Nepal mountain climbing, while best exemplified by Mt Everest, should be known for its diversity. Expert climbers and the adventurous will step up to the challenge of some of the highest mountains on earth, while novices will find a peak and an experience for them. With more than 300 peaks open to climb, a plethora of guides, and well-established trekking routes, Nepal mountain expeditions are some of the best found anywhere.
Ever since Sir Edmund Hilary conquered Mt Everest, the tallest peak in the world, the bulk of the attention for mountain climbing in Nepal has centered on this mountain. Called Mount Sagarmatha in the local language, Everest soars 29,009 feet above sea level, its snow-topped peak touching the clouds. Nepal mountain expeditions to Mt Everest's summit are a challenge to say the least, but not one that can't be met. Each year, approximately 2,700 hikers make the trek. The Sherpa people, who have lived in a village near the base for generations, know the mountain well. While many continue to make their living by farming and herding, younger and nimble Sherpas serve as guides, accompanying climbers on their journey.
While making it to the peak of Mt Everest is a feat not accomplished by many, a trek to the Everest Base Camp is more accessible. These treks incorporate some signature Nepal mountain climbing with hiking and some river rafting. Along the way on your trekking holidays, you'll also have the chance to relax at genuine Nepali tea houses and tour an amazing Buddhist monastery.
While Everest is the best known, it's not your only choice for mountain climbing in Nepal. The mighty Himalayas stretch across six countries from Tibet to Pakistan. The Himalayan peaks in Central Nepal includes eight of the highest peaks in the entire range, or any mountain range on earth for that matter. These peaks, including Manaslu and Lhoste, all exceed 8,000 meters, or 26,000 feet. North America's tallest mountain would look diminutive in comparison. Mt McKinley in Alaska is just over 20,000 feet, more than a mile shorter than Nepal's eighth highest peak.
The Annapurna Circuit also sets the stage for Nepal mountain climbing vacations. This well-traveled trekking circuit is one of the most popular places for mountaineering expeditions outside of Everest. All of the climbing and hiking, while arduous at times, is quite rewarding.
Those who make the effort will have the chance to gaze over lush green valleys and cross the Thorung La pass at 17,000 feet. You'll experience the contrast of a deep gorge cut in between two mountains, Dhaulagiri and Annapurna, and culturally diverse cities whose citizens are eager to welcome visitors.
If you're planning on doing mountain climbing in Nepal on Lhoste, Everest, or any of the other peaks open to visitors, you'll need to make the proper arrangements. Of the 1,100 or so mountains in Nepal, 325 are open to climb on Nepal vacations (give or take a few depending on the conditions). A permit is required and can be obtained from the Mountaineering Section of the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, based in Kathmandu.
If you'd like help with the plans, consider booking Nepal mountain expeditions through professional trekking companies. Some are based in Nepal, while others have headquarters abroad. These professional trekkers know the lay of the land and can take care of the details of the entire trip.
It's quite difficult to lug equipment on you to your flights to Nepal, but it's easy to pick up equipment once you've arrived. Many companies include gear in their vacation packages, while shops in Kathmandu and near the peaks sell gear and provide equipment rentals for the adventure ahead.