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March vs. September and Everest Base Camp vs. Annapurna Circ

Minneapolis...
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29 posts
March vs. September and Everest Base Camp vs. Annapurna Circ
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Hello -

I am planning a trip to Nepal for 2019 and would like either to do Everest Base Camp or the Annapurna Circuit. Because of my work schedule I can only get enough time to travel at the end of March - first week of April or the end of September - first week of October. The trip works better for me in March, but I'm also a photographer and worried about the air quality/rain that time of year.

Also - I'm torn between Everest Base Camp and the Annapurna Circuit. My love is to see the mountains up close - so any advice would be helpful. Other similar treks I've done and enjoyed are Kilimanjaro and the O-Circuit in Patagonia.

Thank you -

Port Perry, Canada
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376 posts
12 reviews
5 helpful votes
1. Re: March vs. September and Everest Base Camp vs. Annapurna Circ
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If your main goal is to see big mountains up close then while I enjoyed both treks Everest Base Camp trek really can't be beaten...you are among the high peaks almost the entire time. You still get plenty of up close views on the Annapurna Circuit but more varied terrain in the lowlands as well.

Others will chime in on weather. I don't have a lot of experience during those times of year.

Minneapolis...
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29 posts
2. Re: March vs. September and Everest Base Camp vs. Annapurna Circ
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Thank you for the response. Everest was my gut in where I wanted to go, but I read a variety of reviews saying Annapurna was a better “hike.” Nice to hear my gut confirmed in terms of my prioroties.

Perth, Australia
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1,579 posts
3. Re: March vs. September and Everest Base Camp vs. Annapurna Circ
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I have done EBC five times over the last 30 years and AC once. Once was in March and others in late Sept to Nov and the one time in March the atmosphere was noticeably more haze. Oct will be very crowded on the EBC route. I agree with Post #1 the views are more spectacular on the EBC route and as a first trek in Nepal will have more impact on you.

IMO the ideal time is mid Nov when EBC route crowds are less, the monsoon rain and cloud that is known to carry over later into mid Oct is less likely, and it is not as cold as Dec and Jan.

Edited: 2 years ago
Whangarei, New...
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1,991 posts
61 reviews
16 helpful votes
4. Re: March vs. September and Everest Base Camp vs. Annapurna Circ
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Hi Anne

Like the other posters, I would recommend the Khumbu for your trip and for the same reasons, awesome mountain views! Weather-wise there is more chance of rain, and at higher elevations, snow, but also a better chance of clear mornings to get your photos, in September.

Eric

My Nepal Pages https://wanderingeric.org/category/nepal/

Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
1,579 posts
5. Re: March vs. September and Everest Base Camp vs. Annapurna Circ
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Also, if you EBC trek in from the start say from Jiri rather than flight into Lukla saving 6 days walk you will get to see the low hill country and it is about equal to the AC in terms of the comments about a more interesting trek. The highly recommended Jiri walk-in to EBC and fly out from Lukla is roughly 21 days. Refer to the suggested itinerary to the right top side of forum page.

Kathmandu, Nepal
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259 posts
5 reviews
6. Re: March vs. September and Everest Base Camp vs. Annapurna Circ
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HI Anne,

Both trips you are thinking is awsome and like other advice you i would strongly advice you to trek in Khumbu region as still both trips are really amazing but if i had to choose the one i would go for Everest Base Camp and in september visibility is more better than in March but also possibility of rain and cloud is bigger however in the morning time more possibility of seeing these amazing mountains.

Flight to lukla and lukla Kathmandu depends on weather so i would suggest if possible come with few spare days otherwise be prepared for helicopter in case of not flight on time .

Happy holiday in advance! G

Espoo
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3,886 posts
7. Re: March vs. September and Everest Base Camp vs. Annapurna Circ
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I also vote for Khumbu (no road, bigger mountains) and March-April (less crowds, less rain and clouds, more reliable Lukla flights).

I also recommend the walk-in, if not from Jiri, then at least from Salleri. Gives a taste 0f what trekking used to be in the good old times.

Sheffield, United...
Destination Expert
for Nepal
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18,755 posts
63 reviews
49 helpful votes
8. Re: March vs. September and Everest Base Camp vs. Annapurna Circ
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Hi Anne

FWIW, I would choose Everest in March with a walk in.

scoodly

Surrey, United...
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2,891 posts
9. Re: March vs. September and Everest Base Camp vs. Annapurna Circ
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I have done 5 treks in the Everest region 2005 - 16, and the full AC 4 times, over the same period of time.

I like both, obviously, and may well do one or other this Dec - Jan, if I don't do Manaslu (which I have not done, want to do, but am put off by stupid bureaucratic issues).

For me the E region is quite a bit more commercial than AC, except for the walk in up to near Lukla, and the scenery on AC is much more varied.

Re when to trek: almost all my recent treks have been in Dec - Jan, as that is the driest time of the year, and so usually gets the clearest views, especially high up, it is somewhat off season so the trails are much quieter and it makes good use of the Christmas/NY break.

My hunch is that you would have a better chance of clearer weather in March rather than September, due to March being further from (and before) the summer monsoon. I did AC in April 2008 and had what was generally very clear weather higher up - it was sticky and a bit hazy lower down. I have only been in Nepal in September once, back in 1994 - there was a lot of cloud in Ktm, but when we went to trek in the west (lake Rara), it was very clear.

Minneapolis...
Level Contributor
29 posts
10. Re: March vs. September and Everest Base Camp vs. Annapurna Circ
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Thank you - I might be able to make mid-November work. What is the temperature in the high altitude like that time of year? Appreciate your input.

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