As is well-established, Nepal is a treasure trove of trekking adventures. It is a country that has a wide myriad of options when it comes to trekking, whether it be in the form of the location of the trek or the adventure’s duration, difficulty level or time-of-year. This has made Nepal into one of the leading destinations for trekking adventures; Nepal is visited by thousands of enthusiastic trekkers from all parts of the globe every year.
As such, among the many options that Nepal presents for treks, two of the most popular trekking adventures perhaps are the famous Everest Base Camp Trek and the Annapurna Base Camp Trek. Both the EBC Trek and the ABC Trek are done by thousands of people who visit the country. Each of the treks carries the layer of being famous trekking adventures not only in Nepal but the world as well. Each has their distinct trekking ambiance and present unique features that are idiosyncratic to their location. Let’s have a look at both trekking adventures in detail-
The Everest Base Camp Trek takes place in the Khumbu region of Nepal, whereas the Annapurna Base Camp Trek occurs in the Annapurna region. Both the Everest region and the region of Annapurna are home to many of the tallest Himalayan peaks of Nepal; Khumbu is home of Mount Everest- the highest mountain peak on the planet, whereas the Annapurna region is home to the Annapurna massif and the Annapurna I- the tenth-highest Himalayan peak.
Likewise, the Everest Base Camp Trek takes trekkers into the Khumbu region and presents the chance to traverse into the Dudh Koshi River valley- a terrain that is flanked by the mighty Everest massifs and dissected with tributaries of the Dudh Koshi River. The Annapurna Base Camp Trek, on the other hand, takes trekkers into the Annapurna valley- a protected area where therein lies the famous Annapurna Sanctuary and the Annapurna Conservation Area Project- home to countless species of wildlife and biodiversity.
Trek Starting Points
The Everest Base Camp Trek usually starts with a short scenic flight to Lukla from Kathmandu. The short flight takes about 45 minutes. Lukla, in correspondence, is often the starting point of most of the Everest region treks, including the base camp trek. Similarly, the Annapurna Base Camp Trek usually starts from the city of Pokhara- the tourist hub of Nepal. Pokhara city is situated about 206 kilometers away from Kathmandu, and the journey to the city from the capital takes an approximate 5 to 6 hours. Alternatively, flights from Kathmandu to Pokhara are also available, and it takes 30 to 40 minute to reach the city via flight.
Both the Everest Camp Trek and the Annapurna Base Camp Trek present their unique attributes to trekkers. Each of the destinations is different in terms of their terrain, topographical features, the Himalayan beauty, and the cultural ethos. In essence, the Everest Base Camp Trek is a great way to experience the ethnic Sherpa culture of Nepal’s Khumbu.
Destinations those are famous during the EBC Trek include Namche Bazaar, Tengboche and Kalapatthar among many others. One of the best highlights of the Everest Base Camp Trek is the vantage point of Kalapatthar from where the entire panorama of the Mount Everest massif and its neighboring peaks can be seen spectacularly. The EBC Trek presents amazing views of peaks like the Thamserku, the Kongde Ri, Mount Everest, the Ama Dablam, Lhotse Peak, Mount Cho Oyu, Lobuche Himal, and the Nuptse among others.
In like manner, the Annapurna Base Camp Trek presents trekkers with the opportunity to experience the ethnic Rai, Magar, and Limbu cultures of the indigenous people of the Annapurna region.
Famous destinations of the ABC Trek include Ghorepani, Poon Hill, Tadapani, Jhinu Danda, Dovan and Deurali among many others. Like Kalapatthar, Poon Hill is a famous vantage point of the Annapurna region that presents panoramic views of the entire Mount Annapurna massif and its neighboring peaks in the most dramatic manner. The ABC Trek presents trekkers with views of mountain peaks like the Annapurna Himalayan range that include the Annapurna I (8,091 meters), the Annapurna II (7,937 meters) and the Annapurna III (7,555 meters), along with the Machhapuchhre Peak, the Hiunchuli Himal, the Tilicho peak, the Dhaulagiri Mountain and the Tharpu Chuli among others.
In retrospect, both the Everest Base Camp Trek and the Annapurna Base Camp Trek are moderate levels in terms of difficulty. However, in hindsight, the Annapurna Base Camp Trek can be termed as comparatively easier than the Everest Base Camp Trek in terms of the terrain; the Annapurna valley presents a landscape dominated by the Annapurna peaks stretching from north to south with the Kali Gandaki and the Marsayangdi Gorge draining on either side. The altitude ranges from 1,000 meters to 8,000 meters, resulting in a mosaic of geographical zones. Due to the topographical features of the Annapurna, the ABC Trek also comparatively presents trekkers with a more diverse natural environment than the EBC Trek.
The Everest Base Camp Trek, in the same way, presents trekkers with a diverse terrain that includes meandering along the Dudh Koshi River and into the foothills of the Everest massif. The altitude ranges from 2,000 meters to above 5,000 meters above sea-level. Acclimatization is an important part of the EBC Trek journey, but acclimatization might not be as much of a necessity during the ABC Trek, but it is a cautionary measure nonetheless.
Best Time to Do the Trek
In general, Nepal experiences peak trekking seasons during the spring and the autumn months; the spring season lasts from March to May while the autumn season lasts from September to November. Both the spring and the autumn seasons are the best time to do the EBC and the ABC treks as these seasons present favorable weather conditions for a smooth and pleasurable trekking journey.
In conclusion, both the Everest Base Camp Trek and the Annapurna Base Camp Trek are amazing and marvelous in their way. Both are equally appealing and quite grand in terms of their many naturals, Himalayan and cultural hallmarks.