Monthly Archives: April 2017

Seasoned Swiss climber perish on Everest

Swiss climber Ueli Steck has perished on the slope of Mt Everest, according to officials of the Department of Tourism.

Steck

Steck prepares for the summit in this photo posted on his Facebook page.

Swiss climber Ueli Steck has perished on the slope of Mt Everest, according to officials of the Department of Tourism.

He fell off while preparing for the summit of Mt Nuptse and skidded about 1,000 meters down, Durga Dutta Dhakal of Department of Tourism, told media persons. Steck had received permission to climb Mt Nuptse and Mt Nuptse, according to Dhakal.

Steck, who is known by the mountaineering community as ‘Swiss Machine’ for his mountaineering feats, died in an accident while he was acclimatizing to prepare for the Everest summit via a new route. His body was recovered from the base of Mount Nupste.

The 40-year-old seasoned alpinist was preparing to climb Mount Everest via West Ridge which is regarded as a technically difficult route. The route has seen more deaths than successful ascents, say mountaineers.

“Quick Day from Base Camp up to 7,000 meters and back. I love it. It is such a great place here. I still believe in active acclimatization. This is way more effective than spending nights up in the altitude!” Steck wrote on his Facebook page on April 26.

He had climbed Mt Everest without using bottled oxygen in 2012. In 2015, he climbed all 82 Alpine peaks over 4,000 meters in just 62 days. Steck won the Piolet d’Or award, also known as the Oscar of the Mountaineering, in 2014 in recognition of his mountaineering feats.

Earlier in 2013, Steck and two other mountaineers – Simone Moro and Jonathan Griffith – were involved in a brawl with Sherpas. The unfortunate event had drawn worldwide media attention.

Steck’s body has been flown to Kathmandu.

This is the first death in the 2017 climbing season of Everest which stretches till May.

Missing Taiwanese trekker found after six weeks

A Taiwanese trekker, who went missing about six weeks ago in Ruby Valley in the Ganesh Himal region of the Nepal Himalayas, was rescued on Wednesday.

missing

Liang Sheng-yue and his girlfriend Liu Chen-chun. (File Photo)

A Taiwanese trekker, who went missing about six weeks ago in Ruby Valley in the Ganesh Himal region of the Nepal Himalayas, was rescued on Wednesday.

But his girlfriend, also a Taiwanese, was not lucky.  She died three days ago, according to Liang Sheng-yue, 21, who is receiving treatment at Kathmandu’s Grande Hospital.

Liang told rescue workers that he and his 19-year-old girlfriend, Liu Chen-chun, got lost on March 9 and fell off into a gorge while negotiating through snow-filled trekking trail. He told rescue workers that they survived for weeks by drinking water from a stream, and eating snow and salt which they were carrying.

The couple had not hired a trekking support staff of taken assistance of any local trekking agency.

Rescue workers had to abseil down a 200-meter rope into the gorge to pull Liang out before flying him to Kathmandu.

The itinerary sent by the family of the victims show that the couple had planned to return to Kathmandu on March 30.

Liang his receiving treatment at Grande Hospital, while the deceased’s body has been kept at Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital for post-mortem. As Ruby Valley is one of the newly explored trekking trails in the Ganesh Himal region, the trail is less crowded and also has basic facilities.

Shrestha, Basi win TAAN Int’l Langtang Marathon

Hom Lal Shrestha and Sarita Basi – both from Nepal Army – have won the men’s and women’s category, respectively, of 2nd Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN) International Langtang Marathon held in Langtang Region of Rasuwa district on April 25.

Langtang Marathon

Athletes post for a photo before the inauguration of 2nd TAAN Int’l Langtang Marathon in Kyanjing Gompa, Rasuwa, on April 25. (Photo: TAAN)

Hom Lal Shrestha and Sarita Basi – both from Nepal Army – have won the men’s and women’s category, respectively, of 2nd Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN) International Langtang Marathon held in Langtang Region of Rasuwa district on April 25.
While Shrestha completed the 42.5 kilometers marathon in 3 hours and 34 minutes, it took 21-year-old Basi 5 hours and 13 minutes to reach the finishing line.
Similarly, Rajan Khatri (3 hours and 37 minutes) and Bed Bahadur Sunuwar (3 hours and 38 minute) finished the race in second and third positions, respectively, in the men’s category. Likewise, Resu Basnet (5 hours and 16 minutes) and Pushpa Bhandari (5 hours and 28 minutes) were first runner-up and second runner-up, respectively, in the women’s category.
Keshav Bahadur Bista, the member secretary of Nepal Sports Council (NSC) handed over cash prize, medal and certificates to winners, first runners-up and second runners-up. While the winners in both the categories took home cash prize of Rs 100,000, the first runner-ups and second runner-ups of both the categories became richer by Rs 75,000 and Rs 50,000, respectively.
Altogether 102 participants – 88 male and 14 female athletes – participated in the event that began at Kyanjin Gompa and passed through Langtang village, Lama Hotel, Rimche, Sherpa Gaon and Bridim before concluding at Syafrubesi.
According to the organizer, the marathon was organized to disseminate the message world over that Langtang Region as a safe destination for trekkers. Also, the event was aimed at encouraging the local tourism entrepreneurs to revive their business, which was completely halted following the devastating earthquakes of 2015.
TAAN had organized half-marathon in the region in 2016. The half-marathon began at the Gosaikunda Lake and concluded at Dhunche – the district headquarters of Rasuwa.

NAC signs pact with AAR Corp to buy two wide-body jets

Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) on Friday signed an agreement with US-based AAR Corp to procure two Airbus A330-200 aircraft.

The first aircraft will arrive by April, 2018

AirbusNepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) on Friday signed an agreement with US-based AAR Corp to procure two Airbus A330-200 aircraft.

As per the agreement, NAC will take delivery of the first aircraft by April 2018.

NAC Managing Director Sugat Ranta Kansakar and Deepak Sharma of AAR Corp signed the agreements on behalf of their respective institutions in Kathmandu.

The two aircraft will cost NAC US$ 209.6 million (around Rs 21.9 billion).

NAC and AAR Corp had signed a preliminary MoU for aircraft procurement on January 27. As per the MoU, NAC had sent advance payment of US$ 1 million to AAR Corp on February 15. The board of directors of NAC had approved a proposal to procure two wide-body aircraft on January 15. NAC had already signed an agreement with Employees’ Provident Fund to finance aircraft procurement.

Ten international companies had participated in international bidding to supply two wide-body aircraft to the NAC. AAR Corp had quoted the lowest price.

AAR Corp is delivering the aircraft produced by Airbus for Portuguese aircraft charter company Hi Fly. The US company bought the aircraft before they were delivered after Hi Fly faced financial problems. Both the aircraft are still at the Airbus factory in Tolouse, France.

Both the aircraft have 280 seats with 16 seats designated for business class passengers.
NAC plans operate the aircraft to Dammam of Saudi Arabia, Seoul of South Korea, Tokyo of Japan and Sydney of Australia, among others.

Earlier in June 2013, NAC had signed agreement with Airbus to procure Airbus A320-300 aircraft. The first aircraft landed in Kathmandu on February 8, 2015, while the second aircraft joined NAC’s fleet three months later.

NTB partners with BBC, Reuters, TripAdvisor for promotion in int’l market

Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) on Monday signed separate Memorandum of Understandings with leading international news outlets British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and Reuters, and popular travel rating site TripAdvisor for effective promotion of destination Nepal in international market.

$1 million to be spent over one year

NTB

Tourism Secretary Shankar Prasad Adhikari (center) and NTB CEO Deepak Raj Joshi (second from right) at the signing ceremony.

Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) on Monday signed separate Memorandum of Understandings with leading international news outlets British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and Reuters, and popular travel rating site TripAdvisor for effective promotion of destination Nepal in international market.

Deepak Raj Joshi, CEO of NTB, signed the MoUs with Bishal Bhatnagar of BBC World, S N Bhaduri of Reuters and Bharat Nagpal of TripAdvisor in the presence of Secretary of the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Shankar Prasad Adhikari.

Speaking at the signing in ceremony, CEO Joshi said that the NTB was entering into new partnerships to enhance the presence of destination Nepal in the international tourism market. “Our new partnerships will cover electronic and digital media platforms, and our content will reach all over the world,” he added.

The partnership with BBC is worth US$ 680,000 and will remain in effect for six months. It will begin after a fortnight. Similarly, NTB is paying TripAdvisor $250,000 and the partnership will be valid for a year. Similarly, the partnership with Reuters, which will begin on May 1 and will last for three months, is worth $75,000.

Addressing the function, Bishal Bhatnagar of BBC World said they would post banned ads on BBC World website, targeting the audience selected by the NTB in specific markets. “We will also use NTB’s promotional contents in our dedicated pages for the Chinese and Russian markets,” he added.

Untitled-1 copySimilarly, Bharat Nagpal of TripAdvisor said that their focus will be on four aspects – marketing, content, education and analysis. “Similarly, we will focus on four themes – trekking, spirituality, wildlife and local,” he said, adding that TripAdvisor will also conduct ‘TripAdvisor Insights Training’ for tourism entrepreneurs together with the NTB.

On the occasion, Nagpal also handed over TripAdvisor People’s Choice Award 2017 to Kathmandu, which ranked 23rd in the world and 5th in Asia, and Pokhara which featured in 5th position in Asia, to Secretary Adhikari.

S N Bhaduri of Reuters said that Reuters will create news materials from content provided by the NTB and distribute it through its global feed.

Speaking at the program, Secretary Adhikari said he was hopeful that the new partnerships will have significant and long-term impact on Nepali tourism.