Tuesday, July 28, 2009
The main peak is 6,812 meters (22,349 ft). Ama Dablam means "Mother and Pearl Necklace" (the perennial hanging glacier is thought of as the pearl)
Sunday, July 26, 2009
I had nice weekend with Veteran Korean climber Um Hong Gil who has successfully scaled all mountains above 8 thousand meters.
Ang Dorjee Sherpa, Um Hong Gil and Jiban Ghimire at Summiter Lodge in LakuriBhanjyang, Lalitpur
Friday, July 24, 2009
This is our pleasure to support wall climbing competition and encourage to guides skill in climbing industry. We have sent 8 participants for this event
Our guides - Lalit Magar and Tshering Dorjee Sherpa is climbing wall for 4th National competition.
Friday, July 17, 2009
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Ghimire, who is also a local coordinator of the Sherpa Education Fund, says that the children, their parents and relatives and foreign donors are happy. This could be because of financial transparency.
"We receive bills from the school and forward them to the Foundation in the United States. The Foundation directly sends money to the school," he says.
Nine-year-old Pema Yanji Sherpa knows no bounds of her happiness as she has got an opportunity to pursue her education at a good school in Kathmandu.
The three-grader girl is from a remote mountain village of Thame, Solukhumbu district. "I am very happy that I have been given such a chance," she says.
She does not know what she is going to be in the future. But she is confident that she will not have to graze yaks or do other physical works for making her living after having better education.
Phurba Sherpa, 16, from the same village, is another schoolboy to get a scholarship through the Sherpa Education Fund, which is under the Alpine Ascents Foundation.
The nine-grader student has received the scholarship since he joined the kindergarten.
In 1999, the Sherpa Education Fund was established by Alpine Ascents International, a global expedition and mountain guiding company in America. The Fund aims to help educate the Sherpa children and contribute to the development of their community.
At the outset, the organization sponsored six children at a private boarding school in the capital city. With the help of this charity organization, a total of 20 children from the Khumbu Region are now studying at the Kathmandu Valley Higher Secondary School. They are getting full scholarships that include fees for tuition and hostel, books, uniforms and medical expenses. Of the total number, there are 12 boys and the remaining eight are girls. They are studying from grade two to 11.
The assistance has become a boon for the Sherpa children belonging to financially weak families. "Had we not received scholarships, we would not have been able to get education in such a school," says five-grader Pasang Lhamu Sherpa, who is from Phortse village of the same region.
The education project is a brainchild of Todd Burleson, President and founder of Alpine Ascents International. Todd’s colleague Peter Athans, another renowned climber, was also involved in the project.
Todd, who is a ‘Seven Summit’ summitteer, had carried out rescue operations on Mount Everest in 1996 when a lot of climbers had lost their lives due to avalanches. Many Sherpa children of Khumjung had also become orphans. Several local women had turned into widows.
"When we were returning from Mount Everest, we found several school-age children looking after yaks in Khumjung village. We also see some women chasing yaks by carrying their babies on their back," Todd recalls.
He says that since those were heart-touching scenes, they thought of doing something for providing such underprivileged children with education.
Appreciating the Sherpas for their climbing skills, generosity and helpfulness, he says that the Foundation will continue to grow and extend assistance to them. "All donations we collect from our clients for the education of these children are fully tax deductible," he says.
He says that the Foundation has a long-term vision of supporting the children ‘s education. "If they want to pursue higher education abroad, we will assist them," he says.
A recipient of the American Alpine Club’s prestigious David J. Sowles Award for his rescue efforts on the world’s tallest mountain in 1996, Todd says that the Foundation is dedicated to transforming the lives of the Sherpas living in the Himalayas.
Regarding the children’s performances at the school, Doma Lama, a social science teacher at the Kathmandu Valley School, says that they have been doing well.
Lama, however, says that they require counseling, as they are from a totally new social and natural environment. "Some of them seem to be haunted by inferiority complex because they are older than the local students. So, we need to make extra efforts for their adjustment," she says.
She says that the school encourages them to participate in sports and other extra-curricular activities such as sports as per their interest.
As their parents and relatives sometimes come to the school to see them and they also go home during the time of Dashain festival, they are not found being home-sick. "After two or three months of their enrollment, they start feeling comfortable," she says.
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Forty-two-year-old Jiban Ghimire is one of the promising tourism entrepreneurs of Nepal. With about 20 years of experience in the field of adventure tourism, Ghimire is the managing director of the Sherpa Shangri-La Treks & Expedition (P) Ltd.
Talking to Ballav Dahal of The Rising Nepal, he said that Nepal’s adventure tourism sector required a more favorable policy as well as skilled and well-trained technical hands. Excerpts:
How would you see the current situation of adventure tourism business in Nepal?
Despite lack of some concrete measures, adventure tourism in Nepal has been growing. Data have shown that around 2,000 foreign climbers took permits to attempt various mountains in the country in 2008. In this year’s spring season, a total of 108 expedition teams received permits from the government. The number increased to 155 in the autumn season of the same year. The government made around US$ 82,24,000 as revenue from those teams.
Apart from this, a lot of people, including porters, guides, local lodge owners and other rural residents, also reaped benefits from the expedition sector alone.
What do you think are its prospects and emerging challenges?
Nepal is one of the best destinations in the world for adventure lovers, as it has a wide range of adventure products from mountaineering, trekking, hiking, rafting, kayaking, and paragliding to bungy jumping and skydive. We have a unique topography with an unparalleled scenic beauty. We have abundant floral and faunal resources. With such products, Nepal is really a land of innumerable opportunities for different types of adventure seekers.
Our adventure products have unique characteristics. For example, trekkers and climbers have to spend around 10 days to get in the Everest Base Camp. They will have to spend some more days to climb even smaller peaks. This is an adventure for them. But in some foreign countries, people can go to the mountain regions and make it to the peaks within some couple of hours.
Global recession could be detrimental to our tourism, as it has already started affecting many countries of the world. Because of this economic crisis, the prospective adventure seekers in various countries have begun to think on how to survive from it. This indicates that Nepal’s tourism could suffer. Therefore, we need to come up with more attractive offers and activities to maintain and further promote our tourism in order to cope up with this challenge.
Moreover, due to lack of our encouraging mountaineering policies, we are losing many potential climbers every year.
We also need to have a more comprehensive and favorable tourism policy for giving a desired boost to this potential sector. The policy should not be formulated on an ad hoc basis. The obscure and vague terminologies used in the policies and laws must be replaced by clear ones.
Besides, we are also lacking skilled and well-trained technical hands. Without such hands, we cannot promote the adventure tourism sector. We can take tourists in confidence only when we have rescue and other emergency services in place.
The Mustang cave project has shown your innovative effort to protect and promote the invaluable caves there. What is happening to the Mustang cave project at present?
We are working with National Geographic Channel. The project is being run under the coordination of the Department of Archaeology. The Mountaineering Section under the Tourism Industry Division has also extended some support to the project. Peter Athans, senior athlete of The North Face, archaeologist and professor from the United Kingdom Charles Ramble, and professor of Arizona State University Mark Aldendenfer are the foreign experts working with this project.
We have completed making inventories of more than 50 unique caves that reflect the 6th to the 12-century art and architecture. The experts have recommended for further researches on the caves. We are planning to protect and promote the caves as tourist attractions.
As a tourism entrepreneur, how have you viewed the ongoing peace process and political development in Nepal?
The peace process is moving ahead despite some obstacles created due to misunderstanding between and among the major political forces. It goes without saying that all entrepreneurs and common people need peace and stability. We, the entrepreneurs, have nothing to do with political ideologies. What we just want is peace, stability and favorable investment policy.
The political parties must abide by all the peace agreements, including the landmark Comprehensive Peace Accord (CPA) and the 12-point agreement, to take the peace process to a logical conclusion. They must give up the habits of blaming each other.
The political forces must forget all the differences and start the process of writing the new constitution. If the constitution is not drafted on time, the country will continue suffering from the problem of political and social unrest. It is a fact that the process of the country’s economic development will be obstructed in a political unstable country.
Finally, would you like to add something more to this?
I have just mentioned above about the need for political stability and clarity in policies. I urge the government and the political parties to dedicate themselves to taking the country to the right track first. The prevalence of unstable situation will take us nowhere.
It is a welcome step on the part of the new government that it has announced the Visit Nepal Year 2011. This is a very relevant event, as it will help revive the country’s tourism sector. As the event is being organized to draw the attention of the world towards Nepal, we need to offer some incentives and facilities to tourists. The government, together with all the concerned stakeholders, should start making preparations for the upcoming mega tourism event.
Friday, July 10, 2009
Pasang Lhamu Mountaineering Foundation with the support of Sherpa Shangri-La Treks and Expeditions is organizing a two-day First Aid Medical Training course for Participants of the 4th National Open Climbing Competition as per the given schedule. We, therefore, would like to request you to timely register the name of your participants to the 4th National Open Wall Climbing Competition 2009. The cost for the First Aid Medical Training course will be covered by Pasang Lhamu Mountaineering Foundation and Sherpa Shangri-La Treks and Expedition. Please do not miss your opportunity.
17-18 July 2009
Pasang Lhamu Mountaineering Foundation
Dhumbarahi, Kathmandu, Nepal
cell: +985 103 5161