Annapurna Expedition (8,091m)
Annapurna is a series of peaks 55 km long with the highest point, Annapurna I, which stands 8091m in altitude, making it the 10th-highest summit in the world, located in a spectacular setup, east of a great gorge cutting through the Himalayas by the Kali Gandaki River, which separates it from the Dhaulagiri massif lies only 34 km west. Annapurna I was the first 8,000m peak climbed by a French Expedition led by Maurice Herzog, who reached the summit on 3 June 1950. It took 20 years for another team to succeed on the same mountain summit. The 1970 ascent of the South Face of Annapurna by Chris Bonington's team was a landmark in the history of mountaineering. This is a mountain that is among the most familiar of mountains, yet one that is very rarely climbed.
Annapurna in Sanskrit literally means "full of food" but is normally translated as ‘Goddess of the Harvests’. For Hindu Annapurna is "the universal and timeless kitchen-goddess, the mother who feeds and prevents starvation, a universal fear, which makes Annapurna a universal goddess, associated with the giving of food (wealth). This led her in time to be transformed into Lakshmi, the Goddess of Wealth with the most popular shrine located in Kashi, on the banks of river Ganga.
The entire massif and surrounding area is protected within the 7,629sq km as Annapurna Conservation Area led by Project (ACAP), the first and largest conservation area in Nepal, established in 1986. The Annapurna Conservation Area is home to several world-class treks, including the Annapurna Circuit, so the Annapurna Expedition has additional benefits of occurring in an extremely spectacular setting, however Annapurna peaks are also the world's most dangerous mountains to climb. There are four Annapurna’s in the massif as well and Gangapurna and Annapurna South. The South Face of Annapurna is one of the largest and steepest faces in the world. The face is awesome in size and difficulty. The South Face is 3000 feet higher than the southwest face of Mt. Everest. The South Face of Annapurna is relatively free of the terrible avalanche hazards that plague the standard routes on the North Face of the mountain, despite the great difficulty; the South Face is a logical route to the summit of Mt. Annapurna.
Annapurna Expedition Base Camp Services:
- Snowy Horizon Treks & Expedition provides very professional, supportive and friendly mountaineering logistic services from Kathmandu to the ABC as well as during the climb. Our objective is to ensure a good quality, supportive, safe, friendly, stress free and comprehensive service to maximize summit opportunity.
- We provide a comprehensive service organizing all necessary permits, and climbing documentation, travelling logistics including airfares, ground transportation, porters, and other individual services required by mountaineers. On the track to the ABC we organize all required accommodation and food.
- In the Base camp our cook and helpers will prepare and serve three times delicious freshly cooked and plentiful meals a day and will ensure that hot and cold drinks are available 24hrs a day.
- In the Base Camp we provide spacious expedition quality personal tents for all our clients both with full board or base-camp service only.
- In the base camp we also provide dining tent, kitchen tent, toilet facilities and portable shower facilities and tent accommodation for our staff.
- In the Base Camp we provide access to communication including satellite telephone and internet access, and solar panels to charge your batteries.
Annapurna Expedition Full Board Services:
- For full board services we provide personal tent and food, which will be prepared by their climbing Sherpa. We provide UHF/VHF hand held radios on the mountain to maintain communications between ABC and high camps.
- We provide a personal climbing Sherpa guide to help the clients to reach the summit. Personal climbing Sherpa will set up camp 1 and camp 2 and high camps/bevies including food provisions, fuel and oxygen and will guide and assist the client on the summit day.
- Annapurna climb is a serious adventure and one of the most difficult and dangerous 8000m peak. The climbing skills of the client required to attempt the climb are high for the chance to succeed as well as for safety reason. Unlike other summits like Cho Oyu, Shisha Pangma or Everest, the client attempting Annapurna must be an experienced and independent climber, who doesn’t rely on the leader to take them to the summit and bring them back. Our role is to assist, advice and support and we take it with full responsibility and seriousness of it.
- The climb requires cooperation between teams in setting up fixed ropes. Our camp manager and guides will work with other teams on the route setting.
Approaches to ABC:
- As most of climbers hate the approach, the approach to Annapurna Base Camp is a spectacular bonus trek through world class trekking area; Poon Hill with spectacular sunrise views on number of significant and elegant peaks including Dhaulagiri (8167m), Tukuche Peak (6920m), Nilgiri (6940m), Varaha Shikhar (7847m), Annapurna I (8091m), Annapurna South (7219m), Annapurna III (7855m), Machapuchhre (6993m), Annapurna IV (7525m), Annapurna II (7937m) and Lamjung Himal (6931m) are the highlights of it. The trail follows then the deepest valley in the world the Kali Gandaki valley between two 8000m giants Annapurna I and Dhaulagiri. The trek passes through Tatopani, Ghasa, Thulobogin, Thulobogin pass and Mristi Khola to the Annapurna ABC. The approach trek can be shortening by 2 days driving to Tatopani.
- The Advanced Base Camp (4190m) is located at the North Annapurna Glacier and it can be reached within 7-9 days trek or there is also option of flying in to ABC by MI-17 helicopter from Pokhara.
- Annapurna standard route is via West face and Northwest Ridge, which is a very challenging route with Annapurna being statistically one of most dangerous 8000m peaks. The most dangerous and difficult is a section between camp 1 and 2 with a very unstable and broken glacier with dangling seracs ready to crash any time, being major cause of death, and eminent avalanche danger.
- The climb is done with 3 camps. It takes 2 hrs to get from the ABC to the bottom of the climb; facing 70deg steep 500m climb with fixed ropes and danger of falling services.
- From camp 1 to Camp 2 the climbing is slightly less steep also difficult with still high objective avalanche danger. This section requires also a set of about 1000m of fixed ropes.
- The route from Camp 2 to Camp 3 requires switchbacks navigation on the snow field between seracs of the broken glacier. There is still 1000m of fixed ropes required.
- Summit attempt is on exposed ridge but it doesn’t require fixed ropes, it is done as free ascent.
Elevation: 8,091m (26,545ft)
Location: Nepal/Annapurna Region
Coordinates: 28°35′46″ N 83°49′13″ E
First Ascent: Maurice Herzog (Nepal), June 3, 1950
Climbing Season: Late spring and autumn
Exped duration: 53 days (typically)
Climbing duration: 32 days (typically)
Group Size: 02-15 person per Group
- Climbing Equipment
- Climbing Permit & Cost
- Royalty Free Mountain
- Peaks Opened for Mountaineering
- Climbing Rules in Nepal
- Peak Climbing Guide
- List of Opened Peaks
- List of Unclimbed Peaks
Peak Climbing Question/Answers
What is trekking peak?
Trekking Peaks are the mountain which can be approached in a day to the summit from their base camp including return to the basecamp. Trekking peaks are generally between 5000m to below 7000m. The climbing permits for these peaks can be obtained from Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA). These peaks are also called NMA Trekking Peaks.
Who can climb a peak?
There are no restrictions to obtain climbing permit and anyone with appropriate fitness and skills can attempt a peak climbing. Climbing difficulty varies for different mountains and routes. Non-technical climbs can be attempted by a fit trekker with little or no climbing experience. For technical climbs one needs to have an appropriate level of climbing experience.
I have never climbed before. Can I go for peak climbing?
There is always first time for everything including peak climbing. There are non-technical peaks, which can be climbed safely by a fit trekker and even slightly technical peaks can be attempted by a novice climber with a professional climbing guide.
What are physical fitness criteria to climb a peak in Nepal?
To climb high elevation peak the health and fitness is a paramount criteria. The level of fitness required is proportional to peak elevation and route difficulty and length.
What is climbing permit?
Climbing Permit for trekking peaks is a legal document issued by the Nepal Mountaineering Associationauthorizing the climber to attempt the climb on designated peak or route. Attempting a climb without permit is illegal.
Do I need climbing permit?
Yes climbing permits are required to climb any peak above 5000m and it is illegal to do so without a climbing permit.
Who will lead me during climbing?
A licensed, trained and experienced Climbing Sherpa Guide will lead you while Peak Climbing.
Do I need travel insurance?
Yes the rescue insurance is required while climbing.
Which is the best season for peak climbing?
In general August to November and March to May are two climbing seasons in Nepal.
Do I need to join in a climbing group?
There is no legal requirement to join the climbing group however climbing solo is an unsafe practice. It is recommended to hire the guide even for simple routes.
What will be the food and accommodation?
During the access trek you will be accommodated in a lodge/teahouse; once in the basecamp you will be assigned a tent and your climbing Sherpa will prepare high altitude food; all your climbing gear and food for the climb will be carried by the porter up to the base camp.
How much time is generally required for trekking peak?
It varies for different peaks and weather condition. Generally most of trekking peaksrequire one or two days to summit from the basecamp. The access time varies also and depends on peak location and peak elevation.
How difficult are the trekking peaks?
It depends on the Trekking Peak. There is a variety of peaks available ranging from non-technical through easy technical to difficult and very difficult technical routes.
Is there any age limit for trekking Peaks Climbing?
Children below 18 are Restricted for Peak Climbing in Nepal. Is this incorrect?
What are the sources of drinking water supply during Peak Climbing?
On most of treks bottled water is available. There are also purified filtered water stations in many lodges. The boiled water will be also available in the lodges and from the camp kitchen.
Where do we eat our meals?
On popular trails we will stay in lodges and guest houses and the meals will be cooked for you with continental menu meals often available as well as soups and noodles and rice dishes; on some routes there will be a limited choice and on some more remote routes only local Nepal Dal Bhat and curry or instant noodle soups will be available. In the basecamp your Sherpa guide will prepare meals for you from instant dry meals.
Is there any communication while we are on trekking?
It all depends on the area with most of the trekking routeshaving local VHF Phones; increasingly more places get mobile coverage of varied capacity; in remote communication is not available or very limited so the only option would be a satellite phone.
What type of shoes or boots should I wear?
You need comfortable trekking shoes preferably with Gore-Tex style lining for ultimate comfort and thick vibratim soles to have comfortable walk on rocky paths. On snow routes you will also require crampons, climbing harness and on many climbs the iceaxe.
What problems can arise on altitude?
At high altitude your cardio-pulmonary system is affected by low oxygen density and you can suffer from general breathing difficulties to Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) as well as your skin is susceptible to sunburn if not protected by cloths or sunblock. The AMS is preventable through appropriate trekking pace and undertaking acclimatization.
What type of insurance should I have? Where can I obtain the insurance?
You need to obtain travel insurance before you arrive to Kathmandu. Your insurance should cover rescue insurance and it should allow the expense of helicopter supported medevac. Nowadays such policies are readily available through many airfare booking agents. Try ihi.com if you cannot find your insurance.
What type of insurance should I have? Where can I obtain the insurance?
You will require a travel insurance, which will not exclude climbing and helicopter evacuation. You need obtain your insurance before you arrive to Kathmandu. Climbing insurance may be obtained through some climbing clubs and some insurers such as IHI.
What is the cost of Peak Climbing?
The cost depends on peak you wish to climb and the number of climbers in the group. The cost of the climb consists of trekking cost, transportation costs (airfare or surface transportation), equipment and staff requirements, climbing duration and permit costs. Please consult us.