Maybe You have dreamt about a trip to the Himalayas for a long time, or maybe such a thought has appeared quite lately? Probably you have a mountain experience, maybe You know well not only the Sudetes, but also the Tatra Mountains, you have passed some routes in the Dolomites. Or rather in the contrary? You go to the mountains occasionally however You like them very much and You desire more? You have a full-time job and the longest leave You can count on lasts for two weeks or it is rather You who establish how long it lasts? And also a budget matters … You have saved money for a dream trip of a lifetime, You look at both sides of each Euro before You spend it, or rather You can and You want to allow yourself for a greater expenses?
There is probably a lot criteria You take into account while scheduling a trip and much more than we have mentioned, as well as information about trekking in Nepal is quite a great deal. While desiring to help You in making a proper choice, we decided to share some information which we hope will enrich Your knowledge. We will help You to select trekking with regard to 3 main presented criteria: available time, an experience and a budget.
Perhaps You are one of the lucky persons who have a lot of free time. Maybe it will be tis trip – one of the greatest planned in Your life. Perhaps it will be the trip You have planned for a long time but You have only two weeks for it? All of that matters and it is worth to know what You decide on.
Proposal No. 1: Annapurna at sunrise, trekking which is commonly known as Poon Hill Trek or Ghorepani Trek - about 11 days.
It is one of the most interesting short and physically easy trekking expeditions. This expedition through the Nepalese villages, with a picturesque view on the mountain hills, rhododendron and bamboo forests. Despite a relative easiness, a route will be certainly exciting and allows for detecting with the most beautiful landscapes, especially from Poon Hill summit, considered as by many tourists not only as the best view point in the Annapurna region, but also all around the world. During this expedition You reach a maximum altitude of 3 210 m above sea, and trekking lasts for 5-6 days, and it is connected with sightseeing in Pokhara i Kathmandu and a flight so for the entire travel You must have about 11 days.
Proposal No. 2: Annapurna base camp trek– about 13 days.
In the ambitious version is also relatively short, but it constitutes a greater physical challenge. It is a trip to a heart of the Himalayas – the Annapurna Sanctuary where in the mountain amphitheatre You can gain a unique experience admiring a sunrise over this unique eight-thousander. During this expedition You will see from close-up the Machhapuchhare saint mountain. His travel in the version for the ambitious ones consists of about 8-9 days of trekking, in that sightseeing of the charming Pokhara and Kathmandu and a flight – circa 13 days. A maximum altitude which You reach during this expedition is of 4 130 m above sea. A classic version of this trekking is an about 15-days travel.
Up to this year’s earthquake, the Langtang, region has been on the list of the most popular trekking expeditions, too. Temporarily it is not a recommended travel destination up to a moment when a part of the tourist trails is not rebuilt.
Proposal No. 3: Trekking to the Everest base camp, a challenge – about 13 days. It is very popular and still one of the most beautiful trekking expeditions, a place, where are four from the six highest summits of the Earth: Everest, Lhotse, Makalu and Cho Oyu. A real crown of the world, views which take a breath away. An exciting landing in Lukla, a beautiful area of the Sagarmatha National Park, Namche Bazaar - a capital of the Sherpas, a peak of v and, of course, a base camp under the highest mountain of the world. You must be there. In the version for the ambitious persons in a good physical condition and with a mountain experience an adventure will last for about 9-10 days. Together with a transport, a reserve day in the case of bad weather in Lukla and sightseeing Kathmandu – the entire trip lasts for 13-14 days. A classic version of this trip lasts for 18 days.
If You do not have more time, You can have a hectic time.
On the other end of the scale in the context of a duration, i.e. the longest trekking trips, is Trekking in the Dolpo region or Kangchenjunga base camp trek. In this case You must reserve for a travel almost a month since trekking by itself lasts for circa 25 days. However, these are unique adventures which cannot be described by words. The relatively long are expeditions to the trekking peaks which last for circa 3 weeks.
While planning Your first travel to Nepal probably everybody wonders how it will be. Am I healthy enough? Can I get along physically? Is my mountain experience sufficient? May I think about a trip to the Himalayas, if I had no mountain experience,? When will trekking to the base under Annapurna be a culmination of my possibilities and when will a climbing on Island Peak be a challenge possible to undertake? How to determine it?
There is certainly no single prescription. Generally, You can say that a good condition and health when combined with a mountain experience are very helpful during trekking in the Himalayas, and the better health, condition and a mountain preparation, the braver mountain routes can be realised and it is not done at the expense of safety. Does it mean that without fulfilling the above mentioned three You have nothing to find in the Nepalese mountains? Not necessarily. However, You should precisely consider a selection of a travel destination, determine Your physical possibilities, and in any case work on Your physical preparation before the trip. Below we present a few trekking expeditions on the scale from the easiest to the most difficult. Certainly, You should make allowances for a subjectivity of this assumption and that it refers to the standard routes and passage times of these trekking expeditions. In the case of extending or shortening of the travel, its difficulty may, of course, certainly extend or shorten.
Place No. 1 – Poon Hill Trek and Trekking around the Katmandu valley
Place No. 1 in the difficulty rating have these two trekking expeditions. In our assumption, if You are regularly physically active with moderate degree (2-3 times per week) and in the Sudetes without any problem You can withstand 4-5 hour passages, You are ready. Certainly, according to an indication above – we always encourage to an additional preparation.
Place No. 2 – Annapurna base camp trek – classic version
It is rather a more difficult adventure. It receives 2 points of 5 in the difficulty rating. During this trekking You are to march about 7 hours during the subsequent 10 days. There is needed a better preparation, in order to ensure that Your muscles work better. There is sure that all depends on individual predispositions, and during trekking there are some upward sections and we cross a border of 4 000 m above sea level – it is worth to survive this moment comfortably.
Place No. 3 – Everest base camp trek, Trekking around Annapurna, Trekking in the Mustang region, Trekking around the Gokyo Lakes via Everest base camp.
These trekking receive 3 points from us in the difficulty rating. Certainly, they differ among themselves, some of them are technically easier (Trekking around Annapurna), other more difficult (Trekking around the Gokyo Lakes with a base under Everest) although all of them require good physical condition and good health. During them You reach an altitude up to do 5 545 m above sea, and mountains at this altitude can be surprising. You reach them, of course, gradually taking care for a proper acclimation. Nevertheless we do not recommend these trekking expeditions to persons with moderate physical condition or those, who has gained a minimal mountain experience.
Place No. 4 – Trekking through three high mountain passes in the Everest region, Trekking to the base under Makalu, Trekking around Dhaulagiri, Trekking in the Dolpo region, Kangchenjunga base camp trek.
In the trekking ranking we give 4 of 5 points. They are demanding, sometimes difficult technically, and sometimes physically exhausting. Certainly, difficulties are compensated by unique experiences. Nevertheless these adventures are dedicated to persons who are experienced in the mountains, and are characterised by high or above average physical and psychical condition and good health. If You had a chance to try at least one of these trekking expeditions with a difficulty rating of 2 or 3, You will know whether You are ready for this challenge.
Place No. 5 – Trekking peaks
You will be probably surprised, but an expedition to Mera Peak or Island Peak is assumed by the Nepalese as trekking ;) and it is not changed by a fact that are required not only crampons, but also an ice axe or life lines. The highest of the trekking peaks – Mera Peak is of 6 461 m above sea and it is available for a so called “regular tourist”. Certainly, this term is an overuse, there a high mountain experience, very good physical condition and good health condition are absolutely necessary. You can chose among the above mentioned Mera Peak, the most popular trekking peak (6 189 m above sea) or Lobuche Peak (6 119 m above sea) - 5 points.
It will rather not surprise You. The shorter, easier and more popular trekking, when an access to a “tourist” base is easier, the lower price. The most expensive are adventures in the hardly accessible regions where are required special permits (Dolpo, Mustang), or those which gain popularity now (Kongchenjunga, Makalu) or those that have lasted for a long time. A separate price category are trekking peaks. A great cost of this undertaking consists in purchasing permits to reach a summit, as well as requirements connected with a presence of high mountain climbers and an access to an appropriate equipment.If You need more information on the prices, please wait for our next post in which we will explain why a trip to Nepal will never be like last minute to Egypt.
Remember, that is Your way!