Recreation Travel Guest Posts

The Best Time to Trek in Nepal

The best time of the year to trek in Nepal is during the Autumn ( September to November) and Spring ( February to April) seasons.  Nepal is a temperate country where mountains, not grand palaces and historical landmarks, are the main attraction.

The majestic Mt. Everest in Nepal. Link: 

During the autumn season, tourism peaks because those months offer a bright and dry atmosphere, providing a suitable weather for tourists to trek and explore the towering Himalayan mountains. Moreover, the monsoon rains that sweep across the Amazon of Asia before the autumn season washes away the pollution and debris (an effect of global warming; mostly caused by human activities) of the atmosphere surrounding the mountains, offering an excellent mountain visibility. Likewise, the spring season in Nepal delivers warmer and longer days, ideal for trekking the mountains.

Perhaps, the only downside of trekking during the warm weather is the influx of tourists in the area. During peak seasons, the trekking trails are brimming with trekkers, accommodation rates are higher, and the airfare is relatively expensive. Fret not because we have a general rule of thumb for travelling during peak seasons: book your airfares as early as you can (most airlines have promo fares that are applicable the year after booking), look for accommodations near the mountain you plan to trek months prior to the actual trip, and lastly, bargain with vendors whenever you can (vendors purposely increases their commodities’ prices if they know you’re a tourist).

Useful Things You Need to Know Before You Go

  1. Porters and guides

Before going to Nepal, research for the trail of the mountain you plan to explore. If the path looks safe and nice, you won’t need to hire porters and local guides to guide you and carry your backpack.

There’s this one time that I planned to trek on the famous Mt. Everest, and since I didn’t know anything about the trails and everything, I easily agreed when a local asked me if I’ll be hiring a porter. I thought all trekkers need a porter! When we began hiking, I noticed that the trails were well-marked and getting lost is not likely. Moreover, you won’t be bringing your whole house on your back since you’ll only be bringing the essential things needed so I’m pretty sure you can carry it yourself. It will save you a great deal of money but if you’re not a cheapskate like me, go ahead and hire a local guide. You’ll also be helping the locals earn some decent living.

  1. Safe drinking water

It might sound ridiculous, but it’s a fact: most tourists bring with them a boiling pan and a handy water filter for filtering tap water. The faucet water in Nepal is unsafe for consumption, even in your hotel room. It’s crazily contaminated that even iced beverages are a no-no for tourists for fear that the ice came from tap water!

But up in the mountains, most tourist stations and lodges offers purified bottled waters for a very low price. I suggest you bring about two 1L bottles that you can fill up every time you stop at a lodge. However, if you are taking camp in a remote area, your boiling pan and filter should be put into good use.

  1. Altitude sickness

No matter how fit you are, you are still susceptible to altitude sickness. Altitude sickness happens when your body experiences a hard time coping with the decreased atmospheric oxygen level as you ascend the mountain.

I have experienced this many times, and I’m sure you will too if you ever push your Nepal trek. Common symptoms include headache, nausea, rapid exhaustion, and breathing difficulty.

I suggest taking a slow pace – stop at lodges, don’t rush yourself to the peak (this is not a race), hydrate yourself frequently, dress up in warm clothes, and bring analgesic medicines.

The Mt. Everest Circuit

There are more than ten trekking destinations in Nepal, all offering scenic and breath-taking views from above. The most famous and well-visited beginner-friendly mountain in Nepal is Mt. Everest, and the best trail to the mountain is the Mt. Everest Circuit.

The view of Mt. Everest from the Kalapathar region. Link: 

The Mt. Everest circuit trek provides the an excellent close-up view of the enormous mountain from the Kalapatharregion, a one-of-a-kind experience of the Everest Base Camp, a tour of the pristine Gokyo Lakes, and lastly, my favorite part, the adrenaline-pumping experience of crossing the high altitude Cho La passsummit.

The amazing Cho La pass summit on the way to the Everest Base Camp. Link:

Before actually starting the trek, you’ll need to take a chartered flight to the Lukla region. Upon disembarking from the plane, you’ll go to a lodge at Phakding where you’ll spend two days to acclimatize yourself and for some excursion to local markets and museums. I particularly enjoyed this free time because I got to see the simplicity of the Sherpa way of life. After the two-day excursion, you’ll trek and pass the serene and magnificent glacial lakes of the Gokyo valley. Then your limits will be tested as you go through the Cho La pass on your way to the Everest Base Camp which is about 17,598 ft above sea level (it’ll be an achievement when you reach this camp). The fascinating culture and people from all walks of life gathered in the Everest Base Camp gave me a feeling of sheer pleasure and achievement. It’s the best way to end the Mt. Everest trek!

The Everest Base Camp in Nepal. Link:

A danger to Nepal’s Himalayan Mountains: Climate Change

Nepal’s economy largely depends on mountain tourism. Thousands of tourists flock to Nepal all year-round to experience trekking its fascinating mountains. We all know that mountains and other natural resources are directly related to climate change: with the worsening case of climate change, Mother Nature will surely get a slice of the dreadful cake.

According to the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), “Rising global temperatures have shrunk the total area of Nepal’s glaciers by almost a quarter between 1977 and 2010, with an average of 38 sq. km (14.67 sq. miles) vanishing every year”.

The Nepalese mountains and Himalayan villages are experiencing the impact of climate change right now, along with the rest of the world. Glacial lake outbursts or glacial melting have victimized Sherpa villages and settlements by flooding the houses and endangering the lives of its inhabitants. Another inevitable effect of climate change is the changing weather patterns in the area, causing crops to lose track of their growth, burdening farmers looking for food sources. Moreover, the torrential and frequent rains in the Himalayas cause avalanches to occur now and then, putting trekkers and hikers’ lives in jeopardy.

Disclaimer: I’m not discouraging you from pursuing your trek in Nepal. I’m just raising awareness of the sad reality that affects not only Nepal but the rest of the world. It’s not every day that inevitable disasters brought by climate change happen in the mountains. Nepal is still the best destination for trekking. Anyways, trekking in Mt. Everest should be on your bucket list of things to do before you leave the awesome Earth!

What about you? When did you go to Nepal? What do you think is the best season to trek in Nepal? Share your experience below!

Did you find out pre-trek tips useful? What more can you suggest?

 Jessica Kim

I am an ultimate travel enthusiast and the founder of ‘Justanomadiclife.com’. I am a 26 year old-something, fun, passionate and free-spirited individual who set up ‘justanomadiclife’ blog as my public diary to document all of my amazing personal travel experiences which hopes to provide answers to your travel questions and (hopefully) inspire you to go places.

 

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