No matter how many times you walk Annapurna Base Camp, no traverse is as joyous as doing it in December. With a series of quiet rocky trails, chilly wind, and blue frost meadows, trekking in December is unlike anything.
Annapurna Base Camp Trek in December brings joy to people who like traveling alone. The month senses an utter silence in the air, making it a perfect time to sail out on the trail. Trekkers can feel the icy winter from far-off following the cold breeze and snowfall.
Routes that were once covered with fall leaves are long gone by the end of the month. Surely, the views are still breathtaking but it’s the weather in December that has everyone’s eyeball. As a pre-winter, the month experiences mild weather with just the right amount of heat and cold.
Morning and night can be slightly cold after mid-December but the days will still remain as placid as ever. Hikers won’t be shocked to see the rugged route stacked with snow after reaching a height.
With the winter looming on the sky of Annapurna, there is a gradual drop in the temperature every other day. On the bright side, trekkers can still catch the scenic mountain view of Annapurna and diverse landscapes.
Unlike in autumn, people won’t have to struggle a lot in finding proper accommodation. There’s a level of comfort on the trail with few or no hikers to walk around and cause a disturbance.
Check our Annapurna Base Camp Trek Itinerary
- Highlights of Annapurna Base Camp Trek in December
- The weather of Annapurna Base Camp Trek in December
- Temperature of Annapurna Base Camp Trek in December
- Why have Annapurna Base Camp Trek in December?
- Accommodation at Annapurna Base Camp Trek during December
- Food at Annapurna Base Camp in December
- Difficulties during Annapurna Base Camp Trek in December
- Preparations and Essential Equipment for trekking Annapurna
Highlights of Annapurna Base Camp Trek in December
- A pristine view of astounding mountains including Annapurna massif and Dhaulagiri
- Time-travel in pre-medieval monasteries
- Stopover at local villages and fete with their warm hospitality
- Exposed to diverse culture and religion within the Himalayas
- Wonder in the luscious forest with a wide species of wildlife
- Mix old and new suspension bridge over sweeping rivers
- Natural spring bath in the stunning Jhinu Danda
The weather of Annapurna Base Camp Trek in December
Natural grandeur has so dominated Annapurna Base Camp that it makes no difference when you travel it. Still, to find yourself with the nicest weather and sublime view, walk the pathways in December.
This might resist the whole idea of winter but December has quite wonderful weather. Of course, there are no warm mornings like autumn and the nights are freezing cold. But this is promptly settled up by the bright sunny day that offers a clear view.
As a new season and coming right after autumn, December has warm weather in the early days. But right as winter takes off the region, the nights and mornings start getting cold. Hence, December exudes a light-hearted charm with a mix of two seasons, autumn and winter.
Trails of Annapurna Base Camp cheers trekkers with fall colors in early December. Unfortunately, those who visit the base camp in late months are left with mere frozen leaves and fog. Still and all, the days remain warm and better with mild temperatures.
The cold breeze from mountains often strikes valleys, causing night to be icy-cold. Therefore, the trekkers hiking campsite in December must suit themself with warm clothes.
Temperature of Annapurna Base Camp Trek in December
No doubt, Autumn is an ideal time to visit Annapurna Base Camp but December is still better than January. It comes just after September so there are a nice subtlety and taste of fall which is comforting.
Not in a whole but the climate in the first two weeks of December is just like the former. Weather is mild and not too hot or cold with an average temperature ranging from 5 to 10 Degree Celsius.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t go around to be the same for a very long time. By mid-December, the villages at higher elevation begin to encounter chilly mornings and nights. From here, the temperature continuously falls reaching sub-zero and finally minus.
By the end of the pre-winter, the temperature of Annapurna Base Camp Trek reaches -5 Degree Celsius. This poorly affects the weather and trails that are covered with thick snow until winter goes away.
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Why have Annapurna Base Camp Trek in December?
1. Little or no Rainfall
December may vary in temperature but rainfall wise, it remains pretty the same throughout the month. Annapurna Base Camp rarely has a dark sky full of rain clouds in the month. So far, the rainfall recorded in the Annapurna region is no more than 25mm, causing the trail to be dry. Hence, trekkers won’t have to combat the wet routes to arrive at the base camp.
2. Clear view
Even though it’s chilly cold at Annapurna Base Camp trek in December, the views are still stunning. During warm-bright days, you can easily geek at the glistening mountains far from the trail. The unique landscapes and valleys to look astonishing in December.
3. Exploration on the uncrowded trails
As December marks the start of winter, fewer and fewer trekkers visit the base camp. The trail which was jam-packed with visitors until late-September is almost barren. The empty route comes as a relief for few trekkers who can have it all for themself. They can take their time and explore the secluded parts and historic monasteries without any interruption.
4. The favorable temperature in day
Trekkers may withstand frosty morning and night with the change in weather. But this hardly affects the climate in the day with the average temperature ranging from 5 to 10 Degree Celsius. This suitable temperature eventually makes the Annapurna Base Camp Trek in December a true pleasure to have.
Accommodation at Annapurna Base Camp Trek during December
Scrambling the sloppy hills of Annapurna Base Camp is never easy in December. There are so many things to take care of from icy-cold weather to rustic trails and gears. Topping the list though is accommodation.
On a more than week-long trip, you’re likely to spend nights in different places. As of Kathmandu, it comes with a variety of dwelling options from low standard to 5-star hotels and lodges.
For most parts, the lodge will cost trekkers from as little as US$2 to 3USD. But with the improved facilities, the price can see a sharp rise of up to $250 per night. Guesthouses and luxurious hotels in Pokhara too differ based on excellence and budget.
Resorts and guest houses that accommodate visitors with room service usually charge higher. Unfortunately, accommodations available on the trek aren’t sophisticated like the one in Kathmandu.
Tea houses happen to be the most convenient accommodation of all. They cost little compared to any other amenities and come with basic facilities. Expect nothing but a single wooden bed, clean bedsheet, and a pillow.
In some teahouses, they even provide guests with a nice warm blanket. Showers are mostly cold so if you want hot water, be ready to pay extra bucks.
Food at Annapurna Base Camp in December
Unlike high-end hotels, tea houses in Annapurna Base Camp don’t come with fanciest dishes. Still, the food offered is toothsome and nutritious enough to provide strength to hikers.
Most tea houses cling on local staple food and provide trekkers Dal, Bhat, and Tarkari. Delicious ingredients, especially veggies are freshly produced on the farm. They are prepared using bags of spices to rich flavor which kind of linger in the mouth.
Other dishes arranged for lunch include flatbread, curry chickpeas, and Thukpas. Some tea houses even fill the heart of their guests with delicious momos, stir-fried noodles, and pizzas. Most trekkers enjoy hot soup during Annapurna Base Camp Trek in December as the month endures cold weather.
For more variety in food, take a tour of the streets of Thamel during your stay in Kathmandu. There are cafes and restaurants in every nook serving cuisines from Thai to Indian and Indo-western. But remember that they are highly expensive and can cost you a lot of money. So we recommend that you carry eno
Difficulties during Annapurna Base Camp Trek in December
1. Altitude Sickness
Altitude Sickness becomes a prime concern for every trekker after reaching above 2500 meters. For those who’re already struggling with several health problems are stricken even faster.
Therefore, it’s important that you take note of your pre-medical health condition before scaling up. If you feel like vomiting or lose appetite, take medicines immediately. Stop climbing and head back to the nearest station in case the situation got worse.
Adapt to the changing climate and temperature through altitude acclimatization. Take a rest for at least a day or two before trekking high altitude. Also, make sure that you only ascend up to 500 meters a day.
2. Extreme Weather
It doesn’t happen instantly but as days roll away, there’s a drastic change in weather. By late December, the weather of Annapurna Base Camp is already worsening. There is heavy snowfall at different places, causing the temperature to drop below zero degrees celsius.
As the temperature falls rapidly, trekkers will experience bitterly cold mornings and nights. The days are warm but not as much as it used to be during autumn or spring. In adverse weather conditions, you might even have to batter heavy snowfall.
So, to avoid a miserable situation, stay updated with the weather forecast. Pack plenty of warm clothes and climbing boots for Annapurna Base Camp Trek in December.
3. Insufficient Accommodations
December may not be the peak time for trekking but don’t let that fool you. Finding shelter will still be a challenge for many trekkers traveling the base camp in late December. After frequent snowstorms and strong wind, many lodges and guest houses remain closed.
The last-minute search can put you at risk of not having too many options for dwelling. Even the cheap accommodation can cost a hefty amount ensuing urgency. Therefore, to prevent oneself from a huge loss, book the rooms days in advance.
4. Slippery Trails
Unlike September, you’ll witness a different backdrop and trails at Annapurna Base Camp trek in December. There are layers of thick snow on the route which not just makes trekking difficult but impossible at times. They are greasy and tough to get a grip on without crampons and mountaineering boots.
Preparations and Essential Equipment for trekking Annapurna
Annapurna Base Camp Trek encompasses trails anywhere from moderate to difficult ascents. Even though it starts off easy, the trail walking uphills are fairly challenging with the weather causing major hindrance. Therefore, early preparation has to be done to avoid unfortunate circumstances. It’s an essential part of the hike and shouldn’t be overlooked whatsoever.
Examine your fitness level before hitting off the routes to Annapurna Base Camp. Although the trek is labeled moderate, you never know what lies ahead. There are several things that can pop up right away and impede your journey.
Don’t forget that you also have a whole backpack on your shoulder. Besides that, there’s a rapid gain in altitude and a steep terrain to ascend which all rely on your physical strength.
So taking that into account, prepare your body for all possible challenges. To start, acquire physical training almost two months before the trek. Spent hours if not days taking short hikes on your own favorite destination as many times as you can.
Build the endurance power through strings of exercise including cardio, push-ups, and squats. Follow a routine workout or even yoga would work fine to increase flexibility.
Over the course of time, trekkers seem to have totally forgotten about the mental strength above physical. Many of them do not realize what consequence mental distress can bring while on a trek like Annapurna Base Camp.
There’s absolutely no way you can make it to the summit until your mind is prepared. Therefore, make an advance preparation so that your mind can relax throughout the journey. Take candy bars and snacks with yourself on the trek so that you can comfort your body and mind.
Even though trekking is no sweet whensoever; the season drives it quite apart. It decides what items you’ll need on an excursion and what you should be shopping for. To know which equipment you must bring on the way, study the length of travel and climate. Don’t rely on basic equipment to combat severe weather at Annapurna Base Camp trek in December. Here are some of the list of gears that might help you plan the trip.
Clothing and Footwear
- Fleece pants and trousers
- Long sleeve shirts for icy morning and night
- High-insulated jacket to withstand cold
- Gaiters to protect feet from snow
- Woolen or synthetic socks
- Mountaineering boots with crampons
First Aid and Hygiene
- First aid supplies including ibuprofen to prevent headaches
- Bandaids and ankle wrap tape
- Prescribed medication
- Hand sanitizers and toilet paper
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