Are you planning to trek all the way to the Base-camp of the worlds 10th highest mountain, Annapurna I?
There are different ways to get there, as there are many towns you can visit and stay at on your way up, but the routes all come together around Chommrong and combine to one. We decided to take this route since we could organize it as a round trip without repeating too many destinations.
It is difficult to predict how long it will take you to reach ABC as it totally depends on your level of fitness. We met people who were ambitious and continued walking when it rained, were more experienced or had guides to help them carry their equipment from the beginning on who made it in half the time we did!
You will have to fill out a form and you have to note down your planned route, so you should be prepared in some way.
Day 1: Kathmandu
Day 2 Take bus to Phokara from the tourist Bus stand
Day 3 Drive to Nayapul and trek to Ghandruk 2210m (5 hrs)
Day 4 Trek to Chommrong (5-6 hrs)
Day 4 Trek to Bamboo 2310m (4 hrs)
Day 5 Trek to Deurali 3140m (6 hrs)
Day 6 Trek to MBC 3700m and then to ABC 4130m (2 hrs)
Day 7 Trek to Bamboo (6 to 7 hrs)
Day 8 Trek to Jhinu hot springs 1780m (5 hrs)
Day 9 Trek to Pothana 1900m (6 hrs)
Day 10 Back to Phokara via Ghatte Khola
Day 11 Rest day in Phokara
Day 12 Kathmandu
Organize your TIMS card and trekking permit in Pokhara or Kathmandu:
Documents: TIMS card (20$) and trekking permit ABC (20$). SAARC nationals only pay 2$ for the permit.
Both can be purchased either in the Tourism Office in Kathmandu or Pokhara. You can even get your TIMS card in Nayapul.
We got our trekking documents at the Tourism Bureau in Pokhara.
The required photographs can be taken there cheaply.
It is easy to find, taxi drivers are waiting for the buses and drive you to the Tourism Bureau and your accommodation in Pokhara.
Packing list ABC:
Annapurna Basecamp Trekking, Weather in March:
We did the ABC trek in March, but the weather was colder (at night) than usually around this time of the year. We were well prepared for cool temperatures.
During the day it was very hot until the usual rain started around 5pm. Temperatures sunk and it was freezing at night.
Pack smartly and as little as possible, as you or your guide will have to carry the weight for a long period of time. The less you carry, the more organized and convenient your backpack will be.
- Waterproof hiking shoes
- 3 pairs of warm socks, 2 pairs of normal socks
- 1 pair of thermal pants
- 1 pair of hiking pants – I have those with a zip to make it long or short
- 3 long sleeve hiking shirts
- 1 short sleeve hiking shirt
- 1 thermal hiking shirt (mine has a hood which turned out to be useful in cold nights)
- 1 sleeveless hiking gilet (with hood)
- 1 windbreaker/hiking jacket
- 2 Hats: 1 warm, and 1 for sun protection
- Sports bra
- Medium-sized travel towel
- Warm Sleeping bag
- Rain coat and rain cover for backpack
- Camera, Phone, Chargers
- Sun screen
- Refillable water bottle
- Tampons and Slips
- Iodine tablets + Vitamin C (for water purification + taste) – both can be purchased in Pokhara
- Imodium (Diarreah)
- Panadol and medication for general flu, fever etc
- Muscle rub and Voltaren
- Hot water bottle
- First Aid Kit
- Tea Tree oil (can be used for general disinfection, for small wounds, cuts, wounds in your mouth, acne, fungus, fleas, herpes, ticks, and more.)
- Survival kit against leeches in case you go in summer.
Sherpas in Nepal:
A Sherpa is a local guide who helps you to carry your backpack and guides the way from town to town. Around ABC all villages are inhabited by Gurung people You can hire a guide in Pokhara or even later once you are in the mountains in one of the villages already, although it will be more expensive up there. We hired Gurung in the mountains in Chommrong because we realized too late we were not able to carry our bags alone all the way up and paid 30$ a day.
I would highly recommend hiring a Sherpa if you are not sure what to expect from the trekking or if you have little experience in carrying a heavy bag for several days uphill.
Usually a Sherpa is hired “over the counter”, you just pay and he or she will be with you for the rest of the trip. You can find contacts in Tourism offices, hostels etc. Check with your insurance in what cases exactly you will be covered and what documents they require in case you need to claim money after the trip. We had to be evacuated in the end (read the full story here). Be aware that anything unexpected can happen in the mountains and that emergencies in this area are expensive.
Drop me an Email and I will try to help you out!