A short introduction to Annapurna base camp (ABC)
Annapurna Base Camp shortened as ABC is trek to the basecamp of 10th highest peak in world Mt. Annapurna (8091 meter). It is located in central Nepal at height of 4130 meter. There are only two ways to reach ABC: one is trekking and another is half an hour gyrocopter ride from Pokhara. Pokhara is second biggest city of Nepal apart from starting point to mesmerizing Nepal treks. This trek is 10 day long which includes 8 days of walking and two days commute from your location to Pokhara. Few hashtags to define ABC: #differentterrain #denseforest #mountains #riverside #scenicbeauty #cultureofNepal #snowcave #steps #birdschirping #cattle #noroads #waterfalls #spring #luxury #teahouses #Dalbhat #ABC #MBC #fishtail
Route de ABC
Why Annapurna base camp?
Nepal treks are different than the ones in Indian treks such as Himalayan trek of Kedarkantha. First of all terrain is very unique. The cleanliness on the route is something worth learning and implementing in our life. You get to meet vivid trekkers as this is one of the dream trek for trekkers across the globe. Teahouses is a luxury for trekking – no tent stay for entire 10 days tenure, plus they offer charging and Wi-Fi (chargeable). Variety of food options, but the simple and the best is Dal-bhat (They describe it as Dal-bhat power, 24 hour). The last but not the least is people of Nepal, they are tourist friendly and they welcome tourists by heart.
Annapurna Base Camp Daywise Itinerary
Day 1 Pokhara (1400 meter) to Komrung (2250 meter):
Pokhara to Gandhruk (2000 meter) by bus & Gandhruk to Komrung (2250 meter) trek
Morning begins with a bus ride from Pokhara to Kimche, Lower Gandhruk, first 30 kilometres smooth (relatively) road journey followed by 20 km bumpy ride in jungle trail. Now you have entered Annapurna wildlife conservation area.
Bridge on Mody River was amongst major attraction on the way to reach Kimche. Here the first trekking route begins – Kimche, Gandhruk to Komrung danda. This 6 km trek routes through Gandhruk village and beautiful green trails. It is an amazing chance to see rural Nepalese culture and you will be accompanied by local people, mules & cattle. Day ends with a beautiful view of Annapurna South and Machhapuchare. Icebreaking debate on Indian politics was most memorable part for group 🙂
Day 2 – Komrung (2250 meter) to Chomrong (2170 meter)
Altitude numbers looks odd on the first sight but yes Nepal treks doesn’t go on with constant ascend or descend. This route is full green trail facing multiple ascend and descend on the way. From 2250 meters you descend down to 1900 meters and again going uphill to reach Chomrong. The beauty of the day is you can see the destination of the day on other side of the mountain but it takes almost 7-8 hours to reach on other side of the mountain.
A tough day to pass through especially for those who are beginners in trekking. Some beautiful villages on the way along with hanging bridges are key attractions for the route. Personally, it was a tougher part of the trek for me as my shoe got torn midway but I managed to complete the second half with that shoe. Luckily, I got a new pair of trekking shoe at Chomrong at end of the day (it happens only in Nepal!). Chomrong is a small village with nearly 500 houses but it has got German bakery Lavazza for coffee lovers. We got an opportunity to gel well with all group mates and interact on various aspects.
Day 3 – Chomrong (2170 meter) to Dovan (2600 meter)
A fresh day with a beautiful view of Machhapuchare in the morning begins with a steep descent of 3000 steps to reach lower Sinuwa. A mighty spring separates Sinuwa & Chomrong and this spring can be crossed through a hanging bridge of 100 meters. Once you descend down by 3000 steps then by default the next is a good steep ascent. Mountain trails with this gradual ascent for next 1.5 hours takes you to Upper Sinuwa (2360 meters) – a picturesque location with multiple tea houses. This is the last destination for mobile network & mules. Though there is no direct connection between two, but both of them are not available from this spot onwards. Beyond this only way to reach is on your legs or with help of gyrocopter (new version of helicopter).
Next destination is Bamboo (2350 meters). This route is covered with dense green forest trails and multiple gradual ascents and descents. Two hour journey’s most memorable part was view of springs on the way and chirping of birds when you close your eyes. Sinuwa to Bamboo is a zone renowned for variety of Himalayan birds. Bamboo is located in a beautiful Himalayan valley surrounded by tall mountains standing. Gradual ascent to Dovan (2600 meters) is a treat for nature lovers. Green forest parallel to flowing river, Dovan gives a clear view of fishtail in morning. Having surrounded by tall mountains this is rain prone area in entire trek. It was raining in Dovan on the way to ABC as well as during return.
After a tiring day comes the gratification through amazing view of Machhapuchare and Annapurna south. Temperature falls down drastically (0 degree at night) at this point as you are at 3700 meters. A freezing evening with good food is worth any temperature. Pavel’s birthday celebration on the evening was a special gesture from Indiahikes & teahouse team. Next day is the day of destination i.e. ABC – have a good night sleep and be prepared for a memorable day of your life.
Day 5 – MBC (3700 meter) to ABC (4130 meter)
3 hours gradual ascent with nice view and gyrocopters hovering around you throughout. Here you gain 430 meters to reach Annapurna Base Camp. This part of trek has only two hurdles, one is altitude and another is temperature. Cloud covered the mountains in next hour once we reached there and drizzling spoiled second half of the day. Night temperature at ABC dropped down to -3 degree. Got more time to play Mafia on this day with amazing groupmates.
Day 6 – ABC (4130 meter) to Bamboo (2350 meters)
Morning begins with panoramic view of mountains. You witness sight of Machhapuchare (6993 meter), Annapurna south (7219 meter), Annapurna fang (7647 meter), Annapurna 1 (8091 meter, 10th highest in world), Himchuli (6441 meter), Gangapurna (7455 meter), Gandharba Chuli (6248 meter) to name. There are Russian and Korean monuments at top in memory of those mountaineers who lost their life on ascend to Annapurna 1.
Here the panoramic view ends and a long day with descend of 6000 feet is on your way. Descend of 1800 meters in a day passing through MBC, Deurali, Himalaya & Dovan. The tough descend was accompanied by rains on the way. This got us an opportunity to take out our rain gear and experience trekking in monsoon. The excitement which you’ve received through passing this way remains intact even when you’re going back. Terrain change you’ll see again and from stones to forest trails on the same day. Day ends at Bamboo with a sigh of relief and birds chirping around you at Bamboo.
Day 7 – Bamboo (2350 meter) to Jhinu (1750 meter)
Bamboo to upper Sinuwa a tough and gradual ascend mixed with some descend on the way. Once you reach upper Sinuwa you are in to network and get connected to your loved ones. Next trail is an hour descend to lower Sinuwa where you reach the hanging bridge separating Sinuwa & Gandhruk. Here it comes the endurance challenge for every trekker who does ABC. 3000 steps (1 ft each) on your way to reach Chomrong village. Gladly took a challenge to do it in one go without a break and achieved it in 55 minutes. At Chomrong got an opportunity to thank the guy who sold me trekking shoe, thanks to which I could finish the trek. Post lunch, Chomrong to Jhinu is a steep descend of one hour. The route changes with a different destination named Jhinu instead of Komrung danda where we arrived from. Jhinu is renowned for hot water springs parallel to river. Day ends with an amazing hot spring shower. This hot spring shower was incentive we received for the efforts we gave to ABC. It is worth a celebration at end of the day.
Day 8 Jhinu (1750 meter) to Sayuli Bazaar (1300 meter)
As you’re acclimatised by terrain and mountains its two hours gradually ascend-descend and parallel road to reach the spot where you get the bus. Hanging bridge of 300 meters is major attraction of the day. The bumpy bus ride takes you back to Pokhara in next 5 hours. Once you’re back to hotel you get feeling of accomplishment which is unparalleled to any other feeling in this world.
What matters on treks is the company and the journey.
I’ve defined the journey part in above part, and I am very thankful to the company of people I had during this trek. Starting from Azad (Introvert as defines himself, but connected very well with all group members), Rajesh (sports entrepreneur with amazing energy level), Abiha (Extrovert at core, ice breaker of group), Pavel (Voracious reader with in depth knowledge on subject, speaks selective but sense), Apeksha (Disciplined in every aspect, sensible individual and great team player), Kishan – Krupal (Fit guys, mastermind Mafia players) & Dnyanesh (Experience trekker and vivid photographer).
Apart from the team Ashish (Trek leader from Indiahikes) managed things very well during the entire trek and his teammates Mangal, Rajudai, Ganesh & Karan were of great support to entire group for these 10 days.
Things to carry at ABC
ABC is simple mountain trek. You can carry out this trek with basic trekking gear which includes rucksack, trekking shoes, trekking pole (recommended in Nepal treks), water bottle, LED torch, raincoat, jacket – down jacket (depending on season), windcheater, dry fit t-shirts (one per two day), trekking pants, woollen cap – balaclava, sunscreen, UV protective sun glasses, medicine.
Things to do at Pokhara
Pokhara is located in central Nepal and is known as gateway to Annapurna range. There are amazing places to visit i.e. Shanti Stupa, Mountain Museum, Sarangkot sunset view point, many temples & Phewa lake. Pokhara has an amazing night life and is loaded with pubs and restaurants with live music every night. Paragliding and river rafting are two more things which can be explored at Pokhara. While planning a trek in Pokhara region, you must keep at least two days reserve for Pokhara to explore the locality.