What makes Annapurna Base Camp Trek Difficult?

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What makes annapurna base camp trek difficult?

Annapurna Base Camp Trek one of the most trekked destinations leads you to the base of Annapurna, the 10th highest peak of the world. Trekkers reach an altitude of 4130 meters which is mild in comparison to other high altitude treks of Annapurna Circuit, Manaslu Circuit, and Everest Base Camp Treks.

Notwithstanding the elevations, several other factors affect the journey while trekking. Trekking may be affected by the duration of the trip, trek distance, altitude gains, how well you prepare, for the trek, how to fit you are, how determined you are,  in addition to choosing the time that is the most fitting for you and many others.

You may have to encounter several steady ups and downs, lots of twists and turns, high and low lands, rough and rocky boulders. These may be hazardous, slightly tough, and a bit challenging but they add adventures to your walks.

As the trek does not necessitate any advanced physical fitness level, trekkers having a stable health condition with some prior preparations can afford this trek easily. In the midst of a physically powerful body and a constructive mindset, any levels of trekkers complete the trek.

 Annapurna Base Camp Trek Difficulty: Trekking Grade

This trek is considered a moderately difficult trek. Trekkers need to reach an altitude of 4130 m above sea level. Although there are various obstacles based on trek trails, it’s not too hazardous.

The journey passes some steep and rugged sections and there are stone stairs somewhere which are so easy. Trekking via river gorges, rocky ridges, pastures, and along forested areas can exhaust the voyagers.

As the trek does not require any technical skills, trekkers should have good physical conditions and strong determination, patience, and self-confidence for this trek. With some risks, the journey offers panoramic views of the Himalayas, terrains, and greeneries around making it enjoyable and memorable.

 Annapurna Base Camp Trek Difficulty: Trek Distance

Trek to the base of Annapurna peak covers approximately 115 km covering 10-15 kilometers per day. Trekkers can complete it without many hazards as they can walk at speeds of 3-5 km per hour.

The trail is full of trekkers as it is one of the most popular treks in Nepal. Trekkers should walk for 6 to 7 hours a day during the trek. Trekking distance depends on which package you choose as well. If you trek a complete package, it may cover long distances and duration. However, choosing the short version

Trekking distance depends on which package you prefer. The distance and duration can be longer if you prefer an extensive route however you can reach your destination sooner in case of choosing the shorter packages.

Annapurna Base Camp Trek Difficulty: Duration of the trek

Another determining factor for Annapurna Base Camp Trek Difficulty is its duration. It is usually completed spending two weeks but can be completed within 9 days shortening it.

The itinerary can be extended or condensed according to the time restrictions, fitness level, and interest to explore Himalayan sceneries. It depends on where and how do you start and finish the journey as well. Some agencies create itineraries from Pokhara and some incorporate arrival and departures as well.

To complete 115 kilometers in a couple of weeks, trekkers need to march for 5-6 hours a day during this adventure trek. Inexperienced hikers may feel exhausted and uncomfortable while walking steep ascents, descents, rough terrains, rocky ridges, and river valleys.

Such situations can be avoided in case of sound preparations before the excursion. Doing some long and short hikes, ups and downs, and doing some exercises like jogging, running, cycling, trekkers can make their adventure hike more comfortable, enjoying it to the fullest.

Annapurna Base Camp Trek Difficulty: Type of Trekker

Prior experience plays a vital role in the trek. For veteran trekkers, Annapurna Base Camp Trek will be less difficult than that of the novice ones. It will be comfortable for those who dare to walk on rough terrains for 4/6 hours on high elevated lands.

The novice trekkers may get a completely different experience and feel a bit challenging walking in the rocky and steep trails. They may spend more time in comparison to the experienced trekkers reaching the desired destination.

Having prior preparations and exercises, if you trek with porters and guides, the trip becomes far relaxed. You need not carry your backpacks, worry about the trails, accommodations, and eateries instead you can explore, enjoy, and capture there around.

Annapurna Base Camp Trek Difficulty: Weather and Temperature

Weather and temperature in the Himalayas are always unpredictable. It may amaze you to see sunshine before half an hour but heavy snowfall after a while. So, weather and climatic conditions become major factors that can create difficulty in the trekking route.

The climate can change drastically where the temperature rises and falls entirely based on the weather circumstance, elevation, and time of year.

Autumn and spring are the best seasons for the trek just because of the calm climatic conditions in the mountains at this time of the year. In these months, the temperature remains 15-20 degrees centigrade in the daytime and 5-7 degrees Celsius at night time.

Trekking in winter and summer, trekkers need more preparations. In the winter months, the temperature decreases up to -17 degrees centigrade in the nighttime. But the temperature is moderate during the daytime under the sun. The freezing wind blows in the Himalayas and the upper parts of the trails are blocked by the heavy snowfall.

Due to the heavy downpours, there may be landslides, floods and the road condition worsens in the summer months. Cloud in the skies, fog in the hills, and the Himalayas may hide the views and trekking routes become slippery and muddy too.

Annapurna Base Camp Trek Difficulty: Budget Management

Every trekking destination is affordable in terms of cost. The cost of Annapurna Base Camp Trek may vary depending upon a range of factors as the duration of the trek, type of trek, the trek route is taken, and many more.

Considering the remoteness, the price for accommodations, eateries, and drinks are cheaper in the Annapurna region. The price of everything slightly increases with elevation.

In the higher elevations, all the necessaries are transported by the mules, donkeys, horses, or porters manually as motorways are unavailable in the Himalayan foothills.

Carrying sufficient money makes the journey comfortable. The price of any good triples compared to Kathmandu or Pokhara. Next, you will not find any ATM or bank-related services when you leave major cities.

Annapurna Base Camp Trek Difficulty: Altitude and Altitude Sickness

Altitude Sickness witnesses another threat while trekking in the foothills of the mountains.  As Annapurna Base Camp altitudes at 4130 meters above sea level, trekkers need to walk in the thinner oxygenated lands for a couple of days.

Trekking above 3000m above sea level, altitude-related problems may occur with some symptoms as headache, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, weakness, exhaustion, and others. This may create several difficulties in the journey.

The weather and temperature vary frequently, trekkers need to walk through strenuous uphill and downhill passing rough terrains for several hours a day. So, be ready to face such challenges. In case some symptoms are seen, immediately inform your trip leader otherwise the circumstances may worsen creating serious conditions.

However staying hydrated, avoiding alcoholic drinks, sleeping tablets, and smoking, and acclimatizing your body in the different places, one can complete this trek comfortably.

Annapurna Base Camp Trek Difficulty: Accommodation, Food, and Drinks

Most of the trekking in the Annapurna region is famous for teahouses treks which lead you to neat, clean local guesthouses or lodges run by the ever-smiling hospitable people.

Teahouses or lodges in the remote sections offer basic amenities as twin-sharing bedrooms, a common bathroom and squatty toilets, a solar charging system, etc. Luxury seekers may disappoint and feel difficult while trekking.

It is almost impossible to find a single room in the peak seasons especially in the higher elevations where limited teahouses are built. You need to pay extra for the hot shower in those lands.

Dinner and breakfast are served in the same teahouses where you spend overnight and lunch is available while trekking in the next stops. Most of the teahouses set their menus keeping local and international eateries however in some places, expect to get some Nepalese cuisines only.

Daal Bhat( a set of rice, lentil, curry, and seasonable pickle) is widely available throughout the journey. Apart from this, eggs, soup, noodles, spaghetti, mo, and pancakes are also available in most places. Trekkers who wish to have all the western eateries may not be available on the trek which may create difficulty.

Tea and coffee are easily available even in elevated lands. You will not get mineral water bottles as the locals have banned plastic bottles, you need to carry a refillable water bottle with some water purification tablets or liquids. Tap water is available widely.

Annapurna Base Camp Trek Difficulty: Right seasons for the trek

Nepal offers four seasons in a year viz. summer, autumn, winter, and spring that contain months in each.  Among them, autumn (September to November) and spring (March to May) are the peak months for Annapurna Base Camp Trek.

Trekking in the autumn months offers to enjoy religious festivals too. The great festivals of Nepal as Dashain and Tihar fall in this season. Apart from this, the mountain views are vivid, the landscapes look lustrous and the skies are clear which comforts the journey.

Trekking in the spring season offers colorful hills with rhododendron and cherry blooms. These months witness less probability of snowfalls and skies become crystal clear offering panoramic views of the giant peaks.

Trekking in the winter months, trekkers should encounter more challenges as there are heavy snowfalls in the higher elevations. Due to the cold, the teahouses and lodges in the upper part of the trek get closed and trails may block in some parts. As these are the coldest months of the year, your health may get affected due to decreasing temperatures.

It is still possible to trek with great preparation and precaution. The days usually offer warm sunlight and peaks look awesome.

In the summer months, Nepal witness the monsoon season. Trekking may get affected due to the heavy downpours in the lower elevated lands.  However, it is quite possible to trek in the Annapurna region as the higher altitude in this area and is scaled in a rain-shaded area so the monsoon should not be that messy.

Although weather and climatic atmosphere play great roles to make the journey successful; it is possible to organize Annapurna Base Camp Trek without any hassle, if you plan properly before the trek.

Annapurna Base Camp Trek Difficulty: Lack of Training

A high elevated journey to the base of Annapurna peak is one of the most legendary, reliable, and classical trek in Nepal that offers iconic views of mountain ranges, landscapes, and topographies.

If any trekkers start any high elevated trekking will bring more challenges and difficulties. Steep ascends and descends; rough terrains and several ups and downs make the journey quite uneasy if you walk without preparations.

Walking in the Himalayan foothills for 6-7 hours a day for two weeks is not comfortable unless some physical exercises about 4 weeks before the trek.

Cycling, swimming, jogging, hiking, running, and other cardiovascular exercises help you to overcome hazards on the trip. So, if you don't have prior training, you might face several troubles catching up with your group or you may even have to quit the journey on the way due to the lack of stamina required and fortitude need to complete the trek.

Annapurna Base Camp Trek Difficulty: How Can I eradiate hazards during the trek

  • Walk maintaining your own pace. Have adequate rest and breaks while walking.
  • Drink plenty of water and keep hydrated.
  • Avoid alcoholic drinks and smoking during the trek.
  • Have plenty of exercises before the trek to build up stamina and endurance for the tough walks over the rugged mountains
  • Be aware of food and water hygiene.
  • Acclimatize properly during the trek which is the key to the success of the trek.
  • If you have problems in downward hiking, wear a knee cap.
  • Carry some energy bars or chocolates.
  • Carry first aid kit box with basic medicines.


An epic journey of Annapurna Base Camp Trek leads you to the antique settlements of different ethnic groups of Nepal and offers breathtaking views of world-class peaks of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri sections of Nepal.

A moderately difficult journey to the base of Annapurna- the 10th tallest peak of the world becomes a lifetime memory if you trek with some preparation beforehand. 

Author: Krishna Sapkota

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