Khair Trek is a short but exciting adventure into the remote and glacial wilderness below Annapurna South, 7237m, where few trekkers have ever gone. Even though the Khair Trek is demanding but worthy of the effort as you get the ever-changing views of the stunning, snow-covered Annapurnas which inspires each step of the way.
The Khair Trek starts in terraced lowlands dotted with villages of the Gurung and Magar ethnic groups of the sub-tropical valley outside of Pokhara. The trail leads to the middle hill country where rhododendron and oak forests areas are alive with exotic birds and beautiful flowers and finally reaches high glacial basins in the Annapurnas.
We finally emerge above the tree line at Kopra Danda, meaning Skull Hill for a magnificent view. Annapurna I, 8091m and Dhaulagiri, 8167m, tower above us and at the same time, we can look down into the deepest gorge in the world, the Kali Gandaki.
An extra day is scheduled to visit the sacred lake of Khair near the base of Annapurna where the yearly festival celebrated by drinking fresh yak blood. The hike to Lake Khair is long and strenuous hike with some frozen mountain streams to cross, but we are rewarded with marvelous views.
The trek back to Pokhara takes us via Ghorepani, Poon Hill for one of the most famous panorama views of the Annapurna range.
|1||Arrival in Kathmandu|
|2||Preparation Day in Kathmandu|
|3||Drive to Pokhara / Sarangkot, 1592m||7 hrs|
|4||Trek to Australian Camp, 1800m|
|5||Trek to Landruk, 1646m|
|6||Trek to Ghandruk, 1800m|
|7||Trek to Tadapani, 2650m|
|8||Trek to Bayeli Kharka|
|9||Trek 4 hrs to Upper Chistibung, 2975m|
|10||Trek 3 hrs to Kopra Ridge, 3660m|
|12||Trek to Swanta Village, 2200m||5 hrs|
|13||Trek to Hile, 1400m||6 hrs|
|14||Trek to Nayapul, 1010m, 3hrs; drive to Pokhara|
|15||Pokhara to Kathmandu by Road||6hrs|
The Best Time to do Khair Trekking
The best seasons for trekking in the Annapurna region are spring (February to late April) and autumn (late September to late November). Winter is also possible. During winter there are very few tourists. Some people prefer this season, as they enjoy the beauty of the snow, and the environment of the remote areas without the influx of foreigners.
Cultural Aspects of the Khair Trek
The most prominent ethnic groups in the Annapurna region are the Gurungs, Thakali, and Manangba. The Gurungs are the most widely dispersed, being found from the hills of Gorkha district to as far West as Palpa. The Thakalis come from the upper Kali Gandaki Valley around Jomsom, where their traditional farming has been supplemented by trade, in particular the hotel and restaurant business.
This is a Tea House/Lodge Trek
Accommodation is included in the cost of your package. Go Himalayan Adventures takes great care to arrange the most comfortable accommodation possible throughout your stay.
In Kathmandu, our clients enjoy four nights in hotel before and after heading into the remote regions.
During the trek, the nights will be spent in clean and comfortable tea houses with plenty of character and good food. The simple rooms usually have two narrow beds. The family run lodges are a great place to get to know the Nepalese people. In Nepalese culture, a guest is equal to god, and surely this has become even more of a reality since the tourism industry has improved their meager opportunities to earn. You will be made very welcome!
Spending Money per Day
Although it depends on your spending habits, you should allocate US$ 10 – 15 per meal in Kathmandu. On the trek, your meals are included, but you may wish to purchase extras which are not included in your package, such as chocolate bars, Coca Cola or a beer. US$10 – 15 a day should be enough, but keep in mind the cost of all items increases proportionately with the distance from the trail head.
Drinking Water on the Khair Trek
While trekking, it is important to keep hydrated; you should drink at least 3 liters of water each day. In the Annapurna Region there are Euro-guard filters, so all you need is your own water bottle and you can refill it easily. We suggest you bring a supply of water purification tablets in case Euro-guard water is not available. We request that you avoid using bottled mineral water, as the bottles are not easily disposed of.
Washing and Toilet facilities for Khair Trek
Most lodges offer hot showers, though sometimes a hot shower means a bucket of hot water. You can ask your trekking guide about the availability. For ecological reasons please try and limit your use of hot water unless the water is solar-heated. Please note that at higher altitude and in colder seasons there is very little chance to have enough hot water for all the trekkers. If the water is frozen then ask your guide to get warm bowl of water. Every lodge will have some kind of hand washing facility but it is good idea to carry a bar of soap with you.
Toilets are usually Asian squat style and vary in how clean they are. Normally toilets are outside the lodge but now some lodges have attached or indoor toilets. The rubbish bin in the toilet is kept for your used toilet paper.
Re-charging Batteries of Electronic Items on the Trek
You can recharge your digital camera, iPod, batteries etc. with electricity or solar power sources. You may need to buy an adaptor in Kathmandu before the trip since the plugs in Nepal might be different. The lodges charge a small fee per hour for recharging facilities.
Nepal uses 220-240 volts to power your appliances. The sockets fit both round and flat plugs.
If you have a reasonable level of fitness, this trek should be more than manageable. The altitude becomes more noticeable the higher we go, so we walk at a slow pace and take plenty of breaks to rest and acclimatize.
Trip Grading and Suitability
To assist you in choosing a trek and to give you an idea of what you can expect, we have categorized our trips by their level of difficulty, A is the easiest, D is the hardest. In addition to this, the levels have been sub-divided into four areas, suitability, walking times, highest altitude, terrain type, and remoteness.
Khair Trek Grade: Challenging
1. Walking times: 5-6 hours per day for up to 14 days
2. Altitude: up to 4400m
3. Terrain: mostly following well-travelled trails, daily ascent and descent
4. Remoteness: reasonable level of local infrastructure, including lodge accommodation
When travelling in remote mountain regions, uncertainties such as weather, health problems and natural disasters require a certain amount of flexibility. While our goal is to follow the itinerary, that is not our first priority; your safety is always our first priority. Go Himalayan Adventures request your cooperation to accept the decisions and advice of our trusted and experienced guides if they deem it necessary to change or cancel any part of the itinerary due to safety concerns.
It is strongly recommended to be sufficiently protected when you go into remote areas. You need specialized travel insurance that covers emergency evacuation, injury, lost baggage, liability and medical treatment. Make sure the insurance covers all the activities that you will be undertaking during your stay in Nepal. Go Himalayan Adventures Pvt. Ltd. can organize the appropriate medical response based on your policy.
How Can I Plan and Confirm My Trip?
Go Himalayan Adventures is a government licensed trekking and touring company in Nepal. On the following terms and conditions, we accept your bookings.
In order to confirm your bookings we require a non-refundable deposit US$ of 15% down payment in advance is mandatory to book the flight tickets and hotel booking and permit process too. Bookings must be done 60 days prior to your planned trekking date, to reserve a place. This amount can be sent by bank-to-bank transfer, Western Union, money grams, or credit card (telex transfer or wire transfer). And the rest of the money must be paid to us upon arrival.