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Accommodation cost rises on Annapurna Base Camp trek route

Annapurna Base CampThe Hotel Entrepreneurs’ Association’s decision to increase the cost of accommodation and to introduce advance booking system along the Annapurna Base Camp route has drawn flak from stakeholders in Kaski of late.

Local Tourism Management Sub-committee Chhomrong had increased the cost of food and bed for trekkers, trekking guides, and porters along the route.

Stakeholders criticised the decision stating that it was impractical and unilateral. They have also criticised the booking system.

The Union of Nepal Trekking, Travel, Rafting, Airlines workers, Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal, and Western Regional Association Pokhara said that the cost of the amenities had been increased unilaterally without consulting them, which was not acceptable to them.

Chairperson of the committee Indra Mani Sharma said that hotel operators had increased the rate by 10 per cent. The cost is applicable in hotels along the New Bridge, Jhinu, Kimrong Khola, Ghurjung, Chhomrong and Bhanuwa to ABC. The prices had been unchanged since 2012.

“There was no option but to increase the price to adjust with the price hike in the market for the past four years,” claimed entrepreneurs.

A meal from Chhomrong to New Bridge costs Rs 180, and it costs Rs 200 from Bhanuwa to ABC, Sharma said.

“The coupon system feels like a syndicate, which is why it should be scrapped immediately,” said UNITRAW Western Regional Chairperson Bijay KC.

TAAN Western Regional Vice-chairperson Deepak Raj Adhikari said that it was not always feasible to book tickets for accommodation. “It is not always certain that trekkers and their guides will reach the destination every morning and evening and eat the same item.

This attempt to assert greater bargaining power should be stopped,” said Adhikari.

ABC is located at an altitude of 4,130 metres and starts from Phedi of Kande, or Naya Pool of Kaski. It takes a week to trek the route. Around 20,000 tourists trek the route every year.

However, there has been a sharp fall in the number of trekkers since 2015. Only 8,951 tourists visited the camp in 2015, as per Annapurna Conservation Area Project.

However, around 100,000 tourists visit the Annapurna area per year, but the number was just 30,687 in 2015.

HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE

US skydiver jumps without parachute into net from 25,000ft

Luke Aikins landed dead centre into the 100x100ft net

Luke Aikins landed dead centre into the 100x100ft net

American Luke Aikins has become the first person to jump from 25,000 ft (7,620m) without a parachute, landing safely in a net.

Mr Aikins – who has more than 18,000 jumps under his belt – fell dead centre into the 100x100ft net in Simi Valley, southern California.

During the two-minute fall aired live on Fox television, the 42-year-old reached the speed of 120mph (193km/h).

To loud cheers, he climbed out of the net and hugged his wife and young son.

“I’m almost levitating, it’s incredible,” he said after Saturday’s jump.

“This thing just happened! I can’t even get the words out of my mouth,” he said, admitting that he was nervous beforehand.

He also admitted that he had nearly had to cancel the jump because he was ordered to wear a parachute for safety and this would have made his landing more dangerous because of the extra weight.

However, the organisers had lifted the ban just minutes before the jump.

“Aikins’ leap represents the culmination of a 26-year career that will set a personal and world record for the highest jump without a parachute or wing suit,” his spokesman Justin Aclin said.

Mr Aikins, who is a safety and training adviser for the US Parachute Association, said his friend came with the idea two years ago.

BBC

Nepal begins probe into Everest summit manipulation by Indian couple

Posted on: 03 July 2016

Satyarup Siddhantha (2) has charged that Dinesh Chandrakant Rathod (3) and his wife Tarkeshwari Chandrakant Bhelerao (4) morphed his photographs (1 & 2), taken on the top of Mt Everest, and submitted to Nepal’s Department of Tourism to get the Everest summit certificates.

Satyarup Siddhantha (2) has charged that Dinesh Chandrakant Rathod (3) and his wife Tarkeshwari Chandrakant Bhelerao (4) morphed his photographs (1 & 2), taken on the top of Mt Everest, and submitted to Nepal’s Department of Tourism to get the Everest summit certificates.

Nepal’s Department of Tourism under the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation has initiated an investigation into the veracity of claims made by an Indian police couple of having reached the summit of Mt Everest in the last spring climbing season.

The move comes after Dinesh Chandrakant Rathod and his wife Tarkeshwari Chandrakant Bhelerao of Maharashtra obtained summit certificates from the DoT by allegedly submitting doctored photos showing them on the top of world’s highest peak.

“A thorough investigation has started,” Sudarshan Prasad Dhakal, Director General at DoT said, adding that the DoT today asked the expedition organising company to furnish its written clarification within 24 hours why it applied for summit certificates to the Rathods by providing such ‘morphed’ photographs as substantial evidences.

The DoT awarded the couple with summit certificates on June 10 endorsing their claims of having reached the summit in the early morning of May 23. The photos submitted by the Indian cops to the DoT as a proof were found faked after Satyarup Siddhantha, a climber from Bangalore, accused the couple of plagiarising his summit photos while the Bengaluru climber scaled the world’s highest mountain on May 21.

As Makalu Adventure Treks applied for summit certificates to the Rathods at the DoT, the company should first clarify its motive behind the submission of fake photos, the Director General said. According to him, the DoT would inquire with the Liaison Officer and climbing Sherpas once it reviewed the company’s clarification.

“It’s proven that the photos provided by Dinesh and his wife Tarkeshwari to DoT are morphed,” he claimed.

Mohan Lamsal, Managing Director at Makalu Adventure Treks said that he would reply to DoT by tomorrow. “I’ve also asked the couple to come to Kathmandu to clarify their stances at the earliest,” he added. According to him, both climbing Sherpas who assisted the Rathods are still out of reach.

As the DoT had not consulted with the climbing Sherpas — Furba from Sankhuwasabha and Fursemba from Solukhumbu —  who accompanied the Rathods to Everest summit, while awarding summit certificates, Ganesh Prasad Timsina who serves as an officer at Kakarvitta Tourism Office in Jhapa, verified the couple’s claim, saying he was at the Everest Base Camp for 13 days to monitor their activities.

“The Rathods’ case also inspires us to review the existing procedures in mobilising Liaison Officers in different mountains and awarding the summit certificates to the climbers,” DG Dhakal said.

According to Satyarup, he also lodged a complaint at the Cyber Crime Police Station in Kolkata, seeking necessary action against Rathod couple for plagiarising his summit photos. Maharashtra police has already initiated a probe into the Rathods’ claims.

It’s still a mystery to investigators that how the Rathods accessed to Satyarup’s photographs. “I used my laptop at the Base Camp after returning from the summit while a few of climbing sherpas from our team transferred the summit photos to their mobile chips,” the Indian climber said. According to him, it was obvious to share the photos with the climbing sherpas who accompanied our team to the summit. “But, I am not blaming them for the goof-up,” he added.

“The image of local operators in the eyes of the western climbing community is already bad as it is,” Iswari Paudel, owner of Himalayan Guides Nepal Treks and Adventure, commented, “Activities like these from an expedition operator, is completely unethical and disgraceful not only to themselves but to the mountaineering industry in Nepal itself.”

The DoT needs to take swift and strict action against liars and forgers, he demanded.

If fraud was proved then the DoT could revoke the company’s licence, cancel the summit certificates and impose a restriction on the Rathods from coming to Nepal for mountaineering expeditions as per the existing regulations.

As per the DoT’s record, nine foreigners including two Indians (the Rathods) stood atop the summit along with 13 more climbing sherpas on May 23. But, the climbers who summitted from the northern side on the same day claimed that they had not spotted anyone at the top of summit from Nepal side till noon.

A climber shared that some of them met the Rathods on May 10, and until the date the Rathods had not even visited the Khumbu Icefall for their first rotation up the mountain. “They had done some minor training on the ice pinnacles near Everest Base Camp. They, however, had not gone to the Pumori high camp, or Kala Patthar or Icefall. If a team has not started acclimatisation until May 10, it is close to impossible to summit on May 23 unless the Rathods are super human fitness stars,” he added.

With the discussion with other Indian climbers who were at Camp 2, Camp 3 and Camp 4 during the period  — from May 19 to May 24 —  we came to know that none of the climbers had spotted the couple en route to the summit, Anjali Kulkarni, a climber from Mumbai said, referring to a joint complaint filed against the Rathods at Maharashtra Police.

“In fact, they added that all of them had seen this couple up to Everest Base Camp only and not above Base Camp,” she added.

THT

ACAP to unveil new trekking route

Annapurna Conservation Area Project is all set to unveil an alternative new trekking route soon. The idea of the alternative route was conceived after the existing Annapurna Trekking Circuit from Jamjung district headquarters, Besisahar to Manang was linked by a road network recently.

According to Annapurna Conservation Area Project Manang Office Chief Babulal Tiruwa, the alternative trekking route links several tourist villages.

“As the route passes through several inner villages, we hope that this will increase the influx of tourists in the area,” said Tiruwa, adding, “The route is also connected to roads at places, which will make it easier to carry out rescue missions.”

Further, Tiruwa said that the new route will be ideal for trekkers who want to savour the magnificient beauty of nature and visit the popular Thorang-La pass which is at an altitude of 5,464 metres. The proposed route under The Great Himalayan Trail starts from Lamjung’s Besisahar and runs through Siurung, Chapa, and Mipra before converging with a road network at Syange.

From Syange, the trekking route runs through Jagat, Chyame, and Danakyu up to the Manang district headquarters, from where the track links Dhikarpokhari through Bhratang. From that point, there will be two trekking routes linking Bhraka. The Annapurna trekking route ends in Pokhara through Mustang’s Muktinath and Myagdi.

HNS

Paragliders fear being displaced by airport

Published on: 21 June 2016

Paragliding-in-nepalWhile the construction of a regional international airport in Pokhara has been received with wide public enthusiasm, travel traders are worried that paragliding—the most popular adventure activity in the lake city—may be affected by coming airspace regulations.

It may be four years before the new airport comes online, but tourism entrepreneurs are already starting to worry about their investment. Pokhara’s landscape, climate and natural beauty make it a suitable spot for paragliding.

There is a possibility that the busiest flight path used by paragliders, the Sarangkot-Toripani-Dhikikhola route, will need to be discontinued to keep the way clear for aircraft flying in and out of the new regional international airport.

More than 90 paragliding flights are conducted on the Sarangkot-Toripani-Dhikikhola route daily. There is a lot of confusion among entrepreneurs about the potential displacement of growing paragliding activities. Some are in favour of shifting the activities to another area.

Buddhi Sagar Lamichhane, joint secretary at the Tourism Ministry, said no studies had yet been done about the potential displacement of paragliding activities in Pokhara. “The new airport has not started yet,” he said. “Its design is presently being done. After the design is completed, we will know which paragliding routes may be affected. However, we are trying our best to ensure that paragliding activities are left undisturbed.”

In September 2014, the Tourism Ministry had decided not to issue new operating permits to paragliding operators as the airport project was going to be implemented.

Meanwhile, the number of paragliding flights has reached a saturation point making the airspace over Pokhara congested and unsafe. New permits have been restricted in Sarangkot, Toripani and Mandredhunga, including areas covered by the flight path of aircraft using Pokhara airport and its control zone within a 10 nautical-mile radius.

Nepal Airsports Association Vice-President Shovit Baniya said they would search for other appropriate sites for paragliding in Pokhara if flying over Sarangkot and Toripani is not feasible.

Aerial sports began in Nepal in 1996 with Sunrise Balloon and Avia Club offering hot air ballooning and ultra-light flying respectively. The popularity of paragliding started to take off in 2007.

The popular season for this adventure sport among thrill seekers is September-November. However, operators said paragliding was becoming popular as an all-season activity among visitors.

A paragliding company handles 2,500-3,000 fliers annually, and 60 percent of them are foreign visitors. One company is allowed to operate six-seven flights per day depending on the weather.

The Kathmandu Post

Nepal; Great Adventure Trekking Destination

Posted on: 14 June 2016

Amazing view of Mount Everest

Amazing view of Mount Everest

Trekking in Nepal is an extraordinary experience for everybody. Nepal offers a magnificent assortment of trekking choices to travelers. Exploring Nepal can go from simple strolling outings, to a strenuous move of the cold crests. The most remunerating approach to experience Nepal’s normal, and world well known attractions, is to stroll through the length, expansiveness and onto the heights of the nation. Trekking in Nepal is a major part to a definitive Himalayan enterprise, and the lion’s shares of travelers incorporate trekking in Nepal as a piece of their agenda. Trekking has the advantage of making a circumstance where the traveler comes in direct contact with the nearby group, giving them a close and well disposed understanding into the different societies in Nepal.

One can also trek in Nepal on ponies in some of the remote areas. These are well trained and are an equally enthralling way to travel for visitors. This beautiful trek in Nepal  follow nearly the same routes, and are offered mostly in western region of Pokhara, Dolpa and Lo-Manthang Mustang). Trekking is the only way to know the locals intimately and experience their cultural hospitality.. One can stroll along the trails, which are anything but difficult to take after, and have been utilized by the neighborhood occupants for a considerable length of time, or you can investigate less utilized tracks, our Guides can characterize these for you.

Alongside woodlands of splendidly hued Laligurans (Rhododendrons), the National blossom of Nepal, separated villas, the lower Himalayan mountains, towns that give off an impression of being untouched by time and the passing hundreds of years, you will see birds,(more than 850 types of winged creatures are known in Nepal) creatures, some outlandish, similar to the Snow Leopard, some magnificent, for example, the Bengal Tiger, and numerous different creatures, sanctuaries, cloisters and amazing scenes. You will likewise experience cordial individuals of various societies offering an entrancing look into traditional life in the villages.

Pokhara on top of Forbes magazine’s cheapest tourism destination list

Posted on: 11 June 2016

Beautiful Phewa Lake, Pokhara

Beautiful Phewa Lake, Pokhara

The world famous Magazine Forbes has published the list of 20 best value cities for budget travelers placing Pokhara of Nepal at the top.

As indicated by US Nepal Chamber of Commerce Vice-President Bed Kharel, the list published by the Forbes magazine would assume noteworthy part to attract tourists. The Forbes Magazine publishes the list of richest people of the world.

Kharel said, “Medium class tourists of US will make plan to travel Pokhara according to their financial plan. Publishing the list of cheapest cities placing Pokhara at top by the magazine like Forbes is itself publicity of Nepal.”

One can stay in Pokhara at the expense of 15.84 US dollar for every day, as per the report.

RSS

Why trekking with Guide or Porter?

Posted on: 06 May 2016

Nepal trekking with guide

Trekkers during the trip to Everest base camp

Are you planning to travel/trekking in Nepal without guide porter? You can travel alone around Kathmandu, Pokhara, Chitwan, and Lumbini. But especially trekking in the mountain like Mount Everest base Camp, Lang tang region, Annapurna round; we would prefer you to go with government license holder professional trekking guide, porter guide or porter. If you are first time in Nepal you are totally new; so you need a help about the trails and locals.

The expert guide and porters won’t just clarify about the history they will also for your safety, comfort, and everything during your trip. Really you will get more than what you paid for. You should know that numerous trekkers are missing in these territories. So, safety and the security is the most important part as you are going to spend long time mountain. Likewise, we know, hiring a guide or porter is a bit expensive but don’t take a risk.

Upper Mustang Trekking – Adventure Trip of A Lifetime

Posted on: 29 May 2016

Upper Mustang Forbidden Kingdom

Upper Mustang Forbidden Kingdom

Upper mustang is a unique valley with unique topographical land structures. Mustang is the last forbidden Himalayan kingdom of Nepal. This place is almost treeless & has barren lend capes various mystery caves, monasteries & unique peaks of rock make this area worth visiting.The trails are steep & rocky with various up & down.

Upper mustang trekking offer the breathtaking views of Nilgiri, Annapurna, Dhaulagri &various other peaks. The life style, culture & traditions of people in upper Mustang are highly influenced by Tibetan &Buddhist cultural. Lo-Mustang is considered as the capital of upper mustang. Lo-Mustang offers various Buddhist monasteries & view of beautiful Himalayan ranges .

Upper mustang is high desert rain shadow area. Upper Mustang Trekking is an easy trek through the route of Lo- Mustang. Upper Mustang trekking provides experience of the actual life of real mountain people. Our trek begins from Pokhara city. We will take a mountain scenic flight to Jomsom via Pokhara. Than we have to walk to reach Kagbeni & than to lo-Manthang.

Why Trekking in Nepal with Local Trekking Company?

Posted on: 27 May 2016

Traveler on the way of Langtang valley trekking, Nepal

Traveler on the way of Langtang valley trekking, Nepal

Are you planning to trek in Nepal? If yes, please choose best trekking company/agency in Nepal as per you travel needs, and budgets. There are more than thousand of local trekking companies in Nepal.

There is big different in the cost between International and Local trekking agencies. But there is nothing difference in the offering services between them, they both offers similar facilities to the travelers. The vast different in the cost is not for quality of the travel services but this is for the commission of intermediaries. If you book your trip directly with local trekking company, there is direct connection with you and there is no commission for mediators so, the total trip cost will be less.

They are more flexible, if you want to customize your itinerary during the trail they will happily endorse your needs. Local trekking company can arranges the guides/porters as per clients needs that local company knows which guide is from the same trekking region and guide have vast knowledge about the trails, traditions & cultures, lifestyle of the locals, history, politics and customs.

Similarly, if you choose local trekking company for your trip to Nepal, the perception of sustainable tourism absolutely is relevant. It helps to increase the local employment opportunity and to develop local living standard, you will get seasonal discounts as well.
Booking with local trekking company in Nepal makes you up to date with current trekking conditions, tips and tricks to be applied, and all necessary information that you must know before and while trekking in Nepal.

In short, save money, never miss the thing, support locals, get updated info and embark your trekking in Nepal holiday in your way. Trekking with local organization in Nepal makes you progressive with current trekking conditions, tips and traps to be connected, and all vital data that you should know before keeping in mind trekking in Nepal.