So, today is the day! We are gonna discuss the most renowned – Annapurna Base Camp Trek in December
Annapurna Base Camp Trek is easily the finest trekking destination in Nepal with its mystique beauty and magnificence. It’s among the most popular hike following the standard walking trail, beautiful terrains, and primeval villages
The base camp hike is known for its extraordinary settings, epic landscapes, and surrounding steppe which looks astonishing till the year’s end. December gets most out of Annapurna Base Camp Trek with winter snowfall.
Its impressive snow peaks, alpine views, and vertical cliffs all along the sanctuary makes the excursion unreal. A frosty morning walk on the trail of base camp will provide you a captivating sight of forests and waterfalls pouring down a cliffside.
Slightly longer in length and lower in altitude, Annapurna Base Camp trek suits all levels of hiker. It stretches up to 71 miles and unfolds tempting scenery even in a cold month like December.
If you’re seeking a peaceful walk all along the way to the base camp then December is the ideal time to visit the region. Few trekkers visit base camp as the winter arrives due to which the trails are easy to steer through. From accommodation to a warm meal and fireplace, everything is wonderful during Annapurna Base Camp Trek in December.
The weather is a bit harsh in the month. Henceforth, you better carry warm woolen clothes to withstand frosty mornings and nights. Preparation is equally important for the trek but doesn’t hold it for the last moment. Be it physical or mental, get ready at least a month before the actual trek.
Highlights of Annapurna Base Camp Trek in December
1. Natural Hot Spring
One must be crazy not to like the thermal spring of Jhinu Danda after walking that many days on the trail of Annapurna Base Camp. Located just a few miles away from the small village in Ghandruk, the natural hot spring is astonishing and popular amidst every trekker.
It’s surrounded by stone plates, next to Modi Khola which provides a lovely view. The pool isn’t big enough for swimming but you can already take a bath in it. As the hot spring is close to Ghandruk, the best way to reach there is by foot.
2. Diverse culture and tradition
Weave your way around the trail of Annapurna Base Camp and you’ll stumble on some of Nepal’s beautiful villages. They are archaic and epitomize the history with people of different caste and creed residing over.
Explore these villages and you’ll get the insight into the rich culture and way of life of people in the Himalayas. They give off the dazzling view of snow-capped mountains, rolling hills, and terrains to every visitor passing the village.
Other than the religion, the locals here are emphatic towards each other. Despite the different languages and cultures, they promote unity and kindness. The locals are very generous to their guests and don’t let them feel homesick.
3. Breathtaking scenery
With deep gorges, cascading waterfalls, and lush green pastures, there is an air of secrecy at Annapurna Base Camp Trek in December. The tranquility on the back of the woods and along the trail provides warmth and affinity. The primeval villages with monasteries and prayer flags look no less than spectacular. You can also watch the shimmering snow-capped mountains, vibrant valleys, and primeval villages settled on the way to Annapurna Base Camp.
4. Unique flora and fauna
A trip to Annapurna Base Camp Trek in December is a window of opportunity to explore dynamic landscapes and wildlife in the region. Nestled inside the Annapurna Conservation Area, Annapurna Base Camp allows you to walk through the wildlife habitat of various animals including Tibetan argali, musk deer, and snow leopard. You can also discern unique subtropical vegetation in the region.
The weather of Annapurna Base Camp Trek in December
December summons back the wintry morning with icy-cold weather on the trail of Annapurna Base Camp. Following months of blissful autumn, December once again manages to get an icy-cold vibe in the valley with frigid nights and moderate days.
Since December marks just the beginning of the winter season, the weather is still lovely at the base camp during the day. The sky is clear during the month with full sunshine, capturing the spectacular view of snow peaks and glaciers.
The average daytime temperature at Annapurna Base Camp in December ranges from 5-10 Degree Celsius. But as the day comes to end, the temperature falls rapidly reaching up to 0 Degree Celsius.
The temperature at a higher elevation is even lower measuring -5 Degree Celsius. As time goes by, the weather gets even worse as the winter picks height and temperature drops continuously.
However, don’t freak out or get depressed about being abducted from watching the fabulous Annapurna massif and landscapes. The strong winds and fog may obstruct the scenery in late December but the days are bright and come with terrific sights.
Difficulties of Annapurna Base Camp Trek in December
Although Annapurna Base Camp Trek is a moderate walk with hardly any technical difficulties, you’ll still have to deal with a few challenges. Some of the obstacles you’ve to overcome to reach the base camp are as follows.
1. Altitude Sickness
Due to its unpredictable nature, altitude sickness is a major concern of every hiker climbing Annapurna Base Camp. It upsets whosoever scrambling above 3,000 meters height due to reduced atmospheric pressure.
Altitude sickness shows different symptoms in different hikers but the most common ones are frequent headaches, dizziness, and fatigue. If these syndromes are ignored or not cured on time, acute mountain sickness can be fatal.
To withstand altitude sickness, take slow steps while climbing height, avoid dehydration, and take preventive medications. Climb down the trail if you feel the sickness is getting serious or cannot walk the trail any further.
2. Steep Trail
Although Annapurna Base Camp Trek is moderate with fewer technical difficulties, trekkers are still likely to feel the exhaustion due to the steep trail. Most part of the hike climbs uphill which soaks a lot of energy and power.
It becomes really hard to keep the pace while scrambling cliffs and hillside unless you’re physically fit. Beginners are often witnessed struggling the path clambering steep hills which is why they spend a day on acclimatization.
3. Length of the course
With an uneven trail of 71 miles long, Annapurna Base Camp Trek is pretty tough to walk through. They are jagged and full of small rocks that throw a wrench in the speed of hikers. But even if you succeed to keep up the tempo, the average walk is 5-6 hours each day to reach the camp. The trail of Annapurna Base Camp has you steering through villages, deep valleys, and forests to reach the site.
4. Severe Weather
Another trek difficulty you may face during Annapurna Base Camp trek in December is brutal weather. At an altitude of 4,310 meters, the climate is not your best companion with a light snowfall and storm. Except in the broad daylight, the temperature at and below the base camp is less than 0 Degree Celsius.
As winter picks up, the temperature goes as low as -6 Degree Celsius, causing the trekkers to shiver. Possibilities of semi-regular snowfall are high in December which in turn slows down the speed of hikers and even postponed the schedule.
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Accommodation and Food at Annapurna Base Camp Trek in December
Annapurna Base Camp Trek in December is a perfect time to grasp the magnificent view of Annapurna. It’s only the month when you’ll meet no crowd on the trail and also make easy access to the camp.
With not so many trekkers ascending the base camp in December, you’ll have a better chance of finding the standard accommodation at a reasonable price. Although there are plenty of accommodation options everywhere, teahouses are relatively convenient and pleasant to accommodate.
They come both in a single and double bedroom with a blanket, pillow, and a clean bed sheet to resist cold. The foods available in these small-run lodges are as good as the dwelling. They used local ingredients and fresh produce from farms in order to keep the food healthy and provide more nutrients to hikers.
Apart from teahouses, you can also reach out to the hotels and guesthouses for accommodation. Their amenities include well-furnished rooms with en-suite facilities. The foods are not bad either with traditional Nepali dishes and Asian cuisine including fried noodles, udon, and dumplings. They also offer several other dishes at an affordable cost in December.
How crucial is it to prepare for Annapurna Base Camp Trek in December?
The weather is really frail in December so without proper preparations, it’s too difficult to reach Annapurna Base Camp. The trail which you could easily navigate during spring is damp and slick, making you plunge time and again.
Not just the course, even the weather in December is a challenge for many hikers to beat. The higher you climb, the colder it gets with the temperature falling dramatically. This can cause you to endure the cold, frostbite, and even hypoxemia.
Another drawback of climbing Annapurna Base Camp in December is the snowstorms that compel the trekkers to step back. With that many difficulties, it’s too important that you prepare well for your own sake. Don’t make the trek too lightly as it can throw off many challenges at you.
Physical Preparation for hiking
It takes a lot of courage and endurance power to go on a trek like Annapurna Base Camp. Following an endless trail of 115 km length, it’s quite tough for climbers especially beginners to prevail over the trek unless they are physically fit.
The average walking hours on Annapurna Base Camp Trek in December is 6-7 hours per day. So, if you’re unfit to keep the pace at most the time duration then it speaks volumes that you must strictly follow an intense workout regimen.
There are a bunch of exercises that help improve physical strength and build muscles including crunches and squats. In that case, even cardio proves to be a big help in developing core strength and withstand long-stretched steep trails.
Apart from the aerobics, a strict diet and jogging also help stay fit and maintain stability while walking uphill. You must plan a strict diet routine to keep yourself in proper shape and gain enough stamina.
It’s usually ignored and not taken seriously but mental preparation is to be given equal preference as physical. Without the right frame of mind, it’s certain to lose the self-confidence and back up from the trek
Hence, you need to minimize the pressure by preventing stressful situations, be it getting all essentials needed during the trek or energy to stand the trial. Ease yourself by taking time on the hike instead of rushing things. Sickness is the sworn enemy of hikers so you must eat healthily and take proper rest before going high altitude.
Along with the physical and mental training, you also need to take care of the appliances required during Annapurna Base Camp Trek in December. The tools you pick for the hike is the one to accompany you and make the journey less tough.
Since December is a cold month, the essentials you pick must be good enough to prevent a frigid climate. It’s too hard to carry a heavyweight and walk the steep trail simultaneously so be careful what you choose. Keep a close eye on the tools you’re packing up as you don’t want to leave even a single item.
Clothing & Footwear
- Down jacket or vest
- Softshell jacket and a fleece pullover
- Woolen or fleece trousers
- Lightweight fleece wool hat
- Insulated mountaineering boots
- A woolen scarf and a cap
- Spare batteries and charger
- First-aid kit with prescribed medicines
- A moisture-wicking towel
Tips for the Trekking Annapurna Base Camp in December
1. Prepare for cold weather
Trekking in December has hikers suffering from cold weather except for the daytime. The temperature around the camp in December is within minus Degree Celsius which leaves the visitor quivering. Not just that, it even triggers sickness like pneumonia and bronchitis which if deteriorated becomes terminal.
Hence, you must stay warm and avoid walking too long at high cliffs to prevent catching a cold. Put on fleece jackets and woolen clothes with high-insulated mountaineering boots to impede cold from getting through.
2. Drink adequate water
Dehydration fuels altitude sickness while climbing heights and even causes dizziness. At higher altitudes above sea level, trekkers lose the water in the body more quickly. Therefore, not to run out of fluid and prompt dry skin, you must drink enough water. While on the trek, you must sip at least 5 liters of water each day and even have carbohydrate-rich foods.
3. Slow and steady walk
Annapurna Base Camp Trek is already hard with steep trails that take hours and hours to finish off. But just because the trail is extended too long doesn’t mean you have to walk faster. In fact, you must walk slowly and steadily to get used to the trail and pick up the speed only after getting adapted to the temperature.
4. Avoid gain in altitude
Walking too high and too fast often leads to altitude sickness which no climber on Annapurna Base Camp Trek in December feels good. Therefore, when you walk high altitude, take slow steps, and don’t hassle. Take a day off after ascending every 600 to 900m altitude. You also need to make sure that the gain in elevation is no more than 500 meters a day otherwise it will add stress on the
5. Hire guide and porter
It’s extremely tough to come over the steep rock trail of Annapurna Base Camp with a heavy toll on the back. So, in order to sail the journey with ease, you shall hire a porter who can help you with the load.
These porters can hold the weight of 15-20 kg on average in the rugged terrain of Annapurna sanctuary. Excess weight can cost you extra charges so carry supplies within the weight limit.
Like porters, guides are also supposed to make your excursion comfortable and fun-filled. They’re not there just to navigate you the way but also provide relevant information regarding major sites and landforms. Thus, whenever you get a guide for yourself, make sure that they can speak English fluently as it will be easy for you to have a conversation.
6. Eat healthy food
It’s obvious that whenever you’re walking a long distance, the more stamina is needed. So, you must eat more while on the Annapurna Base Camp Trek in December. Carry snickers, dry fruits, and veggies which will provide you more nutrients to traverse the course.
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Why Annapurna Base Camp Trek in December
Trekking Annapurna Base Camp in December is one of the most inspiring and best experiences you’ll ever come to know. The hike will offer you an overwhelming view of glistening Annapurna, gushing rivers, and pristine valley.
In comparison to other trek routes, its trails are quite easy to maneuver while the views are breathtaking. The weather may not be incredible in December with winter slowly making its way in but it’s not as bad as January. You can still adjust with the temperature without too many changes in the lifestyle/
1. Serene atmosphere of Annapurna Base Camp Trek in December
December officially states the start of the winter season with a tranquil atmosphere throughout the valley. There is a sheer silence in the air and trail as well, with the only sound of rustling trees. In the morning time, you may even hear birds chirping and the crystal clear view of the Annapurna range.
2. Quiet trekking trails
Unlike peak trekking seasons, December sees fewer visitors on the trail of Annapurna Base Camp. Not may hikers barge in for the trek during the month due to extreme weather which in turn, finds the trail empty.
You won’t have to beat the crowd to get the entire walking space for yourself or a nice spot to gape at the splendor of Annapurna in December. Those who don’t like the presence of too many people will for sure relish Annapurna Base Camp Trek in December
3. More accommodation facilities
As mentioned, Annapurna Base camp has comparatively fewer guests to accommodate in December. This eventually increases your chances of getting better accommodation for a good deal of money. The lodges and guesthouses won’t be crammed with travelers which means you’ll have plenty of options to choose from.
Surprisingly, you can even book the room on short notice but not all of them are standard. So if you don’t want to fall short of choices then it’s wise to have advance booking. In that way, you won’t have to hasten at the last minute or even look for the dwelling.
4. Sharp visibility
One of the major highlights of Annapurna Base Camp Trek in December is the sharp visibility which remains firm for the better part of the month. The ever-changing weather doesn’t affect the charm of Annapurna massif, allowing it to shine as bright and beautiful as ever.
However, there are possibilities of light snowfall in late December which might block the trail. And even if it didn’t, it’s still hard to walk the trail that’s already layered with snow. So, the perfect time to do Annapurna Base Camp Trek is early December because the weather worsens in the end.