Mount Annapurna,  Nepal,  Uncategorized

Annapurna Base Camp Trek

There are several jump-off points leading to the base camp of the Annapurna mountain ranges but there are two that are more popular to trekkers: Pedhi and Nayapul where our trek started. I’ve read that though Pedhi is the nearest from Pokhara, about 45-minute drive, it is the most challenging among other jump-off points because of its killer ascent that lasts for two hours or more. What a way to start your adventure, I say. Nayapul, on the other hand, is a 2-hour away drive from Pokhara but the easiest because of its gradual ascent.

Annapurna Base Camp Trek Route

Why did we choose Nayapul? It’s because of acclimatization or simply adaption. Your body needs to carefully adapt to sudden changes in altitude and one of the best ways to acclimatize is to increase the altitude gradually in which Nayapul perfectly fits the bill. The trail from Nayapul to Syauli Bazaar is relaxing and doesn’t require that much energy from you. It’s a looooooong walk.

I’ll discuss acclimatization on my future posts but for the meantime, you should know that this part of trekking is very important for you to avoid acquiring acute mountain sickness (AMS). Many have died because of choosing not to take this altitude sickness seriously. AMS is deadly.

To give you an idea of how a seven-day trek to the base camp of Annapurna feels like, I’ve listed a brief description of what you will encounter on a day-by-day basis. I’ve also linked each day to my Flickr account so you’d have a better picture of how the trails look like.

DAY 1 – Nayapul to Ghandruk

Hike Time: 6 hours
Challenges: Hot open trail from Nayapul to Syauli Bazaar
Villages: Nayapul (1070 meters above sea level), Birethanti (1025 MASL), Syauli Bazaar (1220 MASL), Ghandruk (1940 MASL)

Nayapul to Ghandruk
Nayapul to Ghandruk
DAY 2 – Ghandruk to Chhomrong

Hike Time: 7.5 hours
Challenges: Steep descent to Kimrong Khola then ascent to Kimrong Danda
Villages: Ghandruk (1940 MASL), Kimrong Khola (1800 MASL), Kimrong Dhanda (2180 MASL), Chhomrong (2170 MASL)

Ghandruk to Chhomrong
Ghandruk to Chhomrong
DAY 3 – Chhomrong to Himalaya

Hike Time: 8 hours
Challenges: Long steep stone staircase from Bamboo to Dobhan
Villages: Chhomrong (2170 MASL), Sinuwa (2360 MASL), Bamboo (2310 MASL), Dobhan (2600 MASL), Himalaya (2920 MASL)

Chhomrong to Himalaya
Chhomrong to Himalaya
DAY 4 – Himalaya to Annapurna Base Camp (ABC)

Hike Time: 7 hours
Challenges: Body vulnerability to altitude sickness
Villages: Himalaya (2920 MASL), Hinku Cave (3170 MASL), Deurali (3230 MASL), Macchapucchre Base Camp – MBC (3700 MASL), ABC (4130 MASL)

Himalaya to ABC
Himalaya to ABC
DAY 5 – ABC to Bamboo

Hike Time: 6 hours
Challenges: Long steep stone staircase from Dobhan to Bamboo
Villages: ABC (4130 MASL), MBC (3700 MASL), Deurali (3230 MASL), Hinku Cave (3170 MASL), Himalaya (2920 MASL), Dobhan (2600 MASL), Bamboo (2310 MASL)

ABC to Bamboo
ABC to Bamboo
DAY 6 – Bamboo to Jhinu Danda

Hike Time: 7 hours
Challenges: Steep trail from Chhomrong to Jhinu Danda
Villages: Bamboo (2310 MASL), Sinuwa (2360 MASL), Chhomrong (2170 MASL), Jhinu Danda (1780 MASL)

Bamboo to Jhinu Danda
Bamboo to Jhinu Danda
DAY 7 – Jhinu Danda to Siwai

Hike Time: 7 hours
Challenges: Leeches are widespread in the trails
Villages: Jhinu Danda (1780 MASL), New Bridge (1340 MASL), Kyumi (1200 MASL), Siwai

Jhinu Danda to Siwai
Jhinu Danda to Siwai

Here are some of the Nepali words you may find handy and pretty useful along the trails:

  • Khola – river
  • Danda – hill
  • Namaste – hello and goodbye
  • Dhanyawad (pronounced as dha-ni-vad) – thank you
  • Ramro / Ramri- beautiful
  • Keti – girl
  • Mitho – delicious

Hike time does not include lunch in the tea houses, which usually takes almost two hours. Also, we had very little rest during the trek because of our limited time to complete the whole activity. But it’s really up to you. Remember that you need not to hurry and must take your time especially in 3000 MASL beyond as AMS usually strikes in this elevation.

Having read these little pieces of information, can you now gauge your ability to trek to the base camp of the tenth highest peak in the world? Stay tuned for more of my stories about our experiences during our adventure to the ABC.

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