Trekking History in Nepal


Beast of burden during the trekBeast of burden during the trek

In brief trekking is a mobile hotel. The walk or a hike on which the traveler carries his/her foods, tents, sleeping bags, clothes and every other required necessities during the entire journey is a trek. Trekking is basically a walking exploration to the places carrying everything necessary for the trip. The word trekking was derived from the South Africa where the trek in primordial days meant the fortune hunting in the unexplored areas of African Continent carrying every necessary logistics in the oxen carts. The word trek is derived from the Boer Ig (spoken by the Dutch settlers in South Africa) which means a long hard journey. The original meaning of the word trekking in Dutch language is to pull or haul.

As Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa conquered the summit of the Everest back in 1953, Nepal was exposed as a Himalayan nation to the rest of the world. Then onward several international bodies eyed for the adventurous holidays in the Himalayas of Nepal. However, Col. Jimmy Roberts then British Army Officer played a vital role in developing the trekking features in Nepal. As Col. Roberts in 1958 was appointed a Military Attache in the British Embassy Kathmandu, he started to make reconnaissance climbing to the Himalayas in different parts of Nepal. Then he came up with an idea to bring Western visitors to the Himalayas of Nepal which was a radical idea at that time.

Nepalese porters on Khumbu trailNepalese porters on Khumbu trail

In the early sixties he designed an idea of Blue Sheep Hunting in Nepal. Blue Sheep is a prominent wildlife in the Himalayas. Blue Sheep Hunting was widely enjoyed using the technique in Kashmir by the westerners in those days. Col. Roberts planned 8pax operation of the Blue Sheep Hunting adventure in Nepal. As per his 8pax operational plan the trip carried 8 numbers of every required logistics during the trip. Then Col. Roberts started writing articles in the holiday magazines describing the possibilities of adventurous fun while traveling in the Himalayas in Nepal. In 1964 after setting the strong base of trekking possibility in Nepal Col. Roberts registered the first ever trekking company in Nepal as Mountain Travel. Since then the incredible phenomenon of trekking in Nepal was introduced. In fact Col Roberts was the one who introduced trekking throughout the world.

Trekking trial to KanchenjungaTrekking trial to Kanchenjunga

The first trekkers in Nepal through Mountain Travel were three grandmothers from the United States of America in 1965 and hence the official inception of trekking in Nepal to the rest of the world was declared. The first commercial trekkers with Mountain Travel came during the autumn of 1967 which was led by the Manager of Thomas Cook based at San Francisco Mr. Leo Boblon. However, the first recorded traveler was Bill Tillman who accompanied with Col Roberts. Another early visitor was Maurice Herzog, who led Annapurna Expedition in 1950 and he was the first one to scale the mountain over 8000m.

tea-houses-at-highTea houses at the high altitudes

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