Many trekkers planning to trek to Annapurna Circuit have a frequent question on Annapurna Circuit Trek Difficulty.
To answer them, Annapurna Circuit is a moderately difficult trek on the high altitude terrains of Annapurna region.
Annapurna Circuit Trek has varied trails that can be rocky, steep or slippery. The trail also includes a lot of stairways which can add difficulty than walking on straight paths. Plus, the high and varying altitude causes some difficulties during the trek.
The weather is another unpredictable aspect that will affect your trekking experience. Depending on the weather condition of the trail, the difficulty and challenges that you’ll encounter on the trail matters.
- Altitude Sickness in Annapurna Circuit Trek
- Annapurna Circuit Trek Difficulty due to Trek Duration and Distance
- In Which Season will Annapurna Circuit Trek be Less Difficult?
- Essentials to Reduce Annapurna Circuit Trek Difficulty
- Tips to Reduce Annapurna Circuit Trek Difficulty
Altitude Sickness in Annapurna Circuit Trek
Speaking of difficulties, the most common issue is altitude sickness. As you climb higher, the oxygen level gets lower and the atmospheric pressure gets thinner. In this case, your body needs to adjust to the newer environment.
During Annapurna Circuit trek, you will walk to the highest point at 5416 meters, Thorung La Pass. Walk to this high altitude brings the risk of altitude sickness to many people.
The problem of altitude sickness is mainly due to failure in proper acclimatization. Different people have a different level of tolerance in altitude. So do not underestimate it even if you are physically stronger.
Some of the symptoms of altitude sickness are nausea, diarrhoea, headache, loss of appetite, fatigue, and insomnia.
Annapurna Circuit Trek Difficulty due to Trek Duration and Distance
In this moderate trek, the total distance is 160 – 230 km depending on the starting point.
The packages are available from 10 – 28 days. You can choose the duration of the days that is the most suitable for you depending on the time and physical condition.
If you want a shorter duration, then choosing the time between 10 – 14 days is ideal. But if you want a longer duration, 18 – 21 days can be good.
The duration of the trek causes changes in the day to day itinerary. Package of less days will have more walking distance in a day while package of more days will have less walking distance. The days of rest and acclimatization are also different as per the duration.
Shorter itineraries are a bit more hectic and demand strong stamina and physical fitness.
You can train yourself before the trek to make it a lot less difficult. You will walk 5 – 7 hours daily in this trek. Prepare accordingly to make it less hectic.
If you have previous trekking experiences then you can easily do it. You have to walk for about 8 – 15 km daily depending on the package you choose.
If you are a professional trekker then you can choose to finish it in a short period of time. If you want to explore the Annapurna Region, you can choose a longer package. Longer packages decrease the Annapurna Circuit Trek Difficulty.
In Which Season will Annapurna Circuit Trek be Less Difficult?
Autumn and Spring are the best time for trekking to Annapurna Circuit and other trekking trails in Nepal. Likewise, since the region lies in the rainshadow area of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri massifs, you can trek in this region in Summer/ Monsoon as well.
If you trek in these months, you can enjoy the crisp views of the surrounding and the exotic landscapes in the most favorable weather conditions. The weather remains quite moderate and stable so you will have lesser difficulties during this time.
Essentials to Reduce Annapurna Circuit Trek Difficulty
The main difficulty in this trek is the walking distance with a load on your bag. You have to walk the uneven trails of ups and downs. The backpack also affect on your pace and puts a heavy weight on your shoulders.
A good trekking backpack helps in proper distribution of the load on your upper body. Having a good trekking boots is very important.
Along with a comfortable backpack you need to buy a good pair of trekking boots which can save your foot from blisters and pain on your heels.
Colder weather is another difficulty. So, a sleeping bag with a liner will help you have a better sleep. Blankets are available but sleeping bag is like an extra protection.
Likewise, small and minor injuries might occur during the trek. So, first aid kit is a must. Personal hygiene – especially for women – should be there as a part of essential too.
Other than that, you should also bring other normal essentials for the trek. Preparing well for a trek with proper gear and equipment makes it a lot easier.
Also, walking in higher altitudes can be challenging than walking in the lower altitudes. People with heart and lung problems should consult their doctors before getting on with the trek.
You also need to let your body acclimatize well. Meanwhile, you can enjoy the beautiful landscape that this trek guarantees you to enjoy.
Tips to Reduce Annapurna Circuit Trek Difficulty
Starting off with easier treks will help in your training. Proper training not only makes you ready for the trek but it also helps in your overall health from getting hurt.
Proper training consists of all the basic forms of exercises that pumps up you heart rate. Do not worry as the training does not include heavy workouts. Exercises like cycling, jogging, etc. are good when it comes to increasing your heart rate.
You can also involve in everyday jogging and walking with backpack for 4 – 5 hours or more. This is a common mimicry of the physical activities involved in the trek. Look for stairs in your nearby location and start you exercise there.
Always carry extra budget with you. You might need it in case of emergencies. You might have to buy any missing trekking gear at the last moment.
Spending on souvenirs and gifts are good. But it is better if you know how to get them in a good price. Sometimes, the souvenirs are overpriced and spending more on it might cause problem when you need money for the actual part of the trek.
Moreover, buying snacks for trek in Kathmandu and Pokhara is much more practical and saves a lot of money. This way if you have to spend money on some other important items during the trek then you will have some spare with you.
It is best if you carry cash rather than ATM cards since there are no ATM machines that are easily available in the checkpoints.
Make sure you have all the essentials with you. Don’t forget your ACAP and TIMS permit.
In the case of gears, a good hiking boot, an insulating jacket and sleeping bag with liner is a must for the trails and weather.
Don’t forget your water bottle and water purifying tablets. Also, Take your favourite snacks with you to munch along the trek. It will make the journey less boring and refreshed.
Also, remember your first-aid kit, toiletries and personal hygiene kits as they are highly important.
Do not underestimate a high altitude trek like this one. You should never ignore any sign of altitude sickness as this is a serious issue. Drink plenty of water and allow your body to acclimatize well.
Pick the right itinerary for you in case of altitude. Even an extra day helps your body heal a lot. Also, mentally prepare yourself because this indeed is a long journey.
Annapurna Circuit Trek Difficulty can be overcome by considering a lot of factors before and during the trek.
Depending on your body type and the way it reacts to a certain situation will determine the difficulty of the trek. Guides and porters also ease your journey and add to an amazing trekking experience.
Finally, there is nothing such as over-preparation. It is best to prepare well than to lament later. Allow us to help you with it. Do contact us for further details and questions about the trek.