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Upper Mustang, a remote region in Nepal, is a popular destination for trekkers seeking adventure and unique cultural experiences. The region's Trans-Himalayan climate is characterized by cool temperatures and harsh winters, making it essential to plan ahead to avoid altitude sickness and other health issues.
Altitude sickness is a common concern for trekkers in high-altitude regions. However, with Upper Mustang's maximum altitude not exceeding 4000 meters, the risk of developing altitude sickness is minimal, except for the brief passage through the Chogo La Pass. To allow for proper acclimatization, it is recommended to rest during the trekking days, and additional days should be added to the itinerary in case of any difficulties that may arise.
The Upper Mustang trek is considered a moderate grade trek that can be undertaken by anyone with basic fitness. However, customization can be done if the pace seems fast and difficult. Physical and mental preparation for the trek, as well as taking more time for rest and acclimatization, can make the journey a lot easier and more comfortable.
The best time for trekking in Mustang is from March to early November, with springtime (April-May) being especially popular due to the region's colorful festivals. However, trekking in January, during the peak winter season, can be difficult due to harsh weather conditions and limited availability of lodging and restaurants.
Upper Mustang experiences snowfall during December to February, with temperatures ranging from 0 to 5°C during the day and -25 to -20°C at night. Carrying a small first aid kit is necessary, as medical and health facilities in the region are limited. In case of emergencies, helicopter rescue can be arranged, and it is highly recommended to have travel insurance covering medical, emergency rescue, and lost baggage claims, especially as the region is quite remote and restricted.
Although travel insurance is not compulsory to travel to Nepal, it is always a better option. However, given the current COVID-19 pandemic, travel insurance is highly recommended for those seeking to visit Nepal.