Trekking, Nepal

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  • A Heavy Load
    A Heavy Load
    by into-thin-air
  • Machhapuchhre and Annapurna South from Ghandruk
    Machhapuchhre and Annapurna South from...
    by into-thin-air
  • Ang Thile Sherpa, Virtual Tourist ;-)
    Ang Thile Sherpa, Virtual Tourist ;-)
    by into-thin-air
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    Updated prices for entrance fees of National Parks

    by into-thin-air Updated May 10, 2015

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    Unfortunately entrance prices to get into National parks in Nepal have just been revised – And Revised Steeply I may add with Sagarmatha (Everest) and Langtang Tripling from 1000NPR to 3000Npr
    Full details on the TAAN site below
    Best Regards
    Rob

    Namche Bazaar Heading up the Khumba Yaks returning from EBC Yaks returning from EBC Early morning at Tengboche
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    Lukla – EBC – Gokyo (via Cho La) – Lukla Trek

    by into-thin-air Updated Apr 22, 2015

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    1)Kathmandu to Lukla by flight then trek to Benkar (2800m)
    2) Benkar to Namche (3450m)
    3)Namche - Rest / Acclimatisation day
    4)Namche - Debouche (3700m)
    5) Debouche - Dingboche (3930m)
    6) Dingboche - Pheriche (4220)
    7) Pheriche - Dhugla (4600m)
    8) Dhugla – Lobuje (4950 m)
    9) Lobuje – Kala Patter(5545m) - Gorak Shep(5140m)
    10) Gorak Shep- EBC (5360m)- Dzonglha
    11) Dzonglha across Cho La to Thagnak (4830m)
    12) Thagnak to Gokyo
    13) Rest and exploration day at Gokyo
    14) Gokyo - Mong La
    15) Mong La – Namche Bazaar
    16) Namche Bazaar – Lukla
    17) Fly Kathmandu
    If you are running short of time you can safely get from Gokyo to Namche Bazaar in a single long day

    10) Gorok Shep- EBC (5360m)- Lobuje (4930m)
    11) Lobuje - Pangboche (High level route turning left at Dhugla)
    12) Pangboche – Phortse
    13) Phortse - Thare (Or Nha)
    15) Thare (Or Nha) to Gokyo the explore around Gokyo
    Then as above but one day later

    Rob and Tej at EBC
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    Brief resume of different teahouse trekking routes

    by into-thin-air Updated Apr 12, 2015

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    EBC
    Pro’s
    1) Seeing Everest
    2) Wonderful high altitude trek that can be trekked safely in as little as 2 weeks Lukla – Lukla or 3 weeks Jiri – EBC – Lukla or just under 4 weeks Jiri EBC – Lukla – Gokyo – Lukla or longer

    Con’s
    Can be expensive if you fly to and from Lukla and risk of flight delays at Lukla

    Trek Report from my own EBC Trek
    Downloadable Trekking Map

    AC (Annapurna Circuit)
    Pro’s
    1) Diverse trek starting off at low altitude passing through paddy fields. Then grain fields, pasture, forests and out above the tree line over Thorung La (5540m) then through the deepest valley I the word, The kali Gandaki
    2) Easy road access to trailheads so no flights required
    3) Can be trekked as the full circuit of fly out of Jomsom if time is tight

    Con’s – Trek now somewhat marred by road building
    Downloadable Guide to The Annapurna Circuit Trekking Route avoiding the new roads

    Downloadable Annapurna Trekking Map

    ABC (Annapurna Sanctuary)
    Pro’s
    1) Relatively short trek of about 10 days but gets you right into the heart of the mountains
    2) Can be extended to include Poon Hill and Mardi Himal if time permits
    3) Easy road access to trailheads so no flights required

    Con’s
    Few villages and none above Chomrong so a little lacking in culture and real Nepali life

    Trek Report on Alternative Annapurna Trek

    Langtang / Helambu

    Pro’s
    1) Least crowded of all the teahouse trekking routes
    2) Can be combined with Helambu (You can then trek right back into the Kathmandu Valley and save a long arduous bus journey)

    Con’s
    The bus ride from Kathmandu to Syapru Besi

    Trek Report from my own Langtang Trek
    Downloadable Langtang Trekking Map

    Kalla Patar from Gorak Shep Langtang fro near Singh Gompa Machhapuchhre and Annapurna South from Ghandruk
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    Should I trek AC or ABC – The often asked question

    by into-thin-air Updated Apr 1, 2015

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    Both treks have their own merits so it is difficult to say that one is better than the other, the AC is a longer and harder trek, it usually takes around 18 days to complete and involves walking up one valley (Marsyangdi), over a high pass (Thorung La), down another valley (Kali Gandaki), then over a high ridge (Poon Hill), The advantages of the AC trek are that you walk through a lot more diverse terrain, You see the changing landscapes and cultures, from paddy fields at Besisahar, passing through different crop belts as you gain altitude, then into forest and finally you trek above the tree-line and cross the pass. The culture also changes as you gain altitude from Nepali to Tibetan. However the AC is Slowly changing as road building progress up the valley towards Manang and there are now jeep roads all the way down from Muktinath to Beni in the valley of the Kali Gandaki, But you can avoid most of these and keep to the old trekking routes so don’t let that worry you too much, Maybe the time to do the AC is now before the road building is completed though !!??

    Once you reach Manang you Must spend an extra night there to aid acclimatisation, otherwise you increase your risk of AMS. Then after Manang you should only gain 300m per day, so take 2 days to reach Thorung Phidi, Then it is a hard day crossing the pass to Muktinath !!

    One day after Muktinath you come to Jomsom and have a choice of ending your trek here and flying to Pokhara, or picking up a bus or jeep on the new jeep road, if you keep trekking you have an easy few days following the Kali Gandaki down as far as Tatopani before “The Sting in the Tail” and the hike up to Ghoropani (Poon Hill). It is a good idea to visit the Hot Springs at Tatopani in the morning as they are a lot less crowded and a lot cleaner then, then set off up towards Ghoropani after lunch and take a day and a half to get there – you will find this a lot more pleasant than trying to get up there in one day !!. From Ghoropani trek down to Birithanti and spend a last night there before the short trek (maybe one hour) to the road head at Naya Pul and the bus ride back to Pokhara.

    To avoid most of the road building you should read the link below on the NATT guides that route you around the worst if the road building

    ABC is a shorter trek, around 10 days with different options of where to start your trek, Kande, Phidi or Naya Pul. It is classed as an easier trek, but don’t be fooled into taking it lightly as it is still hard enough ;-) You start off by crossing a ridge from Phidi / Kande to Lhandruk (Two days), cross the Modi Khola at New Bridge and then follow the valley up to ABC – However the trek does involve a lot of ups and downs as the path takes in the villages of Chomrong and Sinua which are both high above the river, there is only one path after Chomrong so you have to return the same way but can divert after Chomrong and trek out via Tadapani and Ghoropani (Poon Hill) to extend your trek up to about 2 weeks. From Ghoropani you can either trek out as per the AC, or trek down to Tatopani in one day to take advantage of the hot springs, then either walk down to Beni or catch a jeep, From Beni you get a bus back to Pokhara.

    The ABC is a lower trek so less risk of AMS, but you still have to take care and only gain the statutory 300m per day after Himalaya Lodge.

    The views from Both treks are Awesome so not a lot to help you choose there.

    So it all depends on how much time you want to go trekking for and what your own personal tastes are.

    Whichever trek you choose, I am Sure that you will have an Excellent time – Just Enjoy

    Good Luck and Happy Safe Trekking

    Rob

    Equipment: There is now a new NATT Guide out (Link on the bottom of this page)
    This helps you avoid the worst on the new jeep roads

    Traffic on the new jeep road below Jharkot Besisahar, The starting point of AC The Marsyangdi River below Bahundanda Looking down on Kagbeni The New Monastery at Muktinath
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    How Many days does it take to Safely trek ABC

    by into-thin-air Updated Mar 29, 2015

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    For people with a reasonable level of fitness I would allow at least 8 days to safely trek ABC – You could do it quicker but would put yourself at some risk of AMS,
    The schedule below is for a 9 day P shaped trek, but If you really want to do it in 8 then you can save a day by both starting and ending your trek at Lhandruk or Ghandruk

    Day 1 - I would say start your trek as early in the morning as possible at Kande and trek to Tolka or Lhandruk (Depending on how you go and how early in the day you started your trek) – Up a little to Australian Camp, the undulating, and a little more up and over a ridge then slowly down to Lhandruk (Full days trekking)
    Day 2 – Lhandruk to Chomrong - about ¾ days trek downhill at first to cross the Modi Kosi at New Bridgeand the Steeply uphill past Jhinu Danda to Chomrong
    Day 3 - Chomrong to Bamboo – about ¾ days trek, Steeply downhill on steps, the steeply uphill to Real Sinua and then downhill again to Bamboo
    Day 4 -Bamboo to Himalaya – ½ day steadily up
    Day 5- Himalaya to Deurali -- ½ day steadily up
    Day 6 - Deurali to MBC - -- ½ day steadily up
    Day 7 -MBC – ABC – Doban - Full day, up early, breakfast at ABC then return downhill all the way to Doban picking your pack up at MBC when passing
    Day 8 - Doban to Chomrong -- ¾ day with one up and over and a pull up to Chomrong

    From Chomrong I trekked towards Poon Hill but you could trek Chomrong to Lhandruk or Ghandruk in one long day – This is where the new jeep Road Ends and catch a jeep or a bus back to Pokhara from there

    I have written out my own trekking schedule from 2006 below, it is slightly different to the one above – you might also find it useful ;-)

    1) Leave Pokhara in the early afternoon by taxi to Phidi and trek to Dhampus, Uphill, quite steep at times and passing through terraces, arriving there late afternoon
    2) Dhampus to Ladruk – about ¾ days trek crossing one ridge then mainly downhill to Ladruk
    3) Ladruk to Chomrong- about ¾ days trek downhill at first to cross the Modi Kosi at “ New Bridge” (No Bridge!!) and the Steeply uphill to Chomrong
    4) Chomrong to Bamboo – about ¾ days trek, Steeply downhill on steps, the steeply uphill to Real Sinua and then downhill again to Bamboo
    5) Bamboo to Himalaya – ½ day steadily up
    6) Himalaya to Deurali -- ½ day steadily up
    7) Deurali to MBC - -- ½ day steadily up
    8) MBC – ABC – Doban - Full day, up early, breakfast at ABC then return downhill all the way to Doban picking your pack up at MBC when passing
    9) Doban to Chomrong -- ¾ day with one up and over and a pull up to Chomrong

    From Chomrong I trekked towards Poon Hill but you could trek Chomrong to Nayapool in one long day and catch a bus back to Pokhara from there

    10) Chomrong to Tadapani - Full day - You cross one small ridge, then it is considerably up, initially through terraced agricultural land, then into forest before finally reaching Tadopani
    11) Tadapani to Ghorapani (Poon Hill) ¾ day - first down through forest, then you undulate through a mixture of agricultural land and more forest, one small up and over then generally downhill into Ghorapani.
    12) After getting up at the crack of dawn to see the sunrise on the top of Poon Hill, Either Ghorapani to Birethanti or Tatopani – both ¾ day treks and downhill all the way
    13) From Birethanti to Nayapool – 1 hours hike and then bus back to Pokhara
    From Tatopani to Beni by jeep then bus back to Pokhara

    Personally I would opt for the Tatapani route and as long as you aren’t tight on time then have a day off there to take advantage of the Hot Springs

    ABC
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    Trekking Permits / Conservation Fees & TIMS

    by into-thin-air Updated Jan 15, 2015

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    To go trekking in Nepal it is Necessary to buy a Trekking Permit Before you set off trekking !! These are best bought in Kathmandu, The fee for trekking in the Annapurna region is currently 2000 Nepalese rupees and you will need two passport size photos. Simply go to the office ( On Thamel Chowk ) fill in the forms, hand over your money and photo's and you will be issued with your permit there and then !!!

    2006 -- Although I didn't actually manage to get on a trek on this, my latest trip to Nepal, I can confirm that the office is still in the same building but it has now moved upstairs -- It is now at Street level in the middle of the building, you turn in half way along it. I aren't sure of the current prices for trekking permits however !! -- Happy Travels in Nepal -- Rob

    2008, For Trekking Annapurna (AC or ABC) You must have your permit before you enter the park, you can buy these in either Kathmandu or Pokhara However if you are trekking either Everest or Langtang region you now pay your park entrance fee at the Park gate
    In addition to your ANCAP Conservation Fee you now also need a TIM's registration document, Nirmal at HMA got me mine, but I have been told that you can pick them up at the ANCAP office at the same time that you pay your ANCAP Conservation Fee

    2008 second update
    It is now possible to arrange TIM's and ANCAP Fees in Advance through Nirmal, Drop him an email for details, But basically he will arrange both permits for you for a fee of around $50 including the price of the Permits. You will have to email him your passport details, then you attach the photographs and pay the fee when you arrive – This is a Great Service and might well save you a day or two !!

    2010 update
    Starting March 15th 2010 TIM's card will cost $20 US in Nepali currency for trekkers not in groups. Group trekkers get it for $10

    "The cabinet meeting held recently has changed some provisions related to Trekkers' Information Management System (TIM's). The new changes will come into effect from March 15.

    As per the new provision, trekkers are required to take TIM's Card from Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) and Trekking Agencies' Association of Nepal (TAAN) before starting their trek. Trekkers travelling in groups can get the TIM's card upon paying $10 each while those preferring to travel individually need to pay $20.

    2010 second Update – having just returned from Nepal I can confirm that the new rules mentioned above came into place on April 1st, 2010

    Although TAAN registered agents aren’t allowed to sell independent trekkers cards (Green ones), nearly all of them are prepared to sell independent trekkers the Blue accompanied trekkers ones.
    To do this the agents then have to demonstrate to the authorities that some money has changed hands between the trekker and the agent to arrange the trek so the price charged by the agent is usually the same at $20 that you would pay at the TAAN offices.
    I have come across many lots of Trekkers who have done this. Particularly when they are on a tight timeframe organising both ANCAP and TIMS in advance and I haven’t heard of any of them running into problems, But strictly speaking the agents are stretching the rules !!

    The Very Latest
    The Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal (TAAN) have now opened a new TIMS Counter in Central Thamel, so independent trekkers sorting out their own TIMS is a lot easier than it used to be
    However National Park and Conservation area tickets are not available there.
    The new counter is located at Manang Plaza, just off Amrit Marg.

    Looking down on Kagbeni, Annapurna Region Tractor heads up the new jeep road towardsJharkot The Temple at Muktinath
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    How long to Trek to Gokyo safely ?

    by into-thin-air Updated Oct 13, 2014

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    If you decide to do this trek then whatever you do don’t rush it as the Gokyo Valley is known locally as The valley of death because of the amount of people who have died with AMS over the years there !!

    Day 1 Kathmandu to Lukla by flight then trek to Benkar (2720m)
    Day 2 Benkar to Namche (3450m)
    Day 3 Namche - Rest / Acclimatisation day
    Day 4 Namche to Small lodge called Himalayan View opposite Phortse Tango (Aprox 3800m)
    Day 5 Himalayan View – Gyele (4110m)
    Day 6 Gyele – Phang (4550m)
    Day 7 Phang Gokyo (4790m)
    Day 8 Climb Gokyo Ri and trek back to Luza
    Day 7Luza to Namche Bazaar
    Day 10 Namche Bazaar to Lukla
    Day 11 Fly Kathmandu – back mid morning

    Everest from Gokyo Ri

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    Pro’s & Con’s of hiring your "Staff" from an Agent

    by into-thin-air Updated Sep 21, 2014

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    Personally, Even though it is Slightly more expensive I would say it is Far Better to hire your Staff (Guide – Porter / Guide and Porters) through a Reputable (And preferably well recommended) Agent than it is to try and hire them hire them off the street or en-route yourself.

    The Good and Reputable Agents do a Great Job, For the trekker and for their staff, My preferred agent, (Details on travelogue entitled “A Very Important Decision”) sub-contracts his staff form a list of Experienced porters and guides that he has put together over the years, Thus he makes sure that All the staff that he supplies are well known to him, they are all trustworthy and excellent at their jobs. Yes – he does take a commission, But this is agreed between the porters and guides and himself and is only a small percentage of their salary.

    From the trekkers point of view, this practically guarantees that the staff that you hire are up to the job, You have the opportunity to interview them Before you head off on your trek and assess their suitability.
    They are trustworthy, they have good clothing, boots etc, they have insurance and the price that you pay covers Everything that has been agreed.
    Particularly If you are a first time visitor to Nepal, then it also takes a lot of the pitfalls and hassles out of finding your own suitable staff.

    From the porters and guides point of view, a Good and Reputable agent keeps their staff as near to fully employed as they can, Often at the end of one trek they are off on another within a couple of days, they can then spend this small amount of time off relaxing with there families as opposed to walking the streets looking for their next job

    Reputable TAAN registered agents provide their trekking staff with insurance so if you hire your trekking staff out through one, then it is the agency that is responsible for them
    If you hire your trekking staff out independently (Directly) then it is YOU that are responsible for them
    So – What does this mean?
    If you have hired your trekking staff out through a reputable TAAN registered agent and your guide (Or Porter- Or any person that you have hired as a member of your trekking staff) then it is the agent that carries the responsibly – Obviously if something goes wrong and your guide (Or whoever) has an accident or falls so ill that he is unable to communicate then you would endeavour to contact the agent and he would look after the needs of his member of staff and then try to get a replacement out to you so as to inconvenience your trek as little as possible. In cases of emergency everyone will pull together, if there is no mobile phone signal, runners will be dispatched to either a place where there is coverage, or to the nearest land-line, or to where there is a satellite phone available – Any costs involved will either be picked up by the insurance or the agent.
    If you hire your trekking staff out independently (Directly) then it is YOU that are responsible – As above, In cases of emergency everyone will pull together, if there is no mobile phone signal, runners will be dispatched to either a place where there is coverage, or to the nearest land-line, or to where there is a satellite phone available but any costs not covered by insurance will be down to you, Likewise, any replacement staff will have to be sourced by you and if the insurance doesn’t cover the guides (Or whoever)transport to the trailhead then covering these costs will be again down to you.
    I had a long conversation a couple of years ago with the agent that I use about what actual cover the insurance policy he provides for his trekking staff and he told me this
    Helicopter Rescue isn’t included and the guide (Or whoever) has to be transported down to the nearest trailhead where he will be met by an ambulance and transported to hospital (In the case of EBC, if he has a flight ticket (Bought as part of the trek by the client) and is able to use this then this would be the normal procedure) and once in hospital the insurance would also cover all the fees there.
    However, in a case of a disputed claim, this would be up to the agent to sort out – Or if you had hired your trekking staff out independently it would then be your responsibility.
    Hence, part of my reasoning for always recommending hiring trekking staff out through a reputable TAAN registered agent.

    So – To summarise - If you decide to employ your own trekking staff directly then you MUST remember that it is YOU that are entirely responsible for their wellbeing and if they don’t have insurance and something goes wrong with your trekking staff, serious illness of accident then your group has to pay all associated medical costs and compensation if the result is loss of limb or, God Forbid, loss of life and this can end up being many thousands of $’s
    If you read Page 49, section 38: of The Nepal Immigration Rules on this link below, it will give you the official wording

    If you are hiring out “Staff” the secret of a successful trek is to set the ground rules Before you leave Kathmandu and these rules should include

    1) Always interview your “Staff” Before you go trekking with them, Preferably get them to give you a walking tour around Kathmandu, Then they are away from the office, will be able to talk freely and you will be in a better position to judge their ability to communicate, character and if you are going to be able to get on well enough with them on your trek.
    2)Ask if he has already trekked the route you are going on and how many times
    3) Tell them that You Always retain the final say where you will stay and where and when you will eat.
    Personally I am Happy to look at places recommended by my “Staff” (As I am aware that some places look after Nepali’s a lot better than others, better accommodation as well as better / cheaper food for them + if they get a little kick-back then as long as I am happy with the standard as well as the price that I am paying this doesn’t bother me)
    4) I also mention to them that as long as I am happy with their services then they will get a Good Tip – I think this clears the air and gives your “Staff” that extra incentive to ensure that you are well looked after.
    5) The agent that I use provides all his “Staff” with a mobile phone – I also think this is an excellent idea so that if there is a problem then (providing you have a phone Signal) these can be Quickly sorted out.
    6) Before I start a trek is to have a rough schedule, then I know approximately how many days I will be trekking for, to this I usually add one buffer day, so If all goes according to plan I am usually back from my trek one day ahead, With this the agent that is use I can claim one days fees back, but in reality, as I have always been happy with my treks, I have never done this, but have ensured that my “Staff” are still paid the extra day.
    Another system that the agent I use has is that if you want to extend your trek, if it takes longer than originally anticipated or if for what ever reason you are delayed then you can pay your “Staff” direct. This works well for everyone as the “Staff” in actual fact get more money as there is no agents commission deducted and as the agent has already had his cut he is (Or should be) happy as well.
    7) It is also worth making 100% sure that your “Staff” are insured and that the agent is making sure that their clothing is up to the standard for the area / season you are trekking in.

    It may sound like a bit of a list – But personally I think it is well worth that little extra effort at the beginning of your trek to help minimise potential unforeseen problems later :-)

    Happy and Safe Trekking to One and All
    Rob

    Tej, Dipendra and Shambhu at Lobuje Our ?Staff? 1 Cook, I cooks Boy and Two Porters Early Morning en-route to EBC with Tej
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    Safe Drinking Water whilst trekking

    by into-thin-air Updated Jul 23, 2014

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    Obviously a major consideration to any trek is the availability of Safe Drinking water, In Nepal you have several options of getting it !!

    Please try and avoid buying bottled water as this does lead to a Huge Littler problem with all the empty plastic bottles being poorly disposed of !!

    On the Annapurna Circuit there is a series of Safe Drinking Water Stations that sell water purified by ozonation.
    You can read about the scheme and se where these stations are located on the link below.

    On ABC after passing through Chomrong Bottled water has been banned, you can buy Safe Drinking water which has been boiled from lodges.
    If you buy it last thing in the evening and pop it into a metal water bottle (After it has cooled a little) then pop this in a sock, you then have a hot water bottle for the night and nice cold drinking-water on hand the next morning.
    Also a lot of water is now boiled on solar cooker like in the photo, So Safe Drinking Water at no ecological cost and still providing that essential extra income for those people that really need it !!

    Both the above schemes provide an extra income for locally who badly need the money and the AC of Safe Drinking Water Stations also help fund ACAP

    You can also buy Safe Drinking water which has been boiled from lodges on EBC and Langtang too

    Another option is Lugols Solution of Iodine – This is readily available from chemists in Kathmandu for a few rupees (But bring your own dropper / pipette bottle from home as the ones in comes in leek – Thus making a Big Mess of your pack !!!)
    It makes the water taste a bit metallic so you should take something like “Tang” along as well to flavour your water.

    Some people now bring their own water filters / Steri-Pens, although I think that this is a great idea, the downside is that by using your own water filtration system you are depriving local people of a much needed income.

    Happy Trekking
    Rob

    Water being boiled on a solar cooker
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    Picking and Packing a Rucksack

    by into-thin-air Written Jul 15, 2014

    Picking and Packing a Rucksack
    I can’t overemphasize the importance of having a good fitting, well packed rucksack and this “Tip” is to try to explain the best way of achieving this – Based on my own experiences for over 20 years of Long Distance walking, Trekking in Nepal and Camino Walking

    First of all, choosing your rucksack.
    Rucksacks come in many different shapes and sizes, so you need to have an idea of the volume of the equipment that you are going to carry, I have never seen any reason for buying an overly small rucksack, and then strapping extra items on the outside (Tents and Carry- Mats being the exception to this “rule”).
    There are Rucksacks specifically designed for females (After all, Females and Males differ in shape so it’s Definitely not a “One Size Fits All”.
    Many rucksacks have double entries and /or are compartmentalised, so these can be useful as t you can keep lighter things like your sleeping bag in the bottom section, while still having it easily accessible at the end of a day’s walking without having to unpack the rest of your rucksack to get at it. The main downside is that you then can’t use a one piece rucksack liner.
    Modern Rucksacks have several adjusting points so that you raise and lower the ride height, Lengthen and Shorten the shoulder straps, waist belt and chest strap, as well as adjustments to tension the sides to bring the bottom of the rucksack into the waist belt and also an adjustment to bring the top of the rucksack in towards your back. This all might sound a little confusing at first, so if you are at all unsure then it is worthwhile buying your rucksack from a reputable outdoor shop as then the assistant can explain what all the adjustments do as well as roughly fit your chosen back to your own body.
    Packing your Rucksack
    The first thing to mention is that rucksacks aren’t waterproof, so you either need to use some kind of liner, or pack things into waterproof bags before putting them into your rucksack (Some rucksacks now have rain covers and these are useful as they keep the outside of your rucksack reasonably dry, but rain still gets down the back of them, so you should still take the additional measures to help ensure that your kit is dry at the end of your days walking, no matter what the weather has thrown at you)
    Personally I use the Rucksack Pro-Tector
    as apart from it protecting your rucksack on the journey to the starting point of your walk, it has valuable second function as a water resistant liner for the inside of your pack.
    The most common myth is that you pack your heaviest items into the bottom of your rucksack
    So – Ideally you want have light items in the bottom, the heaviest items in the middle and light items on the top. The reason for this is that the centre of balance of your rucksack will reflect the centre of balance of your body – If heavy items are packed in the bottom, this pulls your rucksack down and increases the weight on your waist strap, therefore you have to keep this overly tight to prevent the rucksack slipping down and when this happens it increases the weight on your shoulder straps causing you sore shoulders as well as an increased risk of back pain.
    You also want to ensure that you distribute the weight evenly left and right inside your rucksack, therefore keeping it evenly balanced – You would be surprised at the number of walkers that I have seen wearing rucksacks tilted over to one side, this putting extra strain on one side of the body and again increasing the risks of back and shoulder pain.
    Finally, once your rucksack is fully packed, you then need to fine tune the adjustments.
    Before putting the rucksack on, ensure that all the compartments are buckled / zipped up and compression straps are adequately tensioned
    Then put your rucksack on - The waist strap needs to be snug enough so that it is carrying the bulk of the weight of the rucksack, the shoulder straps need to be reasonably snug, but not over tight so that there is a slight gap when standing between the shoulder strap and the top ofyour shoulders, you should also pull your chest strap reasonably tight to help prevent any movement. The bottom tension adjusters should be pulled in evenly so that your rucksack is a snug fit to the waste strap and the top tension adjuster should be pulled in so that the rucksack is parallel to your body when standing upright.
    As you start to walk, you will no doubt find that small adjustments are needed, getting the ride height takes a little bit of doing, there isn’t a simple answer to this but personally, I find that a higher ride height is more comfortable than a lower one
    When ascending a big hill, it is worthwhile loosening the top tension adjusters and letting the rucksack fall back a centimetre or two as we naturally tend to lean forwards when going uphill, so by loosening them off a little it keeps your rucksack upright.

    I Hope that you find the above info useful - It might well sound like you have an awful lot to do before even taking the first steps of your walk, but I would Definitely Recommend that you choose the right rucksack and pack it carefully as an ill fitting rucksack is something that can Ruin an otherwise wonderful trekking experience
    Good Luck
    Rob

    A Heavy Load
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    Trek in the Khumba and see Everest in 9 Days

    by into-thin-air Updated Feb 6, 2014

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    Some people go to Nepal with a very limited timescale but still want to do a trek in the Khumba and see Everest – This tip is designed for trekkers with only nine days to trek in the Everest Region, This then leaves safety days and sightseeing days to enable the trek to be fit into a two week Nepal Visit.

    1)Kathmandu to Lukla by flight then trek to Benkar (2750m) (Waterfall Lodge Highly recommended)
    2) Benkar to Namche (3450m)
    3)Namche - Rest / Acclimatisation day )Trek up to The Panorama Hotel to get the view as in the photo)
    4)Namche - Thyanbosche (3867m) (Visit the Monastery)
    5) Thyanbosche - Pangboche (3930m) (Trek up to Upper Pangboche to visit the Gompa and see the views)
    6) Pangboche – Phortse
    7) Phortse to Namche
    8) Namche to Lukla
    9) Fly Kathmandu

    Namche to Namche; you will be rewarded with great views of Everest and Ama Dablam and it will be a memorable trek :-)

    Everest & The Upper Khumba from The Panorama Hotel Entering Monjo Big suspension bridge just before Jorsale Jorsale Last bridge before the step pull up to Namche
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    Trekking routes and times for EBC

    by into-thin-air Updated Jan 26, 2014

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    There are 4 main trailheads for trekking routes to EBC

    Lukla by flight
    Jiri by road
    Tumlingtar via The Arun Valley by flight or road
    Salleri by flight or road

    By far the most popular is Lukla as this is also the shortest route at around 14 days to trek for there to EBC and back

    Then the next shortest option is Salleri
    To get to Salleri you can either fly or go by jeep / bus, the latter takes around 24 hours and adds about 3 days trekking in and 2 out – So around 21 days Kathmandu – EBC- Kathmandu

    Then the next shortest Jiri / Shivalaya
    To get to Jiri / Shivalaya is a full day’s journey by bus from Kathmandu and then about 6 days trekking each way to where the route joins up with the path near Lukla – so about 28 days Kathmandu – EBC- Kathmandu

    Finally Tumlingtar
    To get to Tumlingtar you can either fly or go by jeep / bus, the latter takes around 24 hours and trek to where the route joins up with the path near Lukla on the Arun Valley Trek takes about 10 days - so about 36 days Kathmandu – EBC- Kathmandu

    Obviously you can trek in one way and out another, the above timings will give you a rough idea of how long all the varying options is likely to take.

    Good Luck and Happy Safe Trekking
    Rob

    Rob at EBC Kalla Patar from Gorak Shep On the way to EBC from Gorak Shep EBC EBC
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    Add flavour to your drinking water

    by into-thin-air Written Oct 3, 2013

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    Equipment: For this I use “Tang”, readily available in the supermarkets in Thamel
    Sometimes it’s called by different names, but if you ask for Tang then the shopkeeper will understand what you are talking about. I used lemon flavour and it tastes good, i believe there are other varieties including orange.
    TIP – Take along a plastic container from Home as “Tang” comes in a glass jar - a plastic container is both lighter and safer

    Tang
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    Alternative Aproach route for ABC

    by into-thin-air Written Oct 3, 2013

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    When trekking ABC there are several alternative route to Chomrong, then after it’s one path up to ABC and then back down again to Chomrong.
    The route below is one that tends not to be used by the large groups and in my opinion is now the best approach route, so you may find it useful

    1) From Pokhara to Kande by bus of private car (The latter should be about 1000 NPR)
    Then trek via Australian camp to Deurali (Up at first then fairly level – About 4 hours trekking)
    2) Then the next day to Jhinu – Down in the morning and a little up in the afternoon – Jhinu has an excellent hot spring so don’t miss this
    3) Jhinu to Sinua - about ¾ days trek, Steeply uphill and then downhill on steps, the steeply uphill to Real Sinua
    4) Sinua to Himalaya – about ½ day, down at first to Bamboo, trough Dovan and then steadily up
    5 Himalaya to Deurali -- ½ day steadily up
    6) Deurali to MBC - -- ½ day steadily up
    7) MBC – ABC – Dovan - Full day, up early, breakfast at ABC then return downhill all the way to Dovan picking your pack up at MBC when passing
    8) Dovan to Chomrong -- ¾ day with one up and over and a pull up to Chomrong
    9) Chomrong to Ghandruk – ¾ days trekking, first steeply down then up a bit, then more or less contouring – You pass through the old Garung Village of Ghandruk and come to the better lodges about 10 minutes later.
    11) Only one hours walking downhill to the village of Chane where the road now ends – Negotiate a jeep to Pokhara (2013 this cost me 900NPR for myself and my guide) then 1 ¼ hours on a rough road to Naya Pul and a further hour on a better road back to Pokhara – In time for lunch !!
    Good Luck
    Rob

    Route just before Jhinu Ang Thile Sherpa, Virtual Tourist ;-)
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    Which trek to do with ony 3 or 4 days available ??

    by into-thin-air Updated Sep 16, 2013

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    If you only have a Very Short time to go trekking in Nepal then without doubt the best short trek is The Poon Hill Trek, This can be done in 3 days Pokhara to Pokhara, However it is quite a strenuous trek going continuously uphill for two days, the second day being on a Lot of steps – If you can squeeze an extra day you would be better of by far doing a circular route to Poon Hill by
    1) Early Morning bus from Pokhara to Naya Pul and trek to Ghandruk (2013 update – You can now get a jeep / bus to Chane which is about an hours trekking below Ghandruk, so setting of from Pokhara around mid day is possible)
    2) Ghandruk to Tadapani
    3) Tadapani to Ghoropani
    4) Early rise, Poon Hill, Breakfast at Ghoropani and trek back to Naya Pul and an evening bus back to Pokhara

    However if you only have 3 days available then from Pokhara you would catch a bus to Naya Pul on day one and from there trek to Hile, Day 2 trek to Ghoropani, Day 3 This will be a long day, you would get up before the sun and do the short trek up to Poon Hill for the sunrise, then trek back down to Naya Pul (All downhill) and an evening bus back to Pokhara

    Happy and Safe Trekking
    Rob

    Helga and Rob on Poon Hill in 2004
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