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Situated between India and China, Nepal is the 93rd largest country in the world in terms of its area. Its incredible range of mountains has made it one of the world's most popular destinations for mountaineering, and peak climbing in Nepal is considered a rite of passage for many avid explorers!
However, the area also has an incredibly vibrant culture and history, not to mention plenty of exotic wildlife and nature to explore. For instance, did you know that Nepal's flag is unique in that it's the only one in the world not shaped in the form of a quadrilateral, with its colours symbolising both peace and victory? In our whistlestop tour of peak climbing in Nepal, we discuss much more about Nepal's rich heritage.
Nepal's geography and peaks
For anyone who is keen on scaling great peaks, it's good to know that eight of the world's tallest ten mountains can be found in Nepal. After Mount Everest, you can see Lhotse, Makalu, Cho Oyu, Kangchenjunga, Dhaulagiri, Annapurna, and Manaslu. The whole country is just under 57,000 square miles in area - this is roughly the same size as the state of Illinois in the USA. Although this may seem small in comparison to some other countries, the height of its mountains means there's plenty to explore.
Nature, culture and adventure
Adventure activities in Nepal are varied, and with so many different mountain walks on offer, there is bound to be a route to suit all abilities. Many trekkers combine peak climbing with relaxation on the Ghandruk to Landruk trail with a stop to soak in the hot springs of Jhinu Danda. This is a great choice for those less experienced in mountaineering who also want a way to rest their aching muscles while still experiencing the country's natural beauty. Climbers might even be able to spot a Nepalese Tiger in the Royal Chitwan National Park during the journey. But wildlife doesn't just stop there, as hikers can hope to glimpse snow leopards, red pandas and musk deer along the Mt. Kanchenjunga trails. For more contact with the people of Nepal, the Helambu Cultural Trek offers paths that run through villages, which gives you the chance to really experience both Hindu and Buddhist practices firsthand while peak climbing in Nepal.
Activities and major attractions
Although trekking is the main focus for many, this doesn't mean all your expeditions will be focussed on just one of many adventure activities. A popular attraction is Khayar Lake, which has lots of tea houses to stop off at, making it an amazing way to experience Nepal's natural glory and culture at the same time. Similarly, exploring Tsum Valley offers all the delights of mountaineering while being close to traditional customs. You'll be able to experience a variety of different settlements and admire the traditions and ways of their people. If you're feeling really brave, you can even go bungee jumping by the Pokhara lakeside!
Health and safety
Due to the height of the mountains in Nepal, it's important that you ensure that you're fit enough to cope with these demanding climbs before you set out on your expedition. Although there are easier trails you can tackle, it's recommended that you spend some time training, whether in the gym or trekking through local terrain, in order to prepare. You'll also need to bear in mind the changes in altitude, which you'll need to acclimatise to gradually to avoid getting seriously ill.
The best season to visit
With an average temperature of between 15 and 20 degrees Celsius, the Nepalese 'high season' is in October and November. Most people recommend this time of the year to visit as the skies are generally clear - this provides travellers with the best possible view of Nepal's stunning landscapes. This time of the year is directly preceded by the 'Monsoon' season, which should always be avoided when going climbing.
Why go peak climbing in Nepal?
Exercise and health benefits aside, peak climbing in Nepal is simply the best way to challenge your particular level of ability and see the planet's greatest natural sights at the same time. There is nothing quite like the experience of climbing with a knowledgeable local guide who is immensely proud of their homeland's rich natural history.
Lifestyle and people
The first thing that you will notice about the people of Nepal is that they are incredibly friendly and welcoming. The traditional greeting is 'Namaste,' and the Nepalese are well known for both their warmth and optimism. As a 'Republic,' the country is still very much in its infancy (it was established in 2008), and because of this, the people are incredibly keen to showcase Nepal as a top tourism destination.
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