Types of trekking in Nepal
Still the Number One activity in Nepal and it is not hard to see why. It is quite simply the only way to get out and explore the mountains due to a complete lack of roads beyond the main city hubs and lowland areas.
Waking to the lyrical sound of yak bells and monk chants echoing hauntingly down the valley, rising early to take a peek at the sun slowly ascending behind the highest mountains in the world, their imposing summits seemingly floating miles in the sky above, their glaciers swooping down, funneling endless avalanches and giant snow boulders to the scree below, munching on a carb-heavy breakfast as porters pack up camp around you, meandering along well-worn trails alongside friendly locals labouring under unbelievably cumbersome loads, stopping to take a breather over a cup of sweet chai tea at a colourful tea-house, discussing the state of the country or Buddhist culture with your Sherpa guide, rounding each corner to higher and higher and even more glorious mountain views, running ahead of the yak trains over brightly decorated swing bridges swaying high above chalky turquoise-coloured raging glacial rivers, coming to rest mid-afternoon at your night stop, enjoying a warming stew or soup or the ubiquitous lentil dhal whilst chin-wagging with fellow trekkers before turning in for the night snug in your sleeping-bag as the temperatures drop outside, ready for another exhilarating day in the mountains.
Not every trek in Nepal need consist of backbreaking ascents, knee-jarring descents and dangerously high altitudes. The beauty of lower level trekking is that you do not suffer from any of the usual altitude-related physical problems, temperatures are more comfortable, path gradients are usually more gradual and you can enjoy a variety of scenery with the cultivated fields of the villages providing a contrast to the high peaks in the background. Plus, being slightly further away from the mountains themselves allows for more panoramic views and some stunning photographic opportunities. Both Highlights of Nepal and Annupurna and Chitwan offer a taster of Himalayan trekking at low altitudes combined with city tours and wildlife experiences.
Medium Effort Treks
Get higher, deeper and further into the heart of the Himalayas but at a casual pace, stopping regularly for photos, tea-breaks, conversation with fellow-trekkers or locals passing the same route. These treks should be within reach of any reasonably fit person. Annapurna Adventure gets you out on a multi-day lodge-based trek with a maximum altitude of 2890m and Everest Adventure allows you to experience the famous trail to Mount Everest and views of the great mountain itself with none of the exertion (and time) it takes to reach Base Camp itself.
The fitter you are, the more you are likely to enjoy these more challenging treks but this should not exclude those who have always wanted to reach Everest Base Camp but feel intimidated by the more challenging altitudes and terrain. A steady pace, plenty of liquids and a sensible acclimatisation plan as well as a decent level of pre-trek fitness should see most people able to reach their goal. And Everest Base Camp, with its iconic Khumbu Glacier and Icefall surrounds is certainly a goal worth reaching. With Imaginative Traveller you will not only enjoy a relaxed daily itinerary, including two all-important rest days, but also two days at Base Camp and the nearby summit Kala Patar for amazing views onto Everest. And on the other side of the country, the mighty Annapurnas provide arguably even more stunning mountain scenery without the numbers that the famous route from Lukla through Namche Bazaar to Base Camp attract.
Challenging Mountaineering Treks
Reach for the top! These are demanding treks which include basic mountaineering above the snowline, using ice axe, crampons and ropes. They require a high level of psychological and physical stamina. Prior trekking experience is certainly an advantage, though not essential. So if you have ever wondered what it is like to look down from the tops rather than look up at them then why not go for it?!!! With expert, qualified mountaineering guides and porters accompanying you every icy step of the way, you are in the best hands possible to attain that Himalayan peak.