As mentioned, the main hiking route in the Langtang valley has Kyagjin at 3870 m. as its destination, which is usually reached on the third day after overnight stays at Lama Hotel and Langtang. In this way, Langtang valley is just a part of the itinerary for Kyagjin, from which you can reach some viewpoints (from 4.600 to 4.900 m. c.a.) or continue beyond.
is to make attractive the Langtang village as a destination not only as a stopover for transiting hikers.The idea is to realize an equipped path (Via Ferrata) that from the Langtang valley climbs on the north side
a) – reach one or more viewpoints on the Langtang valley and to the peak behind Langtang Lirung (7246 m.) in order to see the base camp;.
b) – offer the opportunity to do a correct acclimatization during the climb from Syabrubesi, (stop at Langtang, the next day climb to 4.500 and go back down to sleep again at 3.450 m, it would be desirable especially for a ring route that touches higher altitudes for those who want to face peaks of 6.000 meters and more);c) – facilitate access to the various canyoning routes already existing, which had been equipped by the alpinist Oscar Piazza with the intention of developing the site for this particular activity.The offer of the equipped path, with its overview, can generate an immediate opportunity of economic development economy of the Langtang valley, for the increase of overnight stays and services connected (restaurants caffès, craft, etc.), and the near future also generates the birth of new canyoning services that will offer additional job opportunities to many people.
is to contribute, with the ONG New Vision Nepal, to the connection of Langtang valley with trekking itineraries in the valleys and surrounding areas to realize circular treks aimed at a responsible and sustainable development of disadvantaged areas of the country.The project is to connect the Langtang valley with itineraries in the valleys and surrounding areas to create circular treks aimed at supporting tourism development in a responsible and sustainable way for the benefit of disadvantaged areas of the country through the construction of safe climbing routes.
It is important to highlight how the project has an undoubted social value as it aims to build an infrastructure that generates utility for all the inhabitants of Langtang and neighboring villages.
In fact, the project promotes better management of resources and protects the landscape and the environment as a collective heritage of the community, especially for future generations, safeguarding, promoting and supporting responsible use of resources and increasing job opportunities in the valley directly and indirectly to the tourism sector.
Since 2020 the collaboration with GARIMA VOYAGE has been very fruitful in developing new opportunities for the local community, especially in the area of Melamchi and Panchpokhari.
Here below our project showing the great impact can do the private sector with a social and solidarity motivation and the no-profit organization with long lasting experience:
The first ascent to reach the summit of Ganchenpo (6378 m) from the Sindhupalchok slope which took place in November 2022 represented not only a mountaineering goal but has become the symbol of the process of promoting sustainable tourism in the areas of Melamchi and Panch Pokhari.
The expedition saw 30 Nepalese and Italian members as protagonists, who departed from the village of Bhotang on 28 October 2022. In eight days, passing through Noshampati and with a few days of rest at the five sacred lakes of Panch Pokhar for acclimatization, the whole group reached Lyangsing Valley, where base camp (4080m) was set up.
The summit of Ganchenpo was reached on November 7, 2022, opened by the Himalayan guides Sanu Sherpa (world record holder for having climbed all 8000m twice) and Lal Badahur Waiba, followed by Rabindra Aryal founder of Garima Voyage, Ashok Bhatta president of New Vision Nepal and Ram Kaji Prayas Himalayan guide, on 11 November.
The goal was not only to reach the summit of this stupendous mountain from a still untouched slope and to open a new, more accessible and safer circuit with the Langtang through the Langshing pass, but also to bring the development project to the media’s attention rural and sustainable tourism initiated by Garima Voyage and the NGO New Vision NepalA project that aims at the development of the area following sustainability criteria for a tourism that promotes true wealth: cultural promotion, environmental protection, resource conservation for current and future generations in the areas of Melamchi, PanchPokhari and Langtang and therefore consequently promote a international tourism interested in discovering rural areas that are still very authentic and proud of their local culture.
Garima Voyage, in fact, has been operating in this area for years, with the help of the local authorities and the technical assistance of SAT (Società Alpinisti Tridentini), and the academic support of MaST (University of Trento) and Tribhuvan University, with the aim of promoting tourism eager to get to know a region of Nepal that is still not very popular with tourists.Fundamental to the success of the expedition was the synergistic cooperation between the local authorities: Nepal Mountaineering Association, Nepal Tourism Board, Trekking Association, New Vision Nepal, Mountain Guide Association of Nepal and the municipalities of Melamchi and Panch Pokhari; as well as the economic support of outdoor brands, Machhapuchchhre Bank and Tik Tok Hotel, and the work of trainees from the University of Trento.
During the expedition, the team brought its values and sensitivity linked to sustainability, immersing the members of the expedition in local traditions: a welcoming ceremony for the whole team with the traditional Bombo Nach dances and the typical Puja, a Buddhist auspicious for reaching the top.
In the Langtang valley, the village under the waterfalls equipped by the Italian Oscar Piazza for canyoning was visited, before it disappeared during the 2015 earthquake. Here team met with the locals to create a path of access to reach the routes equipped by Oscar on the waterfalls, with the help of Oscar’s family and friends and the local community and authorities.
The expedition included a stay in homestays, or family lodgings, and this allowed the team to immerse themselves in the local hospitality, and get in touch with the customs and traditions of the inhabitants of these areas, before necessarily having to set up the tented camps.
Even the opening of the new pass, which connects the Langtang valley and Panchpokhari in fewer days than other routes and safer and more accessible compared to the other passes, was a significant achievement and target for future interventions to ensure the safety of the path.
All this work has opened up greater opportunities for attracting tourists and visitors to the entire area. Ganchetpo Peak is the closest peak above 6000m to KTM. This means that, apart from being part of the Great Himalayan Trek, the peak and the new pass can also attract additional visitors from the domestic market and future developments of a remote area with fewer resources as well as being a less burdensome and easier area. of training and preparation for aspiring local guides who need to gain experience.
The opening of this ascent also implies additional funds at the local level from the central government, generating a new financial source for sustainable development and support for the interventions necessary for certification.
With the conclusion of the expedition and the arrival in Kathmandu, a thanksgiving ceremony was held for the whole team and the sponsors involved in the project at the headquarters of the TAAN (Trekking agency associations of Nepal) where there were official thanks from of the Department of Tourism, the Ministry of Tourism and the Nepal Tourism Board. During the ceremony, the importance of the expedition for tourism promotion and the attention raised for the certification were discussed several times, of which Garima is very grateful and proud.
This expedition was an opportunity to give visibility to an ambitious but far from concluded project, in fact Garima continues to operate in collaboration with the municipalities by implementing other projects aimed at raising awareness of the local population on issues related to sustainability towards continuous improvement.
The next step is to develop this path as a SUSTAINABLE TREKKING path.
In cooperation with our partner Prakriti Resort in Melamchi, we have organized training for homestays in Heibung (Melamchi) area in cooperation with the National park and in July 2022, the Environment and Tourism committee was formed and registered as an NGO of Heibung in support of the certification project. The collaboration with Prof. Pashupati Nyaupane of Tribhuvan University is fundamental for his extraordinary academic contribution on rural tourism and homestay accommodation.
The guidelines that we translated into Nepalese in relation to the GSCT sustainability criteria were distributed.
In December 2022, another training program was organized for Panchpokhari Homestays on the topics of nutrition, hygiene and hospitality. Fundamental issues of which we have reported a detailed picture of the situation to the municipality after our inspections.
Given what we have reported to the Municipality in relation to the situation of family accommodation, we have proposed a series of structural interventions with a strong visual impact to ensure that the attraction of homestay tourism and the authentic experimentation of local culture and style of local life is valued. We have actively contributed to covering the sheets with local material, wood..
We have also built the first GRAY WATER MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS for their reuse in irrigation, through a filtering system so as not to further pollute the environment.
Sustainability training at school level was held both in spring at Terse School in Melamchi and in November at Kirtipur school and in December at Panchpokhari School to spread awareness of the concept of sustainability and concrete actions to achieve a more sustainable environment and better resource management.
The training benefited hundreds of students between the 7th and 10th grades and was also well received by teachers and school staff.
The data collection was carried out thanks to the students of the MaST, a Sustainability and Tourism Management course at the University of Trento, who together with us visited some of the host families in the area to involve the local population in following the sustainability criteria of sustainable tourist destination.
To this end, a survey was developed and administered to the accommodation facilities involved in the project, which aimed to assess the basic situation of the sustainability criteria of family stays; in particular for water management, waste management, conditions of premises and infrastructure with particular attention to materials, and to understand what are the main issues that need to be addressed.
After collecting this data we were able to create a list of the general situation for each household, identifying the problems that can be addressed in the short term by the various accommodation owners. The project has been updated by inserting new host families with respect to the mapping that was done in spring 2022, which is located along the trekking route towards the Ganchempo peak, in particular in the Panch Ponkharì area.
The importance of the sustainable tourism certification project was explained to the new host families and to promote certification and help the local population in creating new opportunities.
During the data collection, a short training was also done in relation to the importance of communicating one’s business and the methods of registering on social media and being visible to potential guests, as well as the importance and methods of obtaining feedback on the their living room.
After the disastrous floods of 2021 in Melamchi and Panchpokhari it was necessary to evaluate the situation for management and future actions to prevent environmental disasters and also the effective response methods in case of floods and disasters. For this reason, Unitn students and Garima staff carried out a survey with the support of the local authorities of Melamchi and Panchpokhari for the assessment of the situation and necessary actions in the event of a disaster to avoid damage and victims as much as possible.
The creation of new opportunities for Nepal and the search for sustainable solutions for today’s and tomorrow’s generations has always been our MOTTO.
After the initiative aimed at responding to the flood emergency in Melamchi, Helambu and Panchpokhari, we thought that the reconstruction would also pass through new designs such as the opening of the trekking circuit through the Langhsing pass and the new slope for the Ganchenpo peak, interventions and waste collection campaign and awareness, training and interventions for family accommodation and awareness in schools and the continuation of the path development and mapping & maintenance project.
All these interventions are part of the objective of following the Sustainability criteria to achieve the “Sustainable Destination Certification”.
The next stage aims to create a SUSTAINABLE TREKKING ROUTE between Panchpokhari and Langtang together with local and national authorities. This product will be immortalized in a documentary video created with the collaboration of artists and professionals who share our idea of Dignity and Diversity. Further updates coming soon..