All treks are managed by professional, licensed, and experienced guides who ensure that all aspects of the trek meet or exceed your expectations. All have extensive experience with successfully guiding clients to high elevations in remote parts of Nepal. If you have questions or you experience physical problems during the trip, please approach the guides.
Trekking in a Group
A group consists of a minimum number of 2 persons and a maximum of 10 people. A trip can also be organized for a single individual only if the resulting group remains below the limit of 10 persons. Restricting the group size to 10 means that we can render the best service and personal care to everyone. When trekking in a group at high altitude, it is important to walk at your own pace. If you overexert yourself trying to keep up, this will negatively affect your acclimatization.
Operations to Ensure Safety
A trekking group with a minimum number of 2 people will have one Leader and one Sherpa porter. There will be one Leader and one Assistant Leader for groups consisting of more than 2, with one Sherpa porter assigned to every two persons. This arrangement ensures that the itinerary is minimally disrupted and the trip can move on.
Physical and Mental Condition
As the trek covers rough terrain and high elevations, trekkers should ideally be in good health as well as physically and mentally fit. A day’s walk can vary from 4 to 7 hours, through varying conditions. Depending on the adventure trip selected, your trek may start anywhere from 1,000m/3,280ft up to 5,550m/18,204ft. It is also important to be mentally prepared for the sudden changes that can occur on a trek in a remote area, as well as maintain a certain amount of patience. Keep in mind that you are travelling in rural Nepal. Health is therefore the most important requirement and a medical fitness certificate is mandatory prior to booking.
Each group member is allowed a gear bag weighing no more than 15kg/33lbs to avoid overburdening the porters. We support porter rights and to protect them from exploitation at work.
Meals and Accommodation
All meals will be provided during the trekking period. Teahouse treks will serve food from the teahouse menu three times daily (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) as well as tea or coffee. For camping treks, fresh and hygienic food will be prepared by the camp chef and cooking assistants from the kitchen. For stays in Kathmandu and Pokhara, only breakfast is included in the package. Snacks, bottled drinks including mineral water and alcohol are not included in the price.
Shared (twin bed) accommodation can be requested for the stay in Kathmandu and Pokhara on B.B. plan. Shared accommodation is also available on teahouse treks in teahouses/lodges. Camping treks feature standard shared twin tents (single occupancy can be specially requested).
Each itinerary is designed to minimize the possibility of AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness) discomfort. Normally, high altitude sickness begins at approximately 3,600m/11,808ft. The higher the altitude, the less oxygen there is in the air. For example, at high pass crossings of more than 5,000m/16,400ft, there is 50% less oxygen than at sea level. The best approach is to proceed slowly in order to acclimatize to the Himalayan highlands.
In and above 2,500-3,000 m, there is a risk of altitude sickness. Our itinerary is designed to include acclimatization, but the speed at which individuals acclimatize differs. The guides will make sure that you are within safe physical limits, but it is important that you take note of any symptoms and report them to the guides. You may have signs of altitude sickness when arriving at a new altitude.
- Nausea, vomiting or loss of appetite
- Fatigue and weakness
Experiencing some of these symptoms is normal at altitude. The cure is to remain at the same altitude, or to descend slightly until symptoms become less severe. If you continue to ascend, mild symptoms could develop into either HACE or HAPE, which can be fatal.
HACE – High Altitude Cerebral Edema
Symptoms of HACE are
- Severe headache
- Difficulty walking in a straight line
- Loss of consciousness
- Rapid heart rate
- Altered mental state
Travellers experiencing any of these symptoms must descend immediately.
HAPE – High Altitude Pulmonary Edema
Symptoms of HAPE are
- Dyspnea – difficulty breathing at rest
- Weakness and largely decreased physical performance
- Chest congestion or tightness
- Bubbling or wheezing sound from at least one lung when breathing
- Tachypnea – rapid breathing
- Tachycardia – rapid heart rate
Travellers experiencing any of these symptoms must descend immediately.
The prescription medication Diamox can be used to aid acclimatization. It works by increasing the alkali (bicarbonate) excreted in the urine, causing the blood to become more acidic. Increased acid in the blood drives ventilation, which is the cornerstone of acclimatization.
It can be used preventatively, beginning with a dosage of 125 to 250mg twice daily 24 hours before beginning the trek and continuing dosage for 2 to 3 days after descent has begun. Diamox prevents and reduces the symptoms of altitude sickness such as headache, tiredness, nausea, dizziness and shortness of breath, which you may experience when quickly climbing high altitudes (usually above 3,048m/10,000ft). Possible side effects are tingling of the lips and fingertips, blurring of vision, and alteration of taste. These side effects may be reduced with taking 125mg only, and will recede when the medication is stopped. Please contact your physician for a prescription. Diamox is a sulfonamide drug so people allergic to this should not take this medicine. Diamox is also known to cause severe allergic reactions even with no previous history of allergies to this drug or sulfonamide. Frank Hubbell of SOLO (Stonehearth Open Learning Opportunities) recommends taking a trial course before going to a remote location where medical treatment is not readily accessible.
Travel insurance is very important. Please bring proof of your travel insurance with you on the trek. The insurance should cover helicopter evacuation. In case of any emergency, we will contact your insurance company to provide the evacuation means if this occurs outside Kathmandu (where this is available upon request).
Climate and Weather
The dry season in occurs from October to May while the wet (monsoon) season is from June to September. Mid-September to the end of November, and March to May are considered the best times of the year to visit Nepal. In autumn months, the vegetation is thicker from the monsoon rains and the air feels cleaner and fresher. It is dustier in spring but the weather is warm and pleasant. December to February months have good visibility but it is cold in in the high altitude regions as well as in Kathmandu. The monsoon season, however, brings cloudy skies so visibility is poor. Above 4,000 m, generally expect sub-zero (°C) temperatures at night. Day temperatures vary from a pleasant 10-15°C at 4,000 m in autumn and spring, to single digits during the winter months.
Permits and Fees
Specific areas such as the UN-designated World Heritage sites, the National Park as well as restricted areas along the trek require permits and entrance fees. The trip packages include the cost of the relevant permits and entrance fees. If additional permit fees are required, we will information before we confirm your booking.
Before embarking on your trip, please check your passport validity date, which should be good for at least 6 months after the end of your travel. We will require a copy of your passport details (scanned copy is recommended).
Travel to Nepal requires a visa, which can be obtained from the closest Nepalese Embassy in your country. There is also visa-on-arrival available at the Kathmandu airport (bring 3 passport photos). Visa fees are as follows:
Multiple entry for 15 days: US$25 or equivalent convertible currency
Multiple entry for 30 days: US$40 or equivalent convertible currency
Multiple entry for 90 days: US$100 or equivalent convertible currency
Tourist visas can be extended up to a maximum of 150 days in a single visa year for an additional fee. For more information, please check here for the immigration page.