Annapurna Base Camp Trek Faqs - Himalayan Glacier
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Annapurna Base Camp Trek Faqs

Trekking in Nepal along the various trails is an exclusive opportunity to experience the expected as well as some unanticipated occasions. Annapurna Base Camp trek FAQs will answer most of the small and big subject matters that are likely to come up during the spectacular walk on one of the most beautiful trekking trails on earth.

Frequently Asked Questions

Annapurna Base Camp trek is a relatively easier hike in comparison to the Everest Base Camp trek. The reasons behind it is because hiking to Annapurna Base Camp involves shorter days of trekking, reaching elevations of maximum 4,130m/13,550 feet, and staying for a minimum number of days on higher elevations. Also, because of the green forests in the low altitudes Annapurna region has more oxygen level in the air as compared with EBC trek. Annapurna Base Camp trek begins at an altitude of 800m/2,625 feet thereby allowing sufficient days for acclimatization.

Although Annapurna Base Camp trek may be easier than EBC trek, the fitness level required on both the treks isn’t any different. Trekkers do not require technical expertise or rock climbing and mountaineering skills as the trek is basically a long hike on low elevations in the green hills of Annapurna massif’s southern flank. The trek is only taxing because of its duration of 9 days hike with lots of uphill and downhill walks (11 days, including arrival and departure). However, the trek can be accomplished in 7 days by traversing the shorter route if you are short of time.

The best time to do Annapurna base camp trek is during the pre-monsoon months of March through to May. It is also favorable to trek during the post-monsoon months from late September till December. It is also possible to trek to Annapurna base camp in February and early September but the most preferable time for this trek is as stated above.

Yes, absolutely! Under normal circumstances, all our booked trips are guaranteed to run. Please note that you will still be doing your Annapurna Base Camp trek even if other hikers cancel their trip. This is one significant reason why Himalayan Glacier is different from other operators, who usually cancel their whole trip a month or even a week before the actual trip date.  We are a specialized tailor-made company, so the number of participants does not stop any of our trips. Remember to find us in case your trip has been canceled by your operator and you are in a last-minute stress so that we can assist in sorting out your trip decisions. Unless there is a situation which is out of our control such as a political riot, natural disaster, pandemic, epidemic or weather catastrophes, our trips are 100% guaranteed to run.

Himalayan Glacier offers a lifetime deposit policy which allows you the flexibility to transfer your deposit to anyone or any other trip. If you wish to cancel your booked trips, certain cancelation charges apply. Please visit our booking terms and conditions for detailed information.

You will be guided by our experienced trek leaders who have been to the base camp and back multiple times for years. All our guides are locals who communicate very well in English and acquire deep knowledge of the mountain, people, culture, health, hygiene, and most importantly your safety.

You need to pack light yet sufficient for at least 8 days on the Annapurna Base Camp Trek. Unless you pack wisely, it is certain that you will not be able to enjoy your journey in the Himalayas. Since this is a lodge-to-lodge trek, you will be sleeping in small lodges or teahouses during the entire trip. You need to be prepared with the right clothing and equipment as it may get colder at higher elevations especially during the cold months. For detailed information about what to carry with you during the trek, please visit our comprehensive packing list for Annapurna Base Camp Trek.

After a long day’s hike, a relaxing night of comfortable sleep is very much crucial for the next day’s walk. Keeping your comfort into account, we make sure to book the best lodge with two beds in each room and western toilet facilities wherever available. Normally, the beds are clean and comfortable with an electric blanket (upon availability) and attached bathroom for most nights. The room’s temperature is usually maintained at 10-12°C / 50-54°F.

Trekkers will enjoy 3 hearty meals on each trekking day. Usually, you will have breakfast and dinner at the same lodge where you will be staying for the night. Lunch will be provided at teahouses or small restaurants along the trail. You are free to choose your food from the menu at places wherever possible; they will serve you great food items – our leader makes sure that you are provided the right food. Throughout the trek, you will be given fruits to eat that are fresh and organic, either brought from Kathmandu or locally sourced at the local villages. The meals include a nutritionist-designed balanced diet comprising complex carbohydrates, proteins and fats. The chefs are trained in hygienic food preparation and allergy safety by Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP). If needed, vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and kosher diets can be arranged with prior notice.

Sample menu for Annapurna Base Camp Trek

Breakfast

  • Beverage: black tea, milk tea, ginger lemon honey tea, lemon tea, hot lemon with honey, black coffee, milk coffee, hot chocolate
  • Toast with jam or honey, toast omelet, pancake, Tibetan bread, porridge/muesli
  • Eggs on your choices
  • American breakfast or Continental breakfast

Lunch

  • Rice item: veg fried rice, egg fried rice, mixed fried rice, dal-bhaat
  • Noodle item: vegetable fried noodle, mixed fried noodle
  • Potato item: chips, fried potato, hash brown potato, veg fried potato, boiled potato
  • Burger: veg burger, chicken burger, veg sandwich, chicken sandwich
  • Pasta: spaghetti tomato sauce, macaroni cheese sauce
  • Pizza: veg pizza, tomato cheese pizza, chicken pizza, mushroom pizza
  • Momo (Nepali style dumplings): veg momo, chicken momo
  • Meat item: chicken sizzler, chicken steak, yak steak
  • Beverage: black tea, milk tea, ginger lemon honey tea, lemon tea, hot lemon with honey, black coffee, milk coffee, hot chocolate

Dinner

  • Soups: vegetable soup, mushroom soup, chicken soup, chicken noodle soup, Rara noodle soup, French onion soup, pumpkin soup, potato soup

Main Meals

  • Rice item: veg fried rice, egg fried rice, mixed fried rice, dal-bhaat
  • Noodle item: vegetable fried noodle, mixed fried noodle
  • Potato item: chips, fried potato, hash brown potato, veg fried potato, boiled potato
  • Burger: veg burger, chicken burger, veg sandwich, chicken sandwich
  • Pasta: spaghetti tomato sauce, macaroni cheese sauce
  • Pizza: veg pizza, tomato cheese pizza, chicken pizza, mushroom pizza
  • Momo (Nepali Dumplings): veg momo, chicken momo
  • Meat item: chicken sizzler, chicken stake, yak stake
  • Dessert:  apple pie, chocolate cake, carrot cake, apple fritter, canned fruit
  • Beverage: black tea, milk tea, ginger lemon honey tea, lemon tea, hot lemon with honey, black coffee, milk coffee, hot chocolate

You will be traveling with like-minded travelers from all round the world. As such, there is no age limit for doing this trek, but we are highly concerned about your physical and mental fitness as well as your previous hiking experience. As far as possible, we try to include the same age-group persons in a group so that the hiking pace among trekkers match and it becomes easier to walk together.

Annapurna Base Camp trek is a wonderful journey through gorgeous lakes, rhododendron forests, terraced paddy fields, and the scenic beauty of the Himalayas. Watching the snow-capped mountains of the Annapurna ranges, the local culture, the natural farmlands and the ecstatic beauty is a lifetime wonder. The 180 degree southern views of Mt. Dhaulagiri, Mt. Nilgiri, Mt. Hiunchuli, Mt. Machhapuchhre, and other Annapurna massifs from the Gurung village of the world-famous Gurkha soldiers are incredibly mind-blowing.

Poon Hill is a magnificent stop on the trail from where you can have a glimpse of the gorgeous Himalayan peaks up close.  The beautiful Annapurna Sanctuary protects the diverse flora and fauna and the landscapes and ethnic culture of the region. You will get ample opportunities to immerse in the cultures of the local Gurung and Magars. The Thakali and Loba villages at the foothills of Annapurna, Chortens and Buddhist monasteries on the trail create a tranquil atmosphere. More to that, it is a moderate level trekking journey up to Annapurna base camp where prior trekking experience is not mandatory. Likewise, risk of getting hit by altitude sickness is considerably low in comparison to other high altitude treks. There are plenty of teahouses on the trails so that the need of tenting is not necessary. Considering the reasons stated above, it is commendable for you to do the Annapurna base camp trekking.

The altitude of Annapurna base camp trek is 4,130m / 13,550 feet which is also the highest point of the trekking journey.

Officially, there are no deaths recorded during the Annapurna Base Camp trek. However, there have been deaths in the past due to natural disaster such as avalanches during the pre-spring season and landslides during the monsoons. On the ABC trail, there is a section above Deurali where trekkers need to take heavy precautions. Also, it is advisable to take information before crossing the section which is a notoriously dangerous zone especially during pre-spring and rainy seasons.

If we only consider the base camp, then trekking is probably not worth it because it is the valley of the massive Annapurna ice-mountains. The entire journey of the Annapurna Base Camp trekking trail is unique and diverse with fauna and flora including rhododendron forests, beautiful terraced paddy fields. The breathtaking view-point of Poon Hill at 3,210m / 10,532 feet, Annapurna Base Camp, and the villages of Landruk and Ghandruk offers unique values and panoramic vistas of the landscape making it worthwhile.

Normally, you will be eating healthy balanced meals that are easily available on the trail based on your properly scheduled itinerary. Losing about 7 to 10% of body weight is a common phenomenon for hikers, but it all depends on the appetite and some other factors. To compensate with the weight loss, most seasoned trekkers manage to eat a healthy diet, sleep adequately well and acclimatize their body well with the altitude. We always encourage all climbers to eat as much as possible for which we provide a perfectly balanced meal and sleep properly as well to get ample rest.

Annapurna Base Camp has different weather conditions during various seasons of the year. Spring season (March – May) is warm and the day temperature ranges from 17 to 20°C (63-68°F) with colder nights and early mornings. Summer or monsoon lasts from June to August with torrential rainfall, thunders and humid days and day temperature ranging from 20 to 25°C (68-77°F). Autumn (September – November) is the most recommended season to trek to Annapurna Base Camp when the weather is relatively more stable and reliable than the other seasons. The day temperature ranges from 15 to 17°C (59-63°F) while the nights and early mornings are as cold as 5 to 7°C (41-45°F). Winter (December – February) sees cold weather with temperature varying from 9 to 17°C (48-63°F) during the daytime while the nights and early mornings can get very cold, sometimes below 0°C (32°F). Winters are favorable for enjoying snowfall and breathtaking views of the snow-capped mountains.

Absolutely not! Annapurna Base Camp trek is extremely safe except at certain stretches of the trail during unfavorable seasons.  The steep slopes of the mountain section between Deurali and Machhapuchhre Base Camp are prone to landslides during the rainy season and avalanches during the winter. Hiking up to 4,130m (13,550 feet) to reach the base of the 10th highest mountain in the world means that trekkers are susceptible to high-altitude sickness without enough acclimatization. However, the extent of the harshness of the sickness is comparably lower than that of Everest Base Camp trek.

Annapurna Base Camp trek can be done through a mini circle route via Poon Hill which takes 10 days to complete. The shorter version of the trek requires 7-8 days to complete through straight up and downhill trails. On choosing the 10-day option, the second day of hiking from Ulleri up to Ghorepani is considered the first hardest part on the ABC trail. It is a long uphill walk through the rhododendron forests. A steep pre-dawn hike from Ghorepani to Poon Hill is another hard part of the trek, but the rewards are truly breathtaking with 360 degree views of the Himalayan peaks, green hills, and beautiful villages. Another hardest part of the trek is between Deurali and Annapurna base camp itself. This part is also the hardest section when you choose the 7 or 8 day option.

The number of days required for this trek as mentioned above is the actual number of trekking days only. Himalayan Glacier also incorporates the arrival day and departure day into the itinerary unless you don’t have other trip extensions.

Altitude sickness has been a major setback in most high-altitude treks in Nepal. Although there are no major risks involved, here are few tips tried and tested by our professional trek leaders and travel planners to avoid high altitude sickness during Annapurna base camp trek:

  • Slow ascend with proper rest and enough acclimatization
  • Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated at all times
  • Eat sufficiently a healthy balanced diet during the entire trek and sleep well
  • Avoid alcoholic beverages, cigarettes and tobacco products on the trek
  • Be head-strong and mentally prepared
  • Train your body to cope with uphill hikes with enough cardiovascular or gym workouts, at least 3 months prior to the trek

The Annapurna Base Camp trek is a 115 km (72 mi) round trip from the trailhead and can be accomplished within 7 to 11 days depending on which route you traverse. Most Annapurna base camp itineraries allow 7 days to reach the base camp and 3 days to get back down, again depending on the route. You will be spending the evening, the entire night and the early morning at the base camp before retracing your steps back. It means that you will be at Annapurna base camp for at least 18 to 20 hours.

During the Annapurna base camp trek, electricity is available at all the teahouses where you will spend the night. You can recharge your phones, laptop or iPads from micro-hydropower and solar panels by paying a nominal charge. Regarding Wi-Fi, there are no free hotspots along the trekking trail, so we do not encourage carrying your laptop. Some teahouses do offer paid Wi-Fi services on hourly basis, but don’t expect high speed connectivity on the remote trails.

No. Normally, oxygen is not required as our Annapurna Base Camp trek itinerary is designed in such a way so that it allows enough acclimatization. In addition, we provide Diamox, a medication that suppresses altitude sickness symptoms, from the beginning to prevent falling sick. However, in case of severe altitude sickness, we will descend to a lower altitude immediately, which is extremely rare in the Annapurna region trek.

Diamox is a medication which is generally taken as a preventive measure for altitude sickness and not to cure its symptoms. There is less risk of altitude sickness in Annapurna base camp trek in comparison with the Everest base camp trek. However, we will give you the medication from the beginning as a precautionary step. There is nothing to worry as your trekking leaders are well equipped with first aid kits and sufficient Diamox pills. It is advisable to consult with your doctor about any allergic reactions or side-effects that the drug may have on you.

The weather on Annapurna base camp varies differently in different seasons. The snow-capped Himalayan region is never really hot, not even during summer season. The maximum temperature during the day reaches up to 25°C / 77°F while the night temperature falls as low as -20°C / -4°F or sometimes lower. Considering the whole trekking journey, the lower hiking regions are much warmer than the base camp. Spring season is relatively hot especially during the daytime when there is no cloud or snowfall.

All the sections of the Annapurna base camp trek are not accessible by road. However, in case of an emergency, rescue by air ambulance will be made available as long as the weather is favorable for evacuation to either Pokhara or Kathmandu. You will then be taken to an international class hospital for your rehabilitation. Our operation team will be in contact 24×7 if any such emergency occurs during the trek.

Annapurna Base Camp trek is a moderate trek that does not require any technical expertise of mountaineering. A 115 km (72 mi) round trip from the trailhead may seem quite long, but considering a typical guided trek, you will be walking 8 out of the total 11 days. It means that you will be walking an average of 14.5 km (9 mi) per day up to the altitude of 4,130 m (13,550 feet). The trek is only grueling because of its duration of hiking days and traversing on a particular section in Deurali. Otherwise, it is a moderate trek that can be taken up by everyone and comparatively easier than Everest Base Camp trek or Annapurna Circuit trek.

No, you don’t need crampons for Annapurna Base Camp trek. You will just need a pair of good quality hiking boots and hiking poles for extra support and stability. However, if you are willing to trek during early spring i.e. January or February, then you might need crampons depending on the intensity of the snowfall.

Generally, the first symptoms begin to show 12-24 hours after arriving at high altitudes.  The different levels of altitude sickness have different symptoms. Symptoms of mild, short-term altitude sickness are dizziness, fatigue, loss of appetite, sleeping problems, general loss of energy, and shortness of breath. Sometimes, these symptoms may be accompanied by headache, nausea and vomiting.

Yes, cell phone networks can be found throughout the trails of Annapurna Base Camp trek. Most of the small villages and the hiking trails get cell phone coverage either by NCell or NTC networks. However, in certain areas, network coverage may be very poor or not available at all.

Unlike many other high-altitude treks in the Himalayas, Annapurna Base Camp trek is comparatively safer. The physical requirements are not too high, the maximum altitude is 4,130m (13,550 feet), and the routes are not so demanding on this trek. Our experienced and knowledgeable local guides and the committed crew members always remain alert about your safety.  Himalayan Glacier has a 98% success and safety record in the past. The remaining 2% are those trekkers who gave up midway due to their physical inability and loss of appetite or sleep during the trek. As far as safety issues, we have ZERO records of serious casualties or death records on this trek till date.

The Annapurna base camp trek is 115 km / 72 mi long and usually takes 7 to 12 days to complete depending on the route, the itinerary, length of walking days, and sometimes the trek operator. It takes around 5 days to reach the base camp and 3 days to get back down to the trailhead. Our Annapurna base camp trekking itinerary takes 12 days with 8 actual walking days.

Annapurna base camp trek is a moderate trek beginning at Nayapul, the trailhead which is 1,070m / 3,510 feet. The maximum altitude on the trek is the base camp itself resting at 4,130 m / 13,550 feet.

During the pre-winter, the storms can bring snow even at the lower regions, as low as 2,300m / 7,546 feet. In the mid-winter, snow covers most of the trails. The base camp is filled with so much snow and a glacier, a colossal lump of ice assembled in the valley. Apparently, the base camp looks dreamlike as it is surrounded by massive peaks, most of which are covered in huge portion of ice.

Unfortunately, you can’t see Mt. Everest from Annapurna base camp. Everest lies towards the east while Annapurna lies in the western part of the Himalayan range. Instead, it is possible to marvel at the magnificent views of Mt. Machhapuchhre, Mt. Dhaulagiri, and several other Annapurna ranges along the trail.

The starting point of Annapurna base camp trek is in the lush lowlands where you will trek through different terrains comprising terraced paddy fields and oak and rhododendron forests as you trek higher. The Annapurna expanse is comparably wetter than the Everest region meaning that you will be hiking through more forested and farm areas framed with superb greenery. The visible mountain peaks in the Annapurna region are Mt. Dhaulagiri, Mt. Gangapurna, Khangsar Kang, Tarke Kang, Mt. Hiunchuli, Mt. Machhapuchhre and the entire Annapurna range. In fact, at Annapurna base camp, you will be surrounded by the Himalayas from 360 degrees.

On the other hand, Everest Base Camp trek has drawn a lot of travelers with the stunning landscape throughout the trekking trail including stunning glaciers and ancient monasteries. At the base camp, hikers are literally surrounded by the great Himalayan giants towering tall in their most beautiful appearances. The vantage point of Kala Patthar, however, has the best views of Mt. Everest. The visible mountain peaks in the Everest region are Mt. Everest, Mt. Thamserku, Mt. Ama Dablam, Mt. Pumori, Mt. Lhotse, Mt. Cho Oyu, Mt, Nuptse, Mt. Imja Tse, and many others.

It is quite unlikely to catch excellent views of the mountains from anywhere else other than the Everest region. Saying so, Everest base camp trek is a little bit better than Annapurna base camp trek, in terms of scenery!

Both these treks have remained the all time favorite trekking destinations for adventurers and nature lovers. Both the treks have their peculiar features and specialties making both better in their very own ways. In terms of the altitude, the highest point on the Annapurna base camp trek is reasonably lower than that of Everest base camp trek, 4,130 m (13,550 feet vs. 5,545m 18,192 feet at Kala Patthar. So, if you are vulnerable to altitude sickness, then Annapurna Base Camp trek might just be better for you.

The trekking terrains in the Annapurna region are all good paths with fewer uphill climbs and gentler downhill hikes. Everest base camp trekking trails comprise hiking through deep river gorges and forests and ascend high ridges. Accommodation and food options in both the regions are more or less similar yet difference can be noticed in the bathrooms, with more of western toilets in the Everest region.

When it comes to difficulty level, then Everest base camp trek is undeniably a bit more challenging than Annapurna base camp trek. While Everest region trekking has a higher inclination towards altitude sickness, trekking in Annapurna region is relatively easier and safer as well. Ultimately, when it comes to cost, Everest base camp trek is obviously on the higher side due to several logical reasons including food and transportation cost, level of comfort, higher elevation, and accessibility.

Both Annapurna base camp and Everest base camp lie in the Himalayan region of Nepal. While Annapurna base camp is situated on the western region, Everest base camp lies on the eastern flanks. Annapurna base camp is located at an altitude of 4,130m / 13,550 feet while Everest base camp stands at an altitude of 5,364m / 17,598 feet. The elevation difference between the two is more than 4000 feet which means that the oxygen content in the air is less in Everest base camp. Obviously the risk of altitude sickness is much higher in Everest base camp and on any given day, it is much colder than Annapurna base camp.

Annapurna base camp trek route involves 7 to 12 days of adventure walk with a round trip of a total distance of 115 km / 72 mi. During the journey, you will be walking an average distance of 12 to 15 km (7-9 mi) on each day. Since there are different routes to traverse until Chhomrong and also the required number of days to accomplish the trek may vary, the total roundtrip distance also may differ to a certain extent.

Hiking up to Annapurna Base camp takes between 7 to 12 days considering factors such as the trekking route, walking hours per day, itinerary and also the tour operator. It is to be noted that 7 to 12 days are the actual walking days of the trekking journey. Himalayan Glacier incorporates the arrival day and the departure day as well in the trip itinerary unless you have a trip extension. We have Annapurna Base Camp Trek – 11 Days and Annapurna Sanctuary Trek – 14 Days that will allow travelers to reach up to Annapurna base camp, whichever is more favorable for them.

The food and accommodation on Annapurna base camp trek is pretty much the same as it is in Everest base camp trek. For sleeping comfortable, we always book the best lodge with two beds in each room with western toilet facilities and solar hot showers, wherever available. As you ascend higher above Deurali and towards the base camp, the accommodation will be basic with shared toilets and bucket shower. For food options, please kindly follow the same information as mentioned in the Everest base camp trek section; it is pretty much the same for Annapurna region too.

Buying mineral water bottles from shops situated on the trails is one possibility for drinking water. Carrying reusable water bottles and various forms of water purification agents is another possibility where tap or stream water can be purified before drinking. Water can be refilled in the bottles at the teahouses or in the streams or rivers available abundantly on the trail. When you are at your lodge, we recommend you to drink boiled water. Those who insist on drinking mineral water only should be ready to pay some extra cash as the price of bottled water rises as you go higher up.

Generally speaking, the cost of Annapurna base camp ranges from $1200 to $3500 per person although there is no actual math for the precise cost. The journey to the base camp of the world’s 10th highest mountain depends on factors such as the reputation and brand name of the operator with whom you book your Annapurna holidays. It also depends on the season that you plan to travel, the services or facilities you require, standard of accommodation and food options, and other aspects.

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