KATHMANDU, July 31: The government has opened more than 400 peaks for climbing. However, many of them have not been explored yet, let alone climbing.
Realizing this fact, Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA) and Trekking Agencies' Association of Nepal (TAAN) are starting a joint campaign to explore route to these unclimbed peaks and promote them in the international market. They are launching the campaign from September.
“The government has opened most of the mountains above 5,800 meters for climbing. Many of them have not been climbed, while some are yet to be identified. Most of the unclimbed peaks are in mid and far western region,” Ang Tshering Sherpa, president of NMA, told Republica. “We will explore routes, prepare itinerary and promote these peaks among trekking companies and expedition operators as well as in international market. To begin with, we will work on 10-11 mountains.”
He also said that some companies have received request from foreign climbers, especially Japanese, to organize expedition to unclimbed peaks. “We are putting focus on the Himalayas lying west of Kathmandu,” Sherpa added.
A meeting of Peak Profile Sub-Committee formed by the Department of Tourism held in Kathmandu in February has decided to promote unclimbed peaks of western Nepal.
“NMA will collaborate with TAAN to explore trekking routes up to base camp of these peaks and to prepare itinerary. Similarly, we are also collecting detailed information of all the peaks above 5,800 meters of Nepal to prepare a digital guidebook,” Sherpa said. “With the help of this guidebook, anyone from anywhere in the world can have all the details of any peaks in Nepal in just one single click.”
Karna Bahadur Lama, general secretary of TAAN, said that the campaign will be launched with two themes - 'Nepal for all Seasons' and 'Nepal for All Destinations'. “Of the mountains opened by the government for climbing activities, 186 peaks are still to be climbed,” Lama said, “So to explore the route to the base camps of these peaks and prepared detailed trekking itinerary, we are launching a promotional campaign from September.”
The campaign is expected to cost around Rs 50 million.
TAAN alone is investing Rs 12 million in the campaign, Lama told Republica. “Although the mountains are suitable for climbing, they are yet to be touched due to lack of route information. All the peaks need to be identified, explored and promoted in the national and international markets,” he added. “If we do not have routes to the base camp of these mountains, how can we expect these mountains to be climbed?”
He further added that teams will be mobilized to explore routes and collect other needful information. “The team will have trekking entrepreneurs, guides, photographers, videographers, cartographers and writers, among others,” he added.
He also said that once the profile of all the unclimbed peaks is prepared, trekking companies will offer climbers the opportunity to set a record by reaching the summit of unclimbed peaks.
Of the 476 mountains above 5,800 meters suitable for climbing, the government has opened 411 mountains for climbing activities, according to the Department of Tourism. Of them, only 225 mountains have been climbed.