Namaste and warm wishes from Nepal.
The restrictions on touring as well as climbing in Tibet this Spring came as a shock to all of us. It caused many tours and expeditions to be cancelled as well as many disappointments. We are hoping that the concerned authorities will allow tourism and climbing in Tibet very soon in the future.
There were certain restrictions placed on Mt. Sagarmatha (Everest) climbers also. But these were lifted as soon as the Olympic torch was taken to the summit by the Chinese climbers. My son, Dawa Steven, continues to lead the Eco Everest Expedition and plans to reach the summit during the last week of May. Dawa Steven writes that the photo-exhibit organized in Everest Base Camp on 50 years of change in the glaciers and landscape of the Khumbu has been very popular and educational – especially to the Sherpas. The exhibit was organized by ICIMOD, partners of the Eco Everest Expedition to raise awareness on global warming.
More than US$ 28,000 has already been contributed by institutions and individuals to the Eco Everest Trust Fund. This fund is to be used to support local initiatives to create greater awareness of Glacial Lake Outburst Floods (GLOFs) as well as the setting up of an early warning system. Please do visit www.ecoeverest.net.np for more information on the Trust Fund. I would like to request your full support and co-operation.
The other positive news is that the Nepalese Government has announced that all permits will be free for all opened peaks in mid and far-western Nepal for five years–effective July 16, 2008. Big reductions have also been made on all Mountaineering Permit Fees for other Mountains of Nepal for the Summer, Autumn, and Winter seasons. Please visit nepal-expeditions.com for details.
On the 29th of May in 1953, the late Tenzing Norgay Sherpa and Sir Edmund Hillary became the first persons to climb to the summit of the world’s highest peak. This year the Nepalese Government has declared May 29th International Everest Day in their honor. Various programs have been announced to mark the occasion. Renowned mountaineers and International Mountaineering Federation/Club/Association Presidents and officials have been invited to the occasion.
–Ang Tshering Sherpa
Editors Note: Ang Tshering Sherpa is the President of the Nepal Mountaineering Association, a non-governmental, non-profit and non-political organization working to promote mountain tourism, climbing sports, protection of mountain environments and preservation of the cultural heritage of Nepal and the Himalaya.