It’s been some time since we were able to provide you an update on our training activities in Nepal. Cov-19 has kept us quite busy in Nepal and we suffered problems to organize major events, such as the Kuri Ski Race Competition, which we hope to organize next year again. We also faced hardship in inviting international instructors to Nepal due to ongoing travel restrictions.
On a more positive note, there were also very positive news that reached us during these difficult times. Just before the begin of the Winter Olympics in Beijing we received the news that the sport Skimountaineering will become an Olympic discipline in the 2026 Winter Olympic Games in Milano, Italy. As the official representative body of Nepal in the International Ski Mountaineering Federation, we are excited to begin our training for this major event. We see the future of Nepalese Skiing not so much in the alpine disciplines that require massive amounts of money, time and dedication but in this new form that allows Nepalis to truly aim for medals in the future. Participation is important but having the real possibility to aim for Gold is quite a motivation. We will keep you posted on any updates, events in Nepal and trainings in this context. If you have experience in the professional Ski Mountaineering field, you want to donate cash, gear or you know people/companies/NGOs who would like to support us in this endeavor, please contact us.
Fortunately, we received a surprisingly good snowfall at Kalinchok this winter and were able to train in smaller groups. Hence, we managed to bring more beginners to the slopes, maintain the training for intermediates and explored a couple of new slopes on Kalinchok. The trails that were prepared last summer with the help of locals from the village of Kuri were excellent for our skiers and snowboarders. The frequent snowfall allowed us to ski almost entirely from the end of January to Mid-March. The snowfall also attracted not only visitors from Kathmandu, but even some foreigners and expats rented gear and enjoyed their time in the snow & sun. Abinash Lama joined us from Simikot, Humla which also had an extraordinary winter. You can find more information on the ski community in Western Nepal on his Vlog. We are also happy to have seen many of our friends and partners of the Nepal Mountain Academy and Nepal National Mountain Guide Association training on the mountains and exchanging expertise. Only if all stakeholders in the field of winters sports manage to pull on one string we will be able to achieve our goal of expanding the ski & snowboard community, participate in international competitions and make Nepal into a unique destination for skiers, snowboarders and other tourists in the “winter”/”off-season”. In this context, we hope to conduct a workshop in spring 2022 on the issue with all relevant stakeholders to discuss the next possible steps to achieve these goals in a concerted manner.
Moreover, Mahan Jung Pandé, one of our snowboard instructors and longtime member, organized a trip for Skiers and Snowboarders to Gulmarg in Kashmir, India. Our six participants were able to learn fast due to the excellent infrastructures and snow conditions on the mountain. This was the second time for NFSS to visit India to improve their skills and knowledge about winter sports and we hope to organize it again, next year. All participants were excited about the hospitality of our Indian neighbors, their newly acquired skillsets and the friendships created during these fascinating two weeks of international ski exchange. Interested participants can contact us for more details.
Unfortunately, NFSS members missed out on the National Ski Championship organized by the Nepal Ski Association (NSA) in Muktinath. Since details on the event were published on a very short notice, there was no time to organize our participation. We hope to participate next year with even more athletes, as many have been quite disappointed about the organization of this event. Snow conditions in Lower Mustang have seemed to be good according to participants and the pictures of the event. We also hope to explore more Ski Mountaineering and splitboard tours in this fascinating area of Nepal.
For the current year 2022/2023 we optimistically believe that the number of foreign arrivals might increase again since vaccination levels have given us an adequate level of safety again. We are currently working on a fixed trip to Mera Peak in September 2022 with European Ski instructors and local Ski and Snowboard students. Therefore, we invite interested ones to book their trip to Nepal via our sister company Ski Guides Nepal, since they do provide us with funding and support. So if you plan to visit Nepal this year drop us a mail!
Pictures of the National Ski Championship 2022 organized by the NSA. Pictures: Niraj Shresthra.