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Annapurna Base Camp

Mount Everest

  • Duration: 2 weeks
  • Walks and Treks
  • Top Trips
  • Moderate
  • October - November or April - May

About this Adventure

The Himalaya. The greatest mountain range on earth. Annapurna Base Camp (ABC) is within the Annapurna Sanctuary. So called because the summit of nearby Machhapuchhare, the classic Fishtail Mountain, is reputed to be the abode of the Gods. The Annapurna Himal has several 7000m peaks and the Base Camp is within a natural amphitheatre of mountains containing Annapurna I, Annapurna II and Annapurna South. This is a great opportunity to see some of the highest mountains in the world, within a reasonably short time scale and without experiencing some of the problems brought on by extreme altitude

Quick Facts

  • 8 days guiding by experienced trekking leaders.
  • We'll pick you up and drop you off at Kathmandu Airport.
  • Porter assistance for the entire route.
  • We run this trip between October and November and April and May.
  • Set open dates or bespoke courses for individuals to larger groups - just ask if the date you want is not listed.
  • Many years experience in providing Himalayan treks.
  • You need to have a reasonable level of fitness and also be prepared for some developing world living conditions.
Without doubt some of the best scenery in the world!

More Information

We use hotel accommodation in Kathmandu and Pokhara and comfortable lodges on the trek right into the Sanctuary. You will be amazed and enriched by contact with your porters. They will give you some great advice and insight into the local area and way of life. This trek visits high altitudes! You will be spending at least six or seven nights at or above 4000m which is serious altitude. It is imperative you are properly acclimatised not only to have a safe trek, but also an enjoyable one as altitude sickness has the capacity to make you feel very miserable! All along the way you will find warnings about ascending too quickly. If you show signs of altitude sickness, appropriate measures (ie descent) must be taken. It is strongly recommended you inform yourself as much as possible about this issue before starting this trek. Your guide is an english speaking Nepali, with many years' experience guiding in the Himalaya and repeated trips to Annapurna Base Camp. His responsibility is to ensure your safety on the trip, select the lodge accommodation and organise the porter crew. You will be amazed how much easier having a local guide makes the dealings with lodges, etc. Evening meals and drinks miraculously appear and you have many less chores during the day. You will miss him when you are back in the UK! Your guide will travel with you from Kathmandu to Pokhara to simplify the domestic air travel.  We adhere to the guidelines laid down by the International Porter Protection Group. This organisation works to improve the working conditions of mountain porters in the tourism industry worldwide. Therefore we do not ask our porters to carry more than 30kg per load (this is advised by the IPPG). We provide adequate clothing per porter for the intended trek and full insurance during their time of employment. Because of these guidelines, we ask you to limit the equipment you ask your porter to carry to a maximum of 15kg. Many 'Westerners' feel uncomfortable seeing a local 'carrying their bags'. There are many reasons why this should not be so. Guiding and portering are recognised professions in Nepal and often form a vital part of a family's income. They will enrich your holiday experience immensely by being a source of information about local cultures and traditions. Remember - for them this is a job, just as in the UK many individuals work for someone else. The accommodation is in a minimum of a 3 star hotel in Kathmandu and lodges on the trek. The hotel boasts all the facilities you would expect. Each room has air conditioning, 24hr room service, multi channel TV etc. In addition it also has pleasant gardens which are just an awesome place to relax either after a long flight or a tiring trek and have a refreshing drink! The lodges we use are of the higher standard. These are obviously more basic than the accommodation in Kathmandu but the better ones on the trek. The rooms are singles, doubles or triples shared as part of the group, there are hot showers (water has to be heated in advance), toilets (sometimes flushable) and they are fully catered. Many have electricity 24hrs. The general rule is: the higher you go, the more rudimentary they become. This is understandable. All British nationals require a visa for entry into Nepal. You need to arrange these prior to departure with the relevant embassy. If you are not a British national then you will also need to contact the embassy to enquire about visa requirements. It is more than likely you will need one. The Nepalese embassy in the UK can be contacted under: Royal Nepalese Embassy 12a Kensington Palace Gardens London W84QU Tel: +44 (0)207 229 1594 or +44 (0)207 229 6231 Fax: +44 (0)207 792 9861 e-mail: [email protected] [email protected] web: www.nepembassy.org.uk Please submit your application, together with the requisite fee within the specified timescales to the embassy. Remember to send your passport registered post! You will need the following: Valid passport (validity at least 6 months after return date of travel). Completed application form. One passport photograph (take two spare ones with you to Nepal). Visa fee as cash/postal order/bank draft made payable to the Royal Nepalese Embassy London. Assuming you are applying by post then include a SAE with stamp. Vaccinations. For medical and inoculations advice contact your GP before you travel. Do this in good time (at least 3 months) as many injections/treatments must be given a certain time apart. The Nepalese Rupee is the local currency. You can exchange pounds, dollars and travelers cheques at the airport and at exchange stores throughout Kathmandu. There are also ATMs in Kathmandu of which our experience has been satisfactory. In the hotel in Kathmandu you will be able to pay your extras by credit card. Shops and other restaurants in Kathmandu accept rupees. Once you have left Kathmandu you will only be able to change money in Pokhara on your trek. When exchanging money remember to take an official exchange receipt. Once on the trek, low denomination rupee notes are necessary. It is best to split the cash you carry. Store the larger part of your cash in your day sack and carry a small quantity for easy access on you. This way you don't look like a walking bank to the locals when you pull out a big wad of notes to pay for a postcard. Your extras (drinks/lunch/evening meal etc.) in Kathmandu should amount to no more than £20/day and on the trek to £5/day as your trek is fully catered. This obviously does not take account of international phone calls, laundry, gifts, etc. Our advice is to take some cash with you for changing but also to take a more secure way of carrying your money. Travellers cheques, etc. Ask you bank or foreign exchange bureau to advise you on this. The days of zero crime in Nepal are gone, however Nepal still has a very nonaggressive society, especially towards foreigners. None the less, exercise the usual common sense precautions to avoid becoming a victim of crime. Don't flash your valuables (camera, watch, money etc.) around, and don't act ostentatiously! There has been a longstanding internal conflict in Nepal between political parties which involved armed conflict. A peace agreement for this was signed in 2006. For an official British Government view on this issue please visit the foreign office website www.fco.gov.uk and then the 'Know before you go' section. The climate during your trip will vary between warm in Kathmandu (20-30C), to relatively warm on the lower trekking trails (15-25C daytime) to cold at the higher elevations (0-5C daytime). Night-time temperatures at Annapurna Base Camp can be as low as -15C during the trekking season with snow. Generally it should be dry, but this can not always be relied upon (so take rain gear) and expect wind.

Itinerary

We normally run this trip over a 2 week period starting on a Sunday, however if you would like to do this at any other time then please contact us. We will meet you at Kathmandu Airport, Nepal. After transfer to the hotel, we will go through the planned route and carry out an equipment check to ensure you have everything you need to enable you to enjoy the trip.

The following is a typical itinerary of the week. There is considerable flexibility possible on the trip to allow for acclimatisation, fitness, enjoyment, etc. We don't just want to race up and down setting some kind of speed record. There are considerable amounts of ascent and descent to complete and we can build in a couple of rest days at the nicer spots. Typically these would be at MBC and Chomrong. Jhinu Danda also has some wonderful thermal springs where you can stimulate your senses by alternating between the glacial river water and the warm thermal baths. You'll love it!

Sunday Arrive in Kathmandu after an overnight flight and we meet you at the airport. Transfer to your Hotel and spend the afternoon soaking up the atmosphere of Kathmandu. If you've already met the people on the trip on the plane great, otherwise get to know them in Kathmandu. Browse through the Thamel district or take a rickshaw to explore the rest of this fascinating city.

Monday Catch the plane with 'Buddha Air' to transfer to Pokhara. Pokhara is lower than Kathmandu and warmer. It's a lovely town from which you can see the enormous Annapurna Himal with its fabulous peaks to one side, and have a serene lake on the other. Sort out equipment with the porters for them to pack their loads and leave any unnecessary luggage in storage. Spend the afternoon exploring the town and have an evening meal overlooking the lake in an outdoor restaurant.

Tuesday First serious days walking. Transport from Pokhara to Naya Pul (~1000m). This is about 50km and takes about 1-1.5 hrs. There are several different choices of approach to the valley leading up to ABC and these can be varied depending upon conditions. Usually we will take the Naya Pul - Birethanti - Ghandrung route. On this first day we trek through the fascinating lower areas of the Himalayas and pass through many villages and can experience the local life. Overnight in Ghandrung an old Gurkha village (1940m). Walking time ~ 6hrs.

Wednesday The lodges here have running hot and cold water. So we can have the luxury of a shower before departure. Don't make yourself unpopular and spend too long in there using everybody else's hot water up first!! From Gandrung we descend steeply to cross the Kyumnu Khola and then have a steep ascent to Chomrong from where we have fabulous views of Annapurna South, Hiunchuli and Machhapuchre, big 6- and 7000m mountains. Overnight at the Panoramic View Lodge. Walking time ~ 4hrs.

Thursday Rest day? It's a good idea to put one in here as this village is just before the entrance to the gorge, you can begin the acclimatisation progress and the hot springs are within reasonable distance. (Approx 1hr on foot).

Friday Distances in the Himalayas are best not measured by horizontal distance travelled, but by time walked. From Chomrong we descend the 4000 step staircase (We lost count after a few hundred. Our head porter Chandra assured us there are 4000 steps. I'm a bit doubtful, but it's in the thousands.) Cross the Chomrong Kola and climb up to Bamboo through the Bamboo forests. We are now into the gorge leading into the Sanctuary. Walking time approx 5hrs and final altitude 2340m.

Saturday Bamboo to Himalaya Hotel/Deurali. Well into the gorge by now which leads up to ABC the trail climbs steeply up through the forest and you cross the first avalanche chutes. It's on this day that you are most likely to start to feel the effects of altitude although this varies from person to person and you may start to feel it the day before. It's very important to drink plenty of liquid (non-alcoholic!) and pace yourself. If we arrive at the Himalayan Hotel in good time we may continue to Deurali to enable us to cross the avalanche chutes beyond that early in the morning to minimise risk. Walking time up to 6 hrs. Final altitude 3230m.

Sunday Deurali to Macchapuchre Base Camp. Base Camp of the mountain the summit of which is the abode of Gods and nobody has ever set foot on. Altitude will definitely slow progress, but even so it should not take more than 3/4hrs. The views from here are unbelievable. Hiunchuli (6441m), Annapurna South (7220m), Annapurna I (8091m), Annapurna III (7555m) and Gangapurna (7454m) as well as Macchapuchre (6993m) are all visible. Final altitude at MBC is 3700m and we spend the night here.

Monday MBC - ABC - MBC. It's always best to sleep as low as you can when in the mountains. Therefore we start early and it's just about 1.5 hrs to ABC. We can spend the day here enjoying the views, hopefully soaking up the sunshine, have lunch and then descend again to MBC in the late afternoon. This way this works very well in terms of altitude and you can have a decent night sleep second time around.

Tuesday MBC - Bamboo. Descend back to Bamboo. We can be flexible on the return leg. If we feel particularly frisky given the thickening air we can go as far as Chomrong on this day if we feel like, but it's a steep climb back up to Chomrong from Sinuwa.

Wednesday Rest day? Visit the hot springs at Jinhu Danda again or explore the village.

Thursday Chomrong - Naya Pul. This will be a long final day of up to 8 or 10 hrs. We can descend steeply to Jhinu Danda past the hot springs and then stick to the track next to the river because it is flat and also because this is a slightly different route from the ascent. From Naya Pul we catch the Maximum Adventure transport back to Pokhara.

Friday Catch return flight from Pokhara to Kathmandu. Evening meal in Kathmandu. Browse the markets, visit the Rum Doodle bar and celebrate.

Saturday Group breakfast. End of trip. Catch evening flight home on Friday or Saturday.

Please note: This itinerary is a guide only. It can be subject to change dependent upon viability, course members' fitness, weather conditions or for any other reason the guide may deem necessary. This trip involves travel to high altitudes and to areas where a short notice change of itinerary may be necessary.

Inclusions

  • Professional event organisation.
  • Experienced trekking guide
  • Arrival and departure transport from Kathmandu Airport.
  • Bed and breakfast accommodation in comfortable hotels in Kathmandu. Single rooms are available at a supplement.
  • Half board accommodation in mountain lodges.
  • Porter assistance for the duration of the trek.
  • Group first aid kit with qualified first aiders.

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