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Tourism With eight of the highest peaks in the world, Nepal has been the focus of some of the most outstanding achievements in the world of mountaineering. For many decades the dauntless icy peaks have posed as challenge to those who dare. There are some 326 peaks in Nepal open for mountaineering today. Government of Nepal opened around 175 peaks in the last two years to mark the Mount Everest Golden Jubilee Celebrations. Climbing permit to scale the Nepal Himalayas is issued in all seasons by the Mountaineering Section of the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation. Certain official documents are required to seek permission for climbing peaks. Around 121 peaks do not require liaison officer for expedition. Fees or ties depend upon the altitude of the peak starting at US $ 1,000 for peaks below 6,501 meters and rising by US $ 500 for every 500 meters. Climbing gears and equipments can be bought or rented in Kathmandu. Many mountaineering and trekking agencies also offer packages that take care of needs like gear, food, transportation, guide and porter services. They also arrange insurance. Visitors should choose an agency that has good track record. Nepal Himalaya is known as the rooftop of the world. The Himalayas are the highest mountains in the world. Their scenery is legendary. These mountains have had an air of mystery until recently. Even today, the vast area of the Himalaya is untouched. It has always remained a source of fascination and inspiration for people from all walks of life in the world. Himalaya (“Him” means snow and “Alaya” means abode), the abode of snow and the Gods, extends about 2500 Kilometers. The Brahmaputra (Assam) in the east and Indus river in the west demarcate the length of the Himalaya. It is 300 Kms wide and rises nine kilometers above the sea level.  
Plenty of well-meaning organizations say the best way to support quake-ravaged Nepal is to spend your tourist dollars there, but many local tour operators have concerns. File photo KATHMANDU:   Nepal’s Himalayan tour operators are criticizing a new government-sanctioned report that declared one of the country’s most popular trekking circuits safe for tourists after massive earthquakes ravaged the country in late April. They say the study was hastily conducted, without enough fieldwork to back up the findings. The report, funded by the U.K. and conducted by structural-engineering company Miyamoto, found that the Annapurna circuit was not as badly damaged as initially feared, the BBC says. The government welcomed the report’s conclusions that very few trails in the area needed repairs after quakes on April 26 and May 12 killed more than 9,000 people across the tiny mountain nation. Several companies and associations that facilitate trekking expeditions across the Himalayan mountains surrounding Nepal, however, are less enthusiastic. Most say they were not consulted for their input, despite their intimate familiarity with and practical knowledge of the region. “Such assessments need to have the involvement of stakeholders like us to have any credibility,” Ramesh Dhamala, president of the Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN), told the BBC. Nepal Mountaineering Association president Ang Tshering Sherpa added that the report was “totally insufficient” because only one week of fieldwork was carried out. Their criticisms come just over a month after U.N. officials voiced their fears over the safety of several quake-damaged World Heritage Sites reopened by the Nepalese government. Speaking to the New York Times in June, Christian Manhart, the head of UNESCO Kathmandu, said that his organization had encouraged authorities to delay the reopening of certain monuments — including some of the country’s most popular attractions — because of concerns that some buildings were still unsafe or vulnerable to looting. He also told the Times that Archaeology Department director general Bhesh Narayan Dahal implied to him that he was under pressure to reopen damaged monuments in order to collect entrance fees to support reconstruction efforts.