Despite Nepal being famous for adventure sports, it won’t be wrong to say that not many people in Nepal are actually interested in outdoor activities. We might try to pin the blame on our hectic work schedules but we also know that we must change that habit. Himalayan Outdoor Festival, hosted by Pangro Events, is your chance to do so. Be it trail running, rock climbing, or mountain biking, you can choose to participate in whichever event you wish during the three day celebration that will take place from February 22 to 24 and give yourself a much needed chance to enjoy the outdoors.
The event, organized to promote outdoor events and develop a culture of participating in outdoor games and events among Nepalis, will be accompanied by live music with performances by various local artists and DJs so you can relax and unwind at the end of a long and tiring day. The festival is held annually at Hattiban Hills in Pharping with the exception being last year when it took place at the Kakani International Scout Training Center.
Himalayan Outdoor Festival has been taking place since 2012 but the company that is currently organizing the festival i.e. Pangro has been in operation since 2016 only. Sailendra Dangol, one of the organizers of Himalayan Outdoor Festival since its inception, an officer at Nepal Cycle Association and one of the founders of Pangro Events, says that although Pangro Events hadn’t been registered until 2016, he and the other organizers of Himalayan Outdoor Festival had been working as a team to run this event since its inception.
“We realized that our team consisted of experienced climbers, trail runners, mountain bikers, and event managers, basically everyone who is needed to organize this kind of event. So we decided to start an event company and have been operating Pangro Events ever since,” he says.
At Himalayan Outdoor Festival, participants can compete in three main sports: trail running, rock climbing, and mountain biking. The event is categorized into three sub-categories: ride, rock and run. Participants can choose to take part in any of the sub divisions under each of these categories. The sub divisions for ride are Downhill, Cross Country, Eliminator and Night Uphill Challenge. The sub divisions for rock climbing are Bouldering Competition, Dyno Competition and Natural Rock (perfect for beginner level rock climbers) and the sub divisions for run categories are 5 km, 10+ km, 20+ km, Night Run and Kids Run.
The festival will kick start on the evening of February 22 with activities like the night run, night ride, and others and will gain momentum in the next two days. The one category the organizing team is pushing this year more than the others is the kids’ events. Dangol mentions that they have added a few activities that kids will enjoy this year and also collaborated with The British School for a charity run. He further adds, “We are also making this event a plastic free gathering and are requesting all the participants and ticket buyers to bring reusable bottles rather than plastic (mineral water or soft drink) bottles.”
Tickets and registration (for participation) is available at Basecamp in Jhamsikhel, Sports Coffee house in Jhamsikhel and Thamel, and Bodhi Books and Bakes in Maharajgunj. Those interested can also register through their website and pay using the online payment app, Khalti. Although door sales and registration (for tickets and participation respectively) are available, Dangol claims that it might end up costing you more than the regular pre-event fees.
He also says that once you buy a ticket for the festival you can stay at Hattiban Hills for all three days to enjoy all the events and don’t have keep paying every single day. All the activities that require registration also have their separate charges but Dangol also mentions that anyone who has registered to participate in any activity gets free entrance and don’t have to pay even the entry fee.
All in all, Himalayan Outdoor Festival promises to be a fun event for your entire family. If you haven’t participated in it before, we recommend you do. After all, this is your chance to test your stamina and outdoor skills and enjoy good music at the same time. What better way could there really be to have a guilt-free weekend?
National trail runner and sky runner
I have a very intimate relationship with this event because Himalayan Outdoor Festival is what started my career. About five years ago, in 2014, my friend had me participate in their trail running competition. That was my first trail running event as before that I was a road and track runner. Participating in that one event changed my life forever. I won the competition and took up trail running after that. Although a lot of people participate in the event with the intention of having fun, I want to say the event is an important one for athletes and you can make a lot of progress career-wise if you do well at these competitions.
Downhill mountain bike national champion
I’ve been participating in Himalayan Outdoor Festival’s events for more than five years now. Unfortunately due to my busy schedule, I can’t attend the festival this year. I think the organizers do a good job of creating events and activities that most people will enjoy. I’ve participated with my friends, most of whom also participate in different events and activities, and we usually stay back at either the resort or campsite to rest and enjoy the rest of the event and the accommodation there is also managed properly. It’s actually a fun festival that even people who aren’t participating can enjoy.