Nepal is the home of 20 million people with language and customs as diverse as the terrain. From mountains to valley, plateaus to plains, ethnic groups vary as the climate. This mountainous rugged land contains 8 of the highest peaks in the world, the most famous peaks being the Everest, Kanchanjunga, Manaslu & Annapurna.
With few roads extending into hills and interiors, the country offers exceptional range of hikes and mountaineering tours from west to east. Journey in Nepal will take you through a country that has been explored by famous explores such as Hillary, Tenzing, Shipton for the last 100 years.
Kingdom of Nepal:
Population: 22 million.
Area: 56,629.83 Sq. Miles.
Consists of northern two-third dominated by the Himalayan mountain range, and the southern third by the Ganges plain. There are about 240 peaks higher then 600m. Including Everest, the world’s highest at 8850m.
People: Tribal groups including Gurung, Limbu, Mangar, Tamang, Newar, Tharu, Sherpa, Limbu and Rai. Major caste groups are Brahmins and Chetris. Large number of Indians and some Tibetans has made their home in Nepal.
Language: Nepal 58% (Official Language), Newari 3% (Mainly in Kathmandu), Indian Language. (Mainly in Tarai) and other dozen or so languages dialects.
Religion: Officially 70% Hindu, 25% Buddhist, 3% Islamic. However Hinduism and Buddhism overlap great deal.
Climate: Tropical and temperate depending on the altitude and time of the year. The cold season starts from October to March and is also the best time to visit the country. The night temperature drops to freezing point while the day temperature has a comfortable average 25-28 0 C. The sky is generally very clear and bright; air is dry and warm. In April, May and early June, the weather, becomes hot and stuffy, with occasional evening thunder-`storms. Nature is in full bloom though the landscapes are hidden in heat mist with temperature between 30-38 0 C. By end of June the monsoon arrives and lasts almost 3 months.The Himalayas remains hidden behind the rain and clouds. The downpours create floods and landslides occasionally at lowlands. The monsoon ends by mid September and immediately the crispy air brings in autumn with clear blue skies.
Clothing: From Mid September-March: Light is fine in Kathmandu valley. For evening and morning, heavy woolen sweater or a padded anorak/jacket will be needed. Special gear required for Trekking can be hired or bought in Kathmandu or Pokhara. From April to September, only light clothes, preferably cotton are needed in Nepal.
Time: 5hrs. 45min. Ahead of GMT.
Economy: Nepal is predominantly an agricultural country. The agricultural sector absorbs more then 80% of the total labor force of the country and 18% of the total land area has been brought under agricultural operation. The contribution to GDP at current price from this sector in 1998/99 to be only 46%.
Nepal Trekking Season and Region:
Monsoon Summer(Mid June-Mid September): From mid June till mid September trails are slippery, with heavy overcast sky, humid heat and leeches. Only areas which fall under rain shadow i.e. Manang, Mustang, Northern Dolpa are recommended during this period.
Early Autumn (September 15-15 Oct): The monsoon ends with very bright sky. The countryside is fresh and lush green. Khumbu, Rolwaling, Hongu Valley, Dhaulagiri, Annapurna Regions are best at this time of the year.
Autumn (15 Oct- 20 Nov): The very best season for treks to all parts of Nepal. Perhaps little crowded due to high season. But the weather is climatic factor makes it the best time to visit Nepal.
Winter(Nov-Feb): Winter arrives in Kathmandu by mid Nov. Low –level treks within elevation of 3500m.are best at this time of the year due to good sunny weather and very little rain. But one should avoid crossing high passes after first week of Dec due to snow. Khumbu, north of Kathamndu (both Helambu and Langtang), Pokhara valleys Trek, Ghorepani Circuit are all good trips to be considered at this time of the year.
Spring(March): spring arrives when we reach the month of March. Little early for crossing high passes, but excellent time for Helambu, (not crossing Gosaikkunda Pass) Langtang Khumbu, Pokhara Valley and Ghorepani area.
2nd Half Spring(April): Excellent time to trek to Milk Danda and Makalu base camp for rhododendron and varieties of wild flowers in full bloom. The temperature starts getting warm and afternoon clouds and shower in most places. Low elevation of Pokhara starts getting hotter and quite hazy day by day, Khumhu offers excellent area for the hikes. It would be better to fly to Lukla as the walk from Jiri can be disappointing due to haze.
Pre-Monsoon(May & June): The two pre-monsoon months are heavy with heat and haze at lower elevation. The trek at this time of the year should be at higher altitude to avoid the heat. The areas that are recommendable at this time of the year would be Khumbu (both way fly in and fly out) Rolwaling, Hongu, Langtang with Ganja La Pass and Annapurna Circuit.
Daily Trek Routine:
You will be woken with a cup hot of tea brought to your tent at round 6 am, followed by a small bowl of warm water for washing. Then, before breakfast, you will pack up your belongings bearing in mind that your sleeping bag will also have to fit into your Duffel bag. Roll up your sleeping mat and it in its stuff sack and ensure that your tent is free of rubbish and ready for next camp. Your duffel bag will then to taken and tied up with other gear into a load, which head off early with the porters and will not be available to you until camp that evening. We are usually on a trial by 7:30am latest and, following a good morning’s walk we stop for lunch around 11am. Lunch is usually a 2hour break to allow for the group meal followed by the staff meal. This also enables you to do your washing in the warmest part of the day and catch up on your diary or reading. The afternoon walk is little shorter and camp is usually struck by around 4 P.M. Please keep in mind that these timings are general trial conditions Weather availability of suitable campsites and water supply may affect them greatly at any time.
For people on our longer and more remote treks we feel we must reiterate that walking times and indeed the general trek routine may alter at any time. Trial and weather conditions in these high altitudes and inaccessible areas are extremely difficult to predict and trekkers often have to feel their ways, asking locals as they go and making decision on routine and pitching camps as the moment dictate.
Our Sardar are very experienced in these areas and will always err on the side of safety and whilst this may occasionally be frustrating we are sure that you will understand and offer them your co-operation. The high altitude and remote Himalayan region should never be underestimate. Similarly, it should be realized that on longer treks. In many areas we must rely totally on what we can carry with us, as there are no villages at all and we are far from any fresh food supplies. However we are confident that, having chosen one of these treks, you will be prepared for uncertainties and challenges.