Annapurna Circuit in Nepal Becoming More Popular
That’s on my list,” is a remark I hear frequently these days. It is spoken in reference to the Annapurna
Circuit (APC) in Nepal, now the most popular footpath in Asia. The comment I used to hear is, “I c
can’t decide whether to do Everest Base Camp or the APC.” But the APC seems to have gained
Obviously Everest Base Camp has a special aura simply due to its name and history. However it is
apparently a different kind of trek. It does not pass through as many villages, nor do as many
trekkers of average ability attempt it. Also, trekkers cannot see the summit of Everest from the
Base Camp (you have to go to a different mountain to see it).
I’m certainly not downplaying the bona-fides of an Everest Base Camp trek. It’s just that I was
much more suited to doing the Annapurna Circuit. The daily drill reminded me of the Camino de
Santiago routine, passing through several pueblos per day and the most international cast of
participants imaginable. The circuit also happens to be well designed, allowing a trekker of
average abilities such as myself to get way, way up in the world’s greatest mountain range, the
Himalayas, ultimately reaching 17,768 feet. It was a thrill of a lifetime, and gave me a close-up
look at the Tibetan Buddhist culture of the higher regions.
Expect to hear a lot more about the Annapurna Circuit as people are becoming less daunted
by the idea of traveling to an extremely poor country such as Nepal. Most trekkers stay in the
Thamel section of Kathmandu upon arrival. The atmosphere is bursting with excitement
as Europeans, Asians, Americans, and others are all scurrying around the streets in preparation
for their great treks and climbs ahead.
Bill Walker is the author of Getting High–The Annapurna Circuit in Nepal. He is also the author
of Skywalker–Close Encounters on the Appalachian Trail, Skywalker–Highs and Lows on the
Pacific Crest Trail, and The Best Way–El Camino de Santiago.