Saturday, January 22, 2011

New possibility for trekking in Solukhumbu

Baga Man Kulung

Chheskam 3 Solukhumbu

Concept Paper

On the topic of tourism development in the Southern part of Solukhumbu Nepal.


Solukhumbu Nepal is known as a tourism destination due to Mt. Everest, cultural diversity, wild life, flora and fauna in Sagarmatha National Park and Makalu Barun National Park. However the southern part of Solukhumbu has been over shadowed mainly due to the lack of infrastructure development, dissemination, lodges and hotels etc. There is the possibility of tourism development, if it an effective development strategy is implemented. In this short paper a concept related to tourism development, including Bung, Chheskam and Gudel of Solukhumbu, has been presented

1. Major recognized tourism trails in Solukhu

Lukla airport is known as a major tourism door for Solukhumbu. From Lukla airport to Everest base camp through Phakding,to Namche and Namche to Rolwaling valley through Thame, there are well recognized tourism trails in Solukhumbu. Also Lukla to Makalu base camp through Naulekh, Mera base camp, and Serpeni col cross is a well known tourism trail in Solukhumbu. From Makalu base camp there is a way to reach Tumlingtar airport through Hatiya of Sangkhuwasava. Round trekking from Namche to Lukla through Pangboche, Chhikung, Aamalapchho cross, Seti pokhari, Mera base camp, Naulekh and Namche to Lukla through Tengboche, Mingmala, Mera peak are also other recognized tourism trails of Solukhumbu. Trekking trails in the southern part of Solukhumbu are not linked with those eatablished ways mentioned above. This a major reason why southern part of trekking trail has been over shadowed.

2. Possibility of new trekking trail:

2.1 Phaplu to Mera peak trail : After seven days trekking from Lukla through Naulekh, Mera base camp trekkers reach Setipokhari valley. This valley is also known as the origin of Dhudkoshi river which is the biggest river in Nepal. Trekkers have many alternatives to reach the Setipokhari valley from Lukla. These are i) Through Namche, Chhikung, Aamalapchho pass, ii) Through Namche, Tengboche, Mingmala pass, iii) Through Naulekha, Mera Langur iv) From Tumlingtar through Seduwa, Makalu base camp, Serpenicol pass. The above mentioned four alternatives are major trails to reach Setipokhari valley. From these valleys trekkers, who want to return have to pass at least one peak among Serpenicol, Aamalapchho, Mera Langur and Mingmala pass (around 5500 meters on average). In the case of unfortunate snow many trekkers are rescued by helicopter. Sometimes porters die there. Due to the risks trekkers in this area are given double remuneration than other area. Even with these problems every season many trekkers go trekking through this valley. In the trekking season this valley becomes like a recognized town.

There is a possibility to develop a new trekking way from Phaplu to Setipokhari valley through Mukli, Deusa, Sotang, Bung, Chheskam, and Muddi. Since 2008 after studying this possibility the District Development Committee Solukhumbu has been developing a new tourism way. However that has not been put into effect due to lack the of funds. If a nearly 45 km. trekking route from Muddi Chheskam to Setipokhari valley is developed, Chheskam, Bung, Sotang, Gudel, Pawai, Deusa, Mukli, Necha and Garma will be positively effected ­with the linkage of road transportation.

2.1.1 Need of Phaplu Mera trail

After the development of this trail, trekkers reaching the Setipokhari valley from Lukla and Tumlingtar through Mingmala pass, Aamalapchho pass, Serpenicol pass and Mera Langgur can use an alternative way to reach either Phaplu, Kanggel dada, Lamidada or Tumlingtar airport to return to Kathmandu. At the same time there will be increased economic growth in the lower level of Solukhumbu. Simultaneously trekkers, who can't pass the peaks can use this way as a rescue way to return to Kathmandu, because this way they do not have to go over any peaks. Therefore this way can also become known as a rescue way for mountaineers. If the trekkers go this way and pass Aamalapchho they can easily reach Mt. Everest and return to Lukla through Dhudkoshi valley. This round trip will have cultural diversity and mountaineering at the same time. It will be known as second gate to reach Mt. Everest.

2.1.2 Opportunity to develop this trail

The Nepal government established a mountaineering Academy Nepal at Garma Solukhumbu in 2000. In the national plan B.S 2063- 2066 there is mentioned the development of an international mountaineering center there. At the same time District Development Committee of Solukhumbu has planned and is now implementing road construction to reach Garma. So tourists who reach Gama can take this proposed trail to reach Mt. Everest through Aamalpchho pass. In this situation they can enjoy cultural diversity and mountaineering at the same time.

2.2 Lamidada Setipokhari trekking trail

Lamidada Khotang to Solukhumbu Phaplu and Kangeldada airport through Salpa pass, Gudel, Bung, Sotang, Deusa is already a normal way for trekking. This way is more suitable for village base tourism than mountaineering. It is possible to develop a new trekking way from Salpa Pokhari mid point of Sangkhuwasava, Solukhumbu and Bhojpur to Setipokhari through Bhakari Chhiruwa, Kongkho, Bhukur Dada, Bhaisiri, Mekato, Kenpa as a new mountaineering trekking trail. The main feature of this concept is to organize trekking through the hillsides from 2700 m. to 4200 m. By using this new trail trekkers can enjoy with mountains views and many pilgrim places like Gaubitta and Salpa.

2.2.1 Major attraction part of Lamidada Setipokhari trekking trail.

From Siluchho peak 4156 m. which is a mid point of Sangkhuwasava, Solukhumbu and Bojpur you can see more than 22 peaks and mountains including Everest, Makalu, Nupse, Dhudkunda, Mera, Chamlang, Amadablang etc. It takes nearly two hours to reach there from Salpa Pokhari. There is a normal way to reach there. Shiluchho peak is also a pilgrim place where many devotees go for worship every year. There is a temple and devotees believe that they will have a child, wealth, education etc after worshiping there.

2.3 Phaplu Naulekh trekking trail

Solukhumbu Phaplu to Naulekha either through Budidada, Sotang, Bung, Chharakhar, Panchpokari or through Jubing, Kharikhola, Sibuche, Kothe has also been highly over shadowed due to the lack of dissemination of information. For this trail VDC Bung has invested some funds for improvements.

3. Strategy to develop new trekking trail :

There are many alternative strategies to develop the above mentioned trekking trail. What kinds of strategies are suitable depends on available resources: human resources, technical parties and budgets. However some applicable strategies are recommended bellow.

3.1 Stage of Survey :

In this stage the above mentioned trekking trail survey report is prepared. In this survey report there may be included the possibility of camping grounds, access to drinking water, remarkable beautiful views, lakes, mountains, pilgrim places, days to reach there as well as a budget to develop that trail. On the survey team there should be technical people in the related fields. They will prepare the report after a field visit of this area.

3.2 Fund Rising and plan implementation stage:

After surveying the trekking trail an approved report will be prepared by the technical persons in their related fields. On the basis of this report a proposal will be prepared and presented to donors, either Nepal government sectors or INGOs and NGOs in the related area and implemented for infrastructure developments. It may(also be presented to??? )District Development Committee, Village Development Committee, Finance Ministry and other sectors on behalf of Nepal government. It can be presented also to the Trekking Agent Association of Nepal (TAAN), Nepal Mountaineering Association and other related trekking companies for fund collection.

3.3 Stage of dissemination of information:

After completing the development work related to infrastructure it can be disseminated to the stockholders. F.M, Radio, Email, Internet, website etc.can be used for dissemination of information. Seminars and workshop can be organized and presented for related office agencies like Trekking Agent Association of Nepal, Nepal Mountaineering Association and other related field of members. There is also the possibility of organizing a tourist festival for dissemination.

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