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Thread: Nepal Govt bans solo trekking in Langtang

  1. #21
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    Default Re: Nepal Govt bans solo trekking in Langtang

    Quote Originally Posted by yakshaver View Post
    Unless things have suddenly changed during my time in Mustang, or over the last few days...

    First, this is not a TAAN initiative. It is the government. Secondly it is only applying to Langtang. Thirdly, it is not money-grabbing. You can go with your wife, or with Scarlett Johannson (if you can afford her....) or with some hairy undeodorised feminist from Londond. The point is not to trek all by yourself.
    In your opinion Yakshaver, I happen to disagree. TAAN are lobbying for this and I agree with Landfall on the reasons why. It suits them to have a monopoly as they attempted to with TRC. There may be other factors now but it is naive to assume that TAAN aren't going to want this put in place.

    Quotes from below:-

    "The Trekking Agents Association of Nepal (TAAN) demanded to make a legal provision to arrange a guide and porter compulsory as the cases of foreigners missing were increased when they were allowed to trek alone.

    TAAN Vice-chairman Jangbu Sherpa said the tourism entrepreneurs have demanded such legal provision keeping in view of tourists' security and facilities, adding that the tourists, however, could go alone in the routes that are busy in all seasons."

    It was pretty clear before that TAAN stated their reasons for TRC as trekker safety, many of us took the cynical view that they were trying to monopolise trekking. Do you really think their agenda is purely about safety?
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Escher

  2. #22
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    Default Re: Nepal Govt bans solo trekking in Langtang

    I think it would be enough with a "strong advice" not to trek alone and catch
    most who might not be experienced enough to look after themselves.
    To force well experienced adventurers to team up with others is going to far.

  3. #23
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    Default Govt puts decision to ban solo trekking on hold

    Govt puts decision to ban solo trekking on hold
    Sunday, 19 August 2012 17:41
    nepalnews.com

    The government has decided to put the decision to ban solo trekking in Nepal on hold until further notice.

Issuing a notice to concerned stakeholders on August 17, the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) said it was holding discussions with the stakeholders toward making trekking in Nepal safe and ensuring security of trekkers, according to Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal (TAAN). 

The notice also further said that the government will reach a conclusion on the issue very soon. 

Earlier, Ministry of Home Affairs had decided to ban solo trekking after some trekkers, who were travelling single, went missing and even found dead.

    http://www.nepalnews.com/home/index....-on-hold-.html

  4. #24
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    Default Re: Nepal Govt bans solo trekking in Langtang

    This is the kind of thing that upsets the Nepal government (such as it is). They hate to have embassies pushing them to take action.

    http://www.sheffieldtelegraph.co.uk/...kker-1-4849748

    But the people at TAAN are desparate to create business for their guides and will use any excuse to force guides on trekkers.

    Take your girlfiend, boyfriend, cousin, sibling, mother, schoolmate or anyone else trekking with you and help divert government attention from the solo trekking issue.

  5. #25
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    Default Re: Nepal Govt bans solo trekking in Langtang

    So if i go this winter I will only walk around Syabrubensi so the poor guide will be bored.

    These days birders do not go alone to Pulchowki near Kathmandh due to thieves on the trails. Birders typically carry quite a bit of expensive gear.

  6. #26
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    Default Re: Govt puts decision to ban solo trekking on hold

    Quote Originally Posted by Ging View Post
    The government has decided to put the decision to ban solo trekking in Nepal on hold until further notice.

... 

The notice also further said that the government will reach a conclusion on the issue very soon. 



    http://www.nepalnews.com/home/index....-on-hold-.html

    SO, that leaves us in the same place -- don't know yet!

  7. #27
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    Default Re: Nepal Govt bans solo trekking in Langtang

    Quote Originally Posted by Escher View Post
    It was pretty clear before that TAAN stated their reasons for TRC as trekker safety, many of us took the cynical view that they were trying to monopolise trekking. Do you really think their agenda is purely about safety?
    I do not think TAAN's push, whatever pressure they apply in public or behind the scenes - is purely, or even primarily, about safety. It is obvious self interest. I was simply pointing out that the stated initiative about Langtang (now on hold according to Ging) was the governtment's, not TAAN. And that the Govt rule, as it stands, does not force a guide or porter. Just a companion.
    yakshaver

  8. #28
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    Default Re: Nepal Govt bans solo trekking in Langtang

    Reading all the news, views & press releases on the rules concerning solo/unguided trekking really does make me sigh wearily. We had a rather similar situation a few years ago - TRC was intended to solve the problem, regulation to make trekking legal and safe(er), TAAN tried to pass it off as "law" but had to back down when government declined to formalise the agency cartel, so TRC was renamed to TIMS. Unfortunately the system has solved none of the problems, the trekking industry works just the same way as it did before and still trekkers go missing along the trails.

    The crucial problem here is (not TAANs profit lines) the safety of trekkers, and at the heart of this is solo trekking. One thing that is should be obvious, and demonstrated by a series of tragic incidents, trekking alone is not safe. This is a complicated and contentious issue, and unfortunately there is no simple solution. And I have to say that I have very little faith in TIMS and/or TAAN doing anything meaningful to help. I am going to offer a few of my opinions on this matter, and I hope that they will be read not as a diatribe against TAAN but more in the way of things to consider for informed trekkers....

    First of all, there will be no end to solo trekking. Legislation to outlaw that would be ineffective and/or unenforceable. It is inconceivable that a TAAN guide must accompany every trekker/tourist wherever they go in Nepal. Where would this be required - on the "main" trails (Everest & Annapurna)? If Langtang is restricted then is Helambu, and how about Shivapuri and Nagarkot? Do I need a guide to take a bus to Tansen and go for a walk to Rani Mahal? Must I take a TAAN flunky on a day walk to Changu Narayan, or a have agency assistance to go to Swayambunath?! I really cant think of a sensible and workable point at which a guide should be mandatory.

    Perhaps there may be a rule to say "no TIMS for solo trekkers", would that help? Probably not, considering that a couple of the trekkers who have disappeared in the Khumbu whilst walking alone were both in the company of a friend when they entered the Park. And regardless of the rules and sensible advice there will be cases where small groups of independent trekkers split and whether intentional or not one may go off on their own. I know these things to be true from personal experience too long and involved to relate in this post.

    Does TIMS actually help when someone does go missing? I think not. Of course we cant really know how much use the permit is for organising searches, but it seems to me that when the alarm is raised for a missing trekker it is by the friends or family and they have a pretty good idea of the approximate location and date rather than these clues being retrieved from TIMS records. I fail to see how TIMS is in any way an aid to the safety of trekkers, I've not heard of any success stories.

    Would trekking be safer if everyone was forced to go with a TAAN agency? Probably yes, there would be fewer cases of mysterious disappearances, and the robbers and murderers would not find easy pray on the trails. But the trekking industry does not have a faultless safety record, the mountains have some inherent dangers and being in a guided (or unguided) group will not necessarily make much difference. Agency business vs safety ethics are called into question with the "helicopter rescue kickback" scandal. And if an individual tourist is determined to go for a solo trek where will always be a way to work around or avoid the restrictions.

    The moral of my little rant is, of course, go out of you way to walk with a buddy or guide and DONT TREK ALONE (but if you do then be careful )

  9. #29
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    Angry TAAN urges for compulsory guide system

    TAAN urges for compulsory guide system
    HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE

    KATHMANDU: The government is planning for a compulsory guide or porter system for individual trekkers in the Langtang region only. 


    Trekking agencies have requested the government for a compulsory guide or porter for individual trekkers in all the trekking routes. However, the government is planning to make a porter or guide compulsory only in the Langtang region.

    

“To ensure the safety of individual trekkers we have been lobbying to appoint 

a guide or porter for each trekker,” said chief executive officer at Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN) Gangaram Panta, adding, however, 

the government is planning 

for a compulsory guide 

or porter for individual trekkers only in the Langtang region.

    

“We don’t want a ban on individual trekking. We want to ensure the security of trekkers and it is possible only if trekkers are accompanied by a porter or guide,” said Panta, adding that the government is 

yet to make its final decision and TAAN is waiting for 

a meeting with government officials. 

“We have suggested the Tourism Industry Department regarding the need 

of a porter for individual trekkers,” he said.

    

“We don’t have any hidden interest and we cannot force the tourism ministry to follow our suggestion,” he further said. 

Due to a series of incidents in the Himalayan trekking route, trekking agencies have started lobbying for the need of a licensed porter for individual trekkers. “There have been many cases of disappearances, and a mandatory provision of a tourist guide will ensure the security of trekkers,” TAAN claims. 

According to TAAN, more than 90 per cent trekkers who go missing are individual trekkers and there is no information about the whereabouts of those trekkers due to the lack of a monitoring mechanism.

    

Of the total tourist arrivals, about 35 per cent come for trekking. In 2011–2012, the trekking business earned total foreign currency worth $ 50 million, stated TAAN. 

A Trekking Information Management System (TIMS) card is issued to trekkers at $ 10 for an individual TIMS card, and $ 20 for group trekking that is for trekkers other than from the SAARC region. TIMS is a system developed by TAAN, and NTB is the authorised organisation for collecting taxes through it. 

However, the involvement of other players in distributing TIMS card and collecting taxes has created unnecessary problems.

TAAN has also developed a software to ensure the security of tourists and check illegal operations.

    The software will make sure that tourists at different trekking routes are safe.

Under the software, a trekker has to fill up a form with all the personal details and programmes throughout the stay, and the information will be recorded in the TIMS software. If any trekker goes missing, the software will help trace the whereabouts of the missing trekker.

    http://www.thehimalayantimes.com/ful...&NewsID=344964
    ************************************************** *******
    TIMS is TAX thief system.
    TIMS is NOT really useful.

  10. #30
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    Sep 2006
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    84

    Default Missing US lady was murdered in Langtang region: Police

    Missing US lady was murdered in Langtang region: Police

    eKantipur
    http://ekantipur.com/2013/08/02/top-...ce/375788.html


    RASUWA, AUG 02 - Police investigation has revealed that American tourist Aubrey Caroline Sacco , 23, who had gone missing since 201 while trekking along the Lamtang trail, was murdered .

    According to sources, one of the accused involved in the murder told the investigating police that Sacco's body was thrown into the Lamtang River after the murder.

    Police have arrested Pemba Lama and Jagat Tamang of Lamtang on the charge of their involvement in the murder.

    The Central Investigation Bureau of Nepal Police arrested them and took them to the murder site for futher enquiry on Thursday.

    The sources said that Pemba and Jagat, in their statement, said that they murdered Sacco near a huge rock above the riverside and threw her passport and other documents into the river.

    Her camera was taken by Jagat Tamang, the sources added.

    Meanwhile, one Lhakpa Lopchan has also been arrested as per the statement by Pemba. It has been reported that Lopchan was the mastermind behind the murder.

    Sacco went missing since April 20, 2010 after she set out on a weeklong hike in the Langtang Valley just south of the Tibetan border.

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