January 18: Winter season is considered hostile for climbing mountains in Nepal. Nevertheless, mountaineers from 11 countries including Nepal have been granted permission to climb mountains during this season.
The Department of Tourism has given climbing permits to 44 climbers of nine expedition teams from Nepal, India, Switzerland, Oman, Egypt, Turkey, USA, Qatar, Mexico, Spain and Italy since the start of climbing season this winter.
The Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation had opened trekking and expedition for foreigners from October 17 amid coronavirus pandemic. The ministry had issued a standard health protocol which the foreigners had to follow if they were interested in visiting Nepal to climb mountains.
Officials at the department believe that the government’s decision to open the trekking and expedition industry for foreign tourists has contributed a lot to the ailing economy.
According to the department, Nepal, Spain and the USA have the highest number of climbers this season. Altogether 21 climbers from Nepal, 10 from Spain, four from USA and the remaining nine have received permits this season.
The government has collected royalty of Rs 879,000 from the climbers.
Meanwhile, a ten-member Nepali team, which also included Nirmal Purja, on Saturday climbed Mount K2 of Pakistan for the first time in history during winter season. The success of Nepali team is expected to boost mountaineering activities in the country.