Nepal

On the Annapurna tragedy or Why the government of Nepal is full of it

Unfortunately a couple of weeks ago a bad snowstorm cost the lives of around 40 trekkers in Nepal in the area of the Annapurna peak – the world’s tenth highest. I was there some three years ago. The tragedy happened on the Annapurna Circuit Trek that goes around the mountain. The trail includes a pass at about 5000 masl – where the tragedy happened. I did the Annapurna base camp trek – that climbs to the base camp at 4200 masl and takes shorter time.

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Nepal is by far one of the best countries in the world for trekking. The landscapes are absolutely fantastic, it has some of the best bits of the Himalayas and it is quite affordable. However, it was easy to see right away how disorganized everything was.

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Now the Nepali government very obviously failed to warn trekkers, guides, hut keepers or national park guards (if there are any on the mountain itself) of the coming storm. Simply because the government of Nepal does not care about these things. Now they are blaming it on the backpackers who went there without a (proper) guide and want to restrict budget tourism:

It is better to have less tourists who pay more than thousands who come but flout rules,” said the tourism ministry’s joint secretary, Mohan Krishna Sapkota“. (Reuters)

Here is how trekking works in Nepal (more…)