Annapurna Base Camp Difficulty
Annapurna is the trekking capital of Nepal. Likewise, Annapurna Base Camp is the best trek in Nepal. It has already been recognized as the center of the tourism economy of Nepal. Annapurna has recognized as a naturally and culturally important tourist district in north-central Nepal.
Annapurna has special trekking routes which give you a taste of classical composer. Annapurna Base Camp is the center of attraction to many tourists because it preserves the exotic and classical trekking routes, culture, and human civilizations. Most importantly, it offers a great view of Annapurna Massif. The area is really a heaven for every adventure junkie.
The Annapurna Region of Nepal is considered the king of trekking in Nepal and it is the most diverse, most authentic, and most classy trekking route in the world. Around two-third of tourists who come to Nepal, head towards the Annapurna region each year.
Annapurna Base Camp Trek is voted as the best trek in the world as it includes a wide variety of climatic zones, a dramatic range of geography, and most significantly the unique culture and people.
Annapurna Base Camp Trek is sensational trekking that wins the heart of both beginners and experienced ones. This classy trek involves the most beautiful trekking trails which offer you an elegant view of the world’s seventh and tenth highest mountains Dhaulagiri (8,167m) and Annapurna (8,091m). Similarly, the deepest Gorge of the world at Kali Gandaki River is mesmerizing.
Annapurna Base Camp trail also offers graceful mountain views that include Machhapuchhre, Manaslu, Gangapurna, Tilicho Peak, Pisang Peak, and many other snow-topped mountains above 6,000 m. Exploration of biodiversity at Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) is another most important activity under this trek.
Annapurna Base Camp Trek, also known as Annapurna Panorama Trek, is the most traversed trekking route in Nepal because this trek is neither too difficult nor too much easy. It is moderate trekking that suits the traveler of all age group with moderate health. Therefore, this trek is the most chosen family trek in Nepal. This article features the difficulties of Annapurna Base Camp. Please don’t scroll the page down before reading this.
Table of Contents
- 1 Trip Features of Annapurna Base Camp
- 2 Trip Grade of Annapurna Base Camp
- 3 How Long is Annapurna Base Camp Trek?
- 4 The distance of Annapurna Base Camp
- 5 Difficulties of Annapurna base Camp
- 6 Accommodations Food and Drinks
- 7 The difficulty of Annapurna Base Camp Trail
- 8 The difficulty of Annapurna Base Camp According to Season
- 9 Useful Tips for Annapurna Base Camp
Trip Features of Annapurna Base Camp
- Trek to the Annapurna Base Camp (4,130 m). Annapurna is the 10th highest mountain peak in the world.
- Mind-blowing Vistas of Annapurna, Fishtail, Dhaulagiri, and the other Himalayas.
- Most appealing Sunrise or Sunset view from Poonhill (3,210m).
- Diverse ethnicity along the trail.
- The Gurung village, Ghandruk
- Jhinu Danda, the house of natural hot spring.
- The streams, rivers, and waterfalls along the trekking trail.
- The Machhapuchhre Base Camp (4,040m)
Trip Grade of Annapurna Base Camp
Annapurna Base Camp is one of the most visited trekking destinations in Nepal. It is more popular than the Everest Base Camp Trek. Many trekkers and visitors worry about the risk involved in any trek before thinking further about it. Don’t worry Annapurna Base Camp Trek is equally popular among solo and group trekkers, beginners as well as experienced trekkers.
The altitude of Annapurna Base Camp is 4,130 m which is an accessible elevation for anyone. The Annapurna Base Camp trek may not be considered to be a difficult one because there are indeed a lot of other treks that outruns ABC in this matter. The difficulty of this trek can be considered to be a moderate one. Like most of the treks, it is also quite demanding but with a bit of patience and perseverance, it is enjoyable and achievable. However, the level of difficulty may vary from season to season. If you choose to travel to Annapurna Base Camp during the off-seasons, it will be a little bit challenging. Trekking through a mountain involves a lot of excitement and thrilling experiences. The difficulty involved in it may also make your journey adventurous.
In conclusion, Annapurna Base Camp Trek is not a challenging one but it is a physically demanding one. Therefore, it is prescribed to have a moderate health condition and mental stamina before undertaking it. Don’t worry! You will have a pleasant and hassle-free climb.
How Long is Annapurna Base Camp Trek?
Annapurna Base Camp Trek is an ideal trek to experience complete adventure. It is a moderate trek with medium length. The average duration of the Annapurna Base Camp is 11 days. You can adjust the number of days of the Annapurna Base Camp trek according to your choice. You are free to extend or reduce it.
This trek requires around 5/6 hours of walking per day for the duration of the trek. An experienced trekker can reach their destination sooner. An inexperienced or novice trekker may take a longer time. Experienced trekkers can undertake the adventure within a few days. Or you can stick to the average duration for a relaxed and chill experience.
For beginners, the 15-18 days Annapurna Base Camp trek can be ideal. These have good resting days. The duration length will be a great time for the body to adjust to the high altitudes. It reduces the chances of altitude sickness as well as over exhaustion on the trek. This duration allows you to trek more comfortably.
The distance of Annapurna Base Camp
The Annapurna Base Camp Trek route covers around 115 km. The distance is a short one compared to other popular treks.
You can extend it to include the beautiful and quaint villages along the trails. You will be walking 10 to 20 km each day. This trail is a popular one and hence has signed at different intervals. It is usually packed with trekkers from all over the world. It’s busiest in the autumn and spring season.
The trekking trails are well maintained on this trek. Yet, the terrains can be rocky in the mountains. It is more difficult than normal hilly trails. The moraine trails are rocky and have steep slopes at times.
Difficulties of Annapurna base Camp
Altitude Sickness is also known as Acute Mountain Sickness is the condition in which our body could not adjust to the environment due to the less barometric pressure. When we move to the high altitude the barometric pressure will be less and our body couldn’t adjust to that air pressure due to which we feel nausea, dizziness, fatigue, vomiting, headache, loss of appetite, shortness of sleep, etc. which is called Altitude sickness.
Annapurna Base Camp route also has the potential of high-altitude sickness. The highest point on the Annapurna circuit trek is Annapurna Base Camp (4,130 m). This height is the significant one to cause altitude sickness. People will have the symptoms of altitude sickness above 3000 m.
The oxygen level and atmospheric pressure are nearly 50% low at the very high altitude in comparison with the sea level. Therefore, our bodies could not adjust to such an environment and we suffer from altitude sickness.
Altitude Sickness can suffer anyone who attempts high altitude. If you feel any symptoms associated with Altitude Sickness along with headache, you need to change your elevation. It means climb down to the lower elevations. If the symptoms are severe, you need medical attention. We can prevent Altitude Sickness also.
- Shortness of breath
- Loss of Appetite
- Unusual swelling of hands, feet, and face
- Nose Bleeding, Difficulty in breathing
- Increment in pulse rate
- General Malaise
How to minimize Altitude Sickness in the Mountains?
- Do not climb hurriedly
- Acclimatize properly
- Drink plenty of freshwaters
- Do not drink or smoke, eat hygienically.
- Do not begin your hike from above 3000 m
- Don’t climb more than 300-500 m in a day
Weather and Temperature
Nepal has the most dramatic weather and climate. The weather and temperature differ here depending upon the region and season. The weather and temperature at high altitudes are often unpredictable. Annapurna Base Camp Trek also is located at a high altitude. Therefore, it is obvious that the region also experiences an unstable climate. Basically, the region will experience a cold and dry climate. Though there is plenty of sunlight during the daytime, the extremely violent blow of the wind keeps the surrounding cool. In winter the precipitation takes place in the form of snowfall. Besides that during the off-season, there will be very few teahouses which also mark it as a difficult journey.
Lack of Training
Traveling in the Himalayas is not as easy as you have ever imagined. Trekking and hiking at a high altitude is a strenuous journey. You have to be very careful about so many things before undertaking the journey such as the difficulty grade, right time, right gears, training to be taken, etc. If you do not plan the trekking considering all these matters, your journey will be a nuisance. If you want a comfortable hike, you have to prepare well. Sometimes inappropriate skills also make your journey uncomfortable. Annapurna Base Camp Trek is not a difficult trek but it is a physically demanding trek. Therefore, one must prepare their physique considering the same. You have to train yourself on basic mountaineering and climbing skills, cycling, jogging, stress endurance, cardio exercises, etc.
Accommodations Food and Drinks
The sole motive of going on a trek is to enjoy your holiday. If you don’t have easy access to a hotel, hygienic food, and beverages, the trek won’t be a comfortable one. Therefore, accommodations, foods, and drinks are the basics of any trek. Annapurna Base Camp Trek being the oldest and most diverse trek in Nepal offers good accommodation services. There are hotels and teahouses off all grades and standards. They offer you a variety of cuisine as per your requirement. Annapurna Base Camp Trail has comparatively more hotels and teahouses than other trekking destinations in Nepal. This supports quite a lot in your journey to the Annapurna Base Camp. I mean to say if you help to make this trek a little comfortable.
The difficulty of Annapurna Base Camp Trail
One of the major reasons behind the difficulty of any trek is the trails. Since the Annapurna Base Camp is one of the most popular treks of Nepal, it has a well-maintained trail. However, the trail is neither straight nor a smooth one. The initial days of the trek involve a lot of uphill trekking. This can be challenging for some. The upward and downward slopes are the challenging parts of the trails.
The Annapurna Base Camp Trek is a popular short trek that lasts for 11 to 20 days. One must walk 5/6 hours for covering most of the trekking packages. This trek is more difficult than traveling on a smooth, low-altitude trail. The trails along with the altitude of the trails will consume a lot of energy. Hence, you will need stamina and endurance to overcome the monotonous and steady up and down movement.
The difficulty of Annapurna Base Camp According to Season
Starting from September, the Autumn season lasts in November in Nepal. This is the best season to trek anywhere in Nepal. It is time to visit Nepal and explore the mountains in their best state. The Autumn season is the post-monsoon season in Nepal. Therefore, the hills and mountains of the Annapurna region will remain fresh and clear after the monsoon shower. The forest is still alive and the mountains look spectacular. Both the sunrise and sunset are beautiful with clear skies and the magnificent view of Himalayan ranges. Before the arrival of the winter season, the last few days of the autumn season have few cold days and nights. So that it is necessary to carry a few warm clothes with you.
The Autumn season has warm days and chilly cold mornings and evenings. The average temperature ranges from 15˚ C to 17˚ C. There is no rainfall or snowfall at this time of the year. However, the weather may change anytime in the mountain. So the temperature might drop below freezing point up in the higher altitudes.
The best time to trek in Nepal is the autumn season and the best month is October. This is the peak tourist season in Nepal. Therefore, you have to book the trek in advance if you don’t want to miss the best trekking experience.
The month from December to February is considered the winter season in Nepal. The general weather of Nepal is cold during this season. The temperature falls below the freezing point in the high altitude regions, especially in the mountains.
The winter brings the freezing mornings and nights but the days are quite bright. Mornings are foggy and it might rain in the lower region and there is snowfall in the Himalayas. The whole Annapurna region is covered with a thick layer of snow.
Since there aren’t a lot of trekkers, you will have plenty of time to choose the best accommodation possible. The upper altitude areas remain closed and only a few tea houses will remain open though. The trekking trail is not as crowded as in the regular season.
Compared to summer, the skies are quite clearer. Most of the time, the skies are full of clouds with obscure views. The trekking trail in the lower region is quite dry and isn’t slippery as in the summer season. At higher altitudes, the trekking route is covered with thick layers of snow. You will need crampons with your shoes to continue to the upper region at Annapurna Base Camp.
The daytime temperatures in winter, in the Annapurna region range between 9˚ C to 12˚ C, while morning and evening temperatures will drop to sub-zero temperatures. The temperature in the morning and nights may reach below zero to -15˚ C to -20˚ C.
The winter season is a relatively difficult season to traverse in this region. The trek demands a high level of endurance, trekking gears, clothes, and so on.
Spring is the second busiest trekking season in Nepal. March to May is considered to be the spring season in Nepal. The spring season is the perfect time to travel to Nepal because you will have ideal weather. Moreover, there will be blossoms of flowers everywhere. The lush green hills are worth watching.
Another amazing thing about the spring season is the forest, they come alive. The rhododendron forest is in full bloom. The aroma of different flowers along the trekking trail will keep you enchanted. With warmer days all the exotic wildlife also comes out in search of food. You might have the chance to get a glimpse of the wildlife in Spring.
The skies are clear and the mountains are seen throughout your journey. The average temperature would go anywhere from 17˚ C. Since the winter has passed away, the mornings and nights are no longer below the freezing point. At daytime, the temperature may rise to 20˚ C. The temperature is just perfect for trekking in Spring.
Since this is the peak trekking season it is difficult to get hotels and rooms. So, it is a wise idea to book this trek in advance especially if you are trekking independently.
Summer Season also referred to as rainy or Monsoon season is the time from June to August in Nepal. Nepal receives summer rainfall. Pokhara, the starting point to Annapurna Base Camp, witnesses the most rainfall in the country.
Some trekkers often call this season “off-season” due to the rain and landslides in the lower region and some possible avalanches in the higher mountain areas. It’s just a dramatic way of saying as “off-season” as trekking in Nepal is possible in any season. You just have to be prepared and plan your trek according to the season you are trekking.
The hilly regions are moist and wet at this time of the year so the trekking routes are likely to get muddy and slippery. The skies aren’t clear most of the time and it almost rains every evening and night. The morning has a different story and it might give you glimpses of clear snow-capped mountains on the horizon.
The trekking trail isn’t crowded at this time of the year. So it is a plus point for you as you will get to choose the best place to stay and won’t have to queue for your meals. Since it rains a lot, there is less pollution and dust and you will get the best view of the green landscape.
The weather is quite harsh as it is sunny in the daytime and can rain anytime. The average temperature will go up ranging from 18˚ to 25˚ C. The mornings and evenings are still chilly due to the occasional downpour. You have to be prepared and get an experienced guide and leader to trek this season as the trail are pretty slippery. Be sure to ask your leader for proper direction and management of the trekking gears beforehand.
Interested in this classic trek? Then here you go!
Useful Tips for Annapurna Base Camp
- Have contingency days incorporated in your trekking itinerary
- Hire local guides and porters, do not travel alone
- Learn safety rules while trekking
- Always carry local currency while traveling
- Acclimatize properly and be aware of the Altitude sickness
- Keep a steady pace
- Hire a local travel agency, a government registered one
- Stay hydrated
- Be physically and mentally ready
- Respect the local culture and traditions
There is not any other awesome adventure like Annapurna Base Camp Trek in Nepal. This trek is just perfect for anyone who loves to play with adventure. The difficulty of this trek also largely depends upon how well you prepare and how you choose to go with it. With a little bit of preparation, Annapurna Base Camp Trek is doable and relaxing.