Nepal has achieved an unprecedented success in receiving tourists in 2018 with a record of 1,001,930 arrivals between January-November. According to Nepal Tourism Board, the month September alone has the record of 91, 820 visitors, a 33.8 percent increase compared to last year! The tourism arrival got the momentum throughout the peak tourist season between October-November. However, the total count doesn’t include overland visitors, which would have further increased the figure. India became the top source market with 260,124 visitors followed by China with a total of 134,362 Chinese tourist arrivals. The United States, Britain and Germany were enlisted as third, fourth and fifth source countries respectively.
“The growth can be attributed to concerted efforts of Government of Nepal, Nepal Tourism Board, private sector travel trade and media towards promotion of overall tourism sector in the international tourism arena,” said Deepak Raj Joshi, Chief Executive Officer of Nepali Tourism Board. Tourism industry of Nepal considers the record as crucial in Nepal’s tourism history as it indicates a brighter future to further realize the tourism potentials ahead of Visit Nepal Tourism Year 2020. Nepal had the record 940,218 tourist arrivals in 2017.
This spring ,Explore Himalaya organized Everest Base Camp Trek for,” All Hands Volunteers”, world’s leading disaster relief organization powered by volunteers with headquarters based in the US. The trek named as All Hands on Everest Challenge included a total of 21 members from various walks of life but with a common goal of rebuilding schools in the Nuwakot district. The group collectively raised more than 60,000 USD for the rebuilding works in Nuwakot.
The team started their trip flying to Lukla on the 23rd of June. Making an altitude shift from 1400m to straight 2850m, the members hiked up for 3 hours to a small village Phakding.
The next day, they walked up to Namche Bazaar (3330m), the Sherpa Capital; where they also rested a day for acclimatization. With a short hike up to Syangboche Airstrip – the drop zone for Everest Skydive, they spent the day drinking coffee, eating pies and doing some last minute shopping.
The following day, the group hiked up to the Buddhist lighthouse of the region- Tengboche, where they visited the famous Tengboche Monastery and witnessed a group of Lamas chanting prayers. With the clouds clearing up the next day, the group saw the magnificent views of Himalayan giants like Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, and Amadablam, and headed up to Dingboche.
With just a few days remaining for the main goal of reaching Everest Base Camp, the team members further prepared themselves by making an acclimatization hike up to 4600m. The next day, the group started early and walked up to Lobuche, a small settlement below Lobuche peak (6119m). The place mainly caters the needs of tourists moving to Base Camp. As the place offers spectacular views of mountains, the members spent their afternoon climbing up the moraines and taking photographs. It was an early night for the members as the next day was long towards the Base Camp and back to Gorakshep (5180m).
All the members made it successfully up to the base camp on a very special date of 29th May. The Mighty Everest was conquered by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa on the same day. The team also got a chance to witness the 11th edition of the world’s highest marathon- Tenzing-Hillary Everest Marathon held annually on the same day. The group then stayed overnight at Gorakshep as there are no lodges further to this point.
The next major goal for the team was to climb up to Kalapatthar at (5550m) which is the vantage point for Everest. The group got ready next day before the sunrise and trek further. “Harder the Climb Better the View”, the climb was strenuous one but the members were rewarded with breathtaking views of spectacular mountains like Pumori, Linftrend, Changtse, Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse, Amadablam, and Thamserku. Spending some time on the top, the group descended down to Pheriche, making lunch stop at Thugla, where there are memorials of the great climbers who lost their lives during the attempt to the summit.
After completing the most challenging days of the trek, the group descended pretty easily making night stops in KyangJuma, Monjo, and Lukla. On the 3rd June, all the members boarded the plane of Goma Air to Kathmandu. Upon arrival in Kathmandu, the group had some free time for their own. Later, they had dinner watching the Nepalese Cultural Dance. It was a great night as they all shared their memories, experiences about the treks. They sang and danced all night long.
Overall, the trip was a real success as all the members of the group reached the Base Camp and achieved the main goal of the trek. We, Explore Himalaya consider ourselves honored to be a part of this great cause and would like to thank All Hands Volunteers and the amazing team who have been doing so much for our country and countrymen.
Photographs Courtesy:Tom Vickers
A group of 21 trekkers led by All Hands representative Ashley Coral flew to Lukla today morning to begin their trek to Everest Base Camp, 5357m. Twelve days trek to the base camp of world’s tallest mountain is considered one of the adventurous treks across the world. The mission named All Hands on Everest has 12 Americans, five British & one each Canadian, Filipino, Vietnamese & a Bulgarian. Canadian Italian Actor Giacomo Gaanniotti also is the member of the group.
“All Hands Volunteers is US based non-profit organization empowered by volunteers who are expert in addressing the instant and long-term necessities of the communities suffering due to the natural calamities. They respond right away to such disaster hit regions, make attempts to recover what they have lost and renew these communities with innovative ideas to bring them back to normalcy.”
The trek that takes these young trekkers as high as Kalapattar, 5545m will be led by our veteran trek Guide Nima Tamang. Before their departure the group yesterday evening had a brief session that focused on safety measures trekkers should remember during the high altitude trek like Everest Base Camp Trek.
The remoteness of the place itself is the best part of this trek. The trek provides an opportunity to encounter with Sherpa lifestyle at Bedding; the largest settlement of Rolwaling famous for Mountaineering sports. The diverse floras and faunas, the landscapes along with the mesmerizing views of mountains like Gaurishankar, Melungtse are additional highlights. With regular ascend and descend on the hills, this trek offers you the ultimate reward when you find yourself standing besides the magnificent Tsho Rolpa Lake(4580m).
This trek further can be extended and merged with Everest Base Camp Trek. After the completion of Rolwaling Trek, trekkers can emerge at Khumbu. From here, Everest Base Camp Trek can be continued, crossing the Tashi Lapcha Pass. However, the mixture of Camping Trek and Tea House Trek will result this trip to be a bit expensive.
“After the thorough assessment by Miyamoto International, US based Engineering Firm and our recent client experience, we are delighted to declare that Everest Base Camp Trek and other treks in Everest Region are absolutely safe to trek.”
“Everest Base Camp Trek, the most sought walking escapade that takes trek aficionados as high as 5545m (Kalapattar) is throughout a thrilling adventure. Our tailor made trek to the base camp of Everest supported by veteran Sherpa Guides and top-notch gears allows proper acclimatization.”
“Continuing to walk along the trails of rolling hills, trekkers cross pass diverse climatic regions and the diverse forestlands frequently encountering amazing Sherpa culture in highland Sherpa hamlets and vibrant Buddhist monasteries in these villages.”
En route take your time to savor the amazing blend of nature and culture at Tengboche as the monastery caters unparallel view of Mt. Ama Dablam at its backdrop. Until Tengboche, the trek is relatively easier as it is still below 4000m.
The strenuous section of the trek begins beyond Tengboche and hence trekkers need to cope with the thinner air in elevated Himalayan Region. However, our expertise in organizing high altitude treks allows trekkers for prior and proper acclimatization and hence that would not be a problem.
Standing at the base camp of Everest from where avid mountaineers like Hillary, Tenzing, Taibe and Appa Sherpa started their journeys to the summit of mighty Everest no doubt enhances the greed to conquer the beautiful white beast soaring right before eyes. Eventually, the walk to the top of Kalapattar 5545m, the mountain of black rock, which is the vantage point to sight the whole view of Everest, is the last major highlight of Everest Base Camp Trek before retracing the trail back to Lukla.