word ‘trekking’ was originally conceived &
used by British mountaineering expeditions in Asia and soon spread
to Nepal. Trekking means to walk at one’s pace through well-established
village trails, thereby enjoying close contact with nature, wide
diversity of culture, religion and ethnic groups of people in remote
mountain villages whose lifestyle has not been changed for generations.
Trekking trails in Nepal
most mountainous, hilly and ‘Terai’ (flat) regions offer some of
the most spectacular trekking in the world. Treks vary from high
altitude routes to simple ones within the Kathmandu Valley. These
treks give you a chance to mix with local people and get and insight
into their livelihood and culture. A trekking trip can be of any
length you choose. Popular short treks are available around the
Kathmandu and Pokhara valleys, which only take one, two or three
days to complete while longer treks lasting from a week to a month.
It is even possible to combine a series of popular treks together
and walk for months on end. Nepal undoubtedly offers some of the
most spectacular and beautiful scenery in the world, with well-published
photographs of Everest, Machhapuchhre, Ama Dablam and other beautiful
mountains making them instantly recognizable to keen trekkers from
every continent. Nepal has a virtual monopoly on the world’s tallest
mountains (eight of the fourteen highest peaks are located in Nepal)
and a number of the popular trekking routes offer wonderful views
or visits to the base camps used by mountaineering expeditions.
However, the hill country is also often breathtakingly beautiful
with pretty villages, vast meadows or forests, fast flowing rivers,
deep canyons and the cold and barren regions at the feet of the
great mountain peaks. The views also change with the seasons, such
as different stages of planting and harvesting cycles or the brilliant
displays of wild flowers in spring and autumn.
best time to trek is from October to May. The first two months of
the dry season (October and November) is the ideal period for trekking
in Nepal. The air is freshly washed by the monsoon rain, mountain
scenery is superb and the weather is still comfortably warm. December,
January and February are still good months for trekking but the
cold can be bitter at high altitudes. March and May also offer better
weather when trekkers can see superb wild flowers, particularly
in Nepal’s wonderful rhododendron forests. During the monsoon season
(June-August) trekking is possible in the rain-shadow areas of north
of the Himalaya like upper Mustang and upper Dolpo. These regions
are out of reach of the rain clouds because of the
high mountains and are unaffected by the monsoon.
Teahouse: On the more popular treks in Nepal, enterprising villagers
have built teahouse lodges. They are most readily available in
the Everest, Langtang and the entire Annapurna regions. The country
offers a selection of teahouse treks run to a high level of service.
Camping: This trek is assisted by a full Sherpa crew including
a Sirdar (headman), cook and other helpers. Porters, yaks, horses,
or mules all the camp works, including leaving the sites clean
and to guide on the route. Foods available on the trek will a
mixture of Western and Asian dishes with variety of choices.
Back Packing: In back packing treks, the back packers carry all
their gear and equipment by themselves on their back. Mostly these
people follow the trading routes or regular trails and stay in
the local tea houses or lodges.
Hiking: It is a short day walk of less then 5 hrs. A hiker returns
to the same campsite or lodge for overnight stay. It does not
involve overnight stay. One should carry pack food for hiking.
trails are well maintained, and many trails with uphill slopes are
often paved with stones. Trekking in Nepal entails walking up and
down countless times. Most treks go through the altitudes ranging
from 1000m to 3000m. However, the Everest Base Camp Trek and the
Annapurna Circuit Trek, undoubtedly the most popular trek routes,
reach over 5000m. Normally one can trek for four to seven hours
sickness, also known as Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) which can
turn fatal if not treated upon recognizing the symptoms. AMS is
the effect of altitude on those who ascend too rapidly to elevations
of 3000m. or above. Early mountain sickness results in headache,
loss of appetite and sleeplessness. One can encounter such sickness
no matter he/she looks physically young, strong and fit. Medicine
itself can be no substitute unless patients suffering from such
sickness are immediately rushed downhill. Doctor may provide primary
care with some medicines and oxygen but the patient must be brought
down immediately in order to escape danger. For emergency purpose,
one can contact doctors at Khunde and Pheriche hospitals in Khumbu
trekking region and Manang hospital while trekking to Manang region.