Trekking information

TRIP GRADE

The trekking programmes featured in this website are classified into THREE different categories according to level of difficulty. Our grading systems should be taken as a general guideline only; it is up to you to judge your own fitness, ability and overall suitability for each trek.

Soft Adventure:

These treks are only about a week to 10 days’ duration and generally do not go higher than 4,000m. Each day’s walk will last around 4 – 5 hours. Soft adventure treks are a perfect introduction to trekking in Nepal. The activity level is fairly easy but will include some big hills requiring more exertion.

Moderate to fairly challenging treks:

These are longer treks into the heart of high mountain country, often to famous mountaineering Base Camps and invariably involving one or more high-pass crossings. Physically quite tiring, these treks involve time at high-altitude, some long days of approximately 6-8 hours’ trekking and some exposed trails. No previous experience is required but you should be moderately fit, used to some form of regular exercise and know that you enjoy walking in the great outdoors.

Strenuous:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

These are long, tough treks into remote and isolated areas where the terrain is wild and untamed and where the local inhabitants have seen little change in their way of life for centuries. Physically challenging, these treks are likely to include extended periods at altitude, unfavorable weather conditions and strenuous activities, such as, climbing/scrambling across high passes.

 

TYPE OF TREK

We offer three options regarding the organisation of your trek:

  • Camping Trek/Fully-Organised Trek (FOT)
  • Lodge/teahouse trek
  • Guide, Accommodation and Porter Trek

Camping Trek/Fully-Organised Trek (FOT)

Includes: guide; porters; cook; kitchen crew; all meals; tents

On a camping or FOT trek, you will be sleeping and eating in tents, accompanied by a trekking crew comprising: one Sirdar; one cook; kitchen helpers; sherpa assistants; and porters. The numbers of porters, sherpas and kitchen staff in any crew will depend on the size of the group.

As the local leader, the Sirdar is head of the trekking crew and responsible for all logistics during the trek as well as being the de facto leader of the group as a whole, unless a western leader or trained local guide has specifically been requested. The Sirdar and sherpa assistants will guide and assist you along the trail ensuring you don’t take the wrong path and help you over any potentially tricky areas. The kitchen crew will keep you well-fed throughout the trek with tasty, varied and nutritious meals and the porters are responsible for transporting all the gear from camp to camp.

The Sirdar and his assistants can speak basic English, good enough to tell you in simple terms about the places visited during the trek, the local culture or various sights that catches your attention.

Camping treks are normally offered for more remote regions where there is limited, or no, access to lodges/teahouses for accommodation and food. Our main aim is to make the trek as smooth, hassle-free and enjoyable for you as possible.

Lodge/Teahouse Trek

Includes: Accommodation in lodges; guide; porters; all meals

These treks are along routes with access to tea-houses and lodges for overnight accommodation. Amenities vary per lodge from basic but comfortable to pretty luxurious, but all offer warmth and a variety of food and are normally run by friendly local families. Lodge or tea house treks are less expensive than camping treks and suitable for smaller groups.

Guide, Accommodation and Porter trek (GAP trek)

Includes:   Accommodation; guide; porters                                                                                                                                                      Excludes:  Food

This option is for those trekkers who want basic support from us. We provide an English-speaking, local Sherpa guide, arrange porters and book and pay for all accommodation in local lodges during the trek but trekkers meet their own food costs, paying the lodge-owner directly for all meals/drinks consumed while trekking. Expect to spend around NRs1000-1,500 a day for food. This is the most economic trekking option.

 

GROUP LEADER

We provide different options concerning leadership in order to match your requirements:

  • Western leader
  • Trained Nepali trek leader (experienced and knowledgeable)
  • Sherpa guide (handles the logistics and guides you and your team on the trek)

 

TREK FACILITIES

Camping Trek:

 Accommodation

The tents provided for the duration of the trek are two-man ‘dome’ or ‘A’ shaped tents, and normally two trekkers will share a tent. A foam mattress with insulation underneath is provided for sleeping, but if you have a Thermarest or other light-weight mattress, it is worth bringing that also for additional insulation/padding. Clients need to have their own sleeping bags; those rated to -20C are ideal as the temperature will plummet at night at altitude. If you don’t have one, sleeping bags can be hired in Kathmandu for a very reasonable price. Bags or cloth packs are used as pillows, but it is worth bringing your own air- or down-filled camping pillow if you have one for a more comfortable head-rest.

Food/Drinking Water

We provide three tasty, plentiful and nutritious meals daily which include a variety of local and Western dishes.

Breakfast consists of a choice of porridge, muesli and cereal followed by a choice of omelette, fried or scrambled eggs with chapattis or bread and sometimes pancakes. Lunch is generally a selection of salad, cooked vegetable dishes, pasta and traditional breads. After a long day on the trail, dinner is a hearty three-course meal: soup, followed by a variety of vegetable, meat, rice and pasta dishes, finished off with a simple dessert. Tea, coffee and hot chocolate are also provided at all meals and on arrival in camp.

We use as much fresh produce as possible and can cater for special dietary requirements. Because your good health is crucial to your enjoyment of the trek, we take food hygiene very seriously and our leaders have been trained to maintain tight controls on overall cleanliness and food-preparation hygiene in the kitchen. All foods are well cooked and vegetables are treated with potassium permanganate or iodine.

Boiled water is served for drinking and you can fill your water-bottles up with this at every meal so you have a source of clean drinking water throughout the day’s trek. It is worth bringing purification tablets with you in case you run out of water en-route and need to fill up from a stream.

We supply all the meals, but it is up to you to supply your own snacks, energy bars etc. In many cases you can replenish supplies in the villages we pass through where you can buy chocolate bars, biscuits, crisps and fizzy drinks or beer. But villages selling such st more remote

A typical day                                                                                                                                                           

Each day begins with a cup of hot tea brought to the tent at about 6am, followed by a bowl of hot water for washing. After you have packed-up all your kit, breakfast will be served in the dining tent while the sherpas take down the tents and pack up loads for the porters. Breakfast finished, we set off on the morning’s walk. All you need to carry is a small day pack containing: water bottle; snacks; camera; sun cream; hat; rain jacket; and fleece, just in case of cold and/or wet weather. The porters will carry the rest of your gear for you.

After walking for 3-4 hours, we stop for lunch at around midday. The sherpas and cooking crew will have raced ahead to start preparing lunch for us. When we arrive at the lunch-stop, we will be served hot drinks and biscuits as we wait for lunch proper to be served.

The afternoon’s walk is generally shorter and we arrive at camp in time for afternoon tea. As we relax over tea and biscuits, the sherpas will put up our tends and generally set-up camp. The remainder of the afternoon can be spent exploring the nearby villages, doing a bit of washing or simply relaxing with a good book. On some days, we will arrive at camp by lunchtime and the entire afternoon will be free.

Dinner is usually served between 6 and 7 pm, followed by hot drinks. After dinner, people generally chat, read, play cards etc in the dining tent but most people don’t last too long before heading to bed for a well-earned sleep.

Bathroom/Washing Facilities:

We provide a ‘toilet tent’ in which the sherpas will dig a hole, and toilet paper. To flush, just kick-over some dirt.

A bowl of hot water is brought to your tent every morning for washing. If you want to freshen up at the end of the trekking day, you can ask the sherpas for hot water at any time in camp. They will also provide hot water for you to wash clothes, or wash clothes for you if you prefer – for which service a small tip would be appreciated.

 

Teahouse and lodge treks:

Accommodation

Staying and eating in locally-run lodges dotted along your walking trail makes for very convenient and easy trekking. Teahouses and lodges have come a long way since the early days of trekking and these days are pretty comfortable, though some lodges are more basic than others. On the well-establishjed tea-house routes such as the Annapurna Circuit, Everest Base Camp/Gokyo Lakes and Langtang treks, the lodges are set up with electricity, hot-water showers and attached or inside loos. Other lodges might be more basic but all have lovely, cosy dining room-lounges. We stay in single rooms when possible, but often you will have to share. The lodges provide sheets and blankets usually, but we recommend bringing a good sleeping bag.

Food/Drinking water

All meals on teahouse or GAP treks are eaten at the lodges off the lodge menus. Pretty much all the menus offer the same fayre, with a variety of cereals, pancakes, eggs and breads for breakfast and a range of potato, rice and noodle dishes, as well as soup and seasonal vegetables, for lunch/dinner. Many lodges – particularly those on the well-developed trekking routes – also offer steak, pizza, burritos and pasta dishes and there is invariably the option of apple pie, pancakes and rice pudding for dessert. The lodges also stock an extensive array of snacks, such as Pringles crisps, Snickers and Toblerone chocolate bars, biscuits, fruit juice, beers and soft drinks and in some areas you will find fresh fruit in season.

You can buy tea, coffee, hot lemon, hot chocolate and bottles of mineral water in the lodges and you can ask the lodge owners to boil water for you with which to fill up your water bottles. There is sometimes a nominal charge for this service. We recommend bringing water-purification tablets with you also to fill up empty water bottles with water from streams during the day.

You can ask the lodge owner for bowl of hot water for a quick body-wash and/or for clothes washing during the trek.

 

TREKKING EQUIPMENT

Please see details under the ‘equipment’ heading on the website.

 

LUGGAGE WHILE TREKKING

For the duration of the trek, your main baggage will be carried by porters, leaving you free to enjoy the trek carrying just a day-pack containing water bottles, camera, sun-screen, spare jacket etc.  We recommend packing the gear you will require for the trek into a duffle bag or large rucksack. The weight of the duffle when packed should be 12-15kgs. It is also worth bringing a smaller, lockable bag (you can buy one in Kathmandu) for clothes or other items that you will not need during the trek; you can store this bag in the hotel’s locker room/safe deposit box in Kathmandu free of charge.

Nepal’s domestic airlines have a weight allowance of 15kgs per passenger. Excess weight is chargeable at USD1 or more per kilo depending on sectors.

 

HEALTH ISSUES

There are no official immunisation requirements to enter Nepal but as vaccination requirements change frequently, we would suggest you consult your doctor about inoculations at least two months prior to the start of your trip. It is worth considering getting jabs for Hepatitis A and B, tetanus, typhoid and polio.

The main health consideration at high altitude is Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). You may experience some mild symptoms initially, such as headache,lethargy, nausea and difficulty sleeping, but these symptoms should lessen within a few days as your body adapts to the thinner air.

For more detailed information regarding altitude, read the information in the ‘Altitude’ heading on our website.

We take altitude very seriously and out itineraries have been designed to allow for safe and proper acclimatisation.

On every trek, we carry a medical kit with standard prescribed medicines along with a user’s manual which you can consult regarding symptoms and treatment. Taking any medicines is at your own risk; we do not accept any medical liability as our staff are not doctors and not qualified to prescribe medicines.

If you have ever suffered from altitude sickness, or have a heart or breathing complaint, we highly recommend you consult your doctor about your suitability for trekking in high-altitude areas before booking.

We suggest that you bring a personal medicine kit that contains pain-killers, cold and cough medicine and something for diarrhoea, nausea and fever. Nasal ointment and throat lozenges are useful for people sensitive to chilly or freezing weather conditions.

 

RESCUE / EVACUATIONS / INSURANCE

In the rare event of serious sickness or injury, the member in question will be rescued by helicopter. As the person to be evacuated is liable for all expenses incurred as a result of evacuation, please make sure that this is covered by your insurance before embarking on the trek. If emergency evacuation/helicopter rescue is not covered by your insurance but you still want to or must go ahead with it, you will be personally responsible for meeting these costs after getting back to Kathmandu. Note that a rescue mission will not be carried out unless there is a guarantee of payment from a third party: your insurance company, your trekking company or your embassy.

To organize a helicopter rescue, ask your guide to arrange a runner to the nearest communication point and inform our office of the need for evacuation. You must give us the name of the sick person, the reason for the evacuation and the exact location from where the helicopter can airlift the sick/injured person. Once a helicopter has been requested, you must stay at the location you gave over the phone; it can take up to 24 hours or longer to be rescued due to the need for payment guarantees and the situation of the weather. DO NOT leave the location given over the phone EVEN IF you begin to feel better.

 

CARE FOR PORTERS AND STAFF

 We run our treks in accordance with the guidelines of the International Porter Protection group (IPPG – www.ippg.net). All our staff and porters are sufficiently insured and provided with adequate high-altitude clothing and equipment suitable to the conditions likely to be encountered on each trek.

 

RESPONSIBLE TRAVEL

The wonderful environment of the Himalayas is also an extremely fragile one. Increasing population densities and growing numbers of trekkers threaten the beauty of Nepal. Expedition Himalaya is extremely conscious of the environment and we aim to minimise our impact as far as possible.

As deforestation is one of the greatest environmental threats, we do not have camp fires and use kerosene for cooking as an alternative fuel to wood. We also discourage trekkers from using wood-fuelled hot showers in lodges along the way, opting to take showers instead in those lodges that offer solart-heated showers, a far more eco-friendly alternative.

Garbage disposal is another major problem and some of the busier trails can, at times, appear littered with trash. We carry out all our garbage, apart from that which can be safely and easily burnt at the campsite. Our aim is to help protect and preserve this beautiful environment for future generations of trekkers to enjoy.

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