Climbing Mount Annapurna
Nepal has many beautiful places. One of the most extraordinary and beautiful places in the world is the Annapurna Mountain region. Therefore, climbing Mount Annapurna is also a dream of many adventurers. It is situated in western Nepal. The profoundly spiritual land, in between the mountains, does comprise a unique cross-section of human culture and natural habitats. Annapurna Region is blessed with lush vegetation and it a trekking paradise with the hustle and bustle of tourists. The sheer beauty of the mountains adds the heavenly taste to this trip and I am sure that it would surely cast a captivating effect in the memory of the visitors forever and ever.
Mount Annapurna is one of the prominent mountain peaks that is located in the Annapurna Massif. It is the tenth highest mountain in the world. Annapurna is the most treacherous mountain peak if we talk about its difficulty grade.
On June 3, 1950, the French climbers Maurice Herzog and Louis Lachenal reached the summit of Annapurna, making it the first eight thousand meter peak ever successfully climbed.
Annapurna Region of Nepal is the Royal Trekking and Hiking destination in Nepal. It is the most trekked region as well. The region is best among the others in terms of the presence of the mountains, lush scenery, and socio-cultural aspects.
This article has featured the difficulty of climbing Mount Annapurna.
Table of Contents
- 1 The difficulty of Climbing Mount Annapurna
- 2 How Hard is Climbing Mount Annapurna?
- 3 Difficulty Factors of Climbing Mount Annapurna
- 4 Best Time for Climbing Mount Annapurna
- 5 Climbing Routes to Mount Annapurna
- 6 Permits Required for Climbing Mount Annapurna
The difficulty of Climbing Mount Annapurna
Annapurna is one of the most dangerous mountain peaks to climb. Experienced climbers consider Mount Everest easier than mount Annapurna. Now anyone can assume how hard is Climbing Mount Annapurna. Many trekkers and visitors worry about the risks involved in any trek or climb before thinking further about it. Climbing Mount Annapurna is among the dangerous climbs because it has pretty unstable weather, steep trails, rugged terrain, crevasses, avalanches, and treacherous glaciers.
Many climbers have died due to crevasse falls or fall from a cliff. Sometimes, stepping on the unstable ground has resulted in injuries and death. So, the glacial structure and geology of Annapurna also make this mountain more dangerous than other peaks of similar height.
Like most of the climbs, 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 Climbing Mount Annapurna 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. Climbing Mount Annapurna is a challenging one and 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 Hard is Climbing Mount Annapurna?
Mount Annapurna is a very dangerous mountain. It is a treacherous mountain peak for experienced or professional climbers as well. With a near 40% summit fatality rate, a mountaineer is more likely to die here than on any other 8,000m climb. The threat of storms and avalanches loom over the mountain’s hulking glacial architecture. The south face, in particular, is widely considered the most dangerous climb on Earth.
Difficulty Factors of Climbing Mount Annapurna
Mountain climbing is the biggest adventure and thrilling activity in the world. Whenever we talk about the difficulty of climbing any mountain peak, we normally consider their height as the most common difficulty. However, there is not only one feature that makes the climb difficult. Here we are going to discuss some factors that determine the difficulty of climbing Mount Annapurna:
Mount Annapurna is one of the deadliest mountains to climb because of its height. The mountain peak summits 8,091 m and is the tenth highest peak in the world. The mountain has been described as relatively difficult by professional climbers as well. The mountain is the most dangerous peak of the world as the deaths of the climber’s toll the highest in comparison to any other mountains of Nepal. Some parts of this mountain are even more difficult than Everest and K2.
Weather at high altitudes is always unpredictable. The weather at the Annapurna I is also the same. The weather can change at any time which also makes the climb difficult. Annapurna remains cold and covered with snow throughout the year. On the top of the mountain, there will be the fierce blow of wind and snowfall in any season. Due to the jet stream and unstable weather, many climbers feel the climb very strenuous.
Another important factor that makes the climb of Annapurna difficult is its rugged terrain. The cliff and narrow and rugged trails are not easy to cross. The trails also make the pace of your journey slow and strenuous. The trails are not straight and smooth. Trekking and climbing on the trail with a lot of ups and downs aren’t so easy.
The deadliest crevasses are the reason for the deaths in Annapurna Mountain. They are really treacherous and life-threatening. There are many such crevasses and trekkers, however careful, may accidentally become the victim. Annapurna also has many seracs, crevasses, sharp ridge, and other difficult elements. Needless to say, it is challenging, and even deadly to cross these sections of the mountains
Glaciers are also the main reasons that make the climb dangerous. Annapurna Mountain also has too many glacial fields and they are really very challenging. The melting of glaciers or abrupt burst of the glaciers hurt many trekkers and climbers.
Another most common reason for the deaths in Mount Annapurna is Avalanche. Many steep and vertical ice walls may fall anytime. The mountain is prone to snow-slides due to the ever-changing climate and steep topography.
The mountain is a shell of glaciers and in the cold, it stays firm. But as soon as the weather gets warm, the layer of ice on the surface softens causing an avalanche. Thus, to avoid the catastrophe, most climbers scramble the mountain before sunrise.
Ice-Falls and Route
Mount Annapurna also has several ice walls which also is a risk imposing factor in the mountain. On the other hand, the routes of the Annapurna are also not well explored. Though it is the first submitted mountain peak above 8000 m, climbers are yet struggling against the old, unverified, and complicated route to the summit.
Weather and Temperature at ABC
Weather and temperature are the major factors that can create difficulty in trekking. The weather of the mountain is really unpredictable. It can change any time and the rise and fall in the temperature are entirely based on the weather condition, altitude, and season.
The comfort and success of any treks largely depend upon the time of the trek. Autumn and spring seasons are the best time to visit the Annapurna. The Autumn season is the best season to trek Annapurna because the weather is calm during this time of the year. On the other hand, spring days are pleasant with adequate sunshine and clear views over the Himalayas.
The best part of Climbing Mount Annapurna is, you can undertake this climb even in the monsoon. Though Nepal receives heavy rainfall during summer, this region does not. The whole region is in a rain shadow region and that is why the monsoon does not affect this area too much.
The average temperature at Annapurna Base Camp in autumn and spring will be ranging from 15 to 20 degrees centigrade on a sunny day, whereas in summer, the temperature ranges from 20 to 25 degrees.
The Winter season is the most challenging time in Annapurna Base Camp Trek. In winter, there is the possibility of heavy snowfall and temperature can decrease up to minus 17 degrees centigrade at night time. The temperature is moderate during the daytime under the sun.
Therefore, you must be more conscious about weather patterns and pack accordingly. The right amount of gears plays a vital role to make your trip pleasant, comfortable, and successful.
Best Time for Climbing Mount Annapurna
Although spring and autumn are regarded as the best season for Trekking and Hiking in Nepal, they can be done all year round. Basically, Nepal experiences four seasons and each season has its own distinct feature. Here, we are going to tell you in short about it. Let’s have a look.
Autumn Season (September- November): This is the best time to trek in Nepal. The weather will be lovely during this season. Moderate temperatures, clear sky with outstanding views will attribute to make your trek a lifetime memory.
Spring Season (March-May): This is another best time to visit Nepal. The temperature will still be moderate. It will be warm even at high altitudes. The trekking trails will be decorated with different varieties of wildflowers like Rhododendrons. This season also affords appealing mountain views.
Winter Season (December- February): Though winter is counted as the off-season for trekking in Nepal, it is an ideal option for trekkers who don’t like to travel in crowded trails. There will be snowfall at higher elevations and it gets colder during the night. Days are still warmer with plenty of suns shines and clear blue skies. Winter can be the best time to trek towards Everest Base Camp, Annapurna Dhaulagiri Trek, and Annapurna Sanctuary Trek, etc.
Summer Season (June- August): Nepal experiences summer rainfall. Therefore, trekking will be difficult during summer. The trails will be wet, muddy, and slippery. There will be occasional floods and landslides in some places. However, rain shadow zone like Manang and Mustang may offer perfect traveling experiences even in winter.
Climbing Routes to Mount Annapurna
Situated in the heart of Nepal, The Annapurna Massif is the Massive Massif with more than 30 climbing peaks. Annapurna I, Annapurna II, Annapurna III, Annapurna IV are some of the prominent peaks of this massif. Annapurna I (8,091 m) is the highest peak of this massif. It is one of the most beautiful mountain peaks in the world. Annapurna Massif has 13 peaks of more than 7000 m and 16 peaks of more than 6000 m altitudes.
Annapurna I is the world’s tenth highest mountain peak. The peak was first submitted by a French Expedition Team in 1950. This is the deadliest mountain peak. Annapurna I has killed comparatively more mountaineers than any other peaks on the same massif. This peak is the most difficult one. It has the highest fatality to the summit ratio.
So far, the climbers have discovered 12 different climbing routes of this deadliest peak. Among those routes, the North-West route is quite easy and the South Route is the hardest one. Here, I am going to discuss these two routes:
North-West Route of the Annapurna I
Many climbers say that the Northwest route, New Route, of Mount Annapurna is the standard route because it is logical and safe. It is very much safer than the nearby northwest butter, which has been fatally attempted by several expeditions over several years. The climb starts from the Annapurna North Base Camp. Maurice Herzog and his expedition team had discovered and set up this route. However, this route is still unknown to many trekkers and climbers. This is nowadays a commonly used route by climbers.
Annapurna South Ridge Route
Climbing Mount Annapurna via South Ridge Route is considered difficult and technically challenging with steep sections on the summit ridge as well as traversing of steep and slippery slopes below the summit. However difficult, many climbers still undertake the climb through the south edge route. The route has some very technical sections with the final most difficult ascent. If you are well-acknowledged in vertical and technical mountaineering, you will do it without any dangers.
Permits Required for Climbing Mount Annapurna
Annapurna Base Camp Trek passes through Annapurna Conservation Area. Any foreigners who come to visit this trek must obtain Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) Permit and Trekking Information Management System (TIMS) Card. These permits can be obtained from Nepal Tourism Board in Kathmandu. ACAP costs NPR 3000 and TIMS Card costs around NPR 1000. You can also obtain Annapurna Conservation Area Project Permit from the Nepal Tourism Board office in Pokhara and TIMS Card from the TAAN office at Pokhara.
Outline Itinerary for Climbing Mount Annapurna
Day 01: Arrive at Kathmandu [1345m/4411ft] and transfer to Hotel
Day 02: Sightseeing at Kathmandu & Climbing Preparation
Day 03: Drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara [820m/2689ft]
Day 04: Drive to Nayapul & Trek to Tikhedhunga [1577m/5172ft]
Day 05: Trek from Tikhedhunga to Ghorepani [2855m/9364ft]
Day 06: Morning hike to Poonhill [3210m/10528ft] & Trek to Tatopani [1190m/3903ft]
Day 07: Trek from Tatopani to Ghasa [2010m/6592ft]
Day 08: Trek from Ghasa to Lete [2480m/8134ft]
Day 09: Trek from Lete to Thulo Bugin Campsite [3260m/10692ft]
Day 10: Trek from Thulo Bugin to Hum Khola [4286m/14058ft]
Day 11: Trek from Hum Khola to Miristi Khola [4130m/13546ft]
Day 12: Trek from Miristi Khola to North Base Camp [4190m/13743ft]
Day 13-45: Climbing Period Mount Annapurna I [8091m/26538ft] and descend back to base camp
Day 46: Trek from Base Camp to Miristi Khola
Day 47: Trek from Miristi Khola to Thulo Bugin Campsite
Day 48: Trek from Thulo Bugin Campsite to Lete
Day 49: Trek from Lete to Ghasa
Day 50: Trek from Ghasa to Tatopani [2520m/8265ft]
Day 51: Trek to Beni [875m/2870ft] & Drive to Pokhara
Day 52: Drive from Pokhara back to Kathmandu
Day 53: Leisure day at Kathmandu
Day 54: Transfer to International Airport for Departure
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