skigirl918 wrote:where would people suggest beginning this trip from if I wanted to head straight for the mountains to go trekking or climb some relatively easy peaks?
If Nepal is your target, Kathmandu is your best option. The air can be quite polluted though, so spend as few days there at the start of your trip as possible (or bring some kind of mask), otherwise you will be coughing for several days afterwards.
If you have a few days to spare, flying to New Delhi, and going to Pokhara overland (train+bus) (while seeing some things along the way) could be another option. An extra Indian visa might be necessary though.
(New Delhi is also your port of entry if Ladakh is your goal.)
If you arrange your hotel in Thamel in advance over the internet, chances are that they will pick you up at the airport, saving you from the horde of taxis waiting at arrivals.