Nepal, which currently boasts of eight internationally recognized mountains above 8,000 meters in height, will soon have 13 of such peaks once an international body extends approval.
The International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation (UIAA) will this year recognize five more peaks of Nepal as mountains above 8,000 meters.
UIAA is an International Olympic Committee recognized federation for mountaineering, which has initiated the ‘Agura’ project to identify and recognize minor peaks above the altitude of 8,000 metres.
The Agura project has recognized five additional peaks in Nepal and one at the China-Pakistan border as new peaks above 8,000 metres, which the UIAA will recommend for official recognition during the UIAA general assembly scheduled for October 2013, in Switzerland.
According to Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA), the peaks are Yarlung Khang – 8,505m (also known as Kanchenjunga West), Kanchenjunga Central – 8,473m (Nepal-India border), Kanchenjunga South – 8,476m (Nepal- India border), Lhotse Middle – 8,413m (Nepal-China border), Lhotse Shar – 8,400m (Nepal-China border) and Broad Peak Central – 8,047m (Pakistan-China border).
The peaks were recommended by representatives of UIAA during a three-day long meeting of the UIAA Management Committee, from May 2 to 4, in Italy.
There are altogether 23 8,000 meters plus peaks in the world and eight of them lie in Nepal.
Currently, eight peaks of Nepal are internationally recognized as standing above 8,000 meters. However, experts here claim that the country has as many as 16 peaks, that tower above 8,000 meters.
Till date, Mount Everest, Kanchenjunga Main, Makalu, Lhotse Main, Choyu, Dhaulagiri, Manaslu, and Annapurna are the eight peaks that are identified at the international level as mountains above 8,000 meters. A mountain normally is considered a separate peak if the col distance of the two peaks is 500 metres and if the peak has an individual route not shared with any other peak, states NMA.
“UIAA has initiated the Agura project with the primary mandate of identifying and recognizing minor peaks above the altitude of 8,000 meters,” said member of UIAA and immediate past president of NMA Ang Tshering Sherpa.
According to Sherpa, the Agura project is not trying to identify new mountains, but to recognize that there are other prominent peaks above 8,000 meters that deserve to have a unique identity internationally.
“During the general assembly of UIAA, it is necessary for the Nepali delegation to organize a strong campaign and persuade the UIAA federation delegates to approve the recognition of these peaks,” he said. Sherpa added that recognizing new peaks means more expeditions will head to our mountains. He said, recognition of new peaks will be great for the next generation of mountaineers and host countries — China, Pakistan, India and Nepal.
source: The Himalayan Times, 08 Aug 2013