Trekking Seasons and Altitude Sickness
Nepal is the best destination for the tourism activities throughout the year, however; there are four distinct trekking seasons in Nepal. Each season has its distinctive attractions to offer. The seasons can be classified as follows:
Autumn (Sept. - Nov.)
Autumn is the best time to experience the trekking in the Himalayas, which offers an excellent weather and exhilarating mountain views and one can experience the the festival and culture of Nepal as the biggest festival of Nepal fall in this season, such as Dashain and Tihar (Deewali) which occur in October and November.
Winter (Dec. - Feb.)
Winter season is noted for occasional snowfall only at higher elevations. Hence it is ideal for trekking at lower elevation, generally below 3000 meters and it is good time for the having adventure activities such as mountain bike, Bungee Jumping, cycling tour, paragliding, river adventure and jungle Safari.
Spring (Mar. - May)
Different varieties of wild flowers, most exceptionally the rhododendrons, make the hillside above 3000 meters a haunting paradise during this season. It is mildly warm at lower elevations, and at higher elevations over 4000 meters, the mountain views are excellent and temperature is quite moderate. This season is the best time to have the mountain expedition, peak climbing, trekking and hiking in Nepal.
Summer (June - Aug.)
Summer season which represent the monsoon season in Nepal, as it rains almost every day during this season. So this season can be the best time for river adventure as the level of river in Nepal become higher. You also can have Agro tour as Nepalese farmer farm in their land in this period. This season also would be the best for those who are keen to know about the vegetation as a botanist as the higher valleys and meadows blossom with flowers and lush vegetation.
Note:- Beside these seasons one can discover this part of the world through Trekking, Rafting, Jungle Safari, wild life safari, Hiking, mountain expedition, peak climbing, mountain flight, Bungee Jumping, mountain bike and cycling tour Paragliding all over the year.
Altitude Sickness, often known as Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) is particularly a important medical consideration while trekking in Nepal. Altitude Sickness means the effect of altitude on those who ascend too rapidly to elevations above 3,000 meters. The initial symptoms of AMS (Hight altitude Sickness) are as following
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea and vomiting
- Persistent headache
- Light headedness, confusion, disorientation, drunken gait
- Weakness, fatigue, lassitude, heavy legs
- Slight swelling of hands and face
- Breathlessness and Breathing irregularity
- Reduced urine output
These symptoms are to be taken very seriously. In case of appearance of any of the above symptoms any further ascent should be reconsidered; otherwise more serious problems can occur which can even cause death sometimes within a few hours, the Only cure for the Altitude Sickness is to descend to a lower elevations immediately. Acclimatization by ascending to no more than 300 to 500 meters per day above 3,000 meters and the proper amount of rest are the best methods for prevention of AMS.
What to do about Altitude Sickness ?
Altitude illness can be prevented by acclimatization; that is, by a graduate rate of ascent (not more than 400 – 500 meters), allowing sufficient rest at various intermediate altitudes. The dry air of the mountains tends to dehydrate you so an increased fluid intake is necessary. Try to drink at least four liters of water a day. On the trail you can drink hot garlic soup that will help you to some extent. When we reach to our destination it is better to make some hiking up to a bit higher point and come down to the camp or hotel. This is a really good way to get acclimatization. You may take a Diamox 250mg tablets the night before flying / going to altitude. After the symptoms will often disappear and the trek can be resumed.
If you feel obviously suffering from the serious symptoms of AMS then descent should not be delayed even if it means going down in dark. In such case, should an emergency situation arise, horse, or porter will be arranged; or I myself carry you and run to lower (descend) altitudes. There are 3 radios in Namche Bazaar, Doctors at Khunde hospital in the Everest Area and HRA Clinics and in some trekking areas also has the Gamow Bag. The hospital or the clinic will take fees or charges for such services. I can arrange for immediate evacuation, by horse or helicopter, depending on the severity of the case.