The Annapurna Base Camp (ABC) Trek, a trail along the Annapurna region in the north-central region of Nepal, is believed to be one of the most popular trek destinations both in and outside Nepal.
Mt. Annapurna rises to 8,091 meters and is the 10th highest mountain in the world. The ABC Trek in particular is an itinerary of 11 to 16 days and designed for people wishing to reach the Annapurna Base Camp on foot, starting from the beautiful Lake City of Pokhara.
This invigorating trek passes through magnificent sceneries of charismatic waterfalls, villages, farmlands, rhododendron forests, and mountain vistas.
On the first day, you can board a bus in Kathmandu, Chitwan or Bhairahawa, or take a flight to Pokhara from where the trek kicks off. As it is a trek trail, you mostly spend six to seven hours in moderate walking everyday.
On the first day, after crossing the suspension bridge over the Khumnu Khola, you reach Ghandruk, an uphill and beautiful village mostly inhabited by Gurungs and stay for the night there. Another day, you take up a few steep climbs and descents from Ghandruk to Chhomrong.
The next morning, you head out of Chhomrong along the Modi Khola. Then you descend a series of long and steep stone steps into deep bamboo and rhododendron forests and reach Dobhan shortly. You can spend your night there at the lodge.
The following day, you take a gradual ascent of about four hours to reach Deurali. On the 5th day, you start your trek to the Machhapuchhre (Fishtail) Base Camp (MBC). The hike from Deurali to MBC is somewhat strenuous but the unfolding view of the majestic Machhapuchhre is certainly a rewarding experience.
Day 6 is the big day when you walk two to three hours from Machhapuchhre to the Annapurna Base Camp. The mesmerizing views of the Machhapuchhre, Annapurna South, Annapurna I, Hiunchuli and other peaks await you at the Base Camp. There you can find moderate accommodation lodges or teahouses to spend the night.
In the following three to four days, you head down to the valley, starting to descend from the ABC, back through the MBC, Deurali, Dobhan, and Bamboo to Naya Pul. As you start to descend, you will discover that heading down is much easier than climbing up.
The trek involves the vicinities of some of the highest mountains on the earth and the magnificence of the sunrise over the snow-capped Himalaya. Along the path, you also pass through a diverse range of geographical and cultural variations, and amazing variety of flora and fauna in between. Great views of the mid-western Himalaya, including Dhaulagiri, Manaslu, Machhapuchhre, and the five peaks of the Annapurna Range in Pokhara, are the first attractions of the trip. As you trek along, you pass through thick bamboo, oak and rhododendron forests up the side of the
canyons. Occasional glimpses of wildlife species like wild boars, deer, and maybe even snow leopards awe you. The scene of the magnificent sunrise over the Himalaya from the Annapurna Base Camp at dawn is something you will definitely savor for your lifetime.
The Annapurna Base Camp trek takes off from the Lake City of Pokhara at a mere height of around 800 meters above sea level to the high altitude of over 4,000 meters with gradual acclimatization process. So it should be planned sensibly while considering the vagaries of acute mountain sickness (AMS). Those with known heart, blood, or lung diseases are highly recommended to consult their doctors before they set out on a trip like this. A person of an average physical fitness and health, however, can successfully accomplish this trek. Some prior exercises and regular jogging will be of additional help. Nonetheless, keeping a positive attitude, confidence, and strong determination are the golden mantra.
Autumn (mid-September to mid-December) and spring (March to May) are the best seasons for the Annapurna Base Camp Trek. The days are sunny with marvelous views of the vistas, but the nights are usually cold and can even fall to freezing points. So pack your light T-shirts or pullover, and a down jacket. Sleeping bag rated to zero degrees Fahrenheit is a must. It is always good to carry a scarf or a sunhat along with a pair of UV protection sunglasses. Also pack your hiking shoes, and do not forget extra laces.
Himalayan Glacier (P) Ltd
source: republica, 04 OCT 2013