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Annapurna Base Camp Trek is one of Nepal’s most demanded trekking destinations as it has attracted tourists and trekkers from around the world. This base camp trek is generally considered as difficult to moderate range since it is not as extreme as the insanely difficult Everest Base Camp, Manaslu Base Camp, or Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek and is also not easy as Ghale Gaun or Poon Hill Trek

There is no doubt Annapurna Base Camp Trek which is also known as ABC to provide you with one of the greatest memories of your lifetime. However, there is no doubt that many trekkers have found the base camp quite difficult.

Several factors make trekking difficult, and these facts can impact one trek more than the other. So let’s discuss which factors impact the difficulty of the Annapurna Base Camp trek.

Trek Distance, Terrain, and Hiking Hour for ABC Trek

Annapurna Base Camp Trek is one of the challenging treks in Nepal simply because you have to trek towards over 4,000m elevation altitude. While, beginners who are physically fit or are prepared can also trek to Annapurna base camp successfully. For Annapurna Base Camp Trek you have to trek every day for 10-20km as you have to cover almost 115km by your foot. The difficulty of trekking for 10 to 20km each day is a challenge in itself but now combining the challenging terrain of the trekking route the task becomes twice as difficult.

Annapurna Base Camp in Night
View from Base Camp of at Night

Although comparatively the Annapurna Base Camp’s trekking trail is not as difficult as other base camps like Manaslu and Everest, it is still filled with ups and downs. One thing is for sure as you have to hike towards 4,000m altitude you have to keep climbing the altitude each day and sometimes entire day your trek will involve climbing terrains and hills.

The trail also has lots of twists and turns, rock and hard boulders, and slippery steep stones which you must be careful not only injure yourself. Although the trail of the ABC trek may not affect veteran trekkers from around the world it will pose a challenge to the inexperienced trekkers.

Duration Of Trek

The duration of the trek is naturally a major factor in determining its difficulty. As mentioned above the total distance for the trek can be from 115km to even 150km based on your itinerary and the detailed area you want to explore. Hence the Annapurna Base Camp Trek can be completed in 7 to 12 days, with a minimum of 7 to 9 days for those seeking a faster pace.

It is quite clear that any trekkers you want to complete the trek must have a very strong body core with strong stamina and physical attributes. It is quite clear that any trekkers you want to complete the trek must have a very strong body core with strong stamina and physical attributes.

It is quite clear that any trekkers you want to complete the trek must have a very strong body core with strong stamina and physical attributes. It is quite clear that any trekkers you want to complete the trek must have a very strong body core with strong stamina and physical attributes.

The duration of the trek will greatly affect the inexperienced trekkers but sometimes even the experienced ones will struggle to trek higher altitude difficult trail for 8 hours a day for at least 8 days. Not only will it lead to severe fatigue but also creates anxiety and fear of other illnesses. Hence the duration of the trek not only tests the physical endurance but also their mentality. Hence to properly prepare for the long-duration trek, trekkers must prepare by running and walking long distances months before trekking starts.

Altitude Sickness During Hike

The Annapurna Base Camp Trek starts at a low altitude in Kathmandu and ends at an altitude of 4130m. As you can see the altitude of the treks increases rapidly within a few days and the increase in altitude brings the inevitable Altitude Sickness. The sickness starts after the elevation of 3000m because generally from that altitude the oxygen level starts to decrease which as a result makes your body feel uncomfortable as it doesn’t get proper energy to get used to the altitude and climate.

Read More: Kathmandu to Annapurna Base Camp Trek Nepal

The easy way to find out if you have altitude sickness is to notice its symptoms which are headache, nausea, diarrhea, dizziness, shortness of breath, and pain in joints and backs which will make it difficult to trek forward. Hence it is essential to prepare for altitude sickness even before it occurs.

When trekking at high altitudes, walking slowly can help prevent altitude sickness. As the body becomes accustomed to the altitude and climate, the chances of sickness decrease significantly. Hence it is extremely important to schedule at least one or two acclimatization days where you are not climbing significant altitude.

During acclimatization day your body gets used to altitude and climate and then gradually climbing more altitude will prevent sickness. Furthermore, you can also prevent altitude sickness by keeping your body warm by drinking honey, ginger, and lemon.

However, if you even find an inkling of altitude sickness it is important to treat it immediately as leaving it unattended may cause even dangerous consequences. So it is always wise to keep medicine like Diamax for immediate relief however permanent medication for altitude sickness is to lower your altitude immediately. Also, you must always keep yourself hydrated by drinking water or hot drinks but must avoid alcohol, and oily meats, and also limit the consumption of caffeine.

Weather and Climate During Trek

Annapurna Base Camp Trek lies at a higher altitude in the Himalayan region where you will find dynamic weather and climate. The Himalayan region’s weather, particularly in winter, is hard to predict. At that time the temperature can change from -20°C to 9°C.

Most of the teahouses in extremely high altitudes are closed due to extreme weather and climate. This is the main reason why the experts advise against trekking in the winter season, especially in the Himalayas.
Just like the winter season, the monsoon season is also unbearably cold due to mild and heavy rainfall which can last continuously for 2-3 days regularly. During monsoon season, the visibility of the mountains becomes hazy and difficult to see which will ruin the experience with the possibility of even floods and landslides due to heavy rainfall..

Hence it is essential to choose either Spring or Autumn season to get maximum enjoyment in regards to weather and climate. During these two seasons, the weather is clear with bright sunlight which also raises the temperature and increases heat during the day. There is minimal to no chance of rainfall, or natural disasters.

Cost Difficulty for Foods and Personal Hygiene

Annapurna Base Camp is not an expensive destination for local or foreign trekkers but since the necessary items are so many the accumulation of them can be difficult and mismanagement of the budget.

The cost of the trek depends on the itinerary, number of days, route taken, and luxuries or services you want. However, as you hike and reach isolated areas, the cost of these necessities increases noticeably.

Even the basic items from bottled water to hot tea prices increase. So the cost difficulty for food and personal hygiene becomes glaringly obvious if you don’t manage your budget from the initial to final part of the trek.

The food items must be carried in donkeys, mules, yaks, and porters which raises the cost of the food materials. Since in the higher altitude the region is isolated there might be limited banks and most of them don’t have ATM cards so make sure to carry as much cash as you think you need.

Why is it difficult to Trek ABC?

The ABC trek is situated at a high altitude which poses a natural challenge, especially for those accustomed to lower altitudes. Now combine it with the relentless walking for 7-8 hours for up to 10 days having to cover 115 to 120km, and the adventure becomes very difficult.

The high altitude poses a natural challenge, especially for those accustomed to lower altitudes. Now combine it with the relentless walking for 7-8 hours for up to 10 days having to cover 115 to 120km, and the adventure becomes very difficult.

These are the tangible factors that make the ABC trek difficult but there are a few intangible factors as well. One of the common intangible difficulties is Altitude sickness which is certain to affect trekkers in altitudes of over 3000m who don’t have strong physical or mental endurance.

In some seasons the weather and climate are a bit more favorable than others, but the relentless cold along with slippery terrains, rocky roads, and stony cliffs will remain throughout the year.

Tips to Prevent Difficulty for ABC Trek

  • It is wise to acclimatize properly and acclimatization is the key to avoiding Altitude Sickness.
  • Always walk slowly and keep resting throughout your trek.
  • Avoid consuming alcohol and smoking at any point of the trek, especially during the higher altitude mostly because it creates dehydration.
  • Either avoid caffeine altogether or consume the exact amount you have been from the beginning of the trek.
  • Build your endurance, stamina, and physical attributes months before heading out of your trek.
  • Eat hygienic food that is full of protein and carbohydrates and avoid eating oily, cheesy, or meat products in remote locations.
  • Keep drinking water throughout the trek to avoid any case of dehydration which will lead to fatigue and illness.
  • Always note of the best season of the trek you are planning to go. When the time comes nearer, be aware of the natural weather condition.
  • Always pack all the necessary equipment which are essential for you or the trek.
  • Never take shortcuts during the trek and always trek the main route.
  • Always follow the advice or command of the local people, Sherpas, or your guide as they are familiar with the local places.
  • Do not compromise with being warm, especially during the ABC trek as the region is cold and nights get even colder.

Prepare For Annapurna Base Camp Trek in 2024

Mentally Preparing for Trek

It is important to mentally prepare especially for a challenging trek like Annapurna Base Camp. Mental preparation for the trek involves staying informed about factors that could affect it. It is essential to know about the place you are going for the trek which includes the name of the country, which culture and tradition they follow, the itinerary of your trek, the route you will be trekking, the season you are going, the weather and climate during the time of your trek, the places you are going to explore, etc

This preference will create surety and confidence in your mindset which will drastically ease your difficulty as you will think you are in the familiar place if there is nothing to surprise you.

You can also prepare mentally for abc trek if you hire an authorized travel agency, guide, or local people who will help you share the burden with you and take responsibility for any certain or uncertain difficulty you might face.

Physically Demanding Trek and Be Prepared

There is no doubt Annapurna Base Camp is a physically demanding trek as mentioned earlier in the article. The trek spans over 100km, with daily walks of up to 6 – 8 hours for 10 days. The roads are twisted, have tons of ups and downs, slippery steep stones and hard rock boulders and most of all the altitude will increase every day.

Hence it is very important to be physically fit and build your endurance as it helps increase the chance of you completing your trek without any difficulty but also increases the motivation of your team and helps them get over the line.

FAQs

Is Annapurna Base Camp Trek difficult for experienced trekkers?

Annapurna Base Camp Trek is a challenging trek but experienced trekkers might see it as a bit moderately challenging.

How many trekkers travel to Annapurna Base Camp every year?

According to the report of 2023 Jan, more thanpeople trek Annapurna Base Camp every year making it one of the crowdiest base camps in the world.

How can you be physically fit for ABC Trek?

The main way you can be physically fit for the ABC trek is by raising your stamina and endurance level. One of the common exercises is the staircase exercise by carrying a backpack in your bag.

Do seasons affect the difficulty during the ABC trek?

Yes, seasons affect the difficulty of any trek because it controls weather and climate.

How can you prevent altitude sickness?

The best and certain way to prevent altitude sickness is by trekking slowly and taking plenty of rest. You must also be hydrated and warm so always drink hot drinks with lemon, ginger, and honey during the trek to prevent altitude sickness.

Tej Bahadur Gurung

With an experience of almost two decades, founder Mr. Tej Bahadur Gurung has established Nepal Alternative Treks as a widely recognized and reliable tourism operator. His degree in Tourism Studies and devotion to the sector has given him in-depth knowledge about trekking, climbing, cultural, and geological aspects of the country. He is a pioneer in introducing the concept of ‘off-beaten tracks’ and ‘alternative routes’ as well as treks and tour packages surrounding it.

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