KATHMANDU: After two months since the world climbers returned from the Mt Manaslu expedition, the Department of Tourism under the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation has resumed the issuance of summit certificates by authenticating their successful summits of the world’s eighth highest peak.
Mountaineering section chief at DoT, Indiresh Dahal, said that all Manaslu climbers could receive the government certificates now onwards after submitting a few documents as other climbers did in the past. It means that the climbers who claimed to have summitted the Mt Manaslu by avoiding the main summit point (8,163 m) in the autumn climbing season can also be eligible for the government papers.
Since mid-November, the DoT had halted the certificate distribution after THT disclosed that most of the climbers claimed of having summitted the peak without reaching the main summit point.
“Any climber can now collect the certificates by presenting a summit photo and three letters – one each from respective liaison officer, expedition leader and the trekking agency,” Dahal said referring to a provision of the Mountaineering Expedition Regulation–2002.
The Regulation states: The ministry shall provide a certificate of mountaineering expedition to the team and the members of such team for successful expedition in the format as prescribed in schedule 13.
“The DoT has already issued summit certificates to a few climbers authenticating their claims of reaching to the summit point at 8,163 metres on Mt Manslu, in the last two days,” an officer, who failed to give the details, said. “However, the DoT does not have the actual data of total Manaslu summiteers in the last autumn season till date.”
Summit certificates on sale!
As the liaison officers of the respective expeditions charged more than USD 2,000, and did not accompany the members to the mountain, the government officers were obliged to recognise their summit claims though whether the climbers made it to the main summit point was questionable, a DoT official admitted, “Summit certificates on sale!”
The DoT does not have any mechanism or technology to verify their claims, he added.
Expedition organisers claimed that over 150 climbers, including foreigners and Sherpas, stood atop the peak on September 30 and October 1 while 90 per cent of the climbers, however, did not stand atop the main summit point.
Russell Brice, the team leader for an 11-member Himalayan Experience Manaslu Expedition shared in his official newsletter that nobody actually reached the true summit of Mt Manaslu this season.
“And before our teams left the Camp IV to go to the summit, we asked if they (rope fixing team members) had fixed ropes to the main summit and they told us that they had…so we never took any extra rope. But, in fact, they had not fixed to ropes to the main summit. They fixed to the final ridge…but not to the main summit,” he stated in the newsletter.
According to him, climbers had not reached the main summit for the second year in a row.
“So in fact for the second year in a row…. nobody actually reached the true summit of Mt Manaslu despite Seven Summits making big claims that so many of their members and Sherpas reached the summit of Mt Manaslu… they lied and none of their members reached the summit. Nor did anyone else,” the experienced mountaineer and expedition leader who has been guiding in the Himalayas since 1974 further shared.
Climbers admitted that it was tough to reach to the main summit at the altitude of 8,163 metres as the point is quite tiny and can accommodate only two persons at a time.
No control over mountains?
The DoT Director Durga Datta Dhakal also admitted that the government has lost its control over mountains. “Activities in the Himalayas are beyond our control,” he told THT Online.
A DoT official also recounted several instances ranging from Chinese climber Wang Jing’s Everest summit claim to authorisation of the doctored photographs of Indian police climbers saying that such activities were the result of impunity and corruption in the government mechanisms. This year’s Manaslu case presented a win-win situation for all – the government officials, commercial expedition organisers and climbers, he quipped.
According to the DoT record, Russell Brice, Suguru Takano, Alvaro Sebestian Aldana, Johann Goger, Sangho Lee, Cipcigan Vasile, Guillermo Benegas, Kenichi Kubu, Sean Joseph David James, Une Kristin Groenstein Prestholt, Okcha Oxana Mopheba and Arnold Coster among others led the expeditions to Mt Manslu in the autumn season.
The DoT had deputed the government officials including Naba Raj Jaisi, Dhyan Kumar Rai, Jiwan Chandra Rai, Iswori Dhakal, Om Prakash Devkota, Tek Narayan Paudel, Ram Prasad Sapkota, Sachindra Kumar Yadav, Indiresh Dahal, Jiwan Acharya, Deepak Koirala, Chandra Prasad Phuyal, Rekha Pandey, Padma Shrestha, Ramesh Adhikari, Khem Raj Aryal and Narayan Dahal as the liaison officers on Mt Manaslu.
KATHMANDU: Had Covid-19 not been prevalent, people from around the world would have visited Bandipur, also known as 'Queen of Hills' in Tanahun district, during the 'Visit Nepal 2020' campaign. Nestled in the foothills, Bandipur is one of the oldest settlements of ethic Newari community. Tour Read More...
KATHMANDU: Nepal’s Health Ministry, in its regular press briefing, shared the latest updates on coronavirus contagion from across the country, and government’s response to the health crisis. Till date,1,434,053 tests through Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) method have been carried out, of wh Read More...
LONDON: A flurry of goals either side of halftime from Eddie Nketiah, Joe Willock and Nicolas Pepe gave Arsenal a comfortable 3-0 Europa League win over Irish side Dundalk on Thursday that puts them top of their group after two games. The 2019 League of Ireland champions defended bravel Read More...
ANTWERP: Belgian league leaders Antwerp secured a shock 1-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur and AC Milan extended their unbeaten run to 23 games as they won 3-0 against Sparta Prague in the Europa League on Thursday, while Arsenal cruised to a 3-0 win over Dundalk. Veteran striker Lior Ref Read More...
BRUSSELS/WASHINGTON: Faced with a veto from the United States, the World Trade Organization has two unpalatable options for selecting its next leader - override its biggest paymaster with a vote or hope for a change of US president and wait until he takes charge. With just days to go before t Read More...
New Zealand has provisionally voted to legalise euthanasia but is on course to reject law changes that would allow recreational marijuana use, the country's Electoral Commission said on Friday. New Zealand voted on the two referendums this month while casting ballots during a general election Read More...
SRINAGAR: Militants shot dead three young workers of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's party in Kashmir late on Thursday, days after his government changed laws allowing people from the rest of the country to buy land in the disputed region. Many Kashmiris have been simmering with anger Read More...
CHICAGO: Long before Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden announced her as his running mate, Kamala Harris was the target of widespread online misinformation. Social media posts included racist claims that she was ineligible to serve in the White House or that she was lying about her Bla Read More...