Annapurna Base Camp Trek

Duration 9 Days Difficulty Moderate-Difficult

Why Annapurna Base Camp is among the most popular treks in the world

The Annapurna base camp trek is one of the most popular treks in the world. It literally brings you face to face with an eight thousander – for a moderate-difficult trek, this is incredible! The fascinating Annapurna massif includes the world’s tenth highest peak. Annapurna I (8,091 m) holds an almost fatal attraction for mountaineers. It has the highest fatality ratio among the eight thousanders. This formidable aura apart, the ABC trek holds several treasures for the mountain lover.

Trekkers standing at Annapurna Base Camp with the the grand Annapurna Massif before them. Picture by Chaitan Sharma

Mountain views that leave you spellbound

The Annapurna range whets your appetite for mountain views right from Pokhara. This is even before you start the trek. At Ghandruk, you get distinct views of Machapuchare, Annapurna South and Hiunchuli. Views of different peaks of the Annapurna massif and Machapuchare stay with you all the way till Sinuwa. The tip of Machapuchare teases you at Dovan. As you burst out of the forest past Himalaya and Deurali, Machapuchare appears before you in its full glory.

Mt Machapuchare on a clear night. Picture by Vivek Kumar Varma

Machapuchare, the ‘fish tailed mountain’, is revered by the Nepalese for its exquisite beauty. It is believed to be one of the homes of Lord Shiva. It has never been officially summitted! At the Machapuchare base camp, in addition to Machapuchare, you will see Annapurna I, Annapurna South, Gangapurna and Hiunchuli up close.

Beautiful sunset over Machapuchare as seen from Machapuchare base camp PC: Parvathi Raghu

The Annapurna Base Camp is a small cluster of lodges opposite the Annapurna glacier. As you look up from the edge of the glacier, you come face to face with the Annapurna massif. Annapurna I, III and South, Gangapurna, Gandharvachuli and Machapuchare are all there to meet your gaze when your eyes rest upon them.

Trekking inside the forests of the Annapurna Conservation Area

The trail takes you through a variety of vegetation. While trekking from Ghandruk to Chomrung you are surrounded by rhododendron, fern and bamboo. Once you cross Sinuwa to enter the Annapurna sanctuary, the forest becomes dense. Tall oak trees become prominent here. As you move higher up towards Deurali, the thick forests give way to tall grass. Around this area, you will find trees with thick bark called Daphne. This is used by locals to make paper. These trees are commonly found around Sandakphu as well. Closer to Machapuchare base camp, the terrain turns Alpine. You see patches of grass amidst boulders. There are also flowering plants lining the trail at this section.

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Trek under a canopy of mixed forests through the Annapurna Sanctuary. Picture by Chaitan Sharma

The trail has 3 sections through forest that is so dense that sunlight barely seeps through. The first one starts right after the villages around Chomrung and extends till New Bridge. On the trail from Sinuwa, you hear the Modi Khola roaring past right next to you. But the trees around are so dense that you can’t really see the river. The third stretch is after Bamboo and goes all the way to Dovan. The beauty of this trek is that you walk through these forests not once, but twice!

The trek is nestled in the 7,629 sq km Annapurna Conservation Area. This is home to 1,226 species of flowering plants, 102 mammals, 474 birds, 33 reptiles and 22 amphibians. If you’re lucky you might spot an exotic bird or even a marmut.

A peek into Nepali culture

This trek is a classic tea house trek. You stay in small lodges which typically accommodate 20-25 people. These are run by locals. People also migrate from different parts of Nepal to work here in the tourist season. Interacting with the staff at tea houses, guides and porters on the trail will give you a glimpse into their way of life. Most people speak English so communication is not a problem. The food served at tea houses is prepared in the Nepalese style. You will notice that a lot of it is quite similar to Indian food.

A typical Nepalese meal at a tea house. PC: Lakshmi Selvakumaran

Ghandruk is the biggest village in this area. As you begin the trek, you walk past several small villages, each inhabited by less than hundred people. This trail is commonly used by the locals to get to their homes and fields. So you’re likely to bump into villagers right till Sinuwa, where the Annapurna Sanctuary begins. The area just outside the villages is cultivated with banana plantations and paddy fields.

Melting pot of adventurous souls

The ABC trek attracts mountain lovers from all over the world. In October, when the views are known to be outstanding, expect to hear a variety of languages on the trail. Tea houses become convenient forums to discuss and exchange notes with strangers who could be from anywhere. You experience this kind of diversity on very few treks.

Cluster of tea houses at Chomrong. PC: Chaitan Sharma

The Trek

Day 1: Drive from Pokhara to Lower Ghandruk. Trek to Komrong.

Pokhara is the gateway to the Annapurna region. You drive from Pokhara to lower Ghandruk and trek for about an hour to reach Lower Ghandruk. Ghandruk is the biggest village you will find on the trek. You will see old stone and slate roofed houses lining the slope. You will also find a lot of tea houses spread through the entire village. This is your first introduction to the tea house culture of trekking. You will experience this throughout the trek.

Reach Pokhara on your own. We will pick you up from near the lake at 7.00 am. The exact location will be communicated to you prior to the trek.

  • Altitude: 7,380 ft (2,249 m)
  • Time taken: 2-3 hours drive to lower Ghandruk; 3 hours trek to Komrong (5 km)
  • Trek gradient: Moderate
  • Water sources: You can refill your water bottles at tea houses on the way.
Well laid out trail amidst tea houses at the beginning of the trek. PC: Chaitan Sharma

From Ghandruk, the trail descends gradually to Kyunri Khola (stream). Once you cross the bridge across the stream, the trail split. Take the trail on the right – this ascends steeply for about an hour to Komrong (7,380 ft).

Day 2: Komrong to Chomrung

  • Altitude: 7,380 ft (2,249 m) to 7,120 ft (2,170 m)
  • Time taken: 5-6 hours, 7 km approx.
  • Trek gradient: Starts with a short gradual descent for about an hour. This is followed by an ascent all the way to Chomrung.
  • Water sources: You can refill your water bottles at tea houses on the way.
  • Vegetation: Sub-tropical forest. You will predominantly find Rhododendron, fern and bamboo. Villages are lined with Banana and paddy plantations.
Nepalese villages visible on the trail to Chomrong. PC: Chaitan Sharma

Komrong is located on top of a ridge. From Komrong, you can see Chomrung on the other side of the mountain, separated by Kimrong Khola. Descend from Komrong towards Kimrong. In half an hour you will cross a small stream. The trail ascends from here to reach Kimrong Khola in half an hour.

Once you cross Kimrong Khola, keep to your right. You will be following Kimrong Khola along the mountainside. The muddy trail ascends gradually. You will see Komrong on the other side now. Snow capped mountains such as Machapuchare, Annapurna South, Hiunchuli and the tip of Gangapurna gradually begin to appear. After about an hour, you will reach the first few lodges of Chomrung, at the edge of the mountain. The trail splits here – take the ascending stone steps to reach Chomrung at the top.

A view of the Annapurna range from Chomrung PC: Parvathi Raju

From the top you can again see Annapurna South, much closer now. Also visible is the entire Chomrung village, which lies on the other side of the mountain. On the opposite side you will see Sinuwa village, which you will trek through on Day 3.

Chomrung is known as the gateway to the Annapurna Sanctuary. From here, you get a grandstand view of the peaks that were visible on the trail. Do not miss the sunset view on Annapurna South from here

Chomrung, like Ghandruk, is lined with tea houses. There are also several shops that sell essentials like batteries, memory cards and toilet paper. Rest here for the day. There is a checkpost here where you need to register yourself again. Visit the office and show your TIMS card.

Day 3: Chomrung to Dovan

  • Altitude: 7,120 ft (2,170 m) to 8,460 ft (2,579 m)
  • Time taken: 6-7 hours, 10.5 km approx.
  • Trek gradient: Moderate-difficult. Initial descent for 20 minutes followed by a steep ascent for about an hour. Gradual ascent for half an hour followed by a steep 30 minute descent. Finish with a 2 hour ascent to Dovan.
  • Water sources: You can refill your water bottles at tea houses on the way.
  • Vegetation: Rhododendron, Oak, Bamboo and Fern
You come across a variety of flora including rhododendrons, ferns and bamboo while trekking through the sanctuary. PC: Lakshmi Selvakumaran

Chomrung (7,120 ft/2,170 m) to Sinuwa (7,675 ft/2,339 m)

The trek today begins with a descent on the stone steps towards Chomrung village. Along Chomrung, for about 500 metres, you will find tea houses on either side. In 20 minutes you will reach Chomrung Khola. The last guest house before the bridge on Chomrung Khola is place-marked as Sinuwa – ignore this since Sinuwa is at least an hour away.

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Hanging bridge across Chomrung Khola. Picture by Chaitan Sharma

The trail climbs steeply on stone steps after the bridge. 15 minutes of climbing brings you to the hamlet of Tilche, which has a few houses. Another 10 minutes of trek from Tilche brings you to Lower Sinuwa. From here, the trail again climbs steeply on stone steps to reach Upper Sinuwa. This takes around 20 minutes – you can see the place as you start climbing. You will get good views of Machapuchare and Annapurna III from the viewpoint. Both Lower and Upper Sinuwa have a few lodges.

The trail to Sinuwa is lined with fields and thin forests. Beyond Upper Sinuwa (7,675 ft), you will be entering the Annapurna Sanctuary area. This is marked by dense forests and clustered tea houses. Cutting trees for firewood is prohibited. The tea houses are all powered by hydroelectric power plants. You can spot some of the small scale power plants along the trail.

Sinuwa (7,675 ft/2,339 m) to Bamboo (7,675 ft/2,339 m)

The mud trail from Sinuwa to Bamboo climbs up gradually for the first 30 minutes, till you reach a clearing. You will see an abandoned ACAP checkpost here (8,100 ft). From here, it’s a steep descent to Bamboo on stone steps for about 30 minutes.

Steep descent on stone steps. PC: Chaitan Sharma

All this while you are walking through dense forest. The Modi Khola flows alongside but you can only hear it. As you approach Bamboo you feel yourself getting closer to the source of the sound of this running river. Have lunch at one of the lodges in Bamboo.

Bamboo (7,675 ft/2,339 m) to Dovan (8,460 ft/2,579 m)

The ascent to Dovan begins immediately where the lodges of Bamboo end. Cross the wooden bridge that you will reach in 10 minutes. Climb further up for about 40 minutes till you get another wooden bridge. Dovan is 10 minutes from here, up the same trail.

This stretch is one of the most beautiful walks of the trek. The forest is dense and the climb is not too strenuous. You can stay in any of the 5 lodges in Dovan – they’re all in a single lane. Only the tip of Machapuchare is visible from Dovan.

Day 4: Dovan to Machapuchare Base Camp

  • Altitude: 8,460 ft (2,579 m) to 12,135 ft (3,699 m)
  • Time taken: 6-7 hours, 10 km approx.
  • Trek gradient: Moderate-difficult. Begins with a gradual ascent. Proceeds in a series of gradual and steep ascents.
  • Water sources: You can refill your water bottles at tea houses on the way.
  • Vegetation: The terrain switches from sub tropical forest to alpine. Rhododendron, Oak, Bamboo and Fern until Himalaya. Fern, Daphne and tall grass beyond Deurali.
Moonlit Machapuchare as seen from the Machapuchare base camp PC: Vivek Kumar Verma

Dovan (8,460 ft/2,579 m) to Himalaya (9,510 ft/2,899 m)

The trail winds slowly up from Dovan towards Himalaya. In about 10 minutes, you’ll reach a fork in the trail – take the one to the left. Cross the wooden bridge that you get in about 15 minutes and continue ascending. The path is a mix of short stretches of steep and gradual ascents. Walk past the shrine that you get on your left till you reach another fork in the trail (about an hour from Dovan).

Both routes lead to Himalaya but the mud route to the right is shorter and steeper and joins the other one 5-10 minutes later. Another 10 minutes of climbing brings you to a point where the trail opens up to the Modi Khola. Machapuchare becomes visible again here. You will also see Himalaya from here. Fifteen minutes on an undulating trail brings you to Himalaya. There are a few lodges in Himalaya in case you wish to take a break.

Tea houses at Himalaya. PC: Chaitan Sharma

The trail that goes to the right from the first fork that you hit earlier today goes to a small hut. This is one of the small hydroelectric power plants which supplies electricity to surrounding villages. You are likely to find signs of past landslides and avalanches on the trail today.

Himalaya (9,510 ft/2,899 m) to Deurali (10,595 ft/3,229 m) (about 6 km from Dovan)

Climb up steadily from Himalaya for about an hour to reach an overhanging rock called Hinku cave. The entrance to the cave is blocked. From here, the trail slowly descends for 10-15 minutes till you reach two big snow patches. Cross the snow patches and one stream. Climb up for for about 20 minutes to reach Deurali. Have lunch at Deurali.

Trekkers headed to Machapuchare Base camp on the bouldery terrain. PC: Chaitan Sharma

After Himalaya, the terrain starts to shift from dense forest to alpine boulder. The only vegetation you find are Bamboo, Ferns and grass. You will be climbing up and down small boulders on a large part of the trail.

Deurali (10,595 ft/3,229 m) to Machapuchare Base Camp (12,135 ft/3,704 m) (about 4 km)

It’ll take you 10 minutes of climbing through boulders to cross the last lodge at Deurali. From here, the trail opens up to the valley with Modi Khola thundering past next to you. You will see Machapuchare and Gangapurna in the distance.

Modi Khola thunders past during the descent from Deurali. PC: Chaitan Sharma

Keep walking ahead till you reach descending stone steps leading to Bagar in about 40 minutes. Continue past the abandoned lodges here and climb steadily up from for about 1 hour. You will reach a bridge and cross Modi Khola. MBC is 20-30 minutes from here, up steep steps. Soak in the magnificent views of Machapuchare (22,955 ft) in front and Annapurna to your left.

The terrain on this stretch is marked with small snow bridges that need to be crossed. You are also entering grasslands, marked with few Daphne trees. Small flowering plants adorn the trail with their colours. The mountains on either side are rocky. Small waterfalls flow from either side into Modi Khola. This is also marked as an avalanche prone area.

You will be ascending close to 4,000 ft. Watch out for signs of AMS. Make sure you don’t rush through the trail – walk slowly to help your body acclimatise.

Day 5: Machapuchare Base Camp to Annapurna Base Camp

  • Altitude: 12,135 ft (3,704 m) to 13,550 ft (4,130 m)
  • Time taken: 2 hours,  3.5 km approx.
  • Trek gradient: Moderate. Steep ascent in the beginning for about 1 km after which the trail ascends gradually to reach ABC.
  • Water sources: You can refill your water bottles at tea houses on the way.
  • Vegetation: Alpine terrain with grasslands on rocky mountains.
First light at dawn on the Annapurna range as seen from Annapurna Base Camp PC: Vivek Kumar Verma

Start early from Machapuchare Base Camp. The peaks glowing with the golden and orange tints of sunrise are a must watch. ABC is about 90 degrees to the left of the direction you came in to Machapuchare Base Camp.

The initial 1 km is a steep ascent. Then the trail ascends gradually. As you walk, you will see sunrise hit Annapurna I and slowly extend towards Annapurna South. The last stretch to ABC is a walk on moraines. If you are lucky, you can spot some Marmut on the way to ABC.

You gare surrounded by mountains at ABC. Annapurna I, Annapurna III, Annapurna South, Gangapurna, Gandharvachuli and Machapuchare are right there in front of you. Pick a spot at the edge of the Annapurna glacier and soak in the views.

Day 6: ABC to Bamboo

  • Altitude: 13,550 ft (4,130 m) to 7,675 ft (2,339 m)
  • Time taken: 8-9 hours, 15.5 km approx.
  • Trek gradient: Moderate-difficult. Mix of steep and gradual descent, tracing the same route back.
  • Water sources: You can refill your water bottles at tea houses on the way.
View of Machapuchare enroute Annapurna Base Camp PC: Vivek Kumar Verma

This is perhaps the longest day of the trek. You will be tracing back the same route you took to reach ABC all the way to Bamboo – crossing MBC, Deurali, Himalaya and Dovan. Today’s trek includes long stretches of steep descent interspersed with short ascents. Himalaya is good place to stop for lunch.

Trail to Machapuchare and Annapurna Base camp alongside Modi Khola. PC: Chaitan Sharma

Day 7:  Bamboo to Jhinu

  • Altitude: 7,675 ft (2,339 m) to 5,770 ft (1,759 m)
  • Time taken: 6-7 hours, 10 km approx.
  • Trek gradient: Moderate-difficult. Steep ascent for about 45 minutes followed by steep descent for about 2 hours. Another steep descent for about 45 minutes followed by a steeply descending trail all the way.
  • Water sources: You can refill your water bottles at tea houses on the way.
The descending trail through the forest leads to a bridge across Chomrung Khola. PC: Chaitan Sharma

Take the trail to Sinuwa and begin climbing up steep steps till you reach the abandoned check post. This should take you around 45 minutes. Descend from here till Sinuwa fo about 45 minutes. From Sinuwa, it’s a hard descent to Chomrung Khola for about an hour followed by a steep ascent to Chomrung for about 45 minutes.

Checkout from the ACAP office at Chomrung before you leave.

Take the ascending trail from Chomrung up to the fork with the signpost for Juini. This should take you about 5 minutes. Descend on the steep steps to reach Jhinu in 1.5-2 hours.

The view of the sub tropical forests from Jhinu is one of the best. Jhinu faces Modi Khola and is famous for hot springs. Enjoy a nice bath here.

Day 8: Jhinu to Syauli Bazaar; leave for Pokhara

  • Altitude: 5,770 ft (1,759 m) to 3,740 ft (1,140 m)
  • Time taken: 4 hours trek, 6 km approx. + 2-3 hours drive to Pokhara, 45 km approx.
  • Trek gradient: Easy-moderate. Steep descent for about 30 minutes followed by gradual ascent.
  • Water sources: You can refill your water bottles at tea houses on the way.
  • Vegetation: Mix of terraced farms along villages to dense forest along the way.
Wooden bridge on the way from Jhinu to New Bridge. PC: Chaitan Sharma

Take the steeply descending trail from Jhinu to reach the bridge at Kimrong Khola in about 30 minutes. After crossing the bridge, take the trail to the left. The ascending trail to the right goes to Somrong. Keep walking along the houses on the trail straight ahead. You will reach New Bridge in about an hour. This stretch of the trail is a mix of gradual and steep ascents. Many different kinds of butterflies thrive in this region, below 5,000 ft. So, you will have a colourful display of these as you reach lower from Jhinu.

Continue on the trail from New bridge. Within 5 minutes you see a fork to Landruk on the left and to Kyumi on the right. Take the trail to Kyumi. After about 20 minutes on this undulating trail, you will reach a small village, Uppu Dandu. Take the descending stone steps from here to reach Kalchane in another 20 minutes. You will find a couple of tea houses here.

The trail from Kalchane forks again in about 10 minutes. Take the route to Kyumi – to the left and descending. Keep to the right on this trail. You will reach Kyumi in about 20 minutes. Kyumi is a small, quaint village with 5 tea houses. Have lunch here.

From Kyumi, take the ascending trail towards Ghandruk. You will hit a fork within 5 minutes – take the trail to Birethanti  and reach the roadhead in about 45 minutes. This is Syauli Bazaar. This is where the trek ends. If you’re traveling on your own, regular buses and jeeps to Pokhara can be boarded here.

Banner image by Chaitan Sharma

SHORT ITINERARY

Day 1: Reach Pokhara on your own before 7.00 am. Pick up point will be near the lake. Drive from Pokhara to lower Ghandruk; 2-3 hours. Trek to Komrong (7,380 ft); 3 hours

Day 2: Komrong (7,380 ft) to Chomrung (7,120 ft); 5-6 hours, 7 km

Day 3: Chomrung (7,120 ft) to Dovan (8,460 ft); 6-7 hours, 10.5 km

Day 4: Dovan (8,460) to Machapuchare Base Camp (12,135 ft); 6-7 hours, 10 km

Day 5: Machapuchare Base camp (12,135 ft) to Annapurna Base camp (13,550 ft); 2 hours, 3.5 km

Day 6: ABC (13,550 ft) to Bamboo (7,675 ft); 8-9 hours, 15.5 km

Day 7: Bamboo (7,675 ft) to Jhinu (5,770 ft); 6-7 hours, 10 km

Day 8: Jhinu (5,770 ft) to Syauli Bazaar (3,740 ft); 4 hours, 6 km; Depart for Pokhara; 2-3 hours drive

Day 9: Buffer day

Please note that you will be staying in tea houses on all days of the trek.

If the buffer day is used,  you have to pay us Rs. 3,250 per day (INR) + 5% GST for the buffer day. We will collect this only if we use the buffer day. The money will be collected by your trek leader.

It is mandatory for trekkers to carry a copy of their photo id for entry at forest check posts on the trek.

Reaching Pokhara

The best way to reach Pokhara is to reach Kathmandu and take a bus or flight to Pokhara. You are expected to reach Pokhara before 7.00 am on the first day of the trek. The pick up point will be near the lake.

By bus

Regular buses leave from Kathmandu at 15 minute intervals to Pokhara starting from 7.00 AM. Tourist buses cost between 800-1200 NPR per person and a local minibus costs between 400-600 NPR per person. The duration of the drive is between 5-7 hours. The drive winds through beautiful hillsides and valleys. You can check fares and routes here – Greenline.

Most hotels help with booking bus tickets so you don’t need to book them in advance.

By flight

It is a 40 minute flight from Kathmandu to Pokhara. Flights fly daily on this route between 8.00 am and 3.00 pm. Yeti Airlines, Buddha Air and Simrik Air operate on this stretch.

Here are a couple of websites where you can buy flight tickets. A single person’s return airfare is usually in the range of INR 5,500 – 9,000. This could vary depending on the airline and when you buy the ticket.

Lower Ghandruk is a 2-3 hours drive from Pokhara. The trek up to Komrong from Lower Ghandruk will take about 3 hours.

Getting back to Pokhara

The trek ends at Syauli Bazaar, which is the road head. Private cabs and buses are easily available from here to Pokhara. Make sure you stop at Birethanti to let the TIMS and ACAP office know that you are exiting the trek zone. Indiahikes will arrange transport from Syauli Bazaar to Pokhara. You are expected to reach Pokhara by around 6 pm. It is advisable to stay the night at Pokhara and plan your onward journey on the next day.

We have included a buffer day in the itinerary to deal with inclement weather or any other emergency. Please plan your onward journey from Kathmandu only after Day 9.

How to get fit for the Annapurna Base Camp trek

The Annapurna Base Camp trek is classified as moderate-difficult. You start from an altitude of 6,360 ft at Ghandruk and reach a highest point of 13,550 ft at ABC. You will have long trails almost everyday and there will be days with very steep ascents and descents. A large portion of this will be on steps. This can make the trek quite demanding, especially on inclines.

As the trek demands a high level of fitness, we have a screening process for our trekkers.

Once you register, you will get a questionnaire from your Trek Coordinator who will ask you to send a screenshot of the GPS track and also the splits.

You need to cover 5 km in 35 mins and record it with splits of the run for the entire week using any fitness app before you register.

You will be able to make the payment only once he/she approves the fitness screenshot.

In order to be prepared for a high altitude trek, you should have a combination of distance and speed targets. In case you’re just starting with a regular fitness routine, you can phase out your targets in the following manner –

  • Target completing 10 km in 70 minutes before the start of the trek
  • Gradually bring up your speed to do 5 km in 30 minutes
  • Start increasing the distance you jog to 10 km in 70 minutes

Before the start of the trek, you should be able to cover 10 km in 70 minutes. 

Strength – Target 4 sets of squats with 20 in each

This is another area you should work on. There is a lot of trekking distance that you will cover in high altitude carrying your backpacks.  You have to walk on uneven terrain during the trek. It could be taxing for your legs. For this, strengthening your legs will help. You can do some squats to strengthen them. Start with 3 sets of squats, with 8 squats in each set and work towards reaching your target in 3 weeks.

Flexibility

Another aspect that will help you trek comfortably is flexibility. For this, you can do some stretching exercises – stretch your hamstrings, quadriceps, hip flexors, lower back muscles and shoulders regularly. On your trek, it is important that you arrive on the slopes with your muscles relaxed. Carrying a backpack, however light, can become a strain after a while. These exercises will help you to be in good shape before the trek.

Here is a guide to help you get fit for the trek.

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One month trek fitness routine for moderate treks

Working out indoors
If you can’t go out and jog because of time and space constraints, here’s a video you can use to work out indoors.

What to take on the Annapurna Base Camp trek

Bare necessities

  1. Trekking shoes: There could be slippery patches on ABC trail, especially where you’re crossing streams. You will need trekking shoes with good grip. Sports shoes will not be comfortable. You can watch this video to learn to choose the right trekking shoes.
  2. Backpack (40-60 litres): A backpack with sturdy straps and a supporting frame. Rain cover for backpack is essential.

Clothes

On a trek, carry fewer clothes than you would normally need. Do not pack for ‘what if situations’. That will only add to the weight of your backpack and not be used on the trek. Once your clothes get warmed up on a trek, you will not feel like changing. Just maintain personal hygiene.

  1. Three warm layers: At the campsites, especially the higher ones – Machapuchare Base camp and Annapurna Base camp – the temperature after sundown can drop down to below 0 degrees. You will need at least three warm layers (two lights layers such as fleece and woollen and one padded jacket) for this trek.
  2. Three trek pants: Wear one pair and carry the other two. Denim/jeans and shorts are not suitable for trekking.
  3. Three collared t-shirts: Carry light, full sleeved t-shirts that prevent sun burns on the neck and arms. Again, wear one and carry two. Let one of these be a dri-fit t-shirt. It will dry quickly in case you are trekking on a rainy day. A common mistake that trekkers make is not changing their tshirts often enough. Regardless of how cold it is, the body tends to sweat a lot. Trekkers who don’t change to fresh clothes after reaching the campsite fall ill due to wet clothes and are often unable to complete their trek. 
  4. Thermals (Optional): Those who are more susceptible to cold can carry thermals to wear at night.

Accessories

  1. Sunglasses: Sunglasses are to prevent snow blindness. While you’re unlikely to find snow in October, carry a pair nonetheless.
  2. Suncap: The sun feels stronger while walking on the mountain slopes. Carry a suncap to protect your head and neck from the heat, especially if you’re trekking later in the day.
  3. Synthetic hand gloves: One pair of fleece or woolen hand gloves. One pair of water proof/resistant, wind proof gloves.
  4. BalaclavaYou may use woolen scarves instead as well.
  5. Socks (2 pairs):  Apart from two sports socks, you can take a pair of woolen socks for the night.
  6. Headlamp/LED torch: Mandatory
  7. Trekking poleWatch this video to understand why you need a trekking pole.

Others

  1. Daypack (20 litres): If you are offloading your backpack, you will need a smaller backpack to carry water, medical kit and some light snacks.
  2. Toiletries: Sunscreen, moisturiser, light towel, lip balm, toilet paper, toothbrush, toothpaste, hand sanitiser. Do not carry wet wipes since these are not biodegradable. If you do happen to use wet wipes to clean up after a trek, make sure you bring them back with you. The same holds for used sanitary napkins. Carry a zip lock bag to put used wet tissues and napkins. Bring this ziplock bag back with you to the city and do not dispose wet tissues and sanitary napkins in the mountains. 
  3. Two water bottles: 1 litre each. The use of plastic is not permitted in the Annapurna region. You will not find plastic or mineral water bottles on sale anywhere, in case you plan to buy and reuse bottles. So make sure you bring your own water bottles.
  4. Plastic covers: While packing, use plastic bags to compartmentalise things and carry a few extra plastic bags for wet clothes.

Mandatory Personal Medical Kit

  1. Diamox – 1 Strip
  2. Crocin- 10 tablets
  3. Avomine (optional, in case of motion sickness)- 1 Strip
  4. Combiflam- Half Strip
  5. Muscle relaxant – Half Strip
  6. Digene- Half Strip
  7. Avil- 1 strip
  8. ORS- 6 packs
  9. Knee Cap (If you are prone to knee injury)

Mandatory Documents

To enter the Annapurna Sanctuary Area and to trek, you need to register and pay the entry fee. This fee is 1,000 NPR  for Indians and 4,000 NPR for International trekkers. This includes the fee to the National Trust for Nature conservation and for registering with the Trekker’s Information Management System (TIMS). The Indiahikes trekking fee is inclusive of these charges. If you choose to go with a guide, the guide will do the necessary paperwork. If not, you can get this registration done at Kathmandu, Pokhara, Nayapul checkpost or Birethanti checkpost.  It takes around 15-20 minutes to get this done.  At Pokhara, you can get this in the Tourism office of Pokhara.  If you are getting it at Nayapul or Birethanti, get down from the bus, get your permit and then push up to Ghandruk. You will receive a TIMS card which you will carry with you on the trek.

Please carry the documents mentioned below. Documents two and three need to be downloaded (PDF), filled in, signed and handed over to the trek leader at the base camp.
  • 3 passport size photos and an original + copy of government photo ID document – required for Sanctuary registration and TIMS
  • Medical Certificate (first part to be filled by a doctor and second part by the trekker) – Download PDF
  • Disclaimer form (to be filled by the trekker) – Download PDF

Here’s a guide to help you pack for the trek – 

Here’s a quick info-graphic to give you an overview of everything you need in your backpack.

What are the risks on the Annapurna Base Camp Trek?

The Annapurna Base Camp trek is graded moderate-difficult. If you have registered for this trek, then here is some information that you must know in order to have a safe trek. At Indiahikes, we believe that as long as you are well-informed and well-prepared, you can survive easily at high altitudes.

The ABC trek has long distances to be covered everyday. Although there are no technical sections, this high altitude trek comes with several risks. The trek climbs very rapidly from Dovan to Machapuchare Base camp. There are several stretches with very steep ascents and descents. These are some of the things you need to be mindful of.

What Indiahikes does to ensure your safety

Our philosophy is simple. We ingrain safety aspects in the people we work with, in the processes that we follow, and in the equipment we carry. All our trek leaders are trained repeatedly on safety issues and protocols. Most issues are resolved with their intervention.

Right from the time you decide to register for the trek till the last day of the trek, these safety procedures will be running in the background. We have listed a few of them below:

1. Fitness criteria before registration

Over years of organising high altitude treks, we have found that safety issues thrive amongst those who are unfit and unprepared for the trek. So we have introduced an eligibility criteria for the ABC trek. Anyone who wants to register for the ABC trek has to meet the fitness requirements, with the ideal BMI. The BMI and fitness regime will require proof. A high altitude trek is not to be taken casually.

2. Monitoring health on a trek

Any abnormal reading will be paid special attention to and action will be taken immediately.

On the ABC trek, your Trek Leader will be monitoring two aspects thrice a day.

  •      Oxygen Level
  •      Pulse Rate

Your Blood Pressure levels will be checked once a day.

This will help us ensure that your body is acclimatising as required.

Every trekker will be given a Health Card at the beginning of the trek. The Health Card is issued to monitor the trekker’s daily health, wherein they will be entering details about their health everyday. It also contains details of what symptoms one should look out for and what action should be taken during emergencies. These Health Cards will be collected back at the end of the trek.

3. High Altitude Medical Kit

Your trek leader will be carrying a full-fledged high altitude medical kit. This will include basic medicines and specific medicines catering to altitude sickness – Diamox, Dexamethasone (tablets and injections) and Nifedipine. Your Trek Leader will also be carrying a portable oxygen cylinder throughout the trek. In addition to that, there are oxygen cylinders installed at all high altitude campsites for any emergency situations.

4. High Altitude Trek Equipment

To ensure safe trekking on snowy terrain, Indiahikes will provide you with micro-spikes to attach to your shoes. This will give you good traction on hard snow. To avoid snow from entering your shoes, Indiahikes will provide you with gaiters that you can put on over your shoes. You will have qualified technical guides with you, who will lead the way on difficult terrain.

All our sleeping bags and tents are custom-made for high altitude. If it is cold outside, it will be around 10 degrees warmer inside the tent. The sleeping bags can withstand temperatures up to -10 degree Celsius.

5. Being hydrated and well nourished on the trek

You need to drink a minimum of 4 litres of water every day during the trek to ensure that you’re well hydrated. De-hydration on a trek can make you lose energy very quickly and intensify the effects of AMS. Your trek leader will brief you about the amount of water that you need to carry with you at the start of each day as well as water sources on the trail.

We provide trekkers with nutritious meals to ensure that they are energized to complete the trail each day. Apart from this, snacks or packed lunch is provided wherever the trail before a meal break is likely to be long. Make sure that you do not skip any meal as this can lead to serious health emergencies on high altitudes.

With all these processes and equipment in place, you can be rest assured that you will have a safe trek with Indiahikes.

Nevertheless, you will need to be cautious and report the slightest of symptoms to your trek leader as soon as you feel them.

What you compulsorily need to know if you’re going on the ABC trek

ams-symptoms-indiahikes

Acute Mountain Sickness:

At high altitudes the chances of being hit by Acute Mountain Sickness cannot be ruled out.

Machapuchare base camp and ABC are the highest campsites on the trek. Trekkers tend to develop symptoms of altitude sickness at these camps. This is especially the case on Day 4, when the ascent is rapid and you gain close to 4,000 ft.

Inform your trek leader about your condition immediately if you feel any symptoms of AMS. If the symptoms don’t alleviate it is best to head down to a lower campsite.

This risk can be avoided by going on a course of Diamox. Even while on Diamox, the risk of AMS still prevails. While AMS can be treated with rest and medicines for the most part, the symptoms must be recognised before it can go to advanced stages – High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE) and High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE).

HAPE and HACE are critical conditions that can be fatal within hours. And they can occur without AMS preceding them. So it’s doubly important to recognise any symptoms and nip them in the bud.

** Being a tea house trek, alcohol tends to be available easily on this trek. Although prohibited on our treks, some trekkers make the mistake of sneaking in a drink. Nothing can be deadlier than this. Alcohol multiplies the chance of being hit by AMS by several times.

Take this specific precaution – Go on a preventive course of Diamox

We strongly advise you to go on a preventive course of Diamox. Diamox is a blood thinner and helps you acclimatise much faster and reduces the chance of AMS by around 80%. Take half a tablet twice a day from one day before your trek.

What to do if you have symptoms of AMS?

If you feel any symptoms of AMS on the trek, you must report to the Trek Leader immediately. Do not wait till the end of the day’s trek. Do not try to handle it yourself either. Our Trek Leaders are well-trained and experienced to handle any cases and they will be the decision makers in any such cases.

Watch the below video to understand the symptoms of Acute Mountain Sickness. In this video, Arjun Majumdar, the founder of Indiahikes will also tell you the protocol to follow when you see someone showing symptoms of AMS.

Exit points on the ABC trek:

In case of an emergency, you would need to reach Syauli Bazaar. This is a road head and vehicles will be available for further evacuation. Please note that it could take up to a day to reach Syauli Bazaar depending on where you are on the trail.

Closest hospital: 

Ghandruk has the only medical centre on the trek.

Why you should personally know about the risks and precautions of high altitude treks

If ever you find yourself alone at high altitude, either while trekking independently or with another organisation, there are some life -saving steps you can take. Firstly, you should be able to recognise symptoms of altitude sickness. So acquaint yourself with the symptoms.

Secondly, there might be instances when you have to administer medicines to yourself or to a fellow trekker. There are three life-saving medicines that we suggest you always carry on you – Diamox, Dexamethasone and Nifedipine.

If you are trekking with Indiahikes, do not administer these to anyone without consulting your Trek Leader. If you are trekking independently then you need to know when exactly to administer these medicines and in what dosage.

Also ensure that you are well hydrated throughout the trek and do not skip any meal.

You can watch the video below to learn about HAPE and HACE and how to tackle them. In the video, Sandhya UC, partner at Indiahikes, explains in detail about High Altitude Pulmonary and Cerebral Edema, what the symptoms are and how to tackle them.

We cannot stress enough on how important it is for you to communicate any symptom to your Trek Leader. Only then your trek leader will be able to take steps at the right time.

Acute Mountain Sickness

If you’re of the opinion that fit people don’t get AMS, please get rid of that notion right away. AMS can affect anyone without paying heed to their fitness and prior experience at high altitude! Altitude sickness does not distinguish between a first timer and an experienced trekker.

For more detailed information about Acute Mountain Sickness, you can download and study the manual below.

ams-manual-indiahikes-2-pages
Click on the AMS Manual to open and download
Cancellation Policy

Cancellation Policy

In case, you wish to cancel your trek, please login to your account and cancel.
Cancellation requests will not be taken over phone or email.

The cancellation charges are as under.
Cancellations prior to 30 days from the start of the trek — full refund.
Cancellation between 30 days and 20 days to the start of the trek — 50% refund.
Cancellation less than 20 days to the start of the trek — no refund.
Please note: In case of refund, there will be a deduction of 4% (cancellation charges) from the total fee you have paid. Also, if you have opted for a trek insurance, the amount will not be refunded.

If a trek is called off at the last moment due to a natural calamity/unforeseen circumstances (like rains, earthquake, landslides, strike, bandh etc), Indiahikes will issue a trek voucher for the full amount. The voucher can be redeemed for the same trek or another trek in the next one year.

Fitness

Fitness

A high altitude trek in the Himalayas requires considerable fitness. Your body needs to train itself to process more work with lower levels of oxygen. Therefore, on treks, cardiovascular training is critically important. You need to be able to jog a distance of 5 km in 30 mins before the start of the trek. Unable to do so can make your trek difficult.

In addition, preparation of trek needs to include strength and flexibility training. Registering for the trek is an understanding that you will undertake the mandated fitness training and upload the fitness screenshots on your dashboard. Trekkers who have not adequately prepared may be asked to discontinue the trek at any point.

Indiahikes has the right to reject trekkers who do not meet our eligibility requirement at the base camp.

Backpack Offloading

Backpack Offloading

Indiahikes expects all trekkers to carry their own backpacks. All common gear will be carried by the support team. If for some reason are trekker is unable to carry his or her backpack, he/she can offload the same by paying an additional charge.

Backpack offloading charges – Rs 4725 plus GST of 5%. Please note that last minute offloading will not be possible on this trek. You can opt for offloading directly your dashboard after your payment is done for the trek.

Partial offloading is not allowed. The backpack cannot weigh more than 9 kg. No suitcases/strolleys/duffel bags will be allowed.
Online offloading in advance is possible up to three days prior to the trek start date.

Transport

Transport

 The best way to reach Pokhara is to reach Kathmandu and take a bus or flight to Pokhara. You are expected to reach Pokhara before 7.00 am on the first day of the trek. The pick up point will be near the lake.
We will pick you up from Pokhara on Day 1 and drop you back from Syauli Bazaar to Pokhara on Day 8. Travel will be in shared vehicles.

Accommodation

Accommodation

Stay is included from Day 1 to Day 7 (Komrong to Jhinu). You will be staying in tea houses on all days of the trek. Rooms will be shared with fellow trekkers. Males and females in separate rooms. Twin sharing is not possible.
Rooms have beds with mattress, pillow and blankets. Toilets are fixed concrete structures with running water.

What is the pick up location for the trek and at what time?

The pick up point for the ABC trek will be near Phewa lake, at 7 am on day 1 of the trek.
Reach Pokhara either day earlier, or before 7 am on the day of the trek.
The exact location will be communicated to you before the trek starts.

Can I offload my backpack?

Yes, there is an option to offload your backpack. This will cost Rs.4,725 for the entire duration of the trek, inclusive of tax.
You will need to inform us in advance if you wish to offload your backpack. The offloaded bag should not weigh more than 9 kg. Strolleys, duffel bags, suitcases etc. are not allowed. Online offloading in advance is possible up to two weeks prior to the trek start date. Offline offloading is not allowed on this trek
We suggest you read “5 Tips to make Carrying your Trekking Backpack Easy” before making a decision.

Is there a mobile network on this trek? Are there any electricity charging points on this trek?

Network on NCell Namaste Nepal telecom is available till Ghandruk. Major tea houses have the facility to make calls for an additional charge. You can buy wifi at all tea houses for 200-300 NPR. Tea houses charge you 100-300 NPR for the use of electricity charging points. The rates increase as you go higher up on the trail. The dining area in tea houses at lower altitudes usually have common charging points that you can use for free.

Do we get a visa on arrival and do we need to carry our passports?

A passport is not usually required for Indian citizens. A voter id should suffice. However, if you travel on beyond the trek, you might require a passport for identification.

Will there be water sources on the way? Will two litres of water be enough?

You will have access to drinking water at the tea houses where you stay. For your day’s trek, two litres of water should be enough. You will be able to refill water bottles from tea houses on the way on all the days of the trek. Tea houses provide filtered drinking water free of cost. If you wish to drink RO purified water, you can purchase it in tea house for 100 NPR a bottle. You need to carry your own water bottles since plastic bottles (even packaged drinking water bottles) are not sold anywhere in the Annapurna region.

How can I travel to Pokhara?

The best way to reach Pokhara is via Delhi to Kathmandu.
Go through this link for more details: https://indiahikes.com/annapurna-base-camp/#getting-there

Available dates

View available dates for this trek below and register now to secure your place.

Aug 2019 September 2019 Oct 2019

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Trek Fee

28,950 + 5% GST

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Trek Fee
28,950 + 5% GST