Kathmandu: The 16th International Sagarmatha (Mount Everest) Day was celebrated today in Kathmandu, with a special ceremony honoring Everest summiteers. The Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA), in collaboration with the Government of Nepal’s Ministry for Culture, Tourism, and Civil Aviation, along with other tourism-related umbrella organizations, organized the event to commemorate the historic first successful ascent of the world’s highest mountain.
This year marks the 70th anniversary of Sir Edmund Hillary of New Zealand and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa’s pioneering achievement when they conquered Mount Everest on May 29, 1953. Since the passing of Sir Edmund Hillary in 2008, International Mount Everest Day has been celebrated annually on May 29.
On the occasion of the 16th International Mount Everest Day, the Nepalese government officially recognized over 100 Mount Everest climbers by awarding them the prestigious Sagarmatha Special Badge. Among the recipients, Mr. Kami Rita Sherpa, who holds the world record for the most successful ascents of Mount Everest with 28 summits, and Mr. Sanu Sherpa, the first person to complete a double ascent of all 14 eight-thousanders, were honored. Additionally, numerous renowned climbers from Nepal and abroad were presented with the Sagarmatha special badge.
The government also bestowed various awards upon the climbers. Mr. Sanu Sherpa received the Sagarmatha National Award, while Mr. Pasang Dawa Sherpa all (27-time Mount Everest summiteers), Mr. Kishor Adhikari, and Ms. Pasang Lhamu Sherpa were felicitated with the Tenzing Hillary Award.
During the ceremony, the honorable State Minister for Culture, Tourism, and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA), Mrs. Sushila Sirpali Thakuri, personally presented the badges to the climbers. The State Minister also launched the special Mount Everest issue of Nepal Parbat, a publication by the NMA.
Expressing her appreciation, the State Minister emphasized the significance of acknowledging the climbers, stating, “This is truly important for the climbers and for Nepal as well. By being recognized as Mount Everest Summiteers and having the logo of the Government of Nepal inscribed on the badge, climbers will gain worldwide recognition, thereby promoting Nepal on the global stage.”
Mr. Suresh Adhikari, the Secretary of MoCTCA, announced that the government plans to organize similar celebrations to honor the first successful summits of Nepal’s other eight-thousanders in the future.
“Mountains are the backbone of Nepali tourism. Therefore, we must preserve and promote our mountains,” stated Secretary Adhikari. “The Ministry is dedicated to creating a tourism-friendly environment in Nepal, and we will continue to organize such celebrations for Nepal’s other eight-thousanders.”
Mr. Nima Nuru Sherpa, President of the NMA, pledged to enhance the organization’s efforts in promoting mountain tourism by focusing on training and producing skilled human resources for the safety of mountaineering in Nepal. “For the past 50 years, NMA has been safeguarding Nepal’s mountains. However, we must expand our activities and reach,” President Sherpa expressed.
During the event, various dignitaries stressed the importance of sustainable promotion of Nepali mountain tourism. Mr. Hom Prasad Luitel, Director General of the Department of Tourism (DoT), Mr. Nil Hari Bastola, President of the Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal (TAAN), Mr. Resham Syngbo, Chairman of Jugal Rural Municipality, and Mr. Chandra Rijal, Vice-Chairman of the Nepal Tourism Board (NTB), emphasized the need for sustainable promotion of Nepali mountain tourism.
Prior to the formal ceremony, climbers from Nepal and abroad participated in a rally that commenced from Thamel, a bustling tourism hub in Kathmandu. The rally followed a route through Keshar Mall, King’s Way, Ghanta Ghar, and Ratna Park before concluding at the Nepal Tourism Board hall.
The 16th International Sagarmatha Day celebrations served as a momentous occasion to honor the remarkable achievements of mountaineers and pay tribute to the enduring spirit of exploration. Nepal, renowned for its breathtaking mountains and adventurous opportunities, continues to be a global destination for mountaineering enthusiasts.
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