Trekking through the small snow-covered trekking trails enjoying the beautiful view of the snow called mountains. As you walk on the trails, your body warms up and the cold breeze of wind keeps you cool. This is what trekking in Annapurna Base Camp in January feels like.
Annapurna Base Camp Trekking has become a very popular trekking destination in Nepal. It is mostly because of the magnificent views of the mountains along the routes and the destination. Every company and sources say that these treks are best done in the Spring and Autumn. But how is the Annapurna Base Camp trek in January really like?
Annapurna Base Camp trek in January may sound skeptical but it is a great time for seeing the best sides of the routes. If you are going to see the mountains, isn’t winter the best time? The mountain ranges in the Annapurna Region are all blindingly glowing with the thick snow on them. Isn’t that what you expect to see on your Annapurna Base Camp trek?
Our 13 days Annapurna Base Camp Trek starts from your arrival at the airport in Kathmandu. Picking you up and transferring you to the hotel in Kathmandu for your rest so you are prepared for your trek is our first priority. The next day is the beginning of our journey together. We shall drive to Pokhara comfortably on a tourist bus for the next 7-8 hours. Reaching there, we will rest for the day at Pokhara where you can explore the beautiful nightlife of the city.
The next day begins with another drive to Nayapul. Reaching Nayapul, our trek finally starts from Nayapul to Ulleri. The trek continues from Ulleri to Ghorepani. We will rest there and start the new day with the highlight of the trip. We will enjoy the sunrise view from Poon Hill Viewpoint early morning.
Leaving Poonhill, we will head towards Tadapani. From Tadapani, we will head straight to Annapurna Base Camp. on the way, we will stop at Chorong and the Himalaya. We shall explore the Annapurna Base Camp and then head down to Bamboo and spend the night there. A short trek from Bamboo is the Jhinu natural hot springs. You can replenish your energy there. Our trek will soon come to an end as we head back to Kathmandu with a long drive from Nayapul to Pokhara and Pokhara to Kathmandu.
Yes, the temperature and the weather are cold, but you can fight that obstacle with proper preparation. So let us enjoy the true beauty of the Annapurna Base Camp Trek in January.
- Highlights of Annapurna Base Camp in January
- Weather and temperature in January
- Annapurna base camp trek Itinerary
- Food and accommodation in January
- Annapurna Base Camp Trek Difficulties in January
- Essentials for Annapurna Base Camp Trek in January
- Some tips for Annapurna base camp trek in January
Highlights of Annapurna Base Camp in January
- You get to experience snowfall at the Annapurna region surrounded by mountains
- The hills are still green with beautiful vegetation and views
- You can see the glorious snow-capped peaked glowing with the thick snow
- Experience the local Gurung culture and lifestyle
- Magnificent views of the mountains over the clouds
- Less crowded routes and pretty clear weather
- Night skies are very beautiful with a starry night view
Weather and temperature in January
January is the middle of winter in Nepal. In the Annapurna region, the weather will be daily clear during this time. The peaks will face a lot of snowfall all through December and some in January as well. However, there is only a slight chance of snowfall in the lower regions of the trekking routes. Rainfall is not a problem during January. You won’t have to worry about rainfall during your Annapurna Base Camp Trek in January.
As for the temperature in January, it is pretty cold in January. However, there is a bright sun during the day. You won’t be cold as you will be trekking so it will end up being the perfect temperature for trekking. The mornings and nights are kind of cold but as you start trekking, you will feel the heat and cold making the perfect time for trekking.
The temperature in the day ranges from around 5 degrees to 10 degrees celsius. This is not very cold and as the sun is up, the temperature is pretty warm during the day. However, the nights can be pretty cold as the temperature drops rapidly. The night temperature in the Annapurna region drops below 0 degrees celsius to up to -10 degrees celsius.
So be prepared for the cold nights with some high-quality warm clothes and sleeping bags. The nights may be cold but the night skies are beautiful during January. You can see the starry night sky from the routes in the month of January. However, be sure to keep yourself warm during your trek in January.
Annapurna base camp trek Itinerary
Day 1: Arrive at Kathmandu airport and transfer to the hotel.
Day 2: Drive 6-7 hours to Pokhara (820 meters) by tourist bus.
Day 3: Drive 4-5 hours to Nayapul (1010 meters) and trek to Ulleri (1920 meters).
Day 4: Trek 4-5 hours to Ghorepani (2860 meters).
Day 5: Early morning hike to Poon Hill (3210meters) and then 6-7 hours trek to Tadapani (2610 meters).
Day 6: Trek 5-6 hours to Chorong (2170 meters.).
Day 7: Trek 6-7 hours to Himalaya (2920 meters).
Day 8: Trek 6-7 hours to Annapurna Base Camp (4130 meters).
Day 9: Trek back 6-7 hours to Bamboo (2345 meters).
Day 10: Trek 5-6 hours to Jhinu hot spring (1780 meters).
Day 11: Trek 5-6 hours to Nayapul (1010 meters) and drive to Pokhara.
Day 12: 7-8 hours Drive back to Kathmandu (1345 meters) by tourist bus.
Day 13: Transfer to International Airport for your onward destination.
Food and accommodation in January
Annapurna Base Camp Trek in January is great for the views and favorable for trekking. But what about the food and accommodation during the trek in January? January is considered an offseason for trekking in the area so yes, you will be getting some cheap prices. However, the food and accommodation in the month of January may be either too beneficial for you or disadvantageous.
Accommodation in January is the same as any other time of the year. You will be spending your nights at a tea house in the location. The rooms will be twin sharing bedrooms with an attached bathroom. You will be provided with warm bed sheets. However, it is always better for you to bring your sleeping bags in case the temperature drops too low at night. The rooms are not air-conditioned.
You will find tea houses every 2-hour walk distance from the first one. Being an off-season there are chances of fewer tea houses being open. They may charge you less during the winter season. The less crowded routes will benefit you definitely as you will have enough rooms throughout your trek. The only downside is that most tea houses may not open because of the winter.
As for the food, the tea houses will serve you a balanced diet. But since it is the winter season, you will mostly have pickled vegetables, and the variety of food decreases. Despite the lack of varieties, the tea houses will provide you a balanced diet for your trek. For the drinks, you will get coffee and tea easily. But it’s better to carry some tea bags on your own.
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Annapurna Base Camp Trek Difficulties in January
Trekking in the winter season is a fun activity as the temperature does not make you burn up on the trek. However, Annapurna Base Camp Trek in January has some difficulties you will have to overcome. The major difficulties you will be facing during your Annapurna Base Camp Trek in January are listed below:
Yes, the weather in January is mostly clear. The days are sunny making the temperature just right for trekking. However, as you head up on a higher altitude during your trek, the weather may not be as stable. Higher altitudes tend to have sudden weather changes. In the winter, there may be snowfall and some chances of rainfall from the rainclouds traveling from the higher regions. So be careful and always be prepared for some sudden weather changes on your trek.
Another difficulty you are sure to come across trekking in the winter season is the temperature. The days are fine for trekking but the night is extremely cold in the winter season. Especially in the Annapurna region as the wind travels from the mountains, the nights are windy and cold. The temperature may drop down to below -10 degrees as the altitude increases. So be prepared and carry lightweight sleeping bags that can handle these low temperatures.
Annapurna Base Camp trek takes you to the maximum altitude of 4130 meters. Although it is not that high, there are chances of you getting altitude sickness during your trek. This is one of the difficulties you may face during your trek in January as the cold contributes to the symptoms. However, you can easily tackle this difficulty by taking proper precautions like acclimatization, staying hydrated. If worse comes to worst, you can always take medication for altitude sickness.
Remote area and trekking routes
With the popularity of the Annapurna Base Camp trek, the routes have been improved a lot from the past. Half of the trekking routes have been motorized. However, there are still a lot of remote trekking trails for Annapurna Base Camp trekking. So it is still a remote and off the road trekking in most areas. Therefore, you will have some difficulties during your trek due to the rough trekking routes and the climbs and descents. Be sure to be physically prepared for this journey.
Essentials for Annapurna Base Camp Trek in January
Since January is in the middle of the winter season, the temperature can drop quite low at night. So it is better to be fully prepared to tackle the cold winter nights. Unlike the summer and autumn seasons, the winter seasons can get pretty cold at night and also in the morning. So if you are packing you should always prepare layers as the temperature rises during the day.
Here are the basic essentials you will need for the Annapurna Base Camp Trek in January:
For your Annapurna Base Camp Trek in January, it is best to wear layers. So, make sure to pack your warm clothes in layers. The nights are extremely cold, but the trekking hours will be hot. So if you are wearing layers, you can dress appropriately for the cold mornings and the trekking hours during the day. However, make sure to carry some warm clothes as mentioned below:
- Lightweight quick-drying shirts
- Lightweight warm fur jackets
- Warm inner clothes
- 2-3 sets of underwear
- Set of windproof clothes
- Waterproof clothes in case of snowfall
- Gloves and mittens for the cold
Ad for the footwear, you will need some warm footwear as well. However, as the trek consists of walking for about 5-6 hours a day, make sure to wear comfortable shoes for the trek. Some basic requirements during the trek for footwear are :
- Hiking boots
- Trekking boots
- Warm socks (extra pairs)
The cold weather in the month of January may require you to carry some extra stuff during your trek. But this is all for your own safety and preparedness for any situation. Here are some important things to carry in your backpack:
- Annapurna Base Camp Trek Map
- A headlamp or a flashlight
- Backup chargers for your phone and camera
- Energy Bars
- Some hot packets
- Lightweight but warm sleeping bag
- Whistle in case of any emergencies
● Medical necessities
During your Annapurna Base Camp Trek in January, your guide and the crew will carry most of the essential medical supplies. So you can rest easy. But if you can you should carry some of your own medical supplies. You will know your body better than others. So carry the basic medical supplies that you know works for you.
- Pain medication
- Altitude sickness medicines
- Cold medicines
Some tips for Annapurna base camp trek in January
Here are some tips for you to have the best time on your Annapurna Base Camp Trek in January while fighting through any difficulties.
- Since it’s cold at night during January, make sure to bring sleeping bags that can easily withstand -10 degrees celsius.
- Most of the tea houses on the trekking routes may not be open all the time. So it is always a good idea to carry your own water bottles. Also, carry some water purifier tablets while you’re at it.
- Since the tea houses are far from each other and it is cold you can also carry some tea bags and a thermos for instant tea and coffee.
- Make sure to bring layered clothing. It works best for winter. As the morning is cold and the day slowly gets warmer, layers will provide you with comfort for each time of the day.
- The cold sometimes acts as a catalyst for altitude sickness. So keep yourself warm. In addition to that, stay hydrated and take proper acclimatization throughout your trek to not get any altitude sickness.
- Don’t forget to bring your warm jackets and clothes. It’s always better to carry some warm innerwear for the night as well.
- Do not forget to bring your own medicines. You know your body the best so bring some meds that work for you.
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1. What is the highest point of the Annapurna Base Camp Trek?
The highest point of the Annapurna Base Camp Trek is the Annapurna Base Camp at the altitude of 4130 meters.
2. What is the alternative route for Annapurna Base Camp Trek?
You can also choose the alternative route for Annapurna Base Camp trek which is a short trek of 7 days. The trek takes you to the Annapurna Base Camp passing through the Machhapuchhre Base Camp.
3. Is Annapurna Base Camp Trek in January difficult?
Annapurna Base Camp Trek in January is a moderate level trek. If you are physically and mentally prepared, you can easily complete this trek. There are not many difficult routes or trekking trails. The weather and temperature may cause some difficulties but with proper preparations, you can easily complete this trek.
4. How much does Annapurna Base Camp Trek cost?
The standard 13 days Annapurna Base Camp Trek costs around USD 825 per person. This includes transportation during the trek, the guides, and porters along with the food and accommodations.
5. Is Annapurna Base Camp Trek without a guide possible?
If you are confident about the trekking routes, yes. You can complete the Annapurna Base Camp Trek without a guide. As long as you can easily understand the map and find your way, your trek without a guide is possible. But in the winter season, it is recommended to have a guide with you during your treks due to the weather changes.