Annapurna Circuit Trek Difficulty: How hard is it?
Most of the trekkers who are planning to do the Annapurna Circuit Trek have a common and frequent question on the Annapurna Circuit Trek Difficulty.
Before going on any trekking in the Himalayas, it is quite important to know about the difficulties that may occur during the trek. Learning about the difficulty level helps you to prepare yourself for the trek.
Talking about the difficulty level of Annapurna Circuit, it is a moderately challenging trek in the terrains of the Annapurna Region.
Annapurna Circuit is one of the longest trekking routes with rocky, steep and slippery trails. Most of the trails include includes steep stairways adding up to the difficulty level of the trek. In addition to that, you will be trekking through high and varied altitude which is one of the major Annapurna Circuit Trek difficulties.
Weather condition is another major factor that will decide whether you will have a good trekking experience or bad. In fact, the weather around the Annapurna Circuit is unpredictable. Based on the weather condition, the difficulty level varies.
Annapurna Circuit Trek Difficulty Due to Duration and Distance of the Trek
The duration also depends on the Annapurna Circuit Trek itinerary and the package you choose from. The packages are available from 10 to 28 days. So, you can choose the packages according to your physical ability and time.
The duration of the trek effects the daily itinerary. If you choose the shorter duration package (10 to 14 Days), you will have more walking distance to cover in a day while going for a longer trek (usually 18 to 21 days), you will have lesser walking distance. Additionally, the number of rest and acclimatization days also depends on the duration of the trek.
Depending upon the itinerary you choose, the total Annapurna Circuit Trek distance can range from 160km to 230km. That means you have to walk 8 – 15 km per day.
Shorter Itinerary is usually for the advanced trekker who has enough trekking experience as it requires more physical and mental strength.
If you don’t have any trekking experience then, you should better go for a longer trekking itinerary so that you will have lesser walking distance and enough acclimatization day to adjust with the environment. Hence, longer packages reduce the Annapurna Circuit Trek Difficulty.
Since you will be walking 6 – 7 hrs a day, I recommend you to prepare yourself before the trek to make the trek less difficult.
Altitude Sickness During Annapurna Circuit Trek
When talking about the Annapurna Circuit Trek difficulty, you cannot miss altitude sickness. Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) is the most common problem while trekking in any high altitude trekking destination.
While you trek to the higher altitude, the oxygen levels lower and the atmospheric pressure gets thinner. So, your body needs to adjust to these new circumstances.
As the highest point of the Annapurna Circuit Trek is the Thorong La Pass at 5416m, there is a high chance of altitude sickness.
To avoid the sickness, you should walk slow(don’t rush), take proper acclimatization and always keep yourself hydrated.
Some of the common symptoms of altitude sickness are nausea, diarrhea, headache, loss of appetite, fatigue, and insomnia.
Trekking in higher altitudes can be difficult than walking in the lower heights. If you have heart and lung problems, consider consulting your doctors before getting on with the trek.
Weather And Temperature
The Annapurna Circuit weather and temperature are the key factors that determine your trek’s difficulty.
The weather in Annapurna Circuit is quite unpredictable. Choosing the best time to trek the Circuit can simply avoid this problem. The best time for Annapurna Circuit trekking is in Autumn (Sep-Nov) and Spring (Mar-May). During this time of the year, the weather and temperature are just perfect offering picturesque mountain views with very little rainfall so you will have lesser difficulties.
These are some of the reasons why thousands of trekkers prefer trekking during this time. The average temperature during autumn and spring season ranges from 15 to 20 degrees Celsius during the day.
Trekking Equipment to Reduce Annapurna Circuit Trek Difficulty
Here is the Annapurna Circuit Trek Packing list:
- A comfortable trekking bag: Having a good trekking bag can properly distribute the weight in the upper body which results in a comfortable walk.
- A good trekking boots: Buy good trekking shoes to avoid blisters and pain in the feet.
- Sleeping bag for cold weather.
- First Aid Kit for minor injuries during the trek. And Personal hygiene – especially for women.
- Trekking Poles.
- Water Bottles and purifing tablets.
- And other necessary gears and equipments.
Tips to Avoid Annapurna Circuit Trek Difficulty
Prepare yourself with proper training
If you are not used to trekking, trekking in the easier route can be very helpful. This helps our body to adjust and ready for the harder trek as well as helps our overall health from getting hurt.
Proper training doesn’t mean you have to lift weight or some it but doing the basic forms of exercises that pump up your heart rate. Exercises like cycling, jogging, etc. are good when it comes to increasing your stamina.
Do regular jogging. You can also train in your home by climbing up and down in the stairway. This hugely helps to reduce the Annapurna Circuit Trek Difficulty.
You should always have extra cash on you while trekking in the Himalayas, just in case of emergencies.
Spending on souvenirs and gifts are good. But you should know how to get it in a better deal. Sometimes, the souvenirs can be overpriced which can have a huge impact on the overall Annapurna Circuit Trek cost.
Snacks during the treks are very necessary. So I recommend you buy them either in Kathmandu or Pokhara. Because they can get pretty expensive at that height.
Furthermore, you must carry cash and not an ATM card because there are no ATMs in the villages during the trek.
Make sure you have all the essentials with you. ACAP and TIMS permit are the most important ones so don’t forget that.
In the case of gears, a good hiking boot and backpack, a down jacket and sleeping bag with liner is a must for the trails and weather.
Don’t forget your water bottle and water purifying tablets. Also, Take your favorite snacks with you to munch along the trek.
Also, remember your first-aid kit, toiletries, and personal hygiene kits as they are highly important.
Annapurna Circuit Trek is one of the high altitude treks. So, you must not underestimate this trek. If you have any signs of altitude sickness, take the action immediately as it is the matter of your health. Drink plenty of water and allow your body to acclimatize well.
Annapurna Circuit Trek Difficulty can be succeeded by considering a lot of factors before and during the trek.
Depending upon your body and how you react in a certain situation will decide the difficulty of the trek. If you want to Guides and porters, you can easily find them in Kathmandu or Pokhara. They can be the great help during your trek and add to an amazing trekking experience.
Do contact us for further details and questions about the trek.