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Annapurna Base Camp Trek: Things to remember

One of the most sought out treks around the 8000m high mountains of the world is Annapurna Base Camp Trek. The trek promises to be a fascinating journey for anyone looking to enter the Himalayan region. The trekking trail is filled with lush green forests and valleys. The Annapurna Conservation Area is also filled with different species of birds and animals. Quaint villages filled with friendly folks and many settlements to rest for the night in. 

The trail also takes you through classic viewpoints of many mountains surrounding the region where Annapurna Base Camp is located. So let us have a look at what you are up against when you take this trip.

  • The Himalayan Range
  • Annapurna Base Camp: Introduction
  • Places to go through in Annapurna Base Camp Trek
  • Flora and Fauna
  • Weather and Climate 

The Himalayan Range

The Himalayan Range of Asia spans over 2500 km of numerous mountain ranges across five nations. Those nations lucky to have the privilege are India, Nepal, Tibet, Pakistan, and Bhutan. Including Mt. Everest, 8 of the 10 world’s highest peaks are located within the Himalayan Range. These mighty giants are the main source of water to some of the most important rivers in India. Rivers like the Indus, Ganges, and Brahmaputra are fed directly by its tributaries from the Himalayas. In Sanskrit, “Himalaya” means “abode of snow” and they are the 3rd largest deposit of ice in the world. The polar caps are the only region to have more snow than the mountains of the Himalayan Range.

Though the Himalayan Range is spread across five nations, the most popular trekking destination lies in Nepal. The Nepalese Government with the help of the Nepal Tourism Board have done a decent job in maintaining these heritage sites. UNESCO has declared most of the area around these majestic peaks as heritage sites. Therefore certain rules apply in these regions presently. And the areas surrounding the base camps have been established as National Parks or Conservation sites.

This is to ensure that along with the Himalayas, the animals and birds living there are also not hampered. A common misconception is that the peaks lie just a short distance from the cities in Nepal. It is not quite right. The trekking to many destinations in the Himalayas starts from a city, that’s true. But you will still have to travel for almost a week to reach the point where the Himalayan Region begins. 

Annapurna Base Camp: Introduction

Annapurna Base Camp Trek takes you through some of the most diverse locations, across cute villages with rich mountain vistas. You will find a wide variety of flora and fauna in this region too. Numerous forests filled with fir and rhododendron trees fall directly on the trekking trail which is a beautiful sight. You will go through picturesque views of Mt. Machhapuchhre right at the beginning of your trekking spree. At a height of 8091m Mt. Annapurna is the 10th highest peak in the world with Base Camp at 4130m. The trek to the base camp is not a difficult one, and it is applicable for all age groups. 

It normally takes a fortnight to reach the Base Camp from Kathmandu, but itinerary can be flexible. So if there is any request as such, you can let our representative know. Accommodation is allocated in tea houses and lodges during your trek to the Himalayan region. Since settlements are limited in these parts, it is advised to pre-book your stay with the agency you are dealing with. Tents are also a possible option during dry seasons. Winters may be a bit of a hurdle for tent pitchers though. There is a variation of landscapes and the transition from one to the other is a sight to see. Once you reach Sinuwa, you also enter the Annapurna Sanctuary, a world heritage site declared by UNESCO.

Places to go through in Annapurna Base Camp Trek

The actual trek to Annapurna Base Camp begins from Ghandruk near Pokhara. But where you start depends where your travel agency is located. For Climb High Himalayas, the head office is in Kathmandu, and that is where our journey starts. On your arrival at Kathmandu, you will be taken to your hotel there. You are free to explore the city on your arrival. In the evening we will conduct a briefing on the importance of acclimatization at high altitudes. Acclimatization is a necessary activity to take a successful and healthy trek to any high altitude region. While we commence on acquiring and validating your permits, our staff will take you around some locations in Kathmandu. This is on the next day. In the evening we will give a briefing about how we will proceed with the trip.

The following day, we take a 30 mins flight to Pokhara, or we can also take a 4hours drive to the city. On reaching Pokhara, we will assemble and take a cab to Phedi. Then we make our way towards Ghandruk. This will be the first instance of the trek which will last around 5-6 hours. We halt for the night at a lodge in Ghandruk. The next day we make our way towards Pothana 1990m. The trekking trail doesn’t get steeper till Pothana and you only be walking in slightly elevated terrains. The trail becomes steeper as you leave Pothana for Landrung 1565m the next day. There are few suspension bridges across rivers you will have to go through to reach Landrung village. 

The next day we trek towards the village of Chommorong 2340m which is another 5-6 hours walk. Accommodation here will be at a tea house. Then comes a trek to Bamboo 2310m, with the trek taking approximately 4-5 hours. The village has very few settlements and accommodation here will be at a tea house. The following day, the trekking trail takes a drastic transition when we trek towards Deurali 3230m. From Deurali the trekking trail takes a steeper turn as we trek towards Annapurna Base Camp 4130m. On this route, it is possible to make a small leeway towards Machhapuchhre Base Camp 3700m as well. A day will be spent at Machhapuchhre Base Camp before spending another day at Annapurna Base Camp. 

Both the Base Camps have a huge area to explore. Chance to see mountaineers attempting to climb the peaks can also be seen. Once we take in the favored destination, we trek downhill from now on, right up to Nayapul. First, we trek towards Bamboo again. Then we make our way to Sinuwa Village 2340m. This is the village where the Annapurna Sanctuary begins.

Then we head down towards Jhinua Dara 1780m which gives us the best possible view of the nearby mountain peaks. You can also visit the hot springs present a few hour’s walks from the main village. The next destination is the village of Birethanti. It might be a relief when you finally reach the small hamlet. A cab will be waiting for you to take you to Pokhara. We will rest at a hotel in Pokhara before we drive back to Kathmandu. The journey to Annapurna Base Camp thus ends here.

Flora and Fauna

The Government of Nepal and Nepal Tourism Board have come together in seeing that the trekking destinations are managed properly.  The same can be said about Annapurna Sanctuary. But the main authority dealing directly with the management of the site is the National Trust for Nature Conservation. They are responsible for creating awareness and conducting activities for the conservation and development of the area. They tend to Tourism Management, Community Development. Protection and extension of the many conservation sites. This department is doing a decent job which speaks for itself.

The Annapurna Sanctuary is very rich in biodiversity. It has over 480 species of birds, 40 species of reptiles, 20 species of amphibians and 100 species of mammals. Several distinct species of butterflies are also found here and are more active during the Spring season. The most common animals found here are the blue sheep, yaks, koalas, Blood pheasants, and Tahr. Chances of running into some endangered species like red pandas, snow leopard, and musk deer are rather slim though. Most of the plants covering a forest feature Rhododendron and coniferous trees including several species of orchids and medicinal plants. Juniper can also be found in some of the forests. 

Weather and Climate 

Climate and temperature are subject to change anytime in the Himalayas. There may be moments of cold temperature all of a sudden in peak summers or start raining in winters. This is beyond our control and abnormal weather usually doesn’t last for too long. After years of experience of trekking into the Himalayas, we have come up with the assumption that we can put it in a few words that follow. There are basically two degrees of temperature, in winters the temperature falls down to lower than -20 degrees. In Summers it can be around 10-15 degrees during the day, and within 10 degrees during the night. Still, it is one of the coldest regions of the Himalayas. 

The main question however that comes up is the best season for a wonderful trek. During Summers or Monsoons, the rain becomes very unpredictable, even annoying. The temperature is not the only issue here. The trekking trail, the landscapes all remain a victim to the rain and makes it difficult to do any work. There are few landslides that might occur in these areas during Monsoons. The views become blurred out and the mist blocks most of the path you walk on. The same goes for winters, only colder. Snow practically pours and covers any signs of the trekking trail, making it difficult to navigate with even a guide. The area is an avalanche-prone area, and part of the trail always gets damaged during the winters. Almost all the tea houses and lodges remain closed due to the extreme weather.

The seasons for getting the best view of the numerous scenery and a peaceful trek is Spring and Autumn Seasons. The trekking trails are cleared and the sky is free of clouds. The views remain as beautiful as ever and the surrounding valleys appear greener than usual. Especially after the monsoons when the rain is finally over. Most of the birds and animals opt to come out and stretch their legs during these two particular seasons. Consequently, the number of people visiting the area also increases during Spring and autumn seasons. So you may have to consider to consult with your tour guide for the proper information. We can help you decide and place the booking accordingly.

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