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Nepali entrepreneurs proposes Cross-border tourism route

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Kathmandu: In order to promote the Himalayan region, tourism experts in Nepal mooted a cross-border tourism route, the media reported on Thursday.

At a forum here on Wednesday, tourism entrepreneurs proposed the cross-border tourism route – including Nepal, Tibet’s capital Lhasa, India’s north-eastern state of Sikkim and Bhutan, Xinhua news agency reported.

“The symbolic route within four different countries can be a major attraction for foreign tourists,” Bikram Pandey, president of Himalayan Expedition Nepal, said addressing the event.

Tourism entrepreneurs here have mulled over two separate Buddhist and Hindu circuits in the region. They have devised a guided tour route, including Kathmandu and Mustang of Nepal; Lhasa, Saga and Mount Kailash of Tibet; Gorakhpur, Varanasi and Sikkim of India and Paro of Bhutan.

They believe that the cross-border connectivity will narrow down the existing gap in the tourism sector across the Himalayan region. However, the experts also pointed to the challenges of this new initiative.

“Transportation, tourism facilitation and government policies can be difficult for cross-border tourism in the initial phase,” said Prachanda Man Shrestha, chairman of National Tourism Foundation.

Nepali tourism entrepreneurs have already received the green light from the Sikkim Tourism Development Corporation of India.

However, they are yet to hold formal talks with tourism entrepreneurs of China and Bhutan.(IANS)(Picture Courtesy:indiasamvad.co.in)

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9 Climbers Pulled From Snow After A Sudden Storm On Mount Gurja, Nepal

Mountaineering experts are questioning how the experienced team was so badly hit at their base camp at 3,500 meters.

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Mount Gurja
Tourists take pictures at Sarangkot in Pokhara, with the view of the Mount Annapurna range in the background, some 200 km (124 miles) west of Kathmandu, Nov. 30, 2008. Annapurna, at 8,091 meters high, is the 10th highest mountain in the world.. VOA

A rescue team Sunday began retrieving the bodies of nine climbers killed in a violent storm on Nepal’s Mount Gurja, a freak accident that has left the mountaineering community reeling.

A helicopter dropped four mountain guides at the camp where the South Korean climbing expedition was staying when powerful winds and snow swept through, killing the entire team and scattering their bodies as far as 500 meters (yards) away.

“All nine bodies have been found and the team are in the process of bringing them down,” said Siddartha Gurung, a chopper pilot who is coordinating the retrieval mission.

Mount Gurja
A helicopter dropped four mountain guides at the camp.

A second helicopter along with a team of rescue specialists and villagers were also involved in the mission, which has been hampered by strong winds as well as the camp’s remoteness in the Dhaulagiri mountain range of Nepal’s Annapurna region.

The bodies of the climbers, five South Koreans and four Nepalis, will be flown to Pokhara, a tourist hub that serves as a gateway to the Annapurna region, and then to Kathmandu, said Yogesh Sapkota of Simrik Air, a helicopter company involved in the effort.

‘Like a bomb went off’

The expedition’s camp was destroyed by the powerful storm, which hit the area late Thursday or Friday, flattening all the tents and leaving a tangled mess of tarpaulin and broken polls.

“Base camp looks like a bomb went off,” said Dan Richards of Global Rescue, a U.S.-based emergency assistance group that will be helping with the retrieval effort.

Mount Gurja
Wangchu Sherpa of Trekking Camp Nepal, organised the expedition

The expedition was led by experienced South Korean climber Kim Chang-ho, who has climbed the world’s 14 highest mountains without using supplemental oxygen.

Experts puzzled

Mountaineering experts are questioning how the experienced team was so badly hit at their base camp at 3,500 meters.

Also Read: Nepal Saves Its Tiger Population, Doubles It

“At this point we don’t understand how this happened. You don’t usually get those sorts of extreme winds at that altitude and base camps are normally chosen because they are safe places,” Richards said.

The team had been on 7,193-meter (23,599-foot) Mount Gurja since early October, hoping to scale the rarely climbed mountain via a new route. (VOA)

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