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11HimalayaNet #75 (October 2000)

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  • Himalayan Explorers Club
    Oct 23, 2000
      HimalayaNet #75 (October 22, 2000)

      Namaste, and welcome to the 75th edition of HimalayaNet, the online
      newsletter of the Himalayan Explorers Club. Note that we are
      considering a new name for the Himalayan Explorers Club, and are
      looking for reader input.

      Please send all contributions to himalayanet@egroups.com, and
      remember to include your membership number if you'd like to post a
      message. We are also very interested in sharing any travel
      information or updates you may have received from other HEC members.

      Kathie A. Mears
      HimalayaNet Moderator

      IN THIS ISSUE:

      1. HEC SEEKS INPUT ON NEW NAME
      2. HEC GOMELA AND CLOTHING BANK PROPOSALS ON WEB PAGE
      3. TEACHING POSITION AVAILABLE IN NEPAL VILLAGE
      4. OUTWARD BOUND NEPAL SEEKS PROGRAM MANAGER
      5. IMPORTANT SECURITY ANNOUNCEMENT FOR AMERICAN CITIZENS
      6. PAKISTAN TREKKING UPDATE
      7. CALL FOR BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT IN NEPAL TO HALT MAOISTS
      8. CALL FOR BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT IN NEPAL TO HALT MAOISTS
      9. HEC MEMBERS LOOKING FOR TRAVEL ADVICE/COMPANIONS
      9A. MEMBER SEEKS TREKKING CO. INFORMATION FOR NEPAL
      9B. PARTNERS FOR ROLWALING VALLEY
      10. ADVENTUROUS TRAVELER BOOKSTORE SPONSORSHIP
      11. CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING SECTION
      VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES
      HOW TO UNSUBSCRIBE TO HIMALAYANET
      HOW TO SUBSCRIBE TO HIMALAYANET
      HOW TO POST ON HIMALAYANET
      HIMALAYAN EXPLORERS CLUB MEMBERSHIP INFORMATION

      **********************************************************************

      1. HEC SEEKS INPUT FOR NEW NAME

      We're considering changing the name of the Himalayan Explorers Club
      and are seeking input from all HEC members and readers of
      HimalayaNet.

      The HEC was formed in 1996 with inspiration from the South American
      Explorers Club, which has Clubhouses in Lima, Cuzco, and Quito. Since
      our early days we've initiated and participated in many volunteer,
      cultural exchange, and development projects in Nepal and Pakistan.
      So, we're considering a new name that might sound less informal than
      a "Himalayaphiles" club.

      We're currently considering two names:

      a. Himalayan Explorers (dropping the word Club)
      b. Himalayan Environmental Coalition

      Any thoughts on these two names? What about a new name that we could
      use? One that keeps the HEC acronym? Please contact us at info@...

      **********************************************************************

      2. APOLOGIES FOR LAST ISSUE OF HIMALAYANET

      We apologize for those of you that received an intrusive ad for a
      visa card in the header of your last issue of HimalayaNet (#74).
      Unfortunately, egroups was recently sold to Yahoo and suddenly moved
      their more subtle ads from the footers to the "hit you in the face"
      header. We've requested a "no ad" version of egroups via phone, fax,
      and e-mail, but without a response. So, should their be ads contained
      in this issue, look for the next issue in a new group service called
      listbot.

      **********************************************************************

      3. HEC GOMELA AND CLOTHING BANK PROPOSALS ON WEB PAGE

      The HEC has written two grant proposals for which we are seeking
      funding; the proposals can be seen at our Web site:
      http://www.hec.org/club/about/assist.htm. In brief they are as
      follows:

      Our Educational Grant will renovate and expand the current Sano-
      Gomela school to include Grades 6 & 7. This will not only improve the
      school, but will reduce the high dropout rate from primary school to
      secondary school because the students will be able to study locally.
      The outstanding costs for renovation are approximately $4,514, plus
      $6,220 to hire two additional teachers for the new grades.

      In addition we would like to extend the HEC Volunteer Nepal Himalaya
      Teaching Program to the entire school year, include additional
      schools, and identify alternative sources of funding for staff. This
      will allow us to attract more qualified teachers to the region and
      improve the quality of education that the students are receiving. The
      costs to expand the program are approximately $40,028 over four years.

      Our environmental grant will continue our Clothing Bank Lending
      Program for porters so that they will be adequately equipped when
      providing services to trekkers. The majority of porters working today
      are sent into the Himalayas dangerously unequipped and unprepared for
      the cold, the altitude, and the now. There are no solid statistics on
      how many porters are injured or killed every year, but estimates
      range from a dozen deaths to upwards of thirty, and the cases of cold-
      related injuries (such as hypothermia, snow blindness, and frostbite)
      number well into the hundreds. All are preventable. The cost for this
      program is $18,364/year for three years.

      In addition we want to establish a permanent HEC Regional Office in
      Lukla or Namche, the starting point for the majority of Everest
      treks, which would house the Clothing Bank and employ a full-time
      environmental educator, who could work with tourists during the
      trekking season and with lodge owners, guides, and porters during the
      off-season. This person would offer educational opportunities similar
      to those offered in Kathmandu. The cost for the combined programs is
      about $27,000 /year for three years.

      All donations to assist us in these projects are U.S. tax-deductible.
      Please contact us at info@... or (303)998-0101 for more
      information.

      **********************************************************************

      4. TEACHING POSITION AVAILABLE IN NEPAL VILLAGE

      The HEC has learned that there is an opening for an experienced
      English (ESL) teacher in Nuwakot, Nepal. Nuwakot is a historic hill
      town about 3 * hours from Kathmandu, near Trisuli Bazar, and offers
      views of the Ganesh and Langtang Himal to the North.

      The position is in the Nuwakot High School, where the students are
      between 14 and 20 years old. Class size will be about 20 students.
      The position is for about one year (a non-tourist visa will be
      arranged), and will begin this winter. Room and board will be paid,
      but candidates will have to pay their own airfare to Nepal.

      Applicants must have experience teaching English as a second language
      (ESL) and send resumes to the Jane Sabin-Davis at jsd@....


      5. OUTWARD BOUND NEPAL SEEKS PROGRAM MANAGER

      A group of business leaders have been exploring formation of an
      Outward Bound school in Nepal. After some experimental courses and
      extensive review of operations at other Outward Bound schools
      worldwide, the Board of Outward Bound Nepal seeks an experienced
      Program Manager to develop a business plan and begin operations.

      The appointment is for an initial period of six months and the
      Program Manager will report to the Board of Outward Bound Nepal
      through the Chairman, Raut Chhetry with guidance from Outward Bound
      International Executive Director, Ian Wade.

      The Program Manager must be willing to tackle a variety of tasks that
      may be needed to start an Outward Bound school focused primarily on
      serving Nepalese participants. This may include marketing, staff
      development, program design, and financial management/fundraising.

      Accomplishing these tasks will require a staff person with
      considerable Outward Bound experience, ideally at a senior management
      level. Experience of living in another culture will be valuable. The
      person selected will need to be energetic, optimistic,
      entrepreneurial, patient and self-motivated.

      Initial screening will be done by Ian Wade, Executive Director of
      Outward Bound International. Final selection will be done by the
      Chairman of Outward Bound Nepal. Applicants should send letters of
      interest addressing in detail how they would approach the tasks
      outlined in the Job Description. A resume of experience and statement
      of the skills they bring to the position is also requested.

      Send applications to: - Ian Wade, Executive Director
      Outward Bound International
      1600 West 6th Avenue, Suite 204
      Vancouver, BC V6J 1R3
      Canada
      ianrwade@...
      Email or fax applications if possible.
      The position has a compensation package, including round trip
      airfare, housing, and salary of US$1,000/month.
      Starting date is January 1st 2001.
      Phone: (604) 737-3067 E-Fax: (786) 513-0413

      **********************************************************************

      6. IMPORTANT SECURITY ANNOUNCEMENT FOR U.S. CITIZENS

      The Department of State is extremely concerned about the possibility
      for violent actions against United States citizens and interests
      throughout the world. Several U.S. Embassies, including those in
      Damascus and Brussels, have recently been the target of violent anti-
      American demonstrations. On October 12, 2000, several American
      citizens were killed, and many more injured in an incident involving
      a U.S. Navy ship in port in Aden, Yemen in what may have been a
      terrorist attack.. In addition, anti-American demonstrations continue
      to take place in countries throughout the world in response to
      tensions and violence in the Middle East. Some of these
      demonstrations have become violent and difficult for local
      authorities to control.

      U.S. citizens are urged to maintain a high level of vigilance and to
      take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness to reduce
      their vulnerability. Americans should maintain a low profile, vary
      routes and times for all required travel, and treat mail from
      unfamiliar source with suspicion. As always, American citizens
      traveling abroad should contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate
      by telephone or fax for up-to-date information on security
      conditions. U.S. Government personnel overseas have been advised to
      take the same precautions. In addition, U.S. Government facilities
      have and will continue to temporarily close or suspend public
      services as necessary to ensure the safety of its personnel.

      Current information on post operations is also available on the
      internet at http://travel.state.gov In addition, U.S. citizens
      planning to travel abroad should consult the Department of State's
      Public Announcements, Travel Warnings, Consular Information Sheets,
      and Regional Travel Brochures. American citizens in need of emergency
      assistance should telephone the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate
      before proceeding to that location.

      Department of State travel information and publications are available
      at internet address: http://travel.state.gov U.S. travelers may
      hear recorded information by calling the Department of State in
      Washington, D.C. at 202-647-5225 from their touch-tone telephone, or
      receive information by automated telefax by dialing 202-647-3000 from
      their fax machine.

      **********************************************************************

      7. PAKISTAN TREKKING UPDATE

      Pakistan's politics may have fostered it's reputation as a dangerous
      place, but Pakistan's Karakoram and Hindukush mountains are still
      some of the finest trekking regions on the planet. We just returned
      from 3 months of trekking there, and can report that the people are
      friendly and the trekking is fantastic. The negative international
      publicity Pakistan gets means that you can walk on even the most
      popular routes without seeing other trekkers, and the local people
      almost bend over backwards to welcome you.

      One of our top goals was to visit the newly opened Kilik and Mintaka
      passes (as reported in HimalayaNet 63). These passes on the border
      with China are ancient trade routes, a part of the famous "Silk
      Route." You can't cross these passes into China, but you can visit
      these historically significant and amazingly scenic passes with no
      permit required. From Gilgit, the main town along the Karakoram
      Highway, take a bus to Sost, the last Pakistani town on the road to
      China. From Sost, local vans take you the 15 km to Misgar village.
      You can camp in the village, or stay in the old British officer's
      residence. Misgar villagers have divided the Mintaka Pass trek into
      4 'stages'.

      If you hire a local man to go with you he will carry a 25 kg load
      (he'll use his donkey for this), and you pay him 250 rupees per stage
      (a US dollar is currently worth about 55 rupees). If he carries no
      load, you pay him * wages (ie, 125 rupees per stage). Its 2 stages
      from Misgar to Murkushi, where the routes to Kilik and Minataka
      divide. When going to Mintaka, we suggest you camp at the end of the
      3rd stage (a 2-day walk from Misgar), and day-hike to the pass and
      back.. From Murkushi, it's also 2 stages to Kilik Pass. Camp at Sad
      Buldi (one stage from Murkushi) and day hike to the pass and back.
      Some easy snow peaks near the pass offer good views without too much
      effort. The Kilik pass is wide and gentle - actually a huge grassy
      alp. The trails are broad, easy to follow, and probably the easiest
      trails in all northern Pakistan. We really recommend this trek as an
      easy classic.

      We also pioneered a new route between the Batura Galcier and the
      Chapursan Valley, via the Werthum Pass (5200 meters). This is a much
      tougher route than Kilik or Mintaka, but not a technical one. Several
      easy snow peaks at the head of the Werthum Valley offer fun for
      mountaineers. If you are trekking the Batura Glacier, consider
      returning via the Werthum Pass into Chapursan. You can get to Raminj
      village quickly, or you could combine the trek with the Lupgar Pir
      Pass trek. It takes 5-6 days to trek from Passu to Raminj via Werthum
      Pass.

      In Shimshal we crossed the Mai Dur Pass (5700 meters). This was first
      crossed in 1925 by the Visser-Hooft expedition, but has been
      neglected ever since. The views of the Hispar Muztagh from the pass
      are superb, and we were fortunate to see lots of blue sheep on both
      sides of the pass. The pass itself requires a 50 meter rappel on the
      north side, which had a 10 meter vertical cornice when we were there
      in late June. Still, it's a cool route, and going from Shimshal
      village to Mai Dur, then over the Mai Dur Pass to the Ghujerab
      Valley, and back to Shimshal by the Boesam Pass (the standard
      trekking route), makes a fantastic loop trek of about 9-10 days.

      We did more exploring and trekking, but want to mention these new
      routes to HEC members. They are all in Gojal, the area of upper Hunza
      populated by Wakhi people. They are friendly and very hospitable,
      and welcome visitors to their summer yak pastures. This is the most
      peaceful part of Pakistan, and if you are looking for open, uncrowded
      trekking, this is the place to go. For full details, check out our
      guidebook "Trekking in the Karakoram & Hindukush" (Lonely Planet
      Publications). We also have some images, reports and statistics on
      our Web site.

      John Mock & Kimberley O'Neil
      http://www.mockandoneil.com

      **********************************************************************

      8. CALL FOR BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT IN NEPAL TO HALT MAOISTS

      In the fall of 1998, I spent almost six weeks in Bandipur, two hours
      east of Pokhara, writing a Master Plan for the village. As a follow
      up to that experience I wrote the article on "coaches vs players"
      (HimalayaNet #66) that generated a large debate among HEC readership.

      I have just received a report from a "very reliable source"
      concerning the situation in Bandipur today. The Maoist have been
      growing stronger and more active. They have extorted payment from at
      least one "rich" home owner and are also making threats against
      government servants such as teachers and businesses.

      Bandipur has been controlled by the communist party (but not the
      Maoists) for some time, to include the period of our visit. It is
      little wonder that almost nothing has been done to improve the
      commerce of the village. I am sure the communists expect "the
      government" to take care of them.

      As for the Maoists, this kind of environment is ripe for Maoist
      propaganda. There is great poverty and little chance of escaping it,
      especially in the rural areas. All this reminds me of the early
      1960's in Vietnam.

      So what needs to be done now? Perhaps the international community,
      led by the US, should launch a large, integrated, volunteer effort
      that focuses on three spheres--education, health, and commerce. Each
      of these must be done currently. The Peace Corps, for example is
      focusing on education and other AID organization are focusing on
      health, to include birth control.

      It is the third sphere, commerce, that needs work. Nepal should
      request that the International Executive Corps (IESC) or Citizens for
      Democracy Corps (CDC) establish offices throughout Nepal and bring in
      business volunteers. My wife Pam and I have done volunteer work with
      both organizations in Russia, and it does make a difference. They
      are both very professional and know how to get things done.

      In order to make this concept work the Nepalese need to create their
      own, nationwide, "Center for Volunteerism." This center would be a
      clearinghouse for volunteer projects and it would be closely tied to
      IESC or CDC. The Center would do a comprehensive needs analysis and
      then request follow up with business volunteers to implement business
      ideas. Nepali business people would be integral to the process, not
      only as managers of the IESC or CDC offices but also to do the needs
      analyses in the villages and districts, with volunteer help.

      There are many small business opportunities that could be identified
      and developed, with just a little funding. For example, I identified
      two dozen ideas in Bandipur, but funding was needed for
      implementation. Often funding can be in the hundreds of dollars or
      perhaps up to $5,000. This small bit of money, by western standards,
      can be a huge multiplier if managed, and if corruption is preempted.

      I further believe that many of the charitable organizations that come
      to Nepal should be controlled by the Center for Volunteerism. A mini
      business plan should be required clearly laying out what is to be
      done and how the projects will be implemented over the long term.
      This plan should be prepared and approved by the Nepalese before the
      charitable organization arrives in country.

      With a focused volunteer effort, we can stop Maoist propaganda at its
      grass roots. We can take the game away from them and help the
      Nepalese build prosperity, one step at a time.

      A five to ten year business plan will be needed to effectively
      implement this program and funding by USAID and other countries will
      be required. The bulk of this funding will be necessary to pay for
      plane tickets to Nepal for volunteers and give them a small per diem
      and adequate housing for their volunteer work. Also funding will be
      needed for the Nepali run IESC or CDC offices.

      It would be interesting to get readership response to this idea.

      Ralph G. Rosenberg
      Certified Management Consultant
      29330 County Road 358A
      Buena Vista, CO 81211
      Tel: 719-395-0668
      Fax: 561-679-6430
      ralphpamr@...

      **********************************************************************

      9. HEC MEMBERS LOOKING FOR TRAVEL ADVICE/COMPANIONS

      9A. MEMBER SEEKS TREKKING CO. INFORMATION FOR NEPAL

      I am planning my first trip to Nepal and am looking at several
      companies. I would like to hear from anyone that has trekked with
      Journeys International or Peter Owens Asian Treks. Thanks

      Tammy Webb
      tswebb@...


      9B. PARTNERS FOR ROLWALING VALLEY

      I'll be heading over to Nepal in November to check on HEC projects
      around Lukla and Namche, and am considering returning via the
      Rolwaling Valley. I'm seeking one or more trekking partners to join
      me.

      Scott Dimetrosky, HEC Director
      scott@...

      **********************************************************************

      10. ADVENTUROUS TRAVELER BOOKSTORE SPONSORSHIP

      This newsletter is sponsored in part by
      http://www.adventuroustraveler.com/. Check them out for the most
      complete collection of Himalayan guidebooks, narratives and maps on
      the Internet. Give them your HEC membership number for a 10% discount!

      **********************************************************************
      11. CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING SECTION
      (updated September 19, 2000)

      GUIDES

      ARUN TREKS & EXPEDITIONS specializes in treks, climbs and
      mountaineering expeditions in the high Himalaya. Top western and
      local guides. Small groups ensure high quality, superior personal
      service. Customized itineraries and group discounts available. Please
      contact us for further information.
      Phone: (888) 495-8735
      Email: aruntrek@...
      Web: http://www.aruntreks.com

      Explore Himalaya: Can arrange individual/group holidays to all
      destinations in Nepal, India, and Tibet. High altitude treks &
      climbing, mountain biking, and white water rafting.
      Contact Suman Pandey, PO Box 4902, Kathmandu, Nepal
      Fax: 977-1-252 115
      E-mail: adventur@...

      Join the Himalayan Explorers Club in the Himalayas! Pemba Sherpa
      leads Everest trek with Island Peak in October 2000 and March 2001,
      info@... or call (888) 420-8822. All trips also include an
      excursion "off the beaten path" to Sewangma, where Pemba grew up and
      the location of the HEC Bridge Project in November 2000.

      KE Adventure Travel. Unique trekking, climbing, mountain biking, and
      cultural journeys throughout Pakistan, Nepal, Tibet, China, Bhutan,
      Sikkim, Ladakh, Bolivia, Peru, Patagonia, Ecuador, Russia, Africa &
      more! Contact us for a free, color brochure.
      (800) 497-9675
      ketravel@...
      http://www.keadventure.com

      A HIMALAYA CLIMB with Daniel Mazur. Inexpensive, well organised. 7000
      and 8000 metre peaks. Beginner and expert routes. tel: 406-363-7747,
      email: himalaya_inc@..., 2 WEBSITES: www.shishapangma.com
      & www.nojintangla.com

      Discover the Himalaya with local expert Pemba Sherpa. With over 14
      years of experience, HEC trip coordinator Pemba and his international
      guide team offer trekking, climbing, and cultural journeys to Nepal,
      Tibet, and Ladakh. Proceeds also go to support the HEC school and
      bridge projects in Nepal. For free brochure contact:
      SHERPA ASCENT INTERNATIONAL
      Phone: (888) 568-8924
      E-mail: pemba@...
      Web: http://www.sherpaascent.com

      NEPAL, TIBET, SIKKIM, PAKISTAN, & BHUTAN. Scheduled treks & tours
      with USA leader of 33 Sierra Club Himalayan trips. From $425. Custom
      itineraries. Off-the-beaten track areas. Environmentally sensitive
      and porter friendly. Peter Owens' Asian Treks.
      E-mail: petertrek@...
      Phone: (800)223-1813 or (510)222-5307.
      Website: www.instantweb.com/p/peterowens

      World of Wonder Adventures, Inc. - specializing in adventure travel -
      WOW! Takes you to places you've always wanted to go, to do the things
      you've always wanted to do, at a price you can afford. Our exciting
      schedule of upcoming adventures includes Nepal, New Zealand, Baja
      Mexico, Spain and the Oregon Coast. For more details call toll free:
      1-888-4-wow-fun or e-mail us at: wowadventure@...
      http://www.wowadventure.com

      TRAVEL

      Himalayan Treasures and Travel. We have seats to Kathmandu all the
      time. Call us for the best price and best service. We book for many
      HEC members and give HEC discounts! Call (800) 223-1813 or (510) 222-
      5307.
      govindsh@...
      http://www.himalayantrekking.com

      Ticket Planet. We are America's leading round the world air
      consolidator, and also your Nepal airfare experts. We can get seats
      to Kathmandu when others can't. We broker over 50 airlines. We have
      over 15 years of experience pricing international airfares. Please
      contact us at (800) 799-8888, (415) 288-9999.
      Fax: (415) 288-9839
      See our website: http://www.ticketplanet.com
      Email us at: himalayas@...


      **********************************************************************

      VOLUNTEER/STUDY ABROAD

      Volunteer Nepal Himalaya offers participants a unique opportunity to
      teach English in Sherpa villages in the Himalayas, near Mt. Everest.
      Accommodations are with local families. While not teaching,
      participants work on community service projects or explore the
      endless trails and villages of the Khumbu region. For more
      information, please contact the Himalayan Explorers Club at
      info@... or call (888) 420-8822.

      The Nepal Volunteer Handbook offers potential volunteers everything
      they will need to know about volunteering in Nepal, including a
      personal skills assessment, background on the history of foreign
      assistance in Nepal, tips for ensuring a worthwhile experience, and
      information on over 50 volunteer leads. Contact the HEC at (888) 420-
      8822 or info@...

      The Kathmandu Environmental Education Project (KEEP) is looking for
      experienced volunteer English teachers to teach English and
      educational workshops for sirdars, sherpas, cooks, and kitchen staff.
      For more information please contact:
      PT Sherpa"Kerung", Executive Director KEEP
      tour@...

      **********************************************************************


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      HOW TO POST ON HIMALAYANET

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      sure to include your membership number in your E-mail. Only members
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      **********************************************************************


      HIMALAYAN EXPLORERS CLUB MEMBERSHIP INFORMATION

      The Himalayan Explorers Club (HEC) is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3)
      nonprofit organization that seeks to promote a better understanding
      of and respect for the environment and culture of the Himalayan
      Region. Members can receive e-mail, postal mail, and faxes, store
      luggage, and browse through trip reports at our Clubhouses in
      Kathmandu and Islamabad, Pakistan. In addition, members receive
      discounts with many hotels, restaurants, shops, and travel agents.
      Members also receive our hardcopy newsletter, Himalayan News.

      For more information about the HEC please visit our Web page at:
      http://www.hec.org/, or contact us at:
      Himalayan Explorers Club
      PO Box 3665
      Boulder, CO 80307
      Phone: (303)998-0101
      Fax: (303)998-1007
      mailto:info@...