What is Trekking?
Whether you begin your trek at a road head or fly into a remote mountain airstrip, a large part of it will be in the middle Hilly region at elevations between 500 and 3000 meters. In this region, there are always well-developed trails through villages and across mountain passes. Even at high altitudes there are intermittent settlements used during summer by shepherds, so the trails, though often indistinct, are always there. You can easily travel on any trail without the aid of ropes or mountaineering skills. There are rare occasions when there is snow on the trail, and on some high passes it might be necessary to place a safety line for your companions or porters if there is deep snow. Still, alpine techniques are almost never used on a traditional trek. Anyone who has walked extensively in the mountains has all the skills necessary for an extended trek in Nepal. Though some treks venture near glaciers, and even cross the feet of them, most treks do not allow the fulfillment of any Himalayan mountaineering ambitions. Nepal’s mountaineering regulations allow trekkers to climb 33 specified peaks with a minimum of formality, but you must still make a few advance arrangements for such climbs. Many agents offer so-called climbing treks which include the ascent of one of these peaks as a feature of the trek. There are a few peaks that, under ideal conditions, are within the resources of individual trekkers. A climb can be arranged in Kathmandu if conditions are right, but a climb of one of the more difficult peaks should be planned well in advance.
A TREK REQUIRED PHYSICAL EFFORT
A trek is physically demanding because of its length and the almost unbelievable changes in elevation. On most treks, the daily gain is less than 800 meters in about 15 km, though ascents of as much as 1200 meters are possible on some days. You can always take plenty of time during the day to cover this distance, so the physical exertion, though quite strenuous at times, is not sustained. You also can stop frequently and take plenty of time for rest and acclimatization. Probably the only physical problem that may make a trek impossible is a history of knee problems on descents. In Nepal the descents are long, steep and unrelenting. There is hardly a level stretch of trail in the entire country. If you are an experienced walker and often hike 15 km a day with a pack, a trek should prove no difficulty. You will be pleasantly surprised at how easy the hiking can be if you only carry a light backpack and do not have to worry about meal preparation. Previous experience in hiking and living outdoors is, however, helpful as you make plans for your trek. Mountaineering experience is not necessary, but you must enjoy walking.
TYPES OF TREKKING:
Teahouse/lodge trekking can be done only the popular Trekking area such as Annapurna, Langtang, Everest, Manaslu, Mustang, and Kanchenjunga where overnight at the best available clean accommodations including foam mattress in single and double rooms and outside toilets/bathrooms. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner are excellently prepared at the teahouse. Meals can be selected from a Menu that is developed by the teahouse personnel. We can be make your teahouse trek simple and easy by organizing a trekking Staffs (Guide/Sherpa and necessary porters) transportations, trekking permits, park entrance fees etc. Porters carry your backpack, trekkers only carry small day bag with drinking water, snacks and other valuable belongings. Treks begin from 7 to 8 AM every morning. Before we start, we provide hot drinks tea/coffee/hot chocolate and then a nutritious Breakfast. Lunch is provided between 11 to 12 AM on the way in teahouse and the day usually ends around 3 to 4 PM in the evening.
Many adventurous tourists are interested in camping trekking mode, rather than taking a teahouse. Trek generally consists of a group of travelers walking along side in the Mountains through Nepali villages and farms accompanied by a Sardar (Nepali trek leader, Sherpa guides and Nepali cook and porters). Porters carry all of the foods, baggage, camping equipment and kitchen utensils. At lower elevations the weather is warm and sunny during the day and cool during the evening. An altitude above 10,000 feet (3048m) temperatures can drop to well below freezing at night and it is possible to encounters snow. A typical day begins at dawn with hot tea served in the tents. After breakfast trekkers proceed at their own pace, waking alone, with others, or with Sherpa guides are knowledgeable and eager to help visitors understand the cultures and learn the languages. The trail passes through spectacular mountain scenery. The moderate pace allows ample time to meet and talk with local farmers, villagers and Nepali travelers. Opportunities for photographs abound. About 11:00 A.M there is a two – hour stop while the cooks prepare a hot lunch. Trekkers generally relax, visit with village children or take time to record their experiences in journals. A three to four in the afternoon, the group is brought to camp where the Sherpa have set-up the tents and prepare d tea and biscuit. Dinner is served around 6:00 P.M TO 7:00 P.M. after that’s trekkers have a time to read, write and dancing with Nepali song about 30 to 1 hour or just watch the beautiful night Sky. Most persons are asleep by 9:00P.M….in large two person tents.
It becomes necessary to know which trek matches most with your physical capabilities in order to enjoy your trekking in Nepal. Thus, we have categorized all our treks in the following ranks.
Grade I (Easy): Easy trekking by Himalayan standard is generally up to 2000m. There are plenty of ups and downs on well-maintained trails. This type of trip is best suited for those who leaves a reasonably active life. The trek takes about 3 to 7 days, walking about 4 to 5 hours a day.
Grade II (Moderate): It involves longer treks (five to ten days) on maintained trails. This type of trek includes perhaps day excursions to higher elevations. It is desirable to have some previous hill- walking experience. On these trek, generally we attain the altitude between 900m to 3000m.
Grade III (Moderate to Strenuous): It is a reasonably demanding trek at an altitude up to 4000m with side trips to higher elevations. This is classified as ill – defined trails, away from habitation.
Grade IV (Strenuous): These treks must be fully supported. The altitude attained between 3500 to 5000m. & this trek also involves several night stays above 4000m. For this trek, trekkers should be fit & enthusiastic hill walkers prepared to tackle difficult terrain in remote areas.
Grade V (Very Strenuous): This trek is best described as Alpine Trek. This trek is suitable for those in excellent health, capable of carrying a backpack as the treks sometime will be in very remote areas reaching crossing. During trek, you have to cross snow – covered passes in very remote areas or climb up to 6500m. There it is normally desirable to have some previous experience of handling axes & crampons. It is essential to accept medical certificates prior to start the trek.
Trekking Seasons in Nepal:
When is the best time to travel in Nepal?
When traveling abroad, climatic factors always remain an important issue. Your best time for Nepal is autumn and spring. Visit Nepal during fall/autumn and spring, as this is the time when you can expect better visibility, the air is fresh, and the weather is perfect and that the Nepalese most important festivals (Lhosar, Dashain and Tihar) are marked during that season. Monsoon is also a good time to travel in rain-shadow area of west Nepal such as Upper Mustang, Upper Dolpo and Humla-Simikot although the weather is hot and dusty- you can live with that; wear a mask and a Nepali Topi (Cap) and learn how Nepalese get along with this period. Monsoon starts from mid-June to end August; traveling during this period is not advisable unless you are the one who loves best in everything or finds best from anything. Just bring your raincoat during that season, and have a blast. Winter is the winter season in Nepal, which is also a good time to travel in lower altitude up to 3500m; the climate and visibility is good. Snow jackets and sweaters are recommended.
Nepal is a small country of diversification with its geography and climate, a nature lover can always make it as his destination of trekking every months. There are normally four seasons are considered in Nepal, each of which has its own particular attraction to offer.
Autumn (Sep-Oct-Nov): The best season offering excellent weather and outstanding mountain views. The first finest trekking season in Nepal. The temperature is quite moderate, especially the rhododendrons are in complete blossom and the mountain views are excellent.
Spring (March-April-May): The second finest trekking season. The temperature is quite moderate, especially the rhododendrons are in complete blossom and the mountain views are excellent.
Summer/Monsoon (June-July-August): this is the most preferable season to trek in the rain shadow areas like Mustang, Upper Manang and Dolpo. These places are out of reach of the rain clouds because of the huge mountains and are unaffected by the monsoon. This season is also recommended for forest researchers and botanist. Warning-raincoats and insect repellents are strictly necessary in this period.
Winter (December-January-February): suitable season for trekking at lower altitude, generally below 3000m like Ghorepani Poon Hill trek for one week, Kathmandu valley treks for one week.
CLIMBING/MOUNTAINEERING IN NEPAL
With eight of the world’s highest mountain peaks to climb Nepal is a mountaineering paradise. Choose between the ultimate summits of Mt. Everest, the technical challenges of Lhose or take on any of the other 326 stunning mountain peak challenges that wait! Nepal is the home of the most formidable mountain range in the world with nearly a third of the country lying above the elevation of over 3,500 m. Not only does the highest peak on earth, Everest, fall within Nepal’s territory but so do Kanchenjunga, Lhotse, Makalu, Cho Oyu, Dhaulagiri, Manaslu and Annapurna, eight of the fourteen 8,000 m peaks of the world. Apart from the majestic big eight there are 326 other mountains in Nepal open for mountaineering expeditions and 103 are still awaiting a first ascent. Nepal offers the mountaineer more opportunities than any other region and many of these opportunities can be found in the shadows of its Himalayan jewels. Nepal has an extensive history of mountaineering with the early explorers being lured into the deep valleys and lofty peaks by the challenges of un-trodden summits. Today Nepal has built a substantial service industry around mountaineering with many facilities being well established to facilitate foreign expeditions achieving their expectations and goals amongst the abode of snow. The reputation of the Sherpas is built on mountaineering with many of these mountain people achieving respected mountaineering status in their own right. Now their ranks are joined by people from other groups however, and the generic term given to those Nepali people who earn a living from working in the mountains are now generally accepted as being Sherpas. Despite the fact that mountains such as Everest and Annapurna are household names and receive a lot of media attention there are other areas that are far less frequented. For expeditions looking for new challenges and opportunities on lower, but equally as challenging peaks and who want to have the mountain to themselves, the choice is wide and varied.