It’s that lethargic time of the year when you want to sneak into thick layers of blankets all cocooned up chugging a mug of coffee binge-watching your favourite shows. For many people, this idea of mini hibernation in the winter is so tempting and I am not ashamed to confess I belong to this fraction of people.
However, for those who would not want to be associated with this laggard, not so productive group, beating the chills by engaging in a lot of outdoor recreational activities is a fun and good option. Regardless of weather and season, a traveller would never want to confine himself inside a four-walled room I suppose.
Especially if you are in a country like Nepal where every season has its charm you would want to get out and explore and it is not rocket science to fathom out the numerous health benefits one can enjoy out of it.
Winter Treks In Nepal may sound a bizarre thing to do but it cannot be overlooked completely. Chaotic situations are hardly encountered when there is less crowd plus you do not need to haste to secure the best hotel rooms. Despite limited options, Nepal still offers various locations for the visitors to sweat it out in the winter.
Top 5 Treks in Nepal for a Winter Escape: 2020/2021
1. Everest Panorama Trek
Trekking through Everest Base Camp is not impossible during winters however with the relentless snow precipitation and avalanches waiting to slide down anytime, it is a risk you would not want to take. No need to be gloomy for that as Everest Panorama Trek is an equally enjoyable thing to do around the area.
You can start your trek upon landing at Lukla and ascending to Namche Bazar, the Sherpa town and every mountaineers’ hub you get to know the local Sherpas and their way of life. Then how long you would want to stretch your trek depends upon the time and endurance you have. You can trek up to Thame and Tengboche.
Along the way, beautiful Buddhist monasteries and distant views of mighty Everest and Amadablam summits will accompany you. With numerous hurdles and roadblocks to reach the base camp, the Everest Panorama Trek is the best and the closest you can get to have the surreal experience of Everest viewing.
One of the highly-rated trekking experiences even for the winter season Annapurna Panorama trek is a unique culmination of both natural splendour and local’s resplendent culture. You commence your trek from the tourist capital of Nepal, Pokhara then you are to trail through some of the most beautiful villages of Annapurna region.
If the lush forests and dramatic landscapes are not enough to overwhelm you then the sunrise view from Poon hill is sure to make you utter the words of praise from your mouth for the beauty of the region (least you can do when you cannot write a song or be a poet). Especially when the sky is clear blue at this time of the year.
Along the way, you get to have glimpses of many mountains afar like Annapurna massif, Dhaulagiri, Fishtail, Lamjung Peak, Manaslu, Nilgiri etc. Its proximity with the Pokhara city ensures the trekker with good accommodation, medical assistance and communication/information links.
Situated towards the north of Kathmandu and adjacent to Tibet, Langtang region is seldom visited by tourists. No wonder the place remains undisturbed and can be rightly termed as an epitome of serenity and tranquillity. You can imagine the richness in its biodiversity from the fact that Langtang valley is situated somewhere between two protected areas of Nepal, Langtang National Park and Manaslu Conservation Area, therefore, making it a habitat for so many species of birds, animals and plants.
The valley has colossal cliffs, beautiful rocky terrain and green pastures stretched along for the Yaks to graze with beautiful mountain ranges at the backdrop accentuating the beauty of the region. Langtang also has one of the highest concentrations of glaciers extending down into the valley.
Famous Gosainkunda lake is also one of the highlights of this place which holds religious significance to the Hindu devotees who come for pilgrimage at this very site once annually. However visiting the lake at this time of the year can only give you the view of the frozen lake rather than the freshwater lake, which still looks a million bucks nevertheless.
You can also get to view the life customs of Tamangs, an indigenous group of people who have settled there practising Tibetan Buddhism. Sightings of many small yet beautiful monasteries/gumbas and colourful prayer flags are therefore very common.
One of the perks of living in a valley is that you are surrounded by hills and you never run out of options when it comes to hiking and trekking and when the capital city itself is situated in a valley then your joy is doubled as you can go back to your warm, cosy and comfortable hotel beds after your tiresome day of hiking.
Trekking around Kathmandu valley is economical and not so challenging, yet if you desire to go to higher elevation points it can get physically demanding. You will find small communities and villages here and there as your pitstops for you to rest and freshen up.
From the hills above if you look below, what you get to see is an incredible view of the Kathmandu city in its full glory and as you look above you can view mountain ranges from Annapurna to Everest with birds chirping and the cool breeze rustling the leaves of the green forests all around you.
Something to please your aesthetic and acoustic senses. Some of the hiking cum trekking points of the Kathmandu valley and around are as follows: Godawari-Phulchowki hill, Chandragiri hills, Sundarijal-Champadevi trail, Sanga-Panauti, Shivapuri Watershed and Wildlife Reserve and Nagarkot-Dhulikhel-Bhaktapur.
Quite an unusual place to talk about especially when we are talking about trekking and hiking. Chitwan, as we know is a southern plain terrain rather than a rocky topsy turvy region however there still is a place called Chitwan chepang hills from where one can trail off to Siraichili hill of Mahabharat hill range which is situated at height of 1945 metres. Though it gets chilly during winter time you never have to worry about snowy weather which annoyingly acts like a roadblock.
If you are finished doing all those quintessential wildlife safari stuff then trekking to these hills can come as a refreshing experience. With breathtaking visuals of sunrise and sunset on the horizon with nothing but green lush forests in front of you and the powerful mountains grinning right back at you, this low altitude short trek is worth giving a shot.