A Brief History Of Trekking
The pages of history in trekking are decorated with the name of persons as Colonel Jimmy Roberts, Toni Hagen, Bill Tilman, Maurice Herzog, and Boris Lissanovich.
A former Gurkha Officer and Military Attaché at the British Embassy in Kathmandu, Colonel Jimmy Roberts introduced trekking to the world in 1965. Mr. Roberts had spent several years of his life exploring and meandering through the hills of Nepal. His idea of trekking as a package that included tents, Sherpa guides and cooks proved to be revolutionary and a great success at the time that made Nepal and the Himalayas open to the world. Similarly, Hagen first visited Nepal in 1950 with the first Swiss development assistance mission. In 1952, he was employed by the government of Nepal and also worked for the United Nations. He explored the geography of the Himalayan state and contributed to the mapping of the routes in Nepal. He was the one to introduce Nepal as a Himalayan Kingdom to the world.
Still today, a similar pattern is applied when it comes to trekking. However, the only difference is that today everybody is aware about trekking. Early before, when the trek routes weren't proper, guides weren't certified and trained.Night stay (Hotels, tea house, home stay etc) was rare and very hard to find but now the scenario has changed. Trekking has become much easier with educated, trained, and experienced guides. New and easy trek routes, potters, better lodging, food, and accommodation facilities gradually coming around by the day.
Moreover, to foster tourism industry, Nepal Tourism Board was established in 1998 that gave rise to several agencies systematizing and organizing travels, tours, treks, and expeditions. Travels and trekking agencies are making it easier for the local and international tourists for trekking by making comfortable plans and packages, well organized stuff to carry during the trek, better accommodation facilities and a proper guide.
Bill Tilman was the first trekker who took part in several treks including Helumbu, Kali Gandaki, and Everest. His master stroke traced by Nepal Himalayan Mountaineering Classic and has been reprinted by the Seattle Mountaineers as Part of the Tilman Collection, the Seven Mountain-Travel book. Maurice Herzog was the first to lead a French expedition to summit 8000m peak (Annapurna) in June 1950.
Boris Lissanovich, a Russian Ballet dancer running a club in India convinced King Tribhuwan that people would like to visit Nepal and would actually pay for the experience. Furthermore, the establishment of the Royal Hotel and its Yak and yeti Bar became the meeting place for climbers’ form 1950s to 1971 until the Hotel was closed in 1971.
Trekking today, delivers a dose of fun as well as adventure.People travel alone or in a group through the hills and mountains, walk for several hours with all the equipments carried by the porters or yaks which leaves them carrying only a personal pack like camera, day clothing, and snacks. Walking through the hills all day may sound unnerving, but actually it is inspiring and quite majestic with all the splendid and magnificent views around. People of any age can travel. The only requirement is a positive attitude with a sound mind, patience and dedication.