Nepal Trekking Information » History and Introduction

History of Trekking

In 1965 Colonel Jimmy Roberts introduced the world to trekking. As a former Gurkha Officer and Military Attaché at the British Embassy in Kathmandu he had spent years of his life walking the hills of Nepal. His idea, revolutionary for the time, was to provide tents together with Sherpas, to guide and cook. This made Nepal and the Himalaya available to a wide community and was an immediate success. Nowadays the formula is well established; groups travel through the hills, walking for five to six hours each day with all their equipment carried by porters or yaks; good quality meals are provided along with warm sleeping bags and comfortable tents; the trekker carries a personal pack with camera, day clothing and snacks. Walking for days on end might sound daunting, but actually it is not too difficult, anyone who has tramped the New Zealand hills with their own pack will find Nepalese trekking much easier, and more stylish! I have taken seven to seventy year olds on many excursions into the Nepalese hills. Age is no barrier, the most important attribute for enjoying the trek and Nepal generally, is right attitude.


The first trekker in Nepal was Bill tilman, who somehow wrangled permission from the maharaja in 1949 to make several treks, including the Kali Gandaki, Helambu and Everest. His Exploits are described in Nepal Himalaya, a mountaineering classic that has been reprinted by the Seattle Mountaineers as part of a Tilman collection, the Seven Mountain-travel Books. Anothere early visitor was maurice Herzog, who led a French expedition to Annapurna in 1950.


During kin Tribhuvan's visits to India, the king met Boris Lissnnivich, a Russian ballet dancer who was running a club in Calcutta.Boris Convinced the king that people would like to visit Nepal and would actually pay for the experience. Soon a few well- heeled landies flew from patan to kathmandu's Gaucher ('cowfield') airport in an Indian Airlines Dakota. Boris accommodeted them in his new establishment, the Roal Hotel. The women were charmed by Boris and the exotic kingdom of Nepal. Thus Nepali toursm was born. The Royal Hotel and its yak & Yeti bar became the meeting place fro climbers from the 1950s until 1971, when the Royal Hotel was closed.

Colonel James OM Roberts was the first person to realise that trekking would appeal to tourists. Jimmy Roberts had spent years in Nepal attached to the British residency and accompanied Tilman on his first trek. In 1965 he took a group of ladies up the kali Gandaki and founded Mountain Travel, the first of Nepal's trekking companies and the inspiration for the adventure travel industry.


History of Nepalese Himalayas:

Forty million years ago, a collision between two plates of the earth's crust resulted in the creation of the earth's highest mountain Himalayas. The magnificent range of the Himalayas harbors breathtakingly beautiful scenery and dramatic environment. The high Himalayas constituting a spectacular mountain scope are being able to attract the heart of any new comer who is in search of challenge and grandeur.


The beauty, mystery and majesty of these mountains are due to the thick layers of ice and snow that perpetually cover them up. Since time immemorial, the Himalayas has captured the dream, desires and Imagination of human beings. Even the early Aryans looked upon these mountains as the abode of gods and goddess and the extra ordinary objects of beauty, scenic grandeur, peace and tranquility. These towering mountains have aptly been called the "Top of the World" and " The Third Pole" on the basis of the fact that they constitute the latitudinal extremity.


Nepal, renowned all over the world for its scenic and panoramic peaks, is the land of supernatural virgin beauty and a real paradise for nature lovers.


In 1852 the highest mountain in the world was determined by and later named after Sir George Everest. After determination of Mt. Everest, no climber had been a scaled mountain of Nepal till 1949. But, it is fact that the history of trekking in Nepal is started after climbing and expedition of many majestic peaks.


In 1949 the Swiss who had been earlier refused permission to attempt Dhaulagiri, entered-east Nepal by way of Darjeeling. The team who led by Sutter - Lohner and they explored Ramtang Glacier, Kang Bachen peak (7902m) and the triangle of Drohmo (7008m) Jongsang peak (7473m) and Nupchu (7028) on the Nepal - Tibet - Sikkim border. They also climb Tang Kangma (6249m) on outlays of Drohmo as well as Dzange peak (6709m) before they returned to Darjeeling on the nineteenth day of their expedition.


In 1949 Nepal opened its frontiers to the outside world and within eight years ten of the fourteen 8000m peaks had been climbed, Annapurna (8091m) was the first to be climbed in 1950, this was followed in 1953 by Everest (8848m) and Nanga Parbat (8125m). From then on the number of expeditions coming from many different countries of the world multiplied and by 1964 all these Himalayan giants had been climbed, one being Shisa Pangma (8046m) scaled by the Chinese in 1964.


The highest Peak Mt. Everest of the world and other numerous peaks have been climbed many times now. Tenzing Norge Sherpa and Edmund Hillary reached at top of the world Mt. Everest in 1953. Sir. Edmond Hillary stated "Nepal is the only country in the world which is also one of the world's great trekking paradises and one of the nicest countries in the world for trekking."