After choosing your route, the second important decision is when to trek. Generally, treks in the Himalaya have two ‘peak’ seasons: February to May and September to November.
FEBRUARY TO MAY
Coming out of deep winter, the weather and temperature is now improving over most of Nepal. Rain is only occasional, and tends to be brief when it is present. This is the ‘lesser’ peak season, and tends to be less busy than the Autumn. Most Everest climbers arrive at base camp in April or May to begin their attempts on the summit so if you want to see all the activity around the summit attempt this is a good time to travel to Nepal.
JUNE TO AUGUST
June, July and August are the Monsoon season in the Himalaya. As a result, Kandoo does not operate any scheduled treks during this season. If you specifically want to trek in the Himalayas during this period we can arrange a private trek for 2 or more people.
As a general rule of thumb, the Western Himalayas, like the Annapurna region, lie partially in a rain shadow and is therefore protected from the worst of the monsoon, so trekking here continues to be good throughout the summer months, particularly as it will be very quiet.
SEPTEMBER TO NOVEMBER
September, October and November are the ‘greater’ peak seasons across the Himalaya. Generally a very dry season, when clear skies generally provide easy travel and temperatures are pleasant all day.
DECEMBER TO JANUARY
The Himalayas lie in the Northern Hemisphere and although relatively far south, in the mountains the winter period is very cold. Most of the trails remain open although some may be subject to short term closures due to snowfall. The exceptions to this are the high passes at Thorung La on the Annapurna Circuit, the Cho La pass on the Gokyo Everest trek, the Zatwa La pass on the Mera peak climb, and passes throughout the Snowman trek in Bhutan. These are often shut for months at a time so treks on these do not operate during this period.
Generally, if you choose a trek during this season, make sure to pack warm gear!
A FEW other THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND
The price of airfare varies sharply with the season. Booking early always helps, as does planning on taking flights that are not during the peak season of September and October.