Trekking in Nepal
Adventure Trekking in Nepal containing the largest part of Himalayas undoubtedly entitles Nepal to boast the best destination in the world for trekking adventures and Mountaineering Expeditions. With many wilderness areas of striking beauty with mighty Himalayan Rivers meandering Indiana Jones like gorges trekking in Nepal is a real adventure. Trekking in Nepal is a remote adventure activity even in the areas located close to Kathmandu and Pokhara requiring days of trekking to get there. Only relatively fit, adventurous and determined trekkers and hikers will experience true stunning and diverse nature, diverse and welcoming cultures. Trekking in Nepal encompasses scenic grandeur and cultural diversity. However with such diversity there is also a wide scope for short and easy trekking in Nepal allowing limited yet still exciting and rich trekking and hiking experience.
In generally trekking in Nepal offers a rich variety of flora and fauna within a short distance with everlasting smiles of rural Nepalese, inner hospitality of the host communities, favourable climatic and geographical condition, cultural and linguistic diversity, scenic beauty, rich cultural spirit which represents unique blend of Buddhism and Hinduism, Birth place of Buddha, Home of Mount Everest, ever flowing rivers and glaciers, snow-capped mountains and World heritage sites form almost an endless list of the attractions of Nepal.
Our unique and extensive menu of trekking adventures has been specifically designed for Australian and North American customers. With Snowy Horizon Adventure extensive climbing and mountaineering experience in remote areas and intimate understanding of western trekkers and climbers and practical knowledge and experience in logistics of trekking in Nepal and logistics of mountaineering expeditions in Nepal and Tibet, we developed a unique safety and quality system getting us increasingly more international recognition in climbing and mountaineering community wishing to climb within safety and quality system and survive the experience without injury.
Snowy Horizon Adventure offers the same standards to trekkers: safety, quality and flexibility at affordable prices.
Try our unique Everest Base Camp trekking adventure with the option of staying overnight in our Everest expedition Base Camp facility and meeting our Everest and Lhotse team. For more adventurous trekkers we offer a trip through Khumbu Icefall to Everest Camp 2 available on our spring departures in April and May.
Snowy Horizon Adventure offers a unique trekking adventure on Annapurna Full Circuit. For those enjoying mountain biking but not ready for hard uphill ride there is a solution combining the best of trekking and bike riding worlds with crossing Thorung La pass on foot and taking downhill ride from Muktinath to Tatopani or Beni.
Snowy Horizon Adventure mountaineering logistics flexibility and agility, intimate knowledge of Nepali history, geography and culture and mix of Nepali and western concepts allows us to offer incredibly flexible itineraries for trekkers, a combination of trekking mountain biking and introductory level of climbing. For fit and adventurous trekkers we offer introductory climbing on Langtang, Everest Base Camp and Annapurna Circuit treks.
We operate our adventures in Kathmandu and an information and easy booking office in Brisbane Australia, where we provide sound advice and information in clear English allowing Australian and North American customer easy access to English speaking adventure consultant, with intimate knowledge and experience in trekking, climbing and mountain bike riding in Nepal. If you talk to us you talk to a person who trekked, climbed and cycled your dream destination and he will be able to give you first-hand information and design your adventure for success.
Trekking, climbing and mountain bike riding is totally different in Nepal than in any other country due to high altitude, cultural and linguistic aspect. Your trekking adventure in Nepal will take you to altitudes above highest mountains of any country. If planned and executed correctly the trekking adventure in Nepal will be yours once in the life amazing experience but if not taken seriously it can easily turn in to dangerous nightmare. Many treks in Nepal are also restricted due to National park jurisdiction and require company of a trekking guide. There are many village treks criss-crossing the country side and despite trekking experience in Australia, Europe and even North American wilderness areas it is easy to get confused and not reach your destination.
Trekking Grades and Categories
Trekking in Nepal is different than just about anywhere else and it is generally much more demanding than any other trekking in the world but there is also a range of what we characterise as short and easy treks.
Trekking in Nepal can be broadly categorized into two a short trek and a long trek. A short trek, mainly at lower elevation in the foothills of Himalayas, will reveal picturesque hamlets surrounded by elaborate terraced fields and forested ridges. A long trek, usually at higher elevations and involving crossing of high mountain passes, may yield rich contrasts in people and culture from one ecological level to another.
Short and easy trekking in general will be suitable to wide range of hikers; it will be demanding but not as steep or hilly than long distance trekking; these treks will be located close to Kathmandu or Pokhara with short and easy access to the trailhead. Inclination on these treks will be very gradual with safe, comfortable and well established and maintained village trails.
Long distance trekking in general will be moderate to hard, very hard and extremely hard requiring 4-7 hours of daily trekking often on difficult and unmaintained path, with steep climbs, traverses of steep slopes, crossing and by-passing landslides and trekking of varied path quality, steep steps, forest path and rocky terrain.
Long distance trekking varies in grade level from easy to moderate, hard and extreme. Browse our itineraries or contact us for advise on a trek suitable for your fitness level and your interests, whether you wish to do cultural, special interest or very physical high altitude adventure.
Snowy Horizon Adventure difference is our mountaineering experience ensuring our trekking clients absolute safety and comfort during high altitude trekking without high altitude issues, which includes appropriate acclimatization and pace during all Snowy Horizon Adventure Himalayan Trekking Adventures. Snowy Horizon Adventure’s expertise stems from both practical experience on many treks and climbs as well as sound academic knowledge and practice in exercise physiology with speciality in high altitude physiology.
Snowy Horizon Adventure works directly with clients providing competent, sound and honest advice on your adventure in clear English, ensuring that you will experience the most enjoyable holiday possible with your trekking adventure in Nepal. You will speak with a person, who travelled in Nepal and hiked and mountain biked your trek or climbed your mountain route and is familiar with the latest conditions on the trek.
Snowy Horizon Adventure trekking routes have been designed by Australian Professional climbers, mountain bike riders and trekkers with intimate knowledge of Nepal’s history and culture with western interests and tastes in mind as we spent bulk of our time in Nepal exploring planning and testing our offers. Our Himalayan Dreaming Adventures operate from our office in Kathmandu by the best possible experienced and qualified Sherpa Climbing and Biking Guides with genetically infused super human strength, endurance and warmth of character. Our policy is to pay full wages determined by NMA (Nepal Mountaineering Association) and cover all food, equipment and health insurance expenses for all our staff, which attracts the best people, your guarantee of safety and great personal experience. We organise, manage and operate directly from Kathmandu and do not exploit our staff. Instead we employ western style innovative management science, efficiency and logistics techniques to reduce the cost and keep prices as low as possible. You may find our prices slightly higher than budget operations but there is no substitute for quality and authenticity of experience.
Snowy Horizon Adventure believes in providing only high quality trekking adventure services in Nepal to ensure comfort and the best experience for our customers. The quality of accommodation and food in Nepal is different to those in western countries and we like our clients to feel comfortable even slightly outside their comfort zone and we will encourage quality over low budget options, which will allow genuine and complete experience and in the long run more enjoyable and stress free holiday.
Snowy Horizon Adventure Representative will meet your party at Kathmandu airport and transfers you to you hotel. As our standard option we accommodate clients in 3-star hotel in Kathmandu and Pokhara.
For Trekking in Nepal and Nepal Mountain Biking Adventure clients our cost is calculated based on the use of public transport utilizing tourist bus services where available. All major cities and tourist destinations such as Pokhara or Chitwan are connected to Kathmandu by a network of Tourist Buses and we will use these services. Tourist buses are comfortable and safe way to travel. In Nepal roads are very winding and narrow and the traffic moves very slowly; tourist bus is almost as fast as private vehicle. For organised groups of 6 or more clients we will include a private transportation as our standard option.
All our Trekking itineraries include all necessary cost for you to enjoy a care free adventure. All meals will include tea or coffee and the only extra expenses will be required for your personal expenses such as bottled drinks, snacks, souvenirs, alcohol if you really require, your daily fix of espresso, cappuccino, cakes and your outings in Kathmandu and Pokhara. Please check your itinerary for inclusions but in general we will offer the following:
- Airport welcome and transfers
- 3 star accommodation in Kathmandu and Pokhara
- Tourist Hotel accommodation in Bhatapur and Nagarkot on B/B basis
- Full board Accommodation in Lodges on twin share basis
- All meals (Breakfasts, Lunch, Dinner) during the trek
- Trekking Permit (National Park entry fee)
- TIMS card (Trekking Information Management System) Permit
- Necessary staff during the trekking including Experienced Trekking Guide
- Porter Service with 15Kg Personal Luggage allowance during the ride
- Surface transportation will be available as per itinerary
- Experienced Cycling Guide and Bike mechanic (for combination adventures)
- Itinerary Airfares
- Good quality Mountain bike (Trek or Giant for combination adventures)
- Food, accommodation, salary, insurance, equipment for all trekking staff
- Group medical supplies (First Aid medical kit will be available)
- Kathmandu Sightseeing with English speaking Tour guide
- Bhaktapur entry fee.
- Guide in Bhaktapur (3h)
- Shuttle to Langtang observation tower
- All necessary documentation, office Service charge and Government Taxes
- Comprehensive pre-departure information and advice
- Farewell Dinner in Kathmandu before departure
It is important that the clothing and equipment you take on your adventure holiday is appropriate for the trip you have chosen. There is a fine balance between taking too much and too little, especially considering that you need to equip yourself for differing levels of physical exertion and also for a range of climatic conditions.
It is generally a good idea to keep the overall weight of your clothing and equipment to a minimum in particularly for climbing adventures and we recommend that your packed trek bag should weigh no more than 15kg/33lbs, which is our standard trekking allowance for budget/backpacker trekking packages. For price-list customers our allowance is 20kg/66lbs. For our mountaineering and climbing clients we offer higher porter allowance to account for climbing equipment. Please check our specific itineraries for details. We have provided the following information that we ask you to examine in a flexible manner, adapting it where you feel necessary to your own outdoor experience or preference.
In order to minimise your expense outlay for trekking and climbing equipment, we are usually able to offer a range of equipment for hire/rent. Equipment availability and prices are provided to clients upon booking or are available on request.
Trekking and Hiking Equipmenty Checklist
The following basic checklist should help you with your packing for any of our trekking trips. Please remember this is just a checklist and you do not necessarily need to bring everything that is listed below. Use your own experience and judgment to make your decision. Please note that this list is appropriate to a trek at relatively high altitude, with night-time temperatures of a little below freezing. For low level trips, with warm nights, it would be normal to take a lighter sleeping bag and less warm clothing. All our clients will receive detailed briefing upon confirming the trip. It will include trip specific clothing and equipment list along detailed itinerary and season specific weather information.
- Gortex lining Hiking boots
- Training shoes/runners
- Merino Socks and sock liners
- Spare laces
- Trekking trousers/pants
- Lightweight shell/rain pants
- Icebreaker Merino 150 underwear briefs
- Icebreaker Merino 150 or lightweight 200 thermal bottoms
- Icebreaker Merino 200 shirt
- Icebreaker Merino 150 T-shirt
- Polar fleece jacket
- Polar fleece trousers
- Waterproof Gortex jacket
- Warm down jacket
- Sunhat or cap
- Warm hat
- Light neck/face sleeve or light weight balaclava
- Thermal light gloves
- Warm gloves or mittens
Personal Hygiene and Health
- Personal hygiene supplies.
- Sun cream SPF 30+
- Insect repellent
- Toothpaste and toothbrush
- Soap and hand sanitizer
- Synthetic towel
- Hand wipes
- Daypack - approx. 30 litres/1800cu in
- Head torch/headlamp with spare batteries
- Basic First Aid Kit - refer to general list and specific itineraries
- Water bottles 1L (1 quart)
- Selection of dry bags (to keep trek bag contents dry)
- 4 or 5 season sleeping bag
- Sleeping bag liner
- Thermarest or similar sleeping mat
- Synthetic towel
- Travel clothes
- Telescopic trekking poles
- Camera, batteries
- Swiss Army knife (remember to pack sharp objects in check-in baggage)
- Small padlock (to lock trek bag)
- Trekking duffel bag for porter
Health and Vaccinations before your Trip
Ultimately it is your responsibility to ensure that you are fit enough to join an adventure holiday. In line with this, please complete the relevant section of our booking form fully and honestly. You should also have a thorough medical and dental check-up before the holiday. You may need specific vaccinations when visiting some remote areas and this is explained in the information that we send to you when you book. For recommended and compulsory health requirements, please talk to your doctor or visit a specialised travel medical clinic.
Personal First Aid Kit
Although every trip carries a medical kit, it is advisable to bring a supply of first aid items for your own personal use. Base this on the following list, plus any special medications you may require. Please note that this list is appropriate for a long trip in a remote location and at high altitude. For a week's short hike, antibiotis and multivitamins are not necessary.
- Insect repellent.
- Antiseptic cream.
- Sunbloc SPF 30+.
- Throat lozenges or hard sweets.
- Painkillers. Aspirin, Paracetamol etc.
- Anti-diarrhea (Diocalm or Immodium).
- Plasters (band-aids) and 'Second Skin' for blisters.
- Antibiotics. A broad-spectrum antibiotic (such as Ciproxin) suitable for a variety of infections. Please consult with your doctor.
- Re-hydration salts. (Gastrolyte).
- Dextrose glucose tablets.
- Multi-vitamin tablets.
Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS)
What is it?
Altitude sickness is the reaction of the body adjusting to decreasing amounts of oxygen. Normally, the higher the altitude, the less oxygen is available for the body to carry on normal functions.
Altitude sickness most commonly occurs from above 2800m/9,200ft but this is different for everyone - there is simply no way of knowing your own susceptibility prior to being at altitude thus it is vital you monitor your own health. Symptoms may be mild and subside/go away after a day's rest, or if it is ignored it could lead to death.
What are the symptoms of AMS?
Symptoms can appear within 1-2 hours although most often appear 6-10 hours after ascent and generally subside in 1-2 days as the body adjusts to altitude. They may reappear as you continue to go higher. Symptoms of AMS usually occur gradually and can be one or a combination of the following:
- Difficulty sleeping
- Shortness of breath
- Loss of appetite
- Disturbed sleep or drowsiness
- Rapid pulse
- Swelling of hands, feet & face
Symptoms generally associated with more severe acute mountain sickness include:
- Bluish discoloration of the skin (cyanosis)
- Chest tightness or congestion
- Coughing up blood
- Decreased consciousness or withdrawal from social interaction
- Grey or pale complexion
- Inability to walk in a straight line, or to walk at all
- Shortness of breath at rest
At high altitude all people will experience some of the above symptoms in a mild form. If the body is unable to adjust to altitude these symptoms will persist and, if they are left untreated, altitude sickness may progress to High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE) or High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE). Edema means simply fluid accumulation in your interstitial body tissues. Both HACE and HAPE can be fatal if ignored.
What are the symptoms of HAPE (fluid in the lungs)?
- A dry cough, developing to a wet one with blood-tinged discharge or saliva
- Tightness in the chest & blueness/darkness of face, lips & tongue
- Low fever up to 38°C/100°F
- Severe fatigue, progressing to coma
What are the symptoms of HACE (fluid in the brain)?
- Severe headache symptoms not relieved by painkillers or lying down
- Confusion, disorientation & drowsiness
- Loss of balance or coordination
- Blurred or double vision/retinal hemorrhage
How to prevent it?
Certain medical conditions (such as respiratory disease) or medications (such as sleeping pills) can increase the risk of altitude sickness - it is important that you inform your guide of any medical conditions or medications before ascending to altitude. You can help your body to acclimatise and avoid altitude sickness by:
- Avoiding alcohol, tobacco and substances that can interfere with good delivery of oxygen to the body or cause dehydration
- Eating small, frequent meals high in carbohydrates
- Drinking plenty of water – the test of sufficient amount of water intake is ability to urinate colourless urine
- Taking it easy or have a rest. Walk at a slower pace than you would at sea level and avoid over-exertion
- Climb the mountain gradually and stop for a day or two of rest for every 600m/2000ft above 2,400m/8000ft
- Sleep at a lower altitude when possible
- Learn how to recognize early symptoms of mountain sickness
What is the treatment?
Most travelers are able to successfully acclimatise by following the previously mentioned guidelines. However, there are instances where medical treatment is required. Ultimately, the best treatment for acute mountain sickness (AMS) is to descend to a lower altitude and rest. Early diagnosis is important. Acute mountain sickness is easier to treat in the early stages.
The guide we book for your party has training and experience in AMS symptoms recognition, prevention and treatment. The guide will monitor your all the time for symptoms and will pace you appropriately to minimize your exposure to AMS.
We ask you to cooperate with the guide by reporting any above described symptoms and allow your guide to undertake appropriate and timely action such as take a rest and have a drink or snack, help you to carry your day pack or change a pace, take extra day rest or descent if necessary.
Your Guide will carry some medications in First Aid Kit and may suggest medication such as Ibuprophen, Paracetamol, combination of them or specific AMS medication. Standard and effective medication for prevention of AMS is Acetazolamide (Diamox) and it may be given to help improve breathing and reduce mild symptoms. This drug can cause increased urination. Ensure you drink plenty of fluids and avoid alcohol when taking this drug.
With severe cases of AMS our guide will contact our office in Kathmandu and arrange your evacuation by helicopter. Before we accept you on the trek we will require that you purchase health and travel insurance including helicopter rescue and hospitalization.
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