Nepal is a small land-locked country in South Asia between India to the east, west, & south and Tibet Autonomous Region of China to the north. Which 75% of the land is covered by high rugged mountains. Out of 14 mountains eight-thousanders (mountain above 8000m), eight of them lie here in Nepal including the world's highest peak Mt. Everest and the world's deadliest peak Annapurna. We live in this competitive century where most of us aspire to stand tall on the top. But ascending the mountains might not be a good start for everyone. However, we all know that everything has its cost and every problem has its alternatives, and these high mountains have their base camp with the trails as thrilling as the routes to ghost above. Here, we present you the details and comparison of the two most famous base camp treks of the deadliest mountain and the highest peak of the world.
“Everest” is recognized as the highest peak in the world. Named as “Everest”- after the former Surveyor General of India ‘George Everest’, “Chomolungma”- referring ‘goddess mother of the valley’, and “Sagarmatha”- as ‘the peak of heaven’. This earth’s highest mountain 8848.86m on the crest of the Great Himalayas of Southern Asia lies in between the border of Nepal and Tibet. Likewise, two routes are approaching the summit, one from the Southeast in Nepal known as the “standard route” and another from the north in Tibet. After, the various attempts by the mountaineers around the world finally, on May 29, 1953, Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa marked their name in history as the 1st people to reach the summit. Which is now celebrated as “Everest Day” around the world.
“Annapurna” is recognized as the deadliest and the 10th highest mountain in the world. Named as “Annapurna”- ‘the Hindu goddess of food and nourishment ‘ as most of the streams descending from the Annapurna massive provides water for the agricultural fields located at lower elevation. This deadliest mountain consists of four main summits Annapurna-I at an elevation of (8,091m), Annapurna-II at (7,937m), Annapurna-III at (7,555m), and Annapurna-IV at (7,525m) from sea level. Among them, Annapurna-I was the first mountain to be ascended above 8,000m in the history of mountaineering in Nepal by the French expedition led by Maurice Herzog on June 03, 1950, and came into global recognition. Many people may not know this but the history of mountaineering started with the 1st ascent of Annapurna-I.
EVEREST BASE CAMP TREK (EBC)
EBC is not just the Base Camp trek but also a trip to UNESCO world heritage site situated at the highest elevation of the world. This journey with natural thrills is one of the finest treks in the world with spectacular views of the snow-capped mountains, Buddhist monasteries, rare flora, and fauna, sherpa indigenous culture and traditions, and breathtaking high altitude landscapes. The iconic trails of EBC are also quoted as “stairways to heaven” by visitors around the world. The journey towards EBC starts from Lukla, and the only way to get to Lukla is the flight from Kathmandu is one of the factors that make this trek a little bit costly.
ANNAPURNA BASE CAMP TREK (ABC)
ABC is another classical and famous Base Camp Trek which is also a conservation area. It is indeed the best and easiest way to get close to one of the eight-thousanders known as the deadliest mountain in the world. The journey towards the base camp starts from Khimche or Ghandruk is a short drive from Pokhara situated 200km west of the main capital city i.e Kathmandu. Offering routes through other spectacular mountains and landscapes, Gurung and Sherpa indigenous people with trails through a stand of rhododendron trees (National flower of Nepal) and bamboo.
The factor that should be considered while choosing is a destination is the number of days that you have and are required to reach the destination. Weather, it is suitable according to the time you can afford or time you should know to be prepared for. The trek to Everest Base Camp is of 12 days including 2 acclimatization days to get your body used to the high altitude, which can be reduced according to your health condition. The minimum required days for the EBC trek is 10 days. Similarly, the Annapurna Base Camp trek can be a minimum of 7 days trek but can also be extended up to 27 days. Annapurna is a massive trek that also offers various other destinations like Tilicho Lake (one of the lakes situated at the highest altitude in the World), Muktinath, and Thorong La pass also known as Annapurna Circuit Trek.
Accessibility to Everest Base Camp Trek
Reaching the top isn’t an easy way to go. Trek to EBC starts from Lukla and the only way to get it is via flight from Ktm to Lukla airport. As the weather varies every day at a high altitude the flight for Lukla only takes off in the morning in a small aircraft and you reach there in merely 35min. Lukla airport is considered the most dangerous airport in the world. After reaching Lukla airport the actual trek begins from here beginning with a short hike to Phakding via dense forest blooming with rhododendron flowers and diverse flora and fauna leading towards Namche Bazaar is the gateway to Mt.Everest.
Accessibility to Annapurna Base Camp Trek
As deadliest as it may sound it's not that hard to reach the base camp of this deadliest mountain. It is indeed only a 7hrs drive from the capital city to Pokhara (the starting city of the trek) in a local bus or you can take a 25 min flight from the Tribhuvan International Airport. After arriving in Pokhara it is a one and half-hour drive to Nayapul (the starting point of the trek) in a private vehicle or else it will take you about two and half-hour in a local bus. And your steps towards the base camp start from here with the most sensational routes of the region.
Accommodation is the topmost priority to look after when you're preparing to travel to any destination. When on the trek you have to walk for hours several days and your body needs the proper rest to function well the next day. The accommodation facility en-route to EBC Trek has set its standard pretty high along with the tourist outpourings even after not having the proper roadways formed. You can have the facilities according to your purchasing power which will have an impact on your overall cost. Whereas accommodation here in ABC Trek is almost at the same level with no such differences in the facilities they deliver you can still experience the deluxe facility in Ghandruk. Ghandruk is one of the most favored tourist destinations in the region where you can experience the local food and culture of the Gurung indigenous people.
Attraction in Everest Base Camp
As Mt. Everest itself is the major attraction of the world but as huge as its height Everest had plenty of things to offer to visitors besides the tallest mountain. Some of the major attractions to where you can have a side trip to in EBC are mentioned down below:
- Lukla Airport- comprehended as Tenzing Hillary Airport comes under one of the most dangerous airports in the world. It's the place where you’ll step into for the
- 1st time on the trip. Kala Patthar- famous as “black rock” a place from where you can have the whole view of Mt. Everest surrounded by the mountains along with the Khumbu glacier and ice-fall below situated at an altitude of 5545m.
- Sagarmatha National Park- park at the highest altitude ranging from 6000 m to 8848.86m declared as one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
- Home to over 118 species of birds, red panda, snow leopard, musk deer, Himalayan tahr, marten, and Himalayan mouse hare (pika). Along with pine and hemlock forest encircled by rhododendron, and diverse alpine plants.
- Namche Bazaar- the most developed place at the high altitude having all the conceivable facilities like restaurants, pubs, souvenir shops with dazzling views.
- Ancient Monasteries and Gompas- the place where Buddhist people are in search of inner peace and offer prayer to their God, a place you can feel the spiritual vibes around you.
- The most famous gompas in the Everest region are Khumjung, Thame Monastery, Tengboche Monastery, Pangboche Monastery, and multiple others are still untitled.
- Peak Climbing- being at the top it is surrounded by various mountains and peaks around it like Mera Peak Climbing, Island Peak Climbing, and many others which can be an ideal destination for peak climbers.
- Majestic Mountain View- of Ama Dablam, Nuptse, Lhotse which surrounds the valley more attractively.
Attraction in Annapurna Base Camp
Just like EBC Annapurna also not only offers the deadliest mountain range but also various other means of attraction are listed down below:
- Scenic Beauty- it is the major attraction during the trek as you can witness the diverse landscapes, natural beauties, and astonishing mountain views along the trail.
- Machhapuchhre Base Camp- the neighboring mountain of 6993m which base camp you’ll need to cross through during your trek to ABC which will give you the adventure of trekking towards two destinations at a time.
- Poon Hill- the most favored destination of all the Nepalese people which offers you a spectacular view of the Himalayan ranges.
- Flora and Fauna- home to 8 different species of rhododendron among 30 species found in Nepal.518 species of bird and 348 species of butterflies with common animals like Yellow-Throated Marten, Orange-bellied Himalayan Squirrel, Large Indian Civet, Chinese pangolin, Red fox, Leopard, Gray langur, etc.
- Cultural Villages- you’ll get to experience the lifestyle of the Gurung and Magar community people offering you homestay facilities in Ghandruk, Landruk, Chomrong, etc.
- Natural Hot Spring- en-route to the ABC trek you’ll get to witness 2, 3 natural hot springs which are believed to cure the diseases and tiredness you get during your trek.
PEOPLE AND CULTURE
People and Culture in EBC Trek
Everest Region is the home to sherpa indigenous people locally renowned mountaineers of the world. This region is also the home of some Tibetan people as it lies close to Tibet and of some other ethnic groups as well. These sherpa’s living in the Everest regions has different traditions and culture and are also said to be the most hospitable peoples. Sherpas are well recognized for their physical strengths and the way their body adapts the high altitude as they’ve been working as mountaineering and portering heavy loads all by themselves for centuries. Everest is not just the mountain but is an emotion for these sherpas which gives them food, shelter, clothes, and most precisely the purpose for life. They celebrate unique festivals like Loshar, mani Rimdu, Tiji, Dumje, etc which in itself is another attraction for visitors from around the world. People here are mostly seemed to be engaged in agricultural activities, animal farming or are engaged in the tourism industry or are working as a guide or porter guide. Most of the porter guides here carry weights up to 100kg or more to the base camp which also fascinate the tourist up here.
People and Culture in ABC Trek
Unlike EBC, ABC is home to diverse ethnic groups. local indigenous people are mostly The Gurungs are also known as one of the main Gurkha tribes. Who provides homestay facilities which will allow you to know about them in a deeper story. Here, the people have faiths in both Hinduism and Buddhism and have been preserving their ethnic culture and tradition in the best possible way they can. You can also visit the Gurung Museum which will help you to comprehend them more distinctly.
Altitude problem in high altitude is the most common face by most of the visitors. To avoid the problem, your body should be hydrated properly and drink plenty of garlic soup. After departing from Kathmandu, you’ll arrive at Lukla airport at an elevation of 2,860, and from here your trips beings and your altitude will slowly take arising to Kalapathar 5,360m and the final destination at 5,545m whereas, the highest elevation you'll each here at ABC Trek is at 4,200m starting your trek from 800m.
- The best season to travel EBC is:- Sep- Nov or Feb-May
- The best season to travel to ABC is- April- May (spring)or October - November (autumn)
Even being at the top technologies and facilities in the Everest Region are quite advanced compared to other trekking routes and destinations. One can have easy access to telephone and internet services throughout the trails and even en route to Kalapathar. But might get some network problems when you reach Pheriche or else you can buy a Nepali sim card easily available in the market and purchase data package services via sim card to get access to the internet service. Cybercafes and Local telephone services are easily available up to Namche Bazaar.
Similarly, coming into ABC trek the best alternative to have access to internet services here is via Nepali Sim card and its data packages. Even being connected to the most famous and developed tourist destination of Nepal i.e. Pokhara. Technologies and communication facilities have not yet touched the grounds here you can have telephone signals up to Deurali only or else cybercafe and telephone services are hardly available here.
TREKKING WITH GUIDES
For both of the trekking routes trekking without the help of a local guide is will not seem to be a smart choice. As both of the destinations are the high-altitude trek passing via the dense forest and the remote areas of Nepal. You can suffer from altitude sickness which is quite common in high-altitude treks and not having the idea about how to react or deal with the situation. Trekking along with the guide will enhance educate you with the details of the place's history, lifestyle, culture, and people from the depth. You’ll even be guided with the safety and security measures and details about altitude sickness and its precaution. Overall you’ll be guided educationally, mentally, and physically about how to train your body at high altitude and according to the situation.
DIFFICULTY OF EBC & ABC?
If we talk by comparing the heights of the mountains it is quite obvious that the Trek to EBC might be more difficult than the Trek to ABC. As the tallest as its height, the Everest Base Camp Trek is quite difficult compared to Annapurna Base Camp Trek as its starting point Lukla Airport is already at 2,860m which is in itself is the high elevation for people who are not used to living in the Mountain Region. Altitude sickness has been seen as the major difficulty faced by the trekkers in any base camp trek whether they are trekking for the first time or are used to it. But Trek to EBC is as harder as the looks of Everest as it consists of drylands and off-beaten paths ever since it has been opened for tourists with the heavy wind at the height of 5,545m.
Whereas Trek to ABC is less difficult than EBC as most of the trails consist of ladder ways passing through plenty of villages in between the journey, and the trees available in the regions can provide you with sufficient oxygen that your body can cope with. Moreover, compared to the Starting and ending altitude of the trek between EBC and ABC, the ABC trek starts from the lowest elevation of 800m reaching the base camp at the height of 4,200m. No matter which trek consists of more difficulties or fewer difficulties you should always be physically and mentally prepared to walk for several days in the remote areas leading towards the gigantic mountains of the world. And walking towards these eight-thousanders requires a lot more than just that. They say “mountains calling” for a reason because what you need the most to go for a trek in mountain regions or any other region is your determination and the thirst of reaching the top.
IS TREKKING TO EBC & ABC POSSIBLE FOR SOLO FEMALE TRAVELERS?
No matter how liberal the world may change into safety will always be the primary concern for people if they or anyone they know are about to travel to any of the destinations in the world. While trekking in the mountains we take care of ourselves by ourselves there is no other way whether you are traveling solo or in a group because you only know what your body is going through and what does it want. For instance, many of you guys may not have the information concerning safety regarding traveling to Nepal. But Nepal is regarded as one of the safest countries for female travelers even if you compare the bad news with other countries you may find out that Nepal has the lowest rates. As EBC and ABC Treks are the most famous destination in Nepal you don’t have to get worried about facing many problems and being alone on the route. You'll get to interact with numerous travelers just like you while marching towards the top and locals here are very friendly and will be always available for you to help if you need any. For solo females to think and step out for Solo traveling needs a lot of courage than we think and if you have the willpower and determination to make a move towards these base camps then nothing will ever come in your way.
Trekking is a wonderful experience of the world it is a journey for a lifetime of memories, and who doesn't want to physically witness the world's highest and the deadliest mountains. It is considered that the male body contains more physical strength than female bodies and this might be the core factor for women who aren't confident enough about themselves to avoid solo trekking. And trekking in mountains might completely change your views on the physical strength needed to reach the base camp. Indeed it is true that one needs to be physically prepared for this journey but mental preparation and determination are integral to reaching the top or in any kind of work.
Besides that, we will provide you the experienced professional license holders guides who will have the package of all the information regarding high altitude sickness, weather updates, in contact accommodation facilities, well alert about the trekking routes and alternatives for every possible risk factor or difficulties you may face in the trial. Moreover, there's always an option for helicopter evacuation in case of your need but the most important part of this tip is that you have to have valid travel insurance before going on the trek which will help you to cover your medical and helicopter evacuation expenses.
Trekking is the place where you’ll witness that your mind and goals are what keep you going than the physical strength and structures. You’ll witness extremely fit young and strong men giving up and not being able to reach their destination but on the other hand, you can also witness many first-timers and females at the top without even making a noise. All you need to complete your journey is the hunger to reach the top hunger to see the mountains, the hunger to witness the sky in closer prospects, and the magnificent view of the night sky. But when the mountains are calling you there's nobody who can stop you and eventually the mountains will attract you towards themself and there’s nobody and no any other energies who can stop you to be you while you're striding towards them.
BRIEF ITINERARY OF EVEREST BASE CAMP
- DAY 01: Arrival in Kathmandu and Transfer to Hotel
- DAY 02: UNESCO World Heritage Site Excursion
- DAY 03: Fly to Lukla & Heritage Site Excursion
- DAY 04: Trek to Namche Bazaar
- DAY 05: Acclimatization to Namche Bazar
- DAY 06: Trek to Pangboche
- DAY 07: Trek to Dingboche
- DAY 08: Acclimatization in Dingboche
- DAY 09: Trek to Lobuche
- DAY 10: Trek to Everest Base Camp & Stay at Gorakshep
- DAY 11: Hike to Kala Patthar & Trek to Pheriche
- DAY 12: Trek to Namche Bazaar
- DAY 13: Trek to Lukla
- DAY 15: DayDeparture
BRIEF ITINERARY OF ANNAPURNA BASE CAMP
- DAY 01: Arrival in Kathmandu City.
- DAY 02: UNESCO World Heritage Site Excursion
- DAY 03: Drive to Pokhara City
- DAY 04: Drive to Nayapul & Hike to Ulleri Village
- DAY 05: Trek to Ghorepani Village
- DAY 06: Hike to Poonhill Viewpoint & Trek to Tadapani
- DAY 07: Trek to Chhomrong Village
- DAY 08: Trek to Dovan
- DAY 09: Trek to Deurali Village
- DAY 10: Trek to Annapurna Base Camp via Machhapuchhre Base Camp
- DAY 11: Trek back to Sinuwa Village
- DAY 12: Trek to Jhinu Danda
- DAY 13: Trek to Madkyu Village & Drive back to Pokhara
- DAY 14: Drive back to Kathmandu
- DAY 15: Departure Day
We've prepared a complete guidebook for both Everest Base Camp Trek and Annapurna Base Camp Trek also. You can find more details in our complete guide. If you have further queries regarding these treks, feel free to contact us anytime.