Annapurna Base Camp (ABC) 𝗧𝗿𝗲𝗸, 𝗡𝗲𝗽𝗮𝗹
Annapurna Base Camp (ABC) 𝗧𝗿𝗲𝗸, 𝗡𝗲𝗽𝗮𝗹
by Anurag Jajoo
Himalayan lovers – it’s been more than two years since I trekked in Annapurna region. But I still remember vividly that amazing experience of trekking with people from all over the world. Hence, I thought of sharing this trek experience and some common hacks related to trekking in Nepal. Hope it will help you prepare better if you’re planning a trek to ABC or elsewhere in Nepal.
Annapurna Base Camp (ABC) trek is one of the most popular treks not just in Nepal Himalayas but in the entire world and mountain lovers from all over the world fly down to Nepal to do this exhilarating Himalayan trek. It’s a moderate grade trek and can be done in 7 to 13 days depending on individual speed, route taken and how fast or leisurely one would like to do it. There are two routes that can be chosen in the initial part of the trek, however three days into the trek it is just one route that takes you all the way to ABC at an altitude of 4,130 meters.
🏞️ 𝙃𝙚𝙧𝙚’𝙨 𝙈𝙤𝙨𝙩 𝙋𝙤𝙥𝙪𝙡𝙖𝙧 𝘼𝘽𝘾 𝙏𝙧𝙚𝙠 𝙍𝙤𝙪𝙩𝙚:
Kathmandu – Pokhara (by road or flight) – Nayapul (road drive) – Ulleri – Ghorepani – Poon Hill (sunrise views of Mt. Machhepuchhre, Dhaulagiri & Annapurna ranges) – Ghorepani – Tadapani – Chhomrong – Dobhan – Deurali – Machhapuchhre Base Camp (MBC) – ABC – Bamboo – Jhinudanda (for hot springs) – Pothana – Ghandruk – Syauli Bazar/Nayapul – Pokhara (road drive).
Alternatively, one can drive all the way upto Landruk (treacherous offroading drive) in ever reliable Indian Tata Sumo from Pokhara and then trek to Ghandruk and continue further towards ABC.
Here’s listing out some important information regarding this trek that will help you organize it better, especially if you want to trek solo or in a small group of friends without the assistance of trek organizers. You will find some of the information here good for most other Nepal treks as well.
📌 𝙍𝙚𝙜𝙞𝙨𝙩𝙧𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣 𝘾𝙖𝙧𝙙 & 𝙏𝙧𝙚𝙠 𝙋𝙚𝙧𝙢𝙞𝙩 (𝙄𝙣𝙙𝙞𝙖𝙣𝙨):
One has to arrange two permits for the ABC trek – Trekker’s Information Management System (TIMS) card and Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) permit. TIMS card will cost you 1000* NPR and ACAP permit will cost 200* NPR. Both of these can be arranged directly without involving any agent either at Kathmandu or Pokhara. In Kathmandu, these can be arranged at Nepal Tourism Board office at Pradarshani Marg or in Pokhara at Nepal Tourism Board Service office at Damside area. Do carry 4 copies of passport size photographs and photocopies of your ID (preferably passport or Voter Id) along with originals. Preferably carry NPR to pay the fees, but Indian currency is also acceptable.
1 NPR = 0.625 INR
1 INR = 1.60 NPR
(fixed exchange rate)
- This was fee as in November 2017. At present fee may have increased. Do verify this from other sources.
📌 𝘿𝙚𝙗𝙞𝙩/𝘾𝙧𝙚𝙙𝙞𝙩 𝘾𝙖𝙧𝙙 & 𝘾𝙖𝙨𝙝 𝘼𝙘𝙘𝙚𝙥𝙩𝙖𝙗𝙞𝙡𝙞𝙩𝙮:
Most Indian debit and credit cards are accepted in Kathmandu and Pokhara merchant establishments. Cash withdrawal from most Nepal bank ATMs is also possible (thou check with your bank before leaving India). However, once on the trek, payment can only be done in cash. Indian currency notes of denomination 50, 100, 200 and 500 are easily accepted right up to the base camp. ₹2,000 notes may be accepted on trek route but giving ‘change’ becomes an issue sometimes in the high mountains. So, better to avoid carrying ₹2,000 notes.
📌 𝙆𝙖𝙩𝙝𝙢𝙖𝙣𝙙𝙪~𝙋𝙤𝙠𝙝𝙖𝙧𝙖~𝙆𝙖𝙩𝙝𝙢𝙖𝙣𝙙𝙪 𝙏𝙧𝙖𝙫𝙚𝙡:
Kathmandu to Pokhara bus service is easily available from Sorhakhutte area just outside Thamel everyday morning around 7 am. Reach the area on time and book a seat on the spot from several buses available, no need to book bus ticket in advance. Similarly, return bus from Pokhara can be booked on the spot around 7 am at Pokhara bus stand. It takes around 7 hours by bus to travel between these two cities. The ticket rates vary from NPR 700 to 1000 per person. Most bus operators stop mid-way at hotels that serve fresh buffet food @ NPR 300 per person additional. You can also take a short 25 mins 30 seater scenic flight between these two cities. However, that may cost you ₹5,000 INR (approx.) one-way.
📌 𝙏𝙧𝙚𝙠 𝙀𝙦𝙪𝙞𝙥𝙢𝙚𝙣𝙩 𝙍𝙚𝙣𝙩𝙖𝙡 & 𝙋𝙤𝙧𝙩𝙚𝙧 𝙎𝙚𝙧𝙫𝙞𝙘𝙚𝙨:
Nepal is the hub of trekking and there is no dearth of trekking gear rental shops in Kathmandu (Thamel area) and Pokhara. If you’re one of those who does not own trekking gear and relies on taking everything on rent, then you can get everything – shoes, jackets, tents, sleeping bags, mats, backpacks, etc. either at Kathmandu or Pokhara. You can bargain for the best rate and hire equipment against a rent and refundable cash deposit. Also, if you do not wish to carry your own backpack (for whatever reason) on the trek, then you can walk into any of the several trek organizing shops in Pokhara and ask for hiring a porter for the entire trek. The rates vary between NPR 1000 to 1400 per day. It must be noted that a porter is different from a guide. A guide does not carry backpack but he is technically more qualified with knowledge of peaks, routes, trekking skills, emergency medicines, English language skills, etc. But frankly, a trek like ABC does not require a guide as the route is well laid out and you will find several trekkers on the trail all the time to help you. Moreover, a guide will cost you much more. Therefore, insist on hiring just a porter if offloading your backpack is all you need. My porter was quite knowledgeable – he not only carried my backpack, but he also knew the names of most peaks on the trek route, helped me with bargaining at tea-houses for night stay, advised on what-n-where to eat and even gave me early morning wake-up calls. 😉
📌 𝙎𝙩𝙖𝙮, 𝙁𝙤𝙤𝙙, 𝙒𝙞𝙛𝙞, 𝙃𝙤𝙩 𝙎𝙝𝙤𝙬𝙚𝙧 @ 𝙏𝙧𝙚𝙠:
Trekking in Nepal is quite different from what it is in India. In Nepal, most of the trek routes have villages on the trail right upto the base camp or summit. On most days, trekkers end up staying in villages on the trek, which have several “tea-houses”. These tea-houses are nothing but homestays with basic rooms and attached restaurants. Most tea-houses have rooms with common washrooms but some come with the luxury of attached washrooms as well. These rooms cost between NPR 150 to 800 per night. They also have common hot shower option, but that costs additional 100 NPR per shower. And they offer wi-fi as well at an additional NPR 100 for 24 hours. Pure bliss for those who want to look good on the trek and waana keep connected to the world on such high altitude treks! Coming to food – a variety of world cuisine is available at these tea-houses thanks to the trekkers who come from all over the world. But, I mostly stuck to Nepal’s national food which is – dal bhaat – and noodles, as everything else they make is pretty average in taste (expectedly so). Food in high altitude mountains is expensive and the more you climb up the more expensive it gets, simply because the logistics/porter cost of carrying all the raw materials uphill keeps increasing with altitude. A full day’s meal consisting of tea, breakfast, lunch, dinner, hot milk, etc. can set you back by NPR 1500 or more easily. Carrying your own nuts and dry fruits on the trek can be a good idea – it can help save some money on expensive snacks on the trail and also provides much needed energy too.
📌 𝙈𝙤𝙗𝙞𝙡𝙚 𝘾𝙤𝙣𝙣𝙚𝙘𝙩𝙞𝙫𝙞𝙩𝙮 @ 𝙉𝙚𝙥𝙖𝙡 𝙏𝙧𝙚𝙠𝙨:
Nepal has few mobile service providers. Nepal Telecom Corp. (NTC) and Ncell are the two prominent service providers. NTC which is also known as Namaste is a government company. NTC/Namaste has a better connectivity and data services in the mountain trails compared to Ncell. Buy a SIM card directly at a telecom shop in Kathmandu. You will need to carry original/photocopy of your passport or Voter ID card and 2 passport size photos. Buy a plan that suits you after checking the latest printed rate card available at the shop.
📌 𝘽𝙚𝙨𝙩 𝙈𝙤𝙣𝙩𝙝𝙨 𝙛𝙤𝙧 𝘼𝘽𝘾 𝙏𝙧𝙚𝙠:
Late March to mid June and September end to December 2nd week.
Hope this ABC trek info will provide some clarity on trekking in Nepal (specifically ABC) and help you guys plan better.
Enjoy my trek pics from 𝗡𝗼𝘃𝗲𝗺𝗯𝗲𝗿 𝟮𝟬𝟭𝟳.