Govt Planning Orientation Classes For Mt Everest Climbers

Come this spring those planning to climb Mt Everest will be first asked to take part in an intensive pre- orientation programme designed by government authorities. The movie is aimed at averting any untoward situation during the climbing period. The Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation has already decided to set up an integrated liaison office, with a few security personnel, at Mt Everest base camp by March - end. Officials at the ministry's mountaineering department said there will be special intensive briefing for the climbers and their guides to maintain peace and harmony in the region.

Tilak Ram Pandey of the Department of Mountaineering at MoTCA said that there will be a special pre- orientation programme for the climbers and their helpers to alert them on 'dos and don'ts to maintain peace in the region. “The orientation programme is aimed at averting any untoward situation," he said. The move follows an incident last season when  Ueli Steck of Switzerland and Simone Moro of Italy had a fight with a group of Sherpas over fixing of the ropes of the climbing route.

In an email, renowned Alpinist Simone said: “What happened to me was just an extraordinary incident, but i say Sherpas are quite friendly. The case was settled peacefully. (So) to have police at the base camp could solve some problems there; but not at higher camps. I'm worried that police at the base camp will mean just to have some persons more in that village', but (it will not be) a real help." Special orientation programme for the climbers, placement of security personnel and installation of GPS facilities in Khumbu region are few measures being adopted there after last year's fracas between climbers and Sherpas, according to Pandey. "The liaison office will closely monitor day to day climbing activities," said Pandey. “The ministry has already asked for three security personnel each from the Nepali Army, the Nepal Police and the Armed Police Force for their deployment at the base camp," he said, adding that a new team will be placed there by March-end. The ministry has also decided to revise permit fees for Nepali and foreign climbers. According to Pandey, new permit fees have been already applied for Nepali climbers which the reduced fees for foreigners will come into effect from January next year.

Pandey refuted claims by some veteran Himalayan guides who say reduction is climbing fees (more than 50 per cent) will add to further crowding on the mountains. "Reduction (in fees) is aimed at achieving responsible tourism," Pandey said, adding that it will not have any adverse effect on the health of Everest. Ang Tsering Sherpa, President of Nepal Mountaineering Association, hailed the initiative taken by government authorities. “Criticism by a few foreign climbers and companies on revised fee structure is not justified," he said, accusing them of being unaware about the carrying capacity of Mt Everest. “It is just to make Everest expeditions somewhat more affordable, thereby making the journey available to more climbers," Sherpa said. Pandy said that the ministry was also seeking the nod from the Cabinet to open 104 more peaks for climbing. As the country's mountaineering revenue cavers more than four per cent of GDP (nearly $3 million a year from Everest climbing alone), there will be 414 peaks for adventure tourism after new openings. Pandey believes that will set the mountaineering world further abuzz.

Transgender Plans To Be Atop Everest

 Published By: The Himalayan Times

Date: Wednesday, March 26 , 2014

Manoj Shahi Monika, 35, who describes herself as a transgender, has announced her plan to climb Mr. Everest soon. Speaking at a press conference here today, Monika said she wants to be the first transgender to climb the world's tallest peak and make the country popular around the world."My mission is not only about making myself known to the world. It is also for the sake of my country and all LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex) people throughout the world," she said at the event Blue Diamond society, an organisation fighting for the rights of sexual minorities, had organised in the capital city.I will flutter the national flag along with a Blue Diamond Society banner and make it to the Guinness Book of Records," she said, unveiling her plans.

Shahi maintained that she is mentally and physically prepared to climb the mountain. The aspiring mountaineer
requested the government to grant remission on mountaineering fees. BDS President Pinky Gurung expressed hope that the government will help Shahi in her endeavour. "I still remember those tough times when we used to gather in and around the Ratnapark area in the dusk," Gurung recalled on the occasion.



Published By: The Himalayan Times
Date: Monday, March 24, 2014

Khrisna Pandit, a cabbie, handed over a bag, which was left in his taxi (BA 1 JA 4081) by three Polish nationals to Metropolitan Police Circle, Durbarmarg last Wednesday. In charge of the circle, DSP Raj Kumar Silwal contacted the three Polish tourists who were staying at Friend Home Hotel in Jyatha, Thamel, and gave them their bag that contained camera, medicines and other belongings, the same night. Kathmandu Police appreciated Pandit’s honesty. On March 16, a Dutch tourist forgot his bag containing his passport, credit cards, I-Phone, money and other belongings, in Thamel-based Purple Haze Bar. Based on the CCTV footage of the restaurant; Metropolitan Police Circle, Lainchaur, nabbed two persons, who had stolen his bag, four days later on March 20. Such incidents affecting tourists are common in this capital city. In most of the cases, the tourists lose their belongings forever. 

According to Tourist Police Unit, Bhrikutimandap more than 340 cases were of lost / missing property out of 625 complaints registered throughout the country so far this fiscal. In 2012-13 / 769 complaints of the total complaints registered from mid July to mid March of 2013 -14, cases of missing or lost property is followed by theft (209), fraud / cheating (27), robbery (12) and pick pocketing (12), among others. Lost or stolen passports, cards, money, and camera, mobile, I –phone and driving licences, among others, are frequent complaints registered at the office.


The Himalayan Task

Published By: The Himalayan Times
Date: Thursday, March 6, 2014

Nepal's mountains attract the adventurous from all over the world. But in the process the Nepali authorities have been more or less oblivious to the need for making sure that the mountains and their trails are not littered with rubbish. The result, for example, is that the world's highest peak, Sagarmatha, is clogged with many tonnes of garbage, such as crumpled food wrappers, shredded tents, and spent oxygen cylinders. From this spring, the authorities are to enforce a rule that as Sagarmatha climber descends the mountain carrying back at least eight kilograms of trash - a quantity, it is estimated, that an exhausted climber discards along the route.

The objective: no new rubbish is left on the highest mountain, which is sometimes nicknamed 'the worlds highest garbage dump'. The government has made efforts for quite a long time, but its monitoring and implementing machinery has proved ineffective., Last year alone, 810 foreigners attempted the highest peak, and 230,000 came specifically to trek the Himalayas. But what action the offenders face should be specifically spelt out. They should not be spared.

Nepal Says Litterbugs No Longer Welcome on Everest

Published By: The Himalayan Times
Date: Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Litterbugs, beware: Nepal is making new rules to persuade trekkers to clean up after themselves on Mount Everest, in the hopes of clearing the tonnes of rubbish now clogging the world's highest peak. Starting this spring, Nepal officials at Everest base camp will check that each climber descends the mountain with approximately eight kilograms of trash - the amount the government estimates an exhausted climber discards along the route. "We are not asking climbers to search and pick up trash left by someone else," said Maddhu Sudan Burlakoti, head of mountaineering department at the Tourism Ministry. " we just want them to bring back what they took up." the goal is to make sure no new trash will be left on Everest, which has earned the nickname 'the world's highest garbage dump' because of the tonnes of crumpled food wrappers, shredded tents and spent oxygen cylinders littering the mountain.

The government has long asked climbers to clear their trash, but there was no mechanism to check what people brought down. There also was little or no enforcement despite threats-which were rarely arrived out-to with $4,000 climbing deposits for polluting the teams. Some 230,000 people nearly half of Nepal's yearly foreign visitors-came last year specifically to trek the Himalayas, with 810 attempting to scale Everest. More than 4,000 climbers have scaled the 8,848- meter summit since 1953, when it was first conquered by New Zealand climber Edmund Hillary and his Sherpa guide Tenzing Norgay. Hundred of others have died in the attempt, while many have succeeded only with help from oxygen tanks, equipment porters and Sherpa guides. Nepal authorities have never had much control over what happens at the mountain's extreme altitudes and remote regions.Instead, private trekking companies organised logistics and report any problems. They are also left to clear the trash, launching yearly expeditions to bring own whatever hasn't been covered over by ice and snow since the last season's climbers tossed the refuse the side.


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