Namaste and warm greetings from Nepal
The 2010 Spring Mountaineering season from Nepal side has been very successful. My son, Dawa Steven Sherpa, Leader of Eco Everest Expedition 2010 and his team members returned to Kathmandu at the end of May safely and in good health.
Total Number of Climbers on Mt. Everest
This Spring 2010 season we saw a slightly lower number of expeditions attempting Mt. Everest. On the Nepal side 157 foreign climbers and 190 High Altitude Sherpa climbed Mt. Everest. Though CTMA has not been able to provide us exact numbers, during this same season I predict the total number of climbers on the Tibet side to be around 165.
The latest information from the office of Ms. Elizabeth Hawley, chronicler of all Expeditions in Nepal, gives some very interesting facts. Between 1953 and 2009, the total number of ascents was 4557 by 3163 individuals (some having summited more than once).
Adding this year’s spring total of 513 ascents, of which 268 are new summiteers and the rest are repeat summiteers. In summary, the total number of ascent until today is 5070. Whereas, the actual number of persons having summited Mt. Everest is 3431 till date.
Eco Everest Expedition 2010
In 2008, Eco Everest Expedition team brought down 965 kilos of garbage, including 75 kilos of human waste from above base camp. Similarly in 2009 Eco Everest Expedition brought down 6000 kilos of garbage under the “Cash for Trash” program which excluded 115 kilos of human waste produced during the expedition. The same year wreckage of an Italian Army helicopter was also recovered from the edge of the Khumbu Icefall (5486m). The helicopter had crashed between Camp I and Camp II (approx. 6200m) on Mt. Everest during the Italian Everest Expedition in 1973. The Eco Everest Expedition team brought down 700 kilos of wreckage of the helicopter. Since 2008 until today Eco Everest Expedition brought down more than 12,000 kilos of old garbage and more than 300 kilos of human waste produced by Eco Everest Expedition from Mt. Everest for proper disposal. The main sponsor of the garbage collection for 2008 and 2009 was Asian Trekking and for 2010 were Asian Trekking, Reinhold Messner, The North Face and The Alpine Convention.
At the same function Honorable Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation Mr. Sarat Singh Bhandari presented the Tenzing-Hillary Award to Ms. Junko Tabei (the first woman to summit Mt. Everest) for her support in developing mountain tourism. Similarly the national and international summiteers of Mt. Everest in 2010 were honored with medals regarding them as Goodwill Ambassador for Nepal Tourism Year 2011.
The 16th SAARC summit recently held in Thimpu, Bhutan has endorsed Nepals’ proposal to appoint Apa Sherpa as SAARC Goodwill Ambassador for Climate Change for two consecutive years. On a program organized on 31st May 2010 he was handed over the certificate of SAARC Goodwill Ambassador by the Deputy Prime Minister of Nepal, Sujata Koirala.
Free Entry Visa for Nepal to Mt. Everest Summiteers:
On the eventful day of Sagarmatha (Mt. Everest), Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation Mr. Sarat Singh Bhandari declared to provide free visas for Nepal to Mt. Everest Summiteers. He also said that the Mt. Everest Day will be celebrated in all of the Nepalese Embassies abroad from 2011.
The event was organized by Government of Nepal, Nepal Mountain Association (NMA), Nepal Toursm Board, Civic Society of Kaski , Myagdi,Baglung and Parbat District. The Honorable Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation, Mr. Sarat Singh Bhandari was Chief Guest. The Guest of Honour was the renowned Austrian mountaineer Kurt Diemberger, the first summiteer of Mt. Dhaulagiri and the only remaining person alive to make first ascents on two 8,000 meter peaks.
Also present at the event were representatives from various organizations and many veteran mountaineers like renowned Climber Ang Rita Sherpa, Serap Jangbu Sherpa, Kuniko Yagihara- climbing leader of two successful Dhaulagiri Expedition on 1978 and 1982, and leader of Yeti Research Expedition around Dhaulagiri.
Groups and individuals from Pokhara as well as from outside Pokhara performed presented cultural performances. During the programme, the Government of Nepal and the Civic Society felicitated Kurt Diemberger and other mountaineers who were present. At the function, Kurt Diemberger shared his climbing experiences and his visits to Nepal.
Similarly, Golden Jubilee of the first ascent of Mt. Dhaulagiri was celebrated with much enthusiasm at Beni (Myagdi District), Baglung (Baglung District), and Kushma (Parbat District) on the 14th of May 2010. The events at Pokhara, Beni, Baglung, Kushma were a tremendous success in showing the concern towards the mountains and promotion of mountain tourism in Nepal.
50% Reduction on Mt. Dhaulagiri Royalty Fee:
On the occasion of Mt. Dhaulagiri Golden Jubilee, the Government of Nepal has decided to reduce the royalty of Mt. Dhaulagiri by 50% as well as to provide free entry visa to Nepal for Mt. Everest and Mt. Dhaulagiri summiteers for 2010 and 2011.
Beat the GLOF Action Run and Save the Khumbu Festival 2010:
On 4 June 2010, Beat the GLOF Action Run and Save the Himalayas-Khumbu Festival was organized for the second consecutive year in Khumjung Village in the Khumbu region. The one day event started off at 7 am with Beat the GLOF Action Run.
112 runners, out of which 79 were males and 33 were females, participated in the Action Run. The run route started from Khumjung (3790m) and passed through Kyangjuma (3550) –Namche (3440m)-Phurte (3390m) -Thamo (3842m) - back to Phurte (3820m) – Syangboche (3720m) – Khunde (3840m) and ended back in Khumjung (3790).
The first male runner Karma Sarki Sherpa completed the run route (16 kilometers) in 1 hr 59 minutes and 10 seconds whereas the first female runner Ang Phuti Sherpa completed this distance in 2 hrs 34 minutes and 45 seconds. Ten first male and female runners were awarded cash prizes at the Khumbu Festival.
Locals from Khumjung, Khunde, Phortse, Pangboche, Thame and Namche had participated in the festival which showcased traditional Sherpa culture. The various villages partook in the Sherpa dance exhibition. Students from Khumjung School presented a Drama highlighting the issues of climate change. The drama was titled “Message from the Doctor.” Youth groups performed songs and dances and entertained the audience. National and international dignitaries, media and press trekked up to participate and cover the event.
The event was organized by iDEAS in collaboration with Sherwi Yondhen Tshokpa (Sherpa Students Network). The event was sponsored by The North Face, Asian Trekking and Nepal Mountaineering Association. Agni Air and Tara Air provided complimentary air tickets to the participants and media personnel flying from Kathmandu. Himalayan Eco Resorts, Paradise Lodge and Hotel Camp de base provided complimentary lodging and meals to the dignitaries and members of the media and press. The event was supported by Sagarmatha National Park Buffer Zone Management Committee, Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation, Nepal Tourism Board, Nepal Tourism Year 2011, WWF Nepal and Khunde Hospital.
This Event which will take place annually in the month of June aims to draw the attention towards the risks of potential GLOFs in the area. I welcome all our friends to come and support us by participating in this event.
Tibet Expedition Spring 2010 Summary:
The 2010 Spring Mountaineering season has been very eventful as well as filled with tragedy and sorrow.
I am saddened to report that there were four fatalities [3 who were on 'expeditions'] on North side of Mt. Everest this season. Among them was our Hungarian friend Laszlo Varkony climbing with Hungarian Everest Expedition 2010.
Please join me in praying for eternal peace for the departed and for strength to the bereaved families.
New Regulation on Tibet Expedition from Autumn 2010:
“In order to promote the organization of expedition, improve team quality and avoid waster of resources, China Tibet Mountaineering Association has implemented some additional provisions for future permit applications, size and reception.
Now the expedition must apply the climbing permits in one month before. If the climbers required applying visas in their own country, they must mention in one month before. As per this new regulation the size of the team for three major peaks (Mt. Qomolangma, Cho-oyu and Shishapangma) must be above 5 pax (can contain Nepalese staff) and the ratio for clients with Nepalese staff should be 6:4. The age bar for the climbers has been limited between 18 – 60 years and if the climbers’ age is not within this provision, must provide proof of special health-related applications.”
Lastly, it is my pleasure to keep you all up to date as to our activities here in the Himalaya. If you have any questions please let me know. I thank you for your support in the past and look forward to our cooperation in the future.
Ang Tshering Sherpa