The world's highest mountains are in the peaks of the Himalayas. There are 14 mountains in this range, measuring over 26,000 feet.
Mountains in the Himalayan range extend from Pakistan through Bhutan. Two of the most prominent, Mount Everest and Mount Lhotse, are on the Nepal/Tibet border.
Why the Mountains of the Himalayas Are So Impressive
The mountains of the Himalayas are an ancient range formed ten million years ago. About 50 million years ago, India was a separate plate that began drifting toward Asia. Eventually, the Indian and Asian plates collided. This collision resulted in the formation of the Himalayas.
These mountains have continued to grow at a rate of a few inches a year. Seismic activity in the form of earthquakes sometimes occurs because of this continued activity.
Traveling to Everest Through Nepal
The border areas between Nepal and Tibet are where some of the most exciting Himalayan attractions are. Mountain climbers and outdoor adventurers will find plenty to keep themselves occupied.
At over 29,000 ft, Mt. Everest, known as Chomolungma in the Tibetan language, is the world's highest peak. Trekking to the Everest base camp is one of the most popular activities in the region for anyone who wants to appreciate the landscape.
April through June, and September to November are times with slightly warmer temperatures. There is also clearer air during these times, allowing for better views of the beautiful scenery.
When traveling to the base camp through Nepal, the route starts in Kathmandu or Pokhara. Usually, the city chosen depends on the tour guide used.
Nepal has a more straightforward visa process than Tibet, contributing to its popularity as a starting point. Another advantage that Nepal offers is more options for travelers on tighter budgets.
One downside to traveling through Nepal is that the trip is quite long. However, for those willing to take a more extended trip, the Gokyo Valley features beautiful lakes, stunning sunrises, and sunsets.
The top of Everest is more visible from this perspective. However, the trip through Nepal will please most visitors for overall views.
Traveling to Everest Through Tibet
Lhasa is the typical starting point when traveling to the Everest base camp through Tibet. The base camp is easy to reach by car from here, courtesy of well-maintained roads.
The drive to the base camp usually takes two or three days, with plenty of accommodations along the way. Most of the scenery on this route is relatively dry and unremarkable.
However, this route also hosts some well-known historical sights, like monasteries, that stand out for their unique beauty. Tashilhunpo, the monastery at Shigatse, is one of the most famous locations near Mount Everest.
One of the most amazing places tourists will see on the way to Everest is Qomolangma National Park. Visitors will see a transition from flat, dry land to grasslands and hills.
Travelers will have an unhindered view of Everest as they approach the mountain. This view is one of the things that draws so many adventure seekers to the mountain from the Tibetan side.
The base camp is accessible by car because of the quality roads. Hikers may go to the town of Rongbu and enjoy the three-mile hike to base camp.
Visiting Lhotse While Seeing the Mountains of the Himalayas
At nearly 28,000 ft, Lhotse is the fourth-highest mountain in the world. Although south of Mt. Everest, climbers approach using almost the same route as the one used to reach Everest.
There are four distinct summits on this mountain, with Lhotse Main being the most well-known of the summits. Although the main summit has an intermediate difficulty level, the three secondary summits feature steeper, more dangerous climbing conditions.
The western face of Lhotse features a glacier. This glacier connects with Everest's South Col through the Western Cwm.
Travelers going to Lhotse will usually arrive via Kathmandu, then transfer to Lukla via another flight. From Lukla, travelers journey to the Everest base camp, which provides a clear path to Lhotse.
Himalayan Wildlife and Plants
The Himalayas have terrain that creates inviting conditions for many kinds of wildlife. Yaks, long-haired buffalo or cattle-like creatures used for transportation, are abundant in this region.
The Himalayan Tahir, a wild goat relative, is a species adapted to the rugged mountain terrain. Predators that have adapted well to the landscape in this area include the snow leopard and red panda.
Many plants that thrive up to 12,000 feet are in the Himalayas. Rhododendrons grow at the lower elevations of most mountains.
Chesnut, Laurel, and Oak trees can survive in this range of 7,000 ft. Pine trees can also survive at up to 12,000 feet.
At the highest elevations over 12,000 ft, few types of plants can survive in the terrain. Grass, lichens, and moss are the only types of plant life present at higher elevations.
Getting the Most from the Experience
Anyone touring this unique area of the world will benefit from using a guide. The mountains have a lot of rugged terrain that might otherwise prove challenging.
The foothill areas surrounding the mountains are also worthy of exploration for the less experienced. This region offers a once-in-a-lifetime experience for all.
Anyone visiting the Himalayas will want to take full advantage of the opportunities to encounter the mountains. Regardless of which mountains of the Himalayas you opt to see, you will see some of the most majestic scenery in the world.