Short treks in Nepal/July
Replies: 6 - Last Post: Apr 11, 2013 3:43 AM Last Post By: scoodly
Apr 3, 2013 11:21 PM
Short treks in Nepal/JulyHi there,
I'm in Nepal for just over a week (late June, early July) and I'm keen to do a short trek, maybe 4-5 days. Keeping in mind time constraints and monsoonal weather factors, does anybody have any recommendation of where to go?
My initial thoughts have been to look into the Annapurna region., but i am open to suggestions.
Also, if anyone has any explicit health/safety tips re; travelling Nepal in July, they would be greatly appreciated.
Apr 4, 2013 3:52 AM
The Jomsom - Kagbeni Muktinath trek is a great option for a short, dry-ish trek: it's in the rain shadow, goes to interesting villages (Kagbeni. Jharkot) and the temples at Muktinath. The difficulty might be your time frame: it's possible to get to Pokhara and fly to and from Jomsom and back to KTM in a week but the flights to/from J are subject to weather delays (the wind that can stop flights year round and the monsoon rain and cloud cover).
A trek closer to KTM recuse the risk of delayed journeys. One option is a shortened Helambu Circuit; 45 min taxi to Sundarijal, trek to Chisapani (good views but not the best village) or on to Patibanjyang (a more traditional village - less concrete). Kutumsang is a typical second night on this trek. The HC continues north but you can head down into the valley to Talamarang from for a bus to KTM, alternatively walk to Melamchi where there are more buses. The bus takes a scheduled 4 - 5 hours from M to KTM but can be subject delays.
Another suggestion is Sundarijal - Chisapani - Nagarkot - Dhulikhel - Panauti. This route is (mostly) on the valley rim with the option of taking a bus/taxi back to KTM at various points or dropping down on foot (say from Nagarkot to Bhaktapur and Changunayan).
Langtang/Helambu map: http://howadoor.umbra.cz/img/map/Langtang_1_100000_150_dpi_colour.jpg
Annapurna map: http://howadoor.umbra.cz/img/map/Annapurna_1_125000_150_dpi_colour.jpg
Apr 7, 2013 5:39 PM
Apr 7, 2013 6:35 PM
You mention that it might be logistically safer to stay close to KTM, however, in your personal opinion, do you feel we would be missing out on something a little more eye-opening by doing so?
We would be happy to extend our stop in Nepal to 7-9 days or so if it meant we could have a more diverse and unique experience a little further from KTM.
I am looking at the route from Pokhara to Jomsom, and it looks like a week might be a squeeze? Especially if is susceptible to weather delays as you say.
Helambu looks like a good region; how would you compare it with Annapurna? If you had to choose, given my dates?
Apr 8, 2013 2:49 AM
Yes, there are risks of transport delays at that time (cancelled flights, landslides blocking roads) which could have a big impact on a short trip. Getting to Jomsom and back is tricky because of the number of things that could be delayed - 4 flights could all go on time but the chances of problems with one of the flights is quite high (in my view). I say 4 flights because the 'road' to Jomsom might not be passable and takes more than a day from Pokhara anyway. Travelling to and from Pokhara by road is do-able (any lands;ides are usually cleared quickly relative to other roads) but I thought this would eat into your time too much (a scheduled 7 hours by by tourist bus).
A few more days does give extra buffer time for the flight out (presumably). The Jomsom trek is the best short one in the Annapurnas (my opinion) but the most popular on is Poon Hill because of the views of the Annapurnas and Dhaulaghiri. There isn't anything near to KTM that compares well. This trek takes from 2 days upwards depending on the route chosen but 4 days is typical:
Start at Naya Pul, first night at Tirkhedunga, Ulleri or Banthanti, second night at Ghorepani for a pre-dawn ascent of PH, third night at Ghandruk then return to Naya Pul on day 4. With 5 days perhaps trek from Ghandruk to Landruk then overnight at Dhampus for more decent views. From there it's s hort hop to Phedi and the road. There plenty of lodge options on this route. The quickest route is there and back from Naya Pul - very fit trekkers can reach Ghorepani in one day (you could get to Birethanti if taking a taxi).
I didn't mention this route before because of the rain: the monsoon will probably be in full swing by then and the Pokhara area is one of the wettest in Nepal and the PH trek does not have any rain-shadow protect like Jomsom - Kagbeni - Muktinath. The chances are the views will be limited; typically, early mornings or clear with cloud building up late morning with rain spells from noon. You could be lucky and have better than average conditions - then again...
In some ways Helambu is very similar PH area; they are both farmed middle hill country and both will be very green at that time. Helambu does not have as good mountain views as PH though the cultures are similar - Hindu groups lower down, Bhuddhists higher up (Ghandruk is a Buddhist village) . Jomsom and above is very different from H; it is rockier and much less vegetation because of the lower rain fall and it's mainly Budhhist though the temples at Muktinath are important to both traditions).
If I had to choose at this time with a similar time on the country I would go for Helambu (it's a favourite area). However, if I were you I would go to the Annapurna area because it's where you want to go. Hit the ground running, leaving any other activities until after the trek, gives you the best chance.
Apr 11, 2013 2:05 AM
5Thanks for your help, scoodly!
At this stage we are looking at doing the Poon Hill/Ghorepani option and coming back via Ghandruk. However, Chisapani/Nagarkot etc might still feature if we extend our stay.
Would you recommend booking guides/tours some way ahead or arranging that when we land in Kathmandu?
Apr 11, 2013 3:43 AM
It's low season so there will be plenty of guides looking for work and the arrangements for the PH trek do not take long - just a couple of pieces of paper to get from the same office.
It's possible to arrange the trek once you get to Pokhara - it's better to hire guides from P because you do not have to pay their travel time from/to KTM). There are plenty of trekking agents on Lakeside (the tourist area) so you could approach a few to discuss what you need and negotiate on prices.
To save some time and to find a better agent and guide, I suggest seeking recommendations for a few agents and contacting them by email to start collecting information and draw up a short list to visit in P which will give you the chance to meeet potential guides (to see if you will get on) and negotiate the best price.
If you did want recommendations maybe post another thread and select 'Nepal', more of the regular contributors will see the thread then. Check any recommendations are registered with TAAN here:
('Chapter members' are based in Pokhara.)
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