Imagine for a moment: every third mountaineer didn’t return from Annapurna I. However, in 1950 it became the first eight-thousander on the planet ever climbed by people. Let’s figure out what is so appealing in the 8091-meter peak for thousands of mountain climbers in the world.
- How to Get There
Located on the southern spur of the Main Himalayan Range, the Annapurna Massif is reachable from Kathmandu or Pokhara by bus. The mountain massif consists of 13 summits, but only one belongs to the top 10 highest peaks worldwide.
Getting to the Top
Unlike Cho Oyu, there is no easy way to the top of Annapurna I. It’s better to choose some other mountains to climb unless you have plenty of experience and braveness.
No one can predict the ascent to Annapurna for sure, as it depends on luck and the hard training process. Even the first climbers in the world perished on the mountain because of avalanches and snow storms.
Two Best Ways to Climb Annapurna-I
Annapurna I is a peak that stands at 8,091m above sea level and it forms the highest point of the massif (series of peaks) embodying five other peaks which are all above 7,200m.
Annapurna I is the world’s 10th highest mountain and ranks 94th in the world in terms of prominence which is 2,984m. It is located in north-central Nepal in the Himalayas region, Asia. It is protected by the Annapurna Conservation area which forms the largest and first conservation area in the Nepal region.
Annapurna in Sanskrit means Goddess of the Harvest. It has a summit-to-fatality ratio of 38% making it the most dangerous peak of the 8,000m peaks to climb.
It was first summited in 1950 and it is the first peak among the 8,000m peaks to be summited.
Climbing Routes on Annapurna I
The Normal Route
This route is on the West Face and follows the North West ridge. From the Annapurna Base Camp, trek all the way to Advanced Base Camp which is 4,190m. Proceed all the way to Camp 1 at 5,800m traversing the North Annapurna Glacier. The trek from Camp 1 to Camp 2 is dotted with unstable glacier and ridges of ice that threaten to tumble down at any moment. Therefore, avalanches are a major threat in this section.
From Camp 2, which is at 6,600m, head onwards to Camp 3 which stands at 7,400m. The climb here is quite steep and very technical. Follow the North West ridge from Camp 3 to the summit.
Descent is normally along the same route.
The South Face routes
The South face entails three main routes; the 1981 Japanese route, the 1970 British Route and the Ueli Steck route of 2013.
The 1981 Japanese Route directly follows the central part of the south face and almost very directly to the center of the summit.
The 1970 British route follows a pillar on the left side of the south face. Compared to the other two routes, it is more winding and less vertical all the way to the summit.
Ueli Steck made a solo ascent on Annapurna in 2013 in a record 28 hours. This route, named after him, goes up the center of the wall on the left cutting in between the other two routes.
Best Time to Climb Annapurna
October and November are considered the best months to ascend Annapurna I. The monsoon season is normally rainy, cold and full of leeches. The general trekking season in the Nepal region is usually in the months of October through to May.
The Annapurna Circuit
The most popular way to observe the whole mountain range is to go trekking around Annapurna, which goes through the unique Thorong La Pass (5614 meters). On the way along the sacred Nepalese rivers Marshyangdi and Kali Gandaki, you may notice a vibrant vegetable life and variety of animal species. The trekking duration can vary from 7 to 21 days depending on the start and ending points.
Find the opportunity to set your eyes on the breath-taking peak!
12 most popular treks
Going trekking in Nepal? Let’s help you with a snapshot overview of what’s likely the twelve best treks in Nepal. At least, they are currently the most popular treks in Nepal, based on number of trekkers.