Nepal has been a magnet for mountaineers, adventurers and travellers ever since its opening to foreigners in the 1950's. It's a country of friendly people, spectacular natural beauty and a fascinating variety of cultures. Popular trekking areas in Nepal are the Annapurna region, north of Pokhara, and the Khumbu (Everest) region in eastern Nepal. In 1998 I spent two months in the country trekking in both areas. 19 years later I returned to Nepal for another trekking classic - the Manaslu Circuit.
The newly restored Bodhnath stupa in Kathmandu (2017), Nepal Himalaya
Panoramic view of the mountains lining the Kali Gandaki Valley, Muktinath, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal Himalaya
The broad Khumbu Valley, Everest region, Nepal Himalaya
AROUND ANNAPURNA TREK, 1998
Nepal's most popular long-distance trek (16-21 days). The route follows two river valleys, the Marsyandi and Kali Gandaki, crossing between them over the Thorung La pass. The trek passes trough a tremendous range of ecological zones from sub-tropical to alpine. It is also culturally diverse. Starting point for the trek is Besisahar.
KHUMBU TREK / EVEREST REGION, 1998
The attractions of the Khumbu region are the majestic mountains, the high mountain villages, the isolated monasteries, and the local peoples. Everest is only one of a myriad of beautiful peaks in the area and there are many other attractions. The Gokyo Valley is particularly beautiful and offers incredible potential for exploration.
KATHMANDU VALLEY, 1998
A virtual living museum, the Kathmandu Valley is crammed with sights. Popular attractions on the sightseeing trail include Kathmandu's Durbar Square, the Buddhist stupas of Swayambhunath and Bodhnath, the Hindu temple complex of Pashupatinath on the banks of the sacred Bagmati river, Patan, and the mediaeval city of Bhaktapur.
AROUND MANASLU TREK, 2017
The Manaslu Trek (14-16 days) circles the 8th highest peak in the world (8163m). It has become very popular in recent years. Along the trail you encounter an interesting mix of authentic Hindu and Tibetan-style Buddhist villages. The trail follows the spectacular Buri Gandaki river all the way from Arughat to its source just below the Larkya La pass (5100 m).
KATHMANDU VALLEY, 2017
In 2015 Nepal was hit by a massive earthquake. Thousands of people were killed and many of the country's historic sites were destroyed. When I briefly visited the Kathmandu Valley in 2017, the recovery efforts were still underway. The sightseeing included Kathmandu's Durbar Square, Patan, the newly restored Bodhnath stupa and the city of Bhaktapur.
The Around Annapurna trek in 1998 was organized by Hauser Exkursionen, Germany and led by two English-speaking Sherpa guides. In the Khumbu region I hired a local guide, Nima Tendi Sherpa. The Manaslu Circuit in 2017 was organized by DAV Summit Club, Germany and led by a local German-speaking guide, Jangbu Sherpa.
Exploring the Gokyo Valley in the Khumbu region. A classic trek that offers magnificent views of the mountain peaks and the Ngozumpa Glacier, the largest in the Nepal Himalayas