High Altitude Sickness and Everest Base Camp

One of the major challenges facing trekkers heading to Everest Base Camp or any other high elevation trek in the Himalayas is dealing with the potential threat of High Altitude Sickness. The primary cause of High Altitude Sickness is a decrease in the amount of available oxygen with altitude. To ensure you have a safe trek it’s important to be aware of this potentially life threatening condition and its symptoms. Everyone is susceptible to High Altitude Sickness and it is just as likely in physically fit persons as those who are unfit. This article is worth a read even if you have been to high elevations before without symptoms. Cause of High Altitude Sickness The primary cause of High Altitude Sickness is that amount of available oxygen in the atmosphere decreases with altitude. While the percentage of oxygen (21%) in the atmosphere remains constant the density of the atmosphere decreases so that the available oxygen when you take a breath becomes less. The decrease in density of the atmosphere is not linear and that density decreases more rapidly with increasing altitude so that the impact of going from 10,000 to 20,000 feet is not as significant as going from 20,000 […]

Categories: Everest, Staying Healthy

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Nepal’s Greatest Trekking Peaks

Ready to take you’re trekking to the next level? The Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA) has designated 33 trekking peaks that can be tackled without an expedition permit. All of the trekking peaks are less than 7000m (22965 Feet) and most can be summated by anyone with a moderate experience level in mountaineering for a relatively small fee. Want to go above 7000m? You will need to pay quite a bit more as these peaks qualify as expedition peaks. Actual skill levels required for climbing trekking peaks vary quite a bit. Some of the designated peaks require significant mountaineering or climbing skills and others are just physically challenging and don’t require any particular mountaineering skill. Keep in mind that Yala Peak (5520m) which of all the trekking peaks has the lowest elevation is still almost as high as Kilimanjaro (5895m) in Africa or Denali (6194m) in North America. Tackling any trekking peak is a serious endeavor and requires proper acclimatization, equipment and physical conditioning. Here is quick overview of just a few of the 33 trekking peaks in Nepal.   Island Peak (6160m) Island Peak or Imja Tse named for floating its appearance of floating like a ship in a sea […]

Categories: Nepal, Trekking Peaks

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Alternate Trekking Routes to Everest Base Camp

The trek to Everest Base Camp is the most popular in Nepal drawing upwards of 30,000 visitors a year for its incredible mountain views, excellent trails and comfortable tea house style trekking.  Here we present a few options for those wanting to visit Everest Base Camp but at the same time get off the beaten track. These treks offer a sense of the undeveloped side of Nepal and the Himalayas that most travelers miss entirely on the traditional route. Traditional Everest Base Camp Trek This is the traditional trekking route that is travelled 95% of the time and takes about 10 days. It starts with a flight from Kathmandu to Lukla and then follows the Dudh Kosi River past Phakding to Namche Bazaar. After taking a rest day at Namche you get the first great views of Everest as the trek continues to Tengboche.  The trek then follows the course of the Imja Khola to Dingboche. Climb the terminal moraine of the Khumbu Glacier and stay at Lobuche before making the final trek to Gorakshep (5164m) and Everest Base Camp. See More   Three Passes and Everest Base Camp This one gets our vote as one of the best treks […]

Categories: Everest, Nepal

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Touching the Clouds!  Nepal's 8000m Peaks

Flying back to Delhi from Kathmandu I sat mesmerized as I watched clouds float far below the giant peaks of the Himalayas. It’s hard to consider these mountains without reflecting on the geology and wondering why almost all of the worlds tall peaks are in Nepal. The Himalayas are a result of the collision between the Indian plate and the Eurasia plate that began somewhere around 50 million years. The resulting mountains are an unprecedented landform both today and in terms of historical geology.  The Himalayas and the Tibetan Plateau combined are one of the most extreme expressions of mountain building on the planet in the last 500 million years.  Nepal is the place to go as it’s the present epicenter of this uplifting event and its home to 8 out of 10 of the world’s tallest peaks. The only other 2 peaks in the top 10 are in the Karakoram of Pakistan.  To be fair of these 8 peaks several straddle the borders of India and China but however you look at it Nepal has a clear claim to housing the greatest concentration of the world’s tallest peaks not only today but probably in the last hundreds of millions […]

Categories: Himalayas, Nepal

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Trekking Options in the Annapurna Region

The Annapurna Circuit is renowned as one of the world’s greatest treks.  While most trekkers follow the standard route there are a number of interesting side trips that can be added or alternate shorter treks if one lacks time to complete the entire circuit. Here we give a brief summary of the Annapurna Circuit as well as the possible side trips and alternate routes. The Annapurna Circuit The Annapurna Circuit is the classic trekking route which encircles the entire Annapurna Massif.  The trek typically takes 15 to 20 days and is approximately 160 to 230 km in length depending on the exact drop-off and pick up point. Most trekkers travel in a counterclockwise direction which provides a more gradual gain in altitude to cross over Thorung La Pass which at 5416m is the highest on the trek.  The mountain scenery is fantastic with close-up views of some of the world’s tallest mountains – Annapurna Massif (Annapurna I-IV), Dhaulagiri ,Machhapuchhre, Manaslu, Gangapurna and Tilicho Peak. The higher elevations regions of the trek which include Manang and Mustang are primarily Tibetan cultures while Lamjung and Myagdi which compromise the lower elevations of the trek are typically Hindu. The trek passes through a […]

Categories: Annapurna, Nepal

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