Nepal | August 08, 2020

Nepali, Canadian mountaineers to scale ‘virgin’ Nepal peaks

Rajan Pokhrel
Share Now:
Elia Saikaly and Pasang Kaji Sherpa

FILE- Elia Saikaly and Pasang Kaji Sherpa climbing a peak. Photo: Facebook

KATHMANDU: With the year’s autumn climbing activities gaining momentum in Nepal, the country’s ‘virgin’ peaks which have been named after the legendary mountaineers – Tenzing Norgay Sherpa and Edmund Hillary – are all set to receive the first ever climbers, according to the Department of Tourism.

Gyanendra Shrestha, a DoT official, said that the Department issued climbing permits to a three-member team to commence expeditions on Tenzing Peak (7,916 m) and Hillary Peak (7,681 m).

Though the registered team is led by veteran climber Gabriel Filippi, only two members – Canadian climber Elia Saikaly and Nepal’s Pasang Kaji Sherpa – are attempting to climb the peaks this season, Babu Sherpa, Managing Director at Mountain Tribes Trek, said.

According to the DoT, Mt Hillary and Mt Tenzing lie between Mt Cho Oyu and Mt Gyachung Kang.

“It is the very first team to attempt to climb both peaks after the government opened the mountains for climbing in 2014 after naming the peaks after Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary.”

“Elia and Pasang Kaji have already reached Khumbu area to attempt to climb the peaks,” he said, adding that Gabriel decided to return to Canada after suffering minor injuries.

Elia Saikaly and Pasang Kaji Sherpa

Elia Saikaly (left) and Pasang Kaji Sherpa. Photos: Facebook

“They are attempting something that has never been before,” he added.

The weather is very challenging as are the circumstances in overall, the Canadian climber shared after reaching near Gokyo area in the Everest region.

“Today, we are challenged immensely by circumstances beyond our control and the outcome is uncertain and danger lies at every turn,” Elia shared, “The unknown route is humbling and damn right intimidating.”

Saikaly and Sherpa stood on top of the world for the second time in 2013 while they garnered a CINE Golden Eagle award for their work on the ‘On the Top’ reality TV series.

The Discovery Channel series would feature Sherpa on the fore front.

Saikaly, who has scaled five of the seven summits, has participated in six Himalayan climbs and led youth expeditions. “We wanted a challenge, well here it is. An opportunity to soar or crumble…”

According to Saikaly, they had narrowly escaped the Everest avalanche that tragically claimed the lives of 16 Sherpas in 2013 as they were trapped above the devastating aftermath at the Camp 1 for four days before climbing down through the Icefall to safety at the base camp.

In 2015, they had come face to face with a 1500-foot tidal wave of snow that wiped out the central base camp after the devastating earthquake struck Nepal killing over 9,000 people.

“For now, it is all about hitting reset, unlocking the route and finding our way forward to the next tiny step. Upwards we climb. Bound by our unified strength,” Saikaly added.



Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Coronavirus , vaccines, vaccines trails

Are we thinking about COVID-19 vaccines yet?

It is now clear that for Nepal, like every other country, vaccines are going to have a crucial role in getting rid of the COVID-19 pandemic. What are we doing to source a vaccine when it becomes available?  Many countries understand that every month’s delay in deploying vaccines for COVID-19 w Read More...

Air India repatriation flight crash-lands, at least 17 killed

KOZHIKODE: At least 17 people were killed and more than 100 injured when an Air India Express passenger plane repatriating Indians stranded by the COVID-19 pandemic overshot the runway in heavy rain near the southern city of Kozhikode on Friday, officials said. The Boeing-737 flight from Dubai to Read More...

Government casts doubt on August 17 resumption of flights, rules out complete lockdown

Khatiwada casts doubt on August 17 resumption of flights Requests the public not to panic KATHMANDU, AUGUST 7 The government has ruled out another complete lockdown, the kind that was imposed on March 24. Unveiling recent decisions taken by the Cabinet, Spokesperson for the governme Read More...

War of words hots up in ruling Nepal Communist Party

KATHMANDU, AUGUST 7 Factions led by Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and Co-chair of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Pushpa Kamal Dahal and senior leader Madhav Kumar Nepal have escalated their war of words, with Oli's Political Adviser Bishnu Rimal warning party Spokesperson Narayan Kaji Shre Read More...

Government urged to guarantee citizenship rights of minorities

KATHMANDU, AUGUST 7 Nepal’s denial of human rights protection and government service to non-citizens makes the establishment of citizenship particularly important, especially for marginalised and disadvantaged people, reads a report released by the International Commission of Jurists yesterday. Read More...

Teachers vandalise campus chief’s office

POKHARA, AUGUST 7 Part-time teachers of Prithvi Narayan Campus of Pokhara vandalised the campus chief’s office today, accusing him and the concerned university of being apathetic towards their demands for a long time. The teachers and their organisation, Part-time Teachers’ Association, ha Read More...

World Breastfeeding Week-2020 amidst COVID

KATHMANDU, AUGUST 7 As the world marks Breastfeeding Week amidst the COVID-19 pandemic spread, World Health Organisation and partners are focusing on increasing mothers’ access to skilled breastfeeding support, calling on governments to protect and promote skilled counselling, a critical compon Read More...

Sagarmatha Zonal hospital in Rajbiraj. Photo: THT

Gajendra Narayan Singh Hospital shuts down services

RAJBIRAJ, AUGUST 7 Services have been closed at Gajendra Narayan Singh Hospital of Rajbiraj after as many as 34 health workers of the hospital have been confined to isolation and quarantine facilities. According to the hospital’s Acting Medical Superintendent Dr Ranjit Kumar Jha, surgical an Read More...