Government of Nepal

Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation

Nepal Mountain Academy


Understanding the mountains!

Pemba Gyalje Sherpa

Mountaineering in Nepal is a cosmic playground with a prodigious scope that has appealed global curiosity. However, if we start from the foundation, the exploration and analysis of this sector have not been adequate due to varied factors such as marketing and promotion, political instability, infrastructure development, quality workforce and human resource, lack of implementation and well-timed revision of the rules, regulations and policies in our country. Further, it can also not be denied that a lack of proper ethics, unhealthy competition, and political influence in mountaineering are other domineering dynamics. As a result, the mountaineering sector has sometimes been disparaged by media worldwide. Therefore, for a better and steady future, good planning and stronger profile-raising approaches along with governmental stability and stouter guidelines are vital.

While talking about my professional experience, I have seen a lot of alterations within the time frame of around 25 years. Some major amongst them are opening of many peaks, commercialization of mountaineering-related products and services, rise in the number of professionals. Yet, this is not a joyous scenario as upholding of high standards is still a gigantic morsel to master. Having said that, the prominence of mountaineering has been deliberately comprehended as it has become technologically advanced, accessed by road transportation. Minimization of human fatalities in such areas and air rescue service has come to the highlight. But once again, I would like to remark the fact that upholding of culture with proper governance should be in place. Hence, it can be implicitly understood that there are a lot of things happening in this sector but without a resilient system.

The role of youth in this regard is imperious. Nepalese youth have realized the value and prospects of mountain tourism to a great extent. They are certainly aware of it but they are still not confident to pursue it as a career because of various lagging elements that I have mentioned earlier. Mountaineering, therefore, should fall under national priority and national investment with correct strategies. This shall be the stepping stone towards eradicating the sceptical nature of youth towards this sector in terms of future and security. Nevertheless, to date, there has been a notable partaking of young people with huge interest. This year itself, 17 young Nepali women successfully climbed the Everest. This sort of participation is extremely reassuring.

The academic induction of mountaineering studies is a moral initiative and a major requisite of today. Academy aimed towards developing mountaineering as the chief product of tourism is crucial as much of the classical and traditional style are slowly becoming superseded. Research-based findings should be encouraged to bring new and ground-breaking transformations in order to make sure to not paralyze the industry. Mountaineering is not only ascending and descending but also about culture, environment, physiology, lifestyles and economy of different areas, therefore, academic knowledge is a must.

Consequently, a decent educational model for mountaineering will ensure excellence in human resource and mountain tourism entrepreneurs with largescale scope. Our mountains are our playground and we should develop them as research centres for the upcoming scholars and researchers to develop national expertise. As a country with the best and tallest mountains, a standardized program is undeniably obligatory. Our people are going around the world such as the Rocky mountain of America and Swiss mountains for learning only because we lack capacity and resources. Geographically and culturally our mountains are unique, varied and rich. Outsiders have researched Nepal’s mountain and have acquired academic merits. Knowledge production, therefore, is important for us. Overall, the mountaineering sector should be developed not just as a business but also academically and rationally.

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