Government of Nepal

Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation

Nepal Mountain Academy


Mountaineering Academia Under a Female Leadership

LakpaPhuti Sherpa

A dream becomes reality if we put our hearts and minds to it and Nepal Mountain Academy is that dream for me!

My journey at the Nepal Mountain Academy (NMA) commenced as a member for 2 years. I didn’t get a major prospect to remarkably contribute then. It was only when I took up the position of the Executive Director at the academy, the genuine deal began for me. To take up the position was not an accomplishment in itself but to make the most of it was. With a lot of familiarity and experience in the mountaineering sector, I had my specific visions and apparitions but to lead a government institution was novel for me. 

So, I had to firstly, craft a structure for the smooth execution of the organization and it was learning by doing the course. I was determined to take up the leadership even more so as a woman. Due to the unstable political situation, there were hardships to build a quality network and give a good impression in the mountaineering sector for NMA back then. As time passed by, I and my team commenced edifying the institution brick by brick.

The various projects that were initiated during my tenure were and still are very special to me. The Master Plan for the construction of Mountaineering campus at Garma of Solu in 3000 ropani of land is one amongst them. Similarly, the development of syllabus for 10+2 with an academic focus towards mountaineering which has now become a reality is also equally distinct. The development of syllabus of Bachelors in Mountaineering Studies (BMS) was then felt as necessary to start an academic background in the field of mountaineering as I strongly feel and advocate that Nepal is the accurate domicile for such studies. With this focus in mind, various consultations with experts of the respective fields to develop the syllabus of BMS were held. Formulating the syllabus was not enough. Creating an institution with an authorized licensed program was felt. So, the thought of initiating the academy as an educational institute was generated.

For this purpose, NMA formed a collaboration with the Education Ministry and a relevant committee was created upon the request of the institution and affiliation from Tribhuvan University was acquired. These processes while describing is very fluent and smooth but in reality, it was the supreme challenge for me as the Executive Director. Different levels of lobbying with several agencies and concerned authorities for this purpose was done by me and the team which was obviously physically, mentally and emotionally straining. 

Regardless of the challenges, I knew that if we don’t start now, some other country might take the initiation of starting mountaineering education before us as I really felt that it was the right provided to us by our nature. Hence, I intensely pursued the vision to take NMA forward academically and for scholastic advancement. Various international experts in this regard gave their constructive feedbacks and many universities had reflected their keen interest to provide affiliation to the program. However, we were determined to take the affiliation from the Tribhuvan University under the School of Management. So, in this way, a scientific syllabus was developed which took almost 2 years to get the affiliation from the university after the completion of all the progressions.

Another such explicit initiative is the Ski training with international collaboration from Swiss and France. I myself have many years of experience of skiing at different mountains around the world. Therefore, I have seen immense prospects in the Western Himalayas of Nepal. At that time, it was a perilous attempt but it seems all worthwhile at present-day. 

Female Trekking Guide training is also one of the imperious endeavours for me as it has enabled a lot of young women to pursue a sustainable career in tourism and trekking. Not just delivering the training, but NMA also acquired the authority of issuing a license to the trainees. Mountaineering orientation and conflict management training is another milestone with a syllabus of 8 days. The weather forecast has been successfully run that has added one more feather to the cap of NMA.

Now, I have high hopes for the Masters in Adventure Tourism. This is probably one of a kind in the world for which I was a part of the institution and former Executive Director take tremendous pride in. The stable political situation has also opened up a lot of possibilities for the academic development of the Mountaineering sector under the initiative of NMA.

So, my gratitude and thankfulness categorically go to all who have abetted me to accomplish my visions in these reputes. Such has been an enriching journey for me personally and also for the institution. I was and am still focused towards the development of an academic platform of national value, pride and importance.

Therefore, the focus of the institution now should be towards mounting and also upholding an international eminence. Though I am not physically present at the institution at current, I shall persistently be committed to uplifting this institution even externally. I am very much gratified with the progress of NMA which is an upshot of solidarity of those who have been involved. Engendering skilled and academic human resource is subsequently large facet for the academy that the adjoining future holds. My best wishes are forever with the NMA team and kudos to the prodigious journey that the academy has been pursuing.

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