“Trekkers Paradise” is the perfect title for the Annapurna Base Camp trekking route. Diverse landscape and culture of the local ethnic groups are the main attractions of this trek. While many inquire about the Annapurna Base Camp difficulty, the trek is a moderate one which welcomes both the novice as well as the experienced trekkers. Like most of the treks, it is also quite demanding but with a bit of patience and perseverance, it is enjoyable achievable.
Well, this Camp is situated at an altitude of 4130 m and is one of the most popular trekking trails in Nepal after Everest Base Camp Trek. it is equally popular among solo and group trekkers, beginners as well as the experienced trekkers. The best views come after the hardest climb, this trek takes you to encounter the best panoramic view of the beautiful Annapurna range and many other mountains which are higher than 7000 meters.
The Annapurna Base Camp trek is a little demanding and a little challenging. With a strong body and a positive mindset, any level of trekkers can do the trek. Dare to encounter the challenges that Annapurna region possesses. You will have a wonderful trek that is worth the difficulties.
The many factors that determine the difficulty of the Annapurna Base Camp trek are as follows:
1. Altitude & Altitude Sickness:
During the Annapurna Base Camp trek, you will trek to the highest altitude of 4130 meters at the Base Camp. Walking to high altitude remote places isn’t so easy. With high altitude comes several challenges as well. The major difficulty while trekking in the Himalayas is the high altitude sickness. The oxygen level and atmospheric pressure in high altitude are comparatively lower than sea level.
Altitude sickness occurs due to the lesser and thinner availability of air at higher altitudes. It is quite common and normal problem. But, lack of precautions can lead to serious health problems. You may get symptoms like nausea, fatigue, diarrhea, headache, loss of appetite, insomnia, and others. Learning about altitude sickness and its remedies will go a long way.
If you get such signs and symptoms of altitude sickness while trekking, you should immediately return back to a lower altitude region. Do not ever ignore any such symptoms while you are trekking to a high altitude area. However, there are some tips that may help travelers reduce the risk of this problem.
The best would be to ascend slowly, sleep low, taking regular & required medications while on trek etc.
2. Weather & Temperature:
Weather is also the most important factor to look upon when planning in the trekking route as the weather in the mountain is really unpredictable. It can change drastically and the rise and fall in the temperature are entirely based on the weather condition, altitude and season.
Autumn season is the best season to trek Annapurna Base Camp because of the calm weather in the mountains at this time of the year. After autumn, spring is the best time to trek in the Annapurna region.
The best part of the Annapurna Base Camp Trek is, you can trek there in monsoon too as there will be less chance of downpour in this region. The whole region is rain shaded 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.
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.
Well, the worst part of facing a difficult situation is when you are unprepared. But with a bit of pre-information and preparation, anything is possible. The way a problem can be tackled will make you a lot experienced and prepared. Knowing about ways to handle a certain unpredictable situation will make you a lot wiser.
3. Trekking Experience:
Do you have previous high altitude trekking experiences? If yes, the Annapurna Base Camp Trekking will not be so difficult for you.
However, for a novice trekker, this can be a challenging trail since the trail leads to the base camp of the world’s 10th highest mountain. So, prior preparation for hiking is important if you are trekking the mountains for the first time. So, Make a few preparations before you go.
The trek demands a certain level of physical fitness. Get some physical exercise and training.
Also, you must have a strong determination and desire to trek. You must adjust to anything that might come along the way. You must eat what they serve.
Stay at the teahouses with the basic facilities. Do not start complaining about things after you are there.
The trail is definitely not a straight and smooth one. There are a lot of ups and downs. And this is a challenging task. You need to be focused. Even though this trek does not have any specific level of health and fitness requirements, the monotonous and steady up and down movement requires a much higher level of stamina and endurance.
Walking through the tedious ups and downs requires good stamina and patience. Some trekkers face the exhaustion during the trek. As you’ll pass through the long and steep 3300 step stone stairs. It does consume a lot of energy. Because the path is full of ups and downs. It is slightly more difficult than traveling on a hurdle free route.
Therefore, carrying along energy boosters and adequate amount of food will be helpful. And yes, keeping yourself hydrated is a must. It would be wise to plan your diet, supplements, and snacks that you choose to take along.
Also, if you feel you need to rest for the day, you can always choose a local accommodation in every few hours. Here trekkers can sit, rest or even spend the night for some sleep if they are tired.
Nepal is one of the most affordable trekking destinations in the world. However, the price of the goods and things you use will get more expensive as you reach the higher altitude rest stops. Transporting goods in the mountainous region is difficult. The only means of transportation in the Annapurna region is via mules or porters.
The cost of other food items and accommodation are more expensive in the higher regions as well. But after you get into the remoteness of the region, you will feel the price you’ve paid is very fair. The price of goods increases as you ascend further to the higher altitudes.
There is ATM facility available in different stations in Annapurna Base Camp Trek. But, It is best to carry some cash with you though.
6. Distance & Duration of Trek:
The average duration of the Annapurna Base Camp is 11 days. You can customize your trek. Some people reduce the number of trekking days. They go for the Short Annapurna Base Camp Trek. However, some people elongate the trek duration. 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.
You will have to walk for 6 to 7 hours a day during the trek. But if you are an experienced trekker, you can reach your destination sooner. This trail is a popular one and hence has signs at different intervals. It is usually packed with trekkers from all over the world. It’s busiest in 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.
If you choose the longer packages, you will have more time to rest and enjoy the trek. We have the best Itinerary for Annapurna Base Camp Trek.
Some Useful Tips on Annapurna Base Camp Trek Difficulty
Walk at a continuous pace throughout the trek. Take rest and water breaks while trekking. By doing so, you will feel less fatigue.
- Drinking lots of water. Keep your body hydrated. Try to avoid drinking alcohol and smoking during the trek.
- Do some exercises and training starting a month before the actual trek. Build up stamina and endurance for the tough walks over the rugged mountains.
- Do not go off track. You might get lost in the Himalayas and never come back.
- Always be aware of food and water hygiene. Try to avoid unhygienic foods and drinks during the trek.
- Take your time to acclimatize. Make a proper acclimatization schedule. Acclimating is crucial for a successful trek.
- Wear a knee cap if you have knee problems. The frequent walks uphill and downhill are killing.
- Take some energy bars or chocolates. First aid kit with basic medicines is a must.
The Annapurna Base Camp trek is perfect for all types of trekkers. Anyone with the right mindset and a little bit of training can do this trek. It is a perfect trek for beginners. Get some training and keep a strong mindset. You can beat every difficulty that might come along. This trek is once in a lifetime kind of experience.