Weekly Official e-Newsletter of Nepal Tourism Board
(Printable version)
May 31, 2013
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Celebration of Mt. Everest Diamond Jubilee creates a milestone
Rajbhandari clinched the title of the 11th Tenzing Hillary Everest Marathon
Fairfield by Marriott in Nepal
Soaltee bags TripAdvisor Travellers Choice award
Liano becomes first person to climb Everest from both side in a single season

Celebration of Mt. Everest Diamond Jubilee creates a milestone

Nepal celebrated Mt. Everest Diamond Jubilee on May 29 remembering the two heroic souls: Tenzing Norgay Sherpa and Sir Edmund Hillary amidst a grand function. The historic event started with the procession from Bhrikutimandap led by the families of Tenzing and Hillary in a horse-cart buggy, followed by the buggy that carried famous mountaineers like Reinhold Messner, 21 time Everes climber Phurba Tashi Sherpa, last surving member of 1953 Everest Expedition team Mr. Kancha Sherpa ended at Basantapur Durbar Square. The procession was followed by large number of people from all walks of life including Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Mr. Ram Kumar Shrestha.  Traditional Nepali music and police band played the music throughout the procession  that ended at the Durbar Square of Kathmandu in Hanumandhoka. Addressing the function that followed after the procession Tourism Minister Ram Kumar Shrestha  said the government would adopt strict measures while issuing Mt Everest climbing permits to ensure mountaineers’ safety.

He further said the government would verify climbers’ experience, health and age before allowing them to climb Everest. The move was meant to ensure climbers’ safety and also to stop overcrowding on Everest, Shrestha said.

He added that the government’s liaison officers in the Everest region would be mobilised in a more effective manner amid concerns that they are not performing well when it comes to stopping ‘unprofessional conduct’ in the Everest region. The government has also doubled health and other insurances of porters, high-altitude Sherpa guides and individuals involved in the rescue mission in the mountain region. Secretary of Ministry of  Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Sushil Ghimire said Everest is an asset not only for the Nepalis but for people all around the world. “The highest peak is open for all people,” he said. The grandson of Tenzing Norgay Sherpa, Tashi Tenzing, who has climbed Everest three times, said everyone deserves to climb Everest. “We cannot restrict or stop anyone from climbing the tallest mountain.”

President of Everest Summiteers’ Association Wanchu Sherpa urged the government to make proper allocation of revenue in the Khumbu region from royalty collected by issuing climbing permits. The government collects more than Rs 270 million by issuing the permits annually.

Wanchu urged the government to develop a road up to Surkhe—the lower part of Lukla. Annually, hundreds of tourists get stranded in Lukla, the only gateway to Everest. “As people are stranded, they are compelled to pay US$ 500 to return to Kathmandu through a helicopter  In between 1953 to 2013, more than 4,000 individuals have climbed Everest.

Officiating chief executive officer of Nepal Tourism Board Subash Nirola said that tourism should be promoted more systematically. “Tourism promotion at the Himalayas supports the development of livelihood of remote places as it boosts the local economy and creates employment opportunities,” he said.   Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal awarded different individuals on the occasion of TAAN Day on Wednesday. Minister for culture, tourism and civil aviation Ram Kumar Shrestha handed over awards to Tika Ram Gurung, Ballav Mani Dahal, Diwakar Panta, Devi Prasad Panta, Shiva Adhikari, Shiva Shrestha, Nima Chhamji Sherpa — the youngest Nepali woman to reach the summit of Mt Everest — and Eliza Tuladhar of The Himalayan Times daily.

In the evening , the special program was organized in the Narayanhiti Palace to celebrate this event. The Chairman of Council of Ministers Khil Raj Regmi felicitated the personalities related with Mt. Everest climbing with certificate. Among the prominent persons felicitated were Reinhold Messner, 21 time Everes climber Phurba Tashi Sherpa, last surving member of 1953 Everest Expedition team Mr. Kancha Sherpa, Amelia Rose Hillary, granddaughter of Sir Edmund Hillary, Tashi Tenzing Sherpa, grandson of Tenzing Norgay Sherpa and many others.

"Two people worked together to take human history to the top of the world," said Amelia Rose Hillary, Edmund Hillary's granddaughter. "This is the celebration of that story."

"It is good to see the government acknowledge people's passion," said Hilary Carlile, Edmund Hillary's niece and deputy chair of the Himalayan Trust he established.

Speaking on behalf of the recipients, mountaineer Reinhold Messner, who made the first ascent without oxygen and the first solo summiting of Everest, said the mountain was cleaner than it had been 15 years ago.

Garbage had become a problem on the mountain, known as the "roof of the world," as traffic increased, but the government made it mandatory for climbers to bring back their garbage 15 years ago. Cleaning campaigns also have been conducted on the peak.

"I greatly appreciate the initiative taken by the veteran mountaineers and mountain lovers in philanthropic actives in and around Everest region in improving conditions of local communities," said Khilaraj Regmi, the chair of the Ministerial Council, who also acknowledged the work of rescue workers and doctors.

Ms. Amelia Rose Hillary has been appointed as Brand Ambassador of Nepal Tourism Board and Mt. Everest Diamond Jubilee amidst the program.

Earlier, on May 28, Secretary of Ministry of  Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Sushil Ghimire handed over the Tenzing Hillary Award to Everest Summitters Association amidst the function. In the same function, he also inaugurated the postal and photo exhibition at Nepal Tourism Board.

In a function organized at Hillary Park in Khumjung on May 26  as a part of the 60th anniversary, Secretary at the Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation, Shushil  Ghimire, said that the government was committed to making tourism a sustainable industry.

He emphasized the need for ensuring that tourism activities in the mountain area cause minimum harm to environment. Stating that the climate in the mountain region was becoming harsher than in the past, Apa Sherpa, who holds the record of climbing Everest 21 times, requested one and all to unite to maintain ecological balance in the region.

“Vast changes in the climate of the mountain region have occurred between my first ascent in 1990 and the 21st ascent in 2011. All people should be aware of this,” Sherpa said.

A tree planting ceremony was held at the function. Carliele Hillary, vice-chair of the Himalayan Trust and niece of the late Sir Edmund Hillary, planted a tree in the park in memory of her uncle. Government officials, the New Zealand ambassador and other diplomats were among those attending the function.

International Everest Conference was also organized Khumjung on May 26. Technical sessions were held at Khumjung School Auditorium, in which working papers on global warming and its effect on the Himalayas were presented. Main presentation was done by Dr. Ganesh Raj Joshi, Secretary of Nepal Government. Mr. Frits Vrijlandt, President of UIAA, Mr. Ang Tshering Sherpa, Honorary Member of UIAA also made presentations on the occasion. Program was participated by acclaimed summiteers, government officials, national and international journalists and local people.

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Rajbhandari clinched the title of the 11th Tenzing Hillary Everest Marathon

Local Ram Kumar Rajbhandari clinched the title of the 11th Tenzing Hillary Everest Marathon on Wednesday as Nepali athlete continued their dominance in the highest altitude marathon claiming all top ten positions.

Rajbhandari, 31, the runner up of last two editions clocked 3 hour 59 minute 45 second for his maiden title of the Everest Marathon that begin from the Everest base came situated at the altitude of 5,300 meters, and finished at Namche Bazar (3,450 meters).

DB Kulung Rai of Solukhumbu came second with the timing of 4 hour 11 minute 05 second and Tirtha Tamang finished third clocking 4 hour 12 minute 09 second. Tamang who hails from Bhojpur is an athlete of Nepal Army Club.

Along with 35 Nepali male runners, altogether 105 runners from 20 different countries are competing in the main event.The event also includes separate titles for foreign runner and women runners in full marathon half marathon and 60 km ultra race.

Bishnu Bahadur Rana of Indian Army finished the first position clocking 6 hours 01 min 10 sec similarly Gerrit Voortman of Netherlands complete on 6hr 18 min 47 seconds and Mahabir Singh of Indian Army completes on 6hr 30 min 07 sec secure the second and third position on Foreign Categories.  Ang Dami Sherpa , Gerrit Voortman of Netherlands and Mani kala Rai completed race on  6 hours 02 minute 10 second , 6 hours  15 minute 20 second and 7 hours 28 minutes 10 seconds and secure position first second and third of Women categories  of the race. Likewise Nepalese Army personnel Sameer tamang Bed bahadur Sunwar   and Purna Tamang    complete the 60 k Ultra race on 7 hours  56 minute  37 seconds , 8 hours 13 minute 40 seconds and 8 hours 21 minute 35 second .

Gerlinda schimmel of Netherlands complete the half marathon on  5 hours  50 minutes 00 sec came first , likewise Frank Rocktafhcl of United Kingdom came second  with timing  5 hours 50 minutes and 30 seconds and   Pawzik Heike of Germany came third position with timing  7 hours 46 minutes 50 seconds.   

Rajbhandari from Lukla, Solukhumbu district took the lead from Gorak Seph, about 8 km from the starting point and maintained the pole position until finishing point. "I am very much pleased to gain the title in my fourth attempt," said Rajbhandari who was awarded medal, certificate and purse of Rs 100,000 by Andy Sparkes, the Britain's Ambassador to Nepal. 

"I could not have sound training this time and I have reached the base camp yesterday (Tuesday) only," said the 31 year old adding, "I was not hopeful that I shall win the race this time but after crossing Gorak Seph I could not see anyone chasing me when I turned back. Since then I became hopeful of winning the title."

DB Kulung Rai, 21, who started competing in the long distance race since 2009 achieved second position in his very first participation of the highest marathon. "I could have achieved first position had not I stumble down in Gorak Seph and picked knee injury. It took me more than a minute to get up and few more minutes to run," said Rai showing his bruises mark at the knee. "At a moment I wished to quit the race, but I got up and ran." 

Few months earlier Rai had competed in the 65 km Ultra Race from Gorak Seph to Lukla and secured fifth position. In the same ultra race he had secured seventh position on 2012.

According to Bikram Pandey, the president of organizer Himalayan Expedition Nepal, the main aim of organizing the event was to promote Nepal as the tourism destination. "There used  to be few runners in the initial years, but since last few editions the marathon has gain international attention and people around the globe has started arriving Nepal to compete in the event." 

The event, one of the toughest marathons of the world is organized every year by Himalayan Expedition on May 29 for the past 10 years to commemorate the day Tenzing Norgay Sherpa and Edmund Hillay (1953, May 29) conquered Everest for the first time.

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Fairfield by Marriott in Nepal

Nepal Hospitality Group, a part of the business conglomerate MS Group, has signed a management agreement with a subsidiary of Marriott International to open a Fairfield by Marriott hotel in Thamel, Kathmandu.

The Fairfield by Marriott in Thamel, MS Group vice-chairman Shashi Kant Agarwal said, will cater to people who have Kathmandu on their travel agendas. He also said guests would get the quality and consistent hospitality excellence that the Fairfield by Marriott brand offers around the globe.

Simon Cooper, Marriott International´s president and managing director for Asia, said the hotel would commence its services from 2016.

In a statement issued Thursday, Nepal Hospitality Group said the Fairfield by Marriott will feature about a 100 rooms, an all-day dining restaurant with outdoor seating, a bar and a fitness center.

Marriott International Inc is a lodging company based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, with more than 3,800 properties in 74 countries and territories. It reported revenue of nearly $12 billion in Fiscal Year 2012, according to the statement. The company operates and franchises hotels and licensed vacation ownership resorts under 18 brands.

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Soaltee bags TripAdvisor Travellers Choice award

Soaltee Crowne Plaza has won TripAdvisor Travellers´ Choice 2013 Award by receiving the highest appreciation from the guests on TripAdvisor for product and services offered, the hotel said in a statement Thursday. The award is only given to approximately 10 percent of the accommodations listed on TripAdvisor – the ones that consistently achieve outstanding traveler reviews and maintain an overall rating of four or higher, it added.

Soaltee Crowne Plaza Kathmandu, a five-star hotel managed by the InterContinental Hotel Group boasts an array of amenities such as 282 rooms, seven meeting spaces, specialty restaurants and bars, a state-of-the-art fitness center, and a beauty salon, along with various recreational facilities, the statement went on to say.

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Liano becomes first person to climb Everest from both side in a single season

Mr. David Liano of Mexico summited Mt. Everest (8848m) on 11th May 2013 at 08:05 am with Asian Trekking’s Eco Everest Diamond Jubilee Celebration Expedition 2013 as a Team 1 Leader from South Side and from North Side on 19th May 2013 at 04:35 am.
The summit from North Side is his fifth summit on Mt. Everest.  Here is a brief description of David's summit detail and his travel from South side to North Side.

11th May 2013 – Summit of Mt. Everest from South Side with Climbing SherpaSamden Bhote at 08:05 am Nepal Time
12th May 2013 – Camp II – Base Camp – Kathmandu by Helicopter
13th May 2013 – Kathmandu – Friendship Bridge (Boarder of Nepal and China) – Everest North Side Base Camp (5200m)
14th May 2013 – Base Camp – Advance Base Camp (6400m)
15th May 2013 - Rest Day
16th May 19 2013 – North Col (7100m)
17th May 2013 – Camp II (7700m)
18th May 2013 – Camp III (8300m)
19th May 2013 – Summit of Mt. Everest from North Side at 04:35 am Nepal Time with
His achievement has also been recognized by Guinness World Record. He was given a Certificate of “First Person to Climb Both Sides of Mt. Everest in One Season” which was sent by Mr. Craig Glenday Editor in Chief, Guinness World Record. Mr. Frits Vrijlandt, President of UIAA along with Mr. Ang Sherpa, chairman of Asian Trekking and Honoray Member of UIAA handed over the Certificate to Mr. David Liano on 30th May 2013 in Kathmandu.
Asian Trekking family would like to congratulate Mr. David Liano and climbing sherpas, MingmaSherpa, Gyaluk Sherpa and Samden Bhote.

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Sarad Pradhan     Asst. Editor: Sudhan Subedi

Media Center | Nepal Tourism Board

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