Trek to Annapurna Base Camp in the Himalayas
Nepal › Bierethanti
Added by Josiah Roe
Experience the incomparable Himalayas, from jungles to glaciers to the Annapurna Base Camp high within the Annapurna Sanctuary. Stand in front of the 10th tallest mountain in the world looking up a 13,000' wall of granite.
The trek to the Annapurna Base Camp is, understandably, one of the most popular treks in Nepal. It is typically done as an out-and-back beginning in Pokhara, a short hour flight west of the capital of Kathmandu.
Given the extensive trail system through Nepal, there are several variants that pass through scenic towns like Ghandruk and allow for summits of secondary peaks like Poon Hill. Even in winter months, there are open tea house (lodges) every few miles allowing for people of all ages and skill levels to proceed at their own pace. Get a map, talk to a guide, and choose a route that works for your timeframe.
The most direct route begins by taking a bus from Pokhara to Nayapul and follows the traditional route through Briethanti, Syuali Bazar, Jhinu Dhanda, Chomrong, Bamboo, Dovan, Himalaya, Deurali, Machupuchare Base Camp (MBC), and finally Annapurna Base Camp (ABC). It typically takes 7-10 days depending on your pace and fitness.
A common practice is for trekkers hire a guide from one of the trekking companies in Pokhara and Kathmandu, which can also include a porter (or several porters) to carry the majority of your gear. Guides typically cost $20 - $25 a day and porters $10. Depending on what you negotiate, they can also coordinate bus travel, lodging, meals, and jeep rental.
Lodging can cost anywhere from $3 to $10 a night (USD), and accommodations, particularly at higher elevation, can be spartan. Warm clothing and sleeping bags are a must, though some lodges will provide an additional blanket upon request. Meals are $2-$5. Be sure to treat your water or buy bottled water.
The locally distilled liquor, raksi, is quite good. Made from either millet or rice, it's typically served hot and can vary greatly in strength so be careful at higher altitudes.
Altitude sickness is a concern at higher elevation, so stay hydrated.
- Permits: A TIMS card and a trekking permit which can be purchased from the Nepalese Tourism Board offices in either Pokhara or Kathmandu.
- Equipment: no special equipment needed other than warm clothes, strong hiking boots / trail shoes, and a warm sleeping bag. In winter, microspikes/crampons can be handy in snowy/icy sections of the trail at higher elevations, but aren't necessary.
- Medication: Hep A, B, and Typhoid vaccinations are recommended; check with your doctor. Diamox tablets for altitude sickness and Ciprofloxacin for Typhoid Fever can be purchased cheaply at any Nepalese pharmacy.
- Misc: sunscreen, sunglasses, and money for food and water in lodges. Bring water filtration or tablets for higher elevation where bottled water cannot be purchased.
- Map: Not required if you have a guide, but can easily be picked up in any trekking shop in Pokhara, Kathmandu, and Nayapul.
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