wooden cantilever bridges we enter a spruce and fir forest that eventually gives way to a pine forest.  After days in the gorge the forests provide a welcome change. Crossing the river to its left bank we reach at the village of Pisang. You may want to visit the village before dinner. Lodge. (BLD)

    Day-8: Pisang / Manang (3540m) Total Cycle: 17.2km, 400hm, Rideable 95%, Time: 5 hrs We are now in the dry arid region of Manang called Nyesyang. Since this area falls in the rainshadow area of the Himalaya it seldom rains in the summer months, though it snows in the winter and the snow remains on the gorund for a long time.  The population is mostly farmers and traders. People in this area keep comparatively less domestic animals and the consumption of  meat is very limited

    There are two routes leading leading out of Pisang towards the Manang valley.  The one we will follow keeps to valley floor, on the left bank.  Spectacular views of Annapurna III and IV along with Gangapuran and Tilicho peaks abound. This is possibly the best day for viewing mountains.  You will pass through the village of Hongde where there is a STOL airfield servicing the Manang district. Lodge. (BLD)

    Day-9: Manang / Khangsar (3,750m) Total Cycle: unrecorded, Rideable 50%, Time: 5 hrs  Today we will take a side trip towards Tilicho Lake. The route is rarely used by bikers. The terrain is difficult but is exquisitely beautiful. Lodge. (BLD)

    Day-10: Khangsar / Tilicho Lake Base Camp (4,200m) Total Cycle: unrecorded, Rideable 55%, Time: 4 hrs Today we head along a single-track past Khangsar which will take us to the Tilicho Base Camp, surrounded by high snowy peaks. This section of the trail is narrow and requires careful concentration. Lodge. (BLD)

    Day-11: Early morning ride to the Tilicho Lake and back to Khangsar (3,750m) Rideable 40%, The adventure never stops as today, we cross the 5000m altitude barrier. We ride up the rocky terrain and seemingly endless snow rampstoward the magical Tilicho Lake and then head back to Khangsar for overnight stay. Lodge. (BLD)

    Day-12: Khangsar / Manang (3540m) Total Cycle: unrecorded, Rideable 50%, Time: 4 hrs  We follow the same route back to Manang except. Overnight Lodge. (BLD)

    Day-13: Continue to Letdar (4200m) After Manang, the trail climbs steeply to the village of Tenki, which is the last permanent settlement, this side of the Thorung La. We climb a little further and then contour slowly past various pastures to Yak Kharka (literally meaning Yak Pastures) to stay at Letdar. Lodge. (BLD) 

    Day-14: Letdar / Thorung Phedi (4450m) Total Cycle: 19km, 910hm, Rideable 75%,  Today we continue through the, which eventually give way to a high arid desert at Phedi, at the base of Thorung La. Lodge. (BLD)

    Day-15: Cross Thorung La (5416m), Continue to Muktinath (3800m) Total Cycle: 22.4km, 966hm, Rideable 60%, After leaving the river valley we set out early in the morning provided the weather is good and it is not snowing.  From Phedi we ascend to an outcrop and the turn left towards Thorung La.  A chain of rocks marks the pass. Beyond the pass you enter the river valley of the Kali Gandaki River. The descent from the pass to Muktinath is steep but not difficult.

    Muktinath is a sacred pilgrimage site to both Hindus and Buddhists who flock there annually for their respective festivals.  A rest day here allows you the opportunity to explore the area and the ancient shrines. Of particular interest is the temple of the Hindu God Vishnu and the one hundred and eight waterspouts where devotees bathe.  From Muktinath there are beautiful views of Mt. Dhaulagiri (8167 m). Overnight Lodge. (BLD)

    Day-16: Muktinath to Jomsom (2710m) Total Cycle: 25.6km, Rideable 95%, We cycle along a level but rocky trail through juniper thickets to Jomosom. In the late afternoon it gets very windy and so face masks are required.  Take care to guard your eyes and cover as much of your skin surface as possible. Lodge. (BLD)

    Day-17: Jomsom / Kalopani (2530m) Total Cycle: 26.2km, Rideable 90%, Time: 7 hrs We cycle by the side of the Kali Gandaki river passing through the villages of Thakali, Marpha, Tukuche and Larjung. Then it is easy riding from here on in as they have built a jeep track to Kalopani. This is a beautiful village right below the base of Dhaulagiri mountain. The place is ideal to see panoramic views of the mountains including Nilgiri peaks and Annapurna I. Lodge. (BLD)

    Day-18: Kalopani / Tatopani (1190m) Total Cycle: 24.4km, Rideable 75%, Time: 6 hrs  We enjoy the downhill before negotiating a technical section. We ride past a suspension bridge and continue through the dense pine forests. When we reach Ghasa there are some really good lodges. The trail ahead is steep until the Ruptse stream. Though it is early, we stop for a relaxing lunch and enjoy the scenery knowing that the trail ahead is much easier. We ride past the Dana village and after seemingly endless ricefields finally reach Tatopani. It is a small town at the north bank of Kali Gandaki River, famous for the hot springs and of course cold beer if you like. Lodge. (BLD)

    Day-19: Bike until Beni Baazar (830m). Drive to Pokhara (79km) Total Cycle: 24km, , 90% ride-able - The trail follows the Kali Gandaki River through the world's deepest gorge to reach Beni. This is a fun day, with an excellent trail and a section of new road. Beni is the headquarters of Parbat District and has many shops and hotels. From here we take a bus for the 78km to Pokhara. Overnight Lodge. (BLD)

    Day-20: Fly to Kathmandu (1310m) After breakfast, we will return to Kathmandu (just half an hour). Our bikes will be sent back by jeep. Overnight Hotel. (B)

    Day-21: Kathmandu. Free day for shopping, etc. On the remaining time you can relax, shop or go sightseeing. Evening we invite you on a farewell dinner at Rum Doodle Bar. Stay at Hotel. (BD)

    Day-22: Free day to explore, and enjoy

    Day-23: Final Departure.

    End of services

    Tilicho Lakes Cycle

  • March to May, September to mid November

    The Annapurna region is best ventured into during Spring from the beginning of March to around May. It is around this time that many of the trees come into bloom such as the Rhododendrons. The downside to this period, is that the mountain views can often be obscured.

    The second best time is from September to mid November, and although the days are colder with more chance of snow, the mountain views are much clear, being post monsoon season.

    December brings the snow falls, many of the lodges close for the winter, and as a result, very few tourists head into the region, making the routes less busy.

    June to September is quite wet given the monsoon season, and as a result, again, less tourists. The downside however, is that the area is prone to leaches on the lower wet reaches of the mountain.

    Tilicho Lakes Cycle

  • On this trip we make use of hotels in Kathmandu, and then lodges on the tour.  We start the tour with two nights in 3-star, Thamel Eco Resort, well situated within the heart of Thamel, or, if it is full, a similar category in Kathmandu.At the end of the trek, we return to the same hotel. While on trek, we stay in lodges or what is known as standard tea houses. The quality of the lodges vary and generally become more basic as one gets to higher elevations.

    Your guide will always seek out a lodge which offers comfortable rooms. Note that while some lodges have private bathroom facilities, others only offer shared facilities. Some offer attached bathrooms which you can pay extra for. Some lodges have hot shower facilities at an extra charge.

    Tilicho Lakes Cycle