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Trekking in Nepal

Nepal has been one of the most coveted trekking destinations for the world since 1960 when Col Jimmy Robert’s organized the first commercial trek.

Trekking has been the major exciting activity for the tourists in Nepal. Tens of thousands of tourists have been taking to the Himalayas, some doing a few days of hiking while others take on a month long trek through valleys and high mountain passes enriched with magical touch of wilderness and natural beauty beyond  the human imagination and fantasy.

Of all popular trekking routes and destinations in  Nepal we can just pick yup two of the most popular trekking regions which can be mentioned as the Everest and Annapurna where many different trails can be followed while the other popular treks are in the Langtang and Kanchenjunga regions.

The most challenging is the Great Himalayan Trails, an extensive trail system that covers Nepal from Humla and Darchula in the west to Kanchenjunga in the eastern part of Nepal.

The diversity of trekking trails in Nepal cannot be found in any other part of the world. In fact, the lowest point in Nepal is 59 m above sea-level in the Tarai region while the highest point is Everest, 8,848 m above sea-level, the two points being only 200 kilometres apart as the crow flies.

What is reckoning is that the most of the tourists arrive in Nepal via airways and land at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu from where the trekkers seek their permits for trekking and follow various process of documentation.

Helambu trek trail
These documents will be checked along the trekking route. For those with little time on their hands, there are half-day hikes from Kathmandu to witness breathtaking Himalayan views.

Trekking in Nepal today has undergone drastic transformations which indicates a completely different entity from that of the 1960s. In all the main trekking areas, the value and beauty of national parks and lodges have been added and set up for tourists to find their comfortable accommodation, food and meet their compatriots from home country.

Most of these trekking trails are also sign posted for tourists to be guided all along the trails so that no tourists are misguided while on their trekking trip.

Kham women along the Kham Shamans trekking trail
The lodges are well appointed and have facilities for charging batteries and the larger villages often have email facilities. Many treks in Nepal begin with a domestic flight to the starting point and many are in remote areas with no road access. Several days of trekking is required to reach the higher mountain areas from the local centers of population and administration.

Nepal has six distinct and diverse vegetation zones ranging from Tropical below a 1,000 m through Sub-tropical 100m – 200m, Lower Temperate 1,700 m – 2,700 m, Upper Temperate 2,400 m – 3,000 m, Sub-alpine 3,000 m – 4,000 m and Alpine 4,000 m to the snowline, above the snowline it is a Himalaya tundra like wilderness. The higher altitudes are home to the elusive Snow leopard, Himalayan Thar, Musk deer and other rare species.

Trekkers can find a trail any time of year. The southern areas of Nepal receive higher levels of precipitation. However, some routes along the Great Himalaya Trails lie in the rain shadow, a dry area on the leeward side of a mountain namely Mustang to the north of Annapurna and Manaslu, Dolpo to the north of Dhaulagiri and the far west of Nepal to the north of Saipal Himal.

Post monsoon the weather tends to be clearer. Delivery of medicines in this area is difficult and expensive, you should stock of the essentials medicines in advance before taking on to your trekking.

It would be most authentic for the tourists to know that the main income generating activity of the people from the hill regions is tourism, and they typically earn wages working as trekking porters or guides.

So, hiring a porter does not mean that you are weak, it means you value the Nepali culture, you are providing an extended Nepali family with an income and at the same time you are making a friend and trekking with a local person who is well versed in the local cultures, festivals, and all the other issues that can turn a good trek into an outstanding experience of a life time.

Tourists in Nepal can also move alone provided they can take care of their security issues in remote and barren regions. Few things for them could be unpredictable such as storm, zero visibility and changing temperature. They should also be well aware of ethnic cultural values to adjust while trekking through those remote villages.

If you area ready with all permits and you have already acquired a good knowledge and information about diversity of Nepal’s people and terrain areas including whether conditions, you will rock like anything.

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