May 31, 2010 at 5:02 am #1259621
I'm thinking now of going to Nepal in August. I have a month so I should be able to do a good trek, most likely two different trips, because my wife will be joining me in the beginning for a week. I'm thinking perhaps to do the Annapurna Sanctuary trek or one or two shorter trips for my wife, who is still just getting her feet wet with hiking.
Would anyone have any advice? I've read that it's better to go in September and October, but I only get August off, so I'm worried about the weather then. I take it, from reading Perrin's recent account of the Annapurna Circuit and from lots of friends who've done the trip, that minimal gear is needed. I'm going to travel really light, but still am thinking of bring some of my camping gear for a few times when it would be nice to be sleeping outdoors. Friends tell me it's good to get a guide, in part to support the local economy, which I agree with.
If I had more time and if my wife had more experience abroad I'd probably head to Ladahk, but for now Nepal is something different from most of what I have done.
Would love to hear people's opinions.May 31, 2010 at 5:08 am #1615368
"who is still just getting her feet wet with hiking.
Would anyone have any advice? "
Sorry Miguel, couldn't resist..May 31, 2010 at 7:54 am #1615389
Who knows, Rod, that could very well be the best advice to come along! We'll have to wait and see!May 31, 2010 at 8:01 am #1615391
@b-g-2-2Locale: Silicon Valley
On my first trek in Nepal, we were told that the monsoon rains would end by the middle of September, so when we started walking at the end of September, it ought to be dry enough. Wrong. We got rained on for one week. Leeches were out. The people who were not accustomed to walking in the rain were bent out of shape.
On my second trek in Nepal, we started around October 10, and it was dry enough.
If you do walk during the rainy season, one idea is to use very thin plastic bags between thin liner socks and outer socks. Not only does it keep rainwater out, but if the bags continue slightly up your ankles, it will keep the leeches off. Insect repellent will help keep them off also.
–B.G.–May 31, 2010 at 9:27 am #1615412
I went to Nepal in 2007 for about a month. I had one of the best times of my life. Loved every minute of it. I went for the month of May and can't even remember it raining…maybe for one day. I didn't do Annapurna, I did the Everest side for 16 days. I didn't get a porter or guide, just a map, but people that I met along the way said their guides were great so it may be an option for you.
If you're bored one day, I have a trip report on my website…not the area you are visiting, but it will give you an idea of what it's like. I also have my gearlist posted there so you can see what I brought.
If you are staying in the teahouses, then you really don't need much camping gear. In fact, if I were to do it again, I would probably just bring a big warm sleeping bag and some essentials. At night, the teahouses will make little fires to keep you warm and if you get too cold, just drape your bag over you. They are nicer inside then you think. Food and water can be purchased, and its not even worth trying to bring your own (IMO) as it is readily available if you stay on the main track. I brought purification tablets as buying purified water becomes expensive after a while.
I'm not sure about the Annapurna side, but on the Everest Trek most days are cut short by the altitude. So, you don't really need to hike for super long periods of time because you actually can't. You'll hit your daily altitude max and have to stop for the night.
I'm excited for you my friend. You will have a good time.Jun 5, 2010 at 4:08 pm #1617126
Hi Bob and Steven, Thanks for information. Sorry to take so long to get back to you. I've been reading up a lot on Nepal and going in August. It seems there are mixed opinions. While it is the height of the rainy season, most accounts say that it usually only rains in the afternoons. Sounds very much like the monsoon rains in the Philippines. What I am most worried about is the landslides, the slippery trails, leeches, and the inability to see the peaks. And some accounts say that many of the teahouses along the trekking routes are closed during this period… then other accounts say that things are open pretty much most of the year… so I don't really know whether going is a good idea or not. I'd really like to! And August is the only time I am free.
Some accounts recommend going to the Himalayan Rain Shadow area, which I have to find out more about. Upper Mustang is one area, but it seems it's quite a lot more expensive to get there. Four years ago when asking around about the Himalayas I was directed to take a look at Ladakh in India. It's drier there and less people. I'm just not sure I want to deal with India right now, though. We'll see.
Steven, I read your Everest walk account and really enjoyed it. Some great experiences, and a lot of suffering, too, it seems! Since my partner will be coming with me I'm not sure about doing anything that gets too high, but it certainly would be nice to see such places for once in my life.
I'll have to read up more about August, but if possible I'd love to go there.
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