Why you should visit Nepal in winter?

Most people in Europe will think that winter in Nepal must be extremely cold if in the Alps we have got 2 metres of snow then in Himalayas it must be impossible even to walk. It’s actually quite the opposite, winter in Nepal is pretty dry. Especially December is probably the best month f25or trekking. In Kathmandu or Pokhara you will walk in shorts during the day and in the mountains you will feel comfortably most of the time as well.
Here I made some pros and cons for visiting Nepal in winter:
1) It’s almost tourist free – even though we started the trek just after the main touristic season (beginning of December) we did not meet many tourist, usually around 5 people (Three passes, Annapurna circuit was little bit more crowded), which was just enough to share tips and make new friendship. On the way from Salleri we were often the only tourists in the lodges, which means that even the Nepalese had more time for us, so we could learn much more about the culture etc. During the high season the paths are crowded as much as the lodges. If you go in October or November you will need to make reservation for the lodges or sometimes you will have to sleep in dining rooms. Also if you do the classic Everest base camp trek you will see many more tourists (for a lot of them it will be the first experience with hiking, so don’t be surprised if you see people walking in Converse shoes…)
2) It’s much cheaper: we never paid for accommodation, charging or the internet (once we even got hot shower for free). The only money we spent was for the food, which is still a lot but with average of 15 usd a day you should be fine (you have to eat at the places you stay, usually the higher you are the more expensive food is). In Annapurna circuit sometimes we were charged for the room but not always. Here are the best two lodges on the trek three passes: Namaste, Gokyo – so far the best food we tasted on the trek and the staff was amazing. We ended up staying there 4 nights just a few metres from the lodge is also an amazing bakery (the highest bakery in the world).
German bakery, Tengboche – unbeatable view of Ama Dablam plus amazing cakes and food – make sure you order lasagne, it was delicious! (in the season it might be a bit more expensive)
3) The weather –  probability of having clear sky is pretty high. The sun is very strong so during the days with two layers you will be fine. On the other hand the weather is still chilled so you won’t be sweating much, which you appreciate in the low altitude.  At nights the temperature can drop to minus 20°C (our minimum was minus 6°C in the lodge). Luckily in Kathmandu you can buy very cheap goose down gear. My sleeping bag for minus 33 degrees costed me 50 usd and almost the whole trek I could enjoy sleeping in shorts. According to what I heard some23 snow is more probable from January. The only snow we had to cross was actually at the glacier near Chola pass, which was over 5000 metres. During the Annapurna circuit it snowed only once and it was on the 25th of December in Thorong la pass – yes, Christmas on snow! The weather over there was in general a bit colder than Everest region. We were told that some of the lodges are open only until the end of December, then some snowfalls are more often.

Probably the only disadvantage I found was that the days are shorter but still the light is 8-9 hours per day which is enough. I think that most of us wouldn’t walk longer anyway.

so don’t be afraid of winter in Nepal, you will love it! 😉

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