Nepal shuts Mount Everest, other peaks due to coronavirus

The government has shut down Mount Everest and other mountain peaks of the country for the spring season because of the coronavirus outbreak. 

Mt Everest

Mt Everest (File Photo)

The government has shut down Mount Everest and other mountain peaks of the country for the spring season because of the coronavirus outbreak.

A high-level committee chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Ishwar Pokharel took the decision on Thursday.

“This is to notify that climbing permits for the expedition that have already been issued or to be issued for the 2020 spring season, has been halted to the present, in accordance with the decision made on March 12 by the high-level committee chaired by Deputy Prime Minister, Government of Nepal,” reads a statement issued by Department of Tourism (DoT).

The decision means there will be no expedition to Mount Everest this season as China had already cancelled expeditions form the northern face.

The government has already said that it would stop issuing on-arrival tourist via from March until April 30.

Each mountaineer needs to pay US$ 11,000 permit fee to climb Mount Everest.

Notice issued by Department of Tourism.

The decision will affect hundreds of mountain guides and high altitude Sherpas who have been earning livelihood from mountaineering.
Nepal issued altogether 772 Everest permits — 382 climber permits and 390 support permits – in 2019. Of them, 292 climbers and 368 climbing supporters successfully reached the Everest summit.

The government mobilized Rs 495 million from expedition royalty in spring last year.

 

Great Buddhist Trail cycling rally concludes

A three-day Great Buddhist Trail cycling rally concluded in Lumbini – the birthplace of Buddha – on February 28.

GBTA three-day Great Buddhist Trail cycling rally concluded in Lumbini – the birthplace of Buddha – on February 28.

The rally began on the Swoyambhunath Stupa premises on February 26. Altogether 70 cyclists participated in the rally that was organized by National Tourism Foundation (NTF) and Adventure Sports Nepal with the objective of promoting adventure tourism and linking two Budhist heritage sites of the country – Swoyambhunath Stupa and Lumbini.

“As the event tagline – From Swoyambhu to Sakyamuni – suggests, the main objective of this event is to connect two ancient civilizations of Nepal – Swoyambhu civilization of the Kathmandu Valley – and Sakya civilization of Lumbini-Kapilvastu region,” said NTF Vice President Bikram Pandey who conceived the event.

The rally, which began from Swoyambhunath Stupa premises, climbed the Chandragiri Hill and descended to Tistung and Kulekhani before reaching Bhimphedi on the first day. On the second day, cyclists made a short visit to the Chepang settlements in Raksirang before joining the East-West Highway until Kawasoti. And on the third day, they reached Lumbini via Bhairahawa.

Encouraged by the overwhelming participation of cyclists in the first edition itself, the organizers have already unveiled plan to organized the second edition of the event in the last week of February.

The event was promoted by Nepal Tourism Board (NTB), while Nepal Chamber of Commerce, Chandragiri Hills Pvt Ltd and number of other organizations supported it.

Spice Garden Trekking Trail launched

Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN) and International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) jointly launched map a new trekking trail in the Kanchanjunga region in Eastern Nepal on Friday.

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                                     Big Cardamom farm along the trail.
                               Photo Courtesy: spicegardentourism.com

 

Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN) and International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) jointly launched map a new trekking trail in the Kanchanjunga region in Eastern Nepal on Friday.

A mobile application of the new trail was also launched on the occasion.

The new trail is a part of Action Research on Promoting Innovative Livelihood through ICT Assisted Tourism Project in Taplejung.

On the occasion, Tourism Secretary Maheshwar Neupane and Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) CEO Deepak Raj Joshi also launched map, poster and app of the new trail.

The trekking trail starts from district headquarters Phungling and passes through villages like Sattal Danda, Gumba Danda, Sikaicha, Kande Bhanjyang, Lalikharka, Deurali, Gadi Danda and Phurumbu, among other villages. The main attraction of the trail is big cardamom farms and organic food served by locals.

etravelpressMaking a presentation on the trail, Dr Anu Kumari Lama, tourism specialist of ICIMOD, said that the project helps to diversify the livelihood of the locals by integrating agriculture and tourism by using technology. “This newly developed tourism product is an associate tourism trail within the existing trail of Pathibhara Pilgrimage trail, Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trekking, Lumba Sumba Adventure trekking, Tinjure- Milkey- Jaljale Rhododendron Trail and other many more cultural and natural heritage trails of Taplejung District,” she added.

Similarly, Secretary Neupane thanked all involved for bringing a new tourism product. “Strategy must be developed to enhance digital platform for tourism promotion. Information providing apps, videos and other requirements must be propagated through digital marketing for tourism promotion,” he added.

Consultant of ICIMOD, Bachhu N Shrestha, said that the purpose of the action research is to increase access to and enhance livelihood opportunities of the marginalized mountain communities of Taplejung area via ICT assisted tourism product.

TAAN President Chandra Rijal, general secretary Karna Lama, among others, were present at the program.

Kenyan runner wins Mount Everest Prize in Kanchenjunga Marathon

Kenyan runner Philip Yiego has won the Mount Everest Marathon Goodwill Prize in the Kanchenjunga Marathon held in Sikkim, India, last week.

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                 Rup Narayan Rai (left), president of Sikkim Tourism Development Committee, handing over the award.

Kenyan runner Philip Yiego has won the Mount Everest Marathon Goodwill Prize in the Kanchenjunga Marathon held in Sikkim, India, last week.

Tenzing Hillary Everest Marathon – the organizers of the Everest Marathon held annually in the Khumbu region on May 29 – had sponsored the award. The award carries a purse of Rs 8,848, symbolizing the height of Mt Everest.

“This marks the beginning of a new era of goodwill between people of Nepal and Sikkim, strengthening the connectivity between the highest and third highest mountain in the world i.e. Mt Everest and Mt Kanchenjunga,” Bikram Pandey KAJI, who created the world’s highest trail running event – Mount Everest Marathon — said.

Stating that he had been propagating the concept of cross-border tourism between Nepal and India since long, Pandey Kaji said that flow of tourists between Nepal and Sikkim will increase exponentially once the Pokyang airport in Sikkim comes into operation.

UIAA Management Committee Meeting to be held in Kathmandu

International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation (UIAA) has decided to organize its next management committee meeting in Nepal.

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UIAA Management Committee members at a photo call.
Photo Courtesy: Zimba Zangbu Sherpa

International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation (UIAA) has decided to organize its next management committee meeting in Nepal.

According to Zimba Zangbu Sherpa, a member of the management committee of UIAA, the management committee meeting held in Shiraj of Iran on October 19 and 20 took the decision. “The next meeting will be held in Kathmandu on March 23-25, 2017,” Sherpa said, adding that Nepal had proposed to the UIAA to hold the next management meeting in Kathmandu during the previous meeting in Sheffield, the United Kingdom.

Sherpa was elected for the four-year term of the management committee member of UIAA last year.

Along with Zimba Zangbu Sherpa, former president of Ang Tshering Sherpa, who is also the honorary member of UIAAA, also attended the management committee meeting. Meanwhile, the duo also participated in the General Assembly of Asian Climbing and Mountaineering Federation (UAAA) and made a presentation about Nepali mountaineering and adventure tourism sector.

The UAAA General Assembly also saw participation of two NMA representatives – 1st Vice President Deebas Bikram Shah and Kul Bahadur Gurung. Sources say other two NMA representatives, the officials of the tourism ministry, were denied visa and hence stayed in the airport.