How Difficult is the Annapurna Base Camp Trek?
Annapurna Base Camp Trek is a dream destination for every trekker from all around the world. But trekking to the base camp of the world’s tenth mountain, Mt. Annapurna is not an easy task. The Annapurna Base Camp trail goes through diverse terrains full of ups and downs. Plus the altitude brings up different hurdles along the way.
But the journey to the base camp, conquering all the Annapurna Base Camp Trek difficulty is a lifetime experience. The ABC trek is quite a demanding trek, but with proper preparation and a positive mindset, this trek is suitable for all age groups.
So how difficult is the Annapurna Base Camp Trek?
Annapurna Base Camp Trek may not be considered as a difficult trek because many other treks in Nepal beat ABC trek is this matter. The difficulty level of Annapurna Base Camp trek can be considered as a moderate trek.
This 14 days Annapurna Trek embark from Nayapool, situated at an altitude of 1070m, taking you all the up to the altitude of 4130m at the Annapurna Base Camp itself. Trekkers who are physically and mentally fit to walk for 6 to 7 hours a day can easily conquer this trek.
Difficulty due to Duration and Distance of the Trek
Annapurna Base Camp trek distance is around 115km which usually takes around 10 to 15 days of trekking depending upon the itinerary. You will be covering around 10 to 15km per day.
The Annapurna trail is comparatively pretty easy than some other treks like Annapurna Circuit Trek and Everest Base Camp Trek. You can enjoy beautiful mountain views, rich flora, and fauna along the trail. However, the rocky terrains in the trail can be a bit difficult and challenging, if you are first time trekker or novice trekker.
Along with that, if you are trekking in the winter, the trails will be covered with snow. Thus, it will more difficult and challenging than trekking in other seasons.
On average, you will be walking for 6 to 7 hours a day on the trek. If you are an experienced trekker then it is quite easy for you. But for those who are trekking in Nepal for the first time then, it may be problematic and uncomfortable.
You may customize the trek according to your preferences. Some people may shorten the trek and go for Short ABC Trek and some may elongate the trek.
If you are a first-time trekker then we recommend you choose a longer package as you will have time to take proper rest and enjoy the trek. We have a perfect Annapurna Base Camp trek itinerary for the beginners.
Difficulty due to Altitude and Altitude Sickness
Altitude Sickness is the major difficulty while going on a high altitude trekking in Nepal. In this Annapurna Base Camp Trek, you will trek up to 4130m at the base camp. Trekking to such a high altitude is not as easy as you think.
Trekking to higher altitudes is full of challenges. The weather and temperature condition on the high altitude area never remains stable. Along with that, the air gets thinner. Thus, walking in such a condition can be very difficult.
With increasing altitude, the level of oxygen and atmospheric pressure starts to get lower and lower. Thus, there is a very high chance of altitude sickness while trekking to Annapurna Base Camp. The common symptoms of altitude sickness are nausea, diarrhea, headache, loss of appetite, insomnia, and others.
Hence, drinking alcoholic beverages is highly prohibited during the trek. Don’t rush on the trail and walk at a slow and steady pace. Always keep yourself hydrated and take enough rest. Keeping safety precautions in mind, the ABC trek is a lot easier.
The Budget Management Difficulty
Trekking in Nepal is very cheap in comparison to traveling anywhere else in the world. So is Annapurna Base Camp trek. This trek is quite an affordable trekking destination in Nepal. However, the cost of Annapurna Trek can vary depending upon the duration of the trek, type of trek, trekking route you choose, etc.
As there are no roads for transportation, supplying goods in the mountainous region is very difficult. All the goods are transported via mules and porter. Thus, the cost of basic facilities can be three times costlier than in Kathmandu.
However, once you get to the wilderness of the Annapurna Base Camp Trek, the cost you paid for the facilities just seems fair. Also, the price gets more expensive as you go to a higher altitude.
Also, getting enough hand cash before going on the trek is necessary. There are no ATM machines on the trail.
If you don’t carry enough hand cash with you along the trek, you might have difficulty in buying foods and water bottles. It is difficult to find ATMs on the trek route.
Annapurna Base Camp Trail Difficulty
As the Annapurna Trek has varied landscapes, you will be walking through some rugged trails. The trails in the mountainous region are not as smooth as you may think. You will be walking through lots of ups and downs on the trail, which may add to the Annapurna Base Camp Trek difficulty level.
This trek does not require any specific level of physical fitness. You don’t have to be a pro athlete or experienced trekker to do this trek. However, trekking through the tiring ups and downs needs good stamina and patience.
Most trekkers usually feel exhausted during long treks. This is a common problem while trekking in such diverse terrain. You will be walking through various difficult sections on the trek like the 3300 steep stone steps. Thus, you will require good physical fitness and stamina to overcome these difficulties.
So, you need to trek wisely. Always know your limits. Have proper acclimatization and rest days. Have a proper diet. Walk slow and steady and don’t try to attempt a long walk. And always keep yourself hydrated.
Annapurna Base Camp Trek Difficulty In Different Seasons
Difficulties during Autumn (September, October, November)
Autumn is considered the best time to trek to Annapurna Base Camp as well as any other treks in Nepal. Although trekking during autumn offers perfect weather and temperature condition for trekking, you may still face some difficulties like:
- Since it is the peak time for Annapurna Base Camp Trek, the trails are highly crowded during autumn. Thus, if you want to trek in solitude and peace, autumn is not the right time for you to trek.
- It is very difficult to arrange accommodation and food during autumn. Thus, pre-booking is a must if you are trekking in the autumn season.
- Along with that, the cost of accommodation and food gets quite costlier than in the offseason.
Difficulties during Winter (December, January, February, March)
As the winter kicks in, the Annapurna regions get very cold. Thus, trekking to Annapurna Base Camp in Winter is very challenging. So, before deciding to trek in winter, you must think very carefully and prepare well to face the challenge.
Here is a list of some challenges that you may face during the winter season:
- Since the temperature in the higher altitude gets below the freezing temperature, it can snow anytime. Also, the weather can vary drastically in winter.
- The higher altitude trails usually covered with snow, walking on snow can be very challenging as well as exhausting.
- The Annapurna regions get quite cold during winter. Also, the sunlight is not as warm as they are in other seasons. Thus, always keep yourself warm, especially at night.
- One of the biggest challenges you may face is the risk of avalanches while trekking to the Annapurna Base Camp in winter.
Difficulties during Spring (March, April, May)
Spring is the second-best season for Annapurna Base Camp Trek. Here are some of the difficulties you may face while trekking to ABC in Spring:
- As spring is the peak season, the trails are always crowded and noisy.
- Finding accommodation in spring can be very difficult. If you are a solo trekker then, it will be impossible to find a solo room. So, pre-booking is highly recommended.
- The higher altitude regions are still very cold during early spring.
- You may face a few rainfalls if you are trekking in late spring. There are even chances of blurred surroundings.
Difficulties during Summer/ Monsoon (June, July, August, September)
Summer/Monsoon is the offseason for Annapurna Base Camp Trek. Since the region gets very hot and downpours are quite frequent, most people don’t prefer to trek in Summer/monsoon.
But if you have decided to trek to Annapurna Base Camp in monsoon then here are some of the difficulties you may face along the trail:
- The days are very hot and humid in the lower regions, making it difficult to trek during the daytime. You will feel hot and will get more sweaty.
- Since there is frequent rain, the trekking trails get very wet and slippery. So, be careful while walking.
- You will walk through various sections with risks of avalanche or mudslides.
- The weather is mostly foggy so, you won’t get a good view of the Himalayan vistas.
- The rain can continuously fall for a few days. Thus, you may not enjoy the trek.
- Leeches and summer bugs add difficulties to the trek. Take table salt and insect repellents.
Trekking Gears to Avoid Annapurna Base Camp Trek Difficulty
The weather and temperature in the mountains never remain constant. It is always changing. The morning and nights are colder for most of the season while daytime gets quite warm. Thus, wearing your clothes in a layer can greatly help you tackle the weather.
These are the list of clothing that should be carried in your trek.
- Hiking underwear
- Hiking shirts
- Trekking socks
- Trekking pants
- Rain Jacket and rain trousers
- Lightweight down jackets
- A pair of trekking boots
- A pair of gloves
- A pair of hiking sandals
- A sun hat
- Trekking Poles
- Headlamp and batteries (for night walk)
- Watch with alarm clock
- Polarized sunglasses
- Sleeping bag with liner (for extra warmth)
- Cameras and batteries
- Battery chargers
- Some extra Batteries
- Energy bars or chocolates
- Water Bottle
- First aid kit and some medicines (for altitude sickness, Diarrhea, cold, nausea, and many others)
Hygiene and toiletries
- Lip guard
- Eye drops
- Nail cutters
- Toilet Paper
- Hand sanitizer
- Toothpaste and toothbrush
Important Documents to carry at all times
- Enough cash (most places do not have ATMs)
Some Useful Tips on Annapurna Base Camp Trek Difficulty
- Walk in a slow and steady pace. Take enough rest and acclimatize properly.
- Drink enough water and always keep yourself hydrated. Avoid smoking and alcohol during the trek.
- Do proper training before the actual trek. Work on your stamina and mental fitness to walk on the rugged terrain of the Annapurna region.
- 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 a moderate level trek. This trek is perfect for trekkers for all age groups. With proper training and strong will power, you can beat every Annapurna Base Camp Trek difficulty that might come along. This trek is once in a lifetime kind of experience.