Firsthand experience on trekking during Monsoon
Monsoon is the rainy season in Asia, it lasts from June to August in Nepal. Nepali Monsoon is not the worst compared to other Asian countries, but the weather is hot and the rain is an obstacle to many trekking destinations. However, those of you who are free to travel only during summer have to know that it is still possible to do short treks such as Langtang Kyanjin Gompa, Annapurna Base Camp, Chisopani Nagarkhot and Poon Hill.
Travelling with a friend last August (2017), we successfully did Poon Hill six days trekking, ten days total considering the transport from and to Kathmandu and the nights in Pokhara, with Happyland treks. With the right equipment to face the rain and hot temperatures, walking in the dense forest was a real pleasure as well as an adventure we will remember and laugh about for years. As it always is when you take a challenge instead of the easy road, everything didn’t go as planned, but these unexpected events are what make a good story. Here I want to answer the questions and concern you probably have concerning trekking during the rainy season.
Is rain going to alter the quality of our trek?
Of course if you hate rainy weather you should reconsider not only the idea of trekking during Monsoon, but the whole idea of visiting Nepal in summer, because although the rain is not constant, it comes almost every day, particularly in the early evening. However, if you are not afraid of some water, you shouldn’t let apprehension and prejudices concerning Monsoon prevent you from having an amazing experience in the mountains. Know that you will still be able to have a wonderful view of the ice capped giants, particularly in the morning when the sky is clear and when the light gives a surreal aspect to the scenery. Furthermore, there is no comparison between rain in Europe and in Nepal, where the rain will not make the temperature drop enough for you to get cold, so that you can be wearing only a t-shirt under your raincoat (except for the third morning when you will go up to Poon Hill to witness the sunrise). Having been walking in the heat, we even sometimes welcomed the rain with gratitude. Finally, there is no better feeling than reaching your lodge, enjoy a well?deserved tea with other trekkers, and drying your clothes and shoes near a comforting fireplace.
The perks of trekking in Monsoon
Yes, there are advantages to trekking in Nepal during the rainy season. I see at least two major benefits: first, for those like me who enjoy solitude, you can be assured that the path will not be overcrowded and you can enjoy the landscape and immerse in the calm of nature; second, even though Poon Hill is green all year long, the landscape during Monsoon is even greener than during the rest of the year, and the heavy rains forming waterfalls, flowing in the rice fields and on the numerous steps that lead to the top is a spectacle beyond imagination.
All in all, trekking during Monsoon has been an awesome experience and if you do it, you too will be proud to discover that you are capable of much more than you could have thought if you had been discouraged by preconceived notions.
Maelle Z, France
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