January 06, Kathmandu: Reinhold Messner, a world-renowned Italian mountaineer, explorer, and travel writer born in 1944, is currently on a visit to Nepal.
He has set world records by climbing all 14 peaks above 8,000 meters (26,000 feet) in the world. Messner, who is 77 years old, still has a keen interest in mountaineering in Nepal. He has visited Nepal 50 times so far.
He made the first ascent of Mt Everest without supplement oxygen with Peter Habeler.
He climbed Nanga Parbat (8,125 m) in 1970 and 1978, Manaslu (8,163m) in 1972, Gasherbrum I (8,080 m) in 1975 and 1982, Everest (8848m) in 1978 and 1980, K2 (8,611m) in 1979,Shishapangma(8,027 m) in 1981,Kangchenjunga (8,586 m) in 1982, Gasherbrum II (8,034 m) in 1982 and 1984, Broad peak (8,051 m) in 1982, Cho Oyu (8,188 m) in 1983,Annapurna (8,091 m ) in 1985,Dhaulagiri (8,167 m) in 1985,Makalu (8,485 m) in 1986 and Lhotse (8,516 m) in 1986.
He is also the first citizen to cross Antarctica and Greenland, he also crossed the Gobi Desert alone.
He has published more than 80 books about his experiences during his ascent and exploration.
He came to Nepal to celebrate the New Year of 2022 with his wife Diane Chumacher. He stayed in Namche for a few days and returned to Kathmandu.
We had a brief conversation with him before returning home today:
What differences did you see between climbing Nepal’s mountains and the current situation?
I have noticed a lot of changes in the current situation than 50 years ago when I climbed various mountain ranges in Nepal.
At that time, the climbers had no information about the mountain. It was very challenging to climb without knowing what kind of material to carry and which route to use. There was no knowledge of the location of which mountain, at what time, and from which route how to climb.
Even the Sherpas who accompanied us did not have the experience of climbing. But now that there is enough information and information about it, there is full support from Sherpas.
What motivates you to visit Nepal?
Ever since I came to Nepal with the goal of climbing Nepal’s mountains, I have been fascinated by the natural beauty of Nepal and its behavior.
After climbing Mt. Everest for the first time in 1978, my desire to climb other mountains of Nepal also increased. After climbing the mountains here, I came to understand the Nepali people.
I am grateful to Nepal for promoting tourism. I would like to give credit for my success in Nepal.
I am very much influenced by Nepali art and culture.I am very impressed with the cultural diversity and natural beauty here. Nepal is a piece of paradise, its inhabitants, mountains and natural beauty can not be described.
I can’t forget the smiling faces and simple demeanor of Nepalis. The same fascination has inspired me to visit Nepal every year. I want to come to Nepal at least once a year.
Is the impact of climate change already visible in the mountainous region of Nepal?
Although Nepal’s role in greenhouse gas emissions is minimal, it has been severely affected by the effects of climate change.
Climate change seems to have a direct impact on the Himalayan region of Nepal. The Himalayas, including Amadablam and Manaslu, receive less snow than before. Even the snow-capped peaks of previous times are now black mountains.
As the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere of the Himalayan region gradually increases, the environment of the Himalayan region has changed a lot due to the eruption of glacial lakes, melting of glaciers, and low snowfall in the mountains.
Climate change has made monsoon trends and air systems riskier for mountaineering. Disasters such as avalanches and blizzards have been on the rise in the Himalayas for some years now.
What should be considered to reduce such incidents?
Such challenges are compounded by the fact that the entire climate system is out of balance due to industrialization, widespread use of vehicles, fossil fuels, and consumerism.
Nepal needs to raise its voice in international fora on the impact of climate change in the Himalayan region as well as do something internally.
Systematic urbanization, use of clean energy, and lifestyle changes are needed.
How much potential do you see for mountain tourism in Nepal?
As there is a lot of potential for mountain tourism in Nepal, it seems that programs with a strategic plan should be decided for their development.
As Nepal is full of ‘Nature’, ‘Culture’ and ‘Adventure’, if we can focus on development in a planned and sustainable manner, Nepal can benefit a lot from tourism.
Sustainable development of mountain tourism is necessary for the prosperity of the country.
You have made a great contribution to promoting Nepal’s tourism internationally. Have you thought about expanding it further in the coming days?
My articles have been published in more than 80 books and journals on mountaineering experiences and mountaineering experience in Nepal.
Many of my documentaries have helped to introduce Nepal to the world.
As Nepal’s Goodwill Ambassador, I have been lecturing on Nepal’s tourism and mountains in my home country Italy and other European countries, and in many countries of the world.
I have built museums in different cities of Italy that reflect Nepali art and culture. Now I am building an art museum in Namche, Solukhumbu. The world’s highest museum is set to open next year.
As I have a deep connection with Nepal’s tourism, I want to promote Nepali art, culture, and tourism in the international arena for the rest of my life.
Are there any basic suggestions that need to be made by the Government of Nepal, tourism entrepreneurs, and citizens for the promotion of Nepali tourism?
Tourists come to Nepal to experience the special rather than the average. Tourists should be able to manage the historical heritage, cultural-tradition, natural beauty, hospitality, adventure activities, and sports, and new places for sightseeing in the way they like.
Much work has been done in the field of tourism infrastructure, but there is still a long way to go in safe and orderly flight, hiking, hotel facilities, preservation of art and culture, and conservation of biodiversity.