The Everest Base Camp trek is arguably the most famous trekking route in the world and is a once in a lifetime opportunity to see some of the most breathtaking scenery imaginable. Nowhere in the world will you find a spectacular place to be than here in the Everest region. Everest Base Camp Trek follows the historic route to the base of the world’s tallest mountain, Everest and offers explorers unrivalled views of beautiful forests, Sherpa villages, glacial moraines and foothills that surround the area. It is without a doubt the grandest walk in the land of the Himalayas. Here are our top 10 attractions from EBC Trek that will compel you to embark on an epic journey that Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay set off in 1953. Read More
Nepal plans to minimise the congestion of climbers near the 8,850m (29,035ft) summit of Mount Everest, which is clogged with scores of climbers during the short window of good weather, officials said on Monday.
One of the initiatives includes introducing separate fixed ropes for climbers ascending and descending near the summit to help ease the traffic, said a tourism ministry official, Mohan Krishna Sapkota.
A team of government oOfficials will be posted at the base camp located at 5,300m (17,380ft) throughout the spring climbing season to monitor climbers and co-ordinate with expedition leaders, he said.
The move follows years of criticism that Nepal has done little to manage the growing number of Everest climbers despite making millions of dollars in fees.
A nine-member government team will set up its own tent at the base camp to report on the activities there, provide help when needed and ensure that climbers are cleaning up behind them. They would also be able to stop any trouble, like last year’s brawl between three foreign climbers and local Sherpa guides.
The officials would include security personnel and would have the power to cancel the climbing permit and even order the climbers to leave the mountain.
Sapkota said the plan was to manage the flow of climbers working with expedition teams during the two or three opportunities in May when the weather is favourable for the climb above the South Col at 8,000m (26,240ft). Climbers refer to it as the “death zone” because of the hostile conditions and little chance of rescue.
The separate ropes would allow the climbers returning from the summit to quickly get back to lower grounds to rest while they would not be blocking fellow climbers on the way to the summit.
More than 800 climbers attempted to scale Everest during the 2013 spring season and the number is expected to be similar this year too, according to the mountaineering department.
More than 4,000 climbers have scaled the summit since 1953, when it was first conquered by the New Zealand climber Edmund Hillary and his Sherpa guide Tenzing Norgay. Hundreds of others have died in the attempt.
source: The Guardian, 24 Mar 2014
Everest Base Camp and Kala Patthar has topped the list of six best trekking routes in the world.
The list was published by UK newspaper The Daily Mail and World Expeditions.
About the Everest Base Camp and Kala Patthar trek, Daily Mail writes, “This classic trek through traditional Sherpa villages to the base of the world’s highest mountain and nearby peak of Kala Pattar is, of course, a showstopper. It is packed with ‘grab your camera’ moments as you take in vistas of Mount Everest, pass ancient monasteries and spot wildlife a-plenty en route.”
“The world’s tallest mountain is once again open to visitors as the trekking season begins and adventurers flock to hike up to Everest’s iconic Base Camp.”
Other world-renowned trekking routes featured in the list are: Highlands of Ethiopia, John Muir Trail of USA, Huayhuash Circuit of Peru, Bungle Bungles Picaninny Gorge Trek of Australia and Bernese Oberland of Switzerland.
source: nepalnews.com, 14 Mar 2014
Climbers scaling Mount Everest will have to bring back 8kg (17.6lb) of rubbish under rules designed to clean up the world’s highest peak.
The rule, one of several new measures for mountaineering in Nepal, will apply to climbers ascending beyond Everest’s base camp from April, said tourism ministry official Madhusudan Burlakoti.
“The government has decided, in order to clean up Mount Everest, each member of an expedition must bring back at least 8kg of garbage, apart from their own trash,” he said.
Authorities would take legal action against climbers who failed to comply, Burlakoti said, although it was unclear whether this would involve a fine or other penalty.
Decades of mountaineering have taken a toll on the peak, which is strewn with rubbish from past expeditions, including oxygen cylinders, human waste and even climbers’ bodies, which do not decompose in the extreme cold.
Expeditions will have to submit their refuse to an office to be set up next month at base camp. It will also offer medical aid and mediation services, after a brawl between European climbers and local guides last year.
Although expeditions have to pay a $4,000 (£2,390) deposit, which is refunded once they show they have brought back everything they took up the mountain, enforcement has been a problem.
“Our earlier efforts have not been very effective. This time, if climbers don’t bring back garbage, we will take legal action and penalise them,” Burlakoti said.
Last month, Nepal cut its fees for individual climbers to Everest and other Himalayan peaks to attract more mountaineers, sparking concerns of increased traffic and more rubbish being left on the mountains.
In an overhaul of security, the new office at Everest base camp will be staffed by soldiers and police so climbers can approach officers with any problems, officials said last month.
Environmental and climbing groups have long sought to focus attention on the waste problem, with clean-up projects having also been organised.
Discarded oxygen and cooking gas cylinders, ropes, tents, glasses, beer cans, plastic and even the remains of a helicopter made up 75 artworks commissioned for a Kathmandu exhibition in 2012, highlighting the environmental impact of alpine tourism.
Everest is a key revenue earner for the impoverished country, with hundreds scaling the mountain every year during the peak climbing season in April and May.
source: The Guardian, 03 Mar 2014
In a bid to make Nepal’s mountaineering more safe and organized, the Nepal government has decided to set up a contact office at Mount Qomolangma (Everest) base camp for the first time from the coming spring season, officials told Xinhua on Saturday.
Nepal’s Tourism Ministry said as Qomolangma has been the first choice of submitters, the contact office will be established at the base of this peak and will be gradually expanded to other peaks in the future.
“Due to the growing pressure, chaos and incidents of colossal at the Everest, we felt the contact office should be set up at the highest peak instantly,” Madhusudan Burlakoti, a joint secretary at the ministry told Xinhua by phone, adding similar offices will be established gradually at mountains of Manasalu, Amadublam and Annapurna within the next year.
The office will inform about the mountaineering activities, incidents and accidents, records and others directly to the Ministry.
He said the office with all technological facility, including satellite phone, email, internet and mobile phones, will facilitate the submitters while it will also ensure the safety measures.
The two offices already in place, Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee and Himalayan Rescue Association, will be merged with the contact office.
With the rising number of safety concerns, both mountaineers and entrepreneurs have been long demanding with the government for the establishment of such office through which they could contact directly about their problems to the concerned authorities.
Even though the government has asked a Tourism Ministry official to accompany each team of officers as liaison person, stakeholders complain that such officers do not go to the base camp at the 5,350 meter.
“The liaison officers will have posting at this contact office and they should have to be there at any cost,” added Burlakoti.
According to the ministry figure, around 450 submitters, both Nepalis and foreigners, have been scaling the world’s highest peak every year. The figure further said that Mount Qomolangma has been climbed by more than 4,000 individuals since the 1953 ascent by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa.
source: Shanghai Daily.com, 22 Feb 2014
Restauranteur reaches new heights from humble beginnings
Legendary climber and explorer Sir Edmund Hillary was famous for the first ascent of Mt. Everest, but he was also a compassionate world citizen who left an admirable legacy of humanitarian deeds, particularly in Nepal.
Hillary and his Himalayan Trust constructed many airstrips, hospitals and schools in the Solo Khumbu (Everest) region. One such school is Shree Jana Sewa Ngi Ma Bhi Chouri Kharka, located in Gumela, Nepal.
Pemba Sherpa, owner of the Sherpa Cafe in Gunnison and Crested Butte, attended the school as a young boy. He met Hillary several times and his lasting image of the man is that he was a friendly giant — or “Bada Saab.”
Pemba sipped on a cup of chai tea at his Gunnison restaurant and reflected on his amazing journey from “the roof of the world” to the Gunnison Valley. He was born in the small Sherpa village of Ghat, along the trail to Everest Base Camp. His father, Ang Dorjee, was a farmer and yak herder and Pemba was required to perform the morning chores each day before he headed to school.
“I had to walk one-and-a-half to two hours through hilly and rocky terrain to reach the school,” he remembered. “Sometimes I could not go back home because the creek was overflowing.”
Ang Dorjee also worked for several years as a Sherpa climbing guide to Western clients, including the legendary British climber Chris Bonington.
Pemba developed a keen interest in climbing at an early age and began his climbing apprenticeship at 15.
The Sherpas of Nepal are famous for their high altitude prowess but they traditionally were not climbers. The influx of Western trekkers and climbers to Nepal beginning in the 1960s enticed many Sherpas to seek the exponentially higher incomes provided by the climbing profession. Sherpas have became skilled climbers and are considered indispensable to Himalayan excursions.
Pemba initially learned to climb from his father and from fellow Sherpas, but his contact with Western climbers accelerated this learning curve. He began as a climbing porter but eventually ascended to the important role of sirdar, or head Sherpa. Pemba’s climbing resume includes two successful summits of Everest, as well as numerous other Himalayan expeditions.
While climbing Mt. Everest was a significant accomplishment, Pemba prefers climbing lower altitude, less risky peaks, such as his favorite, Mera Peak, at 21,247 feet. It’s the highest “trekking peak” in Nepal.
“Summitting Everest was rewarding but it was more of a job than realizing a dream,” Pemba mused. “It was important to get the clients to the summit but I did not really enjoy it.”
While not known as a technically difficult climb, Everest still presents daunting challenges, namely the Khumbu Icefall and the “yellow band.” The icefall is a shifting glacier with large chunks of ice that must be traversed several times during a typical summit bid. The goal is to get through the icefall as quickly and as safely as possible.
The yellow band is a ring of limestone at 28,000 feet that circles the mountain. While not a technical section, Pemba found it arduous.
“The snow is very slushy and it is hard to get good traction, even with crampons,” he explained. “You are also battling the altitude and the extreme cold and fatigue.”
Pemba no longer climbs 8,000-meter peaks such as Everest, but he continues to guide Western climbers and trekkers through his company, Alpine Adventure International. He specializes in treks to Everest Base Camp that include immersion in the Sherpa culture — sampling Sherpa food and dance and meeting local Sherpas.
“I want to share my Sherpa culture with my Western friends,” he said. He hopes to recruit climbers interested in attempting Mera Peak. Pemba suggests that anyone interested in joining him on a trek or climb contact him for additional details. Most days, he can be found in his Gunnison restaurant, 323 E. Tomichi Ave., which can be reached at 970.641.7480.
source: Gunnison Country Times, 02 Jan 2014
When we think of mountaineering, people wearing heavy jackets full of down, waterproof and breathable trousers, hiking boots etc come to our mind.
However, this may sound you wacky but it is true that two escapades are aiming to conquer Mt. Island peak (6189 meter) of Nepal, on their business suit this winter at a time when the mercury has fallen below minus 25 degree Censius, but with a cause.
The young adventurers from Australia, Danny Roberts-Clarke and David Grech, are attempting Mt. Island, also known as Imja Tse, with a mission to donate an orphanage with the fund they raise.
Talking to The Rising Nepal, David shared that the idea for suited escapades came from a trip to Nepal in 2012 to visit Everest Base Camp.
“It was during this trip that it became clear to me. I am so fortunate to have the time and opportunity to partake in these amazing things while so many others will never get the chance. From that moment onwards I decided that for every unique adventure I took part in, I would do my best to raise money or awareness for a local cause.”
He said that they had been to the Base Camp on their business suits for 19 days of trekking. “We had 3 business suits, 2 business shirts 5 ties and a briefcase,” he said.
“I hope to use this inaugural suited escapade to inspire others to challenge themselves whilst also showing that in doing so we can always help those in need.”
Asked about the risk during the adventure, he responded, “At 6,189 metres in the Himalayan winter with temperatures reaching -25°C a thirst for adventure and a worthy cause is all that is driving them.”
These two escapades are going to donate $ 40,000 to a children school in Pokhara, Kaski.
“We are raising money for a new building to house around 30 children in Pokhara, so that they may have a safer and healthier environment in which to live, learn and grow,” he said.
These young students have already participated in scores of charity works in many countries, including their homeland Australia.
Lauding their charity and adventure works, Danny said that it was their duty as a foreign tourist, whose flights may have cost more than a local’s yearly salary, to give back to the local people.
This demonstrates how much of an impact local charities supported by others can make in a community that needs their help.
Nepal is somewhere I have always wanted to visit. My father worked there as a guide for some time before I was born, and had always planned to take the family to see his spiritual home. We never got that chance, as he passed away in 2006 from a brain tumour, Danny said.
“This journey will bring me closer to him, and let me experience the place he loved so much,” he said.
Source & References
Pokharel, Y. 2013. Two escapades aim at conquering Island Peak on business suit, but with a beautiful cause. The Rising Nepal, [online] 22 December. Available at: http://trn.gorkhapatraonline.com/index.php/2012-10-16-04-54-48/6265-two-escapades-aim-at-conquering-island-peak-on-business-suit,-but-with-a-beautiful-cause.html [Accessed: 24 Dec 2013].
Still waiting to get wanderlust adventure? We have got your adventure dream of the year in the Himalayas. Himalayan Glacier’s top 15 picks present this year’s must-trek adventures. Our top 15 picks cover cross-border trek of India, Bhutan, Nepal and Tibet. What could be your interest for travelling in the Himalayan region – cultural, recreational or adventure – our top picks garnish your dream of adventuring in this region. The adventure treks in the Himalayan region will be a once in a lifetime adventure in the company of inspiring and breathtaking scenery. See our top 15 picks to find yourself encircled by majestic vistas of eight-thousanders. Read More