How to organize a trek in Nepal ?

By Fanny — Posted in Depaysemoi on

Depaysemoi Sport Nepal Nature Trek How to organize ?

Climbing to the peaks of the Himalayas is a fabulous experience that keeps memories forever, but still requires some preparation beforehand.

As many of you know, we did the Annapurna trek , so we speak from this experience, which I think should be quite similar to other treks besides the rise of Everest (the level well above).
In this article, we share with you all the advice we could think of so that you are more than ready and informed for your trek ! Whether for the preparations, or some information and tips to know during the trek.
We are not talking about the route taken since we have already created an article on it.

How to organize a trek in Nepal ? :


What's this ? :

One of the most important things to go on a trek is a legal permit. There is a tendency to believe that this is a "trekking license" but it’s no longer obligatory for the most frequented regions, namely from Annapurna and Everest. Instead, you need to ask a TIMS or "Trekkers' Information Management System" , in the form of a small card that you will have to have all along with you during your trek. Don’t lose it, and do not throw it away before you return to Kathmandu or Pokhara, as it will be requested several times during the trek at mandatory checkpoints.
Its primary objective is to ensure the safety of its owner in order to have the maximum of information in case of intervention.

Où l’obtient-on ? :

Since we were based in Pokhara, we did the work there.
You need to go to the Pokhara TIMS Office , located between the Miteri Park and not far from the airport.
If you go through an agency, they will take care of the steps.

How much does it cost ? :

For the Annapurna trek : 20$ per person for the entire trek, if you go through an agency it costs 10$ per person.

Attention :

Each trek has a different cost, for example that of Everest is a little more expensive since it takes $ 25 000 ... (The roof of the world does not require physical effort!)
If you go through several regions, you must have the corresponding permits.

How to get it ? :

Very easy to get, just go to the Pokhara TIMS Office with :

Once there, you have to answer a few forms, fill in information on your TIMS, wait for us to stamp and save all that, and then you can leave with your precious piece of paper !

To know :

You will be asked for an end date of your trek, know that it is not obliged to be respected, the best is to put a period of one month to be sure (it seems to me, you can’t stay there for more than a month and a half or 2 months). Nevertheless, to be precise in the information that you give, allows to assure at the best your security in case of problem and necessity of intervention.

Trek - Népal

Is insurance mandatory ? :

We can only recommend insurance at least for the trek. I don’t know how many rescue helicopters we could see. Understand that no one is safe from mountain sickness or even injury. If ever you are at the point where you have to be evacuate, the bill hurts : 15 000 €, without insurance, it’s you who must pay !
Make sure your insurance applies to the mountain, and that it includes, helicopter evacuation (not only for high mountain) and rescue and search. The best is to ask your insurance directly to avoid any error.

To know :

Some credit cards automatically offer insurance for a certain period. Check with your bank to see the options available.

How long is the trek ? :

Between 10 and 20 days on average. We did it in 12 of which 2 days in the transport to and from, so just 10 days of walking.
As usual, everything depends on the pace of each, the hazards as well as the weather, etc. Unless your goal is to make it a big sporting challenge, take the time to admire your surroundings, to share moments with locals and other climbers.
And then, an important point, think of acclimatization ! At more than 3,400 meters above sea level, the standard is to respect 500 meters more each day. (Which we did not really respect, but as I said, you have to listen to your body !).

What is the best season to go trekking ? :

Between October and April. It seems that the best time is the fall so from October to November, because it is dry and the sky is almost always clear.
For our part, we were from March 28 to April 8, which is during the spring. Apart from a few showers and one rainy day, we had a great time, only the evening was chilly !

The periods to avoid are winter, from December to February. For quite obvious reasons : in high mountains, this may be dangerous and then some passes may be closed.
And the monsoon period from May to September especially from July to August when there are heavy rains that cause landslides, an abundance of leech. In addition, many lodges are closed.

Organize your trek with an agency ?

Some agencies offer trekking packages with different formulas : everything included, guide, etc.
As you know, this is not our thing, but for those who prefer these processes know that it’s quite possible. Compare prices between different agencies to see which is the best in price.

To know :

In high season, during the autumn, it seems almost essential to book your lodges in advance! So it may be better to check with an agency.

Should I take a guide ? :

Technically, there is no need for a guide. The road is very well indicated apart from a few exceptions (we had 2-3 small errors of course). In addition, we meet people including local who know the place very well and will show you the way.
We still had a paper map of the trek and in addition MapsMe application on the phone.
After, having a local guide can always be a rewarding experience to know new things.

Should I take a carrier ? :

For us, the answer was a no. Already, we wanted to do it ourselves, in order to surpass ourselves in this trek. And then, we had this cliché image of a sherpa bent in two under the weight of the bags of tourists climbing... Not so cliche that since we saw a lot, and frankly, respect for them ! After as always, it depends on the desires and goals of each.

Should I be trained ? :

In theory, almost everyone with at least a good physical condition can do it.
Of course, someone who is athletic will have more ease, but no need to be trained to get there. Personally, I'm pretty athletic, I still had trouble the first 2 days !
The whole thing is knowing how to find your own rhythm, and listen to your body.

What budget do you provide for the trek ? :

Provide cash, even if in Chame you can withdraw, some shops have the card payment and will give you cash in exchange (if you buy a little thing in their shop, the commission of 10% increases to 5%).
Know that, higher you go, more expensive the food is. Plan to please yourself if you want to buy souvenirs (especially in Manang, where in addition to good things to eat, there are beautiful craft souvenirs like yak wool fabrics). Nils and I left with 300 € for two, and we still had money once the trek ended, yet we didn’t starve ourselves.

What equipment to bring ? :

In addition to comfortable and appropriate outfits, we advise you to have a warm and cozy outfit for the evening. It's so nice to snuggle into clothes in which you have not sweated ! A good sweater and tracksuit do the trick.
We had some food if it was too expensive, but in the end, we gave a good part.
lt can be good to bring something to distract you or motivate you, Nils likes to walk in music, me, I like to read well warm at night !
In all, our bags weighed between 8 and 9 kg. Above all, because we had electronics with us, and it weighs quickly.

Trek - Népal

Nils :

Trek - Népal

Fanny :

Trek - Népal

Nils :

Electronic :

Accessories : Food :

Fanny :

Electronic :

Accessories : Food :

None of us had sunscreen, and we paid a little when we arrived in the snow. Fortunately, I had lip balm that was applied to the nose and under the eyes to have a minimum of protection.

Should I buy my trekking equipment on site ? :

You will see that there are no shops that are missing in Kathmandu or Pokhara. But for a big part, the answer is no. Quite simply, because we can only advise you to leave with equipment already used, and which you trust. For example, buying new shoes never worn for your trek can bring you bad surprises !
However, we just bought :

Tips during the trek :

Weather :

Annapurna Circuit is to be under the goodwill of Mother Nature. If the mountain doesn’t want, well, you don’t pass. You learn to be observant to watch for the slightest weather change. And, it’s not a secret that the weather changes quickly in mountains ! The most glaring proof is that we had the chance to climb Thorung la Pass under a beautiful sun, an hour after we started our descent, we turned back to the peak, and it was completely engulfed by big gray clouds. We were very happy not to be inside.
A few days before we pass, a dozen tourists have died due to bad weather, so be careful, don’t forget that you are right in the Himalayas. The best is to listen to the locals, who know very well the conditions, and changes, if they advise you against something, listen to them !

What to do in case of a problem ? :

Tell your family that you are going trekking, and estimate how much time you are going to put on. The lodges don’t have wifi or pay (when it works) so do not have too much hope to connect !

Trekking routes are quite busy. Up to Manang, there are jeeps that make round trips of tourists. In the event of a problem, you can always go back down by this process. We saw several people injured knee who could not continue and so have descended by jeep. From Manang, to go back down, it is necessary to count maximum 30 000 rupees (price without negotiation) or about 250 €.

In the worst case, there is always the helicopter that can evacuate. It is still the ultimate solution, but quite common given all that we saw ! Especially after Manang, there is no longer a jeep, just horses and yaks.

There are checkpoints at certain key passages where you have to show your TIMS. In a way, it also helps to verify that you have arrived at a certain point.

Plan for good equipment. Even if I favor a bag as light as possible, I never leave without some fetish objects "just in case" : knife, what to make fire, survival blanket, medicines, first aid kit.

Mountain sickness :

What is it ? :

Altitude sickness, AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness), is the consequence of an altitude rise too fast.
In high altitude, the atmospheric pressure (so the density of the air) decreases, there are fewer oxygen molecules available to the body in the same volume of air. As a result, when you inhale, there are fewer oxygen molecules in the blood creating hypoxia : a lack of oxygen in the tissues.
Mountain sickness is not something to take lightly ! If you are not careful, it can be deadly.

What are the causes ? :

Acute Mountain Sickness is due mostly to a bad acclimatization of the body at altitude. Wanting to climb too fast and too high without giving the body time to get used to the density of the air causes AMS. After each body is different, some adapt more easily.

What are the symptoms ? :

There are several steps, the first symptoms that will appear are headaches and nausea (which don’t go away despite taking medicine), a great fatigue with loss of appetite. We must be vigilant since these symptoms are often mistaken for a small cold, or fatigue due to trekking. If they don’t go away, beware and rest.
Afterwards, the trekker may suffer from insomnia, vomiting, diarrhea, which can lead to pulmonary edema (fluid in the lungs causing abnormal breathlessness even at rest, dry cough, sputum and lips turning blue) or edema cerebral (fluid in the brain causing even more violent headaches, vomiting, blurred vision, apathy and other behavioral disorders such as confusion, coordination problem).
These can cause death in a few hours if they are not treated ! The descent should be initiated within 6 hours after the first symptoms of pulmonary edema, and within 12 hours for cerebral edema.

Attention :

Continue to succeed, can cost you your life, or a helicopter evacuation in the best case. It's a bit ironic on my part knowing that I'm kind of determined, but still be careful. If you have time in front of you, take it to let your body adapt.

Who can be affected ? :

Everybody. Mountain sickness strikes anyone, regardless of age, weight, physique, athletic or not.
Personally, I was not touched at all, I was even very comfortable at high altitude (moment of self-glory) and Nils just paid his smoking side that earned him a good cough. According to some doctors, the speed with which the body adapts to altitude is genetic, so it’s lottery ! Having altitude sickness would have nothing to do with fitness.

How to fight against mountain sickness ? :