There are sections along the Himalayan Mountains trails of Nepal that have become so commercialized and heavily traveled that it's hard to feel the wildness of the terrain. But on the other side of the mountains, in the Indian state of Sikkim it's a different world. Half a day's journey north of the famous tea plantations of Darjeeling, Sikkim was an independent kingdom until 1975, and off limits to most tourists until 1990. Today, Sikkim trekking guides say they have learned from some of Nepal's missteps, such as granting too many climbing permits, and cutting too much firewood along the trails. They say they want to keep the mountain paths intact, both culturally and ecologically, and they showed producer Alexa Dvorson how they are going about it.
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