I am just back from an official visit to Lhasa, Tibet, where I attended the celebrations of the China Tibet all 14, 8000m peaks success in a group. The three successful summiteers of All 14, 8000m Peaks are Tshering Dorje, Pemba Tashi and Lhotse under the leadership of Samdruk. Asian Trekking sponsored one of their early expedition (Mt.Lhotse) and outfitted all the expeditions (Mt.Annapurna, Daulagiri, Manaslu, Kanchanjunga and Makalu) in Nepal. I was there under the capacity of Chairman of Asian Trekking and also as the President of Nepal Mountaineering Association. This event was attended by high level delegates from Beijing and Lhasa.
I am very glad to say that the event was for all of us in the mountaineering community a great success. After a series of meetings with the President and Vice President of China Mountaineering Association and General Leader and Deputy General Leader of the Chinese Olympic Everest Expedition, President, General Secretary of China Tibet Mountaineering Association and the concerned government bodies and authorities, we were able to make great progress for the future.
First of all, there are many rumors circulating in our national and international media that Mt. Everest will be closed to climb from the Tibet side. These rumors are FALSE. They will also not limit the number of expeditions in 2008.
However, their major concern is that their Olympic expedition runs smoothly, safely and with no problems. To ensure that this will be the case they will be strictly vetting each and every expedition so that they will only have quality expeditions. There are three main criteria that they will require the expeditions to fulfill to climb Mt. Everest from the Tibet side in 2008.
An expedition team is allowed to have up to three nationalities including Nepalese staff.
All documentation and confirmation of expedition has to be sent at least two and a half months in advance.
Only well organized, well supported and fully equipped teams will be allowed to climb.
At the meeting I also put forward the growing problem of safety and security (theft) on the mountain. CTMA has agreed to take stern action against any individual or group found to be involved in theft or misconduct. They are now working out how to implement this. It is very likely that they will install extra Liaison officers at Advanced Base Camp. NMA and the concerned Nepali authorities fully support this move. I hope this will finally solve this ugly and embarrassing problem.
A special banquet was held in Honor of Asian Trekking and NMA. This banquet was hosted by the Mr. Gyare Lobasang Tang Tsen, vice chairman of Tibet autonomous government and honorary chairman of CTMA. The event was attended by Mrs. Dikki Doka, General Secretary of Tibet Autonomous Government, Mrs. JI JA, Director General of the Sports Commission of Tibet Autonomous Region, Mr. Chon Jen, Director General of the Sports Commission of Tibet Autonomous Region and acting president of CTMA and other government officials. At this event CTMA organized a special felicitation program to honor our long standing friendship. I am very proud to receive that honor.
Furthermore, since Asian Trekking is the official GSA for CTMA, CTMA has asked me at this event to be their mouthpiece to forward any news and updates regarding mountaineering in Tibet, China. It will be my great pleasure and privilege to keep the mountaineering community informed. To update and keep the proper record of mountaineering activities both the organization will exchange efficiently and effectively with close co-operation.