With “National Pride” at Stake, Nepal Prepares to Remeasure the Height of Mt. Everest.

Nepal has announced plans to go ahead with a planned survey to remeasure the height of Mt. Everest, citing “National Pride” as a reason it is proceeding with the delicate, time consuming, and costly operation. The surveying expedition is expected to take up to two years to complete, and cost somewhere int he neighborhood of $250,000.

For decades the accepted official height of Mt. Everest has stood at 8848 meters (29,029 ft), although there has been some controversy surrounding that figure. For instance, the Chinese measured the summit in 2005 as 8844 meters (29,015 ft), with surveyors claiming that was the altitude without snow on the summit. Meanwhile, a 1999 GPS survey by the National Geographic Society lists the height as 8850 meters (29,035 ft), further confusing the subject.

So what’s the real height? Nepal is embarking on an ambitious plan to find out, and has rebuked any outside help. The country that claims dominion over the South Side of the mountain has never measured the height of Everest on its own, and is now intent on doing the fact that neighboring India has already announced its own plans to measure the mountain again as well.

The impetus behind these recent plans to survey the mountain once again come following the devastating earthquake that hit Nepal back in 2015. It is believed that the seismic forces that caused that disaster may have also caused Everest to shrink in height. Most reports indicate that the mountain probably only lost an inch or so, but that was enough to spur on talks of remeasuring the peak, with India first announcing its plans to send a survey team, and Nepal quickly following.

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Visiting Everest? You’ll Soon Have to Pay a Little More.

Planning on trekking to Everest Base Camp in the future? If so, it looks like you’ll have to pay a bit more as the local government in Nepal has instituted a new fee. But don’t panic, it isn’t enough to cancel your plans or break your pocket book.

According to The Himalayan Times, the Khumbu Pasang Lhamu Rural Municipality in the Solukhumbu District – which is where Everest is located – had decided to impose an entry fee on all foreign visitors. The new fee will go into effect on October 1 and will set travelers back Rs 2000. That equates to about $20.

According to the new constitution passed in Nepal, local governments now have the right to impose such taxes and fees. This is the first time that any region has taken advantage of this option however, as the local government looks to claim a bit of revenue from the more than 35,000 people that visit the Khumbu Valley each year. Most come for trekking and mountaineering purposes.

The money will be used to create improvements in infrastructure throughout the Khumbu and to promote sustainable tourism in the region as well. But, the fear is that the money will be mismanaged by the local government, with much of the revenue somehow finding its way into the hands of politicians rather than actually being put to good use. There are also concerns about more districts across Nepal following suit, possibly charging an entry fee every time a traveler comes and goes. If that were to become the case, it could get a lot more expensive to visit Nepal, keeping some tourists from ever going there.

For now, plans are moving ahead to impose the new tax, despite protests from within the tourism sector. Just what kind of impact it will have remains to be seen however, but it is important that travelers know what to expect when they arrive. A $20 fee isn’t too serious, but multiple $20 fees start to add up quickly. Plan accordingly and take advantage of the time that you spend in a region, particularly the Solukhumbu area. Hopefully, this will be an exception to the rule for traveling in Nepal and not the new normal.

Autor : Kraig Becker

* source: –Visiting Everest? You’ll Soon Have to Pay a Little More

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Happy 40th Anniversary Outside Magazine!

2017 marks the 40th anniversary of Outside magazine, and the venerable periodical has been celebrating all year long with a number of special articles. But now, the Outside website has launched an official anniversary section that is a stroll down memory lane for those of us who have read it for years, serving as an amazing look back at some of the most memorable stories of all time.

On the webpage for the 40th anniversary you’ll find reflections on what it was like to publish Jon Krakauer’s seminal work Into Thin Air, how the magazine survived a tumultuous time in the late 90’s when many of its writers moved on, and much more. You’ll find current stories about an antarctic expedition that went terribly wrong, a look at whether or not Lance Armstrong actually regrets doping, and a story about Reinhold Messner and Peter Habler climbing Everest without oxygen for the very first time. You’ll also find a nice piece on the the stories that have inspired the Outside team, and a thoughtful letter from the editorreflecting on the past 40 years.

For fans of the outdoors, adventure, and exploration there is a lot to take in on this single webpage alone. In fact, almost every story there is worth a read and you’ll probably find yourself finishing up one, just to move on to the next. Some of the articles are classics from Outside‘s past, while others are fascinating stories of things happening right now. In short, it is a wonderful mix of why we have come to love the magazine so much over the past 40 years. For four decades it has found ways to educate, fascinate, and inspire. Hopefully that won’t end anytime soon.

Here’s to 40 more years Outside!

Check out the 40th anniversary page here.

Autor : Kraig Becker

* source: –  Happy 40th Anniversary OutsideMagazine!

** see also: –

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20 Great Trekking Routes From Around the Globe.

Already hiked the Inca Trail, added Kilimanjaro to your resume, and walked to Everest Base Camp? Looking for some new trekking routes to explore? Never fear, National Geographic has you covered with a wonderful list of 20 epic trails from around the world that can quench your thirst for adventure.

The list includes some well known routes, like the GR20 on Corsicaand the Snowman Trek in Bhutan, as well as some lesser known trekking trails, such as the Israel National Trail and the North Drakensberg Traverse in South Africa. You’ll find familiar routes like the Great Himalaya Trail in Nepal, and ones that are much lesser known, but just as unique, like the West Highland Way in Scotland. In short, there are hikes in just about every corner of the globe, and for every kind of backpacker, travelers, or explorer.

Each of the entries on the Nat Geo list is accompanied by a fantastic photo to illustrate the scenery found there, as well as information on the route’s length, the best time to go, and why you should go at all. There is also a detailed description of what to expect while walking the route, with handy tips on weather, level of difficulty, camping options, and much more.

If you follow my blog with any regularity, it will probably come as no surprise that my favorite hike on the list is Shackleton Route on South Georgia Island, a place I was luck enough to visit a few months back. The trail was the one taken by Ernest Shackleton and his men as they made their way across the island back in 1916, and while I only got the chance to walk a short section of it, it is indeed utterly spectacular. I’d love to go back and do the full route at some point, although logistics are an issue when getting to and from South Georgia. Still, if you ever have the opportunity to do this walk yourself, I highly recommend it.

Check out the entire list here of epic trails here.

Autor : Kraig Becker

* source: – 20 Great Trekking Routes From Around the Globe

** see also: –  https://himalman.wordpress.com/category/video/

Video: The Trek to Everest Base Camp.

Earlier today I posted an update from the Himalaya on the progress of the climbing teams there. Most of those teams are now en route to Everest Base Camp on the South Side of the mountain. If you’ve ever wondered what that trek is like, or what the mountaineers see on the way, this video is a great example of that experience. It was shot last year in April and should be a good representation of what is happening in the Khumbu Valley at this very moment. Having made this trek myself, this video brings back some great memories. This is a special, beautiful part of the world and I recommend that everyone visits it at some point.

Autor : Kraig Becker

* source: – Video: The Trek to Everest Base Camp

** see also: –  https://himalman.wordpress.com/category/video/

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Video: A View From the Summit of Lhotse.

Earlier today we shared several stories involving Lhotse, the next-door neighbor of Everest. In this video, you’ll go up the mountain to get a look at the surrounding region from must below the summit, including the view back down the approach to the top, and images of Everest itself. As you look across to the tallest mountain on the planet, you’ll also see the ridge that connects the two mountains. That ridge is the way that Ueli Steck will traverse the two summits later this spring. The clip was shot back in 2008, but will still give you an indication of what he’ll face in a month and a half. Obviously not a project for the faint of heart.

Autor : Kraig Becker

* source: – Video: A View From the Summit of Lhotse

** see also: –  https://himalman.wordpress.com/category/video/

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Everest Climbing Gear – Then and Now.

National Geographic has another interesting article and photo gallery up today, this time taking a look at the past and present gear used on Everest. The slideshow contains a number of fantastic images, and each one focuses on a particular topic, such as “communications” and “insulation layers,” with information what was used when Hillary and Norgay completed the first ascent, versus the gear that the rank and file mountaineers are using now.

Today’s climbers are outfitted with highly technical apparel, a host of gadgets, and gear that offers an amazing weight-to-performance ratio. Everything from the boots they wear to the tents they stay in have improved dramatically over the past 60+ years. With all of the advanced fabrics and space-age materials at our disposal, it is easier to climb lighter, faster, and more comfortably than ever before, which is part of the reason so many more people are making the attempt.

So just how different was it back in 1953? In the Nat Geo article we learn that Hillary and Norgay couldn’t use wireless communications higher up on the mountain, so they communicated by laying out their sleeping bags in a particular pattern that could be seen below. Today, walkie-talkies, sat phones, satellite messengers, and even cell phones can be used to communicate from any point on Everest, including the summit.

Similarly, the tents used on the first ascent where heavy and bulky. Those shelters were made from cotton, and were often crowded, uncomfortable, and very heavy. In contrast, today’s tents are surprisingly strong, lightweight, and warm, even at higher altitudes. Every aspect and component of a tent has been upgraded, making them easier to carry and assemble, even when the weather turns bad.

The story is a fun one and well worth a read for Everest fans and gear junkies alike. Lots of good information here comparing climbing now to then. You’re likely to come away with even more respect for those early Everest climbers.

Autor : Kraig Becker

* source: – Everest Climbing Gear – Then and Now

** see also – https://himalman.wordpress.com/category/gear/

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