Annapurna Base Camp is probably the best adventure destination on this planet earth.
Where in this world can you find Ice-snow and glaciers close to paddy fields and green rain forests. The only place is on the southern belt of Annapurna Himalaya. Which is just a mere distance of 25 k.m away from sub-tropical temperatures to the cold arctic climate zone of remorseless fields of ice and glaciers.
Mt. Annapurna I stand at 8,091 m and 26,545 ft high listed as the world’s tenth highest mountain and one of the most merciless mountains to climb from any direction to its summit top.
Annapurna is a massive range of mountains with its satellite peaks including A II-A III –
A- IV to Annapurna South-Gangapurna. Vara Shikar (Annapurna Fang) includes majestic and unclimbed virgin Mt. Machhapuchare “Fish Tail” with other smaller adjoin peaks.
Journey to Annapurna Base Camp can be made in many ways from the famous and popular touristic city at Pokhara. A beautiful valley blessed with natural beauties where Annapurna Himalaya reflects on its serene Phewa and Begnas Lakes.
From Pokhara with several routes that lead you to the heart of Annapurna Himalaya at Annapurna base camp within a spectacular Sanctuary with an amphitheater of peaks that surrounds this unique and awesome Annapurna base camp.
Annapurna comes from an ancient Sanskrit language which means ‘Anna’ as food or crops and ‘Purna’ for enough, Annapurna which translates as “Crops or Food enough” certainly a mountain where its glaciers feed the river to irrigate the crops fields yielding better harvest.
Annapurna base camp is located in Nepal North Mid West Himalaya where it extends towards West at Mt. Dhaulagiri and Mt. Manaslu towards East one of most accessible adventure destinations where you can walk for a week or more with constant views of whole Annapurna mountain range.
The mountain was first explored and climbed by the late Maurice Herzog and his French Team members on 3rd June 1950, the first 8,000-meter mountain ever to be climbed even before the conquest of Mt. Everest.
Annapurna Base Camp and the whole area protected by ACAP (Annapurna Conservation Area Project) launched in 1986, the largest undertaking of NTNC and also the first Conservation Area and largest protected area in Nepal. It covers an area of 7,629 sq. km. and is home to over 100,000 residents of different cultural and linguistic groups. ACAP is rich in biodiversity and is a treasure house for 1,226 species of flowering plants, 102 mammals, 474 birds, 39 reptiles, and 22 amphibians.
Annapurna Base Camp can be visited all year round depending upon your interest, March to June is best for views and with wildflowers in full bloom, and September to November are the best months with the clear blue sky when trekkers will be in full swing.
For people who like fewer crowds can visit in monsoon wet months the views can be covered in low clouds sometimes, however, it will be enjoyable with greenery all around includes blanket of wildflowers with tranquil and serene environment.
Himalayan weather pattern can be unpredictable sometimes, the four season’s spring-Summer-Autumn (fall) and winter.
In Spring (depending upon the altitude wise) morning and night time cold freezing temperature of minimum minus -05° C to -10° C but the day warm with sunshine for few hours maximum of 15° C to 20° C.
Summer (depending upon the altitude wise) minimum minus -05° C to -10° C but the day warm with sunshine for few hours maximum of 20° C to 25° C.
Autumn / winter months of December to January will be the coldest with minimum minus -10° C to -15° C but the day warm with sunshine for few hours maximum of 15° C to 20° C.
Wind Chill is another factor bringing cold freezing breeze and howling winds, sometimes trekkers can face snow storm where you can be safe in the comfort of nice cozy lodges found around villages on trekking main trails.
Annapurna area mostly inhabited by Gurung tribe of people interwoven with the teaching of Buddhism and practices traditional way of life similar with Tibetan culture and custom and as well worship Bon an ancient animism culture.
The main settlements are Ghandruk, Landruk, Bhirethati, Tolka, Chomrong, Dhampus and as far to Ghorepani and Tirkhedhunga. The economy of the Gurung and Magar Poon community has traditionally been heavily based on trade and livestock herding.
But with the coming of international travelers, mountaineering expeditions since 1950 and the arrival of trekkers, the local economy today is becoming increasingly dependent on tourism.
The Gurung and Magar tribe people have long history as a brave Gorkha soldiers in foreign legion and in UK –Indian Army as well in Singapore.
Annapurna Base camp Trekking offers panorama of mountains of world 10th highest Annapurna I (8,091m / 26,545 ft) and 07th highest Dhaulagiri (8,167m), Vara-Shikar peaks / Annapurna Fang, Annapurna South (7,219m-23,693ft), Huin-chuli, Gangapurna (7,455m-24,457ft) Annapurna III (7,555m-24,787ft) includes Mt. Machhapuchare (Fish-tail) the unclimbed virgin peak with Lamjung Himal and world 8th highest Manaslu (8,163 m).
As Annapurna Base Camp continues getting more than thousand of trekkers and mountaineers each seasons you will encounter flow of trekkers. The packed animals Mules and porters carrying heavy loads either of trekkers or for merchants and big stores.
Wild life can be spotted like Himalayan Thar-Musk Deer-Mountain antelopes and many species of bird-life including the beautiful Danphe ‘Impheyan Pheasants’ national bird of Nepal.
Green tended fields of wheat-barley, potatoes and other vegetables below Annapurna Sanctuary at an elevation from 1,800 to 3,000m high, from above 4,000m green vegetation and tree lines drops for wheat-barley-buck wheat and potatoes only, where juniper-azalea (dwarf rhododendron) Burberry bushes only exists.
Accommodations in nice lodges are available every few hours of walk, but from Chomrong onward only at designated places with few limited lodges like in Sinuwa Danda-Bamboo-Himalaya Hotel-Deurali-Machhapuchare base camp and at Annapurna Base Camp.
Probably Annapurna Base Camp is the only few place at base camps with nice and fine lodge next to its giant mountains.