February 13, 2023: The scenic highlands and mountains of the region are typically known for their snow sports, but this year, there has been a noticeable absence of snow. As a result, tourists who flock to the region to engage in winter activities are scarce. This has caused concern among local tourism professionals, as the lack of tourists has significantly impacted their businesses.
In the past, 20-25 tourists visited the Madi Rural Municipality-2 Krapudanda daily during the winter months to enjoy snow-based activities. However, this year, only a handful of people have made the journey, leaving the region’s hotels with very few guests. The nearby village of Tangting is the nearest destination for snow sports, but the absence of snow has deterred tourists from visiting.
The shortage of snow has also affected the tourism business in other areas that typically receive heavy snowfall, such as Hugugoth, Kapuche, and Kori. Local residents, such as Bel Gurung, have noticed that the number of tourists visiting these regions has decreased significantly due to the lack of snow.
Furthermore, the absence of snow and rain has had a negative impact on local farming practices. According to some locals, crops such as potatoes, wheat, and tomatoes have not been able to flourish due to the dry conditions.
The Mardi Himal trek in the district has also been affected by the decrease in tourists. During the winter months, over 200 tourists would visit the region to enjoy snow-based activities, but this year, only 40-50 people have made the journey.
The Ghandruk village, another popular tourist spot in the region, has also experienced a decrease in tourists due to the lack of snow. The chairman of the Ghandruk Tourism Business Committee, Vikram Gurung, attributes this to the off-season for tourists.
The main reason for the lack of snow in the region has been attributed to climate change by Kedar Paudel, the president of the Kaski Forest Technical Society. He states that the increasing global temperature has caused a dry drought and has contributed to the drying up of the ice river. If the trend continues, he warns that about half of the current glaciers may dry up in the next 100 years.