Annapurna Base Camp Trek in February

Reasons for Annapurna Base Camp in February

Trekking in Nepal is open for all seasons. But can you imagine trekking yourself to the base camp of the 10th highest pinnacle, Annapurna massif, during the cold winter of February? Imagine yourself enjoying the magnificent view of panoramic mountains while that crispy air hits your face and creates a natural, beautiful red blush on your cheek. Indeed, the trek to Annapurna Base Camp in February can provide you with this unique and heartwarming experience.

Mountains also change their face as different seasons come and go by. The face of Mt. Annapurna is different in February as the winter cold is still low, but spring is knocking at the door to spread its beauty during the latter part of the month. So, naturally, the alluring snow-capped peaks of Annapurna massif, Himchuli, and Machhapuchhre creating a bowl-like mountain valley along with various flora and fauna, will keep you stunned.

So, are you excited to embark on this journey to create a new experience with trekking to Annapurna Base Camp in February? If yes, then you are in the right place, as this blog will help you delve deeper to explain what trekking to Mt.Annapurna looks like in the cold season of February.

ABC Trek Grade

Annapurna Base Camp Trek in February

Annapurna Base Camp trek is categorized to be a moderate-level difficulty trek that will take you to an elevation of 4,130m/13,549ft. Since the trek is above 3000m, it has its own challenges and difficulties. Plus, the weather during the cold will increase its difficulty level.

The routes eventually travel through several difficult, steep parts, including stone stairs. Similarly, some travelers may find it hard to hike through rocky ridges, river gorges, pasturelands, and wooded areas.

But there aren’t any technical parts to this trial, so finishing it won’t be too difficult. But the route is quite difficult due to the difficult geography.

ABC Trek Duration

The trek to ABC Camp covers a total of 115 km, which requires approximately 5-6 hours of hiking to cover about 15 km per day.

In terms of number of days, it basically depends on your tour package and the route which you have chosen. There are various routes when it comes to the ABC trek.

Usually, the optimal days for ABC Trek is 7 days, but the days can be extended as per the variations in the route you have made.

February Temperature and Weather for ABC Trek

Reasons for Annapurna Base Camp in February

February is considered one of the coldest months and falls right at the end of winter. In February, the Annapurna region‘s trekking trail often experiences temperatures of 8°C to 12°C, with the possibility of night time temperature lowering of -2°C to -14°C.

Nonetheless, the temperature can easily drop to -20 degrees as altitude increases. As the altitude rises, the temperature can decrease up to -20 degrees with ease. Moreover, the windchill can make February more cold.

However, late February brings a different atmosphere as the spring starts to bloom and make your trail more exciting. The snowflakes covering the walking trails are one of the best parts of trekking during the February season.

As per the data of previous years, the snow was still covering the larger parts of ABC Trails during February, and in 2020, it was still snowy from Derulai to ABC.

Reasons for Annapurna Base Camp in February

Reasons for Annapurna Base Camp in February

Trekking during the season and off-season can have a vast difference. Nonetheless, exploring the Annapurna base camp in winter can be equally or more rewarding as the peak seasons.

If you don’t believe it, then let us know how.

Fewer Clouds and Clear View

Many people believe that trekking in winter is not worth it as there are no clear views due to fog and snow. But one of the biggest advantages of trekking in winter is the clear view due to lesser clouds. The skies will be crisp and clear, which will allow you to have a better view of panoramic mountains.

The sparkling snow-clad mountains glow standing tall, thus making it undoubtedly a remarkable sight to capture in Winter. Furthermore, the houses and valleys are blanketed in snow, enhancing the area’s natural beauty.

Less Crowd

Exploring the Himalayas can be a delight during the off-season in Nepal. As February is the off-season for trekking, few people will be on the trail. Lower crowds will allow you to take your time to enjoy and connect to nature in a serene and peaceful environment.

Furthermore, you can instantly capture the moments in photographs without waiting for people to move from the background.

New Exploration of Culture and Festivals

Absorbing the beauty of mountains and immersing yourself in the exhilarating atmosphere can be a good factor for trekking, but experiencing various cultures and festivals will definitely make this trekking journey more exciting.

February is the month in Nepal that comprises various Hindu and Buddhist festivals like Manghe Sankranti, Maha Sivaratri, Holi, etc. Imagine yourself in a completely new place trying to witness the lively celebration of a new festival; how romantic and fulfilling that will be.

Snowy Landscapes

The snow covering the trails and valleys makes the atmosphere like a winter wonderland where every step is a new experience. The frozen lakes, rivers, and snow-capped mountains provide you with the winter delight of trekking. Moreover, the leafless branches of trees covered with white snow can give you a different definition of vegetation and life itself.

The trail will be covered with snow that can make the trekking quite challenging, but once you start your trekking with safety and precaution, every scenic view will make your trekking worth it.

Cheap Cost

Trekking to Annapurna base camp is like a free cookie after heavy hard work for people. As trekkers from all over the world visit the region during the peak seasons, rates for lodging, food, and other necessities are typically expensive.

But during off season, there are very low trekkers in the first place, so the teahouse, lodges, and even the traveling company make the price low and additionally will provide you the heavy discount. So, isn’t it a good opportunity for wise spenders to make good utilization of their bargaining skills to make their hard-earned money worth it?

Different Flora And Fauna

The Annapurna region is home to a variety of flora and fauna. The trail to base camp has diverse landscapes with downhills and uphills, so there are many possibilities for you to witness diverse vegetation and subtropical meadows in the winter season.

However, some animals, like snow leopards, can be ready to hunt for the prey being camouflaged in the snow, so the trekkers must always be careful on the way.

Challenges and Difficulties of ABC Trek during February

Challenges and Difficulties of ABC Trek during February

Since this trekking is a moderate-level difficulty trek with no technical obstacles, there is no special requirement for skills and abilities. Since the Annapurna base camp elevation is 4130m, which is a high altitude in itself, there can be certain difficulties and challenges like altitude sickness that the trekkers shouldn’t underestimate.

Similarly, the difficulty level depends on the trekkers as some experienced trekkers may find it easy to tackle the rocky and steep terrains, while novice trekkers can find the same walk difficult. Moreover, people living in high altitudes can have the advantage of and practice acclimatization.

Altitude Sickness

Altitude sickness can be a significant threat for trekking to Annapurna Base Camp in February, as many people can easily be prey to altitude sickness. As the elevation rises, the air pressure and oxygen level plunge to low levels, which makes it hard to adjust to the low oxygen level, causing altitude sickness.

The symptoms of altitude sickness can be triggered after the altitude of 2500m, but in this trek, trekkers need to push their ability up to the elevation of 4130m, so it is very crucial to be prepared for altitude sickness. Beforehand, preparations and study of the symptoms must be done to remain on the safe side.

Difficult Terrain

During February, it is obvious that the trail will be covered with snow, which will make trekking challenging. On one hand, snow will make trails slippery, and there are high chances of losing balance.

On the other hand, the hike will take 5 to 7 hours, so it will be energy-draining to walk on snow for a long time. Trekkers must, therefore, be emotionally, mentally, and physically prepared for this expedition and have quality gloves, crampons, and microspikes.

Weather Condition

The weather in altitude during the winter can sometimes be unpredictable. Due to windchill, temperatures can suddenly drop, making the weather worse. Moreover, tackling all those snowy steps with rocky trails in cold weather is an ultimate challenge in itself.

Furthermore, walking those trails carrying winter necessities such as heavily padded clothes, and thermo flasks can make the Annapurna Base camp trek more tricky and demanding.

Accommodation And Food

As February is the off-season for trekking, many teahouse and lodge owners tend to move from high altitude to valley. So, there are high possibilities for a limited amount of accommodations and facilities, making the journey difficult for some trekkers who cannot adapt.

So, it is very important to inform the teahouse and lodge owners about your comings so that they can prepare well about all the facilities such as hot shower, electricities, and preference foods.

Tips to Trek for Annapurna Base Camp during February

Tips to Trek for Annapurna Base Camp during February

If you feel like you can’t experience trekking to Annapurna base camp in winter by reading the above difficulties, then worry not. With proper and enough preparation, you can tackle all those difficulties and embark on your new adventure. So, are you ready to be prepared for your new expedition?

Permits

One of the crucial things that is required to start your trekking expedition is permits. As Annapurna Base Camp doesn’t fall under the restricted area, it is not necessary to obtain a permit from the Department of Immigration.

Still, the trekkers, i.e., you will need to acquire two permits, the Annapurna Conservation Area Permit (ACAP) permit and the Trekkers’ Information Management System (TIMS) Permit. You can acquire these two permits either in Kathmandu or in Pokhara.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is an important precaution you take before starting your trekking journey. Since you are going to the Himalayas for many days, any accidents or mishaps due to unavoidable circumstances are possible.

So, it is necessary to have travel insurance in case of those accidents and mishaps, as they will cover most of your flight cancellation and helicopter evacuation expenses. Moreover, you need to carry cash as there are no sources of ATMs in higher altitudes.

Pack Right

One thing about packing clothes, gear, and equipment is that it can make your trip extraordinary or ruin your trip completely. So, when it comes to packing judgment, you must be careful. As February is winter, it is very obvious that it will be freezing cold, so make sure you pack padded, warm, and cozy clothes that can certainly keep you away from frostbite and sickness.

On top of that you will be on the snow in high elevation, so you need to pack the right equipment to help you walk easily on snow. The padded clothes and equipment will already make your luggage heavy, so make sure you don’t carry any unnecessary items.

Stay Hydrated

One of the reasons that makes you prey to altitude sickness is dehydration. While elevating to a higher altitude, your body needs to maintain the balance with the oxygen level of the environment which leads to losing water faster in your body. So, it is vital to keep hydrated and provide enough water and fluids for your body to function well.

Each day of this adventurous trek is like a blank canvas where you must fill the color of your memories. So in order to fill the memories, you need to be fit. So make sure you carry a thermos flask and drink about 3 to 4 liters of water daily to avoid dehydration.

Acclimatize Properly

The Annapurna Base camp trek can vary from 5 days to 2 weeks as per the variations. So, to complete this journey you will need to acclimate properly so that your body gets adapted to the higher altitude. You need to make sure that your walk will be at your pace. You are not here to compete, so walk slowly and steadily.

Learn Snow Skills

Learning new skills never goes to waste and when it comes to some life skills, it will be an invaluable asset in your life. It is a fact that the trails you will traverse will be full of snow so to make your trekking easy, it is better to learn some snow skills priorly. You can learn some of the climbing, efficient pacing, and kicking skills to balance yourself while stepping on the snow easily.

Choose Right Package

When it comes to trekking, choosing the right appropriate package is at the top of the list. You will be required to choose the suitable package per your expedition requirements. Some may want to explore the Annapurna Base Camp with classic routes, while others want to make variations.

Additionally, you need to choose the package that will provide you with enough time for acclimatization so that you don’t suffer from altitude sickness while elevating. To be on the safe side, you can approach the government-registered trekking agency to shift all your trekking worries.

Be flexible

As the weather in February can be unpredictable, it is very important to be flexible with the circumstances. Moreover, the days are shorter in winter so it will become important to start your hike for the day early if you don’t want to make your expedition in a rush.

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FAQs about Annapurna Base Camp in February

FAQs about Annapurna Base Camp in February

What is the weather like in Annapurna in February?

The weather is cold and chilly. However, the probability of precipitation is usually low in the Annapurna region. The sun shines for about 6 to 7 hours a day during February.

Can you trek to Annapurna base camp in February?

Annapurna Base Camp can be trekked all around the year however, in February, you can witness snowy landscapes, valleys, and majestic snow-capped mountains.

Which month is best for the Annapurna base camp trek?

The month of March to May, i.e.spring season is best for Annapurna Base Camp Trek. The warmer days and spring blooms all over the trails make the spring season more youthful.

Is ABC Trek suitable for beginners?

Yes, Annapurna Base Camp is suitable for beginners seeking an adventurous yet accessible trekking experience.

How is the temperature in February for Annapurna Base Camp Trek?

Annapurna Base Camp temperature usually ranges between 8°C to 12°C during daytime and falls to -2°C to -14°C during nighttime.

What do I need to pack for ABC Base Camp Trek?

You will need to pack cozy, comfortable, and padded clothes, a heating pad, along other essential trekking equipment such as a thermo flask, crampons, etc.

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Ashish Niraula

Ashish Niraula is a seasoned trekker and professional tour consultant based in the country of the Himalayas. He has over seven years of hands-on experience in the sector, which has helped fortify his knowledge and expertise to craft the most iconic and memorable adventure packages in the Himalayas. Ashish’s passion for traveling and the unwavering drive that always pushes him toward excellency, have helped him earn a reputation as a trustworthy advisor in the tourism sector.

As a traveling enthusiast, Ashish has explored all the major trekking routes of Nepal. With years of experience exploring the mystical Himalayas and professional engagement in the field, Ashish honed his skills to design the most iconic adventure experiences in the Himalayas that cater to the adventure palate of every traveler. From organizing the challenging treks to the rugged Himalayas with incredible thrills to facilitating culturally immersive experiences across the traditional settlements in the country, Ashish’s commitment to excellence shines through every aspect of his work.

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