Trekking Season

Trekking in Nepal can be undertaken through out the year. There are four seasons in Nepal. Each season has its distinct attraction to offer. The seasons are classified as follows:

 

Autumn (Sept- Nov.) This season offers excellent weather and tantalizing mountain views.

 

Winter (Dec- Feb) This season is noted for occasional snowfall only at higher elevations. Hence, it is ideal for trekking at lower elevations, generally below 3000 meters.

 

Spring (Mar-May) Different varieties of wild flowers, specially the rhododendrons make the hillside above 5000 meters a haunting paradise during this season. It is mildly warm at lower elevations, higher elevations over 4000 meters the mountain views are excellent, and temperature is quite moderate.

 

Summer (Jun-Aug) Summer months, continues up to mid September making travel wet and warm. These times are blessed for the keen botanist as the higher valleys and meadows blossom with flowers and lush vegetation.

 

It is recommended to carry insect repellent when trekking during summer months.

 

Medical Matters & Advice

Trekking in Nepal need not be considered risky affair as far as your health is concerned. Nevertheless, preventive measures such as a thorough medical check up and inoculations before you start trekking can save you from unexpected hazards. Since the remote places of Nepal are not supplied with necessities that are essential for modern medical facilities and as the rescue and evacuation are measured in days, it is imperative to make a comprehensive First Aid Box consisting of basic drugs and accessories as part of the paraphernalia for trekking. Various trekking guidebooks and the pamphlet published by the Himalayan Rescue Association give you detailed information on a complete list of medical supplies. These guidebooks are easily available in the bookshops of Kathmandu. In case of serious illness or injury, prompt evacuation to Kathmandu is the best remedy. Modern dentistry is unknown in the hills of Nepal, so it is advised to have a check-up before departure from home. Tooth fillings sometimes loosen in cold temperatures and at high altitudes, so it is recommended to have them checked.


Fitness

All trekking demands a level of fitness that will enable one to put a good day's walking, up hill and down. Most treks should not be taken to gain more than 500 meters in one day above 3000 meters. There should be plenty of time during the day to cover this distance, so the physical exertion though quite strenuous at times, is not sustained. The best preparation for trekking is cycling, swimming, jogging, squash, tennis and long walks involving up and down hill. Good physical conditioning will probably help for the maximum enjoyment of the treks.

Altitude sickness

Altitude sickness, often known as Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) is particularly a important medical consideration while trekking in Nepal. Altitude sickness means the effect of altitude on those who ascend too rapidly to elevations above 3000 meters. The initial symptoms of AMS are as following:

  • Nausea Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Insomnia/sleeplessness
  • Persistent headache
  • Dizziness, light heatedness, confusion
  • Disorientation, drunken gait
  • Weakness, fatigue, lassitude, heavy legs
  • Slight swelling of hands and face
  • Reduced urine output

 

These symptoms are to be taken very seriously. In case of appearance of any of the above symptoms, any further ascent should be reconsidered; otherwise, more problems that are serious can occur which can even cause death sometimes within a few hours; the only cure for the altitude sickness is to descend to a lower elevations immediately. Acclimatization by ascending to no more than 300 to 500 meters per day above 3000 meters and the proper amount of rest are the best methods for prevention of AMS.

Literature and pamphlet published by Himalayan Rescue Association consists of detailed information on AMS. The Central Immigration Office and all trekking agencies in Kathmandu distribute this pamphlet free of cost. Since these medical also give information on the list of suggested documents supplies for trekking it is a compulsory item for every trekkers medical kit.

 

Himalayan Rescue Association (HRA)
HRA is a Nepalese voluntary organization registered with His Majesty's Government to run a mountain rescue service in the mountain tourist areas. The association's major role is the prevention and treatment of mountain sickness. A team of foreign doctors undertakes the association's medical research work at present. The Kathmandu office and information centre of the HRA is located at Thamel. The HRA information centre has expert and up to date information on all aspects of altitude sickness. All those intending to trek above 10000 ft. are advised to visit the information centre.