Nepalgunj, September 29

A team of foreign climbers today left for Bajhang district to attempt to make a ski descent from Mt Saipal (7,031 m) in far-western Nepal.

According to Jiban Ghimire, managing director at Shangri-La Nepal Treks, a ski expedition team led by American climber Forrest Coots would attempt to ski down the top of Mt Saipal next month.

“The team will not only attempt to climb the majestic mountain, but it will also explore the ski potential in the region,” team leader Coots said.

As the mountains in the Everest or Annapurna regions always get high attention from foreign climbers, the ski team would want to help the remote region of the country that most of the travelers often want to avoid from their bucket list, he added.

According to Coots, the team includes BenardSturgulewski, Jason Thompson, Tyler Jones and Will Lascelles from the US and Chad Sayers from Canada. “We will attempt to climb the mountain in alpine style then make ski descent from the top,” he said.Ghimire, who is handling the expedition, said they had obtained both ski and climbing permits from the Department of Tourism.

Besides Saipal ski expedition, Mt Api in the far-western region also received a group of climbers this season after drawing a blank for over 17 years.

Bishnu Prasad Mainali, managing director at Campobase Trek and Expedition Pvt Ltd, said a team of climbers from Czech Republic today set up Camp II to attempt to climb the peak. “After a long struggle, the team finally made it to the mountain from the southern route,” he said. Earlier, the eight-member team abandoned their trek from the north-west route after multiple landslides hit the trail.

The Mt Api team led by PavelMatousek comprises Olga Novakova, Michal Vyroubal, Sylva Talla, Antonin Belik, VitAuermuller, Michael Hron and PavlaPilchova as members.

The 7,132-metre mountain drew a blank for 17 years since a Japanese expedition made it to summit of Mt Api in 2001. “If weather permits, the Czech team will make a summit push within a couple of days,” Mainali said.

The team wanted to spread the message to the mountaineering fraternity that far-western Nepal has a wide range of mountains to conduct adventure activities, he added.