The twisty turns and the steady stone slopes. The hurdles in the path but also the view of excellence beauty along the journey has invited many travelers, trekkers to the base of the tenth highest mountain of the world, Mt. Annapurna. The challenging paths and the mind-blowing scenarios that thrill the trekker passing by are popularized by the name Annapurna Base Camp Trek. The trial used to set a legendary record of climbing the mountain over 8000m for the first time however is not so easy.
With high altitude and mountain regions, the trek gets harder and harder even than before. Difficulty in the trek is directly proportional to the altitude we ascend. Unlike Everest Base Camp Trek and Manaslu Circuit Trek which is at the very high altitude, you are less likely to suffer from altitude sickness. Being a moderate trek, Annapurna Base Camp trek is ascended by a large number of people every year. So let’s hear out why Annapurna Base Camp trek is called a difficult trek, though many people do it every year.
Hiking trekking or walking difficulty
If you haven’t done any trekking at the higher altitude or mountain region, then be sure Annapurna Base Camp Trek will take the shit out of you. The trek isn’t so hard for the people who trek once in a week or month. The main part of the difficulty in trekking is that you have to walk with your heavy backpack for about 7 to 8 hours a day with that heavy trekking boot of yours. It already sucks right? Now imagine yourself with all that heavy backpack and boots climbing up almost 3000 steady stairs. Felt better? And if you are not a person who walks around normally, or does some exercises then its the real deal for you.
But take a chill pill. Well, this can help you out. Prior to the days of trekking, go run or walk with a heavy backpack that will prepare your shoulder for the upcoming days. Along with that, wear your trekking boot frequently, believe me, you are not got put it off until the day ends for a week.
And if you have some extra days off at Kathmandu or Pokhara, go a day hiking to get the teaser of how your trek will feel like.
Altitude Difficulty in ABC TREK
The next thing that hits up when we go to the mountain region is its altitude. From Kathmandu (1400 m ) above sea level or from Pokhara (800 m) which is even lower to Annapurna Base Camp (4130 m) is not an easy journey.
The thin oxygen level makes it difficult to grasp our breath. So, we should plan our itinerary and acclimatization day carefully.
Apart from the altitude, you also have to be careful about trekking. You shouldn’t trek long and reach a higher altitude at once. Just step slowly in your trek. Enjoy the surreal beauty it holds and move accordingly. The small layups in the altitude will help you to accommodate better at a higher altitude.
Altitude Sickness difficulty in Annapurna base camp trekking
Altitude Sickness is not so common in the Annapurna Region. However, it should not be taken lightly too. Referring itself as the mountain sickness, if not treated well in time it can be scary.
You can check out the symptoms of Altitude Sickness and be cautious.
- Nausea and vomiting
- Dizziness and poor sleep
- Effects similar to a hangover.
- Difficulty in catching a breath
- A High rate of heartbeat
- Difficulty in stopping cough
- foam in saliva
- Saliva might contain blood.
- Your lips, nails, and tongue might slowly turn blue.
- Unclear vision
- Confusion in simple things.
- Difficult to walk heel-in-toe on a straight path.
If you feel any type of these symptoms please take enough rest. Consult the medical personnel or the local guides they can help you with those situations. If you didn’t feel well descend lower and spend a night. In some of the cases, people feel better after staying in the lower areas for the night and trek up after they feel good. Besides that, if you still feel unwell you to leave your trek.
Some tips that might help you to stay away from the altitude sickness are listed below. Hope these points will be your great help.
- Strengthening your body with appropriate training before the ABC trek.
- Maintain a high level of hydration during the trek.
- Avoid alcohol while trekking.
- Go slow during your trek.
- Have low altitude gains.
- Maintain cleanliness
- In case you observe the symptoms, make a descent to lower altitudes.
And a pro tip for you. Take a bit of garlic in your mouth and ascend further. This will help you to cut the sickness. And for your information, some of the locals will advise you to do so if you feel difficult. So, yeah don’t forget the garlic if you are going to a higher altitude.
Annapurna Base Camp Trek Duration
The base camp trek is nearly a week long. Depending upon how much you spend your time on the itinerary. Else it can take up to 10 to 12 days.
Altogether, you have to travel a total distance of 115 km all in the trek. This particularly means you have to travel nearly 10 km to 20 km each day. The trails are well managed and can be accessed without difficulties. However, it depends on which season you are visiting the Annapurna Base Camp.
Before you reach the Annapurna Base Camp, you will be staying at Macchapuchre Base Camp. Yeah, you heard it right. You will be visiting the base camp of two splendid mountains at the same time. Yeah, the double fun, the double adventure, the double thill, and the double challenges.
Seasons and their difficulties during Annapurna Base Camp Trek
The beauty of Annapurna Base Camp Trek is that regardless of the season you do the trek. Annapurna Base Camp will blind you with its own uniqueness and beauty always. The beautiful sunrises, magnificent wilderness, and the steady paths of highs and lows, ups and down never fail to mesmerize the trekker with its beating beauty.
Autumn season in ABC Trek
To begin what Autumn season at ABC Trek feels like I would like to start with a quote. “The best view doesn’t afford a single crowd.” Yeah, you heard me right. The autumn season which lasts from September to November is the peak season to trek for Annapurna Base Camp.
The clear skies, calm weather, maybe a bit of rainfall, and the surreal view of mountains are everyone’s weaknesses. So, if everything is at its best, then what’s the difficulty doing Annapurna Base Camp right?
Well, due to a large number of people flowing towards the Annapurna Base Camp for its exceptional scenarios. The tea shops, hotels, and even the trail will be overcrowded. Imagine going on a trek for peace, and you never get it. So, if you are an ideal peace lover, the Autumn season might not work for you.
Also, the hotels, are filled with travelers. So, if you don’t go without an agency you might be in mess. The rooms must be pre-booked and the services will be served late due to more guests in the hotel.
Besides the amazing view, it might be not good for an Annapurna Base Camp Trek if you plan to enjoy your vacation.
Starting with the June of the year and going through July and August, the summer season has the hottest and the high rainfall effect on the Annapurna Base Camp Trek. The lower altitude regions are difficult to trek because of the high temperature and humidity. Also because of the regular rainfall, the trails are slippery and have more chances for a landslide.
Trekking in the scorching sun isn’t fun at all. Plus the risk of landslide, uncertain rainfall may interrupt your itinerary for a day or two. So if you are trekking to Annapurna Base Camp in the summer season then be sure to have two or three fine extra days. Additionally, not sure about the beautiful views of mountains but the dark clouds appear often in the summer in the upper region. So, you can get a bit disappointed by the view it will block.
However, besides the hast, uncertainties, risk and food and accommodation becomes a little cheap at that time of year. Greenery and peace are everywhere. Not too many people do the trek in the Summer season. So you and your squad enjoying the whole route.
Winter Season in Annapurna Base Camp
The winter season in Nepal starts at the beginning of December and lasts till the month of February. The best thing about the Winter season is that its the best time to watch mountains being snowcapped and shining like a diamond.
The trials might be covered with the falling snows which can give the inexperienced trekkers a hard time. Behind that, you can also get the offseason discounts in different hotels and homestays. But the freezing weather can knock you down so, get warm clothes, jackets boots everything you have. The Macchapuchre Base Camp and Annapurna Base Camp will be a god damn attractive at this time of year.
Summarizing that up, every season has its own kind of difficulties to do the Annapurna Base Camp Trek. If you want to get knowledge about how difficult trek is ABC trek then you can probably do the Ghorepani Poonhill Trek or Mardi Himal Trek that provides you an excellent view of sunrise that shines over Annapurna Ranges.