You have to check the weather of the month you are traveling in before making any plans. The same is true while trekking in the Annapurna Base Camp. The months of December, January, and February are the months of the winter season. Checking the weather of Annapurna Base Camp while trekking in these months is extremely important.
Winter in the mountains is quite cold. You should look for the possibilities of rainfall, snow, and the number of sunshine hours while trekking to Annapurna Base Camp. That will help you prepare better for the trek.
You will travel from low altitude regions to high altitude regions while trekking to Annapurna Base Camp. Thus, you should expect different temperatures for different parts of the trek. But as these are months of the winter season. The temperatures anywhere along the trek don’t get higher than 20 degrees C.
Let us take a look at the weather of Annapurna Base Camp in the winters and compare them with other seasons.
Seasons in Annapurna Base Camp
There are four seasons in Annapurna Base Camp. They are Summer, Winter, Spring, and Autumn. Let us take a look at the climatic conditions in each of these seasons.
Summer is the hottest as well as the wettest of all the seasons in Annapurna Base Camp. Often, the trekking trails are wet which requires you to have rain protecting gear with you. You will need umbrellas, rain covering for your backpack, and waterproof jackets and trousers to trek in the summers.
Despite the rain, the temperatures are warm in this season. In the lower regions of the trek like Nayapul, the temperature can be as high as 25 degrees C. Even in the Base Camp itself, the lowest temperature in the summers is merely -3 degrees C. This results in comfortable trekking weather.
In these months, the trekking temperature is ideal. Few chances of rain and mild sunshine are some reasons why this season is popular amongst trekkers. The temperature can be as low as -16 degrees C in the early days of March. But during the months of April and May, the average mean daily minimum temperature of the Annapurna Base Camp is around -2 degrees. The lower regions of the trek are much warmer.
Temperatures during Autumn and Spring are almost identical. You will observe by clear skies that offer you great mountain viewing conditions during Autumn. September can be a bit rainy. You might encounter few cloudy days and occasional overcast conditions. October and November are months that are least likely to produce high amounts of precipitation. As there won’t be scorching heat, trekking will be great.
Winters (December/ January/ February)
Winter in any Base Camp region of Nepal is cold. That is no different in the Annapurna Base Camp. But Annapurna Base Camp has an altitude of 4130 meters. This altitude quite low compared to the altitude of Everest Base Camp or Kanchenjunga Base Camp. So it won’t be as cold in ABC as these two regions. Further, the Annapurna Base Camp starts from very low altitude regions. It isn’t all that cold during the winters in the lower regions of the trek.
Starting your trek from low altitude regions is quite helpful. It will help you acclimatize to cold wind that blows in the high altitude mountainous parts of the Base Camp. Let us now take a look at the weather of the places along the Annapurna Base Camp trail for all the months in the winter.
Annapurna Base Camp December Weather and Temperature
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In December, you will only have one day where you will have some form of precipitation in Annapurna Base Camp. You are likely to have only one day in December when the conditions are overcast.
Annapurna Base Camp January Weather and Temperature
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January in the Base Camp is slightly colder than December. There might be 2 days when you will observe some form of precipitation and 2 days of overcast conditions.
Annapurna Base Camp February Weather and Temperature
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February is the coldest of all winter months. It is also the wettest of the three months in winter. You will only have about 20 days of sunny conditions. 6 of the days will be partly cloudy while you will find around 3 days of overcast conditions.
Accommodation for ABC Trek in December/ January/ February
Find accommodation in the Annapurna Base Camp region during these months is easy. December, January, and February are not the most popular months for trekking. So tea houses, lodges, and luxurious hotels don’t have a lot of customers. This will make it easier for you to choose what kind of accommodation is the most suitable for you.
You can also bargain for some discount in the prices of accommodation during this season. The chances are that you will get some offers as well. Similarly, you can have the blankets of other rooms to yourself as well as other rooms will be empty. This will help you deal with the cold of the winter season in Annapurna Base Camp.
Packing List for ABC Trek in December/ January/ February
You will need to have layered clothing while trekking to Annapurna Base Camp. During this season you will need to pay extra attention to the outermost layer. The outermost layer is the thickest of all the layers. It will also protect you from the cold of this season. Here is a list of all things you will need
- A couple of long base layer shirts that dry quickly
- A couple of short-sleeved trekking shirts
- A couple of Thermal underwear
- 2 liner socks
- 3 pairs of woolen blend trekking socks.
- A pair of waterproof trekking pants with zip-off bottoms
- A couple of fleece sweaters (one lightweight, one heavier)
- 1 wind/rain proof outer-layer jacket and pants
- 1 down jacket. ( -20 D.C )
- 1 warm winter hat
- 1 lightweight thermal layer hat
- A pair of woolen gloves
- A Pair of trekking boots
- Foot powder (for stinky feet)
- Toilet paper
- A quick-dry Towel
- Gold Bond – this just feels good all the time
- Diamox – for altitude
- Vicks vapor rub
- anti-nauseant ( if you get nauseous a lot at altitude)
- immodium – (in case of diarrhoea)
- Mosquito repellent
Popular treks in the Annapurna Region during the Winters
Short Annapurna Trek
If you are trekking during the winters, you might not want to spend a lot of days trekking. In such a case, the Short Annapurna Trek will the perfect for you. The Short Annapurna Base Camp has a shorter path than the regular Annapurna Base Camp trek.
The Short Annapurna Base Camp trek can be completed in merely 11 days. In the classic Annapurna Base Camp trek, you would go to the Base Camp after visiting places like Ghorepani, Poon Hill, and Chhomrong. But in the Short Annapurna Base Camp trek, you start your trek from Ghandruk and finally reach Annapurna Base Camp.
Annapurna Complete Trek
You can trek in the Annapurna region in any season. But you need to have the necessary gear to complete the trek. Trekking in winter in the months of December, January, and February have their own perks. The places of accommodation are almost empty. Trekking in this season is cheaper than trekking in peak seasons.
So if you are willing to spend a few more days in the Annapurna region than normal, you should opt for the Annapurna Complete trek. During the Annapurna Complete trek, you will be able to go to the wonderful temple of Muktinath. You can go to the beautiful town of Manang as well. This wonderful town is covered with the majestic hills of the Annapurna range.
You will also visit the quaint village of Jomsom. In addition, you will get to go to Tatopani, the natural hot spring. You will also go to High Camp, which will be the highest point along the trek. High Camp has an altitude of 4600 meters. You also won’t have to miss out on glorious places like Poon Hill or Ghorepani.
Annapurna Circuit Trek
This trek is slightly longer than the Short Annapurna Base Camp trek and shorter than the Annapurna Complete trek. It will take you 16 days to complete the Annapurna Circuit trek. This trek in the Annapurna region will take you to more than 5000 meters. During this trek you cross the Thorung La pass, which is 5146 meters high.
The Annapurna Circuit was opened for trekkers in 1977. It has been a popular choice for trekkers who want to trek in the Annapurna region ever since. In this trek, you can enjoy the perks of going to well-known travel destinations in Nepal like Manang, Jomsom, and Muktinath.
Trekking to Annapurna Base Camp during the winter can sound a bit challenging. So, you have to prepare for trekking in this season well. Your preparation should include ways of acclimatizing with the cold. You should also update yourself with the weather forecasts. Besides, you should also have all the necessary equipment for winter trekking. Finally, you should also consult a good trekking agency to ease your trek. As long as you do that, trekking in the peaceful winter months in the Annapurna Base Camp will be a pleasure.