What is a Trek?
A Trek is not a Mountain Climbing Trip. There are still only a few roads in Nepal extending deeply into the hills, so the only way to truly visit remote regions of the kingdom is walking. It requires more time and effort, but the rewards are also greater. 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 Hills region at elevations between 500 and 3000 meters. While trekking you will see the great diversity of Nepal. Villages embrace many ethnic groups and cultures. The terrain changes from tropical jungle to high-glaciated peaks in only 150 km.
The grades are based on length, altitude, remoteness, walking conditions, weather and other factors. It is impossible to be precise about how hard a trek is. The grade of a trekking is a rough guide only. A grading provides a way for you to compare different treks. Remember that all trekking demands some physical efforts.
Grade 1 Easy, a day hike, sightseeing, and stay in a resort.
Grade 2 Leisurely, the trekking itinerary is about 4 - 10 days, elevation up to 3500 m. These trips can be enjoyed by anyone who leads a reasonably active life.
Grade 3 Moderate, the trekking itinerary is 10 days or more. Elevations up to 15.000 feet with ups and downs. Some previous experience is desirable.
Grade 4 Strenuous, difficult trekking conditions, covering long distance, and high passes. You need to have trekking experience posses a fair degree of stamina.
Grade 5 Technical: Climbing experience is required. You must be familiar with the use of mountaineering equipment. This grade is reserved for our most demanding treks, involving long days, often in isolated areas, at elevations above 18,000 feet.
When to Trek ?
There are two major factors to decide when to go to Nepal: crowds and weather. As a general rule, the better the weather, the more people come to Nepal to go trekking. During the high tourist season in October and November, flights and hotels are fully booked and hotels and trails in the hills can be very busy.
During autumn the nights are cold in the mountains, but the bright sun makes for pleasant day
temperatures- in the high 20s° C, falling to 5° C at night, between 1000 meters and 3500 meters. At higher altitudes temperatures range from about 20° C down to -10° C. Mornings are usually clear with clouds building up during the afternoon, disappearing at night to reveal spectacular starry skies. During winter it is about 10 degrees colder.
Early December usually has a lull, but this is also a good trekking season. The Christmas period is cold. High passes, especially Thorung La on the Around Annapurna trek and Laurabina Pass on the Gosainkund trek are usually closed from late November to March. February is still cold. The other popular season for trekking is spring (from mid February to April). The Middle Hills are full of dust and haze in April and May, but the high country is usually clear. Trekking in May is a little hot except at high elevations.
The monsoon is a good time to visit Kathmandu and Pokhara, but there are few trekkers among those who come. A monsoon trek is possible if you are willing to put up with the rain, leeches, slippery trails and lousy mountain views. Flights operate throughout the monsoon to Lukla, Jumla and Jomsom, so it is possible to fly in and trek above the leech line.
Many of the new treks to recently opened restricted areas are good summer treks. Mustang and Simikot are partially in the Himalayan rain shadow, so trekking conditions are good throughout the monsoon season. Most of the restricted area treks are impossible during the winter season.
Altitude sickness, often known as Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), is a particularly important medical consideration while trekking in Nepal. Altitude sickness means the effect of altitude on those who ascend too rapidly to elevations above 3000 meters. The initial symptoms of AMS are as follows:
Loss of appetite
Dizziness, light headaches, confusion
Disorientation, drunken gait
Weakness, fatigue, lassitude, heavy legs
Slight swelling of hands and face
Breathlessness and Breathing irregularly
Reduced urine output
These symptoms are to be taken very seriously. In case of the appearance of any of the above symptoms, any further ascent should be reconsidered; otherwise more serious problems can occur which can cause death, sometimes within a few hours. The only cure for the Altitude Sickness is to descend to lower elevations immediately. 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.
Types of Trek
In Nepal, there are numerous ways to arrange a trek due to two major factors. First, it is inexpensive by Western standards to hire professional and nonprofessional labor to carry loads and to work as guides and camp staff. Second, almost all supplies and accommodation are available locally because there are people living in even the most remote trekking areas. Hence there are two types of organized trekking. One is Teahouse Trekking and second one is Camp Trekking.
Tea House Accommodation: There are number of lodges along the popular trekking routes in Annapurna, Everest, and Langtang regions. These lodges are called tea house lodges and managed by local people. These lodges have basic requirements for over night accommodation like private rooms, dormitories, toilets, shower room with hot and cold water, and one attached restaurant. The quality of food offered might vary from lodge to lodge but most serve simple and hygienic meals. The teahouse trekking provides you an opportunity to feel the warm hospitality of friendly Nepali hosts. The money you spend goes to the local community. Food: The trekking trip includes three basic meals, breakfast, lunch and dinner each day. Your meals in Nepal will be local as well as continental food according to your choice. Breakfast and dinners are made available at the restaurant attached to the lodge. Lunches are made available at trailside tea house around mid-day. Most lodges serve, Nepali meals - rice, lentil soup and curried vegetables or meat, soups, noodles, pancakes, chapattis, breads, porridge, muesli etc.
If you have an urge to trek in some of the most beautiful places in Nepal, interact, and make friends with the local people without having to sleep in a cold and lonely tent, Tea House Trekking is just the thing waiting for you.
Accommodation: In a typical camp trekking, each pair of trekkers will sleep in a spacious mountain tent with a durable rain, fly, and full insect netting. The tent is fitted with foam mattresses. When your campsite is near villages or lodges you may be invited to sleep in the lodges or homes of local people.
Food: Mornings begin with a hot drink in your tent. Breakfast usually includes cereal, porridge, and eggs in different style, coffee, tea, and bread with jam and butter. Lunch typically includes bread (chapatti) vegetable salads, French fries, fruits, beverages and local snack food. On other occasion lunch may be fried rice, noodles, macaroni, or sandwiches. You will have afternoon snack such as trail mix, popcorn, or cookies and tea. Dinner includes soup and a full hot meal including rice or potatoes, cooked fresh vegetables, and a lentil or other sauce followed by dessert.
The camping trekking is an ultimate trekking. You will be closest to the nature. Having your own tents and equipments it will give you the flexibility to camp where you wish for a good view or proximity to interesting natural features or you can also try to avoid large group camp around.
Our trekking guides are carefully selected for their ability and are generally from Sherpa, Tamang, Gurung, Magar, and other communities from remote mountain villages. Each guide is trained and has abilities in eco-friendly trekking methods and safety. They speak fluent English and can explain about major aspects of Mountain situation as well as altitude sick-ness. They help to maintain your health and your happiness as well as his crewmembers. Our guides are committed to make sure that all our trekkers have an enjoyable trek come back safe and are overwhelmed by their experience. Your guide will be a friend and companion, who takes pleasure in showing you his country's specialties and, perhaps, meet his home and family too.
Porters: Porters to carry your luggage and equipment are hired at the beginning of a trek to make sure that most of the cost our clients pays goes directly into the local community where you trek. Porters are also experienced, matured, honest and strong and most of them can speak communicable English.
The trekking cost includes:
The teahouse or camping treks include English speaking guides, porters, Sleeping bag and down quilt jacket, Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner, surface transport from a starting point and from ending point to Kathmandu or Pokhara as applicable. Transport includes best available tourist or local transport system. For a group of 4 or more a private transport will be made available. Trekking permits, National Park and Conservation Fees.
The trekking cost does not include:
Domestic airfares (when applicable), restricted area trek permits (e.g.: Mustang Permit), any hotel rooms, meals, transport or sightseeing in Kathmandu or Pokhara unless specified; personal expenses like bottled drinks, bottled water, alcohol, snacks, tea/coffee (other than at breakfast), riding ponies, personal clothing and equipment, insurance of trekkers, cost of emergency evacuation, video fees in National Parks. We recommend you to buy a Travel Insurance, in your country, which is valid in overseas. It must cover unforeseen events such as emergency evacuation and baggage loss.