Grasping a significant portion of the Himalayas, northern Nepal is home to some of the highest mountain peaks in the world. In fact, 7 of the 14 highest peaks ( Ochomil ) are located in Nepal, namely; Everest, the Kanchenjunga, Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, Lhotse, Makalu and Manaslu.
The confluence of great mountains and snow-capped ranges from the Himalayas, which stretches 2,400 kilometres (1,500 miles) from Nanga Parbat in Pakistan to Namcha Barwa in Tibet.
Everest Trek Vs Annapurna Trek: The Breakdown
Am I going to Everest or Annapurna for my next trip? -is probably the most frequently asked questions by a trekker before coming to Nepal. It is difficult to say in words which one to choose between these two Himalayan clusters, however, it is easier to explore the region at the same time and know the difference for yourself.
Just to point out some of the major contrasts between these two popular trekking trails, here are the details.
Everest Vs Annapurna
Mount Everest 8,848 m (29,028) is a peak located in the northeast of the Khumbu Valley of Nepal. Being the highest peak in the world, the greatest confluence of climbers who challenge the toughest climb is most attracted towards Everest. Everest Base Camp trek, Base Camp via Jiri trek, Gokyo Trek lakes and everest 3 passes trek are some of the most facilitated treks in the Everest region. The geography of the region does not differ much, as you start the trek from already a great height in the mountains. Almost 40,000 trekkers arrive in the Everest region each year. Everest and Annapurna are both part of Asia's Great Himalayas. The climbing and trekking seasons in both mountains occur at the same time. Pre-monsoon (March-June) and post-monsoon (September-November) are considered the best times of the year for a trek in Nepal. The availability of tea houses is in abundance on both trails.
# 1 How to Get There
1. Everest region -
You must take a short flight from Kathmandu to Lukla to reach Khumbu (Everest) region. Alternatively, you can consider walking from Jiri to Namche Bazaar, however, this takes time and should be chosen only if you want to walk and explore places in ease.
2. Annapurna Region:
Opt to Pokhara first either via flight or bus then begin trekking from Nayapul Alternatively, you can consider walking from Kande to Dhampus. The trail through Dhampus is more scenic.
# 2 What to See
• Tengboche Monastery -Tengboche is the oldest of the Sherpa people in Nepal. Located at 3,867 m (12,687 ft), Tengboche Monastery is the tallest monastery in the world.
• Namche Bazaar -Namche Bazaar is the largest town in the Khumbu Valley. It is an important centre for locals, traders, trekkers and climbers.
• Kala Patthar -The highest elevation and landmark can be reached during the hike, Kala Patthar 5,644.5 m (18,519 ft) is the only place from where you can get a closer look at Everest.
Pokhara: Pokhara, known as lake city offers fantastic views of the mountains. It is easily accessible by road & flight. Most of the trekking trails of the Annapurna region begin from here.
Dhampus: Dhampus is a small village nestled along a ridge with striking views of Hiunchuli, Annapurna South, Gangapurna & Machhapuchhare (Fish Tail Mountain).
Ghandruk: Ghandruk is a beautiful Gurung village & a major recruitment centre for the famous Gurkha soldiers. There's a beeline of tea houses, shops, traditional houses. Ghandruk is the hub of the Annapurna Conservation Area Project.
#3 The Altitude
1. Everest Region - The lowest possible point during Everest travel is at Lukla 2,860 m and the highest point is at Kala Patthar 5,643 m. Trekkers are more prone to altitude sickness or AMS during Everest treks, such as starting to hike from the same higher altitude and lack of time to acclimatize. Acclimatization is very important during high altitude walks. Taking Diamox (Anti-AMS pill ) and fluids is essential.
2. Annapurna Region: The lowest point during the Annapurna trek is at Pokhara 1,400 m & the highest point is at Annapurna Base Camp(4,130 m). Since Annapurna is the most diverse region the trail is filled with uphill, downhill & straight trails which is enough for acclimatization. No need to worry about altitude sickness while trekking to Annapurna