Bucket List: The Himalayas

© Michel Royon / Wikimedia Commons

The Himalayas

Region: Nepal, Northern Indian or Bhutan

(Based on safety and logistical concerns, Tibet and Pakistan are not presently under consideration)

Logistical Difficulty:  VERY HIGH

Hiking Difficulty: VERY HIGH

Degree of Risk: Moderately High

Estimated time required (including travel and logistics): Three weeks.

The Abode of the Gods. This is the Big One. Everyone who dreams of mountains is drawn here. This is the worlds foremost trekking destination…the destination that actually inspired the word ‘trek.’ Tibet…The Annupurna Circuit…K2…And of course, this guy…

The Mount Everest massif, Himalayas, Nepal.
https://www.britannica.com© Marta/Fotolia

Everest. The roof of the world.

Why Hike This?

  • The adventure of a lifetime
  • SERIOUS macho outdoor bragging rights
  • You will totally be the envy of the whole recess yard
  • Aunt Mildred’s Polaroids from Carlsbad Caverns will seem pretty weak in comparison to this
  • The world’s highest mountains
  • Chance to look upon something most people have heard of but few will ever see
  • Hike with a light pack, stay in tea houses
  • An intriguing and unique cultural experience
  • For anyone who loves mountains, this is as good as it gets

But First Consider…

  • Altitude
  • Altitude
  • It’s high up
  • Did we mention altitude?
  • Often Brutally cold
  • Logically complex and expensive to get here
  • Travel here, even by vehicle, is wearisome and sometimes dangerous
  • Development, and particularly road building to remote villages, threatens to spoil the charm of this magical place

There are five places one can chose to enter the Himalayas. Once inside, they are almost their own self-contained universe. But getting to each of them has its own special challenges. You must choose your portals wisely. These portals are:

Nepal: The most common portal.

Tibet (now part of China):  By most accounts the best views of Everest are from the Tibetan side.

Bhutan: Less Crowded than Nepal, but lacks some of the brand names (Everest, Annapurna.)

Pakistan: Very poorly developed for hiking, expect to really be on your own here.

India: Another alternative to Nepal, by all accounts about as spectacular.

Nepal and India seem to offer the best balance. We will therefore confine our focus to these two magnificent venues.

Everest Base Camp/Three Passes Trek*

*On the BucketList!