Dangers and Safety on Treks

Posted by Andy on Wednesday, November 18, 2015

 

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iTrekNepal Fall Newsletter 2014
Hi, We are sending you this brief newsletter to keep you updated on recent events in Nepal and some special travel opportunities. We hope this information will be helpful in deciding when and where you might want to schedule your first or next trek.
Mark and Brad on route to EBC
Dangers and Safety on treks

We were very saddened by the recent tragedy in the Annapurna mountains where many trekkers and their Nepali staff lost their lives or have been injured by snow and ice. These very unfortunate events have to be expected periodically but never on the scale that we have seen recently. For anyone contemplating a trek in Nepal it is important to keep these dangers in perspective. 
Curls couple on Thorung La pass on 2009
As tragic as these are, in many cases the injuries and deaths are preventable if common sense and the experience of veteran Himalayan guides are heeded. At iTrekNepal we are always aware of the possible danger in the mountains and take every reasonable precaution to avoid them. We also provide cold weather gear and check the personal gear of each trekker to insure that it is adequate for the expected and potential weather conditions. Many of our guests have thanked our guides for getting them through very difficult conditions safely.  
We are also supporting the Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal (TAAN), and other private and public trekking organizations to make our Nepal trekking routes and procedures as safe as possible.
If you have any questions, concerns or comments about these recent events and our safety protocols, please feel free to contact Andrew (andrew@itreknepal.com) or Shree (shree@itreknepal.com).
 
Ama Dablam peak as seen on the way to EBC
Featured trek – Ama Dablam Base Camp
Everest Base Camp is the most popular high altitude trekking destination in Nepal, an iconic peak that is a “must-do” for many. However, about half way up to EBC rises Ama Dablam, a lesser-known mountain and base camp that is every bit as spectacular as Everest but doesn’t require nearly as much  time and effort to reach. This gracefully-shaped 6900 meter peak jumps into view as you crest the ridge above Namche, and transfixes your gaze from there until you reach its base camp.
Unlike Everest Base Camp that is far away from the Mt. Everest summit, Ama Dablam’s base camp sits right below the peak, offering stunning close-up views of the summit’s climbing route. It can be reached as a half day excursion off the EBC route, or as a 10 – 12 day trek destination by itself, with little risk of altitude problems, and just as visually rewarding as its more famous neighboring Everest peak. 
 
Bhaktapur Paradise Hotel
iTrekNepal is unique among Nepal trekking companies for being based in beautiful Bhaktapur, the World Heritage city outside Kathmandu, where we usually have our guests stay for a couple of days before starting their treks. Bhaktapur’s appeal has been enhanced recently with the completion of one of the most uniquely designed and situated hotels in all Nepal. The Bhaktapur Paradise Hotel sits in a village setting on a gentle slope just to the south of the city, with a jaw-dropping view of the central Himalayas.
Designed and furnished in traditional Newari style, the Paradise has 13 large rooms with north-facing picture windows and ensuite baths. It’s only a 6 minute drive or a pleasant 15 minute walk into central Bhaktapur.
ITrekNepal has a special relationship with the owners of the Paradise hotel and we are able to provide our guests staying with us there an exceptional value and memorable stay unlike anywhere else in Nepal.
 
Winter trekking
Traditionally the popular times of year to trek in Nepal have been during the spring and fall when the temperatures are mild and there is limited rain or snow. Summer is usually too cloudy or rainy to allow good mountain views and comfortable trekking.
Eliza and Jennifer at EBC with iTrek guide Santa and porter
Although the winter can be very cold here at high altitudes, this time of year can be the most rewarding time to trek in Nepal. It is usually very clear from December through February, with bright blue skies and the clearest mountain views imaginable. The temperatures are not very extreme at altitudes up to around 4500 meters, where you’ll have close-up views of some of the high Himalayan peaks. Even Everest Base Camp and the high mountain passes are great treks during the winter months, especially in early December and late February. Best of all, unlike the spring and fall, you’ll have the mountain mostly to yourself, with your choice of the best lodges, always ready with a big smile and a warm fire. Most winter treks are private (not scheduled groups) starting on your preferred date with your own guide and porter(s).
If you’re considering a trek during the winter season, you’ll appreciate the “deluxe” teahouse lodge rooms in the Everest and Annaurna regions, which have extra comfort and attached baths. These are included with the Classic trek option and can be arranged as an upgrade with the standard treks. You’ll really appreciate the extra comfort, and the beautiful mountain views.
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