Pranjal Pokharel, BMS 5th semester; Cohort: 2017-2020

(Picture: Approx. 5,800masl, Upper Mustang) Acclimatization is a complex interaction of changes in our bodies' chemistry and physiology when it tries to adapt to the environment consisting of the decrease in the number of oxygen molecules per breath is reduced (roughly 40% fewer oxygen molecules per breath than sea level). Some of these changes happen quickly and others take months. Acclimatization is a relative thing. It is a state your body moves toward but seldom achieves unless you take up residence at the target altitude. Most climbers take as little time to acclimate as they think they can get away with for their chosen project. Acclimatization is neither easy nor particularly pleasant, but people do it. For many, the cruel work habits of the weekend warrior preclude the luxury of ideal acclimatization. However, comfort, success rates, and risk management are all improved if one takes more time to acclimate. Each person has a unique pattern of adjusting to the altitude. It is important to learn your pattern and take it into account when making time estimates for a climb at altitude. You can't learn these things without experiencing them. The trick is to gain this experience in a deliberate and controlled way one that still allows you to effectively manage risk. For example, as you explore the limits to your performance at altitude, do it on climbs from which you can easily descend (both emotionally and physically) should the problems be worse than you expect. In order to acclimatize to higher altitudes, we need to stress our bodies to induce change. Without enough stress, our bodies are slow to respond. With too much stress, we could succumb to various altitude illnesses, which can range from unpleasant or life-threatening. Hence, there are basic guidelines to  acclimatize efficiently: Don't fly or drive to high altitude. Start below 10,000 feet (3,048 meters) and walk-up. If you do fly or drive, do not over-exert yourself or move higher for the first 24 hours. If you go above 10,000 feet (3,048 meters), only increase your altitude by 1,000 feet (305 meters) per day, and for every 3,000 feet (915 meters) of elevation gained, take a rest day. "Climb High and sleep low." This is the maxim used by climbers. You can climb more than 1,000 feet (305 meters) in a day as long as you come back down and sleep at a lower altitude. If you begin to show symptoms of moderate altitude illness, don't go higher until symptoms decrease (Don't go up until symptoms go down"). If symptoms increase, go down, down, down! Different people acclimatize at different rates. So, making sure all of your members are properly acclimatized before getting even high. Stay properly hydrated. Acclimatization is often accompanied by fluid loss, so you need to drink lots of fluids to remain properly hydrated (at least 3-4 quarts per day). Urine output should be copious and clear. Take it easy; don't over-exert yourself when you first get up to altitude. Light activity during the day is better than sleeping because respiration decreases during sleep, exacerbating the symptoms. Avoid tobacco and alcohol and other depressant drugs including, barbiturates, tranquillizers, and sleeping pills. These depressants further decrease the respiratory drive during sleep resulting in a worsening of the symptoms. Eat a high carbohydrate diet (more than 70% of your calories from carbohydrates) while at altitude. The acclimatization process is inhibited by dehydration, over-exertion, and alcohol and other depressant drugs.

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The Grandeur of Thorong-La
Prince Basnet, BMS 1st semester; Cohort: 2019-2022

Thorong La Pass is the climax point of the Annapurna Circuit at 5,416 metres above sea level and one of the strenuous treks on the Annapurna circuit. At this altitude, with just half the oxygen density than that of sea-level, every step you take feels like you just ran a marathon.  However, trekking Thorong La is far from being impossible. With enough preparation and time, anyone can do it. The secret is allowing enough time for your body to acclimatise to the altitude. We saw people of all ages trekking Thorong-La and they were all fine. And in case you're wondering whether you need special climbing equipment: no, Thorong La is a “pass” so you only need to hike through it. One of the MUST-DOs for adventure enthusiasts.

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Accumulation and Ablation Process of Snow/ Snow Surface
Anish Dahal, BMS 5th semester; Cohort: 2017- 2020

The accumulation and ablation process of snow is the major factor of the mass balance of a glacier. In simpler terms, it could be said that it is the deposition and loss of snow amount in an alpine zone. The process deposition of snow is called accumulation while the process of losing the snow or ice amount is called ablation. These occur simultaneously and hence the mass of a glacier or a snow-covered terrain is balanced. The general formula for the mass balance of a snow surface is given by: Mass Balance = Accumulation + Ablation Mass balance is the change in the mass of a glacier or ice body, or part thereof, over athe stated span of time: 𝛥𝑀 =∫_t1^t▒Mdt Where,M= mass balancet= time elapseddt= change in time The term mass budget is a synonym. The span of time is often a year or a season. A seasonal mass balance is nearly always either a winter balance or a summer balance, although other kinds of the season are appropriate in some climates, such as those of the tropics. The definition of “year” depends on the method adopted for the measurement of the balance. Components of accumulation:There are many components that cause accumulation, some of them are listed below: Snowfall (usually the most important): Generally, 90% of the decomposition takes place via snowfall. Talking about the Himalayas, the monsoon precipitation causes a rapid increase in the snow level. This periodic accumulation of snow in the Himalayas has caused the origin of the perennial Himalayan Rivers. Deposition of hoar (a layer of ice crystals, usually cup-shaped and faceted, formed by vapour transfer (sublimation followed by deposition) within dry snow beneath the snow surface), freezing rain, solid precipitation in forms other than snow. The gain of windborne blowing snow and drifting snow (can be important for the survival of, for example, small cirque glaciers). Avalanching (can generate glaciers below the "climatic" boundary for glacier formation). Basal freeze-on (usually beneath floating ice) Internal accumulation: Refreezing of water within a glacier, between the summer surface and the bed, which goes undetected by measurements of surface mass-balance. See mass-balance units, zone. Accumulation beneath the summer surface is the refreezing of surface meltwater (or freezing of rain) that is in transit and otherwise would have left the glacier as runoff. In the case of meltwater, it may be regarded as redistributing mass within the glacier. Components of ablationIn general, ablation could be defined as all the processes that reduce the mass of the glacier or a snow-covered terrain (Adhikari, 2018). The mass lost by the operation of any of the processes of sense 1, expressed as a negative number. These are the various factors which simultaneously with accumulation, loses the mass of a snow surface. Some of these factors are mentioned below: Melting (usually the most important on land-based glaciers. Meltwater that refreezes onto another part of the glaciers not referred to as ablation). Calving (or, when the glacier nourishes an ice shelf, ice discharge across the grounding line): Calving is iceberg discharge into seas or lakes; important, for example, in Greenland and Antarctica, where approximately 50% and 90%, respectively, of all ablation, occurs via calving; also important in Svalbard and Alaska, Arctic Canada and Russia. Loss of windborne blowing snow and drifting snow: Ablation occurs as the wind blows the fresh snow away. Avalanching: It reduces a large volume of snow instantly. Sublimation (important, for example, at high altitudes in low latitudes (tropical glaciers), in dry climates, and on blue-ice zones in Antarctica; is a function of vapour-pressure)

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Dudh Kunda Trek: The Himalayan Vantage to Nepal’s Exotic Bio-heritage
Sabin Bhattarai, BMS 1st semester; Cohort: 2019- 2022

Dudh Kunda trek is a newly opened trekking route in lower Khumbu region lying at just 2 days walk from its district headquarter Salleri, situated at 4560m above the sea level. This trek is perfect for those people who want to explore the quieter virgin areas which offer the exploration of majestic Himalayas. The trail follows the less crowded area with beautiful forests and high ridges offering the panoramic Himalayan scenery including Mount Everest, Makalu, Lhotse, Manaslu, and many other snow-covered peaks, mountain glaciers, coniferous and rhododendron forests, exotic culture influenced villages, holy monasteries, prayer walls, beautiful alpine forests and the holy Dudhkunda lake itself. The trek also incorporates lifetime experience of witnessing the presence of exotic wildlife such as mountain Thars, bears, snow leopards, jackals, pheasants, Lophophorus (Danfe) etc. The Dudhkunda lies high in the mountains of the Southern Solukhumbu directly under the Numbulr Himal range and has several lakes with milky-appearing water. It is also known as lower Everest Trek. It lies off the beaten treks and is perfect for nature lovers. This trek is only compatible with camping. The trek goes into the Sherpa lands and gives a great insight into their lifestyle. Dudh Kunda, a holy lake surrounded by mountainous terrain and believed to be the abode of Lord Shiva, is also a popular destination amongst Hindu pilgrimages and for adventure seekers. Dudh Kunda, situated on the lap of Mt. Numbur, locally known as Shorong Yul Lha, is considered as the protector of Solukhumbu region. Dudh Kunda (which literally means milky lake) is a holy lake and the locals believe that taking a dip in the holy waters will have the wishes granted. Devotees believe that taking a dip in its holy water would absolve them from all their sins as well as bless childless families with children and prosperity. During full-moon nights in August, pilgrims and Jhankris (Shaman Priests) hold a week-long celebration on the lake periphery. On the trail to Dudhkunda, one will pass through high altitude locations of Kaku, Basa, Taksindu and Beni, where one can see some breathtaking panoramic views of mountain peaks, sparkling waterfalls and tranquil lakes that will surely entice the travellers to stop. If you are an adventure lover and want an authentic and challenging trekking experience, then the Dudkunda trek is for you. And, since the cost starts from an affordable range as per the visitors’ preferences, this trek can be a nature lovers’ experience of a lifetime.

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Mountains: Infinite Assets
Anuprastha Poudel, BMS 5th semester; Cohort: 2017- 2020

When I was a child, the gigantic white shining structures, seen far at a distant horizon from the roof of my home used to fascinate me. My little brain struggled to understand, what actually were those massive things? How far were they? Why were they completely white? I had many questions fluttering within me. But who knew in the future I would get an opportunity to study these colossal formations closely? The continents of today’s world were in a single cluster around 300 million years ago termed as Pangea. Gradually, due to the continental drift caused by mantle convection, the landmass disintegrated. The first disintegration caused the formation of Laurasia and Gondwanaland of the Pangea. Later the Gondwanaland disintegrated into different continents namely Antarctica, Australia, Africa, South America and India. The disintegrated Indian subcontinent started its gradual movement towards the north at about 120 million years ago at the speed of 20cm/year. Around 52 million years ago in the Eocene epoch, the Indian subcontinent collided with the Eurasian plate and subducted under it. The subduction caused the base of the Tethys sea to uplift which formed the youngest mountain range called the Himalayan range. It extends from Punjab to North-East Frontier Agency and covers about 2400 km. Nepal possesses 800km of this aesthetic mountain range. These things fascinate me very much. Since the subduction still continues at the rate of 8mm/year, are the heights of our mountains increasing? The heights of the famous mountains of Nepal were determined by the Great Trigonometrical Survey conducted around the mid-18th century by the East India Company. In 2019, a government expedition led by Er. Khimlal Gautam and guided by Mr Tshering Jangbu Sherpa, an IFMGA guide, as well as one of the BoD members of Nepal Mountain Academy, successfully accomplished the re-measurement of the height of Mt. Everest. This indeed is set to become another historic moment when the new height of the roof of the world is published. Many of the great Himalayan mountains are considered sacred. The Sherpa call Mount Everest Chomolungma and respect it as the "Mother of the World." Mount Makalu is respected as the deity Shankar (Shiva). Machhapuchhre was never climbed after 1957 due to the divinity possessions of the mountain. In every isolated village of the mountains like Thame, Khumjung, Pangboche, Pheriche and Kunde, every house has at least a member who has at least once summitted the mountains. However, these ultra-humans are felt to be missing apart from the recognition they deserve for such strenuous ascends. These are the people without whom the mountains can’t be conquered. Mountaineers like Tenzing Norgay Sherpa, Kami Rita Sherpa, Apa Sherpa, Nirmal Purja, Babu Chhiri Sherpa and many others have set numerous world records which recognized and awarded by the Genius  Book of World Records but the government has still not been able to promote and motivate the legendary native mountaineers and get them to the level of exposure, reward and recognition they truly deserve. The mountains are also known as the third pole and water towers of the world. Almost all major rivers have their sources in mountains, and more than half of humanity relies on water from these rivers for drinking, domestic irrigation, industries, and the generation of hydroelectric power. The major river systems of Nepal like Koshi, Gandaki and Karnali all originate from the melting mass of snow of the Himalayas due to which they are referred to as snow-fed rivers. This water is also essential to the health of ecosystems since they provide nutrients for aquatic life and dilute pollutants generated mostly in the lowland areas. Mountains are also important in terms of the biodiversity as half of the world's biodiversity hotspots are concentrated in mountains and mountains support approximately one-quarter of terrestrial biological diversity. Mountains of Nepal are home to rare animals such as wild Yaks, Himalayan Monals, Himalayan Thars, snow leopards and the blue sheep as well as many strikingly beautiful vegetation. Nepal is blessed with eight out of the fourteen highest mountains in the world. But sadly, only the Everest, Annapurna and Langtang are promoted or have been commercialized. The government has not entirely succeeded in utilizing other mountains rather than those and earn revenue from them. The Everest gets thousands of climbers every year (6500+ in 2019) but the other mountains are put in the shade amidst nonetheless magnificence of the beauty and adventure experience. Only 25 people have climbed Cho-Oyu from the Nepal side since its first summit in 1954. Only around 500 people have summited Makalu since its first summit in 1955. Why is it so? Shouldn’t the basecamp of these mountains be made easily accessible for the mountains to be commercialized? These questions constantly flutter in my mind. The Alps mountain range which has Mont Blanc (4810m) as its highest peak attracts 15 crore tourists yearly.  Nepal on the other hand which has 8 out of the 14 highest peaks in the world attracts only 1.1 million tourists yearly. Why it so? In my research, I found that the government has developed infrastructures and made the basecamp easily accessible for the peoples in the Alps. Different peripheral tourism products are developed so as to increase the daily spending of tourists and their length of stay. Tourism products like skiing, mountain biking, mountain coasters, mountain ladders, paragliding, swings are developed so that the tourists spend more time enjoying their fullest simultaneously lengthening their stay and per day expenses. We lack every bit of those products here in our mountains. We lack the trails that connect the basecamps of our mountains. Well, another main issue in today’s context is the waste management of the mountains. Human waste (toilet) at the base camp, oxygen cylinders, plastics, non-disposable items (cans, bottles, batteries) and food-scraps are seen disturbingly on the route. These wastes and litters pollute the environment up in the mountains and take many hundred years to decompose. The government should think alternative solution on managing these dump of garbage as the mountains are our assets and we certainly want our future generation to be benefited from it too. Another issue I would like to highlight is that the mountains are facing risk from climate change and natural calamities. Mountains face climate change as the global temperature continues to warm due to which the glaciers on the mountains have started melting in an alarming rate which brings many hazardous events such as GLOF and avalanches which on a bad fate ultimately affects the lives of thousands of people and their settlements The mountains are a boon for us, the Nepalese people. We find deep peacefulness when spending time in the mountains. It is a unique feeling of calmness and tranquillity that we need to experience to understand. And for these mountains to remain in the foreseeable future, we need to take some immediate steps. Whether it be cleaning the waste of the mountains or minimizing the chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) emission by our country, whether by constructing roads to the basecamp or developing more tourism products in the mountains so that the spending of the tourist increases. Something dynamic is the utmost necessity of Nepal’s mountain tourism. In the near future, through this Bachelor of Mountaineering Studies (BMS) course which I am currently pursuing, I will be able to learn more about these majestic mountains and hopefully will be able to contribute in the sustainable development and conservation of these structures.

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Mani Wheel: Orator of Million Prayers
Sulav Lamichhane, BMS 1st semester; Cohort: 2019- 2022

Mani wheel (also called Prayer wheel) is an important part of Buddhist practices. A Mani is a cylindrical wheel on a spindle often beautifully embossed on metal, wood, stone, leather or coarse cotton and nothing to do much with the size of the wheel. The Manis can be easily seen on the monasteries, Gumbas and places influenced by Buddhist practices. Mani wheels are the examples of Buddhist technologies as well which conceptualize that all prayers, faiths and the devotion towards well-beingness of the universe multiplies as expressed by millions. The Mani wheels are filled with mantras (sacred spells associated with particular deities) such as the mantras of Avalokiteshvara (God of long life), “Om Mani Padme Hum”. The mantras are printed or handwritten on a very thin and tiny paper as many times as possible and in some cases numbering in millions (according to sizes of Mani wheels). The papers imposed with mantras are wrapped around a spindle and covered with a protective cylinder. Turning a Mani wheel with a large number of mantras inside is what could be compared to stating/ chanting those huge number of mantras, yet accomplished in a small amount of the time. Increase of advantage is likewise accomplished by supplication wheels fueled by wind, water and even electricity-powered at the current times. Whatever breeze or water that contacts the wheel will get blessed and then can purify whatever else it touches of negative karma. Mani wheels range in size from handheld to large wheels set fixed into a building. The wheels are made to be turned by hand, wind or water. Generally, these are turned clockwise while walking around the monastery or Gumba and gain the benefit of circumambulating the sacred building as well as the prayers sent up by the Mani wheels. Mani wheels are also used as an aid to meditation and as the means of accumulating merit wisdom, to help all beings around the world, to purify karmas, keeping negative energy and karma asides. Mani wheels are also used for meditation and purification. According to Lama Zopa, Rinpoche, “To benefit sentient beings, the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas manifest in the prayer wheel to purify all the negative karmas and obscurations, and to cause us to actualize the realizations of the path to enlightenment”. It is believed that prayer wheels were in practice and were spread by Mahayana teaching of Vajrayana. Nagarjuna gave the practice to lion-face Dakini, who gave it to Padmasambhava which he introduced to the Tibetan people. However, the advantage of turning the wheel with a concentrated mind is supposed to be one hundred thousand times more prominent than turning it with an occupied brain.

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Womens' Status in Tourism: A case of Garma, Solukhumbu
Shova Shiwakoti, BMS 3rd semester; Cohort: 2018- 2021

Nepal is a country of great geographic, cultural, ethnic, religious and linguistic diversity. Although Nepal occupies only 0.03 % of the total land surface of the earth, the diversity of geographical variation ranges from about 60 meters in the south to 8848 meters in the north at the peak of Mt. Everest. Nepal contains the central part of Himalayas, the highest mountain range in the world. Eight of the fourteen eight-thousanders mountains like  Mount Everest, Kanchenjunga, Lhotse, Makalu, Cho-Oyu, Dhaulagiri, Manaslu, Annapurna etc. are located here. Solukhumbu is one of the Himalayan districts of Province No. 1 of Eastern Nepal. The highest elevation of this district is 8,848 meters i.e. Mt. Everest and the lowest elevation is 600 meters i.e. Tuintar. Garma is one of the remote villages of Solukhumbu district and also one of the gateways to the Everest Base Camp. Garma village of Solukhumbu is rich in its indigenous culture. It consists of three main ethnic groups viz. Sherpa, Newars and Chhetris. The Sherpa are dominant in number. People here live with peace and harmony and despite the existing diversity cultures, they enjoy and celebrate the feeling of communalism together. The main occupation of the Garma natives is agriculture and animal husbandry. Sherpa women play a crucial, and in any respect, a dominant role in resource management, agricultural production and combinedly, agropastoralism. Culturally, the attire of Sherpa women of Garma is illustrated with a long inner shirt over a pant-like garment, both made out of wool. Over this, they wear a thick, coarse, wraparound robe (Bakhu) that reaches below the knees and fastens at the side. A sash is belted around the waist. Both males and females wear high, woollen boots with hide soles. The uppers are coloured maroon, red, and green (or blue), and the boots are tied on with coloured garters. An unusual feature of women's dress is the multicoloured striped aprons worn to cover the front and back of the bodies below the waist. Both married and unmarried women wear the rear apron, while the front apron is worn only by married women. Various ornaments and a distinctive cap called a Shyamahu completes the dress of a Sherpa woman.      Historically, Nepal has predominantly remained a patriarchal society where women are generally perceived as the subordinate to men. Men were considered to be the leaders of the families and superior to women. Also, social norms and values were biased in favour of men. Due to this reason, women were discriminated and they were deprived of many rights like rights to education, speech, freedom, right to make the decision for self and did not have equal opportunities as men. In the past century, there has been a dramatic dynamism in the role and status of women in Nepal, thinning the barrier to gender inequality. While the 1990 Constitution guaranteed fundamental rights to all citizens without discrimination on the basis of ethnicity, caste, religion, or sex, modernizing society along with the reach of education to the general population itself has played an important role to promote gender equality. Women are now taking leadership roles and participating in decision making at all levels. In October 2015, Nepal elected its first female president, Bidhya Devi Bhandari. Other famous Nepali women include CNN Hero of the Year winners Anuradha Koirala, Pushpa Basnet, Pasang Lamu Sherpa, Mira Rai, Sushila Karki, so on. My study reveals that the socio-economic status of women in Garma is low due to the lack of quality education, awareness, health facilities, unfair participation in economic activities etc. As a result, people have superstitious beliefs, gender discrimination still prevalent for example Sherpa women are not allowed to be involved in trekking and other tourism activities even though they are interested as their male family members. They are primarily responsible for taking care of their family members and their household chores like the collection of firewood from forest, water and graze cattle and thus face great difficulty in the mountain terrains tackling with harsh climatic conditions. The women population of Garma is more than the males as many of the males are abroad while others are involved in adventure tourism activities like trekking, mountain climbing due to which the women continue to bear a heavier family burden and are not able to generate income for the family. As a result of this lack of involvement in the tourism industry has led the women to have a below-than-average economic condition. Despite the fact that one of the routes of Everest basecamp trek is through the village but it is not famous due to the lack of infrastructure and facilities like hotels, lodges, and homestays for trekkers. To improve and the restructure the existing scenario, villagers should be educated and made aware of the benefit they will get. Education is a factor for enlightening people. It is key to empower both men and women and improve their quality of life. Women should have equal access to education and educational opportunities. But in context to Garma, the disparity in education and educational opportunities among men and women exists significantly. Sherpa women educational status is lower than men, most of them have not completed intermediate level. So, another reason of the unfair societal status amongst men and women is the result of educational disparity that, till the date, has shown how backward the women have already been and it seems like the educational gap has now become a very serious issue potentially impacting the future of women empowerment. However, due to the project of government like the Mountain Training Center in Garma has brought a positive impact on the lives of people. Life of the women has been easier due to this project as basic facilities like electricity and roads have become accessible due to the establishment of the Mountain Training Center in Garma. They even have gotten a chance to earn some money by helping in the construction work for the Training Center. This project is seen as a potential milestone of improving the status of people by proving education, training, health services, and income-generating source. It is an utmost necessity to help foster the growth of relative independence, self-sufficiency, decision making and active participation of women in the tourism sector, especially in villages like Garma of Nepal by educating, encouraging and self-empowerment trainings along with the establishment of hotels, homestays should be focused by the government as well as private sectors. Also, the economic status of Sherpa women is calculated to improve if provided with necessary trainings to those women who belong to low-income, unskilled or semi-skilled. The gender equality in tourism industry concerning the participation of women at both decision making and implementations in a context where more than 50% of the entire population is constituted by women in Nepal is of great concern. Women are crucially important in all these sectors. The tourism sector is one of the prospected three-pillar economic systems of Nepal with competitive and comparative advantages. There must be considerations to fulfil this gender gap in tourism both quantitatively and qualitatively.

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Cycling Around Panauti (Panauti-Khopasi-Sankhu-Panauti)
Sewika Thapa, BMS 3rd semester; Cohort: 2018- 2021

One fine evening during the lockdown, we were outdoor playing Volleyball which had become our daily pastime since lockdown. Tired of being indoor 24/7, one of my cousins brought the idea of going on cycling to some nearby destination. The next few days, we contacted the cycle renting company, enquired them and asked them for the recommendations and set the date to cycle around the hometown.  31 July 2020 was the D-Day! As per the plan, we had breakfast and left home early for the day. It was an early time of the dawn when we reached the cycle renting company and got bikes for all of us. We were a team of 7 girls accompanied by 2 guides. And there, we were at the Panauti bus park starting our cycling journey. We began cycling in a line with the light of the day rising from the east and sound of the honks waking up the town. We started cycling towards Khopasi which lies at the outskirt of Panauti valley. After cycling for about 20 minutes, our immediate realization was that “Monsoon is not a good season to pedal for beginners.”  This realization immediately vanished within our excitement to cycle and finally be outdoor since lockdown.  Being beginners to cycling, most of us were stopping our bikes whenever the big honking vehicles passed by. We were slow on pace whenever the puddles were in front of us. We could feel the scared heartbeat whenever any big vehicles passed by. However, knowing we had no real event to attend and no one to meet at the end of the journey, we didn’t care much about muddy roads and puddles. After cycling for an hour, we reached suspension bridge of Roshi Khola of Khopasi situated nearby the Khopasi hydropower. The thrill of reaching this far and a self-led trip made our hearts pump in joy and stopping by the high suspension-bridge, I immersed deep into the luxury of nature that the havoc of COVID also seemed puny. We then headed toward the Khopasi-Sankhu road. The road was steep and unpaved. Most of us walked instead of cycling. After the steep road was over, we cycled downhill. Cycling downhill was so overwhelming that we could feel the adrenaline rush in us. It came to us as closer to almost flying and that was an unmatched joy. We took rest every once in a while. In no time we were amidst the large spread fields of Sankhu. The plain and well-pitched road of Sankhu made cycling quite fun and comfortable. We were lowkey wishing the road to never end. Then on, the road we were cycling got allied with the Panauti-Namobuddha road. After having brunch in a local hotel, we then continued our returning journey. The Panauti-Namobudhha road was well-pitched with sight humps, giving a different thrill on every jerk. We were almost at the Panauti bus park when it started raining. We took shelter at the roadside hotel. When the rain stooped, we headed to Panauti. The road now looked more like puddles than the road. However, we headed to Panauti as fast as we could where we had lunch and headed towards our home all happy and tired. About Panauti Bike Station Panauti Bike Station is an initiation of the local youths of Panauti that supports eco-tourism and aims at promoting tourism of the locality through local empowerment. They provide a full range of service associated with cycling (i.e. Bike Rental Services, Guide Services, Route Design and Recommendations) for individuals and groups. I recommend their service for anyone willing to cycle around the town and nearby areas About the route Panauti-Khopasi-Sankhu and back to Panauti is not an established route for biking. However, the route suites the cycling novices with love towards the off-roads. The route may not be suitable during monsoon season for beginners. However, it serves joyfully to those who love mild adventure. The route passes through the Silk Farm, Khopasi Power House Reservoir, Khopasi Hydropower, Suspension Bridge of Roshi Khola, Balthali Eco Village Resort (nearby) and Salmitar Gumba. One can stop by at these sites for a brief break and enjoy the deeds the places serve at the same time. One can find many convenience stores during the journey for snacks and the breaks in between. Still, carrying a personal water bottle will be fruitful. Lastly, I recommend the journey to people intending to go cycling around nature-fed areas for a short break. Since the route is inclusive of the off-road trail as well, it is commended to keep the season and weather into consideration. Connect with Panauti Bike Station here

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My Journey to BMS; Nepal Mountain Academy
Ashok Nepal, BMS 6th semester; Cohort: 2017-2020

After completing my +2 exam, I took a break for quite some time before deciding on the course to join for my Bachelor degree as it is the major turning point for any student at that stage for him/her to make a solid career based choice. Like every student who wants to pursue a good career option, I was also seeking a similar opportunity. Because I have always been interested in adventure and adventure-based activities, I wanted to pursue a tourism-related course. However, one big question that was hovering in my mind was as to what kind, of course, will help me fulfill my wishes of pursuing an adventure-based career in tourism?  I knew about some of the institutions that have courses in Travel, Tourism, and Hospitality. Still, I also discerned that these courses will not lead in the direction of my passion for adventure. This was a huge dilemma for me to come over with. One day it so happened that I was scrolling through some social media page and in the newsfeed read about the Bachelor of Mountaineering Studies (BMS). Upon exploring it better, I realized that my teacher of travel and tourism shared it from +2 and it was then that I came to know that the course had been newly launched by the Nepal Mountain Academy (NMA). After reading the contents displayed, I went through the official website thoroughly and called my teacher for further information. He then recommended me to consult with the academic advisor of NMA. I was definitely excited about the subjects that are incorporated in the course along with the practical trips in each semester. By that time, I had finally decided to take up Bachelor of Mountaineering as the subject of my choice. To get the admission and fulfill the criteria, I filled out the CMAT form from the college and subsequently passed the test. CMAT test was followed by a round of interview after which the final results for the admission was published in which I found my name.  I was quite clear in my mind that the main objective of mine to study the BMS course is to become an academically sound professional mountain expert as I know that in our country Nepal, there is a very less number of professional mountaineers, mountain guides, and mountain experts. As such, the country requires more qualified human resources for mountaineering. Therefore, I want to be an academically trained expert in the field of Mountaineering and Adventure. At current, I am in the sixth semester, and my experience till this time has been fairly good. The course has been steered as per my expectation and anticipation. As the course is affiliated with the Faculty of Management of the Tribhuvan University, subjects like English, Principal of Management, Business Statistics and Maths, etc. are widely incorporated.  These subjects sometimes tend to become challenging nevertheless shall be the foundation for our tourism-based entrepreneurial skills in the days to come.  The faculty members are also very welcoming and approachable. They are the highly reputed lecturers and professors of tourism in Nepal.  Recently, we completed 7 days of introductory rock climbing training session, a cultural tour, trekking up to a base camp, and peak climbing of <6000 meters as a requirement of the practical training trip for every semesters semester. This particular session was very exhilarating for all the students as we learned many techniques, ideas, knowledge, and useful gears about climbing. This training has strongly made me feel that doing practical and trainings, along with the classroom lectures, is the best way of experiential learning.  The superlative part of this course is that it has been designed to deliver quality knowledge to the students about tourism, mountaineering, and academia. I have found this course to be convenient and realistic. Not only the efficiency in terms of teaching and learning, but the students by the end of the course become real mountaineers as the final few practical requirements include climbing mountains of 6000-7000 meters.  Hence, this course is unique in design which provides a platform to study, observe, learn and experience the very genuine facts about mountain tourism and its possibilities in the national as well as the global context. At this point, I am content and gratified that Nepal Mountain Academy is the first educational institution in the world for Mountaineering studies and I consider myself to be very fortunate to be a part of Nepal Mountain Academy.  I also believe that the scope of this course is wide stretched as even though Nepal is one of the best adventure seekers' destinations in the whole world, the country has been lagging on the global tourism map because of the domination of the experience-based industry. As the first course, many loops in management can still be worked upon. It is also quite a challenge to run such a course. For instance, the time management to keep a balance between the lecture sessions, and the practical sessions, the climatic adversities, the availability of qualified instructors are some of them. Similarly, infrastructural limitations are persistent at present for the Academy as a result of which it is soon to be shifted to a suitable location.  Finally, in the current situation of Nepal where the educational intuitions are mostly centralized to Kathmandu valley, Nepal Mountain Academy is distinctive as it has categorically initiated to lay its college's setup also in the lap of Himalayas in the beautiful village of Garma, Solukhumbu where it aims to deliver various essential academic and technical knowledge-based activities to provide quality mountaineering and professional learning experiences to the scholars, academics and students. Therefore, I would like to express my sincere appreciation towards the Ministry of Culture Tourism and Civil Aviation of the Nepal Government for equipping Nepal Mountain Academy to run Bachelor of Mountaineering Studies, Master of Adventure Tourism Studies followed by soon to be launched, Master of Mountaineering and Mountain Sciences.

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