The Most Difficult Treks in Nepal

The Most Difficult Treks in Nepal

In truth, any trek of any duration in any location is a challenge. Uneven terrain, exposure to the elements and the unpredictability of accommodation can leave anyone feeling tired and grumpy and wondering why they have bothered (or is that just me?) But usually, the rewards far outweigh the difficulties. I’ve just published this round-up of the most difficult treks in Nepal. I can’t actually imagine myself doing any of them, except for the Upper Dolpo trek, which is my life’s ambition. The 9 Most Challenging Treks in Nepal There are many trekking routes in Nepal suitable for a range of fitness and experience levels. You don’t have to be capable of scaling Mount Everest to enjoy many of Nepal’s outdoor pursuits. However, some treks are just hard. Whether long, cold, high in altitude or a combination of these, here are our picks of the most challenging treks. But you know what they say – no pain, no gain! Three Passes Trek This very challenging trek crosses three passes of over 5,000 metres – Kongma La (5,535 metres), Cho La (5,420 metres) and Renjo La (5,340 metres). It passes through the Everest region, starting and ending at the same point (Lukla) so it’s a good option for experienced trekkers who have perhaps already done Everest Base Camp and are looking for a greater challenge. It also visits Kala Patthar, for incredible views of EBC, and the vibrant Gokyo Lakes. Read the rest of the article here. Top image: Sunset over…

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Is it Ethical to Climb Mount Everest?

Is it Ethical to Climb Mount Everest?

Is it ethical to climb Mount Everest? No, I don’t believe it is. Not these days, with the enormous financial cost, the healthy/life risks and the frequent disregard for the life of Nepali guides. I’ve written a short article summarising these problems for Culture Trip. Read an extract below, or the full article on Culture Trip. Is it Unethical to Climb Mount Everest? “Every year, hundreds of people from around the world pay thousands of dollars to expert climbing companies to get them up Everest. It’s an activity that the country is famous for. But, with all the rubbish on Everest (including human bodies), enormous financial costs, and a frequent disregard for the lives of the Nepalis hired to help foreign climbers reach their ambitions, is it ethical to climb Mount Everest? English mountaineer George Mallory, who participated in the first three British expeditions to Everest in the 1920s, famously stated that he wanted to climb Everest “because it’s there”. In those days, climbing the 8,848 metre-high mountain was even more of a major undertaking than it is now, with less logistical support or high-tech equipment available. It wasn’t until 1953 that New Zealander Edmund Hillary and Sherpa guide Tenzing Norgay successfully made it to the summit, as part of a British expedition.” Top image: Mani stone bearing Tibetan Buddhist mantras on the Everest Base Camp trek. Taken by myself in October 2015.

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Save the Karnali River, Nepal

Save the Karnali River, Nepal

The Karnali River is Nepal’s longest, at 507 kilometres, originating near the holy Mount Kailash in Tibet. It flows down into India, where it becomes the Ghaghara River, a tributary of the holy Ganga. The river starts high in the rainshadow of the Himalayas and flows down through the jungle in remote Western Nepal, watering the habitat of all kinds of wildlife as well as villages. It’s a favourite among white-water enthusiasts and is the only major river in Nepal to not be dammed. But, it is in danger from hydropower developments. Here’s why -and how – environmentalists are fighting to save the Karnali River. Development in Nepal has happened at a rather haphazard rate, hindered by the country’s rugged topography, inaccessible remote communities and political instability (the country suffered a civil war between 1996 and 2006). Now, 10 years after the country officially became a republic, some infrastructure development projects that have been talked about for a very long time are gaining momentum. But this isn’t necessarily good news for all. Read the full article here on Culture Trip. Top image courtesy of GRG’s Adventure Kayaking

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The Top Things to See and Do in Nepal

The Top Things to See and Do in Nepal

I’ve been working at Culture Trip for several months as a copyeditor, and now I’m pleased to join the ranks as the Nepal contributor. I’ve kicked things off with this fun article on the best things to see and do in Nepal. It includes some tried-and-true favourites (climb a mountain, go trekking) and many others. Read an extract below, or the full article on Culture Trip. The Best Things to See and Do in Nepal “Yes, you could climb Mount Everest while in Nepal. But, there are actually so many other exciting, interesting and adventurous things to see and do in the little country that forking out the multiple-thousand-dollar fee to scale the highest mountain in the world isn’t necessary. From visiting Buddha’s birthplace to spotting enormous rhinos, here are our picks for the best things to see and do in Nepal. Climb a mountain Okay, we’re going to get this one out of the way quickly so we can move on. Nepal is home to eight of the world’s highest mountains: Everest (8848 m.), Kanchenjunga (8586 m.), Lhotse (8516 m.), Makalu (8481 m.), Cho Oyu (8201 m.), Dhaulagiri (8167 m.), Manaslu (8156 m.) and Annapurna I (8091 m.). There are also many, many more mountains in the 6,000 and 7,000-metre range that would be major attractions anywhere else in the world, but because they’re in Nepal, they tend to be outshone by their taller brothers and sisters. Many of these mountains are climbable and many don’t require a prohibitively expensive…

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7 New Zealand Trails You Should Hike

7 New Zealand Trails You Should Hike

Did you know that the New Zealand English word for hiking or trekking is ‘tramping’? Well it is. I’d never considered myself an avid tramper, because when I used to live in New Zealand I wasn’t much into outdoor activities (understatement; see photo above in which I am going for a bush walk with a white leather handbag. LOL). It’s only since I moved to Nepal that I got into trekking. So now that I’m in New Zealand again, I suppose I’d better start saying that I’m a tramper. Hmm. Anyway, I wrote an article on New Zealand hikes/tramps for World Nomads. It’s called ‘Tramping on the North Island: 7 Trails You Should Hike’ and you can read it here. Here’s an extract and outline of the hikes covered in the article, in case you want to read more. Tramping on the North Island: 7 Trails You Should Hike Even though the North Island is the more densely-populated of New Zealand’s two main islands, towns are still few and far between once you leave Auckland and Wellington. It’s an island of volcanic peaks, dense bush, stunning coastline, high plateaus, rolling farmland – pretty much, this is perfect hiking territory, or ‘tramping’, as the Kiwis say. Tongariro Alpine Crossing Rangitoto Summit Cape Brett Walkway Coromandel Coastal Walk Putangirua Pinnacles Lake Waikaremoana Te Araroa Read the full article here.

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