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Search Results for Tag: Nepalese Tourism Ministry

New guidelines for helicopter rescue on Nepal’s mountains

Rescue flight on Everest

A committee is to get to the bottom of it. Since Friday, new guidelines for helicopter rescue have been in force in Nepal, with which the government wants to prevent insurance fraud with “fake rescue flights” in the future. A “Tourist Search and Rescue Committee” will monitor all rescue operations. The committee includes representatives of the ministries of home and of health as well as of the Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA), the Himalayan Rescue Association (HRA), the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) and the tourist police. Helicopter companies, expedition and trekking agencies, hospitals and insurance companies are now obliged to provide all details of rescue flights and medical care as well as insurance invoices in a timely manner so that the committee can review them. In the event of irregularities, the committee is also responsible for punishing the black sheeps in the sector.

Date

3. September 2018 | 15:36

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Penalty for fake Everest permit

Mount Everest

If it is about its own income, the Nepalese government can’t take a joke. According to the newspaper “The Himalayan Times”, the Ministry of Tourism has fined Nepalese expedition operator “Seven Summit Treks” 44,000 dollars for forging a permit for Mount Everest. In spring, the authority granted a permit to an expedition led by the Chinese Sun Yiguan and managed by “Seven Summit Treks” to climb the highest mountain on earth. The original document was issued for twelve member. Later a fake version appeared in which an Australian and a Chinese climber had been added.

Date

31. August 2018 | 15:54

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Fight against fake rescue flights in Nepal

Rescue helicopter at Everest Base Camp

The air is getting thinner for those in Nepal who feather their beds with fake rescue flights. According to the Kathmandu-based newspaper “The Himalayan Times”, international insurance companies have set an ultimatum until 1 September to put an end to these illegal activities. Otherwise, they no longer want to cover the costs of helicopter rescue flights. The Nepalese government plans to set up a police unit in the Tourism Ministry that is to manage all rescues.

Not practicable

Lakpa Norbu Sherpa (r.) and Maurizio Folini

Lakpa Norbu Sherpa, who has been coordinating rescue on Mount Everest since 2003 as base camp manager of the Himalayan Rescue Association (HRA), is sceptical. “Police officers are no specialists”, tells me the 37-year-old, who was trained as a helicopter rescuer in Switzerland in 2012. Similar comments are made by Maurizio Folini: “The solution is not practicable. The police have no idea how to save people in the mountains.” The 53-year-old helicopter pilot from Italy is a pioneer for rescue flights on the eight-thousanders in Nepal. Since 2011 Folini has been flying regularly on the highest mountains in the world, in 2013 he managed the highest longline helicopter rescue of all time when he brought down a Nepalese climber from 7,800 meter on Everest.

Date

26. August 2018 | 17:22

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Hillary Step, last take!

The spot formerly known as Hillary Step

I vow to stop writing about the Hillary Step after this blog post. Because where nothing is, nothing has to be reported. “It is 100 percent that Hillary step is gone,” Mingma Gyalje Sherpa, expedition leader of the Nepalese operator “Imagine”, writes to me. On 14 May, the 32-year-old had climbed to a point between the South Summit (at 8,750 meters) and the former Hillary Step (8,790 meters), where he had waited for hours for the return of his summit team and thus had plenty of time, to take a close look at the spot. On the Hillary Step, says Mingma, “no more debate is required further in future”. No matter what the Nepalese Ministry of Tourism is saying. Before this spring’s season, the authority had actually subpoenally obligated all climbers not to make any statement about the Hillary Step to the media.

Date

29. May 2018 | 15:14

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Everest ski permit – a farce!

Puzzling ski permit

You would normally not come up with this. If you climb Mount Everest and at some point want to put on your skis, you need a special permit. The 20-year-old American Matt Moniz and his mentor, the 49-year-old Argentine Willie Benegas, had to experience this. Citing sources at the Nepalese Ministry of Tourism, the newspaper “Himalayan Times” reports that the two climbers are now threatened with being deprived of their permission to climb Everest and Lhotse this spring. However, everything had started so well. “After ten years dreaming about it, it happened! Managed to ski from Camp 3 (on) Everest (at) 7,200 meters to Camp 2 (at) 6.400m,” said Benegas. “Not much difficulty but definitely good eyes needed to read the terrain, catching an ice patch would be a bad thing to happen!”  Matt and Willie did not suspect that they had scated on their descent on thin bureaucratic ice.

Date

9. May 2018 | 10:23

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Nepal’s Supreme Court strucks down new Everest rules

South side of Mount Everest

The government of Nepal has to revise the controversial new mountaineering rules for Mount Everest and other mountains in the country higher than 6,500-meters. The country’s Supreme Court supported the position of several plaintiffs who found that the new rules were a discrimination against disabled people. Among other things, the government had decided at the end of December with immediate effect not to issue permits to double-amputee climbers and blind people. The complainants had stated inter alia that Nepal had signed the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and that the new rules clearly contradicted these rights. This opinion was followed by the five judges of the Supreme Court.

Date

8. March 2018 | 17:56

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New expedition rules in force in Nepal

Three 8000ers at a glance: Mount Everest, Lhotse, Makalu (from l. to r.)

The much-discussed new rules for expeditions in Nepal are in effect. According to Dinesh Bhattarai, General Director of the Ministry of Tourism, the amendment of the mountaineering rules was published today in the government  gazette. “The Department of Tourism can now issue certificates to the Sherpa summiters,” Bhattarai told the newspaper “The Himalayan Times”, referring to the only new rule that in advance had been met with approval by all sides.

Date

6. February 2018 | 17:49

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New Everest rules in Nepal? Wait and eat Dal Bhat!

Dal Bhat

The fact that this news pops up every year is almost as certain as the lentils in the Nepalese national dish Dal Bhat: The government in Kathmandu wants to change the mountaineering rules on Mount Everest. The emphasis is on “wants to”. In the end, there is always nothing more than this statement of intent, because the proposed amendment gets stuck in any department – or the current government is replaced by a new one. The Ministry of Tourism is now announcing for the umpteenth time that the rules for granting Everest permits will be tightened.

Date

7. December 2017 | 0:33

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Once upon a time … the Hillary Step

Hillary Step in 2017

The big boulder is gone. This is for sure. Tim Mosedale, a six-time Everest summiter from the UK, has added some pictures to Facebook to support his statement that the Hillary Step, the striking twelve-meter-high rock at 8,790 meters, no longer exists in its previous form. Tim’s pictures show: Where once a mighty boulder represented the last serious challenge before the summit, now only a few chunks are lying around. The British expedition leader had already claimed this in mid-May after his successful summit attempt: “It’s official. The Hillary Step is no more.”

Date

13. June 2017 | 16:37

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Bad mountain management in Nepal

A mountain in Gokyo Valley

A mountain in Gokyo Valley

You can’t just set off. If you want to climb am mountain in Nepal you should check the rules beforehand, otherwise you might experience a nasty surprise. Like the three Spanish climbers, who recently opened new routes on two six-thousanders. They were under way without permits, now the authorities in Kathmandu are investigating the case. They are facing a stiff fine and a 10-year-ban from mountaineering in Nepal. My compassion for the Spaniards is limited. I find their justification (“We are not pirates, we have left our money in Nepal at all”) flimsy. If you follow this argumentation, you could bilk any national park fee worldwide. Nonetheless there have been some construction sites the Nepalese “mountain management” for a long time, which are allegedly worked on but whose status does not change.

Date

6. December 2016 | 17:22

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“Mosquito bite” Everest rules

StechmueckeDamn, it’s itching. Inevitably as a mosquito bite on a muggy summer day is the annually recurring announcement of the Nepalese government to set up new rules for climbers on Mount Everest. Mind you, the announcement, not the implementation. This year is no exception. This week Sudarshan Prasad Dhakal from the Nepalese Tourism Ministry told the Kathmandu-based newspaper “The Himalayan Times” that the “Mountaineering Expedition Regulation”, which is in force since 2002, should be amended: According to the draft, mountaineers who are older than 75 years should be banned from climbing Everest as well as double amputees or blind climbers. In addition, each Everest aspirant should have climbed at least a seven-thousander before. Déjà-vu?

Date

22. July 2016 | 15:54

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Slap in the face: No Everest certificates for Sherpas

Mount Everest

Mount Everest

There are things that simply cannot be understood. Like the recent decision of the Nepalese Tourism Ministry. According to the Kathmandu-based newspaper “The Himalayan Times”, the Ministry refused to issue the compulsory summit certificates to all Climbing Sherpas who scaled Mount Everest this spring season.

Date

15. July 2016 | 16:07

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Billi Bierling about Everest fraud: “It is sad”

Mount Everest

Mount Everest

The truth will out. According to the Kathmandu-based newspaper “The Himalayan Times”, the Nepalese Tourism Ministry has initiated sanctions on the Indian couple that – as reported before – has obviously submitted faked summit pictures to get their Everest certificates. Most likely these certificates will be canceled and the cheat climbers might be banned from mountaineering in Nepal for up to ten years. “Department of Tourism will also take necessary action against the Liaison Officer, Climbing Sherpas and expedition organizing company,” DoT director Sudarshan Prasad Dhakal told the “Himalayan Times”. The two Sherpas who had supported Dinesh and Tarakeshwari Rathod on Everest were still “out of reach”, said the operator Makalu Adventure blaming the Sherpas for the goof-up.

The staff of Himalayan Database, the mountaineering chronicle of legendary Elizabeth Hawley, is also checking the case. I’ve contacted Billi Bierling. The 49-year-old German journalist and climber is the designated successor of Miss Hawley, aged 92.

Billi, you and your colleagues from the Himalayan Database have also obviously been deceived by the Indian couple when you interviewed them. What’s about the much-trumpeted climbers’ honor?

Date

5. July 2016 | 13:55

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Everest summit picture manipulated?

Submitted summit picture of Tarakeshwari Rathod

Submitted summit picture of Tarakeshwari Rathod

Did they fudge on Everest? Dinesh and Tarakeshwari Rathod were celebrated in their home country for being the first Indian couple who, on 23 May, had summited Mount Everest. Now there is considerable doubt that the two 30-year-olds really reached the highest point. The summit picture of Tarakeshwari Rathod that the two Indians submitted to the Nepalese Tourism Ministry to receive their Everest certificated, obviously turned out to be a forgery. Apparently by using an image editing software, the face of the Indian woman was copied to the summit picture of her compatriot Satyarup Siddhanta.

Date

30. June 2016 | 14:59

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If savings are made at the wrong end

Pilots in continous operation

Expensive rescue

“I am not in the government to wait and see”, Ananda Prasad Pokharel said in early November after his appointment as the new Nepalese Tourism Minister. “I am here to change.” However, one of his first initiatives concerning mountain tourism doesn’t testify his farsightedness but looks more like a crazy idea. Pokharel’s ministry plans to reduce the insurances for Nepalese staff on expeditions – by up to 60 percent on mountains that are lower than 6,500 meters. Thus mountain tourism should be stimulated again, it said. The visitor numbers in Nepal had slumped dramatically after the devastating earthquake in April and also because of the still existing blockade of the border with India.
Even many Nepalis shake their heads about the government’s plan. “As an owner of the agency Dreamers Destination Trek, I prefer reduction in every kind of insurance. It is good for my company and it is good for my clients”, Mingma Gyalje Sherpa writes to me. “But being myself a climber and born in a climber’s family, I wish an increment of insurances in favor of climbers.”

Date

19. December 2015 | 23:07

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