What do hiking experts say about the Annapurna Base Camp trek?

10 April, 2021 | Reccy Guide

With tons of options for adventure enthusiasts and adrenaline-junkies, Nepal is one of the most desirable destinations to travel to. A vacation that comprises high-altitude climbing or expeditions across challenging trails is definitely something to look forward to. Whether it be classic treks in the Everest region like the Everest Base Camp Trek or those like the Mardi Himal Trek that takes you across less-traveled and solitary routes, Nepal offers almost anything and everything to a soul driven by wanderlust.

The Annapurna region is considered the Holy Grail for hiking enthusiasts across the globe. While the Annapurna Base Camp Trek takes you to the foot of the Annapurna South, the Annapurna Circuit Trek indeed takes a circuitous route and allows you to appreciate the magnificence of the entire Annapurna Massif.

Embarking on these classic treks could be on your bucket list. In fact, one of these could be the very next adventure you are planning to set your foot on. But before you do so, you should keep a tab on expert opinions about the Annapurna Base Camp Trek.

Expert opinions and tips about the Annapurna Base Camp Trek:

Getting tips and necessary recommendations from seasoned campaigners who have done the Annapurna Base Camp Trek multiple times could provide you some very detailed and oft-neglected insights. So let's get going!

Who can go for the Annapurna Base Camp Trek?

The Annapurna Base Camp Trek will take you through mossy jungles and lush green villages to the foot of one of the highest mountain systems in the world. The sheer gain and loss of elevation throughout the trek can be a drag for physically unfit people. Hence, you should fulfil specific criteria if you are venturing on the ABC Trek.

  • According to hiking experts, you should be comfortable carrying expedition backpacks weighing at least 10 to 15 kilos across mountainous trails. If you are not confident to pull this off, you need to practice accordingly. Take a walk up the hill or use the Stairmaster while carrying a backpack a few times each week. This should do the trick if you are investing a few months in this training regime.
  • If you are signing up for this hike, you should be physically fit. The ABC Trek is moderately challenging on the difficulty meter as it is pretty long, and there are drastic gains and losses of elevation. So you should be physically competent and have a high endurance level. Strength, endurance, and high-altitude conditioning are vital elements that will help you complete the trek successfully.
  • Having an experience of a high-altitude trek is a bonus. Even if it is just one, it makes you familiar with such expeditions' physical demands and any unprecedented situations that might spring up on the Himalayan trails.
  • A hiker with heart issues, high blood pressure, epilepsy, and asthma is strictly discouraged for the ABC Trek. The final height that you will reach is 4130 meters, and having these medical conditions will make you a bad fit for this high-altitude adventure.

view of snow covered trail

Having a solid mental preparation is a must

Though many hikers and adventure enthusiasts tend to the physical demands of the ABC Trek by preparing in advance, very few think about the mental side of the preparation. High-altitude adventures such as these take you across treacherous routes, and mishaps could occur any moment. You need to prepare mentally for every tragedy or disaster that you might face. You should also prepare for a break from the usual urban setting that you are habituated to.

Often, these trails are teeming with tea-houses that offer fundamental amenities like accommodation and food. Electricity is scarce, and power outages are expected. Water safety is a massive issue, and you will not get a feasible option to refill drinking water apart from the tea-houses on your trail. Hygiene will be another concern since showers and bathrooms are in short supply, that too, in the lower altitudes. Another issue is the immensely unpredictable Himalayan weather. One moment it is sunny; the next moment, the skies could be overcast with dark, rain-bearing clouds. If it rains, the rocks and boulders atop your trails could become wet and slippery. Thus it becomes an uphill task to manoeuvre yourself across those risky trails.

You should prepare well in advance for all these situations. A solid mental preparation does not deter you from your target even if you face any hazard en-route to the ABC. Remember the accomplishment that lies in front of you, and try to have a positive outlook and a steely resolve. These will be your assets during the trek.

Proper hydration solves many problems

Expert hikers have noticed a common phenomenon amongst newbies and amateur adventure enthusiasts. While trekking to the ABC, they often forget the importance of staying hydrated. Since the human body suddenly experiences a dearth of oxygen and pressure but is expected to continue walking across undulating terrains, the body fluids drain out extremely fast. It gives rise to painful medical conditions like constant headaches and severe altitude sickness. Though you should keep all the AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness) medicines handy, drinking a lot of water and constantly staying hydrated could be the key to completing the expedition successfully.

Drinking four to five liters of water each day is a necessity. Try to refill the water from credible sources like tea-houses. Thus, you should carry a water bottle or a flask. But if you do not have any freshwater source nearby and yet you need water, utilize the water purification tablets that you have procured from medical stores and pharmacies in Kathmandu.

Highlights of the trek

The ABC Trek offers you a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Let's take a look at some of the major takeaways from this trek.

  • The Annapurna Base Camp Trek offers you a host of natural beauties. It starts with grassy hillsides covered with step-farming plantations and takes you to mossy jungles and autumnal woodlands filled with oak, bamboo, and rhododendrons. Then your trail guides you to rocky creeks, lofty waterfalls and offers you a panoramic view of the snow-covered Himalayan peaks.
  • You will enjoy the incredible Himalayan vistas of Dhaulagiri, Annapurna South, Gangapurna, Macchapucchre, and Gandharvachuli.
  • You will get close to several species of plants, mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians as you navigate your way across the extensive Annapurna Conservation Project.
  • Apart from close encounters with nature, cultural interactions and experiences with the indigenous Nepalese tribes are common.
  • You can also get to relax your aching muscles in the hot springs of Jhinu Danda!

With the tips mentioned above and opinions provided by hiking experts, you are well-informed about your next expedition in Nepal. Pack appropriately, take the right gear, and stay prepared for all eventualities while you embark on this exciting adventure.

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