Mount Meru Treks

Travel Guide to Nepal

Planning a trip to Nepal is not as easy as planning a vacation in Hawaii or Europe. Nepal is one of the most distant destinations on Earth if you are starting your trip from North America, and it takes almost 2 days just to get there. A trip to this Himalayan kingdom requires a great deal of advance planning. You should set aside plenty of time to make all the necessary arrangements to ensure your journey is as enjoyable as possible.

When should I go? How do I get there? What do I need to pack? Where should I stay? What kind of restaurants are there? What should I see? These are some of the questions that this section will answer.

The single-most-important thing to know about flying to Nepal is that with relatively few flights into the country, seats book up months in advance during the peak trekking seasons. Try to make reservations at least 6 months in advance, especially if you want to fly on Thai Airways or Singapore Airlines. By July or August, you'll find that nearly every flight into the country during this period is wait-listed. Royal Nepal Airlines, which is infamously unreliable, is usually the last airline to fill up.

There are no direct flights from the United States to Nepal, so unless you fly Thai Airways, Singapore Airlines, or Pakistan International Airlines, you're going to have to change airlines somewhere en route, usually in London or Delhi if you are eastbound or in Bangkok or Singapore if you are westbound. You'll also have to spend a night somewhere en route-Bangkok, Singapore, Karachi, and Delhi are the usual overnight stops.

If you are traveling through Delhi, it's a good idea to have an Indian visa, even if you aren't planning to leave the airport. We've had reports of people being refused onward passage because they didn't have a visa, even though they were only transiting through the airport.


Security.
Nepal is generally very safe with one of the lowest crime rates of all countries. Travel with children in Nepal, yet with a bit of planning it is remarkably hassle free

Shopping.
 Despite Nepal's lack of raw materials, shopping here is quite advanced. Curio arts, Garment and Carpets are head the export list. Nepal's carpet industries are world renowned.

Currency.
The unit of the Nepalese Currency is the Rupee. Nepali Rupee notes come in Rs. 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500, 1,000 denominations.

Banks.
Banks are open between 10:00 A.M. to 2:30 P M. from Sunday to Friday. They are closed on Saturdays and other holidays.

Credit Cards.
Major credit cards are widely accepted in Kathmandu and Pokhara hotels, restaurants and shops.

Currency Exchange.
There are plenty of Currency Exchange Counters in Kathmandu and Pokhara

ATM’s.
Visitors can withdraw money through Visa /Master Card from the different ATM machines at several locations in Kathmandu and Pohkara.

Electricity
 220 Volts, 50 Hz


Altitude Sickness

Altitude is defined on the following scale High (8,000 - 12,000 feet [2,438 - 3,658 meters]), Very High (12,000 - 18,000 feet [3,658 - 5,487 meters]), and Extremely High (18,000+ feet [5,500+ meters]). Since few people have been to such altitudes, it is hard to know who may be affected. There are no specific factors such as age, sex, or physical condition that correlate with susceptibility to altitude sickness.
Some people get it and some people don't, and some people are more susceptible than others. Most people can go up to 8,000 feet (2,438 meters) with minimal effect. If you haven't been to high altitude before, it's important to be cautious. If you have been at that altitude before with no problem, you can probably return to that altitude without problems as long as you are properly acclimatized.
AMS is common at high altitudes. At elevations over 10,000 feet (3,048 meters), 75% of people will have mild symptoms. The occurrence of AMS is dependent upon the elevation, the rate of ascent, and individual susceptibility. Many people will experience mild AMS during the acclimatization process. Symptoms usually start 12-24 hours after arrival at altitude and begin to decrease in severity about the third day. The symptoms of Mild AMS are headache, dizziness, fatigue, shortness of breath, loss of appetite, nausea, disturbed sleep, and a general feeling of malaise.
Symptoms tend to be worse at night and when respiratory drive is decreased. Mild AMS does not interfere with normal activity and symptoms generally subside within 2-4 days as the body acclimatizes. As long as symptoms are mild, and only a nuisance, ascent can continue at a moderate rate. When hiking, it is essential that you communicate any symptoms of illness immediately to others on your trip. AMS is considered to be a neurological problem caused by changes in the central nervous system. It is basically a mild form of High Altitude Cerebral Edema.

Golden Rules:

GOLDEN RULE # 1
If you feel unwell at Altitude, it is Altitude Sickness until proven otherwise.

GOLDEN RULE # 2
Never ascend with symptoms of AMS

GOLDEN RULE # 3
If you are getting worse or have (HACE or HAPE), go down at once!!!

Things You Must Know: 



Summery: 
  • Acclimatization. There are no specific factors such as age, sex, or physical condition that correlate with susceptibility to altitude sickness.
  • Causes. The major cause of altitude illnesses is going too high too fast.
  • Prevention. "Climb High and sleep low." This is the maxim used by climbers.
  • Prevention. Avoid tobacco, alcohol and other depressant drugs including, barbiturates, tranquilizers, and sleeping pills.
  • Diamox allows you to breathe faster so that you metabolize more oxygen, thereby minimizing the symptoms caused by poor oxygenation.
  • Dexamethasone (a steroid) is a prescription drug that decreases brain and other swelling reversing the effects of AMS.
  • Basic Treatment. The only cure is either acclimatization or descent. Symptoms of Mild AMS can be treated with pain medications for headache and Diamox. Both help to reduce the severity of the symptoms, but remember, reducing the symptoms is not curing the problem.
  • Moderate AMS. Moderate AMS includes severe headache that is not relieved by medication, nausea and vomiting, increasing weakness and fatigue, shortness of breath, and decreased coordination (ataxia).  At this stage, only advanced medications or descent can reverse the problem.
  • Severe AMS. Severe AMS requires immediate descent to lower altitudes (2,000 - 4,000 feet [610-1,220 meters]).
  • HAPE. Anyone suffering from HAPE must be evacuated to a medical facility for proper follow-up treatment.
  • HACE. Severe instances can lead to death if not treated quickly. Immediate descent is a necessary life-saving measure


Upper Dolpo Trek

This trek takes place in the north-west region of Nepal. Dolpo is located in the Phoksundo National park of mid-western Nepal, behind the Dhaulagiri massif, towards the Tibetan plateau, cut off by a series of very high passes and closed by the snow most of the year.
As it is one of the remotest and least exposed areas of Nepal, and also naturally isolated by the difficult topography, it offers rare opportunities to explore near virgin territory and meet people, almost unexposed to tourism. Because Dolpo is so close to Tibet's border, the people of Tibetan origin inhabit it. The trek provides chances to visit several unique monasteries (gompas).

DAY
PLACE
ALTITUDE
Day 1
Arrive in Kathmandu – Transfer to Hotel
1,355 m
Day 2
Sightseeing in Kathmandu – Afternoon free
1,355 m
Day 3
Kathmandu to Nepaljung
2,354m
Day 4
Nepaljung - Juphal - Dunai
2,796 m
Day 5
Dunai to Tarakot
2,550 m
Day 6
Tarakot to Khanigoan
2,540 m
Day 7
Khanigoan to Chheur
3,610 m
Day 8
Chheur to Sishul Khola
3,770 m
Day 9
Sishul Khola to Do Tarap
4,080 m
Day 10
Do Tarap (Acclimatization Day)
4,080 m
Day 11
Do Tarap to Tok Khyu High Camp
4,390 m
Day 12
Tok Khyu High Camp-Numa la Pass- Pelungtang
5,318 m
Day 13
Pelungtang to Dajok Tang
3,800 m
Day 14
Dajok Tang to Phoksundo Lake
3,730 m
Day 15
Phoksundo Lake to Renje
3,010 m
Day 16
Renje to Chepka
2,670 m
Day 17
Chepka to Juphal
2,354 m
Day 18
Juphal to Nepaljung
2,354 m
Day 19
Nepaljung to Kathmandu
1,355 m
Day 20
At Leisure in Kathmandu
1,355 m
Day 21
End of Trip - Flight back Home
1,355 m

Nepal Tourism Year 2011 " Together for Tourism"

KATHMANDU: Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal today officially launched the national campaign, ‘Nepal Tourism Year 2011’ during a huge gala at Army Pavilion, Tundikhel. Lets come “Together  for tourism” the PM said, urging all to join hands for the most anticipated national campaign NTY 2011 that could “trigger the economic revolution”.

The PM inaugurated the campaign by lighting the peace torch at 3:00 pm at Nepal Army Pavilion. The centrally located peace torch that measures eight feet was first lighted at Eternal Peace Flame in Lumbini Sacred Garden by Olympian Bimala Rana Magar on February 21 and was brought to Kathmandu on February 24.

Representatives from political parties, tourism, economic sector, private sector, sports, entertainment and ethnic communities participated in the rally and the inaugural ceremony. Along with the PM, 18 political parties, including Nepali Congress, CPN UML, UCPN-Maoist, RPP and representatives from FNCCI, NCC, HAN, NATTA, FCAN, NRNA, BAN showed their commitment by pledging to make the campaign a big success and avoid any kind of bandh or strike in 2011 to maintain peace and security.

To show their commitment towards the national campaign’s official launch, up to 40,000 people from different walks of life participated in rallies from City Hall, Lainchour Scout, Academy Hall, Stadium and Basantpur Durbar square to converge at Nepal Army Pavilion, Tundikhel.
Speaking at the inaugural ceremony, the PM said tourism was the only sector that could increase employment opportunities and earn more foreign currency.

“NTY 2011 can revive the nation and help rebrand its image in the international arena,” he said. Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation, Sarat Singh Bhandari lauded the overwhelming response of the private sector to promote NTY 2011 and insisted on maintaining peace and stability while the national campaign was on.

Yogendra Shakya, programme implementation committee national coordinator, hoped that the national campaign would be helpful enough to rebrand Nepal as a peaceful country. Billed as the most ambitious national project, NTY 2011 targets to attract one million tourists.


Article By: Eliza Manandhar

Trekking Peaks, Peaks Climbing in Nepal

Climbing a trekking peak in the Nepal Himalaya is anything but a trek. These peaks contain some of the most exciting and involved mountaineering challenges in the world. Trekking peaks vary from moderately pitched glacier walks to technical, multi-day mixed rock and ice climbs. The trick is to find one that matches your skill level and experience. With planning and preparation, you can outfit yourself and attempt what will be a truly extraordinary mountain experience.

The trekking peaks were first designated in 1978 by the newly formed Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA) as an alternative to the 104 expedition peaks, which required a liaison officer, a sirdar (Nepali trekking leader), and a great deal of expense. Technically, trekking peaks differ from expedition peaks in elevation only; some are as difficult as, if not more difficult than, their larger counterparts.

You can only climb with a guide who is registered with the NMA; and only a guide can obtain a permit from the NMA. Peaks over 6,000 meters are termed Group A peaks and cost $300, and those under are termed Group B and cost $200. These fees accommodate groups up to 10 persons; beyond that, extra people pay an additional $5.00 each.

There are 18 designated trekking peaks in Nepal: seven in the Everest region, four in the Annapurna region, and the remaining in the Langtang, Manang, and Rolwaling regions. Mera Peak (6,476m) and Island Peak (or Imja Tse, 6,189m) in the Everest region are the most popular trekking peaks.

Group "A" Trekking Peaks
Name of Peak
Height
Region/Area
Mt. Cholatse
6,440 m
Khumbu Himal
Mt. Machermo
6,237 m
Khumbu Himal
Mt. Kyazo Ri
6,186 m
Khumbu Himal
Mt. Nirekha
6,159 m
Khumbu Himal
Mt. Langsisa Ri
6,427 m
Langtang Himal
Mt. Ombigaichen
6,340 m
Khumbu Himal
Mt. Bokta
6,143 m
Kangchenjunga
Mt. Chekigo
6,257 m
Gauirshankar
Mt. Phari Lapcha
6,017 m
Khumbu Himal
Mt. Lobuje West
6,145 m
Khumbu Himal
Mt. Larkya Peak
6,249 m
Manaslu Himal
Mt. ABI
6,097 m
Khumbu Himal
Mt. Yubra Himal
6,035 m
Langtang Himal
Mt. Yala
5,732 m
Langtang Himal
Mt. Chhukung Ri
5,550 m
Khumbu Himal


Group “B” Trekking Peaks
Name of Peak
Height
Region/Area
Singu Chuli (Fluted Peak)
6,501m
Annapurna Himal
Mera Peak
6,654m
Khumbu Himal
Kusum Kangru
6,367m
Khumbu Himal
Kwande Ri
6,011m
Khumbu Himal
Chulu West
6,419m
Manang Himal
Imja-tse (Island Peak)
6,189m
Khumbu Himal
Pharchamo
6,187m
Rolwaling Himal
Lobuje East
6,119m
Khumbu Himal
Ramdung Go
5,925m
Rolwaling Himal
Pisang
6,091m
Manang  Himal
Tharpu Chuli (Tent Peak)
5,663m
Annapurna Himal
Khongma Tse (Mehar Peak)
5,849m
Khumbu Himal
Ganja La Chuli (Naya Kanga)
5,844m
Langtang Himal
Pokhalde
5,806m
Khumbu Himal
Mardi Himal
5,587m
Annapurna Himal
Paldor
5,896m
Langtang Himal
Hiuchuli
6,441m
Annapurna Himal

Climbing Permits for the trekking Peaks and newly opened trekking Peaks of Nepal are issued by Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA). Every expedition has to be accompanied by a Climbing Guide registered with NMA. Peak Permits can be optained through Trekking Agencies registered with NMA.

Fee Structure for Group "A" Trekking Peaks
Royalty for up to seven members: USD 500.00
Royalty for each additional member upto 12 persons: USD 100.00

Fee Structure for Group "B" Trekking Peaks
Royalty for 1-4 members: USD 350.00
Royalty for 5-8 members: USD 350.00 + USD 40.00 per person
Royalty for 9-12 members: USD 510.00 + USD 25.00 per person
Note: Maximum number of members in one team is 12

Garbage Deposit for all 33 Trekking Peaks
A Garbage Deposit fee of USD 250.00 payable to NMA is required to obtain permits for all 33 NMA peaks. Refunds on the Garbage Deposit shall be as per NMA provisions.
Expeditions have to be accompanied by a Climbing Guide registered with NMA.

Category
Members
Royalty (USD)
Extra Member
(Up to 8)
Extra Member
(Up to 12)
Group A
7
500.00
100.00 USD
100.00 USD
Group B
4
350.00
40.00 USD
25.00 USD
Garbage Deposit
250.00 USD

INFO:
Longest and largest mountain range in the world, the Himalaya is crowded together by hundreds of sky soaring mountains. Nepal comprises about 500 miles continuous range of these giant mounts from Kanchenjunga in the East to Saipal in the West. There are more than 1300 peaks which are identified by survey of tourism ministry of Nepal. Among them, 319 peaks are opened for climbing activities for the mountaineers from all over the world.

Most of the peaks opened for mountaineering expeditions are above 6,500 meter /2100ft which are considered as large scale mountaineering. Despite this, the government of Nepal collaborating with Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA) has opened some of the middle range peaks for short time expeditions. These small peaks ranging from 5600 mtr (18300ft) to 6500mtr (21000ft) are 33 in total. They are popularly known as trekking peaks.

The term trekking peak is not a suitable definition as any of these peaks are still higher than highest mountains in Europe and in America. Some of them are pretty challenging and need well planned full board Expeditions. Somehow, these are comparatively easy in terms of technical ability, permit procedure and royalty paying to the government.

NMA has sole authority to allow permits in these peaks. Trekking peaks are selected from various parts of the Himalayan ranges; some situated in popular trekking sectors like in Everest and in Annapurna and some are in off the main tourist area like in Ganesh Himal, Rolwaling and Damodar ranges.

Trekking peaks give pleasure of ever exhilarating experience of mountaineering. These are easily accessible and affordable. Most of the Expeditions are completed within 3 to 4 weeks starting and ending in Kathmandu. Any trekkers or mountaineers willing to have lesson of mountaineering or experience of climbing, can find trekking peaks as a primer play ground of exciting adventure.