Trek to Everest, Annapurna and Langtang
The trail to Everest also begins at Lukla, the airport at 2,850 m. The trail climbs up the Dudhkoshi River Valley, and the following day brings you to the legendary Sherpa village of Namche Bazaar in the Khumbu (3,500 m), which is the staging point for expeditions to Everest and other peaks in the area. Above Namche lie the traditional villages of Khunde and Khumjung. Khumjung which is the largest village in the Khumbu lies at the foot of the sacred peak Khumbila. The Khunde Hospital, maintained by Himalayan Trust, and Khumjung School, the original Hillary School set up in 1960, lie here.
Across the canyon from Khunde, perched on a high ridge, is the Tengboche Monastery, the leading Buddhist center in the Khumbu. The monastery rests amid stunning views of Everest, Lhotse and Ama Dablam. Pines, azaleas and colorful mountain rhododendrons ring the attractive monastery. There are rest houses, lodges and camping sites here.
From Tengboche you can continue on to Pheriche, Kala Pattar and the hamlet of Gorakshep. From here, the site of Everest Base Camp is easily accessible, as is the summit of Kala Pattar (5,545 m), from which much of Mt. Everest is clearly visible. However, you must take time to properly acclimatize as the altitude gains are rapid.
The Annapurna Region in north western Nepal has been touted as having the world’s best trekking routes. From the lake city of Pokhara, popular treks lead to Jomsom, Annapurna Base Camp, Mustang, Manang and around the Annapurna mountain. Short treks to Sikles and Ghandruk are just as popular. The Annapurna region is an area of contrasts comprising the wettest, driest and windiest places in Nepal.
The Annapurna Circuit:
It is by far the most popular and requires a minimum of about three weeks to go around the Annapurna massif. What makes this trek so special is that you can look up to something new in scenery everyday. The Annapurna Conservation Area begins at 790 m and reaches a high of 8,091 m, the summit of Mount Annapurna I, the world’s 10th tallest peak. The area encompasses forested middle mountain, high Himalaya and trans-Himalayan desert plateau similar to the landscape in Tibet as you move north. The lower elevations are dotted by Gurung, Magar, Thakali and Brahmin villages while Tibetan cultural influence becomes apparent as you go north.
Langtang is one of the nearest trekking destinations from Kathmandu and is an unparalleled combination of natural beauty and cultural riches. Langtang lies about 130 km north of the Kathmandu Valley close to the border with Tibet, China. It is Nepal’s first national park, and lies between the Himalayan range to the north, dominated by Langtang Lirung (7,245 m), the highest peak in the area, and smaller peaks to the south – Chimse Danda (ridge), Ganja La pass (5,122 m), Jugal Himal and Dorje Lakpa (6,989 m).
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