Everest and Annapurna, Nepal: Top Snowy Destinations
Updated: Apr 30, 2020
Guide to trekking Annapurna
If Nepal trekking is on your bucket list, you must be thinking about Annapurna - a collection of peaks referred to as a ‘massif’. The highest of peak in Annapuna is over 8000 meters (the 10th highest in the WORLD!). There’s another 13 peaks in Annapurna above 7000 meters and 16 over 6000 meters.
Over 70,000 tourists visit the region every, single, year.
History and culture
Nepal itself is made up of around 100 ethnicities meaning customs and traditions very hugely. It's a secular country and most Nepalese people are either Hindus or Buddhists. Nepali is the official language but the vast majority of people speak English, including businesses, government and common people.
Typical Nepalese food is lentil soup, rice, curried vegetables and pickles. The name Annapurna translates into English to mean something along the lines of “full of food and good harvests”.
Nepal suffered a decade of civil conflicts which thankfully ended in 2006 after thousands of people had lost their lives. In 2008 it became a republic after 240 years of monarchy. It’s now home to more than 28 million people.
Nepal is one of the world’s poorest countries. A quarter of its residents live below the poverty line and 23% survive on less than US $1.25 a day. This creates great opportunities for travellers to visit on a budget and receive unbelievable value.
When to go trekking
The Nepal tourism board say there are good treks to be had at any time of the year. Whilst this is true, the best time with ideal conditions can be found between March and June and from September to November.
Which route should I take as a beginner?
The Annapurna Panorama Trek is super-easy with no risk of altitude sickness. You can start at Nayapul, stop at Ghandruk, cross the Modi River, visit the village of Pothana, then Dhampus, Phedi and one option is to be driven to Pokhara. The trek takes in superb views of the Annapurna I (the highest peak we spoke about earlier) and Annapurna South. Another option is the Annapurna Sanctuary from Phedi back to Pokhara.
You won’t even need a sleeping bag, tent or portable stove as it’s also known as the ‘teahouse trek’. This means there is accommodation every overnight stop on the way. Although you would have to put up with ‘basic’ accommodation, it means there’s no need to carry any heavy equipment.
What shall I take with me?
Once you’ve paid for your transport and trek, you’ll only need about $20 USD equivalent per day for accommodation and food.
You’ll need decent hiking boots that have been broken in before you get there. If you’re going in winter you should opt for high sided boots. You should pack a pair of sneakers for apres-hike, a quality day pack, lightweight sleeping bag that will see you warm in cold temperatures plus some other excellent outdoor hiking clothing generally. Most if not all equipment can be rented, but you might want to buy your own locally in Kathmandu.
You really do need to experience this for yourself; and what an adventure it would be!
If you’re anything like me, you'll live for trips like this!