Pokhara looking south, with the white World Peace Pagoda on a hill to the right. Photo by Dmitry Mottl.
Trekking disaster 2014
The horrific events of October 13 2014 when at least 41 trekkers and guides died were partly attributable to a freak snow storm with accompanying avalanches and partly to inexperienced guides, though actually some of the trekkers on the Annapurna circuit were independent hikers without guides.
The tourism ministry believes many guides were unprepared for the total white-out on Thorong La pass which caused so many deaths.
However, the Nepalese government weather service also failed to issue severe weather warnings at the time. They are now determined to crack down on the budget treks led by unlicensed and/or inexperienced guides, so Nepal hikes are likely to become more expensive but safer.
New regulations and controls will be announced before the next trekking season in the spring including an improved weather forecasting system and mandatory registration at checkpoints when entering and exiting trekking areas.
Choose your guide with care. Inevitably there are cowboys out there so do some research, check experience and English language ability.
A guest house/tea house above Pokhara near Sarangkot.