The Annapurna Circuit is the ultimate trek in terms of variety and adventure. With her you will shrug shoulders with polite Brahmins, gutsy Gurungs, regal Ghales, smiling Lobas and hospitable Thakalis. With her, you will earn bragging rights for scrambling past one of the highest mountain passes and gliding through one of the deepest river valleys. With her, you will have mountains for breakfast, plunge pools for lunch and Milky Way for dinner. Musk Deers, Blue Sheep, Griffons and Monals will give you company while Primulas, Irises and Rhododendrons will light up your way. Before we go overboard, let me clarify that not every trip works out the way we made it out to be, but it comes pretty close. Go check it out for yourself. Who knows, you might even catch a glimpse of the chimerical Snow Leopard.
Imagine you are in the middle of the Colosseum and the walls are not 150 but 10,000 feet high and are made of rock, ice and snow. There you have it. That is what it is like to be at the Annapurna Base Camp. We really think the base camp should be marked with a “Caution: Jaw Drop Ahead” sign at least during the full moons. And it has an approach to match. The trail goes through the heartland of the Gurungs who make a sizeable portion of the fearsome Gurkhas. It might come as a bit of a surprise to find them so friendly and peaceful, but look around, who wouldn’t be happy in such a tranquil landscape? If you are lucky, you might even get to see an audacious honey hunt in a precarious cliff side. The trail also passes through the most rewarding hawk watch site in Nepal and the rhododendrons are something to write home about. In short, you will love it!!
The Everest Base Camp Trek is in many ways like a visit to a mountain museum. The only difference is that the stuffs on display are all real. Nowhere else on earth is such a dense concentration of mountains of such stature. Four out of ten of the world’s highest peaks are here. Basically, you will be breathing and eating mountains throughout. In the backdrop of this grandeur, you will find Himalayan Tahrs as tame as your domestic goats and the iridescent Himalayan Monal more trusting than your barn chicken. And to top it all off, the amazing Sherpa hospitality comes second to none. In the contemplative adventure that is the Everest Base Camp Trek you will miss nothing, not even the internet.
Mountains in the Everest Region are served in many flavors. There are of course the high peaks, and then there are the tough, the easy going, the photogenic and the sacred. Hell, there is even one reputed to contain a door to heaven for the pure of heart.
Of all the sacred peaks, the Khumbila is the most important one and is the protector deity of the entire Khumbu region. Other sacred peaks are Everest/Chomolungma, Taboche, Kangtega, Thamserku, Pumori and Pokalde.
The high peaks of the region include such giants as Everest, Lhotse, Makalu and Cho Oyu. Pumori, Baruntse, Nuptse and Gyachung Kang also deserve special mention in this category.
The best answer to when to go Everest Base Camp is, whenever you are ready. Once the decision to go has been made all the universe will conspire in helping you, as Paulo Coelho would no doubt agree. And truth be said, Everest region has something unique to offer just about every month. It all depends on what you are looking for. Now let’s get into the details:
Winter is perhaps the least tapped of the months. The mountain views are perfect and there are very few trekkers along the trail. Add to it the fact that most large wildlife descends to lower valleys during this time and you have a near perfect time to trek. And by large wildlife we mean, the tame Tahr, the iridescent Himalaya Monal, the secretive Musk Deer, the homely Himalayan Snowcock and perhaps if you are as lucky was Walter Mitty- the majestic Snow Leopard.
Iconic opening of Baraka, Awesome Introduction of Nepal