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stdClass Object ( [ID] => 33573 [post_author] => 4 [post_date] => 2014-10-27 03:50:55 [post_date_gmt] => 2014-10-27 03:50:55 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_33574" align="alignnone" width="654" caption="Trekkers heading to Annapurna Base Camp. Pic: Joanne Lane, www.visitedplanet.com"][/caption] IN the aftermath of the recent hiking disaster in which at least 41 people were killed when a blizzard and avalanches swept across Nepal's Annapurna region, the Nepal government has promised to introduce new rules to ensure the safety of trekkers. This will include improved weather forecasts and delivery of that information to remote trekking areas, plus better monitoring of those that traipse the nation's popular trekking routes. Trekkers will be required to register at check posts when entering and exiting the region. Foreign trekkers had previously been required to buy permits and register on entering trekking areas, but it was not a requirement to check out. The Annapurna circuit where the recent tragedy occurred has long been the domain of backpackers, as opposed to climbers, many who complete the three week trek without a guide. This will also change now with Tourism department official Tulasi Guatam saying trekkers will be required to take a registered local guide or porter and rent a GPS tracking unit so authorities can trace them in case of emergency. This would also help control illegal operations in the business. The issue of being or not being guided was touched upon in more detail in this post for Travel Wire Asia in June 2013, however Intrepid Travel is one tour group that has recently demonstrated the importance of having a guide. They had a group in the vicinity of the Thorung Pass on the Annapurna Circuit and when they saw the approaching hostile weather they were able to warn their guide who diverted the trekking party away from the area. All are safe as a result. While I have sometimes trekked solo in Nepal (always with a guide on more difficult or unknown terrain), the increased monitoring of trekkers may also help to prevent tragedies such as in the remote Langtang region near the Chinese border where a series of solo female trekkers have been attacked, threatened with rape, gone missing and even found decapitated in recent years. The recent trekking disaster comes just months after an avalanche on Mount Everest in April that killed 16 guides and forced a shutdown of the world's highest peak. The April tragedy was the deadliest day on Mount Everest since the much written about events of 10-11 May 1996 when eight climbers died when they were caught in a blizzard.   [caption id="attachment_33575" align="alignnone" width="654" caption="Prayer flags are often draped on high peaks, bridges and other significant points on Nepal's tracks to ward off dangers. Pic: Joanne Lane, www.visitedplanet.com"][/caption]  Reports emerged after the 1996 disaster of congestion due to the number of climbers, delays in securing ropes that caused bottlenecks at the Hillary Step delaying the ascent of many climbers, the competitive nature of teams to summit, and the presence of commercial guides who allowed unqualified climbers to attempt to summit. The willingness of the Nepalese government to extend expensive permits to so many teams was also touched on in a book by Jamling Norgay, the son of the sherpa Tenzing Norgay who summited Everest with Sir Edmund Hillary in 1953. Jamling was climbing leader of the 1996 Everest IMAX expedition when the tragedy struck. In his book Touching my father's soul: A sherpa's journey to the top of Everest Jamling also noted the disparity in salaries between the local and international guides and the expectations and risks expected of Sherpas, many who are expected to carry heavy loads and establish ropes for clients in the most dangerous sections of the mountain. The tragedy this year brought many of these issues to a head again with the government promising to do what they could to provide compensation, education and welfare to Sherpa families. However despite concerns of the mounting rubbish on Everest, congestion and unqualified climbers the Nepalese government announced in February 2014 that there would be a cut to the cost of climbing permits from US $25,000 to $11,000 starting in 2015 to encourage more mountaineers to come to Everest. While the issues surrounding the climbing of higher peaks are somewhat different to the average Nepal trekking route such as Annapurna, there is clear evidence that changes have to be made before more lives are lost. Let's hope these recent changes will aid in this end. [post_title] => Nepal tightening up mountain rules in wake of disaster [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => nepal-tightening-up-mountain-rules-in-wake-of-disaster [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2014-12-09 05:13:32 [post_modified_gmt] => 2014-12-09 05:13:32 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.travelwireasia.com/?p=33573 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw )

Nepal tightening up mountain rules in wake of disaster

Nepal tightening up mountain rules in wake of disaster
October 27, 2014 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

IN the aftermath of the recent hiking disaster in which at least 41 people were killed when a blizzard and avalanches swept across Nepal’s Annapurna region, the Nepal government has promised to introduce new rules to ensure the safety of trekkers. This will include improved weather forecasts and delivery of that information to remote trekking…>

Walking into paradise: Trekking in the Valley of Flowers

Walking into paradise: Trekking in the Valley of Flowers
October 15, 2014 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

THE Valley of Flowers is an alpine area in Uttarakhand, a mountainous part of north India where fields of flowers bloom through the summer and into October. The valley is every bit as beautiful as the name suggests as not only are there profusions of gorgeous flowers of various hues but also different berries and…>

On safari: Animal trips with a difference around Asia

On safari: Animal trips with a difference around Asia
August 6, 2014 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

FOR a chance to travel to less touristy areas in Asia and encounter wildlife, nature and local life, an animal safari is an excellent option. Elephant, camel and horse safari operators exist in places as varied as the Inner Mongolian steppe, Thailand’s northern mountains and India’s desert sands and their itineraries provide the chance to…>

Finding meaning: 5 pilgrimage paths across Asia

Finding meaning: 5 pilgrimage paths across Asia
July 28, 2014 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

THE art of pilgrimage is an age old tradition that is not lost in modern day Asia where it is still possible to follow routes with other pilgrims to holy places such as the source of the River Ganges in India, the holy mountain of Kailash in Tibet or Buddhist monasteries perched on clifftops in…>

Trekking Japan’s Kumano Kodo pilgrimage trails

Trekking Japan’s Kumano Kodo pilgrimage trails
June 12, 2014 - 1 Comments - Cormac Quinn

IN ancient times it was called the ‘Land of Yomi’, meaning land of the dead, a wilderness of dense cedar forests and high mountain passes, believed to be embedded with spirits of Japanese and Buddhist deities.

On the road: The best two-wheel adventures in Asia

On the road: The best two-wheel adventures in Asia
June 2, 2014 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

FOR a chance to really get off the beaten track, feel the wind in your hair and explore some of Asia’s most beautiful regions, a motorbike is really the vehicle of choice. With options to buy or rent in many countries, it’s also often a cost effective means of getting around and leaves you plenty…>

5 extreme road trips in the Asia-Pacific region

5 extreme road trips in the Asia-Pacific region
May 10, 2014 - 1 Comments - Jo Lane

IF you’re seeking an adrenaline charged travel experience in the Asia-Pacific region, just tackling the roads themselves can be enough to get your blood pumping.

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Carlton Plaisance

Mussoorie, Uttaranchal, India

Carlton Plaisance

British colonial hillside retreat

1 Bedroom, sleeps 2
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Fernhills Palace

Ooty, Tamil Nadu , India

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An 18th century palace retreat

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Fort Chanwa Luni

Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India

Fort Chanwa Luni

A magnificent romantic fortress

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Bal Samand Lake Palace

Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India

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A lake Palace Retreat

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Balaram Palace

Chitrasani Village, Gujurat, India

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A neo-classical Gujurat palace

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