Canyoning makes lasting first impression


BED PRAKASH SHARMA

APR 23 –

Nepal’s reputation as an adventure sports destination is growing fast. And the recently concluded International Canyoning Rendezvous-2011 (ICR) has heightened that reputation.

The annual event organised in various countries throughout the world by International Canyoning Organisation was a huge success in Nepal. Thanks to excellent management by Nepal Canyoning Association (NCA) and the collaboration of French team Himalayan Canyon Team (HCT), the event was successful in terms of both participation and safety. In comparison to previous edition of the event organised in Italy, participation this year increased from 66 to 190 -from 12 countries and 20 organisations.

“Nepal has huge potential of canyoning as there are numerous mountains with lots of canyons and success of this event will surely attract a lot of canyoneers from around the world,” believes Yann Ozoux, chief of HCT. Yann was also confident that all the participants were satisfied. “These participants will indirectly work as ambassadors, so I believe there will be more participants in future.”

The event organised in Syange of Taghring and Ghermu VDCs of Lamjung district in five different canyons—Syange, Sansapu, Dod, Rhendu and Ghopte—saw only three injured. Injury is the biggest threat in this sport as the chances of canyoneers hurting themselves while descending in sloppy rocks added with the force of the waterfall are high. “I believe the injuries were due to human errors. The safety of the participants is our prime concern,” said leader of Nepal canyoneers team and canyoning instructor Rajesh Lama. “We ourselves did very little canyoning as we were dedicated to the safety of the foreign participants so that no wrong message would spread about Nepal and our safety management.” He also stated that, after successfully organising the event with collaboration of foreign company and support from the Nepal Tourism Board, NCA, now, can organise the event on its own and is also capable of guiding around 500 participants at a time.

According to Chairman of Nepal Canyoning Association Tilak Lama, ICR-2011-Syange/Ghermu was organised in Lamjung district as per the ambitious target of Nepal Tourism Board to develop Lamjung district as a tourist destination. The rivers situated at a very difficult

geographical position, which previously were not of much use, have become a source of earning not only for the local people but also for

the country.

“This is the first time such a large group has stayed for a week. All the hotels here earned quite significantly during this event,” said proprietor of a local hotel, Laxman Gurung. It was believed that the earning of the hotels in the Syange/Ghermu area was between four and five millions.

The event was even more highlighted considering that event of this kind was first in Asia and also the first Himalaya canyoning in the world. “Canyons in Nepal are not only challenging but the canyons in the Himalaya are also beautiful,” praised Eve Yves, a French canyoneer.

The foreign participants were deeply touched by the hospitality of the local people. A friend of mine, Olivier Armand Luis Marques de Brito, described Nepali as the most heartful people he has ever met and was quite touched by the reception the Nepali people from capital Kathmandu to the remote village of Lamjung. Accompanied by me, he also took a break to go for a trekking to Taal of Manang, which is a four-hour walk from the Syange that falls in the world famous trekking trail—Annapurna Himalayan Circuit.

“This country is quite amazing with so many different religions and around 100 dialects and still such good coordination among the people,” he responded after I described him the Nepali culture and religions.

French Emmanuel Belut, who has descended around 300 canyons around the world, listed Nepal among top five destinations for canyoning. “I haven’t descended much canyons in Nepal, but by the experiences I have got through some little canyoning I will not hesitate to say that Nepal is one of the top five destinations for canyoneers.”

With praises all round, NCA’s enthusiasm and locals’ participation and support, canyoning in Nepal is certainly heading towards a bright future. As it is listed among top 10 adventure sports in Europe, it looks to be one of the favourites in Nepal as well in the near future.

What is Canyoning?

Canyoning is descending down from top of a free-flowing canyon, waterfall or river with or without the help of the ropes and is usually done in groups in rugged terrains and requires a familiarity with navigational techniques, finding the correct route and other wilderness survival skills.

Posted on: 2011-04-23 09:23

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One Response

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