South Korean Oh Eun-Sun becomes the first woman to summit the 14 highest peaks
According to latest reports on BBC and Explorersweb.com a South Korean climber, Oh Eun-Sun has reached the summit of Annapurna and is claiming a record for becoming the first woman to scale the world’s 14 highest peaks. Her ascent to the summit was telecast live on KBS TV network yesterday (27th April 2010) at 18:15 Korea time (about 3:00pm, local time). Oh Eun-Sun was accompanied by 3 sherpas and 2 KBS camera men: Mr. Ha-Young Jung and Mr. Kwan-Joo Nha.
After a week-long assessment made by the team comprising structural engineer, engineering geologist, a professional mountain guide and the officer of Annapurna Conservation Area Project – A Report on Post Quake Damage Assessment of Annapurna Trekking Region has been released.
The assessment funded by Samarth-NMDP and supported by UKAID was conducted from 25 June 2015 to 2 July 2015 on behalf of Government of Nepal through Ministry of Tourism, Culture & Civil Aviation. The proposal to conduct the Post Quake Damage Assessment in the most popular trekking region of Nepal was made by Intrepid Travels.
During the assessment of 220km of trails the helicopter flyover and the walking was done. The assessment was in made two levels; structurally & geo-technically. Because of weather constraints the stretch from Thorung Phedi to Thorung La Pass was not assessed.
Here we have the results of both aspects in brief.
Structural Assessment Results
The structural aspect of the assessment included the bridges and the buildings of Annapurna Region that involved the areas of Annapurna Circuit Trek from Bhulbhule to Birethanti & areas of Annapurna Base Camp Trek from Pothana to Annapurna Base Camp. Approximately thirty bridges on the trail and 250 accommodations were assessed. Only six accommodations were found structurally damaged during the quake 2015. Majority of minor structural damages in the accommodations were seen in the eastern part of Annapurna Circuit Trail, which lies closer to M 7.8 epicenter. The damages that include stone wall crack and crack in concrete columns can be repaired easily, says the report.
The google map image manifesting level of damages in different areas of Annapurna Trekking Region
In the figure above: The green and the blue lines in the map are the areas with no New Damages and the yellow line manifest moderate New Damages that took place during the quakes 2015.
Overall, only 3% of accommodations in Annapurna region has suffered repairable damages during the quake 2015. The bridges in the Annapurna suffered no damages during the quake.
Most of the trails and villages covered in this assessment of the Annapurna Circuit and Annapurna Sanctuary Areas are undamaged by landslides following the 2015 earthquakes. However, few areas, which didn’t show damages recently fall under high risky areas because of the geographical locations.
In the Figure above: The green marks the percentage of undamaged structures and the red marks the percentage of earthquake-damaged buildings in the 15 villages after the quakes 2015.
Samarth-NMDP says, “In order to manage the risks associated with the hazards identified in the report, we recommend completing a detailed risk-assessment study. This will include assessment of likelihood of failure, occupancy of specific areas of trail and villages and combining these with hazard to assess the risk.”
Towering ice-topped mountains sparkle with the colorful prayer flags, while the fanatical streets of Kathmandu are a ceaseless delirium of honking motorbikes, additionally the historical and religiously important 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites scattered in different corners of Kathmandu: Nepal is thoroughly a vibrant slice of Asia.
If there is a trekkers’ paradise, then beyond doubt Nepal is the first pick. Trials to the base of Himalayas in Nepal offer top-notch trekking terrain – from verdant Annapurna to eminent Everest – sprinkled with rural mountain hamlets, and hundreds of rolling trails that have been trodden upon for centuries.
But divinely and naturally blessed Nepal is indeed not only for mountaineers who set off to clamber the higher elevation; from the lime-green grasslands of Chitwan National Park rustling with the dark grey flash of One-horned rhino, to the eclectic cafés and unconventional vibe of Lake-side Pokhara, Nepal is truly an interesting and convivial destination for all.
As a part of company CSR, six Explore Himalayans toured and trekked around few prominent destinations of Nepal which included Chitwan, Pokhara and Poonhill Trek. The FAM trip involved more fun and of course little bit of work. Field work obviously was focused on visiting our service partners so that we could improve the level of our services offered to the clients. Fun part definitely boosted our work efficiency while on work table . Have a look at a photo essay which highlights the prime attractions of the trip.
Day 1: Drive to Chitwan and transfer to Tigerland Safari Resort
166 km South East of Kathmandu lies the first Wildlife Park of Nepal, Chitwan National Park
One of the biggest Ethnical tribes of Terai Lowlands of Nepal, Tharus have unique history and culture. The tharu stick dance at the resort is an insightful opportunity to peep into rich Tharu culture and history.
Day 2: Bird watching tour at the bank of Rapti River, Elephant wildlife Safari at Chitwan National Park and transfer to Hotel Water Front in Pokhara
Boating or Canoeing in Rapti River inside the Park is wonderful chance to spot different species of birds. Chitwan National Park is the home to 543 species of birds including 160 species of migratory birds.
The total area of 932 sq. km, Chitwan National park offers one of the best Wildlife Safaris in the world on the back of giant Asian Elephant. The Park comprises diverse species of floras in the form of wide grasslands and dense deciduous moist forest.
Birds like peacock and Braminhy Duck are easy spotting in the park whereas endangered bird species like Gould’s sunburn and Slaty-breasted Rail among others can also be spotted here which depends on traveler’s luck.
Chitwan National Park is the home to 43 species of mammals which includes one-horned rhino and Royal Bengal Tiger. Varieties of species of reptiles, insects and amphibians also share the wild habitat.
After the safari and lunch with wonderful hospitality at Tigerland Safari Resort, we drive 146km North West of Chitwan and arrive to TripAdvisors’ ranked hotel of Pokhara, Water Front Resort.
Day 3: Drive to Nayapool in a private vehicle, drive to Kimche in a public vehicle and then trek to Tadapani
Initial view of stunning Mt. Fishtail from Pokhara. The view changes as we climb higher.
One and half hour drive to Naya Pool from Pokhara followed by 1 hour drive brings us to our trek starting point Kimche. The massif of Mt. Fishtail at the backdrop.
Two hours long steep uphill climb on the stone staircases from Kimche brings us to wonderful Gurung hamlet, Ghandruk. The first glimpse of rural lifestyle at Ghandruk.
Almost 4 and half hours of ascending climb followed by the final part of the pleasant walk along the rhododendron and bamboo woods takes us to the major stopover point in the region Tadapani.Places to stop for tea and snacks between Ghandruk and Tadapani- Sitkyu and Bhaisi Kharka
Day 4: Trek to Ghorepani via Deurali
The morning view from Tadapani- From right to left- Fishtail, Gangapurna, Hinchuli and Annapurna South
Three hours of walk on the slippery, icy and rolling trial via Banthati brought us to Deurali 3105m. The view of Gurung Hill from Deurali. Gurung Hill is almost 150m steep uphill climb from Deurali.
One hour up and down from Deurali to Gurung Hill rewards with striking view of Dhaulagiri, Tilicho Peak and Dhampus Peak
One hour walk from Deurali and just before the final descend to Ghorepani the mountains open up even more. The view from the ridge of a hill between Deurali and Ghorepani. Ghorepani is just 45 minutes walk from this point.
Day 4: Early Morning Trek to Poonhill for the sunrise view, trek back to Ghorepani, and trek to Hille via, Nangethati, Banthati, Ulleri and Thirkedunga. Drive to Nayapool and drive back to Lakeside Retreat in Pokhara.
Colorful Nature- Dark Hills, silvern Himalayas, aureate sky and nigrescent cloud during the emerging new sun somewhere in the horizon- a striking view from Poonhill
Color changes in a flash at Poonhill. Wide Himalayan range sprawls right before the eyes.
The section of hills swarming to the wide Range of Dhaulagiri Himalayan Range, yet another contrast view from Poonhill- Anyone would call this place a paradise
Dhaulagiri witnesses the expression of love! Where else in the world people can find such a romantic place?
Day 6: Boating at Fewa Lake in Pokhara
A sacred Hindu shrine, Taal Barahi Temple in the middle of Fewa Lake
Tranquil Fewa Lake, colorful boats and sacred small island- A place to enjoy serenity in Pokhara
Poonhill, the most frequented trekking destination in Nepal offers diverse highlights of nature and culture. Panoramic views of Himalayas including Annapurna and Dhaulagiri Ranges adorned with the matchless Fishtail, awe-inspiring sunrise and sunset and the cultural paramount of ethnical Gurung tribe are the major highlights of Poonhill Trek. Mr. John Kammersgaard and Ms. Anne Nielsen from Denmark through our exclusive country partner Kipling Travel shared their Poonhill Trek experience in the below mentioned way.
Trek to Poonhill and the guide on the trek Lama Babu Sherpa is what we will remember rest of our lives. Wonderful guide on the breathtakingly outstanding trial made the trek one of our best memories.
The service of Explore Himalaya was great. On the arrival day to Kathmandu we knew we are in the safe hands of professionals.
For the fellow travelers we recommend Thamel House for the authentic Nepalese food and for the coffee Himalayan Java has no match in the city.
The soft trek to Ghorepani Poonhill is full with scenic Himalayan views along the dense tropical vegetation and the best cultural display of Gurung ethnics which is specially designed for the families. The itinerary slots in enough time for cultural outlook in the traditional villages dominated by the brave British Gurkha Armies, Gurungs. Every campsite on the trek is full of life; trekkers can join the crew and the villagers in fun activities like dancing, singing and playing. The trial on the trek goes through the magnificent oak and rhododendron forests and slides up to alpine meadows that offer the feast to the eyes with the stunning views of the Annapurna Range. Poonhill, itself is the destination full of amazing things. The wide range of Mountain views including Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, Fishtail, Twache and many more from Poonhill are exceedingly beautiful during the sunrise.
Ms. Melanie Morillon from Denmark through our exclusive country partner Kipling Travelhad to say few lines on Poonhill Trek she had with us this autumn.
Every moment I spent in Pokhara, the trial highlights on the trek to Poonhill and the cultural and natural aspects I got to see in Tadapani and Ghandruk are the best memories of this trip.
The operation of Explore Himalaya throughout the trip was excellent and the staffs and guides were very professional.