6 mins

Tips for hiking the Himalaya

Thinking of hiking the Himalaya? Here are our top tips for getting it right

Checking out the view, Himayala (Tom Booth)

October and November are peak peak season in Nepal so what not take to the mountains? Although the Himalaya is the world’s loftiest range, with a bit of preparation, anyone can take a hike here.

1. Watch the weather

October and November are ideal for trekking – blue skies, little rain. But be prepared: days can be sunny and 20°C; nights could dip to -10°C. Think layers.

2. Acclimatise

Slow and steady wins the race – your body needs time to adjust to changing altitudes. Also, drink plenty of purified water and eat plenty of carbs to keep your energy levels up. Strangely, teahouses often serve amazing cakes!

3. Stay in teahouses

These basic ‘hotels’ provide beds (though not bedding), toilets and showers; hot water can be sporadic. They are a vital source of income for the local people.

4. Be yak aware!

When passing a laden yak or mule train, stand on  the mountain-side of them, so you don’t get pushed off the edge.

5. Pay attention to your porters

Make sure the team carrying your bags are well paid and well treated. Tip them after the trek, and make time to chat. Find out more about the issues facing porters at www.ippg.net.

6. Take trekking poles

Steep ups and (particularly) downs can hammer your knees – poles can take some of the strain. Buy rubber tips so the pointy ends don’t damage the environment.

7.Choose the right shoes

Make sure you’ve worn your boots in before you arrive. And pick appropriately: for short, easy treks at lower altitudes something light and breathable will be comfiest; if you’re above the snowline you may need boots that will take crampons.

Nepal Himalaya top 5 treks

1. Helambu Circuit (easy-medium)

Great taster trek close to Kathmandu, with Buddhist villages, meadows and mountains.

2. Everest Base Camp (moderate)

The classic trail to take you to the foot of the world’s highest peak; spend time haggling in lively Namche Bazaar en route.

3. Base of Machapuchare (moderate)

Leave the crowds for forests of magnolia and wide Annapurna views.

4. Manaslu Circuit (moderate/challenging)

The new Annapurna Circuit? A remote route through little-visited mountains skimming Tibetan border.

5. Limi Valley (moderate/challenging)

Really remote trekking (permits required) through culturally fascinating villages with stone fortresses.

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