Nepal | September 22, 2020

Nepal govt permits autumn mountaineering despite pandemic-restrictions on tourism

Bahrain Royal Expedition to climb Manaslu, Lobuche in autumn season

THT Online
Share Now:

KATHMANDU: The government has decided to allow a high-profile team to climb mountains in the autumn season though the foreign tourists have been restricted to visit the Himalayan nation due to COVID-19 pandemic.

A meeting of the council of ministers held on Sunday took a decision to allow a charter flight from Bahrain to Kathmandu boarding a team of high-profile members of the Bahrain Royal Guard expedition after September 15.

Following the Cabinet decision, a source at the Department of Tourism under the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation confirmed that an 18-member team would attempt to climb Mt Manaslu (8,163 m) and Mt Lobuche (6,119 m) in the autumn season.

The expedition would be led by Prince Mohamed Hamad Mohamed Al Khalifa, the source said, adding that there would be 15 Bahrain nationals and three British citizens in the team. In Bahrain, the expedition is being coordinated by Prince Sheikh Nasser Bin Hamad Al Khalifa.

Mingma Sherpa, Chairman at the Seven Summit Treks, confirmed that his agency would be managing the high-profile military expedition in the autumn season. “We feel proud to be the local handling agency for the Royal Guard Expedition from Bahrain,” Sherpa said, adding that the royal expedition in Nepal’s Himalayas would certainly spread a positive message in the mountaineering world.

“Our agency is fully prepared to handle the expedition by following all health and safety protocols in the times of COVID-19 crisis,” Sherpa said, the expedition would also help revive the country’s tourism sector which is now on its deathbed due to the global pandemic. The expedition would also support over 100 expedition staff including high-altitude climbing Sherpas who were worst hit by the COVID-19 lockdown, he added.

According to sources, the team is expected to arrive in Kathmandu on a private jet on September 16. “The members will certainly follow the quarantine rules and other safety protocols to commence the
expedition,” the sources added.

The expedition members would attempt to climb Mt Lobuche in the Khumbu region for acclimatization. “Then, the royal expedition will fly for Samagaun in the first week of October to begin climbing activities in the world’s eighth highest mountain in the western Nepal.”

According a DoT source, the team members include British nationals Richard Warren McConnel, Phillip Clough and Christopher Anothony.

Bahrain nationals in the team include Ebrahim Mohamed Abdulla Ebrahim Mohamed, Mohamed Ali Jasim Ahmed Alboainain, Arafat Hamood Naji Ghurbah, Ebrahim Khalil Ebrahim Zayed Mohamed Aljazzaf, Ahmed Said Ahmed Isa Alkabbi, Arif Feroz Shah Murad Qalunder Ghulam, Mohamed Adul Rahman Yusuf Alkawari, Khaled Ali Hasan Ebrahim Hasan Aldossery, Abdulaziz Rafea Abbar Khalaf Alabed, Khaled Sultan Mohamed Abdulla Alsheerwai, Murad Mohamed Yusuf Abdul Sayed, Ebrahim Ali Salem Jaber, Saud Hamad Mubarak Hamad Eid and Mohamed Isa Abdulla Yusuf Alqais.

Earlier, the Royal Guard team of Bahrain and expedition operator Seven Summit Treks initiated relief for climbers, guides and their families in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic taking away employment opportunities in different sectors of the economy. The Royal Guard team of Bahrain, in the first phase of support, provided rice, lentils, cooking oil, sugar, and salt to 151 families, Sherpa recounted.

The Royal Guard team also plans to climb Mt Everest in the upcoming spring season, according to Sherpa.

Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Photo Gallery: Rohingya refugees receive relief in Kapan amid COVID-19 crisis

KATHMANDU, SEPTEMBER 21 Hiteri Foundation provided food relief packages to long-persecuted Rohingya Muslim refugees here in Kapan on Sunday, September 20. More than 175 families are taking shelter in Kapan after entering Nepal following a mass exodus from their native Myanamar. Also seen in pi Read More...

100-bed isolation centre in Itahari

ITAHARI, SEPTEMBER 20 Itahari Sub-Metropolitan City has prepared a 100-bed isolation centre. Located on the premises of Itahari Stadium, the isolation centre will come into operation from tomorrow, said Ward Chair Bhupendra Baral. Construction of the isolation centre began on September 11. Read More...

Local level begins search for land to shift Chaurkhani settlement

MYAGDI, SEPTEMBER 20 Search for land to shift the settlement of Chaurkhani in Raghuganga Rural Municipality to a safer place has begun after the Chaurakhani settlement faced threat of landslide. The rural municipality began its search for a safer place because landslide had caused huge cracks Read More...

Bajura woman receives treatment in Kathmandu

BAJURA, SEPTEMBER 20 A 35-year-old woman of Budhinanda Municipality has been struggling with uterine prolapse for the past three years due to lack of money for treatment in Bajura. Raji Tiruwa received treatment in a Kathmandu-based health facility after local newspaper Badimalika Khabar c Read More...

Dhading district

Tanker driver, helper held

DHADING, SEPTEMBER 20 A driver and a helper of a petrol tanker that plunged into the Trishuli River were found today. Police have taken both driver and his helper under control from Mugling, Chitwan, and detained them at Gajuri Area Police Office, Dhading. The tanker ferrying petrol had plu Read More...

Schools preparing to reopen soon

BHAJANI, SEPTEMBER 20 Local levels in Kailali have begun preparation to resume teaching-learning activities in the district. The schools have remained shut for the past six months due to the coronavirus outbreak. Preparations have begun in accordance with the Student Learning Facilitation G Read More...

Money collected for kidney patients

MUGLING, SEPTEMBER 20 A fund raising campaign organised through social medial for a kidney patient has raised Rs 1.18 million. The money was raised for the treatment of 19-year-old Sharmila Gurung of Chaibung in Ward 3 of Icchyakamana Rural Municipality. Sharmila’s both kidneys have failed. Read More...

Dhangadi flights to resume today after six months

DHANGADI, SEPTEMBER 20 Air service at Dhangadi airport, which was suspended for nearly six months due to COVID-19 pandemic, is resuming tomorrow. Private airline Buddha Air will be starting Kathmandu-Dhangadi-Kathmandu flights, according to Chief at Dhangadi Airport Office, Tej Bahadur Budhath Read More...