Business & Economy

Nepal hasn’t just 8, but 14 eight-thousander mountains

Kathmandu, Feb 16 (EFE).- Nepal is home to not just eight, but 14 peaks that are more than 8,000 meters tall, say mountaineering experts of the Himalayan country.

Buddhi Narayan Shrestha, boundary expert and former director general of the Survey Department, told EFE that they studied six additional eight-thousander mountains.

“We have 14 peaks standing over 8,000 meters. The Nepal government needs to make an effort to make that internationally recognized,” Shrestha said.

Nepali experts say the six additional peaks measuring more that 8,000 meters are Yalung Khang, Kanchanjunga South on the Nepal-India border, Kanchanjunga Central on the Nepal-India border, Kanchanjunga West, Lhotse Middle on the Nepal-China border and Lhotse Shar on the Nepal-China border.

Currently, there are 14 internationally recognized eight-thousanders. Eight are in Nepal which include Everest (8,848.86m), Kanchanjunga (8,586m), Lhotse (8,516m), Makalu (8,463m), Cho Oyu (8,201m), Dhaulagiri (8,167m), Manaslu (8,163m), and Annapurna I (8,091m).

Five eight-thousanders are in Pakistan and China.

“We have been lobbying for international recognition of these six additional peaks for more than a decade,” Ang Tshiring Sherpa, former president of the Nepal Mountaineering Association, told EFE.

“A mountain is normally considered a separate peak if the ‘col’ (the lowest point on the ridge) distance between two peaks is at least 500 metres and if the peak has a separate route not shared with any other peak,” said Sherpa.

In 2013, a government panel submitted a report to the tourism ministry recommending the official reorganisation of these six eight-thousanders.

In May 2014, Nepal gave official recognition to Kanchanjunga West in Taplejung as an eight-thousander. The government is yet to endorse the other five eight-thousanders.

“We have formed a committee to provide technical details of the remaining five eight-thousanders,” Nima Nuru Sherpa, president of the Nepal Mountaineering Association, told EFE. “After the committee submits the report, it will be presented to the government.”

After the government endorses it, the report will go to different international mountaineering forums for an international recognition.

Sherpa said that in 2013, the Agura Project had recognized five additional peaks in Nepal and one in Pakistan as new eight-thousanders.

In Nepal, the peaks were recommended by representatives of the International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation, commonly known by its French name Union Internationale des Associations d’Alpinisme (UIAA) during a three-day meeting of its management committee from May 2-4, 2013 in Italy.

The proposal was scheduled to be presented at the UIAA general assembly in October 2013, in Switzerland. But it did not happen.

A study by the Nepal Mountaineering Association showed that there are 3,310 walking and climbing peaks above 5,500m in Nepal.

Among them, 1,913 are climbing peaks, which require climbing gear.

Mountaineering is a high-end tourism segment in Nepal.

A climbing permit for Everest costs $11,000 for foreigners. On average, a foreigner spends $50,000 to climb the world’s highest peak.

The government collects $5 million from climbing permits annually, according to the Department of Tourism.

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