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Panchase Danda

The ridge of Panchase Danda combines unobstructed views of the Annapurna range with quiet paths on which you can enjoy a typical part of Nepal. Halfway through the hike we climb to Poon Hill (3150 m), known for the fiery sunrises with one of the most famous Himalayan panoramas. For most of the trip, The Annapurna (8091 m), Machhapuchhare (Fish Tail, 6993 m) and Dhaulagiri (8167 m) are a backdrop of breathtaking beauty. This route ends with a nice walk in the woods (lots of rhododendrons).

The Panchase Danda (Danda ridge) extends southwest of the Phewa lake in Pokhara. Although the Annapurna Himal is the busiest trekking region of Nepal many tourists avoid this area because there are no lodges.

Only on the sixth day, in Ghorepani, we enter the busy touristy Nepal, but the trip is no less interesting. The next morning, we have a magnificent view from Poon Hill to the Annapurna range. The route takes you from there through beautiful rhododendron forests, over ridges with splendid views and deep gorges, to Ghandrung where extensive agricultural terraces surround the headquarters of the Annapurna Conservation Area Project. The crossing of the Modi Khola is followed by a steep climb to Landrung and Deorali. From there we descend to Dhampus where a steep forest path leads to Phedi, where we drive back to Pokhara, and from there to Kathmandu.

With sufficient interest, this 9-day tour can be reduced to a lighter trip of 6 days, not climbing Poon Hill, instead Gandari (day 5) through Birethanti and Chandrokot back to Pokhara.

An adventurous trip to a country like Nepal can never be planned minute to minute. The "new and unknown" (and hence the unexpected) will always remain an important element. This itinerary is only a guideline.
The Sirdar (the responsible local guide) decides how long the day stages are and where the camps are set up, if possible in consultation with the group. Factors involved in the decision to play a role are: the security of the group, the participants and their form and local circumstances such as weather, the porters, and the availability of water.

Number of days: 9
High camp: 2850 m
Highest point: 3150 m
Level: 2-3


Day by day:


Day 1:

By bus we drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara, and on a clear day we can see the Annapurna and Manaslu. After about 8 hours drive we reach Pumdi, about 15 miles southwest of Pokhara. 

After distributing the burden to loads, we have to climb 600 meters on a steep staircase and along and between rice paddies. We pass a typical Gurung village. Later on, the path gets less steep and we pass a few villages. (8 +  2 hours, 1600m)
Day 2:

We have a breathtaking view of Lake Phewa and the Annapurna mountains in the rising sun! The whole morning, we have views of the mountains in the north. A sometimes wet and slippery path gradually rises through a beautiful forest and soon we feel far away from the inhabited world. When we have crossed a hillside, beautiful terraces and forests stretch at our feet. Water buffaloes stay cool in deep pools. We camp somewhere on the ridge or in the so-called Governor's Camp, where Jimmy Carter never slept! (5-6 hours, 1900m)

Day 3:

The morning walk over the ridge is delicious, the height differences are small and the terraced fields are a feast for the eyes! Gradually we rise to 2300m. On the hillside we get great views.
Almost all of the afternoon we descend through dense forests (maybe we see an orchid) to the Modi Khola valley. It is clear that we've returned to the inhabited world. We pass a small lake and a Mandir (Hindu temple), dedicated to Shiva. We enjoy the rural town of Chitre against the backdrop of the Annapurna and Macchapuchhare. We camp near the river in Gandari (5 hours, 900m) or Tidhar (6 hours, 1100m), where a hydroelectric plant is built.

Day 4:

After the steep descent yesterday, today to welcome a variety of challenging climbing stone stairs. We pass through several hamlets with beautiful views. After two hours climbing, the terrace landscape gets less steep.
After lunch in Bajung we climb further and will get onto slippery forest paths.
On top of a mountain, in Dobate, we set up the tents. While drinking our tea we can enjoy the magnificent panorama! (6 hours, 1700)

Day 5:

Today we climb much higher and Poon Hill is in sight. The route follows a ridge and is fortunately somewhat less steep than yesterday and runs for the first time through beautiful rhododendron forests. We lunch at a Mandir at the foot of a high cliff. Through dense forest we reach a beautiful green, but moist valley. With a little luck we see langoer monkeys. Jalja La camp is the last quiet camp site before we rush to Poon Hill tomorrow. (5 hours, 2800m)

Day 6:

Today we climb for two hours through wild rhododendron forest to the lookout point on Poon Hill. In the spring, these natural flowers are in their full splendor. After the monsoon, the trails are sometimes difficult to pass because of fallen trees.
From Ghorepani the view is impressive, but on the hill east of Ghorepani (Poon Hill, 1 hour, 3150m) it is really the best! Prominent in the center is the Annapurna South and in the west our famous Dhaulagiri. Further away, we also recognize the Machhapuchhare and Annapurna. 
There is a descent to Ghorepani (3000m) where we have lunch. After lunch we climb back on a ridge overgrown by rhododendrons (3100m) with once again a magnificent panorama. We descend to Deurali (= pass) with lodges and shops (6 hours, 2800m).

Day 7:

The path leads through a wooded gorge and reaches the Bhurujung Khola. It is still "up and down”  to the Bhurujung Khola, which we cross over a rickety bridge. Tadapani (2500m) is a village with views of the mountains that surround the  Annapurna range (Sanctuary). Another hour further down to Bainsi Kharka, a buffalo pasture. Further to Ghandrung. (5 hours, 1950m)

Day 8:

The trail drops about 600 meters from Ghandrung steeply down to a bridge over the Modi Khola. Immediately after the bridge there will be a 300 meters steep climb up to Landrung. The view of Annapurna South and Hiunshuli are splendid! This day is a wonderful walk through fields and villages with tea houses and terraces. Lunch at Tolka.
After lunch a bit of flat at first, then follows the last climb of the tour on stone stairs to the 2000m high Deorali (= pass). The environment is wooded. From here Pokhara and Lake Phewa are already visible. Over a beautiful wooded ridge to the last pitch in Dhampus. At night we celebrate with the porters and the Nepalese guidance. (7 pm, 1700)

Day 9:

It is worthwhile to see the sun rise. Today is the last chance to see the sun rise above the Himalayas. The walk continues over the ridge for a short distance, but then dives steeply down. An endless stairway leads to Naudanda Phedi (2 hours, 1000m), where the bus is already waiting for the short ride (0.5 hours) to Pokhara. From here it is another 7 hours by bus to Kathmandu.