Trekking and mountain climbing are still the most popular sport among visitors.Nepal offers excellent trekking options to visitors from the easy walking excursions to the strenuous climb of the snowy peaks. The most rewarding way to experience Nepal’s natural embellishment and cultural assortment is to walk through the length, breadth and the altitudes of the country. Trekking in Nepal is a big part of the ultimate Himalayan adventure and a majority of tourists have trekking as a part of their itinerary.
One can also trek on ponies in some remote places, which is equally enthralling for visitors. Pony treks follow nearly the same routes and are offered mostly in western region of Pokhara, Dolpo and Lo Manthang (Mustang).
The two most popular treks are the Everest Base Camp Trek and the Around Annapurna also known as the Annapurna Circuit as it goes right around the Annapurna range. There are many different treks offered in the Everest and Annapurna regions. Other popular regions are the Langtang valley, Helambu, Makalu, Manaslu, Kanchenjunga and the Arun Valley. Another popular destination in the Everest region is the Gokyo valley.
When do trek
Although trekking in Nepal can be organized throughout the year, October through May are considered to be the best months for trekking. A summer month of the year, which coincides with monsoon, begins in mid-June and drains in mid-September making travel wet and warm. The mountain views may not be at their best as rain clouds and haze over hang the mountains occasionally obscuring the enchanting views. These times are blessed for the keen botanist as the higher valleys and meadows blossom with flowers and lush vegetation. During monsoon it does not mean that it will rain every day. Besides, some of the most frequented trails will not be crowded and some people like it that way. It can actually be enjoyed in the upper part of the Annapurna circuit around Marfa, Jomsom and Muktinath as the monsoon does not get in this trans- Himalayan are because they fall into rain shadow area. Note: – It is recommended to carry insect repellent when trekking during summer months.
Autumn being the best season for trekking, affronts excellent weather and tantalizing mountain views January and February are noted for cold weather with occasional snowfall at higher elevations. Again, excellent views are common. These months are popular and ideal for trekking for those who are well equipped or who remain at lower elevations below 3,000 meters.
Late February brings spring in Nepal and offers exhilarating trekking for those who are interested in flowers, birds and natural grandeur. Different varieties of wild flowers, specially the rhododendrons make the hill side above 8,000 ft haunting paradise during this season.
April and May are the expedition season and the best time for climbing the high peaks. It is mildly warm at lower elevations but occasional haze mars beautiful view of mountains. At higher elevations over 4,000 meters the mountain views are excellent and the temperature is quite moderate even at night.
MEDICAL MATTERS & ADVICE
Trekking in Nepal need not be considered risky affair as far as your health is concerned. But very little medical care along the trail is available, so make sure you are physically fit and healthy before departing. In case of serious illness or injury, prompt evacuation to Kathmandu is the best remedy. Helicopter rescue service is extremely expensive. Neither the Nepalese government, your embassy or the trekking agency ( if you are trekking with one) is responsible for the bill. Therefore, you are requested to insure for rescue operation also.
Take care of yourself along the trail by ensuring that water is boiled. Diarrhoea and headaches can be the curse for trekkers. So, bring appropriate medication and use them with caution. Sun burn can also be a problem at altitude, a barrier cream will protect your skin and good sun glasses are also necessary. Blisters are another problem for the trekker and adequate supplies of band-aids are advisable.
Altitude sickness:- Often known as Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) is particularly a important medical consideration while trekking in Nepal. Altitude sickness means the effect of altitude on those who ascend too rapidly to elevation above 3000 m. The initial symptoms of AMS are as following: Nausea, vomiting; Loss of appetite; Insomnia / Sleeplessness; Persistent headache; Dizziness, lightheadedness, confusion; Disorientation, drunken gait; Weakness, fatigue, lassitude, heavy legs; Slight swelling of hands and face; Breathlessness and breathing irregularity; Reduced urine output. These symptoms are to be taken very seriously. In case of appearance of any of the above symptoms any further ascent should be reconsidered, otherwise more serious problem can occur which can even cause death sometimes within a few hours. The only cure for the altitude sickness is to descend to lower elevations immediately and it has no other cure or substitute. Acclimatization by ascending to no more than 300 to 500 meters per day above 3000 meters and the proper amount of rest are the best methods for prevention of AMS. Literature and pamphlet published by “Himalayan Rescue Association” consists of detailed information on AMS .The central Immigration office and all trekking agencies in Kathmandu distribute this pamphlet free of cost. Since these documents also give information on the list of suggested medical supplies for trekkers it is a compulsory item for every trekkers’ medical kit.
All visitors intending to trek in any part of the Nepal shall have to obtain a trekking permit from the Department of Immigration, Bhrikuti Mandap, and permits are issued for trekking in any part of the country except in areas restricted for the foreigners by the government regulation.
A trekking permit is a must to visit restricted areas mentioned below. To visit normal trekking areas, no permission is required.
Trekking Permit Fees to Restricted Areas :
The Department of Immigration issues permit for the tourist who intend to trek to any part of the country.