Annapurna Base Camp Trek in Winter
Annapurna Base Camp Trek is one of the most popular treks in the Annapurna Region and is the nearest Base Camp Trekking in Nepal. This trek can be done in just 10 days from Kathmandu to Kathmandu. From the Annapurna Base Camp, you can witness the stunning views of Fishtail, Hiunchuli, Annapurna Massif, Dhaulagiri, Tilicho, Pisang, and Pungda Danda, in addition to numerous other peaks. Along the way, you will be visiting the famous poon Hill viewpoint and relaxing in the natural hot water pool at Jhinu Danda. Annapurna Base Camp is suitable for those who have a short holiday but want to feel the adventure of the base camp. While going to the Annapurna Base Camp trek, you should always understand and study the risk factors. The local weather and climate are the key factors. Depending upon the region and the season, weather and temperature in Nepal vary drastically. And as you go higher, it gets unpredictable. So it’s best to be prepared accordingly before you make your decision.
The stunning view of the Himalayas, pristine culture and traditions of the Gurung villages are the major highlights of Annapurna Base Camp Trek. Every trekker dream about being on the Base Camp of the 10th highest peak, Mt. Annapurna (8,091m). Being a demanding trek, you might face many barriers on the trekking route, but with good health conditions and courage, this trek is doable by any type of trekker. The mountain ranges included in this tour bring you through Oak, Pine, Rhododendron, and lush green rice fields engraved with a diamond-like carpet of snow amidst majestic slopes of misty valleys. Since the Annapurna Base Camp Trek happens around a vast area of the Annapurna Conservation Area, you will be walking across the Modi river and discovering some of the massive peaks of 7000-8000 meters. Thousands of Tourists visit Nepal to trek to the mountains every year. There are a lot of trekking destinations in Nepal and it has grown popular over the past decades.
Trekking in Annapurna Base Camp in winter
The month from December to February is considered winter in Nepal. The weather remains the coldest than any other season with the temperature reaching freezing point. Winter treks In the Annapurna region are not as popular as the spring or autumn treks. The places along the Annapurna Base Camp trek can be extremely cold during the winter. The temperature of Annapurna Base Camp itself can be as low as -10 degrees C which tempted trekkers to visit this region in pleasant climatic conditions. However, trekking in Annapurna Base Camp in winter has its own benefits. The skies are clear with little or no chances of rain. The accommodation is easier to find and cheaper too as there are off-season discounts. Further, the views of the mountains during the winter season is the best of all season.
The winter brings freezing mornings and nights but the days are quite bright. Mornings are foggy and it might rain in the lower region and there is snowfall in the Himalayas. The whole area is covered with snow. The high passes such as Thorong La in Annapurna are closed from December till March due to safety reasons. During the winter season, in comparison to the summer, the skies are quite clearer. The trekking trail in the lower region is quite dry and isn’t slippery as in the summer season. At higher altitudes, the trekking route is covered with thick layers of snow. You will need crampons with your shoes to continue to the upper region at Annapurna Base Camp.
Trekking in Annapurna is not an easy job in snowfalls heavily. But the light snowfall doesn’t affect your path and the surrounding will be awesome. You will pass through different landscapes, and dense forests, uphill and downhill along with Rhododendron forest in the trekking route. However, the hospitality of locals on the trekking route makes your trek memorable. Eating organic local food from the backyard of the hotel, loyal and humble locals, and less crowded people are some of the reasons why you should trek to Annapurna Base Camp during winter.
Be sure to bring extra clothing that can help you bear the cold and do wear thick layered clothing. Trekking in winter is equally challenging and adventurous.
Some other reasons for Trekking in Annapurna Base Camp in winter are as follows:
1: The enjoyable and serene atmosphere: Clear sky and pristine atmosphere enhance the beauty of the surrounding. The hike is lovable and joyous with the serene atmosphere during winter.
2: A Hot Bath in Natural Spring: On the way to the ABC, you will walk across Jhinu Danda with a hot spring. In the shivering cold of December, a warm bath at the hot spring will boost your tired body.
3: Peaceful nature and more wildlife: Since the number of trekkers is less in winter, the whole trek is all you and or your partner. With stable and clear days, nature is at its best. The eye-catching scenes are awesome.
4: Easy accommodation: Live in a room of your choice. Fewer trekkers mean you will have more options for accommodation. Also, the services are timely and smooth at the tea house/lodges.
5: Fewer Crowds: Less distraction makes more attraction to the scenery. Also, you will get to know your guides and porters well. Furthermore, you can enjoy special winter discounts offered by some tea houses.
Annapurna Base Camp Trek Weather and Temperature during winter
Winter is pretty dry in the Annapurna region. It receives less than 25mm of rainfall. Annapurna region is a shadow area. So, there is less chance of rainfall in winter. The high elevation and cold temperature control the moisture amount. While trekking the Annapurna Base Camp during winter, you will see stable weather normally. However, the weather in the Himalayas may change at any time. So, train yourself to face any challenges the weather offers you.
Winter arrives at the cycle of months step to December. The weather during early December is pre-winter weather. With days, the temperature starts falling drastically. It starts decreasing below 0 degrees in higher altitudes. In general, the temperature decreases to -5 degrees in the base camp. Also, the winter storms can bring snow even in the lower regions (as low as 2300m).
Some days in winter may be cloudy with spoiled views. But the views are often clearer. Dry and clear weather enhances the vistas of the snow-covered mesmerizing peaks. The weather during late December is mid-winter weather. Snow covers most of the trails. So, we suggest you include warm clothes and a pair of sturdy shoes in your packing list.
Is Annapurna Base Camp possible during winter?
Annapurna Base Camp trek can be done every season. In the winter season the Annapurna Base Camp trek can be excellent, but with little risk. Half of the lodge and tea houses are closed in the winter due to the weather conditions. Sometimes, even in winter, you may experience environmental conditions like in the peak season. But the arrival of winter early may disappoint you. The region becomes too cold and unpleasant in winter. But if you have proper gears this trek will go much easier.
You must have proper high-altitude trekking experience to stand the cold and altitude sickness while trekking to the Annapurna Base Camp in winter.
Annapurna Base Camp Trek in Winter Highlights
- Snowfall on the route
- Less crowded trekking route
- Magnificent views of the most beautiful sunrise, and sunset from Poon Hill.
- Alpine peak section at higher points
- Gurung village
- A nice day temperature. The day temperature is suitable for pleasant hikes.
- Festivals in the Himalayas with locals.
- Beautiful skies and the perfect views suitable for stunning photography
Annapurna Base Camp Trek Preparation during Winter Season
Days in winter are shorter compared to summer and autumn. The wise decision will be to start your day early in the morning. Trekking to Annapurna Base Camp requires an average level of fitness to concur with it. We request you to involve in some cardio and morning walks for a couple of weeks before the trek starts. The trail goes through uphill and downhill in different places so we also suggest you get involved in the exercise which strengthens your muscles before a month of the trek.
The comfortable backpack is the most thing on every trekking trail. Purchase a backpack that is comfortable during the trek. As you need to walk for more than a week, the selection of a wrong and uncomfortable backpack ruins your trekking.
Packing List of Annapurna Base Camp during Winter Season
- Sleeping Bags
- Medicines, Knee guard, Diamox, Trekking pole, Pain killer
- Down fleece jacket
- Trekking shirts (warm)
- Solar torch
- Trek duffle bag
- Trekking map
Documents Required for Annapurna Base Camp Trek
For trekking in Annapurna Base Camp, there are some important permits without which you are not allowed to trek in this region. As you will be entering the Annapurna Base Camp, you will need a permit. TIM’s cards along with the Annapurna Conservation Area Permit are important for entering this region as proof that you are here for trekking purposes and mean no harm to the locals and the natural resources of the region.
Before getting all these permits, you will need your passport with the Nepal entry visa stamp. The passport needs a six months validity and also you need two passport-size photos.
The attraction of Annapurna Base Camp during the winter season
- You can enjoy the jaw-dropping sunrise view from the backdrop of Mount Annapurna and other mountains from the base camp
- You can get to experience the fresh snow everywhere. From mid-December, snowfall starts to fall above 3500meters so this is a good time for the trek who wants to play with snow and do the trek.
- The month of winter is meant to be Less Crowded Trekking Route. The trekking route will be less crowded and the guest houses will remain low in occupancy.
- You can enjoy the natural Jacuzzi on the way to the Annapurna Base Camp trek during winter. This hot spring bath helps your body to keep relax in the winter.
Best Itinerary for Annapurna Base Camp Trekking in winter
Day 1: Kathmandu Arrival
Namaste!!! Welcome to the country of the Himalayas, Nepal. You will be warmly welcomed by the Well Nepal Travel representative upon your arrival at Tribhuban International Airport, Kathmandu, and shift to the hotel our representative described the itinerary of the tour, overnight at the hotel, Kathmandu.
Day 2: Fly Kathmandu to Pokhara, Drive to Nayapul, Trek to Ghandruk
Early morning pickup from Hotel and shift to Tribhuban Airport, fly to Pokhara, which takes 25minutes to reach. Then drive to Nayapul in a private car which is approximately one hour drive. Trek to Ulleri, overnight at Ghandruk.
Day 3: Ghandruk to Chhomrang
After breakfast, you will trek to Chhomrang and along its trail, you will enjoy spectacular views of Mount. Annapurna south (7219m) and Himchuli (6441m) and places like Banthali and Tanfethati from where Mt. Dhaulagiri (8167m), the highest of Annapurna region looks stunning, overnight at Lodge, Chhomrang.
Day 4: Trek Chhomrang to Devan to Deurali
After breakfast, you climb up trails to Dovan, you cross the small village of Sinuwa Dada, and making through beautiful thick Rhododendron forest, Khuldighar, and a rocky cliff of bamboo you will find yourself at Dovan. Then headed for Deurali. Along the way, you will be enjoying the silent jungle and visiting a temple within the same jungle. Enjoying some waterfalls and a lake called Hinku you reach Deurali, overnight at Lodge, Deurali.
Day 5: Trek Deurali to Macchapuchhare Base Camp to Annapurna Base Camp
After breakfast you trail down through the rugged path, a bit dangerous for avalanches, you will find yourself in Macchapuchhare Base Camp with few lodges. From here you will keep walking up through grassy land for two hours and you are at Annapurna Base Camp. Overnight at Lodge, Annapurna Base Camp.
Day 6: Trek Annapurna Base Camp to Chhomrang
After breakfast, you will enjoy the beautiful Annapurna Mountains and others from a close distance with beautiful natural scenery and vegetation you head back the same route to Chhomrang. Overnight at Lodge, Chhomrang.
Day 7: Chhomrang to Jhinu to Kyumi
After breakfast, you trek from Chhomrang to Kyumi and Jhinu. Jhinu is located at an altitude of 1,690 meters above sea level. Overnight stay at Lodge.
Day 8: Kyumi to Nayapul to Pokhara
After breakfast, you trek from Kyumi to Nayapul. From there you will drive to Pokhara. Overnight at Pokhara, Hotel.
Day 9: Final Day (Fly back to Kathmandu)
Today is the last day of the trek. Transfer to Pokhara airport and fly to Kathmandu.