46 years, Australia
46 years, Australia
This article first appeared on http://english.onlinekhabar.com. The original can be read here.
by Achut Puri
Nepal’s Department of Tourism has clarified that it has already reopened mountains for climbing for the autumn season this year.
Earlier, the government had announced to reopen all businesses related to tourism from July 30. However, many offices reopened then have already been shut as the country saw another rise in the rate of coronavirus infection. Nevertheless, the department has continued issuing permits for mountaineering.
At least 18 foreign climbers are coming to Nepal this season, informs the department’s director Mira Acharya, adding the terms and conditions set for climbing are the same both domestic and foreign climbers.
Owing to the high risk of coronavirus infection, the government has made it mandatory for all the climbers to strictly adhere to a health protocol issued by the Ministry of Health.
Acharya says many individuals and travel companies have approached the department recently seeking information if they could travel in Nepal as easily as in the past.
However, the department is not much hopeful about the mountaineers’ footfall this time owing to the high Covid-19 risks and flight restrictions, says the official. Though the government has recently reopened international flights after five months, those travelling on tourist visas cannot fly immediately. “We cannot do anything to bring foreign tourists here,” Acharya says, “But if anyone is already in Nepal, we will grant them permission for climbing this season also.”
After issuing permits, the department will also support the climbers to reach the destination, Acharya says. “For example, if there is any obstruction on the road, we will help them.”
Earlier, a cabinet meeting held on Sunday this week had approved the request of 18 foreigners to come to Nepal for mountaineering. They, however, are yet to acquire a permit from the department. Sources say the list includes a prince of Bahrain, 14 other Bahraini nationals and three Britishers.
The government spokesperson, Finance Minister Yuba Raj Khatiwada, informs they will climb Manaslu and Lobuche peaks.
Most of the Nepali peaks, except Everest, have been drawing a high number climbers in the autumn as the royalty that one has to pay to the government is half the spring charge (USD 5,500 vs USD 11,000).
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Location: Italy, Milan, Lombardy, Metropolitan City of Milan, Milan
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