High passes of the Solu Khumbu in July.
Please tell us a bit about yourself, where you live, and what you do.
I am from Australia, however I currently live and work overseas in the UAE. I enjoy living abroad and I love travelling even more. I have spent the better part of the last decade travelling across several continents and exploring countless countries. I love my nomadic life and the opportunities it has afforded me.
I felt very welcomed in Nepal. I used a tour company called socialtours (a member of the kimkim travel network) and they really went out of their way to put me at ease and take care of any hassles. They arranged airport transfers, took me to lunch on more than one occasion, and helped me with any last-minute items I needed for my trek.
Without a tour company, you can still find your way around Kathmandu (especially Thamel) quite easily and this area felt safe.
As for being in Nepal in July, it did rain quite a bit. If you’re just walking around, an umbrella or a waterproof jacket will take care of things. If you don’t have these with you, expect to get wet!
I chose the three passes trek. I had an excellent guide and also used a porter. You can do it without a porter, but if you choose this option I suggest getting your pack down to 8 kg. You could do the trek without a guide, as well, however I chose an option which included mountain passes and to attempt those without a guide would be quite negligible.
The trek itself varied from day-to-day. Up until 4500 m., most days I was walking in T- shirts. Higher than that I wore a long sleeve.
The days are mixed with up and down sections varying in steepness. You do need to be fairly fit to do the trekking. If you have health issues, then possibly look at doing an option without the mountain passes.
The mountain passes were by far the most challenging days on the trek, but also the most rewarding. My favourite day of trekking was the Cho La Mountain pass. We walked over glaciers, climbed straight up the side of mountain, walked across the ice and straight back down the other side of the mountain.
During this time of year—the monsoon season—you can expect rain (in some form) at least once a day. If it is raining then the clouds tend to sit low and you don’t always have a lot to look at (sometime a blessing in disguise depending on how much climbing you have). If you’re lucky, you will get a nice sunny day and you can see all the mountain peaks!
I expected to see Everest, but I didn’t once see the summit during my entire trek because of the clouds. I was pleasantly surprised with the accommodation. I thought the tea houses would be far more basic, but they were quite cosy.
I would have packed a lot less, looking back. You could definitely do that trek with one to two pairs of trekking pants and one pair of socks for the entire trek. The concept is kind of gross to get your head around at the start, but the less you have to carry the better!
I was surprised at the number of places I could charge my phone—nearly everywhere. However, wifi was not available after Namche (due to it being the off season).
Also because it’s the off season, the higher you go the less likely you are to come across meat and bread.
Loved the Cho La mountain pass. That day was an adventure in itself and it felt like we were straight out of an Indian Jones film!
Was there anything that was challenging?
I found the Renjo La mountain pass the most challenging. It was a day where everything was just a different gradient of up. I was constantly having to mentally fight myself to stay positive. That day was really hard for me.
Overall, though, I didn’t have any major challenging issues.
Do you have any tips for travelers who are considering coming to Nepal? Any specific things to pack? Any tips about what kinds of activities to do?
I think trekking is a must do activity in Nepal (doesn’t have to be EBC). Exploring Thamel is fun and it has a lot of attractions that cater to tourists, however I think there are several things to do outside of the city as well (temples etc).
Depending on what time of year you’re travelling to Nepal would influence what I’d take. For July, definitely an umbrella or waterproof jacket. Hand sanitiser is a must, as well as toilet paper (it’s an endangered species in Nepal).
If you’re not sure where to start, then get in touch with kimkim and socialtours; they can definitely point you in the right direction and help with the decision making process.