• Last Updated on Apr 5, 2024

The Annapurna Zone was opened for foreign travelers in 1977, and since then, over 10,000 trekkers who travel annually in the region have conquered the Annapurna base camp Trial. Mt Annapurna I was conquered first by Mountaineer Maurice Herzog's expedition team on June 3, 1950. Today about 80% of people have travelled via the Annapurna trail and reached the south base camp of the 10th tallest peak in the world. 

Annapurna base camp trek is known to be one of the most famous treks around the globe. This trekking trail will let you encounter an 8,000-metre peak directly among the moderate to difficult trails. The Annapurna massif is considered splendid; it houses the world's tenth-highest peak. Annapurna I, which is 8,091 meters tall, is a fatal attraction for tourists. 

There have been substantially greater fatality rates as compared to other eight-thousanders. The treasures on the ABC trek make it worth the journey for anyone in love with mountains despite the challenging air.

There are two Annapurna base camps, but compared to the north, one south is more popular and easy to reach via the Annapurna trail. 

The first climbers to reach the peak of Mount Annapurna included Maurice Herzog and the team on June 3, 1950. This was the first time any climber had achieved such a mountaintop at an 8000 m height. Maurice Herzog's trail is famous for its way towards Annapurna North Base Camp because of his historical trek. 

The French North Face Route is the other name for this route. In 1950, the French team climbed Mt. Annapurna for the first time and explored its summit.

North Annapurna base camp trail is less conquered and less crowded because of the difficulty it accompanies. In addition, there are no tea houses in the area; as a result, hikers have to camp for overnight living because there are limited places to stay on their way. On the other hand, almost all trekkers who have set off on a journey to the Annapurna base camp journey have walked on the south Annapurna base camp trail. As we said earlier, it's a popular trek, so the trail of the ABC is all lined up with the tea houses with no need to camp in the remote area for days. So, in comparison to the north ABC, south Annapur's base camp has been conquered more. 

Annapurna, an adventurous and breathtaking challenging trek spot, is located in the north-central regions of Nepal among the Himalayas. One must be strong enough because the trail will not be easy to get to its base camp. During your journey, you'll have to walk through the suspension rickety bridges and spend your nights in the local houses. Your hardships will be paid off once you reach your destinations.

Upon reaching the campsite, you will encounter the best views of your life with many other benefits, such as interacting with new people and gaining a sense of pride. If someone wants to enjoy the adventure and is interested in trekking, they should go for Annapurna. Even though the trail is hard, reaching and succeeding at the base camp would be an achievement to remember. 

Table of Contents

Where is Annapurna Base Camp Trail?

Annapurna Base Camp is located at the foothills of the Annapurna (10th tallest mountain at 8,091 meters (26,545 ft) towards north-central Nepal. The ring of mountains surrounds the mountain's base camp called the Annapurna range, among which most peaks are above 7000 m. 

The base camp is positioned on a mountain flanked by the Kali Gandaki Gorge, the Marsyangdi River, and Pokhara City from the west, east, and south. This region constitutes some of the tallest mountains in Nepal, ranging over 6,000 meters, 7,000 meters, and one peaking over 8,000 meters. 

Annapurna Base Camp got its name as it sits in the foothills of Mt. Annapurna. The mountain itself is believed to be named after the Hindu deity of food and nourishment who lives there. Annapurna is derived from Sanskrit, where "Anna" means food and "Purna" means filled. The 10th highly ranked mount in the world is Mount Annapurna. The top peak of this mountain ranges at an altitude of 8,091 meters above sea level. The Annapurna massif has 6 peaks, including the Annapurna I and others at 7200m above sea level.

Does Everyone Make It To Annapurna Base Camp? 

Not every person gets to Annapurna Base Camp (ABC). Walking to ABC in the Annapurna region of Nepal is hard. You need a strong and healthy body for this job. The hike has lots of hills and valleys, and the weather changes, too. It's also very tall, away from the ground.

Sometimes, a person's health and ability to get used to high altitudes can decide if they reach ABC. Weather also has a part in this. It's normal to feel ill when at high altitudes. Some walkers might have to learn well or let go if they feel very bad symptoms.

People can walk differently because of how fit they are if they've walked a lot before, and the pace that they choose to go. Some people might stop because they are tired, sick, or have other personal problems.

But when you do things right, such as getting used to it and being careful, many people can reach the Annapurna Base Camp. They see beautiful views of mountains, including famous ones like the Annapurna range. It's important to carefully think about and do the. We need to keep everyone safe while enjoying our journey.

Mt Annapurna First Conquerors 

The first successful ascent of Annapurna was made in 1950 by a French expedition led by Maurice Herzog. The team included Louis Lachenal, Gaston Rébuffat, Marcel Ichac, Jean Couzy, and Lionel Terray. After weeks of trying different routes, Herzog and Lachenal reached the summit on June 3, 1950.

The ascent was difficult, taking its toll on the climbers. Frostbite claimed all of Herzog's fingers and toes, and Lachenal lost his toes. However, their successful summit ushered in a new era of Himalayan mountaineering and bolstered French national pride in the post-World War II era.

  • Herzog wrote a bestselling book about the expedition called Annapurna: First Conquest of an 8,000-Meter Peak. • A film of the same name also helped popularise the achievement.
  • The French expedition chose the north face of Annapurna for their route, which is now considered one of the most treacherous climbs.

Since 1950, there have been many more ascents of Annapurna, though it remains one of the most dangerous 8000ers. The north face was not successfully climbed again until 1970. As of 2020, there have been 189 successful ascents to Annapurna's summit, the lowest of any 8000-metre peak. The high fatality rate, at 38% as of 2008, makes Annapurna almost as deadly as K2.

The first to summit may have been Herzog's team, but many brave climbers have conquered Annapurna since. The harrowing north face continues to present one of the greatest challenges in Himalayan mountaineering. Any climber who summits Annapurna knows they've earned their place in history.

History of Expeditions in the Annapurna Region

The Annapurna region in Nepal has attracted climbers since the early 1900s, but the first successful expedition to the Annapurna base camp was in 1950. Led by French climbers, the team made it to the base camp and then to the peak of Annapurna I (8,091 m), the 10th highest mountain in the world. This pioneering ascent came at a high cost, though, with frostbite claiming all of Herzog's fingers and toes. The dramatic story of the expedition put Annapurna on the map as a destination for serious mountaineers.

In 1970, Don Whillans and Dougal Haston, two of Britain's best climbers, made the first ascent of Annapurna South's formidable south face, a technical route that had thwarted previous attempts. This success demonstrated the potential for challenging climbs on the satellite peaks surrounding Annapurna I.

Today, the varied terrain and stunning vistas of the Annapurna Sanctuary draw trekkers and climbers of all abilities to experience the Himalayas. From the early expeditions to modern adventurers, the Annapurna region continues to inspire mankind to push beyond their limits.

Maurice Herzog and Louis Lachenal: The First Ascent

Maurice Herzog and Louis Lachenal were part of a French expedition team that made the first ascent of Annapurna in 1950. Against all odds, these mountaineering pioneers overcame immense challenges to reach the summit of the world's 10th-highest peak.

Planning the Expedition

In 1950, the French Alpine Club organized an expedition to scale an unclimbed major Himalayan peak. They chose Annapurna, a treacherous mountain with extreme weather and terrain. The team, led by Maurice Herzog, spent months planning and preparing for the climb. They studied maps and aerial photos to determine a route, and pre-positioned supply depots along the way.

The Ascent

Herzog and Lachenal set off from base camp to make a summit bid. Sherpas and other team members accompanied them for parts of the climb before continuing alone. For days, they battled snow, ice, and high winds as they inched their way up Annapurna's steep slopes and ridges. Both suffered from frostbite and altitude sickness but refused to turn back.

On June 3, they finally reached the summit, a monumental achievement that stunned the mountaineering world. But the descent proved even more perilous. Severely frostbitten, snowblind, dehydrated, and exhausted, it took them several days to stumble back to base camp. Herzog and Lachenal were hailed as heroes, though the expedition took a heavy toll- Lachenal lost all his toes, and Herzog lost most of his fingers.


Herzog and Lachenal's pioneering ascent of Annapurna demonstrated the limits of human endurance and perseverance against all odds. Their success opened up the Himalayas to further mountaineering expeditions, sparking an era where all 14 of the world's highest peaks over 8,000m were eventually submitted.

Though controversial at the time, the expedition put Nepal on the map as a mountaineering destination, boosting its tourism industry. Herzog and Lachenal's heroism in overcoming immense adversity and sacrificing body parts for their achievement has inspired generations of mountaineers.

Other Notable Expeditions on Annapurna I Over the Years

Over the decades, many climbers have attempted to conquer the Annapurna base camp trail. Some of the most well-known expeditions include:

French Expedition (1950)

In 1950, a French expedition made the first successful ascent of Annapurna I (8,091 m). The team was led by Maurice Herzog and included Louis Lachenal. This was a landmark achievement as Annapurna I was the first 8,000 m peak to be climbed. The expedition took 53 days to complete, proving that the Himalayas could be conquered.

Polish Winter Ascent (1987)

In 1987, the first winter ascent of Annapurna, a Polish team led by Andrzej Zawada. After several failed attempts in the 1970s, Artur Hajzer and Jerzy Kukuczka reached the summit on February 3, 1987. This accomplishment demonstrated the possibility of climbing 8,000 m peaks in the harsh winter conditions of the Himalayas.

Over the years, there have been many other expeditions up the treacherous slopes of Annapurna I and other peaks in the massif. Each successful climb has demonstrated the perseverance and determination of the human spirit to overcome immense challenges. The Annapurna region continues to lure climbers and trekkers seeking adventure in the Himalayas.

Annapurna Ranges Climbing History 

The Annapurna Range, a part of the big Himalayas, is in north-central Nepal. It is about 7,629 square kilometers and covers many areas, including Kaski, Myagdi & Lamjung, and Manang. The region has large river valleys, high mountain grass, and numerous types of plants and animals. It's a great spot for nature to grow. The Annapurna consists of several famous and tall peaks. Here is more about the Annapurna peaks, their climbing history, and conquerors below. 

Annapurna I at (8,091 meters / 26,545 feet)

It's the tallest peak in the Annapurna range and the 10th tallest mountain in the world. A French team led by Maurice Herzog successfully climbed Annapurna I for the first time in 1950. Moreover, in 1970, Don Whillans and Dougal Haston were part of a British team led by Chris Bonington that climbed Annapurna's southern side without using extra oxygen. Ian Clough was also in the group but got stuck under some ice blocks called seracs on their way down and died.

Annapurna II at (7,937 metres / 26,040 feet)

Annapurna II is the second-tallest mountain in the Annapurna Range. It's famous for its tough slopes and steep sides. A group from Britain, India, and Nepal reached it for the first time in 1960.

Annapurna III (7,555 metres / 24,786 feet)

First scaled in 1961 by an Indian group, Annapurna III is a large mountain with many bumps and faces.

Annapurna IV (7,525 metres / 24,688 feet)

A mountain that is more accessible, Annapurna IV was first climbed by a group of Germans in 1955. It has the highest point with Annapurna II and is known for its tough, tricky climbs.

Annapurna South (7,219 meters / 23,684 feet)

Also known as Annapurna South, this mountain is popular with climbers because it's not too hard and offers beautiful scenery all around. In 1964, a team from Japan was the first to climb it.

Is Annapurna Base Camp Trek Safe?

The Annapurna mountains can be very dangerous. One peak is over 8,000 meters high, while thirteen more go past the heights of 7,000 meters, and sixteen others rise beyond 6000 m. But the walk to Annapurna Base Camp (4,130m) is much easier and safer than other hikes and Mt Annapurna expeditions.

The trip goes through mountain forests, cute villages, and waterfalls. At Base Camp, you are surrounded by amazing views of the big mountains - without needing to climb them. 

Even though the Annapurna Mountains can be risky, going to Base Camp is much safer. This mostly depends on how easy the journey is. We rate all our trips based on their hardness, and the hike to Annapurna Base Camp has a level 3. This means that when talking about height, how long it takes, and the steepness of climbs, this is a trek that most people can easily do.

It's not too hard or dangerous compared to other treks we offer. In other words, the Everest Base Camp is rated 4, while Kilimanjaro gets a bigger rating of 5. So, you still have to ensure your body is strong enough for the climb.

Records Set on the Annapurna Base Camp Trail

The Annapurna Base Camp trail has seen many impressive feats over the years. Here are a few of the records set on this epic trek.

Fastest Ascent

The fastest known ascent of the Annapurna I via the Annapurna Base Camp trail was completed in a mind-blowing 28 hours on October 9. by Ueli Steck. Most trekkers on the Annapurna base camp take 7-10 days to reach base camp, and to make an ascent takes several days. He climbed the entire way alone and without any support crew. 

Oldest Mountaineer to reach 

Spanish climber Carlos Soria was the oldest person in Annapurna I. The team first reached the Annapurna base camp at around 4200 meters and prepared to ascend to Annapurna. Though the trek and climbing can be challenging for climbers of any age, this demonstrates that with proper preparation and a determined spirit, the ABC trail can be achieved at any age.

Youngest Climber to Summit

The youngest female to climb Annapurna I without extra oxygen is 29 years old, Tseng Ko-Erh from Taiwan, China, who did it on April 28 in Nepal's mountains. Grace, also known as Tseng, is a big fan of climbing. She has reached the top of many mountains, including Everest, Lhotse, Dhaulagiri, Manaslu, and Kangchenjunga.

These records show the popularity of the Annapurna Base Camp walk and our strong human spirit. Many hikers are happy to get to base camp at just one time in their lives. But, the ABC trail keeps drawing strong adventurers back again and again. The amazing beauty of the Himalayas makes people want to try their best and see how much they can do.

Training and Preparation Needed for the Trek

You need good training and getting ready properly to beat the Annapurna base camp hike. This hard hike goes very high, more than 13,000 feet. So you need to be in good shape for it.

Start Preparing in Advance

Begin exercising at least 2-3 months before your hike. Concentrate on heart exercises like jogging, swimming, or using a spinning machine 3-4 times in one week for 30 to 60 minutes. This will make you stronger for the 5-8 hours of walking daily. Strength training is also important. Do squats, lunges, pushups, and calf raises strengthen your legs and core? 

High-Altitude Trek Hike

You'll be hiking up high with less air, so prepare for it. Take a walk in the hills at higher levels where you live. If you can't do it, use an altitude training mask during your workout. This assists your body in getting used to less oxygen. Drinking enough water and not drinking alcohol or smoking the weeks before your hike will help you get used to changes faster.

Pack Essentials

Carry important things for different types of weather. At night, it can get very cold below freezing. During the day, temperatures can be warm too. Bring warm underwear, fur jackets, down vests, and hiking clothes. Also, get a hat and gloves for walking outdoors with solid, strong boots made big for this activity. Don't forget important items such as a backpack, sleeping bag, headlamp, sunscreen, and hand sanitizer. Also, remember toiletries like soap, shampoo, and basic medicine when you go on a hike or trip. Take trekking poles for support if needed during your journey, too! Don't miss bringing reusable water bottles to stay hydrated. 

Mental Preparation 

Get ready in your mind for hard days of walking on rough ground. The path goes through forests, crosses mountain rivers, and climbs hard rock paths to get great views like Annapurna base camp. Prepare for simple sleeping places and food at tea houses on the journey. Even though it's tiring, the amazing views make all your effort seem worthwhile.

You can tackle the Annapurna base camp adventure with good planning and enjoy what this Himalayan journey offers. But go at your own pace, listen to what your body tells you, and don't be scared if the height begins bothering you. 

Tips for Reaching the Top of Annapurna Base Camp

Preparing and planning is important to beat the trail to Annapurna Base Camp. Here are some tips to help you complete this rewarding trek:

  • Pack essential gear: You need a strong backpack, good hiking shoes, and many different clothes. Add in a sleeping bag, and you can stay safe with one tent at night after walking long distances or hiking for fun during the day. Remember to bring the basics like food, water, a map, a flashlight, and matches.
  • Get in shape: This walk is more than 100 km with lots of hills and valleys, so working on heart fitness and leg strength in the months before you go will be very important. Begin to walk, run, and go upstairs to create strength.
  • Travel with a guide: Getting a guide is very suggested, particularly for people doing this hike for the first time. They know the path, can assist you in getting used to high altitude, and can take care of sudden problems. Find guides that are trained in first aid and have lots of experience.
  • Go slowly: The Annapurna path goes up to more than 4,000 feet. So, being sick from high altitude can happen there. Go up slowly so your body can get used to it. Drink a lot of water, and don't have too much alcohol. Watch out for sickness signs like feeling sick in the stomach, bad headaches, and trouble breathing when you go higher up places. Descend immediately if symptoms appear.
  • Spend time acclimating in Pokhara. Pokhara is a lake-side town at a lower height that acts as the entrance to the Annapurna area. Take a few days to wander around here as it prepares your body for the higher places you're going.
  • Bring Nepalese currency. Exchange enough cash (Nepalese Rupees) in Pokhara because there aren't many ATMs in the mountains. This money should cover the guide and porters' costs and will pay for food & stay during your trekking trail journey. Also, prepay with these spare rupees for any unexpected expenses you may have along the route if not already paid or reserved earlier through others.

Final Say 

So there you have it, the story of how the Annapurna base camp trail and Mt Annapurna came to be conquered. What once seemed an impossible feat is now achievable for anyone with a reasonable level of fitness and determination. 

The massive peaks still tower over the trail as they have for centuries, but now we can stand in their shadows, gaze up at their grandeur, and feel a deep sense of accomplishment knowing we overcame immense challenges to reach this point. The trail continues to captivate adventurers worldwide, seeking to prove to themselves they have what it takes to complete this legendary trek. 

While the scenery is stunning, the real reward is the journey - the blisters, the cold nights in mountain lodges, the altitude headaches - they all fade from memory. At the same time, the feeling of standing at the base of Annapurna persists. So lace up those hiking boots, pack your bags, and head to the Himalayas for an adventure you'll never forget. The mountains are calling - will you conquer the Annapurna base camp trail?

Dipak Pande

Dipak Pande

Dipak starts to step up from potter, guide, and trekking leader to the company owner. Sometimes he share his experience with others as well as wrote in local travel news. Most of time he spend his time on mountain and his company.