How hard is the trek? What is the level of fitness required? Can I do it? These are the most common questions one asks when he or she thinks or plans to do trekking in the Himalaya. We think there is no right answer as difficulty level of a trek is not an absolute idea, especially in the Himalaya. Of course factors like altitude, distance and time are measurable factors that can determine the grade of a trek to some extent. However, how a person’s body and his mental fortitude respond to these things makes the whole difference. So, there is no generally accepted trekking grade system in Nepal. However, based on our experience, we have categorized the trekking grade in Nepal taking some common factors like walking hours, altitude, terrain difficulty into consideration. Our grading system is to be taken as a general guideline. Deciding the right one is subject to your personal level of physical and mental fitness.
- Soft Adventure treks
These treks are only about a week to 10 days in duration. They generally don’t go above 4000 meters and each day, you can expect to be walking for around 4 – 5 hours. They are a perfect introduction to trekking in Nepal. Most of the time, it is walking from one village to other village above 2500m, discovering the lifestyles and culture of rural communities of Nepal. You can see the panoramic views of mountains, exciting village life and do wonderful wilderness walk. The activity level is fairly easy as there is no difficult climbing or snowy walks. But don’t expect it to be all easy going, as it is still a trek and there will still be some big hills to climb as well as the well-known ‘Nepali flat’ – a little bit up and a little bit down. Such soft adventure treks are ideal for Family Adventure and Corporate Retreats. No previous experience is required. Example: A Week Below Everest
- Moderate to fairly challenging treks
This trekking grade involves longer treks going right into high mountain country above 4000m, to some of the famous mountaineering Base Camps like Everest Base Camp (5357m) with occasional crossing over high passes. Most of the trekking in Nepal falls under this category. Climbing and descending are very usual experiences for this type of trekking and you may have to cross glaciers as well. Physically quite tiring and more challenging than soft adventure treks, it includes approx. 6-8 hours trekking along rocky ridges of high Himalayan peaks. This kind of trekking gives you an experience of a lifetime, with memorable walking surrounded by spectacular mountains. Previous experience is not required but preferable for this trekking. You should be moderately fit, used to some regular exercise and enjoy walking in the high altitude conditions. It is ideal for you if you want to challenge yourself with longer and demanding trekking days. Example: Everest Base Camp & Annapurna Circuit
- Strenuous treks
Strenuous treks are normally longer treks that go far beyond the normal haunts of trekkers and tourists, to remote areas of the country where the landscapes are wild and untamed and where the local inhabitants have seen little change in their way of life for centuries- untouched corners of an increasingly crowded planet. Most of the time, you will be trekking in very rocky terrain, crossing glaciers through wilderness, and sometime may have to use crampons. It normally goes above 5500m and is appropriate for those seeking real adventure. Physically challenging, likely to include unfavorable weather conditions and strenuous activities. Should not be super fit but definitely not for beginners! However, it is not impossible to take as the first adventure if you are committed to take some extra challenges. Example: Dolpo Trek & Dhaulagiri Trek