Winter in the Nepal Himalayas can be a dare even to adventure seekers. Snow mantles, the valleys, tracks, and fields are packed with dried leaves, and the climate can be incredibly harsh. Yet, trekkers can conquer the weather and be rewarded with stunning views of the snow-capped peaks from the summit. There are many good causes to trek to the Himalayas in the winter off-season.
For many years you may hear enough winter myths which create barriers for trekking in Winer at Nepal Himalayas. Today I have pulled together a few of the greatest myths that we have heard.
Some of these myths about trekking in winter in the Nepal Himalayas are going to take you by shock. Some others, you may empathize with, and some could be scary if they are truly thought.
If you have heard of any more myths about trekking in winter in Nepal Himalayas, feel free to add them to the list of myth busters at the bottom of this page.
1. Trekking in winter is not for the beginner trekkers
Some trekking trails like Everest Three High Pass, Sherpani Col, and many more are very scared to trek in winter. Especially, the high passes and routes near the Tiber border are very much difficult in the winter season.
The real truth: Trekking in Winter at Nepal Himalayas is indeed challenging. The trail is covered with snow, it gets very cold and you are climbing steep stone-paved ladders. Having said that, it is not meant that beginners cannot trek in winter. Prior experience does not play many roles here. The most important thing is that you should be fit and warm clothes to trek. If you have good stamina and take rest properly you can climb up easily on the terrain. Around 65% of our trekkers are beginners and most of them are from cities. They all trek comfortably in the winter season.
2. I don’t need many layers because I am used to the cold.
Many tourists who come from the cold climate think that they do not need many layers of cloth because they are used to the cold. We hear a lot, mainly from those who think they are “unshakable” to layer up.
The real truth: No point how unshakable you are, your body still perceives cold when it is winter season in the Nepal Himalayas. High altitude trekking is a sport that requires you to maximize the energy you have reserved in your body. If you are disclosing yourself to the cold, your body is consuming all its energy in keeping you as warm as possible. And you will be left with little energy while you are walking.
3. Taking one thick jacket instead of layers
Taking one thick jacket to keep you warm is another myth about trekking in Winter in Nepal Himalayas.
The real truth: No matter how thick one jacket but it will not be warm more than layering. There is a reason why layering is more effective than one thick jacket. When you wear 2 to 3 layers of the jacket, there will be air gaps in between the jackets. While helping to preserve the inner warmth. So it is the gaps between layers that play a crucial role. So make sure you bring at least 4-5 warm layers so that you can tackle temperatures below -10 degrees.
4. Alcohol keeps you warm
This is the most popular myth about trekking in Winter in Nepal. Trekkers argue that they would like to drink in the mountains because it makes you warmer.
The real truth: Consumption of alcohol makes you feel warmer but it is just a momentary feeling of warmth. As you consume alcohol there will be a sudden rush of blood to your extremities. But it decreases your core body temperature which is a terrible thing at high altitudes during wintertime. M ore consumption also causes altitude sickness or hypothermia which is fatal. The best way to keep your core warm is to wear layer clothes and consume hot soups.
5. It will be snowing all the time in high altitude
This is another myth about trekking in Winter that we have heard. Many trekkers who come with also believe that any time during the winter, they are likely to see snowfall.
The real truth: It is a wrong myth because it does not snow all the time in winter. When you get to see snowfall, consider yourself lucky. Do not confuse with the presence of already fallen snow during the trek. Those snow is constantly accumulating from mid-December onwards.
6. Temperature is going to be minus throughout the day
Here is another myth about trekking in Winter in Nepal, which I quite empathize with. It is normal to visualize very low temperatures when you witness images with so much snow during the winter. But that is far from reality.
The real truth: If the weather is clear, it gets quite warm during the daytime. The temperature could rise to around 13°C. Additionally, the sun is much harsher at high altitudes, and you sense it easily.
Many trekkers assume that they are not going to sweat in the winter season. But walking, you are exercising yourself, you may sweat. So do not ignore that truth and bring a few clothes. Change into dry warm layers as soon as possible to keep your core body temperature stable.