Kathmandu, Apr.1 - In a bid to promote Nepal Tourism Year 2011 (NTY-2011) and highlight the image of Mt. Everest at the international arena, Apa Sherpa, world record holder for summiting Mt. Everest for 19 times, is attempting to assault the highest peak for 20th time.
Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoTCA) Sarat Singh Bhandari on Thursday handed over the Nepal Tourism Year 2011 Flag to Apa Sherpa. Nepal Tourism Board and Nepal Tourism Year 2011 secretariat jointly organised the press conference in the capital in which the handing over of the flag to ace climber was held.
The flag will be carried by Apa Sherpa to the summit of Mt. Everest during his record climb.
Succeeding the Eco Everest Expedition 2008 and 2009, Eco Everest Expedition 2010 has been initiated under the leadership of Dawa Steven Sherpa. Apa Sherpa is the climbing leader and Nanga Dorje Sherpa is Sirdar of the expedition.
Speaking on the occasion, Apa said "The expedition will once again focus on climbing in promote the NTY-2011 and an eco-sensitive manner, bringing old garbage and all human waste produced on the mountain down to base camp for proper disposal."
Apa said that he wants to climb the Mt. Everest with the view to publicize the Nepal Tourism Year 2011 and also collect the garbage of Sagarmatha area.
Dawa Steven Sherpa, another climber, said that the Eco Everest Expedition 2010 team had planned to collect and carry garbage from high altitude to the base camp.
Dawa Steven Sherpa and his Eco Everest Expedition team are continuing this initiative to create awareness among the local people and among the climbers to help keep Mt. Everest and Khumbu clean.
The team targets to bring down 6,000 kilograms of garbage from Camp II and below under the "Cash for Trash" programme, he added.
Similarly, the expedition aims to bring down 1,000 kgs of garbage from above Camp II under the "Cleaning up Everest" programme.
Earlier, Eco Everest Expedition 2008 had brought down 965 kgs of garbage, including 65 kgs of human waste from above base camp.
Similarly, the team had earlier brought down 6,000 kgs of garbage under the "Cash for Trash"
programme including 700 kgs of wreckage of an Italian Army helicopter crashed between Camp I and II during the Italian Everest Expedition in 1973, Dawa said.
Also, 115 kilos of human waste produced by Eco Everest Expedition 2009 was brought down and later was handed over to Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee for proper disposal.
The Expedition has been endorsed by WWF. Apa and Dawa who are both Ambassadors for WWF’s Climate for Life Campaign will use the Eco Everest Expedition 2010 to once again to talk about the Climate impacts on the Himalayas.
During the programem, Minister Bhandari also presented Dawa with the "International Olympic Committee Award for Sport and Environment".
The International Olympic Committee honoured Sherpa with this award for his contribution and efforts in the field of sports and environment.
Minister Bhandari praised their exemplary work on Eco Everest Expedition and wished Dawa Steven and Apa Sherpa for the grand success of the expedition.
On behalf of The Himalayan Trust and Sherpa Community Ang Rita Sherpa, Chairman of the Himalayan Trust, Nepal handed over ashes of Late Sir Edmund Hillary to Apa Sherpa to be placed on the summit to Mt. Everest during his record climb for the 20th time.
Similarly, Ang Rita Sherpa also handed over Temple of Bouddha to Apa to be placed on the Summit to Mt. Everest.
It was the wish of the Late Sir Edmund Hillary that his ashes be scattered only in two places, in the sea near his Auckland home and in the mountains of Nepal where he tirelessly toiled and made huge personal sacrifices to uplift the lives of the mountain people.
The climber team would leave Kathamndu on April 6 towards the base camp for climbing Mt. Everest.