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Trekking in the Everest Region

Trekking in the Everest Region

Excerpt:
Introduction


Contents List | Introduction | Planning your trek | Facilities for the trekker | Sample trek | Minimum impact trekking


The Solu-Khumbu region of Nepal has been a magnet for mountaineers, adventurers and travellers since its opening to foreigners in the 1950s, and with good reason.

They may primarily be drawn by a desire to see the world's highest mountain but Everest is only one of many beautiful peaks in the area. Indeed, even if Everest wasn't here, the Khumbu (Everest region) would still be an extremely popular area for it is a superb region for trekking, climbing and exploring.

Passing through populated areas, a trek in Nepal is very different from a wilderness hike in the USA or New Zealand, or a randonnée route in the European Alps. The hills in Nepal are the life and soul of diverse ethnic groups, the most famous of which are the hospitable Sherpa people.

What further sets trekking in Nepal apart is the low cost and the ease with which a trek can be arranged. There can be few countries where you can set off for a month-long walk carrying no food or shelter yet be 100% sure that every day you will be able to find these essentials, and on a budget of around US$20 a day.

Alternatively, if you want an organized trek with an entourage of guides, cooks and porters to transport you back to the luxurious time of pukka sahibs and memsahibs, this can be quickly arranged with competent staff for a very reasonable cost.

Three areas in Nepal have become popular with trekkers for their scenic attractions and their established network of local lodges for accommodation and food.

As well as the Everest region, there's the Annapurna region, north of Pokhara, which may have a greater range of terrain and cultures but receives nearly twice as many trekkers as the Everest region.

The third area is Langtang, north of Kathmandu, which is quieter and less developed. What sets the Everest region apart from these two other areas is the fact that once above Namche and Lukla you are right among the mountains, continuously above 3000m/10,000ft with many chances to ascend above 5000m/16,400ft.

The greater Khumbu (Everest) region also has immense scope for mountaineering and wild exploration.

Trekking is one of the best holidays there is, a great way to escape the noisy beeping world and rediscover simple pleasures like the enduring glow of a sunset, the magic of flickering flames and the bliss of sleep to soothe naturally exercised muscles.

Rural life, little-changed for centuries, surrounds the trekker, thought-provoking and very different from the Western way of life. From the alpine valleys above Namche the scenery is awesome: Ama Dablam, Cholatse and numerous other peaks, while the 8000-metre giants – Makalu, Cho Oyu, Lhotse and Everest – command respect for their sheer height.

The highest mountain on earth has several different names. To the Western world it became Mt Everest in 1865 (and was pronounced ‘Eve-rest') but to the Tibetans and the Khumbu Sherpas it has always been Chomolungma. The Chinese have wisely used the local name (transliterated as Qomolangma).

Much more recently the government of Nepal has given it the name Sagarmatha. In this guide, it's referred to as Everest only because this is the name most readily recognized by readers. I personally prefer the original name, Chomolungma.

Trekking in the Everest Region

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