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Solo Treks in Everest Region
Solo trekking is still alive and well in the Everest region.
Solo trekking in the Everest region is still allowed despite the recent decision by Nepal Tourism Board and trekking organizations to require individual backpackers to be accompanied by a guide when trekking the Himalayas in Nepal.
However, trekkers in the Everest region must still follow the rules set by the Khumbu Pasang Lhamu Rural Municipality, which includes obtaining a separate trek card costing Rs2,000 per person and being monitored at four check posts.
While all foreign trekkers visiting Nepal are required to have a TIMS card, it is not necessary for those visiting the Khumbu or Everest region. The rural municipality has been collecting trek card fees from foreign trekkers since 2017 under federal law.
Additionally, the tax and non-tax revenues raised by the Nepal Tourism Board and non-governmental organizations like the Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal have been deemed illegal by the Intergovernmental Fiscal Arrangement Act of 2017.
From April 14, 2023, the updated version of the TREK CARD system will be implemented in the Everest Region by the Khumbu Pasanglhamu Rural Municipality and Sagarmatha National Park. The TREK CARD can be easily obtained at the Lukla counter or in Jorsale for land travelers, with a fee of Rs. 5,000 for international visitors and Rs. 3,500 for citizens of SAARC countries. Visitors must provide copies of their passports, itineraries, insurance information (if any), and contact information to obtain the card. The card will be checked at a few checkpoints to ensure the safety of trekkers in the region. Visitors can also submit their details in advance through the website and obtain the card through an express service.
While it is not mandatory to hire a guide while trekking in the Everest region, visitors are strongly advised to do so, especially when exploring high altitude areas and mountain passes. Free Independent Tourists (FITs) are always welcome in the Everest region, but obtaining a TREK CARD is necessary to ensure their safety under the system.
Is it allowed to trek solo in the Everest region?
Yes, solo trekking is allowed in the Everest region. However, trekkers are required to obtain a Trek Card from the Khumbu Pasanglhamu Rural Municipality and Sagarmatha National Park. The card costs Rs. 5,000 for international visitors and Rs. 3,500 for citizens of SAARC countries, and it will be checked at a few checkpoints during the trek.
Do I need to hire a guide for a solo trek in the Everest region?
It is not mandatory to hire a guide for a solo trek in the Everest region, but it is highly recommended, especially if you plan to explore high altitude areas and mountain passes. A guide can provide valuable assistance with navigation, safety, and cultural understanding.
What are the benefits of hiring a guide for a solo trek in the Everest region?
A guide can provide valuable assistance with navigation, safety, and cultural understanding. They can also help you to acclimatize to the high altitude and provide first aid if necessary. Additionally, a guide can help you to interact with the local people and learn about their customs and traditions.
How do I obtain a Trek Card for a solo trek in the Everest region?
You can obtain a Trek Card at the Lukla counter (en route to Phakding) or in Jorsale if you are traveling by land. You will need to provide copies of your passport, itinerary, insurance information (if any), and contact information. You can also submit these details in advance through www.trekcard.app/registration and show the original copy of your passport and submission number sent by mail to obtain Trek Card in express service.
What should I pack for a solo trek in the Everest region?
You should pack appropriate clothing for cold and warm weather, including a good quality down jacket, thermal layers, hiking boots, and a hat and gloves. You should also bring a backpack, a water bottle, snacks, a first aid kit, and a map and compass or GPS device. Additionally, you should bring some cash in Nepali rupees for food and accommodation along the way.