Annapurna Base Camp
P2 - Prolonged walking over varied terrain. There may be uphills and downhills, so a good solid fitness is required. Expect to be able to do a 6 to 8 hour walk over undulating terrain with a few punchy uphill climbs carrying a pack up to 6kg in weight.
Visit our Grading Information page for a full overview.
T2 - Consider this a trek, although there may be occasion to use hands for short sections of easy scrambling. No previous climbing or trekking experience is necessary.
Visit our Grading Information page for a full overview.
Date & Prices
Pics & Vids
Experience the enthralling magic of Nepal on this famous trek to the heart of the Annapurna region and learn why trekkers can never settle for a single visit. Well known to many legendary climbers the trek to Annapurna sanctuary and basecamp is an unsurpassed introduction to Himalayan adventure, giving you glimpses of 3 of the world’s 10 highest mountains.
You’re plunged into the experience in the bustling beauty of Pokhara city by the stunning Phewa Lake. From there you’ll trek through traditional villages that have changed little since the first European explorers first entered Nepal. Next, you climb through ancient oak and rhododendron forest, cross raging rivers and pass thundering waterfalls. Towering perilously high above the group throughout are the Himalayas. The iconic Fishtail Peak, Annapurna, Dhaulagiri and many of their spectacular neighbour’s reign over this enchanting landscape. These peaks were once deemed the greatest challenge in the Himalayas, and they offer an adventure unlike anywhere else on earth. Now it’s your turn to feel for yourself their unique magic.
Fully supported all the way, you’re in the experienced hands of a Western guide and Sherpa team. To catch a glimpse into the lives of our Nepali hosts, you’ll stay in local tea houses where you’ll be assured a warm welcome every time.Find out more
Date & Prices
Departure & Return
Price (excl. flight)
Price (incl. flight)
Start: 06 October 2019
End: 20 October 2019
Price without flights:
Price with flights: £2,665
06 October 2019
20 October 2019
- International airfares
- Scheduled hotel nights
- Local guides and 360 leader when applicable
- Park Fees
- Scheduled restaurant meals
- Ground transportation in country
- All accommodation based on two people sharing
- All food whilst on trek, meals as per itinerary when city-based
- Dwarika’s 9 course degustacion celebration meal
- 15% discount at Cotswold Outdoor
- Monthly payment plan, on request
- Personal equipment
- Staff/guide gratuities
- Trip Insurance
- Items of a personal nature: phone calls, laundry, room service, alcoholic beverages etc.
- Unscheduled hotels and restaurant meals
- Any additional costs associated with leaving the expedition early including any airline surcharges as a result of changing return airline tickets
Pics & Vids
DAY 1 : Depart UK
We meet our 360 leader at Heathrow airport for team introductions and to check onto our overnight flight to Nepal.
DAY 2 : Arrive Kathmandu
Arrive Kathmandu mid afternoon and transfer to hotel before soaking up some local colour. Regroup in the evening for a full 360 brief and kit check.
DAY 3 : Pokhara - Tikhe Dhunga (1,540m)
We start with an early morning flight to Pokhara over the backbone of the Himalayas. We then transfer by road to Nayapul where we start our trek. The trail follows bamboo forests and passes thundering waterfalls. We stop for lunch at the small village of Sudame. After lunch the trail climbs steadily up to Hile, before arriving at Tikhe Dhunga, staying overnight in a guest house.
DAY 4 : Tikhe Dhunga - Ghorepani (2,775m)
From Tikhe Dhunga the trail ascends to Ulleri village up a long series of stone steps, we then have a gentle climb through pasture and cultivated fields before we reach refreshingly cool oak and rhododendron forests. We have lunch at Nangethanti before ascending to Ghorepani, today’s final destination.
DAY 5 : Ghorepani - Poon Hill (3,193m) - Tadapani (2,540m)
We start early and get to Poon Hill for sunrise, one of the best Himalayan viewpoints in Nepal. Below us lie vivid green pastures and forests. We walk down to Ghorepani for breakfast and then trek up to the Deurali pass for a spectacular panorama over Dhaulagiri and the Annapurna. The trail descends steeply through dense moss-covered forest rich with bird life to Tadapani which provides you with a viewpoint from which sunsets are nothing short of staggering. Overnight at a guest house.
DAY 6 : Tadapani - Chhomrong (2,040m)
The trail drops down from Tadapani, through dense rhododendron forest. A short day as we overnight at Chhomrong that will again give spectacular views of the towering peaks of Annapurna
DAY 7 : Chhomrong - Himalaya Hotel
Today will be one of the toughest days on this trek, we start our day with the local villagers heading to school and the fields but as the terrain begins to get steeper we enter the untouched forest of Kuldighar, a blend of ancient oak and cloud forest. We finish in the village of Dovan and the Himalaya Hotel where we spend the night.
DAY 8 : Himalaya Hotel - Machapuchare Base Camp
A mostly gentle path with a few short steep sections takes us to the Modi Khola valley whose steep walls reach immense heights above us. We leave the forest for alpine pastures and stop for lunch at Deorali. From here we climb the moraine that forms the glacial bowl of the Annapurna glacier. Tonight we stay in a tea house under the huge west face of Machapuchare.
DAY 9 : Machapuchure Base Camp - Annapurna Base Camp (4,130m) - Himalaya Hotel
We wake up to stunning views of the Modi Khola valley below us and the dramatic west face of Machapuchare above us. But our day only gets better as we enter the immense cirque of towering peaks that create the Annapurna Sanctuary. It takes around 3 hours to reach Annapurna Base Camp where we are rewarded for our efforts with an unsurpassable 360 vista of legendary Himalayan mountains. Here we spend a few hours soaking up the panorama before us. In the afternoon we descend back past our tea house from last night to the Himalaya Hotel.
DAY 10 : Himalaya Hotel - Chhomrong Village
Today the trail gradually drops all the way down to Chhomrong Village through Dovan. We spend the night at a guest house, where we’ll have a beer to reward our achievements so far.
DAY 11 : Chhomrong Village - Ghandruk
From Chhomrong about an hour of walking will take us to Jhinu Danda where we can enjoy a relaxing dip at the natural hot spring before retiring to our guest house for the night.
DAY 12 : Ghanruk - Pothana
After breakfast the trail continues on to Landruk, a beautiful Gurung village that gives us an excellent view of the surrounding mountain ranges. The trail emerges in the main Modi Khola valley and reaches Tolkha. After that we will continue on to Pothana to spend the night.
DAY 13 : Pothana - Pokhara
Today we walk along a paved stone trail back through rhododendron to Dhampus. After a rest here we walk mostly downhill through fields to the forest and on to Phedi. From Phedi we pick up the vehicles for our drive to Pokhara. During the afternoon we can go boating on Phewa lake and explore Pokhara before heading out for fantastic a Nepalese dinner to celebrate our amazing achievement.
DAY 14 : Flight to Kathmandu
After our 30 minute flight to Kathmandu we have some time to explore this fascinating city before heading out once more for a Nepali dinner on our final night in this fabulous and enchanting country.
DAY 15 : Return to UK
Day flight back to the UK.
These are subject to minor changes depending on flight arrival and departure times, weather, group dynamics and fitness and so on, but the itinerary outlined provides an excellent indication of the trek and what you will experience.
Bags & Packs
A 120-140L duffel bag to transport kit. A duffel bag is a strong, soft, weather resistant bag without wheels but with functional straps for carrying. Suitcases and wheeled bags are not suitable
Approx. 40L capacity. Your day to day pack that you carry with your daily essentials, fitted with shoulder straps and importantly a waist belt
Waterproof rucksack cover
To protect rucksack from rain
Nylon rolltop bags (or even just large plastic bags) that keep fresh clothing and other important items like passports and iPods dry in the event of a total downpour that seeps into your kitbag. Good for quarantining old socks
Small kit bag or light bag
This is for any kit you intend to leave at the hotel and could even simply be a heavy duty plastic bag
For use on your kit bag for travel and on the expedition plus your hotel bag
4 Season sleeping bag
You should get a sleeping bag rated to -15C and choose a sleeping bag that functions within the comfort rating of this temperature. A silk sleeping bag liner will enhance this rating on the coldest nights
Sleeping bag liner
Silk is best for keeping the bag clean and you a little warmer
A full length self-inflating rather than ¾ length Thermarest
This can be a warm hat, beanie, balaclava, anything to reduce the heat loss from your head
Wide brimmed hat
Keeps the sun off exposed areas like ears and the nape of the neck
Essential for protection from the sun and dust
Worth spending money on good UV filters. Category 4 wrap around style are essential due to the strength of UV rays at altitude. Julbo is our preferred supplier
Buy the highest SPF you can find as UV intensifies with altitude
Sun cream will not work on your lips and they are very susceptible to burn without proper protection
This is the layer closest to the skin and its principal function is to draw (wick) moisture and sweat away from the skin. You can also get thermal base layers for use at higher altitudes that provide an additional insulative layer while still drawing sweat during times of high exertion
These are typically lightweight microfleeces or similar technology that provide varying degrees of warmth and insulation without being overly bulky or heavy to pack
A light weight trekking T shirt is advisable for this expedition as some of the days can be hot
Optional – A great low volume additional layer to keep your core warm, whether down, primaloft or fleece
Light insulated jacket
A lighter jacket such as a Primaloft or lightweight down which can be worn at lower to mid altitudes is a great addition to your kit offering greater flexibility with layering
Soft Shell (optional)
Optional – These should be windproof (not all are) and insulative. They are mostly made of soft polyester and sometimes resemble a neoprene finish which makes them very mobile and comfortable to wear. While offering a degree of weather repellence, they are not waterproof
These jackets are thin, highly waterproof and windproof and worn over all other items of clothing. You’ll find these made of Gore-Tex or other proprietary waterproof yet breathable technology. Inexpensive hard shells that aren’t breathable will prevent evaporation, making you sweat intensely and are not recommended
A super jacket that will keep you warm down to around -10C with a couple of layers underneath. Our guides usually wear a lighter down or Primaloft jacket under their down jackets for greater layering flexibility. A loft rating of around 650 is ideal
Consider liners or a light polartec pair for lower altitudes and evenings, and a thicker waterproof pair like ski gloves for higher altitudes
A great addition to fit over your down mitts high up or gloves lower down for an added windproof layer
These tend to be polyester so they dry quickly after a shower and weigh little in your pack. Consider a lighter pair for lower down (perhaps with detachable lower legs as an alternative to shorts), and a Schoeffel fabric or similar which is warmer and wind resistant for higher altitudes depending on the weather. You can layer with thermal leggings if necessary
Light weight shorts are advisable for this expedition as some of the days can be hot. Zip off trekking trousers are the most versatile. Consider buying this
Like the jacket, an essential piece of kit to stay dry and should also be Goretex
Thermal insulation for the lower body
Merino or wicking material, not cotton. How many pairs you take is entirely up to you
Well worn in 4 season waterproof boots with mid to high ankle support
For evening use and to give your feet a break once we reach the lodges
Start with lighter socks lower down, working up to thicker pairs for higher up as it gets colder. Some people like a clean pair every day, others are happy to change every other day – that’s a personal choice
Just in case
3L equivalent – Camelbaks are useful at lower altitudes but have a tendency to freeze up at higher altitudes without insulation tubes, Nalgene bottles are better at altitude. We suggest a combination of a 2L bladder and 1L bottle or 2 x ½L bottles to put in your jacket for summit night
Purification tablets are better than any other system. Highly unlikely to be needed. Always good to have in your bag
Keep it simple on the mountain. Essentials are toothbrush, toothpaste and deodorant. Moisturiser is advisable, everything else is a luxury!
Travel towels from the likes of Lifesystems are perfect
Preferably biodegradable, these are great for washing when modern shower facilities become a thing of the past
A must have for good camp hygiene
For early stages and once back down
Provided on the mountain but a spare in your daysack may be useful if you need to hide behind a rock between lodges
Nappy sacks or dog poo bags
Only needed to bag your toilet paper if you are caught short in between lodges and for keeping your rubbish tidy
Personal first aid kit
The 360 med kits are designed to be used in emergencies and akin to an A&E rather than a pharmacy on Expeditions so please come prepared with useful meds for yourself such as painkillers (Ibuprofen if you can take it and a Paracetamol) plus blister plasters, plasters, antiseptic, rehydration sachets and any muscle rubs you wish to use.
Keep this in your daysack
We recommend Petzl head torches. Bring spare batteries.
These tend to be a personal preference but help with your stability and can dampen the pressure on the knees coming down hill
Limited facilities to recharge at a cost in each teahouse so bring spare batteries too
Sewing kit (optional)
You will be fed very well and given snacks each day however we advise bringing a small selection as a little bit of comfort. Extra snacks can be bought en-route if needed. Energy gels and protein bars are not suitable
iPod, book, Kindle etc.
Don’t forget this! Your passport should have at least 6 months validity. With your passport expiry date at least six months after the final day of travel.
Copy of passport
Just in case
Passport photos x 4
We need these to obtain your climbing and trekking permits
A visa can either be obtained from the Nepalese Embassy in London or on arrival at Kathmandu airport.
Costs are: 30 days – $40 and 90 days – $100.
Non UK residents should check with the Nepalese Embassy
Dental check up
We recommend you have a dental check-up before your trip. New fillings can be an issue at altitude if there is an air pocket left in the gap
Check with your travel clinic or the nurse at your GP surgery
We recommend you take at least US$200-$300 onto the mountain in small denominations. This will allow for c. $160 tip money plus any extras such as satellite phone calls and emergency funds. Small denominations are recommended as it may be difficult to obtain change and it will be easier to divide tip money
Copy of own travel insurance details. And relevant contact numbers.
We have a partnership with True Traveller and would recommend that you contact them when looking for travel insurance for your trip with 360. However, it is vital that you ensure that the insurance cover they offer is suitable for you, taking your personal circumstances (items to be insured, cancellation cover, medical history) into account. Many other insurance providers are available and we do recommend that you shop around to get the best cover for you on the expedition you are undertaking.
It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the appropriate insurance for your intended trip. To include medical evacuation and coverage up to the maximum altitude of this trip.
What information can you give on Nepal?
Nepal, officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, is located in the Himalayas with a population of approximately 27 million. Bordered to the north by the China, and to the south, east, and west by India and across the Himalayas lies the Tibet.
A monarchy throughout most of its history, Nepal was ruled by the Shah dynasty of kings from 1768, when Prithvi Narayan Shah unified its many small kingdoms. However, a decade-long Civil War by the Communist Party of Nepal and several weeks of mass protests by all major political parties led to elections for a constituent assembly in May 2008 which overwhelmingly favoured the abdication of the Nepali monarch Gyanendra Shah and the establishment of a federal multiparty representative democratic republic.
Kathmandu is the nation’s capital and the country’s largest city. Kathmandu Valley itself has an estimated population of 5 million.
Nepal has a rich geography: the mountainous north has eight of the world’s ten tallest mountains, including the highest point on Earth, Mount Everest, called Sagarmatha in Nepali. It contains more than 240 peaks over 6,096 m above sea level. The fertile and humid south is heavily urbanised.
How would you describe the Sherpa people
The Sherpa people are the predominant ethnic group living in the eastern Himalayan region of Nepal. In 2001 there were approximately 150,000 sherpas in Nepal. Their language is a variant of Tibetan. Sherpas belong to the Nyingmapa, the “Red Hat Sect” of Tibetan Buddhism. Allegedly the oldest Buddhist sect in Tibet, it emphasizes mysticism and local deities shared by the pre-Buddhist Bon religion, which has shamanic elements, in addition to Buddha and the great Buddhist divinities, the Sherpa also have believe in numerous gods and demons who are believed to inhabit every mountain, cave, and forest. These have to be worshiped or appeased through ancient practices that have been woven into the fabric of Buddhist ritual life. Indeed, it is almost impossible to distinguish between Bon practices and Buddhism.
Sherpas are highly regarded as elite mountaineers. They were immeasurably valuable to early explorers of the Himalayas, serving as guides at the extreme altitudes of the peaks and passes in the region, particularly for expeditions to climb Mt. Everest. Today, Sherpa is a term often used casually to refer to almost any guide or porter hired for mountaineering expeditions in the Himalayas. Sherpas are renowned in the international climbing and mountaineering community for their hardiness, expertise, and experience at high altitudes. It has been speculated that a portion of the Sherpas’ climbing ability is the result of a genetic adaptation to living in high altitudes.
What is the climate in Nepal?
Daytime temperatures in Kathmandu will be warm and can reach as high as over 30°C. On trek the daytime temperatures can warm to over 20°C when the sun is out. At higher elevations, if there is little sun or during evening, temperatures plunge well below freezing.
What is the currency?
Nepalese Rupee – this can only be obtained in Nepal. Currency equivalent to approximately £300 should be sufficient for the duration of your stay in Nepal. This will include enough to cover tips for the whole tripand should be brought in US Dollars or a mixture of USD and Pound Sterling.
Any advice on tipping?
Although not obligatory tipping has become ingrained in the culture, and once you see how hard the Sherpa work for you for such a small amount of money relative to your own UK salaries, these will be much appreciated. As a guide we recommend tipping around $160 for the local staff and whatever you feel for the 360 Leader. A good leader can have a huge impact on the success and enjoyment of an expedition.
What is the local time?
GMT + 5 hours 45 mins
Food and Water
What is the food like on the mountain?
We stay in lodges known locally as tea houses and these have basic kitchens. Apart from generators there is no electricity in the Annapurna region and the food is usually cooked on big stoves and ovens fuelled by wood or yak dung. Despite this the range of food produced is fantastic and the menus are very comprehensive. The majority of the meals focus on fuelling the hungry trekker by providing plenty of carbohydrates. Pastas, rice based dishes, spring rolls and pizzas are the staples.
Every single ingredient is brought up either on a yak or by a porter and as such the menus get a little simpler as you get to the higher lodges. Most of our midday meals are also eaten at trailside restaurants and are usually accompanied by a hot drink or two. On top of well-balanced meals You are provided with coffee, tea and snacks upon arrival into the lodge and at all mealtimes.
You are invited to bring along any of their favourite snacks and goodie bags from home as buying additional snacks from the lodges can be expensive. Concentrate on high energy food-stuffs such as Jelly Babies to give you that little boost on an arduous day.
I have food allergies, can these be catered for?
Absolutely, please inform the office of any allergies or intolerances and we will ensure that these are taken into account on the trek.
Where does the drinking water come from?
For the first days bottled drinking water will be used. At the higher lodges we will use locally sourced drinking water from streams or springs. These are usually fresh being topped up from melt water above or by rainfall but we also increase its purity by treating the water with purification tablets and by boiling it. We always ensure that our drinking water is 100% bug free.
How often is fresh water available for replenishing during the day?
Before leaving the lodge in the morning you will fill your water bottles or camel bladder. If this runs low you will have ample more water to replace it with. For most walking days water can be replenished at the lunch time site.
What kind of accommodation is there on the trek?
The teahouses vary in their quality and style depending on their location. Generally they have a communal room downstairs, with one or two bed bedrooms above them. Some have shower facilities, some will just have a stand pipe, and there are shared toilet facilities. They use a type of wood burning stove in the main communal area. Other rooms are generally unheated.
There are no facilities for changing money in the teahouses. We recommend that you organise sufficient cash Kathmandu, your local guide can advise on this.
There is electricity in many of the teahouses at lower altitudes, but not when you get higher and the teahouses become more basic. A top tip for making your batteries last a little longer is to put them in the inside pocket of your coat or under your pillow at night. Cooler temperatures drain battery life so keeping them warm will ensure they last longer!
Will I have my own room?
Most altitude related symptoms manifest themselves at night. We therefore recommend room sharing from the onset of all expeditions. Room share is organised according to sex and where possible age groups. Obviously if you are climbing this mountain with a friend or partner then share rooms with them. If you have joined the team by yourself then it is highly likely that you will be sharing a room with your pre-assigned room buddy unless prior arrangements have been made.
Health and Safety
What happens if there is a problem on the mountain?
All our guides are in communication with each other by phone and radio. In the vast majority of cases of emergency rescue the problems can be attributed to altitude and so the solution is immediate descent to lower altitudes. Our local mountain crew are all experienced in dealing with any problem that will arise. Our guides are either doctors or qualified with the highest standard of wilderness first aid qualifications and can handle an emergency to the highest level of competency, in the vast majority of cases without national park assistance.
Am I likely to suffer from altitude sickness on this expedition?
There are different types of altitude sickness. Although our acclimatisation regime ensures that everybody enjoys the best possible chance of getting high on the mountain, altitude related problems can happen.
The most common of this is high altitude sickness. (AMS – Acute Mountain Sickness).
Symptoms for this generally include:
In all this sounds quite dramatic but generally this is just the process your body naturally goes through to adjust to the higher altitudes and the reduced partial pressure of the atmosphere.
For some people the acclimatisation process is a little longer and harder than others. For our guides this is all part and parcel of ascending high mountains and although we asses each client’s personal situation carefully we also further consider the compounding effects of dehydration brought on by excessive vomiting and continuing headaches.
There are different types of altitude sickness. Although our acclimatisation regime ensures that everybody enjoys the best possible chance of getting high on the mountain, altituderelated problems can happen. The most common of this is high altitude sickness, (AMS – acute mountain sickness).
Symptoms for this generally include:
It all sounds quite dramatic but generally this is just the process your body naturally goes through to adjust to the higher altitudes and the reduced partial pressure of the atmosphere. For some people the acclimatisation process is a little longer and harder than others.
For our guides this is all part and parcel of trekking at relatively high altitude and ascending a 6,000m peak and although we asses each client’s personal situation carefully we also further consider the compounding affects of dehydration brought on by excessive vomiting and lack of appetite.
AMS might sound frightening but our guides are fully trained (and experienced) in helping relieve your symptoms and providing advice on how to best proceed.
Please note that we don’t recommend using Diamox as a prophylactic and if you have been prescribed it by your GP, please raise this with your expedition leader.
AMS might sound frightening but our guides are fully trained (and experienced) in helping to relieve your personal symptoms and provide advice on how to best proceed.
What can I do to help prevent AMS?
In most cases AMS can be avoided by following these guidelines:
- Drink lots of water
- Walk slowly
- Stay warm
- Eat well
We recommend that you familiarise yourself with the various affects that altitude can cause. During your pre-climb briefing, we describe altitude sickness to you in detail, and advise you how to cope with it. The most important thing is not to fear it, but to respect it and to know how to deal with it and more importantly tell your guides how you feel.
Our guides have seen every condition that the mountain produces, and they will always know how to deal with problems.
Is there a risk of getting HACE (High Altitude Cerebral Edema) and HAPE (High Altitude Pulmonary Edema) on the mountain?
HACE and HAPE rarely occur on the Annapurna Base Camp trek but our guides are fully trained in the recognition of the onset of these problems and will deal with them at the first sign of their development.
Do I need to take Malarial drugs?
The Malaria protozoa generally does not survive over an altitude of 1,500m so Malaria should pose no threat. We recommend that you visit your doctor or travel clinic before departure to get the latest advice.
You advocate taking a small first aid kit, what should it have in it?
We advocate a little bit of self-help on the mountain. If you have a blister developing for example then please stop take of your boot and treat it before it becomes a problem.
Your own first aid kit should contain:
A basic blister kit, antiseptic, plasters, sun-protection, your own personal medication (sometimes your porter might get to camp after you and if he is carrying your medication you may not be able to take it according to the regime you are used to), basic pain relief (aspirin and Ibuprofen), a personal course of antibiotics if prone to illness. Foot powder in your socks every morning is great for preventing blisters.
Generally the best approach to take when packing your first aid kit is to include such basic medications as if you would on a family or personal holiday.
Your 360 expedition leader and / or a local porter (we call the ambulance man!) carries a very comprehensive first aid kit which contains a wide range of supplies and medications. They are fully trained to use whatever is needed for any emergency that may arise. We advocate keeping this in mind when packing your own first aid supplies and keeping your own First Aid kit as compact and light as possible.
What vaccinations do I need?
The following vaccinations are recommended:
- Hepatitis A
This list is not absolute and it is important you should see your GP Surgery or travel clinic for latest recommendations and to ensure you are up to date on necessary vaccinations.
What clothing should I wear on the mountain?
We advocate the beg, steal, borrow or hire principle for first timers instead of buying brand new stuff you’ll never use again. The cost of equipment is usually a major deterrent for people coming onto trips in the first place. However, if you think you’ll reuse your gear, then it’s worth starting to invest in good gear. The old adage often applies – you get what you pay for.
Our guides usually start the walk wearing long, lightweight trekking trousers and T-shirts. Long trousers are recommended as a deterrent to insects, stinging plants and to act as sun protection.
Shorts can also be worn on the initial few days of the trek as the temperature is usually warm. Ensure that you apply sun-protection frequently, or buy a once a day product such as P20 if you’re not very good at remembering to apply it.
The prevailing conditions on the mountain will dictate what you will wear: if it is cold when you leave the camp in the morning then wear your fleece. As things warm up take advantage of the zipper system which most trekking clothing has – open and close the zips to adjust to your own preferred temperature. If you get too warm then take a layer off.
What do your guides wear at Base Camp?
As we gain altitude it gets cold and daytime temperatures of -10 to -15 C are not unusual. Closer to Base Camp our guides wear 2 sets of base layers (Long Johns), a fleece layer (top and bottom) and then on the legs waterproofs whilst on the upper torso a down jacket is worn.
If the wind picks up our guides will put on their windproof layer to ward of the windchill. On their hands they’ll wear a thin layer of working gloves over the top of which is a thicker set of ski gloves or mittens.
Their heads are covered by a thermal beanie hat and the hood of their down jackets. On their feet the guides wear one pair of thin socks and one pair of thick.
Do I need waterproofs?
Waterproof are needed on hand at all times. It is not unusual to be caught out in an afternoon rain or snow storm. Waterproofs should be Gortex material or similar. Waterproofs are used as an invaluable wind shield to protect you against the effect of wind-chill when a strong wind blows.
What is the best type of footwear to use?
Because of the huge variety of terrain encountered when doing this trek it is very important to wear the right footwear. Boots should be sturdy, waterproof, insulated against cold temperatures and offer adequate ankle support.
In addition it is highly recommended that your boots are well worn in to prevent the formation of blisters. A range of suitable boots are on the market and further advice as to which brand names are available can be found online or at your local gear store. It is not necessary to buy technical boots with crampon clips as crampons are not used at any time.
What clothing and footwear is appropriate when staying in the tea houses and lodges?
There is no electricity much above Pokhara and lodges are heated by a pot-bellied stove fuelled with either wood or yak dung. These provide adequate warmth for the dining rooms but are not connected to the bedrooms. A thick fleece or light down jacket provides adequate warmth for inside the buildings.
For footwear we suggest using either trainers or crocs. It is nice to get out of your trekking boots and to have something light to wear for the evenings.
Can I buy equipment in Kathmandu?
Kathmandu has hundreds of gear stores selling stuff at very cheap prices. The majority of them sell imitation clothes and equipment but 360 Expeditions guides will be on hand to show you the shops selling the good quality stuff.
What should I carry inside my daysack?
A daysack is worn at all times during the trek. The content of this is mandatory and should include: a fleece (for when taking breaks or the weather changes), a full set (top and bottom) of waterproofs, sufficient water for the day, snacks, camera equipment, personal medication and a head torch.
What do the porters carry? What is the correct porter weight?
Your day to day sack (above) should weigh no more then 3 – 4 kg and a sack of around 40L capacity will more than suffice. This rucksack can be filled to the brim with extra stuff when checking in at the airport. It is important that this bag has an adjustable waist belt to transfer the weight of your daily load onto your hips and from here onto your legs (strongest muscles) to do most of the carrying.
Your porter bags should be of a soft material duffel bag or rucksack variety and should not be a suitcase or hard bodied metal case. Furthermore they should weigh no more then 12-14 kg when packed for the trek. Since we are staying in lodges we will not need to bring any special camping equipment. A change of clothes, some warm clothing for when we get to the higher altitudes, sleeping bag and your toiletries should form the basis of your porter load.
In addition a pair of trainers to be worn in the lodges and some luxuries such as a book or playing cards etc will be more than sufficient.
Are down jackets necessary?
They are highly recommended and are worth their weight in gold at altitude. Our guides wear them every evening at higher altitudes.
A layer system comprising of several layer of base layers, fleeces, jumpers and a thick coat will suffice on but nothing beats the efficiency of a good down jacket (especially when topped with a waterproof layer).
How warm does my sleeping bag need to be?
They should be rated within the -15C comfort zone. From the first night upwards it is not unusual to experience frosty nights and a good night‘s sleep is important to give you the best chance to complete this trek. Ensure you get a sleeping bag that has this temperature rating at this comfort zone rather than its extreme zone.
Our guides take sleeping bags rated to well below -10C to ensure that they are warm at night. 3 season sleeping bags can be enhanced by using on inner silk sheet (or similar). The idea is to be as comfortable and warm as possible for the night and henceforth to ensure plenty of sleep for the arduous days ahead.
It is important to remember that down sleeping bags work by your own body heating the down that’s inside the bag. Once you have warmed up the bag the down will retain the heat and ensure that you sleep at body temperature.
For best results it is best to wear as little as possible when inside your sleeping bag. Our guides will often only wear a set of thermals in their bag. It is important for the bag to trap the heat. By wearing multiple layers of clothing your clothing will trap this heat and your bag will not function properly.
What clothing is suitable for when we come back from the mountain?
Kathmandu is at a relatively low altitude and daytime temperatures are warm. When in Rome do as the Romans. Shorts and T-shirts are fine to wear during the course of the day. Evening wear generally tends to be casual with long trousers and casual shirt appropriate for all hotels and restaurants.
Nepalese are generally quite conservative in their dress code and are generally well dressed despite their situation in life. Your town and party clothes can be left in a safe lock up at the hotel and do not need to be taken up the mountain.
Is it possible to rent equipment before I go?
It is possible to rent a wealth of clothing and kit from our hire partners at www.outdoorhire.co.uk or our local ground crew but we do advocate the use of personal equipment for footwear.
What is the best time of the year to do the Annapurna Base Camp trek?
The optimal climbing seasons are late March through to early June when the daytime temperatures are the warmest and there is a reduced cloud cover. Late September through to December is also good as the daytime conditions are generally cooler but still clear.
How cold can it get?
The temperature can vary widely. Sometimes it is only a degree or two below freezing, but trekkers should be prepared for possible temperatures as low as minus 15 Celsius, especially in conjunction with wind chill.
Do I need to book my own flights to Nepal?
360 Expeditions will be booking flights on your behalf. We provide confirmation of flight times and departure terminal approximately three weeks before your departure date. Be aware that flight schedules are subject to change and ensure that you have checked your flight details before setting out for your flight.
Do I need special travel insurance for the trek?
You must carry individual travel insurance to take part in the expedition. We cannot take you on the mountain without proof of insurance.
It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the appropriate insurance for your intended trip. To include medical evacuation and coverage up to the maximum altitude of this trip.
Your insurance details are requested on the booking form, however this can be arranged at a later date. 360 Expeditions will be requesting your insurance details 8 weeks before your departure.
Entry into Country
My passport runs out 3 months after the trek, is this OK?
Your passport should be valid for 6 months after the date the trek starts. If it runs out before you may be refused entry. It is also advisable to have a couple of photocopies of your passport in case of loss.
Do I need a visa for Nepal?
Visas are compulsory for entry into Nepal for all foreign nationals. Although these can be acquired relatively easily at the border (Kathmandu international airport and all land borders) for a fee of $40 USD, we recommend that you contact your nearest Nepali embassy to avoid queuing, unnecessary delays and potential clearance problems.
Embassy of Nepal in the UK
12A Kensington Palace Gardens
London, W8 4QU
Tel: 0207 229 1594 / 0207 229 6231 / 0207 229 5352
How can I best train / prepare for this trek?
360 Expeditions will be on hand to talk through a fitness plan that will suit you and your lifestyle as being trekking fit before coming to the mountain is of great importance not only to maximise your chances of reaching Base Camp but much more importantly to enhance your overall enjoyment of the expedition: if you are struggling from day one then you will not enjoy the rest of the trip.
Physical preparation does not have to be Herculean: concentrate on cardio-vascular exercise during the week by taking short runs when time allows and try to spend at least 2 weekends a month going on long duration walks (longer than 6 hrs) carrying a rucksack of around 10kg.
This kind of regime will not only prepare your body to carry minor loads but will harden your body against the big days on the mountain itself. In addition it will help break in your boots and get used to your equipment. In combination this will pay dividends because even though you can’t train for altitude your body will be ready for arduous days and you will be familiar with how to best use your equipment, both adding to you being able to enjoy and appreciate the mountain all the more.
Please also see the recommended training program for the Annapurna Base Camp trek.
What is the currency in Nepal
It is the Nepalese Rupee. This can only be obtained in Nepal. Currency equivalent to approximately £300 should be sufficient for the duration of your stay in Nepal. This will include enough to cover tips for the whole tripand should be brought in US Dollars or a mixture of USD and Pound Sterling.
What advice do you have on tipping?
Although not obligatory tipping has become ingrained in the culture, and once you see how hard the Sherpa work for you for such a small amount of money relative to your own UK salaries, these will be much appreciated.
As a guide we recommend tipping around $160 for the local staff and whatever you feel for the 360 Leader. A good leader can have a huge impact on the success and enjoyment of an expedition.
Do we need a travel adaptor for the plug sockets in Annapurna or are they the same as UK?
The voltage is 220v / 50Hz like the UK. Rectangular or round three-pin plugs are used. It is possible to recharge your electronic items and batteries for a small cost at some lodges.
Will we have time for shopping in Kathmandu?
You have some time in Kathmandu before the trek begins which will give you plenty of time to pick up souvenirs. You will be able to leave any purchases safely stored at the hotel in Kathmandu.