Bahrain Prince Summit Mt. Manaslu (8,1663m) Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic !
Bahrain Prince Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa with his expedition team successfully Summited Mt. Manaslu (8,163m/26,781.5ft) this autumn. The expedition team mounted on the world’s 8th highest peak at 7:10 am local time on 15 October 2020. The climbing team made of 14 members of the Bahrain Royal Guard and 3 British climbers reached atop Mount Manaslu with the help of 50 Nepalese Sherpas. Thus, the team has become the first expedition team to scale the peak above 8,000m this autumn.
Landed in Nepal on 16 September, the Bahrain Prince and his team quarantined for a week at a hotel in Kathmandu for the further preparation. The team was permitted to acclimatize on Mount Lobuche East (6,119m/20,075ft), which lies in the Everest Region. 15 members of the team ascended Mt. Lobuje East on 3 October 2020 becoming the first mountaineering team in Nepal this autumn. The successful ascent of the Bahrain Prince and the team has been effective in delivering the message: “Mountain tourism including trekking and mountaineering in Nepal is still safe and possible amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic.”
The Mount Manaslu expedition team was led by some of the world record holders in mountaineering sector. Among them was Kami Rita Sherpa, who has a record of Everest Climbing for 24 times. Some of the others have successfully ascended all 14 highest peaks of the world while some have reached atop Everest without oxygen as well. The team had taken a helicopter ride to Mount Lobuje East Base Camp from the Kathmandu Airport.
Then after, they flew to Manaslu Base Camp (4,800m) direct from the Kathmandu Airport in a helicopter on Wednesday, 7 October 2020. After a few days’ practice with the expert Sherpa Mountaineers, the team reached the top of Mount Manaslu on the 8th day from the base camp. The source says that climbing Mount Manaslu and Mount Lobuje East is the training for the team that has planned to scale Mount Everest (8,848m) next season in 2021. This expedition has attracted the attention of the daredevils worldwide once more towards the soaring mountains of Nepal. This ascent has shown a optimistic sign towards the better future of the tourism industry of Nepal as well.
COVID-19 Impacts on the Nepalese Tourism Industry
In order to prevent the spread of the COVID-19, the Government of Nepal had issued an official suspension on visiting the country from midnight 14 March 2020 until 30 April 2020 on the first phase. However, the suspension of the international and domestic flights, public transportation, hotels, restaurants, educational institutions, and various socio-political functions continued for more than 6 months. The initiatives of the Government of Nepal became fruitful largely that the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 has still been in grip.
The pandemic left many of the tourism agencies into a hard time as the flow of the international tourists had stopped to come to Nepal. A large number of people involved in tourism industry also lost their jobs. Even the government revenue downsized due to the stoppage on the movement of the tourists in and out of the nation. Many people associated with the tourism industry went back to their villages and engaged in agricultural productions. It is a positive side of the pandemic that the villages became full of young people who know better about introducing and promoting community and mountain tourism in their areas. The uncultivated lands have been sowed and planted that you can see a different rural environment in your next visit.
The local governments, media, and youths have explored many new tourist destinations of historical, cultural, and natural significance. As Nepal is a multi-cultural country, every settlement, no matter big or small, is like a garden full of different flowers. You find all the gardens equally soothing and attractive making your next visit more important for a lifelong memory. The trekking routes are renovated so that the tourists can reach as high as they can and want without any difficulty. In a sense, the COVID-19 has provided the Nepalese people to explore and advertise their natural and cultural beauties in a more systematic way.
Yes, the authorities had suspended tourism activities including mountaineering for the safety of the foreigners and natives as well due to the pandemic. However, as per the government decision, the Department of Tourism (DoT) issued the climbing permit for the Royal Team of Bahrain on 22 September. In fact, this year, the DoT has issued the climbing permits to only four expedition teams for three peaks namely Mt. Manaslu (8,163m), Mt. Baruntse (7,129m), and Mt. Gyalzen (6,151m) respectively.
Slowly, bookings of the trekking and mountaineering packages are expected to rise for next spring because the COVID-19 vaccines are about to be successful and distributed worldwide. In Nepal also, the government is making the required provision for importing the vaccines in association with the WHO. The government has passed the necessary bills to pave the easy way to purchase the vaccines. Moreover, as the number of COVID-19 is very low, it will be easier to put the situation under control. Among the confirmed cases in Nepal, about 94% has recovered to the date and remaining is in the process of recovering. The people are aware about the measures to stay away from the SARS-CoV-2 as set by the WHO and the GON. It has further brought a significant change in the daily activities and behaviours of the people.
The Message of the Mount Manaslu Expedition 2020
The success of the Mount Manaslu Expedition 2020 has given a lasting impression on the international community that the Himalayan and trans-Himalayan regions are still safe for visiting. Yes, there are certain terms and conditions to be followed by the international tourists while planning travelling and trekking in Nepal. The tourists should have a PCR negative report during the 72 hours before their arrival in Nepal. They should afford to stay in quarantine up to 14 days on their own expenses. Spending 14 days in quarantine during the limited vacation in Nepal does not seem practical though. This provision not only adds up to the time but also turns out to be a little expensive. Likewise, you may have difficulty in finding food and accommodation services unlike in normal situation.
Nonetheless, there are many bright sides of this season as well. First, the trekking routes are less crowded that even the Everest Base Camp Trek Route and the Annapurna Base Camp Trek Route are as free as that of Manaslu Base Camp Trek Route. Almost all the trekking routes and regions are clean and clear serving you the best view of the Himalayas and green forests. It is the best time for experiencing the camping trekking in Nepal because in off-the-beaten-path-trekking routes, hotels and teahouses are closed in this time. The trekking agencies are ready to organize camping trekking to different locations provided you abide by the terms and conditions set by the WHO and the GON.
In this season, you can have the real taste of mountain tourism as you can freely and leisurely travel to the Himalayan regions of Nepal. This is the season of fruit production in Nepal, so you can also taste the crispy and juicy fruits like oranges in the high hills and mountains. You can also taste the organic Nepali food items that really adds up to your immunity to tackle any sort of ailment; perhaps, the COVID-19, too! If you are not ready for this season, you can inquire in advance for the spring season next year.
Wonders of Manaslu Region
You can also book the Manaslu Base Camp trek for the upcoming spring season so that you can enjoy the offbeat trekking in Nepal. Manaslu Tsum Valley trek is recognized for the wonderful blend of nature, culture, and adventure. You can have all these natural, cultural, and adventurous experience in a single trip.
You can have the jaw dropping beauties of the glittering snowcapped peaks of the Manaslu Region. The amazing vistas of 10 peaks above 6,500m, a few over 7,000m including Mt. Manaslu (8,163m) make your Manaslu Base Camp Trek a lifelong memory! Ganesh Himal (7,422m) and its sub-peaks grin at you while moving up and down the trails. Birendra Lake that lies on the way to Manaslu Base Camp is another fascination of this region.
The biodiversity of Manaslu Conservation Area make your trip more meaningful. If you do this trip in spring, the entire conservation area looks no less beautiful than a bride does on her wedding day! Different birds and animals play hide and seek with you en route to the base camp. The Larkya La Pass (5,106m) is the highest pass that rewards you with the some of the best sceneries in the world. By crossing this pass, you can also join Annapurna Circuit Trek that is also famous for its natural and cultural beauties.
The Tsum Valley Trek is another main attraction of this region. The valley influenced by the Tibetan Buddhist culture and lifestyle rewards you with a unique socio-cultural practices and monasteries. As killing is not allowed in Manaslu Circuit Trek region, you find abundant of birds and animals running here and there en route. Manaslu Tsum Valley Trek is also known as Monastery Trekking because every settlement area has at least one ancient monastery. Tsum Nubri Valley is also popular for peace and spirituality that even Saint Milarepa is believed to have completed his meditation here. Mu Gompa, Rachen Gompa, Gumba Lungdung, Sarang Gumba, etc. are some of the oldest Tibetan Buddhist shrines dwelt by monks and nuns.
Additionally, walking along the high altitude route on the edge of the Kali Gandaki River is full of adventure. Crossing the Larkya La Pass (5,106m) is the best part of this adventurous journey around the world’s 8th highest peak. The journey from Sama Village up to Manaslu Base Camp via Birendra Lake is the perfect beauty of the Mountain Tourism in Nepal.
The unspoiled nature and the pastoral culture are the true wonders of Manaslu region that the international trekkers love to experience. The trekking around Manaslu region gives you relaxation from the hustling and bustling city life and its daily activities. You can forget all the earthly worries and delve into the nature and typical culture here. The environment in Manaslu Tsum Valley is so peaceful and spiritual that it is also known as Spiritual Trekking region of the Nepalese Himalayas.
The latest ascent of Mount Manaslu (8,163m) made by the expedition team of Bahrain Prince has spread a positive vibe around the world. The world once more has the message that the mountain tourism and the trekking regions of Nepal are still safe and accessible during and post-COVID-19 Pandemic. You can plan your visit to Nepal for this winter or coming spring to experience a more pleasant and beautiful Nepal.
To book the trip for this winter or spring, contact A1 Excursion Adventure as per your convenience. We are one of the pioneer tourism agencies in Nepal committed to community-based and mountain tourism giving the best quality services to our esteemed clients. We are always ready to provide the best travel and tourism package at the best reasonable price. For more details, click @ www.a1excursion.com.
GON = Government of Nepal