Annapurna Circuit lies in the Annapurna Region where the trail passes through the diverse land structure, dense forest, lakes, waterfall, and gigantic mountains. The view from the Annapurna circuit is absolute breathing. Annapurna circuit is the complete package for understanding the historical and cultural importance of this region.

Trekking in the Annapurna circuit takes you to the altitude of 5416 m  Thorong La pass. This is the most difficult part but it is worth it. While climbing high altitude you will be amazed by magnificent temples, prayer flags, sheer cliffs, and arid land with mysterious caves. Also if you are lucky you will see snow leopards and Himalayan Thar.

Annapurna circuit difficulty is the moderate difficulty where you can face the challenge during the trek. With strong determination and willpower, trekking will be more convenient. Trekkers should be prepared before the journey starts. Understanding the itinerary and following the safety protocols will achieve the goal of climbing this trek.

Below are some factors that are responsible for making the trek difficult for the Annapurna circuit trek.

Altitude Sickness

Annapurna Circuit Trek is trekking at more than 4000 meters of altitude. As you reach more than the height of 4000 meters the atmospheric condition remains different—low levels of oxygen and change in air pressure cause altitude sickness. So if you ascend too fast during the trek there is a high chance of altitude sickness. It can happen to anyone. 

Similar to altitude sickness, Altitude Mountain Sickness (AMS) can occur during the Annapurna Circuit trek.

Symptoms that occur from AMS are

  • Persistent Headache (this is the most common symptom).
  • Dehydration
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Fatigue, even when resting.
  • Unclear vision
  • Difficulty in breathing or stopping coughing.
  • Trouble sleeping.
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness.

These are the minor symptoms that can be cured easily if safety measures are followed properly.

If the condition worsens other two major altitude sicknesses can occur

  • HAPE (High Altitude Pulmonary Edema)
  • HACE (High Altitude Cerebral Edema)

Inclement Weather Conditions

Altitude, seasons, and environment are the main factors for change in the weather conditions. Annapurna circuit weather also varies in different altitudes and in different seasons. Climatic conditions keep on changing its unpredictable. Favorable weather conditions play a vital role while trekking. 

Inclement weather conditions like continuous snowfall for days make the trail block and cause difficulty for trekking. Also continuous rainfall and extreme cold make the trail slippery and less visibility which can cause hazards. 

Trekking should be done only in favorable weather. Also, trekkers need to prepare for Inclement weather conditions to prevent from occurring consequences. Proper safety protocols should be followed during the trek.

Frostbites

Trekking at a high altitude can cause frostbite. Frostbites will not take your life but it will cause serious damage to your skin. Frostbites mostly affect your hands and feet but they can cause other several problems if not treated well. 

To protect your body proper clothing is required especially during the trek in the winter season. Proper gear should be worn to prevent and reduce frostbites. If we neglect then it can lead to serious conditions.

Hypothermia

The average temperature falls below freezing point during the night in the Annapurna circuit. The higher the altitude the temperature lowers. There is a possibility of hypothermia in the high altitude. Shivering, Lack of coordination, Weak pulseIrritability, Sleepy behavior, weak or absent respiration, and pulse are the symptoms of hypothermia.

To prevent Hypothermia trekkers should not be exposed to too long in the cold. During the trek, it is extremely important to take care of their body. Trekkers should maintain their body temperature by proper clothing and eating warm food.

Trail Condition 

Since the difficulty level of the Annapurna circuit trek is a moderate type. The most difficult path is reaching Thorong La Pass. During the monsoon and the winter, the trail is slippery, cold, and difficult for trekking.

Type of Trekkers

All the trekkers do not have the same physical and mental conditions. Those who have the experience of trekking can tackle the situation from previous experience. New joiners will have difficulties while trekking to the Annapurna circuit due to the long distance. We should not walk aggressively as we know ‘slow and steady win the race’.

Trekking Gears

Trekkers need to manage the proper trekking gear before the trek. It plays a major role in comforting the trekkers during the trek. People should not carry excessive gear also. During the different seasons, different gear equipment is required. It is extremely important to carry a raincoat, rain protective equipment, and trekking poles which ease during the rainy season.

For potential injury, it is advised to carry the proper gear during the summer season.

To make the journey enjoyable and memorable trekkers should be conscious and active.

Lodging, Food, and Beverages

Summer and spring are the peak season for the trek in Annapurna Circuit. Thousands of climbers come in this season for adventurous trekking. Lodging, food, and beverages are easily available in the low terrain. After you reach the upper side there are a limited number of tea houses which are packed during the peak season.

Crowd in the Tea house makes it difficult to find the proper bed space, and clean washroom, and facilities remain limited. Also due to more hikers in the peak season the price also increased in the tea house.

Budgeting

Before you start the trek you should have proper knowledge of the region. You should read the itinerary very carefully. From hiring the porters, transportation, accommodation, food, trekking stuff all these things should be budgeted accordingly. Sometimes may occur unpredicted events and also you need to extend your time. Pre-planning, proper judgment, and thoughts help you to cut down on unnecessary expenses.

Guide and Porter

After the new law from the government of Nepal, you cannot trek alone hence you need to hire a guide. Trekking in the Annapurna must cover a long distance so you cannot carry all the essential items alone. Therefore hiring a guide and a porter helps to ease you during the trek.

The guide not only helps you in difficult situations but also helps you to find better food and accommodation.

Conclusion

Annapurna is one of the best treks where you can witness distinct cultural diversity, lush valleys, and breathtaking vistas. Motivation, self-belief, and goal clarity help to overcome hurdles that can arise during the trek. 

Furthermore trekking in the Everest region does not require an advanced level of mountaineering skills. Dedication, willpower, and physical fitness will help to climb and walk on this stunning Annapurna Circuit.

The difficulty that arises during the trek can be easily minimized by proper acclimatization, proper gear, eating healthy, and hydrating the body all the time. Walking steadily and avoiding the consumption of cigarettes and alcohol during the trek.