High elevation trekking in Nepal and high altitude sickness

August 22, 2023

High-elevation trekking is one of the most popular touristic activities in Nepal. Nepal is a nature-gifted country that is home to many of the highest peaks in the world, including Mount Everest. Every year, many trekking enthusiasts from all over the world visit Nepal in order to experience the breathtaking views of the mighty mountains spreading all over the country.

A trek in the mountains is more than just spectacular landscapes and snowy mountains, but also meeting indigenous people, enjoying authentic foods, and learning new cultures and lifestyles. Nepal is a country very rich in cultural diversity and multi-ethnicity. The Sherpa, Gurung, and Tamang cultures of the Himalayas also show an image of Tibetan lifestyles that you will find in most of the regions during your trek.

In this blog, we’ll discuss the most famous high-elevation treks in Nepal, the physical fitness required, high-altitude sickness, and different ways to overcome this sickness.

Most famous high-elevation trekking in Nepal

Nepal boasts thousands of mountains that spread all across the country in different elevations. Many places have already been discovered and commercialized by tourism entrepreneurs over the years, but many are yet to be found and yet to come to light. Even though the country is small, it offers a lot of options to climbers from all over the world. From the elite to first-time climbers, you’ll find a trek suitable just for you ranging from low to high altitudes. Let’s discuss some of the most iconic treks in Nepal.

Everest Base Camp Trek
This well-known Everest Base Camp Trek leads us to Kalapathhar, which is located at an elevation of 5550M (18,204 Feet), through the heart of the Himalayan region of Everest. The highest point of the hike to Everest Base Camp is Kalapathhar. You may fully immerse yourself in the wilderness on this walk and take in the stunning sights of Mount Everest at its closest.
The hike follows the historic Everest trekking route that Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hilary, the mountain’s first ascentists, initially ascended. Because it leads to Mount Everest, the tallest mountain in the world, this journey is particularly well-liked by adventure seekers.
Along the route, you’ll get the chance to meet many other adventure seekers and charming people who will be delighted to host you. You’ll get an adrenaline rush as you walk along numerous tall suspension bridges and the Dudhkoshi River’s bank. One of the many delights of this journey is the stunning mountain views and distinctive landscape of the area.

Annapurna Circuit Trek
One of the most well-known and heavily-marketed treks in Nepal is the Annapurna Circuit Trek. Three of the most popular treks in Nepal are the Annapurna Ranges, Everest Ranges, and Kanchenjunga Base Camp treks, however, the Annapurna Circuit trip consistently tops the list. Because to the variety of its landscapes, climate, cultures, and other factors, this walk can only be described as a masterpiece.

The trail ascends steadily to Thorong La Pass, which is located at 5,416 meters, from Bhulbhule, which is at 840 meters. The walk travels in a circle and takes in all of Nepal’s top sights, including the country’s lowlands, rolling hills, and towering mountains. Because of the area’s distinctive desert-like scenery, trekkers are very familiar with the two hidden valleys of Nepal, Mustang, and Manang. We conclude our adventure at Jomsom with a toast made with the infamous Marpha wine after traversing all of these lovely valleys.

Usually, it takes more than 20 days to complete the walk. Those who want to delve deep into the charm of nature can learn more about the stunning Annapurna Area on this excursion. With the help of family and friends who are physically fit, it is possible. It is not advisable to bring children under the age of 12 on this walk because the altitude is above 5000 meters. Also, you get to see how people live in Nepal’s remote Himalayan region. You’ll pass several lovely villages and stunning monasteries with kind and charming people as you climb up to Thorong La Pass. One of the most wonderful draws to the area is its cuisine and culture.

Annapurna Base Camp Trek

The exquisite and renowned trail to Annapurna Mountain is followed by one of the most popular treks in Nepal, the Annapurna Base Camp Trek. This journey is well-known among climbers because it leads to the base of the famed Mount Annapurna (8,091 meters). A couple of the features that draw a lot of climbers and trekkers each year are the expansive vistas from Poonhill View Point and the stunning feeling of seeing Mt. Annapurna up close. You arrive at Annapurna Base Camp after traveling via quaint towns, winding roads, and stunning rhododendron woods.

Throughout the entire trek to ABC base camp, you’ll have the best views of Mt. Annapurna, Mt. Machhapuchre (Fishtail), and many other stunning mountains. The walk is mostly appropriate for seasoned hikers in good physical condition. The last destination of the traditional Annapurna Base Camp Trek, Annapurna Base Camp is located at an elevation of 4130 meters. The walk is ideal for groups of friends and families who wish to discover the depths of nature. Also, you get to see how people live in Nepal’s remote Himalayan region. As you ascend ABC, you’ll pass through a number of picturesque villages populated by friendly, amazing people. One of the most wonderful draws to the area is its cuisine and culture.

Langtang Valley Trekking
Environmental, cultural, and historical elements abound in the Langtang Valley, providing us with a true sense of a Nepalese hamlet. The “Valley of Glaciers” is another name for the valley. At 4,700 meters, Kyanjin Gompa is the trek’s highest point. Enjoy the breathtaking views of the majestic mountains, pine forests, rapid mountain streams, and craggy boulders along the way. You will learn about the old Tibetan culture and its historical significance while on this trek. The 2015 earthquake wrecked the majority of the valley, but thanks to COVID and the rising tourist numbers, the locals are making a comeback and extending you a quick and kind smile. You may take in not just the natural beauty, but also the native cuisine, fauna, birds, and butterflies.

Mardi Himal Trek
The Mardi Himal trek goes to the base of the exquisite Mardi Himal. This journey travels along a narrow, winding road to the Nepalese national flower, the rhododendron woodland. At a height of 3,300 meters, you will reach your goal after leaving the forest. You’ll be able to take in the distinctive scenery, including breathtaking views of Mardi Himal, Machapuchre, Annapurna South, and Dhaulagiri. This tour gives you the chance to discover remote local communities, regional cuisines, and customs while taking in the stunning alpine scenery. This walk is ideal for individuals who enjoy going off in the solitude of pristine nature.

Everest 3 High Passes Trek
The Everest 3 High Passes Trek is one of Nepal’s most unusual treks, taking us along the once-famous Everest Base Camp trekking route. Three of the most well-known passes in the area are Chola Pass (5,420m/17,782ft), Renjo La Pass (5,340m/17,520ft), and Kongma La Pass (5,535m/18,159ft), which we will reach as we make our way through a small valley and rocky terrain. Trekkers will have numerous opportunities to take in the beautiful views of Mount Everest and the other mountains in the Everest Ranges along the course of the trail. You can experience the real isolated Nepal on the trekking track, which leads you to the stunning Dudhkoshi riverbank, suspension bridges, and Sherpa towns. You’ll undoubtedly sense that “The Greatest View Comes after the Toughest Climbs” as you cross each of these passes and experience those moments.

All the above-mentioned treks are some of the most popular and commercialized high-altitude treks in Nepal. Other than these spectacular treks, Nepal also has many other beautiful treks to offer which are less popular and equally amazing. If you like to visit new and undiscovered paths with less disturbing crowds of tourists there are many other smaller treks and hikes rarely visited by outsiders. You can contact different tour operators working all around the country and ask them for different customized tours that fulfill your needs. For solo travelers as well, you can find many itineraries with descriptions of routes on different travel websites. You can plan your high-altitude treks accordingly and enjoy the treks to your heart’s content.

Physical Fitness for high altitude trekking
If you enjoy outdoor sports and have expertise in hiking, you probably already know that the Himalayan region requires strenuous physical activity. Given the low air pressure and small roadways, you might even walk nonstop for nine to ten hours on some days. You need to be physically fit to go this far in high-altitude areas.

As a result, it is crucial to assess your physical state before setting out on any journey. Those with pre-existing conditions or medical conditions should consult their doctor before starting any kind of walk. Even those in good health may find high-altitude climbs physically taxing, so it’s important to take your time and fully adjust before setting out. If you experience symptoms like headaches or shortness of breath, it is advisable that you take a pause and let your body adjust to the altitude.

A tough adventure should be started at least three to four months before you start training. You’ll be stronger and more resilient when you start the walk as a result. Any successful training regimen should include three to four times a week of consistent, difficult activity for at least an hour. This could include weightlifting to build muscle and improve overall fitness in addition to activities like jogging, cycling, or hiking. Never forget that thorough planning is essential for a fun and enjoyable hiking excursion. Therefore, take the time to visit a doctor, familiarize yourself with your surroundings, and prepare your body for the challenges that lie ahead.

High Altitude Sickness
High-altitude sickness is a common health concern at high altitudes and can be brought on by a number of different things. Poor physical condition is one of the main causes, as are pre-existing illnesses, insufficient acclimatization, and first-time exposure to high elevations. Altitude sickness is largely brought on by the reduced air pressure seen in high-altitude areas. As a result, it is crucial to take specific steps to avoid it. Let’s talk about the signs and symptoms of altitude sickness.
• Vomiting,
• Nausea
• Headaches
• Lethargy
• Dizziness
• Rapid heartbeat
• Lack of appetite etc.

It is significant to remember that anyone, regardless of age, gender, or degree of fitness, can get altitude sickness. Altitude sickness can also manifest in various degrees, ranging from minor symptoms to serious illnesses like High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE) and High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE). It’s important to recognize the signs of altitude sickness and to get help right away if they get worse. To relieve the symptoms and avoid further health issues, it can be necessary in some circumstances to descend to a lower altitude. Some of the greatest strategies to prevent altitude sickness and have a safe and effective high-altitude experience are proper acclimatization, water, and progressive ascent.

Ways to Prevent Altitude Sickness during High Altitude Trekking
This is the secret to solving all the significant problems that could arise from a lack of good physical fitness. If you’re unfamiliar with traveling at higher elevations (more than 3,000 meters), you should go take it slow. During journeys above 5,000 meters, it is customary for hikers to take two or more rest days at various altitudes. For instance, if you’re going on the EBC trip, you stay at Namche for a rest day, which is at an altitude of about 3000 meters, and then make another stop at a higher altitude, about 4000 meters above, to allow your body to fully acclimate and become accustomed to the atmospheric pressure. This is the best preventative measure for problems like altitude sickness as well as many other potential issues.

Moreover, if you begin to develop signs of altitude sickness, descend to a lower altitude, take a few days off, and then try again. This will ease your travel and help your body adapt to the environment and weather. Thus, depending on the length of your activities and high elevation point, taking rest days frequently is necessary throughout any high altitude hiking and expeditions.

Consuming Water
When exercising, it’s important for individuals to stay hydrated, especially in high altitudes where experts recommend drinking three to four liters of fluid per person each day. It is advised to avoid buying bottled water to mitigate the issue of plastic pollution. Instead, teahouses charge between 150 and 300 Nepalese rupees a liter for heated water, which is perfect for a bedtime refill. Free cold water is provided as an alternative at teahouses, although it must be treated before drinking. You need to stay hydrated since physically demanding activities cause your body to sweat a lot and release a lot of energy. It will support appropriate bodily function and provide the extra push required for high-altitude treks.

First Aid Kits
To prepare for potential future events, you must think ahead in one step. Particularly if you’re traveling alone, bring all of the essential medications, bandages, lotions, and moisturizers with you. In high altitudes, a variety of undesirable situations could develop. As a result, you must have a first aid kit with all the necessary medications and bandages for cuts and burns. This will keep you physically fit when traveling to higher elevations and secure your safety. The answer to all of the big issues can be found in intelligence. During the time when you start developing High Altitude Sickness problems, first aid kits are what you need the most. So it is integral to take first aid kits with you during any high-altitude climbing.


In Conclusion, Nepal is a country of mountains and there are many opportunities for beginner to elite adventurers to explore this beautiful nation. But as you visit these exquisite places in the Himalayas you need to be aware of many problems that may arise in the mountains. Weather and climatic conditions are always unpredictable. But one of the major problems that trekkers have to face is High altitude sickness. So as the saying goes, “Precaution is better than cure.” You should keep yourself hydrated, do some physical exercises prior to the trek as well as acclimatize yourself while going on high-elevation treks of Nepal. It’s a simple rule to follow that will help you a lot during your journey.


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