A trek in
Nepal is a unique and unforgettable experience for a
whole lot of reasons but four in particular stand out:
Eight out of fourteen highest mountains in the world are
in Nepal and if you want to see these up close, you must
walk. While trekking you see far more than the
mountains. You can walk from the tropical lowlands to
alpine meadows and glacial moraines while in the spring
Nepalfs brilliant rhododendrons will be in bloom and you
may see rare species of birds.
The landscape of Nepal is almost continually inhabited.
The majority of Nepalfs population lives, not in the
cities, but in tiny villages. Even in the high
mountains, small settlements on stone houses and yak
pastures dot every possible flat space. Much of the
fascination of a trek is derived from the opportunity to
observe life in these villages, where people truly live
off the land, using only a few manufactured items such
as soap, kerosene, paper and matches. All of which are
imported in bamboo baskets carried by bare foot porters.
Trekkers pass through picturesque villages inhabited by
Sherpas, Magars, Gurungs and Tamangs in highlands and
Brahmins, Chhetris and Newars in the lower altitudes.
These are among the many ethnic groups which exist in
Trekkers are always impressed by the friendliness of the
people they meet along the local trails. The hill people
particularly their traditional hospitality and
fascinating culture, make a trek in Nepal a special kind
of mountain holiday unlike any other part of world.
Not only is scenery interesting and ever changing but it
can be seen in relative safety. Theft, robbery, assault
all the problems of western civilization and many Asian
countries are still relatively unknown in Nepal. There
was a time a few years ago when even women could trek
alone in Nepal. Unfortunately things seem to be changing
and treks need to be ore careful than they used to be.
It is advisable to trek in groups of at least two
persons and if possible with a porter or a guide. More
better to trek with an organized trekking agency.
Trekking is not mountaineering but it is as well to
remember that the Himalayas begin where other mountains
finish. Whether you begin your trek at a roadbed or fly
into a remote mountain airstrip, a large part of your
trek will be in the middle hills region at an elevations
between 1000 meters and 3000 meters but the trek to
Everest base camp will reach 5545 meters. Most of the
time you will remain with in the altitude range 1500 to
2000 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 in the summer by herders, so the
trails, though often indistinct, are always there. All
trails are easily traversed without the aid of ropes or
any mountaineering skill. There are rare occasions when
snow is encountered and on some high passes it might be
necessary to place a safety line for your companions or
porter if there is deep snow but alpine techniques are
almost never used on a traditional trek. Anyone who has
walked extensively in the mountains has all the skill
necessary for on extended trek in Nepal.