NEPAL - Trek

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					                                   NEPAL - Trek

Trekking in Nepal
The best way to experience Nepal’s unbeatable combination of natural beauty and
cultural riches is to walk through them. The immense contrasts in altitudes and climates
found here support an equally spectacular mix of lifestyles, vegetation types and wildlife.
One-fourth of all visitors to Nepal go trekking.


You don’t need to be a mountaineer with rippling muscles to enjoy trekking. If you are
reasonably fit, have a spirit of adventure and are not afraid of walking, you qualify. There
are excellent trekking agencies that will take care of all the details. All you have to do on
the trail is concentrate on putting one foot before the other. On many popular trekking
trails, you can also trek in what is known as "tea house style" — eating and staying in the
many lodges and tea houses on the way instead of camping in tents.


Your trekking agency will provide equipment like sleeping bags, foam mattresses and
tents. All you need to bring are your personal wear like walking boots and sandshoes, a
water- and wind-proof jacket, woolen shirts, T-shirts, a thick pullover, shorts/skirts and
trousers/track suit. Thermal underwear is necessary for high altitudes and cottons are best
for lower and warmer altitudes. Also don’t forget a water bottle, Swiss army knife,
sewing kit, torch light with spare batteries, extra boot laces, sun glasses, sun cream and
personal medical supplies.


Trekking is possible at any time of the year depending on where you are going. The most
popular seasons are spring (February-May) and autumn (September-November). Winter
is very cold above 4,000 m, and high mountain passes may be snowbound, but it is good
for trekking at lower altitudes. During the monsoon season (June-August), you can trek in
the rain-shadow areas north of the Himalaya like Mustang, Upper Manang and Dolpo.
These places are out of reach of the rain clouds because of the high mountains and are
unaffected by the monsoon.


You trek to enjoy the scenery on the trail, not to get to any place in a hurry. The main
precaution to be taken while trekking is not to go up too high too fast. The body should
be given plenty of time to acclimatize. Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) refers to the

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effects of the thin air at high altitudes which can be very dangerous and may even result
in death. If you get initial symptoms like nausea, dizziness, swelling in the face and
breathlessness, descend to a lower elevation immediately and seek medical help.
Comprehensive travel insurance is advised to cover emergencies like helicopter rescue
and medical treatment in case of accidents on the trail.

Trekking Permit

All visitors require a trekking permit to visit Nepal’s interior regions not connected by
major roads except the Annapurna, Everest and Langtang regions. Trekking permits are
arranged by Narayan’s Travel for our trekkers. Two photographs are required with the
application. If you are trekking in more than one region, separate trekking permits are
necessary for each region.

Nepal is a country well known for its Himalaya mountains. Among the 10 highest peaks
in the world, eight, including the highest peak Mt. Everest, crown this country. Nothing
on earth can beat the exhilaration of scaling them. No wonder Nepal is the favorite
destination for mountaineers and every year more than 600 expeditions trudge up the
Himalaya, including the trekking peaks.


Food and equipment imported for expeditions require an import license and should be
custom cleared. Walkie-talkies, transceiver sets and other communication equipment are
controlled items in Nepal and have to be declared at the customs office at the entry point.

Where to Trek
The entire length and breadth of the Kingdom is a paradise for trekkers. There are easy
walks lasting a few days and there are strenuous expeditions that take several weeks. All
of them have great scenery. Here are a few:

Annapurna - The most popular trekking route in Nepal, you will be walking through
rhododendron forests over the foothills of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges. The Kali
Gandaki Gorge, the deepest in the world, and Lake Tilicho (4,919 m), the highest lake,
are located here. Treks to the Annapurna region start from the lake-side resort town of
Pokhara. (Maximum elevation covered on the trek is 5,416 m.)

Everest - The highest mountain in the world continues to lure adventurers as ever. A
hair-raising flight lands you at the airstrip of Lukla (2,850 m) from where you begin
walking to the famous Sherpa village of Namche Bazaar and on to Tengboche monastery
with the mesmerizing peak of Ama Dablam hovering in the sky. Then it’s over the
glaciers to the foot of Everest for the view of a lifetime (maximum elevation 5,546 m).

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Langtang - The third most popular trekking region in the Kingdom lies directly to the
north of Kathmandu. The Gosaikund lakes situated here are a much-revered Hindu
pilgrimage site. Langtang offers baffling extremes in topography and climate conditions.
In just one day you can traverse five different vegetation zones trekking from the
subtropics to timberline (maximum elevation 4,480 m).

Remote Areas - For those who want to get off the beaten track, there is the trail to
Mustang (maximum elevation 5,400 m) north of the Annapurna range which offers mind-
boggling landscapes and mystical cultures. Manaslu in west-central Nepal (maximum
elevation 5,213 m) offers a diverse range of pristine eco-systems. Makalu in the eastern
part of the country (maximum elevation 5,350 m) takes you through isolated valleys and
high mountain passes to the base of the fifth highest peak on earth. Dolpo in northwest
Nepal (maximum elevation 4,500 m) captivates visitors with its Phoksundo Lake and
unparalleled scenery.

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Walking the trails through unimaginable spaces
by Susan Roe

Wind, water, rock and sky are the quiet yet constant companions one travels with in
Mustang. Passing beyond the sparkling snow peaks of Dhaulagiri and the Annapurnas,
the trails here are scoured clean to all but what is essential. Another landscape personality
of Nepal emerges and shyly shows its Bhotia face as sojourners travel beyond the lush
green middle hills and venture up the Kali Gandaki river valley toward the Tibetan

Following the busy pilgrim route to Muktinath, one is immediately impressed by the
power of the stark earth elements felt here. Large open spaces with towering rock
formations dominate Mustang’s terrain. Canyons and caves permeate the scenery and add
shadowed mystery to the land. Described as barren or desolate, the beauty emanating
from this region is of a different form. It is the subtle colors and hues that one becomes
acutely aware of now, the textures and grain of undulating rock face, and the ever-
changing dome of blue sky that becomes a new frame for the mind’s eye.

Walking the trails through these unimaginable spaces, thoughts quiet and one becomes
attuned to sensations rarely noticed in the hectic pace of everyday life. The wind’s non-
stop teasing of skin, hair and clothing; its often infuriating game of depositing dust in
every unsuspecting pocket and place. The soothing sound of water from nearby canyons
carving routes through stone and sand - the sound cools one from the intensity of the sun
at altitude. And after a few days of walking, the rounded river stones and crunching scree
against well-worn boots help set the pace and rhythm for each successive step.

Crossing this lonely landscape, villages appear in the distance as tiny green oases nestled
within the valley’s only grove of trees or looming as fortresses perched on rocky crags.
Tight and compact, these settlements are alive with agricultural activity and roaming
animals in the narrow pathways. The people of Mustang, or Lobas as the Upper Mustang
population is known, are always curious about new arrivals and children with scary wind-
blown hair and apple-red cheeks will gather to confront the spectacle of foreign visitors
in town.

The abrasive lifestyle required to survive is easily evident here. With only one or two
growing seasons for wheat, barley or buckwheat crops the residents of Mustang struggle
with their surroundings to coax out a limited harvest. Using intricately structured
irrigation systems and collecting any available dung to fortify the arid soil, tending the
few fields is a daunting task. Large herds of sheep and goats are rotated over expansive
scrub-land, and wool from the animals is spun and woven into blankets and clothing.

The trader persona brightly shines in the people of this land. With their horse caravans
plying the trail-ways, many travel to India and southern Nepal during the harsh winter
months to do business and sell sweaters. Other times they will cross the upper Tibet
border and barter wheat, rice and cloth brought up from the lowlands for Chinese goods
such as cigarettes, tea, canvas shoes and other pre-made clothing.

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Despite the many hardships faced in everyday life, the people of Mustang endure with a
light spirit and an ever-present sense of humor. A smile will always be returned and
delighted amusement abounds when they encounter visiting groups. Their spiritual
beliefs are deeply rooted in Tibetan Buddhism and radiate in the physical construction of
large chortens or village gates, in long stretches of mani walls along rocky paths, in the
Sako Namgo or spirit catchers hung protectively above every household door, and even
in the colors used for structural decoration.

The traditional red/orange, white and gray/black which balance so perfectly with the
natural landscape hues in fact represent the Buddhist deities of Chenrezig (the
embodiment of Compassion), Jamphel-Yang (the embodiment of Wisdom) and Chakna
Dorje (the embodiment of Spiritual Power) and are collectively known as Rigsum

The people here aspire to emulate these qualities, and rituals of worship are fully
integrated into daily life. Reciting mantra, walking khora (circumambulating religious
structures), making offerings to the unseen realms and the swirling release of sacred verse
in spinning prayer wheels all combine as small efforts toward enlightening the mind.

A journey into Mustang is a special opportunity to explore a unique Himalayan landscape
and to come into contact with some of Nepal’s distinct cultural clans. Upper Mustang as a
destination is limited to those willing to follow stiff regulations established by the
Ministry of Tourism and the Annapurna Conservation Area Project. Designed to protect
the fragile environment and sensitize travellers to preserving ancient culture and tradition,
such education is aimed toward reducing the negative impact tourism can have in newly
opened areas.

For those who do make the trip, many find that internal landscapes explored through
provocative exposure to the way of life here is as much of a challenge as the physical
exertion required to traverse the grain of the land. A place of wind, water, rock and sky -
large enough to fill the senses and rich enough to fully saturate the mind.

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