Namaste and greetings from Nepal.
I am very pleased to let you know that our Eco Everest Expedition 2008, in partnership with ICIMOD (International Center for Integrated Mountain Development) and UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme), was very successful in creating widespread awareness on global warming. As you know the expedition was the brain-child of my son, Dawa Steven who led the expedition. He reached the summit of Mt. Everest on 26 May. Earlier, he climbed to the summit of Mt. Lhotse (8516m) on 21 May. I wish to personally thank all the team members, institutions, and well-wishers for their support.
Apa Sherpa broke his own record by ascending Mt. Everest for the 18th time. Apa said in an interview in Salt Lake City before coming to Kathmandu that his participation in the Eco-Everest effort was an opportunity to talk about the issue of global warming and the threat it poses to the people of the Himalayan highlands. Speaking as the Chief Guest during the ICIMOD workshop on Climate Change Impact in the Himalaya – “Glacier Lake Outburst Flood Awareness” in Namche on 25th April, Apa Sherpa said “…. global warming is melting the ice in our mountains and the ice is turning into big lakes… when Dig Tsho burst in 1985 my neighbors and I lost almost all we had. I am very happy to support in spreading awareness about this problem….”
On 29th May 2008 a special function was organized in Kathmandu by the Nepal Government, the Nepal Tourism Board (NTB), the Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA), and travel related organizations to declare the 29th of May as International Mt. Everest Day in honor of the first ascent of the world’s highest peak by Tenzing Norgay and Sir Ed Hillary on the same date in 1953. At the function Apa Sherpa was the Chief Guest and was honored and felicitated by various organizations. Min Bahadur Sherchan of Nepal became the first person to reach the summit of Mt. Everest at an age of 76 years, 11 months, and 6 days was honored and felicitated by the NTB and NMA at the same function.
Meagan McGrath was honored for her efforts in rescuing Usha Bista on Mt. Everest in 2007. Meagan, climbing with the Dream Everest Expedition was the first to recognize the life-threatening symptoms of Usha Bista below the “Balcony” at an altitude of 8400m. Meagan was the first to initiate rescue efforts. Lhakpa Rita Sherpa, Dave Hahn, Casey Grom, and Michael Haugen were also felicitated for their efforts in rescuing Usha Bista and saving her life. Hundreds of Nepalese and foreign Mt. Everest summitters were awarded the Mt. Everest Commemorative medal.
The UAAA(Union of Asian Alpine Association) Council Meeting was also held on 29 May 2008 in Kathmandu. The UAAA website: www.uaaa-asia.org was launched that day. It has been decided to organize the UAAA Member countries Joint Expedition in the Spring of 2009 to Langshisa Ri in the Langtang region, and to hold the International Mountain Environment Symposium in Nepal in 2009.
Following the revision of mountaineering permit fees by the Nepal Government we have also revised our expedition services rates. The details are our website: www.astrek.com or www.astrek.com/asiantrekking. Please let us know if we can help in any manner to organize your climb in Nepal. Also on our website are the peaks in mid and far western Nepal declared by the Nepal Government’s that all permits will be free for all opened peaks in these regions for the next five years. This offers a good opportunity for climbers of the world to discover new and more challenging climbing routes on some of the greatest mountains of the world. Please let us know if you want to climb any of these peaks.
We are still optimistic that expeditions and tours will be permitted in Tibet this Autumn. We have attached revised prices for Tibet for your information should in case the area opens.
In the coming days you will see on our website some new and innovative programs launched by Asian Trekking of the ASTREK Group:
Special “Off-the-beaten-track” itineraries.
Community based Eco-projects in the Khumbu
Interactive Programs for youths and young business executives
In the meantime – please do keep in touch and let us know if there is any way in which can be of assistance.
Ang Tshering Sherpa