Sunday, December 16, 2012

4 New Routes to Annapurna Base Camp

4 New Routes to Annapurna Base Camp

Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal (TAAN) has expedited its preparation to open up four new trekking routes in the Annapurna area.

 Annapurna Base Camp

 Annapurna Base Camp

The four new trekking routes -- Gurung Heritage Trek, Dhawalagiri Icefall, Kirkupass and Namun Bhanjyang -- will be opened to domestic and foreign tourists after upgrading necessary infrastructures along the routes, informed Narayan Prasad Sapkota. President of the western regional chapter of TAAN. Sapkota informed that the routes lack hotels, porter shelters, tea houses. toilets and drinking water among other things.

Sapkota informed that the 80- kilometer long Gurung Heritage Route. which can be traversed in seven days, starts form Sikles in Kaski district and passes through Tanting, Ghalegaun of Lamjung before ending at Besisahar the headquarters of Lamjung district.

Similarly, Dhawalagiri Icefall route stretches over 100 kilometer from Galeshwar in Myagdi district through Lete in Mustang to Koban also in Mustang. The route can be traversed in 10-12 days.

The 70-kilometer-long Kirkupass pass route starts from Sarkikhola in Kaski district and ends in Pokhara passing through Sikles in Kaski. Kirkupass is 7-day trekking route. The 115-km Namun Bhanjayang route is the longest among these. This route starts form Sikles in Kaski and ends in Besisahar of Lamjung.  The route passes through Thaychu, Dudhpokhari and Timang in Manang district. TAAN said it takes
around two weeks for the trekkers to complete the route.

“We are working to send a survey team on the routes to assess the infrastructure requirements." added Sapkota.

Sapkota also informed that Annapurna Conservation Project (ACAP) and TAAN had already conducted preliminary survey along the routes. He further informed that TAAN will also introduce income generation schemes for the people living along the trekking routes.

The people will need training in room and board hospitality as trekkers will spend nights along the trekking routes." said Sapkota adding, "This way the people will be able to augment their earnings."

Som Thapa, the outgoing chief of TAAN. emphasized the need for opening the routes without delay. The new routes will further promote tourism in Pokhara also as the duration of tourists’ stay will increase." Thapa added. Thapa was of the opining that opening the new routes is also necessary as some of the old routes have lost their appeal to the tourist after roads reached the area.

Source: The Kathmandu Post 11/12/2012

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