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Recent blog posts

The Sacred Tsum Valley Trek in NepalEntry 4. Nepal: The Sacred Tsum Valley Trek - Nepal's Hidden Sanctuary

Group date confirmed for October 16 to November 5, 2014


The Tsum Valley is situated in the northern Gorkha district of Nepal, surrounded by the Buddha Himal with Himal Chuli to the west, Ganesh Himal to the south and Sringi Himal to the north. Tsum is one of the eight sacred valleys (called Beyuls) in the inner Himalayas and owes its genesis to the 8th century Buddhist saint Padmasambhava.

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The Torres del Paine Trek in PatagoniaPatagonia: The Torres del Paine Circuit Trek - Into the 'Land of Fire and Ice'. Group dates beginning every Wednesday from November 2014 through March 2015.

Discovered by Magellan, Patagonia (the ‘Land of Fire and Ice’) is situated almost at the extreme southern tip of South America, just to the north of Cape Horn. We access this remote area by way of the small town of Punta Arenas. From here, we will transfer by bus to a comfortable fixed EcoCamp in the Torres del Paine National Park. The rugged territory of Patagonia is renowned for its breathtaking scenery and this is nowhere better exemplified than in the Torres del Paine National Park, where pink granite towers, iridescent blue lakes and surreally sculpted glaciers compete for the viewer’s admiration. This is also the setting for one of the world’s great trekking challenges, the 7-day and 60 mile-long circuit of the Paine Massif.

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nepal-lodge-treks-blogLodge trekking in Nepal has come quite a long way since we started back in the 1980's.

Some of those suspicious looking teahouses still remain to remind us of those old days, but in the Everest and Annapurna areas we now use a variety of locally-owned mountain lodges offering a relatively comfortable room and serving a wide variety of healthy food choices.

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Travel tips.Plan ahead for a safe, fun and comfortable adventure vacation

1. Bring duct tape and other items that serve more than one function
A bandana can be worn under a hat to keep sweat out of your eyes, used as a wash cloth, to hold ice and placed on sore joints and muscles or even as a tourniquet. Dental floss can be used to hang laundry or repair broken jewelry. Duct tape can hold suitcases together, repair sunglasses, hiking boots, a tent, sleeping bag and pad... and serve as a bandage in an emergency. To save space, wrap your duct tape around a pen or pencil. That way, you’ll always have a writing tool handy as well!

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The Tenzing Hillary Everest Marathon in Nepal.Another successful running of the Tenzing Hillary Everest Marathon in Nepal. Get ready for May 29, 2015!

The 2014 Tenzing Hillary Everest Marathon and Everest Extreme 60K trail runs have been successfully completed. All runners reached Everest Base Camp on May 27 but, due to recent snowfall, we had to begin the race at Gorakshep, the original base camp for the successful 1953 Expedition. The shortfall of 3.1 miles / 5km was made up by extending the loop from Bibre below Dingboche.

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The little-visited east side of Mount Everest - The Kangshung Face in Tibet.Group date for this epic trek confirmed for September 15 to October 5, 2014!

Mount Everest is the world’s highest peak and the most popular of all adventure travel destinations. Since trekking was first permitted in Nepal in the late 1960’s, the route through the Khumbu district, which offers vantage points and access to the south side of Everest, has been the most popular way for trekkers and climbers to reach the mountain. Then, in the mid 1980’s, travel within Tibet became a possibility and Everest’s north side Base Camp in the Rongbuk Valley started to attract increasing numbers of visitors. However, few people know that there is a third side to Everest, which offers arguably the most interesting approach and most dramatic view of the world’s most famous mountain - the Kangshung Face. Very few people have made the journey to this side of the mountain, although the area did receive a certain amount of publicity when, in 1988, Stephen Venables became one of the first to reach the summit of Everest without supplementary oxygen, via a new route from the Kangshung Glacier. 

 Click here for more details from our website!

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A muddy start to our Mount Kenya adventure.A funny thing happened on the way to Mount Kenya in August 1999

Don’t be fooled by the title, as this not another recount of some epic climb in a far off land. This is, rather, a funny story (now it’s funny) of my first day of traveling to Mount Kenya with two retired school teachers from Las Vegas.

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The squat toilet of Asia.The squat toilet, also known as the Eastern toilet, is the most popular type of toilet in the world, but many Westerners have never used one. When you "settle in" for your first encounter you may be amazed, befuddled and confused on what to do, so here are some tips how to use them:

Ready to get started? Ok, here is using a squat toilet 101...

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Trekker's lodge at Gorakshep 16,900 feet.Our most frequently asked questions on lodge trekking in Nepal

There are many questions asked, but these are the most frequently received by those embarking on our lodge treks in Nepal. Have a good question that needs to be on the list? Please let us know.

Click to view or download the Nepal Lodge Trek FAQ list

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The Leh Valley is a land of great Buddhist monasteries.Ladakh, India is one of the few regions for a summer Himalayan trek!

Leh, the capital of Ladakh in northern India, is a one hour flight from Delhi. For the more adventurous, and for those who don't suffer from motion sickness, you can opt a bone-jarring 22 hour plus bus ride. Ladakh is a land of high mountain passes, Buddhist monasteries, spectacular pastel colored deserts, jagged peaks and colorful prayer flags flapping in the wind.

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Kathmandu scene at the Monkey TempleNepal voted as travelers' first choice in Asia for upcoming destinations

On December 3, 2013, travel website Trip Advisor disclosed the winners of its 2013 Travelers' Choice Awards for Destinations on the Rise.

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Hiking the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal.Is the full Annapurna Circuit Trek still worth doing?

I get this question a lot and especially so over the past several years. My short answer is a sincere, "Absolutely." My long answer is an equally sincere, "It depends." For every person completing this trek, you will get a different opinion.  

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A local bike shop in Lhasa, Tibet.The Ride of My Life: A look back at a 1997 bike ride across Tibet!

“He’s going to kill himself.” This was my thought as our Nepalese bike guide, Shyam Shah, carried his 40 pound mountain bike up the steep stairway leading to Swyambhunath (the Monkey Temple) in Kathmandu for the third time. The first two times? He crashed end over end halfway down the 365 concrete steps. Shyam was a fearless 19 year old and the current mountain bike champion of Nepal. He was known throughout Kathmandu for his ability to ride down anything and he was determined to prove it one more time. Once at the top of the stairway, he gave a thumbs-up and proceeded to race down, bike bouncing up and down seemingly uncontrollably with his hands nowhere near the brakes. A crowd had gathered at this point as Shyam landed safely at the bottom to where I was standing wearing a huge smile. “Ready for Tibet?”, I asked. “Yes Andy”, he replied. Read the full story on Curious Animal Magazine here!

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Sherpa women (Sherpanis) harvesting wheat in Nepal.Who are the famous Sherpa people of Nepal's Everest region?

The April 18, 2014 deaths of 16 Nepalese guides in an avalanche on Mount Everest has increased global awareness of the region's close knit Sherpa community and the risks some of these individuals take when helping foreign climbers ascend the world's tallest peaks.

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The Tibetan Wheel of Life.The Wheel of Life mandala

The Wheel of Life is a symbolic representation of samsara (or cycle of existence) found on the outside walls of Tibetan Buddhist temples and monasteries in the Himalayas. In the Mahayana Buddhist tradition, it is believed that the drawing was designed by the Buddha himself in order to help ordinary people understand the Buddhist teachings. The wheel of life is also translated as wheel of existence or wheel of becoming.

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K2, the world's second highest mountain.The mighty K2 in Pakistan's Karakoram Range

K2 (8,611 meters) is the second highest mountain on Earth, after Mount Everest. Also known as Chogori (King of Mountains) and Mount Godwin-Austen, K2 is located on the border between northern Pakistan and Xinjiang, China. On July 31, 1954, an Italian expedition was the first to summit of K2 via the Abruzzi Spur. 2014 marks the 60th anniversary of this historic climb.

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A solar cooker in a rural village in the Annapurna region of Nepal.Rural villages in Nepal's Annapurna region going green

In Nepal's Annapurna region, shiny reflectors from solar kettle cook stoves are slowly replacing the smoky yak-dung fires and wood-fueled potbelly stoves so commonly seen across the rural Himalayas. These solar cookers are now used by about 12 percent of the high-altitude mountain population and stand side by side with prehistoric tools such as yak-pulled plows and hand looms. Solar cookers work well in the drier climes of the upper Annapurna and Mustang regions and the Nepal government encourages their use by subsidizing half of the cost of each solar cooker. A win-win for the inhabitants of Nepal's rural villages and the country's beautiful forests.

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Hiking in Nepal's remote NarPhu Valley.A look back at a 2008 trek across the Annapurna Range and into the Tibetan villages and monasteries of Upper Manang

I have to admit that this trek surpassed even my own high expectations. I've long desired to visit the remote Tibetan valleys of Naar and Phu located in the upper reaches of Nepal's Manang District.

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The Buff is a must for a Himalayan trekThe Buff: a versatile must for a Himalayan trek

One of the best single pieces of gear you can bring on a trekking trip is The Buff. This versatile product is so popular on a Himalayan trek they even have a Buff with a map of the Everest area in Nepal printed on it (http://www.planetbuff.com/everest-map.html). You can use a Buff as a head band, scarf, neck gaiter, balaclava…in fact the company touts 17 different ways to use a Buff on their website (http://www.planetbuff.com/how-to-wear.html). These things wash and dry quickly and easily and have a long useful life. I was first turned on to The Buff by an ex-girlfriend who bought me one for my birthday. I’ve always just used a bandana but the Buff is warm enough to use as a neck gaiter and filters out the dust on the trail when used as a face mask. When its time for it to be washed, I just use it as a wash cloth in river or solar shower.

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The Chomolhari and Laya Trek in BhutanEntry 2. Bhutan: The Chomolhari and Laya Trek - Boundless Beauty of the Eastern Himalaya. 2014 Group Date: September 26 to October 12.

Despite the opening up of a number of new trekking possibilities in Bhutan, the long-established route from Chomolhari Base Camp across to Laya Village remains one of Bhutan's finest mountain walks. This stunning trekking route offers a great variety of conditions; from picturesque farmland and magical forest, to alpine pastureland and high mountain passes. During the trek you will camp beneath a number of Bhutan’s most impressive peaks, of which the most notable are Chomolhari and Jitchu Drake. Numerous isolated dzongs (fortress monasteries) and scattered settlements, including the secluded village of Laya, provide a great deal of interesting Buddhist culture. Bhutan has a special magic all its own, derived from the combination of its colorful culture and religion and unspoiled and outstandingly beautiful mountain scenery.

 

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