Nepal is a paradise for adventure seekers and if you are up for an adventurous journey, Nepal will never let you down. A choice between trekking to Everest Base Camp or Annapurna Base Camp will always keep you muddled. So which hike should you go for? Selina NG, a writer for www.star2.com, has completed both the hikes and here is her take on pros and cons and similarities and differences between the two hikes. The post below is an excerpt taken from the original article : http://www.star2.com/travel/asia-oceania/2016/03/22/which-nepal-trek/.
ABC trek would be a more suitable trek if you are short on time. ABC or even Pool Hill (four days’ trek on the part of the ABC route) can be considered. It takes 8 days to complete a standard ABC trek provided that you are fit and fast, and the weather is favorable. The daily elevation pattern (ascending and descending the various mountain valleys) eliminates the need to take extra rest days to acclimatize.
The EBC trek takes around 14 days for average trekkers due to constant elevation gain to reach the height at 5,380m(ABC:4130m).
Chances of experiencing mountain sickness or altitude sickness when you climb a mountain too quickly are very high. Most cases are mild, with symptoms such as headache, nausea, dizziness and exhaustion. The UK National Health Service recommends that if you have mild symptoms, you shouldn’t go any higher for at least 24 to 48 hours.
Altitude sickness can become severe when fluid builds up either in the lungs or the brain. Symptoms then include coughing up pink, frothy liquid, walking in a clumsy way, confusion or even loss of consciousness. If your symptoms get worse or don’t improve after 24 to 48 hours, the NHS guidelines recommend that you should descend by at least 500m.)
As the EBC trek begins and ends at high elevations, you ‘ll enjoy uninterrupted and magnificent views of the mountains. The mountain views going to ABC are excellent as well but the first few days are spent trekking up the deep canyon of the Modi Khola River which obstructs the direct view of the peaks. However, upon reaching your destination, you realize that the hard work was worth the wait.
Cost and accessibility
“The easiest and fastest way to start the EBC trek involves taking a domestic flight to Lukla (2,860m), often known as the world’s most dangerous airport. If the thought of flying on a small plane into a short airstrip and the cost of the flight (about US$330 or RM1,340) are concerns, ABC could be the better option since trailheads can be easily reached by bus and car from Kathmandu.”
Both treks are difficult which requires continuous ascending and descending. However, Selina felt that the EBC trek is more physically demanding than the ABC trek due to higher elevations, colder temperature and thinner air. These factors could lead to a higher tendency of succumbing to acute mountain sickness.
If you want an epic and accomplishment-driven trip where you push through thin air and high altitudes, head to EBC. There will be more views of snow-capped peaks too. If (more) diverse landscapes and local culture are what you’re looking for, make your way to ABC.
No matter which hike you end up doing, you will be making memories that you will recall with a glee for your entire lifetime. Be it Everest or Annapurna, you’ll be rewarded with the best Nepal has to offer.