Annapurna Base Camp Difficulty
Ever wonder how the diversities, natural landscapes, and cultures of Nepal, then go for the Annapurna base camp trek.
It is a perfect package of witnessing the spectacular view of the Nepalese Himalayas, diverse terrain, natural landscapes as well as culture and tradition of Nepalese people.
Annapurna Base Camp trek is by far one of the easiest and shorter treks than any other high-altitude trek in Nepal. It is a journey to the Nepalese Himalayas.
This trek lets us witness the diverse terrain, culture, wildlife along with the spectacular close-up view of Annapurna, Machhapuchhre, Himchuli, and Dhauligiri.
In spring the trek showcases the beauty of nature. Spring is filled with beautiful flowers including the national flower, Rhododendron, orchids as well. Besides, the trek even offers to witness the deepest gorge Kali Gandaki gorge.
Trip Grade of Annapurna Base Camp
Annapurna Base Camp is a moderate-level trek. The trek starts from Kathmandu at an elevation of 1350m then drives or fly to Pokhara.
Then from Pokhara, drive to Nayapul at an elevation of 1070m, and pass through several villages in Syauli, Deurali and reach the base camp at an elevation of 4130m.
The trek to the base camp of the 10th highest peak in the world is a moderate level trek and trekkers with a moderate level of physical fitness can complete this trek.
Therefore, the trekkers who can walk for an average of 5-6 hours a day can be suitable for the trek.
How long is Annapurna Base Camp?
The trek to the Base camp of Annapurna is moderately difficult. Located at an election of 4130m, the total trek distance for the trek is 115km.
The trek can be done within 10-15 days depending upon the season and the trekkers. Your journey to Annapurna Base Camp starts with an elevation of 1350m and ends at an elevation of 4130m at base camp.
The average walking hours per day will be 5-6 hours. So, if you are Karen walkers you can complete the trek much earlier than the estimated days.
You can even reduce the trekking days and skip some of the parts if you have limited time in your hands. The trek differs according to the routes trekkers choose but do not take more than 15 days.
The Distance of Annapurna Base Camp
The total distance of the Annapurna Base Camp trek is around 115 km. Therefore, the trek takes about 10 to 15 days. You will be walking for 5-6 hours and 10 to 20 km every single day.
Ascending uphill descending downhill is challenging and harder than one thinks.
Walking to a high altitude with less amount of oxygen is challenging however, the challenges are worth it as you will be blessed with the stunning view of the Himalayan vistas.
You can customize your trek and reduce the number of trekking days. This will eventually reduce the total distance covered as well. However, some people elongate the trek duration and the distance is added as well.
Similarly, if you are an experienced trekker, you can reach your destination sooner. If you choose the longer packages, you will have more time to rest and enjoy the natural landscapes.
Difficulties of Annapurna Base Camp
Many trekkers who are willing to make Annapurna Base Camp their next trip destination have some frequent queries about difficulties. We can say that the Annapurna Base Camp trek is moderately difficult.
High altitudes, rough trails, and the weather and temperature can make this trek a bit more challenging. However, there is no such thing as impossible.
With a little bit of hard work and effort, you can complete the wonder bar camp trek to Annapurna.
The highest elevation of Annapurna Base Camp is 4130m. So, most of the trek is especially challenging because of the altitude, and weather.
Throughout the trek, you will be ranging between an elevation of 3000-4000m, where you have to pass through a few tough dry terrains, rough and steep, which are difficult to pass through.
Therefore, the route may be very tough at times, with the rise in altitude and rough trails. So, here are some of the difficulties of the base camp trek to Annapurna.
To a high-altitude trek like Annapurna Base Camp Trek, one of the major challenges is altitude sickness.
Likewise, people with low physical stamina and fitness may find it difficult to trek in such a high-altitude place where the amount of oxygen is comparatively low.
Despite being one of an easy trek to the Himalayas of Nepal, it is still very difficult for the freshers as well as intermediate.
As you climb higher, your body suddenly experiences new kinds of environments as the level of oxygen decreases, and the atmospheric pressure gets thinner.
Because of this, you may face difficulty in breathing and other several problems like vomiting, nausea, headache, loss of appetite, and most commonly fainting.
As altitude sickness may start above 2500m, where the base camp to Annapurna is at an election of 4130m. So, proper acclimatization is required to avoid altitude sickness in the Himalayan region.
Therefore, The Annapurna Base Camp Trek is seriously at a high elevation and almost everyone may experience some mild symptoms like headache or nausea.
Weather And Temperature
Weather and temperature are other factors that can create challenges in the trekking route to the Himalayas. As the weather in the mountain region is unpredictable.
It can change drastically. Similarly, the rise and fall in the temperature are based on the season and altitude. The higher the altitude, the more weather is unstable and unpredictable.
The temperature and climate in the Himalayan region are extreme. Though the days are warm, beautiful, and attractive, the winter season can be a little harsh and is the challenging season in the Annapurna Base Camp Trek.
There is a high probability of heavy snowfall which can block the trails and routes.
On the other hand, the temperature can be below 0 and can be decreased up to minus 17 degrees at night time. The temperature is normal and moderate during the daytime or under the sun time.
The heavy winds can flow anytime during the day while you are trekking. Therefore, one should be prepared and pack all the seasonal and essential clothes as per change in the weather and the climate condition.
Lack of Training
One of the most classic treks to the Himalayas of Nepal is the Annapurna trek. The route to this trek is not steep and difficult.
However, for the freshers who are new to mountain hiking, it can be a challenging trail. The trek to Annapurna base camp is the trek to the base camp of the world’s 10th highest iconic snow-capped mountain.
So for the trek to the base camp of the world’s 10th highest peak, one must be very careful regarding their physical strength and stamina.
Also, if you are trekking to the mountain for the 1st time, it will be very difficult for you if you lack physical training.
As for the trekking days, you have to walk almost 5-6 hours a day on average. And walking for 5-6 hours a day needs training and physical fitness.
So if you don’t have prior training, you might face several problems catching up with your group or you may slow down the trek due to the lack of stamina and training.
Likewise, your route consists of various ascends and descends. However, a downhill trek is easier than an uphill trek.
You will get tired within a short period of walking uphill at a higher altitude because of less amount of oxygen up in the mountains.
Therefore before joining the trek make sure to have prior training. To maintain your fitness, you can start with simple exercise such as stretching, jogging, swimming, skipping
Accommodation Food And Drinks
Accommodation in Annapurna Base Camp
Before heading out on any trekking adventure everyone should consider the accommodation services in that area. you should have someplace where you can safely lay your head and blow all your tiredness and problems.
So Annapurna base camp trek gas the following modes of accommodation services.
Some several Hotels and lodges provide the best accommodation facilities to the trekkers on these routes. You will be provided with a tourist-friendly hotel and lodges that suit your budget.
Apart from the basic accommodation facilities, you can also find the luxury and deluxe hotel and lodges in the Annapurna Base Camp trails.
The lodge and hotels are comfortable and affordable and provide you the facilities like comfortable beds with a pillow, electric blankets, hot and cold showers, free wifi, and many more.
You will be staying in a hotel and lodges in Kathmandu Pokhara and Ghandruk mostly.
Tea House Accommodation
Another mode of Accommodation in an Annapurna Base Camp trek is the Teahouse Accommodation. It is the local and popular accommodation in the trial of Annapurna Base Camp.
The locals of those areas run tea houses which are well managed and provide you with all sorts of service and facilities.
Tekkers take a rest after a long tiring day walk and plan for the further walk, get an opportunity to explore the picturesque village, and also enjoy a unique culture and tradition.
The accommodation service in the local teahouse includes a basic wooden bed with a simple mattress, pillow, and a blanket with solar and electric heater shower.
Similarly, you’ll be provided with a western, attached bathroom with a hot and cold water shower service. However, the service and facilities get limited as you rise higher in the altitude.
Teahouse accommodation comes in the budget but due to the lots of visitors in the crowded trial, you may have to share your rooms with your friends.
Those who are alone have to share the room with another person of the same gender in peak seasons to the base camp.
If you want to stay away from tea houses and lodges you can have camping accommodation as well. This type of accommodation is mostly done by the climber planning to climb Mt Annapurna.
Besides, it is also done in remote areas and regions where there are very few teahouses and other accommodation facilities.
Few tents are used for the accommodation with cooking staff and many crew members for the different works.
Though camping accommodation is very beautiful in the Annapurna base camp people normally avoid it due to the easy access to the teahouse and lodges.
Food And Drinks in Annapurna Base Camp
The typical Nepali food Dal, Bhat, and tartaric is the main dish served in the Annapurna region.
You will get served a generous portion of steamed white rice, lentils, vegetables, spinach, pickles, and others in the tea houses and lodges. Dal Bhat is a nutritious meal that provides instant energy during the trek.
Besides, there are options for other food as well. For breakfast, you will have eggs and bread with milk or tea. Similarly, for the lunch, it’s either Daal Bhat curry or roti.
Likewise, in curry items, you have options here whether you want a meat curry or vegetable curry. For dinner, you can have the same Nepali item.
However, several soups are served to keep your body warm and energetic. Some of the guesthouses may offer some western foods such as momos, soup noodles, sandwiches, etc.
Interested in this fabulous trek? Then here you go!
Facts About Annapurna
- The word Annapurna means ” the God of or the God of nourishment” for Hindus
- In Sanskrit, the word Annapurna means ” full of food”
- Annapurna is the massif in the Himalayas Northcentral Nepal where Annapurna I is the world’s 10th highest peak
- The Annapurna massif includes Annapurna I, II, III, IV, and Gangapurna.
- The top part of the Annapurna is formed with limestone which is the same as Dhaulagiri and Everest.
- It is one of the most dangerous 8000m peaks to climb where the success ratio is just 38%.
- Annapurna Massif is protected in the Annapurna Conservation area.
- Annapurna offers the highest number of the Trekking routes
The difficulty of Annapurna Base Camp Trail
You are trekking into the Himalayas at a higher altitude so it’s very obvious that the mountainous trails are not smooth. There will be lots of ups and downs and the trails are difficult sometimes.
The trails and routes are not smooth and plain as it is filled with uphills and downhills. So, throughout your trek, you have to ascend and descends through the rough unpitched roads.
Walking continuously to tedious ups and downs requires good stamina and patience. Some trekkers face exhaustion and some may suffer from altitude sickness during the trek.
Eventually, you’ll pass through the long and steep 3300 step stone stairs.
The difficulty of Annapurna Base Camp According to Seasons
The base camp trek to Annapurna is possible throughout the year. Although, the trek to the mountains of Nepal is not possible throughout every season. Annapurna base camp trek is an exception.
However, the trek to Annapurna base camp can be a little more challenging mostly in the winter and Monsoon seasons.
The weather gets much colder in the winter seasons and the temperature drops below freezing points in the Annapurna region.
Mostly in the winter season because of heavy snowfall the routes are covered with snow, which makes it challenging for the trek.
However, choosing the winter season for the trek can cause you to add extra gear and backpacking to your trek.
On the other hand, there might be chances of landslides, and mudslides in the lower region during the monsoon season.
You will either have to stop in the upper section or will have to halt your journey at the lower season because of landslides.
As the monsoon season attracts fewer trekkers to this trek, however, the trek can be much more adventurous during this season with the right packing list and guide.
Autumn is the peak season for the base camp trek to Annapurna. The weather is in favor of the trekkers offering them the panoramic scenario of the Himalayas and the landscapes.
Walking under the clear blue sky, with the mesmerizing view of Mt. Annapurna Massif along with Machhapurchre, Manaslu, Dhaulagiri, etc autumn is one of the favorite seasons for trekking.
Despite being a popular season, you will still encounter several difficulties during the base camp trek. Autumn is the busiest trekking season to the Himalayas of Nepal. So, if you are a peace lover, you should be conscious of the crowd.
On the other hand, because of the crowd, there may be difficulties in arranging the accommodation. You may have to share the room with other visitors of the same gender.
So if you want privacy, you may not get it in this season. You may have to stay in line for the food and also the cost of accommodation is quite higher than in the off-season.
Winter is harsh in the mountains region. It is cold and sometimes the temperature drops to freezing point. The trek to the Annapurna base can’t in winter is challenging.
The winter in Nepal starts in December and lasts till January. In the winter season, it may snow anytime as the weather keeps on changing drastically making it harder to reach the destination.
Most of the trails in the upper region get covered in snow making it harder for the trek. Even the sunlight in winter is not warmer so even in the daytime you have to wear thick clothes.
Besides, winter nights are very harsh. The temperature trips to freezing points at -17 degrees Celsius. Out of all the biggest risks is the avalanche risk in winter.
Spring presents the best of the Annapurna base camp trek. The weather is fresh with the blooming of flowers and natural vegetation.
In the panoramic scenario of blooming Rhododendron with stable weather one will be pleased to walk around the beautiful village witnessing the majestic view of the high Himalayas.
However, there are several challenges one has to face during the spring seasons as well.
Being another peak season for the trekking adventure in the mountains of Nepal, trek routes remain crowded and busy everywhere. Also, like Autumn, finding accommodation rooms is difficult.
And you have to share rooms with fellow trekkers because of the limited number of guest houses. The upper region is still very cold and there is a change of rainfall making the routes slippery and challenging.
The days in summer are hot and more humid in the lower regions of the trek. Daytime hikes are difficult as you will feel hot and will get more sweaty.
Also, the trek becomes slippery due to frequent rainfall. The risk of avalanche falls is higher in summer. Because of heavy rainfall, there may be mud falls in the trail to the Annapurna Base Camp.
The dark clouds of the summer cover beautiful mountain vistas. The weather is so unpredictable as it may rain anytime.
Because of the rain, there may be delays in the flight or even some flights may get canceled. Similarly, you may have to halt the journey because of heavy rainfall. Leeches and bugs are everywhere in the routes.
Useful Tips for Annapurna Base Camp
Annapurna Base Camp is a wonderful trek that lets you enjoy the vistas of the mountains. The base camp to the 10th highest peak in the world is worth visiting.
So, if you want to make the trek much more memorable and comfortable here are some tips you can follow.
Throughout the trek walk at a continuous pace. Your speed needs to be moderate neither fast nor slow. If you speed up, you will lose your stamina quickly and if you slow down you will have difficulties catching up with others.
So walk at the same speed if you want to complete the trek in a limited amount of time.
Drinking lots of water. During the trek to a higher altitude, it is necessary to keep your body hydrated. Choose to stay hydrated, grab water every once an hour.
Besides, staying hydrated helps you get a lower risk of altitude sickness and your body needs water for an extra trek.
Your body will dehydrate quickly when you trek to high altitudes so you will need to compensate more by drinking a lot of water. Also, try to avoid drinking alcohol and smoking during the trek that will only slow down your speed.
To a higher altitude trek like Annapurna, one must build up Physical strength and stamina.
So, start doing some exercises and training starting a month before the actual trek. Build up stamina and endurance for the tough walks over the rugged mountains.
Never go off track to the route of the Himalayas as you might get lost in the Himalayas.
Always be aware of what you eat and drink during the trek. Try to avoid unhygienic foods and drinks as much as possible as it will make you sick and you have no other choice than to halt or canceling the trek.
Acclimatization during Annapurna Base Camp
Take your time to acclimatize. Make a proper acclimatization schedule. Acclimatization helps you to get adjust to the high altitude and lower the risk of altitude sickness. Acclimating is a crucial factor for a successful trek.
Walking for an average of 5-6 hours a day is not a joke. You may suffer from some knee problems. So, wear a knee cap if you have knee problems. The frequent walks uphill and downhill are extremely hard for the beginners as well as the intermediate as well.
Take some energy bars or chocolates. Sugary foods will increase your stamina. So, you need to have physical fitness and stamina as much as possible for the success of the trek.
A first aid kit with basic medicines (if in case you are taking some) is a must.