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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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

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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

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Gear Closet: Salewa Mountain Trainer Mid GTX Boots Review.

In need of a new pair of technical hiking boots for your upcoming adventures? If so, you’ll want to add the new Mountain Trainer Mid GTX from Salewa to your list of potential options. This lightweight, yet sturdy and durable, boot offers excellent performance on a variety of terrains, and will keep your feet comfortable and dry no matter where the trail takes you.

Boasting a traditional suede upper, paired with a Gore-Tex lining, and a Vibram outsole, the Mountain Trainer has been built for alpine pursuits. The boot is perfect for scrambling over ice and snow, mud, rocks, and other surfaces you’re bound to run into on your treks, offering good stability and support in both dry and wet conditions.

Perhaps the most impressive element of the Mountain Trainer is their impressive fit. When I initially took them out of the box, my first reaction was that the boots felt a bit stiff, but after wearing them around the house for awhile, they loosened up nicely and were soon broken in for the trail. But, Salewa has taken great care to ensure that these boots are incredibly comfortable to wear for extended periods of time, and to that end the insoles not only offer great cushioning, but they actually mold themselves to fit the specific contours of your feet as you were them longer. The result is a shoe that gets increasingly comfortable as you hike. The lacing system even allows the wearer to dial in an even better fit, selecting the tension as needed.

The “Mid” version of the Mountain Trainer offers terrific ankle support as well, although if you prefer a low cut, Salewa does offer that version of the shoe too. Personally, I prefer having a bit of extra protection for my ankles when hiking more difficult and rocky trails, but the added support does come at the expense of extra weight. These boots tip the scales at 1.4 pounds, which means that they fall squarely into the average weight category. But when you consider the traction, comfort, and protection they provide, it feels like the Mountain Trainers actually perform above their weight class.

I’ve put these boots to the test in several different parts of the country this spring – including Idaho and California – and have found them to be an excellent boot in a variety of different conditions. On each hike, not only did my feet stay very comfortable, they also didn’t overheat when things started to get more active. That said, they may not be the best option for warm-weather adventures, but you don’t often run into those types of conditions at altitude, even during the summer. The Gore-Tex lining on the Mountain Trainer does a reasonably good job of remaining breathable while also keeping moisture out, but its very existence makes this a boot that is bested used in cooler temps for sure.

So far, durability has been quite good on the Mountain Trainers. I’ve seen one or two reviews online that have indicated that that wasn’t the case over the long haul, but I can honestly say that my pair of boots look none the worse for wear, even after putting them through their paces on mud, snow, and rocks. In fact, I’d be hard pressed to find a scuff mark or blemish on them anywhere at this point, which generally leads me to believe that they should hold up fine over the course of time.

The Mountain Trainer Mid GTX is a serious boot for serious hikers and peak baggers. It was built to go places where the average trekker probably won’t wander, and provide solid performance and protection along the way. As such, it carries a price tag of $249.95, which is on the pricer end of the scale for hiking boots. But those who push themselves to the limit on the trail will appreciate everything that this boot brings to the table, which easily separates itself from lesser boots that are designed for light hiking and a day in town, rather than alpine pursuits in remote backcountry. If you don’t need that kind of performance, you may be better served looking elsewhere. But if you’re an outdoor athlete who likes to explore far off the beaten path, this is a great boot for you. You won’t be disappointed in what you find here, as the Mountain Trainer is an amazing blend of comfort, security, and stability that isn’t found in just any piece of footwear.

Buy at

Autor : Kraig Becker

* source: – Gear Closet: Salewa Mountain Trainer Mid GTX Boots Review

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Missing Trekker Survives 47 Days in the Himalaya .

The Himalayan Times has published quite a story of survival. The newspaper is reporting that a trekker who had been missing in the mountains of Nepal has been found after 47 days, although his 19-year old companion has died. The duo were traveling in the Langang region of the country without a guide when they disappeared, leading to what must have been a harrowing month and a half in the wilderness.

21-year old Taiwanese traveler Liang Shang Yuen and his companion Liu Chen Chun had come to Nepal to trek in the mountains there. On February 21, they had gained the permits necessary to enter Langtang National Park, and were part of a home stay program for three days in early March, before setting off on the next phase of their trip. Unfortunately, heavy snow set in and the duo hadn’t been seen since.

According to the story, it seems that the two young men took refuge in a cave, and may have gotten disoriented and lost. Over time, they ran out of food and were surviving just on drinking water, while they waited for rescue.

Search and rescue teams spotted Liang a few days back laying unconscious on the banks of a river. The body of Liu was nearby, with rescuers saying they believed that both travelers had fallen from a cliff. Liang is understandably in poor condition, but has been airlifted to Kathmandu for treatment. His family will be arriving there from Taiwan tomorrow.

At the moment, the young man can’t recall much of what has happened over the past 47 days. His story is likely to be quite a tale of survive however, as it isn’t easy to live in the mountains without food for so long. It must have been quite the ordeal to say the least. Thankfully, at least one of the trekkers was found alive and he’ll be going home soon.

Autor : Kraig Becker

* source: – Missing Trekker Survives 47 Days in the Himalaya

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Teen Ager Sets Eyes On Everest, Youngest Seven Summits Mark.

Author : Kraig Becker.

16-year old Brit George Atkinson is preparing to go to Everest this spring where a successful summit will earn him a spot in the record books. George is hoping to become the youngest person to climb the Seven Summits, and the 8850 meter (29,029 ft) Everest is all that stand between him and that goal.

According to this story from the BBC, Atkinson just finished up his climb of Vinson in Antarctica, and if he conquers Everest before the 29th of May, a likely scenario if he does reach the summit at all, he’ll be the first person to complete the Seven Summits, the highest peaks on each of the seven continents, before the age of 17.

Of course, this all brings into focus, once again, the debate about the age of climbers on Everest. Last year, after Jordan Romero climbed the mountain at the age of 13, both China and Nepal instituted age limitations for taking on the tallest peak in the world. The Chinese set the limit at 18, but said they would consider going as low as 16 if circumstances dictated. In Nepal, the age limit was set at 16 as well, which means George has his choice of which side he’d like to climb from, although Nepal’s South Side seems the most likely location.

Atkinson turns 17 on May 29th, so he’ll likely be just shy of his birthday when he goes to the top. His record will probably relatively short lived however, as Romero is scheduled to go to Antarctica in November, where he’ll probably finish off his Seven Summits by topping out on Vinson. He’ll be 15 at that time.

Thanks to my friend Alan Curr for sending this story my way.

* Source : –

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First Pakistani Woman Winter Expedition 2010.


The Pakistan Youth Outreach Second Climbing Expedition in winter to Mingligh sar 6050m was indeed amazing, Samina Baig being the first woman from Pakistan to go on a winter attempt in the Karakorum was a great mile stone in Pakistani women’s adventure history.Samina Baig who had topped Chashkin Sar Peak in August-Septermber 2010.This expedition was dedicated to all those who have been affected by the floods in Pakistan this year The team along with Samina set High Camp at nearly 5525m which was new for any girl from Pakistan in winter and pushed for the summit the next day. Due to extreme cold and insufficient clothing for Samina (due to financial constraints) mainly down jacket and pants, the team decided to return approximately 150m short of the summit. Samina reached the height of approximately 5900m. Later the weather turned to hell and we called off the Expedition however the PYO first basic mountaineering training camp for young school boys and girls was very successful.

Since Karakorum has different weather conditions, the winter arrives late November in the high mountains of Karakorum, according to the calendar year it has been said that December climbing expeditions are not a full calendar year expedition. However a few years back the Alpine club of Pakistan organized a climbing expedition to Peer Peak in the Karakorum which was named “Winter Expedition”. Similarly there was another expedition in November by locals which was also named Winter Expedition. Looking at the extreme weather situation in the high mountains, December and January is normally considered winter in the Karakorum, Pamir area hence the expedition is also Winter Expedition.

The expedition kicked off on the 8th of December 2010 after three days acclimatization in Shimshal Valley. We hired 12 porters, two cooks and Mr Yausaf Khan, former army climber as our expedition advisor. The first day was spent at Korband. During the winter days are short and most streams at different summer camp sites get frozen therefore the first night spent at Korband was pretty chilly and there was a lot of frost in the tents. After a steep climb of Ghar Sar the next day the team managed to reach Uch Forzeen in 9 hours, the chill was great though the day was sunny. Uch Forzeen provided us with good shelter for cooking in the hut but sleeping in the tent was pretty hard, at midnight I found my sleeping bag frosty and frozen half due to my breathing but a great adventure all the same! Uch Forzeen to Arbon Purian was a nice journey, the frozen slopes of Arbon Purian were nice for practice and play adventure in the cold climate.

It was longer in the winter from Arbob Purian to Shujrave where we set our base camp, the cold was great, it took us four days to reach Shujrave which is normally three days walking in summer. After two days of acclimatization and practice in Shujrave, Samina and Jennifer Rawlings (guest climber from Atlanta, Georgia, US) made it to the pass, the previous day, unfortunately Jennifer Rawlins got sick. Jennifer came to take part in this historical adventure and she believed it was a wonderful experience but truly cold! We marched up to high camp, Samina, Yausaf and Mr Tafat Shah, PYO Trainer, also Mr Yahya Baig and myself Mirza Ali, Expedition leader and Wazir Baig were the climbers in the team.

The high camp was settled at approximately 5520m, the night was terribly cold and Yahya and Wazir got sick in the night, however Samina was the first woman from Pakistan to experience such extreme and freezing temperatures at High Camp. The sleeping bag was icy in the morning, the weather was very pleasant but again very cold. Next morning we started our summit push at 8am, the stones were frozen and frosty, the chill factor was high but the sun did come out to favor us at the beginning. After three hours walk we reached below the glacier, changed our climbing shoes and dressed up for the next stage of the expedition. The snow was drifting and the upper layers were pretty frozen but it was complete sugar type beneath the upper layer. The climb was pretty tough going from the beginning, the layers start breaking and it was hard for all of us. Wazir was ill and returned half way, we climbed for another two hours when the wind and weather became very cold. Samina had a down jacket with no hood and this was not suitable protection for the extreme cold weather, the pants were not even down so that made it difficult to continue to the summit. We reached approximately 5900m, just 150m short of the summit, the time was running out so we decided to return since it was a step forward in progress and we naturally wanted to return home safely!

During the climb I noticed my video camera battery got dislodgedi was unable to make more video of the climb and i was not adapted with still setting of ISO,which also make bad pictures in the bright light, later jennifer helped me to set ISO setting on the way back to base camp.

The descent was arduous, the long ridge descent was tiring but we finally made to the High Camp. The wind was extremely strong and was to blow our tents off from the ridge, after preparing tea Samina and Yausaf left straight for Base Camp. We packed our belongings and tents to follow. Jennifer and Gul were down at the pass, we had planned to fix another high camp at Quz Sar after a successful attempt of Mingligh however it was not really achievable since other members were tired. We met them down in the evening it was then decided to have some rest and then move back to Quz Sar approximately 5900m and climbed an unnamed peak.

We reached base camp as the dusk was all around, Imran our “cook” welcomed us and served the meal. The night was cold and chills were looming, in the morning it was very cloudy and started snowing. We consulted Yausaf and Tafat the experienced climbers who then decided to call off the expedition, hence all packed, we left for Shimshal.

This expedition was an initiative for the youth and women of Pakistan to enter into extreme sports such as mountaineering, it was a myth breaking expedition for Pakistani women and youths whatever the outcome. Reaching the summit is the exception in the mountains; most renowned mountaineers find that the “fail summit ratio” is higher than success. When I took the decision to return 150m short of the summit, the Sir Edmund Hillary quote was the basis that he used for Everest mostly to avoid any chance of accidents. It was the right decision to go home safely since mountains never go away!

Right after the expedition, Pakistan Youth Outreach conducted a Basic Mountaineering School for boys and girls in Shimshal at Malangutti Glacier, the participants were from different schools. Among the participants there were Bibi Numa (10th Grade), Shumaila Biag (10th Grade), Mudasir Pannah (9th Grade) , Nargis Murtaza (9th Grade), Shah Dualat (5th Grade) ,Afsana Tafat (6th Grade), Muhammad Habib (4th Grade), Arshad Karim and Samina Baig.

The training was overseen by Mr Yausaf Khan former Pakistan Army climber and Mr Tafat Shah the best technical and experienced mountaineer, myself as PYO Founding President also supervised the training. Jennifer Rawlins Youth Outreaches main supporter was also on the training. The kids enjoyed the outdoor and the basics of mountaineering and wanted similar training for them in the future. The PYO’s objective is to encourage youth and women’s outdoor and adventure activities and spread this across Pakistan and world to bring a peaceful and healthy environment for youths and also encourage nature studies and research work on high mountain settlements and glaciers as well as study tours as part of recreation for fresh mind for studies!

The expedition was organized with help of individual donations, apart from individuals the Danish Embassy also donated for the expedition. The Danish support is to convey a different and positive side of Pakistan than you would normally see in the media and thereby to support development in Gilgit-Baltistan

We are very grateful to the Danish Embassy, Eloise Fox Peyman for donations. We thank Jennifer Rawlins “for coming to Pakistan in the extreme weather condition and becoming part of the team and giving a positive image to other women around the world showing that Pakistan is safe and secure as well as welcoming every folk to enjoy a Karakorum adventure”. We also thank Carol Anne Grayson for her support and article and hope to share much more in the near future about our projects. We also appreciate those individuals who sent their personal donations! We are here just because of you people and your support and hope to have your support in the future as well to make PYO objectives possible! Thank you ALL! Interested people can join us on our future trainings on mixed or purely female expeditions to virgin and other mountains in the Karakorum!

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* Previous story :

First Pakistani Women Expedition – you can help.

Joint Pakistan-Danish Spantik Expedition 2009.

Pakistan’s 2010 season finale wrap-up: ACP’s summit list, new route on Spires, needed humanitarian efforts are still on.

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