Does anyone have experience of doing trekking peaks independently in Nepal? I understand that you need a guide as part of the permit condition. Is this strictly necessary or can you 'do a deal' with the trekking agency organising the permit?
No personal experience, but from what I've heard from people who've been there... you definitely need to hire the guide. Thats non negotiable. However, many guides don't object to not coming along with you (so long as their paid).
So in essence, you can pay the guide to have a holiday
When we did tent peak (that was 20 years ago mind), we hired a guide who was also happy to carry a load up to Annapurna base camp but go no higher than that. We also hired a porter to base camp. They were happy to wait in a tea house at base camp for 5 days while we climbed. This wasn't a big expense for us between three and made our walk in more pleasurable. Lighter loads and someone with local knowledge and contacts in the tea houses.
Thanks for all the replies. The plan is to go in September - December next year so things should be a lot easier re Covid by then. The plan is not to use fixed ropes and to go as lightweight as possible,
Guide and a porter as far as your base camp will make the first few days a lot easier and more enjoyable, help you build fitness while aclimatisiing and help the local economy.